The Most Effective Detox You’ve Never Heard Of (And Exactly How To Do It).


In 1974, the World Health Organization stated that environmental toxins create approximately 84% of all chronic diseases. Over the past 40 years this number has increased dramatically…

…and as a matter of fact, an oft-neglected but serious issue called “cellular toxicity” is one of the major epidemics of our lifetimes, and remains an underlying cause of numerous health issues, including gut problems, thyroid issues, sluggish metabolism, brain fog and much more.

In today’s episode, you’re going to learn exactly why that is, what cellular toxicity is, what you can do about, and the most effective form of detoxification that you’ve probably never heard of.

My guest on today’s episode is Dr. Daniel Pompa, D.PSc., who is widely considered to be a global leader in the health and wellness industry. He travels all over the country educating practitioners and the public on the root causes of inflammation driven diseases such as Weight Loss Resistance, Hypothyroid, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autoimmune Disorders and other chronic conditions.

…and I happened to have had the pleasure of hanging out at Dan’s house with him in Park City Utah during my TrainToHunt National Championships competition, and finding out everything I’ve always wanted to know about how to detox the body as effectively as possible.

Dan’s authority is rooted in his own personal battle. He has overcome serious neurotoxic illness and heavy metal poisoning, and he did that using the cellular detoxification strategies we talk about in this show. His methodology is rooted in self-experimentation, and runs very much counter to mainstream detox tactics.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Dr. Pompa developed extremely”toxic” cells despite being a seemingly healthy pro mountain biker and chiropractic physician…[9:30]

-The big, big problem with detoxifications such as cilantro, chlorella, juice cleanses, colonics and other popular detox methods…[30:00]

-Why the popular cleansing mineral zeolite is too big to cross a cell membrane, and what you can do about it…[34:05 & 53:55]

-Dr Pompa’s 5 “R’s” of fixing your cells for good, and how you can personally do each of these R’s…[37:35]

-Why you must detox your cell, and not just your tissue or your blood, and exactly how to detox your cells…[40:15]

What happens if you mix popular detox methods, like fiber supplements or glutathione or n-acetyl cysteine or juicing, etc…[58:15]

The tiny white bottle that Dr. Pompa gave me that made me feel like complete crap and call him on the phone three days later…[63:20]

-What you should feel like when you are detoxing, and how long you should actually detox for (you’ll be surprised at the answer)…[64:30]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

CytoDetox supplement

Six hour urine challenge

Evidence Of Harm DVD about mercury dental fillings

The “Smoking Tooth” video on YouTube for finding a holistic dentist

Biology Of Belief book

NOW Foods liver capsules

USWellnessMeats (Ben mentions braunschweiger and head cheese in this episode)

Cancer As A Metabolic Disease book

Thorne multivitamin

-Dr. Pompa’s article about detoxification mistakes

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dan or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

How To Increase Your IQ, Decrease Your Distractibility, Create Better Sleep, Enhance Cognitive Performance & Maximize Your Ability To Enter The Zone.


Two months ago, I visited the Peak Brain Institute in Los Angeles, California for a special type of advanced brain scan and brain mapping system called a quantified electroencephalography, or “QEEG”…

…and I was shocked at what they discovered in my brain.

Dr. Andrew Hill, who oversaw the test and who you may remember from my podcasts “Can Weed Really Shrink Your Brain” and “The Little Known Truth About Smart Drugs And Nootropics” (and who you also may have seen on The Joe Rogan Experience, the Smart Drug Smarts show and beyond) discovered some pretty severe patterns of excess stressful beta waves, excess theta waves, and excess delta waves in my brain.

What’s that mean?

Basically, this suggests that I have had some history of concussions and traumatic brain injury (which I indeed have had, in everything from football to mountain biking to kickboxing), as well as built-up deficits of attention, increased distractibility, limited sleep potential and less-than-optimal cognitive performance from life, travel, toxins, head injuries and beyond.

So last week, I hopped on a plane to LA, and went back to the Peak Brain Institute for three days of intensive training to fix my brain.

In this guest article from Dr. Andrew Hill himself, who is one the leading neurofeedback practitioners and peak brain performance coaches in the country, a UCLA trained cognitive neuroscientist, lecturer, entrepreneur, avid biohacker, and host of the soon-to-be released podcast – Head First With Dr. Hill (stay tuned as one of the first episodes is with yours truly)…

….you’re going to discover exactly what I did with Dr. Hill, how this method of brain fixing blows any other form of electrical brain stimulation out of the water, and how I felt while going through what is essentially like “meditation on steroids”.




You Are An Athlete

The 2016 Rio Olympics games have just come to a close, and it will be a long wait until Tokyo Games in 2020. It’s going to be an intense, grueling four years as athletes try to get to the top of their game. But for most of us, our Olympic dreams probably died somewhere around the beginning of high school…the ultimate reality check…the point when you realize that you’re not going to be the next Michael Phelps or Simone Biles.

Then why is it that we care so much about what the best athletes in the world eat, sleep, and breathe?

We’re competitive by nature because we’re human. Like Ben, we want to be the best, have the best, and live life to its fullest. We’re also flawed by nature because, you guessed it, we’re human. We get anxious, impulsive, distracted, stressed out, lose our confidence – and sometimes even lose our cool.

In other words, we seem to get in our own way a little too often.


So maybe you don’t consider yourself to be an “elite athlete” – but regardless of that, if our professions are mentally athletic or physically athletic in nature, our successes and failures are largely dependent on what happens inside the three pounds of tissue between your ears. Whether you’re a surgeon, Wall Street trader, neighborhood butcher, or super mom, life is really a game of inches, and much of that game takes place in that organ between your ears that we call the brain.


Olympic Glory vs. Eternal Agony

Focus and emotional balance is the key to peak performance in all areas. Neurofeedback – also known as EEG biofeedback – is used by many athletes, including the recently competing USA Olympic athletes, to train their brains to function better during performance states. EEG was originally used to treat conditions such as epilepsy, attention deficit disorder and migraines, but contrary to popular belief, can benefit all brains.

Neurofeedback trains your brain to function more efficiently, improving mental functioning and emotional regulation. Much like physical training, you can use brainwave training to strengthen specific brainwave (EEG) patterns. The more you practice you have activating or entraining a specific area of the brain, the stronger and more accessible those resources become.

Neurofeedback was discovered in the late 1960s by sleep researcher Barry Sterman, PhD, who discovered that he was able to train cats to produce more of a specific EEG pattern by reinforcing it with a positive reward. This specific rhythm, in a frequency of 12Hz to 15Hz, over the sensorimotor part of the cortex is called “SMR”, or sensory motor rhythm. If you’ve ever seen a cat lying on a window sill looking out the window at birds, you have seen SMR. Body like liquid, but eyes in a laser-like calm focus.

That’s the SMR state – a feline version of “the zone,” if you will.


Getting Your Head Into The Game

Our bodies follow the brain every step (and misstep of the way). Athletic performance is truly a function of brain-body connection. With so much at stake, it’s almost a no-brainer for an Olympic athlete to hone their mental game in addition to their rigorous physical training. Many athletes have realized that neurofeedback is one of the best ways to keep their mind controlled and focused so their body can perform at its best.

The Italian National Soccer team kicked up their performance by using neurofeedback and won the 2006 World Cup after edging France with clutch penalty kicks. Olympic Beach Volleyball champion Kerri Walsh-Jennings has incorporated neurofeedback into her training routine for years. Alexandre Bilodeau, the Canadian men’s mogul champion credited his gold medal to neurofeedback. Bilodeau used it to stay relaxed between runs.

Elite athletes across the world incorporate neurofeedback into their training – from the United States Olympic Training Center, US Special Forces and Navy Seals, NFL, NHL, the Pro golf circuit, Formula 1, and even NASA.

These athletes use neurofeedback training to: 

  1. Increase focus and attention – focus is essential for athletes – they must stay completely in the moment and pay attention to every detail
  2. Improve the depth and quality of sleep – deep, restorative sleep is often directly correlated to performance
  3. Increase neuroplasticity – which may help the central nervous system better cope with stress
  4. Eradicate one-way, negative thinking – confidence is key – streaks and slumps are the enemies of elite athletes
  5. Keep the brain young and brain fitness high – neurofeedback can help preserve that cognitive edge over time

In a nutshell, these superhumans use neurofeedback to overcome their personal kryptonite, whatever that may be.


What’s your Kryptonite?

For some of us it’s lack of sleep, but for others it’s anxiety getting in the way, distractibility and lack of focus, impulsivity, obsessions, constant worrying, or debilitating migraines.

Maybe it’s the years long lingering effects of a concussion or traumatic brain injury causing the mind to fatigue as the brain seems to “brown out” by mid-afternoon.

For Ben, it was a little bit of everything.

Whatever it is, most of us seem to have something cognitively that holds us back from achieving our goals.

Could it be a chemical imbalance in the brain? No. In fact, there’s no such thing as a chemical imbalance in the brain. This idea might help sell billions of dollars in pharmaceuticals, but it’s a big fat myth.

So how can we better understand our weaknesses and cognitive challenges?

Enter brain waves.


What are Brain Waves? What Do They Mean?

One thing people often aren’t aware of is we’re making all of our brain waves all of the time. You’re making waves we call “Delta”, “Theta”, “Alpha”, “Beta”, and “Gamma” all of the time, but the amount of different frequencies you make change moment to moment. They track your states and your resources to some extent. Brainwaves in proper ratios are like musical instruments coming together in an orchestra – nothing too loud, nothing too quiet, with a harmonic beat, and all players additive and cooperative.

These brain waves are also known as EEG, and are simply electricity, produced by organized assemblies of neurons firing at the same speed. Largely when we train the brain, we are measuring these brainwaves. Based on the speed of these oscillations, we call them Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, or Gamma.

For example, Delta is good when you’re sleeping, but bad when you’re awake. Excess Delta may mean sleep deprivation or past head injuries. Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption may suppress the slow brain waves including Delta, Alpha, and Theta. The Delta frequency is 0.5 Hz – 4 Hz.

Then there’s Theta, which is good for creativity, but bad for focus. Excess Theta shows up in impulsivity and lack of control over performance. When this happens, it’s like the brakes being off the car. Everything becomes reactive and there’s very little inhibitory ability and carefully directed behavior. The Theta to Beta ratio is a very well validated marker for ADHD and other executive function problems (high TBR indicates ADHD). Theta is 4 Hz – 7 Hz.

Next is Alpha, which I call an idling or rest frequency in the brain. It is good for relaxation, but bad for focus. Excess Alpha shows up in inattentive ADHD, and may show up with chronic abuse of cannabis. Alpha is 7 Hz – 12 Hz.

Beta is good for alertness, focus, and cognition (thinking), but bad if you’re stressout. Excess Beta shows up in sleep issues and anxiety. Low power Beta can also show up in head injuries. Beta is 12 Hz to 38 Hz.

Finally there’s Gamma, which is a very fast frequency that is possibly involved in consciousness. Gamma briefly binds neurons together into networks. Gamma cannot be measured at the scalp without special equipment, and must be measured at cortex (putting electrodes into the brain) or using very expensive active electrodes. Gamma is 38 Hz and higher. Long term meditators have enhanced Gamma, and schizophrenics have reduced Gamma.


How To Map Your Brain

Before starting any neurofeedback training, it’s crucial to have a Quantitative EEG (QEEG) or ‘brain mapping’ performed. This is essentially a statistical analysis and assessment of functional patterns in your brain that gives great insight into how your brain compares to a range of typical brains. It can identify potential cognitive challenges and bottlenecks.

Below is me pointing out a brain map (and, as an interesting aside, this particular form of therapy “re-sensitizes” one to the use of cannabis, if that’s your thing).


A QEEG starts by measuring your resting state brain waves from about two dozen locations across the scalp, both with eyes open and closed. This data is then compared to a normative database of several thousand people and results in a several hundred page report of statistical maps that utilize Z-Scores (-3 to 3 standard deviations).

If a functional area of the brain is 2 or 3 or more standard deviations from the norm, this is a sign that this is an area that we want to take a closer look at. If you recall your basic statistics 2 standard deviations includes 95% of the bell curve and 3 SD includes 99.7%.

It takes a very skilled clinician to understand and interpret the data. And, the data shouldn’t necessarily be believed unless it matches the subjective experience of the person it came from. Just because someone’s brain is unusual (there is no such thing as a “typical” brain), it doesn’t mean there is a problem. QEEG is not a diagnostic tool – you could say it’s ‘prognostic,’ because it tells us what is likely true.

If the QEEG data matches the experience of the person being test, then you should trust the data. With this knowledge, you have the basis for a training protocol.


Fixing Your Brain With Neurofeedback

Training with neurofeedback is intense exercise for your brain.

However, there’s a few key distinctions to be made from brain training and physical training. First, you don’t have to break a sweat – just kick back in a comfortable chair. Second, you don’t even really need to try – just be present and sit relatively still (muscle tension can interfere with the electrode signals). Three, the software is adaptive and always moving the goalposts, so there’s really no such thing as winning or scoring a PR – it’s time under a training protocol, not “score.”

And lastly, the most impressive difference is that with sufficient training, neurofeedback can produce lasting effects and new resources, unlike the transitory effects of physical training.

So what exactly is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive form of central nervous system biofeedback. It trains the brain to develop new resources by encouraging certain areas to raise or lower the amplitude of particular brainwaves (or it can train connectivity, ratios, etc). To a very large extent, and unlike peripheral biofeeedback such as practicing a physical exercise like a handstand, neurofeedback is an entirely non-voluntary process where you are shaping the brain by thresholding and giving the brain feedback only when it’s doing certain things. Professional clinicians report that about 90% of users notice significant positive impact from the training.

Training simply involves the placement of electrodes on the scalp to be picked up by an EEG amplifier. These signals are then fed into software that then sends back to the user some form of visual and/or auditory “feedback” or reward. This reward stimulus is given when the brain produces brainwave changes in amplitudes or frequency in the direction we want to encourage.

The single most crucial aspect of neurofeedback training is protocol selection. Neurofeedback is a powerful tool and every brain is different. Although the QEEG provides crucial information about one person’s brain, the training plan itself needs to be adaptive and iterative, based upon how someone responds to the training, which is why it’s important to have this process overseen by a neurofeedback practitioner.

Neurofeedback can produce side effects, although they are generally minor and short lasting – and also informative to a neurofeedback practitioner. If you get adverse effects, protocols can be adjusted to steer the brain in a different direction. But, if you are somebody training yourself with no supervision and no sense of what’s actually happening in the brain, you can easily produce negative side effects and – if you keep doing it – you can cause these negative effects to become permanent.


Doping Your Brain

No, I’m not talking about Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s), but even the Russians athletes will readily admit that they rely heavily on neurofeedback as one of the many ways they strive to get an edge. The gear we’re talking about is a neurofeedback home training kit, or finding a skilled clinician in your area.

Most, if not all consumer EEG “wearable” headsets on the market are mostly ineffective, at best. I’m not going to do any name dropping, but you’ve probably seen these sexy headbands and brain training equipment that, say, syncs to your phone.

Here’s what you need to know: any device that measures EEG from the forehead should raise skepticism, as the forehead is almost never the right place to train EEG and training the forehead can produce the most dramatic side effects. There is really no one size fits all neurofeedback.

There’s no magical cap you put on your head and sit back and it just works, period.

Anyone can stick electrodes on heads, set up frequencies in a signal processing algorithm, and tie it to a computer game, using the current neurofeedback software packages in clinical use. But nowing what to do, where on the head to train, what frequencies to train up and down, how to train amplitude, or coherence, or other more complicated metrics and why to do these things (and what to do when you get adverse or suboptimal effects), that’s the difficult part of neurofeedback. This is really why you need a neurofeedback practitioner to guide training or you need to be really technically minded yourself and have some neuroscience perspective.

Otherwise, you’re going to get, at best, suboptimal effects and at worse, potentially adverse effects in the long term.


Shift Happens

So can you achieve the equivalent of decades of meditation and zen training fancy biohacking neurofeedback equipment like Ben is using?

Let’s not get carried away. Barring something like a brain injury or pharmaceutical and recreational drug use, EEG patterns tend to be static and change very, very slowly from one year to the next, so getting significant changes in a short period of time are a big deal.

Some very positive effects are often noticeable in the first week or two of doing neurofeedback, but neurofeedback training is not “permanent” until you have done something for several weeks – at least 5 weeks – the brain just doesn’t change its patterns that quickly.

Ultimately, you can expect to do neurofeedback a few times a week for at least 3 months to achieve lasting results that meet goals of big shifts in attention and other brain resources.

When you change your brain, you change everything.

You change your entire experience, how you process information, and how you experience the world. The brain is the filter through which you experience absolutely everything. So, subtle changes over several months in your processing machinery can mean dramatic change in your experience and executive function.


What I Found In Ben Greenfield’s Brain

As Ben mentioned in the introduction to this article, he came to Peak Brain Institute in LA two months ago and got his QEEG performed (in a live studio, pictured below, podcast coming soon). We found many patterns of excess Beta, excess Theta, and excess Delta in Ben’s brain.


Overall, this suggested that Ben had some history of mild head injury (concussion), and shows some likely bottlenecks in resources for things attention and sleep.

So last week, Ben came back to my institute for three solid days of what I call a “self-training intensive”.

During these three days, we worked with Ben to do further assessments and brain training, and taught him the process of setting up and recording EEG training sessions for himself. We built an personal EEG training kit for Ben and gave him the skills to administer his own training.

Ben then left with a training kit to continue training his brain several times a week, updating Peak Brain Institute and me each day with results and progress. I will continue to monitor and provide support as Ben works through different training regimens to optimize his brain, fix sleep, fix distractibility, increase his IQ and attention, and much more.


As Ben updates us on his neurofeedback progress, you may be interested in participating in a similar program, so now I’ll tell you more about how you can do this type of training yourself.


Peak Brain Neurofeedback Self Training Kit with Supervised Training

Peak Brain Institute is peak performance center and brain gym founded by me. For those who aren’t able to regularly visit Peak Brain’s Los Angeles Headquarters (or our three other new locations you can view here), Peak Brain offers a supervised home training package. It’s not for everyone, but if you have some attention, stress, sleep, or other broad performance goals, it may be for you, and it’s exactly what Ben is doing.

Here’s how it works…

Step 1: Initial Intensive

This is an intensive to get you up to speed on self-training your brain. For three days, you will practice training your brain with neurofeedback. This is about the minimum time required to produce some effects, although quick responders will get some effects when they are here.

The first day, we will perform a Quantitative EEG on your brain and teach you about the process of QEEG and what your data means, and then we will furnish you with a copy of your raw brain data for further analysis, as well as a report on clinical impressions of the QEEG with regards to brain performance.

The goals of the Intensive are to help you practice supervised neurofeedback, protocol setup on yourself (or your child or spouse), and learn the process of training, including keeping track of your sessions and progress, learning to use the software and EEG devices, and learning to find scalp locations for training.

Step 2: Two Follow-Up Days

Every day you are here includes a one hour meeting with me, and I will directly oversee your first neurofeedback session each day. You will also practice a second time each day, and later, you can take advantage of our 1:1 mindfulness coaching and our evening mindfulness groups.

Sample 3-day Itinerary

  • Day 1: 9 am – 1 pm: QEEG recording, Attention assessment, neurofeedback session, QEEG discussion, and 2nd neurofeedback sessions.
  • Day 2: 9 am – 12 pm: Two neurofeedback sessions with 1:1 meditation instruction between them.
  • Day 3: Two neurofeedback sessions, kit setup practice, and instruction on charting and logging sessions.

After the Intensive, I send you home with a Peak Brain training kit (pictured below) including:

  • Q-Wiz 4 channel EEG and HEG amplifier
  • BioExplorer training software
  • InnerTube game license and software
  • BxShadow software
  • EEG electrodes, paste and prep materials
  • Gaming-quality 15” laptop (with dedicated video card and current i5 or i7 processor)
  • Sleep tracker
  • Optional
    • pirHEG headset (for passive infra-red hemoencephalography training)
    • HRV device (emWave Pro)
    • Game controller (Steelseries)
    • Cable set (20 foot HDMI and USB cable)


To keep you moving forward with your brain training goals, we then provide training support for a three month period of time. This supervision includes:

  • Checking in via text or phone with questions
    • We especially want to know how the first weeks of training are going!
    • The first few weeks we will ask for weekly calls to talk about your progress.
  • Daily, simple survey on 10 aspects of brain performance
    • This data reported back to us helps guide your training protocol selection
  • Ongoing supervision of neurofeedback protocol selection
    • Peak Brain clinical staff will monitor your charts and make adjustment to your training plan weekly or as needed based on results.
  • Technical support when using training software
    • Call our technicians for support if you forget how to do something

And that’s it.

Mention Ben when you visit the Peak Brain Institute website to contact us, and we’ll give you the white glove treatment, along with a 10% discount on any of our services, including the exact brain training system that Ben is now using.


About The Author

Dr. Andrew Hill is founder of Peak Brain Institute. You may remember him from a few episodes on my Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, in which he discussed smart drugs vs. nootropics and how marijuana affects the brain.

He received his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA in 2012, studying how attention operates in the brain, and has been employed as a Lecturer at UCLA over the past few years, teaching multidisciplinary courses on Healthy Brain Aging and courses in Neuroscience and Psychology. Dr. Hill has published chapters on measuring and modulating human attention, and continues to research self regulation.

Peak Brain Institute is Dr. Hill’s peak performance center and brain gym headquartered in Los Angeles, and is opening new locations across the country. They offer quantitative EEG ‘brain mapping’ and neurofeedback training, HEG and HRV biofeedback, as well as free weekly mindfulness meditation classes and individualized brain training programs like you’ve just read about (you can use coupon code BEN or mention my name to get 10% off any of the services at Peak Brain).


Ben Greenfield here. Curious how my brain training progresses, and how my life changes because of this huge biohacking step I’ve taken?

Me too.

So I’ll be releasing updates over my next few months of my brain training, and the absolute best way to keep yourself up-to-date is to stay tuned to my free podcast and to my free newsletter.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how to increase your IQ, decrease your distractibility, increase your cognitive performance, and maximize your ability to enter the zone? Leave your comments below and either Dr. Andrew Hill (pictured below on the right, along with me holding my tiny black bag of brain training magic) or me will reply!


A “Healthy Soda” Super-Special: Is Diet Soda Good For You, Stevia DeMystified, Sugar Alcohols, Natural Flavors & More.


If you happened to watch the most recent Crossfit Games, you may have noticed they were brought to you by…soda.

That’s right: a soda company was sponsor of the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games, the worldwide competition to find the Fittest On Earth. Not exactly something you’d associate with Coke or Pepsi or Mountain Dew (or my all-time favorite Dr. Pepper), is it?

The name of the soda company is “Zevia“, and my guest on today’s show is Paddy Spence, who is a 23-year veteran of the natural and organic foods industry – a guy who completely cut sugar out from his diet 14 years ago, and a guy who then purchased Zevia, a line of stevia-sweetened sodas that is now the world’s top-selling zero-calorie, natural diet soda.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters and is an avid athlete, having completed over 40 triathlons and trained in martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Shotokan Karate and boxing.

During our discussion, you’ll discover: 

-How one can make the argument that “caveman drank soda”, and the fascinating history of fermented beverages and soda-like compounds…[12:00]

-How did the name Zevia come to be…[17:30]

-What causes “keto flu” and how to avoid getting it…[21:50]

-Why stevia tastes bitter to some people…[28:05]

-Why Coke’s “TruVia” and Pepsi’s “PureVia” can actually be very bad for you (and why not all stevia is created equal)…[32:30]

-How sugar alcohols are processed by your body, and the one form of sugar alcohol that won’t make you fart…[40:15]

-The little-known fruit grown in the foothills of China that actually does not spike your blood sugar…[42:25]

-Why many natural flavors come from pretty nasty sources, including the anal gland of a beaver…[50:00]

-The big reason you need to avoid anything that lists “caramel color”…[56:45]

-My own personal vodka cocktail mix I use with Creme Soda flavored Zevia, and how my kids make Root Beer Floats with Root Beer flavored Zevia…[59:00]

-Paddy’s amazing recipe for a Zevia custard dessert…[61:10]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Zevia soda

Simply Gum

-Here’s the recipe for Banana Swirl, created by Paddy’s amazing wife Jerra Spence: 2 frozen bananas, a pinch of cinnamon, and a couple of splashes of Zevia Cream Soda. Combine all of these in a high-powered blender and mix until the bananas are smooth & creamy. Place in freezer for 30-60 minutes. Serve in a dish, possibly with some stevia-sweetened chocolate chips on top!

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Paddy or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Never Get Sick Again: 13 Underground Immune Boosting Strategies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.


This week, I read what I consider to be one of the most comprehensive, practical guides to repairing and maintaining your immune system: a relatively short, easy-to-read online manual entitled: “Biohacker’s Handbook to Invincible Immunity“. 

This book, written by the same biohacking and physician group from Finland who I highlighted in my article “21 Unfamiliar Nutrition Tricks I Discovered In The Biohackers’ Handbook“, delves deep into:

-Your immune system and how it functions…
-Viruses, bacteria and other pathogens…
-Innate immunity you are born with…
-Adaptive immunity that can be trained against pathogens…
-Individual differences and environmental factors…
-Measuring the condition of the immune system…
-Recipes for lowering inflammation and balancing the immune system…

After reading it, I reached out to one of the co-authors, my friend, beast of a powerlifter, complete biohacking nerd, and Finnish physician Olli Sovijärvi, to give me a synopsis of his top thirteen immune-boosting strategies found within the book. And you’re going to discover exactly what he had to say below.

If you really dig this stuff and want to dive in headfirst, then follow the links I have at the end of this article to grab the book for yourself…

…and if you really want to take a deep, deep dive, then I invite you to join me, along with Dr. Rhonda Patrick, Europe’s top biohacker Teemu Arina and many more – to the November 18 Biohackers’ Summit in Helsinki, Finland (use 10% discount code BEN), which is also organized by Teemu and his team, and is the best marriage of ancestral living, wild plant foraging, smoke saunas, amazing food and biohacking you’re ever going to experience. 

Alright, let’s do this…


13 Underground Immune Boosting Strategies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

Yes, it is actually possible not to have a seasonal flu every year or catch a cold whenever you confront a stressful life situation. For example I have not caught a cold in five years. Before that it was normal for me to go through anginas, bronchitis and colds at least once a year.

Little did I know back then what the antibiotics I was using for these issues did to my defense system. Now I know that a single unnecessary course of antibiotics can actually destroy as much as 30% of your good bacteria. And as Hippocrates put it some 2000 years ago: ”All disease begins in the gut.”

But immunity goes beyond simply avoiding antibiotics, and if you want to build yourself an invincible immune system, I’d highly recommend you read on.

The word “immunity” originates from the Latin word immunis, which means “exempt”. Generally speaking immunity consists of all of the body’s defense systems that resist infections and toxins. The immune system can be thought of as a military defense system resisting uninvited guests.

To put it dramatically, the troops patrolling the body mercilessly attack intruders, blasting bacteria, poisoning parasites, devouring viruses and forcing cancer cells to commit suicide. Although functioning as a cohesive system, immunity is made up of various parts. A rough distinction can be made between innate (nonspecific) and adaptive (specific) immunity.

You can read a comprehensive yet straightforward description of the immune system in the Biohacker’s Handbook to Invincible Immunity chapter that delves deep into making your immune system unbeatable, but below I have picked up some strategies for you that you may have never heard of.


1. Be Social.

Be social even if it wouldn’t seem to be your cup of tea. Lack of social contacts may be deleterious to your immune system and vice versa. For example, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered that the immune system directly affects mice’s social behaviour, such as their desire to interact with others. Blocking a single type of immune molecule made mouse brains go hyperactive and caused abnormal behavior – but restoring it fixed both.


2. Laugh

Laugh often and avoid taking things too seriously. Frequent laughing has been found to lower stress hormone levels and boost the production of white blood cells and lymphocytes, which means better functioning immune system.


3. Drink The “Immune System Reset”

Bellow is my immune system reset recipe, clipped straight from the book, especially useful for “bouncing back” if you have been sick or protecting yourself if you’ve been exposed to the sniffles:



4. Lose The Gut

Reduce belly fat and get lean. Obesity, particularly in the form of abdominal fat, has been shown to increase leptin and decrease adiponectin levels, which seems to negatively affect the activation of immune system cells. The “Look Good Naked” article from Ben here is a perfect place to start.


5. Hydrate Your Saliva

Drink enough water daily. This may seem obvious, but do you actually know how dehydration impairs the function of your immune system? It decreases saliva antimicrobial proteins that are important for mucosal immunity.


6. Quit Stuffing Your Face.

Practice fasting every now and then. Fasting is an immemorial practice that throughout time has been suggested as a miracle cure for various ailments. In studies conducted on mice, regular fasting of 2–4 days per week for a period of 6 months decreased the function of the PKA enzyme (protein kinase A), making it possible for the immune system to rebuild damaged cells.

7. Drink Flu Killer Soup

This soup is great for you anytime but if you get exposed to the flu or get the flu, this recipe below, clipped from the book, is chock full of ingredients that will banish the flu fast.



8. Have Sex, But Not Too Much.

Sex can boost your immune system. Researchers have found out that regular sex is associated with higher IgA levels in the saliva. The same researchers also noted that having sex three or more times per week did not add any benefit to once a week group, but actually diminished the positive effects on immune system.


9. Take 5g Creatine Per Day

You can use creatine monohydrate not only for cognitive performance, power and strength gains but also to lower the inflammation in your body. Studies have shown that using creatine can inhibit the increase of CRP and TNF-alpha.


10. Add In The “Holy Trilogy”

What do astragalus, echinacea and cacao extract have in common? I call these three my “holy trilogy” of immune system maintenance, and all can lower CRP and have an anti-TNF effect, which means lower inflammation in the body. This is especially great news for people with rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory and immune related conditions.


11. Eat ‘Shrooms

Use various medicinal mushrooms (for example Chaga, Shiitake, Maitake and Turkey tail to name a few) to create yourself an intruder shield.Fungi have been found to contain several substances that are likely to become more and more relevant in the treatment of illnesses and the development of new medicines. Many known fungi compounds kill bacteria and viruses. They also possess immunoregulatory properties. Practically all medicinal fungi are rich in complex sugar compounds such as beta-glucans which activate NK, T and B cells and macrophages. They also increase the levels of cytokines (interleukin 1 and 2), thus boosting the function of the immune system. Ben’s top source is Four Sigmatic Foods, based straight out of Finland.


12. Drink Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Use extra virgin olive oil liberally (the better the quality the more profound your results, as you can hear about here). It has been shown that good quality olive oil can reduce CRP and IL6, which lowers inflammation. But then again, bad quality olive oil can actually make things worse, since these are often rancid, not ”extra virgin” and sometimes cut with inflammation induction high PUFA-oils.


13. Try The Alchemist Power Drink

Here’s another of my favorite (and probably most powerful) immune-boosting drinks, straight from the book:


And yep, it actually doesn’t taste too bad. You can learn far more about various other immune system modulative plants, mushrooms and herbs and discover more recipes in the book. Bon appetit.



Want more? Click here to get “Biohacker’s Handbook to Invincible Immunity” (that link automatically gives you a 25% discount).

Or (and this is what I highly recommend) if you want to get the entire Biohacker’s Handbook series, which dives deep into immunity, sleep, nutrition, exercise, the function of the mind and much more in 530+ pages of the best biohacking tips I’ve ever discovered, you can click here to get it all for $47 (that link also includes full access to all updates and any chapters ever added into the book for the rest of all time).

And I would also highly recommend you read my review of the nutrition chapter of the Biohacker’s Handbook, which you will find at “21 Unfamiliar Nutrition Tricks I Discovered In The Biohackers’ Handbook“.

In the meantime, leave your questions, comments and feedback below and I’ll reply.

Is He The Most Self-Quantified Man On The Planet? Tracking Telomeres, Heart Rate, Electrostimulation & More With Quantified Bob.

bob troia

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Meet Bob.

“Quantified Bob”.

Quantified Bob has tracks his life tirelessly, and has reams of data and insight on how the human body responds to everything from varying amounts of starch intake, to electrostimulation, to artificial light to different diets to cognitive performance training and beyond.

Bob Troia is a serial entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of digital innovation and emerging technologies for nearly two decades. A left- and right-brain thinker who is equal parts technical, creative, and analytical, Bob is as comfortable talking about business strategy, marketing, and product development as he is discussing programming, design, AI, hardware, and human physiology.

He is actively involved in the quantified self and biohacking movements, focusing his passion on the intersection of self-tracking and personal analytics, health and wellness, behavior design, technology, and life optimization, documenting his personal efforts under the moniker “Quantified Bob”.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Quantified Bob got his name…[11:35]

-How you can account for all the different potentially confounding variables when you’re testing and tracking data…[13:00]

-Why Bob hacked and tracked his glucose, and what he found…[17:10] 

-How you can self-test your water quality, and what Bob found by comparing tap water to filtered water…[31:10]

-The best way to monitor air quality in your home or office…[45:15]

-The most surprising thing you can change in your bedroom that may give you a better night’s sleep…[50:00]

-How to track your “rate of aging”…[54:10]

-The unique form of neuromuscular electrostimulation that Bob uses…[62:30]

-The craziest or most intriguing self-quantification experiment Bob has planned…[67:50]

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

23andme genetic testing


MyBasis watch

The Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitor


Ketonix Breath Ketone monitor


Home water testing kit

Trace liquid minerals

Foobot indoor air quality monitor

Allerair central air filter

The new Molekule air purification system

Titanovo telomere testing kits

D-minder Vitamin D testing

My podcast with Jay Schroeder on ARPWave

ARPWave practitioners

Periodic fasting diet study

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Bob or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

358: Muscle Cramping, Calorie & Carb Cycling, Gene Splicing, Fixing Altitude Sickness & More!

podcast 358

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

August 10, 2016 Podcast: 358: Muscle Cramping, Calorie & Carb Cycling, Gene Splicing, Fixing Altitude Sickness & More!

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar of events.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on,, and Google+.


Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

FitLife: Use discount code BEN for 20% off anything!

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Harrys.comUse $5 discount code BEN on anything at Harrys Shaving.

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more.

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Nov 11-14, 2016: Ben is speaking at this year’s Wise Traditions on real food to enhance physical and mental performance. If you’re an athlete, this is the talk for you! Click here to sign up.

Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Dr Chutkan? It was a must-listen – titled “The Gut Super Special: Eating Camel Poop, Weird Constipation Causes, Pig Whipworms & More: How to Banish Bloat, Fix Your Microbiome & Reboot Your Gut”. Click here to listen now or download for later!

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.

Natural Remedies For Altitude Sickness

Jenny says: She’s from Indiana. She’s a fit and active 52 year old woman that lives 500ft above sea level. Her husband and her are planning a backpacking trip to Yellowstone this fall and she’ll be hiking at 6000ft – 8000. Her concern is elevation sickness. She’s snow skied out west before and she’s experienced that horrible that headache and nausea feeling that comes with it and she’s wondering if you have any tips for how to avoid altitude sickness and get used to working out?

Everything You Need To Know About Muscle Cramping

Rachel says: She’s from Sydney and she loves the podcast and thanks for everything you do. Her question relates to muscle cramps. Her husband gets terrible cramps and they can occur at any time, like during runs over 12K and during the day, but they mostly occur at night.  He takes magnesium and camp bark formula two times per day and magnesium forte. They’ve tried so many things but nothing seems to work. He rolls, stretches, doesn’t relax etc, his mum had this issue and they both have blue feet. She may well have missed something you’ve already written about it but she can’t find it.

In my response, I recommend:
This podcast on muscle cramping

How To Cycle Your Calories & Carbs

Jeff says: Question about fat burn and calories deficit. He generally stays in fat burn and eats pretty healthy. He’s wondering if he works out everyday and he’s anywhere between 500-1000 cal deficit is that safe and OK to do, how long of a time period can he go that way? He only has 5-10 pounds to lose but he’s really working on endurance, muscle strength and so forth.

In my response, I recommend:

The 5 Best Books For Power & Strength

Jason says: He’s a police officer in Albury and he’s looking to start reading books on function strength for policing, he’s looking to gain power and strength. What books would you recommend for that?

In my response, I recommend:
Starting Strength
Mass Made Simple
Naked Warrior
MILO Strength


Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

Ask Your Question

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How I “Turned On” My Butt: Why My Posture Completely Sucked And How I Fixed It Fast.


A few weeks ago, I posted the article “How To Turn On Your Butt, Activate Deep Breathing & Decompress Your Spine (And Why I’ve Completely Changed My Morning Routine).”

That article, in which I outline why, every day of the week as part of my morning routine, I now follow the entire short spinal decompression and deep breathing routine from the book “True To Form: How to Use Foundation Training for Sustained Pain Relief and Everyday Fitness” to “turn on” my butt, decompress my spine, activate deep diaphragmatic breathing and much more:


In that post, I describe how Core Foundation trainer Kate Murphy came to my house to give me a quick refresher on the Foundation moves and to ensure I was doing them with laser-like precision and accuracy. When it comes to doing these moves properly, Kate is a true ninja, and since so many questions, comments and feedback poured in after my article about how I changed up my morning routine to do Core Foundation every day, I reached out to Kate to describe exactly how she changed my body and movement patterns…

…you’re about to read her detailed response, and to get everything you need to know about Core Foundation training, which, in my opinion, is right up there with gratitude journaling, deep breathing and sun exposure as a new daily habit. Enjoy, leave your questions and comments below the post and either Kate or I will reply!

This Is Tough

“Wow–this is tough!”

Those aren’t the words you’d expect out of one of the fittest people around. We were only twenty minutes into our session when Ben Greenfield–ranked as one of the top 100 most influential people in health, one of America’s top personal trainers, a health and wellness writer, and renowned podcaster–looked up at me over his shaking legs and expressed his pure, exasperated surprise.

When it comes to a combination of stamina, strength and resilience, Ben Greenfield has been named many times as one of the fittest individuals on the planet and, unlike most Americans, does not spend his day sitting at a desk deflating his glutes and posterior chain. He’s extremely active and knows muscle balance well. But even the fittest individuals can end up with an over-developed front side and weak, dysfunctional backside. And Ben, although known for his “superhuman” abilities, is no exception to what our modern day lives do to our posture.

Ben originally learned about Foundation Training (FT), a series of corrective exercises designed to strengthen our “core,” through Dr. Eric Goodman’s book, Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence (2011), and Ben began to experiment with incorporating the ten basic Foundation exercises outlined by the book into his workout routine, although without the kind of daily structure or routine he now has. He had actually suggested Foundation Training to me years ago when I personally was struggling with chronic foot and back pain. Little did he know, but his invaluable advice started me on an incredible path with Foundation Training and freedom from years of chronic pain!

So I pursued Foundation Training, attending two certification courses and I became a certified FT instructor, learning everything I could from Dr. Goodman and his talented team of master instructors. Shortly after returning from my second certification, I had the opportunity to work with Ben and show him how far the exercises have come. Although Dr. Goodman continually tweaks the exercises, making them better all the time–these latest advances in his newest book “True To Form” have been nothing short of brilliant.


Small Tweaks, Huge Changes

Foundation Training (hereafter referred to as “FT”) had been a part of Ben’s daily routine for several years. During a 7 Day Reboot Course he taught with Mind Body Green, he mentioned the Founder (FT’s go-to exercise), referring to it has “the single most potent exercise move you can do.”

Here is a picture of Ben’s original Founder:


Although they’re outside of view in this photo frame, Ben’s knees are over his heels rather than behind, making this a quad-dominant exercise rather than a posterior chain exercise (a critical FT distinction). Also, his head position should be noted. The chin should be drawn in to lengthen the back of the neck and to avoid shortening the muscles of the posterior chain.

After Ben’s video was released, the FT community was quick to offer their suggestions to improve his form. Yes, they tore him to shreds on the internets, driving home a point he already knew but hadn’t fixed: his FT form was far from perfect. Fortunately, I was able work with Ben, and we focused on details such as the two issues noted in the photo. Ben was able to quickly feel how even the slightest adjustment can make all the difference.

It was the Woodpecker (a glute-focused exercise), which prompted Ben’s surprised protest during our session. I reminded him the shake he was feeling is a good sign. Dr. Goodman says when we identify weakness within our posterior chain we begin to experience this shake (often more like a tremble). This is when all the “reprograming” is taking place in the neuromuscular system and our body is making the appropriate adaptations. Here are the top four tweaks we made to Ben’s FT Woodpecker form.

How We Fixed Ben’s Woodpecker

Don’t snicker at the title of this section. It’s true. We fixed his woodpecker, and here’s how…

>Squaring the hips: Ben’s “old” woodpecker form meant his hips were too open. One of the most common tendencies with this exercise, it is usually an indication of tight hips (glutes), which force the hips into external rotation, pulling them open. By squaring up his hips, Ben was able to effectively pull his glutes much longer. Once the glutes were lengthened, we added tension, addressing dysfunction and tightness rather than adding to it.


2. Weight shift: the position of the front knee is key in this exercise. Ben’s front knee was bent just a little too much, so we shifted his weight back slightly by straightening the knee. When the knee travels forward, it takes the hips with it, causing shortening of the glutes and hamstrings. This tiny adjustment also changed the target of the exercise from the front (quads) to the backside of the body (glutes).


3. Breathing: Ben and I focused on not just increasing the distance from the pelvis to the front, sides, and back of the ribcage but expansion of the ribcage. This meant filling the chest wall with air to activate the muscles that help create more space in the torso and also help to pull up on (decompress) the spine. When breathing, the intercostal muscles contract and drag the rib cage up as the diaphragm moves down. This elevation creates an upward (decompression) force.

4. Head position: by improving Ben’s breathing and lifting his chest using FT-specific decompression breathing, we were also able to adjust his head position, one of the most common mistakes with any FT exercise. The cervical portion of the spine must remain long to avoid “slack” or shortening of the posterior chain. This helps address forward head posture and takes decompression to another level. Oftentimes it is hard to feel whether or not the back of the neck is long, which is why an outside, trained perspective is so invaluable.


Perhaps the most significant and impactful compression along the spine can come from head position. When the chin juts out and the head falls forward from the shoulder, the cervical spine is compressed. Foundation Training addresses forward head posture at the source. The goal is to re-position the head to allow space at the base of the skull by drawing the chin in, creating more distance between the base of the skull and the pubic symphysis.

These adjustments made a huge difference in Ben’s body and glute recruitment.

I received a text the following day that simply said the following:

“My butt is sore!”

FT effectively lengthens each muscle before it’s tensioned. If you take a weak, tight muscle and “strengthen” it without pulling it long, you’re contributing to muscle tightness/dysfunction. But, if you take a tight, weak muscle and pull it long then strengthen it, you’re addressing the root cause of both tight and weak muscles. Lengthening the muscle then adding tension is a great way to create not only stronger muscles but also longer ones–muscles that glide and have the functional ability to contract and move within a healthy range. It’s like killing two birds with one stone.

And yes, this can make you very sore. Even you, Ben Greenfield.


Diving into the Nitty Gritty

These are limited examples of small tweaks we made in a single session, but there is so much more to Foundation Training. So as Ben would say, let’s put on our propeller hats, dive in, and take a closer look at the biomechanics that make FT so effective.

To begin with, our modern lifestyle directly contradicts and weakens important core stability, essentially taking us out of correct alignment. Some refer to the human body as lazy, while others claim it’s brilliantly adaptive. Both are true.

Our body is constantly trying to make whatever we’re doing easier for us. But, it’s this compensatory pattern that often leads to chronic pain and breakdown of joints. When sitting for prolonged periods of time, the body begins to shut down, muscles become weaker and dormant, and they no longer help to support the spine. Desk jobs, too much time on computers, texting, and sitting or standing in undesirable positions all lead to an accelerated breakdown of the spine as muscles atrophy and bones begin to rest on bones.

When it comes to Foundation Training (FT), our bodies still seek the path of ease and familiarity. To combat a tendency toward routine movement, each exercise is accompanied by twenty to thirty different queues to remind the body of where it needs to be to maximize the effectiveness of each exercise. In order to restore proper muscle function, they must first become flexible enough to move, glide, and contract. The goal with any FT exercise is to take each muscle or muscle group, pull it/them long (restoring its functional length), and then “turn it on” by adding appropriate tension.

Adding tension to the right place at the right time helps avoid “slack” in a muscle or muscle group. Each muscle should act as a pulley to take tension and compression off the surrounding joints. But, before creating this pulley system, it is crucial to first learn how to properly use the muscles of the pelvis to create an anchor so there is something to pull against.

This is where the precise eye of an instructor trained in FT comes in. An instructor knows where muscles attach (anatomy) and how rotational movement (biomechanics) helps to restore length to each muscle or muscle group. An instructor can quickly identify any undesirable adaptations the body may make. Most people have been taught to segregate and compartmentalize when strengthening a muscle. Rather than an isolating exercise like crunches, FT uses combined chains of movement to encourage core muscles to work together.

Let’s dive into the key principles of FT…


Key Principles of Foundation Training


Decompression breathing, if done well, acts as a pulley system to increase tension on the posterior chain and glutes. Decompression breathing is used during each FT exercise to reeducate the axial skeleton to use the pulley systems around the ribcage to lengthen and decompress the torso and awaken the deep muscles of the core needed to pull upwards against gravity.

Proper breathing produces a visible effect on the body, opening and rotating limbs. Dr. Goodman, in his book True to Form, describes the specific structural effects of deep and expansive breathing:

When the sternum lifts and expands outwardly it lifts the ribcage and, pushing the shoulders into external rotation, opening up the chest and allowing more room for oxygen. Put simply, as air fills the rib case, the axial skeleton expands, lifting the sternum, and rotating the upper extremities externally, which allows space for the lungs to breathe and also helps to lift and support the weight of the head against the downward pull of gravity.

During decompression breathing the front, sides, and back of the ribcage are pulled up and away from the pelvis. On the exhale, the bellybutton is drawn in to brace the length gained on the inhale. The ribcage should lift and expand on the inhale and stay in that position on the exhale, while all of the deep core muscles work to hold it there. When done well, decompression breathing allows much more space between each vertebra. This reeducates the deep trunk (core) muscles to become longer (more decompressed) and stronger, and eventually our muscles begin to remember that part of their job is to hold us up.

This new norm allows your spine to be much more decompressed and stable.


The muscles of the pelvis, glutes, hamstrings, adductors, and iliacus help to create an equal downward pull on the pelvis, or an anchor. In order to create space and tension that supports the entire body, we must have something to pull upward from or against. We need an anchor in order to keep our posture expansive.

Anchoring is executed by first initiating a slight internal rotation at the hip and then adding tension by drawing the feet toward the midline of the body, creating an inward and upward pull from the pelvis down to the arches of the feet. This maneuver allows proper circumduction of the leg and helps to correct legs and feet that may be stuck in external rotation (i.e. duck feet). This slight internal rotation also allows the glutes to be pulled longer and return to a more functional length.

Anchoring also involves the muscles of the feet, another weak and dormant structure in many bodies. During anchoring, the outsides of the feet push firmly into the ground, pushing back against gravity, while the big toes are pulled toward the opposite heels. This creates an upward lifting of the arches. This pull originates from the anchoring muscles of the pelvis. The iliacus (a deep hip flexor and lateral rotator) muscle also plays a huge role. This anchor creates a strong, stable center of gravity.

Anchoring creates a downward, traction force on the spine. Then, with breath FT teaches us to pull away from the anchor (which is pulling downward), creating our own traction force. The result? Decompression!

Integration and Hip Hinging:

When practicing FT it is never the intent to isolate a muscle. Each exercise reeducates the body on proper integration or sharing of muscular work, and each muscle plays an important role. While some play a bigger role than others, they never act alone. When the workload is shared this eliminates the potential for one muscle to become overactive, tight, or dysfunctional.

Hip hinging is an effective way to teach all the muscles of the posterior chain to work in conjunction with one another to perform the same task. It is the basic foundation of proper movement. Unfortunately, few know how to do it and almost no one can do it well. When this basic movement pattern begins to atrophy, we end up compensating in a variety of ways and the result leads to chronic breakdown of our joints and, eventually, pain.

The hip hinge should be used for basic life movement like bending over to get something off the ground, loading the dishwasher, or brushing your teeth, but again our modern day lives have forced us out this way of moving. Sitting for most of the day results in weak glutes or glute amnesia, weak trunk muscles, tight hips, and tight lower back muscles, which makes it hard to do this basic movement.

When the hips are loaded correctly they become the axis between the upper and lower extremity. Bending in this way takes pressure off the discs and places it back in the muscles that surround and brace the spine. The spine remains protected and the posterior chain supports the basic movement. Hinging at the hips maximizes the strength in the posterior chain, decreases anterior chain dominance, spares the knees and spine, and allows for proper kinetic transfer of energy and force.

During a proper hip hinge, the hamstring muscles of the posterior chain are restored to their functional length. Tight hips and hamstrings are an absolute epidemic. But why? Again, it’s the way we move (or don’t move). We have forgotten how to move in ways that repeatedly lengthen and strengthen our muscles. Eventually they become dysfunctional, tight, and lose their ability to glide and contract. The muscles respond to this by tightening to add stability and the dysfunction snowballs.

Several of the Foundation exercises have a hinging component. During this portion of the exercise the glutes and hamstrings are pulled long, restoring their functional length. The deep muscles of the trunk support and stabilize the spine, and the anchoring muscles (adductors and iliacus) support the pelvis inferiorly.

The posterior chain is where most of our power comes from if we harness its potential correctly. Back pain, an epidemic, is a direct result of losing this ability to move well–to hinge at the hips with a stable spine and properly use the muscles on the back side of our bodies to transfer forces as they are intended to do.



Foundation Training is unique and if done well, highly effective at treating all kinds of common aches and pains (plantar fasciitis, piriformis syndrome, back pain of any kind, shin splints, and tension headaches). Ben recognizes the value of having a body that is moving well.

He researches, seeks the very best, looks far and wide for the latest and greatest advances/therapies in the health and wellness industry and recently wrote an article about, “How To Turn On Your Butt, Activate Deep Breathing & Decompress Your Spine (And Why I Completely Changed My Morning Routine)“.

If Ben does Foundation Training every morning and says it’s one of the most effective programs for low back pain, , then chances are it could work for you – and in my personal experience it truly will! You can get started by grabbing the book: True To Form: How to Use Foundation Training for Sustained Pain Relief and Everyday Fitness. Enjoy!


More About Kate

Kate Murphy is the fitness guru behind Health Revolt. She aims to educate, facilitate and guide individuals on their path to optimal health through exercise, nutrition and lifestyle — empowering them to enhance their lives and take control of their own health. It provides valuable information regarding disease prevention and brings clarity to the many issues and controversies surrounding diet and exercise.

Leave your questions and comments below and either Kate or I will reply!

The Gut Super-Special: Eating Camel Poop, Weird Constipation Causes, Pig Whipworms & More: How To Banish Bloat, Fix Your Microbiome & Reboot Your Gut.


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

In the beginning of this episode, I mention “Michael Phelps cupping” and what the research really says about whether cupping does or does not work, and also mention a new study on 20-25% gains in lean muscle gain, strength and power, and this HMB-ATP stack that uses exactly what they used in the study (use 50% discount code BEN50).

When it comes to healing your gut, getting rid of bloat and constipation, changing your gastrointestinal bacteria or any other digestive topic, I consider Dr. Robynne Chutkan to be one of the smartest women on the face of planet.

She is on faculty at Georgetown University and founder of the Digestive Center for Women, and she is author of not one, not two, but three books that focus on her primary philosophy: healing your body from the inside out.

So basically, she really loves talking about poop.

Her latest book, The Microbiome Solution, is a deep dive into how and why some of our modern day living is actually causing more problems than we realized to the tiny microbes that keep us happy and healthy– household cleaners, air conditioning, processed food. In that book, she talks about eating poop, timing your probiotics, getting a dog to lick your face, eating dirt and more.

In her other book, The Bloat Cure, she looks at less of the science and more at the practical nature of our bloated bellies, talking about how bloat isn’t just bad Chinese food, but also things like codeine in cough syrup and dehydration and birth control pills and GMOs.

During today’s episode, you’ll discover what I learned from reading both these books, and much more, including:

-How Dr. Chutkan can actually “smell” gut issues with her patients…[16:25]

-What it means if your sweat smells funky…[21:00]

-What pig whipworms and hookworms have to do with getting a healthier gut…[24:30]

-Why the Bedouin tribe eats camel feces when they have gut issues…[34:00]

-Why the “poop pills” everyone seems to be talking about don’t work…[52:50]

-Which common musculoskeletal imbalance can cause constipation, no matter how healthy you eat…[55:56]

-Why your medications and supplements may be making you constipated, and what you can do about it…[62:30]

-How wine can be either good or bad for your microbiome, depending on when you drink the wine…[67:45]

-The best time of day to take probiotics if you are also taking antibiotics…[69:30]

-Beans cause bloat for lots of people, you’ll discover one special ingredient you can add to them to keep this from happening…[72:55]

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

The Microbiome Solution: A Radical New Way to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out

The Bloat Cure: 101 Natural Solutions for Real and Lasting Relief

3 day “poop panel” to test your gut

Openbiome for fecal transplants

“How To Poop The Right Way” article



Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dr. Chutkan or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Why Steroids Will Slowly Kill You & 3 Safe Alternatives for Muscle Building, Speedy Recovery, Enhanced Libido and Beyond.


Steroids are bad news bears.

I’m sorry to burst the bubble of meatheads and Russian athletes everywhere, but they just are.

Steroids have been proven time and time again to cause a dizzying number of adverse effects, including:

-increased risk of liver damage and liver tumors…

-increased risk of tendon tears…

-psychological problems and anger issues..

-significant blood pressure increases…

Oh yes, and athletes with underlying cardiovascular abnormalities or large amounts of fight-and-flight, sympathetic nervous system stress can experience cardiovascular complications and sudden death when using anabolic steroids. There’s that too.

Now I’ll readily admit: if you’re trying to build muscle, fix an injury fast, recover from a workout with lightning speed or get big breakthroughs in athletic performance variables like strength or power, it’s pretty darn tempting to consider steroid use. Just ask Maria Sharapova, Tyson Gay, Lance Armstrong, Ben Johnson, Floyd Landis, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones, pretty much anybody who sprinted for Jamaica or lifted for Russia, and of course, Sylvester Stallone and Hulk Hogan (I’ll admit, I’m very glad those last two guys used steroids as it made for great childhood entertainment for me).

So why are steroids so tempting for both endurance and power athletes, anti-aging enthusiasts, weekend warriors with nagging injuries that won’t go away and beyond?

Anabolic-androgen steroids can increase muscle mass and strength, and they can do it very effectively and quickly – it’s been proven time and time again. For example, the primary anabolic steroid hormone produced by your body is testosterone. Testosterone promotes anabolic effects that cause injury healing, muscle building, faster recovery, and (of course) the complete loss of the ability to make your own testosterone along with shrunken balls and anger issues in males and deep voices and facial hair in females.

Nonetheless, synthetic forms of testosterone are taken by athletes, anti-aging enthusiasts and exercisers all over the globe. But you should know that steroid use will slowly kill your biology, and it’s just not worth the temporary improvement of muscle growth and athletic performance if you’re in a coffin or feel like crap or break the law of any sport for which you might be competing…

…is it?

Like most of these folks who use steroids, I certainly desire to improve my own recovery, libido, endurance and strength, and I also desire all the anti-aging effects of muscle as I grow older, but I’m not willing to risk the huge number of adverse health effects associated with steroids. So recently, I began looking for a safe and natural alternative to steroids for myself and for my clients, since I know there is only so much we can do, so much we can lift, so much we can supplement, and so much of our diets we can change to reach our optimal human performance.

And that’s when I stumbled across SARMS. I briefly touched on SARMS in podcast #357 when I took a deep dive into maintaining muscle during long endurance events or during calorie restriction, and in this article you’re going to discover what SARMS are, how SARMS work, why they’re a safe and effective alternative to steroids, and how to use SARMS for everything from libido enhancement to faster recovery to muscle building to anti-aging, without spending a fortune.

Disclaimer: just like the TB-500 I wrote about a couple weeks ago, and to my dismay upon researching this article and realizing that I can’t use these myself because I’m still competing, SARMS are absolutely, 100% banned by WADA and most other global sporting organization both in-competition and out-of-competition. You should NOT use this if you are competing in any such sanctioned sport as it definitely falls under the banned category of a prohibited class of anabolic agents. If you’re still competing and want something legal, use BPC-157 peptides instead.


What are SARMs?

Let’s get to the big question first: What the heck are SARMs?

SARMs – or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators – are therapeutic compounds, according to the USADA, that mimic anabolic agents. The USADA points out that the difference between the two is that SARMs have fewer androgenic properties, which permits SARMs to target tissues much more directly and reduce the host of known negative side effects experienced with steroids. Quite simply, SARMS provide the benefit of steroids without the dangerous and annoying mental and physical reactions to steroids.

Now SARMS do indeed contain androgens, which are a special kind of hormone that connect to cellular androgen receptors. The androgen receptor then creates a signal that leads to a magnified expression of particular genes, such as muscle growth genes. The fact that SARMS are a selective receptor modulator means that they both block or activate hormone receptors in different conditions, meaning they have the ability to replicate the effects of hormones in one tissue and at the same time reduce the adverse effects of synthetic steroids or hormones in other tissues.

I’m not going to geek out on the nitty-gritty science too much in this article as there is a vast wealth of information on how SARMS work on the Wiki page for SARMS, but in a nutshell (from Wiki):

“…They are intended to have the same kind of effects as androgenic drugs like anabolic steroids but be much more selective in their action, allowing them to be used for many more clinical indications than the relatively limited legitimate uses that anabolic steroids are currently approved for.

…SARMs provide the opportunity to design molecules that can be delivered orally, but that selectively target the androgen receptors in different tissues differently. The goal of research in this area is to allow a customized response: Tissues that are the target of the therapy will respond as they would to testosterone; other tissues where undesirable side-effects are produced will not.

None of the SARMs yet developed are truly selective for anabolic effects in muscle or bone tissues without producing any androgenic effects in tissues such as the prostate gland, however several non-steroidal androgens show a ratio of anabolic to androgenic effects of greater than 3:1 and up to as much as 10:1, compared to testosterone, which has a ratio of 1:1.”

Yes, you read that right…SARMS produce anabolic to androgenic effects of up to 10:1 compared to testosterone. So what’s that mean exactly?

It means SARMS differ from Testosterone Cypionate products for many reasons – reasons that benefit you and your body benefit quite directly, but ultimately make them far more efficacious than testosterone, without the side effects. Testosterone Cypionate is probably a steroid you are familiar with. Testosterone Cypionate is an injection that many athletes and bodybuilders and folks pursuing anti-aging use quite frequently, and it is typically injected into the muscle for increased recovery or mass or strength.

But Testosterone Cypionate is one of the more common steroids that you probably associate with the bad side effects of steroids. Since it is an exogenous hormone getting injected intramuscularly into your body, it can alter your body’s hormonal balance and natural hormone production, and I delve into why exactly that is in this short podcast about increasing testosterone. Testosterone Cypionate has been linked to prolonged erections (which sound good in theory) but it can have a real effect on all other aspects of your daily life, including libido fluctuations, gastrointestinal disturbances, stroke, blood clots and more, and this could be why it is a Schedule III controlled substance under the Anabolic Steroids Control Act.

In contrast, SARMs do not come with these same risks or hormone imbalances. They are a more targeted treatment without the side effects (but with more benefits), they can be more powerful than traditional Testosterone Cypionate injections, they don’t have to be injected into your right butt cheek, thank you very much, and they can be taken orally from a little dropper, eliminating the risks associated with increased levels of testosterone or other exogenous hormones and steroids or steroidal precursors in your blood.

In fact, the use of SARMs has been growing exponentially because they produce the desired use and effectiveness of traditional steroids without the side effects. Take this recent article on steroids reducing the rate at which telomeres shorten, for example: “Scientists think they’ve found a hormone that reverses cell ageing in humans“. In the article, the steroid danazol is discussed – a steroid wrought with all the same side effects as typical steroids. But if you take a look at SARMs, like the studies here and here show, you can get a similar anti-aging effect on telomeres without the deleterious steroidal side effects.

Oh yeah, and SARMs are legal for anybody except athletes competing in sanctioned sports, unlike, any other controlled substance – so you won’t get arrested crossing international borders like good ol’ Rocky Balboa.

And then of course, there are all the anecdotes from the broscience forums by bodybuilders and fitness pros, who, frankly, have a host of N=1 experience with SARMs that can’t be ignored, including:

  • SARMs produce the same effects as testosterone injections without the estrogen conversion, man boobs and other side effects.
  • Users have reported quicker recovery from injuries, increased stamina, healthier and fluid joint mobility, all without causing damage to the liver and other organs.
  • Many users of SARMs will “stack SARMs” together for a targeted strength and endurance training plan (more on that later).
  • No emotional roller coaster, loss of libido, withdrawal symptoms, etc. compared to steroids.

So let’s take a look at some of the most popular and effective SARMs, shall we?


GW-501516: The SARMS That Burns Fat and Keeps Muscle

GW-501516, also known as “Cadarine” is touted among SARMs users as the ultimate performance enhancer. The nature of GW-501516 is that it has been linked to reversing metabolic irregularities in obese men who have been diagnosed pre-iabetic metabolic syndrome. That syndrome basically means there is too much glucose in the blood, and GW-501516 may have the potential to reverse this, serving as a potential solution for fat loss and insulin insensitivity.

Sure, we all want fat loss, but GW-501516 achieves this differently than severe calorie restriction or copious amounts of exercise, which can cause muscle loss. It’s a non-catabolic, which means GW-501516 has the potential to burn fat quickly, and it does so without negatively impacting the muscle.

Keep the muscle, burn the fat. Great idea.

GW-501516 may also attract folks who crave higher endurance and improved recovery. GW-501516 provides athlete users with an unsurpassed edge over others (which is – attention athletes who are still competing – one of the reasons why it was banned by the World Doping Association in 2009). GW-501516 has a unique ability to significantly increase VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake.

I know what you are thinking if you are a well-versed anabolic geek in a white lab coat: GW-501516 is not exactly a SARM. You are kind of right. It could technically be classified as more of a PPAR agonist – or peroxisome proliferator-receptor agonist – which means it plays a critical role in therapeutic instances to balance energy metabolism and inflammation. But no matter what you “classify” it as (which is a silly rabbit hole in my opinion) the fat loss and muscle preserving effects of GW-501516 are undeniable and have long been studied by the scientific and medical community.


How to Dose GW-501516

There are two things you need to know about the use of GW-501516 to increase muscle strength, endurance, and recovery. Because of its long-lasting benefits and effects, you should “pace” your oral doses (or injections if you decide to go that route, although it’s not significantly superior to oral dosing) throughout the day. Typically, most users limit doses to two doses in a 24-hour cycle and an approximate daily dose is 10-20mg (split into two 5-10mg doses). When you add SARMs to your regimen, consider cost and quality. It is possible to have both together. Don’t think you have to spend hundreds of dollars on single vials, because you don’t. You can get GW501516 from Peptides Warehouse for about $55.

The second thing you need to know is that you need to remember GH-501516 is part of a regimen. So, to maximize the benefits of the SARMs you take, you can combine the best ones. And GH-501516 works best when combined with the next SARMs covered here: SR9009.


SR9009: Exercise in a Bottle

SR9009 is a rather new SARM, called a “Stenabolic”, or a Rev-ErbA ligand. If Stenabolic sounds strange to you, it is because it is a chemical we have never seen before, and in its short life of discovery so far, it has already been praised as “exercise in a bottle.” Stenabolics offer users a wealth of physical benefits and users report increased endurance, increased fat loss, and a list of health and wellness benefits.

A study with mice discovered that SR9009 promotes lean muscle mass improvements, while significantly boosting performance. In this study, the researchers discovered that the mice with SR9009 could run as much as 50% faster and for longer periods of time.

SR9009 was developed by Dr. Thomas Burris at Scripps Research Institute. Like GW501516, it has a unique ability to promote weight loss and curb increased glucose levels. The best part about this unique product is that you can experience the benefits of working out without working out. Of course, working out improves the performance of SR9009, and I in no way condone putting dropping a dropperful of some liquid in your mouth each morning so you can skip the gym. But this feature is indeed great for those who can’t work out for medical reasons, people who are stuck at desk jobs all day, and maybe even the days you yourself are on vacation and don’t make it to the gym as often as you should.


How to Dose SR9009

SR9009 can be taken orally, just like the other SARMs. SR9009 is best when you consume about 30mg to 40mg per day. It is recommended to split the 30mg into 6 single doses, which you can take every two to four hours. And finally, don’t trust labs and suppliers that cannot prove that the SR9009 you need for your workout is not shipped in from overseas, as SARMs can be tainted with plenty of nasty additives, or steroids. Do your research on sourcing before you buy, as this stuff is notoriously tainted.


LGD4033 Treats Muscle Wasting & Enhances Muscle Gain

The third SARM you can take solo or add to an entire regime of SARMs, including the other two SARMs above, is LGD4033. It was developed to treat muscle wasting often associated with cancer, as well as age-related muscle-loss. It’s said to be similar to testosterone with the therapeutic benefits, but safer to use than testosterone. Several research trials show that use of LGD4033 increases lean body mass while decreasing body fat. It has the potential to offer healing, increase strength, and it is one of the better known SARMs for increasing libido, erections and sex drive.


How to Dose LDG4033

The recommended dosing range for LGD4033 is between 5mg and 10mg. Most users recommend starting at 5mg per day and increased dose 2mg every week to two weeks, and to cycle on for four weeks, then cycle off for two to four weeks.  LGD4033 has a half-life of 24-36 hours, so you’ll maintain stable blood levels throughout the cycle no matter what time of day you take it.



SARMs are not steroids.

Steroids have their benefits, yes, but the fall can be brutal on your psychological and physical health. Steroids have been linked to enhanced performance and providing athletes with a competitive edge but there are just a few major things wrong with them: they are banned, they have huge negative side effects, and in many cases, the damage caused by steroids are irreversible, including:

  • Increased irritability and emotional imbalances
  • High toxicity levels, resulting in liver damage and multi-organ failures and damage
  • Reduced fertility
  • Reverse anorexia
  • Increased instances of cardiovascular diseases
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Increased body hair growth, or baldness
  • Full body acne

Plus, steroids are illegal, and you are not a criminal…are you?

In contrast, the risks associated with using SARMs are minimal when compared to anabolic steroid use. With proper dosing, these risks can be avoided, too. The side effects reported with excessive SARMs use, overdosing on SARMs, or taking all year long with no breaks (remember, go about 4 weeks on and 2-4 weeks off) include:

  • Acne
  • Premature baldness, if you are susceptible to baldness because it’s present on your mother’s side of the family
  • Infertility in women

That’s why it is important to note that the side effects are often associated with prolong use, often longer than 4 weeks at a time. So regulate your SARMs intake, and stick to the appropriate dosing schedule and SARMs cycle (good recommendations here) to avoid such reactions.

So that’s it. Be careful, but if you’re not competing in a sanctioned sport (check if you are unsure) SARMs are a safe, potent and effective alternative to ‘roids. Sure, the Russian Olympians and Jamaican Track & Field team can’t use either, but if you’re a recreational athlete, you want to put on some muscle, you want to burn fat faster, you need to heal up a nagging injury, you want to boost your libido, etc…

…then SARMs are worth a try, and you can simply keep a bottle in your fridge to cycle on and off throughout the year (remember to check out this article on cycling your SARMs properly).

Do you have questions or feedback about GW-501516, SR9009, or LGD4033? Your own experiences to share? Leave a comment below and I’ll reply.

Ayahuasca 101, Tripping Out On Nutmeg, Magic Mushrooms & More With Dennis McKenna.

dennis mckenna

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

When it comes to plant based medicine, my guest on today’s podcast is widely considered to be a groudbreaking pioneer.

His name is Dennis McKenna.

Dennis’s research – spanning back to the 1970’s – has focused on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology and plant hallucinogens. During the early 1970’s, he developed a technique for cultivating psilocybin mushrooms with his brother Terence McKenna and they later published what they had learned in a book entitled Psilocybin – Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide.

Dennis has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the Peruvian, Colombian, and Brasilian Amazon. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia, 1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca used by the UDV, a Brazilian religious group. He is currently Assistant Professor in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The strange magazine, still published, that Dennis’s father used to read –  a magazine that first got Dennis interested in the “paranormal” and psychedelics…

-How DMT works, and ways that you can induce the same psychedelic sensation that DMT induces without actually using something like ayahuasca…

-Ways that you can induce deep sleep without relying upon compounds such as valium or ambien…

-Why one common spice that you can find on the counter at Starbucks can send you on a hallucinogenic trip…

-The difference between an ayahuasca experience in rural South America vs. an urban New York loft…

-Why Silicone Valley is obsessed with LSD microdosing as a creativity-enhancing “smart drug”…

-How psilocybin works to enhance your connection with nature and how you may be able to activate this via other mechanisms…

-How one can safely “source” these kind of plant-based medicines in their local community…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Fate magazine

Deltasleeper device

10 ways to activate the pineal gland

The ajna light

Passionflower extract

Nutmeg essential oil

Kava kava extract

Syrian rue extract and

LSD Microdosing: The New Job Enhancer In Silicon Valley And Beyond?

Pre-frontal cortex tapping for online drug information

Alexendra Tannous’s Sound Meditation video

The WholeTones Sound of Healing CD’s

Psilocybin – Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide

The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching

-The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss

-Botanical Medicines: The Desk Reference for Major Herbal Supplements

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dennis McKenna or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

357: The Great Olive Oil Hoax, Warrior vs. Worrier Gene, Maintaining Muscle During Endurance Exercise, The Ultimate Guide To Napping & More.


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

August 3, 2016 Podcast: 357:  The Great Olive Oil Hoax, Warrior vs. Worrier Gene, Maintaining Muscle During Endurance Exercise, The Ultimate Guide To Napping & More.

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August 6, 2016: Join Ben for the Portland Spartan Sprint and 4 hr Hurricane Heat. Click here to sign up!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.

The Ultimate Guide To Napping

Grant says: He recently saw your Snapchat story on napping. You said you naturally wake up after a 20-30 minutes daily nap and its part of your ritual. He’s curious how your body naturally goes 20-40 minutes and wakes up by itself without an alarm? What does it mean if you nap longer, like 2-4 hours?

How Much Coffee Can You Drink If You’re Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

Dalice says: She loves the podcast! After the recent podcast with Dr. Chopra, she has a question about coffee while breastfeeding. The studies showed that coffee consumption had little impact on the child when pregnant, is this still the case when breastfeeding? She has a 4.5 month old daughter and she wants to know if she can safely drink caffeinated coffee while breastfeeding.

In my response, I recommend:

How To Maintain Muscle During Long Endurance Exercise

Aleksi says: He loves the podcast and he’s been listening for many years. His question regards hiking. He’s going to Norway for a week-long hiking trip and he’s wondering how he can keep himself healthy and not lose too much muscle during the trip, with the least amount of weight to carry? And would that change if he were to hike a 2000m Appalachian trail instead of a week-long hike?

Warrior vs. Worrier Gene

Cathy says: She loves the podcast. She has a question about the COMT mutation, which she has. She knows it means you can have a hard time breaking down catecholamines. She has major insomnia issues, if she’s out late at night she just can’t wind down, she feels like she has adrenaline and cortisol issues going on, and its really difficult for her to fall asleep. She’s wondering if you have any advice for people with the COMT mutation and if there’s anything they can do to help breakdown the catecholamines that would help her get more into her parasympathetic nervous system?

In my response, I recommend:
Thorne multivitamin
Magnesium lotion
For Worrier: Brain Food


Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

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A Simple Method To Trick Your Body Into Flawless Barefoot Running Form (Even If You’ve Never Run Barefoot).


Our ancestors ran in bare feet or very thin shoes with little padding. It’s undeniable, it’s been proven over and over again in historical research, and probably the best guy on the face of the planet to give insight into this fact is Dr. Daniel Lieberman from Harvard (with whom I had the pleasure of running 8 miles barefoot through Boston a couple years ago).

In today’s article, you’re going to learn why you need to learn to run barefoot or in minimalist shoes (if you’re not already), how train your feet to withstand the rigors of barefoot running, and a simple method to trick your body into flawless barefoot running form, even if you’ve never run barefoot.

What The Research Says About Barefoot or Minimalist Shoe Running

It wasn’t until the 1970’s when conventional running shoes with thick cushioning soles became widely available.  It was thought that the cushioning effect of the padded heel would decrease loading on the legs and therefore prevent injury while at the same time increasing efficiency. But since then, there has been a big shift in thinking for many runners, and many are now removing their shoes in order to return to what they believe is a more natural gait.


Cushioned running shoes promote a rear-foot strike (RFS) running pattern in which the heel touches down first, then the foot rolls forward for toe off.   Habitually barefoot runners, on the other hand, tend to land on the forefoot or mid-foot.  These differences in stride mechanics drastically affect injuries, as well as running efficiency.

For the purposes of this article – and to make me sound much smarter than I am – when I refer to running in cushioned shoes, I will use the term “shod” (this is also a great word to impress any runners at cocktail parties). Furthermore, when I refer to barefoot running, this would also include running in shoes such as Vibrams or extremely minimalist, relatively uncushioned shoes. 

Oh yeah, one other thing: if your eyes glaze over from research and nitty-gritty science, or if reading time is tight for you, feel free to skip this section and scroll down to the next section. 

There are many mechanical differences seen during barefoot running when compared to shod running – the most obvious being foot strike position.  When shod, runners tend to land on their heel in a rear-foot strike (RFS).  Without shoes, the foot is in a much different environment and this same heel landing can be painful and damaging to the foot and leg. For this reason, barefoot runners often adopt a forefoot strike (FFS), in which the front of the foot contacts the ground first and the supporting soft tissue of the foot and lower leg absorb some of the impact force before the heel even touches down.  A mid-foot strike is also seen in many barefoot runners, in which the foot lands relatively flat on the ground.  This change in foot strike pattern is absolutely correlated with a lower impact force upon foot strike.

In the article “Foot strike patterns and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners“, Daniel Lieberman studied impact forces and stride mechanics of habitually barefoot and shod runners running in both bare feet and shoes.  The purpose was to see how the shoe directly affected impact forces and stride, and also to see how habitual shoe use changes running patterns and get an idea of how man ran before the advent of the cushioned shoe.

There were five test groups in this study:

(1) Kenyan competitive runners who grew up barefoot and recently started wearing running shoes.

(2) habitually shod American adults.

(3) American adults who grew up wearing shoes but are now habitually barefoot runners.

(4) habitually shod Kenyan children.

(5) barefoot Kenyan children. 

Foot strike kinematics were assessed using video analysis as test subjects ran at an endurance running pace (4-6 m/s) on a short track.  All the adults sampled ran at least 20 km per week.  It was found that American habitually shod runners ran exclusively with a rear foot strike while wearing shoes and nearly all (87%) ran with a rear foot strike when barefoot.

During the barefoot test, the subjects in this group, while still landing with a RFS, had less dorsiflexion (7-10%) upon ground contact (meaning their forefoot was closer to the ground).  The recently shod Kenyan competitive runners (1) had a 91% rate of FFS when running barefoot and 54% while wearing shoes, many who didn’t FFS were landing with a MFS.

The last group of adults tested was Americans, who grew up shod but switched to and are now habitually barefoot runners (3) in which 75% FFS when barefoot, but when shod 50% ran with a RFS.  They also tested Kenyan children who were habitually shod (4) and who have never worn shoes (5).  The children’s running habits were consistent with what was found for adults, mainly that the use of running shoes significantly changes the gait pattern both immediately and also habitually.

The study also analyzed strike force characteristics, comparing habitually barefoot and shod adults from the US in both shoes and bare feet.  It was shown that RFS causes a large impact force transient upon ground contact in both the shod and barefoot condition, but it was even larger when barefoot.  FFS on the other hand showed a steady force loading with no impact transient.  The barefoot FFS runners had a lower vertical force magnitude during impact, as well as a lower loading rate – which was very significant when compared with barefoot RFS runners.

In sum…wearing cushioned running shoes automatically causes you (even if you’re used to running barefoot) to engage in a high impact heel strike. 

There are a few reasons why running shoes promote this type of RFS.  First, they have a thick heel padding that orients the sole of the foot to have about 5o less dorsiflexion than the outsole of the shoe, encouraging RFS.  This means that in order to FFS while wearing a thick heeled shoe, you would have to plantar flex (point) the foot significantly. The shoe also affects foot strike, due to the cushioning properties which help absorb the impact force from running. Finally, shoes actually decrease neural sensory stimulation that promote a softer FFS.

The study above shows that habitual running patterns are influenced by footwear use, but just how these adaptations occur and their effect on injuries is unclear from the study.  However, the article “Running Related Injury Prevention through Barefoot Adaption” looks into the foot musculature and how it responds to barefoot conditions.  The authors of the article state that many people believe the high injury rates involved with running are because the foot is fragile and cannot take the strain that activities such as running puts on it without injury, and therefore that foot needs protective support.

Problem is, this theory not only goes against natural selection, but also has been proven wrong based on the lower running injury rate seen among barefoot populations.

In countries where both barefoot and shod population live, such as Haiti, high rates of lower extremity injuries are only seen in the shod population. Likewise, in countries where people go barefoot part or all of the year, such as the West Indies, and sections of Europe and Asia, there is shockingly little report or evidence of impact related lower leg injuries.

Because of this, Robbins and Hanna, authors of the article above, hypothesize that the weak arch and foot musculature seen in habitually shod feet can be strengthened given the right conditions.  The human foot has a large arch in the middle that can act as a spring which absorbs and restitutes mechanical energy.  The arch is supported by the plantar fascia and several ligaments and muscles.  The arch works almost like a bowstring, and if it is shorter in the longitudinal length of the foot, it will be higher and able to absorb more energy.  These muscles controlling the arch are not stimulated properly in shoes, but can be strengthened by barefoot activity, therefore increasing the arch height.

To test this hypothesis, Robbins and Hanna recruited recreational runners and examined the length of their medial longitudinal arch with x-ray analysis and a foot imprint during weight bearing, monthly over the four month test period. Subjects gave a detailed running history that included footwear, injuries, and previous barefoot weight bearing activities. During the experiment, subjects kept a detailed training log that recorded all barefoot weight bearing activity – including running, walking, and standing, as well as the surface it was performed on –  and they were instructed to perform as much barefoot activity as possible.

The study reported a positive change as a 1mm shortening of the medial longitudinal arch length.  It was found that of the 18 subjects in the barefoot group, 13 had a positive result, 2 had no change, and 3 had a negative result, with an average arch shortening (meaning a stronger arch) of 4.7mm.  In the control group that continued normal activity, 1 changed positively and 10 negatively with an average arch lengthening (meaning a weaker arch) of 4.9mm.  The results had no correlation with the starting height of the arch. The positive result on the arch of the barefoot group can be explained by an increase in the supporting musculature, which clearly shows that adaptive abilities of the foot to change and strengthen to accompany its environment.  Strengthening of the arch and shortening of its length could also reduce injuries like plantar fasciitis, which is common in shod populations. This is because the plantar fascia would be stretched and therefore stressed less, as some of the load would be diverted to the musculature.

It was found that the best arch change results happened with high total weight bearing activity (i.e. standing), walking outside barefoot, and running outside barefoot. It makes sense for results to show this with an increase in total load bearing activity because the muscles simply got more use.  The reason outdoor (compared to indoor) barefoot activity had a positive effect is because of the irregular surface, which would increase plantar sensory feedback.  Interestingly, the skin on the top of the arch has a much lower pain threshold than that of the heel or toe area and if this area is stimulated, the arch muscles could contract to make barefoot running (or other activity) more comfortable, while at the same time activating the foot’s shock absorbing system.

The skin on the plantar surface of the foot has one of the highest density of neuroreceptors in the body.  The receptors respond to small discrete displacements, shear forces, and vibrations, all of which are reduced by footwear, specifically running shoes.  Running shoes block the transition of sensory information to the foot which tells the runner to lower ground impact forces by flexing the arch muscles and changing stride mechanics.  This would not be a problem if the shoe reduced the injury producing ground impact forces as much as it reduced plantar sensation, but that is not the case as shown by the Lieberman, and the increased running injuries seen in the shod populations compared to barefoot.

So far, we’ve seen that research shows barefoot or minimalist shoe running causes some pretty useful adaptations in terms of foot strike pattern, “feel for the ground”, and reduced risk of lower extremity injuries.

And there’s plenty more…especially when it comes to reduced injury risk from the avoidance of cushioned shoes. study called “The effect of running shoe on lower extremity joint torque” examined the effects that shoes have on the leg joints when compared to running barefoot.  The subjects in this study were 68 young healthy adults who ran at least 15 miles per week.  Markers were placed on various spots on the subjects’ legs, and data was collect by 3 dimensional video analyses, as well as a force place on the treadmill they were asked to run on.

For shod running, there was a 54% increase in hip internal rotation torque, 36% increase in knee flexion torque (which acts on the main bending motion of the knee), and a 38% increase in knee varus torque (which is a lateral bending force at the knee). The relevance of this data is how it relates to joint degeneration and osteoarthritis risk, as well as overuse.  Osteoarthritis is joint cartilage degeneration and ossification and is correlated with long term excessive loading.  It has been shown that competitive running may increase the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the hip, therefore producing over 50% more load on the joint with each stride.  The increase in knee flexion torque would increase the load on the quadriceps, thus increasing strain on the patellar tendon and pressure on the patellofemoral joint, which can lead to overuse injuries of all these structures.  The increase in varus torque on the knee would increase the compressive force on the medial tibiofemoral compartment, which is more prone to degeneration than the lateral compartment.  Similar yet less dramatic increase in knee loading were seen when comparing women’s dress high heeled shoes when walking with barefoot walking.  Because of the higher rate of knee osteoarthritis in women and the fact that loading is much higher during running than walking, this increase in knee force could easily lead to osteoarthritis.  The increased loads were thought to be due to the elevated heel and material under the medial aspect of the foot, which changed running mechanics.  These increases in loading seen in shod running could all over time contribute to the onset of osteoarthritis.

Yep, as ironic as it may seem, wearing giant pillows around your feet actually increases your risk of things like arthritis later in life.

Along with reducing injuries, barefoot running is also thought to be a more metabolically efficient way to run, and the very recent study “Barefoot Running Reduces the Submaximal Oxygen Cost in Female Distance Runners” definitely backs this up. It has also been shown that an increase in of 100g of mass per foot increase metabolic cost by 1%.  This mass effect can be an especially big factor in racing, because if a typical 250g shoe was worn, it would add 5% to the metabolic cost, therefore slowing a runner by 5%.  This means a 4 hour marathon could see a change of around 12 minutes just from the weight of footwear.  It is clear that mass has a large effect on energy use while running, but it is theorized that the elastic properties of the arch and lower leg musculature also have an effect.

The article “Barefoot-Shod Running Differences: Shoe or Mass Effect?”  looked to determine if it was just the weight of wearing a shoe that made it less efficient, or if it was the shoe itself and the effects on stride mechanics. In this article, 12 healthy adult males with competitive running experience ran on a treadmill barefoot, in 50g, 150g, and 350g socks, as well as 150g and 350g shoes for 4 minutes at 13 km/h.  The mass on the sock was distributed in the same manner as that of the comparable weight shoe.  It was found that the bare sock (50g) produced no significant difference in running pattern compared to fully barefoot, showing that the results will not be altered by the effect of the material of the sock.  The treadmill had a force plate to measure vertical and anterior-posterior ground reaction force.  During the trials, the subjects exhaled gas was collected to determine the volume of oxygen (VO2) consumption relative to total mass, which tells how hard their body was working to maintain their running pace.

While un-shod, 9 of the 12 runners switched to a forefoot strike pattern.  It was found that VO2 consumption increased as shoe mass increased, but was not affected by the mechanical properties of the shoe.  It was also shown that total work increased in the barefoot condition.  As a result of the increased work, but no increase in VO2 consumption, it was concluded that the net mechanical efficiency of barefoot running was greater than shod running.  This agrees with the hypothesis that barefoot running, and subsequent FFS, allows the foot and leg to use their natural elastic properties to absorb and restitute mechanical energy from ground contact.

The previous study had two variables – shoe padding and foot strike – which made it difficult to interpret the results.  To account for this, the study “Metabolic cost of running barefoot versus shod: Is lighter better?”  was similar, but it controlled foot strike pattern as well as weight, so that the cushioned shoe was the only variable.  The test subjects were 12 runners with extensive barefoot experience who had a mid-foot strike not only when running barefoot, but also when shod.  The subjects all ran at least 25 km/week, with at least 8km barefoot or in minimalist footwear.  The participants ran on a treadmill with a force plate at 3.35 m/s.  Oxygen consumption (VO2) data was collected.  The shoes used only added cushioning and had no arch support.

It was found that in both shod and barefoot conditions, oxygen consumption increased by 1% per 100g added per foot.  Also, on average a 3-4% increase in VO2 consumption was found during barefoot running compared to shod running of equal weight and foot strike pattern.  This shows that factors other than shoe mass play an important role in the metabolic power used during barefoot versus shod running.  This difference can be due to shock absorbing characteristics of the shoe and a difference in stride length, which was found to be 3.3% greater during shod running.  It was estimated that the 3.3% increase in stride length would only account for less than 0.4% increase in metabolic savings. Because of this, the researchers concluded that of equal mass, the cushioning properties of the shoe account for the majority of difference in VO2 consumption.  This is because during barefoot running, all the cushioning is done by the action of the leg, which is accomplished through muscle contraction, thus expending energy.  By wearing a cushioned shoe but not changing general stride mechanics, the runner was essentially running on a softer surface while keeping the beneficial forefoot stride, which turned out to easier on the leg muscles and more efficient for the body.  The study also found that a light weight (about 130g) cushioned shoe is equally as efficient as fully barefoot running when stride is constant, which means minimalist running shoes could be a good alternative for barefoot runner while running on very hard surfaces or during a long race.

Yeah, that’s a mouthful, but basically it means that a minimalist shoe, or some other method of causing one to engage in a front foot strike, could be just as good as running barefoot when it comes to running efficiency and economy.

Overall, it’s very obvious that barefoot running seems to be beneficial in many aspects of running. The majority of benefits of barefoot running come with adopting a better running stride, which is characterized by a forefoot strike.  This reduces the load and loading rate during foot impact, which can lead to many running injuries, including plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral joint pain syndrome and osteoarthritis.  But the benefits of switching to barefoot running are not all immediate.  The muscles of the foot and lower leg become very weak from underuse when constantly shod, and it takes time for them to regain their strength, as well as for the body to change running technique.

However, once the transition is made, the stride will become more efficient with a reduced risk of injury. With regards to running efficiency, the cushioning from the shoe is beneficial, as well as the elastic properties of the forefoot strike. For best efficiency, a runner would want to become proficient with barefoot running, which will improve forefoot strike and cause a strengthened arch, and then wear a very lightweight moderately cushioned shoe for a race.

Although barefoot running has been shown to reduce injuries, injuries are also very common among new barefoot runners.  People hear about the benefits of barefoot running, then jump into barefoot or minimalist running much too quickly, without proper adaption.  As shown from the studies above, the muscles and soft tissue take months to strengthen, so increasing volume too fast is very likely to cause a problem.  Also, even though the loading is lower during barefoot running, metatarsal stress fractures are common. Because the bones in the foot don’t get the same loading pattern during shod rear-foot strike, they will take time to adapt to this new running style as well.

Finally, there are reports of injuries from barefoot and minimalist runner who do not adopt a forefoot strike.  As discussed above, rear-foot strike without a cushioned shoe causes very high force loading rates of the foot and leg, which could quickly result in injury.  In conclusion, more research still need to be done on the topic, but it seems clear that there are a multitude of benefits to barefoot running, and they should not be ignored.


Heel Striking Isn’t Always Bad

Even though an RFS (remember, that’s a “rear foot strike) and a heel striking motion is associated with higher risk of injury, if you’re landing softly (as barefoot running trains you to do) even heel striking motion that isn’t necessarily always a bad thing.

A New York Times article from a couple months ago entitled “Why We Get Running Injuries (and How to Prevent Them)” delves into this idea in greater detail. Among other clues that the human body was meant to run minimalist, the article states that…

“…The never-injured runners, as a group, landed far more lightly than those who had been seriously hurt, the scientists found, even when the researchers controlled for running mileage, body weight and other variables. That finding refutes the widely held belief that a runner cannot land lightly on her heels.”

The article goes on to describe one of the runners studied, a woman who has run multiple marathons and never been hurt, showing some of the lowest rates of foot loading the researchers had ever seen, pounding far less than many runners who land near the front of their feet, with a beautiful running motion that was like seeing “an insect running across water”.

It’s important to note that this woman was running with a heel strike but she was running softly even with that heel strike, which she was able to do because she had trained minimalist and trained barefoot, which teaches your body how to (even if you’re not engaged in a mid to front foot strike) run with far less impact to any part of the foot that hits the ground.

In other words, once you swear off the cushioned shoes, you run more softly and with reduced risk of injury, even if a fancy high-speed video camera shows your running form doesn’t significantly change with regards to a front vs. mid vs. rear foot strike.


How To Train Your Body To Run Barefoot

Convinced that you may want to start moving away from cushioned shoes and ready to start training to run barefoot?

In the article, “How To Start Running Barefoot“, I get into the nitty-gritty details of how both my wife and I transitioned to minimalist shoes and barefoot running. Some of the biggest takeaways from that article – aside from not simply rushing out and beginning to run oodles of miles in a brand new set of Vibrams – include the following five tips:

  1. Do Drills. As part of the short runs that you start doing barefoot, also train your body how to run with good form by including running form drills, such as playground style skipping, the toe-up drill or the lean drill. These drills will help ensure that you’re running efficiently and striking the ground properly as you learn barefoot running, and are a good idea to incorporate whether or not you’re running barefoot. Here is an overview of even more drills from my friend and Australian running guru Graeme Turner.
  2. Feel The Ground. If you’ve been wearing big, bulky, protective shoes for a long time, then your foot may have difficulty properly sensing the ground when you run barefoot. So try incorporating “feel-for-the-ground” activities like standing on one leg when you’re brushing your teeth, standing on one leg while on a balance disc or balance pillow at the gym, standing on one leg for exercises like overhead presses, or even bouncing on one leg on a mini-trampoline a few times a week.
  3. Get Flexible. One of the most common complaints among people who transition to barefoot or minimalist running is that their calf muscles and Achilles tendon feel tight or painful, and that was certainly the case when I made the transition to barefoot running. So as you make the transition to barefoot running, also work on the flexibility of the back of your legs by doing calf stretches and foam rolling for the back of your legs.
  4. Get Strong Feet. If you’re worn shoes your whole life, it’s likely that you have weak feet muscles, since one of the primary functions of a shoe is to provide your foot with extra “muscle”, or support. While some of the balance activities mentioned earlier will help to strengthen your foot, I also recommend standing on one leg and practicing rolling your entire body weight from the outside of your foot to the inside of the foot and back, until your foot is tired. When at the gym, it can also be helpful to do cable kick forwards and cable kick back exercises while standing on one foot. If your tiny foot muscles start to burn and fatigue with these movements, you’ll know you’re conditioning your foot muscles.
  5. Include Plyometrics. Your feet need to be conditioned to withstand the impact of the ground, since the cushioning of a normal shoe provides significant impact reduction benefits. Plyometrics are explosive exercises in which hop, bound or skip with one leg or two legs, and good choices for barefoot running preparation are side-to-side hops and single leg jumps onto a box.

For more details, you can click here to read that article in full.


The Best Barefoot Running Orthotic & A Simple Method To Teach Yourself How To Have Flawless Barefoot Running Form

Lately, I’ve been using a new method to get “the best of both worlds”: meaning getting the front to mid foot strike that I automatically shift to when barefoot running, while still getting the protection afforded by actually wearing shoes, which comes in handy when I’m doing Spartan races, TrainToHunt competitions, triathlons or other events where I actually do need protection for my feet.

The method is something called a “ShoeCue”.

The Cue inserts into your shoe just like an orthotic, and it uses a textured, thermoplastic heel-plate that reconnects your feet to the ground. With vibration and texture, it “wakes up” the soles of your feet and reconnects them to your brain. Closing this neural loop allows for enhanced control and understanding of how you are connected to the world, and in real-time it improve self awareness and proprioception, whether you’re walking or running.

Here are a couple videos that show how the ShoeCue works (and yeah, that’s Brian Mackenzie in the first video, the guy I interviewed here about advanced breathing techniques):


Basically, the Cue restores sensory feedback to your foot, which you’ve learned is usually diminished when you wear your shoes. The soles of your feet are one of the most sensitive areas in your body, and your brain relies on the sensory perception to control everything about about the way you move. By increasing sensation to your feet with these Cues in your shoes you will:

-Be more aware of your running technique and run with a softer foot-strike.
-Have greater positional awareness while lifting and exercising.
-Walk and stand with better posture.

The nerve receptors in skin on the soles of the feet pick up sensation in three main ways:

-Shearing force

All of these mechanics your body relies on to feel the ground are blocked by a traditional shoe when compared to being barefoot, but ShoeCue is able to restore this sensation, in virtually any shoe.

So what should you expect to feel when wearing these things?

You will certainly notice the Cue, but it is in no way painful. It feels like a gentle massage on the bottom of your foot. The goal is not to create pain when you are moving poorly. The goal of the Cue is to simply increase your bodies positional awareness and subtly encourage better biomechanics over time. When you put them in your shoes, you’ll notice an immediate reduction in over-striding and heavy heel strike (which you now know are major contributors to running injury and joint wear). Every time I run in these, my stride feels softer, smoother, and more efficient. Also, as fatigue sets in on a hard run, I’m a bit more aware of any breakdown in running form and able to self correct in real-time.

And these are definitely a bit different than traditional arch support orthotics. Arch support works to lift your arch and hold it in a static position. This may be better than walking around with collapsed arches and flat feet, but it does not address the underlying strength and motor control issues, which are the root cause of the problem. By increasing sensation to your feet, ShoeCue encourages the small muscles in your feet and ankles to be active, just like when you run barefoot, and when your arch does collapse, you will feel it and be able to consciously turn on those muscles and move better.

I’ll warn you that ShoeCue encourages you to favor the ball of your foot as opposed to the heel. When this happens, you will be stressing muscles and tissues in the lower leg that have been underused, and you may experience soreness after your first few runs – so start with shorter runs, give it time, and progress slowly, but in my opinion, it’s well worth it to add these to your running, walking and standing repertoire as a very cool biohack to get you to begin running with the same flawless form you’d develop from barefoot running, but with the actual protection of shoes.

You can try these new running orthotics here, and use 10% discount code Greenfield10. I’ve got a set in all my own running shoes now, and it’s a perfect way to start running “barefoot”, without actually running barefoot.


So what do you think?

Do you run barefoot or in minimalist shoes, or do you have yet to be convinced of the benefits?

Do you have questions about “barefoot running orthotics” like the ShoeCue?

Do you think I’m completely wrong and that big, built up cushioned shoes are the way to go?

Leave your comments, thoughts and feedback below and I’ll reply! Finally, you can click here to get yourself a set of ShoeCues, and use 10% discount code “Greenfield10”.



Getting Ripped With Yoga, Using Isometrics To Build Massive Athleticism, Five Things You Must Do Every Morning & More!

dean p

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

At a health conference, two years ago, I met a giant, 6’5″ basketball player – a beast of man – who swore that his entire fitness routine was comprised of yoga and basketball. I scoffed at this, swearing that the guy must be sneaking away to the gym to hoist a barbell or do explosive plyometrics…

…but then, just a few months later, I met another guy (a very ripped and athletic guy) at a different health conference, and this guy – named Dean Pohlman – completely destroyed me in an obstacle course competition, then informed me afterwards that his training primarily consisted of…

…you guessed it: yoga. 

So as you can imagine, I was somewhat intrigued with how one could use yoga to do things like maintain a very aesthetic body and build athleticism, and I had Dean on a podcast episode called “How To Get Ripped With Yoga“. That episode was so popular and helped so many people get fit with Dean’s special flavor of yoga, that I decided to get Dean back on today’s episode to talk yoga, mobility, athleticism, and much more!

Dean is the founder of Man Flow Yoga, a fitness-centric style of yoga dedicating to helping anybody who wants to get ripped with yoga to not just get ripped, but to also get massive increases in their flexibility, core strength, endurance, balance, and bodily awareness. It’s basically yoga for people that want the physical benefits without the lifestyle change of becoming a hippie. You hold the postures much longer, more emphasis is placed on technique (instead of the spiritual), and the workouts are more catered to the physical needs of guys (although his workouts are equally accessible to women).

Dean was a former collegiate-lacrosse player when he discovered the potential that yoga had to help improve physical fitness for athletes. He rejected the traditional approach to yoga, however, and in 2013 created a brand of yoga that catered to the more physical fitness-inclined individual. He is the author of the #1 bestselling Yoga Basics for Men eBook, and he has been featured in the Huffington Post, Fox 13 Tampa News, Austin KXAN News, Ben Greenfield Fitness (of course!), and many more top-ranked podcasts.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The five things Dean does every morning to create a perfect day…

-The one breakfast Dean has every morning, 365 days a year…

-What happens when you hold a pose in yoga for 60-90 seconds instead of the standard 10-30 seconds…

-Why yoga will create a muscular imbalance in your back and shoulders, and what you can do about it…

-How to develop power and brute strength with yoga…

-Why Dean doesn’t get into the spiritual side of yoga much, and my disagreement with Dean on this…

-Why yoga doesn’t increase your mobility, and what you can do about it…

-Dean’s top tool he uses to quickly remove muscle knots…

-How Dean uses his elbow and other body parts to massage himself prior to yoga…

-My crazy home massage routine that includes infrared, wholetones music, CBD, ayurvedic oils and more…

-Why you should push the “reboot” button on your body each year (and how to do it)…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

How To Get Ripped With Yoga podcast with Dean.

Dean’s ManFlowYoga program

Dean’s Mobility Project (use code “greenfield25” for 25% discount)

Miracle Morning


Ben’s new “Foundation” based morning routine

Brain Octane

Ben’s Pau d’ Arco bark tea article

Venom Suspension Straps for yoga

Neuromass book

The Kundalini yoga routine that Ben does twice per week

The KnotOut muscle adhesion tools

Ben’s metabolic mobility routine video

The BioMat


Wholetones music

Yoga Start – Yoga For Beginners With Modifications For The Inflexible

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Dean or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!


Unleashing The Phenomenon Of Using Sound & Music For Performance, Recovery, Healing & More.


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Quick question: when was the last time you listened to music?

Or white noise?

Or “binaural beats”?

Or any other form of audio?

And did you ever give any thought to the frequency of the actual wavelengths of sound contained within that audio?

Until recently, I didn’t. I had no clue that frequencies of sound, frequencies of music, and even the frequencies of the piano that my kids practice each day or the guitar and ukelele that I practice each day can actually affect cognitive function, heart health, liver, kidneys, digestion, libido, mood and much, much more.

But at a recent health summit, someone handed me a book called “The Sound Of Healing”, written by author Michael Tyrrell…along with a handful of CD’s that Michael had recorded. These CD’s, called “Wholetones” are described as music that “heals, repairs, and protects against disease.”

So, skeptical but curious, I sat down and read the entire Sound Of Healing book, and I began occasionally listening to the CD’s while driving, while getting a massage, while sitting in my sauna, etc. Every time I finished a CD, I had such a unique feeling of elation and satisfaction after listening, I downloaded a digital tuning app and retuned my guitar and my ukelele to the “frequencies” Michael described in the book. This may all seem a bit “woo-woo”, but it made a huge difference in the ability of a song to make me feel uplifted and full of positive energy as I played it.

I managed to get Michael on today’s podcast, and during our discussion you’ll discover:

-Why the music and sound you listen to every day is not tuned the right way and can actually be destroying organ function…

-How sound frequencies affect the human body, water, plants and more…

-How to “re-tune” music and sound to heal organs and provide therapy to the body…

-How to combine light and sound to de-stress your body…

-Why digital sound from CD’s and mp3’s are not as good as analog sound from things like vinyl albums, and what you can do about it if you don’t want to buy a vinyl record turntable…

-The best way to use the sound to heal your body and to target specific organ systems…

-What Michael thinks about the use of tuning forks as vibrational sound therapy…

-How can a musician “re-tune” their instrument to the correct frequency…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

The WholeTones Healing CD’s

The Sound Of Healing book

Digital tuning device

The fluoride “deception” conspiracy podcast I recorded

The Biomat device

Royal Rife

DETA electromagnetic bioresonance devices

DELTASleeper device

Earthpulse device

SADIE recording software

Tuning the Human Biofield book (tuning fork therapy)

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Michael or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply.

Living With A Navy Seal, Running 100 Miles, Only Eating Fruit Until Noon & More With Jesse Itzler.

jesse (1)

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Jesse Itzler only eats fruit until noon, runs hundreds of miles at a time and lives a completely “out of the box” life – while claiming that he does not actually indeed even have a box.

Jesse cofounded Marquis Jet, the world’s largest prepaid private jet card company in 2001, which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets. He then partnered with Zico Coconut Water, which he sold to The Coca-Cola Company in 2013. He is a former rapper on MTV and he produced and sang both the NBA’s Emmy Award-winning I Love This Game music campaign and the popular New York Knicks anthem Go NY Go. Itzler is also the author of the best selling book Living With A Seal.

When he is not out training for his next 100 mile run or being a dad to his four kids, Jesse can be found at the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks games, where he is an owner of the team. He is married to Spanx founder Sara Blakely and the couple and their 4 children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Jesse met a crazy Navy SEAL at an ultrarunning event – a guy who pushed through the race with kidney failure and broken foot bones while eating crackers and bread…

-Jesse’s experience attempting to perform 100 pullups as a skinny runner…

-The crazy things that ensued when a Navy SEAL crashed in Jesse’s living room for 31 days…

-Why Jesse ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours…

-What it means when Jesse says “when you’re done you’re only 40% done”…

-Why Jesse waits until noon to eat anything except fruit…


-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Fit For Life by Harvey Diamond

Living With A Seal

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Jesse Itzler or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

6 Crazy, Exotic Superfood Cocktails, Shakes & Mind-Bending Recipes.


My wife, a wonderful chef, gets annoyed when I say this, but I truly believe I could survive the entire rest of my life armed with a blender and a handful of superfoods. I’m serious. I could drink a smoothie, shake or any of the other mind-bending recipes you’re about to discover, and be happy and satisfied for all time – for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But no, I don’t plan on drinking or melting my meals in my mouth until I die. Ribeye steak, corn-on-the-cob and sweet potato fries are just too good for that. However I do have six crazy, exotic, superfood cocktails that I don’t plan on forsaking anytime soon.

So without further ado, and in no particular order of tastiness or importance, here they are:

1. The Big-Ass Smoothie

Although a nuked Reese’s peanut butter cup can certainly brighten a weary morning, I’m come a very long way since my daily breakfast of microwaved oatmeal with protein powder, peanut butter and a chocolate bar. 

I now simply chew on a what I call my “big-ass smoothie”. And by chew, I do mean chew. I use a high quality blender that can take a serious beating, mix the entire smoothie at a texture that allows me to eat it with a spoon (so that the enzymes in my mouth can initiate pre-digestion), then scoop it all into my lucky Theodore Roosevelt “Man In The Arena” mug.

This thing is constantly evolving. Here’s one version of the morning smoothie, from about two years ago. Here’s another version, from last year.

And what’s the current iteration look like? Knock yourself out.

-Gather four to eight varieties of leafy greens, wild plants, vegetables and herbs. Chop and add to blender. On one morning, I might include dinosaur kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, mint, parsley and cilantro, and on another morning purple cabbage, red lettuce, carrot, basil and ginger. No rules.

-Add 3-6 ounces of full fat, BPA-free coconut milk 

-Add 1/2 of a chopped avocado

-Add 1-2 scoops (20-30 grams) organic whey or vegan protein powder 

-Add 2 teaspoons organic ceylon cinnamon (which lowers blood sugar response to a meal) 

-Add 2 teaspoons organic cacao powder if you like chocolat-ey goodness 

After blending, for added texture and crunch, add:

-1 handful unsweetened coconut flakes

-1 tablespoon organic cacao nibs 

-1 handful raw almonds 

-3-5 brazil nuts

-1 pinch Aztec salt (you can’t go wrong with this salt, trust me. It makes the taste of anything go from good to great) 

Should this seem overboard to you, here a recipe one of my readers (Eric) recently sent to me, a recipe he drinks each day and a recipe that makes the complexity of my own smoothie seem quite trite:

“Ben, place these ingredients into large-mouth quart sized Mason jars during the weekend to save prep time:

•       Brazil Nuts

•       Pumpkin seeds

•       Chia seeds

•       Primal Defense Ultra

•       Active Lipoic Acid (300 mg)

•       CoQ10 (200 mg)

•       Vitamin C (1,000 mg)

•       Vitamin B Complex

•       Vitamin D3 (3,000 mg)

•       Thorne curcumin (Meriva – SR)

•       Cissus Quadrangularis Extract

•       Pine pollen extract

•       Bladderwack powder

•       Tongat-Ali powder

•       Maca Root powder

•       MSM powder

•       Cinnamon powder

•       Maqui Berry powder

•       Matcha green tea extract

•       Sunflower lecithin

•       Cocao nibs

•       Cocao butter

•       Schizandra extract

•       Astragalus root extract

•       Chlorella powder

•       Spirulina powders

•       Seaweed (both Dulse and Hiziki)

•       Goji Berries

•       Collagen protein

The day prior to making a shake from these ingredients, I take the jar of powders and add the following:

•      Spring water (stir the powder and pills)

•      Raw-milk kefir

•      Natto (wake it up first by stirring)

•      Aloe vera juice

The mixture is then allowed to soak overnight. The next day, the contents from the jar are put into a blender with:

•       Celery

•       Basil

•       Rosemary

•       Parsley (curley – full bunch)

•       Cilantro (full bunch)

•       Fresh Ginger

•       Cranberry juice

•       Olive oil (raw unfiltered cold pressed)

•       Coconut vinegar

•       Avocado pit (if I have avocado that day)

•       Raw (frozen) liver

•       Palm oil

•       Stevia

I then run the blender on high for about a minute, and then bring it down to a low level and add:

•       Pastured raw eggs (2)

•       Whey protein”

Holy. Smoothie. 

2. Black Ant Frappe

Sure, you could swing into Starbuck’s and grab a caffeinated, sugar-laden, milk-infused, calorie-bomb frappuccino, or you could try my version, which relies upon one secret ingredient that beats the pants off black coffee: black ant extract (read more about it here and stay tuned for a forthcoming podcast on it).

Upon waking from my afternoon nap, I simply blend the following:

-1 teaspoon black ant extract

-2 teaspoons organic ceylon cinnamon 

-5-6 drops dark chocolate stevia 

-1-2 handfuls ice

-4-6oz water

Low calorie? You betcha. As in, zero calories. If I do want an extra ketotic-kick-in-the-pants, I drizzle in a tablespoon of brain octane oil.

3. Pau D’ Arco Bark Milk

Yeah. You read correctly. Bark milk.

Here’s the science behind this one: if you listened to my podcast on the anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer benefits of a compound called “Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide” (NAD), you may have heard that you can spend hundreds of dollars on NAD supplements or thousands of dollars on NAD injections.

But after a bit of research following that podcast, and a fascinating discussion with a man who I consider to be one of the brightest minds in medicine: Dr. Joseph Mercola, I discovered that a compound called “beta-lapachone” can massively increase levels of NAD, and that this pricey chemical can actually be quite inexpensively obtained via a pau d’ arco tree bark tea from the Peruvian jungles. Dr. Mercola is way ahead of his time in terms of his experiments with and knowledge on NAD, he’s working on a new book on mitochondria that will go into this and much more (I’ll be interviewing him soon for the podcast about the book) and he clued me into and gave me instructions on how to prepare an absorbable NAD precursor for pennies on the dollar – instructions he put together after hearing this fascinating interview with anti-aging expert Vince Giulliano.


Follow this recipe:

-Mix 1-2 teaspoons of pau d’ arco tree bark with 4-8 ounces of warm water and allow it to sit overnight for 10-12 hours.

-In a good blender for 2-3 minutes, blend the water and soaked bark with fats, which will form liposomes that can increase absorption of the beta-lapachone from the tea. For fats, you can use brain octane oil , coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil or full fat coconut milk – but Dr. Mercola advised me that the best solution, aside from a special krill oil formulation that is not yet available on the market, is simply a half teaspoon of organic, non-GMO sunflower lecithin, which contains good amounts of phosphatidylcholine, an excellent way to make phospholipids. 

-For even more absorption, add 1-2 teaspoons of organic turmeric powder to this mixture.

-Strain after blending.

You can then use the resulting foamy white bark “milk” as an ingredient in smoothies or shakes, or you can drink it straight.

4. Starbucks Surprise

I’m lying. This mix is not really a surprise, because, just like McDonald’s, 7-11, paper clips Lego blocks and fly swatters Starbucks rarely ever changes. You can almost always find at any Starbucks the two necessary ingredients you’ll need for this next recipe: raw almonds and a banana. 

Here’s how the Starbuck’s Surprise goes…

-Travel with some kind of greens-superfood-meal-replacement-type-of-powder. That’s my catch-all name for anything organic, relatively healthy, serves as a replacement for vegetables, comes in powdered form and preferably does not include sucralose, other artificial sweeteners, fructose, maltodextrin, etc. My weapon of choice is usually either Ambronite or SuperGreens.

-Waltz up to Starbucks, stand in line, purchase a banana (bonus if the banana green because the glycemic index is lower and it contains more probiotic-feeding resistant starch) and a bag of raw almonds.

-Politely ask if they can also include a big plastic cup of water, no ice.

-Once they pour you the water, casually add, “Oh, I almost forgot, is there any chance I could also get one of your little plastic spoons?”

-Boom. You now have: banana, almonds, water, a cup, a spoon and your powder. Drink half the water, dump the powder into the cup, chop up the banana (I only use half and save the other half for later) and throw a handful of the almonds in. 

-Stir the entire concoction then stuff your face with your spoon.

Sure you could travel with things like bananas and almonds and cups and spoons, but if you’re anything like me, you inevitably either forget, run out, have a long layover, find yourself up the creek without a paddle, you get the idea.

So if you ever see me standing in line at Starbucks, it’s quite unlikely I’m purchasing their burnt coffee.

5. Ketotic Mind Bender

OK, you can now stop reading and scroll to the end of the article if you eschew booze or other potentially mind-altering compounds, because these last two are a bit…edgy. And fun.

You will need a special kind of blender for this first edgy recipe: a commercial-style, made-for-home countertop immersion blender that you can set and forget and simply walk away from as it stirs everything you pour into it while operating at a set temperature you can specify.

Yeah, they make those. The one I have is called a “Magical Butter Machine” (not joking)  and is marketed as “the world’s first countertop Botanical Extractor designed for creating fantastic recipes, infusing the essence of healthy herbs into butter, oil, grain alcohol, lotions, and more”.

Sound like fun? You bet. But upon purchasing my Magical Butter Machine, I realized many of the recipes were fraught with processed sugar, juices, vegetable oils and stuff I avoid eating. So I made up my own low-carb yet incredibly tasty mind-bending recipe, which I call a Ketotic Mind Bender. Here’s how it goes:

-Get a good, organic bud (or two, or three) of marijuana and decarboxylate it (an important, easy step you can learn here).

-Place the decarboxylated weed (or call it “plant-based medicine” if you’d prefer) into the Magical Butter Machine along with 1 cup of coconut oil per gram of bud. 

-Press the Temperature button, and select 160°F/71°C; then press the 2 Hours/Butter button.

-Once the butter is complete, pour it into a high-quality blender and blend on high for 60 seconds with the following: 

-10 drops dark chocolate stevia per cup of coconut oil 

-1/2 cup organic dark cacao powder per cup of coconut oil

-1 tablespoons of a good salt per cup of coconut oil 

After blending, pour into freezer molds, freeze, then pop out of molds and store in glass container in a cool, dry place (or, if you’re like me, in the freezer). At the risk of dispensing potentially harmful advice, I’m not going to dish out too many math tips for this recipe, but an edible approximately the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is going to contain 10mg of THC using the recipe above. Be responsible, and remember, if something goes wrong, NatureCBD can make all the psychoactivity of THC go away within about 20 minutes.

6. Ginger-Turmeric Liver Cleansing Cocktail

My wife makes ginger-turmeric kombucha. She uses the recipe from the Kombucha Mamma’s book (click here to listen to my podcast with the Kombucha Mama and to get that recipe)

I then take this delicious ginger-turmeric kombucha, which is chock full of liver-cleansing, cancer-preventing glucuronic acid and glucaric acids and anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric and I proceed to mix it with a compound known to have the capability to mess up one’s liver and cause rampant inflammation: vodka.

Yes, I defile her healthy kombucha with booze.

Here is my exact recipe, which I actually consider to be a relatively healthy cocktail because I go quite easy on the vodka, I never have more than one at a time, and I add a digestif (lemon) and electrolytes.

-8 ounces ginger-turmeric kombucha, poured over ice into a glass jar.

-1 shot vodka

-1 squeeze of half a lemon

-a pinch of a really good salt 

Simple, tasty and a nice occasional switch-up from my usual glass of this organic red wine. By the way, for more detox tips, and to learn about the myth of “liver detoxes”, click here to read my two-part article series on how to truly detox your body.


That’s it.

Now it’s your turn to share your crazy, tasty, twisted, unique or nutrient dense recipes.

Leave them in the comments section below, along with any questions or feedback about any of my six special recipes. I look forward to seeing what you’ve come up with!

(Oh, and that featured image at the top of this post? That’s simply my wife’s elderberry cordial made from a tree in our backyard…and she also makes fancy kombucha infusions, fermented lemon rind concoctions, flavored nut milks and all sorts of other home-y craziness that you can access here. Enjoy.)

The Ultimate Guide To Maintaining Muscle (Even When You Can’t Workout)


Muscle is not for bodybuilders anymore. Instead muscle (not the big, bulky stuff, but the tight, toned lean stuff) is now heavily correlated with everything from anti-aging to cognitive performance to metabolism and beyond. So it’s pretty darn important, even if you have no desire to strut in a Speedo on muscle beach.

But have you ever wondered how fast you lose muscle when you stop working out?

How about how muscle you can expect to lose when you age?

The best way to maintain muscle?

From cutting-edge NASA research on maintaining maximum muscle as you age to the surprising nutrients that have been proven by science to keep muscle on your body as long as possible, you’re about to discover all these answers and much more in today’s podcast.

My guest in today’s episode, Alex James Ritson, is currently finalizing a Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Nutrition at Middlesex University in London, is co-owner of Lean Body Performance, an online nutrition and training coaching company and is very well-versed in a particular area of interest that he has: how protein intake affects lean muscle preservation.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What exactly happens to your muscle when you are “bed-bound” or unable to exercise…
-How fast you lose muscle and how fast you lose strength when you quit working out (you’ll be surprised!)…
-The actual cellular mechanisms behind muscle loss…
-Exactly how much muscle you lose as you age, and the latest research that shows how you can slow down that muscle-loss process…
-Specific activities that have been shown maintain muscle that don’t involve lifting weights…
-The top specific supplements or nutrients that stave off muscle loss when you can’t exercise…
-The fascinating lessons we can learn from astronauts and space research when it comes to maintenance of muscle….
-How to strike a balance between anti-aging, longevity and protein restriction and not losing too much muscle…
-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Compex for electronic stimulation 10-15 minutes per day

Kaatsu occlusion training

2-3g leucine per day

10-20g essential amino acids per day

10g creatine monohydrate per day

3g HMB per day

800-1000IU Vitamin D3 per day

3g fish oil per day

Infrared sauna

This article on a new NASA exercise device for muscle maintenance

Live strong and prosper: the importance of skeletal muscle strength for healthy ageing.

Nutritional strategies to attenuate muscle disuse atrophy.

Essential amino acid and carbohydrate supplementation ameliorates muscle protein loss in humans during 28 days bedrest.

Influence of concurrent exercise or nutrition countermeasures on thigh and calf muscle size and function during 60 days of bed rest in women.

Case-Study: Muscle Atrophy and Hypertrophy in a Premier League Soccer Player During Rehabilitation From ACL Injury.

Fish oil supplementation suppresses resistance exercise and feeding‐induced increases in anabolic signaling without affecting myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men.

Effects of creatine loading and prolonged creatine supplementation on body composition, fuel selection, sprint and endurance performance in humans.

Effect of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) on lean body mass during 10 days of bed rest in older adults.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Alex or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!