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How Your Computer Monitor Is Slowly Killing Your Eyes, And What You Can Do About It.

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Do you ever get headaches after working on a computer for a long time?

Eye strain?

Mild irritation?

Brain fog?

It’s not all in your head.

See, just like most televisions, computer monitors “flicker”.  Monitors have been flickering for many years, but most people don’t realize this because the flicker is invisible. However, the flicker is still very hard on your eyes and is just one of the computer monitor issues responsible for the growing epidemic of near-sightedness and myopia – also known as “computer vision syndrome“.

Even fancy, modern PC LCD monitors are not flicker-free, even though many people think they are. These LCD monitors originally started out by using something called CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamps) as a backlight source for the monitor, but in recent years manufacturers have shifted to using LEDs (light emitting diodes). If you have one of those thin monitors, then you probably have a LCD monitor with LED, and if you are unsure, you can check the model number on the backside of the monitor and Google it.

The use of LED has numerous benefits, including lower power consumption, far fewer toxic substances due to the absence of the cathode and some fantastic picture quality advantages, but along with all these benefits come potential eyestrain issues that can damage and destroy your eyes over the long term.

See, when your monitor is set to maximum brightness, the LEDs are glowing at full 100% strength. If you reduce the brightness setting in the menu, the LEDs need to omit less light, and this is accomplished by inserting small breaks, or pauses (flickers!) in which the LEDs turn off for a very short, nearly invisible time. When you reduce the brightness setting of your monitor even more, the breaks become longer.

This creates a frustrating catch-22: a bright screen can strain your eyes, and the flicker created by a less bright screen can also strain your eyes. Compared to old-school CCFL monitors, the newer LED-based monitors carry the greatest risk of giving you eyestrain, tired eyes or nasty headaches. You can read more about this issue in the article “LED Monitors can cause headaches due to flicker“.

My guest on today’s podcast has figured out how to tackle this issue, and has invented a special piece of software called “Iris” that controls the brightness of the monitor with the help of your computer’s video card, allows you to have adequate brightness without the flicker, and even automatically adjusts your computer monitor’s settings based on the sun’s position wherever you happen to be in the world.

His name is Daniel Georgiev, and he is a 20 year old computer programmer from Bulgaria. Before he learned to code, Daniel was a rower in his country’s national team for more than 5 years, and participated in the 2012 World Rowing Junior Championship. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

How Daniel got kicked off his soccer team, and within two years qualified for the Bulgarian National Team in rowing…[11:20]

-Why Daniel programmed his computer monitor to freeze and stop his work every 30 minutes…[19:45]

-Why Daniel doesn’t like the computer program “Flux” for decreasing blue light on your monitor…[21:45]

-The link between color “temperature” and the amount of blue light a computer monitor creates…[29:52]

-How to convert a glossy computer monitor screen into a matte computer monitor screen…[33:50]

-Why you should use font rendering technologies to change the type of font you are looking at when you read on a computer monitor…[39:00]

-How to automatically invert colors on a screen or change the screen to grayscale when you are working to reduce eye strain and improve your ability to sleep…[46:25]

-Why you blink 66% less when you are working on a computer (and why yawning when you work on your computer is actually quite important)…[50:00 & 54:50]

-How to set up your computer monitor to force you to take automatic “Pomodoro” breaks, and get instant reminders for eye exercises, neck exercises and back exercises…[56:10]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Iris software

Anti-glare screen protectors

The Eizo Flexscan 2436 Monitor Ben uses

The BenQ Monitors that Daniel talks about

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

The Mysterious Kuwait Muscle-Building Phenomenon, The Too-Much-Protein Myth, Anabolic Triggering Sessions & More With The MindPump Podcast Crew.

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Meet the guys from MindPump podcast

The hosts – who traveled all the way up from San Jose to descend upon my my house in Spokane, Washington to record this podcast – claim to “pull back the curtain on the mythology, snake oil and pseudo-science that pervades the fitness industry and present science-backed solutions that result in increased muscular development and performance while simultaneously emphasizing health.”

Take a gander at these fellas…as they seem to have the body composition and transformation equation pretty well figured out. They include…

Sal DiStefano…

Sal was 14 years old when he touched his first weight and from that moment he was hooked. Growing up asthmatic, frequently sick and painfully skinny, Sal saw weightlifting as a way to change his body and his self-image. In the beginning, Sal’s body responded quickly to his training but then his gains slowed and then stopped altogether. Not one to give up easily, he began reading every muscle building publication he could get his hands on to find ways to bust through his plateau. He read Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, Mentzer’s Heavy Duty, Kubrick’s Dinosaur Training, and every muscle magazine he could find; Weider’s Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Iron Man and even Muscle Media 2000. Each time he read about a new technique or methodology he would test it out in the gym. At age 18 his passion for the art and science of resistance training was so consuming that he decided to make it his profession and become a personal trainer. By 19 he was managing health clubs and by 22 he owned his own gym. After 17 years as a personal trainer he has dedicated himself to bringing science and TRUTH to the fitness industry.

Adam Schafer…

Adam Schafer is a IFBB men’s physique Pro and fitness expert. Adam made his entrance into the fitness world 14 years ago and has continued to send shock waves throughout the community ever since. He is a man of many talents who wears many hats. He is first and foremost a certified fitness expert who has an insatiable desire to help people in need of major lifestyle changes and daily accountable motivation. He is also incredibly driven entrepreneur and business minded individual with a vision that continually challenges his colleagues and peers to think bigger and achieve more.

Justin Andrews…

Justin has an incredible passion to disrupt the personal training industry and create ground breaking programs and tools that fitness professionals and clients alike can benefit from. The fitness industry in general needs a massive face lift to speak more to the generation growing up with a more advanced technology tool kit. Justin’s approach is to create programs that utilize technology as it advances and cut through the millions of options people face everyday when seeking specific information relating to their fitness needs. The great thing about where we are today is how easy it is to access information, the bad part about accessing all this information is how much misinformation is out there to weed through. As a health and fitness professional with a proven track record here in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Justin Andrews will keep working tirelessly to keep people educated and connected to quality personal trainers long into the future.

Doug Egge…

Doug received his first gym membership as a gift from his dad when he was 16 years old. Rocky III had just come out and he was determined to build a body like Stallone. It never happened. Despite following the advice of muscle magazines and busting his butt in the gym, Doug saw minimal gains over the next 30 years. Then he was introduced to Sal Di Stefano by his chiropractor who recommended he work with Sal to eliminate muscle imbalances that were causing lower back issues. Sal’s unique approach, often 180 degrees different from what Doug had read in books and magazines, produced more results in a matter of months than he had experienced in the 30 years prior. Doug with an extensive marketing and media production background, recognized Sal’s unique gift and perspective was missing from the fitness world and suggested that they should join forces. Doug and Sal have since produced life-altering programs such as the No BS 6-Pack Formula and MAPS Anabolic. Doug is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Adam and Justin as Producer of MindPump.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why bodybuilders are traveling to Kuwait and mysteriously coming back with 20+ pounds of extra muscle…[17:00]

-The truth about underground muscle building supplements like SARMS, Clomid, injectable testosterone and more…[23:20 & 30:10]

-Why old-timey strength training protocols could be the best way to build strength compared to new-school bodybuilding protocols…[34:00 & 41:00]

-How to do an “anabolic triggering session”…[52:00]

-Why you need far less protein than you think…[59:30]

-The biggest myths in the fitness industry…[67:40]

-And much more…

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

The Best Time Of Day To Exercise, Have Sex, Take Supplements, Read A Book, Take A Nap & More!

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Do you know your chronotype?

Until two weeks ago, I didn’t.

Turns out, I’m a “lion” chronotype (with a strong tendency to delve into “bear” chrono-typedness).

You might be a wolf, in which case you should try working out at 6:00pm and not 6:00am. An early morning run for you might feel like punishment, while an early evening run will provide an enjoyable pick-me-up.

Or maybe you’re a lion, in which case having a wine, beer or cocktail between 5:30pm and 7:30pm will minimize the chances of sleep disruption from alcohol.

Or perhaps you’re a dolphin, which means you should schedule any big presentations or work tasks for around 4:00pm, when you’re most awake, most alert, and even most confident.

You could also be a bear, in which case shifting dinner from 6:00pm to 7:30pm can actually accelerate fat loss and stave off late-night snacking.

Interesting, eh?

You’ll find all the science, the studies, and the facts behind this type of new chronotyping research in the new book “The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype-and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More“.

A growing body of research actually proves there is a right time to do just about everything, specifically based on your biology and hormones. As Dr. Michael Breus – the author and today’s podcast guest – presents in his groundbreaking new book The Power of When, working with your body’s inner clock for maximum health, happiness, and productivity can be easy, exciting, fun and pay off big dividends.

For example, since reading this book, I’ve even cut out caffeinated morning coffee and replaced it with decaf, started prioritizing morning and afternoon sex instead of evening sex, and shifted my fiction-based creative writing from 8:00pm to 8:00am. The Power of When presents a unique program for getting back in sync with your natural rhythm by making minor changes to your daily routine based on your unique “chronotype”.

In the book, after you’ve taken Dr. Breus’s “Bio-Time Quiz” to figure out your chronotype (e.g. are you a Bear, Lion, Dolphin or Wolf?), you then find out the best time to do over 50 different activities, from when to exercise to have sex to take supplements to ask for a raise to eat breakfast to take a nap and much more.

So you can consider this book the ultimate “lifehack”.

Dr. Breus, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist, a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. With a specialty in Sleep Disorders, Dr. Breus he is one of only 163 psychologists in the world with his credentials and distinction.

In addition to his private practice, where he treats athletes and celebrities alike, Dr. Breus also trains other sleep doctors and consults with major airlines, hotel chains, mattress manufacturers and retailers to provide the optimum sleep experience for their customers. For example, an audio relaxation CD he designed for the Crowne Plaza Hotels helps millions of people fall asleep each year, and for over 14 years Dr. Breus has served as the Sleep Expert for WebMD and frequently pens “Sleep Matters” a column in WebMD magazine. He also writes The Insomnia Blog, which appears regularly on WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Dr. Oz Blog, Psychology Today, MedPedia, Organized Wisdom, Travora Travel, and Furniture Today, and has been interviewed on CNN, Oprah, The View, Anderson, and The Doctors and The Dr. OZ Show.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

Why I’m now having sex in the morning and coffee in the afternoon…[10:35]

-The fascinating history of chronotyping and chronobiology…[11:50]

-Why it is that guys like Tim Ferriss and Tai Lopez operate extremely well in the wee hours of the night…[18:30]

-Why Thomas Edison created the most disruptive event in the history of bio-time…[32:10]

-Whether chronotyping is based on scientific research or simply cute, easy-to-remember animals…[30:25]

-When the best time of day is to drink alcohol and to drink coffee based on your chronotype…[25:40 & 27:20]

-A simple, scientific, biological way to determine chronotype based on a seven dollar piece of home health equipment…[31:35]

-When the best time to have sex is, why and how to “sync up” sex times with your partner based on their chronobiology…[35:35]

-When the best time of day is for cardiovascular exercise vs. yoga vs. weight training…[39:25 & 47:20]

-How your chronobiology can affect when you should take supplements or medications…[22:00]

-Dr. Breus’s most potent and effective jet lag tips…[51:00]

-Why Daylight Savings Time day is the #1 day that traffic accidents occur…[59:50]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Breus’s hybrid pillow

The Power of When book

The Power of When quiz

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

Episode #359 – Full Transcript

Podcast from http://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/09/359-blenders-damage-food-nutrients-weightlifting-makes-faster-runner-boost-dopamine-levels/

[0:00] Introduction

[1:15] Rachel in Mexico

[3:40] News Flashes

[4:19] Health Habits of Famous People In History

[9:48] How Weightlifting Improves Running

[13:46] All About Almonds

[18:32] Metal Detoxification

[22:21] Tricorder XPRIZE

[25:11] Special Announcements/Jujimufu’s Kimera Koffee Blend

[27:27] FitLife Organifi Green Juice

[30:03] Harry’s Razors

[31:56] Other Special Announcements

[34:05] Listener Q & A/Boosting Dopamine Levels

[48:07] Do Blending Foods Damage The Nutrients In Them

[57:33] MSM As A Detoxification Agent

[1:05:38] Using Peptides To Heal Injuries

[1:16:27] How To Earn Some Swag

[1:17:13] Watch Out For The New Name of Ben Greenfield Fitness

[1:18:00] Great Review

[1:22:03] End of Podcast

Introduction:  In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:  How To Boost Your Dopamine Levels, Do Blenders Damage Food, Can MSM Work As A Detox, How To Use Something Called Peptides To Heal Injuries, and much more.

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Well, hello Rachel, or should I say, “Hola.”

Rachel:  Yeah.  Hola, Ben.  Good to see/hear you.  It’s been a whole month.

Ben:  It has been a while.  And you are in Mexico.

Rachel:  I am!  Mexico!

Ben:  What are you doing there, besides buying Chiclets and dealing drugs?  What are you doing in Mexico?

Rachel:  We kinda just came down to work from here for a couple of weeks.  And so we’re just set-up and sort of enjoying Playa Del Carmen.  It’s beautiful.  Go to the beach every morning, watch the sun rise, walks along the beach, lots of swimming.  They have these incredible Cenotes, which are actually sinkholes, which is kinda weird.  But they have crystal clear water.  It’s just beautiful.

Ben:  And Chiclets.

Rachel:  And Chiclets!

Ben:  Yeah.  Are you getting your hands on lots of good Mexican food?

Rachel:  Lots of good Mexican food.

Ben:  Taco salads?

Rachel:  Lots of Tater Tots.  That’s all they eat down here.  No, it’s delicious.

Ben:  I love the American versions of international cuisines, like the Olive Garden.  Everybody knows that when you go to Italy, you get unlimited breadsticks and iceberg lettuce.

Rachel:  It cracks me up.  But the food is actually incredible.  I found a really good vegan restaurant, actually.  It’s not even super Mexican, but lots of international food.  Eating well, sleeping well, exercising well.  It’s incredible.

Ben:  I can’t imagine vegan Mexican.  Sound pretty good.

Rachel:  Is that your Mexican accent?

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s my Mexican accent.  I’m going to Canada, eh.

Rachel:  You are!

Ben:  Next week, yes.  So while you’re in Mexico, I’ll be up across the other border.

Rachel:  Nice!  What are you going there for?

Ben:  Stealing drugs.  Same as you.

Rachel:  Really?

Ben:  Just in a different hemisphere.

Rachel:  Stop telling my secrets.

Ben:  No.  Actually, I am going up there to a friend’s ranch to do some hiking with the boys, and a little bit of hunting.  Gonna hunt bear and moose.  So while you’re eating vegetables in Mexico, I’m gonna be up at a meat-a-palooza in Canada.

Rachel:  You’re going to hunt a bear?  My god.  (laughs)

Ben:  Going to hunt a bear.  Yep.

Rachel:  Americans.  You’re a funny bunch.

Ben:  I will report on the show.  And of course, as usual, just so we don’t offend anyone, I will be hunting and eating said bear, not just shooting the bear.  Anyways though, we have plenty to go over.  It’s been a while since you’ve done our Q & A, so a lotta new news flashes and cool geeked out information for folks.  So, let’s dive in.  Shall we?

News Flashes:

Ben:  So this is the part of the show where, I dunno.  What do we do on this part of the show, Rachel?

Rachel:  We give epic information.

Ben:  Epic information.

Rachel:  News flashes.  And you can get these news flashes, and more, if you follow  Ben on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoogle+, and now Snapchat.

Ben:  That’s right.  We’re all over the internet, and we’ll put links to all this stuff over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.  But, yes, indeed.  This is the time of the show when we talk about cool things that we found on the internets.

And one really fun article that I thought was this article on Mark’s Daily Apple about the health habits of famous people from history.  People that some of whom I’ve never heard of, but some that were quite interesting, like Ben Franklin, the founding father.  Did you read this article, Rachel?

Rachel:  I did.  Yes.  I’d love to hear your take on Ben Franklin’s health habits.

Ben:  Ben Franklin was very much into cold thermogenesis.  He would spend two or three hours swimming in the river in London every night, about three and a half miles in a single bout, and he slept in cold rooms, and did quite a bit of cold water immersion.

Rachel:  Wow.

Ben:  Ben Franklin, which by the way, I have an upcoming article coming out this Monday about how keeping one’s balls cold actually increases testosterone.  It’s actually a very interesting article.  I’m also gonna be talking about shining laser lights on your gonads and an iodine trick where you can actually smear iodine in your crotch to increase testosterone.  Totally not kidding.

Rachel:  Wow.

Ben:  Any of you out there who wanna increase testosterone, you need to read this article that’s coming out this Monday over at Ben Greenfield Fitness.  So, stay tuned for that one.

Rachel:  So Ben Franklin was the father of cold thermogenesis then.

Ben:  The father of cold thermogenesis.  Yes, let’s call him that.  Margaret Thatcher, she was called The Iron Lady, and they called her The Iron Lady because she ate 28 eggs a week.  I don’t know what that has to do with iron.  Oh, she ate steak as well.  Perhaps that’s why.  But on top of her 28 eggs a week, she ate spinach, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, black coffee, steak, lamb chops, whiskey, fish, and grapefruit.  And apparently, she was considered to be a quite healthy person.  Another one that I think is interesting was Eugen Sandow, known as a physical culturist.  He was like one of the first strongmen, like the old-timey strongmen who you see wearing the leopard skin leotards.

Rachel:  Do they have those mustaches with the curly ends?

Ben:  Yeah.  The unitards.  The guys who are like in the back of Mad Magazine, selling young boys strength training equipment, like the little dumbbells, stuff like that.  Yeah.  So he also was into cold bathing, what he called cold plunges, and built what they describe as a rippled sinewy technique by training the body and the mind using the secret of the cold bath, using nutrition, and using recovery.  And so he was another guy who was into cold.  There was another one in here, Jeanne Calment.  Jeanne Calment.  This lady lived until she was 122 years old.

Rachel:  Wow.

Ben:  She poured olive oil all over her food and, very much like me, rubbed it into her skin.  She probably got that trick from me.  I’m sure she read my blog.

Rachel:  She must’ve.

Ben:  She ate a kilo of chocolate a week and drank red wine daily.

Rachel:  Sounds like my kinda lady.

Ben:  Yeah.  She rode bikes, she took up fencing at the age of 85.

Rachel:  And how old did she live?

Ben:  And she lived until she was 122.

Rachel:  Wow!  Is she the oldest person?  Oldest living person in the world?

Ben:  I dunno if she’s, I think she might be dead now.  Perhaps a fencing accident.  I dunno.  And then of course, Hippocrates is on there as well.  The last one that I’ll mention.  And he was very much into walking.  He did a copious amount of walking for everything from recovery, to staving off depression, to just like using it as man’s best medicine.  And he used it as almost like a cure-all.  And he was also the guy who said that disease begins in the gut.  He was very much into maintenance of a proper microbiome to stave off all manner of diseases.  So, walking and taking care of one’s gut were Hippocrates’ big go-to’s.  But the entire article is actually quite interesting, I think.

Rachel:  It’s very well-written as well.  It’s very fun to read.

Ben:  Well-written.  And if we learn anything, it is to be cold, take cold plunges, eat lots of chocolate, use lots of olive oil, drink red wine, and eat 28 eggs a week.  Speaking of which, I have six new chicks who just hatched yesterday outside.

Rachel:  What?!  How exciting!

Ben:  Yup!

Rachel:  Little babies.  Are the boys playing with them?

Ben:  Little babies and my boys love ’em.  So we have 16 chickens now.

Rachel:  Exciting.

Ben:  Growing by leaps and bounds.

Rachel:  Good job!  You made those chickens mate!  Jessa told me that was work, apparently.

Ben:  It is tough to get chickens to mate.  Gotta put rose petals on the bark that lines the barn.

Rachel:  Give ’em a nice bath.  Make it romantic.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  Play the ukulele.

Ben:  Not the ukulele.  Who’s the guy that plays this song?  (plays Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” song) Who is that?

Rachel:  I have no idea.

Ben:  You don’t know the “Let’s Get It On” song?

Rachel:  I know the song.  I don’t know who it is.

Ben:  We pipe that out in the barn and they get it on, apparently.

Rachel:  If finally worked.  There you go.  “How to Make Your Chickens Mate” from Ben Greenfield.

Ben:  Yeah!  Exactly.  So another interesting article, in The Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, they did a systematic review of a ton of articles, 699 different articles that looked into the effects of strength training on running.  And this is something that’s kinda near and dear to my heart right now because I am preparing to put the icing on my 2016 racing cake by racing the Spartan Ultra Beast in Lake Tahoe in the first week of October.  So this is like 30 plus miles of obstacles, and frankly, I have been slammed speaking, writing, working on the rebranding of our business.

So I haven’t had much time to actually train for this thing.  So my go-to has been basically copious amounts of like power lifting, and strength training, and then just like dropping at various points throughout the day to do 30 burpees.  So not only am I getting swole and strong, but I’m tapping into all these benefits that this article goes into on the effects of strength training and running economy.  ‘Cause I don’t have a lot of time to run right now, but I do have a lot of time to stop here and there, and lift heavy stuff.

And what they found in this study was, and let me reach down, my voice may fade ’cause I have the entire journal article right here in my hands, the entire big blue Journal of Strength Conditioning Research.  They go into how strength training has been shown to cause more motor unit activation when you are running, better lower limb coordination, better muscle co-activation, decreased ground contact time, increased tendon stiffness, which basically allows you to bounce off the ground more quickly, and better biomechanical efficiency, and muscle recruitment patterns, thus allowing a runner to run more efficiently at any given running speed.

And they found, by looking at these 699 different articles, that basically some of the best, most elite runners in the world use strength training, and specifically explosive and also plyometric strength training to tap into these benefits.  What they describe in the study is that a typical routine to allow for a strength training routine to make you a better runner is strength training two to three times a week, and using, in your strength training, at least two to four different lower body exercises.  Like squats, or lunges, or sideways lunges, or anything else that would be considered a lower body exercise, deadlifts would be another big one, plus, and this is interesting up to 200 jumps and 5 to 10 short sprints, meaning that these folks weren’t just strength training, they were also doing plyometrics, like hopping on and off things, or I suppose burpees could count to a certain extent, and then also doing very short brief 10 to 30 second sprints along with the strength training.

Rachel:  Awesome.  And it said it was for highly trained middle and long distance runners.  Do you think it’s the same for amateurs?

Ben:  You know, in the studies that they’ve done on amateurs, and I actually have a whole book about this somewhere on Amazon.  I wrote it about three years ago and it’s called “The Ultimate Guide to Strength Training for Endurance Athletes”.  And in that book, I highlight how you actually see even more pronounced results in lesser trained athletes when it comes to the benefits of strength training for endurance.  So, quite interesting.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all the deadlifts I’ve been doing are somehow gonna help me run for 30 miles.

Rachel:  Well according to this article, they will.

Ben:  Yes.  Exactly.  So if you’re into running and you want to get faster at running, then go lift heavy stuff.

Speaking of lifting stuff, lifting nuts.  Almonds.  Did you see this article that I call “The Best Almond Article Ever”?

Rachel:  I did see it.  Yes.

Ben:  So are you an almond fan?

Rachel:  I’m a massive almond fan.

Ben:  I am also an almond fan.  I think we even have a question in this podcast about almond milk.

Rachel:  We do.

Ben:  Yeah.  And we do almonds here.  My wife makes almond cheese, we make almond milk, which is very easy.  You just basically blend almonds, and then you strain it through like a cheese cloth, and you get almond milk, and then what’s left in the cheese cloth is almond cheese.  My wife just made some the other day, and then you could take the almond cheese and mix it with things.  Like she mixes it with like lavender, and thyme, and oregano, and mint.  You can you do all sorts of things with almonds and the leftover almond pulp after you make almond milk.  But this article actually went into some of the pros and the cons of different ways that you eat your almonds.

For example, if you buy sweet almonds, sweet almonds are pretty good for you, but bitter almonds actually contain a lot more, what are called, glycosides on their skin, and that is a poison very much, it’s called a cyanogenic glycoside, and it is, I’m trying to think of the name of the poison.  Cyanide is what it is.  So you can actually simulate many of the same risks of cyanide poisoning if you’re eating a lot of bitter almonds versus sweet almonds.  So when you’re buying your almonds, and most of the almonds that you’ll find, like California almonds, et cetera, they’re already sweet almonds.  But that’s one thing is avoid bitter almonds.

Another takeaway from this article was that many of the beneficial lipids that are found in almonds are enhanced or released more by crushing the almonds, either by chewing them, or by blending them, or by cutting them into pieces, you actually vastly improve the nutrients that you’re able to derive from an almond by cutting it up into pieces, and especially, one example of this would be like almond cheese, or blending it making and almond milk, et cetera.  But almond butter would be another example of this, of a way to actually break almonds up.  So it turns out that if you’re gonna have almonds, you either need to chew them or just beat the hell out of them to get more nutrients from them.

Rachel:  Good to know, that one.

Ben:  Yes.  That was interesting.  Roasting kills a lot of the bacteria and fungi from almonds, but it can also create some amount of oxidation.  And so, what they found is that you do get more oxidized omega-6 fatty acids when you expose the almonds to high temperature.  But at lower temperatures, like 120 degrees or less, like dehydrating almonds or doing, what we do in our house is we’ll buy almonds, like just basic sweet almonds, and then soak them, and you can just soak them in a glass mason jar, and then we stick them in a food dehydrator.  So when you soak them, you decrease a lot of the digestive irritants that tend to be on the skin of a lot of almonds.  And then when you dehydrate them, that mild heat actually opens up a lot more of the nutrients.  It almost like pre-digests the almond, and so you get more nutritional benefit out of it.

So there’s a lot in this article when it comes to the benefits of almonds, but the bigger takeaways that I saw were to eat bitter almonds, when you eat almonds, avoid getting them too hot.  Know that a lot of these nut butters, they use not a cold pressing, but they use a chemical extraction.  So if you’re gonna use a nut butter, you wanna look for what’s called “cold pressed almond butter”.  Another takeaway here was to keep the almonds out of the sunlight, and out of very hot or very humid rooms when you store them because they can produce more oxidation and more toxic mold in those cases.

Rachel:  What about storage in the fridge?  In cold?

Ben:  Well I actually am a big fan of storing nuts in the freezer, and that really limits oxidation.  So I do Brazil nuts, for example, a little handful of Brazil nuts each day, which are great for testosterone.  But Brazil nuts that have been shelled and that you find in the bulk food section of many grocery stores, they do have a lot of mold on them and they’re more prone to oxidation.  And so I buy them in the shell, and then I keep them in the freezer.

Rachel:  Alright.  Good to know!

Ben:  It’s a really good article on almonds.  So if you’re bored, or if you’re into nuts, go read this one.

And then there was another article here that I thought was really interesting because we’ve had a few good podcasts lately about detoxification, and specifically about metal detoxification.  And a lot of times, we talk about teeth, like everybody has probably heard by now that if you have mercury fillings, they’re probably not doing any favors when it comes to leeching metals.  But this particular article shows that there is an enormous amount of metal exposure that they’re actually finding building up in people’s brains and also leading to a significant increase in the risk of Alzheimer’s from simple basic pollution.

And we’re not talking about things that are in your teeth, we’re not talking about mercury fillings.  But instead, things like brake dust is one that they talk about quite a bit in the article, what are called magnetite particles, which I guess is a form of iron oxide, and you’ll find this in higher concentrations in areas that have lots of smoke, lots of industrial pollutants, lots of air pollution.  And these metals are actually building up in the body, and you can even get them from things like car keys and Chinese toys.

There’s a huge number of metals that we get exposed to, and this article goes into the fact that they’ve found that these are now building up in brain tissue and causing a degenerative brain disease, Alzheimer’s, mental illness, reduced intelligence, loss of the ability to smell well, which is apparently like the canary in the coal mine when it comes to Alzheimer’s is you begin to lose your ability to smell.  And the idea here is that you’re breathing a lot of these metals right up your olfactory bulb and into what’s called your frontal cortex, and so it affects thought processing.

Rachel:  Gosh.  That’s scary.

Ben:  I am definitely, definitely a fan of using any of these compounds that chelate metals.  And what that means is, for example, we did that podcast on this one form of a liquid called Cyto Detox, and that one was a podcast I recently did with Dr. Dan Pompa.  I’d recommend you listen to that.  I’d also recommend the podcast that I’ve done with Dr. David Minkoff on reducing your metal exposure.  But I think that anybody living in a post-industrial era needs to be consuming things that will help them to leech metals from their body.

Rachel:  Are these…

Ben:  Oh, go ahead.

Rachel:  Are these the kind of metals that you can test?  Or do you kinda have to wait until the end and test the gray matter in your brain?

Ben:  Yeah.  I recently did one of these urine and hair analyses for metals, and I found that even in my own body, I need to be doing metal detoxifications and paying attention ’cause there are certain things like lead and mercury present in amounts in my body, just because I live in a metal-infused post-industrial era like most of the people that listen in to this podcast.  So, yes.  You can test for this stuff.  Typically, it’s a hair or a urine test.  And I was actually supposed to do a podcast on this tomorrow about the results of this test, but I’m gonna go spearfishing instead ’cause I hooked up with a local spear fisherman.  So rather than podcasting about metals, I’m just gonna go catch fish that are chock full of metals.  I actually can’t eat the fish that I get in the river here because there’s so much metal in the Spokane River.

Rachel:  Well, we’ll wait with bated breath.  Get it?  Get the pun?

Ben:  Yep.  I get it.  The bated breath part.  Yeah, I get it.  You’re funny.  Anyways, the next thing that I mentioned, the last thing that I wanted to mention really is this idea about the Tricorder.  Are you a Trekkie at all?

Rachel:  I’m not. I should be though ’cause I’m super into sci-fi, but I just, I dunno.  Never got there, but tell me.

Ben:  So there is a new, what’s called a Tricorder XPRIZE, and this allows anybody who enters in to win this prize to get, I believe it’s $10 Million that they’re giving away in early 2017.  So coming up soon for anybody who can create this Tricorder.  And a Tricorder is basically like a portable wireless device that you could hold in the palm of your hand, very much like you’ll see on Star Trek, that you use to scan the body and find anything that could be wrong with you.  So what this is is this competition requires you to develop a Tricorder device that’s able to diagnose a variety of different conditions, and they’ve actually got a bunch of metrics set up.

It needs to be capable of capturing key health metrics, and they say diagnosing a set of 12 different diseases or conditions, including anemia, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary disease, diabetes, pneumonia, sleep apnea, urinary tract infection.  And then they go on for different vital signs.  Like it has to be able to measure blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, respiratory rate, and temperature, and then also be able to look at things like melanoma, mononucleosis, strep throat, hypertension, hypothyroidism.  And apparently there are a bunch of teams that are on the brink of developing a wireless device that can actually measure all of these things.  And the website is called the Tricorder XPRIZE, it’s tricorderxprize.org.  We’ll link to in the show notes.  But anybody listening in wants to win $10 Million or, perhaps more appropriately, who just wants to keep their finger on the pulse of when one of these Tricorder is actually developed, it’s a pretty interesting website.

Rachel:  Awesome stuff.  I can’t wait to have that.  Definitely be helpful.

Ben:  Oh, I want a Tricorder for myself.  I don’t know how much they’ll cost, but I would imagine 10 years from now they’ll just be in the palm of everyone’s hand, literally.

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  At a fraction of the price of what a Tricorder might actually cost when it first comes out.  But either way, the $10 Million Tricorder XPRIZE could actually happen.  So we’ll link to that and everything else that you’ve just discovered if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.

Special Announcements:

Ben:  Rachel, remember when I interviewed the Jujimufu?  Anabolic Acrobat guy?

Rachel:  I remember.

Ben:  Yes.  This is the bodybuilder who does things like drag 225 pound barbells down to the bottom of the pool, or lifts them overhead and then does back flips.  It’s a very interesting.

Rachel:  And then does…

Ben:  I forget.  Is it Jujimufu?  Jujumifu?  I forget exactly how his name goes.  But anyways, actually it’s Jujimufu, J-u-j-i-m-u-fu.  And this guy is literally a bodybuilding acrobat and he has a brand new blend of coffee.  So you’re familiar with Kimera Koffee coffee, right?

Rachel:  Very familiar.

Ben:  So it’s like the high altitude premium coffee that they’ve infused with nootropics.  Like they’ve added things like taurine, and theanine, and what’s called Alpha-GPC, and all sorts of stuff too.  And they even have, I believe now, they’ve got a  new blend that has ginkgo biloba in it, which is not only good, I know, for exercising at altitude, but it’s also another one of those things that can really kinda spin some dials in your brain.  So what they’ve got now, this Kimera Koffee company, is they’ve got Jujimufu’s special blend, like he’s one of their sponsored athletes, and it is an extremely dark roast.  Still has all these cognitive enhancers in it, comes to your house pre-ground, and the bag itself is pretty bad ass.

Rachel:  Nice!

Ben:  It’s got like a cartoon character rendered, it’s almost like an Avengers comic, except this Jujimufu like running through the mountains over human skulls, being chased by a coffee cup-shaped eagle.

Rachel:  That dude is so cool.  I love it.

Ben:  Kinda funky.  Yeah.  Anyways though…

Rachel:  Do we get a discount?

Ben:  We do.  We get a discount on it.  So you go to kimerakoffee.comKIMERAKOFFEE.com, and use code Ben, B-E-N, and try out this new Jujimufu blend.  Even if you already tried the regular blend, if you want something super-duper dark, if you like your coffee muddy, try this stuff out.  It is extremely flavorful coffee that will make you smart when you drink it.

The other thing is that this green juice company is also a sponsor of today’s episode, FitLife.  FitLife Organifi.  And one of the things that is in this FitLife Organifi Green Juice is, what they say in the label is Chlorella vulgaris, which is basically the whole-plant version of organic chlorella.  And I’ve got a fun fact for you about chlorella.

Rachel:  I love your fun facts.

Ben:  Yes.

Rachel:  What do you got?

Ben:  So chlorella walls actually is, chlorella cell walls contain what are called lipopolysaccharides, which are actually endotoxins that you find in gram-negative bacteria that can cause inflammation.  And so you’d think this would be a bad thing, but chlorella naturally contains a peptide, it’s a peptide that they’ve named Chlorella-11.  So peptides are just like strung together chains of amino acids, and what this peptide naturally does, probably because chlorella already has these lipopolysaccharides in its cell walls, is this peptide inhibits inflammation caused by gram-negative bacteria.

Rachel:  The same one that’s in the cell wall.

Ben:  Exactly.  So the idea here is that a lot of people have gut issues, like leaky gut syndrome, gut inflammation, et cetera, they have an issue with a lot of these lipopolysaccharides being absorbed through the intestinal walls and causing inflammation.  And it turns out that chlorella, which we already know is chock full of chlorophyll that’s very, very good for our red blood cell and oxygen carrying capacity, and even interacts with sunlight to help you produce ATP if you have chlorophyll floating in your bloodstream, it’s really interesting stuff, but it may also be one of those things that can help to heal the gut.  So you can you can take this green juice extract and you can put it in anything, a smoothie, or a shake, or I suppose you could even just put it in a glass of water, but that’s boring.  Anyways though, it’s healing for your gut, this wholefood-based chlorella extract.  Of course you also get a discount on this stuff.  You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/fitlifebengreenfieldfitness.com/fitlife, and we have a discount code somewhere.  It is…

Rachel:  Ben.  B-E-N.

Ben:  Yeah, and that gives you 20% off this green juice.

Rachel:  Love that stuff.

Ben:  So you too can kill off all the nasty lipopolysaccharides in your gut.

And then finally, there is a new blade from this Harry’s Razor company.  They’ve got like a new development of their blade, for those of you who get excited about developments in blade cartridges.  But basically, they’ve got an increased flexibility of their blade cartridge with the new rubber flex hinge, which gives elasticity and resistance to glide the razor more comfortably over the contours of your face, or whatever it is that you might happen to be shaving.  And they’ve got each blade in what’s called a Gothic arch shape, which means that it’s strong at the base and it sharp at the tip.  So it’s more durable.  Of course, they’ve still got the ergonomic shape of the handle, inspired by the design of super fine Cadillac-like pens and knives to maximize the comfort in your hand, keep you from getting carpal tunnel syndrome while you’re shaving.  They’ve got a rubberized exterior to assure optimized grip when the handle gets wet.  These are the type of razors that you’d want with you in a zombie apocalypse.

Rachel:  Right.  Sounds pretty next level.

Ben:  So, Harry’s. Harry’s, HARRYS.comharrys.com, you enter code Ben at check out, and that’ll give you $5 off of anything from Harry’s.  And what I would recommend you start off with is what’s called their Truman set, where you get the razor handle, their moisturizing shave cream that they didn’t kill any animals to create, and then three of Harry’s five blade German-engineered razors.  So there you have it.

Rachel:  Good stuff.

Ben:  Harry’s.  Let’s make them up a little tagline here.  Harry’s.  A better way to shave.

Rachel:  Harry’s.  Shave your face, then kill a zombie.

Ben:  Mine’s better.  Mine’s more PC.  Okay.  So what else, in terms of special announcements?  I will be headed down, like I mentioned, to Tahoe to race the Ultra Beast.  So if you’re one of those crazy, masochistic obstacle racers, then wave at me down there.  There’ll definitely be some things going on in terms of meet-ups.  So, stay tuned to twitter.com/bengreenfield and our Facebook page for more on the meet-ups that’ll happened down there.  And then I’ll also be speaking at the Biohacker Summit in Helsinki, Finland.  And we’ve got a 40% discount that you can click on in the show notes, and I just checked out the show notes and I noticed that that’s not a clickable link.

Rachel:  Nope!  That’s my fault.

Ben:  So get in there and make it clickable, Rachel, for everybody listening in.

Rachel:  Sorry.  Let the team down.

Ben:  Also, November 11th through 14th, if you wanna double up, and go to one conference and then head over to Finland for another conference is the Weston A. Price Conference, where I’ll be speaking on using real food to enhance physical and mental performance.  We’ll go way above and beyond almonds.  I promise.  But that’s the Weston A. Price Conference.  And I think that this is one of the last weeks that you can get in at a pretty fat discount to the Weston A. Price Conference, which is going to be in, of all places, Montgomery, Alabama.  Down south.

Rachel:  Down south.

Ben:  So, check it out.  We’ll put a link to all this stuff in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.  But check out FitLife, Kimera Koffee.  Check out Harry’s.  Consider joining me in Finland, Helsinki, Finland for the Biohacker Summit, or the Weston A. Price Conference.  And you can check out everything else at, where is it, Rachel?

Rachel:  bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.

Ben:  And also there’s a calendar at bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar is where you can just look at everything months in advance in terms of meet-ups, and book signings, and races, and everything else that’s going on.  So, check out all the goodness.

Listener Q & A:

Michael:  Hi, Ben.  I’m Michael Munton from Orange County, California.  I’m an industrial designer and my job depends on my creativity.  I’ve heard that dopamine levels can be linked to creative performance.  Do you have any suggestions for biohacking dopamine levels?

Ben:  Dopamine.  Dopamine would be handy to have around.  At least more of it.

Rachel:  It would.

Ben:  Although more is not better, and I’ll get into that in a second, but dopamine is, of course, a neurotransmitter essential to the central nervous system and it’s a feel good neurotransmitter.  And having high levels of dopamine prior to any activity can actually help make that activity more pleasurable, like before you eat, or before you have sex, or before any type of activity where you’d want to enhance the pleasurable emotional response.  The brain’s reward and pleasure centers are really controlled by dopamine.  There are a lot of things that you can do to get dopamine up, and Michael is correct that higher dopamine levels can actually be linked to enhanced creativity.  And I think that we talked about this.  Do you remember when we talked about the warrior versus the worrier gene?

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  So the idea behind this is that some people are more creative because they have higher amounts of dopamine, and there are advantages of high dopamine levels.  So the idea behind this is you have what’s called your COMT system, and that’s a genetic system that interacts with the breakdown of dopamine.  I’m forgetting what COMT stands for.  I’m sure you remember, right?

Rachel:  I could probably make something up, but no.

Ben:  Yeah.  So either way, we don’t need to get into what COMT stands for.  But basically, the idea here is that the COMT system helps to break down dopamine and neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, and epinephrine.  And some people break down dopamine more quickly, and some people have dopamine that kinda hangs around for a long period of time.

Rachel:  So can you tell that from whether you have the mutation or not?

Ben:  Mhmm.  You can get like a 23andMe test, a genetic, just a salivary test.

Rachel:  So is it the warrior or the worrier that breaks down dopamine?

Ben:  Okay.  So a lower amount of dopamine would mean that you are actually going to cope very, very well in extremely stressful conditions.  And the reason for this is that if you have the COMT gene that creates way too much dopamine in a stressful condition, you tend to basically freak out and lose focus when you’re stressed out.  And so warriors, people with the warrior gene, they actually produce less dopamine.  They have lower dopamine levels and this allows them to cope extremely well in high stress situations, but it also leads to more of a propensity towards like anger, and impulsivity, and high risk behavior, and substance abuse, and addictions, and cravings.  So it’s like that bad ass soldier who also happens to potentially, if they’re not fighting, have more of a drive towards like drinking copious amounts of Coors Light, and then slamming the can against their head, and beating somebody up.

Rachel:  Right.

Ben:  So that’s like the low dopamine.  And then we have the high dopamine people, and high dopamine people tend to be a very creative, but they actually, when they do get thrust in these extremely stressful situations, they tend to freak out and they tend to not have as alert of mind or be as sharp and quick because it’s too much stress with too much dopamine around.  And this would be the people who are the worriers.  Now they are more creative and they tend to be more satisfied by things that happen in life because they do indeed create more dopamine, but things that folks who have this creativeness and these high amounts of dopamine, they tend to be in more of like the cat lady type syndrome.

They’re more prone to schizophrenia, and paranoia, and anxiety, and worry, and all these things we’d associate with that worrier syndrome.  So higher levels of dopamine are not necessarily better in many cases, and especially if you’re a very, very stressed out person or you’re about to get thrust into a very stressful condition.  Having a whole bunch of extra dopamine around or perhaps even using like one of the dopamine-based supplements that I’ll talk about here in a second may actually not be the best thing if you already have the gene that keeps you from breaking down dopamine really quickly, like the COMT mutation.  That make sense?

Rachel:  Very good information.

Ben:  So it’s almost like this optimum, like a bell curve when it comes to dopamine.  You want, just like Goldilocks, not too high, not too low, but just enough.

Rachel:  Just right.

Ben:  So what are some ways that you could naturally increase dopamine if you aren’t just gonna like take some kind of a dopamine supplement, even though those do exist and I’ll talk about them in second.  Well, one would be to stay away from things that might cause you to become addicted.  One thing that pops into my head is there’s this website called Your Brain On Porn, and it shows how constant exposure to pornography actually causes you to have an extremely low dopamine response to sex.  And being addicted to, for example, certain types of food cause you to fall into this negative feedback loop to where you eventually get less and less pleasure from that food.  Less and less…

Rachel:  It makes sense.  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  So any time you get overly addicted to something, the reward circuitry of your brain kicks into overdrive.  You begin to crave the quick hit, and it’s not a sustainable solution for dopamine production.  You eventually just need more and more dopamine to get that same response.  So don’t get addicted to stuff.  That’ll be one way to ensure that you keep dopamine levels high.

Having little tasks that you’re able to check off during the day, actually having a checklist, they’ve done studies on this and they found that people who have a checklist in which they’re checking things off throughout the day.  Whether you’re using the, Remember The Milk phone app, for example, or maybe you’ve got a little Moleskine journal that you write things down in and check off throughout the day, that actually causes up to a 25% increase in dopamine during the day when you are checking things off.  Just that simple act of checking something off causes a dopamine surge.

Rachel:  Yeah.  That makes total sense.  I’m a fiend for that sort of stuff.

Ben:  Yeah.  Exactly.  Creating something.  So having music, Play-Doh, or clay, or crayons, or these new adult coloring books would count, any of these things that help you to tap into creativity cause you to go into a state of alpha brain wave production that creates more dopamine.  So arts, crafts, repairing bicycles, cars, drawing, photography, you name it.  Anything interesting and creative causes you to elevate dopamine levels.  Exercise, I probably don’t need to tell you that.  Specifically exercise outside gives you a pretty good jolt of dopamine.  So that would be another one.

Towards the end of the day yesterday I was kind of in that mode where I almost had my eyes glazed over and my head was all fuzzy from just working all day, and I stepped outside and just rode my bike out to some organic farms near my house.  Just out in the sunshine, pedaling down the road, big smile on my face like Kermit the Frog in a Muppet Movie and riding his bike through the park with Miss Piggy.  It’s like that.  Did you get the analogy?  Do you watch Muppet Movies at all?

Rachel:  I do.  Have a picnic.

Ben:  Anyways though, so exercise in the sunshine and nature can get dopamine levels increased as well.  And music is another dopamine precursor.  So, for example, last night I got a massage and I put in the special tunes.  Remember the podcast that we did with the guy who produces music that’s tuned at a specific frequency to affect different organs in your body?

Rachel:  Yes.

Ben:  Huge dopamine rush when you listen to this stuff.  I mean any type of music can cause a release of dopamine, especially your favorite music and your favorite song.  That’s why music makes us happy.  But listening to music can cause an increase in dopamine as well.  And if you really wanna like biohack your music, go listen to the podcast that I did with Michael Tyrrell on Wholetones music.  We’ll put a link to that one in the show notes, but it’s like a CD that actually plays special tunes that cause a surge in dopamine, almost like a healing effect on different organs.  Meditation increases dopamine, and all different forms of meditation along with yoga can both increase dopamine levels.

And then of course there are foods and supplements that can increase dopamine.  So when it comes to foods, some of the foods that increase dopamine would be foods that have higher levels of what’s called tyrosine in them.  Almonds, speak of the devil, happen to have high levels of tyrosine.  So that would be one thing.  Avocados and bananas are two other biggies.  Both of those have a lot of dopamine precursors in them.  And meats like beef, chicken, sources of tyrosine.  Those also would be dopamine precursors.  Chocolate, we all know that that makes us feel happy.  That’s got dopamine precursors in it.

And then a few others would be green tea, watermelon, and yogurt.  All of these have higher levels of tyrosine, and tyrosine is one of the 22 key amino acids that’s used to build proteins around the body and also to raise levels of different neurotransmitters, and one of the neurotransmitters that it raises is dopamine.  So including some of those foods, especially almonds, avocados, bananas, beef, and chicken.

And then there’s another that kinda flies under radar in terms of a food that can boost dopamine and has actually been shown to help with anxiety and depression, and that is whey protein isolate.  So whey protein isolate, even more than a lot of vegan forms of protein, helps you to make neurotransmitters like dopamine, and norepinephrine, and serotonin.  That’d be another one to include.  And I should mention that, speaking of whey protein, we have a huge, huge amount of grass-fed whey protein chocolate flavor and grass-fed whey protein vanilla flavor from grass-fed cows, growth hormone free, and it’s got no artificial sweeteners in it.

This is stuff that we’ve got excess of right now over at Greenfield Fitness Systems.  So we’ve kinda got like a fire sale going on on grass-fed whey protein right now.  So if you wanna get your hands on some of that stuff, and you want the stuff that’s not chock full and nasty ingredients, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well if you want to use grass-fed whey of protein to get happier.  And then you could turn to supplements.  I guess grass-fed whey protein would be kinda like in between a food and a supplement, but then there’s actual supplements that can increase dopamine and probably, go ahead.  Were you gonna say something?

Rachel:  Is there a difference between how a body produces dopamine in response to something like food versus something like a supplement?

Ben:  Yes.  Because when you look at a food, usually you are consuming foods that contain, for example, tyrosine that would be a precursor for you to produce dopamine, or neurotransmitter precursors like amino acids to help you produce dopamine versus some supplements which actually contain just dopamine.  Like Mucuna Dopa is an example, and that’s just a form of dopamine that you can buy in supplemental form.  That’s M-U-C-U-N-A, it’s called Mucuna L-Dopa, and it’s basically like a form of dopamine that you can purchase and consume.  And it’s more like eating dopamine rather than eating things that help you to make dopamine.

Rachel:  And what does that do?  Is that a bad thing for the body or the brain?

Ben:  If you take it in excess, it could potentially create kinda like a negative feedback loop that would keep you from creating your own dopamine levels.  Or it could, again if you’re in a very, very stressful situation, like in a battle I suppose, or like an MMA fighter going into a fight, you actually wouldn’t wanna take dopamine because it may influence your ability to be able to think clearly in a stressful situation.  But in an unstressful situation, such as just sitting around working during the day, dopamine appears to induce a lot of creativity and a lot of cool effects.

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  There’s another supplement, probably one of the better ones that I like ’cause it’s called Brain Food, and this stuff called Brain Food, it’s made by a company called Natural Stacks.  And it has tyrosine in it, which gets converted into L-Dopa, which is the direct precursor to dopamine, it also has L-phenylalanine in it, which also gets converted into L-tyrosine, which then gets converted into L-Dopa.  And then there are some vitamins that help that conversion to take place.  Vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium all help you to produce dopamine from the tyrosine and the phenylalanine.  So it’s got that in it and then they added in folate, vitamin B12, and something called trimethylglycine, and all three of those help to keep the dopamine from getting broken down as quickly.  So that stuff’s called Brain Food and it’s made by a company called Natural Stacks, and we can link to that in the show notes as well.  But, yeah.  Between that, and bananas, and avocado, and exercise, and music, and checklists, and creating stuff, there’s a lot of cool ways that you can get your dopamine levels up.

Megan:  Hey, Ben and Rachel!  Long time listener, first time caller.  My question is about making homemade almond butter.  For better digestibility and nutrient absorption, I usually soak, sprout, and dehydrate my nuts and seeds.  The other day, I decided to try my hands at homemade almond butter in the Vitamix.  The ultimate product turned out great.  Sprout and almond butter that’s so much cheaper than what’s in the store.

But my concern is about oxidized oils. During the process, the almond butter got super hot.  This is obviously needed for the almonds to release their oil and create a creamy consistently, but I’m afraid to eat it because of the potentially now damaged and oxidized polysaturated fats.  Do you thinks this is an issue?  I’d love to enjoy it, but not at the expense of my health.  Oh, and Rachel, if you like lime, you should try adding that to your cucumber and basil infused water.  Thanks!

Ben:  So, Rachel, did you actually add lime to your cucumber-infused basil water based on Megan’s suggestion?

Rachel:  I’m going to now.  It’s a great suggestion ’cause I love lime.

Ben:  Be careful of the limes in Mexico.  You never know.

Rachel:  Why?

Ben:  I hear things in Mexico have worms and Giardia.  I don’t know if those would pair well with your Chiclets and your drugs.  Just saying.

Rachel:  I am feeling pretty safe about the food, and I’m definitely gonna add some lime to my cucumber-infused basil water.

Ben:  Apparently, you’re not in Tijuana.

Rachel:  No, I’m not.

Ben:  Okay.  So blenders damaging foods.  It is kinda interesting because you’ll see this a lot of people will say that oxidation caused by oxygen being sucked into a blender is going to destroy the nutrients in foods.  And when foods get juiced, and cut, and chopped, and shredded, and peeled, and chewed, and dehydrated, and exposed to air, you just start to lose all these nutrients.  And it is true that you get a little bit of nutrient loss any time you start to process a food, whether it’s in a blender, or whether chopping it up for a salad, or wherever else.  I mean foods gradually degrade.  That’s why eating fresher foods, to a certain extent, is better, even though there are some exceptions to that.

Like, for example, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the book by, I forget her name.  It’s a book about eating.  It’s called “Eating On The Wild Side” by Jo Robinson and she talks about how like if you take kale, and you rip it up, and then you put it in the refrigerator overnight, it actually thinks it’s being eaten by a wild animal and it produces more antioxidants.  And so you get more antioxidants in the kale if you rip it up and then eat it the next morning.  And sure, you may actually get a little bit of oxidation and destruction of some of the other nutrients in the kale, but when it comes to the antioxidants, you actually produce more when you rip it up and expose it to a little bit of stress prior to eating it.

Rachel:  Right.  So some foods are okay to damage?  And others are not so okay?

Ben:  Well, when we look at actual damage with a blender, you gotta kinda step back and look at the science of it.  So there’s this idea that there are enzymes that live in the cell membranes of plants.  These enzymes are called polyphenol oxidases.  They’re also known as PPOs.  And they help a plant be resistant to microbial and viral infections, and even help a plant to be more resilient in adverse climate, like snow and excessive excess amounts of sun, and heat, and wind, et cetera.  But these PPOs they are an oxidant and they can, basically when you blend the food, they can cause oxidation of that food or of a lot of what are called the phenolic compounds that you’re gonna find in fruits and vegetables.  So these plant polyphenols are the part of the plant that offer protection against cancer, and cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative diseases.  And there’s all sorts of cool things that happen when you consume plant polyphenols.  You may have heard of like anthocyans and flavanoids, for example.  So these are all things that would be considered plant polyphenols.

Well, the idea here is that these PPOs, when present in high amounts and when kind of like released from the plant cell walls during the blending process, they can cause some oxidation, and sometimes we’ll notice that with like browning when we leave a fruit out, or like an avocado out, or something like that.  It starts to get a little bit of browning on it.  That enzymatic browning is just the action of PPO.  And so, to give you an example of how we could limit the oxidation of a fruit or vegetable when this PPO gets released, have you ever like heard of the trick where you can take an apple, and if you have just half the apple and you wanna keep the other half from going brown, you put a little bit of lime juice on a plate and put the apple on the lime juice?

Rachel:  I’ve heard that trick.  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  So that’s because there is ascorbic acid in the lime juice that limits the activity of PPO.  And so citric acid, because it can inhibit PPO activity, is something that you can add into a smoothie to prevent a lot of this oxidation from occurring.  And I actually have this article over at bengreenfieldfitness.com that I’ll link to in the show notes where I talk about an experiment that a guest author did for the site where he took bananas, and speaking of dopamine, we talked about how bananas are high and dopamine.  Well, dopamine is one of the things that can get broken down by PPO.  And when it does, it causes what’s called melanin production and the browning, or the darkening, or the browning of the banana.  And so it’s really interesting.

This guy did a study where he basically blended bananas with differing amounts of citric acid and found that when you add a whole bunch of lemon juice to a smoothie, it actually prevents the browning, prevents a lot of this oxidation that occurs when you’re blending in a smoothie.  And then he took this one step further, and he added varying amounts of ice to see if you reduce the temperature while at the same time increasing the acidity, if you could prevent oxidation even more.  And it turns out that this is the case.

Meaning like, if you’re gonna make a smoothie with anything that is going to get oxidized, like fruits, vegetables, or even nuts, if you add a little bit of ascorbic acid, like you squeeze half a lemon in there first, and then you add some cold water or some ice, and this is what I do when I make a smoothie now is I start with a cup full of ice, and I squeeze a lemon in, and then I add all my other components on top of that.   And it keeps oxidation from occurring, and it keeps the activity of this PPO from causing extensive oxidation or damaging of the nutrients in the food.  So basically, you want cold and acidity when you blend, and that keeps a lot of the issues from occurring when it comes to oxidation.

Rachel:  So would you recommend that for almond butter?

Ben:  Now for almonds, the idea here is that if we look at the smoke point of almonds, which would be the point at which an almond would start to get degraded, not degraded but oxidized, like the fats in almonds would start to get oxidized.  The smoke point is about 420 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rachel:  Oh, wow.

Ben:  You’re really not going to see anything much closer, or much higher than about 200 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re blending.  And so you’re not getting anywhere close to the amount of heat necessary to oxidize something like the fat in an almond.  Now it is enough heat to oxidize some of the components of fruits and vegetables, which is where this lemon juice, ice trick can come in handy for vegetable and fruit blending.  But for almonds, you really don’t need to worry about this much at all in terms of blending, oxidizing the oils in almonds.  And obviously if you add, if you’re blending and almond to make almond milk or almond butter, and you’re putting a bunch of ice in there or water, you might the almond milk or dilute the almond butter.

I mean what we do at our house is we soak the almonds, like I mentioned, and we roast them or dehydrate them in a really low temperature, and then we blend them.  And then after you blend them with water or anything else that you wanna add in to blend them with, and I suppose you could just use like very cold water, so this could work, then you strain it through a cheesecloth, and that’s how you make your almond butter.

But ultimately, if you use lemon and ice when you’re blending fruits and vegetables, it’ll limit a lot of the oxidation.  And with something like almonds, which are gonna be a little bit more stable than the fruits and vegetables when it comes to oxidation, you would have to get them pretty dang hot, like more than 200 degrees in the blender for it to be an issue.  So if you’re worried about this at all, I suppose you could try and you could see if this affects the taste of an almond milk or an almond butter.  You could squeeze a lemon in there, you can put some cold water in there, and try that out as like a little bit of a hack to reduce oxidation.  But I don’t think it’s much of an issue.

Jamie:  Hi, Ben!  My question is in regards to the podcast that you did about cancer.  The doc on that podcast said that vegetables rich in sulfur bind up to mercury.  I take MSM, which is sulfur, and it was always my understanding that it actually detoxified your system.  I would like it if you would address this, and then just give some of your thoughts, pros and cons on MSM. Thank you.

Ben:  Well, you wanna know a fun fact, Rachel?

Rachel:  Another fun fact.  Two in one episode!

Ben:  Another fun fact.

Rachel:  You guys, listen to this!

Ben:  I have a big bag of MSM in the glove compartment of both my cars because it is one of the most potent detoxification, or not detoxification, but anti-oxidants for neural tissue.  I learned this trick from Dr. Jack Kruse, who works with a lot of people to help them heal from concussions.  And if you get in like a car accident, and you hit your head, and you can somehow, assuming you haven’t hit your head so hard that you don’t know where your glove compartment is, you can take a tablespoon of this MSM and just like get it in your body right away to shut down a lot of the damage that can occur from a head injury or a TBI when you’re in a car accident.

Rachel:  That is a great hack.  Do they use that in sports where TBI and concussion…

Ben:  Yep.  And any sulfur-based anti-oxidant.  So MSM is actually methylsulfonylmethan.  It’s also in the magnesium lotion that I use on my body.  I use the Ancient Minerals Magnesium Lotion.  It’s just magnesium plus MSM, and it’s an organic sulfur compound.  So when it comes to sulfur, the idea is that sulfur plays a pretty critical role in detoxification and in fighting inflammation.  Those are the two main ways that sulfur works.  And you’ve probably heard of glutathione before, which is one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces.  Well without sulfur, you can’t make glutathione.  And a sulfur is actually found in over 150 different compounds in the human body.  There’s sulfur in virtually every type of cell.  So it is really important to get sulfur into your body, or to get sulfur-based precursors into your body, and MSM is a pretty potent source of these sulfur-based compounds.

What you could think about it as doing is basically increasing your body’s ability to make its own antioxidant because it provides the sulfur-based support for this.  So, for example, if you look at glutathione, glutathione has two different states in your body.  Reduced glutathione and then what’s called oxidized glutathione, and the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione signifies the overall oxidative status, the ability of your blood plasma to address oxidative stress.  And so what MSM does is it improves that ratio.  It gives you more of the reduced glutathione, and the reduced glutathione is able to deal with free radicals better.  So that’s kinda like how MSM is actually working when it comes to the glutathione effect.

Rachel:  So when she talks about it binding to mercury, what do you think about that?

Ben:  Yeah.  So that’s part of detoxification idea of glutathione.  MSM, specifically, can work as a chelating agent.  Because of its molecular structure, it can readily bond with a lot of different chemicals.  And that’s why it can actually act as something that can remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body.  Unfortunately, using MSM as like a detoxification strategy can be dangerous for some of the reasons that I talked about when I interviewed Dr. Dan Pompa in terms of just dumping a whole bunch of sulfur into the body and using it as a way to free up heavy metals.  The problem is it frees up heavy metals, but it can also cause them to simply recirculate and get redistributed to other tissues, including the brain.  So I’m not as big a fan of MSM as something like Dr. Pompa and I, the one that we talked about was Cyto Detox as being a strategy for detoxification of heavy metals that doesn’t cause this issue with sulfur-based metals crossing the blood-brain barrier after they’ve been bound up to something like MSM.

So you need to be careful with using copious amounts of MSM for something like a detox.  But that’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of other benefits with using sulfur-based compounds in smaller amounts as like a daily tonic.  So the cool thing about MSM is you get this detoxification effect.  If you’re using it in in smaller amounts, I don’t really think it’s much of an issue.  But in in larger amounts, and especially if you’ve got like high amounts of mercury, you’d probably better off with something like this Cyto Detox stuff.

But MSM is also known as the beauty mineral because it helps you produce a lot of collagen and a lot of keratin for healthy hair and healthy nails.  And so it’s good for that.  It’s good for, like I mentioned, fighting off inflammation.  And so if you’ve been very, very beat up after a workout, getting some type of food that has MSM, or using one of these like organic MSM powders that you can find, can be helpful as well.  And MSM is found in, or sulfur-based precursors that are like MSM are found in a lot of stinky foods, like garlic, and onions would be another example.  Eggs have some amount of sulfur in them.  So there are ways that you can get a lot of these MSM-like components from food.

Rachel:  And what would be, you recommended a smaller amount.  What would be a smaller amount to take each day?

Ben:  As far as dosage of MSM, most of my dosage now just comes from about a couple of quarter-sized dabs of this magnetic clay magnesium lotion that I put on my body.  So I’m getting more of like a transdermal absorption.  But the general recommendations for MSM dosage is one teaspoon.  That’s about 4 grams for every 100 pounds of body weight.  So if you weigh 150 pounds, you take about one and a half teaspoons.  And so that would give you the sulfur precursors.  But again, sulfur is gonna to come in eggs, you’re gonna find in fish, you’re gonna find it broccoli, garlic.  Whey protein isolate, not to kick that horse to death.  That’s also got a lot of glutathione precursors and sulfur in it.  So you can go take advantage of that fire sale on whey protein if you want other sulfur based precursors.

But ultimately, I would be a bigger fan of using something like the Cyto Detox, then I would the MSM for like a metal detoxification just because of the issues with the crossing over the blood-brain barrier once the stuff is bound to the metal.  So I would be kinda careful with using it as like a chelating detoxification agent.  But like smaller amounts on a daily basis of that, or any other sulfur-rich food, you should be fine with.  But the one thing that you should know is that using higher amounts of MSM can cause some constipation.  So that’s something you’d wanna be careful with as well.  Work in some magnesium or whip out the old Squatty Potty if you start using MSM at higher amounts.

But ultimately, yeah, like a good organic MSM, having that around in case you get head injury or head damage, I’m a fan of that.  If you’re not getting a lot of sulfur-based foods, supplementing with MSM can be helpful.  But I wouldn’t recommend using a whole bunch of MSM for something like a metal detox.  I’d recommend something like the Cyto Detox for that.  And Cyto Detox, our link for that, if you wanna go like read about it or watch the video about it, is bengreenfieldfitness.com/cyto.  Or I’ll also link to this, and some of the MSM powders that I like if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.

Randy:  Hey, Ben and Rachel!  This is Randy from Los Angeles.  My buddy Jonathan and I work out together.  We are both suffering from different injuries.  I have tendonitis, and he’s got a pulled muscle, and we were debating or discussing which of the peptides that you’ve recommended in the past would be appropriate for each of us.  I’m wondering if you could tell us the difference between BPC-157 and TB-500 in terms of their uses.  Where would it be appropriate, or the most efficacious to use BPC-157?  And where would be the best, for what injuries would be the best use of TB-500?  Thanks!

Ben:  Sounds like Randy and John are pretty messed up.

Rachel:  Yeah.  A couple of interesting injuries between them.

Ben:  Yeah.  Maybe this is a clue, Randy and John, that if you’re working out together, and, Randy you have tendonitis and John you have a pulled muscle, maybe you guys should adjust the workout a little bit.  Perhaps make some mild adjustments in whatever it is that you’re doing.  But, yeah, BPC-157 and TB-500.  These are not aliens or alien spaceships.

Rachel:  They do sounds a little bit like alien spaceships.

Ben:  They’re peptides.  So a peptide is just a sequence of amino acids.  I mentioned how chlorella has a peptide in it earlier.  The sequence of amino acids just means that you’ve got like valine, and glutamine, and alanine, and propylene, all sorts of things just kinda like strung together in a sequence of carbons, and hydrogens, and nitrogens, and oxygen.  And so the name, the title typically refers to like the number of different amino acids that you’d find in a peptide sequence.  So BPC-157 actually stands for body protecting compound.  BPC, body protecting compound.  They call it that because it’s found in our body’s own gastric juices in very small amounts where it serves to protect and to heal the gut.

And what they found, initially bodybuilders and bro-science found this, and now it’s kind of something that they’ve done a lot of medical research on for a variety of conditions, including healing tissue, is if you get the super concentrated version of BPC and somehow get it into your system, like take it orally or inject it into an injury site, it can actually promote a huge amount of tendon healing, and ligament healing, and soft tissue healing, and even cause mobilization of like white blood cells into an area to reinitiate a healing process in like an old injury that has a bunch of scar tissue in it.  And you can even take it orally, like literally take BPC, and mix it with water, and drink it to produce a therapeutic effect on things like inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcers, and all of the things that you would expect a body protecting compound found in gastric juice to do.  So it’s almost like an unfair magical compound that you can put into your body.

Rachel:  An alien spaceship.

Ben:  Which is probably why most peptides are banned by the World Anti-Doping Association, and by USADA, and by any governing body for sport.  As a matter of fact, BPC-157 is one of the only peptides that is actually not banned by WADA.  I don’t know why.  I imagine that they probably will ban it.  There’s just so many peptides out there that maybe they haven’t yet added BPC-157 to the banned list.  But the way that it works is you can’t order this from like a supplement website.  It’s not sold and acceptable for human consumption by the FDA. So you order it from like a laboratory chemical website, like Peptides Warehouse is one example.  And I have a big article on BPC-157 that I’ll link to in the show notes that has some sources for BPC, and also complete instructions for how to mix it.

But the basic idea is you order it, and it comes in like a little white powder, comes in a vial, and then you order what’s called bacteriostatic water, which is like just a sterile form of water.  And you mix the water in small amounts in with the BPC, and then you’ll use an insulin syringe, and BPC, and any of these peptides, they’re very, very fragile, but you draw the BPC up into the syringe.  And a general dose is typically about 200 to 800 micrograms, which is generally for like an insulin syringe that holds like a CC, for example.  You’re gonna inject like one quarter to one half of an insulin syringe.  And you simply inject, either subcutaneously by pulling the skin away, or you inject intramuscularly by going directly into the muscle, or even just like, literally you can use an insulin syringe and like spray it very slowly in your mouth, if you wanna use oral absorption.  And the peptide will act to heal, either the area that you injected into, or, if you take it orally, it’s almost got like this systemic healing effect.

Rachel:  So why is not for human consumption?

Ben:  There’s just not enough studies behind it to make them approve it as something that would be considered like a supplement or a food.  And so it is one of those, kinda like “Proceed at your own risk” type of compounds.  But at the same time, there are reams of studies, many of them in rodents, that show everything from healing of tendons, to healing of periodontitis, to healing of irritable bowel disease.  So there’s a lot of decent research behind it, in my opinion.  I use it.  I have a vial of BPC-157 in my refrigerator right now.

Rachel:  And you didn’t grow an extra arm?

Ben:  Not yet.  No.  Or an extra tumor.  No.  But I’ll inject it, like I’ve been injecting into my ankle, for example, this month ’cause I got a pretty nasty ankle sprain during my last Spartan race and I’ve been trying to kinda nurse the ankle back to health.  I what I’ve been doing is I’ll use the BPC-157 and then I slap, so I inject with BPC-157, then I slap electrical muscle stimulation on.  I just do this before breakfast.  So I sit with my foot up on a chair during breakfast with this device called a Marc Pro, which causes like electrical muscle stimulation to kinda like drive the BPC deeper into the tissue.  So that’s BBC-157.  That’s what it is.  That’s how it works.  And it’s basically just a peptide.

Now TB-500 is also a peptide, but it’s a different peptide.  It’s not known as body protecting compound.  TB stands for thymosin beta.  So thymosin beta, actually when you look at the research that has been done on it for building new blood vessels, or for building new muscle tissue fibers, like even causing you to have like muscle gain, or new blood cell production, or cell migration, there’s even more research behind the potency of this TB-500 for wound repair and tissue healing than there is on BPC-157.

So it’s almost like BPC-157, but a little bit stronger than that.  You get in a powder, you reconstitute it using bacteriostatic water.  It’s kinda like the same way that you would use it in terms of injecting, et cetera.  The only difference is that TB-500 appears to be a little bit more versatile, appears to be able to travel longer distances through tissues.  And especially when it comes to muscle tissue, and wound healing, and regeneration of blood vessels, it appears to actually be more powerful than BPC-157.

However, it’s also banned by the World Anti-Doping Association and completely banned in sport.  Anytime you wanna go see if something is banned, the best website is there’s a website called Global DRO, G-L-O-B-A-L D-R-O.  And if you go to globaldro.com, you can type in like any sport that you play and what country that you play, whether it’s like, whatever, I compete in a sport of triathlon for Croatia, and you can find anything that would be banned for that sport.  And TB-500 is definitely banned by world sporting organizations for the use of sports.

So you can’t use it if you’re doing like Ironman triathlons, or Spartan races, or anything else that would be considered a World Anti-Doping Association sanctioned sport.  But if you’re just an average Joe off the street wanting heal muscle faster, I’d say that TB-500 would be even a better choice than BPC-157.  And I have an article on both.  I have an article called “How to Use BPC-157”.  I have another article called “How to Use TB-500”.  And I’ll put a link to both of those in the show notes if you wanna read them and kinda see like pictures of how to inject, how to mix, et cetera.

Rachel:  So TB-500’s a little bit stronger than BPC-157.  TB-500 is also not for human consumption?  But there’s more research on it?

Ben:  Yep.  Exactly.  So as long as you’re willing to treat yourself like a cute little rat or a horse, you just buy it from these websites that sell things not intended for human consumption, but for research, which by the way, is common practice among like bodybuilders, et cetera, to just buy this stuff off of websites like that.  But, yeah.  I mean as with as with online foreign overseas pharmacies, proceed at your own risk when you’re purchasing things to inject into your body.  And I in no way endorse injecting laboratory chemicals into your body.  However, I can personally attest to the fact that I have healed injuries extremely quickly injecting BPC-157.  Well, I will admit that there’s not reams and reams of long term human studies on it, and, yes, I may still spring a tumor out from the bottom of my foot, I think the healing effects are pretty dang cool.  And considering the fact that your body makes it anyways in your gut, I’m not super-duper concerned.  So grab your needles and shoot up, kids.  There you have it.

Well, Rachael, now that people know how to boost their dopamine levels, and blend their foods without damaging, they know what to keep in their glove compartment in case they get into a horrible head-on collision, they know how to inject strange chemicals into their bodies, I think we should now give people a chance to learn some swag.  What do you think?

Rachel:  I think that’s a great idea.

Ben:  Alright.  So this the time of the show where, if you have spread the good karma and you’ve gone to iTunes, which helps the show out tremendously, you go to iTunes you leave a five star review and say something nice, it really does help to increase our ranking in iTunes so that we can be the top ranked podcast on iTunes, which, of course, is the end all and the meaning of life.  But anyways, if we read your view on the show and you hear your review read on the show, all you need to do is email [email protected].  That’s [email protected], which by the way, is not going to be greenfieldfitnesssystems.com much longer.  We’re rebranding everything.  We have a new name for the company.

Rachel:  I don’t even know this yet, you guys.  This is the first time.

Ben:  It’s because the US Patent and Trademark Organization search is not quite done, so I can’t yet say the new name.

Rachel:  It’s exciting stuff.

Ben:  Yeah.  But anyways, I digress.  If you hear if your review read on the show, and you e-mail, and you let us know your t-shirt size, we’ll send you a sweet gift pack full of swag.  And, of course, a t-shirt.  And we have a great review this week from love2run2014 us a five star review called “Incredible Unique Content”.  Rachel, do you wanna take this one away?

Rachel:  I do. Here we go.  “I am a huge consumer of podcasts on diet, health, and fitness.  I’m sure I’ve spent hundreds of hours soaking up information.  A lot of that information is the same thing repeated, unfortunately.  I thought I was basically an expert stuck waiting for new science and research to learn anything new.  That is until I discovered Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  I was so wrong.”

Ben:  So wrong.

Rachel:  “If you’re an information junkie for all things with the human body, this podcast is for you.  The information he shares is backed and explained clearly with science, and much he has tested on himself.  My doctor laughs that I treat myself like a living experiment, and with Ben Greenfield, I’m not alone anymore.  Going on 15 years or so of debilitating migraines, and I thought I had tried everything.  Whatever you have going on, I think that Ben Greenfield will have some things for you to try out or possible triggers to ponder.  Also super cool, I found out we live in the same city.”

Ben:  Well…

Rachel:  Ben, you made a friend in Spokane.

Ben:  I guess I did.  It’s crazy.  That’s crazy.

Rachel:  That’s a brilliant review.

Ben:  I actually have listener in my city.  Spokane is not too big.  So there you have it.  I actually just had a bunch of guys come up to my city and record a podcast here in my home studio, the guys from the Mind Pump podcast.  So that should be interesting.  I’m thinking about doing more podcasting from the home studio.  So, here in my own city.  But anyways, that is a fantastic review.  I’m glad that you were so wrong stuck waiting for the new science and research to learn anything new.  I’m glad that I can now help you learn new things every week.  So, there you have it.

And we have a ton of really cool podcasts and interviews coming down the pipeline.  I have been a busy boy because I’ve been voraciously consuming books in all my travels and all the time I’ve been spending on airplanes, and gotten some really cool authors to agree to come on the show.  So stay tuned for even more goodness coming down the pipeline because of all my travels to Canada, and to Finland, and I’ve got a big wedding I’m going to down in Kauai, and some more hunts I’ll be going on.  I can’t guarantee, Rachael, that you and I are going to have another Q & A, but I think for another like three weeks or so.

But in the meantime, if you guys want to leave a question, if you want to access the show notes for anything that we talked about today from the health habits of famous people, to the Biohacker Summit in Helsinki, to my recommendations for increasing dopamine and beyond, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/359.  Thanks for listening in.  And Rachel, adios amigos.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

September 14, 2016 Podcast: 359: Do Blenders Damage Food Nutrients, Why Weightlifting Makes You A Faster Runner, How To Boost Dopamine Levels & More!

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Harrys.com: Use $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 Mark Dhamma? It was a must-listen – “In Which Ben Greenfield Is Hypnotized On A Podcast (And Three Embarrassing Personal Admissions From Ben)”. 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.

How To Boost Your Dopamine Levels

Michael says: Michael is from Orange County California. He’s an industrial designer and his job depends on his creativity. He’s heard that dopamine levels could be linked to creative performance. Do you have any suggestions for biohacking dopamine levels?

In my response, I recommend:
NaturalStacks Brain Food
Mucuna Dopa
Grass Fed Whey Protein Isolate
23andme-genetic-testing-2/” target=”_blank”>23andme genetic testing
Michael Tyrrell Wholetones

Do Blenders Damage Foods?

Megan says: She’s a long time listener first time caller. Her question is about making home made almond butter. For better digestibility and nutrient absorption she usually soaks, sprouts and dehydrates her nuts and seeds. The other day she tried her hand at making almond butter in the Vitamix. The ultimate product turned out great. But her concern is about oxidized oils. During the process the almond butter got super hot, this is obviously needed for the almonds to release their oil and create consistently, but she’s afraid to eat it because of the potentially damaged and oxidized saturated fats. Do you thinks this is an issue? Oh and Rachel, if you like lime, you should try adding that to your cucumber infused basil water.

In my response, I recommend:
How to biohack your smoothie article

Can MSM Work As A Detox?

Jamie says: Her question is in regards to the podcast on cancer. The doctor on the podcast said vegetables rich in sulfur bind to mercury. She takes MSM which is sulfur and it was always her understanding that it actually detoxified your system. Can you address this? And give some pros and cons on MSM overall?

In my response, I recommend:
CytoDetox
MSM Powder
Magnetic Clay Magnesium Lotion

How To Use Peptides To Heal Injuries

Randy says: He’s from LA. His buddy John and him workout together, and they’re both suffering from different injuries. He has tendonitis and John has a pulled muscle and they were discussing which of the peptides would be appropriate for each of them. Can you talk about the difference between BPC 157 and TB 500 in terms of their uses? Where would it be the most efficacious to use BPC 157 and where would it be best to use TB 500?

In my response, I recommend:
How to use BPC-157
How to use TB-500

 

 

 

 

 

359: Do Blenders Damage Food Nutrients, Why Weightlifting Makes You A Faster Runner, How To Boost Dopamine Levels & More!

image359

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

September 14, 2016 Podcast: 359: Do Blenders Damage Food Nutrients, Why Weightlifting Makes You A Faster Runner, How To Boost Dopamine Levels & 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.

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News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

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Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

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

KimeraKoffee: Use code BEN for 10% discount off anything!

Harrys.com: Use $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 Mark Dhamma? It was a must-listen – “In Which Ben Greenfield Is Hypnotized On A Podcast (And Three Embarrassing Personal Admissions From Ben)”. 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!

screenshot_1376

——————————————

Listener Q&A:

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

How To Boost Your Dopamine Levels

Michael says: Michael is from Orange County California. He’s an industrial designer and his job depends on his creativity. He’s heard that dopamine levels could be linked to creative performance. Do you have any suggestions for biohacking dopamine levels?

Do Blenders Damage Foods?

Megan says: She’s a long time listener first time caller. Her question is about making home made almond butter. For better digestibility and nutrient absorption she usually soaks, sprouts and dehydrates her nuts and seeds. The other day she tried her hand at making almond butter in the Vitamix. The ultimate product turned out great. But her concern is about oxidized oils. During the process the almond butter got super hot, this is obviously needed for the almonds to release their oil and create consistently, but she’s afraid to eat it because of the potentially damaged and oxidized saturated fats. Do you thinks this is an issue? Oh and Rachel, if you like lime, you should try adding that to your cucumber infused basil water.

In my response, I recommend:
How to biohack your smoothie article

Can MSM Work As A Detox?

Jamie says: Her question is in regards to the podcast on cancer. The doctor on the podcast said vegetables rich in sulfur bind to mercury. She takes MSM which is sulfur and it was always her understanding that it actually detoxified your system. Can you address this? And give some pros and cons on MSM overall?

In my response, I recommend:
CytoDetox
MSM Powder
Magnetic Clay Magnesium Lotion

How To Use Peptides To Heal Injuries

Randy says: He’s from LA. His buddy John and him workout together, and they’re both suffering from different injuries. He has tendonitis and John has a pulled muscle and they were discussing which of the peptides would be appropriate for each of them. Can you talk about the difference between BPC 157 and TB 500 in terms of their uses? Where would it be the most efficacious to use BPC 157 and where would it be best to use TB 500?

In my response, I recommend:
How to use BPC-157
How to use TB-500

—————————————————–

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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In Which Ben Greenfield Is Hypnotized Live On A Podcast (And 3 Embarrassing Personal Admissions From Ben).

mark-d-landscape

Warning: I get hypnotized in this podcast and it may make you sleepy when you listen, so please don’t do things like drive in your car, operate heavy machinery, ride a bicycle, etc. during this episode. If you do, you may end up in your local newspaper in a way you don’t particularly like.

A couple weeks ago, I sat across from my friend Mark Dhamma at SoHo House in West Hollywood, leaned in over my roasted chicken and Moscow Mule drink and asked him my burning question.

“So could you hypnotize me?”

He confidently nodded.

“On a podcast?”

He nodded again.

And so, what you are about to hear came to life. Mark Dhamma is a High Performance Health & Mindset Coach on primarily Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and private sessions like those you’re going to hear in this podcast, Mark shares advice on how to look, feel and perform at your best with 32,000 people in over 20 countries.

Mark has 17 years of experience in the health industry, including being a Men’s Fitness model and health coach. With his Masters Degree in Positive Psychology under the famous, “Flow” Professor, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, he teaches science backed proven techniques to be happier, more confident, motivated and productive. Mark gained executive coaching skills from the Royally Knighted Sir John Whitmore “The Founder Of Modern Day Coaching”, as well as using NLP and Hypnosis to literally re-program his clients to be successful.’

During our discussion, in which I am hypnotized while lying shirtless on the floor of my office, you’ll discover:

What exactly happens to your body and brain when you get hypnotized…[12:50]

-Why your brain is like a “rider” and your body is like an “elephant”…[13:35]

-Three slightly embarrassing personal “issues” I have that I want to fix in my life, and how hypnosis can be used to address those issues…[18:40]

-What changes when a hypnotist is in the same physical place as you vs. working with you digitally or via Skype…[62:35]

-How you can learn hypnosis for yourself…[65:45]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode

Hypnosis Practitioner: Pam Castillo

-Book: Patterns of Hypnotic Techniques 

-Podcast on NLP: “How To Get To Sleep At Night Before A Big Race.

Click here to get your own hypnosis session and get $200 off when you use the code BEN10.

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

[Transcript] – How To Lose 131 Pounds By Eating Meat: The Rick Rubin Podcast

Podcast from http://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/09/how-to-lose-131-pounds-by-eating-meat-the-rick-rubin-podcast/

[0:00] Introduction

[2:18] Marc Pro

[3:38] Casper Mattresses

[5:22] Kimera Koffee

[8:38] Rick and Ben At The Back Porch

[9:57] All About Sauna

[15:06] What Got Rick Started In Enhancing His Health

[16:13] What Is A Pulse Reading Rick Is Talking About

[17:40] Rick’s Health Issues

[19:45] Rick’s Take on Eating a Plant-Based Diet and Done it The Right Way

[26:25] Why Rick Thinks an Ice Bath is Very Much Like Eating Meat

[29:45] How Rick Lost 131 pounds by Eating Animal Protein

[30:17] What Rick’s Old Diet Was

[32:57] How Much Protein Rick Eats

[35:17] “The Hardest Workout In The World”

[41:04] When Rick Met Phil Maffetone

[47:45] Rick’s Supplementation

[54:27] What An Ideal Day Looks Like For Rick

[1:08:55] Rick’s Standing Workstation Setup

[1:11:13] Rick’s Sleeping Tactics

[1:19:33] What Is It That Drives Rick To Live The Life He Lives

[1:26:57] End Of Podcast

Ben:  Alright.  Pop quiz question time.  What do the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Johnny Cash, The Black Crowes, Slayer, Jay Z, James Blake, the Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath, Neil Diamond, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Weezer, Sheryl Crow, ZZ Top, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Rage Against The Machine, System Of A Down, Mick Jagger, Eminem, and just about every other world famous band or musician you’ve ever heard of have in common?

Well, they’re all produced by today’s podcast guest.  His name Rick Rubin.  He’s an American record producer, and he’s the former co-president of Columbia Records.  In 2007, MTV called him the most important producer of the last 20 years, and he’s been on Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” list.  Dr. Dre, a rapper for those of you not on the hip hop scene, has stated that Rubin is, “hands down, the dopest producer ever that anyone would ever want to be ever.”  Apparently, Dr. Dre likes to use the word “ever.”

But Rick has a personal passion outside of music that many people don’t know about, and that would be health, nutrition, fitness, and even a bit of biohacking.  Rick and I have gotten to know each other pretty well over the past couple of years, sharing little nerdy health tips with each other.  And in the episode that you’re about to hear, Rick and I sit on his back porch and we watch a relaxing sunset after a hard morning Laird Hamilton pool workout, and we had a pretty intense discussion about the Veganism, and Paleo, and Rick’s weight loss journey, and some of the cool habits that he’s used to shed a lot of weight, but also hack his way into in the really, really optimal health.  So you’re gonna get a ton of stuff in this episode, like his Stim-Stem Shake, and you’re gonna learn a little bit about neurofeedback-based EEG, and Ayurvedic pulse-taking techniques, the hardest workout in the world, Sleeping Monk Tea, all sorts of very interesting things that we discuss.

But before we dive into today’s show, a few things.  Speaking of biohacking, there is this device that I use that I think anybody who exercises ever should own.  It’s called a Marc Pro, m-a-r-c-p-r-o.  I have had just about every athlete that I have ever coached use this device, and just weekend warriors, recreational workout enthusiasts, fitness nerds, you name it.  Why?  Because it delivers a very different type of stimulation to your muscles than a normal electrical muscle stimulation unit.  It produces what’s called a square wave form.  That means it grabs muscles in a very therapeutic manner, and it’s perfect for injuries, and for soreness.

So you just surround the area that’s injured with these electrodes, and you turn it on, you don’t have to be a physical therapist, or a doctor, or a rocket scientist to figure this out, and you just sit there as it heals your muscles.  It’s super easy.  So you get a 5% discount on it, which is pretty significant.  It’s gonna save you a lot of Benjamins.  Well not Benjamins, but whoever’s, I dunno, whoever’s face is on the $10 bill.  You’ll save several of those.  Use promo code Ben for a 5% discount.  You go to marcpro.com, m-a-r-c-pro.com.

This podcast is also brought to you by something that lives in the bedroom in my house, and it’s called a Casper mattress.  A Casper mattress.  You’ve probably heard people talk about these before on other podcasts, ’cause frankly it seems like Casper advertises on a lot of podcasts, and I thought they were pretty much hype until I actually got one and lay down on it.  First of all, it arrives to your house in this cute little box, not like a giant mattress on a frickin’ like huge U-Haul truck that pulls up to your house, and puts it on your doorstep, and you have to carry it up your stairs.  No.  It’s this little tiny box.  You put it in whatever room you want, you unfurl it, and lo and behold, supreme latex, supportive memory foam.

They’ve got this award-winning sleep surface.  It feels good.  They don’t use nasty chemicals and stuff in this mattress.  So not only is it very inexpensive and affordable, but it breathes well, and you can sleep on it very guilt-free.  And that breathable design, by the way, actually allows your body to stay cool during the night, and that’s when your nervous system repairs and recovers, and the cooler your body is during the night.  This is why you should sleep with the temperature in your house low, the more repair, and recovery, and memory formation, and all the other good little things that happen when you sleep happen.  So you get a big discount on these things.  Not only do they give free delivery, they give a 100 day trial.  I guess it’s technically a 100 night trial.  See what I did there?  Anyway, so you go to casper.com/ben, C-a-s-p-e-r.com, you use promo code Ben, and that gets you $50 off of any, any mattress purchase.

And then I also want to tell you about something that Rick and I actually talk about a little bit in the podcast episode you’re about to hear, and that is coffee.  In the Stim-Stem Shake that Rick describes, he talks about how he blends, well, I’ve got the entire recipe in the show notes which I’ll share during the episode, but he blends coffee with like protein, and gelatin, and collagen, and stevia, and MCT oil, and aloe vera juice, and phytoplankton.  He has like this whole recipe for stimulating stem cells.  Well, I would recommend, if you make this recipe, that you use coffee that’s been infused with nootropics, cognitive enhancers to improve mental function.  And there’s this company that actually infuses coffee with 725 milligrams of this nootropic blend, alpha-GPC, taurine, l-theanine, and something called DMAE.  That’s the same molecule that you find in fish that helps to boost mental performance without you having to eat fish every morning, not that fish isn’t good for breakfast.  It’s just that coffee is even better.  It’s called Kimera Koffee, k-i-m-e-r-a-k-o-f-f-e-e.com.  They have a really cool production process that prevents soil erosion, and maintains really good pH balance, and soil nutrition for a very healthy, organic, high-altitude coffee.  It’s mold-free, it’s wet processed, everything you’ve ever wanted in coffee and then some.  Kimerakoffee.com.  When you go there, you get a discount if you use code Ben.  So code Ben gets you a 10% discount at kimerakoffee.com.

Alright.  Sit back and enjoy this episode with the great Rick Rubin.

In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“I was vegan for 23 years, believing it was the healthiest diet I could have.  And through the vegan diet, I got to the point where I weighed 318 pounds.”  “Just to be around someone like that was so different than the musicians that were around, and it was fun for me to see someone who’s really good at something different than the people that I know who are really good at something.”  “‘Cause I was completely uncoordinated, I’ve never done any of these things.  And he was such a good teacher who would just will me to do things that I just couldn’t believe I could do.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  This is probably the most beautiful setting in which I have ever recorded a podcast, Rick.  Do you wanna frame this for people or should I?

Rick:  You can do the honors.

Ben:  Alright.  We’re sitting on Rick’s back porch here in Malibu and the sun is setting.  Bright orange, a little bit of red, a little bit of blue towards the bottom, the ocean waves are humming a bit in the background, you might even hear them.  And you’ve framed the ocean, Rick, with your architecture and the layout of your backyard.  The trees are forming a perfect frame around the setting of the sun.  Was that intentional?

Rick:  It is.

Ben:  It’s perfect.  I like your style, man.  So tell me about what you just finished doing because you appear to be somewhat relaxed.  You are actually, let me finish painting this picture before we dive in.  You are shirtless, toweled, sipping tea, as am I, and I just woke up from a nap and you did what?

Rick:  I did an infrared sauna for 55 minutes and then did a long, cold shower.

Ben:  So infrared sauna for 55 minutes.  That’s a long time.  I go 20 to 30 minutes, and I’m sweating profusely.

Rick:  I was sweating profusely, but it doesn’t get, our infrared sauna goes up to maybe 150 so it’s hot enough for you to sweat a lot, but not so hot that you can’t stay in for a long time.

Ben:  You need to do like I did and stick a wine cork in the temperature sensor, and insulate it.  That does a little bit of a difference in terms of heat capacity, but 150 for 55 minutes is still quite some time.  You also have this barrel sauna.

Rick:  Yeah.  And the reason I don’t make the infrared hotter is the barrel sauna gets really hot.

Ben:  It does.

Rick:  And I use them for different purposes.  So the barrel sauna will be for 15 or 20 minutes in between ice baths, and the infrared sauna is for one long round.  Because if I were to do ice and get back into the infrared, it wouldn’t be enough to really…

Ben:  Yeah, that’s what I found.  I go to infrared for a while and then you finish up the cold.  For you, is this like for detox?  Do you do it for relaxation?  Is this some kind of a novel health method that you discovered somewhere in your journey of health?  When did the hot and the cold come into the picture for you?

Rick:  It started with a hockey player friend of ours, Chris Chelios.  Really swears by the sauna.  And I was working on an album with Kid Rock, and he invited me to go to Chelios’ house to do sauna and then jump in the ocean in the middle of winter.

Ben:  In the middle of winter?

Rick:  Yeah.  And I was really dreading it.  Both, I had no experience with either.  So the sauna was surprisingly pleasant.  And then the idea of going into the ocean in the winter seemed terrible, but coming out of the sauna, it was really doable.  And then we did a bunch of rounds of that, and I loved it right away and started doing that regularly.  And then Laird got the ice tub.

Ben:  Laird Hamilton.

Rick:  And we started doing sauna and the ice tub.

Ben:  The big silver ice tub.

Rick:  Big silver ice tub.  And I started doing it, and first I could do maybe a minute, and then I worked up to five or six minutes.  And then I had David Blaine come over.

Ben:  The magician?

Rick:  Yeah.  We were just talking about magic stuff.

Ben:  The magician who has spent copious amounts of time submerged in ice, right?

Rick:  Exactly.  And holding his breath.

Ben:  And holding his breath.

Rick:  So when he came, he talked me through the process of sitting in the ice, and I was able to do like 12 minutes or 15 minutes just by him talking to me and telling me that all the things that were scary were normal, and that teeth chattering, and shaking, and all the stuff where you feel like you’re dying, that’s all part of the process.  You don’t run away from that, you just go through that.  It’s okay.

Ben:  You get to a certain point where your body almost becomes numb, and you do get a huge dump in nitric oxide, and your skin starts to turn pink, and then red.  It’s kind of a cool survival mechanism and it’s part of the very potent health effects of doing something like that, the increase in nitric oxide.

Rick:  Of any of the things that I do, beyond the health benefits which are, I mean both on the sauna side and ice side, is a long list, but just what it does for my mood is the magic bullet for me.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  I just love the way it makes me feel after.

Ben:  Yeah.  I would issue a dare to people listening.  If you’ve never done, you sometimes go for a couple of hours, right Rick?

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  The last time I was here, we went a couple hours.

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  Do like the protocol Rick described with the dry sauna plus the very cold shower, preferably an ice bath, for like 15 on 5 cold, 15 hot, 5 cold for about two hours.  What’s that come out to?

Rick:  Four, five times.

Ben:  Yeah.  Six-ish rounds.

Rick:  Could be six, yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  Usually the way it works, if you’re doing it with a group of people, the timing is different.  Like if you have five people in the sauna, you’re kinda waiting to go in the ice, and you’re in the sauna maybe longer than you wanna be. So maybe the sauna sessions turn into 30 minutes instead of 15 minutes.

Ben:  Some of the Russian Spas have like a cold plunge.  I was just doing this with a few of my friends in LA a couple days ago.  We spent two hours at the sauna, Lavoda Spa in LA, and their cold plunge there was big enough for, I think six of us guys were in the cold pool.

Rick:  Yeah.  It’s a pretty big pool.

Ben:  Yeah.  It is.  It works.  What got you started down this road of figuring out things that you can do to enhance your mood or enhance your health?  And I know that’s a very loaded question that were a rabbit hole, but I think it’s gonna be a perfect thing for people to realize is this fact that you haven’t always been geeked out on this stuff.

Rick:  Well, I’ve always been health conscious, but I didn’t always have good information.  So I was a vegan for 23 years, believing it was the healthiest that I could have been.  And through the vegan diet, I got to the point at where I weighed 318 pounds and was pretty much dying.  And I went to a Tibetan doctor who does pulse reading.  He was a doctor who treats the Dalai Lama, and he said, “Leave here now and go get some bone broth.”  And I refused to do it because I was vegan.

Ben:  What do you mean he did a pulse reading?  Did he just test your radial artery?  Like your heart rate?

Rick:  No, not heart rate.  In like Ayurvedic and in Chinese medicine, they do like six different pulse readings on your wrist.

Ben:  Really?

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  I have to look into this.  I’ll find a resource for this.  For those of you listening in, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/rubin, R-u-b-i-n, and I’ll find out more about this pulse test.

Rick:  I think if you go to any good, a real proper acupuncturist will…

Ben:  Like a traditionally trained Chinese medical practitioner and they’ll do this pulse test?

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  And he told you to go drink bone broth?

Rick:  He told me “eat meat and drink bone broth now,” like immediately.

Ben:  Really?

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  Wow.  Like walk out the door and go find a barbecue joint?

Rick:  Yeah.  And I still went for years without and just was sick for a long time.

Ben:  Interesting.  And did you keep seeing his doctor?

Rick:  No.  I…

Ben:  Which I guess would have been awkward for him to know that you were still just eating kale.

Rick:  I went to see a lot of doctors.  There was a point in time where I went to, I probably went to a doctor a day.  Sometimes two a day, sometimes physical, sometimes mental just to try to feel better ’cause I felt so terrible.

Ben:  So when you say you were having all these health issues, what were they?  I know that you gained a lot of weight.

Rick:  Yeah.  I was obese, was having trouble sleeping, couldn’t breathe at night, was in a terrible mood most of the time, lived a backwards life.  For most of my life, I slept all day and was up all night, worked at night.

Ben:  Was all because of the music industry?

Rick:  Honestly, it was my natural tendency.  I mean it played into the music industry, but even when I went to college, I never took a class before 3 ’cause I know I wouldn’t make it.

Ben:  Really?  Wonder if you we’re wired like, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this new book called “The Power of When.”  I’m actually going to interview this guy for the show, but it’s about how some of us are lions, morning, very early people; some of us are bears, which are kind of like normal circadian biology; some are dolphins who are just all over the freaking map; and then some of us are wolves who are night people, like genetically hardwired to do better on almost like a reverse circadian biology.  I always wonder how much of it is entrainment with artificial light and lifestyle, and how much of it is that genetic biology for a different circadian rhythm.

Rick:  Yeah.  I think in my case it was entrainment because, since switching, everything in my life has gotten a lot better.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.  So we had sleep issues, probably inflammation.

Rick:  Terrible inflammation.  I’ll give you an example.  If I wanted to go into trip somewhere, I would check to see if handicapped people could go, or someone in a wheelchair.  If someone in a wheelchair could do it, then I felt like, “Okay, I could probably do this.”  But other than that, I thought I couldn’t do anything.

Ben:  That’s a pretty scary standard to live life by.  The wheelchair rule.  Wow.

Rick:  And I was totally sedentary my whole life.

Ben:  You see these days, a lot of people are doing a plant-based diet like you were doing, but they are using vitamin D and vitamin K, and sprouting, soaking, and fermenting.  I’m playing devil’s advocate here, do you think that you could have eaten a plant-based diet and done it the right way?

Rick:  I honestly don’t believe it’s possible.  I think you could do a plant-based diet, but I don’t think you could do a limited-to-plant diet.

Ben:  Plant-only diet.

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  Why do you think that?

Rick:  Because I think there’s something to the idea of the relationship between protein and carbohydrates.  And in all the vegetarian sources of protein, for this amount of protein, there’s still this amount of carbohydrate.  So it’s not like when you eat meat, you’re getting…

Ben:  When you say this, for those of you not getting the visual, his hands went from very, very close together to very, very far apart.

Rick:  Yes.  So, again I don’t know the exact numbers, but if we look at the amount of, for meat, with the amount of protein versus carbohydrate…

Ben:  There’s a little bit of glycogen content in meat.  If I were to, God forbid, cut off your arm and eat it, I’d be getting some of the carbohydrates in the stores of muscle glycogen, but it is relatively low.  I don’t know the ratios either, but it’s not enough to really even spike insulin levels.  Like when you consume meat…

Rick:  Would it be 20 times of the protein to one of the…

Ben:  I couldn’t even throw a number at you, but it’s pretty small.  When you look at, let’s say, somebody who switches to a very low carbohydrate diet, we could do the math in our heads, or a ketosis-based diet, you’ll tend to see that rapid weight loss.  An average 200 pound person is gonna lose somewhere around 20 pounds or so, in that first week to two weeks where they’re experiencing the keto flu or the carb flu.  And if you look at that as a percentage of their lean body mass, it’d probably be, I would guess, like a 8:1, 10:1 ratio.  Something like that.

Rick:  So the argument would be the vegan diet tends to be the exact opposite picture of that.

Ben:  Yeah.  And it’s interesting when you look at, a lot of people say, “Well, kale has protein.  Spinach has protein.  Even cucumbers have miniscule amounts of protein, as do apples if you look at the label, or you go to nutritiondata.com to get as much protein as you might need, and it’s not as much as a lot of people think.  There is the anti-aging effect of somewhat of a protein restricted diet.  To get as much protein as you need though from those type of sources, it’s a copious amount of insoluble and soluble fiber, and we don’t have a ruminant stomach, we don’t have a gorilla colon, and so it’s difficult for us to just sit there and ferment the amount of fiber that we need.

Rick:  One, I don’t think it’s possible for it to be a healthy diet; and second, it depends on what your goal of the diet is.  If it’s a health-based diet, I don’t think it’s a healthy diet, the vegan diet.  Two, if you wanna do anything physical, it’s not a good diet.  If you wanted be a monk and sit on a mountaintop in silence, there’s definitely a spiritual benefit to a vegan diet.  You feel more connected.

Ben:  What about the isolated forms, and I realize I’m throwing the hard questions out there.  What about the isolated form, like pea protein, or hemp protein, or rice protein?  I mean I know that they have done, I think I even shared this study with you a few months ago ’cause we were talking about protein powders, a study in which if you take a digestive enzyme prior to consuming a vegan or vegetable-based protein power, it actually makes the amino acid availability of that the equivalent of a whey protein isolate, or a steak, or some other form protein.

Rick:  I’ve never experienced it, so I can’t say.

Ben:  Well, it does require eating protein powders instead of eating…

Rick:  Food.

Ben:  Yeah.  Food.  Exactly.

Rick:  And in my vegan days, I probably ate a lot of soy instead of eating food.

Ben:  Yeah.  I have this philosophy that we don’t live on the same planet as the planet was originally meant to be.  I think industrialization, I think the lack of ozone, I think at one time that every culture has a story of there being some kind of a great flood where a bunch of waters fell from the heavens, and came up from the Earth, and just wiped out the planet, and I think that there was even a different water canopy, perhaps, above the planet; and all of this, if you look at fossil record, shows that plants used to be a lot bigger, animals used to be a lot bigger.  There used to be dinosaurs that can no longer survive on our Earth’s environment.  I sometimes wonder if there was a time when people could have gotten away with eating just plants as food and not animals, and there would have been no death or these other things that bother people about animals.  But now I agree with you, it is very difficult to actually achieve health on a plant-based protocol.

Rick:  Well there’s also, again I don’t know enough about it, but there’s something about the cycle of life on the planet where we eat plants and animals, animals move the soil, they poo, we poo, they die and become soil, we die, we become soil, the soil comes back in plants for the animals to eat.  There’s a cycle, and animals living and dying is part of that cycle, and it seems like us eating them is part of that cycle too.  Now maybe not the industrialized model, but in the natural model it seems to be the case.

 Ben:  Yeah.  What about insects?  Do you have any thoughts on cricket proteins?  I was reading in Men’s Health, I was actually sharing this on a podcast this week, people are eating like buffalo worms, and June bugs, and ordering cricket protein powders.

Rick:  Yeah.  I’ll say I haven’t gone there yet, but I’ll also say when I tried to eat red meat after not eating it for 20-some odd years, it was like eating human flesh.  It was one of the hardest things to retrain myself to eat meat again.

Ben:  Now what do you mean it was like eating human flesh, which, by the way, I think I brought up first on this podcast, eating your arm.

Rick:  The flesh, animal flesh, if you’re vegan for a long time, the experience of eating flesh goes away.  And if you don’t eat it for a long time, you sort of lose your taste for it.  Seems pretty disgusting.

Ben:  I’ve heard that a couple of times.  I’ve never experienced that myself.  The longest I’ve ever gone plant-based was six months.  I lost too much muscle and stopped.  But how long did it take for the taste for meat to return?

Rick:  At the time we were eating fish, me and [0:27:21] ______ would eat fish.  So we went to, it was on my birthday we started, and I’ll tell you the whole backstory of why we started.  We both ordered fish, and we ordered one steak, and we both looked at it; she was vegetarian as well; and we looked at steak between us, and then we like each cut off a tiny piece, and ate the tiny piece, and it was kinda like getting in the ice bath the first time, similar where even if you know…

Ben:  Or doing a burpee for the first time.

Rick:  One of the things about the ice bath though is there is this red flag of “this is something that we’re not meant to do.”  And when you’re vegan for a long time, that first bite of meat, there’s a real sense of “this is not okay.”  Like this…

Ben:  This is stressful.

Rick:  Well, this is “you want to throw up.”  That’s why I use the example of, for most people even who eat meat, the idea of eating human flesh is, that’s a turn off for most.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  So I’m using that as an example.  If you imagine, it’s like we sit down for dinner tonight…

Ben:  Neither Rick or I endorse cannibalism, despite what you guys might be thinking here.

Rick:  So you could imagine, if you were imagining eating human flesh, what that would feel like.  That’s what a vegan feels like eating beef.

Ben:  Yeah, that makes sense.

Rick:  I started that experience.  It was terrible.  And because we knew it was healthy and because we were eating it as medicine, over a series of weeks, would eat a bite or two bites once a week for maybe four or five, probably by the sixth week, we ate the steak.

Ben:  That’s one to two bites each week.  That’s not a lot.  Wow.

Rick:  It’s all mental.  It’s not really physical, it’s mental.  Same with the ice bath.  The trauma in the ice bath is much more of a mental challenge than it is a physical challenge.

Ben:  Yeah.  And at that point, how much did you weigh?

Rick:  At that point, I weighed probably, well I had already lost all my weight at that point.  So I probably weighed, yeah, probably at around 200 pounds.

Ben:  Gotcha.  So you had lost your weight when you started eating the meat-based diet.

Rick:  I started eating a protein heavy diet, fish and eggs, because in my mind I was still a vegan.

Ben:  Gotcha.

Rick:  In my mind, I was still a vegan.  I ate fish and eggs for medicine.  I cut out everything that’s not paleo basically.

Ben:  Grains, dairy.

Rick:  Grains, dairy.

Ben:  Gotcha.

Rick:  And soy, corn.

Ben:  Prior to that, what would you have been eating?  Like what have been a typical healthy diet for you prior to you introducing fish, eggs, and then eventually meat?

Rick:  Well, it wasn’t a healthy diet, but I thought it was healthy.  It’s what you get at a vegan restaurant.  So it would be some sort of a soy, nut loaf with yeast brown gravy.

Ben:  Oh gosh.

Rick:  Or they would make gluten gravy.  And if you’re vegan, that it’d be like Thanksgiving dinner.

Ben:  Right.  Inflammatory firestorm in the nervous system, even if it doesn’t hurt your gut.  There’s some very interesting recent new studies on that.  And again, I’m not one of those guys who’s like full-on gluten free.  I’m personally not even paleo.  I mean, I have goats, and I drink raw dairy, and my wife makes fantastic sourdough bread.  I consume a lot of these traditionally prepared foods, but the…

Rick:  I think most people consider raw dairy to be paleo.

Ben:  Yeah.  But these other foods that you mentioned, they’re pretty typical still on, like I walked through that through, I was just in Erewhon in LA, which is kind of a cool store honestly.

Rick:  Great store.

Ben:  But they’ve got a lot seitan, or satan, however you want to pronounce it, and tofu, and soy, and gluten powder.  It’s really an inflammatory firestorm that it can create, or introduces a lot of phytic acid into the…

Rick:  Side order of wheat gluten.

Ben:  Right.  Exactly.  Throw some gluten powder on there for me.  Throw some gluten on my gluten.

Rick:  And it’s also a very sweet diet.  So if you go to any vegetarian restaurant, the thing most vegetarians talk about, are most excited about are the vegetarian desserts, which are basically soy and a ton of unprocessed sugar.  You know, about a ton of it.

Ben:  Yeah.  To be fair, we could say that high amounts of dairy or high amounts of meat are heavily insulinogenic, and could potentially create insulin insensitivity in the same way that those foods do just the different biomechanical pathway.  And that kinda return to something I hinted at earlier, how they’re, I don’t think either you or I are arguing, but correct me if you are, that massive amounts of protein are the key to weight loss, or the key to longevity, or health.

Rick:  No.  But I will say for whatever reason in my body, my body tends to do better with more protein than fat.

Ben:  How much protein do you eat?

Rick:  I would aim, like during my weight loss phase, I was having probably 200, 225 grams a day.

Ben:  Yeah.  Well, that’s a decent amount.  That’s over what?  A gram per pound of protein?

Rick:  Yeah.  About that.

Ben:  Yeah.  And typically, I mean what I recommended in the past to folks has been like 0.55 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, granted, you brought up an interesting component there, that biochemical or metabolic individuality, and the fact that some people may do better on slightly higher amounts of protein.  It is one of those deals where we’re talking about a curve.  I, as the professorial one, should know the title of this curve, the Parabolic curve, I believe it would be, where a certain number of people fit into the large clusters in the middle and then you’ve got the trailers on either end.

Rick:  And I lost my weight using more protein.  And then I shifted to more of a ketogenic and more of a fat-based diet, and it didn’t seem to work as well for me.  So now I’m going back to more protein.

Ben:  So you shifted to protein from a weight of like, how much was your original weight?

Rick:  Three hundred eighteen.  I got down to probably 185, and that was before really exercising.  And when I started exercising, I started putting on muscle.  And I probably added about 20, I would guess twenty pounds of muscle, but with that some more fat as tends to be the case, a little bit.

Ben:  Yeah.  What do you weigh now?

Rick:  Today, I weigh, I think 212.  And I think my goal now, my current plan will be to do low heart rate cardio every day until I get down to about 200, and then do a heavy weight based, I think I’m going to lose the weight first and then add some muscle.

Ben:  Right.  But you’re still lift, like for example, tomorrow morning, I know you mentioned you’re gonna go do Don Wildman’s workout.  So you’re still lifting weights?

Rick:  I wouldn’t, other than that you were here and I…

Ben:  So tell me about this workout that we are going to experience.  Is this the one that was in Esquire magazine slated as “the hardest workout in the world”?

Rick:  It was, but we don’t have to do it as hard as Don. (laughs)

Ben:  Oh, I don’t mind!  I’m like for punishment.  I’m about to go hunting up in the mountains.  I won’t be hitting the gym anytime soon.  What do you do in a workout like this?

Rick:  It’s a lot of these Kaiser machines.  So they’re air-based.

Ben:  Yeah, pneumatic pumps that you increase or decrease resistance?

Rick:  Yeah.  So they’re all very different than the Laird workout.  The Laird workout’s much more, every exercise that you do is a whole body exercise.  This is the opposite where it’s very seated, target, old-fashioned bodybuilding.

Ben: Bodybuilding-style, single joint.

Rick:  Yes.

Ben:  Great for getting swole.  And I’ve actually seen bits and pieces of the routine here and there if it’s the one I’m thinking of, and it’s also good for a couple of other things from what I understand.  The ability to exercise, if you aren’t able to do a squat or overhead press, or a power clean, or something like that.  But then also you actually create, and I experienced this when I was a bodybuilder, boatloads of lactic acid when you isolate a muscle group like that.

Rick:  True.

Ben:  And there are actually a lot of, speaking of hormesis, there’s a lot of hormetic mitochondrial density increasing effects of just like pumping one muscle part full of lactic acid.  It’s almost like cardio and weights at the same time.

Rick:  Yeah.  It is like that because it’s long and it never stops.  It’s different than heavy weight, low rep.  This is more like heavy weight high rep, endless…endless.

Ben:  I will hunt it down and put it in the show notes for those of you who wanna perhaps try this work out for yourself.  I know there was a magazine article written on it at some point, so for those of you who want to try it out go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/rubin, R-U-B-I-N, and I’ll put a link to that.

So let’s get back to nutrition.  We are at the point where you ate a plant-based diet for 20 plus years, then you switched to fish and eggs and lost a lot of weight, and then you began to introduce meat tiny bites at a time.

Rick:  Well, it’s even a little more complicated than that.  So when I switched to fish and eggs, that was at the suggestion of Phil Maffetone, who changed me to a proper circadian, change my hours.

Ben:  Fixed your sleep?

Rick:  Fixed my sleep.

Ben:  He’s a smart guy.

Rick:  He’s a great guy.  So he got me to change my hours first, change my diet to add fish and eggs.  He wanted me to eat meat but I wouldn’t do it.  Fish and egg seem like the, and both of those were foods I didn’t really like so it was more like, again, medicine.  Eating them as medicine to try to come back.  And doing low level cardio every day.  And I did that for two years and lost maybe 5 pounds, but I got much healthier.  Much, much healthier.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  Then I went on a variation of that diet with a doctor at UCLA who, and this only worked I think because of what I did with Phil first, Dr. Heber at UCLA put me on a high protein, low carb, calorie restricted diet.  And that’s where it really changed.

Ben:  Interesting.  Were you guys just calorie restricting every day?  Were you doing this new thing before doing another cycle?

Rick:  No.  Seven protein shakes a day and dinner.

Ben:  Oh gosh.

Rick:  Fish, soup, salad.

Ben:  Would you do that now or has your dietary philosophy changed?

Rick:  Well, I do sort of a version of that, but I just don’t need to do seven shakes.  It took me seven shakes to get through a day without wanting to eat something else.  Now I could probably do it with two or three shakes.

Ben:  But you don’t do quite as well with fat?

Rick:  I don’t seem to.  I do okay with butter.

Ben:  Interesting.  Do you include things though like avocado, and coconut oil, and seeds, and nuts.

Rick:  Some.  Just olive oil if some.

Ben:  Yeah.  Interesting.

Rick:  But if I go to like a real Bulletproof diet, I tend to get bigger.

Ben:  Interesting.

Rick:  I don’t think I’m digesting fats properly.

Ben:  We’re on the same wavelength here.  I tend to notice, especially when I do blood testing in older individuals, or not blood testing, stool testing, you see high amounts of what are called fecal fats, triglycerides, fats in the stool, et cetera, reflecting issues leading to high fat diet.  It’s often paired with low levels of pancreatic enzyme production, low amounts of gall bladder bile.  Basically low amounts of what is necessary to digest fat if you’re experimenting with things like ox bile extract, and hydrochloric acid, and lipase and digestive enzymes.

Rick:  I’ve taken some, but probably not specifically targeted for fat while I’m eating fat.

Ben:  Yeah.  It would be interesting to just kinda see what your gall bladder, and your bile, and your enzyme production, everything like that, looks like.  Sometimes that can be the next part of being able to switch to higher fats.

Rick:  Great.

Ben:  I know that you know that that’s a horse I kicked to death, the shifting to higher fats for the cell membranes, and the hormones, and the steroids, and also for what I consider to be the anti-aging effect of what they call this protein restricted diet where you’re getting enough protein to maintain or slightly build muscle, but then stopping where you reach that law of diminishing returns.

So, you mentioned Phil Maffetone.  Many of our listeners are endurance athletes.  They might know of the Maff Method.  He’s a legend in Ironman for having coached Mark Allen, one of the winningest Ironman triathletes in history.  How did you hook up with Phil?

Rick:  I read a book, this was when I was really heavy and could barely walk.  I read a book by Stu Mittleman, who was a runner who ran a thousand miles in 11 days.

Ben:  Oh, wow.  That sounds healthy.

Rick:  And I read that, and I thought, wow.  I can’t jog down the beach, but he could run a thousand miles in 11 days.  I feel like there’s something I can learn.  So I read his book, and it’s really inspiring, and he talked about different ways he trained.

Ben:  He was kind of an underachiever not to hit a hundred miles a day though.  You’d think he could have stepped it up.

Rick:  But anyway, I’m reading the book, and it’s fascinating, and then he said, “And then I was at this triathlon, and I met this guy Phil Maffetone, and he changed the way I trained.  And from there, everything changed.”  And I thought, “Okay. This is a guy I need to meet.  He might know the secret.”  ‘Cause it’s not like I had been lazy.  I wasn’t a vegan because I was lazy.  It’s hard being a vegan.  It’s hard being a vegan out in the world.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  So I was a diligent vegan, thinking I was really taking care of myself.  Just the results were the opposite of what I was hoping for.  But I believed, another thing about the vegan world is it’s a little bit cult-like that when you’re in it, you can’t imagine anything else is possible.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  It becomes almost like a faith-based diet.

Ben:  And I know we have some vegan and vegetarian listeners who are possibly jumping through the microphone shouting the same thing about Paleo, and Crossfitters, and Ironman, and they’re like, “It’s very easy to get a cult built up around anything.”  But, yeah.  You’re right I’ve seen that.  But to be fair, I’ve seen in many situations from a dietary standpoint, in an exercise standpoint.  So, you met Phil?

 Rick:  I met Phil.  He got me to start eating some protein, sort of reluctantly on my part, but he really said, “There’s no other way.  You have to have animal protein.”  And at the time, I guess there was no other protein.  I don’t know if there was hemp protein 10 years ago, or rice protein.

Ben:  If there was, most people probably thought it was something that you’d smoke.

Rick:  Yeah.  This started about 10 years ago.  Maybe even more, maybe 12 years ago.  He said, “Unless it’s animal protein, it will not do what you need it to do.”  So fish and eggs were the mildest version.  It started with making protein shakes using real eggs.  That was the, again I didn’t like the taste, so I would have a blueberry shake…

Ben:  But if Rocky Balboa did it, you could do it.

Rick:  Yeah.  So fish and eggs, did that for a while.  He kept always saying, “We got to try to get some other protein source.”  The next one was Turkey, which we would mask in like a veg, we’d make a vegetable chili, and kinda hide Turkey in it.  So it would be ground turkey in a sauce that would be really…

Ben:  Right.  Like parents do to hide their vegetables in their children’s marinara sauce.

Rick:  Exactly.  And then I was able to get some extra protein that way.  So then after losing the weight using the shakes and doing the restricted, during the Phil time, I was not restricting my calories.  And it turns out, even though the things I was eating were really healthy, my taste tended towards very calorie dense food.  And my metabolism was slow.

Ben:  Yeah.  Calories do count.  Even if they’re from healthy sources.

Rick:  It did.  So if I was eating 5,000 calories a day and burning, maybe 2,600 a day or 2,800 a day, I was never gonna lose weight.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  Even though they were good calories.

Ben:  Right.  You can’t eat healthy calories, and in copious amounts, and get a six pack.

Rick:  Not forever.  You can’t do it forever.

Ben:  Yeah.  I know that there’s a thought out there among a lot of people that if you are eating eggs, and fish, and Paleo foods, et cetera, you can just stuff your face all day long, lift weights, and you won’t gain weight.  But I’ve certainly seen that not to be the case.  So Maffetone put you on this diet, it was a little bit too high in calories, so you cut the calories down.

Rick:  Yes.  Well, it wasn’t that it was high in calories.  It was that he still believes you don’t have to count calories, which I think if you have a good handle, I would recommend to everyone, spend some time counting calories.  Because when you learn, “Oh, a third of a bottle of almond butter has a lot more calories than this big salad.”

Ben:  Right.  Just being able to eye a banana, or eye a bag of nuts at the airport…

Rick:  And just know what it means.

Ben:  For me, when I was a bodybuilder, I went through about nine months of counting calories, completely off of alcohol, eating tuna out of the can with ketchup and relish on top of it would be a typical meal, and I was sponsored by a protein shake company.  So you were doing seven, I was probably closer to 10 of these ABB in the BPA-lined can shakes.  ‘Cause they’d send them to me for free, they were my sponsor because I worked at a gym and I would crap out a straw, and have horrible digestive issues, and no libido…

Rick:  Gas, I imagine.

Ben:  Yeah.  But that was how I was convinced that one should lose weight, or burn belly fat, or burn body fat.  So you progressed from this Maffetone-esque diet.

Rick:  So it started with Phil’s diet, then moved into the low calorie version of similar foods, and lost the weight, and then started including meat and other healthy things.

Ben:  Got it.  So did you ever, along the way, because I know a lot of people are into supplements, and biohacks, et cetera, did you start to introduce supplements like anything?  Bottles, pills, capsules things like that?

Rick:  Fish oil, a lot from the beginning.  Phil had me take a lot of Standard Process stuff.  So thinks like…

Ben:  Standard Process being a supplement company.

Rick:  Do you know many of their…

Ben:  Yeah.  They make good stuff.  They’re one of those companies I believe is a doctors’ line, or physicians’ line where a lot of physicians are able to order.  But, yeah, I mean they do multi-vitamins and they do fish oil.

Rick:  But I think the way, it’s all food based and it’s really low dosage…

Ben:  Yeah.  And when it’s whole food-based, usually they’re blending it with whole food components.  So it’s a boatload of actual capsules that you swallow, in most cases with a whole food based multi-vitamin or something like that.  But you get better absorbability.

Rick:  And I think sometimes they would be, you would chew them even though they weren’t necessarily chewable, but because they were food…

Ben:  Right.  Exactly.

Rick:  Healthy absorption.

Ben:  And they’ve skirted hell a lot of those issues in the past several years by introducing things like liposomal technology for superior absorption, or nanoparticles to allow you to take less and get more delivered into the bloodstream.  For a long time, whole food-based for a supplement, that was the way to go.  So how long ago was that that you progressed from Phil into this calorie restricted version?

Rick:  The calorie restricted version, I’m gonna say was, eight years ago or seven years ago, and then that took fourteen months to lose the weight.  Then I started training with Laird, just because I met Laird.  I was never really interested in exercise at all.  I pretty much lived my whole life in my head.  And I met Laird, and just liked him and his enthusiasm. He’s like Superman.

Ben:  He’s a very dynamic Superman.

Rick:  Yeah.  So just to be around someone like that was so different than the musicians that I’m around, and it was fun for me to see someone who’s really good at something different than the people that I know who are really good at something here.  And he said, “Well, you lost all this weight, why don’t you start coming to the gym?”  So I started going to the gym, really more to hang out with him and just learn, but I couldn’t.  The day I went to the gym, first, I couldn’t do one push-up.

Ben:  Oh, wow.

Rick:  And through training with him, I worked up to be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups.  And even things like he would teach me an exercise and I couldn’t do it, and I was saying, “I can’t do this.”  And he’d say, “No.  Don’t say you can’t do it.  Say you haven’t done it yet.”  And he’d say, “Okay.  Now let’s break this exercise up into three pieces.  Let’s try the first piece of it.”  It’s like, “Okay, you could do the first piece.”  “Let’s try the last piece.”  “You could do the last piece.”  “Let’s do the middle piece.”  “You could do the middle piece.”  “Now, let’s do the first two together.”  “Now let’s do just two and three together.”  And just get it to where I could, ’cause I was completely uncoordinated.  I’d never done any of these things.  And he just made it, he was such a good teacher, and would just will me to do things that I just didn’t believe I could do.

Ben:  Yeah.  So you just show up at his house and train.

Rick:  Yeah.  And it was a group of like six guys who would come every, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday were gym days.

Ben:  Gotcha.

Rick:  And I did that for years.  And then he started doing the pool workouts Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and those have evolved.  We did that this morning.

Ben:  Hard workouts.  We were there for a couple hours.

Rick:  Those have evolved over the years where they started as really just carrying heavy dumbbells from the shallow end of the pool to the deep end of the pool, and back.  And that was the only real exercise.

Ben:  Just a farmer’s walk down and back.

Rick:  Down and back.  Or you’d try to stay down at the deep end as long as you could.  And then you’d walk up the staircase, in the middle of the pool, you’d walk up the staircase.

Ben:  Don’t try this alone by yourself, by the way if you’re listening.  There’s a lot of people there.  I know even today, there was a brief moment, and somebody’s like, “Where’s Dan?”  The very first thing everybody did was they all put their heads underwater in and did a scan of the pool.  So, yeah.  Not something to do by yourself.

Rick: And since we’ve been all doing Wim Hof breathing, the combination of doing the breathing, and breath holds, and swimming underwater has, while it definitely makes you strong, you really don’t wanna do that alone because at least half the guys have passed out in the water.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s crazy.  Like I came close this morning.  I met Wim Hof’s son this morning, by the way down, at SunLife Organics where I was having my billion Dollar colostrum, and coconut flake, and who-knows-what-else smoothie that disappeared way too fast.  It disappeared disappointingly fast.  So you got into the exercising, which you’re still doing.  Are you still on a calorie restricted, protein-rich, but plant-inclusive diet?  Is that you would describe what you do now?

 Rick:  Yes, but where I went from counting calories, through the time that I spent counting calories I learned more about calories.  And now I don’t keep track, but I just make better choices than…

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s what I do now.  There’s a new, I was looking at Kickstarter recently for this thing called a BioRing, and what they’re claiming is that they can sense fluctuations in glucose through this ring and approximate the number of calories that you consumed based off the glucose.

Rick:  Amazing.

Ben:  I don’t know how accurate it is.  I raise an eyebrow at it, but coming from an old school exercise physiology background where you have to put a giant mask on your face and measure your breath at all varying levels of intensity to get accurate calorie data.  But it’s interesting, we may not need to count calories or even eyeball calories at some point in the future.

Now, I mean you’re a voracious learner.  We are just looking at your bookshelf, which is all color coordinated.  It’s one of the first color coordinated, rather than organizing by category, or organizing by author, you organize by color, which is interesting.  I get the aesthetic pleasure of it, though.  A ton of books on health, fitness, nutrition, et cetera.  I’m curious what a typical day in your life, or ideal day in your life would look like now utilizing a lot of these strategies that you’ve discovered along the way.  From people like Maffetone, and Laird, and all these books that you’ve read, what’s a day look like for you now?

Rick:  I typically wake up in the morning.  I’ll do some sort of a morning practice, which might be TM.  It might be a different type of a meditation.  I’ve been doing one where…

Ben:  TM being Transcendental Meditation?

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  Which you introduced me to.

Rick:  Have you been doing it?

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  Oh, good.  You like it?

Ben:  I don’t do the 20 minutes twice a day.  I do once every couple of days for about 10 minutes.  That’s what I’ve been able to pull off which I’ve talked with Philip, who I interview on the podcast, I put a link to that episode that we did with him, and I feel like a little bit of a slacker, but not only is it difficult to squeeze in all these little, probably a lot of the little things that you’re about to get into, but I also have been experimenting now with some EEG-based neurofeedback training for the brain.

Rick:  Great.

Ben:  And I’ll probably fill you in, and our listeners in on that, at a later point.  But that seems to be a form of meditation as well.  It’s very interesting.  It actually exhausts your brain, depletes glucose very quickly.  You finish sitting and staring at a screen, flying a shape spaceship with your mind, and you’re famished.  It’s crazy.  You’re actually burn a ton of calories doing this.  It’s called EEG neurofeedback.  So it seems very intensive.  I’m interested to see how it pairs with transcendental meditation, but what I plan now is to do my TM one day and then do my EEG the next day, because they sent me home with the whole training kit.  So I actually take this home when I train, there’s a practitioner who I contact each day to give me my protocol, and then I do that…

Rick:  Is it an every other day?  Is it recommended as an every other day…

Ben:  He recommends it three days a week.  He says I can do it more, but I believe the phrasing that he used was “I might fry my brain,” which I think he was joking, but either way I’m gonna play fair on the safe side.

Rick:  Well, let’s talk a little bit about getting in the TM, which I would say, it’s an old TM adage that giving up the 20 minutes to do the TM, you gain more time than that in the day.  So, it’s not like you’re using up 20 minutes.  So you may want to consider…

Ben:  I’m writing this down.  I’ve got my little Moleskine journal that I use to take notes as I pick the brain of folks like you.

Rick:  I would say, if you could…

Ben:  And you do 20 minutes a day now?

Rick:  It depends.  I go through phases where I do years on and years off where I’ll do, like I did it from the time I was 14, I learned when I was 14.  I did it from fourteen until college, then I stopped in college, then I moved to California, then I started up in California, and I did it for probably five years, and then I took a few years off, and then I started up again.  It’s been on and off different times.  And now I’m in a phase, I think I’m about to start an “On” phase, but now I’ve been using it more, like on a flight I’ll do an hour long meditation.  Often in the morning, I’ll do, if I don’t do TM, I’ll do a different kind of meditation like a guided meditation.  I like those two.

Ben:  Sorry to interrupt, but this thought popped into my head so I wanna make sure I ask it.  Your mantra that you use for transcendental meditation, because everyone has a mantra, that changes over time, yeah?

Rick:  No.

Ben:  Oh, really?  So I can use this same mantra that I’ve been taught the rest of my life?

Rick:  Your whole life.

Ben:  I didn’t know that.  That’s interesting.  Okay.  Good to know.  So you start your day with the TM, or something like it?

Rick:  That’d be the first thing I would do, is wake up and in bed do TM, then start my day.  I’ll have a shake, a protein shake that has all of the, we call it the Stim-Stem drink that has all of the different stuff that’s supposed to…

Ben:  Stimulate stem cells?

Rick:  Yes.

Ben:  The Stim-Stem drink.  We were having a discussion about that in the sauna, and actually I interviewed Neil Strauss earlier this afternoon.  We were actually discussing this guy in the sauna, Darin, who wrote a book called, flip back in my notes here, SuperLife is the name of his book.  He travels around the world finding things that increase stem cell health.  I know that some of the things like aloe vera, and colostrum, turmerones isolated from turmeric, not turmeric but turmerones.  What was another one that you talked about?  Coffee fruit extract was another.  And I know Dr. Mercola, who I interviewed recently, he was talking about Pau D’Arco bark tea.  And then what else?  Shawn Stevenson, who I interviewed talked about chlorella and spirulina as stem cell supporting foods.  But you start off your day with this Stim-Stem, it’s called?

Rick:  That’s what I call it.

Ben:  Okay.  Just a protein shake…

Rick:  With as many of the supplements for…

Ben:  All manners.  Probably some of those I just listed, or others?

Rick:  Some of those, and maybe the mushroom, the four square…

Ben:  The Four Sigmatic.

Rick:  Oh, Four Sigmatic.

Ben:  Yeah.  Four Sigmatic mushroom extracts.  That’s good stuff.

Rick:  The Ocean’s Alive.  You know that one?

Ben:  Yup.  Ocean’s Alive, they do magnesium sprays and they do a marine phytoplankton.

Rick:  That’s the one.

Ben:  Yeah.  Ian Clark.  I interviewed him, it’s fascinating.  And again you guys, I’m taking notes on this stuff, so I’ll put it in the show notes.

Rick:  I’ll get you the whole recipe.

Ben:  Yeah.  Send me the recipe.  Let’s post it in the show notes for folks.  The Stim-Stem.  I wanna try it now.  It sounds very much like the Billion Dollar Smoothie.

Rick:  It’s really good.  The main base, it’s coffee and chocolate whey protein, and it’s so good.

Ben:  Oh my God.  Okay.  Maybe it’s just ’cause I’m hungry, now that we’re approaching dinner time.  Making my mouth water.  Too much surfing and water workouts today.  Okay.  So we’ve got TM, we’ve got the Stim-Stem Shake.

Rick:  Yeah.  And then I usually go to the gym.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, it would normally be weight training.  And then Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday would be pool training in the summer.  And then when the pool stops happening, it would be either jogging on the beach at my target heart rate for an hour or elliptical at my target heart rate for as long as I can do.

Ben:  Interesting.  So you cycle throughout the year, change up the type of exercise.

Rick:  Typically one and the other.  And now I think I’m gonna do a phase of just cardio for a period of time ’til I get to my target weight, and then do a heavy muscle.  And I was talking to Mark Sisson about creatine, and he was saying if you do like a six week with creatine, heavy weight thing, it really does something.  So I thought maybe I’ll, I’ve never done it.  I don’t know anything about it.

Ben:  As long as you’re not in a World Anti-Doping associated sanctioned sport, or a USADA sanctioned sport, you can do creatine, this is a stack I’ve got some guys in helping with muscle growth who are doing now.  We do creatine, fish oil, amino acids, peptides.  There’s peptides, they have weird names BPC-157 and TB-500 are the two, and you either inject those or you take them orally.  And then these things called SARMS, which are selective androgen receptor modulators.  They go also by weird names, like LGD-4033.

And there’s a stack, I recently wrote an article about it on Ben Greenfield Fitness, and we stack all this stuff together along with the 5 grams of creatine per day, and I mean you can watch the muscle appear it.  You’re not taking testosterone, you’re not introducing some negative feedback loop where you’re shrinking your balls, you’re not taking like schedule 1 controlled substances that you can’t carry across borders, like Sylvester Stallone did and he got arrested.  It’s just basically little known things along with common things like you were talking about.  I would like to…

Rick:  How long you do it for?

Ben:  So the SARMS are four weeks on and four weeks off.  The peptides are daily.  They’re natural.  You can take ’em as much as you want.  Same with fish oil, the amino acids, and the creatine.  You don’t need to cycle off those at any point during the year.  You can just take them all year, but when you inject ’em into a heavy training phase, they’re very efficacious.  And what I would like to do is get the recipe for this Stim-Stem shake that you do, and send it over to some of these guys, and see what they think of that once we add chlorella, and spirulina, and some of that stuff into the mix.  I love playing with the human body.  It’s like a piece of clay that is responsive to a variety of tactics.  So what have we gotten to?  Your mid-morning?

Rick:  Yeah.  And then I’ll have an iced Americano, is my next snack of the day.  And then I usually have some quiet time for, I would say about an hour.  It’s usually, by then, around 11.  I usually go to work around noon.  So the sort of calm down from…

Ben:  You work in music industry, so that’s an appropriate time to go to work, you bunch of night owls.

Rick:  Yeah.  Also like if I’ve done heavy weight day, I might come home and immediately do a bath.  And baths seem to really…

Ben:  Like an Epsom salts bath or something like that?

Rick:  Yeah.  And that’ll just help with the lactic acid.

Ben:  I don’t wanna be contrarian, but I’m gonna be.  Lactic acid is typically gone from your muscles within a few minutes after workout.

Rick:  So what is it that hurts?

Ben:  It’s calcium.  You get calcium build-up, and magnesium actually offsets calcium.  This is why in people who have poor mobility, or fibromyalgia chronic pain, stuff like that, a lot of that is hypercalcemia, calcium deposits, calcium build-up, and magnesium, it’s kinda like the yin to calcium and calcium is the yang.

Rick:  I see.

Ben:  And so you offset a lot of that calcium build-up, magnesium topically, magnesium baths, oral magnesium.  If someone has a lot of pain and they combine that with things like traction, like mobilizing joints with inversion tables and stuff like that, foam rolling and deep tissue work, and then there’s one other thing that you can do which is basically like to milk joints.  This is a technique from Kelly Starrett, where you’ll wrap a rubber bicycle tube above one joint and below one joint and kinda work it through a range of motion.  You can milk all sorts of nasty stuff out of muscles and connective tissue.  It’s almost like a recovery cycle they go through at a certain point.

Rick:  But not if you’re injured.  It’s not for an injury, what you’re describing.

Ben:  That technique could be used for connective tissue injury, but it’s different strokes for different situations.  And so for that, I’m typically a fan of electrical muscle stimulation, and using topical arnica, and things that you can use electrostim to drive the lotion into tissue, ice, heat combined back and forth.  You can take those peptides I talked about and inject them into tissues.  There’s all sorts of things.  But you were talking about the bath.  You do this bath?

Rick:  Yeah.  If, again if I’ve done a heavy weight day, it just might feel better.  The rest of the day’ll go better if I do that.  Or I might come home and read for an hour, or do some research on whatever it is that I’m interested in that moment.  Then I’ll go to the studio, and studio is typically from noon or 1, until I would say, most days about 6 o’clock at night, and that’ll be very focused work.  Now when I say very focused work, because it’s a creative endeavor, it’d be like very focused fishing.  You’re doing it, either you’re very intent on it, but there’s a lot of time where there’s nothing you can do to speed up the process.  It’s like it sort of has a life of its own, so patience is a huge part of it and being able to stay very present while being very patient, and I think that’s where things like meditation come in to really help.

Ben:  I experience that when I’m writing.  Just typing on a keyboard, or writing literally with a pen on paper.  I get into the zone.  Of all the things that get me into the zone, that’s probably the one where I just disappear into the work.

Rick:  Great.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s interesting.  So you’re at the studio, do have like an evening routine?

Rick:  Well, there’s also, I would say, I’ll probably have in the middle of the day for a snack, I’ll have Athletic Greens with amino acids, the ones that you actually suggested.  I can’t remember what they’re called.

Ben:  Perfect Aminos is one form.

Rick:  I think that’s what they are.

Ben:  And then what I did was I private labeled that product.  So now what it’s called is Nature Aminos.  It’s like a powder, or capsule, and then you put it whatever, freaking kombucha or shake.

Rick:  I use those, and then I use fiber, I’ll tell you the name but I can’t remember what it’s called.  It’s with a G.  Made from a root.  You know what that is?

Ben:  Gynostemma?  Like that to stabilize blood sugar?

Rick:  I dunno if that’s what it is, but it does stabilize blood sugar and it’s…

Ben:  Yeah.  There’s one called gynostemma that does that.

Rick:  It just takes away your appetite.  It’s what it is.

Ben:  And it makes sweet things not taste so sweet.

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  I believe that’s the one we’re talking about.

Rick:  So I have that in the middle of the day.

Ben:  I’ll write down the name and put in there for folks.

Rick:  And then if I’m at home working, I’ll be standing at the stand-up desk and standing on the foam stuff.

Ben:  The Kybounder?  I saw that upstairs in your office.

Rick:  And I have a vibration pad as well.

Ben:  A vibration pad that you stand on while you’re working or…?

Rick:  Well, it might be more like a break in the work, or it doesn’t work for all work.  I mean…

Ben:  No.  I totally, I couldn’t type if I were on one.

Rick:  But if I’m working for a while, it’s nice to sorta just stand on it 10 minutes, and get into like a horse pose or…

Ben:  Do you ever drag it next against the wall and do a headstand or a handstand?

Rick:  I’ve never done that.

Ben:  You should try it sometime.  You get this enormous blood rush your head.  It just drains your legs.

Rick:  It also amazing how if you do push-ups on it, how many fewer push-ups you can do.

Ben:  That’s actually the research that’s been done that people talk about, you see the women at the gym hold their Jamba Juice, standing on the vibration platform to burn fat, but most of the research done on vibration platforms, aside from the lymph fluid aspect, which is similar to like rebounding on a trampoline, it’s used to prime muscles or to exhaust muscles.  Meaning you do a few quarter squats on a vibration platform before you go do a real squat under a barbell.  Or you do, like you mentioned, half push-ups on a vibration platform, or just holding a push up plank before you go bench press.  So that’s actually what it’s very efficacious for.  But yeah, it exhausts your muscles.  I mean just drop into an isometric squat hold, and try and hold that for like a minute on a vibration platform.  That was one of my…

Rick:  Yeah, yeah.  Also do it balancing on one leg.  It’s really good too.

Ben:  I forgot about this.  When I was at University of Idaho, when I first started training for triathlons, it was perfect because they had two vibration platforms and an indoor track.  So you do an isometric squat on the vibration platform, put a ton of lactic acid into your muscles, prime the muscles, then run one time around the track, and then go back to the platform.  That was one of my go-to running routines when I first started training for triathlon.  So you’ve got your home office, your foam mat, your vibration platform.  What other tricks are up your sleeve towards the end of the day?

Rick:  Just a lot of things like foam rolling, all different kinds of rollers.

Ben:  You do all that at night?

Rick:  Depends.  Sometimes I’ll do it before the gym, sometimes before and after the gym, sometimes before and after and at night.  Whenever it fits.  But I like it.

Ben:  And then to wind down at the end of the day, aside from doing as we are doing now on the beautiful beach of Malibu, staring out at the sunset which is now set, in a very quiet, serene, I don’t know if you need much more than this to fall asleep, but do you take herbs, or teas, or use any sleeping tactics?

Rick:  I do.  I take something called Sleeping Monk, which is a Chinese herb.

Ben:  Interesting.  Never heard of that one.

Rick:  I use a healthy version of the calm powder, the one without the…

Ben:  The natural calm magnesium powder.

Rick:  There’s a healthier version of it.  I’ll give you the name of the one that I use.

Ben:  Are you talking about the fact that they tested some of that stuff for metals?

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  And found metal content?

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  We talked about on a podcast at one point.  There were some issues with the testing that they did, ’cause I looked into it ’cause that was something I used and I was a little bit nervous about.  I’ll try and hunt down the, ’cause we published a big Facebook post about it because Natural Calm wrote a letter, I believe to the FDA pointing out some of the issues with the testing.  But either way I wanna know the magnesium that you find for replacement as well.  You’re making my job hard, Rick.  You’re making these show notes all of a sudden become very laborious, but I’ll make it work.

Rick:  Let me think what else.  And then I take Zinc Cal Mag pills.  I think that’s it.  Zinc Cal Mag pills.

Ben:  Sounds like the ZMA supplement some people use for sleep, which is like zinc and, I believe it’s got magnesium and calcium in it.  So they’re very common sleep aid for a very long time.

Rick:  And I started taking the phosphatidylserine three times a day.

Ben:  To decrease cortisol?

Rick:  I don’t know what I’m taking it for, but I know it seems to have a good effect.

Ben:  It decreases cortisol very significantly.  Yeah.  I used that in the past when I tested for very high cortisol levels.  There’s one by Thorne called Phospha-, I forget the name of it.  Phospha-something.  Anyways though, phosphatidylserine for high cortisol.

Rick:  Also most evenings, I would say five nights a week, we do sauna.  And it’ll either be sauna and ice back and forth, or the infrared sauna for one long round.

Ben:  Interesting.  And then it’s sleepy time?

Rick:  Then I’ll usually watch TV for about an hour.  For some reason it really helps me, I try to watch something, nothing violent and nothing that I have to concentrate on too much.

Ben:  Interesting.  You’re not concerned about like the blue light disrupting your sleep levels?

Rick:  I have a projector, so it’s a little different ’cause we’re not looking, you’re not looking at an LED screen.

Ben:  Right.  You’re not getting the blue light backlit screen.

Rick:  Yeah.  So that helps.

Ben:  Interesting.  I was wondering why you had a giant projector in your living room.

Rick:  That’s why.  And we also, because we don’t have blinds anywhere…

Ben:  I also noticed that when I woke up this morning.

Rick:  You can only watch when it’s dark.  So it’s sort of a forced good habit of not having television on ever.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  Unless it’s at night, and usually it’ll be either to watch a movie or to watch, I grew up watching WWE wrestling.  So I still watch that, and that’s a lot of hours a week.

Ben:  No, I can’t tell you this.  I have a wrestling story, but it has to do with TV and I have a non-disclosure agreement I’ve signed.  I’ll tell you about the wrestling thing later on.  I can’t do it on podcast though.  But the interesting I wanted to tell you was that electrode treatment for my brain I’ve been doing, you can actually attach the electrodes to your head, and put in a movie, and watch the movie, and it will decrease the intensity of the color and also the sound from the movie, which is disruptive to your brain.  Your brain doesn’t like that.  If it’s following a story, it doesn’t like it when the story starts to disappear.  You can do this with music too.  And so your brain shifts into alpha brain wave production and decreases fast beta so that the movie continues to play.  It’s very similar if you’re flying a spaceship.  It’s super interesting.  I might actually turn into like a Netflix junkie, training with this thing.

Rick:  There’s a way to improve our hearing.  There’s something that’s similar to that where it plays music, you listen to music in headphones, and then every so often it either takes out certain frequencies or adds some sound that the brain has to work out what’s going on.  It seems like most hearing problems are brain problems more than actual ear problems.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  So it rewires your ability to hear.

Ben:  Interesting.

Rick:  Yeah.  I could probably send you the name of that as well.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’d be cool.  I don’t know how many of our listeners are suffering from hearing loss.  They may be though because of listening to this podcast.  So it might be something that they find a utility in.  So you watch the TV…and then…

Rick:  Take my supplements, and then I always go to sleep listening to some sort of a spiritual lecture.  And I’ll listen to it until I fall asleep, and then it keeps playing until it’s done.

Ben:  Do you find that you dream about what you listen to or you somehow absorb that information?

Rick:  I think I absorb the information.  I don’t dream about it.  The main purpose of it, in addition to the sleep learning part of getting it, is that I have a pretty active imagination, and if left to my own, if I’m not listening to something distracting myself, then I can think myself awake for a very long time.

Ben:  I can do that.  Not only can I do that myself, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been doing this  EEG training, ’cause they identified an area of my brain that actually is stuck in high beta, and is very difficult to shut down.  So this is detraining that area.  I might turn into a vegetable or become extremely unproductive, who knows.  But it…

Rick:  You may try my spiritual lecture method.

Ben:  Yeah.  I was gonna tell you.  ‘Cause right now I use beats and white noise.  Like binaural beats and white noise to distract me.  What would be an example of your spiritual, like what would be an example track?

Rick:  There is a good website called Dharma Seed that are Buddhist lectures.

Ben:  Dharma, D-H-A-R-M-A…

Rick:  D-H-A-R-M-A Seed.  There’s one teacher in particular that I really like, named Jack Kornfield, although there are many…

Ben:  I’ve heard of him.  Interesting.  Wow.

Rick:  And sometimes I like what they’re saying so much I wanna take notes on it, but I’m already sort of half groggy and I don’t wanna do anything with light, and I don’t want to interrupt the sleep, so sometimes I even listen to them, I’ll listen to it at night, and then maybe the next day, I’ll remember, “Oh, there was something I liked in that.”  I might listen to it again in the sauna the next day.

Ben:  Yeah.  Interesting.  I like that method.  I may have to try that.  You’ve got all sorts of notes jumbling around in my brain.

Rick:  Another thing I’ll say is that when I do the very hot sauna, I listen to music.  When I do the infrared sauna, I listen to podcasts because of the duration.  Doing the hot sauna, and going back and forth between the hot sauna and the ice, it’d be too much…

Ben:  The heat of the dry sauna is tough on the electronics too.

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  I have nuked some stuff in dry sauna before that does just fine in infrared.

Rick:  I have Sonos speaker in my dry sauna, and we get up to 230 degrees, and the light on it turns red, which the Sonos people didn’t even know it was possible for it turn red.  Because in normal use, it turns either white or yellow.  But it turns red, but has never stopped working.

 Ben:  They’re like, “This guy field tested the hell out of our device.”  A lot of people are probably wondering this, there’s guys like you and me who will, whatever, swallow, and Ray Kurzweil and a ton of different anti-aging enthusiasts, and people who live a long time.  Laird Hamilton, I know, does a lot of this supplementation, and biohacks, and better living through science.  And some people will say this sounds laborious, or “Why would you do it?  What drives you?”  And I guess my question for you, Rick, and this would be my final question for you: What is it that’s driving you?  I mean, it obviously started with just wanting to be healthier and lose weight.  What is it now?  What drives you to do all this now?

Rick:  I feel like in some ways it’s the reason we’re here, is to be our best selves, do our best work.  It’s less about the accomplishment and more about the process of doing it and the idea of being able to make something better, whatever it is.  Whether it’s to my health, my body, my surroundings, a piece of art, whatever it is.  My reason to be is to make things better, whatever those things are.

Ben:  The pursuit of excellence.

Rick:  Yeah.

Ben:  It makes sense.  I see that in the music that you produce, the aesthetics of your home, and your yard, and your setting here, and also in your pursuit of optimal health.

Rick:  Yeah.  I’ve always felt like I’m willing to do whatever it takes for things to be as good as they could be because I really like things that work well.  It’s funny because on the one hand, there is an aspect of me that’s really lazy.  I’m on the one hand really lazy, and on the other hand I’m obsessed with researching things and I wanna know the best way.  I wanna know how things work.  Maybe it stems, I was a magician when I was a kid.

Ben:  Oh, really?

Rick:  So much of magic, so when I became friends with Blaine, so much of magic is seeing what’s possible in a way that starts with something that’s impossible.  Like how do you make it?  It’s like there was a time many scientific breakthroughs were magic tricks before they were breakthroughs.  Photography was a magic trick before it was photography.  Projection.

Ben:  Yeah.  That makes sense.

Rick:  Projecting light.  Those all, when they first happened, they were used as magic tricks.  There’s something about learning health, and there’s something really beautiful in seeing the interconnectedness of things, and how, when you learn one thing in one area, how it affects other areas, and how something I learned through working in a recording studio is maybe a principle that ends up influencing the way I eat, or exercise, or the other way around.  It all seems to be that idea of how you do anything is how you do everything.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  It’s all one thing, and I’m curious and wanted to be the best I could possibly be.

Ben:  It’s a pursuit of excellence, not grasping at straws.  It’s not trying to scrape together as many years of life as possible.  It’s simply that intense curiosity combined with the pursuit of excellence.

Rick:  And recognizing, like seeing today, watching the sunset, I can’t think of many more great experiences that we could have had in that time than that.  That was pretty great.  And I imagine when we’re done with this podcast, we’re gonna eat something really great.  And this is another thing…

Ben:  I was just gonna have a Ziploc bag full of kale chips and hop in the car.

Rick:  I think we’re going to do better than that.

Ben:  Okay.

Rick:  What I was gonna say is like if I eat, it doesn’t matter how many calories a meal has.  If it doesn’t satisfy me by tasting good, then I’m still hungry.  So much of it is psychological.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rick:  It’s like the satisfaction comes from the experience of eating something, and really loving the way it tastes in the same way of loving seeing a magnificent sunset.  So I guess in some ways, it’s pleasure seeking.

Ben:  Yeah.  Pleasure seeking and also, to me that ability to, as Dan Buettner says in his book, however you pronounce his name in his book “Blue Zones,” I mean a big, big part of that is just living with mindfulness and having the awareness to be mindful, not just of your body, but of these experiences like the sunset, like our podcast here, like those of you who are out there doing whatever you’re doing.  Just that appreciation for life that comes with mindfulness.  I think that’s a big part of it.

Rick:  Beautiful.

Ben:  Well, with that, and also with your mention of dinner which was making me now salivate, I suppose we’ll bring this to an end.  Rick, I really appreciate your passion for this, your knowledge, sharing everything that you did today.  I’ll put the show notes, for those of you listening again, at bengreenfieldfitness.com/rubin.  But dude, thanks for coming on the show.

Rick:  Thanks for having me and thank you for sharing so much information that improves our lives.

Ben:  Appreciate it man.  Well, I’m Ben Greenfield along with Rick Rubin signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

What do the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Johnny Cash, The Black Crowes, Slayer, Jay Z, James Blake, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Weezer, Linkin Park, The Cult, Neil Diamond, The Avett Brothers, Adele, Mick Jagger, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Sheryl Crow, ZZ Top, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Eminem, and just about every other world-famous band or musician you’ve ever heard of have in common?

They were all produced by today’s podcast guest: Rick Rubin, the American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. 

In 2007, MTV called Rick “the most important producer of the last 20 years”, and the same year he appeared on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list.

Rapper Dr. Dre has stated that Rubin is, “hands down, the dopest producer ever that anyone would ever want to be, ever.”

But Rick has a personal passion outside of music that many people don’t know about…

…health, nutrition, fitness and biohacking.

And in this episode, in which Rick and I sit on his back porch, watching a relaxing sunset after a hard morning of Laird Hamilton’s pool workout, we have an intense discussion about veganism vs. Paleo, Rick’s weight loss journey, and much more. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The little-known Ayurvedic pulse taking technique Rick used to find out he need to “drink more bone broth“…[16:10]

-Why Rick thinks an ice bath is very much like eating meat…[26:25]

-How Rick lost 131 pounds by eating animal protein…[29:45]

-Why Rick took an entire week to eat one steak…[28:56]

-What legendary Ironman coach and physician Dr. Phil Maffetone told Rick to do for diet and exercise, and how Rick modified it…[37:35 & 41:05]

What a typical day is like for Rick…[54:25]

-How Rick uses “transcendental meditation”, and his insight into neurofeedback for the brain…[57:20]

-Rick’s unique dietary and supplementation routine he uses each day…[60:35]

-The one herb Rick uses each day to decrease hunger and sugar cravings…[68:00]

-Rick’s standing workstation setup…[68:55]

-Why Rick uses a projector instead of a television or computer to watch movies at night…[73:45 ]

-The audio track that Rick falls asleep to each night…[76:30]

-What is it that drives Rick to live the life he lives…[79:30]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode: 

My article on “hacking” an infrared sauna

The Ayurvedic pulse taking technique Rick refers to

-Don Wildman’s “Hardest Workout In The World” article from Esquire magazine

-Phil Maffetone’s “Big Book of Health and Fitness: A Practical Guide to Diet, Exercise, Healthy Aging, Illness Prevention, and Sexual Well-Being

My podcast on Transcendental Meditation

My neurofeedback EEG training experience

-The full recipe for Rick’s Stim-Stem Shake

NatureAminos amino acids

-The herb Rick uses to decrease hunger and sugar cravings

-The Kybounder Mat Rick uses under his standing workstation

Sleeping Monk tea

Natural Calm Magnesium powder

-The alternative to Natural Calm Magnesium powder that Ben uses

Below is the Natural Calm Magnesium reply that Ben mentioned regarding heavy metals:

In regards to the Arsenic levels that Labdoor has decided to use, it is from a proposed limit over 10 years that was NEVER approved or accepted. The current established level for Arsenic is 10mcg/day. Why Labdoor decided to use a never approved or accepted proposal in unclear. In regards to the Natural Calm supplement, here is Natural Vitality’s official statement on it:

“The simple truth is that Natural Calm both meets its potency label claim and is well within the No Significant Risk Levels for arsenic and in fact is less than 10 percent of California’s Prop 65 stringent safe threshold levels. This has been consistently scientifically validated by third party test results from top American testing labs as part of standard Good Manufacturing Practices.

While testing results commissioned by Labdoor, when correctly interpreted, align perfectly with our results, their report contains a number of distortions which provide both a highly inaccurate picture and a disservice to consumers. We believe Labdoor is attempting to use our well-deserved, award-winning reputation to inflate their importance. Apparently their business model involves casting themselves as a “trusted source” by creating sensationalized stories to drive traffic to their website with the objective of creating profit from advertising sales and, interestingly, sales of supplements.

Factual Flaws

Labdoor’s Natural Calm test size was over two and a half times our recommended serving size but they did not factor that into their analysis. When correctly interpreted our results read:
Magnesium was 346 mg, about a 1% variance from our label claim of 350 mg.
Arsenic was .7992 of a microgram. Less than 8% of the California Prop 65 No Significant Risk safe threshold.

Labdoor was approached regarding their misinterpretation of the results and asked to retract their press release, send out a corrected press release and update their website.

However, Labdoor refused to admit wrong doing of any kind and continues to assert the virtue of their inaccurate position.

At this point, both through the correct interpretation of the assay provided to us from Labdoor and our retest of the lot in question, Natural Calm has been clearly shown to be accurate both in terms of label claim and in following California’s Prop 65. The laboratory used by both Labdoor and Natural Vitality was the highly regarded Covance laboratories. Covance’s interpretation of test results (both Labdoors and ours) validates our position in terms of label claim and purity.

Additional information is available at Natural Vitality customer service if desired ([email protected]).

Having cleared the record with scientific facts, we now consider this matter closed.”

I would be happy to provide you with the Certificate of Analysis that we had performed on an actual servings size instead of the 10.66g that Labdoor used, which is 2.5x our suggested serving size.

-The ZMA supplement you can use before bed at night for minerals 

-The Jack Kornfield spiritual teaching download at DharmaSeed.com

Ben’s article on BPC-157 peptides for muscle gain and fat loss 

Ben’s article on TB-500 peptides for muscle gain and fat loss 

Ben’s article on SARMs for muscle gain and fat loss 

-The NatureColostrum Ben recommends for muscle gain 

-The NatureAminos Ben recommends for muscle gain

-The SuperEssentials Fish Oil Ben recommends for muscle gain

 

 

 

How To Lose 131 Pounds By Eating Meat: The Rick Rubin Podcast

rick rubin landscape

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

What do the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Johnny Cash, The Black Crowes, Slayer, Jay Z, James Blake, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Weezer, Linkin Park, The Cult, Neil Diamond, The Avett Brothers, Adele, Mick Jagger, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Sheryl Crow, ZZ Top, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Eminem, and just about every other world-famous band or musician you’ve ever heard of have in common?

They were all produced by today’s podcast guest: Rick Rubin, the American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. 

In 2007, MTV called Rick “the most important producer of the last 20 years”, and the same year he appeared on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list.

Rapper Dr. Dre has stated that Rubin is, “hands down, the dopest producer ever that anyone would ever want to be, ever.”

But Rick has a personal passion outside of music that many people don’t know about…

…health, nutrition, fitness and biohacking.

And in this episode, in which Rick and I sit on his back porch, watching a relaxing sunset after a hard morning of Laird Hamilton’s pool workout, we have an intense discussion about veganism vs. Paleo, Rick’s weight loss journey, and much more. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The little-known Ayurvedic pulse taking technique Rick used to find out he need to “drink more bone broth”…[16:10]

-Why Rick thinks an ice bath is very much like eating meat…[26:25]

-How Rick lost 131 pounds by eating animal protein…[29:45]

-Why Rick took an entire week to eat one steak…[28:56]

-What legendary Ironman coach and physician Dr. Phil Maffetone told Rick to do for diet and exercise, and how Rick modified it…[37:35 & 41:05]

What a typical day is like for Rick…[54:25]

-How Rick uses “transcendental meditation”, and his insight into neurofeedback for the brain…[57:20]

-Rick’s unique dietary and supplementation routine he uses each day…[60:35]

-The one herb Rick uses each day to decrease hunger and sugar cravings…[68:00]

-Rick’s standing workstation setup…[68:55]

-Why Rick uses a projector instead of a television or computer to watch movies at night…[73:45 ]

-The audio track that Rick falls asleep to each night…[76:30]

-What is it that drives Rick to live the life he lives…[79:30]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode: 

My article on “hacking” an infrared sauna

The Ayurvedic pulse taking technique Rick refers to

-Don Wildman’s “Hardest Workout In The World” article from Esquire magazine

-Phil Maffetone’s “Big Book of Health and Fitness: A Practical Guide to Diet, Exercise, Healthy Aging, Illness Prevention, and Sexual Well-Being

My podcast on Transcendental Meditation

My neurofeedback EEG training experience

-The full recipe for Rick’s Stim-Stem Shake

NatureAminos amino acids

-The herb Rick uses to decrease hunger and sugar cravings

-The Kybounder Mat Rick uses under his standing workstation

Sleeping Monk tea

Natural Calm Magnesium powder

-The alternative to Natural Calm Magnesium powder that Ben uses

Below is the Natural Calm Magnesium reply that Ben mentioned regarding heavy metals:

In regards to the Arsenic levels that Labdoor has decided to use, it is from a proposed limit over 10 years that was NEVER approved or accepted. The current established level for Arsenic is 10mcg/day. Why Labdoor decided to use a never approved or accepted proposal in unclear. In regards to the Natural Calm supplement, here is Natural Vitality’s official statement on it:

“The simple truth is that Natural Calm both meets its potency label claim and is well within the No Significant Risk Levels for arsenic and in fact is less than 10 percent of California’s Prop 65 stringent safe threshold levels. This has been consistently scientifically validated by third party test results from top American testing labs as part of standard Good Manufacturing Practices.

While testing results commissioned by Labdoor, when correctly interpreted, align perfectly with our results, their report contains a number of distortions which provide both a highly inaccurate picture and a disservice to consumers. We believe Labdoor is attempting to use our well-deserved, award-winning reputation to inflate their importance. Apparently their business model involves casting themselves as a “trusted source” by creating sensationalized stories to drive traffic to their website with the objective of creating profit from advertising sales and, interestingly, sales of supplements.

Factual Flaws

Labdoor’s Natural Calm test size was over two and a half times our recommended serving size but they did not factor that into their analysis. When correctly interpreted our results read:
Magnesium was 346 mg, about a 1% variance from our label claim of 350 mg.
Arsenic was .7992 of a microgram. Less than 8% of the California Prop 65 No Significant Risk safe threshold.

Labdoor was approached regarding their misinterpretation of the results and asked to retract their press release, send out a corrected press release and update their website.

However, Labdoor refused to admit wrong doing of any kind and continues to assert the virtue of their inaccurate position.

At this point, both through the correct interpretation of the assay provided to us from Labdoor and our retest of the lot in question, Natural Calm has been clearly shown to be accurate both in terms of label claim and in following California’s Prop 65. The laboratory used by both Labdoor and Natural Vitality was the highly regarded Covance laboratories. Covance’s interpretation of test results (both Labdoors and ours) validates our position in terms of label claim and purity.

Additional information is available at Natural Vitality customer service if desired ([email protected]).

Having cleared the record with scientific facts, we now consider this matter closed.”

I would be happy to provide you with the Certificate of Analysis that we had performed on an actual servings size instead of the 10.66g that Labdoor used, which is 2.5x our suggested serving size.

-The ZMA supplement you can use before bed at night for minerals 

-The Jack Kornfield spiritual teaching download at DharmaSeed.com

Ben’s article on BPC-157 peptides for muscle gain and fat loss 

Ben’s article on TB-500 peptides for muscle gain and fat loss 

Ben’s article on SARMs for muscle gain and fat loss 

-The NatureColostrum Ben recommends for muscle gain 

-The NatureAminos Ben recommends for muscle gain

-The SuperEssentials Fish Oil Ben recommends for muscle gain

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

How To Easily Measure The Human Energy Field, “Chakras”, Organ Function & More.

DR KK

This is a special Premium audio episode. Click here to activate a Premium subscription to the BenGreenfieldFitness show and access this and over 300 additional hidden audios, videos, pdf’s and more!

Four months ago, at the London Biohacker’s Summit, my friend, fellow biohacker and self-quantifying nerd Ruben Salinas got on stage and, during a fascinating presentation that revealed a host of cutting-edge methods he uses to keep his body and brain optimized, mentioned that each day he sticks his finger in a device called a “Bio-Well”, which measures parameters like his “chakras” and “energy field” and “organ health”.

I was skeptical.

So I did some research into Bio-Well, and discovered Dr. Konstantin Korotkov, who is a Professor of Physics at St. Petersburg Federal Research University of Informational Technologies, Mechanics and Optics in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Dr. Korotkov is a scientist known for his research on the human energy field and he developed something called the Gas Discharge Visualization technique, popularly known as “GDV”. He was involved with the development of this Bio-Well device, and during our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Dr. Korotkov developed gas discharge visualization (GDV) technique the point where you can keep a running tab on everything from cortisol to organ function throughout the day…[3:40]

-How a mild electrical shock to your finger can result in the ability to engage in direct, real-time viewing and analysis of changes in your human energy fields…[12:35]

-The actual research behind GDV and whether it actually works when investigated in studies…[17:35]

-How you can use simple measurements on your finger to determine things like food allergies, altitude acclimatization, brain wave states, diseases and more…[27:00]

-How you can use GDV assess response to drugs, meditation, stress reduction therapy or any other interventions…[29:43]

-How GDV can be used to monitor your personal environment for things like mold and fungi…[33:05]

-The methods Konstantin follows to modify his diet, exercise and lifestyle based on GDV testing of himself and his environment…[33:55]

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

The Bio-Well website

-Book: Electrophotonic Analysis in Medicine research

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

[Transcript] – The Best Way To Test For Zika Virus & Beyond: One Single, Very Inexpensive Test That Can Measure EVERYTHING – An Interview With Army Microbiologist & Virus Expert Dr. Charles Wick.

Podcast from http://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/09/the-best-way-to-test-for-zika-virus/

[0:00] Introduction

[1:41] Chocolate Coffee Cake Recipe

[3:23] Exo Cricket Protein Bars

[4:50] About This Episode

[6:24] All About Charles Wick

[10:14] Why Charles Studied Bees

[23:52] What Charles Found Out With The Bees

[32:12] Why It’s A Big Deal That Bees Are Dying

[33:28] What Can Be Done Now With The Bees With Microbes

[35:16] How The Technology Used On The Bees Can Help Humans

[37:30] How Charles Identifies Microbes Through The Software

[41:40] How Does This Apply To The Body?

[45:44] Steps to Address and Test Something Using the Software

[52:31] Other Applications of Charles’ Software

[53:35] How Smartphone of the Future Could Be Used To Detect Microbial Condition

[1:02:39] End of Podcast

Ben:  Good morning/afternoon/evening, depending on where and when you happen to listen to this.  That’s actually the crazy thing about podcasts, you know I’ve recorded, gosh, I think I’ve been podcasting since 2008, maybe 2007 possibly, and all of these podcasts are out there.  People might be listening to these a hundred years from now.  That’s a crazy thought.  And the more podcasts I do, the wider the range of diverse topics that I dive into, and today is no exception.  Just yesterday, they found the Zika virus in Miami Beach, the first local mosquitoes with the Zika virus.

And there’s this whole, I don’t know if you would call it a conspiracy theory or what, but there’s this whole idea that if you eat crops that are Monsanto glyphosate-ridden crops, that it might make you more susceptible to Zika virus.  So, perhaps you could just stop, I don’t know, eating Wonder Bread and GMO-based corn to protect yourself against the Zika virus.  Or you could listen to today’s podcast because today’s podcast features a guy who is developing testing protocols that would allow you to just wander into any pharmacy, or health center, or even like a gym, or your own basement and just test yourself for anything.  Not just microbes, but viruses, bacteria.  And we also talk about colony collapse disorders and bees, and it’s a very, very interesting interview.  I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

You might also get a kick out of this recipe, so check this out.  This is chocolate coffee cake with nootropics.  This is a new recipe.  Yes, a chocolate cake that is infused with nootropic, like smart drugs.  And it’s actually not an unhealthy chocolate cake, it’s a protein-rich chocolate cake.  Here’s how you make it.  You get a big scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein, order it from greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, nudge, nudge, wink, wink.  Get about two tablespoons of some kind of a chocolate powder, like a dark cacao powder.  Then you get a quarter cup of brewed coffee infused with nootropics, and I’ll tell you how to get that in a second, half a teaspoon of baking powder, one tablespoon of egg, or I guess you could just crack a whole egg in there or use egg whites, and then two to three tablespoons of coconut milk, or almond milk, or rice milk, or whatever, and that’s your cake batter.  And then you basically make your cake, right.  You put that into the mould, and you bake it, and it makes an amazing coffee-flavored chocolate cake.

That recipe comes to you courtesy, and you can find that recipe at the website I’m about to give you, of Kimera Koffee.  Go to K-i-m-e-r-a-k-o-f-f-e-e dot com, kimerakoffee.com, and you get coffee that’s basically infused with smart drugs, natural herbal nootropics.  Technically, a nootropic is different than a smart drug.  A nootropic is natural, and stuff like taurine, and acetylcholine, and some of the other things that they put into this coffee.  But you get a 10% discount on it, just use code Ben at kimerakoffee.com.

This podcast is also brought to you by something that might pair quite well with your chocolate cake, and that would be one of the most complete protein sources on the face of the planet that is also incredibly rich in minerals, incredibly rich in iron, and incredibly rich in antennae and legs.  No.  I’m just kidding.  Don’t think about antennae and legs.  I’m probably not even supposed to talk about that.  I’m talking about cricket protein bars that do not have antennae or legs in them.  They’re actually incredibly tasty.  They were developed by the former head of R & D at the Fat Duck Restaurant, that was ranked the number one restaurant in the world at the time.  And this is an award-winning three Michelin starred chef who developed these cricket protein bars that have no gluten, no grains, no soy, no dairy, but they’re extremely flavorful.

So, how can you check ’em out?  You go to exoprotein.com/benEXOprotein.com/ben.  And when you do that, you can try a sampler pack with all of the most popular flavors of these Exo protein bars, and that includes free shipping.  That’s a 33% discount.  So you can get a whole bunch of everything from peanut butter and jelly flavored, to Moroccan, to all sorts of crazy, crazy Exo cricket protein bar flavors.

Alright.  Cool.  Well, let’s quit talking about tasty food and go talk about the Zika virus and bees dying.  Shall we?  Alright.  Let’s do this.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show:

“With that sort of ability to track down, you’d be able to say I’ve identified microbes that seem to be associated with the following items.  And if I’m just one of those items, well, there you go.  You have a very interesting path.  So then, what do you do to control those microbes?”  “It’s using the differential mobility to basically separate the viruses from the rest of the particles in the world, and is a fancy particle counter, and it looks just at the particle size of the viruses.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. 

Ben:  Hey, folks.  Ben Greenfield here, and today’s guest on the show is a guy who could, say even, be saving more lives than just about any guest I’ve ever had on the show.  This guy worked for the Army as a microbiologist.  And during that time, he developed a couple of really unique methods of what’s called microbe detection.  So, one of the things he developed is called a universal and physical virus counter.  And the other thing that he helped to develop is a computer program that identifies protein fragments, and detects them within a sample of anything, and then spits out all the microbes in that sample.  We’re talking about anything, from Ebola, to influenza, to Zika, to West Nile virus, to AIDS and beyond.  Including known, or unknown, or mutated viruses.  And if you feel like turning the podcast off now because you don’t have Zika virus or Ebola, and you don’t concern that you have AIDS, I would caution you not to turn the podcast off because there are some very interesting applications for these technologies that could make your life much, much better in the near future, and could go above and beyond simply some of these strange African diseases.

Now my guest’s name is Dr. Charles Wick.  You may have seen him in a New York Times article, that article was called “Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery.”  And it was actually about work that Charles did in the bee population to shed light on colony collapse disorder, which if you love things like honey, and royal jelly, and bee pollen, and just bees in general, as well as nature, something that should concern you, this issue with colony collapse disorder and bees disappearing.  We’re gonna talk a little bit more about that today, but the promise of what Charles does goes beyond bees.  And when it comes to health and fitness, in the right hands, these programs that he’s developed and these technologies that he’s developed could help scientists and physicians study everything from gut, to infection, to a whole bunch of other elements of health.  I mean, just imagine if you had one very inexpensive test that could see everything, literally everything, and beat the pants off old school methods of disease detection.  So we’re talking about like fast acting, really portable, user friendly, very accurate and efficient systems for detecting the presence of screening, identifying, and characterizing things like viruses and microbes.

So, Charles is based out of a tech firm in Montana that’s working to develop these type of applications for airports, and drugstores, and homes, along with developing technologies to help save the bees.  Charles himself, and I will put a very extensive bio, ’cause his bio is very long.  I’ll put an extensive bio if you wanna learn more about him, his website, some of the videos we reference, et cetera, all of that will be over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/wick, as in Charles’ last name, W-I-C-K, bengreenfieldfitness.com/wick.  But he basically is a retired senior scientist from the US Army Chemical Biological Center, where he was a manager and a research physical scientist for years.  He has a 40 plus year professional career that spans the public sector, military, forensic science.  He’s got four different collegiate degrees, a ton of publications, international recognition in everything from the United States Army ballistic research laboratory, to the Department of Defense, to the United States Army, and beyond.  Very decorated, and intelligent, and well-educated gentleman we have with us today.  Dr. Wick, thanks for coming on the show, man.

Charles:  You’re welcome.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Ben:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  And I’m stoked to talk about this stuff ’cause I am, at heart, a nerd and I love to delve into the nitty-gritty science of things that can make our lives better.  But first of all, I’m curious, let’s start here, because you studied colony collapse disorder in bees.  What got you interested in studying the bees?

Charles:  I was given a challenging assignment, to invent and create a new method for detecting microbes, and we were successful with that.  And this is a method that doesn’t require growing them or complicated processes physically based, or particularly the virus detector.  The microbe detector’s a little more complicated, but basically it ends up with a software file that they can get that analyzed.  Okay, so…

Ben:  And if I could interrupt you real briefly, just to highlight the importance of being able to detect microbes.  I mean, microbes are technically like bacteria, fungi, archaea, protists, like we’re pretty much surrounded by these things, 24/7 microbes.  So we’re not just talking about viruses, am I correct?

Charles:  You’re right.  Part of the challenge is what do you do when you have a virus, or bacteria, or fungi?  And they’re old large groups of critters if you will.  So from a point of view, one test to test all that was the goal, and we achieved it.

Ben:  And was that the Army that tasked you with that?  The Department of Defense or the United States Army that tasked you with figuring out a way to identify microbes?

Charles:  Yes.  That was the army.  And you can imagine the army is worried about that because, remember, there’s like a trillion microbes.

Ben:  Oh, yeah.  I mean, absolutely.  I mean there’s microbes, sorry to interrupt, but have you read Hugh Howey’s book, “Silo”?

Charles:  Oh, yes.

Ben:  Okay.  Yeah.

Charles:  Some of those are really good.

Ben:  Yeah.  And it’s basically about how invisible variables wipe out the frickin’ planet.  And I know that biological warfare is certainly a concern here as well, right?

Charles:  Well, you could have things that are made on purpose, and you can have things that are accidental, and you can actually naturally evolving bugs, but the point is with a trillion or more microorganisms, only a small fraction are identified.  So what do you do with the rest of ’em?  And which ones are good, which ones are bad?  And how do we live among them?  That’s a good question.  So, the army’s question was basically, “Okay, we need some sort of universal detector.  We need something that we can put in a truck, and drive around, and detects samples, and do things that other people don’t have to do.”

Ben:  And prior to that point, how would the army have detected microbes, or a lot of these little invisible variables that you were testing for?

Charles:  Well, and I’d love to comment historical methods, we have made a lot of progress and the last 30, 40 forty years.  And we used to grow them, and now we have a little bit better with some of these gene-based methods.  And other methods, if you will, they require processing.  And my great comment is are you still growing these things in the laboratory? (chuckles)  The point is we got past all that.  I haven’t grown a microbe in a lab for a very long time.  It’s unnecessary.

Ben:  What you mean?  Why would you grow a microbe in a lab in the first place?

Charles:  Well, what are the issues?  One of the issues, you grow up an organism, I learned how to do all this, you grow ’em on different agars, you ’em for different reasons, organisms grow up, particularly bacteria, you get different colors, you get different margins around the colony.  You have things that tell you what they are.  Is this staphylococcus?  Is this streptococcus?  Big names.  But the point is you can put them in their phylogenic grouping simply because how they grow, on how you look ’em up.  Now the problem is, when they’re very similar looking and you have large families, for example a lot of things you commented on in other places is E. coli.  There’s lots of kinds of E. coli.  Some are good, some are bad.  Something we’ve seen over the years is serum resistant E. coli, which is not a good thing.  So how do you classify all those?  Well, this gets to be a bigger problem when you have hundreds of microbes, or thousands of microbes, that are very similar but not the same.  And then the point is how do you separate ’em?  So my comment is software replaces glassware.  I ask people the question, “You still growing microbes in the lab?”  Okay, you don’t have to do that.  So the answer, particularly looking for peptides, you can identify microbes using software for a clear, unambiguous identification of bacteria.

Ben:  Okay.

Charles:  Okay.  So you asked the question how did I get into the bees.  We were ready to try this technology out, and just about that time, someone came to me and they said, “Well, you know, there’s bee problem and we think it might be microbe related.  Can you help us out?”  Well, I’ve never looked at bees before.  So, “Sure.  Send me some samples.”  And I remember very well where I got a little baggie of bees crawling around in the bag…

Ben:  They sent you a baggie of bees?

Charles:  They sent me a baggies of bees.  So they’re crawling around in my desk there and I laughed a little bit because I’m a bit of allergic to bee stings.  That’s another story.  So, there it is in the bag, and I gotta see if they’re getting microbes on ’em, right?  So we looked at that.  We took these bees and we basically smashed them up and, there’s a bit of a story there.  How do you smash up a bee?  Particularly if you’re trying to smash up maybe 20 bees.  So we took an old coffee grinder, the type with the pop-up top, and we put ’em in there and we ground them up.  And that was not very successful.  Particularly all the little legs were sticking out around the edge.  So we went to a stainless steel blender, and we made what we call a “boos,” a bee smoothie.

Ben:  I was gonna joke that you used a blender, but you actually did use a blender?

Charles:  We did use a blender.

Ben:  Okay.  So you take these bees that you’re supposed to be detecting microbes in to see if microbes could be causing colony collapse disorder.  The first thing you do is you blend them.  And then what?

Charles:  Well, let me expand on that a little bit.  We can take anything and put it in a blender.  And then you take it and you filter out the big pieces with a cheese cloth.  Not very complicated.

Ben:  Not.  It sounds like how my wife makes almond cheese and almond milk, is with the blender and a cheese cloth strainer.

Charles:  That’s great.  Well, no.  But that’s right.  Okay.  So then what do you do?  On my website is actually a page that has the procedure for actually doing that.

Ben:  What?  For blending up bees?

 Charles:  Not for blending.  For actually running them through the process to prepare them for, I got two things I’m thinking here, so hold on for a second.  I’m gonna run this one down.  Let me talk briefly about the two methods.  The physical virus detection was called the IVDS technology.  And the new improved version is coming out, probably this year.  It’s gonna be called the RapidX.  What it is is a physical way, it’s using differential mobility to basically separate the viruses from the rest of the particles in the world, and it’s a fancy particle counter.  And it looks just at the particle size of the viruses from about 15 nanometers up to 800 nanometers, which includes all the families of viruses, everything.

So if you run a sample through that, and it has a virus particle in it, it’ll come out.  You’ll see it.  There’s some questions about how many viruses do you need.  Well, I was able to get bacteriophage that resolved out of seawater, which is pretty low volume.  Took a couple gallons, but I found bacteriophage in seawater.

Okay.  The other process is, once you’ve discovered a new virus, or a virus of interest, or something you want to identify, what do you do?  The process there is we go back to what I’m gonna call MSP, which is mass spectroscopy proteomics.  You could laugh at the acronym as somewhat changes you could make there.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s a mouthful.

Charles:  MSP worked fine.  So what we’re talking about here, once you’ve identified a sample and you’ve run it through the cheese cloth, then you can take the sample, basically a milliliter, and you take it and you can centrifuge it, take the supernatant and run it through another filter, centrifuge it again to remove the liquid, and you retain basically the proteins using this method.  And then what you do is you dissolve the proteins, and then you take that other part and you vortex it, and you basically end up with 30 microliters of material.  And you dissolve the proteins using trypsin, which take a few minutes, and the trypsin cleaves it at a particular place every time.  And then that protein digestion, you can do it over a period of time.  You can do it fast if you have really good trypsin.  It takes a little longer if you don’t have really good trypsin.  It’s an enzyme.  And then the answer, you take that material and you basically introduce it into a high pressure liquid chromatograph column.  And that’s going to be the part of automatic and that you now have a solution that’s now put into the mass spec.

Ben:  Okay.

Charles:  What the mass spec does, all it’s doing, it’s just an instrument, it actually identifies the peptides that in the sample.  So then, that’s it.  That’s the process.  And that turns into a file.  And then that…

Ben:  Okay.  So if I could back this up for just a second.  What you’re saying is a microbe, whether we’re talking about a virus, or whatever, influenza, Ebola, anything.  I even know there’s some things now that we could talk about later on that are implicated in Alzheimer’s for example, you can take anything and you can identify the specific peptides, the specific protein fragments that make that up.  But rather than, say, getting a bunch of microbes in a glassware in a lab and identifying them using some old school method that makes it difficult to differentiate quickly and effectively between microbes, you’re instead using software combined with this mass spectrometer to identify microbes extremely accurately and quickly?

Charles:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  Now interesting part about that, and this is a change from our whole paradigm of detecting microbes, any mass spectroscope, anywhere in the world that can resolve peptides can be brought into play immediately.  You can send via the internet the file to run on the software, and you can maintain the software at a central place.  You can have it in multiple places.  You can actually have it where you want it.

Ben:  So what you’ve designed is the software to go with the hardware you can find at universities, labs all over the place?  These spectrometers?

Charles:  Right.  Or, say you had a problem in another country.  You could take a sample, grind it up, and run it through the cheese cloth, followed with a simple process there, it doesn’t take very long, go into the university or facility, use their mass spec, get a file, send that electronic file to your lab, and then your lab would basically run it at about two or three minutes, give you an answer back.  It’ll tell you all the microbes in the sample, and put them in their correct phylogenic relationship.  And then from that point of view, you know exactly what you got.

Ben: That’s amazing.  I wanna ask you in a little bit about how we can use this to detect specific things in humans, because I know viruses are related to everything from not just your insides blowing up with something like Ebola, but even things like Alzheimer’s, and influenza, and chronic fatigue, and stuff like that.

Charles:  I’m excited to talk about that ’cause there’s some really good ideas.

Ben:  Yeah.  But first, before we get to that, what’d you find out with the bees?  Like after you put these bees through the blender and you did your microbe analysis on them, what did you discover?

Charles:  Right.  So the question we have now is what do we do about the bees?  And I have to give that a little bit of a background of what we were doing ’cause it was quite involved.  It took 10 years to invent it until we had it up actually working in capable application.  So after that, we were ready to take this and test it somewhere.  Okay, there’s two things we did to kinda just get ready to test, and I’m going to tell a story, and then I’m gonna answer your bee question.  We were asked to look at some potato samples because they were worried about salmonella in the potatoes.  And we were able to detect the salmonella, but we were also able to detect the [0:24:55] ______ that were in the water that was in the water tank that they used to boil the potatoes at.  So, from that point of view we knew we were accurate and we were very sensitive.  And then I got this request, I had these little bees laying on my desk, right?  So we ground these bees up, made a little bee Slurpee there, and we ran it through that process.  We ran it through the mass spec.  And then what we found, we found a relationship between a microsporidium and a virus.  And the virus was an iridescent virus, which not very well identified.

Ben:  What you call it?

Charles:  It’s an iridescent virus.

Ben:  Okay.

Charles:  Now the iridescent virus is not very well-characterized.  There’s a family, and they put a lot of things in there, but the issue was we were able to identify clearly, along with an association with this nosema, and there’s a couple of varieties of nosema.  Statistically, they came out in the samples where the bees were collapsing from those hives where they were falling down.  Now the interesting part about that is statistically it was there, pretty high level of confidence.  The other viruses we found were not in that same relationship.  So the result was, “Okay.  Well, that’s really interesting.”  So this was a head start for people working on colony collapse disorder to basically “here’s where to look”.  But it’s taken a long time [0:26:38] ______ 2010.

Ben:  So you did find that it was a microbe that was responsible for some of this colony collapse disorder?

Charles:  Two microbes in association with each other.

Ben:  Why would bees suddenly be dying from some kind of a microbe?  Was it similar to like antibiotic resistance where we’re slowly creating new resistant types of bacteria?  Is it some kind of an environmental fluke related to global warming or some type of environmental fluctuation?  What would cause this?

Charles:  These are excellent questions because, okay, now that we’ve identified these two, and by the way, if you keep your bees dry and keep them well fed, both these organisms don’t do well in dry, warm conditions, they like it wet and kinda cool.  Okay, so from our point of view, why these two organisms?  Could they be opportunistic organisms?  Possibly.  I don’t think we fully understand the life cycle of a honey bee in the aspect of environmental impacts, nutrition, all the things that you talk about are people.  We don’t particularly understand all that about the insects either, but they could have been weakened.  And these two organisms which are fairly common, I believe, they don’t show up a lot because you don’t see them often because they’re not responsible for interaction very often.  [0:28:07] ______ slight exception, it’s big and you can see it all the time.

Ben:  It’s interesting that you talk about how, perhaps, these microbes are something that the bees are increasingly susceptible to due to weakness.  Because the other argument, or at least the argument that I hear quite often, when it comes to colony collapse disorder is that it is related to things like cell phone use, and radio towers, and some kind of changes in the earth’s electromagnetic field due to industrialization, these type of things.  And it makes me wonder if those are variables that aren’t necessarily killing bees, but are making bees more susceptible to these microbes that you’ve discovered.  Have you given that much thought, or do you know much about these alternative explanations for colony collapse disorder?

Charles:  Well, I have it.  I’ve had a lot of the discussions with a lot of people, a lot of bee keepers, a lot of other people that are having trouble finding the iridescent virus, for example, because the current historic methods are not very set-up to look for co-infections, and particularly by two not very familiar microbes.  That’s a very interesting question.  So when the bees are out working, there’s a couple things here.  Bees are happy.  They’re in their colony there, they’re getting ready to go, they pack them up, they transport ’em across the country.  They set ’em out on places and they put ’em work.  There’s a lot of stressors there.  The transportation, the change in what they’re being fed, the places that they’re set up are sometimes not very well-coordinated with other activities in the area.  So there’s a lot of things going on.  So from that point of view, these two organisms may have popped up and basically got them when they were weakened by something else that, at this point I think, is unknown.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Were bees dying like this before the, again playing devil’s advocate here, like before the advent of cell phones, and electromagnetic pollution, stuff like that?  Like was this an issue or were bees originally being transported, and moved around, and stressed in the ways you’ve just described, but it was until after we saw cell phones and stuff?

Charles:  I don’t see any correlation with cell phones, and radio frequencies, and things like that.

Ben:  Well, I wouldn’t have guessed that because you didn’t whip out your cell phone to kill the bees that got shipped to you.  You instead used a blender.

Charles:  (laughs) Well, the blender was kinda physical there.  But I have some new information for you, which is really exciting.  We have discovered, using the IVDS method, just recently, the last couple of weeks, a new unreported particle size in the virus category that is related to an outbreak right now that’s going on in Wisconsin where the bees are flying away.  The big ones are leaving, the young ones are trying to fill the gap.  Classic colony collapse disorder.  And we’ve identified a brand new particle in the virus range that may be related to that, only found in those bees, which is quite exciting.  So we don’t know what it is at the moment, and we’re in the process of running that down and maybe identifying that.  So first time for your listeners, but we may have found something new.

Ben:  So this is a new microbe that’s never before been observed in bee populations?

Charles:  Right.  As far as we know right now, yes.

Ben:  But bees are already dying.  So wouldn’t these other two microbes that you found already have been established as reasons for colony collapse disorder?

Charles:  Right.  We may have found a third vector, a third thing.

Ben:  Okay.  Alright.  Gotcha.  By the way, Charles, why is it a big deal that bees die off?  I mean why should people care about it?

Charles:  Let me answer that, but let me follow through on your original question.  We’ve looked at 10,000 samples and not seen this one particle before.  So, that’s exciting.  Okay.  Now why is it important, a big deal?  The bees pollinate everything we eat.  A lot of things, well, everything’s a lot big number, but a lot of things we eat.  All the fruits, the vegetables, our crops, as pollinators.  We need the pollinators.  Without the pollinators, we’re probably in big trouble.  So it’s important to find out what’s going on and provide a solution.

Ben:  So we’re talking about the actual health of plants in general, like the plant kingdom in general is intimately tied to whether or not bees are there taking on the task of pollination.

Charles:  Right.  Well, probably more important is our food supply.  Without the bees, our food supply would take a big…

Ben:  Right.  Specifically our agricultural food supply.

Charles:  Right.  The plants will probably find a way, but we probably wouldn’t find a way to replace the food.

Ben:  So we’re not just talking about like a disappearance of honey in grocery stores?  We’re talking about an actual sub-par existence of plant matter on earth if bees die out.  So in terms of this microbe detection, I mean like when you find microbes like this, Charles, are you pretty much just the guy that’s tasked with identifying and testing for microbes?  Or do you know if, let’s say you find this third microbe that you just found that could be responsible for colony collapse disorder, like what do you do with that?  I mean how do you figure out how to actually kill that microbe, or how to make bees less susceptible to that microbe?  Like what action can you take?

Charles:  Well, the first action there is to found out what it is.  And then the second action is what do you do about it.  Some of these things are really easy like the nosema and the iridescents.  Keep it warm, keep it dry.  That’s pretty easy directions, right?  From a point of view of a…

Ben:  That’s how you kill the microbe?  You keep it warm and keep it dry?

Charles:  Both the nosema and the iridescent like cold, cool places.  Wet, cool places.  So if you keep it warm, and you keep it dry, and you feed them, the answer is the bees are happy and they appear not to get any infections.  That leads…

Ben:  Interesting.  So you keep the area that bees actually live in dry and somewhat warm, and they’re not susceptible to colony collapse disorder?

Charles:  They appear not to collapse.  That’s correct.

Ben:  Are bee keepers doing this now?  Like do people know this?

Charles:  Well, some are doing it, and they’re doing okay.  Some are not, and they’re not doing okay. (laughs)

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.

Charles:  I think that’s really funny.  I mean, how they gonna do this?  It’s so complicated, you know.

Ben:  Yeah.  It seems like a very simple, simple solution in terms of how one would save the bees.  And I know like again, back to the folks listening in, let’s say that you don’t care about bees or perhaps you don’t care about plants, but you are interested in how this technology could be used in your own body.  Charles, can you talk a little bit about this?  Because, obviously, I don’t think it’s very difficult for people to wrap their heads around how this technology could be used to identify microbes that would cause infections in humans, but my first question for you is is this being used currently in health technology, or in humans, or in hospitals, or anything like that?

Charles:  What it’s being used for right now, there is a company that is using, actually there’s two companies.  One company’s looking at insects, and they monitor the virus load over period of time.  And they reported, from that point of view, beekeepers are able to make managerial decisions on what to do with their bees based on their virus load, if you will.  There’s another company that is using the software to identify and monitor microbes in food, and it’s being used quite widely.

Ben:  Okay.

Charles:  If you think about that, I mean back to the potatoes question, that was very interesting that we did that and we were able to do it really easily.  A question that you were interested in was what’s another application?  We got a sample from a dentist, just a saliva sample or a mouth sample, and we were able to detect the bacteria, and cavities, and other things in the mouth.  He had done an examination and he did not seen anything, so he was really surprised.  And going to look in closer, he found out there were two carries that he was able to then go do something with.  We were able to predict that basically on the micro identification, and unfamiliar microbes.  By the way, unfamiliar microbes can be sorted out easily.

Ben:  Now how are you doing this though?  Because, obviously, there’s millions, probably billions, of microbes.

Charles:  Trillions.

Ben:  When you get something like saliva, or you get blood, it’s just this huge boatload of microbes, how do you even know what you’re looking for?

Charles:  Or environmental.  We found over 800 organisms on the honey bees.  And from that point of view, I’m gonna answer your question, but I’m gonna explain a little bit.  Eight hundred different organisms on honey bees.  We had a hive that was an observation hive in the building, and there were other places in the building where they were using microbes for various reason.  We were able to, off the honey bees, detect every microbe in that building because the bees got it from the stacks where they went.  The bees were able to find those microbes.

Okay.  So if you have a, remember I mentioned the peptides.  What the software’s looking for are unique peptides for an organism.  It turns out that organisms have many unique peptides.  I’m gonna step through the process a little bit ’cause it takes a moment to explain.  We have grown a lot in the last several years, sequencing everything: microbes, people’s geomes.  We sequence it, we have a natural repository for things that are sequenced.  So all the gene-based methods are based on the knowledge of what’s available in the sequence.  So if you have a traditional method, like PCR, you’re gonna take little pieces of that information, and if you can get it to match up, then you have an identification.  What I’ve done here is we’ve taking that one step further.  Instead of looking for three pieces or a couple of little pieces, an organism might have 80,000 different unique peptides.  And we only need 5 of those unique peptides for a statistically relevant identification.  Often we get a lot more of that.

Ben:  Okay.

Charles:  But the point is it’s a lot easier to find four or five peptides than it is to match up three particular primers on a PCR.  So, one step further.  So we have the ability to download those sequences.  From a microbe’s sequence, you can calculate all the proteins that that microbe can make ever.  This is all that’s available from the genetic make-up of that microbe.  These are the proteins they can make.  And if you know the proteins, you can calculate all the peptides that the proteins are made of.  All of them.  So by calculation, we have all the peptides of organism A, all the peptides of organism B, compare them, and you’ll find differences.  And if you compare all the microbes that we have sequenced, which are in thousands, you sort that matrix, and you’ll find unique peptides popping out for all the microbes.

Ben:  But the software’s doing all this?

Charles:  The software does it.  Yeah.  It’s great.  It used to take months to do that by computer.  The advent of the new computers and the new mass specs, we were able to shorten that time down to minutes.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s great.  Kinda sounds similar to when I was doing a biomechanics practicum, and we have to manually digitize each different movement, and this gets for say the bench press.  And for every single frame, hundreds of frames in one single bench press for one subject for one rep in just one part of the study.  You would have to sit there, in front of the computer with your mouse, clicking away, and digitizing each point on the shoulder, the elbow, and the wrist, and then repeat for the next frame.  And I remember finishing that entire internship, coming home, and then someone showed me a piece of software that could do this with the entire summer doing in minutes.

Charles:  We plugged in a new computer, what we were doing in weeks, we did it in minutes.  You asked me a really good question.  How does this apply to the body and what are we doing?

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s what I wanted to ask.

Charles:  Now, from a point of view, and I’ve read a lot of your things on your talks and what you’ve written on gut bacteria.  Well, it’s complex to do all of the organisms in a stool sample, right?  But how easy is it to grind it up in a blender, run it through, get an identification of all the microbes than a stool sample?  That’s easy.  So, suddenly we turned something this messy and complicated into something that’s a file that can be analyzed.

Ben:  So you can take all of the microbes in my stool sample with a very, very small amount of stool, and identify any microbe nearly instantly and extremely inexpensively?

Charles:  Right.  Exactly right.  In one sample.  So you can actually clock down over time and say, “This is my microflora in the gut over time.”  “And I was feeling good this day, I wasn’t feeling so good that day.”  “I traveled from Los Angeles to Singapore, and it changed and this is what happened.”

Ben:  But I still have to send each of those samples off somewhere to like a lab, right?

Charles:  Well, you have to send it to, you have to get it to a mass spec so they can run it through the sample.

Ben:  How realistic is it that we would be able to have mass specs in our homes, for example?

Charles:  They’re getting smaller and they’re getting more reasonable.

Ben:  ‘Cause I think that would be cool, to just be able to take any sample, like a saliva sample, a stool sample, blood sample, et cetera, and be able to test yourself for influenza, bacterial balance, anything like that at the drop of a hat.

Charles:  I totally agree with that.  The software is already made.  Doesn’t matter the size of the mass spec.  All you have to do is be able to resolve the peptides.  Okay.  So if you designed a mass spec specifically designed just to give you the peptides, the point is you can make that fairly unique and small.  And then I can see it being portable the future.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.

Charles:  But let me follow the other piece.

Ben:  Yeah.

Charles:  Because we’re looking at the peptides, we see all the peptides in the sample.

Ben:  Okay.

Charles:  We go and look for the unique peptides for microbes, and we basically are, the software will sort out the other peptides, and right now we’re not particularly using them.  But if you think of all the proteins in the body, we could calculate all the peptides there in the body, we could figure out where they are, and we could figure out that list and sort out whether that’s meaningful information on your health or not.  I think that would be really easy to do.

Ben:  Now what about specific microbes that are responsible for some of these things that we see causing chronic infections in people?  Chronic fatigue syndrome has been blamed on infectious diseases in the past.  There’s even talk now, I don’t know, are you very familiar with the idea that Alzheimer’s can be an infectious disease?

Charles:  I’ve heard that.

Ben:  Okay.

Charles:  I haven’t seen really good evidence yet.

Ben:  Yeah.  The idea is that there is a pathogen and that Alzheimer’s is partially caused by imbalances in the sinus microbiome.  There’s different types of Alzheimer’s, right?  There’s one that’s like glycotoxic where you have a bunch of different fluctuations in blood sugar and that can eventually cause insulin resistance and advanced glycation end-products in the brain.

Charles:  All of those cycles are huge cycles.  There’s a big chemistry cycle going on for basically everything.  The body’s made up of huge cycles.  So you could have an imbalance here that’s causing an imbalance in the cycle.

Ben:  But you’ll also see things like chronic viral infections as being something that could potentially be related to like a toxin exposure or an infection that can cause similar types of neural inflammation that could potentially be related to Alzheimer’s and the potential, I guess, for some kind of like an anti-microbial treatment for dementia or for Alzheimer’s versus just like controlling blood sugar or something like that.  Can you walk me through, if something is like microbial-related, like what would be the steps via which someone might test and address something using this software and microbial detection system that you’ve developed for something like that?

Charles:  Well, the first thing, people have asked me that question before this, is this is not a simple answer, but I’ll try to summarize it here.  When you’re looking at something like that, that may be a result of something that you’re not majoring, if you will, you have to look at the whole system.  I don’t know if I would say that quite right, but remember what I said on microbes.  I can literally grind up a rat tell you everything that’s in it.  Right?

Ben:  It’s a pleasant thought.

Charles:  I know.  I gave that at a talk once, and everyone understood that right away.  Well, you could tell every microbe that’s in that sample.  So from a point of view, if you have something that you suspect, you need to take a look at the sample and you need to see if there’s any microbes in it.  And if there are microbes in it, you need to identify which ones they are.  And remember this tray is a microbe that’s a daunting go about.  But I’ll refer you back to a paper I did on, it’s in Nature Proceedings where we looked at the influenza outbreak that we had in 2008.  We found 65 different strains of that influenza, and we could look and see where people were moving around because someone with strain A moved over to a different city, and it was picked up over there, and gave it to other people.  So with that sort of ability to track down, you’d be able to say, “I’ve identified microbes that seemed to be associated with the following items.”  And if I were one of those items, well, there you go.  You have a very interesting path.

So then what do you do to control those microbes?  But going back to the bees, we found two microbes, they were always associated.  So maybe it was an indirect major of some environmental stressor that was actually causing the bees to collapse.  Likewise, in the body system which is complex, but you can break it down into its systems.  We may be able to use the microbes as an indicator of a symptom or a condition that’s going on.  I mean, why do some systems tend to stop working?  Well, you can go into a lot of discussion about that, but sometimes you can go back to, “I wanna use the environment.”  Nutrition is a good one.  Toxins is another one.  What this system doing?  Then from a point of view, have you kept it in shape?  I don’t know if everybody tends to those things very well.  So if you could identify the microbes or the peptides, associate it with something, then you can backtrack that and make the proteins, and you begin to sort out from a forensic diagnostic sort of capability that I don’t think we have that right now.

Ben:  I don’t understand how this actually works fully, but in terms of pharmaceutical or natural, such as say, essential oil or plant-based medicine treatments for something like a specific microbe, how difficult is it to say, okay, this disease, or this condition, or this bee collapse is associated with microbe X.  And this is the molecule, or this is the compound that can actually kill, or deactivate, or destroy microbe X, so we can therefore develop a patented or targeted delivery mechanism to fix a microbe that appears to be associated with a certain condition?

Charles:  Are you familiar with essential oil used to treat bees?

Ben:  No.

Charles:  Okay.  They’ve actually tried that, and there was a study that’s been done that showed the effect of essential oils on bee health.

Ben:  Really?

Charles:  Those that were treated with essential oils tend to have lower microbe populations.

Ben:  Yeah, that make sense like I travel with, for example, like one blend of essential oils called Thieves Essential Oil.  And I’ll do everything from like put that on any type of open wound when I’m getting on an airplane, or I’ll put a few dabs in my mouth.  That, or another one I use quite frequently is oil of oregano.  And it seems to help quite a bit, knock on wood, with keeping me from getting sick when I travel.  And so what they’ve found is that when you give these type of microbe killing essential oils to bees, you see a disruption in that microbial occurrence, but do you also see less bees dying?  Like do you see less colony collapse disorder?

Charles:  Yes.  And you don’t tend to have collapse.  But is it 100% due to the essential oil?  Or the essential oils just make it tolerable?  I don’t know the answer to that.  But the answer is when you do use an essential oil, it’s successful.

Ben:  Can you take a microbe, and test it, and say, “Okay.  These are the compounds that this microbe would be sensitive to.”

Charles:  I’m not sure those tests have been done.  Not in the sense you’re asking.  But the essential oils don’t tend to, as I’ve seen them around some of the microbes, they don’t tend to be toxic to the microbe.  It’s more improving the health of the bee.  So the bee’s system could actually tolerate the microbes.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  So you’re basically making the bee a little bit more resilient.

Charles:  Yeah.  Making the bee healthy.

Ben:  Now in terms of other applications, so you’ve basically got two technology.  You’ve got this mass spectrometry and you’ve got this integrated virus detection, and when you put both together, you’re basically able to identify anything that has a microbe in it extremely quickly when it comes to disease detection or anything else.  Tell me about ways that, ’cause your product, so to speak, pretty intimately.  What are some other ways that you are most excited about in terms of applications of this technology that I haven’t touched on?

Charles:  Well, something that would be, well Ben, you’re so excited.  You do a lot of cool things.  I do with the same enthusiasm.  It would be really terrific if this could be made portable to a point where anybody could use it.  Because it’s suddenly not complicated for people to run their own samples, and you get a computer printout, or just on the screen.  Shoot, it be on your smartphone.  And it would tell you, “what do you have today.”  It would separate the difference between influenza, infectious diseases, common microbes.  You could color code it to basically be, it’s possible with a blood sample to even tell you what you’re immunized against, and when was your last immunization on those because of the level of information you can get.  Easy.  So you could have a printout, I say printout, I’m an old guy, remember.  You could have a thing on your cell phone that would tell you…

Ben:  That’s what we’ll call a printout from now on, by the way.  The thing on your cell phone.

Charles:  Yeah.  That’s right.  Your personal little thing you carry around.  From a point of view, you can get a printout, a list that would tell you these are the organisms that I have going on today, and it would printout in number, and it would tell you what relative number you have, and it would tell you which ones are dangerous, which ones are not dangerous, which ones are benign.  You color code them to ones that are important to have, and ones that are not important to have.  You could compare them over the list of the last week or year, and you can say I’m missing these, these are new, and that sort of thing.  And you could correlate those to your health readouts, and statistically analyze all that on your smart phone.  Wouldn’t that be neat?

Ben:  How close are we, like I don’t really know too much about mass spec technology in terms of the size of current mass specs versus how small we can make them.  Obviously computers used to fill an entire room, and now we can fit them into teeny, tiny elements smaller than a smartphone.  But how close are we to teeny tiny little mass specs that could be incorporated into, say, a cellphone?

Charles:  Absolutely excellent question.  The mythology of mass specs, chemists love to think that they have a monopoly on mass specs, right?  I’m just gonna give my thing in there on chemists.  Mass specs are on the Curiosity Rover that’s on, Mars.  DARPA, agency in [0:55:47] ______ , had them so that they were almost the size that fit in the palm of your hand.  And all you have to do is make it long enough so that they would resolve your peptides.  And remember what I said about making these focused on peptides.  You could make it save a lot of room on other places.  The hardware is not very big.  The electronics is not very big.  And that’s it.  So you would basically take a sample, you gotta run it through the little procedure there to liberate the peptides, but once you’ve, and that doesn’t take very long.  It’s not a really big thing.  I had one of those that was basically the size of a quarter, and the whole thing fit in my hand.  So the issue isn’t the mass spec could be the same size.  If we put a little effort on it, and you would literally have something, right now, I think what’s in reach now if you wanted to build it, it would be size of a big lunch pail.

Ben:  That would be a pretty cool project.  I mean if you’re listening in and you’re in the technology sector, feel free to pipe in in the comments section over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/wick.

Charles:  And my comment to them, go make it!

Ben:  Yeah. I mean, that’s what I’m thinking.  I know that I would personally be very interested in being able to keep a running tab on my personal microbe balance 24/7.  Or at least be able to check in every day.

Charles:  That would get you the answer I was thinking, this would be incredibly useful.  You’d have lots of people lookin’, and we could network this stuff.  We could put it up on the internet.  People would be talking say,  “I saw this.”  “I saw that” and  “I have this.”

Ben:  Right.

Charles:  And suddenly you would have a lot more information to tell us what’s going on in our microbial world.  For example, the Zika virus.  Where is it at?  How common is it?  Are you gonna walk down the street and find it?  I don’t think it’s that common, and people are having a hard time tracking it down.

Ben:  Absolutely.  And one could theoretically detect a food, right?  I can take a food similar to, you took the bees, I could blend that up and put on to such a device in the same way that would test, for example, my saliva to assess the microbial content of food?

Charles:  Right.  Food, compared to the environmental samples like the insects outside, food’s really easy.

Ben:  Interesting.

Charles:  And people’s systems are really easy.  I mean, saliva, all the fluids that people have, and I’m very excited, very interested on the discussion on the gut microflora.  ‘Cause I think we mess with that a lot.  I don’t think in necessarily a positive way.

Ben:  Yeah.  Even the human gut project, which I took part in and sent my saliva, and cheek swab, and stool samples off to, it was weeks, and weeks, and weeks before I got a result.  And I also know that type of technology is not applicable yet to the masses, or instantly accessible in one’s phone, for example.

Charles:  But the point is that whole test, if you were getting the samples back the next day, it would tell you, you could monitor things and change the variables, and adjust it and see what the results are.

Ben: Yeah.  Exactly.

Charles:  You’re talking about weeks, you’re talking about days for, a couple.  It’s a hot topic.  You’re talking about minutes, to maybe an hour or so, or maybe overnight for samples that are taking up to 10 days, or two weeks, or longer to do.  And we’re talking about we can see, not too far away, where people can do this themselves.  And then you’ve changed everything.

Ben:  Absolutely.  I love it.  And you’ve got books on this too, for people who really want to geek out, so to speak, one book that Charles has is called “Integrated Virus Detection”, another is called “Identifying Microbes by Mass Spectrometry Proteomics”.  I will put a link to those in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/wick, along with Charles’ research page, this New York Times article about how scientists and soldiers solved the bee mystery, a couple of YouTube videos in which Charles answers questions about everything from how this could be used to stop terrorists using Ebola, to more questions about the universal microbe detection system, and how we really can detect every microbe in a single sample using this technology.

Whenever I put out a podcast like this, it’s because I see the application, and the potential help that this could give to the world, and the assistance it could give all of us in terms of making our bodies, and our brains, and our lives better through the process of self-qualification.  And so if you want to jump in and add your own thoughts, or you have ideas about how we could, for example, get mass spec incorporated into a cell phone app that could then be paired with Charles’s software to allow for instant microbe detection, anything like that, go to the comments section at bengreenfieldfitness.com/WICK.  Leave a comment, and let’s get a discussion going about this stuff because this is the type of technology that can change the world.  So, Charles, thanks for coming on the show and sharing this stuff with us, man.

Charles:  I appreciate it.  I could get very passionate.  I’d be happy to answer your questions.

Ben:  Awesome.  Alright, folks.  Well, until next time, this is Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Charles Wick signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

Today’s podcast guest is a guy who could save and be saving more lives than any guest I’ve ever had on the podcast.

While working for the army as a microbiologist, he developed two extremely unique methods of microbe detection. The first is a universal and physical virus counter (IVDS). The second is a computer program that, in conjunction with Mass Spectrometry, identifies the unique protein fragments (peptides) within a sample of anything and universally detects all the microbes in a sample (MSP) – from Ebola to influenza to Zika, West Nile Virus, AIDS and beyond, including known, unknown, and mutated viruses.

He was the feature of the NY Times Article: Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery, which was about work he did in the bee population in 2010 to shed light on colony collapse disorder.

But the promise of what he does goes beyond bees, and when it comes to health and fitness, in the right hands his Mass Spect Proteomics program could help scientists and physicians study the gut, infection and other elements of health. The need for a lot of lab work would be eliminated and human body clinicians would no longer be limited to parameters of particular panels, because they would now have access to one very inexpensive test that sees everything – EVERYTHING – and beats the pants off old-school methods of disease detection. The Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS) he helped to develop is a fast-acting, highly portable, user-friendly, extremely accurate and efficient system for detecting the presence of, screening, identifying, and characterizing viruses.

Let’s say, for example, you get bit by a mosquito (this analogy is inspired by the newspaper clip below that I was just reading this morning).

Over several days, you feel increasingly worse and worse.

What if, using your own saliva or other body fluid, you could immediately test in the comfort of your own home to see if you had Zika, West Nile, or some other microbe-related issue?

That’s possible.

My guest is Dr. Charles Wick, and he is based out of a small tech firm in Montana that is working to make IVDS laptop sized units to be used use in mobile applications like airports, drugstores, homes, etc. to help quickly and accurately diagnose the flu and other bugs, along with developing technologies to help bee keepers manage their hives to save insects like bees and beetles.

Dr. Wick is a retired senior scientist from the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) where he served both as a manager and research physical scientist and has made significant contributions to forensic science. Although his 40+ year professional career has spanned both the public sector and the military, his better-known work in the area of forensic science has occurred in concert with the Department of Defense (DOD). After earning four degrees from the University of Washington, Dr. Wick worked in the private sector for twelve years, leading to a patent, numerous publications, and international recognition among his colleagues.

In 1983, Dr. Wick joined the Vulnerability/Lethality Division of the United States Army Ballistic Research Laboratory, where he quickly achieved recognition as a manager and principal investigator. It was at this point that he made one of his first major contributions to forensic science and to the field of antiterrorism; his team was the first to utilize current technology to model sub-lethal chemical, biological, and nuclear agents. This achievement was beneficial to all areas of the Department of Defense, as well as to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and gained Wick international acclaim as an authority on individual performance for operations conducted on a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) battlefield.

During his career in the United States Army, Wick rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Chemical Corps. He served as a Unit Commander for several rotations, a staff officer for six years (he was an Division Chemical Staff Officer for two rotations), Deputy Program Director Biological Defense Systems, and retired from the position of Commander of the 485th Chemical Battalion in April of 1999. Dr. Wick continued to work for the DOD as a civilian at ECBC. Two notable achievements, and one which earned him the Department of the Army Research and Development Award for Technical Excellence and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer Award in 2002, include his involvement in the invention of the Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS), a fast-acting, highly portable, user-friendly, extremely accurate and efficient system for detecting the presence of, screening, identifying, and characterizing viruses. The IVDS can detect and identify the full spectrum of known, unknown, and mutated viruses, from AIDS to foot and mouth disease, to West Nile Virus, and beyond.

This system is compact, portable, and does not rely upon elaborate chemistry. The second, and equally award winning, was his leadership in the invention of the method for detecting and identifying microbes using Mass Spectrometry Proteomics. Each of these projects represent determined ten year efforts and are novel in their approaches to the detection and classification of microbes from complex matrices. Both topics are the subjects of two books published by CRC Press. Throughout his career, Wick has made lasting and important contributions to forensic science and to the field of antiterrorism. Dr. Wick holds several U.S. Patents in the area of microbe detection and classification. He has written more than forty-five civilian and military publications and has received myriad awards and citations, including the Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, two United States Army Achievement Medals for Civilian Service, the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, the Technical Cooperation Achievement Award and twenty-five other decorations and awards for military and community service.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What bees disappearing has to do with the Zika virus…[15:38]

-Why colony collapse disorder in bees is happening (and whether cell phones are to blame)…[24:12 & 28:20]

-Why it’s actually a pretty big deal for your health if bees die off…[31:00, 32:40 & 38:00]

-What can be done now to keep bees from disappearing…[34:00 & 51:15]

-How the biological testing equipment Charles developed is extremely unique, and why older detection methods are flawed…[18:30, 37:50 & 46:25]

-Ways this technology can be used to quickly find out if you have things like MRSA, Lyme, influenza or some kind of underlying chronic infection…[37:10 & 44:40]

-How the smartphone of the future could be used to detect virtually any microbial condition…[53:35]

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Book: Integrated Virus Detection

Book: Identifying Microbes by Mass Spectrometry Proteomics

The research page of Charles Wick

NY Times Article: Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

The essential oils Ben Greenfield uses

Video 1 from YouTube: Charles discusses Mass Spectrometry Proteomics (MSP) and Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS). Both, universal microbe detectors that, including Ebola, could universally detect every microbe in a single sample.

Video 2 from YouTube: In this second half, Charles answers questions about his IP, terrorist using Ebola, how MSP and IVDS have all but made PCR detection methods obsolete, and of course the meaning of life.

 

 

The Best Way To Test For Zika Virus & Beyond: One Single, Very Inexpensive Test That Can Measure EVERYTHING – An Interview With Army Microbiologist & Virus Expert Dr. Charles Wick.

wick (1)

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

Today’s podcast guest is a guy who could save and be saving more lives than any guest I’ve ever had on the podcast.

While working for the army as a microbiologist, he developed two extremely unique methods of microbe detection. The first is a universal and physical virus counter (IVDS). The second is a computer program that, in conjunction with Mass Spectrometry, identifies the unique protein fragments (peptides) within a sample of anything and universally detects all the microbes in a sample (MSP) – from Ebola to influenza to Zika, West Nile Virus, AIDS and beyond, including known, unknown, and mutated viruses.

He was the feature of the NY Times Article: Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery, which was about work he did in the bee population in 2010 to shed light on colony collapse disorder.

But the promise of what he does goes beyond bees, and when it comes to health and fitness, in the right hands his Mass Spect Proteomics program could help scientists and physicians study the gut, infection and other elements of health. The need for a lot of lab work would be eliminated and human body clinicians would no longer be limited to parameters of particular panels, because they would now have access to one very inexpensive test that sees everything – EVERYTHING – and beats the pants off old-school methods of disease detection. The Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS) he helped to develop is a fast-acting, highly portable, user-friendly, extremely accurate and efficient system for detecting the presence of, screening, identifying, and characterizing viruses.

Let’s say, for example, you get bit by a mosquito (this analogy is inspired by the newspaper clip below that I was just reading this morning).

Over several days, you feel increasingly worse and worse.

What if, using your own saliva or other body fluid, you could immediately test in the comfort of your own home to see if you had Zika, West Nile, or some other microbe-related issue?

IMG_8774

That’s possible.

My guest is Dr. Charles Wick, and he is based out of a small tech firm in Montana that is working to make IVDS laptop sized units to be used use in mobile applications like airports, drugstores, homes, etc. to help quickly and accurately diagnose the flu and other bugs, along with developing technologies to help bee keepers manage their hives to save insects like bees and beetles.

Dr. Wick is a retired senior scientist from the US Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) where he served both as a manager and research physical scientist and has made significant contributions to forensic science. Although his 40+ year professional career has spanned both the public sector and the military, his better-known work in the area of forensic science has occurred in concert with the Department of Defense (DOD). After earning four degrees from the University of Washington, Dr. Wick worked in the private sector for twelve years, leading to a patent, numerous publications, and international recognition among his colleagues.

In 1983, Dr. Wick joined the Vulnerability/Lethality Division of the United States Army Ballistic Research Laboratory, where he quickly achieved recognition as a manager and principal investigator. It was at this point that he made one of his first major contributions to forensic science and to the field of antiterrorism; his team was the first to utilize current technology to model sub-lethal chemical, biological, and nuclear agents. This achievement was beneficial to all areas of the Department of Defense, as well as to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and gained Wick international acclaim as an authority on individual performance for operations conducted on a nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) battlefield.

During his career in the United States Army, Wick rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Chemical Corps. He served as a Unit Commander for several rotations, a staff officer for six years (he was an Division Chemical Staff Officer for two rotations), Deputy Program Director Biological Defense Systems, and retired from the position of Commander of the 485th Chemical Battalion in April of 1999. Dr. Wick continued to work for the DOD as a civilian at ECBC. Two notable achievements, and one which earned him the Department of the Army Research and Development Award for Technical Excellence and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer Award in 2002, include his involvement in the invention of the Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS), a fast-acting, highly portable, user-friendly, extremely accurate and efficient system for detecting the presence of, screening, identifying, and characterizing viruses. The IVDS can detect and identify the full spectrum of known, unknown, and mutated viruses, from AIDS to foot and mouth disease, to West Nile Virus, and beyond.

This system is compact, portable, and does not rely upon elaborate chemistry. The second, and equally award winning, was his leadership in the invention of the method for detecting and identifying microbes using Mass Spectrometry Proteomics. Each of these projects represent determined ten year efforts and are novel in their approaches to the detection and classification of microbes from complex matrices. Both topics are the subjects of two books published by CRC Press. Throughout his career, Wick has made lasting and important contributions to forensic science and to the field of antiterrorism. Dr. Wick holds several U.S. Patents in the area of microbe detection and classification. He has written more than forty-five civilian and military publications and has received myriad awards and citations, including the Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, two United States Army Achievement Medals for Civilian Service, the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, the Technical Cooperation Achievement Award and twenty-five other decorations and awards for military and community service.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What bees disappearing has to do with the Zika virus…[15:38]

-Why colony collapse disorder in bees is happening (and whether cell phones are to blame)…[24:12 & 28:20]

-Why it’s actually a pretty big deal for your health if bees die off…[31:00, 32:40 & 38:00]

-What can be done now to keep bees from disappearing…[34:00 & 51:15]

-How the biological testing equipment Charles developed is extremely unique, and why older detection methods are flawed…[18:30, 37:50 & 46:25]

-Ways this technology can be used to quickly find out if you have things like MRSA, Lyme, influenza or some kind of underlying chronic infection…[37:10 & 44:40]

-How the smartphone of the future could be used to detect virtually any microbial condition…[53:35]

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Book: Integrated Virus Detection

Book: Identifying Microbes by Mass Spectrometry Proteomics

The research page of Charles Wick

NY Times Article: Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

The essential oils Ben Greenfield uses

Video 1 from YouTube: Charles discusses Mass Spectrometry Proteomics (MSP) and Integrated Virus Detection System (IVDS). Both, universal microbe detectors that, including Ebola, could universally detect every microbe in a single sample.

Video 2 from YouTube: In this second half, Charles answers questions about his IP, terrorist using Ebola, how MSP and IVDS have all but made PCR detection methods obsolete, and of course the meaning of life.

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

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

Podcast from http://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/08/what-is-cyto-detox/

[0:00] Introduction

[2:41] Onnit

[3:57] Blue Apron

[5:40] Introduction to today’s episode

[7:13] All about Dr. Daniel Pompa

[9:20] Dr. Dan’s Story

[14:28] What is a Challenge Test?

[21:42] Should People Still Be Worried About Metal Poisoning

[24:26] What Dan Did To Get Rid Of the Metals

[29:49] The Errors Other Detoxification Protocols Are Making

[33:50] What is Zeolite

[40:38] How To Do Dan’s Five R’s

[56:24] What is Hydrolized Zeolite

[1:02:45] Clinoptilolite Zeolite or Cyto Detox

[1:04:30] How Long One Would Use Cyto Detox For

[1:08:02] How Cyto Detox Got Developed

[1:17:14] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, folks.  I’m back, back at it. (takes a sip of coffee)  And when I say back at it, I mean back at that annoying habit of sipping coffee during my podcast introduction for you.  It’s because I’ve been getting up early.  All this travel forces me to duck into my basement in the wee hours, where my recording studio is, and get this stuff ready for you before I go hop on a plane.  But it also means I’m drinking coffee once again while I record.  So today, you’re going to hear an episode with, sorry, I’m distracted.  My puppy just came in the room.  We have a new puppy, a Blue Heeler named Comet to go along with our Rhodesian Ridgeback named Blitzen.  I digress.

Today’s podcast is with Dr. Dan Pompa, cellular detoxification expert.  That sounds like kind of a woo-woo term, cellular detoxification, but this guy is actually one of the best chiropractic docs on the face of the planet, somebody a ton of physicians look up to as a source of outside-the-box thinking, and you will discover what I mean by that when you listen in to today’s show.  I will tell you that this is not the normal Q & A with Rachel and I that you’re used to hearing on Wednesdays, a) because we’re now releasing interviews on Wednesdays interspersed with the Q & A and banter between Rachel and I.

Also at the time that you’re hearing this, I’m either losing track of my schedule.  I’m either hunting elk in the mountains of Colorado near Trinidad, Colorado with my bow, or I am filming a TV show in Burbank, California which I’ll tell you about at some point, but I’m sworn to secrecy right now.  The other thing is that I just returned from Malibu, California where I recorded a couple other great podcast episodes for you with Neil Strauss and Rick Rubin, both really interesting episodes.  I also worked out with Neil and Rick just yesterday in the gym of the guy who’s called “The Fittest Old Guy on The Face of the Planet.”  We did the old school workout called “The Hardest Workout in the World” from Esquire Magazine.  So we did this in the basement of Don Wildman’s home.  And basically, Don has a bunch of pneumatic pump exercise machines all lined up in a row, and you do 30 repetitions of each machine, then 20, and then 10.  And between each rep, you do abdominal exercise.  We went two hours.  Just a machine based circuit, which was interesting and induced slight rhabdomyolysis, or excessive muscle damage, and inflammation, and peeing slightly orange before I got on the plane.

However, I have to say that I’m still a bigger fan of my own gym, and the reason for that is because my own gym is comprised of a bunch of functional equipment: tires, sandbags, big kettlebells, little kettlebells, ballistic medicine balls, a speed rope, a battle rope.  My entire gym is pretty much outfitted by this company called Onnit.  You need to point your web browser to o-n-n-i-t dot com, and go check out the stuff these guys have in their gym.  Do I think that I will live longer than this guy, Don Wildman, whose workout we did yesterday?  Yes.  If I keep swinging these zombie-faced and chimp-faced kettlebells around?  Quite possibly, 150, 180, hundred, I dunno.  I’m just throwing some numbers out there.  Anyways, Onnit.  How do you save?  You go to onnit.com/bengreenfield, and you can get 10% off any supplements and foods, you can get 5% off anything you need to make your gym more than just a machine-based circuit, which is great if you have a bum knee, but I honestly am just a bigger fan of functional moves.  Just saying, even though I had a great workout yesterday.

Okay.  This podcast is also brought to you by what I consider to be one of the best ways to learn how to cook conveniently and get fresh meals delivered to your home.  It’s called Blue Apron.  And one thing I wanted to point out to you, alright, get out the Prairie Home Companion music, sit back, put on your prairie muffin dress, and lean back in your rocking chair.  Cooking together build strong family bonds.  I’m not kidding.  My kids and I cook these Blue Apron meals together, and then we actually sit down and watch Master Chef.  It’s like this weekly thing that we do.  They did research on this and they showed that people who cook with these meals that get delivered to your home, they cook nearly three times more often, they spend more time together, they eat together more often, but Blue Apron is more than that.

Their beef is raised humanely, their chickens are free-range, their pork is ranged naturally, they use regenerative farming practices, their seafood is sourced sustainably.  They put it all together, they ship it to your house with recipe cards that allow you open a box and just cook whatever you wanna cook based off of what Blue Apron has sent to you.  Actually, it’s not whatever you wanna, unless you’re one of those independent learners who, when you were a kid, dumped all the Legos out of a box, threw away the instructions, and built your own version of what was on the cover.  No.  They include recipe cards, just like Lego boxes include Lego instructions, and you simply follow.  One, two, three, boom, and you’re a five star chef.  You can get three meals free with free shipping when you go to blueapron.com/ben.  Three meals free with free shipping at blueapron.com/ben.  Blue Apron, drum roll please, a better way to cook.

Alright.  Let’s jump into today’s episode with Dr. Dan Pompa.

In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“The number one source of lead is actually our mothers.  Meaning that during pregnancy, women lose bone.  It’s unnatural, but that’s where the lead is stored.  And out comes the lead, into the baby in utero, then through the breast milk.  So literally, it is estimated to be four generations of disease of lead toxicity.”  “The frustrating part is there’s right now a gap in what’s happening in science and what’s happening in the treatment world.  Meaning that we know these toxins are entering the cell, we know that most of these conditions are epigenetic.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It’s Ben Greenfield here, and it was in 1974 that the World Health Organization stated that environmental toxins create approximately 84% of all chronic diseases.  And over the past 40 years, that number has gone way up and there’s something called cellular toxicity, that’s one of the major epidemics of our lifetime, and it’s kinda like this underlying cause of numerous health issues that a lot of people simply don’t talk about.  Well, I am sitting here in Park City, Utah after competing in the Train to Hunt National Championships with the guy who is probably the world’s leading authority on detoxification, and specifically this concept of cellular detoxification.  We’ve been out riding mountain bikes, experimenting with ketosis, taking crazy cyto detox supplements, and basically geeking out on all things exercise, nutrition, fitness, and detoxofication related.  His name is Dr. Daniel Pompa and he travels all over the country, educating practitioners and the public on everything from weight loss resistance, to hypothyroid, to diabetes, to chronic fatigue.  I can tell you right now that he is a killer mountain biker, and he, himself, I think my saddle sores are speaking to that, saddle sores I’m sitting on right now, not enough chamois cream yesterday.  Dr. Dan, welcome to the show.

Dan:  Thank you.  Thanks for having me.  Yeah, that was quite some fun we had on the bike.  That’s for sure.

Ben:  It was.  And it’s kind of funny because, for those of you listening in, this guy walks the walk and he talks the talk.  His daughter here is doing, what?  A four, five day fasting protocol?  And your kids are experimenting with liquid ketones, and it’s one of those super-duper healthy households.  So it’s a real honor to be sitting here with Dr. Dan and talk with you guys about this stuff.  But one thing I was thinking about this morning, as I was actually out mountain biking in your backyard, Dan is…

Dan:  Yeah.  From the house.

Ben:  Yeah, from your house, is I sometimes feel as though I’ve been left out because I don’t have that whole wounded healer story, right?  Like I was just always kinda like into fitness and into nutrition.  But I know you went through a period of your life where you were super toxic, which is, from what I understand, how you got interested in this stuff.  Can you tell us about what exactly happened to you?

Dan:  Yeah.  I mean, I was a chiropractor at the time and I had an amazing practice in helping a lot of people.  We had two young babies at the time.  So life as I knew it was really good, it was going along just fine.  Then it started with fatigue and I was literally, in probably the best fitness level of my career at that time.  I was racing bikes at the expert level and I was fit.

Ben:  Mountain bikes?

Dan:  Mountain bikes and road.  Road, I was a Cat 3.  I literally just did road to train for mountain biking.  But needless to say, I was in the best shape of my life.  I had some big races coming up, and all of a sudden fatigue hit. And, like most athletes, I thought surely I’m overtraining.  Backed off, came back at it.  Fatigue, this time headaches. Backed off longer, and this time it was two full weeks just off the bike.  I mean, just because I just said, “You know, something’s not right.”

Ben:  Right.

Dan:  And the fatigue went to anxiety, to sleeplessness, insomnia, panic attacks, became allergic to every food on the planet.  Couldn’t even figure it out.  Random bloatedness and just bizarre symptoms.  Looking back, I mean I knew my thyroid wasn’t working right, my hair was starting to fall out.  I mean, I’m progressing now ahead.  This is what happened.  My adrenals were shot.  I couldn’t even handle loud noise.  My wife would have to take the baby out of the house because the screaming would just send my adrenals in to fits.  You know what Ben, like most practitioners, I thought, obviously address the adrenals and the thyroid.  But every time I did, it would seem like certain things would get better and other things would get worse.  So the bottom line was that now I’m into this years, still wondering what the heck was going on, and life as I know it is not the same.

Ben:  So, at that point, were you a doctor of chiropractic?

Dan:  I was.  Yeah.  No, I was a doctor.  My degree gave me the ability to read literature.  Nights I couldn’t sleep, many of them I was met with just…

Ben:  The hidden bonus.  You get to lay awake with the…

Dan:  Right.  And those were good nights.  The bad nights, I was just out of my mind.  I’m telling you.  The bad nights, I just had debilitating panic attacks, and just anxiety, and a feeling of dread is how I would always describe it to my wife.  But on the nights where I just couldn’t sleep, I would research and learn.  I literally had a photographic memory because of my dyslexia when I was a kid, and it was one of the gifts of being a dyslexic is I could remember everything I read, and here I was brain fogged most of the time now.

So it was like taking Superman’s gift away, I mean giving him Kryptonite.  That’s what I felt like.  I had Kryptonite.  I had no strength, no energy, no brain, but yet when I did have it, I would read, I would research.  And years of trying to figure out what was wrong, and I’ll just fast forward for the sake of the show here, I became friends with an endocrinologist, a bright guy.  Wrote his book, read many of his books, and became friends with him.  And he said, “You know, Dan, I think you have mercury poisoning.”

Ben:  Who was this guy?

Dan:  Bruce Rind.

Ben:  Bruce Rind?

Dan:  Just an absolute brilliant guy.  I thought I said, “You know, Bruce?  I thought so too at one point because I had found Mad hatter’s disease,” I don’t know if you recall what that is, but the people who were making felt hats used mercury to attenuate all, which they were trying to kill, but they became known as mad as a hatter, right?

Ben:  Did that precede the “Alice In Wonderland” book or was the “Alice In Wonderland” character named the…

Dan:  It preceded that.  Yes.  Exactly.  It wasn’t just the LSD.

Ben:  So these people had like metal poisoning?

Dan:  They did.  They had metal poisoning, mercury poisoning…

Ben:  But you weren’t making hats.  You were riding bikes.

Dan:  I was not.  However, I said, “I am mad as a hatter,” and I had these symptoms.  So due to that, I went and got tested.  I did blood work and I thought, “Yeah.  Maybe that is a possibility.”  One of the most frustrating parts of my illness was most of my blood work looked like a very healthy guy.  I looked, on the outside, like a very healthy guy.  So of course I was looked at as like it must be all in your head many times.  Trust me.  But the blood work, the mercury level was within normal range.  He said, “You know, Dan, you did the wrong test.  Do this test.”  And I did it, and it was more of a challenge test to pull it out of the tissue.  And then my results showed that, in fact, I had tons of mercury and some other metals that were a concern.  However…

Ben:  Now, can I interrupt you for a second?

Dan:  Yeah.  Absolutely.

Ben:  ‘Cause I hear this thrown around a lot when it comes to metal detoxification inside of a challenge test.  What exactly is a challenge test for people who may not have heard of this before?

Dan:  Yeah.  If you just look at the blood, it’s only gonna be positive on an acute exposure, meaning you’re getting exposed practically every day.  If you just look at the urine, same thing.  You’re only looking at what your body is just able to get rid of, and typically an acute exposure.  If you look at hair, it’s typically what your body is able to get rid of, and there’s a lot of other factors with hair.  So when you take an agent that’s a true binder, and we can talk a little bit more about that because there’s a lot of misconceptions there, but a true binder, will grab it, pull it out, and then we can look at the urine.  Because it’s not what’s floating around the blood, sick chronic poisoned people, it’s deep in the tissue.  And therefore, we have to take something that pulls out of tissue.  Look, there’s no perfect test because, really, ultimately, when I was looking for what was wrong, I knew that there was something with my hypothalamus-pituitary, for your listeners, that’s the center of your brain.

Ben:  HPA axis?

Dan:  HPA axis.  That’s what regulates your hormones.  That’s what regulates your thyroid, your adrenals, and really your whole endocrine, your hormonal system.

Ben:  Yeah.  A lot of athletes have issues with that axis from stress.

Dan:  No doubt.  Absolutely.  Any type of stress, and brought up a good point because physical, athletes, chemical was my issue and physical, ’cause I was training a lot.

Ben:  Yeah.  You hit that one-two combo.

Dan:  Absolutely.  Or emotional.  The body doesn’t know the difference of stress.  However, I was in this stressed mode and it’s no place to be.  But the bottom line was is I knew that something was wrong with that axis.  I just didn’t know what.  Well, reading studies, after I realized, “Oh my gosh.  I do have a mercury issue.”  It was two days after I had two silver amalgam fillings drilled out, I just happened to look over here and there’s a DVD here, “The Evidence of Harm: Mercury Dental Fillings.”  So this was put out by a lot of dentists.

Ben:  Was this a new DVD?

Dan:  Yeah.  It’s relatively new.

Ben:  I’ll link to this one in the show notes.

Dan:  Yeah.  Give that.

Ben:  By the way, for those of you listening in, I’ll take notes as Dan and I are talking.  So if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/pompa, that’s how you spell Dan’s last name, P-O-M-P-A, bengreenfieldfitness.com/pompa, I’ll link to everything that Dan and I are talking about.  Okay.  So this challenge test, it pulls metals out of the body and puts them into your urine, so can then pee and figure out what kind of metals are built up within your body?  Is there like a name for the gold standard form of that type of test?

Dan:  Yeah.  I mean, there’s a company called Doctor’s Data that I believe they’re the best.

Ben:  Okay.  And that’s about like a urine challenge test?

Dan:  Yes.  It’s a six hour challenge.

Ben:  Six hour challenge test?  Okay.

Dan:  Urine challenge.  Heavy metal urine.

Ben:  I’ll link to that in the notes.  So you did this test?

Dan:  Yeah.  Did the test, and again it’s not looking what’s in the brain, it’s looking what’s in the tissue.  But it does give us some reflection of what’s harbored deep inside the body, and the brain in my case.  And by the way, that’s one of the problems.  People think that, “Oh, we’ll just do this metal detox.”  “I’ve done mental detox.”  “How long?”  “Three months.”  Well, look.  I accumulated these metals from my fillings primarily, but I had other sources over 30 years.  It vaporizes.  Those silver fillings in your mouth which, by the way, most countries have banned, they put bans on them, still being put in kid’s mouths today.  Hopefully less.  However, they contain 50% mercury, and do vaporize that mercury for the life of the filling.  And folks, you can go on YouTube, and I know, Ben, you’ve seen this in probably many of your listeners, it’s the smoking tooth video where they show a 25 year old filling off gassing mercury.  So, look.

Ben:  Smoking tooth video?

Dan:  Smoking tooth video.

Ben:  I actually haven’t seen this.  I have to check it out.

Dan:  It’s fantastic.

Ben:  Alright.  Cool.

Dan:  I interviewed the gentleman who did that video years ago.

Ben:  Scary.

Dan:  Yeah.  It’s amazing.  Dr. Kennedy put that video together and other scientists have duplicated it.  But, okay, so the bottom line is a 25 year old filling will vaporize mercury right into your brain, and that’s what happens in the life of the fillings.  So this stuff bioaccumulates for years.  So to think that you’re gonna get it out of your brain in three months, six months…

Ben:  Well, that’s what most, like you look at most metal detoxification programs, ’cause I’ve talked about ’em before on the podcast, that’s what, like even me, like when I’ve done metal detox, it’s been 30 days.

Dan:  Yeah.  No.  Exactly.

Ben:  So you’re saying that doesn’t work?

Dan:  It doesn’t work.  Look, we grew up in the lead generation.  We grew up in the mercury generation.  Let me explain.  So, if you look back, it wasn’t until about 1978 when lead was even taken out of gasoline, paint, et cetera. Every old home built before 1978, if you test the dust, it’s loaded with lead.  The number one source of lead is actually our mothers.  Meaning that during pregnancy, women lose bone.  It’s unnatural, but that’s where the lead is stored.  And out comes the lead, into the baby in utero, and then through the breast milk.

So literally, it is estimated to be four generations of disease of lead toxicity starting from our mothers.  So even though there’s not as much lead in the things, while the stuff from China still has lead.  I mean there’s still lead. Trust me.  However, not to level, but it’s four generations.  Two ways, Ben.  Because, number one, we know that the lead actually triggers genes of susceptibility.  So it can trigger your thyroid problem, it can trigger your diabetes, turn on these genes.  That’s one way.

Ben:  So you’re saying if I did a 23andMe test and tell ’em that I had a genetic susceptibility to something like hypothyroidism, and then when you look at the epigenetic factor, like an environmental factor that could trigger that, something like metal could actually cause that to happen?

Dan:  Absolutely.  Even weight gain and even weight loss resistance.  Matter of fact, it was a Stanford University study where they took mice, identical twins, gave one group a toxin, turned on what is called their agouti gene, made them obese and some other health conditions.  And they gave another group, fed ’em the same exercise, and the same, just the toxin was the only difference, that gene was turned on, not just in that group that became obese because of the toxin.  Now it didn’t matter what they ate.  Remember, two groups eating the same exercise and one became fat.  They were exposed to the toxins.  The obesity gene was turned on.   Now, the sad part was is the next generation, fed perfect, got fat.  Those children got fat without being exposed to the toxin.  It was just the fact that the gene was turned on and inherited in the next generation.  So lead, four generations directly from mom to baby, from the lead that’s stored in the bones, into the baby, and the gene that gets turned on.  Now, were also part of the mercury generation.  It was in everything.  Contact lens fluid, which by the way I also wore, was the number one adult source before the 1990s.  So it was in all of the solutions.

Ben:  No way.  That doesn’t happen anymore?

Dan:  No.  Not anymore.  No.  It’s been outlawed.  But until the early 90’s, it was still there.  We’re putting it right into our eyes.  So, silver fillings, the contact lens fluid, merthiolate, remember that?  My dad would slather me with that red stuff.  There was mercury in it.  Mercury oxide.

Ben:  I wanna get back in a second here to how you detoxed once you found this out, but just playing devil’s advocate here, haven’t we kinda gotten rid of mercury fillings, lead paint, like a lot of these issues.  Are these still things people need to worry about?

Dan:  Well, yeah.  I mean, here’s the point.  We have gotten better.  Unfortunately, there’s still fillings being put in, but let’s say we got rid of all of them, it’s generational.  And that’s the point.  So, here’s the point too.  There was a study in one of the most prestigious medical scientific journals in the world, Facet, that showed that the number of fillings in our mouth is proportional to how much they find in the brain, in particular the pituitary hypothalamus, and the liver, and the kidneys as well as other organs.  So we know it vaporizes into the brain.  The duress study showed the number of fillings in mom’s mouth is proportional to how much we find in the baby’s brain, and these are autopsy studies.

So the World Health Organization has said these fillings are unfit to be put in humans.  I mean we know this, but there’s congressional pushback.  I mean, every year, well not almost every year, before congress, there is a press to make amalgam filling, call it what it is, hazardous waste.  And here’s what you have to understand, and your listeners, before it goes in your mouth, it’s categorized as hazardous waste by OSHA and every government body.  The moment goes in your mouth, it’s called safe.  They decategorize it.  The moment it comes out and hits the dental tray, it’s back to hazardous waste.  So the comment there is don’t insult our intelligence.  I don’t care who you believe or what, that stuff’s hazardous waste, it vaporizes mercury, and it goes into your brain.

Ben:  Wow.  Okay So we’ve got paint, we’ve got fillings, are there other sources in our environment that we now are getting exposed to?

Dan:  Yeah.  I mean, look.  There’s obviously a push, and we hear a lot about the air, the political agenda of global warming, whether you agree with it or not, it’s not the point I’m going to make.

Ben:  Brake dust.  I’ve heard brake dust is one.

Dan:  There’s so much still in the air.  From factories, energy producing factories, you name it, a lot of different products.  It’s still there.  But let’s say there was none, what we inherit from our parents is massive.  And that’s the point.  It’s generational.  But, yes, we’re still being exposed to high levels.  And it’s obviously something that’s a neurotoxin.  It gets in deep into the brain, and for our point again, it doesn’t come out in months.  It does take time.

Ben:  My wife has had filling.  That’s interesting.  So my kids could have a metal for my wife having that filling?

Dan:  And there’s no doubt about it.

Ben:  That’s crazy.

Dan:  According to the duress study, it’s in their brain.

Ben:  It’s so scary.

Dan:  It’s in their brain.

Ben:  So what did you do to get rid of metals?  You talked to this doctor and he has you do this challenge test, you found out metals were high.  Then what happened?

Dan:  Yeah.  It’s amazing too, because my first comment was, “Where do you think I got it?”  He said, “Do you have any dental work done around the time this happened?”  I said, “You know, I think one of my best friends, he took out two silver fillings, put in gold.”  And there’s something called galvanism that happens.  So if you have, look in your mouth.  So if you see those dark fillings in a mirror, that’s an amalgam filling that we’re talking about that has 50% mercury.  If you have other metal in your mouth via crown, braces, whatever, another metal from a root canal, who knows.  But that causes something called galvanism, which is an electrical current.  Number one, the brain hates it, and it causes your brain to malfunction just from the current alone, the galvanism.

And by the way folks, if you understand, it’s a battery effect.  What a battery is it’s basically two opposing metals in an acid.  That’s exactly what’s happening in your mouth, and that battery effect affects the brain.  However, studies also show that it creates the mercury to come out of those fillings, even 10 times faster than normal.  It causes it to vaporize.  So he put gold in, and I still had about four fillings, six maybe, in my mouth, and it just started to flow out even faster.

So that was when I got that news, it could be the fillings.  I immediately went, called my buddy, “When did you put those fillings in?”  The irony was I was cycling and I had everything journaled of how I felt, when, what.  Two days after I got those fillings out is when my bottom fell out.  So my warning is this: if you do your own research on amalgam filling, yeah, you’ll be very upset that you were deceived.  However, don’t just run and take these things out.  I mean, there’s a prep phase.  I mean, there’s a proper way.  You have to find a biological dentist.  I can give one website for those looking.  It’s called the iaomt.org.  iaomt.org.

Ben:  And that’s to find a biological dentist?  I have one in Spokane.  I switched two years ago to this guy named Craig Simmons of Spokane.  That’s who my kids go and see now, and there’s no metals, and they clean the air, and they use, I guess, biocompatible compounds when they’re cleaning your mouth.  That type of stuff.

Dan:  It’s estimated, by the way, that 70 to 85% of all disease starts in the mouth.  Silver fillings, root canals, something called a cavitation where they pull a filling, I’m sorry, they pull a tooth and a cavitation is left behind.

Ben:  That’s why I do coconut oil pulling now.  Every morning, I put coconut oil on my mouth and just swish it around for 5 minutes every morning and spit it out.

Dan:  Well, look.  You interview a lot of people talking about the gut and the microbiome.  The microbiome starts in the mouth.

Ben:  Yeah.

Dan:  That good bacteria, good and bad, right?  That’s what makes up the microbiome.  When that’s not right, and everyone’s trying to fix their gut, and by the way, the mouth doesn’t respond to probiotics like the gut does.  But when you have these fillings, root canals, all this going on in the mouth, it’s basically impossible to have a normal microbiome.

Ben:  Interesting.

Dan:  70, and I’ve said it, estimated 70 to 85% of all disease starts in the mouth.

Ben:  That’s crazy.  So you could have bacterial dysbiosis and a bunch of gut issues, and it’s because of what’s going on in your mouth.  Especially if you have like metal fillings and stuff like that.

Dan:  Listen, when you have those silver fillings in, and we could go off on a whole show on this, but the root canals are destructive with anaerobic bacteria, but it’s leeching into the gut, destroying that bacteria as well.  Not to mention what’s going directly into your nervous system.

Ben:  It’s crazy.  So you detoxed?

Dan:  Yeah.

Ben:  What you do?

Dan:  Once I realized, “Okay, this is the cause,” I’m one of those practitioners who believe the only true cures come from removing the sources, the causes, and then body does the healing, it really knows what to do.  I think even alternative practitioners today, they’re more interested in pushing a lot of different things instead of saying, “Wow.  Why is somebody sick?”  And dealing with the many clients from all over the world with different illnesses, unexplainable mostly, you realize that there is always a cause.  Whether it’s, in my case, mercury, other heavy metals, lead.  I mean can go down the list, moldy homes, hidden infections from root canals, cavitations, hidden infections from lyme disease, these things are really the causative factor that when you remove them, the body can heal.  So, yeah.  I started knowing, number one, the rest of them have to come out safely.  Number two, I realized it’s in my brain.  So what I teach today, a prep phase, preparing your cells and your body for detoxification, a body phase where we clear the body and then go after it in the brain.  That’s what I teach doctors all around the world.

Ben:  Why do you clear the body first before the brain?

Dan:  You set a concentration gradient.  You wanna clear the body before going deeper because what happens is it’ll start to move from higher concentration to lower concentration.  I mean, simple science.

Ben:  Almost like osmosis?

Dan:  Yeah.  No.  Exactly.  So, there is a process.  I think when it comes to detox, I had to really do my homework.  Like you, I’m one of those people who, I just don’t take anything for granted, and we see these things marketed everywhere.  “Oh, this detox thing…”

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s what actually I wanted to ask you about is what, you see everything from, whatever, the maple syrup, cayenne pepper detox, and the cabbage soup diet, and all these different detoxification protocols out there, especially for stuff like metal, or mold, or fungi.  What are some of the biggest errors that these other detoxification protocols are making?

Dan:  You know, that’s a great question.  I wrote a three part article called “When Detox Is Dangerous” and in the article I gave some analogies.  Like you go down the street and you see these street cleaners, right?  We’ve all seen them.  Our tax Dollars are joyfully paying for.  And we see this big cloud around this thing, and dust…

Ben:  These are one of the big trucks with the brushes?

Dan:  Yeah.  Those.  I’m like, “Do those even exist?”  They still exist!  But we all question, when we look at what’s behind them and flying off of them, what they really actually do.  Well, that’s analogous to most of these herbal detoxes or just detox concoctions, if you will.  You mentioned a few of them that people take that really have weak binders associated with them, and most often they do just what that street cleaner did.  It just kinda stirs it up.  The problem is this: like those things that you see flying off this machine, they end up in other places.  So every car that’s parked on the side ends up with this layer of dust all over the street cleaner.  But the problem is that it mobilizes surface toxins, but they mobilize it and they end up crossing potentially into the brain, crossing the blood-brain barrier, and people ultimately become worse.

Here’s another mistake.  When you’re dealing with truly unloading the brain long term, you have to remove these sources from your life.  I mean you can’t just say, “I’m gonna start getting metal out of my brain,” when you still have the fillings in.  But, okay, the point though is this: people, if you walk into every health food store on the planet, there’s the 10 day cleanse, there’s this cleanse, there’s that cleanse.  I have nothing against them, but when it comes to really, these toxins that we just talked about, the molds, the metals, the lyme, these hidden infections, it doesn’t do anything really.

Ben:  So we’re not just talking about metals?  We’re talking about when you’re doing these cleanse, we’re talking about pesticides that could be on fruits and vegetables you’ve eaten over the years, mold, fungi, toxins that fat cells have accumulated, pharmaceutical compounds, anytime you’re doing a cleanse and it doesn’t have some kind of a strong binding agent in it.  What you’re saying is you’re just stirring up everything, and then redistributing it to other tissues, including the brain?

Dan:  Absolutely.  You know, I get calls from people all over the world.  I hear every story and one often that I hear, that I experienced myself, you start doing research on metal and when I realized it was in my brain, I juice have some chlorella.  Very healthy.

Ben:  Chlorella?

Dan:  Chlorella.  Very healthy, right?  And thought, “Hey, this is…”  I’m sorry.  Cilantro.  I juice cilantro.  And I juiced it.

 Ben:  I take both of those, cilantro and chlorella.

Dan:  It’s very healthy, and if you’re not massively riddled with heavy metals, it’d probably be okay.

Ben:  I should say I take them, like I eat, the foods.

Dan:  And chlorella is a food, right?  And if you get a clean one, which is often the challenge, I mean it can act as a mild binder, but it’s not a true binder.  People that are very toxic, they get sick from those things.  But, cilantro, you’ll hear it’s the brain detoxer of metal.

Ben:  Yeah.  Even the liver too.

Dan:  Well, it crosses blood-brain barrier.  Yeah.  Absolutely.  And the problem though is it’s a week bind, so it mobilizes metal.  And I juice this stuff, and literally my wife thought she was gonna have to check me into an insane asylum.  I mean, I never hopped on the psychotropic drug because of my philosophy, but many of these people do because you end up being told you’re crazy and you just feel crazy.  And frankly I was crazy, looking back, but the cilantro made me more crazy.  You need true binders.  Things that are able to bind something as heavy as a heavy metal that is difficult to remove and could bring it completely out of the body.  And that’s lesson number one.

Ben:  Got it.  So when it comes to a lot of these detoxification-type of compounds, I know that there are things that can bind up tissues.  One that I’ve heard a lot about is zeolite.  You can get zeolite liquids, and zeolite minerals, and stuff like that.  I know that you know a little bit about zeolite.  So can you fill me in on that, for example?  Like is zeolite something that would be like a binder?  How does that one work?

Dan:  Well, zeolite is a true binder.  When we talk about these agents that have the ability to grab on to these nasty toxins that we’re talking about, zeolite is a true binder.  The problem is, they use it for pesticide cleanup, they use it for cleaning up anything in the environment.  For hundreds of years, they use zeolite.  The problem is it’s a particle.

Ben:  The problem is it’s a what?

Dan:  A particle.  So most of the first zeolite products where these powders that do a great job of binding in the gut.  But, you’ll hear me say this and this is what I advocate even doctors on, is real detox has to get to the cell.  And my mantra is “you won’t get well until you fix the cell,” and for our conversation, you won’t get well until you detox the cell.  So real detox must occur at the cellular level.  So, we’ll get there so people understand what I mean, but, by the way, that’s why people don’t feel well today.  That’s why your hormones are disrupted.  This is a cellular issue.  So if we don’t fix the cell, we’re not gonna fix hormone problems.

Ben:  When you say it’s a cellular issue, are you saying that the metals wind up inside the cell?

Dan:  Toxins end up in the cell.

Ben:  Or toxins, or pesticides, or whatever?

Dan:  Absolutely.  They disrupt mitochondria inside the cell.

Ben:  So they actually cross through the cell membrane.

Dan:  Absolutely.

Ben:  And they disrupt mitochondrial activity once they get past the cell membrane.

Dan:  There’s something in a cell, and I think you’ve talked about in some of your shows, called glutathione and SOD, and these natural thing that are in every cell, every pathway to deal with these things.

Ben:  Right.  To crunch free radicals and produce anti-oxidants.

Dan:  However, these toxins are so nasty.  They deplete these natural detoxifiers, if you will, in the cell so rapidly that your cells now are left defenseless, and by the way, then the toxins start changing your gene expression.  Now you start expressing conditions that you’re going, “What?  Why can’t I lose weight?”

Ben:  So they can act on the cell nucleus and change gene expression?

Dan:  It does.  And it shuts down your cell energy production.  That’s why one of the first signs…

Ben:  Is this stuff, and I know people are probably wondering as well, is this stuff that people who are into detoxification just say as a scare tactic?  Or is there actual research that shows that there’s just stuff inside cells?

Dan:  There’s so much research.  You know, the frustrating part is there is right now a gap in what’s happening in science and what’s happening in the treatment world.  Meaning that we know these toxins are entering the cell, we know that most of these conditions are epigenetic, that they’re getting turned on.  The old dogma was, “Hey, you have a thyroid condition because your mom did.”  No, no.  You have a thyroid condition because you have a susceptibility like your mom, but it’s been turned on.  So just because, years ago there was, Time magazine had the article “Your DNA Is Not Your Destiny.”  And I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Bruce Lipton, who you know, and he was one of the first brilliant stem cell biologists that said, “Look.  Our DNA is not our destiny.  Matter of fact, even our thought we can change these things.”

Ben:  Did he write “The Biology of Belief”?

Dan:  Biology of Belief, which is probably sitting right over there.

Ben:  I’m halfway through that book right now on my Kindle, ’cause I was thinking about that right now.  Like in that book, I’m in the part in the book right now where he’s talking about like the phospholipid layer of the cell.

Dan:  Yeah.

Ben:  And he’s also talking about how it can even go as deep as, you can almost like believe yourself into, as the title of the book would imply, susceptibility to the disease that you’re genetically programmed to be susceptible to.

Dan:  Your thoughts literally can change your DNA for better or for worse, and he showed that.  But he shows that it is, you’ve mentioned the cell membrane, Ben, I teach something to my doctors, and it really caught on even with the public.  It’s my five R’s of how to fix a cell.  Five R’s of cellular healing and the five R’s of how to detox a cell.  I had said real detox has to occur at the cell.  When you talk to scientists, they get that the cell has the ability and needs the ability to detox day in, day out.  Even from the own energy that it makes.  If we burned logs in this room, if we don’t have a chimney, we’re dead.  The smoke alone from making energy, well, no different in your cell.  The cell has these functions that has to get rid of the toxins from its own energy production, let alone what bombards the cell day in, day out.

Ben:  But the cell has the ability to do that naturally, right?

Dan:  That’s the point I’m making.  So here’s the point: true detox is upregulating these natural cell functions, whether it’s methylation.  So my five R’s does that.  Number one is remove the source.  Number two is regenerating the cell membrane, and that’s what we were talking about, that phospholipid membrane that Bruce talks about.  Critical.  If you can’t fix that cell membrane, you won’t get the good stuff in and the good stuff out.  So these people eating a perfect diet, taking the supplements, no, no, no.  You have to fix that membrane.  And Lipton’s work showed that when you fix the membrane, now you can change that genetic expression.  So my R number two is regenerating the cell membrane, the outer membrane and the mitochondrial membrane.

R three, I’ll just rip through them.  R three is restoring cellular energy.  Cell energy, once it gets depleted, you can’t control inflammation at the cell anymore.  Once cell energy gets depleted to a certain point, now the cell just is a sitting duck for oxidative stress and more toxicity.  So you need the energy to upregulate detox pathways.  R number four is reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.  Sounds like the obvious, but there’s specific things that we need to do to downregulate that cellular inflammation because its natural pathways are damaged.  And finally, R five is reestablishing methylation.  Methylation is very popular today.  We’ve heard about the different genes, the MTHFR gene that people, 15% of the population have that need special folic acid that enters the cell if they…

Ben:  Right.  They need to take methyltetrahydrofolate supplements, stuff like that.

Dan:  Exactly.  But again, the gene doesn’t make you sick.  It does leave you a little bit more predisposed, especially with other toxins and stressors.  Methylation runs parallel to glutathione.  If your methylation starts to drop, so does your glutathione.  So the bottom line is this: these five R’s are a roadmap to what we need to do in a world that’s being bombarded with neurotoxins.  If you don’t upregulate the cell functions, it’s not real detox.  So I have nothing against a colon cleanse.  However, a colon cleanse is not affecting the cell.  I have nothing against the liver cleanse, the 10 day juice cleanse, or whatever it is, but you have to get to the cell.  That’s how I got my life back.  This is how thousands get their lives back.

Ben:  That makes sense.  Okay.  So you actually did these five R’s on yourself as you went through your own detoxification process?

Dan:  I learned them through the pain.  Yeah.  Through my research.

Ben:  So, obviously, you’ve written a ton of articles on this and we could be on here for hours just talking about those five R’s, but a few like kinda rapid fire questions just for people to wrap their heads around this.  ‘Cause I know if I’m wondering about it, people out there are also wondering about it.

Dan:  Fire.

Ben:  So our number one was what again?

Dan:  Remove the sources.

Ben:  Okay.  So remove the sources.  That’s pretty straightforward.  We get rid of a lot of these toxins and metals in our life.  Then you said R number two was the membrane.

Dan:  Yep.  Regenerating the membrane.

Ben:  Like fix the cell.  What’s an example of a way that you regenerate a membrane?

Dan:  You know, this is a great question.  A lot of people today are into fish oil, and I am too.  It’s a very important fat, right?  For the first time in history however, we’re seeing something in the healthy population, maybe a lot of your listeners.  We’re seeing something called omega-3 dominance where most of the population is omega-6 dominant from eating all the grain-fed animal products, the corn, et cetera, all the vegetable oils, corn oil which will make you omega-6 dominant.  So when people start taking fish oil, they feel better.  It down regulates inflammation.  However, we can go overboard to where we’re now going omega-3 dominant.  Literally.

Ben:  I’m listening very intently because I look at a lot of WellnessFX blood panels, including my own.

Dan:  Yes.

Ben:  I slap myself on the back and congratulate myself ’cause my omega-3 fatty acids are so high.  You’re saying that they can be too high?

Dan:  Absolutely.  Yeah.  Out of Johns Hopkins there was a study done showing omega-3 dominance, and we see it more in people who, if you talk to most people, they’re taking a probiotic of fish oil which, taking just the probiotic every day, the same one can be problematic.  But the fish oil, because it’s out of context of what’s in a fish, there’s other fats that stabilize, other antioxidants that put things in balance.  It can throw people out of balance.  And again, I’m not against fish oil.  I’m against throwing yourself out of balance.  But to answer your question, a 4:1 ratio of omega-6 to 3, which is one of the ratios we see in nature, targets the cell membrane.

Ben:  So more omega-6 than omega-3?

Dan:  Yeah, but that’s normal.  The population is like 19:1.  That’s abnormal, too much 6.

Ben:  Okay.  19 parts omega-6 to 1 part omega-3 cause they’re even included in vegetable oils, and seed, and nuts, and [0:43:01] _____, and fat, and stuff.

Dan:  Absolutely.  Grain-fed meat.  Now in nature, we see 1:1 to 1:6 in different foods.  So we know that that’s a normal range, but what studies do show is different ratios can benefit different things.  So now we’re learning that it’s not just fat, it’s duplicating what’s in nature, which you’re a big believer in, to realize different ratios have different purposes.  We target the 4:1 ratio.  We target certain fats that many of your listeners, well not your listeners, but would think are bad.  Saturated fats, cholesterols, they stabilize the cell membrane.  Lipton pointed it out in his book that it’s these stabilizing fats that people are avoiding today.  And again, Time Magazine had an article with the butter, right?  “Is Butter Bad?”

Ben:  Like showing fats that are solid at room temperature, like a coconut oil.

Dan:  Right.  They actually have a stabilizing effect on the membrane.  But you know, there’s a few things.  You have to avoid those vegetable oils, which are in everything, even Whole Foods and other health food stores products, right?  Canola oil, et cetera.  They destabilize the membrane.  We want to avoid, obviously, bringing in more toxins because they stick to the membrane, drive more inflammation.  We want to control glucose and insulin, which is a topic that you love and so do I.  Instant inflammation destabilizing the membrane.  So we have to do those three things at least to stabilize them.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So an example of regenerating the cell membrane would be eating healthy saturated fats?

Dan:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Okay.  What was number three?

Dan:  Fats are important.  The membrane’s made of fat.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s like a lipid bilayer, right?

Dan:  Getting rid of the bad fats, right?  Controlling glucose and insulin.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s why it’s always a red flag when your cholesterol’s too low, right?

Dan:  That’s right.  Yeah.  And more people die, there’s a higher morbidity for normal low cholesterol than high. People don’t realize that.

Ben:  Yeah.  I try to keep my cholesterol above 200.

Dan:  Yeah.  Me too.

Ben:  Okay.  So we’ve got keeping the cholesterol high, eating good healthy fats, getting rid of the source.  Three was?

Dan:  Yeah.  Getting the bad fats out.

Ben:  What was our number three?

Dan:  Oh.  R number three.  Sorry.  Restoring cellular energy.

Ben:  Okay. What’s an example of that?

Dan:  Yeah.  There’s a lot of products that you talk about that do it naturally, but when we look at the topic of cellular energy, it really is a bombardment of mitochondrial issues today.  Toxins, the mitochondrial membrane, by the way, the mitochondria’s where you make ATP.  It’s the powerhouse of your cell.  Athletes have more mitochondria per cell.  Sick people have less.  Average people have average.  So the mitochondria is where you produce energy.  Toxins are bombarding it.  That’s why we’re seeing so much low energy, brain fog, and a lot of conditions that do not respond to even the perfect nutrition because the mitochondria is just attacked.  So the mitochondrial membrane is something where a lot of the organ fats actually make a better difference, or something cardiolipin.  It’s a fat that is in the mitochondrial membrane that’s very fragile, that does better with a lot of the fats that are organ meats.

Ben:  So you’re talking about using liver.  We were talking yesterday about when I do an order from US Wellness Meats every quarter, it sounds nasty, but head cheese, liver, and kidney, and heart, and another one called braunschweiger which is a mix of organ meats.

Dan:  Yep.  Absolutely.

Ben:  But they make pills too for people who don’t want to do that type of thing.

Dan:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Like liver pills.  What about vegans or vegetarians who want to improve cellular energy?  Do they have options?

Dan:  Yeah.  No.  I mean, of course.  I mean, look, improving cellular energy, I think we can go right back to the basics.  People that have insulin glucose spikes have major issues with cellular energy, but this is a favorite topic of mine is when we control glucose and insulin, when we get ourselves to be more efficient fat burners, then we both know this and probably most of your listeners, the cells can only use two things for energy: fat or sugar.  Glucose or fat.  Most Americans are stuck as sugar burners with the inability to efficiently use fat for energy.  One of the strategies that I teach to get the cell more efficient at becoming a fat burner is intermittent fasting.  Times where you’re not eating.  Then the cell starts to learn that it has to burn fat.

Ben:  Yeah.

Dan:  Does it work for people right away?  The answer is oftentimes “No” because the body’s still not efficient at becoming a fat burner.  But we do certain strategies, I teach certain strategies that help the cell, the mitochondria utilize fat for energy.

Ben:  Okay.  That makes sense.  Any of those things that we hear when we talk about becoming a fat burning machine, like intermittent fasting, fasted cardio sessions.  I talked with Dr. David Minkoff, and I did a podcast episode about the metabolic theory of cancer and taking care of mitochondria with even things like freaking like hyperbaric oxygen, and deep breathing, and all sorts of strategies.  But what you’re saying is that that, combined with keeping the cholesterol evaded and good amount of fat intake, removing toxins, the source, that knocks R one, R two, R three.  R four was what?

Dan:  Yeah.  R four is reducing inflammation, oxidative stress.  So you really can apply to that as well, right?  Yeah.  I mean you look over right there on the floor, from Thomas Seyfried, “Cancer Is A Metabolic Disease” showing that cancer really is a metabolic issue, the cell’s inability to use fat.  So he talks a lot about fasting and ketosis, forcing the cell to burn fat.  These are ancient healing strategies, and I would love to come back on and do a show on my diet variation and talk about some of that.  But forcing the cell to use fat for energy is what’s missing today.  So many people have lost the ability to utilize fat for energy and that’s a mitochondrial problem.  That’s a toxic issue.

Ben:  We were talking the other day on the TV show Naked and Afraid.

Dan:  Yeah.  I would just fast for 21 days.

Ben:  Like the Dr. Pompa episode would be the most boring episode ever ’cause you’d be laying on the beach…

Dan:  No problem.  I can go…

Ben:  “Hey.  I’m on ketosis.”

Dan:  I interviewed two of my doctors who fasted.  One of them fasted for over 30 days and the other fasted, folks, I’m talking about just water, fasted for 22 days.  One made the comment, “You know, I was up.  I only needed like three, four hours of sleep.  I had so much energy.”  My wife comes downstairs, and he’s like repainting the house ’cause he had so much energy.  Now when someone’s fasting, I recommend just take it easy.  But he literally energized.  My daughter said that, right?

Ben:  Right.

Dan:  Days two and three, she was like feeling you know not so good.  By day four, she’s like, “I have all the energy in the world. I feel amazing.”

Ben:  I walked through the house yesterday, she was bouncing around.  And she was, what, five days into her fast?

Dan:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  Well, anyways.  I have these ancient healing strategies, they really help fix the cell as well as, obviously we target it with certain supplementation that we’re talking about, but toxins really are driving the epidemic of why the cell’s not functioning, why people don’t feel, why their hormones aren’t regulated.

Ben:  And then number five was what?

Dan:  Reestablishing methylation, and that’s really, when you think of methylation, think of folate, think of B12.  These are products that help the process of methylation.  And if you have the methyltetrahydrofolate gene, that’s an active form of methylation which is called methyltetrahydrofolate.

Ben:  Yeah.  I take the Thorne Multivitamin.  That has methlytetrahydrofolate form in it.  You just wanna look at a multivitamin, if you’re taking something like that, to make sure it’s not folic acid, right?  That it’s the MTHFR.

Dan:  Yes.  Exactly.

Ben:  What about foods?  Are there foods?

Dan:  Absolutely.  I mean of course, your vegetables, the green leafy vegetables are fantastic.  And of course grass-fed meat too because of the B12.  I mean, so getting a variety of all these healthy foods is obviously very important.  Here’s what people don’t anticipate is you could say, “Well I’ve methyl depleted,” and by the way, one of the things that people that have a lot of anxiety, stress, those are oftentimes are methyl depleted people.  But they say “I eat those things.  Well, why do I still have an issue?”  Any type of stress, physical, chemical, or emotional will deplete you of methylation.  That’s an epidemic today.  So I like to call it the epidemic within the epidemic.

People are neurotoxic, depleting methylation, and just very quickly, and we’ll talk about some solutions on the toxic end here in a second, but my wife was lead toxic.  She got it from her mother.  And she was heading down the same hormonal road as her mother, who ended up dying of uterine cancer.  She, 10 years before, had breast cancer, got the normal treatments, they said she was a survivor.  Never dealt with the issue directly of her hormone imbalance and was causing it, which was her lead.  She was majorly methyl depleted.  So my wife’s hormone test, we looked at it and said, “My gosh.  The same thing’s happening.”  She was massively methyl depleted despite eating perfect and doing all these things.  Well, it was until I tested her lead and realized her lead was off the chart.  That’s what was depleting her methylation.  Her mother never got to that cause, my wife did.  Her methylation ultimately improved, despite taking high levels of these vitamins without improving it on the test by getting rid of the lead.

Ben:  So these things all kind of track together.  Like, if for example, you’re taking methyltetrahydrofolate, but your cholesterol is really low ’cause you’re eating a low fat diet, say, and you’re not one of those few people who have the APOE44 gene, who maybe would do better on a lower fat diet, then you’re still gonna have issues.  Or if you say, are taking methyltetrahydrofolate and eating lots of coconut oil, but you still have some source of lead or mercury vaporizing in your mouth, you’re still gonna feel crappy?

Dan:  That’s the point.  Yeah.  It will constantly drive silent inflammation, oxidize that membrane that we know is so important.  It will constantly deplete your methylation.  It will constantly drive, yes, that’s the point.  Toxins today are really why people don’t feel, or why people are performing at the level they want to, why people can’t even lose weight.  It’s driving cellular dysfunction.  Weight loss resistance is an epidemic.  The key is you have to fix the cell to get well.  These are cellular issues.  This is an epidemic, and rarely do we have practitioners even on the alternative side addressing this true cause of why people aren’t doing well today.

Ben:  Okay.  So we got into the five R’s.  We kinda rabbit holed down the five R’s because we were talking about how stuff accumulates in the cell, and you said that you gotta do cellular detoxification.  Not just detoxification, but you gotta get into the cell membrane.  We were talking about zeolite.

Dan:  Yeah.  We kinda went off on that.

Ben:  Yeah.  Is zeolite one of those things that can actually cross the cellular membrane?

Dan:  Yeah.  And when I left that point, I made a point that it’s a particle.  And for years, it’s been used in the environment for clean-up.  So we know it’s a true binder.  But the challenge has been getting it past the gut.  Now, years ago, they brought me these liquid zeolites, and we tested them, and we didn’t get the result we were looking for.

Ben:  What do you mean?  Who brought you?

Dan: Just people.  Random people.

Ben:  Chiro people bring you stuff to test it?

Dan:  Not just ’cause I was a chiro.  Because this is my area, detox.  And once I got my life back, it threw me into this whole area.  Now this is what I teach.  But we really didn’t find any validity to the product.  After looking at it closer, it was still a particle.  It was more of a suspension in a liquid.  Matter of fact, if you let these products sit on your shelf, you would see this film at the bottom.  Well that was the zeolite settling out.  Point being, still too large really to make a difference.  Now, in the advertising ours is nano, ours is small enough.  It still didn’t get into the cell.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that a brilliant scientist from Greece, Nikolas Tsirikos.  These Greek names.

Ben:  Sounds Greek.

Dan:  Tsirikos.  Brilliant guy.  I mean, it has a…

Ben:  Nikolas with a K if he was Greek, right?

Dan:  Yeah.  Exactly.  He has actually like two last names, I didn’t write the other one.

Ben:  And a unibrow?

Dan:  And a unibrow.  Of course.  Yeah.  Sorry, Nikolas.  But the guy’s brilliant.  He won many awards in cardiovascular surgery, develop something called the flow meter.  I mean, brilliant.  So this guy brings me this product, not Nikolas at this time, and he starts telling me about it.  And I was really disappointed because he said, “Wow.  That’s pretty impressive.”  And then he said it was a liquid zeolite.  I said, “Oh, darn.”  He said, “No, no, no.  This is different.  He hydrolyzed it.  He made it.  He changed the molecular weight.”  It’s not just size, ’cause that’s immediately what I brought up.  And he says, “No, no.  He hydrolyzed it, he made it different.  You have to talk to him.”  I spoke to him, and he started at Mayo end up at Cleveland, and Cleveland Clinic, and right outside Cleveland Clinic I went to see his lab and saw what he was doing.  And I became a believer, and then we tested it within a small group of 30 of our doctors.  And so the clinical outcomes have been just spectacular.  Of course, now we’re using it, the thousands of us.

Ben:  Alright.  So help me understand this.  You’re hydrolyzing zeolites.  So zeolite would normally be like a mineral.  And what happens when you hydrolyze the mineral?

Dan:  Yeah.  I mean, you’re able to, I love when he gives the example of a building, right.  You think about like a skyscraper.  That’s a zeolite particle, right?  And then you could start breaking this particle down to where it now is in different pieces, smaller, and smaller, and smaller.  We live in a three dimensional world.  So it doesn’t just cross the membrane by size, and that’s where people are deceived by a lot of these other products.  The molecular weight, something has to be between two hundred, and I’ll just round it down, 200 and 600 molecular weight for it to cross the membrane.

Ben:  Okay.  And that’s measured in Daltons, right?

Dan:  It is.  So when you look at it, and something has…

Ben:  See?  I remember something from college.

Dan:  Yeah.  Right.  Exactly.  So that’s actually the key.  If you notice how these products are measured, if you don’t see the Dalton there, then you’re not going to have something that crosses in.  It would be measured in something like nano, which is size.  Size matters.  Size matters.  However, the also the molecular weight matters.  And so that is the magic that he did.  And now, this new zeolite not only crosses into the cell, but it also even crosses into the brain.  So that’s groundbreaking because if we’re able to cross into the cell, if we’re able to upregulate cell function, now we have something that’s unique and different.

Ben:  Okay.  So once the zeolite is put into a form where it’s small enough, where you hydrolize it and it can cross in the cell, and it can cross the blood-brain barrier, what’s it doing once it gets in there?

Dan:  Now you have to have a true binder, right.  You have to have…

Ben:  Yeah.  ‘Cause that’s what you were talking earlier, how if you have a weak binder, like you were talking about cilantro, then you’re just spreading stuff around.

Dan:  Absolutely.  You know, even glutathione, actually I’m a big fan, and part of what I teach is raising intracellular glutathione.  When I was sick, I did a lot of injection of glutathione, putting pure glutathione right into my bloodstream.  But you have to understand, taking glutathione doesn’t go into the cell.  But glutathione, it’s not a really strong bond.  So when I would take these glutathione injections, I would literally stir things up and it would create the crazies.  So glutathione’s part of the process, but you need these true binders to deal with these types of toxins that are very difficult for even your body’s natural defense against toxins, likely glutathione, to bring completely out of the body.  So it is very important to utilize a true, true binder that enters the cell.  Some of the particles can stay outside the cell and even clean up, but that’s the magic.  You need that.  You have to upregulate cell function, but you need a true binder to make sure it’s all the way out of the body.

Ben:  So if you hydrolyze zeolite and make it small enough, does it bind?  Like can it bind these things like pesticides from…

Dan:  It has the ability.  It’s a true binder.  And so now we have something that we know binds, even in nature to pesticides, heavy metals.  They use it.  Scientifically proven to bind these things.  Now we can get them in the cell, in the body to make that much of a difference in the tissue to where the toxins actually are.

Ben:  Okay.  Once the zeolite is in the cell and it’s bound something, how does it get out?  Like what happens?

Dan:  The neat thing is is that once it becomes this bigger particle attaches to it, the body starts to move things out, and then it goes through the bloodstream, out of the body, and it’s very easily removed because the body doesn’t like things like that, big things.  By the way, that’s how our body removes toxins.  It binds things to them to become something different, even in the liver.  Conjugation occurs where it takes a toxin, binds something else to it, and then the body says, “Okay.  Great.”  And then it removes it from the body.

Ben:  So if you we’re using something like this hydrolyzed zeolite, would you have to drink way more water to actually flush out the body?

Dan:  Yeah.  It’s always advisable to drink more water.  Absolutely.  But the body gets rid of it.  It does.  Once it’s attached.  Look, for years we’ve used true chelators and binders, one called DMSA, one called DMPS, and another called EDTA.  Look, we know those are true binders.

Ben:  Those are like things that you would take prior to doing one of those metal challenge tests that we were talking about, right?

Dan:  That’s true.  Because they’re water,  DMSA or DMPS are water soluble.  They’re in you and out of you very quickly.  But, by the way, that’s the problem, is that IV chelation can be very very dangerous.  It works great in acute situations.  So if you have an acute poisoning, get an IV.  It grabs and gets out of the body very quickly, it attaches this molecule to it.  However, in chronic poisoning, these water solubles, they grab, they pull a bunch away from, throughout the body, throughout extracellular, we say, and pull it out of the body.  But the problem is this: it goes away, the binding agent, then the metals start to redistribute.  Even start to come across concentration gradient.  So for those types of things to be safe, you have to take them often enough every four hours, every eight hours, each one has a different half-life, and you have to take them for as many days as, say, four to seven days.  So when you do stop, it minimizes what redistributes.  So point is: two sides of the aisle.  Imagine this, you have people over here with herbal weak binders, you have the allopathic group over here with true binders that have the ability to grab, but they’re giving them an IV, utilizing them incorrectly.  Both end up disastrous.

Ben:  Right.

Dan:  Hence the article that I wrote, “When Detox Becomes Dangerous.”  So there is this middle ground of using a true binder, but using it correctly, and one that actually has the ability to actually go into the cell and make a difference.  ‘Cause that’s where the epidemic is.  You know, the epidemic isn’t just the 10 day cleanse or the colon cleanse, and again I have nothing against any of those things.  We have to get to the cell if we’re going to make an impact on why people don’t feel well.  But even beyond that, it’s not even about feeling well.  Ultimate performance, giving your cells the function the way God intended them to function.

Ben:  Right.

Dan:  We have to get to the cell to make that impact in performance, function, brain fog, whatever it is.

Ben:  Yeah.  The last time that I was here, I was doing another Train to Hunt competition, and you had mentioned this concept of hydrolized zeolite as being a binder, and you gave me this little bottle.  It was, I’m looking at the label…

Dan:  Clinoptilolite.

Ben:  Clinoptilolite zeolite.  So that’s like the really small hydrolyzed version of zeolite?

Dan:  Exactly.

Ben:  Okay.

Dan:  Not all versions of zeolite are created equal.

Ben:  Okay.  Clinoptilolite zeolite.  This stuff’s called Cyto Detox.

Dan:  Correct.  Cyto meaning cell.

Ben:  Yeah.  You gave that to me and I took it, I did, I think you told me 10 drops morning, 10 drops evening.

Dan:  Yeah.

Ben:  I did that, and I think I texted you like three days in.

Dan:  You did.

Ben: I felt like crap.

Dan:  Yeah.

Ben:  Like I was napping like three hours, I was having these huge dumps.  It was Bad News Bears.  What was going on there?  Is that normal?

Dan:  It works.  It’s a real product, right.  I said, what did I say, cut your dose down.

Ben:  And I’m not a super toxic guy.

Dan: No, no.  But you know what, here’s the thing though, your body works well, your cells work well.  So it went right after some things that you really have never addressed, and that’s most likely heavy metals.  And it grabbed it and started bringing it out.  I said just cut your dose down, and then you did, and you said, “Okay, I felt better.”  So, yeah.  It grabbed on to some metals and started pulling it out, and your body started letting go of others.  The product works.

Ben:  Now you said before, like 30 days, too short.  Three months, too short.  That most people, ’cause they’ve built up metals, and pesticides, and toxins, and I did, I think we were talking about this the other day, I did grow up on Big Macs, and pizza, iceberg lettuce, and lots of pesticide and herbicide-laden produce, and I still have two of those bottles of this Cyto Detox.  How long would somebody need to actually use this stuff to truly clean out their bodies?

Dan:  When you get it, you could take it literally for a month straight.  But after that, I tell people seven days on, seven days off.  I would say the average person needs six months just to remove enough heavy metal to where you literally go, “Yeah.  My gosh, I can think clear again.”  And by the way, we didn’t talk about the positive effect.  That’s what people go, they go, “My gosh.  I can think more clearly.”  Because it’s able to cross into the brain, it’s able to get to these toxins at the cellular where, literally, it affects the way we think.  Driving inflammation of our brain and our brain cells.  But, I mean that’s it.  Six months on average if you have any type of health challenge.  Two years, on and off cycle, on and off cycle of using it.  Your body will detox in phases.

Ben:  Why do you need to cycle?

Dan:  Any type of detox I like to cycle because you wanna rest your natural pathways.  You wanna rest your cells. You wanna not challenge your body.  I believe all detox, even in nature, happens in cycles.  A woman’s period is a detox.  It’s happens monthly.  So when you look at nature, even the way the Earth cleans itself, it’s always done in cycles.  Always.  So we’re basically just duplicating what we see.

Ben:  What do you mean the way the Earth cleans itself?

Dan:  If you look at the ecosystem of a lake, a river, things happen in cycles.  Even how algaes redistribute, the microbiome changes.

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay.  Yeah.

Dan:  So I mean all the detox in nature is cycled.  So therefore, we just duplicate what we see in nature.  We want to cycle.  And by the way, not only does it rest the pathways, but on the off cycle, you’re allowing things to move from higher concentration to lower concentration, resettle out, and then you start to clear again.

Ben:  Has there ever actually been any studies on what happens when you take this stuff?  Like whether it can damage or…

Dan:  Yeah.  There are.  It’s amazing the studies that are out there on using these clinoptilolite particles for multiple conditions, for lead poisoning, et cetera.  But, yes.  The studies are out there and, right now, we’re excited because we’re doing new studies with this new hydrolyzed form.

Ben:  I’m looking on your website right now.  What’s this PAMPA…

Dan:  Yeah.  The PAMPA, actually this is the only product of its kind, the only detox product on the planet right now that’s ever been proven by that PAMPA study.  By the way, that is the way to show that something crosses into the cell, in and out of the cell.

Ben:  Parallel artificial membrane permeability assay.  What is that?

Dan:  Yeah, PAMPA.  Don’t get confused with my last name, which is Pompa.

Ben:  Yeah.  I was gonna say it’s close to your last name.

Dan:  Yeah.  No.  It is the scientific way to prove that something moves in and out of membranes, it crosses the membranes, even into the blood-brain barrier.  So this is the only detox product with that ability to make that claim.

Ben:  So they’ve tested it, they’ve used this PAMPA analysis to see if it actually does move in and out of a lipid cell membrane?

Dan:  Yes.  Which is, again, the only product that can make the claim because it’s the only product…

Ben:  And a normal zeolite’s just too big?

Dan:  Right.  Even the liquid ones, they’re too big, or heavy is a better word.  Molecular weight is too much.

Ben:  Okay.  So there’s this Cyto Detox stuff, is that the primary source where someone actually can get clinoptilolite?

Dan:  Yes.

Ben:  I’m getting that word down.  Zeolite?

Dan:  Yep.

Ben:  Okay.  How did that stuff get developed?  I mean, did this doctor give it to you and then you came up with a name for it?  Or you put it in a bottle?  What exactly happened after this Nikolas guy?

 Dan:  Yeah.  So he contacted us knowing that I have a group of doctors, knowing that cellular detox is my forte, and they got in touch with me.  And of course, I had to see some of the research and I had to use it clinically.  So we took it and utilized it with 20, 30 actually, about 30 doctors clinically.  And we saw unbelievable results that we hadn’t seen in years.  So what took me years to get the metals out of my brain, we’re seeing the results much faster now because we have a tool that we didn’t have.

Ben:  Right.  So you could detox the gut, you could detox tissues, you could, like I’ll do like a niacin and infrared sauna to lipolize fat cells, but what you’re saying is if you really wanna get into the cell, you have to use this tiny, tiny little particle if you truly want to detox through a cellular membrane?

Dan:  Yeah.

Ben:  But can you combine it with some of those other things like glutathione?  Like the liver cleanse, or cilantro smoothies, or me doing the sauna?

Dan:  That’s what I was just gonna say, yeah.

Ben:  Can you do all that at once?

Dan:  Absolutely.  Yeah.  And I would recommend.  I do.  I would recommend it.

Ben:  Just stay away from like this DMSO stuff that you talked about?

Dan:  Yeah.  Absolutely.

Ben:  Cilantro, chlorella, you should do this first?

Dan:  Absolutely.  And I don’t have a problem with chlorella.  I mean, it’s just not a weak bind for metals that’s gonna cross into the cell.  It’s just a different type of binder.  It’s more in the category of a weaker binder.  It doesn’t make it bad.  It’s just that you have to understand that it’s not a true binder, that it’s gonna grab this toxin, not let it go, and bring it all the way out.  So I’m a believer in clean chlorella and different things, but marketing it as a true binder…

Ben:  I saw the Recovery Bits out in the kitchen counter.

Dan:  Yeah.  I love it.  Yeah.  I love it.  Yeah.

Ben:  You’ve got the organic cracked cell wall chlorella.  It’s good stuff.

Dan:  Spirulina, but it’s not a true binder that people that have true heavy metal issues, they’ll take it say, “It didn’t help.”  It’s a different function.

Ben:  And it was weird.  Like after three days, and you told me to decrease the dosage, and I don’t think I told you this, but I didn’t.  I stayed with 10 in the morning and 10 in the evening.

Dan:  Yeah.  ‘Cause you’re like me.

Ben:  But I just want to get it out.  And then I started to feel really, really good.  And I actually, next week I’m going back home and doing a urine test to see if it actually decreased any levels of metals in my body, ’cause I had some mercury, some lead, some manganese, and some other things.

Dan:  And in you, I predict it will.  However, what we do see is, I said that lead is stored in the bone, a lot of the mercury’s stored in the brain and other deep tissues, but oftentimes we’ll see people, their test rise up, and then come down.  And the reason is because it’s trying to move it from the deeper tissues.

Ben:  The metals go up and then go down.

Dan:  Yeah.  But oftentimes, they actually feel better.  They say, “Yeah, I feel better.  Why is my lead higher?”  Well, it’s because it’s getting out of that deeper tissue.  So oftentimes we see it rise up before, then it starts to drop down again.  But it’s a true binder.  It works.  You’re going to see it change.

Ben:  Okay.  So I’m taking furious notes here, and if you guys go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/pompa, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/P-O-M-P-A, I’m linking to some of these books that we talked about, like “The Biology of Belief” that I’m reading right now, and then this “Cancer Is A Metabolic Disease,” and some of this information like the smoking tooth video and mercury dental fillings.  But then, as far as this side Cyto Detox stuff goes, C-Y-T-O Detox, you’ve got a website here that people can go to, I’m going to link to that and show notes too, but it’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/C-Y-T-O.  And that little bottle that’s on that website, that’s just that clinoptilolite zeolite, that’s it?  Nothing else.

Dan:  That’s it.  Pure as that.

Ben:  You do the drops in the morning, the drops in the evening, and there’s also a book on that site.  What’s the book that people get?

Dan:  Yeah.  It’s part of what we put out when we put out something called The True Cell Detox, and it really helps with the dietary changes that are going to help your detox pathway.  Some of the things we said, “Hey, this is great to combine it with.”  You know, not just doing the drops itself.  So that’ll give you some pointers there.  It’s very good.  It’s a lot of great information, even recipes.  Very helpful.

Ben:  So people could get this Cyto Detox, they get the e-book.

Dan:  Yeah.

Ben:  Is the e-book like a certain period of days that you follow the diet or is it just general…?

Dan:  There’s some general and more specifics in the book.  So I think it’ll be a really helpful resource for people to understand that, again, when we’re looking at cellular detox, we want to upregulate self-function as a part of the detox as well.

Ben:  Does it have some of that diet variation stuff that you talked about?

Dan:  I don’t know if that is in there.  I don’t think that’s in there.  There’s a program that I’ve put together now that practitioners are utilizing, it’s called the True Cell Detox program.  In that, I talked about the diet variation, which I would love to do a whole show on because it’s perfect for your listeners.

Ben:  If I didn’t have to go to the Salt Lake City Airport now and actually fly home to see my family who I haven’t seen in a week, we could do it now.  But even right now, if you’re listening in, you should check out this website.  So it’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/CYTO, and you can get a bottle of this Cyto Detox, 30 day money back guarantee if you wanna try it.  I’ll warn you, we should probably warn people, Dan, that might not feel amazing when they first start.  ‘Cause I didn’t.

Dan:  Yeah.  Exactly.

Ben:  It took a few days, and now I feel really good.  But you take this, and then your five R’s, you’ve got that article as well on your site, if I wanna link to it?

Dan:  Yeah.  My website has the articles on there, and there’s an article on there about True Cellular Detox as well.  And like you, I even do Cellular Healing TV.  There’s all types of information.

Ben:  Yeah.  You’ve got a podcast too.  So the five R’s, I’ll link to that as well on.  So if you’re listening in, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/pompa,  P-O-M-P-A, if you want the show notes for this episode, and then go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/cyto, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/CYTO, and that’s where you can get this little bottle, this little dropper bottle of that’s this clinoptilolite zeolite.  And if you’ve got pesticide exposure, metal exposure, anything like that and you want to use the detoxification protocol that Dr. Pompa has designed combined with these five R’s that we went over today, really cool way to detoxify yourself the right way.

Dan:  It’s the real deal.  Yeah.  No, it’s the real deal.  We have practitioners, hundreds using it all over the country, changing lives with the product.

Ben:  Yeah.  And again, if you guys are listening in, Dr. Pompa practices what he preaches, hardcore mountain biker, kick my butt the past couple of days.

Dan:  Yeah.  While you came off of a…

Ben:  Looks like a million bucks.

Dan:  You came off a hard endurance, two days.  That’s for sure.  Something that’s harder than an Ironman, you told me.

Ben:  Train to Hunt did beat me up a little bit.  But regardless, I like guys who are actually out there not just creating products like this, but actually walking the walk and talking the talk, and Dr. Pompa’s one of those guys.  So if you guys haven’t yet heard of Dr. Dan or tapped into some of his stuff, definitely check out the show notes.  So bengreenfieldfitness.com/POMPA is where all the goodness is at, and then you can get the special offer with the free shipping, and the e-book, and everything at bengreenfieldfitness.com/CYTO.  And, Dr. Dan…

Dan:  Yeah, man.

Ben:  I wanna thank you for coming on the show today.

Dan:  Absolutely.  It’s my purpose, my pleasure, and suffered to even be here.

Ben:  That was fun, man.  Alright.  Cool.  Well, thanks for listening in folks.  And I’m Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Dan Pompa signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Go detoxify yourselves.  Feel like a million bucks.  Over and out.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

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

IAOMT.org 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

 

 

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

pompa

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

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

IAOMT.org 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!

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

Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/08/is-diet-soda-good-for-you/

[02:00] MarcPro

[03:29] Kimera Koffee

[04:56] Introduction

[07:30] About Paddy Spence

[12:00] “Caveman Drank Soda” – Is soda something ancestral?

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

[21:50] What Causes Keto flu and how to avoid getting it?

[28:05] Why Stevia tastes bitter to some people?

[32:30] Coke’s “TruVia” and Pepsi’s “PureVia” – Bad for you (and why not all stevia is created equal)

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

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

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

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

[59:00] Ben’s personal vodka cocktail mix use with Creme Soda flavored Zevia, and how his kids make Root Beer Floats with Root Beer flavored Zevia

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

[64:29] End of podcast

Ben:  What’s up!  It’s Ben Greenfield.  I’m back and I’m once again recording from the Peak Brain Institute facility near Los Angeles.  I’m actually in a place called Culver City doing brain training which is why you might hear background voices and brain training sounds like whirring and clicks and whistles.  But that’s just part of the gig.  I’m making myself smarter, so I have to have making smarter sounds in the background.  I’m also staying down here with my friend Tai Lopez, quite entertaining guy.  You should go check him out on the Snapchat.  Go to Snapchat and do a search for Tai Lopez.  The guy’s garage is full of Lamborghinis and Ferraris, and he’s got like this eighteen-room mansion here in Beverly Hills, and not that I think that money is everything or prestige or the Beverly Hills lifestyle is everything, but this guy has marketing and making money and business pretty much down to a science.  I’ve interviewed him 3 times on my show, so he’s a guy you should check out very, very interesting fellow.  If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you do a search for… actually I’m not even gonna have you do that, he’s got a website in which he shares how he went from having forty seven bucks in the bank to being wealthy beyond measure.  At least by Beverly Hills standards perhaps not by Dubai standards but Beverly Hills standards.  The dude is freaking loaded.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/67steps, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/67steps.  If you want to see Tai, what he looks like, his place that I’m staying at, very, very interesting dude.

Anyways, though, this podcast today is about soda.  Yes soda, the stuff you drink.  But before we dive in to today’s podcast on soda.  Did you see what I did there?  I was gonna say dive into soda but alright, I should stop.  I wanna tell you about today’s sponsors.

So first of all, this podcast is brought to you by something that I have actually been using quite a bit on my ankle.  I competed in the Trained to Hunt National Championships last week, the Spartan 4-hour race along with another Spartan race back to back the week before and I sprained my ankle.  I’ve been using this thing called electrical muscle stimulation but it’s different than any other form of electrical muscle stimulation because it produces what is called a square wave form.  So, what I do is I surround the area of pain with the 4 electrodes that come with this device.  It’s called a MarcPro, and it’s in a very therapeutic manner recruits muscles, increase blood flow, gets rid of inflammation and essentially cause my body to heal much more quickly.

I even slapped some magnesium lotion on the ankle and then I put the electrodes on, and then I put ice over that.  And that 1,2,3 combo nurses my body back extremely quickly.  So you get $5 off or $5 (laughs), you get a lot more than that.  You get 5% discount on this.  Five dollars wouldn’t be much but 5% is actually quite significant that saves you more than $30 on one of these.  You know, marcpro.com, m-a-r-c- pro dot com.  And when you go to marcpro.com use promo code Ben to get 5% off this electrical muscle stimulation device.  Super easy to use and literally, I mean for soreness, injuries anything, you’ll be shocked at how fast you bounce back.  I’m not just saying that.  I do use this thing every week.

So in addition, something I use every week, is high altitude premium coffee infused with nootropics.  I’m actually quite interested to see what happens to my brain with all this brain training I’m doing and kinda tracking you know, if there’s changes in terms of like whether or not I drink my nootropic-infused coffee that morning or not.  This is coffee that has taurine in it which is typically stuff you can find in eggs and that delays cognitive decline.  It’s got theanine in it which actually decreases any jitteriness that caffeine might cause.  It’s got choline in it which you’ll find in for example fish and that boosts mental performance and promotes red blood cell function interestingly, and then alpha GPC which is a natural choline compound you find in your own neural tissue, but you also find it in meats and fish but you don’t have to eat meats and fish.  You can just drink a cup of coffee and have your kale shake.  So it’s called kimera koffee k-i-m-e-r-a k-o-f-f-e-e dot com.  They’ve blended all these nootropics together dissolved them into coffee and then you drink that cup of goodness each morning to get your brain spinning.  You get a 10% discount when you go to k-i-m-e-r-a k-o-f-f-e-e dot com and use discount code Ben.  That’s kimerakoffee.com with discount code Ben.

Alright so you’ve got your electro stimulation, you’ve got your coffee and now you’re about to get your soda.  Let’s do this.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:

“In controversy around is Stevia natural, it’s because some vendors out there use nasty chemicals to extract the ingredient.  There is one basic indisputable fact about GMO’s.  They were created by C companies who sell pesticides to sell more pesticides.  End of story.  Caramel color that is used in zero calorie sodas has trace amounts of a nasty chemical called 4-MEI and 4-MEI is linked in a lot of different studies to cancer.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield and if you are a long time podcast listener, you may have heard me before pop open a bottle or a can of soda prior to actually interviewing my guest.  And although I do not have a soda in hand right now, frankly because I’m recording in the morning and I don’t drink soda that often in the morning.  We are definitely going to be talking about soda, and if you happen to watch the most recent Crossfit games because I know all of you are into the Crossfit games.  You may have noticed they were brought to you by soda.  That’s right a soda company was a sponsor of the 2016 Reebok Crossfit games which is the worldwide competition to find the fittest man or the fittest woman on earth, and that’s not exactly something that you’d associate with Coke or Pepsi or Mountain Dew or my old all-time favorite Dr. Pepper.

However, the name of that soda company is Zevia, and my guest on today’s show is named Paddy, that’s right his name is Paddy, P-a-d-d-y, Paddy Spence and he’s actually a 23 year veteran of the natural and organic foods industry.  He completely cut sugar out from his diet 14 years ago, and then he purchased this company called Zevia which is a Stevia-sweetened soda company that’s now the world’s top selling zero calorie natural diet soda.  So Patty lives in LA and he’s done over 40 triathlons and he’s trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling and karate and boxing, so I thought he’d be a great [0:08:14.5] ______ on the show not only because we love super-duper active people who can’t seem to stop, but also because he appears to be the world’s leading expert on all-natural soda.  So Paddy welcome to the show, man.              

Paddy:  Well, thank you so much, Ben.  What a great intro (laughs). 

Ben:  (laughs).  Aside from the fact that I’m not drinking soda or Zevia.

Paddy:  Well, you know I can’t pop mine on the air but I’m drinking a Zevia cola right now although it is 10 in the morning here in Los Angeles, but I start early with Zevia because of the reasons we’ll talk about.

Ben:  Do you actually drink coffee or do you just start your day with Zevia?

Paddy:  You know, I’m not a coffee guy.  I do very much appreciate caffeine to get me going in the morning so what I do is I start my day with a couple of cups of Yerba Mate. 

Ben:  Uhm.  

Paddy:  Which for your listeners who aren’t familiar is an Amazonian herbal tea, very high in caffeine but it also has some of the active constituents that appear in chocolate.  So some folks would tell you it’s a little bit euphoric.  It’s definitely easier on your stomach than coffee. so I have a couple of cups of Mate in the morning and then I switch over to Zevia.    

Ben:  Yeah, that’s really interesting on Yerba Mate.  A lot of people don’t know it has some of those same bioactive components in it that chocolate has in it.  It’s got xanthines like those caffeine-like compounds that acts differently than coffee.  A lot of people feel like they get more wakefulness than Yerba Mate ‘coz it has a theobromine and theophylline?  

Paddy:  That’s exactly right.      

Ben:  Are the two that you find in Yerba Mate?  You know, Yerba Mate for me, I dunno, it sounds like you do pretty well with it.  It’s almost like too much unless I’m doing it right before a workout, and perhaps it is from those added components, I get almost jittery with Yerba Mate.     

Paddy:  Well, it definitely is a strong stimulant and I tell my wife, the first cup kind of makes me human, the second cup gets me going and then switch over to Zevia. 

Ben:  Yeah, it’d be interesting.  L-Theanine is a compound that takes the edge off of caffeine when you combine it with coffee or when you find it in its natural format like with green tea.  It’d be interesting to combine theanine with Yerba Mate and see if it takes some of the edge off Yerba Mate or perhaps gives you a little bit more of like a caffeinated high that lasts little longer, I don’t know.   

Paddy:  Right.  Interesting.  I have to try that. 

Ben:  And by the way, are you doing like a bulletproof Zevia?  Are you blending MCT oils or coconut oils with your Zevia, or you just drink it straight up?      

Paddy:  Well, no.  So with Yerba Mate it is, for folks who haven’t tried it it’s a unique taste.  I think of green tea as an acquired taste, mate is that much more strong and thus acquired, so I put liquid stevia and generally non-fat organic milk but sometimes do use coconut creamer in my mate.      

Ben:  Gotcha.  Gotcha.  Cool.  And what about the Zevia, you mix anything in that or you just take it straight up? 

Paddy:  I take it straight up, interestingly if I’m like out of liquid stevia at home I’ll mix Zevia with Yerba Mate, the carbonation just fits really quickly in a hot beverage.  But it gives it that nice sweetness and a little bit of flavor so like a lemon lime Zevia or a ginger ale goes great with Yerba Mate.

Ben:  Okay.  I wanna fill you in maybe towards the end of our interview, I’ll fill you in on a few of my unique twist that I have used Zevia for in the past.    

Paddy:  Yeah, we’d love to hear that.    

Ben:  I have thrown some interesting things into it, but let’s talk a little bit about soda in general.  So I have seen on your website because I stalked you a little bit before getting on today’s show that you mentioned things like paleo on your website, like paleo approved and this is something that a paleo person could drink.  I think you guys even had a presence at Paleo f(x).    

Paddy:  That’s correct. 

Ben:  If I’m not mistaken.  Do you really think that caveman or our ancestors drink a soda or soda-like substance?  Can you argue that this is something ancestral?    

Paddy:  Well, it’s interesting I mean, I think that paleo is really more of a metaphor for reducing or ideally eliminating processed foods from our diet, right.  The paleo diet is all about eating the way we ate thousands of years ago and what that really means is processed foods, sugar and grains.  Those are 3 things that have only been introduced into the human diet in the last few thousand years, and one could certainly argue none of them had a positive effect on the health of people around the world.

So paleo’s all about lean protein, red meat, fish, shellfish, eggs.  Not sure how many eggs a hunter gatherer is consuming but that’s on the diet.  Fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like olive, coconut and avocado oils.  So the things you wanna avoid again in paleo are greens, legumes, processed foods, and a lot of potatoes and of course sugar.  So when we think about typical soda, artificial sweeteners didn’t exist obviously.  Sugar in its refined form didn’t exist.  So those are the some of the no, no ingredients in conventional soda but then you get into things like caramel color which is from corn, I mean look corn is clearly a product of industrialized farming and processed food technology, right?  Corn was not pervasive in our diet.               

Ben:  Well, like modern corn and I mean, native Americans did quite a bit of corn from what I understand it was like the tiny little baby corn not the giant ass ears of corn that we have today.    

Paddy:  Well exactly, it was integrated into beverages. 

Ben:  Right.

Paddy:  And every single thing you ate and I think you know, that’s where we as a society have kinda gone astray from a dietary standpoint is we’re using ingredients like corn far beyond where they were ever meant to be used.   

Ben:  You know, one thing before we dive into the issue of corn ‘coz I didn’t wanna ask you a little bit about if you guys have any like GMO-type of compounds in your soda.  You know, returning to this concept of beverages and whether or not our ancestors would have drank soda, I actually had an really interesting discussion with a gal named Hannah who’s also known as the Kombucha Mama, and she mentioned during our interview that when you look at the practice of like hunter gatherers or you look at many ancestral populations, they didn’t drink a lot of water.  They actually consumed a whole bunch of different varieties of ferments and fermented beverages, you see like mead would be one popular one right, like mead or honey wine that you’ll find a lot in like Norse Mythology for example.  Kombucha of course is another one.  Kombucha or jeung which is kinda like a form of kombucha.

There was another one I don’t remember if it was her that talked about it or someone else I mentioned this to or was talking about this to in South America they have chicha which is like a fermented beverage made from roots or fruits.  And you’ll find folks in many situations not drinking water, but instead drinking ferments throughout the day or drinking things other than water.  That was what I was kinda thinking about when I asked you that question was perhaps modern forms of carbonated beverages like this are almost our version of that.  What are your thoughts on that?

Paddy:  Well you know, I think it’s a great point, it’s interesting my daughter is in kindergarten and one of the things I did last school year was go in and make Zevia ginger ale for her class.  And it’s really simple; its carbonated water like with stevia, some chopped up fresh ginger and some lemon juice.  So, when you think about that in a hunter gatherer environment, carbonation yeah, maybe naturally occurring from a spring.  You’re throwing a little bit of lemon in, the leaf of a stevia and you’re maybe throwing some fresh ginger in, that’s ginger ale.  So yes it’s not, it’s definitely not a stretch to say that adding indigenous fruits and spices to water to make it more palatable, I mean God knows back in the day the water probably wasn’t very filtered, right?       

Ben:  Yeah, that’s another thing is you almost had to add things to water.  

Paddy:  You put stuff in it to make it more palatable, no doubt.  So yeah, I think what’s interesting about soda is it got its start in the late nineteenth century back then we didn’t have a chemistry lab in the way we do today to create new ingredients.  So the compounds used in soda when it was first invented in the late eighteen hundreds were natural flavors.  You know, they were things like ginger and lemon and lime and orange extract.     

Ben:  And cocaine (chuckles).

Paddy:  Yeah, well exactly. 

Ben:  (laughs) Which is I guess that was the reason they had coco leaves and coca cola. Hence the title I believe. 

Paddy:  Yeah, it’s been heavily disputed by the folks in Atlanta but there’s certainly a lot of documentation. 

Ben:  Right, yeah, it’s interesting.  Another thing I wanted to really delve into was this whole idea behind the actual name of your company, and I do wanna return to the GMO issue I’m sure we’ll get to that but I wanted to ask you about stevia itself because I assume Zevia is an adaptation of the word stevia.

Paddy:  That’s exactly right.    

Ben:  Okay.  By the way, what’s the Z?

Paddy:  The Z is zero.  So zero calories in stevia.  So you know, just a little bit of a sidebar, you know my personal history with stevia goes back sixteen years and in two thousand, my wife and I went off of sugar and I thought at that time that I was healthy guy, and then one day I took stock of my diet and realized that through all these stuff that I was buying at Whole Foods and other natural food stores I was getting 250 grams of sugar a day.  Literally a thousand calories a day from sugar and here I was doing all the exercise to burn it off.  Crashes of energy, spikes of energy, crash, spike, crash, spike throughout the day.            

Ben:  Right

Paddy:  So we went off of sugar, cold turkey in two thousand been using stevia ever since and so that’s what led me to this brand.      

Ben:  And when you say you got off of sugar, I assume you’re saying that in the same way that most people say like you didn’t stop eating for example like potatoes or carrots or things like those lines, you cut out processed sugar?

Paddy:  I guess what I would say is that the outset because I was such a hard core addict as well as my wife, we went cold turkey, I mean she didn’t eat fruit for 3 weeks and cut out dairy and that first week was really the toughest part.  So what I tell people is to start with a food journal, figure out where the hell you’re getting all this sugar, and that’s the only way you’re gonna eliminate it, but for us we went cold turkey, we were out in a cabin in upstate New York and nearest grocery store was twelve miles away, and my body went into shock.  The first 3 days I had hives, head to toe all over my back and legs just ‘coz it was detoxing from these massive amounts of sugar.       

Ben:  Right.  Your fat cells were lysing.

Paddy:  Exactly.  But once I got through that first 5 days things got better and then I gradually started to reintroduce in modest quantities things like potatoes and dairy, etcetera but even to this day, I control my fruit intake.  If I allowed myself I’d eat 4 bananas but I don’t, I eat one.     

Ben:  I hear yah.  I personally consider fruit to be nature’s dessert.  I will have fruit about 1 to 2 days probably the equivalent of a piece of fresh raw fruit unless I’m in a very hot tropical climate.  There’s some evidence that exposure to sunlight or large amounts of vitamin and longer days may actually increase your insulin sensitivity.  It’s really interesting, you actually get a lower postprandial glucose response when you’re like in the Caribbean sipping on a rhum or eating a pineapple versus when you’re say like in a northern climate covered in snow eating fruit.  So it’s interesting how the human body is kind of tuned to its environment when it comes to how much sugar you can get away with.

Paddy:  Well in addition, sorry to interrupt but the other thing is we get used to a diet, right so my kids are kind of a science experiment, right they’ve grown in this household with no sugar and to your point dessert is a banana, or some cereal with milk and their pallet has adjusted such that a banana provides that sweetness they’re craving without having to eat a cupcake.    

Ben:  It’s amazing how sweet fruit can taste once you’ve sworn off cupcakes and other forms of processed sugar.  You know there’s a term now, I don’t know if you’re familiar with this term keto flu have you hear of this?

Paddy:  I’m familiar with ketosis. but I could guess what it means but I’d love to hear about it.           

Ben:  Well it’s kind of similar to what you experienced when you quit sugar, cold turkey, it’s like you get crippling headaches, and lightheadedness, and dizziness, and irritability because you built up such efficient sugar burning machinery that you actually have to adapt to burning fat.  Your mitochondria have to shift into beta oxidation and the utilization of ketones and fatty acids and I’ve actually had you know, because I recommend to many, many folks who I coach and consult that they lower their carbohydrate intake, or they lower their sugar intake, and there are little things that we’ll do to really ensure that they don’t have that what’s called the low carb flu or the keto flu like you amp up mineral and electrolyte intake that’s one biggie because your blood pressure drops as you dump all that glycogen and carbohydrate.

Another one is we’ll get lots of medium chained triglycerides right, like lots of coconut oil or coconut fats into the diet because those can preferentially kinda skip digestion and they get converted into ketone based fuels pretty readily.  And then another big one of course, similar to how glycogen stores electrolytes, it also stores water and so you can get more dehydrated.  And so I’ll amp up water intake and there’s all sorts of little tricks you can use if you cut sugar out, but that’s interesting that you just went full on cold turkey.

Paddy:  Yeah, and what’s interesting is hearing your expert advice that you provide your clients.  I didn’t have a Ben Greenfield helping me out unfortunately, but what I did have is just my body telling me what I wanted, and I tell you the thing that helped me; I’m a meat eater and an apologetic meat eater, it was massive amounts of protein was the only thing that would kill my sugar cravings, and I think to some extent that dog tales was some of the medical advice you would give to people.       

Ben:  Yeah, kinda the only issue with that not to be contrarian is that a big reason for that is because of gluconeogenesis.  You get a lot of the protein converted into glucose which is what you’re trying to get away from and that’s I think again not to be too divisive here, but it’s a reason or a mistake a lot of people make right, they eat a bunch of protein instead it’s hard on the kidneys, they produce a bunch of ammonia, they still get these bumps in insulin and glucose ‘coz the protein’s just getting converted into sugar, it’s almost just like a longer wait or a longer biochemical method to get sugar spike into the blood stream so.     

Paddy:  That’s fascinating.  Well, it was a short term fix for me and you can’t eat pounds of meat for very long but it kinda kept me sane for that first week.   

Ben:  Kept you from being curled up in a fetal position sucking your thumb in this cabin in the wilderness.    

Paddy:  Well, I think I was doing that anyway, but for crying well I did that.  Yeah.

Ben:  (laughs) So stevia, obviously Zevia is named after stevia and you said that you quit sugar and you found stevia, but I’d like to talk a little bit about stevia because people have lots of questions about it.  There are different forms of it.  I noticed when I looked at the label of your soda for example, you have R-E-B-A, Reb-A listed there.  I’m curious, what Reb-A is and what your thoughts are on the appropriateness of stevia as far as the research behind it and the health of stevia granted I know, people are gonna be screaming this through the podcast.  So I’ll point out the painfully obvious fact that you might be biased ‘coz you have a company named after it.      

Paddy:  laughs 

Ben:  Named after stevia but still I’m curious that you’re taking this and especially curious what Reb-A is?

Paddy: Yeah, so for folks who don’t know stevia is a plant in the sunflower family native to Latin America, but grows in virtually any hot climate around the world.  And what’s amazing about this plant is the leaves are two to three hundred times as sweet as sugar with no caloric intake associated with them, and no associated spike in blood sugar.  So it really is an amazing what we would call high intensity sweetener that doesn’t have calories.  Within the stevia leaf, there are a number of different sweetening compounds which we would call stevial glycocides and the history of stevia was used for centuries in Latin America, I believe it was 1970 or 71 it was approved for use as a sweetener in Japan.  So it’s a decades-long usage history in Japan, centuries in Latin America.  It was only in 2008 that in the US the FDA said hey, you can now market this as a sweetener.  So back in 2000 when my wife and I consumed stevia, we found it in the health food store in the supplements section because it was a dietary supplement.  Starting in 08, FDA said yup, you can use it as a sweetener and initially the companies creating stevia as a sweetener FDA approved, Reb-A which was one of the sweetening compounds of the stevial glycocides.           

Ben:  And what does Reb-A mean? What is Reb say, is Reb short for something? Is that the actual? 

Paddy:  Reb is I believe is rebaudioside-A, so that’s the scientific name for that sweetening compound.  There’s a Reb-B, there’s a Reb-D, Reb-M etcetera, so there are about a dozen sweetening compounds within the leaf and like any natural botanical ingredient, there are different characteristics to each of those sweetening compounds. Some have a little more of the licorishy taste, some have a more pure clean sweetness and so initially, imagine we were kind of the MS Dos of stevia back in 2008 and people were just starting to work with it, we didn’t know exactly how to use it and the initial thinking was we can get the purest sweetness from Reb-A, and refining Reb-A to the highest concentration so back in 2010 and Zevia, we used an 80% Reb-A stevia with the other 20% being other stevial glycocides.  We then continued to improve the purity of that, went to a Reb-A 95, 97%, 99% which is what we use in Zevia today.  But what’s happening actually in stevia is now that kinda of the food science folks have caught up with the ingredient, were starting to see novel uses of different sweetening compounds or stevial glycocides.  And so, actually Zevia just released a line of sparkling flavored waters and a line of energy drinks.  Both of those product lines use only stevia and we’re dealing that through a blend of different stevial glycocides.          

Ben:  When you say glycocide, that is the actual compound that tastes sweet on the tongue, is that correct?  

Paddy:  That is correct.     

Ben:  Okay, so when you’re tasting stevia and it tastes sweet, it’s not an actual calorie that you’re tasting because it is correct me if I’m mistaken, there are no calories in stevia.  Is that correct?    

Paddy:  That is correct. 

Ben:  Okay, so those glycocides, those actually react with the same sweet sensors on your taste buds on your tongue as say sugar?   

Paddy:  That is exactly right. 

Ben:  Now some people think stevia tastes bitter, why is that? 

Paddy:  Well, I think everyone’s pallet is different, and it’s really amazing.  You get a thousand people and have them taste the same thing especially if it has a number of different flavor notes, some people will pick up notes that others don’t.  It’s the same you know, when we look at a shade of red, ask a hundred people and they’ll have different descriptions of that shade of red, and some people will think its green, right? (chuckles).

And so, similarly our pallets are all different, and so some people do taste a little bitterness.  What’s occurred though as I mentioned back in 2008 or 2010 stevia was MS Dos, and maybe we’re Windows 95 now, but we’re still very, very early in the development of this ingredient from a taste standpoint.  And anyone that’s been drinking stevia for a number of years will tell you our product distinctly different and vastly better than it did 5 years ago because we’ve gotten better not only at the using of more refined and purer stevia, but also it had to mask any bitter aftertaste through the use of natural flavors and through the use of essences, lemon flavor, lime etcetera, etcetera.            

Ben:  How do get the actual rebaudioside –A or the Reb-A that you mentioned out of the stevia plant?  Like how do you go from a plant to this Reb-A stuff that goes into the soda?   

Paddy:  So there are a couple of different things around that, but first of course is before the plant is out of the ground, you wanna breed a plant that has the highest Reb-A content that you can, right?  And that’s not through genetic modification or anything it’s just through simple breeding.  You’re breeding a high Reb-A plant.  At that point then you take those plants, you cut them out of the ground, and it’s the leaf that you want.  So the first thing you do is you de-stem them, you take all of the stems off and you just got the stevia leaves, you then dry those and you crush them into a powder which you then put into a solution like a tea and through an extraction process using non-GMO extraction technology, we’re able to extract the Reb-A, spray dry it and created a powder from that and which is in our case 99% Reb-A, rebaudioside-A stevial glycocide the sweetening compound in that powder.  And so, as I mentioned at the outset two to three hundred times as sweet as sugar with no calories and no impact in blood sugar.        

Ben:  Okay, let’s dive even deeper.  So once it winds up in your digestive tract, this rebaudioside-A, we’ll just say Reb-A from here on out, that gets metabolized into what, do you know? 

Paddy:  I don’t know.  I guess what I would tell you is going back on a technical fine point it’s probably not accurate to say it has zero calories.  If you consumed a kilo of stevia which no human being could consume, it would have more than a zero caloric contribution but if you think of it as two to three hundred times as sweet as sugar, right a teaspoon of sugar has I believe 4 calories or I’m sorry gram of sugar has 4 calories.     

Ben:  Right, 1 gram is 4 calories.    

Paddy:  Right, a gram of sugar has 4 calories.  A gram of stevia might have a couple of calories but a gram of stevia is like 200 grams of sugar.  So you would consume a gram of stevia.  So, it has some caloric contribution but you are ingesting it in such minute quantities that it’s like eating a couple of crystals of sugar, yes there is a caloric contribution, it’s negligible and thus not measurable.     

Ben:  I gotcha, and by the way, I just looked this up and it looks like it gets metabolized. The Reb-A gets metabolized into something called steviocide that gets broken down into glucose and steviol, and it looks like that glucose actually does not get absorbed into the bloodstream.  It gets metabolized by the bacteria in the colon which is really interesting I actually didn’t know that.

So, basically what I’d like to see actually is the bacterial profile, the colonic bacterial profile of someone who had like a lot of stevia in their diet versus someone who didn’t because it appears that it just gets eaten up by the bacteria in the colon and then the steviol isn’t digested I suppose that’s like a sugar alcohol and it gets excreted.

Paddy:  Right. 

Ben:  That’s interesting.  How does the stevia, how does this Reb-A that you guys use in Zevia differ from say like ‘coz I know Coca Cola for example uses this one called Truvia and Pepsi has their own brand I think it’s called PureVia.  How do you guys differ from like what Coke and Pepsi are doing?   

Paddy:  Well, so the most important way that we differ is in the processing of the ingredient.  So like any natural ingredient, you put enough technology into it you can render it unnatural, right?  And so to the extent that there has been controversy around if stevia is natural, it’s because some vendors out there use nasty chemicals to extract the ingredient.  What I tell people is we use a non-GMO project verified stevia and we don’t use methanol for example in the extraction of that stevia.  Some folks use methanol and other nasty chemicals, and so same as sugar right?  You can use ingredients that render sugar arguably non-natural but you don’t have to, right?  You can eat a piece of sugarcane and similarly we have a non-GMO project verified stevia which is different than Truvia, different than PureVia and we were the first and the only brand in the zero calorie soda space to have a completely non-GMO project verified formula.       

Ben:  If someone is consuming a diet product or a soda, or something like that that has stevia as its base, what are the things that they can look for as a red flag, I mean aside from it sounds like you’ve mentioned that Truvia and PureVia which should be respectively the Coke and Pepsi forms of Stevia those are extracted using some of these harsher solvents that you’ve described.  Are there other red flags that folks should look for aside from those names Truvia and PureVia?         

Paddy:  Well, I generally just look at is the product non-GMO project verified because to me that organic are the gold standard for meaning that it’s processed in a way that I’m comfortable with that’s not using harsh chemicals.  And so, we were the first seller to become non-GMO project verified and to me I think that’s a really important stamp of approval for consumers.

Ben:  Ok gotcha.  So you look for non-GMO verified.  You guys are non-GMO verified I noticed that you do have things like natural flavors listed on the soda and you’ve got some other ingredients in there.  What goes into that non-GMO certification process?    

Paddy:  Well, non-GMO project verification is quite amazing and let me take just a moment to explain why I think non-GMO is important.  Because you know, there’s a lot of rhetoric on both sides of the argument.  Do we want to feed the world is kind of what the pro GMO folks would say, and non-GMO folks would say, well we don’t know if GMO’s are safe in the long term.  I would say throw away all those arguments.  Don’t even think about that stuff.  There is one basic indisputable fact about GMO’s.  They were created by seed companies who sell pesticides to sell more pesticides.  End of story.  Dupont, Monsanto, they wanna sell pesticides and so they created seeds that were resistant to herbicides and pesticides so you could spray throughout the year.  And what we’re now seeing is rainfall in the Midwest, the predominant rainfall that occurs has traces of nasty toxic chemicals like round up, a pesticides and herbicides that’s used in those GMO crops.  So enough ranting about GMO’s.  What we use on our product is non-GMO, all non-GMO ingredients, and that means not only are they grown and without the use of genetic modification but they also are processed without genetically modified ingredients.  So a lot of times you’ll see fermented products and you can use GMO enzymes to be the catalyst for that fermentation.  We don’t do that.  Non-GMO project does not approve that.  So it goes way beyond just the seeds that are in the ground to the whole method of processing and creating a product and not using GMO’s throughout that supply chain.                  

Ben:  Okay.  So this would include like you were talking about what you would use to extract the actual sweetness, this rebaudiosides from the stevia plant you would ensure like the solvents you were using also were not derived from genetically modified ingredients.      

Paddy:  That’s exactly right.

Ben:  Ok.  Now what about erythritol, this sugar alcohol.  I’ve seen that in quite a few diet compounds from bars to sodas.  Am I correct that you guys have erythritol in Zevia?   

Paddy:  We do.  We have a non-GMO project verified erythritol, and I should know we have that in our soda.  We do not have it in our sparkling waters, and we don’t have it in our energy drinks, and not ready to announce anything today but I would tell you if you look at the path were on, it’s a path of increasing purity in our products.  So, back in 2010 we had 12 or 14 gram of erythritol in a can of Zevia, and we went to 7, now we have three and a half, and the new products we’ve unveiled this summer have zero.  So you can see where we’re going in general as a company which is pure ingredients.     

Ben:  Pretty soon you’ll just open a can and it’s just gonna be air.  So be careful.   

Paddy:  Yeah. (chuckles) So it’s gonna be water, stevia and flavor.  

Ben:  It’ll be like air.  A shot of oxygen.  So erythritol, why do you have that and why are you going towards the route of getting rid of it? 

Paddy:  Well, so as I mentioned you know, when you look at the development of stevia initially we were focused on this one sweetening compound Reb-A, and it is what a food scientist might call a spikey sweetness, and that it doesn’t have any caloric value, right? And it’s not teaspoons of stuff on your pallet.  It’s a tiny, tiny trace amount, so it hits your palate with a spikey sweetness and then tails off.  Erythritol is not as sweet as sugar.  It’s 70 to 90% as sweet as sugar.  And so, in a can of soda when you have four or three and half (inaudible) tall that adds what we might call mouth fill, its actual bulk, it’s you know 4 grams of stuff on your palate.  And so that’s got because its less sweet than sugar, it’s got kind of a more rounded sweetness.  It doesn’t hit your palate as aggressively and intensely as stevia does, but it works in a complementary sense in that it’s a slow onset and the stevia kicks in and then erythritol kinda ends up on the finish on your palate.  So as we get to a more and more rounded stevia taste by using multiple sweetening compounds the need for something like erythritol starts to go away because you can achieve that same effect by using different stevial glycocides or sweetening compounds all from the stevia leaf.

Ben:  Ok gotcha.  So erythritol in terms of it being a sugar alcohol, is there any caloric effect of something like erythritol or is that completely non-absorbed calorically?

Paddy:  It’s not absorbed calorically.  So the erythritol itself does have a slight carb contribution, but your body does not absorb those carbs and thus there’s no caloric contribution.

Ben:  Okay, and you choose that instead of something like say, let’s say xylitol is another popular one that you’ll find.  Why?

Paddy:  Well xylitol is a cousin of erythritol and that it’s a sugar alcohol also, but it’s really a different compound and it’s not an ingredient that you can consume in large quantities.  So xylitol can give you stomach upset and digestive issues.

Ben:  Yeah, xylitol makes you fart.

Paddy:  Yeah, that’s what people say.

Ben:  Even in xylitol gum, a lot of people do this new xylitol gums.  I actually didn’t realize I just started down a search and I think I found one was called Simply Gum that is a stevia only flavored gum, but I would find you know, when I chomp on gum all day long, I start to fart a lot and I didn’t realize that there was so much xylitol on this gum that I’ve been chewing, that it was actually messing with my digestive tract because of the vast amounts of sugar alcohol that I was consuming and a lot of people have, are you familiar with SIBO, small intestine bacterial overgrowth?

Paddy:  Yes, I certainly am.

Ben:  A lot of people who have SIBO.  They can’t deal well with this things like moltitol and sorbitol and lactitol and xylitol, but erythritol from what I understand is one of the few that does not actually cause this type of tummy rumbling at least in moderate doses.

Paddy:  Well, that’s exactly right.  And I think you know again it’s a sign that the amounts of erythritol that you would need to consume for kind of digestive distress are far, far above what we use in Zevia.  And so, I tell you I drink ten cans of Zevia a day and you know, so that’s maybe forty grams of erythritol nowadays.  Back in 2010 that was a hundred and twenty grams of erythritol.  I never had any issues.  But as I said we are on a path of continuous reduction and at some point in the future Zevia is gonna be a stevia only soda line.

Ben:  Yeah, and my kids both do about a can a day, and I personally do 1 or 2 cans a day and I don’t have any issues with gas or anything like that from the erythritol in there.  Have you tried that Simply gum stuff by the way?

Paddy:  I’m not a gum chewer so much, and so I’m a bad candidate for that, but I think it’s a great concept.

Ben:  I gotcha.  Oh it’s my new favorite.  They’ve got different flavors like ginger and fennel and coffee and maple, but it’s all stevia flavored.  It’s really interesting.  If people like, if you’re listening in and you’re interested in this, I’ll put a link in the show notes just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/paddy.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/p-a-d-d-y and I’ll link to some of the flavors of stevia that I like, or Zevia and also this gum that I like.

Another ingredient that I wanted to ask you about Paddy, is monk fruit.  I noticed that you guys have had monk fruit in some of your flavors.  Why monk fruit and how is that not falling into like a category of a caloric-based sweetener or a fructose-based sweetener?

Paddy:  So the monk fruit is quite similar to stevia in that it is a botanical ingredient that is two to three hundred times as sweet as sugar without any calories, and without any impact on blood sugar.  Stevia is a leafy plant, monk fruit is actually a gourd that looks a little bit like a guava maybe, and it’s grown in the hills in China and parts of Thailand, and again it works in a complementary sense with Reb-A, and so as I mentioned erythritol provides a little bit of mouth fill and a more rounded sweetness.  Monk fruit provides a little bit of extra sweetness in our sodas without any added bitterness.  And so monk fruit, stevia and erythritol work nicely in conjunction, but again in our sparkling water line, in our energy line, we’re only using stevia and I think that’s the future.

Ben:  Ok, so are there actual calories in like a monk fruit extract or is it kinda like stevia where it’s just a sweet taste?

Paddy:  It’s just like stevia where it’s a sweet taste and I guess if you consumed a hundred gourds of monk fruit which no one could ever tolerate, there might be a couple of calories in that quantity but yes, it has no caloric contribution to our product.

Ben:  Do you know if there are other nutritional benefit as something like monk fruit?

Paddy:  You know, I’m always very cautious about talking about diagnosing, treating or curing any diseases, and so what I would tell you though is monk fruit also known as Luo Han Guo has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.  And yeah, it’s a tonic, it is often used for a variety of things and I’m sure there are people who would tell you it’ll cure cancer (laughs) but no, it is definitely been used in traditional Chinese medicine and I would encourage folks to go research monk fruit or Luo Han Guo to find out some of the traditional uses of that ingredient in Chinese medicine.

Ben:  Extremely, extremely low on the glycemic index, I know that it’s almost got a negative glycemic index score in terms of glycemic index.  Most folks will say know this that the potential something to actually spike your blood sugars.  Monk fruit although it’s called a fruit from what I understand it just has so many of this glycocides in it and that’s what’s responsible for sweetness not actually high amounts of fructose that it is one of those few fruits out there that is super sweet, but that won’t actually spike your blood sugar.

Paddy:  That’s exactly right.

Ben:  Cool.  And it’s a beautiful fruit.  I’ll try and put a picture of it in the show notes for those of you listening in.

Alright, so we’ve covered sugar alcohols, we’ve covered stevia, we’ve covered the monk fruit.  Now I wanna get in to another question that I get quite a bit about soda, and that I’ve even wondered myself when slammin’ 1 or 2 cans of Zevia during the day and that’s the old issue with like teeth and bones and acidity of soda.  Talk to me about concerns in terms of like the acids in soda and how you get past those type of concerns or if that is a concern.

Paddy:  Yeah, it’s interesting.  Stevia as an ingredient is tooth friendly.  If you were to use only stevia you could probably get a dental claim on your package saying this supports tooth healthy and you talk to any dentist, and they love stevia for that reason.  And the specific reason is stevia does not promote, create an environment in the mouth that promotes the growth of plaque and bacteria, so it is tooth friendly.  As you noted, soda in general and Zevia specifically is an acidic product.  The acidity or the pH of the product is one of the ways that we keep the product preservative-free.  So having carbonation in a can and having a somewhat acidic products allow us to not use preservatives and still have that state fresh.

So the acidity of Zevia means that yes, you can’t say that’s helping your teeth but all the dentists I’ve spoken to tell me you know, there’s a real easy way to deal with acidity in your mouth.  It’s called rinsing your mouth with a glass of water, right?  And at the end of the day really that’s what we’re talking about.  And it’s interesting, there are actually we have several hundred if not now a thousand dental hygienist on our professionals mailing list, and they are starting to provide Zevia as samples to their patients because it is a tooth friendly alternative to conventional sodas which are really nasty to your teeth.  I mean, we’ve all done that.  Great experiment where you take your tooth and drop it in a glass of classic coke and it’s gone in a day. (chuckles) ‘Coz that tooth is getting completely dissolved by sugar.

Ben:  So you guys actually don’t use phosphoric acid?

Paddy:  That’s exactly right.  We don’t, and what’s amazing and a lot of folks don’t know this.  There are twenty three million Americans with kidney disease and one of the ways whether you’re on dialysis or you have an earlier stage of kidney disease, one of the best and only way to manage that disease is through your diet, and one of the things you need to do is eat a diet that’s very low in potassium and phosphorous.  Zevia doesn’t need phosphoric acid if you have kidney disease you should never drink regular cola but you can drink Zevia cola.  So that’s a big market for us and we have several thousand kidney patients and renal dieticians who we work with to help spread the word in that community.

Ben:  Now I know that phosphoric acid is typically used as acidifying agent to give soda or to give cola like that nice tangy kind of flavor that you get from it.  You guys just not have that flavor in Zevia, or do you use something else to replicate that flavor that acidity would normally give?

Paddy:  Well, so phosphoric acid in addition to having challenges for kidney patients also has been shown to decrease bone density and thus went osteoporosis and so, we use tartaric acid which does not have a negative effect on bone density and so it does give our cola that little bit of bite that folks are looking for without some of the negative effects of phosphoric acid.

Ben:  So you use tartaric acid instead of phosphoric acid?

Paddy:  That’s exactly right.

Ben: And there’s no issues in terms of like the dental industry with tartaric acid?

Paddy:  No, No.  I mean they love it.

Ben:  Ok wow.  That’s really interesting.  So it’s actually good for your teeth.

Paddy:  Right, so I guess you know…

Ben:  Oh and by the way lest those of you listening in to be raising a big eyebrow right now, I have no financial affiliation with Zevia (chuckles). I just think this is fascinating to talk about how we could make a soda healthier.  So go ahead, Paddy.

Paddy:  Well I was gonna say, go talk to four experts.  Talk to Dan on the nutritional side.  Talk to your fitness trainer.  Talk to your dental hygienist and talk to your kidney doctor, and they’ll all tell you this is the product that meets the medical needs of Americans.   

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.  Right on.  It meets the medical needs of Americans.

Paddy:  (laughs)

Ben:  That’s getting pretty darn close to a medical claim.  It’s not gonna cure cancer, right?

Paddy:  No, it is definitely not.

 Ben:  Ok.  So, I have another question and this is another eyebrow that I always raise when I see this on a label of a product, and that is this term natural flavors which I see on the Zevia label.  The reason I asked that is because I’ve talked about this in the podcast episode before but I mean, natural flavors can cover a whole host of nasties and there’s even this beaver butt that they use as flavoring in natural flavors, it’s called castorian and it actually comes from the castor sacks within the anus of a beaver and you’ll find it in like vanilla flavorings and strawberry flavorings and raspberry flavorings.  Do you guys know where the source of your natural flavors actually is coming from?        

Paddy:  Yeah, and the reason Ben that we put natural flavors on there is we have to have something that’s proprietary.  I mean, I gave your listeners the recipe for ginger ale, right?  It’s carbonated water, stevia, ginger and lemon.  But you know, we don’t want obviously everyone to just go out and knock off our product and so natural flavors allows us to have some secret sauce.  What I can tell you is 100% of our product including everything in the natural flavors is certified vegan, right.  So the vegan certification agency has no interest in beaver’s anal glands being in any product.

Ben:  What’s that there’s a beaver’s anus vegan?

Paddy:  Yeah.  So now we have no animal ingredients of any kind including that one.  We also don’t use MSG.  When folks reach out to us and they say, hey I’m allergic to X, Y or Z we can tell them hey, there’s no allergens in there.  I mean we get people who say well, I’m allergic to grapefruit extract.  Is that in any of your flavors and we can tell them no it isn’t or yes it is.  But we don’t reveal every one of those flavors because there’s still some secret sauce but what I can tell you is what’s not in them.  No animal ingredients.  No MSG and no ingredients that aren’t non-GMO project verified.

Ben:  Ok, what about BPA?  And I know I’m throwing all these curve balls at you hopefully you’re like the guy in the matrix right leaning back dodging all the bullets.  I’m trying not to throw you soft balls here, but BPA, that is something I get concerned about with cans especially.  I do know and I’ve purchased before at the grocery store Zevia in glass bottles.  Which I know are completely safe and I always go out of my way when I’m shopping for example for water, I always pay that little bit extra especially when I’m travelling and I’m buying water, I always go for the glass bottled spring water because it’s more structured, it’s got less issues with plastics leeching, etcetera.  What do you do about the BPA in cans?

Paddy:  Yeah, you know it’s a real challenge and I would tell you there are no great solutions in packaging.  I love glass, unfortunately Zevia is almost twice the price in glass as it is in cans and it’s not because of us.  Glass is extremely expensive to transport. Unfortunately, although infinitely recyclable, it has a significantly lower recycling rate in aluminum and it really has a gigantic carbon footprint which is really unfortunate.  So that’s glass.  We know all the evils of plastic starting with the fact that it’s a petroleum- based product, and it’s most plastics have BPA and etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, and it’s not very recyclable.  I guess we see aluminum and the aluminum can as kind of the lesser evil from a packaging standpoint.  It’s got a very low carbon footprint because it’s very inexpensive to fill and transport.  There are no safety issues like you have associated with glass.  But your point, aluminum cans, the liquid never touches aluminum.  It’s important for folks to know that.  You can hear about well, don’t cook with aluminum etcetera, etcetera.  Well, liquid can’t touch aluminum in a soda can and it doesn’t.  So these cans every aluminum can in North America is lined with BPA.

Now BPA is I think you inferred from your comment about plastic bottles of water.  BPA leeches based on heat, right.  And so what kind of products are filled hot.  Well, things like soup, right, so historically soup was one of the highest BPA concerns because when you fill soup at a manufacturing plant, you’re filling it not boiling but almost into a can that was lined with BPA.  Iced tea often filled hot on the production line and thus iced tea in a can BPA.  Soda is filled at thirty four degrees.  As close to freezing as you can get it, so it is freezing cold and there is BPA in that lining and what I would tell you, Ben is that we are always experimenting with new compounds, and I think in the next couple of years we’re gonna see the first aluminum cans that are BPA free in North America.  I think you know. As someone…

Ben:  So there are no companies already using BPA-free cans?

Paddy:  Not aluminum cans.  There is no aluminum can that is currently in use in North America that is BPA-free.

Ben:  Ok, so what about like for example, I purchase a native forest coconut milk as my chosen brand of coconut milk because it says BPA- free on the label.  Is that because it is a different type of actual can that they use that doesn’t have aluminum in it?

Paddy:  It’s probably a steel can, I think some of the coconut milks are in steel cans and so actually Eden Foods in the soup category was the first company that ever used a BPA-free steel can for the reasons I mentioned.  When you fill in soup, it is blazing hot when you fill it in the production line.  You don’t want BPA in that can.  And so they pioneered the BPA-free steel can.  Steel cans are not used in soda or very many beverages, coconut milk may be an exception but an aluminum can in North America has BPA.  End of story.

Ben: Ok got it.  So how come you guys don’t just use a steel can?

Paddy:  That steel cans are very expensive, very heavy and we don’t want to sell two dollar cans a soda.

Ben:  Ok gotcha.  Yeah, you’d burn up a lot of jet fuel too probably shipping that stuff around.

Paddy:  Exactly.

Ben:  Ok, so don’t let your Zevia get warm basically.  Don’t let it sit in the sun if you’re gonna go shopping, you wouldn’t want it like in your car for example, if you want it to c0mpletely get rid of any issues as far as BPA is concerned.

Paddy:  That’s correct.  And frankly I would…

Ben:  Not that hot soda taste good anyways.

Paddy:  Well, in general yeah, I mean you shouldn’t be keeping foods and beverages in your car and folks who live in Phoenix will tell us don’t keep anything in your car (chuckles), right and in twenty years when it’s a hundred degrees everywhere all the time we’ll probably be even more strict than that.

Ben:  Ok, so a couple other things that I wanted to ask you, really one of the thing before we delve into it a couple of quick fun topics.  Caramel color.  Did you say that you do or you do not use caramel color?  Like I mentioned, I know the can sitting in front of me right now, so I don’t remember on this one.

Paddy:  None of our products use color.  And so we’re not using artificial colors in the grape or the orange and we’re not using caramel color in our colas or our Dr. Zevia, and there’s a very specific reason for that which is the caramel color that is used in zero calorie sodas has trace amounts of a nasty chemical called 4MEI, and 4MEI is linked in a lot of different studies to cancer.  The State of California has it on the Prop 65 list of toxic chemicals, and when we started hearing from consumers about their concerns about caramel color we kinda stepped back and we said, wait a second, is this a flavor or a color.  It’s a color.  What are we thinking?  Why do we need this in our product?  We can make a better product by getting rid of caramel colors.  So we were the first major soda brand to go clear.

Ben:  Interesting.  So that’s why when I pour out like your coke it’s actually a little bit weird you pour out your coke can ‘coz I honestly don’t drink from the can I pour it into a glass cup full of ice that’s my preferred consumption method.  Occasionally I want that like, I guess there’s almost something it’s like a comfort food right, when you take a can of soda and open it and drink straight from the can there’s something that reminds me of like baseball games and drinking coca cola when I was a kid.  But usually, I pour it into a glass over ice and it’s kinda weird because it’s for example your coke flavor tastes like coke and your Dr. Pepper flavor tastes just like Dr. Pepper, but it comes out clear.

Paddy:  Well, that’s exactly right and you know when you start to look at the ingredients in a conventional soda, even in zero calorie soda, you’ve got artificial sweeteners, you’ve got GMO’s, you’ve got gluten, you’ve got animal ingredients potentially as you noted in the natural flavors and then you’ve got a color that some folks will tell you is linked to cancer.  What are you thinking?  So you know, we just said we wanna make the cleanest products that we can, not just for the consumers advice even for our own friends and family.  Why would you wanna consume something that might make you sick?

Ben:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Ok cool, so no caramel color.  Alright, few other things here Paddy first of all, I have some things that I mix into Zevia.  For example, I like your ginger root beer flavor.  That’s actually my wife’s favorite flavor.  We typically do ginger root beer or cream soda.  Like those are two flavors of choice here at the Greenfield household.  I will take the ginger root beer and I’ll take a few drops of dark chocolate stevia and put them in the ginger root beer to make it chocolate flavored ginger root beer. My kids get the vanilla coconut ice cream from the grocery store…

 Paddy:  Like a coconut bliss?

 Ben:  They make root beer floats using the ginger root beer Zevia, and they pour that over the coconut ice cream and make root beer floats.  And then finally, I will take the cream soda and I actually pour that over ice like I mentioned, and this is an occasional cocktail for me in the evenings.  I’m typically prone to use kombucha because the glucuronic and the gluconic acid in that is actually good liver cleanse, and so I’ll take a kombucha and do a shot of vodka and a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt.

Sometimes though I will do that same recipe, but I will use the Zevia flavored cream soda instead and actually make a vodka cocktail with the cream soda and a bit of lemon and sea salt.  And I actually think it tastes fantastic and it gives you that fizzy flavor.  And those are some of the things that I’ll do with Zevia.  I’m curious if you have any little mixes, like personal mixes, like personal favorites you found along the away that you use in addition to just drinking plain old Zevia.

Paddy:  Well definitely plain old Zevia.  I’m a big fan and so favorite flavor is just fyi.  I love our strawberry, grape is a big favorite in our household, ginger ale and cola.  So one of the things that we like to do is actually we will make popsicles with Zevia.  And so, in particular the strawberry and the cream soda make great popsicles, so we just pour that sometimes we’ll just do it in ice cubes.  Sometimes we’ll just do it in actual popsicle trays that have the little stick in the mold and you just freeze it and that’s fantastic.  We also do kind of what our kids call banana swirl where we just take frozen banana, put it into the blender sometimes a little bit of cinnamon and then a little bit of cream soda which does have those nice vanilla notes, and that’s kind of it’s a pudding frozen dessert that is you know, ridiculously better for you and guilt free.

Ben:  Okay.  One more time for those listeners who are out swimming or biking or running.  What’s that recipe one more time?

Paddy:  So banana swirl, a couple of frozen bananas, pinch of cinnamon and some cream soda which has a slight vanilla flavor, Zevia cream soda throw that in a blender.  Ideally like a Vitamix or a pretty powerful blender ‘coz those bananas can be pretty hard, but that’s gonna go in to a nice kind of almost custardy frozen dessert that has a little bit of spice from the cinnamon, nice vanilla notes and banana, and is super guilt free.

Ben:  Okay, I just wrote that all down.  I’m literally gonna be making that tonight for my kids.

Paddy:  Oh it is awesome.

Ben:  And I’ll put that in the show notes too.  For those of you listening in, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/paddy p-a-d-d-y.  Not only am I going to include Paddy’s amazing recipe for a Zevia custard dessert and I might Skype you afterwards to get your exact measurements Paddy, if that’s cool so we can put them in the show notes for people.  But I’ll also link of course the Zevia soda.  I’ll put a link to that gum that I mentioned, Paddy’s cool little bio and everything else that we discussed on today’s show.  Paddy, can I hold you to it to send me that recipe?

Paddy:  Absolutely.

Ben:  You rock.  Alright folks, you heard it.  You can find it at bengreenfieldfitness.com/paddy.  And Paddy, thank you for coming on the show today and sharing all that stuff with us, and for making some fantastic soda that has saved my butt in terms of allowing my kids to experience the great American experience that is soda without actually destroying their teeth or their kidneys.

Paddy:  Well, thank you so much Ben.  Great questions and yes soda doesn’t have to be a four letter word anymore.

Ben:  That’s right.  Alright folks.   This is Ben Greenfield and Paddy Spence signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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

PODCAST- PADDY SPENCE

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

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!

[Transcript] – Killing Fat Cells, Fixing Mitochondria, Growing Superfoods & More: The Official, Much-Anticipated, Mind-Blowing, Geeked-Out Podcast With Dr. Mercola.

Podcast from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/08/dr-mercola-podcast/

[0:00] Introduction/ Peak Brain Institute

[3:18] Exo Cricket Bars

[4:18] Four Sigmatic

[6:19] Harry’s Razors

[8:21] Introduction to this Episode

[9:54] About Dr. Joseph Mercola/ mercola.com

[13:41] How Dr. Mercola Built mercola.com

[19:15] Dr. Mercola’s Unique System of Reading Books

[24:30] Why Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses During the Day

[26:35] How to Ground Your Computer and Keep It From Destroying Your Health

[29:20] Why Dr. Mercola Eats Seafood

[36:50] Little-Known Biohacks of Dr. Mercola Uses to Maximize Mitochondrial Density

[41:30] Why Scrambled Eggs Are Bad

[53:55] The Myth About Iron Levels and The Crucial Test Needed

[58:03] Donating Blood And Longevity

[1:00:38] Joe’s Take On Biohacking Devices

[1:00:45] Dr. Mercola’s Take On Quantification Devices and What He Personally Uses

[1:07:31] Why Dr. Mercola Limits Protein Intake

[1:12:30] How to Make Your Own “Anti-Aging” Cocktail

[1:15:10] A Unique One-Two-Combo to Use Prior to Saunas

[1:21:31] What Dr. Mercola Uses for Metal Detoxification

[1:24:45] Other Practices Joe Has In His Life That People Should Know About

[1:27:40] Two Ingredients Dr. Mercola Sprinkles On His Garden Soil

[1:34:10] What Dr. Mercola Takes On Every Airplane Ride

[1:34:16] The Quantlet Bracelet

[1:37:34] End of Podcast

Ben:  What’s up?  It’s Ben Greenfield, and if you hear strange words or clicks or whistles in the background behind not in today’s podcast but in this introduction for you, it’s because I’m at this place called Peak Brain LA.  Yes, I’ve just started into my first 3 days of optimizing my brain.  I know that sounds like a woo woo term, but literally I did what’s called a quantitative electroencephalography (if I can spit that out) QEEG of my brain, and found several areas that could use improvement in terms of everything from executive function to memory, to cognitive processing, especially something I really want to focus on attention and destructibility and… oh hey look, it’s squirrel!  No, I’m just kidding.

Anyways though, so I’m retraining my brain.  So I’m spending 3 days here and then I go home with three months worth of EEG training tools to actually train my brain both consciously and subconsciously where I stir the screen and fly spaceship.  It’s kind of like this idea of achieving a lifetime’s worth of meditation within several months, and it’s extremely interesting.  Right now, all I’m really doing is Snapchatting this story.  But if you want to check it out, if you’re listening to this podcast at the time that it comes out, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/snapchat, and you kinda see what I’m up to and I’m going to be podcasting a very detailed podcast about what this all involves and what it is.

But if in case you’re interested, the name of the place that I’m training at is called The Peak Brain Institute.  The URL should just be peakbraininstitute.com.  So if you live near LA, I believe they’re also up in Orange County, and you wanna try this out for yourself, visit them.  If you call them and let them know or go to their website and let them know that you heard about them through me, they’ll give you the white club treatment.  I think, maybe or perhaps you’ll just be treated like anyone else walking in and off the street not a special Ben Greenfield listener.

Anyways, what you are about to hear in today’s episode is one of the more fun and jam-packed and information-packed episodes that I think I’ve recorded ever, literally ever.  You definitely gonna want to hit the show notes for this one.  It is with, well, you know what? I’m gonna surprise you.  You’re going to find out who it’s with in just a moment.

But first, a few quick things.  First of all, I was reading Men’s Health Magazine last night, and they have this entire article about this growing movement towards ordering organic buffalo worms.  I don’t even know what a buffalo worm is.  I’m not sure I want to.  As well as things like junebags and grasshoppers, and even black flies, and while eating flies and worms may sound disgusting, the fact is that insects especially crickets in particular have a higher percentage protein content than beef jerky, chicken, salmon, eggs, they got all the essential amino acids, twice the iron in spinach and they are sustainable, plus as my kids like to say, crickets don’t fart.  So you produce a hundred times less greenhouse gases than say cows.  So, the idea here why I’m telling all this is that there this company called EXO cricket bars.  Now do they make these bars, but they make them in a variety of flavors: banana bread, coconut, apple cinnamon, blueberry vanilla, and my favorite because it defines everything that is American comfort food – peanut butter and jelly which is right up there in my opinion with macaroni and cheese, and big Macs when it comes to American comfort food.

By the way, if the folks from Exo Protein are listening in, please do a big Mac or macaroni and cheese flavored bar.  I would be all over that.  But in the meantime, if you wanna try anything from Exo Protein, go to exoprotein.com and when you do you can get a sampler pack with all their most popular flavors.  Everything I just listed off for less than 10 bucks and that’s free shipping included.  So, that’s 33% off and you can go discover what all the hype is about over at exoprotein.com/ben.  That’s exoprotein.com/ben.

Now, this podcast is also brought to you by something I’ve been forced to do more of lately because I had to skip coffee for the electroencephalography treatments I’ve been doing. I’m getting better and better saying that word every time I say it.  So, what I’ve been doing in the morning is instead drinking something that kinda sort of  taste like coffee but that replaces the caffeine and it’s called  a chaga elixir.  So this is a dual extracted wild crafted Siberian chaga mushroom extract.  Just a fact that it comes from Siberia, automatically makes it badass.  If anything comes from Siberia, I will take it.  Siberian macaroni and cheese, Siberian children, Siberian wives, Siberia just seems like a very greedy cool place.  I love to visit some day and wander through the frozen tundra.

Anyways though, so this chaga that I’m drinking is Siberian.  Not only it’s Siberian, it’s dual extracted, so it’s water soluble and also fat soluble, so it’s get absorbed quite well and then it’s blended with eleuthero, rosehips, and fieldmint which is also fantastic for your immune system but that complement the fact that chaga is one of the most potent immune boosting compounds that you can consume.  It improves your ability to fight off things like infections and bacteria and colds and viruses, and you just literally rip a packet open and you dump it straight into your mouth if you’re greedy and Siberian like me.  Otherwise, you add it to a cup of water or smoothie or tea, or coffee or anything like that.  Anyways though, here is how you get this stuff for 15% discount and this is kind of clunky so put on your thinking cap or write this down on a notepad, foursigmatic.com.  That’s F-o-u-r sigmatic.com, foursigmatic.com/greenfield and when you go to that URL, use code Ben Greenfield to get a 15% discount.  Count it, 15.

And finally, this podcast is brought to you by, the best shave you’ll ever gonna get.  Actually last night I’m in Beverly Hills like I mentioned, and I went to this place called Lavoda Spa, L-a-v-o-d-a Spa, so what I do when I go to the spa and I was a group of buddies which make this all the more fun is I go 15 minutes hot, 5 minutes cold plunge as many times through as possible.  I actually spent a full 2 hours of hot/cold thermogenesis last night.  You’d think I actually have a life but I actually have nothing better to do than go from hot saunas to cold pools, and afterwards I happen to come across the little cheap ass drugstore razor in the complementary locker room part of the spa and so I shaved with that razor, and it really, really sucked compared to my Harry’s 5-blade German engineered razor.  I actually had to do it because it’s free.  I’m horrible at that.  If I’m walking at the grocery store and someone has like a sample table there, and it’s samples that I know are really bad for me, like say, macaroni and cheese, why not, we’ve already kicked that horse to death.  I’ll eat it anyways ‘cause it’s free.  I’m weird like that.

Anyways though, so I used the razor ‘cause it’s free but I shouldn’t have.  I should have use my Harry’s razor and the reason I like the Harry’s razor is because they’re 5-blade German engineered razors and they’re like a Cadillac for your face.  Flex hinge, lubricating strip, I don’t even understand half the features on this thing.  Ergonomic handle, all I know is it’s an amazing shave, and you too can take part in the same wonderful shave that I get if you go to harrys.com use 5 Dollar code Ben.  H-a-r-r-y-s dot com and enter code Ben to get $5 off anything to shave your face or any other body part that you wanna shave.  Alright, that is it.  I hope you took some notes.  Those are long intro.  Let’s dive in to and even longer podcast and again, an amazing show with the great… Uhhh, I told you, I was gonna surprise you.  So, I will.  Let’s do this.

In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“This is a measure that has to be spread far away and I’m glad that we had the platform and opportunity to share this with your audience ‘cause they need to know about this.  This is a difference a little between life and death and I’m not exaggerating this in the least.  This is every bit as important as the vitamin D topic that I started promoting about 15 years ago.  In fact maybe more important”.  “From the use of these domestic codings, there’s massive contamination of the ground waters becoming an emerging epidemic in the United States with these ground water contamination.  It’s gonna be huge.  It’s one of the reasons why you wanna filter your water.”

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.            

Ben:  Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield, and I would say because I sucked at having mentors and I’m following the advice of other leaders in the health field that there are relatively small number of people who I consider to be extremely trustworthy individuals in my life who I looked to for fitness, or health or longevity.  People who I would consider to be personal mentors or people who I think put out truly cutting edge health information that’s not just kind of like… (chuckles) pardon the expression, vomiting backup, stuff that simply appears elsewhere on the internet.  And my guest today happens to be one of those people who I would place on that pedestal, somebody who are really you pay attention to when they talk about health and fitness, and longevity and nutrition and supplementation, and anything regarding the world that we delve into on the show.

His name is Dr. Joseph Mercola, you if you spend much time on the internet have probably come across his website, mercola.com.  And Jo is a board certified family physician and he saw tens of thousands of patients before he actually turns to what he does fulltime, and something actually helps a lot of people than his private practice did.  And I would imagine and that is his website which has 10 million unique visitors each month that has 80 million unique visitors each year.  It’s one of the most visited health website on the planet for the past 12 years.  It’s translated into 6 different languages.  It’s a wealth of information.  It’s very, very easy at lost in and spend hours on.  So that’s at mercola.com, M-e-r-c-o-l-a dot com, and he’s on the call with me today.  We’ve had a lot of chat recently about everything from optimizing your mitochondrial health to the latest, greatest biohacks for optimizing human potential to fasting, to fat loss, to muscle gain, to protein intake, to much more.  So we’re gonna delve into all that today.  So I hope you’re ready to strap on your propeller hat.  Doctor Mercola, welcome to the show, man.

Joe:  Well, thanks for inviting me, Ben.

Ben:  And I guess to shorten things up, we’ll just call you… are you cool with Joe, the rest of the podcast?

Joe:  Yeah, Joe, is fine.

Ben:  Yeah, cool.

Joe:  Yeah, so this is the second time I’ve been on your podcast, and I’m sorry to say the first time I didn’t know who you were and my new girlfriend Erin Elizabeth who you also introduced from Health Nut News actually introduced us, and she’s kind of known for the dead doctors stories, and they’re actually doing a movie about her, but I thank you for those kind words about being a mentor but I really greatly appreciate what you’re doing because you really teach me a lot.  Ever since that time I realized you’re just a golden nut of information.  So I’ve been listening to your podcast ever since and it’s really one of my favorite.  I think you’re doing a magnificent job out there.  Just absolutely incredible and exposed me to a lot of great new stuff.

Ben:  I’m gonna put that on my own, post that on my wall that says I’m a golden nut of information.

Joe:  (laughs) Golden nugget…

Ben:  (chuckles) Uh, golden nugget of information.

Joe:  (laughs) Sorry about that.

Ben:  Or golden nut.  That could work too.

Joe:  Golden nut, anyone works…

Ben:  By the way, for those of you listening in, your girlfriend Jo, Erin I think one of the ways that we first became associate with one another and for those of you who didn’t get the chance to hear me interview Erin about Lyme disease.  You should listen to that one because that was a fascinating episode and I’ll put a link to that as well as everything else that Jo and I talk about today if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/mercola, bengreenfieldfitness.com/mercola.

Now Joe, I was just talking about your website that you get freaking millions and millions of visitors and a huge amount of information on that site.  I know it’s been around since the 90s and that it’s now one of the popular websites in the world when it comes to health, but I’m always curious about these things ‘cause you were just like a private practicing physician and all of a sudden you’ve got this enormously popular website.  What happened?  Were you just like sitting in front of the computer one day and you wrote an article and push it out there?  Was this part of a grand vision or how exactly did Mercola come to be?

Joe:  Well, I’ve always been passionate about health.  I mean, we’re not always as spot in the late 60s when I first started running and been passionate about technology.  I took my first computer class in the late 60s also, the programming.  And Ben, I actually went online in the late 60s, that was before the way of the internet.  You know, actually the internet started in the 60s and I think went on in the mid-70s.

Ben:  I don’t know, whenever Al Gore was born.  That’s when…

Joe:  Yeah, yeah. (laughs)  I actually met the father of the internet once.  His name is Larry… I forget his last name but his in the list of technology…

Ben:  So it’s not Al Gore.

Joe:  No, no it’s not.  So anyways, I’ve been passionate about this and for a long time in the mid-90s I got online, on the web and I started a website.  I realized I was somewhat frustrated with the patients who would come to see me and tell me about the new innovations that I didn’t know about because they were watching it in the news, and I was in the office seeing patients.  So, I said well, let me figure this thing out.  So I realized that the newscasters were getting it from wire services and that you could access the wire service feeds on the internet.

So I started doing that and learning about it before my patients, and then I realized that I had a different perspective on health and what the conventional media did, and I thought that people would like to hear my perspective on that and I start to publish in a weekly newsletter back in ’97.  And actually for the first 3 or 4 years of the site, I didn’t sell one thing on the site.  I just did to share information and actually by the time I generated a half a million dollars in bills, I realized that I had to start selling something or else it’s not gonna scale very well. (chuckles)

Ben:  That’s funny.  Yeah, the internet can be expensive unless you’re actually using it to put some kind of solution out there in people’s hands.  By the way, I remember the very, very first time I actually sat down to put information out there on the internet and actually it wasn’t a blog and it wasn’t a podcast per se, it was a video.  I was reading the national journalist strength and conditioning research which put by the NSCA and every single month I would read this thing out and underline it, and I would highlight and at that time I was running Brick and Mortar personal training studios and gyms, and I would implement this research into my client’s programs but I wanted to tell the world about it.  I felt like it was ways for me to be underlining all these research journal golden nuggets to repeat your term.

And so I would sit in front of my computer at the end of a long day of training at the gym and I figure out how to upload videos to WaZz, I guess it would have been 10, 11 years ago that was video podcasting on iTunes.  And I put out a series of 5-minute videos on iTunes before I realized that videos were way too hard, you had to do your hair, you had to do the camera.  So then I simply converted it into audio but if you go back and you listen to like Ben Greenfield Fitness episode 1, episode 2, episode 3, it’s just me sitting there with a magazine reading journal articles to people.

Joe:  Well, you’ve greatly evolved and really I believed you have one of the best self-podcast out there.  I think it’s crazy to miss your information.  ‘Cause you exposed people and so many different individuals and you do so well.

Ben:  Thanks!

Joe:  You targeted, I don’t know how you come up with these people but you find them.

Ben:  Thanks.  Well, let’s expose people to you.  You’re actually the first guy who turn me on to this book “Tripping Over The Truth” about the metabolic theory of cancer, and as I think you know ‘cause we were talking about it, I did a podcast with Dr. David Minkoff down in Florida about this idea that cancer is not a genetic disease.  That it is actually something that occurs when your mitochondria aren’t functioning properly.

You turned me on to that book and I’ll put a link in the podcast show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/mercola, if people wanna go listen to the episode that I did with Dr. Minkoff about how practically everything we know about cancer, believe about cancer as wrong, but mitochondria is a big, big part of that, and I think in the discussions that I’ve had with you, you probably are one of the more well-versed people I spoken to about how to actually take care of your mitochondria.  Like how to optimize your mitochondria, how to fix your mitochondria, how to ensure they’re operating properly.  So, can we delve in to some of the lesser known biohacks or nutrition tactics, or supplementation tactics or things that you personally do to optimize your mitochondria?

Joe:  That could be 2, 3 hours but I’ll try to keep it brief.  One of my strategies is to, well food is basically a source of electrons.  That’s how that transfer chain in the mitochondria and it produces ATP, and one of the ways that I capture electrons is I live near the ocean, literally a 2-3 minute bike ride from the ocean, and I walk on the beach every day for 2-3 hours, and that’s where I read my books.  And last year I read “Tripping Over The Truth” and that was the best, I read 150 books last year, and that was the best that I read.

Ben:  You mean, are you listening to them or are you holding a book?

Joe:  Oh no, no, no.  I’m holding the Kindle and reading that, yeah.

Ben:  Oh wow!

Joe:  Yeah, so…

Ben:  I would fall on my face.

Joe:  No, you wouldn’t. (laughs)  You’re one of the most talented athletes I know.  There’s no way you would fall.

Ben:  You don’t use the, what’s it called? The whisper sync or you actually listen to them?

Joe:  Oh no, no, no.  I much prefer reading.

Ben:  Wow!

Joe:  And actually I’ve done some EEG real time neurofeedback test to show that my reading comprehension just exploded because of that activity.

Ben:  Wow, interesting.  Okay.  I’m gonna have to try actually holding my Kindle while I’ll go on a walk to see how will I achieve this.

Joe:  Oh yeah, you can do it.

Ben:  So, you must have taken an ungodly number of steps each day.

Joe:  Yeah, I was actually doing the calculations because I started running in 68 and made a mistake of engaging in long distance running over forty years before I realized that was not a wise choice, but lifetime I’ve done about a quarter billion steps, maybe a hundred thousand miles.  And one of the best book I read this year was “Deskbound” by Kelly Starrett who I think you’ve…

Ben:  Fantastic book.

Joe:  Yeah, I just can’t say that is the best book and it’s synopsis must read for anyone of us who has a desk job, and he helped me understand that fascia was important and I know but the biomechanics of it, and a lot of those steps, most I’ve got one akin of bunion because I wasn’t doing external rotations of my hip properly.  So, I do most of that walking with paying very careful attention to the fascia or external rotation of my hips and getting my feet to walk properly, and I can because I’m walking on the beach I can make sure that that’s the case, I’m not walking like a duck that my feet are lined up properly.

Ben:  I wanna get back to mitochondria in a second here but when you read that book “Deskbound” because I actually read that book and then I went out and change a bunch of things.  I bought an ergonomic keyboard, I bought this big old Eizo, a friendly monitor, I already have a treadmill desk and a standup work station but I got one of this stool that you can lean against.  Did you wind up making changes to your personal work station after reading that book aside from the walking modifications?

Joe:  You know, I’d already made this modifications prior to that.  So, his component was really the modification of the walking which is like if you gonna do something again and again on a repetitive basis and you’re not doing it properly, you wind up injured for sure.

Ben:  Oh yeah, okay.

Joe:  I bet he’s got a whole, it’s just a magnificent book as you know since you’ve read it.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  We’ll link to it in the show notes.  So you walk on the beach…

Joe:  Yes.  So that’s the source and the reason I mentioned that is it’s an important candidate ‘cause it’s the source of electrons, actually protons which are turned to electrons for electric effect in your mitochondria, but then also through grounding by walking along the water’s edge and the water.  So that’s an important component.  And I’ll be eternally grateful for you for exposing initially to Jack Kruse who’s I just been enthralled with and I just a few weeks ago where I learned about him from one of your previous podcast and the man is just brilliant.  So…

Ben:  Jack is very brilliant.  I did one of the ways that you can calculate, speaking of electron potential in the human body, the use of the things that you’re talking about grounding, and exposure to negative ions which you get from running water and trees and many other variables that are outdoors.  One of the things that occur is that changes what’s called the redox potential of your body and you can actually calculate or approximate the redox potential of the human body, the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)…

Joe:  He has a way to interpret that but I think he’s become a little disenchanted with the process because of the radio frequencies that are emanated from it in which it has a negative influence on your health.

Ben:  Yeah, we have an upcoming podcast on the use of MRIs and whether or they can be used to analyze the human bodies health, but when you’re talking about walking along the beach Jo, and getting expose to negative ions obviously a lot of people don’t have the beach.

Joe:  That is correct.  That is the ideal and I wasn’t born next to the beach.  It’s something that I learned and as I learn to appreciate health being on the beach is fine but your latitude is also really important.  So I was born and raised in Chicago.  I did all my formal education from kindergarten to post-graduate residence, to training within the Chicago city limits.  So as I grew older and realized that I became progressively frustrated with the lack of sunshine when I moved to Florida.  So that’s where I live now.

So you can put that as one of your goals to get down.  Just being in the sun is another important and powerful component, and prior to being exposed to Dr. Kruse’s work, my primary focus that has been for the last 30, 40 years is really been on food and strategic supplementation but primarily food.  So Kruse help me reconfigure that emphasis and really this light exposure is just profoundly important, and we all know and you’ve talked about it many times in your podcast about the importance of avoiding blue light at night.

I mean, that’s not hard to understand but Kruse is really the only one that‘s helping people understand that anytime you’re exposed to blue light monitors, blue light from artificial sources that could be devastating to mitochondria health.  So that includes any artificial lighting and your monitor.  I’m standing and talking to you in front of a 50 inch monitor that I got for years and didn’t realize it was harming my health because I was looking at it in a day time, but the balance of the light is really predominantly blue which can be pretty significantly deleterious to mitochondria and total health, and actually the risk effect for cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Ben:  To set up this question properly, I’ve talked before about the importance for establishing a good circadian rhythm of getting exposed to large amounts of things like natural sunlight in the morning.  Is there a big difference between say like a blue light producing box or a blue light producing device like stirring at your monitor in the morning to wake you up versus going out in the sun.  What’s the primary difference? 

Joe:  Massive difference!  Massive!  And the primary one is that when you look up the light from the sun, you’re getting the complete spectrum and primarily it’s an equal balance between blue and red, and of course you have the infrared and the ultraviolet and purple, those frequencies but you’re only primarily getting blue when you have LED monitor or blue box.  So you do not wanna do that.  One of the key strategies is to go out as soon as you get up without shoes on and least amount of clothes, and just look at the sun if you can for an hour from rising or for at least a few minutes to re-sync your circadian rhythm.  A powerful, free intervention actually, and it doesn’t cost you anything.  So, it’s just crazy not to do that unless your schedule just absolutely prohibits that.

Ben:  Okay.  So basically we’re talking about when were outside we’re getting expose to blue light everywhere but it’s combined with things like UVA, UVV, near infrared, far infrared…

Joe:  And red light, and red light, and red light. Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, okay.  Got it.  Now, these computer monitors that have the capability to produce blue light, are you using any type of different type of monitor to reduce the actual exposure to blue light during the day?

Joe:  No, I’m not and I’m excited to hear your upcoming podcast on that as I may consider switching but I have a 4k monitor and what I do, I use right now is F.lux but not the default ‘cause F-lux comes out at night.  I go in to settings and I turn it on all the time and I put this, you have to do the advance settings and you can move it all the way to the left.  So you just eliminating basically all the blue light.

Ben:  Right, right.  There’s a technology called Flex Scan.  The only company I know of that that does it right now is called Eizo, E-i-z-o.  They make computer monitors and that actually automatically decreases as much blue light as possible throughout the day.  Kinda similar to F.lux but the problem with F.lux that I’ve found, Jo is that I like to hook my laptop up to an external monitor when for example I am writing fiction at night or when I need to have a larger spectrum of view, and so even though F.lux is on the laptop, it actually doesn’t affect the external monitor that you have plugged in to the laptop.  So, there’s another piece of software that I installed.  It’s called IrisTech.  IrisTech actually interacts with the monitor and does something similar to F.lux in terms of reducing blue light.  So that’s kinda my monitor setup and like you just alluded to, I’m gonna do a podcast on it in the future.

Joe:  Yeah, I’d like to see that but for those who don’t want to make a type of investment in to hardware and infrastructures that there’s a cheap, much cheaper alternative which is called the $9 Uvex Blue Blocking Sunglasses which I called reverse glasses or indoor sunglasses.  You only wear them when you’re inside.  (laughs)

Ben:  Yup.  I love those glasses.  My kids wear ‘em, I wear ‘em.  We haven’t got my wife on board yet but what about when you’re talking about getting out on the beach, so mitochondrial health, you’ve talked about sunlight, you’ve talked about grounding, for people who can’t get outside, do you have any opinion of these negative ion generators that you can plug into the wall of your office to achieve that or like a heap filter that generates negative ions?

Joe:  I haven’t studied it really carefully but from what I recall or what I did in the past that was a useful strategy, you know, if you’re exposed to natural negative ions like by living near the ocean, I think it’s important or near a forest like where you’re at.  So I think you’re gonna get it from nature, but it wouldn’t hurt.  I don’t think it would hurt.  There’s no doubt of it as far as I know.

Ben:  Yeah, okay.  Got it.  What else are you doing for your mitochondria?

Joe:  Well, when you’re exposed to the sunlight, one of the ways to capture those electrons is to make sure that you’re eating the most important food that you can possibly, you know what that food is?

Ben:  I’m gonna hazard to guess if we’re talking about mitochondria health, something that has chlorophyll in it.

Joe:  Ah, it’s a good guess but not… actually sea food with DHA.

Ben:  Okay.

Joe:  So you can take fish oil, krill oil and supplements but it’s a much different version of the DHA that you get when you eat it in real food.  So making sure that you get that on a regular basis and actually Dominic D’agostino who you’ve interviewed previously I believe, is the one who turned me on to eating anchovies.  So I eat anchovies pretty much every day.

Ben:  So this anchovies are kinda interesting.  I actually took my kids out on a bike ride last night and we stopped at the pizza shop and had gluten-free pizza, and I had the Caesar salad with anchovies, but are anchovies a better source of DHA than say sardines?

Joe:  No, they’re about the same.  They’re equivalent.  I just happened to like the salty version of salmon.

Ben:  Gotcha.  And when you’re eating this much seafood for the DHA to help out with your mitochondrial health, are you doing anything to limit your exposure to heavy metals and mercury, and things like that?

Joe:  Well, that’s an excellent question because most of seafood unfortunately are contaminated with industrial pollution permanently with mercury and dioxins and PBCs, PBDEs, the bio return of these in the ocean.  So, if you eat small fish like anchovies and sardines, it’s almost a non-issue or if you get it from relatively pristine waters like Alaska, so wild Alaskan Salmon if you can be certain it’s certified from there then it’s not an issue and you’re not gonna get contaminated, but later we’ll talk about it.  I have some, just in case detox procedures that if even I was getting it wouldn’t be an issue.

Ben:  Okay, got it.

Joe:  So, ‘cause I think detoxification is absolutely important and it’s almost impossible to live.  I try pretty hard but it’s impossible to live a clean, healthy lifestyle.  You’re gonna be exposed to these toxins routinely in the environment.

Ben:  Absolutely.  Next week actually it will be a week or two if you’re listening in after this podcast, when I was competing at the Train To Hunt National Championships in Park City, I was sleeping in Dr. Pompa’s basement.  Dr. Dan Pompa who’s considered to be one of world’s leading experts on cellular detoxifications.  We had quite a few interesting chats about that and perhaps you and I can…

Joe:  Yeah, good!  ‘Cause I’ve known Dan really well.  He’s in my small study group so there we got some people enrolled in the 24-hour glucose monitoring and he’s one of us.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah.  Cool.  Okay, so we’ve got sunlight, we’ve got seafood, we’ve got exposure to negative ions, we have exposure to as much natural blue light as possible during the day.

Joe:  Well, no now, it’s leading to avoiding all un-natural artificial light from sources. That is the key.  I mean, that may be one of the most important health strategies, and I say that it’s free.

Ben:  Yeah, okay.  So, even more or perhaps just as important as getting outside you’re limiting that source of artificial light.

Joe:  Yes.  So that if you’re inside and there’s any light or monitor to put those glasses out.  So as soon as I get up in the morning and it’s dark, I put my blue blockers on, and if my lights come off, I would take the glasses off.

Ben:  Okay, so you don’t just wear sunglasses at night, you wear them during the day.

Joe:  Yeah.  That’s it.  Well, not unless there’s light on in the house or if I go to the grocery store or if my personal trainer have and insist keeping his lights on.  He hasn’t quite opt to this yet so I wear it, like this morning I have my glasses on.

Ben:  Yeah.  This is important for people listening in because I know a lot of folks who are listening in, you guys probably heard me talked about blue light blocking glasses but I personally don’t wear them during the day.  I hadn’t yet considered that.  It’s artificial blue light during the day, not natural blue light, so you wear them when you step outside, you take them off but then when you go back inside and you’re back inside the office, you put them on because the pros out weight the cons of any type of wakefulness effect you might get from a monitor.

Joe:  Oh yeah.  You’re gonna achieve that through synchronization in the morning with the exposure to the bright light from the sun from anywhere from 9 to 11.  That’s why I started to do my walking a little bit earlier before 11 o’clock.  I used to walk about 2 or 3 hours or so.

Ben:  Okay.  You’re changing the fashion habits at the office just about anybody listening in right now.

Joe:  (laughs)

Ben:  I feel like you’re gonna be spoiling their glasses, not just when they get home at night but at the office.

Joe:  Yeah.  Uvex glasses aren’t the most cosmetically elegant or appealing but you can get more expensive ones.  They’re only 10, $9 but you can get and spend $100 and be more fashionable, it’s just that it’s little…

Ben:  Yeah.  I wear the Swanwick ones which actually make cool at parties but…

Joe:  Just make sure that you get a blue light that you can see, and then put the glasses on and see if it changes the color and the blue disappears.  If it doesn’t, it’s not gonna work.

Ben:  Got it.  Okay.

Joe:  It’s got to change that.

Ben:  What are some of the other things you do?

Joe:  Oh let me just expand the seafood ‘cause I think that blocking the blue light, exposure to sunlight and seafood are so critical.  I have sardines and anchovies but I also have shrimp from Alaska and fish roe.  Wild Alaskan fish roe or fish eggs, about an ounce every day and maybe a little salmon but may be 1 to 2 ounces.  So I think that’s the key, so I make sure my DHA levels are really high.  So, the other things…

Ben:  Can I interrupt you for just a second?

Joe:  Sure.

Ben:  Fish roe is not something we’ve talked about on the podcast before.  Obviously it’s something someone could probably can hunt down in their community but have you found a specific brand to be better when it comes to something like fish roe?

Joe:  It’s not cheap.  It’s like $50 a pound but I get mine from Vital Choice.

Ben:  Okay, Vital Choice, yeah.

Joe:  And it’s not only the source of DHA, probably the most concentrated source of DHA in the planet from a food source, but it’s magnificent DHA phospholipids.  Not the same phospholipids you’d get from lecithin which is omega-6.  This is an omega-3, DHA omega-3.  So it’s unbelievable healthy food.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  Got it.  So, fish roe.  I interrupted you.  What are you getting into next?

Joe:  Let me see… we’re talking about mitochondria, right?

Ben:  Oh yeah.

Joe:  Oh grounding!  I think grounding is another component to get electrons into your body.  I’m sure you’ve talked about it in your podcast, but the point here is that most of the grounding devices that they plug into electrical outlets, and I would just suggest that they invest $10, you get on Amazon, an A-foot copper grounding rod pounded into the earth and then run a wire, might have to drill a hole through the wall and fill it with silicone and run it into your grounding device.  Like I have one for my standing desk and one for my bed sheet that I wear at night.

Ben:  What about these devices that you can plug into a computer like a laptop grounding cable.  Like for the laptops that don’t have that 3rd prong on them that would normally ground a laptop.  Have you seen these that plug into the USB port of a laptop?

Joe:  Yeah, it depends.  I guess if you use a laptop a lot, it might be necessary.  If you don’t use it periodically like I do, it’s not as crucial as important especially if you use them when you’re grounded, but I think if you use a laptop and if you have it on your lap, it would be useful to put something between your lap and the notebook or the laptop, so I typically use some radiant barrier or just a really tough type of aluminum foil that prevent some other radiation from coming through.

Ben:  Oh yeah, yeah.  I have one of those that’s called a HARApad, that’s like an anti-radiation pad basically that you put underneath the laptop that works really well.  Are there any kinda like things that you think fly under the radar whether it’s a, I know you have a lot of biohacks at your home, like I think you’ve told me about hyperbaric oxygen chamber and some things like these?

Joe:  No, no.  I don’t, but I have something that are far less expensive but maybe 10 times as effective as hyperbaric oxygen.  And it’s called EWOT and some have encountered before as Exercise with Oxygen Therapy, so they’re oxygen concentrators, and they blow into a giant bag and you wear a mask, and you breathe in to it.  So, it’s just full, it must be the size of maybe 100 gallons bag and that’s pretty big…

Ben:  And you do exercise sessions with this or do you just wear it when you’re like reading a book?

Joe  Oh no, no.  It’s exercise.  I usually do my peak intensities.  So, we’ll get into the exercise that what I do, but typically I’ll do the sauna 3 times a week, but a very specific detox protocol which I think even this beyond what damn papa told you about.  If you want I can go into that now.

Ben:  Let’s finish up mitochondria.  We’ll talk detox in a little bit.

Joe:  Okay.

Ben:  Go ahead.  So you have this exercise with oxygen therapy.

Joe:   Yeah, that’s another useful tool to get the oxygen because oxygen vs. the alternate electronic scepter, when your electrons come in from your fuel either the sound or the grounding, ultimately it’s got to combine with oxygen after generating ATP, and then be excreted as water hopefully with minimum amount of reactive oxygen species and free radicals.

Ben:  Okay, got you.  There’s a guy in Vegas who worked for the bunch of professional cyclists who wrote an article for my site.  I can link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldlfitness.com/mercola, but he talks about just like going to a local medical supply store, getting an oxygen concentrator, special type of mask and some tube.  He has kinda like a DIY exercise oxygen therapy tool.

Joe:  It’s a less expensive version.  Yeah.

Ben:  So, this is similar to something like that?

Joe:  Yeah, it’s just a lot easier.  I don’t know the time to mess with that is like $6,000 for the setup I purchased, but actually you can certainly do it.  it’s not the proprietary difficult to do but there is a bulb on there that actually simulates the alpha G training.  So for a portion of my exercise, I like training maybe 10,000 feet and then so you basically deplete the oxygen for instance PO2 near pulse oximeter might go to 70s or 80 then you just boost it up.  So you super saturate your blood with the oxygen.

Ben:  Okay, interesting.  What else do you have around your house aside from an oxygen concentrator to improve your mitochondrial health?

Joe:  (chuckles) Well, we go to that way and exercise some of these other components. I mean, there’s a lot of gadgets since we last talked.  Well, are we actually going to do that now or…

Ben:  Yeah, let’s hear it.  Let’s have some fun.  To open people’s eyes to things they might not have heard before.

Joe:  Well, let’s talk.  Here’s some pretty cool ones.  This is not so much to get but you should have it.  If you don’t, you should get an induction burner if you cook food.  You know what those are?

Ben:  An induction burner.  No, my wife probably knows.  My wife’s the foodie.  She probably knows.

Joe:  Ben, this is an absolute must.  You know that the higher you cook your food, the more that you’re gonna damage it, right?

Ben:  Right.

Joe:  And it’s almost impossible when a gas or an electric range that you’re gonna cook it a few hundred degrees.  Well, in an induction burner it’s actually the most efficient way to heat and cook food known to man.  You have to use a metal pot or pan and it’s a magnetic device and then you can actually control the temperature for as low as 100 degrees.  You can cook your food at a 110 degrees which is crazy.  You could cook steak like a medium rare steak is 140, and you can cook at 140 and you don’t have to worry about it.  Like you can put it in the sous vide, it’s just great.  So that is a radical way that I’ve improved my ability to make healthy food.

Ben:  Okay.  So this induction burner, that’s just like sits on your counter top and you cook, and do you use like a stainless steel pan?  Is that generally what you do?

Joe:  As long as this metal is okay.  I don’t think aluminum will work but it has to be in a little pan and I think those are the ones that I have, stainless steel.  And you know with the coating, ‘cause we need to be careful ‘cause most of those coatings are fluoride-based and they’re outgas at higher temperatures, and really we don’t wanna breathe fluoride gas.  We just broke huge stories from the use of these non-stick coatings.  There’s massive contamination of the ground waters becoming an immerging epidemic in the United States with this ground water contamination.  It’s gonna be huge.  It’s one of the reasons why you wanna filter your water with really good carbon or charcoal filter to get those items out in there.

Ben:  Really?  Interesting.  So, I’ll ask you about the water in a second, but like when my kids are making say, scrambled eggs in the morning and I have the oil heating on a counter top in the cast iron cookware, what you’re saying is if I were to have my kids, if I wanted to optimize their mitochondrial health, I would get them for example this induction burner to use instead, and it would allow the eggs or any protein we don’t wanna damage.

Joe:  The worst way you can consume your eggs is scrambled eggs.  That is absolutely terrible.  You oxidize the colostrum and damage the fats; the important fats and nutrients in the eggs.  So I cooked mine about 140 I think or 140 or so which is way below the boiling point of water.  It’s 80 degrees lower and it takes a little longer but if you just plan it, you can cook it properly and the white shall turn white, and your yolk is essentially nice and runny so it’s not damage.  It’s actually healthier than poach eggs, the only form of this healthy poached eggs.

Ben:  Adding that to my shopping list.  Water is obviously important for the mitochondria as you’ve alluded to.  You mentioned that your choice of water filter if you would recommend one to people would be a charcoal?

Joe:  No well, this is really a complex topic.  Ideally, the best choice of water is from a local spring and find a spring that’s the way that you can do that.  That’s gonna be inconvenient for most people and if you’re gonna relay, I mean, it’s full top water.  The first thing you have to make sure is that it has no fluoride.  Fluoride is one of the most toxic thing that you can put in your body for your mitochondria.  It’s a dielectric blocker and Jack Kruse calls into it in great detail but you definitely want a fluoride-free water.  So, unfortunately that’s why it’s kinda getting back to my side, you know, I mention we didn’t sell anything but the profits that we generate, I put 20% back.  I just donate it to a non-profit entities, and one of those entities is the FAN group which is committed to removing fluoride from municipal water supplies ‘cause it’s so difficult to take out.

The best strategy is not having your water supply to begin with.  So if you have a whole house water carbon filter, they’re really big tanks, maybe about half the size of a conventional water tank and if you have two you get even bigger.  And if the water stays in there for a while, it’s just a contact surface area, you’ll be able to remove a lot of the fluoride for sure.  So that’s a big step and then I take to have a whole house water filter that we actually produce in our site and then I filter it through an alkaline water system, and not because I want to alkalinize the water because it actually structures the water and makes hydrogen gas, and a hydrogen gas is far more important than pH, pH is irrelevant, it’s not about drinking pH immediate water, it’s about having the hydrogen ions in there, and then having it structured.  And then I take it again…

Ben:  Which structured water filter do you use?

Joe:  Well, it’s just that alkalinizer.

Ben:  So you just use a water alkalinizer and that passes, from what I understand that like passes water over a metal plate and alkalinizes the water?

Joe:  Well, it’s actually the series of them.  This one has one like 9 and then you have to be really careful because most of those will have scale that builds up literally after a few…

Ben:  Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard.  You wind up drinking (inaudible)

Joe:  Yeah, so I have a device that actually changes the polarity every time it’s turned on so that it never gets scaled buildup.

Ben:  What’s it called ‘em?

Joe:  I don’t remember.

Ben:  Okay.

Joe:  It’s was like a beta…

Ben:  It’s a water alkalizer.  So first you pass through a charcoal filter, and then after it passes through a charcoal filter…

Joe:  A whole house charcoal filter which is significant.  So that they’re big babies and then the actual alkalinizer has another filter and once it goes from there then I put it into a vortexer, and I don’t know if you’ve heard of Gerald Pollack’s work, he’s a biophysicist in the University of Washington, but structured water is massively important.  ‘cause water is essentially a battery and it’s the way that once it’s structured, the water in our body is primarily structured and the better you can structure them, the more you can generate that energy into your cell structure and improve your mitochondria function and your general total health.

So I vortex mine with the vortexer that we developed for 3 years, and we still aren’t selling it ‘cause we had trouble finding a manufacturer to do that, but it’s got infrared light and it just spins it, it structures it, and then I put it in the refrigerator.  The refrigerator is lead less, an optimal ‘cause it’s only in metafields but then I put it out over some neodymium magnets to continue the structure and it keep it cold.

Ben:  So these magnets are actually in your refrigerator?

Joe:  Yeah, well, I just literally make a little platform for it that I rest the glass container on.

Ben:  Okay, got it.  So you can buy these magnets and you can put them in your refrigerator and after you’ve structured your water, you’d put it in a big pitcher and then you would put it on top of these magnets?

Joe:  Yup.  They help maintain the structure of the water.

Ben:  Interesting.  Okay.

Joe:  Water is key.

Ben:  Oh yeah.

Joe:  Definitely it’s worth putting time, effort, energy into optimizing your water intake.  It’s one of the biggest variables for your health.  You gotta get that right.

Ben:  Now, I have a little bit different setup than you, and I wanted to ask you a couple of questions. I use reverse osmosis rather than charcoal because of finer particle filtration.  Obviously I have to re-mineralize my water and simply have a reverse osmosis filter that has remineralization.

Joe:  Yeah.  You have a holding tank on yours, that’s the key issue.

Ben:  A holding tank in the reverse osmosis filter?

Joe:  Yeah, because it usually pretty slow unless you have a compressor on it so that you stoke in some water, you have to fill up a tank usually a 5 gallon, is that what you’re saying?

Ben:  Yeah, there’s an enormous tank.  It’s actually out in my utility room.

Joe:  I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend that you get rid of that.  And we get a different RO system that has a compressor on it, so you get a higher output if you don’t need the holding thing, but hold it, I can guarantee that holding thing is contaminated.

Ben:  Really?

Joe:  It just has to be, yeah.  And who wants the pain and hassle factor of cleaning that thing every 3 months?

Ben:  Okay, got it.  I’m making a note to talk to my water guy about this.

Joe:  Yeah.  You want a tank-free RO system.  I like RO, I think it’s really good.  It is less expensive than a whole house water filter for sure.

Ben:  Okay.  So it’s called a tank-free reverse osmosis filter.

Joe:  Yeah, it’s tank less, without compressor so you get a high output.

Ben:  And ideally something…

Joe:  You need more pressure than you get from the water, from your house pressure to, otherwise you won’t get much water around, it would take a long time.

Ben:  Yeah.  I see Aquasana has at least one on Amazon but that’s a reverse osmosis tank-free.  Now obviously, you need to remineralized.  For those of you listening in, reverse osmosis will remove a lot of the minerals from water so you ought to get to use trace liquid minerals or use something that remineralizes the water.

Joe:  It doesn’t take all the fluoride out but that’s really one of the better ones to do it.  You could use distilled water to it almost all of it but RO is…

Ben:  Now, the other thing that you mentioned is structured water.  I haven’t talk to you too much about this but…

Joe:  Well, before we go to structured water, let’s go back to the minerals.  I tell you that my best mineral which I also integrated into my routine of agriculture process is extracted from the ocean.  And it’s extracted to this very complex vortexing process, so it gets all the sodium chloride out and it’s basically 80 minerals that you put in back there.  That’s why vortex, my water along with some magnesium citrate and a little bit of zinc.

Ben:  Okay.  So went through that pretty fast but is that an actual, something that connects to your water filter or is that something you would put in to a glass of water?

Joe:  No, no.  It’s a product.  It’s a supplement essentially.

Ben:  Okay.

Joe:  Yeah.  Which is absolutely essential for anyone using an RO system, and really a good idea for anyone else.

Ben:  And what is the name of that product?

Joe:  Oh, it’s for ocean minerals… I’m not sure what it is but I use it primarily.  I mean, I buy it by 5 gallons and I use it for my plants.

Ben:  So you put that in your garden so that the food that you grow is higher in minerals?

Joe:  Well, actually, I don’t put in the soil.  I use it as a [0:49:16] ______ spray application because the absorption is just tremendous.  I mean it’s just crazy.  I mean I’ve got banana trees growing, giving me hundreds of pounds of bananas every year.

Ben:  Are they these things called the ionic ocean minerals that are on your site?

Joe:  The mineral.  That’s it, yeah.

Ben:  Okay, okay.

Joe:  Yeah.  Their work is ionic, they are not… they’re just ions and they really are absorbed easily.  So that’s really potent and effective form of replacing the minerals that you’re taking out with the RO system.

Ben:  Okay.  So if you’re using a reverse osmosis system and you’re listening in, you would wanna use ionic minerals to add the minerals back in.

Joe:  From the ocean…

Ben:  From the ocean, okay, ionic ocean minerals.  I’ll make sure that I link to these in the show notes which are growing rapidly, by the way, as we talk.  Darn you, you’re causing people a lot of money on this podcast who’re hoping to optimize their lives, but this honestly, this stuff is fun.  I’m all about better living through science, I’m all about…

Joe:  Oh, I know!  That’s why I just love what you do.  I just haven’t found anyone else like you.  I mean other than Kruse, you’re just incredible.  You’re a gift to the human race.

Ben:  But before we proceed, I mean stepping back, if my kids are 60 years old and killing it in life, I would love to be 130, standing there watching it happen.  I dunno if I did the math correctly on that, but yeah.  Longevity with optimized performance in health is a very, very cool goal, I think, and it’s achievable.

Joe:  I don’t think you could get both goals at once.  I was gonna go on to this later but from my understanding of the metabolic physiology, you have to optimize your performance or longevity.  It’s difficult to do both because the metabolic pathways, the mTOR and AMPK, you just can’t do that.

Ben:  Yeah.

Joe:  You get one or the other.  So at some point, I’ve transitioned a while ago, I’m 20, 30 years past my competitive days, and you’re still engaged in them.  So I’m in the longevity mode now.

Ben:  Yeah.  Okay.  Well, hopefully we get a chance to tackle that, but I also, before we leave the topic of water, and then I would like to perhaps move on past mitochondria and talk about a few other things that I know are important here, I don’t think we talked about this much, but my dad’s business, my dad’s career is, he actually travels to large agricultural facilities and farms, and installs structured water filter systems for farms and in agricultural settings to allow livestock to be more healthy and to allow plants to grow more readily, and you talked about a vortex and how it’s important for water to, say, pass through a series of glass beads, et cetera.  My dad is the person who sent me Gerald Pollack’s book “Fourth Phase of Water”.

Joe:  “Fourth Phase of Water.”  Excellent book.  Strongly recommend it.

Ben:  Which is a great book.  And, yeah.  His website is greenfieldnaturals.com and he has these enormous structured filters that, and that’s what I have, it’s a whole house structured water filter, but he first introduced to me this concept.  I thought it was nuts. I thought it was a kook.  Then I started to dig into this and I read this book written by University of Washington researcher Gerald Pollack, and now there’s a brand new book. I dunno if you’ve seen this book, Joe, it’s written by Dr. Cowan, it’s C-O-W-A-N, I forget his last name, but it’s about the heart and it’s about the fact that we have been…

Joe:  Is it Tom Cowan?

Ben:  Tom Cowan’s book about the heart.

Joe:  It’s actually, I think it’s Cowan.  He is a very interesting guy.  Weston Price, he’s connected with them.  I’ve interviewed him a few times.

Ben:  Fantastic book.

Joe:  He’s got some really intriguing concepts.

Ben:  It’s called “Human Heart, Cosmic Heart”.  I don’t even know if it’s available for sale yet, because I just finished reading my review copy, but that book goes into how the heart is not a pump as much as it is a special shape that allows fluids to move through it if those fluids are structured properly.  And one of the things that he says is the best thing that you can do for getting fluids to move through your heart efficiently, for blood to move through heart efficiently, is for that blood to be hydrated with structured water.  He does a great job of explaining in the book, but it really hammered home, that statement that Gerald Pollack makes in his book.

Joe:  And your readers can prove for themselves.  What they do is do an experiment, grow some sunflower seed sprouts with structured water and regular tap water, and see what the difference is.  You’ll see a magnificent shift.  It’s just crazy.
Ben:  Yeah.  No, it’s crazy.  When I travel, I always just buy glass bottled Pellegrino, or Perrier, or Gerolsteiner because…

Joe:  That’s about as good as you can do on the road.

Ben:  Yeah.  When I’m at home, it’s just my water is so pristine.  It makes such a big difference.  Now speaking of the heart, I suppose this would be a good segue, I’ve seen you talk a little bit, and I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about this, about the link between iron and heart disease.  And we’ve got a lot of athletes listening in, we’ve got people who take iron supplements, some people who even think the more iron, the better.  What’s the deal here with iron, and heart disease, and iron levels?

Joe:  Well, it’s actually related to mitochondria.  ‘Cause you know what the most mitochondrially-dense tissue in the body is, right?  It’s the heart.

Ben:  Yeah.  I guess that’s true.  I mean, I suppose when I…

Joe:  And then the brain is number two.  So it becomes a really important issue.  This is a message that has to be spread far and wide, and I’m glad to have the platform and opportunity to share this with your audience ’cause they need to know about this.  This is the difference literally between life and death, and I am not exaggerating in the least. This is every bit as important as the vitamin D topic that I started promoting about 15 years 7ago.  In fact, maybe more important.  Now, let’s discriminate between two groups.  First, you have pre-menopausal women who are still menstruating, and children.  That group is usually “Iron okay” or “Iron deficient,” may need to supplement.  Those are about the only groups that do.  Or if someone has an acute bleed would be the other exception.  But for an almost any adult men, or any woman who’s past her menopause and not menstruating anymore, high likelihood, I would say probably 95% or greater, that they’re gonna be iron overloaded.

And our body was not designed to excrete iron on a regular basis.  It conserves it, it keeps it.  It doesn’t get rid of it.  The only way you lose iron is through losing blood.  And so the studies have been done, people who donate one, two, three times a year live significantly longer, have less heart disease, less cancer than those who don’t because they are lowering their iron levels.  Now, why does that work?  Why should it work?  Let me just go through the metabolic physiology.  When you have these electrons from food, it goes in, and is hopefully transferred to oxygen and you create water, but maybe 5% of the time it goes through these reactive oxygen species.

The first one is superoxide, which then gets to be converted to peroxide, and then ideally from peroxide to water, but there is a side path that it could take.  If iron levels are high, especially in the inner mitochondria, there’s a reaction called the Fenton reaction, and the iron will combine with the peroxide and form superoxide free radical, which is the most toxic free radical known to man.  Decimates your mitochondria’s own membranes, and proteins, and DNA. The last thing you wanna do.  You need some, but if you have high iron levels, you’re gonna catalyze that reaction, and you’re gonna create massive free radical damage as a result of that.

Ben:  Okay.

Joe:  So the key, how do you figure this out?  Simple blood test, you can actually get it online without a doctor’s prescription for $39.  It’s called Ferritin, F-E-R-R-I-T-I-N. You can get a TIBC, Total Iron Binding Capacity…

Ben:  So you would measure ferritin, the iron storage protein, and not actual iron?

Joe:  Absolutely.  That’s the one you need.  That is the measure.  Do not use any of the others, just use that one.  And what are the goals?  You should be below 80.  If you’re below 20, it’s too low.  You gotta take a supplement or have some type of natural food like red meat, which would be a really good source of iron.  But ideally, I would say somewhere between 40 and 60, which interestingly, Ben, that’s about the same range as vitamin D levels.  So it’s easy to remember.  40 to 60.

Ben: Forty to sixty is what you’re looking for.  Not your iron levels, but your ferritin levels?

Joe:  Ferritin level, which is an indirect measure.  Ferritin, as you mention, is an iron storage protein, so that’s probably the best way to find out if you’re in the sweet spot.

Ben:  And this is a test you could order through like Direct Labs, or WellnessFX, or something like that?

Joe:  Yes!  Absolutely.  Almost anyone has it.  LifeExtension has it, think also for $39.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Now in terms of iron, why wouldn’t you measure iron in addition to ferritin?

Joe:  It’s just not as accurate.  It’s just, and I forget the specific chemical reasons why, but ferritin is the one to go with.

Ben:  Okay.

Joe: There’s a good book earlier this year called “Dumping Iron” that I read that was written by a late journalist, but it really goes into great depth.  “Dumping Iron” I think it was called.

Ben:  “Dumping Iron”  That’s great.  Any book that has “dumping” in the title has gotta be good.  Okay.  “Dumping Iron.”  I’ll link to that one in the show notes.  And then finally, you mentioned giving blood.  And I know that giving blood, as my return to your whole performance versus longevity piece that you mentioned earlier, decreases VO2 max by anywhere from 6 to 8%.  I know because I’ve looked into this, and kind of timed when I go in for my fancy big blood panels based off of when I might happen to have an upcoming race.  So first of all, you give blood multiple times a year, correct?

Joe:  No, because I’m a physician.  So I have the opportunity to [0:58:41] ______ for me giving blood is too much…

Ben:  Okay.

Joe:  So that’s 16 ounces.  So what I do is I have essentially a phlebotomy kit.  I ordered some capillary tubes and some big syringes, and I just take out 4 ounces, usually about every four weeks.  Now I’m down to every six weeks ’cause I finally just got my ferritin below 60.  It’s like 55 the last time I checked.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Don’t try that at home, people.

Joe:  But it’s ideal, it’s not hard to do.  There’s lots of phlebotomists around, so that would be the ideal way.  And you don’t have the hassle factor, the inconvenience of going to the center.  But you should also know that even though the blood donation sites that are all over the country may not understand it, they have to by law, allow you to do what’s called a therapeutic phlebotomy essentially to donate your blood because many people, maybe 30%, 50% of people can’t donate their blood because of some type of previous health condition.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Do you do anything, or do you recommend people do anything after they give blood aside from drink lots of water and take on lots of electrolytes to, kinda returning to my question about the decrease in VO2 max, like return to performance quickly?

Joe:  Definitely plan some down time ’cause that’s a lot of blood.  That’s why I only take out 4 ounces at a time.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  And how many ounces do you lose when you, say, like go to Red Cross and donate blood?

Joe:  Sixteen.  A pint.

Ben:  Okay.  Yeah.  So that’s a significant difference.

Joe:  Yeah.  So I take out a pint in over four months.

Ben:  Or you can just be a geeky biohacker like me and do enough blood panels to where you’re constantly filling tubes with blood.

Joe:  Well, you’d have to take a heck of a lot.  ‘Cause I tried doing that with tubes and it’s a third of an ounce in one of those tubes.  So you’d have to fill a lot of tubes.

Ben:  Yeah.  Exactly.  Even though the fancy WellnessFX panels, those are about 19 tubes or so of blood.  Interestingly though, I have noticed a decrease in performance for a few days after I do that blood panel.

Joe:  Yeah.  You will.  At your level as an elite athlete, there’s no question you will.

Ben:  Yeah.  So one other question that I have, before I wanna turn to some of your thoughts on like fasting and protein intake, because I’ve seen you talk about that.  We touched briefly on like electromagnetic field exposure, and negative ions, and things like this.  So in terms of these devices, and biohacks, and things like that, are there certain things that you stay away from?  Because I know this is a constant argument in the health sector, as from Fitbits and Jawbone devices, to even like these grounding and earthing things, like EarthPulses and things that produce pulsed electromagnetic field frequencies.  What’s your take on that?  Do you use any of these biohacks?

Joe:  Oh, absolutely.  There’s no question about it.  And actually there’s two that I use from you that I actually stopped using because of after I connect with Cruise.  One of ’em is the Delta Sleeper which did not work for me, and I use it to increase my deep sleep because my deep sleep sucked.  I mean, I was getting from zero to three minutes a night, that was about it.  But now I finally get up to 40 minutes.  I can tell you how I did that in a moment, which relates to the answer of your question, but I tried the Delta Sleeper and I returned it, then I tried OURA Ring.  I love the OURA Ring.  In concept, it’s only one milliwatt of power, but it actually emits its radio frequency.  Kruse doesn’t really like those at all, so I’m in a process of finding a different one.  But I don’t know anything else to measure my deep sleep at this point.

Ben:  I keep my OURA Ring in airplane mode.  That’s the way that I do it.  You can go into setting, that was my very first question when I talked to these folks, and if you’re listening in and you have no clue what the OURA Ring is, just go to my site and search for it.  I had a podcast with these guys.  But the very first question I asked them was, “What do you do about the Bluetooth signal that most of these devices emit every one to three seconds?”  And you can actually place it, you sync it to your iPhone app, and you go to settings, and you can put it in airplane mode.  That’s why it’s so freakin’ expensive, because it has this like built-in computer that collects data without actually producing the frequencies.

Joe:  I never wear jewelry.  I haven’t worn jewelry in 30 years.  And I get so many compliments on the ring.  They just like it as a piece of jewelry.

Ben:  Yeah!  It looks like a cool magical rock.  But did you know that you could put it in airplane mode?

Joe:  Yeah. I knew then I forgot about it.  Thank you for reminding me.  As soon as I get off this, I’m gonna put mine in airplane mode.

Ben:  Yeah.  So that’s what I do is I put in airplane mode.  The other one, tell me about the Delta Sleeper because I’m interested to hear your take on it and I wear it every night.  So I put on my collar bone every night, and it’s pulse electromagnetic field frequency, the idea being that it sends a signal from your brachial plexus up to your brain and it emits for about 22 two minutes when you press the little button to turn it on to put you into deep sleep.  So tell me what your take on it was.

Joe:  I didn’t like it too much ’cause it was a real hassle factor to put an adhesive all the time, and keep it on, and turn it on.  I just didn’t like the design at all.  But if it worked, I would have no problems with it.  Thing is, it’s this radio frequency device and Kruse really opposes to those, and I didn’t see an improvement in my sleep with it.

Ben:  Well, Dr. Kruse was bugging me about that.  He told me…

Joe:  Yeah.  At Norway, he was telling me, but I just talked to him this week…

Ben:  I dunno.  Should we delve into this or is this too much of a rabbit hole for the podcast?

Joe:  No, no.  It’s a rabbit hole because there’s a lot of other things I wanna go on.  But what can you do?  Let’s keep it focused on the positive.  So one of the things he recommends, and I purchased 15 years ago, it was in my attic for the last 13 years or so, is a magnetic sleeping pad.  He likes the one from Magnetico, and interestingly that’s the one I had purchased.  So I started using that as a static magnetic field to sort of insulate and mitigate some of the effects of the EMFs that you’re exposed to, but also to really structure the water in your body.  It’s just a magnificent thing.  So I did that and I combined it, literally, with blocking the blue light during the day from all artificial sources.  Not just at night.  Those two combinations, I’m sleeping 40 minutes of deep sleep now.

Ben:  Wait.  So it’s a Magnetico plus the what?

Joe:  Just blocking the blue light!

Ben:  Just blocking the blue light?

Joe:  From artificial sources, not from the sun.

Ben:  That’s your one-two combo.  That’s your 80/20.

Joe:  Yeah!

Ben:  Interesting.  And these Magneticos are like sleep pads that you put underneath your sheets?

Joe:  Yeah, like for a queen sized bed, I mean there’s just four pads, and each pad weighs about 75 pounds.  I mean these are just full of magnets, so I don’t think your wife’s going to like me too much when you sleep… (chuckles)

Ben:  I have a Bio-Mat and I use that.

Joe:  Well, that’s another EMF!

Ben:  The Bio-Mat?

Joe:  Yeah!  The Bio-Mat!

Ben:  They’ve got an EMF blocker that the unit plugs into, and it’s a relatively low frequency.  If you look at the Earth’s magnetic field, that’s like about 3 to 6 milligauss, or so.  And if you look at something like a Bio-Mat or something like that Delta Sleeper device, it’s an extremely low Gauss field.

Joe:  I get it.  But I am not the expert here.  I would definitely talk to Kruse, that his ball of wax, and he will have a very extensive discussion with you, and I think he’ll convince you…

Ben:  Yeah.  I’ll talk to him.

Joe:  I would encourage you to try the static magnetic field and blocking the blue light throughout the entire day from artificial sources, and I will almost guarantee your deep sleep will go up.

Ben:  Okay.  I’ll try it.  One last thing I gotta throw in there.  Did you know that in the  study that they did on non-native EMF exposure and cancer, and I actually haven’t a chance to talk to Jack about this yet, but I plan on it.  So they did a study in mice and they used an intensity of nearly 10 times of what you get exposed to with one of these pulsed electromagnetic field devices, and then they bombarded the mice with gamma radiation to give them cancer, to see if they were more susceptible to getting cancer when they got blasted with non-native EMF at levels way higher than what you get exposed to with these lower frequency devices or the planet Earth.  So the study itself, it’s kinda like the China study where they say that this might be a good way for us to get into the talk about protein and cancer, but they that the China study says that excess animal protein can give you cancer, but what they failed to note was that they gave the animals a bunch of cancer and then gave them the protein.  It wasn’t the protein that caused the cancer, it was the protein that…

Joe:  And it was terrible protein too.

Ben:  Oh!  It was a horrible protein.

Joe:  There’s a lot of flaws in that study.

Ben:  Yeah.  If you already have cancer, then dumping copious amounts of horrible protein in your body of course is gonna make the matter a little bit worse.  But anyways, we digress.

Joe:  We had this discussion with Jack, but let’s get back to this cancer thing which is one of the reasons that Travis book changed my life.  I mean that was really what turned me into mitochondria.

Ben:  You mean the “Tripping Over the Truth”?

Joe:  “Tripping Over the Truth” by Travis Christofferson, yeah.  So what I got from that, and really had a fuller, deeper appreciation, and this is where the divergence between performance and optimization for longevity comes, is how much protein you’re gonna take.  So for me, I’m about 175 pounds and I seek to have somewhere about 65 grams a day, almost always under 70, which isn’t gonna to give me a lot of muscles, but it optimizes this protein pathway called mTOR, which is short for, the Million Target of Rapamycin.  Have you talked about that before on the show?

Ben:  Yeah, a little bit.  About how excess protein can basically increase the rate at which telomeres shorten.  It has an aging effect.

Joe:  Yeah.  That’s a side effect, but there’s few important metabolic pathways.  One is insulin, leptin, IGF1, and when those levels are high, you’re gonna stimulate mTOR which is going to suppress mytophagy, or an autophagy, which is gonna increase the risk of cancer and conversely it would also decrease AMPK ’cause AMPK and mTOR go hand in hand.  So you will die early if you have consistently high mTOR.  No question about it. On the converse, if you can increase your AMPK levels higher and suppress mTOR, you’ll live longer.  And there are some interesting strategies that will do that.  You know what some of those are?

Ben:  I would guess protein restriction might be one of them.

Joe:  Protein is probably the main one, but some other really great ones, and one that you’re very fond of, one of your big passions.

Ben:  Intermittent fasting?

Joe:  Well, no.  You’re bigger than that.  Exercise!

Ben:  Weight training, specifically.  Is that what you like for the anti-aging effect?

Joe:  Now, I think any exercise will work.  Weight training can do it.  It’ll give you specific things.  Actually, weight training little bit can cover it ’cause that will tend to stimulate mTOR in anabolic states.

Ben:  Yeah.  That’s a head scratcher for me because I’ve seen that same data, Joe, about how weight training will upregulate mTOR, but when you look at these studies that look into the strength training effects on telomere length, they actually find that in athletes who have overtraining, and what’s called exercise associated fatigue, high levels of CRP, high levels of inflammation, et cetera, they find abnormally short telomeres.  But then when you look at, they did a really interesting muscle biopsy study on powerlifters.

So powerlifters lift a ton of weight, but not like a bodybuilder, they don’t damage, they just lift a lot of weight really fast, really explosively, and then they put it down, and what they found in powerlifters was not only were they significantly higher than non-weightlifters, but they were way higher than actual weightlifters, like traditional bodybuilding-style weightlifters, like doing squats and deadlifts very explosively, heavy for short periods of time.  So it depends on the amount of muscle damage that you do is what it looks like.

Joe:  Yeah.  But just exercise in general will do it.  As what fasting, as you mentioned, and there’s another interesting supplement called resveratrol, which really increases sirtuins which increases PGC-1 Alpha and secondarily mitochondrial biogenesis.

Ben:  Resveratrol?

Joe:  Yeah.  Resveratrol will do it.  But then there’s this other one that we both know about, which is NAD+.

Ben:  Yes.  You filled me and big time on that, but go ahead.

Joe:  Actually, I learned about it from a podcast that you were interviewed on.  I just saw it the other day with Selfhacked.  And he also interviewed this guy named Vince Guillermo, who’s about in his 80’s and he sounds like he’s in his 50’s.  He’s just really, really mentally clear and a great, great aging researcher, and found out that beta-lapachone increases NAD+.  And what the heck is NAD+?  Well, if you’ve taken biology, you know it’s an electron transferer, responsible for shuttling electrons in the mitochondria.  But also, it has some very important signaling function.  It’s sort of a sensor for disease and stress, and as we age, the levels of NAD+ go down by about 50%.  So a really good solution, in fact most of the anti-aging researches that I study are absolutely firmly convinced it is the single most important molecule to upregulate.  No question about it, NAD+.  That’s why I was so fascinated with your interview on it, which really focused on using it intravenously, which is obviously not a good wise solution for everyone.

Ben:  Or convenient.

Joe:  It rescued some people.  I’m sure it’s expensive as heck, but you wanna turn NAD+ levels around, and one of the most effective ways I found was through Vince, and it was the use of this tea, Pau D’Arco, which is loaded with something called beta-lapachone.  I sent you the information on it, and actually, what I initially did was purchase some of the tree bark and gave you a link for that.  But since that time, I found that there’s these magnificent powders that actually dissolve and you can’t taste, get the tree bark in your teeth, and you can actually absorb it even better.

But most of these biomolecules tend to be poorly absorbed, so one of the strategies that I do, and maybe it will take your time into some of the foods that I use, but I use krill phospholipids, which is not yet commercially available, but you could easily substitute sunflower lecithin, organic sunflower lecithin too, I spin it in my immersion blender when I’m making my smoothie, and with that beta-lapachone that I soak in water with some of the seeds that I’m consuming for my meal for maybe overnight or eight hours.  And then I spin it with the phospholipids, and I make essentially liposomes, which basically explodes the absorption of these molecules into your system.

Ben:  Yeah.  You can get it through the phospholipid cell membrane and have that antioxidant effect in the cells when you blend it with a fat like that.

Joe:  Yeah.  It even passed the blood-brain barrier.

Ben:  It’s kinda funny.  Since you told me about that, I actually have an assistant who helps me out with some things here at the house.  I set out a piece of paper for her yesterday and told her, “Okay, take this, blend it in the blender for three minutes, put the sunflower lecithin.”  She’s like, “What the heck am I doing?”  I’m like, “Just trust me. I’m gonna live forever.  Do this.  Leave the mason jar in the fridge.”  And then what I do with that mason jar full of this tea extract that has the concentrated beta-lapachone in it, that you were talking about to increase your levels of NAD, is I’ll just use that as a base for smoothies or put a little bit in tea.

Joe:  Yeah.  Absolutely.  But you might wanna get the powdered version rather than sort of, I mean there’s a really fine powder that I think it’s gonna be in better absorption, ’cause when you put it in water, you’ll get a lot better distillate from it.

Ben:  The powdered version of the Pau D’Arco tea?

Joe:  Yeah.  We’re gonna actually probably have it on the site, so I can’t give you a link to buy it because I don’t even know where we got it from, but I didn’t even know it existed, but it does exist.

Ben:  Okay.  Got it.  Well for now, for those of you listening in, I’ll put a link to the podcast and the article that we did on NAD, and the use of this Pau D’Arco tea, and using that as yet another little anti-aging/health protocol you can throw into your routine in addition to some of these other things that we’re talking about.

Joe:  And the researcher who figured it out was David Sinclair, who’s from Harvard. He’s actually the guy that discovered resveratrol, and he’s really probably one of the biggest proponents of NAD+.  You can just look up his name and NAD+, and he’s got his own product which is called nicotinamide riboside, which kind of expensive.  It’s too impractical for my perspective ’cause you need too much.

Ben:  I just think it’s bad ass to blend up the bark.  It seems cool.

Joe:  Yeah.  But here’s another strategy, this is part of my detox.  One of the things I do with my sauna before, and I don’t know if you’re doing this, I take 4 grams of niacin, not the time-release, just niacin, and 15 grams of ribose, D-ribose.  So they actually kinda combine to form into nicotinamide riboside.  (laughs) Prior to the sauna, it increases NAD+.

Ben:  Okay.  So in the past what I’ve done when I’ve gotten into the sauna to help lyse fat cells, which I believe is what you’re going after with something like the niacin, is I’ve used the…

Joe:  No, no, no, no.  I actually increased it for vasodilation to make sure those waves penetrate really help remove the toxins.  It’s more detox than it is for…

Ben:  The toxins are coming out of fat cells when you do that, right?

Joe:  Yeah.  But you and I don’t have much fat.  I mean, we’re looking at 8, 9%.  What are you?  Like 5%?

Ben:  I’m actually, based on the most recent MRI we were talking about, I’m actually at 3%.  I may increase it a little bit.  Anyways though, so yeah, I took the niacin by Thorne, it called Niasafe, the inositol hexaniacinate, because it’s a little bit easier on the liver and you don’t get as much of flushing.  But you touched on something very important.  You’re combining niacin with, what did you say, to increase your NAD levels?

Joe:  D-ribose, which another…

Ben:  D-ribose?

Joe:  Yeah.  It’s a sugar, it’s a five carbon sugar that is actually used in the construction of nucleotides, and is an important protocol for almost all mitochondrial improvements.

Ben:  So you take D-ribose, and then you take niacin, and then you go into the sauna.

Joe:   It took me a while, it took me a few months to build up the 4 grams, and anyone listening to this, you don’t wanna start with 4 grams.  So, you start like at 25 milligrams, or something, then work your way up.  But, yeah.  So I think that the combination, I don’t know for sure, but it seems to make sense ’cause that’s exactly what nicotinamide riboside is, is nicotonic acid and ribose.

Ben:  Yeah.  That makes really good sense.  Interesting.  Okay.  Well, I’ll link to that strategy, that protocol in the show notes.  And related to that, you also exercise, I know, but you have a specific form of exercise that you’re a fan of.  Can you tell me about the exercise or the workouts that you do?  Other than walking billions of steps each month while reading your Kindle, what else are you doing?  Like how are you maintaining muscle and things like that?

Joe:  That’s a quarter billion over a lifetime.

Ben:  That’s a lot.

Joe:  Yeah.  So I do a lot of things.  I have a personal trainer once a week, I do strength coaching, or strength training with him.  I just did that this morning.  The other day I will do functional training, and I’ll do a day of strength at home, and I have actually, I love that book you recommended, “Starting Strength” by Mark Rippetoe.  I’ve never seen a more incredibly detailed orientation on how to lift weights properly, 60 to 100 pages on one lift.  It’s just crazy, but you’ll understand everything.  So I use that.  I do the overhead squat, the deadlifts, overhead press and a regular squat, and then dips, and pull ups…

Ben:  Okay.  So you do full-body multiple times a week?  Is that your…

Joe:  No.  Just once.

Ben:  And then you walk?

Joe:  I have a power plate too.  And one of things I learned with Kelly Starrett’s book is that my external hip rotators were tight, so I’m trying to get into the lotus position, which was a real challenge initially.  I dunno if you can do that, but…

Ben:  Is that like the Saturday Night Live episode with Will Ferrell where he’s in yoga class, trying to uncouthly things to himself?  Is it that lotus position?

Joe:  I don’t even know.  I stopped watching Saturday Night Live in the 70’s.

Ben:  Alright.  So you’re doing a strength training routine once per week, like a full-body compound strength training routine.  Are you using a set or rep scenario, like four reps or six reps?

Joe:  Yeah.  Kinda what Mark describes.  I do a set of five and then just increase the weight.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  And you also have like a high-intensity workout program, like a cardiovascular program as well, am I correct?

Joe:  Yeah.  Well, you’re the expert on exercise.  I mean, it’s crazy for me to talk about it, but what I do is I think a little tweak on it is I combine it with the EWOT, the exercise with oxygen therapy and the oxygen concentrators.  So I do that after the infrared sauna. So I’ll do the infrared sauna.  I use mine.  We have a low EMF, full spectrum infrared sauna.  I’ll crank it up to about 136, 138, go in it for 15 minutes. I do a cold shower, then come back in for another 15 minutes, and I do the EWOT for 30 minute.  And then during that EWOT, I’m doing either a recumbent bike or an elliptical peak training.  So I’ll warm up for three minutes, and then to go out.  I cut it down to twenty seconds, and I’ll relax for 140, and just do multiple sets of them, and for the rest of 30 minutes.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  Why do you do the sauna before instead of after?

Joe:  Intuitively, I think it would be before, but my personal physician actually, who’s guiding one of the challenges I’m taking with him, he said it would be better for me to do that.  He did some pretty exhaustive testing and said that…

Ben:  You mean better to do the sauna before or to do the sauna after?

Joe:  No.  Sauna before, for me.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  The reason I asked you is that I have a sauna in my gym, and I’ll turn that on sometimes a half hour before I’m going to go train, to heat up the muscle tissue.  You can get in it.  It’s like a warm up.  And those infrared rays, as you alluded to earlier, those penetrate tissue, so you get a really good muscle warming effect. But the study in which they’ve shown that sauna can actually increase erythropoietin production almost similar to the blood doping with EPO, what they did with that group was they had a group do a training session to exhaustion.  And then after the training session, they had ’em sit in a sauna for about 30 minutes, and this wasn’t an infrared experiment.  It was just a dry sauna.  So what I try to do is I try to, if I’m gonna combine sauna and exercise, Dr. Pompa and I did this in Park City a couple days ago.  We went to the gym, we did a weight training routine, but then we got in the sauna afterwards to get that almost like that blood doping effect.

Joe:  Yeah.  Well, see, this is where we diverge.  You’re optimizing performance, I’m optimizing for longevity.  I’m not doing Spartan races at Park City.  So I don’t need to have my EPO up.  I’m doing it for other reasons.

Ben:  Right.  Okay.  That makes sense, and it is really good for warming up as well.

Joe:  Yeah.  Let me just finish the detox, ’cause I do some interesting things that Dan doesn’t.  I don’t think he’s doing the niacin and the ribose, which is an important component.  But I also use his Cyto Detox, which is great.  It’s available in his group.  I’m sure you’ll talk about it.

Ben:  That’s what I use now as well.

Joe:  If you aren’t, you need to be on Cyto Detox.  No question about it.

Ben:  For those who have no clue what we’re talking about, wait until next week.  I’ve got 90 minutes with Dan where we talk about Cyto Detox.  But go ahead.  What were you saying?  What else do you do?

Joe:  I do Cyto Detox, and I use some parsley, I use chlorella, and I also use something called IMD from Chris Shade.  I dunno if you’ve interviewed Chris.  He’s probably the top, if you haven’t, you should.  He’s the top metal detoxer, probably in the world.  He’s got a Ph.D.

Ben:  Chris Shade?

Joe:  S-H-A-D-E.  He’s in Colorado, and his company’s called Quicksilver.

Ben:  That’s funny because I was at a coffee shop in Boulder, Colorado last week, and I was talking to this…

Joe:  I think that where he’s at.

Ben:  This big, tall Indian gentleman walked in, and this guy’s job is like a TV show host where he goes to people’s houses and completely reinvents their entire routine.  It’s called “Doctor in the House,” I think is the name of the show.  So I’m standing there talking to him, and this other guy comes up, and he starts talking about metal detox. And he said, “Well, I’ve got this really unique form of detoxification.”  And I asked him what it was, and he said, “It’s called Quicksilver.”  Is this a guy you’re talking about?

Joe:  Oh, yeah.  Same guy.

Ben:  That’s crazy.  I ran into him at a random coffee shop last week.

Joe:  Tim Ferriss just interviewed Tony Robbins, at his broadcast interview, last week or the week before last.  And at the end of the interview, he talks about how Chris Shade saved his life.  ‘Cause Tony, early on, ate tons of salmon, or seafood that was just loaded with mercury.  He had one of the highest levels Chris ever tested.  So he basically put him on the detox and changed his life, and he gives him a big shout out in Tim’s interview.

Ben:  Yeah.  Quicksilver, so they make glutathione.

Joe:  Yeah.  Well, they make liposomal glutathione.  I’m not sure, I mean, it might be good for the detox, but I also use Alpha-lipoic acid when I’m doing that on those days.

Ben:  Okay.  So Quicksilver Scientific is the name of the company, and you said what you use from them for your detoxification is…

Joe:  Actually, I don’t use any.  There’s this other one, it’s called IMD.

Ben:  IMD.  Okay.

Joe:  Yeah.  That is the most potent supplement known to man to extract metals and mercury out of your body.  It’s like 20 or 100 times more than chlorella.  It’s just crazy.  And you need like about an eighth of a teaspoon, that’s it.

Ben:  And that’s made by this company Quicksilver Scientific?

Joe:  Yeah.  That’s what I use.  IMD.

Ben:  Okay. Got it.  So I’ll put a link to some of the stuff in the notes.  So that your detox protocol.  You do a lot of these things like the parsleys, and the cilantros, and things to help to detox.  Then you do this IMD, and then you do the Cyto Detox.

Joe:  And niacin, yeah, and the Cyto Detox.  I don’t know anyone that’s doing that.  I kinda put all these things together.

Ben:  You do that every day?

Joe:  No, no, no.  Three times a week.

Ben:  Okay.  So just three times a week, you have certain days where you’ll take these supplements to help you to detox.

Joe:  I don’t think you should be doing that detox every day.  It’s not a wise strategy.

Ben:  I tried that Cyto Detox every day and it just destroyed me.  I had to back off a little bit.

Joe:  Yeah.  You don’t wanna do that.

Ben:  Okay.  Gotcha.  So I know that you garden, you have your house there on the beach, you’ve got all these kinda interesting biohacks.  What are some things that we haven’t talked about that you think would be intriguing to people as far as practices that you have in your life that more people should know about in your opinion?

Joe:  Well, for a biohack, I use and I referred to it earlier, the continuous glucose monitoring made by Dexcom.  And Dan and his group of physicians, I think it there’s about six or eight of us now who are gonna do this, and I’ve been doing it for about six months and it’s really intriguing.  It’s opened my eyes a lot.

Ben:  And this is the glucose monitor that you put underneath your skin and it does 24 hour glucose, is that correct?

Joe:  Yeah.  You change your sensor once a week.  But, yeah, it gives you continuous readout.  Now obviously that’s freak radio figures coming out of your body, but I want the data.  I wanna know what type of food I’m eating that’s gonna impact it.  So I learned a lot of great things from this.  It’s like we talked about fasting, I think fasting is great but ideally it’s intermittent fasting.  So how long do you intermittent fast?  When I initially learned about it, I was telling people breakfast is not the best meal of the day, it’s the worst.  Now, I reverse that position.  I think breakfast is an important meal, but the most important meal is the meal that you’re gonna consume before your biggest exertion of energy.  That when you need the biggest amount of calories.  So, I think if you’re gonna restrict calories to a 6 to 8 hour window, I think it’s most important that you restrict them before you go to bed at least 3 hours, maybe 4 or 5.  I actually go for 5 hours if I can, sometimes 6 before I go to bed.  Why?  Because you are the least metabolically active when you’re sleeping and why would you even think about putting fuel generally if you can’t use it?  That’s gonna clock up your system greatly.  Reactive oxygen species, secondary free radicals (crosstalk)

Ben:  I can answer that question if you wanna get swole…

Joe:  (laughs)

Ben:  Actually, when I was a bodybuilder, that’s what I would do.  [1:26:37] ______ to know with catsup and relish like 3 cans before bed.

Joe:  Yeah.  This is where we defer.  That is not right or wrong.  You wanna get swole, I wanna lift…

Ben:  I don’t wanna get swole anymore.  Now, my philosophy Jo, is I make no argument that doing an Ironman or Spartan, I’ll be doing Spartan Ultra Beast next month.  Twenty six miles of just 8-9 hours of suffering out, of course, I don’t argue that that is not potentially shurping a few hours if not days, if not weeks off my life.  I think my take on is we have to strike an ideal bounce between like living this limitless, bold, edgy, exciting life, but also not completely destroying ourselves as much as possible.  Getting and finding that balance between longevity and performance.

Joe:  Yeah.  It’s a key.  No question.

Ben:  For those people who are tempted or hard-wired to just wanna go out and don’t stop to compete…

Joe:  Yeah, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Right.  And then maybe a certain phase of your life, I certainly engage in that.  There’s no question.  I kinda regret it now but I did it, it was fine.  So, my other passion is what you’ve mentioned, when you have shared is regenerative agriculture.  So I live close to the beach and on the beach, and most of my soil is sand.  So a few years ago, I put half a million pounds of woodchips on there and it’s converted to some real nice deep soil, but before I put the chips on, I use something called biochar.  Have you heard of biochar?

Ben:  Biochar.  No.

Joe:  Yeah.  It’s incredible.  It was originally called Terra preta which was developed by this ancient Indians in South America thousands of years ago when they had the most fertile soil on the planet down there.  And you can actually buy some of that but it’s essentially when you decompose biomass anaerobically without oxygen.  It’s essentially like wrapping type carbon structures that formed this magnificent hotels for the microbiomes and the soil and will last for centuries.  So it’s incredible and I use this ionic ocean minerals as a foliar spray and I’m telling you, I’ve creating a lot of food in my plates.  I’ve got 60 fruit trees which is crazy, I’ve got olives, avocado, pecans, macadamias, mangoes, bananas, tangerines, figs, cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, mulberries, those are just the trees.  And these cherries I’ve got, I live in Florida so they’re called Barbados cherries but the other name is acerola cherries.  Have you ever heard of them?

Ben:  Oh yeah.  Absolutely.  Yeah.

Joe:  Unbelievable!  Ben, these trees produced 6 months out of the year.  I picked literally 50 to 70 or 80 cherries a day.  Each cherry has 80 mgs of vitamin C!

Ben:  Yeah, acerola cherries for vitamin C, they’re unparalleled.  But this biochars, are they basically like probiotics for the soil?

Joe:  No, no, no.  It’s not a probiotic.  It’s a structure that the bacteria and the other microbes in the soil can hang out.  It’s like a hotel for them.  So, by itself it’s not any good, it has to be sort of charge.  It doesn’t work right away.  It takes months, maybe years before it really gets inoculated with the microbes.  So what’s in there is unbelievable stuff.  I can send you some links of the book that’s just incredible.  Ideally it’s heavy, I put like 4 or 6 tons on my property into the soil and it basically will last almost your life.  It’s the fertilizer that never quits because the microbes are decomposing the nutrients in the soil and feeding the plants.  It’s all about optimizing the microbes in the soil.

Ben:  I’m looking at my window right now.  There are 8 raised garden beds and my wife is actually out there right now.  I’m wanna rush out at the door and tell her to get biochar and the ionic ocean minerals because…

Joe:  Well, the ionic ocean mineral is right away but the biochar, you have to integrate it into the soil and be careful.  Make sure it’s activated because you don’t want raw biochar, they’ll make things worse.  Now, for anyone listening in, they’ll say, “Wow! You can’t do that” Well, yes you can!  You can do things like sunflower seeds sprout which is 30 times more nutrient dense and even an organic vegetables in your wife’s raised beds.  So you can grow those in a college dorm room easily.

Ben:  Does the biochar or the soil conditioner, does it come with instructions on how to apply it properly so that you do indeed use it in a correct manner?

Joe:  Yeah.  It’s not that hard, you just look up on [1:30:58] ______ it’s pretty straight.  The major caution is that you don’t wanna use raw biochar.  It has to be ideally combined with compost and recharged ‘cause it’s not just good for the soil usually.

Ben:  Yeah.  We do a lot of compost.

Joe:  It’s incredible.  You can read miracles on biochar.  It last for centuries, it doesn’t give out.

Ben:  Okay.  Got you.  We have plenty of goat and chicken poop outside that my wife compost with food scraps from our kitchen and then I’ll talk about this biochar and she’s really keen on gardening and geeks out on these stuff all the time.  So, I think that she’s gonna really like this.

There are obviously (chuckles) hours and hours that we could cover on everything that you know…

Joe:  Well, let me just… One more thing that’s really good.  This last one is the brainwave entrainment that I mentioned earlier, the EEG, real time biofeedback.  But I know you’re really passionate about sleep, and I use a company called Clear Mind I think, and professionally I think it’s like 20,000 and their [1:31:58] ______ are like 6 or 7,000 or somewhere in that range, but maybe it’s $1500 but they’ve got this sounds in there.  I’m in the process of really seeing if they can make it inexpensive and just get people the sound waves but you put ‘em on these headphones, unbelievable!  These signals, they entrain your brain the waves to come down to delta and it’s like a half hour program, and I swear, I put it on like every night now.  Usually I don’t have problems when I sleep but literally in 10-15 minutes, I’m asleep and I wake up 2 hours later and realized that every time, it’s just that I never listen to the program ‘cause I’m just falling asleep.  It hit me to delta.  Boom!

Ben:  So, with Clear Mind, they would sell you like neurofeedback systems but what you’re saying is, all you’re doing is you’re just using like an audio that they have on their website?

Joe:  No, it’s not on their website.  It’s a homey, it’s called the focus unit that you can have this programs because basically they do an EEG recording like what you’re doing in a different company, where they take a trace scene of your brainwaves and then they get real time biofeedbacks that you can train those waves to be more optimal configuration which why I’m doing also.  I do that for about 30 minutes.

Ben:  Gotcha.  Now I see it.  It’s on their website.  The NI Focus Unit, the personal brain trainer for home or on the go.

Joe:  Right.

Ben:  Okay, cool.

Joe:  Yeah.  It’s just too expensive just to do that.  Just to do their 1 program, so I’m talking to the company to see if we can just sell that 1 unit for the sleeping ‘cause I can’t believe how effective it is.  I thought it was like almost magic.  It was just get you to go to sleep, it’s like instant.

Ben:  Yeah, I’m actually flying to LA tomorrow to spend a week at Peak Brain LA where we gonna be doing 3-4 hours of neurofeedback a day to basically re-wire use of my brain to have poor blood flow to the brain from everything from concussions to Spartan races, to life, to toxins in general, and then I come home with their little $20,000 god-cap or whatever you wanna call it that you train with for a long time thereafter.  It’s a long biohack.

Joe:  Yeah, that’s what Clear Mind cost too.  But the one last thing is when you’re flying to LA, use the Cyto detox.  Use it at a high level ‘cause that will definitely help the free radicals, no question about it.  But you know what’s gonna be better than that?  You and I are both gonna get it.  It’s not available yet but I think you know it.  The Quantlet.

Ben:  Oh the Quantlet bracelet.  Yes.

Joe:  Yeah, I’m getting one from Rubin next month.  He’s coming down.

Ben:  Yes.  I have a huge podcast on the Quantlet and I’ll link to that in the show notes.  This for those of you who are listening in, it basically exposes your blood to both light and cold, and it just sits on your wrist.

Joe:  And the cold is a form of magnetism.  It basically induces changes in your body.

Ben:  Cool.  I’ll link to that podcast as well.  Tons of stuff.  Tons of stuff…

Joe:  We just spend another 2 hours in it.  We didn’t have even the diets.  My major expertise.  We went all the other stuff but it’s okay.

Ben:  So first of all, for those of you listening in, Dr. Mercola will be back for sure.  I guarantee it, I will twist his arm.  I actually planning on going down and seeing him in Florida at some point in the next few months.  So it might even be in one of those fun little face to face podcast that you guys get to listen into every now and again.  So in the meantime though, if you want to delve into the all the goodness that we went through in today’s episode, everything from biochar to the Starting Strength book, to the water filters, to blue light blocking glasses, everything we talked about along with Dr. Minkoff. (chuckles) Dr. Minkoff’s episode will be in there too but Dr. Mercola, there’s two Dr. M’s I talked to these days.  All of that, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/mercola, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/mercola and check it out.  And I would also highly encourage you to go to mercola.com as well and check out their newsletter, check out some of the articles.  There’s tons of cutting edge stuff over there if you didn’t get the idea that Jo’s on the cutting edge, you now know that he is.

So Joe, thanks for coming on the show, man.

Joe:  All right.  Well, thanks Ben.  Looking forward for connecting with you.

Ben:  Yes, personally.  I will be in Florida.

Joe:  Good luck on your race, and definitely take that cyto detox when you’re on the plane.  It’s one of the probably the most important ways to protect yourself, and you got it.  So use it.

Ben:  It will go into my bag.  It’ll be packed tonight.

Joe:  That’s good.

Ben:  Alright folks.  Well, thanks for listening in.  I’m Ben Greenfield along with Dr. Joseph Mercola, signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a healthy week!

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

 

 

There are very few people who I consider to be personal mentors, extremely trustworthy individuals in my life who I can look to for fitness, health and longevity advice, or people who I think put out truly “cutting-edge” health information.

Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of those people.

Dr. Mercola is a board certified family physician who had seen tens of thousands of patients before transitioning to a full time internet journalist, as he felt he could help far more people than he could in private practice.

It turns out he was right…because every month he has ten million unique visitors and 80 million unique visitors each year. Mercola.com has been the most visited natural health site for the last 12 years and is now translated into six different languages.

Dr. Mercola’s passion is optimizing mitochondrial health, and during today’s discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Dr. Mercola built Mercola.com into one of the most popular health websites in the world…[14:00]

-Dr. Mercola’s unique system that allows him to digest dozens of books each month while taking a quarter billion+ steps over his lifetime…[19:15]

-Why you should wear blue light blocking glasses during the day, not just at night…[24:30]

-How to ground your computer and keep your laptop and monitor from destroying your health…[26:35 & 35:20]

-Why Dr. Mercola eats both seafood and one surprising compound found in seafood every day of the week…[29:20]

-The little-known biohacks Dr. Mercola uses to maximize his mitochondrial density…[36:50]

-Why scrambled eggs are very bad for you, and what you can do about it…[41:30]

-The myth about iron levels and a crucial test you must take to keep iron from “rusting out” your body…[53:55]

-The best book Dr. Mercola has ever read on strength training, and how he combines it with a special hack called “EWOT”…[20:20 & 79:10]

-Dr. Mercola’s take on whether or not quantification devices like rings and wristbands are good or bad for you, and what he personally uses…[60:45]

-Why Dr. Mercola limits protein intake, and how he strikes a balance between anti-aging effects of muscle and aging effects of too much protein…[67:30]

-How to make your own “anti-aging” cocktail…[72:30]

-A unique one-two combo you can use prior to saunas to maximize your detoxification, fat burn and fat cell death…[75:10]

-Two ingredients Dr. Mercola sprinkles on his garden soil to get 10x+ production of cherries, organic produce and more…[87:40]

-The liquid dropper that Dr. Mercola takes on every airplane ride…[94:10]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Tripping Over The Truth

My interview with Dr. Minkoff “Why You’ve Been Lied To About Cancer”

Cronometer.com/mercola

My podcast with Dr. Mercola’s girlfriend Erin Elizabeth on Lyme disease

-The book “Deskbound” by Kelly Starrett

Negative ion generator

Eizo computer monitor

Iristech software for reducing blue light on monitors

Swannies stylish blue light blocking glasses

Laptop grounding cable

Organic fish roe

Induction burner for cooking foods at low heat

DIY Exercise With Oxygen Therapy

HARAPad anti-radiation laptop pad

FindASpring.com

Whole House Charcoal Water Filter

GreenfieldNaturals.com structured water filter (use 15% discount code “friendofben”)

Tank-free reverse osmosis filter with remineralization

Neobdyium magnet

Ionic ocean minerals

Human Heart, Cosmic Heart: A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Gerald Pollack’s book “The 4th Phase Of Water”

Dumping Iron: How to Ditch This Secret Killer and Reclaim Your Health

DeltaSleeper SR1 Device

Oura ring

Magnetico sleep pad

Ben’s article on strength training and anti-aging

Ben’s article on using NAD+ and pau d’ arco bark tea for anti-aging

-This one-two combination of d-Ribose and niacin pre-sauna

Ben’s article on “hacking your sauna”.

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

Quicksilver Scientific IMD Intestinal Cleanse

Biochar

Clearmind NI focus unit

Ben’s podcast on the Quantlet 

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

————————-

Addendum: Ben’s notes on the DeltaSleeper/PEMF discussion:

The info below regarding the “Ramazzini Team” study on PEMF and cancer does not take a genius to figure out. The Ramazzini team followed what is commonly known as an initiation-promotion protocol. Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed in their mothers’ wombs and then for the rest of their lives to 50 Hz magnetic fields at an intensity of either 20μT or 1,000μT (200 mG or 10 G). At the age of six weeks, they each received a single 0.1Gy dose of gamma radiation, a known cancer agent.

So let’s take a look at what we have here.

  1. The six week old rats were given a single 0.1 Gy dose of Gamma radiation. A KNOWN cancer agent. Gamma rays are classified as ionizing. This means they have the power to cause permanent cellular damage. See Below: Primer on Electromagnetic Fields.
  2. They were exposed continuously for the rest of their lives to 50Hz magnetic fields at either 200 milliGauss or 10 Gauss fields. This is completely unnatural. The Earth’s magnetic field is 3-6 milliGaus (0.3-0.6 Gauss). The SR1 creates a field exactly within this natural range. I don’t believe the 50Hz magnetic pulse itself would cause any damage however the SR1 device provides a much lower frequency pattern.

So basically, these rats did not stand a chance of not developing cancer.

Further into the report we find the following from Fiorella Belpoggi, the Scientific Director of the Institute who notes that:

“No Cancer Seen with EMFs Alone”

In an interview, Belpoggi said that they are planning to publish the results of a concurrent experiment in which rats were exposed to power-frequency EMFs, without any other treatment. “In our preliminary data, ELF EMFs alone didn’t appear to show an increase of cancer in experimental animals so far,” she disclosed. “The main result of our experiment,” she said, is that “ELF EMFs have a synergistic effect: They are able to enhance the effects of a well-known carcinogen at low doses that was negative at those doses in the same experimental model.”

It’s important to understand the difference between EMF’s in something like a DeltaSleeper and EMF’s from higher power devices, so keep reading…

EMFs are classified as ionizing or non-ionizing according to their frequency.  Ionizing fields have very short wavelengths and frequencies between 1016 Hz. and 1023 Hz. These fields are above visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum (1015 Hz.) and include cosmic rays, gamma rays and X-rays which have the power to knock electrons off their nuclear orbits and cause permanent cellular damage.

Non-ionizing fields have longer wavelengths and frequencies below 1014 Hz.  Although they have less power than ionizing fields they are still capable of having biologic effects.

Important EMF modalities in medicine today are non-thermal applications of non-ionizing radiation. Medical applications of non-thermal, non-ionizing EM fields include non-union fracture bone repair, neuronal stimulation, nerve stimulation, tissue regeneration, immune system stimulation, osteoarthritis therapy, wound healing etc.

Non-ionizing fields are classified as thermal, which means in biological terms, causes gross tissue heating, or non-thermal, indicating no gross tissue heating is involved.

And the SR1 Device is a non-ionizing, non-thermal device. Furthermore, is switched on for just 22 minutes per use.

The Earth’s magnetic field ranges from 0.3 Gauss – 0.6 Gauss. The SR1 Device field strength falls within this range. They are in effect “Copying Nature” with that technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Killing Fat Cells, Fixing Mitochondria, Growing Superfoods & More: The Official, Much-Anticipated, Mind-Blowing, Geeked-Out Podcast With Dr. Mercola.

PODCAST- DR. MERCOLA

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

There are very few people who I consider to be personal mentors, extremely trustworthy individuals in my life who I can look to for fitness, health and longevity advice, or people who I think put out truly “cutting-edge” health information.

Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of those people.

Dr. Mercola is a board certified family physician who had seen tens of thousands of patients before transitioning to a full time internet journalist, as he felt he could help far more people than he could in private practice.

It turns out he was right…because every month he has ten million unique visitors and 80 million unique visitors each year. Mercola.com has been the most visited natural health site for the last 12 years and is now translated into six different languages.

Dr. Mercola’s passion is optimizing mitochondrial health, and during today’s discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Dr. Mercola built Mercola.com into one of the most popular health websites in the world…[14:00]

-Dr. Mercola’s unique system that allows him to digest dozens of books each month while taking a quarter billion+ steps over his lifetime…[19:15]

-Why you should wear blue light blocking glasses during the day, not just at night…[24:30]

-How to ground your computer and keep your laptop and monitor from destroying your health…[26:35 & 35:20]

-Why Dr. Mercola eats both seafood and one surprising compound found in seafood every day of the week…[29:20]

-The little-known biohacks Dr. Mercola uses to maximize his mitochondrial density…[36:50]

-Why scrambled eggs are very bad for you, and what you can do about it…[41:30]

-The myth about iron levels and a crucial test you must take to keep iron from “rusting out” your body…[53:55]

-The best book Dr. Mercola has ever read on strength training, and how he combines it with a special hack called “EWOT”…[20:20 & 79:10]

-Dr. Mercola’s take on whether or not quantification devices like rings and wristbands are good or bad for you, and what he personally uses…[60:45]

-Why Dr. Mercola limits protein intake, and how he strikes a balance between anti-aging effects of muscle and aging effects of too much protein…[67:30]

-How to make your own “anti-aging” cocktail…[72:30]

-A unique one-two combo you can use prior to saunas to maximize your detoxification, fat burn and fat cell death…[75:10]

-Two ingredients Dr. Mercola sprinkles on his garden soil to get 10x+ production of cherries, organic produce and more…[87:40]

-The liquid dropper that Dr. Mercola takes on every airplane ride…[94:10]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

Tripping Over The Truth

My interview with Dr. Minkoff “Why You’ve Been Lied To About Cancer”

Cronometer.com/mercola

My podcast with Dr. Mercola’s girlfriend Erin Elizabeth on Lyme disease

-The book “Deskbound” by Kelly Starrett

Negative ion generator

Eizo computer monitor

Iristech software for reducing blue light on monitors

Swannies stylish blue light blocking glasses

Laptop grounding cable

Organic fish roe

Induction burner for cooking foods at low heat

DIY Exercise With Oxygen Therapy

HARAPad anti-radiation laptop pad

FindASpring.com

Whole House Charcoal Water Filter

GreenfieldNaturals.com structured water filter (use 15% discount code “friendofben”)

Tank-free reverse osmosis filter with remineralization

Neobdyium magnet

Ionic ocean minerals

Human Heart, Cosmic Heart: A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Gerald Pollack’s book “The 4th Phase Of Water”

Dumping Iron: How to Ditch This Secret Killer and Reclaim Your Health

DeltaSleeper SR1 Device

Oura ring

Magnetico sleep pad

Ben’s article on strength training and anti-aging

Ben’s article on using NAD+ and pau d’ arco bark tea for anti-aging

-This one-two combination of d-Ribose and niacin pre-sauna

Ben’s article on “hacking your sauna”.

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe

Quicksilver Scientific IMD Intestinal Cleanse

Biochar

Clearmind NI focus unit

Ben’s podcast on the Quantlet 

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

————————-

Addendum: Ben’s notes on the DeltaSleeper/PEMF discussion:

The info below regarding the “Ramazzini Team” study on PEMF and cancer does not take a genius to figure out. The Ramazzini team followed what is commonly known as an initiation-promotion protocol. Male and female Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed in their mothers’ wombs and then for the rest of their lives to 50 Hz magnetic fields at an intensity of either 20μT or 1,000μT (200 mG or 10 G). At the age of six weeks, they each received a single 0.1Gy dose of gamma radiation, a known cancer agent.

So let’s take a look at what we have here.

1. The six week old rats were given a single 0.1 Gy dose of Gamma radiation. A KNOWN cancer agent. Gamma rays are classified as ionizing. This means they have the power to cause permanent cellular damage. See Below: Primer on Electromagnetic Fields.

2. They were exposed continuously for the rest of their lives to 50Hz magnetic fields at either 200 milliGauss or 10 Gauss fields. This is completely unnatural. The Earth’s magnetic field is 3-6 milliGaus (0.3-0.6 Gauss). The SR1 creates a field exactly within this natural range. I don’t believe the 50Hz magnetic pulse itself would cause any damage however the SR1 device provides a much lower frequency pattern.

So basically, these rats did not stand a chance of not developing cancer.

Further into the report we find the following from Fiorella Belpoggi, the Scientific Director of the Institute who notes that:

“No Cancer Seen with EMFs Alone”

In an interview, Belpoggi said that they are planning to publish the results of a concurrent experiment in which rats were exposed to power-frequency EMFs, without any other treatment. “In our preliminary data, ELF EMFs alone didn’t appear to show an increase of cancer in experimental animals so far,” she disclosed. “The main result of our experiment,” she said, is that “ELF EMFs have a synergistic effect: They are able to enhance the effects of a well-known carcinogen at low doses that was negative at those doses in the same experimental model.”

It’s important to understand the difference between EMF’s in something like a DeltaSleeper and EMF’s from higher power devices, so keep reading…

EMFs are classified as ionizing or non-ionizing according to their frequency.  Ionizing fields have very short wavelengths and frequencies between 1016 Hz. and 1023 Hz. These fields are above visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum (1015 Hz.) and include cosmic rays, gamma rays and X-rays which have the power to knock electrons off their nuclear orbits and cause permanent cellular damage.

Non-ionizing fields have longer wavelengths and frequencies below 1014 Hz.  Although they have less power than ionizing fields they are still capable of having biologic effects.

Important EMF modalities in medicine today are non-thermal applications of non-ionizing radiation. Medical applications of non-thermal, non-ionizing EM fields include non-union fracture bone repair, neuronal stimulation, nerve stimulation, tissue regeneration, immune system stimulation, osteoarthritis therapy, wound healing etc.

Non-ionizing fields are classified as thermal, which means in biological terms, causes gross tissue heating, or non-thermal, indicating no gross tissue heating is involved.

And the SR1 Device is a non-ionizing, non-thermal device. Furthermore, is switched on for just 22 minutes per use.

The Earth’s magnetic field ranges from 0.3 Gauss – 0.6 Gauss. The SR1 Device field strength falls within this range. They are in effect “Copying Nature” with that technology.