Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: How Hollywood Celebrities Can Look So Good, What To Do When You Can’t Eat Fresh Food, Anemia From Your Gut, Natural Remedies for H-Pylori, What Is The Clear Skin Diet, and Five Ways To Know if Your Workout is Working.
Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. We provide you with premier exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an ironman tri athlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-off-the-mill, cutting edge content from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
Brock: Humakai and leilo humakai, Ben. Do you know what that means?
Ben: Is this Star Trek? Is that Cling On?
Brock: Maybe that’s my nerd coming through. But no, it’s actually Hawaiian for congratulations.
Ben: Oh! Well, Aloha! I suppose I should say since that’s the only word I know in Hawaiian.
Brock: The reason I’m saying that is because Ben recently qualified for Kona Ironman World Championships, which is pretty darn exciting. Is that the seventh time you’ve qualified?
Ben: No, that’s the sixth. And my legs are just as sore as they ever are.
Brock: I bet! I bet! So are you doing anything special this week to medicate the soreness from your awesome Ironman in Whistler, Canada last weekend?
Ben: No, just sitting in a car for eight hours while driving home, that’ll do the trick.
Brock: That’ll work! Well, I bet.
Ben: I actually woke up where we were about 72 hours out from the race. I woke up this morning just super stiff, the same I have for the past two days. I pulled out all the stops, the geeky things that I talked about on these podcasts. Like, I used compression gear, and did a cold soak in the river this morning and I used topical magnesium lotion, and I take Capraflex and Curcumin, and frankly, it’s kinda like – what’s the best way to describe it? I guess it’s – there’s so much world war two-esque damage on the muscular level to the point where – you were up with me at Whistler and after the race your pee literally, it’s almost like a blood color, it’s like rhabdo on your legs. And so you’re looking at kinda like a low-grade rhabdomyolysis, and muscle damage to the extent where no matter how much freakin’ glucose, chondroitin, chicken collagen you eat, your body just needs time. And so what I do is I try and keep the blood flowing like even on the drive home yesterday. I ran like an electrostimulation device on my legs to just try and keep some blood flowing and also ensure I don’t drop dead of a blood clot. And just all the little things like – I had an article I wrote about the 25 Top Ways To Recover From Your Workout. I practice what I preach but I don’t want to fool anybody into thinking that you jump up and start clicking your heels together and go dance.
Brock: It’s kind a like running around putting out a house fire with an eye dropper. It’s helping. It’s definitely helping but it’s not gone.
Ben: That was the exact analogy I was looking for, the eye dropper house fire analogy. That was the one on the tip of my tongue, I swear. I know I’ve gotten a ton of questions for people who wanna know like, how did the whole, for people who are now just tuning in, like I did a ketogenic diet for 12 weeks leading up to Ironman Canada to see if it’s possible to go fast during extreme endurance events. And….
Brock: You’re saying below a hundred grams of carbohydrate per day?
Ben: -ish, yeah. Well, Brock witnessed my carb loading protocol before the race. I think it amounted to like five sushi rolls.
Brock: I had a little tiny pile of rice for breakfast. That was the majority of the carbs right there.
Ben: Ah, did I? Oh,yeah, the day before, that’s right. I had about a quarter cup of cooked rice so yeah…
Brock: Quarter cup, tops!
Ben: Very low carbohydrate protocol and a lot of minimalist training, a lot of kinda underground training techniques. Anyways, I am going to be sitting down for about an hour this weekend. And just spilling the beans on everything. The blood results, the lab results, the difference between doing it this way versus racing an ironman triathlon the traditional way. And whether or not you are interested in ironman or just ketogenic or low carbs protocol in general or minimalist training or you’re just a nerd like Brock and I are.
Ben: You’ll want to tune in to this one. So I’m gonna release that on the premium podcast which is our secret, our super duper secret podcast feed.
Brock: Hopefully not that secret.
Ben: This Monday. No, hopefully not that secret. So you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium, I’ll release that this Monday.
So if you have the free Ben Greenfield Fitness iphone or Android app, or if you just have a premium subscription, you don’t even need the app to have a premium subscription, which is 10 bucks a year, then you’ll have access to the entire post-race shish-bang. So there you go.
Brock: And without giving you any spoilers, it was a little more interesting than I even anticipated, so definitely it’s worth the $10 a year. Not a day, not a month, a year
Brock: bengreenfieldfitness.com/254 is the place to go to find all the show notes for this episode and also to find these next few news flashes.
Ben: And here’s the scary one to start us off, an article for everybody. So I subscribe to Life Extension magazine. Which actually, if you’re into staying in the cutting edge of supplements and health news and stuff, it’s kind of a cool magazine. Other than the fact that half the magazine is supplement ads. But I’ll link to an article that they just published on their website which is actually pretty interesting. It’s about the fact that the US drug factories are in terrible shape. And what I actually twitted was about the scary horrific conditions inside drug factories. And when I say drug factories, I’m talking about pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities.
Brock: The big ones, the ones that make Cialis and SSRIs and stuff.
Ben: Uh-hmm…The New York Times ran an article on this. Life Extension magazine composed on it as well. But here’s how the New York Times described conditions inside an FDA-registered drug factory. Check this out –“weavels floating in vials of heparin, morphine cartridges containing up to twice the labeled dose, manufacturing plants with rusty tools, mold in production areas, and in one memorable case, a barrel of urine”. There you go.
Brock: Why would you have a barrel of urine? The other substance is delightful but the barrel of urine is going too far.
Ben: They said that in this case, this particular injectable drugmaker, their product was linked to 745 cases of infection and 58 deaths. The article’s pretty shocking. I’m not gonna sit here and read the article for the people listening in to the podcast. But I would say that if you are concerned of, not if you’re concerned, if you’re using a pharmaceutical drug, go read the article and make sure that whatever you’re using is not being produced in one of these facilities. Because it includes some pretty common things like some prednisone drug, some injectables that are contaminated with black fungus. Scary, scary stuff, I couldn’t help but twit it. I don’t like to be a scare mongerer, is that what you call ‘em? A scare mongerer?
Brock: Fear mongerer.
Ben: Fear mongerer, Yeah, I don’t want to be a fear mongerer. But at the same time, I couldn’t help but twit this article. So check that out. We’ll put a link to it in the show notes. That was in the Life Extension magazine.
Brock: Maybe some – if you are taking some of those, or even if you’re not, maybe it’s time to start writing letters to the FDA, ‘cause isn’t that what they’re for? To prevent that kind of stuff?
Ben: Yeah, and essentially they have not been adequately preventing it which – I don’t want to turn this into the hippie on the, in a cabin on a mountain podcast where – shouting conspiracy theories about the FDA and all that jazz, but let’s just say they didn’t do a very good job of regulating drug facilities…
Brock: Yeah, I don’t think you need to be a crazy hippie to be upset about this. This is a – that’s plain not doing a good job.
Ben: Well, I’m kinda crazy hippie anyways, so…I don’t even shake my legs for ironman, so that’s how hippie I am. But I do wear coconut deodorant. Okay.
Ben: Anyhow, the many, many benefits of something called arginine, and I’ll link to this article. This appeared over at a website called subversity at subversity.com. Arginine is something that many of you may be familiar with. If you’ve taken Viagra, you are intimately familiar with arginine.
Brock: Isn’t that the c-active, sort of not ingredient because it’s naturally-occurring but it’s in leafy greens, beets, watermelon, that kind of stuff.
Ben: Yeah, it’s an essential amino acid and it’s responsible for blood vessel tone because it is required to regulate blood vessel elasticity and the production of something called nitric oxide, which is what allows blood vessels to get bigger, to swell, something like Viagra. It’s the active – the release of nitric oxide is kind of the mechanism of action of something like Viagra. Now what this particular article on subversity went into was how there are a ton of effects that go above and beyond Viagra such as an antiplatelet effect. So, lower instance or risk of blood clotting. An ameliorative effect on diabetes, and improved gastrointestinal function, improved wound healing, reduced body fat, increase in bone density, inhibition of the storage of fat and white adipose tissue which is the places where you wouldn’t want to store fat. So it was kind of an interesting article when you see all of these data kinda piling up when it comes to arginine, granted a lot of these studies were done in not lean individuals but kinda like overweight obese individuals. But then they went on and they talked about some of the benefits of arginine consumption or arginine presence in healthy people who are exercising and there were things like increased rate of fatty acid utilization by muscle cells, reduced blood lactic acid accumulation, better oxygen consumption, better ability for the body to refuel and refill itself with glycogen post work out, So, a lot of stuff. And I’m not saying that you gotta rush out and buy a man-in-the-can, canister full of nitric oxide to get these effects ‘cause like you kinda just hinted at, Brock. You got a lot of foods that are rich in arginine that are out there. Chocolate is one that I love and I actually put a lot of dark chocolate powder in my morning kale smoothie that I have. But seeds, most seeds and nuts are really, really good sources of arginine. One of the few grains that I actually kinda, whatever, approve of or like, – buckwheat, that’s a good source of arginine. Peanuts, I’m not a huge fan of but that is a legume that’s relatively high in arginine. What’s interesting though, or crucial for you to know, and I twitted this when I twitted about the many benefits of arginine, is that you have to have adequate folate levels in order for arginine to actually work. The reason for that is that arginine gets converted to something called citrulline. And the enzyme that causes that to happen is called endothelio nitric oxide synthase or enos. Enos is kinda cool. It’s the same thing that gets up-regulated when you do something like take cold showers everyday. So, arginine gets converted into citrulline through the action of that enzyme, that enos enzyme. And that actually has a co-enzyme that helps with that process. And the co-enzyme is called teterahydrobiopterin. And we are going to make that the word of the day.
Brock: Oddly enough, that’s my mom’s name. <laughter>
Ben: So weird. Weird coincidence.
Brock: Yes, I had no idea she was named after that.
Ben: So this tetrahydrobiopterin…
Brock: Or my mom.
Ben: Or Brock’s mom is made in the body through a process that requires folate. So if you don’t have enough folate, you are not gonna be able to turn arginine into citrulline. Which means that arginine is not going to allow your blood vessels to dilate properly. So you have to have that one-two combo of both folate as well as arginine. Now foods that are rich in folate are pretty much the same type of foods that are gonna be high in vitamin D. So dark leafy greens, fish, cruciferous vegetables are really good. Squash is really good. Lord knows I ate a lot of squash last week leading up to ironman. Eggs are a decent source of some folate precursors. Shrimp is another good one. But you want that one-two combo of folate and arginine. You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of expensive supplements full of folate and arginine. Just eat folate-rich foods. Eat arginine-rich foods. Google is your friend on this one if you wanna go look up arginine and folate-rich foods. But really, really cool one-two combo. And when we’re talking about research that shows the stuff actually works, this is one that’s going to across the board from everything from your blood glucose regulation to your lactic acid accumulation to your sexual performance to your body fat has a lot of cool benefits. So check that one out. Arginine and folate, combine them for a nice little one-two stack.
Brock: And we’re not affiliated with it at all but I think the best website that I found to research that kind of stuff and find the foods is the whfoods.com, world’s healthiest foods.
Ben: I love that site.
Brock: It’s a really good website for looking up, like just typing in arginine, will bring up a whole list of stuff.
Ben: Yup, if you can manage to spell it. So, probably easier to spell than Brock mom’s name.
Brock: Yeah, don’t even try.
Ben: Last thing I wanna mention in news flash is – gentlemen, a study came out that you should know about. That I would imagine probably applies to ladies, too. But it was done on older masters runners, and this was in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. And they looked at concurrent strength and endurance training. That means doing a strength training program at the same time that you’re doing an endurance training program. And in this case, they actually used older males, particularly they went with about 45 years old or so, which I know may not seem really old and I probably just insulted a bunch of people, but that is considered…
Brock: No, but that is the masters. It starts actually earlier than that.
Ben: Yeah, that’s considered to be masters, yeah. And what they found was that they were able to use a weight training protocol that showed significant increases in strength in metabolic rate, in body composition and in running efficiency at marathon pace. We’re not talking about a 100-meter sprint or anything like that. Without the deleterious effects of putting on too much muscle, getting too bulky, and I actually subscribe to this journal and I happen to know the exact protocol they used with these males. They experimented with a control group who didn’t lift weights at all. And then they had what they call the resistance training group which was using kind of the type of protocol that would cause you to gain muscle, and put on a little bit of bulk. And then they used what’s called the maximal training group, which is a group that also lifted weights but not in a rapper set range that would cause you to put on a lot of muscle. So the –both the strength training groups did the same exercises, but just changed up the amount of sets and reps that they did. So the maximal strength training group did squats. They did leg press. They did lunges holding weights, and they did like a leg extension machine, that was for the lower body. Not, in my opinion, the perfect exercise program. But that’s what they did for the lower body. And then for the upper body, they did bench press, lap pull downs, push downs, triceps extensions and bicep curls. So, not really functional strength training program, but…
Brock: Pretty basic.
Ben: Yeah, pretty basic. So they did a lower body and they did an upper body. Now the group that did the maximal strength training, that saw the big benefit without the increase in bulk just did four sets of three or four reps of each exercise. So really heavy, they used like 85-90% intensity. So really, really heavy weights but just three to four repetitions and four sets and they took about three to four minutes of recovery between each set. So they were fully recovering. Now I’m not a fan of sitting on your butt reading magazines and watching tv while you’re recovering in between sets in the weight room and then you can do a – you can foam roll, you can do mobility exercises, and lunges to the side and front and back and work on the range of motion. It can be act of rest when you’re resting in between these maximum efforts, that’s fine. Or you can go stand by the smoothie bar and chat with your other masters runner athlete friends about whatever masters runners athletes chat about when they get old, I don’t know. I’m thirty-one so, there you go. How old are you, Brock?
Brock: I’m forty-two.
Ben: Forty-two. So, Brock’s close.
Brock: So I’m not quite there.
Ben: Yeah. So, anyways, though…Just – not to draw on too long about this but strength train, and go heavy, and don’t use the weight room for endurance, use it for strength, and you’re gonna see some cool, cool benefits as far as your running is concerned. So, good stuff there and that about completely exhaust my news flashes for this week.
Brock: Thank goodness.
Brock: Alright, so now that Ironman Canada is out of the way, are you focused on your trip to London?
Ben: Actually, you know what, I’ve been thinking a lot about Hawaii more recently. I mentioned London for as second ‘cause I’m definitely headed over there as well. But the way that the rest of my month shapes up is that I disappear often to the mountains of Colorado with a bunch of my buddies for five days. No internet, no cell phone, we’re doing this survival camp up there.
Brock: Oh, cool!
Ben: So, I’m learning how to make a shelter, and take care of myself without any amenities of modern living for five days. Well…
Brock: Is that one of those how to survive the apocalypse kinda things
Ben: Kinda, kinda. So I figured right after Ironman would be a good time to do it. So, I’ve got that and then I’ll jet over to London and I’ll be speaking at the Global Business Triathlon Conference literally the day after I emerge from the wilderness with my scruffy beard and unshaven legs which aren’t shaved anyways like I mentioned earlier.
Brock: And ladies and gentlemen, this beard really is scruffy.
Brock: I don’t even – I can’t even begin to explain…
Ben: Scratchy…Anyways, though….
Brock: Maybe patchy would be the right word.
Ben: London’s gonna rock because we’re – I’m going over there during the Triathlon World championships. But actually rather than watching the Triathlon on the 14th which is a Saturday, we’re doing a full day of just playing in the park, doing what’s called the Primal Workshop with my friends at Monde named Daryl Edwards. Then we’re gonna go out to a nice dinner afterwards, like kind of a totally natural, kinda ancestral dinner and just have a ton of fun on Saturday, Sep.14. So I started up a Facebook group page for that event. It’s gonna rock, you don’t wanna miss it. It’s like, for Darryl’s workshop which is like a six, seven hour workshop, something like that, it’s like $120 so it’s not a drop in the bucket but well worth it. It will change your view of exercise and working out forever. You’re gonna love it. Anybody can do it. We’ve got – I think one lady is bringing her 10-year old son or something like that. So I mean – totally open to anybody but we’ve got a bunch of people in on that Facebook page. So we’ll link to that Facebook group page. For any of you who are in London in September. Come out and meet me. You can just come out to dinner if you want. You don’t have to do the Primal Workshop during the day but I highly encourage you do both. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. And then the other thing is, of course Ironman Hawaii is coming up. I asked my wife for her Bikram yoga punch card yesterday because I gotta go start doing my heat acclimation.
Brock: Oh, yeah. Start getting ready for that. It’s certainly not hot in Whistler’s. So that must be very helpful.
Ben: Yeah, so I have five weeks to teach my body how to sweat very efficiently. And stay tuned because Brock is going to be in Kona, I’ll be in Kona, and we are actually officially starting the book launch for my brand new book – Beyond Training during Kona race week. If you happen to be in Kona on the Big Island, you will be able to be one of the first people to pre-order the book, I will be doing some talks at the Ironman Expo and launch this stuff.
Brock: Yeah, come and find me at the Lava Magazine Expo booth, sign up for pre-sales.
Ben: There will also be – there’ll be a secret book launch party, too that I’ll be announcing on the Facebook page over at facebook.com/bgfitness. The book launch party is gonna be in Hawaii but you can get in on the action in other ways, too. You know if you’re not in Hawaii, stay tuned to the Facebook page because we’ll be announcing everything over there at facebook.com/bgfitness. So, those are the big announcements for the day.
Brock: We’ve both been working our butts off on – well Ben’s been working his butt off getting the book written and I’ve been working my butt off getting some really cool stuff lined up for all you folks who do to make sure…
Ben: Yeah, lots of surprises, lots of giveaways. It’s gonna be pretty cool, so, yeah, that’s about it.
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Listener Q & A:
Brock: Hey, this doesn’t happen very often, but I have to read this question because it’s not a caller’s question but it was one that we couldn’t resist even though it wasn’t a voice mail. So Louis says, “ I have been seeing a lot of articles talking about Hollywood actors that have been able to get into amazing shape for their roles and have done so by working out for 2 to 3 hours/day, 6 days a week.
Brock: This seems to violate the rule of allowing for adequate recovery time and over training. Yet it seems that it’s working for them judging by the results. So what gives? Is the importance of recovery time overstated or these guys are using PEDs to get into shape fast? “
Ben: Nice. Well, I just reached up. You probably heard crashing in the background. As you’re reading that I just realized – first of all, I should mention that I have written a book about – it kinda like lays out the body type of all the different Hollywood actors and actresses and kinda gives you the training plan that they would be using. Like for example, you look like, let’s look at dudes – for example Clint Eastwood, Ethan Hawk, Billy Bob Thornton, Chris Rock, all those guys are ectomorphs. So they have skinny arms, skinny legs, thin waist, thin legs, ankles.
Brock: And they also haven’t really done anything since the 80s.
Ben: And they also are extremely dated, yes. That’s true. Ethan Hawk, he’s done some recently. Billy Bob Thornton, yeah, for sure I haven’t seen. Ectomesomorphs, those are guys like Hugh Jackman, Chistian Bale, Dwyane Wade kinda broad shoulders, narrow waist. They’ve got mesomorphs kinda football build, Mark Whalberg, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Sylvester Stallone, LL Cool Jay all those guys be mesomorphs. And then we’ve got endomorphs like Seth Rogan or Danny de Vito or Jonah Hill, all those guys. So, everybody’s strength training program, we’re talking about Hollywood, or body reinvention program is gonna be different. So, first of all, as you’re reading that I realized, kinda light bulb went off, I have actually written a book about some of these stuff. You can check that out over at getfitguy.com. But let’s delve in to some specifics here regardless of what body type you are, of how these Hollywood celebrities can look so good so fast. The first thing that Louis asks about is, he says, he hears they’re working out 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week. In many cases, that’s true. So Hollywood actor gets a contract and all of a sudden, they’ve got 12 weeks to spend the entire day devoted to their fitness. Now what’s important to realize is that that’s not just the entire day devoted to their fitness but also to their recovery. Okay, so they do have a lot of time to do foam rolling, massage, isolation tanks and cryotherapy if they wanna do that. Pretty much anything that an Olympic athlete would have access to, they can use for recovery. They’ve also of course got professional personal trainers and nutritionist to help them out a little bit as well.
Brock: People like our buddy Vinnie Tortorich, that’s how he makes his living.
Ben: That is how Vinnie Tortorich makes his living. Good book, by the way. Highly recommend you read Vinnie Tortorich’s book “Fitness Confidential”.
Brock: Fitness Confidential.
Ben: Yeah. Another really important thing to realize though is that when you think about training 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week, you need to realize a lot of these stuff is not metcon, it’s not crossfit style, Spartan-esque training. We’re talking about in many cases, and if you go review the actual training program, which you can find on the internet, websites like tnation.com, the actual training protocols used by a lot of these Hollywood actors and actresses to get their body sculpted. We’re talking about more body building-esque protocols. So what I’m talking about here is for example, we talked about the masters runner athletes spending three or four minutes between sets. In many cases what you’re doing in a body building-esque protocol is you’re taking one muscle group, let’s say your biceps, maybe your triceps. Let’s say you have a biceps, triceps day on a Tuesday. And you’re just working that muscle group to failure with lots of targeted high quality work for that one single muscle group, that’s called body split style training. And then you allow that group to recover and rebuild and that may be another three, four, five days up to a week until you hit that muscle group again. There’s not a lot of nervous system stress and there’s not a lot of cardiovascular system stress that occurs when you’re working a body part like that. You’re just hitting that one body part and then moving on to the next. It’s a very good way to train if you have lots of time to train. And it’s the reason why a lot of body builders will train that way. It’s not time-efficient. You’re working just one muscle group but you gotta spend a lot of time on that one muscle group. But if you’ve got tons of time to train, it’s a good way to actually allow your body to look really good, to have muscles that look good for show, not necessarily that are sporty and athletic and functional, but that look good without putting a lot of stress on your cardiovascular system, on your metabolic system, without causing a lot of kinda risk for over training.
Ben: Well pretty much the biggest risk with the body buiding-esque body part split style protocol like that is just muscle damage like working a muscle too hard for too long. And that’s something that with proper recovery protocols like icing and eating after you finish that body building-esque workout can give the bounce back pretty quickly. So that’s one thing you realize is that most of these folk are not doing met con training versus body building style training. Now there are some people you take like Gerard Butler who did the Spartan, what was the movie?
Brock: Oh, 300, yeah.
Ben: Three hundred, yeah. That dude dropped off the face of the map for three months after that movie was done being filmed. You know why?
Brock: ‘Cause he was getting hounded by nerds?
Ben: His groupies. He was over trained. He completely overtrained himself using this Spartan-esque style, met con, kinda crossfit-esque workouts, and so that’s the difference is that these folks are not going out and doing hardcore training protocols as much as having a lot of quality time to focus on just one body part before they move on to the next, and the next, and the next. So, that’s one thing that’s really important to realize. Another thing is that, frankly, steroids, testosterone injections, lotions, creams, any of these stuff that you can easily get, you can go to a website like worldpharma.com and have these sitting on your doorstep within a few days. They don’t give you urine tests when you cross the finish line of a movie, right? There isn’t really any law against doping to look good for a movie and so I know that a lot of people that listen in to this podcast are doing things like triathlons or marathons or things of that nature. And you simply can’t get results as quickly unless you’re using enhancement drugs, basically, using something like steroids, and using testosterone, or even using something like DHEA or any number of different compounded hormone replacement therapy, powders, creams, injectables, things of that nature, or just straight up using testosterone or clenbuterol or any of these type of compounds that are going to enhance protein syntheses that are going to enhance your hormones, whether you’re a male or a female. If you’re not getting tested and your career is more important to you than say, the long term, the size of your testicles, then this is stuff that you can do. So, that’s another thing…
Brock: I guess they need a lot of make up to cover up the acne that comes along with the steroids.
Ben: That’s right, that’s right. There are health versus performance tradeoffs, for sure. The other thing to realize is that a lot of these folks who are getting into shape this quickly for movies, they’ve done this before they got muscle memory. It’s a lot easier to, for example, for a guy like Christian Bale, to go from being a complete freaky-looking skinny guy, we’ll put a picture of him in the show notes, for the movie The Machinist. He just looked horrible!
Brock: Oh, yeah. Weird insomniac movie.
Ben: His ribs were showing and he was frail and bony and within I think six months, he had bulked up for Batman Begins.
Brock: I think it might have been even less. Even like three or four months, it was ridiculously fast.
Ben: Yeah, but for – you don’t lose that muscle memory. When I finish up this month’s triathlon season, or this year’s triathlon season, one of the things I‘ll be doing next year is putting on 25-30 lbs of muscle. And I guarantee I’ll be able to do that within just a couple of months, probably like two to three months just because of the muscle memory that I have from having been a body builder. And you retain a lot of that muscle memory. And that’s another kind of advantage that many of these Hollywood celebrities, who maybe have gotten big for a role and got to do it again, have is that ability to just be able to pile it back on pretty quickly. So, that’s something else to bear in mind. That’s all nervous system and neuromuscular related and that’s another thing that helps out quite a bit. So those are the biggies and of course there are some special effects, there’s some camera work that gets done as well to make it a little bit more impressive than it may really be. But ultimately, take away is we’re looking at body building style training, we’re looking at muscle memory, we’re looking at a lot of time being able to devote to recovery and then also the ability or advantage to be able to use drugs without having to worry about them being illegal or getting caught for doping or something like that just because it’s not a sport, it’s entertainment. So, that is how Hollywood celebrities can look so good so fast.
Dom: Hi, Ben and Brock. It’s Dom calling from Devlin in the U.K. I recently got into podcast, really enjoying it and want to say thanks putting so much effort for all that. I’ve got a question about – I know I’ve been eating pretty well, fresh vegs, fresh fruits, and meat and things but my work is gonna take me to somewhere for eight weeks where I’m not gonna have access to any of that. These sort of thing is gonna arrive in a boat that’s been packaged for weeks. Whenever I’ve done this before, I always end up feeling so sluggish, slow and just not quite, not a hundred percent and I wonder if you could recommend anything that would help me get around this, any kind of supplement that would help give me a bit of a boost, really. Cheers!
Brock: So, I’m guessing Dom is going to jail.
Ben: Hmm, prison.
Brock: That’s the only thing I can think of.
Ben: Dom must be going to prison.
Brock: Orange is the new black for food.
Ben: All the food is packaged and stored for a long time. I don’t know, you get a little bit of that like the military and stuff but it, you still get like fruits and vegetables and stuff like that. I don’t know. Dom, let us know where you’re going, man. Hopefully you didn’t do anything to bad. Siberian salt mine. Speaking of Siberia we have that episode that we did about an adventure race in Mongolia. You remember that? Where that dude had to go…
Brock: He never wrote back to us. I’m really worried.
Ben: Hmm, yeah. Mongolia.
Brock: He may have just veered somewhere in the Mongolian mountains.
Ben: I think we ended up just telling him to take a bunch of pemmican to Mongolia so he may not have made it back. Who knows, maybe he died of scurvy.
Brock: Or maybe he liked it so much there, he stayed.
Ben: He’s just there chewing on a tube of pemmican sitting on top of a mountain in Mongolia somewhere. Possible.
Brock: Laughing at us all.
Ben: We also did an episode on the Boy Scout trip where that guy wanted to know healthy foods that they could take out into the wilderness when they wouldn’t have access to a lot of fresh produce and all that jazz. We should put a link to both of those shows in the notes for this podcast over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/254, you should go listen to those. And all the podcasts are time-stamped and transcribed, like good stuff so it’ll be easy for you to navigate. Some of the things that we went in to recommending though in those cases were, of course like I already mentioned, going to a place like US Wellness Meats and ordering some pemmican and some beef jerky if you’re able to take food along with you. Going to a site like energybits.com and ordering some of these highly portable spirulina and chlorella energy tables that dye your entire mouth green but actually are really, really good sources, and when we’re talking about nutrient density, like phytoplankton and algae, if you can get your hands on highly portable versions of those like the Energybits, that’s really good stuff. Getting your hands on essential amino acids, meaning the amino acids that your body can’t make, that you need exogenous sources of, would also be a really, really good way to go if you’re just looking for supplements. So use something like essential amino acids powder, or essential amino acids capsules. So any of that stuff –pemmican, jerky, algae, spirulina, amino acids, I highly recommend all of those as being things that can help you feel good when you can’t get your hands on real food, even though there really isn’t a replacement for real food. Those are some of the things. Probably if I could recommend one thing, like my top recommended supplement, if you have the ability to just throw something in a zip lock bag, it would be this super green stuff. And it’s made by a company called Living Fuel. It is a two-to-one protein-to-carb ratio. It’s a raw – it’s called the super food blend. It has barley, and spinach, and kale and carrots, and spirulina. It’s all organic. It’s got a bunch of chlorophyll in it. It’s got a bunch of detoxing and cleansing compounds in it. I did the math and if you try to combine all the ingredients that are in just one serving of this stuff, it costs you about 15 bucks to actually make one meal. A big canister that gives you the equivalent of anywhere from 15-20 meals depending on how you’re fast you’re using this stuff, big canister of it runs about 75-80 bucks. So, not the cheapest supplement on the face of the planet, but that is the stuff that I would recommend you look into using. And I mean the ingredients label’s a mile long. It’s got like probiotics, and digestive enzymes, and amino acids, and herbs. And it is the stuff…
Brock: I actually use that stuff when I have a bit of a upset stomach for a couple of days or if I know I’ve eaten something kinda questionable, I’ll often stick a spoonful of that and…
Ben: Yeah. The ORAC value of it is huge, meaning that the oxygen, the antioxidant capacity, I believe it’s –what is ORAC? oxidation reduction antioxidant capacity. Just pulled that completely out of my butt, but I think that’s what it is.
Brock: I definitely have no idea.
Ben: So it’s got c-vegetables in it, kelp, __ seed, nori, pretty much just like everything your body would ever need. Yeah, it’s powder. Yeah, it’s engineered fuel, whatever. It would be the number one thing that I’d recommend. So, we’ll put a link in the show notes to that. I would also recommend a couple of resources for you. The book “Eating on the Wild Side”. For anybody who’s interested in eating the right way and kind of prioritizing what food you pick. This is a really good new book. It’s written by Joe Robinson. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. But it’s really cool because it tells you what kind of foods that you get from the produce section of the grocery store or maybe even when you’re foraging outside, are gonna give you the highest amount of phytonutrients. And it’s got really, really cool recommendations that like if you take your lettuce right from the store and you rinse it and you dry it and then you rip it into bite-sized pieced before you put it in the refrigerator, you quadruple the antioxidant activity in the lettuce. Because it actually thinks it’s being eaten by a wild animal, and so it steps up its own production of natural protectants. So when you eat that the next day, it’s better for you, whereas if you take something like broccoli, as soon as you stick broccoli in your fridge, it stars to degrade, like almost right away. The phytonutrients drop exponentially every single day. So like if you’re gonna eat broccoli, you technically want to, if you’re getting broccoli from the grocery store, buy it the same day that you’re gonna eat it. So…
Brock: So abusing your broccoli doesn’t have the same effect as it does on lettuce.
Ben: Exactly, exactly. It is a cool book. I do highly recommend, I think anybody who listens to the show will really enjoy it. It’s called “Eating on the Wild Side, The Missing Link to Optimum Health”. Now this would be a book that might come in handy for Dom if he was gonna have the ability to forage or use supplements, or not use supplement but have the ability to forage to hopefully kinda look around for some stuff where he is, or wherever he is going. And I think that foraging is a skill that a lot of us have lost. At the recent Ancestral Health symposium, there was a panel, who was on that –Rob Wolf, Josh Whitten, and the guy who wrote that recent book Paleo Manifesto which is on my list of books to read – John Durrant. A bunch of these guys were on the panel and they were talking about how make your own weapons and how to forage and a lot of the skills that we’ve kind of lost. You know one of the reasons I’m disappearing into Colorado for a few days here in a couple of weeks just to kinda hone in on some of the skills. I personally hunt and I got to skin my own deer, and I do some foraging and do a lot of stuff in the garden but I think that even more intensive survival skills are sometimes necessary specially because, as we all know, zombie apocalypse is coming quite soon. There is a book…
Brock: Of course. It’s here in some parts of the world.
Ben: Yeah. I’m looking up on my bookshelf right now. There’s this really good book about foraging. I don’t see it right now off the top of my head. But there are a lot of books about foraging that are out there. This one was interesting. It’s written by a Native American. If I remember the name of it, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. I’m scanning my bookshelf right now and I don’t see it up there. Go to Google, though, and just Google the name of your city plus the word “foraging class” and learn how to get in touch with some of the things that grow locally in your area, whether that be mushrooms, or wild plants, or dandelions, or morels, or whatever. It’s a really good skill that I think that folks should have that we’ve kinda lost in the post industrial era. You’d be surprised at how many foraging classes and foraging experts there are out there who can teach you how to survive on the land, and how to do so even if you don’t plant and seed the garden and you’re just out wandering and need to know if you can actually eat something, whether it’s gonna kill you or leave you squatting in the wilderness for hours versus whether it’s gonna provide you with nutrients or something that your body needs for survival. So that’s another thing that, whether or not you’re disappearing like Dom to prison for eight weeks, or whether you just want to learn how to live off the land a little bit better. Or even if you don’t have access to say like the produce section at Yoke’s or Broussard’s or Safeway or whatever, be able to fend for yourself. So, I would check that out. Last thing I would recommend is a very comprehensive, like hour-long video that my wife and I shot called Health Travel Tips. It’s totally free. It’s over at bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Ben: I’ll link to it in the show notes. But it’s just got a list of a bunch of the stuff that we take. Not just foods but everything from the anti-jetlag tools that we travel with to the things that we use to make travel more comfortable and be healthy when we’re travelling and all that jazz. So, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. And yeah, those are my recommendations, Dom.
Jasmine: Hi, Ben and Brock! My name’s Jasmine and I have a quick question. So I have a best friend who’s nineteen and she’s only ever had her period once in her lifetime when she was twelve. And her and her family are very worried about this and are considering going on the pill or a hormone replacement therapy to regulate it. She is slight of build, she is of Swedish heritage, she currently can’t give blood because she has low iron levels. Oh, she’s also gluten-intolerant. Is there any type of supplement or tests she can get or doctor that will show her where she’s deficient in that she can take or get done? What type of diet do you recommend she go on? Really, really just want to go about getting her period in a homeopathic way, or as much as homeopathic as possible. Thanks again for all that you do, and love the show!
Ben: Wow! This is a lot of stuff. We always have to give our – I’m not a doctor.
Brock: Yeah. I think waiting seven years and not having seen a doctor and then going to a podcast may not be the best solution here but I’m sure Ben’s got some suggestions.
Ben: Yeah. I was gonna say something to the equivalent of what you just said, Brock. I just didn’t want to sound like an asshole. That’s why I have you on the show. So, yes. First of all…
Brock: What? Happy to be an asshole. Go ahead.
Ben: Yeah, you don’t have to go to a podcast for a medical advice. I realize podcasts are free most of the time. But there are good physicians that work out there. For example, I’m not paleo, but I do appreciate a lot of the health advice that comes from that sector. And there’s like a paleo physician’s network, for example. I think it’s – I don’t even know the url, honestly. But if you Google it, you can find the paleo physicians network. There’s another one called the primal physicians network or something like that. You can find docs who are willing to take an approach that’s similar to the kind of stuff that you hear in these podcasts. When you’re looking at low iron and you’re looking at gluten intolerance, in many cases, this is something that a lot of people don’t realize, you have to start with the gut. You have to start with the gut. There are different kinds of anemia. For example, you can have aplastic anemia. That’s when your bone marrow actually stops producing new red blood cells. It’s kinda rare, usually you get it from a genetic inheritance. Or it can be caused by radiation or chemo or something like that. Some autoimmune disorders can cause it, too, like lupus for example. You can get iron deficiency anemia, which is where you simply aren’t eating enough iron-rich foods or you have iron malabsorption, or you have too much blood loss, something along those lines. You can get hemolytic anemia, which is where your red blood cells are getting destroyed faster than they can be produced, which a lot of times is either a pancreatic issue or it’s a bone marrow issue or something like that. But in many cases, when we’re looking at the combination of someone having gut issues and then also having some other problem like a skin problem, or an iron problem, or anything else that is a thyroid imbalances, testosterone deficiencies, any of that stuff, a lot of it starts in the gut. And if you can fix the gut, then a lot of times proper absorption and assimilation of the nutrients that you’re getting from your food is allowed to take place. So, for example, small intestine bacterial overgrowth is a condition that I’ve mentioned before in this podcast. I think it’s very undiagnosed. It’s the buildup of too much bacteria in your small intestine. Your small intestine’s not supposed to be overrun with bacteria. When you get too much in there, it can really interfere with absorption of your nutrients from food. It can cause gas. It can cause bloating. And it can also deplete your body of hormones. And do things like inhibit T4 to T3 thyroid conversion. And you might think, well, my thyroid isn’t working properly, or I don’t have enough iodine or I don’t have enough selenium. Or I need to start taking desiccated thyroid supplement. When in fact, what you may actually need to do is reboot your gut. So it’s really important to realize, especially when we’re looking at something like this where you’ve got irritable bowel syndrome or gluten intolerance combined with low iron, to go after the gut first. So that being said, how do you go after the gut?
Ben: Some things that I would recommend you look into first of all if you go, let’s say you live in the US, you can go to a site like directlabs.com. If you live in the UK, we mentioned it last week, I think it’s what sportydoc.com/consult or Tamsyn Lewis has some stuff going on where she’s offering testing services for people in the UK. There’s a lab in Canada. What’s the name of the lab in Canada, Brock? It’s – we found it the other day, lab tests online, something like that. While I’m talking if you can hunt it down, I don’t remember the exact name.
Brock: That’s what I’m doing.
Ben: I think it’s labtestsonline or labtestingdirect or labtestingdirects.com. Anyways, though what you’re looking for is what’s called the GI…
Brock: Life Labs
Ben: Yeah, Life Labs for Canadian listeners. Life Labs. GI effects panel. There’s one made by a company called Genova. That’s a really good one. It gives you a good look at bacterial balance in your digestive tract. It can give you an idea of fatty acids and balances of those, amino acids, absorption capacity. Just a lot of really useful information about your gastrointestinal tract from a company like Direct Labs. There’s another website at breathtests.com where you can order a small test for small intestinal overgrowth. I’ve personally done a breath test placebo or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. I have them and it’s something that’s really – to be perfectly honest with you, I cannot fix it until I’m done with Ironman. Because I have to take a month off and detox and use all these special juices and cleanses and stuff like that. But, it’s one of those things that are probably affecting my hormones a little bit. And it’s something that can be picked up from simply excessive stress from exercise or lifestyle. It can be picked up even from eating higher amounts of carbohydrates early on in life, so that you’re predisposed to like a yeast or fungal overgrowth. SIBO is something we could talk about for hours but that’s another test that you can get. I would definitely look into a GI effects panel though. I’ll put a link to the one from Direct Labs in the show notes. I would consider looking into a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth test from a website like breathtest.com and then start fixing your gut. So, for example, I’ve personally designed a gut-fixing pack that is colostrum, probiotics, digestive enzymes, a really potent antifungal and antibacterial which is oil of oregano, and what else is in that? I believe those are the biggies –colostrum, probiotics, oil of oregano, what am I missing? Enzymes, and that’s it in the gut-fixing pack. Anyways, I’ll link to it in the show notes. But you just get this box with each of these bottles into your house, use something like that for a month and that can really help hit the reboot button on your gut, especially if you combine it with a gut-healing diet. And when I say gut-healing, I‘m talking about – my favorites are the specifics carbohydrate diet, it’s called the SCD Diet. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. Or the Gaps Diet. There’s actually a book called the Gaps Diet Book written by Natasha Campbell McBride, that also is a really good guide. But either one of those would be really good. I’m a bigger fan of the Specifics Carbohydrate Diet, to be honest with you. I just think it’s easier to get through. It’s put together over better. A couple buddies of mine have created it – Steve and Jordan over at SCD Lifestyle. They’ve been on the podcast before. So that you combine something like gut testing with my gut-fixing pack with something like this Specific Carbohydrate Diet protocol, and that’s a really good place to start if you got medical issues that are stemming from your gut. You know I’ve only really scratched the surface of the places where you can go with something like this. If for example, you needed a little bit of help with iron or ferritin along the way and you didn’t want to get these constipating iron supplements, I usually get people on something called Floradix. I recommend Floradix, which is an herbal ferritin-boosting – it’s a ferritin pyrophosphate kind of supplement, and that’s something that you take in liquid form. It doesn’t constipate you like a lot of iron-containing supplements do. But ultimately it will be a Band-Aid over the issue if this is really stemming from the gut, which is likely the case. It’s probably a leaky, broken gut that’s causing some vitamin-deficiency anemia type of symptoms and a lot of downstream hormonal issues that go along with that. So, fix the gut, go after the root issue, and that is where I would start.
Nenad: Hi, Ben. My name is Nenad.
Nenad: So you helped me ______ [0:55:01.3] on my sports injury so far but now I have a kind of a health question for you. A few weeks earlier, I was diagnosed with H.pylori infection. I also have a few GI problems like pain, bloating, and irregular bowel movements, but nothing too severe or something I could not manage. I declined the antibiotic treatment for the bacteria because I want to treat it in a more natural way. I was wondering if I could treat the bacteria with pure oregano oil? If yes, how much, how often, and how would I have to ingest it? Or if there are any other natural ways you are aware of to get rid of H.pylori and all the GI problems it has been causing. Hope to hear from you soon.
Brock: I guess, first of all, what is H.pylori?
Ben: I have no clue. It is a mysterious – I like to picture it like the dude in the little book. It’s like this circle with the mean face on it, little legs, little claw-arms like a Tyrannosaurus rex, crawls around in your intestine. It’s a bacterium. It’s a Gram-negative bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. I’ve had it before. I actually, if you do like the GI effects test I was talking about, you can discover whether or not you have it. But it’s pretty nasty. What happens is a lot of people harbor this H.pylori I their upper digestive tract and it can eventually penetrate what’s called the mucoid lining of your stomach and cause ulcers and, excuse me, abdominal pain, inflammation in your gut, nausea, and a lot of people never get any signs or symptoms or complications or anything from H. pylori. And I would suspect that there are some people who harbor H.pylori. It doesn’t hurt them and it probably protects them against something. That’s the case with a lot of parasites, like some of them have anti-carcinogenic properties. Or they protect you from some autoimmune disease that you might have otherwise been attacked by but instead you have this parasite or this bacteria in your body protecting you. But many people are extremely sensitive and they get gastritis, and they get stomach ulcers, and it causes some pretty serious issues. You’ll know, like a lot of times irritable bowel syndrome, big, big part of that can be related to an H.pylori infection and a lot of people have it. So that’s what H.pylori is as far as how you actually get rid of it, there are a few different ways that you could kinda skin that cat. So I have had H.pylori and I’ve completely gotten rid of it by using a combination of two different things. One is something that Nenad actually mentions, he asked about oil of oregano and studies have actually shown that oil of oregano kills H.pylori, breaks down the bacterial cell wall. And what clinical trials have shown is that the what’s called the carvacral and the timal which are two kind of volatile oils in oil of oregano. Those break down the bacterial cell wall. They can kill off H.pylori. You use it anywhere from 2 to 4 x a day. I like to use an oil blend. The stuff I actually, full disclosure here, I personally privately buy oil of oregano, like I have oil of oregano imported from Turkey. I have it bottled on Colorado. It’s the most potent stuff that I could find in terms of fungal fighting properties and the actual carvacral content of it, meaning the active ingredient of it that’s gonna have those antimicrobial properties. I would recommend that first of all. I personally use it everyday, anyways, just kind of like a gut cleanse. So, and that’s something that’s included with that gut-healing pack that I was talking about. So you just want to use a lot of it, though, if you have H.pylori, you’d be up at like 20-30 drops a day. So you’d use oil of oregano and that’s what I personally use to get rid of H.pylori. But I combine that with something else called mastic gum and this is something that flies under the radar. It is nothing like Trident or any other gums…
Brock: Is this a – actually gum that you just walk around chewing for fresh breath
Ben: No, it’s made from a resin and it is harvested in Greece, typically from a spice that’s grown in these mastic trees. And mastic gum is a digestive tonic. It is used for gastrointestinal ailments. It’s been used in the Mediterranean region for like thousands of years. And there are studies that have shown in vivo, meaning in the human body, that mastic gum, when taken consistently for a longer period of time actually breaks down, similarly to the oil of oregano, the bacterial cell wall of H.pylori, and it has pretty potent antibacterial properties.
Ben: So what I personally did was I combined mastic gum with oil of oregano. And then retested then my H.pylori was gone and there was really zero side effects, like it was not unpleasant at all. To use either of those supplements, I didn’t have to spend my entire day two minutes from the bathroom or anything like that. And that worked pretty well, as a one-two combo. So that’s something that I would look into. Both have been researched, both have been shown to have really nice antibacterial activity against stuff like H.pylori. So that’s where I would start. And it would be way, way better in my opinion than the traditional treatment for H.pylori which is usually to use like a triple therapy proton pump inhibitor which knocks out all the acid in your stomach and then you combine that with amoxicillin or some kind of potent antibiotic. And a lot of times, you’ll use a penicillin-derivative in some cases and you can buy these anti-acids and it’s not a pleasant scenario at all. So, plus you knock out all the good bacteria in your digestive tract with that approach. So, I use something like the oil of oregano, something like the mastic gum. The only other study that I might point you out to is the American Journal of Nutrition had an interesting study where they actually found some eradication of H.pylori in people who ate probiotic-enhanced yoghurt. So I would imagine you could probably achieve the same thing with the probiotic supplement. You know they didn’t use the supplement in the study, they used a yoghurt. But that would be another thing to look into. So, yeah, that’s how you would knock out the nasty little visitor in your digestive tract.
Hannah: Hey, Ben and Brock. This is Hannah from Birmingham. I’m in my early twenties and struggling with acne. I’ve been to the dermatologist, and followed your advice and did the Clear Skin Diet for about two months. I had all kinds of topical soap that the dermatologist recommended but that hasn’t helped much. I really don’t want to take any antibiotics or strong acne medications. What would you suggest?
Ben: The Clear Skin Diet. You tried the Clear Skin Diet, Brock?
Brock: No, I was very lucky as a teen and I guess in my early twenties I didn’t have a lot of skin issues and didn’t worry about that kind of stuff but I understand it could be quite effective, the Clear Skin Diet.
Ben: I got a zit for the first time on my face, in forever. Last week I got a zit. Like a, whatever you call it – zit, pimple, whatever the kids are calling those these days.
Brock: A pustule. A boil.
Ben: A pustule. You know the only thing I did differently…
Brock: A crater.
Ben: A morley? The only thing I did different the whole week was – I usually use olive oil, I just use extra virgin olive oil as a facial moisturizer. And I happen to be at a hotel, and I usually would not do this, but I had super dry skin, I’d gone swimming in the hotel pool. And I was in a big hurry, and I put that lotion on my face just like the regular hotel lotion. And within a day, I had a zit. So, a big part of this is just using natural personal care products like olive oil or coconut oil on your face rather than using traditional make ups and moisturizers and creams. I may have a whole article about that on How to Detox your Home over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. So I’d recommend you go read that article. But as far as the Clear Skin Diet goes, The Clear Skin Diet is this book that gives you a specific diet to give you clear skin. Big surprise there, right? Clear Skin Diet Book. It draws this causal connection between certain kinds of foods and acne. So for example it tells you that certain fats like omega-3 fatty acids protect you against acne while things like saturated fats or trans- fats might promote acne by increasing inflammation or oxidative stress in the skin. It prescribes things like herbs, ginger, turmeric, things of that nature to shut down acne break outs. It talks about dietary stresses and how those influence the level of the hormones that cause acne. So it tells you to eat things like fruits, and vegetables, and green tea, and fish, and berry, and fiber-rich whole foods, to lower the levels of those hormones. And then to avoid things like meat and milk which might promote those acne-related hormones as well as sugar and what is called low-fiber carbohydrates. And then it also encourages you to reduce anxiety and depression, and stress in your life because a lot of that stuff can lead to acne breakouts, too. So for anybody who’s listening carefully to what I just went through, you might notice that there are some holes there.
Ben: For example, the book recommends soy. Soy in people who have autoimmune issues can actually cause breakouts and it wouldn’t be something that you wouldn’t want to eat, even though it’s part of the Clear Skin Diet. Meat is not necessarily something that promotes acne related hormones. And dairy, if it’s in its raw, organic form is also something that tends to not be as big of an issue for folks when it comes to acne and breakouts. So, you can’t paint meat and milk with a broad brush either. Saturated fats are crucial for healthy skin, and the book tells you not to eat saturated fats. I’m not a huge fan of what I’ve seen of the Clear Skin Diet even though I haven’t read the entire book. However, I would be kinda careful with an approach like this. What I would point you towards and I would say probably the best thing to look at would be actually two things. First of all, would be an autoimmune diet. And an autoimmune diet eliminates all of the potential triggers that might cause your skin to break out. Because many times skin disorders are due to autoimmune issues. So you get things like – it’s called the vitiligo, and that’s, it’s a, it’s this weird thing I got. It’s when sun hits your skin – have you seen my back before, Brock ‘cause it’s kinda pigmented a little bit strangely?
Brock: Yeah. Yeah, these little spots are –little areas where it doesn’t seem to have much color than the other spots.
Ben: Yeah. For me that’s probably very, very related to that small intestine bacterial overgrowth that I have in my gut. That will likely clear up when I detox my body and get rid of some of those bacterial issues in my gut. Now there are a ton of other things from psoriasis which is a chronic autoimmune disorder to dermatomyositis, which is another autoimmune disorder that can cause some skin issues and some skin discoloration. There is this vitiligo issue, a ton of different things including acne that can be related to immune disruption. Basically eating something and having something in your gut that is causing issues on your skin. Your skin is like the canary in the mine, kind of. So I’d recommend you switch to an autoimmune diet. I’d toss out the Clear Skin Diet book. I’ll put a link in the show notes. There’s one autoimmune protocol that’s really good. It’s called the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. Again, I’m not paleo, but it’s a really really good place to start. And a lot of times when I first bring on a client and I’m looking at their diet and their history and seeing signs that we need to do a detox, one of the things that I’ll do is I’ll kinda combine a gut-fixing protocols with them along with like an autoimmune style protocol. Or in some cases like a specific carbohydrate diet kinda protocol, depending on where that person needs to go. And that’s where I’ll start somebody, it’s kinda like with the four-week reboot, sometimes as long as eight weeks, depending on the person. So, that’s one thing. I’ll put link in the show notes to it but it’s called the Paleo Autoimmune Diet and it’s like an e-book that you could get. It’s just four weeks long to eight weeks long, depending on how you do it. So, the other thing that I would consider is the gut-skin connection and there’s something called the gut-skin connection in which gut disorders are highly linked to skin conditions. I already talked about SIBO. Other things are celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease, or gluten intolerance or even all sort of colitis caused by something like H.pylori. All of those can have skin manifestations. And that’s because intestinal permeability, or leaky-gut syndrome, that causes inflammation that can contribute to skin disease. And you have, for example people who have acne who have struggled with breakouts on their faces and stuff like that. A lot of those people have been shown in studies to have a high reactivity to what’s called an endotoxin in their blood because they have leaky gut syndrome. So simply, this returns to the gut. I already kinda kicked that horse to death earlier. But a leaky gut can cause some pretty serious skin issues. Fatty acid absorption is another issue that can kinda cause issues if it’s not occurring properly in the stomach and that can be related to an imbalance in your gut flora. So, not enough good bacteria or an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your digestive tract. Any of these things can a lot of times be fixed by again fixing the gut, getting on probiotics, knocking out bad bacteria with something like oil of oregano. Or potentially looking into something as strong as like colostrum for fixing a leaky gut. I know it sounds crazy. The fact is a lot of the issues that start with the skin or that start with these other things that I talked about – hormones, and iron, things of that nature, you gotta come after with the gut first, So, that’s where I would start, start for sure.
Brock: Alright, so, a lot of stuff that has to do with the brain, too like there’s a lot of protocols for depression and anxiety and stuff that start in the gut as well. It’s, it really is the foundation of our being in some ways. We gotta take care of the gut.
Ben: I think that you should write a book called The Gut is a Foundation of Our Being. And it should just have you sitting cross-legged on a mountain top with like a big hat on.
Brock: I have to be eating something that would have a…
Ben: Pouteen? I almost ate a pouteen.
Brock: A serving of pouteen.
Ben: After Ironman, after you left, we went out to an Irish pub. And it was raining out, We were just stuck in this Irish pub. We sat around and I almost thought of ordering pouteen. Instead I had a glass of spiced wine. But the pouteen was jumping out of me.
Brock: That was probably – that’s a good idea ‘cause Irish pubs, they’re neither French nor Canadians so that’s a terrible place to have pouteen.
Ben: Good to know, good to know. Alright, what do we got, one more question?
Brock: We do. We’re going really long so maybe we can make this one – well it should be pretty quick, it’s an easy question. Daniel says, “How do you assess a new regimen, whether it’s a new diet supplement, workout routine, etc. when there are infinite amount of factors affecting how you feel day to day? Many of these influences may not even be known or considered.”
Ben: How do you assess a new regimen?
Brock: Good question.
Ben: It is.
Brock: So if you’re starting something new like taking a – even taking like a supplement, taking a multivitamin, how do you know if it’s actually doing anything? Other than turning your pee a funny color.
Ben: Well, I’ve got five ways to know. And these are my top five ways that I personally measure and I found easy to measure without going too far out of my way, without getting hooked up to brain-scanning electrodes and all these jazz, or going into the hospital or something or even driving to the blood lab even though I do stuff like that. The stuff that I can do right away during the day, I’ll run through them with you. So, first…
Brock: Number one.
Ben: Heart rate variability measurements. And that’s probably the geekiest of the five. Get yourself a sweet beat heart rate monitor, put on that heart rate strap in the morning, take your heart rate variability. If something’s good for you, your heart rate variability is probably gonna be higher. If something is crappy for you, your nervous system is probably gonna dump your heart rate variability down a little bit. So that’s one way that I measure right off the bat – new diet, new supplements, new workout routine, whatever. I pay attention to how my nervous responds and the best way to do that is to take your heart rate variability, if you have no clue what that is, I have done what four detailed podcasts now on about heart rate variability, as well as articles on it.
Brock: You’ve talked about it a lot.
Ben: Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com
Brock: I even did a peer review about heart rate variability machines. So, you can check that out in the app.
Ben: Yep, exactly. Number two is your poop. Of course, we never get through a podcast without talking about your poop.
Ben: We have done podcasts, entire hour-long podcast on poop and the way that it should look, and the way that it should feel, meaning the way it should feel coming out.
Brock: You’re the poo expert.
Ben: Yes, don’t reach in the toilet and feel your poo, just feel how it feels like coming out, hopefully that description suffices. But the way that your poop looks, feels, and performs, that’s really important. And there’ something called the Bristol stool scale that I would certainly look up on Wikipedia, kinda shows you what a properly formed stool should look like. That’s another thing I’ll pay attention to, if something constipates me or gives me diarrhea or makes my poop float when it should normally sink, or sink when it would normally float, or makes it look oily or anything like that, I pay attention to that, especially if I find chunks of whatever it is in my diet that I changed in my actual poo, that’s usually a bad sign. So, that’s number two.
Brock: So, it’s ______ [1:13:53.0] with peanuts.
Ben: That’s right. I pay attention to the corn and the peanuts. Number three is the body fat pinch test. Many of the changes that folks make are related to looking better, having flat abs, losing fat, whatever. I don’t use a scale. I don’t use a body fat monitor. I don’t use any of that stuff. I simply grab the pinch of fat right above my upper hip bone on the front. And I see how much of it I can pinch. And I know if I can grab a nice big pinch of it, then I’m getting a little bit more fat than I want to be. And if it’s kinda hard to grab a pinch of it, then I know I’m kinda like in my Ironman racing shape. It’s like, last week before Canada, I was pretty lean. I’ll be posting some pictures Monday of me crossing the finish line. It’s pretty obvious that I’ve thinned up a bit for that race. And I cannot really pinch my, you know I’m sitting here right now and can’t really pinch my fat.
Brock: I saw you in your underwear a lot that weekend and yes, you were very lean.
Ben: Yes, because I pretty much (overtalk)
Brock: Be jealous, everyone. (overtalk)
Ben: ..when I walk out of the house, including right now…
Brock: It’s true.
Ben: in my underwear, or the rest of the time, my – depending on the brand that I’m wearing at the time, it’s usually Slicks or Calvin Klein. So, there you go.
Ben: The body fat pinch test. Number four is sex drive. And all that means is – for any of you blushing, yes, you may want to put ear muffs on the kids for just a second. I pay attention to specifically my sex drive and the hardness of my erection, and two of those things give me a pretty good idea about whether or not something is helping or hurting me in that department. And I just wrote an article about this over on Mark Sisson, marksdailyapple.com website but optimized fertility mostly like a post menopausal female, for example is one of the best ways to know if your body is in the state of optimal health, and if your body is functioning in a way that it will make babies pretty easy, then it’s a good sign that whatever you’re doing is probably working. So that’s another thing that I pay close attention to. And number five, no surprise here…
Brock: Last but not least.
Ben: Last but not least is sleep quality. If something disrupts sleep quality, if you wake up feeling tired like you didn’t get that neuronal repair and recovery and everything that you needed while you were asleep, it’s a pretty good sign that workout or that diet or that routine isn’t so hot for you or your unique snowflake body. So those are the top five – heart rate variability, your poop, the body fat pinch test above your waistline, your sex drive, and your sleep. Those are five things that I pay pretty close attention to whenever I change something up and, knock on wood, it works pretty well for me. And that’s a really good way for me to kinda keep track of my body without having to go way out of my way to do too frequent expensive blood tests and all that jazz. I sound like I never do that stuff, but there are a lot of stuff you pay attention to everyday as well, right?
Brock: Yeah. Cool! I like it.
Ben: I like it. So speaking of…
Brock: We have gone quite long but we still have one thing that we need to do and that’s give away some stuff…
Ben: That’s right.
Brock: To somebody who left an awesome review on iTunes.
Ben: That’s right.
Brock: Have you picked one as we speak?
Ben: I was gonna say, speaking of my underwear, I’m gonna send – no, just kidding. We’re actually printing out a bunch of really cool brand new Ben Greenfield water bottles, t-shirts and hats, and we’re sending those out to anybody whose review that we read on the podcast. So if you leave an iTunes review, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/254 or you can go and, I was gonna say read a review, but write one over there, leave some stars, and…
Brock: Five stars, please.
Ben: Today’s review comes from Junie Aboy.
Brock: Junie Aboy?
Ben: No clue, no clue where that came from. But anyways so, Junie Aboy says this, the title is called Ketogenic Prowess. Ketogenic Prowess. He says…
Brock: That’d be a good name for a book.
Ben: It would be a good name for a book. There you go. Ketogenic Prowess. Or an album, or a band. Here’s what he says, “When it comes to confidence and practicality, Ben is your man, Brock too, in parenthesis, meaning that, sorry, Brock.
Brock: Hmm. Don’t leave a review if…
Ben: You just get parenthesis. If you want to uppercut your excuses into high heavens, this podcast will help you out. The information is clear cut, unbiased, laced with a relaxed mood and humorous tranquility. If life was a game, then this podcast would the instruction manual. Subscribe now or lose out on your 99 bonus lives.” That’s awesome. I think that we should end this podcast by playing video game sounds, like the bonuses that Mario gets when he jumps up and his head hits the bricks and hits the coins..(hums music) The star.. What’s the sound when he gets the star? (hums music)
Brock: Wait, this turning into the Muppet theme song. Hello, Kermit the Frog here.
Ben: Well, folks, that’s gonna wrap up today’s show. So we’ll play out some Mario and enjoy your…
Brock: Don’t forget to send us some love.
Ben: That’s right. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/love and get a special surprise waiting for you there. Remember if you’re in London to check that out or if you’re gonna be in Kona, check that out. We’ve got everything for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/254 have a great week.
Aug 28, 2013 Podcast: How Hollywood Celebrities Can Look So Good, What To Do When You Can’t Eat Fresh Food, Anemia From Your Gut, Natural Remedies for H-Pylori, What Is The Clear Skin Diet.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.
- Scary. Horrific conditions inside drug factories.
- The many benefits of arginine are enormous – but arginine doesn’t work unless you have adequate folate.
- Gentleman, if you are old and you run, then lift weights. Period.
Ben’s official Ironman Canada/ketosis/minimalist training race report – comes out this Monday in a special Premium Podcast.
ONE slot remaining – November 21 to December 4, 2013 Thailand Triathlon Adventure with Ben Greenfield – details at pacificfit.net/thailand. Now including the pre-camp: It’s a “high end” triathlon training resort. Brand new facilities – check ’em out! We’re going to do coached sessions every day. It won’t be hardcore training as much as a focus on learning about nutrition, training, fitness, and how to “get the edge” in endurance, life and health!
September 10 to 12, 2013: The Global Business Triathlon Conference is featuring Ben Greenfield as a speaker. Hilton London Metropole, London, UK – Join us for the premier global gathering of leaders of the triathlon business community. Enjoy three days of learning, networking and fun at the newly renovated Hilton London Metropole, conveniently located near the ITU World Championship activities in Hyde Park. Here is a link to the Facebook page for the London meetup with Ben Greenfield.
February 6 to March 6, 2014: Want to get into the Perfect Health Diet retreat in Austin, Texas? Click here for all details. Ben Greenfield will be presenting at the Feb 6-Mar 6 retreat.
If you’re looking for a topic we covered in the past – we have released the Ben Greenfield Fitness Top Hits, Vol. 1. Including
1. The Benefits of Fish vs. Fish Oil
2. The Best Ways to Stop Hair Loss
3. Increase Your Hematocrit & Oxygen Levels
4. Strengthen Your Immune System & Shorten the Duration of a Cold
5. Top 10 Ways to Boost Drive
6. Get Rid of Migraines Naturally
7. Become a Curvaceous, Lean, Ripped Female Athlete Without Destroying Your Health
8. Stop Side Stitches as Fast as Possible
9. Is It Possible for a Vegan to Be a Healthy Endurance Athlete
10. How Much Water Do You Really Need to Drink Each Day
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review gets a care package straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win one:
As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
How Hollywood Celebrities Can Look So Good
Louis asks @ 00:25:51
I have been seeing a lot of articles talking about Hollywood actors that have been able to get into amazing shape for their roles and have done so by working out 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week. This seems to violate the rule of allowing for adequate recovery time and “over training”, yet it seems like it’s working for them judging by the results. So what gives? Is the importance of recovery time overstated or are these guys all using PED’s to get into shape fast?
~ In my reply, I mention the body-typing fitness book at http://www.GetFitGuy.com
What To Do When You Can’t Eat Fresh Food
Dom says @ 00:35:14
He normally eats lots of fresh food but his work is taking him away for 8 weeks to a place where all the food is packaged and stored for a long time. Could you recommend a supplement that will help him not feel sluggish from eating like this.
~ In my response, I mention the book “Eating On The Wild Side” and the “Healthy Travel Tips” video with Jessa and I and also the supplement “LivingFuel SuperGreens“. I mention my previous episode on the race in Mongolia and my episode on the Boy Scout trip. In those podcasts, I had talked about Pemmican, Cocochia bars, and Supergreens. I also mention you can make your own beef jerky OR eat 200-300 calories of jerky from US Wellness Meats. You can also eat or swallow 25-50 EnergyBits and 5-10 Master Amino Pattern (MAP) capsules. Use 10% discount code “BEN” at EnergyBits.com and get NatureAminos at pacificfit.net.
Anemia From Your Gut
Jasmine says @ 00:45:24
Her best friend who is 19-years-old and has only had her period once (when she was 12). She is slight, Swedish, has low iron and is gluten intolerant. Are there some tests she should get? What kind of diet should she be on? They want to avoid meds.
~ In my reply, I recommend the WellnessFX Performance panel and also the GI Effects panel from DirectLabs. I also discuss the Gut Fixing Pack, supplement Floradix and a gut healing diet such as the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.
Natural Remedies for H-Pylori
Nenad says @ 00:54:58
A few weeks ago he was diagnose with H-Pylori along with gut pain, bloating and irregular bowel movements. He wants to treat this naturally. Can he use Oil of Oregano to treat the infection? Is there another/better way? He has noticed a lack of energy and strength lately, could that be related?
~ In my reply to Nenad, I mention how I opted to take a high-grade oil of oregano four times per day and a supplement called mastic gum two times per day, and I was good to go within a month. I probably got lucky, because many times, parasitic infections require more serious medication and long term treatment. Often, it all depends on the type of parasite you have.
What Is The Clear Skin Diet
Hannah says @ 01:01:57
She is in her early 20s and did the “Clear Skin” diet and a bunch of topical stuff that the dermatologist recommended but nothing worked. She doesn’t want to take an antibiotics – what would you recommend?
~ In my response to Hannah, I recommend a Paleo Autoimmune protocol.
5 Ways To Know If Your Workout Is Working
Daniel asks @ 01:11:08
How do you assess a new regimen, whether it’s a new diet, supplement, workout routine, etc , when there are an infinite amount of factors affecting how you feel day-to-day? Many of these influences may not even be known or considered.
~ In my response, I mention this study on traditional vs. circuit training.