Introduction: In this episode: Is The Potato Diet Healthy, How To Biohack Your Office, How Much Liver Is Too Much, Natural Remedies for Receding Gums, Itchy Skin After Hard Workouts and much more.
Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: So it’s really early. We’re getting rolling here and I gotta say, I’m still a little bit hang-over ‘cause yesterday was Canada Day.
Ben: Oh, Canada day?
Brock: Hm-mm. Yes, it’s sort like Independence Day like you guys have but it’s much more polite.
Ben: Ah you mean we’re a bunch of drunk rednecks lighting up fireworks and…
Brock: Oh! Now we’ve got that?
Ben: small animals on fire?
Brock: Yes. Yeah, there’s a lot of burnt beavers yesterday.
Ben: I will be… burnt beavers? I think that’s not a first. I’ll be driving my kids over the border, the Washington-Idaho border today to get fireworks. The Idahoans come over here to buy marijuana; we go over there to buy fireworks.
Brock: I’ve been keeping a close-eye on https://twitter.com/bengreenfield over the last few days ‘cause there’s been some interesting stuff! You’ve been posting some cool stuff!
Ben: There has been and I like this one. This is a tweet that I sent out a couple days ago that exercise can make you smart…
Ben: but exercising too long can make you stupid.
Ben: And this was a study that was done in Taiwan, I don’t know if that changes any perception of this study ‘cause they’re all kind of smart cookies over there. I don’t know.
Brock: So we used to be…
Ben: Is that racist way to say?
Brock: That’s racist in a good way.
Ben: Yeah, well there’s that whole just like “smart-Asian” stereotype that’s out there. Alright, so apparently when a Taiwanese exercise for too long they get stupid and that may affect the rest of us as well. This was a test of cognitive ability using something called a Stroop test where you identify the color of color words flashing on the screen. I don’t know if you’ve done this test before, Brock. But what they do is flash the word “green” across the screen in green letters but sometimes they flash the word “green” across the screen in different colors.
Brock: Yeah, That’s it. Lumosity has that same test.
Ben: Yeah, the lumosity falling out. Yeah, lumosity test like six different elements of your cognitive performance. In this particular one is a measurement of executive control. So, I suppose…
Brock: It’s like a measurement of whether you are color blind or not? I second that one ‘cause I’m totally color blind.
Ben: Has anyone who has hung-out with you and seen the shirts that you wear?
Brock: No. Anyway, so, they did this stroop test.
Ben: They did this stroop test and what they found out was that the sweet spot was about 30 minutes. And then, once you exceed 30 minutes, and you get close to 60 minutes of exercise, your cognitive performance especially on this stroop test decreases. So it turns out that exercising for too long could potentially be cognitively fatiguing. And we all know that exercise can increase levels of your brain activity – this brain drive neurotrophic factors that can cause growth of brain neurons and help with learning; help with cognitive performance during the day but the take away lesson here is don’t go out and do a brutal workout when you need your mental faculties around but keep things kinda short and sweet.
Ben: Yeah, so…
Brock: I do the 30 minute run before we start recording this so I should be at my peak of smartness.
Ben: There we go. I strained in the bathroom for 5 minutes and wondered in so I’m right there with yah…
Ben: my isometric contractions. Here’s another one for yah. Can eating a big steak…
Brock: What are you doing in there, baby? Just doing some isometric contractions, no problem!
Ben: So here’s another one, eating a big steak before bed can it help you to sleep? Because there’s a lot of talk out there about whether or not like high protein intake before bed can help you to sleep. This was really interesting study that was over at biohacksblog.com and what they reported on was a study in which they gave people glycine proteins. And here’s the really interesting thing: we don’t eat many glycine-rich proteins anymore in a typical westernized diet or typical meat-rich-diet.
So this actually came up when we’re talking about the whole red-meat cancer study in that pod a few weeks ago. The deal with animal meat especially like a traditional steak or burger or something like that is it’s very high in a couple of amino acids – one called methionine; one called tryptophan – but it’s really low in something called glycine. And organ meats are the complete opposite. Organ meats like liver and heart and kidney and stuff like that – they’re high in glycine but low in methionine. And what happens is when you eat foods like steak that are high in methionine or high in tryptophan but low in glycine, you’re actually getting a little bit of amino acid imbalance meaning, that from an ancestral standpoint or hunter-gather ancestor’s would have incorporated what are called the gelatinous regions of the body like the bone broth and the skin and tendons and ligaments and discs and bone marrow and organ meats rather than just eating the lean muscle which frankly often got fed to the dogs. So the idea here is that in the study, they gave the isolated amino acid glycine, which you’d find in more of these ancestral meats, to people prior to bed and notice a significant improvement in sleep quality. They give them about 3 grams of glycine versus a placebo before bed at night. And so it turns out that having protein before bed could theoretically improve sleep quality but if you’re going to use that type of strategy and you’re gonna not go out and buy like a glycine supplement; I’m all about using whole food versus supplements when you can. It would be a good idea to make sure that you eat more of ancestral foods, so literally like a cup of bone broth before you go to bed at night if you have difficulty sleeping maybe just a thing for you.
Brock: How about some liver pâté?
Ben: Just what the slick doctor ordered. You have liver pâté, bone broth, fish that still has like the spine and organs inside which sounds kinda gross we could do like whole sardines in the can. Where you get little sardine brains and eyes and all that good stuff, so eat some sardine brains and hit the sack.
Ben: And then finally, here’s one that I tweeted about: something not to eat. This study came out just this month in the European Journal Sport Science and it looked at carbohydrate availability during exercise. And what they did was they specifically looked at key cell signaling what are called kinases and transcription factors, things that can help muscles repair and recover and help to enhance the fitness response to a workout. And what they noted in this study was that when you train in a condition of reduced carbohydrate availability not only do you improve fat oxidation but you up regulate the activity of these enzymes that are responsible for improving fitness. So it’s kind of like this whole train-low, well there’s some people that say train-low-raise-high when it comes to carbohydrates like the people who use ketosis you know like I have experimented with them in the past which is kinda like a train-low-raise-low type of approach. But ultimately, what it looks like is whether or not you plan on eating carbohydrates during say like a long event or a race; you know a triathlon, marathon, etc., you’re still gonna benefit from doing a few workouts in a state of reduced carbohydrate availability just so you up regulate some of these enzymes responsible for improving fitness. So, the study goes in the way more than that or the paper goes in the way more than that but it’s really interesting, I’ll link to it in the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/286 but it’s worth checking out, it’s really interesting.
Brock: So, you’re giving away a Weehoo bike trailer.
Brock: What the heck is a Weehoo bike trailer?
Ben: I think I talked about this a few weeks ago, on a podcast when we were talking about exercising with your kids.
Brock: Oh, is it the one where the kid gets to pedal as well?
Ben: The kid, you basically – the trailer attaches to your bike post, your bike seat post, and then your kid pedals while you’re also pedaling. So, it’s a great way to get your kid to burn calories and have fun.
Brock: It sounds important.
Ben: It so important for a kid to burn calories. No, but it’s fun the kids like it, so, we’re giving one away. We’re giving one away…
and the give-away is taking place right now over on the bengreenfieldfitness facebook page and I’ll put a link in the show notes for you, ah for 286. But basically what we’re doing is we’re giving away a Weehoo bike trailer as part of the launch of my brand new tinny-tiny e-book called…
Ben: Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Superhumans and it basically goes into all of the different strategies that I use with my kids to give them as much of a step-up in life as possible when it comes to everything: from bone density and muscle growth to social skills to cognitive performance – everything. So it’s just kind of a little book on how to influence your kids positively as possible and give them kinda step-up in life. So…
Brock: And who doesn’t want that?
Ben: Who doesn’t want smart and socially successful kids? So the other thing that I wanted to mention is that the number one podcast in the outdoor section in iTunes this week, was my brand new podcast that I do with the top rank Spartan athlete Hunter McIntyre. And he’s the fellow who’s on the cover of Men’s Journal for the month of July here.
Brock: Buffin’ and muddy.
Ben: That’s right and so we’ve got a brand new podcast it’s over at obstacledominator.com, real short 25-30 minute podcast but if you’re listening in to this episode and you’re interested in like Spartan racing and tough mudder and stuff like that, we get really specific on that stuff: you can go to obstacledominator.com, you can leave your questions, download previous episodes, we’ve got four episodes out right now – so check that out over at obstacledominator.com and yeah.
Brock: If you guys don’t cover it soon I’m gonna ask how to avoid or how to handle the electrocution part of tough mudder?
Ben: Hmmm. Yeah.
Brock: It’s everything that’s got me worried.
Ben: Yeah, you know, it’s not that intense – the electrocution. It’s more kind of the state of mind that you’re in when you go through it. It’s kinda like taking a cold shower; it’s like if you close your mouth and you do some deep nasal breathing and you just put your mind somewhere out you barely even notice it. So… And by the way, I need – just really quickly before we delve to this week’s Q&A, I have to brag – I actually did a Trifecta in the past seven days. I did a sprint Spartan, the super Spartan and beast Spartan – all in the span of seven days! So…
Ben: I’m pretty beat-up now, but it felt good.
Voiceover: Did you know that Ben Greenfield personally mentors trainers, coaches, physicians, and nutritionist from around the globe? From business building tips to advance teamwork performance and health cut tips. It’s all part of a private mastermind called the Superhuman Coach Network. When you join you get instant access to monthly workshops with Ben, a Q and A forum, over forty hours of cutting edge audio and video education and much more. Check it out today and become one of the world’s leading health and fitness experts at superhumancoach.com/podcast. That’s superhumancoach.com/podcast.
Listener Q & A:
Becky: Hi Ben and Brock, my name is Becky. Last year I had my wisdom teeth out and I loved eating mainly mashed potatoes for about a week when my mouth healed. And surprisingly, I felt very healthy and satisfied and I ended up losing a bit of weight during that week. I’ve come across some forums of people who do potato fast as a way to lose weight must have preventing the bodies with necessary micro-nutrients. There seems to be quite of a bit of research on the subject as well, most of which has been positive. I’m wondering what your thoughts are on consuming a diet with majority of calories coming from potatoes. It seems like a frugal and over-a-healthy-wealth-eating concerning to my Irish ancestor’s life. Thank you.
Brock: I’ve heard of the potato famine before.
Ben: Yeah, this is basically like a self-inflicted potato famine. Sounds horrible. I told my wife that somebody called a question to the podcast about the potato diet and she said it just sounded like the worst thing on the face of the planet when I described it to her. So here’s how the potato diet goes, you eat mostly potatoes and the original potato diet was called the potato reset, and I don’t think that’s correct – the potato reboot, reset. Basically you eat potatoes for a week and 90% of your calories come from just potatoes.
Brock: You mean like fully-dressed potatoes like sour cream, bacon bits, chives…
Ben: No. You are allowed spices, salt, pepper and vinegar, okay?
That’s it, that’s the traditional potato. So you can put that stuff on the potato. You eat between 2 and 4 lbs. of potato daily and those are cooked and there are cooled so that the potato’s level of resistant starch which is the type of starch is a little bit more resistant to digestion but that still kinda ferment in your gut, that’s enhanced when you cook the potato and then you cool it. You get unlimited amounts of coffee, tea and water; and you can continue to take any normal supplement you’d usually take. Intermittent fasting, especially by skipping breakfast is encouraged on the potato diet and then the other thing…
Brock: I have a feeling that would be just to the natural reaction the fourth time that you look at the potato that day, you’re just gonna pass. Whatever.
Ben: Skipping breakfast would not be hard for me if I was eating potatoes only. And then lifting heavy things is discouraged so…
Brock: Oh, well I guess that makes sense.
Ben: Yeah, I personally don’t get motivated to go lift heavy things if I’ve been forced to eat potatoes for a week.
Brock: Just eating cold starch.
Ben: Yeah. So, basically the idea behind this is that it is supposed to cause you to kinda eat less of the foods that might be unhealthy for you because you get a lot less food reward obviously from potatoes so you’re less likely to over-eat those as well. Three to 4 lbs of potatoes is actually not that many calories, you do tend to be in a calorie restricted state on this diet. You get the resistant starch from the potatoes which are supposed to be good for your gut flora and it causes formation of what’s called butyrate which helps fatty acids to get formed as that as you get the fermentation of these resistance starches and that produces a bunch of fatty acids. So technically, you can go on to ketosis on this potato diet as well.
Ben: Now, potatoes themselves some people get concerned about because of some of the potential digestive inhibitors and fight age that are in potatoes. But the basic idea is that potatoes are the reproductive organ of the potato plant and anytime we look at like a seed or reproductive organ, they have defenses against predators including humans from eating them so that they could potentially get pooped out basically and grow somewhere else. So basically potatoes does have natural toxic chemical defenders on the outside of it specifically on the skin and it has a high amount of what are called glycoalkaloids on the skin and this help the potato plants to repel pests and help them to be a little bit resistant to digestion over and above the actual resistance starch that you might get. So, when you consume this glycoalkaloids they could potentially cause a little bit of inflammation; they could cause some bowel upset especially in someone who has leaky gut like someone who maybe has been under a lot of stress or has been eating a poor diet – those glycoalkaloids might actually be pretty aggravating to the gut. That’s the main issue with potatoes – we’re not talking about potatoes that are like fried in vegetable oil or have a bunch of sour cream added to them of something like that. Now, the potato form that’s the lowest in glycoalkaloids is the russet potato and then of course you could, in addition to just season like a russet potato, peel the potatoes to get to the skin and the glycoalkoloids off of them. And I actually make that recommendation to folks who have like immune issues, leaky guts, stuff like that and anyways, if you’re gonna eat potatoes it’s a good idea to peel the potatoes whether it’s a sweet potato or yam or regular potato or whatever the potato had. So the idea here though is that you know, potatoes are pretty basic form of food, they’re not incredibly full of nutrients. They’ve got a really low calorie density and they actually fill you up pretty well but I mean when you look at the nutrient profile of this, you’re gonna be missing out on a lot of micro-nutrients on some of your minerals and I personally am not a fan at all of any type of diet that is incredibly restrictive you know, like the cabbage soup diet or the potato diet or the lemon juice kind – cleanse. You know if somebody comes out with like the steak diet, I could probably handle that – the T-bone steak diet. But ultimately, like you and I could do it it’s probably not gonna hurt you short term to do a potato diet for a week, honestly. You know it takes a good 30-days before excessive calorie restriction begins to affect your metabolism in a negative way. You could try this out, it’s not gonna hurt you especially if you peel the potatoes or you use like a low glycoalkoloids like a russet potato.
But man, it just sounds boring as hell and I’m just not a huge fan of overly restrictive diet. I don’t know, what do you think, Brock?
Brock: I just, I can’t help but think of the early explorers like when they’ll be on their ships when they’re like discovering the new worlds. They ended up running out of food a lot and eat potatoes like for weeks and weeks and they all ended up with scurvy!
Brock: And that’s the first thing pops to my head is like, well you could do a potato fast, but you might lose your teeth due to scurvy.
Ben: Yeah, that and I had like you know, very grandpa halfway across the country as they travel on their covered wagons and getting chased by you know…
Ben: yeah, by huge buffalo, I don’t know. Like, yeah, I think emulating the diets of our ancestors in some cases may not be possible.
Brock: It’s not the greatest idea in this case.
Ben: There you go.
Heather: Hello. So I just got an office job for the first time in many years and it’s a great place but it’s a very corporate – lots of cubes; lots of people; lots of dirty electricity, EMF signals, wi-fi – you know, the works. So my question is: Ben, if you were to work in an office, if it’s just completely unavoidable for you, what would your days look like? What things would you bring into the office to help mitigate some of those toxins? Yeah, just walk through the whole day I wanna know what would Ben do. Thanks!
Brock: So I need you need to make that t-shirt now. “What Would Ben Do?”
Ben: “What Would Ben Do?” the WBWD in an office job? Okay, so here’s the deal: the very, very first thing that you gotta realize is that you know and I think I might be preaching to require to our podcast listeners here, but basically it doesn’t matter how much exercise you do at the end of the day if you have your butt planted in a chair for eight-hours a day or for two-hours at any given time. So before you start to delve in all biohacks I’ll tell you about here, the most important thing is that you freakin’ just get off your butt. So…
Brock: And go back and listen to the Katy Bowman episode. What was it called? I can’t remember what you guys talked about…
Ben: Ah, where we talked about different positions, standing positions that you can be in?
Brock: Yeah, just do a search for Katy Bowman.
Ben: Like, I have a poster that’s hanging on my wall that shows about 50 different positions that you could be in during the work day. And it’s all alternate from standing to standing with a leg up on a stool to lying on the floor with my laptop to lounging on the couch to going to in a seated position to wandering outside to going back to a standing position. You may not be able to do all of that at your office job, especially if you’re in a cubicle but you can at least kneel, you can get into a lounging position, you can get into like a cross-legged position on your chair and you kinda shift throughout the day. But even more importantly than that, if you can slip away, you know whether it’s a multiple intervals throughout the day, I’m a huge fan of the short workout intervals like the 7-minute workout that appeared in the New York Times, the twenty squats every time you go to the bathroom. I’ve got five different 10-minute exercise routines, I wrote an entire article that was just full of 10-minute exercise routines. I’ll put a link to that article in the show notes for you, Heather but it’s just you know, a mix-up of push-ups and mountain climbers and squats and lounges and things you can do real quickly without working out a big sweat that are pretty much body weight only. That’s kinda the biggest, most important thing ‘cause what annoys me is once people starts talking about some of the stuff that we have talked about like negative ions or structured water and all this jazz that you can use to detox your body in the office, but they’re still just sitting around all day. I mean, in a way, exercise is kinda the great cure to help your body to fight off a lot of the environmental assailants that you might see in a typical office.
Brock: And it’s not necessarily exercise either, it’s just movement.
Ben: Yeah, just movement.
Brock: Because the problem is, we’re not moving at all!
Ben: Yup, exactly.
Brock: Even if the standing work station like I find myself in my standing work station, I’m standing on two feet like you said like you need to be shifting your body around. It needs to be a dynamic work station.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. A trampoline work station.
Ben: Okay so let’s delve into a few other things that I recommend that you do. The first thing is, when you look at the human cell itself, it’s based on electrochemical gradients. So it works best at basically an electrochemical gradient of about 70 millimoles. And so when you step into a room that’s full of wifi routers and computers and electromagnetic fields and cellphone signals, there is a huge amount positive ion generation. And when you get a big amount of positive ion generation, what that does is it drops that electrochemical gradient closer to about 30 to 40.
Brock: Inside your cell?
Ben: Inside your cell, it literally affects the cell membrane, cellular metabolism in the activity of the cells themselves as well as the enzymes. So, what you have to ideally do is somehow expose yourself to negative ions to restore that electrochemical gradient. This is why you know when you’re travelling on an airplane, it’s so important to get outside; getting a fresh air; get by an ocean or a body of water; stand barefoot on the ground because all those type of things are sources of negative ions. A huge amount of negative ions are generated by moving water like rivers and waterfalls and crashing waves and showers and fountains, so that’s a really good way to get exposure of negative ions. Plants produce negative ions especially when they’re photosynthesizing, so natural plants in outdoor environment exposed to sunlight those are sources to negative ions as well. Unfortunately, sometimes you may not have access to plants exposed to sunlight in your office; you may not have access to giant’s naked fountains and waterfalls in your office, so you have to find other sources to have – to get exposed to negative ions. And that’s where like if you go to Amazon for example, and I’ve got one plugged into the wall here beside me. You can get what I called negative ion generators and these are literally generators that you plug in to the wall and they produce negative ions. You can also, if you wanted to go kind of a step above and get more bang for your buck, you could get a HEPA Air Filter like a portable HEPA Air Filter which is really good for kind of filtering toxins, endocrine disruptors from cologne and perfume of other people around you in your office. You can put one of those under your desk to filter the air but you can get HEPA Air Filters that also have a negative ion generators and so you can kinda kill two birds at one stone. I’ll put a link to both negative ion generators like 25 bucks, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/286 but I’ll also put a link in there and this is also there if you get to Amazon the HEPA Air Filter and again the only difference between like you go on to the show notes and grabbing stuff off Amazon is it helps support the show of course, when you shop at Amazon.
Brock: There’s some shekels in our hats.
Ben: Shekels. So, the other things that I would focus on in addition to filtering the air and a negative ion generator, one would be the type of water that you drink. Obviously, you may not get the best water in your office setting, some offices will have the water cooler that’s honestly a lot of times filtered clean you know, mineral enhanced spring water. I mean like, there are outfits here in Spokane I know that deliver that type of water to offices and that something that you could speak to your co-workers or your boss about look for in your area would be just like a good mineral spring water that gets delivered in one of these coolers.
Brock: Like the collagen kind of thing?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. A lot of times the coolers still plastic, you know, it’s sitting there, it’s not getting swished around or swirled so sometimes the water isn’t quite as alive as structured as you get yourself. And that’s where you could do something like get one of these little glass structured water bottles and there’s actually – I already mentioned biohacks blog but I’ll mention it again that they had another article over at biohacksblog.com about structured water about how they specifically did a study on it and showed that it did help to lower inflammation compared to regular water. And all structured water is it water that has been passed through like a series of glass beads that kinda moved around and shaken up a little bit in the same way that you would get if you’re to drink out of like a fresh mountain spring like high up in the mountains. And the idea here…
Ben: Delicious! So anyways, you can get like a glass bottle which is much better to drink up compare to plastic, it helps to keep the water structured and they sell these glass structured water bottles on Amazon that would be way better than like a Nalgene or like a regular plastic water bottle and you can just take that to work and the cool thing is that it structures any water that you add to it. So, assuming that you got a good filtered water then you can basically just add regular filtered water from your office into the structured water bottle to structure it. If you tend to have things like fluoride and chlorine and stuff like that, you would be beneficial for you to maybe add a little bit of iodine – you can add a few drops of iodine to the water to help mitigate some of the effects that things like chlorine and fluoride would have on your thyroid gland for example. But at least get a glass structured water bottle and then you could potentially add iodine to it as well if wanted to add that in.
So you can literally get a form of iodine called nascent iodine – it comes in those little dropper and that’s one that I travel with – so there’s a few little droppers that I travel with like I travel with a melatonin dropper; I travel with a little bit of iodine usually a little bit of marine phytoplankton but basically iodine is a good one to add to a glass structured water bottle. A few other things that I would do for a healthy home office, not a healthy home office, a healthy working environment, the first is for cleaning: if you need to clean just basically use like a spray bottle with water and a few drops of oil or oregano in it. Okay, so if it’s a diluted oil of oregano then you can put about 10 to 20 drops of oil of oregano in a spray bottle. You can use that to clean rather using a disinfectant or a typical like anti-bacterial hand soap of something like that. That’s something you can keep around for cleaning; you can also clean your hands with that and that’s what I would use instead of the typical cleaning products that you’d find to clean your desk or to clean your office area.
Brock: You’re using olive oil to keep your skin nice and supple. You’ll smell like a salad.
Ben: Olive oil and oregano, yeah. Your smell would be very attractive to all of your Italian co-workers. A few other things speaking of attractiveness, this is gonna sound silly, but this is actually – mark my words – going to be something that more and more people began to use and that is fabric or clothing that helps to shield yourself from electromagnetic radiation. And believe it or not, they’re actually getting more fashionable. You can get some pretty good-looking, especially for guys that less I would say so for women at this point, but you can get EMF blocking underwear. You can at least protect your gonads and some of the more important areas of your body with things that are going to block high amounts of electromagnetic field exposure especially if you got like wifi routers and things like that underneath your desks. EMF blocking underwear – you can literally get it off Amazon now, there’s more and more companies popping up there’s selling EMF blocking clothing that basically block some of the radiation that you get exposed to when you’re surrounded by computers and routers and things of that nature. So you can use EMF blocking underwear as well. And then…
Brock: So I can stop putting all that tin foil in my shorts now?
Ben: That’s right.
Ben: You know you like the tin foil on your shorts anyways.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. It’s just the texture. It stays warm too that tin foil in the shorts. Another couple of things that you can do I’ll throw two more things out here: one, would be to if you’re exposed to like nasty food or cafeteria-based food or food that might have toxins in it, subpar proteins like non-organic eggs, fish stuff like that, I would have chlorella or activated charcoal. Both of those are really good binders that can help to bind the toxins that you might get from foods that you’re forced to eat when you have limited food choices.
Brock: You’re forced to eat?
Brock: Where are you working that you’re forced to eat this stuff?
Ben: Eat this boiled egg now!
Brock: Eat this bologna!
Ben: Anyways though, chlorella or activated charcoal, I’m a fan of that as well. And then finally I have a book that has a bonus video that comes with a book – it’s an a hour-long interview that I did with a guy about how to reduce EMF in your home office you know and it’s why right now my computer’s grounded I’m hard wiring into the wireless router. You know, I’ve got one of these negative ion generators like my entire office right now is a rigged-up to have as little EMF as possible floating around. But I’ve got a video on the book and I’ve got you know, it’s a bunch of transcripts and podcasts it’s called “Biohacking A Healthy Home”. I’ll put a link to that it’s like 7 bucks but it kinda goes in to all this stuff and detail. And a lot of the things that I talk about when it comes to biohacking a healthy home, in terms of just like detoxing your home, decreasing EMF, decreasing exposure to mold and stuff like that it all applies to you home office as well. So that’ll be another good resource should be that biohacking a healthy home book. I know I just went over a ton of stuff for that “What Would Ben Do… in an office job”. I don’t think I’d survive in office job by the way but basically I’ll put a link to all that stuff in the show notes.
Kathy: Hello Ben, Brock this is Kathy from Portland. And I have a question today about liver powder.
I’ve heard you mentioned sometimes on the podcast recently about supplementing with liver powder if you don’t or unable to get an organ meat really early. I have been actually doing that and find it to be quite helpful. My question is: is this safe to take everyday? I know that supplementing with organ meat especially liver with its high concentration to certain minerals and vitamins that should potentially have once or twice a week. And so I’m wondering if supplementing with liver powder is something that we should be careful with and only supplement still the same once or twice a week or if we could take it everyday? So that’s it, thanks a lot.
Ben: You know Brock, liver can kill yah.
Ben: Did you hear about this? There was this deal with this arctic explorers and they were dying from a retinoid overdose. Basically they Vitamin A overdose, you know why?
Brock: Oh, ‘cause they were eating polar bear…
Ben: Polar bear liver.
Brock: Oh yeah, I’ve heard about that.
Ben: And they’ll tell like a lot, like for example, pregnant women will be told by their doctors to avoid liver because all the excessive Vitamin A in liver could increase the risk of severe birth defects. And it’s actually true. Polar bear liver – just like one gram of polar bear liver has like a thirty thousand international units of Vitamin A in it. And if you compare that to the same amount of beef liver you’ve got like a hundred and fifty international units.
Brock: Yeah, much more reasonable.
Ben: Yeah, but the thing is that when you look at something say birth defects from eating liver, that’s pretty over-blown because the studies that have been done on the spike in the things that could cause malformation to a fetus which called trans retinoic acid. Those spikes in the studies that they’ve done on retinal consumption were only shown when someone supplemented orally with high doses of Vitamin A like Vitamin A extract or intra-muscular Vitamin A injections and they actually didn’t have a spike in those same levels of retinoic acid when these women who were in the study just had basic calf liver. So the idea here is that there’s a big, big difference between what you get from whole food versus what you get from like an oral liver supplement or even like a liver capsule or a liver powder. And I suspect that it’s because when you consume something like a whole food source: you’re getting copper; you’re getting iron; you’re getting some of the other fat-soluble vitamins that help to balance-out high amounts of isolated Vitamin A or even some of the isolated fat-soluble vitamins that you’re just gonna get from like a liver powder or liver extracts. So, ultimately, you have to be less careful if you’re eating regular liver than if you’re taking like a liver capsule or a liver powder. Now at the same time, if you look at things from like an ancestral standpoint: like animals to my knowledge only have one liver, right? And so, if you’re eating liver every single day, then you might be eating more liver than what our ancestors would’ve traditionally been exposed to.
Brock: You’re going through the whole herd.
Ben: Yeah. Like I personally eat liver about once every two weeks and what I do is I take about six ounces of solid liver, I dredge it in some eggs; I put it in a little bit of coconut flour and I basically fry it in some butter and before I do all of that, I soak it in lemon juice for about four hours beforehand that just kinda breaks it down and moves a lot of like the livery kind of gamey flavor that you get from the liver.
Brock: I love that flavor!
Ben: And I don’t eat that much and you know have that with some onions and some roasted vegetables and it’s pretty good. And my kids like it too, kind of covers up the taste. And we get our liver from a few different sources: U.S. Wellness Meats, they have organic liver that’s really good and then I also hunt so I usually have some deer liver in the freezer and then we get a little bit of cow liver from the local butcher. But I’m a huge fan of doing that instead of the powder or the extract just because of the potential for really, really highly concentrated doses of Vitamin A in these powders or these extracts. If you’re gonna use the powder or you’re gonna use the extract, the doses very pretty highly so, what they reported on there’s really interesting article that appeared in The Guardian and what they reported on in that article was that when you’re consuming these liver doses,
these liver powders or these liver capsules that the recommendation is to limit your intake to no more than about 50 grams of the equivalent of liver consumption per week. And in most cases that would be not using much more than about one of these capsules each day if you’re gonna use like a liver powder extract or liver capsule. Ultimately though, I’m a bigger fan of getting it for the reasons that I just mention from just like a whole food source and so, and definitely not from the polar bear. Also, like organic is really, really good when it comes to any of these organ meats because you know the liver is a filter and you want to theoretically consume liver that comes from an animal that is reported to have not been exposed to pesticides and herbicides and hormones and stuff like that. And so Now Foods has a – I would say if I was gonna use a liver powder probably than Now Foods one, just because it’s like an organic Argentinean beef source. So I would do that but ultimately like if you had to choose between that and ordering liver from a company like U.S. Wellness Meats, I just order liver from place like that.
Matt: Hi Ben and Brock, this is Matt calling from Kaiserslautern, Germany. I’m hoping Ben can help with a little oral problem I have. My wife just had a Free Soft Tissue grab with her dentist due to a gum recession and I’m trying to avoid the same treatment myself so I’ve actually significant recessionary going on and I’ve been handling the airwaves for some solution but I can’t seem to find anything out there. I did see recommendation to take __________ [0:41:47.1], CoQ10 which I believe are liposomal CoQ10 supplement, I’ve been taking that for about a month with my eggs at breakfast ‘cause you’re supposed to take with a fatty meal. So, is there anything else you think I can do or any supplements or any techniques out there that you’re aware of how to re-grow my gums? Or am I just out of luck? Thanks as always for the podcasts and good luck.
Brock: I have nightmares about oral surgeries like this one. I’m okay with needles; I’m okay with blood; I’m okay with guts but just stuff in the mouth…
Ben: Yeah, I tend to stay away from the dentist. I’ve been to the dentist I think, once in the past ten years. I just don’t go. I use one of those water picks, I put a little bit of oregano in that. I brush my teeth with – I use like a fluoride-free toothpaste it’s the dental herb company something like that for a while. I used like a charcoal tooth powder but I literally don’t go…
Brock: Yeah, all that charcoal tooth powder, I used to use that too and that company just stopped making it.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. But you can still find charcoal tooth powder, there’s another company out there I saw at Paleo FX conferences called Dirt and it’s like again, just like a tooth powder. But I used that; I use a water pick and I actually chew xylitol gum a lot. I use a brand called B-Fresh which is like Vitamin B12 xylitol-based gum, so. And knock on wood, I haven’t really need to go to the dentist and I just went once just to see what my teeth were like and they told me that my teeth were fine like they didn’t need to clean them. So we’re gonna get all the dentist writing into the show now very angry that I’m trying to put them out of the business but I’m not – I’m just saying. And my wife has been to the dentist a few times more than I have ‘cause she ate a bunch of candy when she was a kid and she’s got like fillings all over the place.
Brock: Oh, that’s me. I’m on different things that need to be – well they need to keep an eye on them.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Brock: Which is like, kind of a bummer. So anyways, so if you use a Soft Tissue Grab that’s when they grab some tissue from somewhere else in your mouth and then graft it on to where your gum ought to be.
Ben: Yeah and I mean gum is just connective tissue, right? It’s the inner phase between your teeth and your jawbones. And when you look at any type of connective tissue what you need to support connective tissue is collagen. Because collagen is a major component of connective tissue and when you look at the type of compounds that are best at building collagen, we see this group of nutrients called glycosaminoglycans or GAGs and some of the more popular GAGs that you may be familiar with are things like glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid. And these are all things that a lot of times would be sold like as like supplements or injectables for joint pain, but GAGs help to support the connective tissue health and all connective tissue including the gums. Now the very, very best source of GAGs is something that I brought up earlier and that is bone broths and when you slow-cook bones, particularly joint bones over the course of anything from one to three days,
that gives the bone and the connective tissues that are slow-cooked or in a pot the time to break down in the stock water that they’re in and what the result is this perfect balance of minerals that are really easily absorbed by the body, super healthy and healing to the gut lining but also chock full of collagen for connective tissue health – for joint-health, for gum-health, for teeth-health. And so you know, I would say if anything, if I were gonna choose one thing for gum recession or for enhancing connective tissue as well as enhancing you know because of the minerals that help the teeth as well – it would be bone broth. If you wanna learn how to make bone broth, it’s really easy to make. We make it every week with the whole chicken. You can buy bone broth, there are companies like TheBrothery.com for example they sells bone broth. Well basically bone broth will be the number one thing that I’d recommend. There are some other things that you could do as well and I didn’t mention that I do this, but sometimes I take that MCT oil just like a – I have the bulletproof MCT oil that I swished it around in my mouth, so it’s this concept of using oil pulling as a mouth wash. But when you oil pull with specific forms of oil it can also help with gum recession. I haven’t seen the evidence for MCT oil for this but the type of oil that’s used for oil pulling in like an ayurvedic medicine is usually sesame oil or coconut oil. And all that means is that you put it in your mouth and you swish it around and obviously the coconut oil has to be at room temp a little bit higher because otherwise it’s not gonna…
Brock: The earth temp.
Ben: Yeah, or mouth temperature but basically, you swish and swish and swish and you pull it through your teeth and in now your teeth for like two to five minutes and you just swish this oil running in your mouth and sesame oil would be really a good one; coconut oil would be another one. Aloe Vera is also a natural remedy for healing damaged gums.
Brock: Aw, yeah!
Ben: You can get fresh aloe Vera gel don’t get the stuff that’s full of like the artificial colors and additives and the stuff that you’d find at like a Walgreens or CVS but like a… get a good natural, fresh aloe Vera gel and you can use that in the same way that you can use mouthwash to prevent gum decay so that would be another really, really good one to use. There are some essential oils that are really, really good for mouth health as well. We purchased essential oils there’s this website called Mountain Rose Herbs. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes but they basically have certified organic essential oils and when added to water or even swished around in your mouth like diluted in water and swished around in your mouth in the morning for example, any of these are really good anti-fungal agents and also good at helping with receding gums or helping with connective tissue strength in the mouth. One would be lemon oil, another really good one is eucalyptus oil and you could mix all these together if you wanted to. Another good one is clove oil, I like clove ‘cause it’s a natural anti-septic; an anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent too so, clove is really good for that as well. Tea tree oil by the way, is also pretty good one, so I would say the top ones would be tea tree oil, clove, lemon and eucalyptus if you wanted to have more like an anti-fungal effects, anti-viral, anti-bacterial effects – sesame and coconut are really good just for general mouth health. And then if you do have some pretty serious receding gums, you can use aloe Vera as well as something to put in your mouth. And then of course, bone broth would be the number one thing that I go after.
Skyler: Hi Ben! I have a question, every time I do any remotely intense exercise 20 mins of kettle bells, a little bit speed work running, I cannot sleep at night. My body just gets wired, I’m itchy in my skin – what’s happening to my nervous system? Why is this happen? If you have any thoughts, I’d really appreciate it, thanks!
Brock: This is a problem I’ve never heard of before.
Brock: Of not sleeping, I’ve heard of.
Ben: I’ve actually experienced this myself and I’ve had some of my clients have this as well. And the culprit is heat. It’s body temperature. So what happens is when you physically exert yourself especially at a really high intensity it creates heat in the muscles and the heat spread and it races your internal temp. And you know, usually what you would want is you have a temperature of 98.6 and when you get very, very hot during a workout, one of the ways that you body gets rid of the extra core heat is it sends blood through the skin surface and the skin surfaces normally like 80 to 90 degrees but that excess heat can aggravate the skin in many situations and cause a release of histamine.
And histamine triggers that itching sensation. And a lot of times you feel it more often in areas of very high blood fall like your face and your scalp and your neck which is where you know you can get heat kinda trap especially up towards the hair, so you might find you sweat or itch in your scalp area. And obviously, the way that you would address this is by addressing formation of heat and also addressing histamine. My number one tip is to get cool as quickly as possible after your workout especially if it is an afternoon or an evening based workout. Now one of the best ways that you can enhance sleep pros workout is by getting your body wet because as soon as you get out of like a cold shower or a bath prior to bed, whether or not you’ve worked out, what happens is the air cools your skin and it can really help you to sleep. That’s a huge kinda hidden cause of people not sleeping properly is just that there temperature is too high. And sleeping in a cool environment can help people out quite a bit. If you’ve been working out this is all the more important. Get into the habit of like a lukewarm shower or cold shower to cool the body down; lower your room temperature; turn on a fan, if you have a fan ‘cause that moving air will help to kinda cool and dry your skin. You can even use the humidifier to moisten the air a little bit and to cause it to become a little bit more cool so that would help out quite a bit in addition to just making sure that you’re not exercising in a excessively hot environment for your afternoon or evening-based workout. The other thing that I’d recommend would be kind of the number one way that’s I’ve found to help with everything for like allergies to reducing histamines to helping with allergic reactions that would just be to step up your intake of fish oil. I’m a big, big fan of fish oil as a natural anti-histamine. So you can take about four to six grams of fish oil, just look for something that has a really good like a 1:1 EPA/DHA ratio. Gets something in its natural triglyceride form versus ethyl esters form – there’s a lot of good brands out there: Barleans; Farm Axis is a good one; Super Essentials is a good one; Green Pastures makes like a fermented cod liver oil – it’s a good one; the Thorne FX one is a good one but just like getting good fish oil and use about four to six grams of that a day in addition to keeping your body as cool as possible especially in the evening. And that can help with the nervous system; it can help with the heat formation and that’s the first thing that I’ll try if I were in Skyler’s shoes.
Brock: I like it. And you know what else I like?
Ben: Free stuff? Swag?
Brock: Free stuff.
Ben: Boom! Actually, we got a big box just arrived yesterday. The bengreenfieldfitness beanies which is pretty tight. I put a picture of myself wearing one upon the facebook page the other day and bunch of people wanna know where they can get’em and you can get’em at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear, we’ve got this gear package that comes with this cool tech t-shirt, it’s got the beanie and then BPA-free water bottle that’s perfect for brain to work with your negative ion generator and your HEPA filter. So, we are gonna give away one of these gear packs, you can support the show by going to bengreenfieldfitness.gear and buying one – it’s 47$ to get the beanie, shirt and water bottle together. What you could also win one by leaving a positive review on iTunes and by the way, Brock before we go into this positive review, can we play sad trombone music? (music plays) Sad trombone music because we’ve gotten a few 1-star reviews on iTunes lately.
Ben: Yes, I just noticed.
Ben: I went in to look at the reviews and noticed we got some 1-star reviews.
Brock: What are we doing wrong?
Ben: I don’t know. I know that it’s Brock’s fault, it must be Brock’s fault. We may have a lot of Canada heirs, I don’t know but anyways, if you’re listening in then help us fight those negative reviews by going to iTunes we’ll put a link in the show notes. Go to iTunes leave us some positive review, be happy – a nice review.
Brock: Counteract those haters.,
Ben: Counteract. So give us a five-star and we’ll love you forever and we might send you some pretty stuff. So, this review looks like who did it come from?
Brock: C. Brian H.
Ben: C. Brian H. What does he say?
Brock: I don’t think it’s… Ca-Brian-Huh, perhaps? The title of this is: “This podcast has made me weirdly amazing”. I like it.
Alright, he says: The words of my wife: “You sure do you talk about this podcast a lot? I like it.”
Ben: That was a pretty good wife impression.
Brock: Yeah, I was trying not to be a, trying not to be offensive… “Ben and Brock have become a daily part of my morning commute. Not only they have opened my mind to new ways to achieve superhuman power; render a reverb enhanced man voice;… (SUPERHUMAN POWER!)
Ben: Oh, so that’s what reverb is?
Brock: Does a reverb have to echo?
Ben: It does. (SUPERHUMAN POWER!)
Brock: That’s yeah. I like it. Anyway, “but they’ve inspired me to think more of my daily choices I make. Do yourself and your family a favor and subscribe to bengreenfieldfitness, I can guarantee you will become a better person for it.”
Ben: Hmm. Or at least achieve SUPERHUMAN POWER! (echo) Yes! So check it out if you want achieve superhuman power-power-power go to bengreenfielfitness.com/286, I’ll put a link to all of my helpful notes about how to biohack your office as well as our U.S. Wellness Meat source for liver, Mountain Rose Herbs for essential oil and everything else that we talked about. Remember to check out the new obstacledominator.com podcast as well as getting on that Weehoo bike trailer facebook give-away. So check all that out is at bengreenfieldfitness.com /286, leave us a cool review on iTunes and we’ll catch you later.
Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.
July 2, 2014 Podcast: Is The Potato Diet Healthy, How To Biohack Your Office, How Much Liver Is Too Much, Natural Remedies for Receding Gums, and Itchy Skin After Hard Workouts.
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.
- This is super interesting. Exercising can make you smart but exercising too long can make you stupid!
- Can a big steak before bed help you sleep? Wrong kind of protein. Try glycine instead.
- Interesting. Eating carbs during a workout can blunt the training response.
Check out the Ironman Sports Medicine conference in October during Ironman Hawaii. Ben will be speaking on nutrition myths and alternative methods of fueling Ironman.
Get a Weehoo bike trailer in this giveaway at the Ben Greenfield Fitness Facebook page as part of the “Grow Tiny Superhumans” book launch! Click here to enter now.
Go ask your burning Obstacle Racing questions at http://www.ObstacleDominator.com for the brand new Obstacle Dominator podcast.
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 – leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
Is The Potato Diet Healthy
Becky asks: She had to have her wisdom teeth removed and ended up being on an all mashed potato diet for a few days. During that time, she felt very healthy and fast and ended up losing a bit of weight that week as well. She has heard of people going on a “potato fast” and is wondering what you think about it and the research? It seems frugal and healthy… especially considering her Irish ancestry.
How To Biohack Your Office
Heather asks: She recently got her first “office job” in many years (cubicles, dirty electricity, EMF, wifi) and is looking for guidance. If you, Ben, were forced to work in an office, what would you bring with you into the office to help mitigate the toxins. Can you walk through a day of “What Ben Would Do” in an office job?
In my response I recommend:
–Ten Minute Exercise Routine
–Negative ion generator
–HEPA Air Filter
-Glass structured water bottle: Flaska or i9
–Focal upright standing workstation
–EMF Blocking Underwear
–Oil of Oregano for cleaning
–Chlorella (use 10% discount code BEN at EnergyBits.com)
-My “Biohacking A Healthy Home” book with bonus EMF video
How Much Liver Is Too Much?
Kathy asks: She has been taking desiccated liver powder (instead of organ meat) for a while now and is feeling good. Is it safe to take it everyday? She knows that you should only eat organ meats 1 or 2 times a week but does this also apply to the powder?
Natural Remedies for Receding Gums
Matt asks: His wife just had a Free Soft Tissue grab with her dentist to fix some gum recession. He also has some gum recession and is hoping to avoid the same procedure. Do you know of any supplements or techniques he can use to regrow his gums… or is he just out of luck? He has been trying liposomal Coq10 with his eggs at breakfast (taken with a fatty meal).
In my response I recommend:
–Mountain Rose Herbs for essential oils
Itchy Skin After Hard Workouts
Skyler asks: Where ever she does a mildly intense workout (20min of kettle bells or a little running speed work) she has a lot of trouble sleeping at night. Her body gets wired and she is itching in her skin. What is going on with her nervous system that is causing this and what can she do about it?
In my response I recommend: