Podcast #350 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/04/350/
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show: Why You Should Cheat On Meals, When You Shouldn’t Get A Blood Test, Which Massage Oil Is Healthiest, My Bug-Out Bag, How Women Can Fix Metabolic Damage From Overtraining, and much more!
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s for natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Ben: Rachel, I just finished an epic core workout.
Rachel: Oh, you did?
Ben: Yeah. I did.
Rachel: What did it involve?
Ben: Well, it was actually an obstacle course workout. Have you ever seen a log weave, also known as an over-under?
Rachel: Yes. Yes, I’m familiar with the over-under.
Ben: Okay. Yes, and if you are listening in, you don’t know what a log weave is, Google it. I have a log weave, it’s this new obstacle that I’ve got in my backyard, and what you do is you go over one log and under the other log. They’re a bunch of horizontally placed logs and you’re kinda like gripping the logs between your thighs, holding them with your arms, then reaching to the next log, and what I did this morning, for my big workout, was I tried to stay on their for 20 minutes, right? Just like weaving back and forth and I feel as though I’ve been wrestling/rolling with jiu-jitsu/making love to splintery logs.
Ben: It was good though.
Rachel: Sounds like a great way to start the day.
Ben: It was a fantastic way to start the day.
Rachel: Do we have some epic evidence for Instagram?
Ben: I do have a few little scars on my arm that I can perhaps post on Instagram for folks. Speaking of obstacles, also just this morning, at the same time that you and I were recording, my friend Hunter McIntyre of TV fame and also the top ranked Spartan athlete on the face of the planet, he and I just recorded a podcast last night about a brand new obstacle course training event that we’re gonna host at my house in July.
Rachel: Niiiiice! That’s exciting! I didn’t know about that!
Ben: Yeah. We just partnered with Mark Divine, the guy who does like the SEALFit stuff down in Encinitas, California. He runs like these Kokoro Challenges and these events called 20 X’s, which is 12 hours of just like pain and suffering and becoming a stronger person and he trains, Navy SEALs and BUD candidates and crossfitters and fitness freaks, and anybody who just wants to really put themselves through the wringer. So we’re gonna do a 20 X event at my house in Spokane, and then the next day Hunter and I are gonna teach an obstacle course racing event.
Rachel: That is epic!
Ben: So, yeah. I’ll link it in the show notes if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/350, this is episode 350. But, yeah, it’s gonna be pretty fun.
Rachel: Sounds fun!
Ben: Yeah. Also, I wanted to mention that the other thing I’ve been supercharging myself with, aside from crawling around on logs, uh, is insects. Insects.
Ben: Yeah. So I’m on this insect kick. I actually just sent a post over to Instagram, but I’ve been ordering organic roasted crickets and I’m gonna do a blog post about this, and sprinkling them on salads as an alternative to like nuts and seeds or meat.
Rachel: Are they like the full-sized crickets or are they chopped up?
Ben: They’re like young crickets and they’re whole and they’re chewy and they’re nutty, and so I sauté them in olive oil. Typically I’ve been using like shirataki noodles or kelp noodles. Have you seen seaweed noodles before?
Rachel: hmm. Yep!
Ben: So, I like to use those ‘cause they give me a feeling like I’m eating pasta, but these noodles don’t have calories. And so I put those with crickets on my salads now at lunch. So I’ve been doing crickets and the other thing I’ve been doing is black ant powder. You heard of black ant powder before?
Rachel: Nooo… (laughs)
Ben: You can actually order black ant powder and it’s uh…
Rachel: Are they like the nasty ones? Like give you the really bad bites?
Ben: No, I think that’s red ants, fire ants. Black ants just have incredible amounts of endurance, and I guess the idea behind this, kinda similar to the idea of consuming like hornet extracts, ‘cause there’s a company called Vespa that makes hornet extract and then there’s another one called Super Man Herbs that makes ant powder and supposedly gives you amazing levels of endurance. So, in the afternoon, I’ve been adding a little bit of ant powder to a frozen latte smoothie.
Rachel: That sounds delicious. Admittedly though, half the world does eat insects, if you’ve been to Asia, they’re everywhere.
Ben: Yeah. They’re very sustainable. They don’t produce a lot of greenhouse gases. Apparently crickets don’t fart like cows do.
Rachel: I’m not surprised.
Ben: Oh, and one other thing, by the way, before we get into this week’s news flashes. Speaking of eating tasty things, I just returned from a spearfishing trip in Florida.
Rachel: Cool! That’s exciting!
Ben: For our listeners out there who have not yet tapped into spearfishing, now, I was spearfishing on the boat with the guy who owns Spearing Magazine, Jeremy Gamble, and also a guy who’s been on this podcast before, who has trained some of the top free divers on the face of the planet, Ted Hardy. So Ted and Jeremy and I, we spearfish for two days down in the Gulf of Mexico. If any of you have not yet tapped into that sport or looked into it, and it was one of the reasons why I got into freediving in the first place was that it’s basically like underwater bow hunting while holding your breath, and it’s amazing. Like, even if you don’t get fish, and I actually spearfished several Sheep’s Head fish, which are very, very tasty, but even if you don’t spear a fish, you’re like down there swimming among the corals and holding your breath, and there’s like little shipwrecks and tires, and all sorts of things that you can swim around, and look underneath, like pull yourself under ledges and look for big grouper, it’s an amazing, amazing sport. I am now officially, I think, addicted to spearfishing, so stay tuned for more podcasts and blog posts about that wonderful sport.
Ben: Well, speaking of spearfishing, my first news flash today is actually about the amazing physiology of free divers and I’ll link to this, as I do with all the news flashes over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/350, but Rachel, have you ever heard of the Ama in Japan?
Rachel: These are the pearl divers?
Ben: Yeah. They’re these female Japanese pearl divers, and what they do is they dive 100 to 150 times a day, they hold their breath for about two minutes at a time while they’re swimming and, they are pearl divers, so they collect pearls and they collect food, and it’s like this ancient profession that they’ve been doing for thousands of years in Japan, and they finally, at the University of Texas, in the American Journal of Physiology, they decided they wanted to study these women and see what their physiology actually looked like.
And so they did this study on what happens when you’re diving around in the ocean for long periods of time because, as we know, I did a podcast on this, on why water can be so therapeutic and also beneficial for like physiology and for physical performance because when your body detects a combination of a lack of breathing, like holding your breath, and then also cold water on your face, what happens is blood vessels constrict and your blood pressure goes up and your heart rate drops, called the Mammalian Dive Reflex. We talked about this in the podcast before, that actually trains your body to be more resilient to stress, and it also activates what’s called your parasympathetic nervous system, like your rest and digest nervous system. It’s one of the same reasons that cold showers, once you get used to them, are so beneficial for your body because you get that constriction and you get that slight increase in blood pressure and then that’s followed by a bunch of cardiovascular benefits. So what they found in this study, I’ll link to it, they found a lot of really interesting things, but they didn’t really discover that these women have like massive VO2 Max or big maximum oxygen consumption. What they did find was a huge decrease in what’s called arterial stiffness, arterial stiffness, and arterial stiffness is not a good thing.
That’s like a hardening or stiffening of the arteries. That’s what arterial sclerosis means. That’s when your arteries get hard. So the more stiff your arteries, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood through your body, and so what they found was that when you hold your breath and you spend lots of time underwater or in cold water, this arterial stiffness, and in particular these Japanese free divers, the arterial stiffness plummets and these women, compared to normal age-matched women who weren’t divers, right, so they compared them to women who weren’t down doing all this like diving and breath-holding in cold water, their arterial stiffness was just like rock bottom in terms of cardiovascular health.
Ben: So if I didn’t already convince folks, in that little anecdote on spearfishing, to go find some water and diving, hopefully that inspires you to at least take a cold shower, if not, do a little underwater swimming.
Rachel: I just think the concept of female Japanese pearl divers is pretty bad-ass as well.
Ben: It is pretty bad-ass and they’re actually, I discovered these women for the first time in a book on freediving. I forget the name of the book. I interviewed the guy on the podcast. It was one of the first things that got me interested in going freediving. I’ll remember it eventually, but yeah, these Japanese women are called the Ama, A-M-A, you should Google them or check out the article that we have in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/350.
So another thing, for those of you who are extremely concerned about your children being at birthday parties, eating gluten-filled cupcakes, really good article on Mark’s Daily Apple about cheating on meals and how sometimes you actually should cheat and like go out of your way to cheat, and it was based on this study last week that found a new way to prevent food allergies in kids, and this new way is to actually feed them some of these bad foods when they’re infants or these “bad foods”, uhm, like peanuts are one, for example. Like if you give your child micro doses of peanuts as they grow up, they’re less likely to develop a peanut allergy and, as a matter of fact, one of my kids had severe peanut allergies when he was born, and I remember freaking out one day because I had eaten peanut butter and my hands still had a little bit of that peanut oil on them and I picked him up, like you pick up your child and your hands wrap around their little torso and he was in his diaper, and within 10 minutes he had these enormous red rashes right where my fingers had both touched him and put this peanut oil on him. And so we found out that he was severely allergic to peanuts and rather than keeping him from peanuts, I started microdosing him. I would grind up half a peanut each day and I eventually got up to about five that I would give him each day and he completely resolved his allergies. He didn’t have a peanut allergy anymore and I could touch him with the peanut oil and everything, smear him in peanuts, let the dog lick ‘em off and, uh, nah. I didn’t do that, but, uhm, the same concept has been shown to work for commonly allergenic foods like eggs, and wheat, and dairy like yogurt. Things like that.
What they found in the study was infants who are regularly exposed to allergenic foods in their first year of life were less likely to be allergic to those foods later on in life, and the article goes on to talk about some really interesting things like milk and egg allergies. For example, kids who were found to have allergies to eggs and milk, if they were given smaller doses of these over time, they actually develop the ability to be able to tolerate eggs and milk just fine. Another thing that they found, for example, was that occasionally consuming oils that have had oxidative damage and inflammation, like occasionally eating, say, flax seeds, like ground heated flax seeds, or occasionally eating like, you know, even French fries that have been cooked in oil or heated in oil. What happens is you actually have this pathway in the body that metabolizes the toxic byproduct of oxidized heated oils, and this particular toxic byproduct is called 4-HNE and what happens is that when you get low microdosed concentrations of 4-HNE, you actually develop a big increase in your ability to produce what’s called glutathione, like your endogenous production of this antioxidant glutathione, and so if you occasionally have like a cheat meal where you’re eating like rancid oxidized oils or maybe like a burger from your favorite burger joint, it turns out that that can actually make your body a little less susceptible to that causing you a bunch of damage, so.
Rachel: I feel like the obvious next question is how often is occasionally?
Ben: Well, the issue is research doesn’t really tell us how often occasionally is, but here’s the deal, like I’ll often go on, I’ll travel to different countries where I might have, you know like in Japan, concentrated sources of gluten in some kind of a glutinous sweet rice cake or I might be over in Thailand where I’m consuming Pad Thai that’s been cooked in heated vegetable oil, and some people who are like orthorexic and completely eat a 100% healthy diet, like don’t follow the 80/20 rule, but instead just like never touch, never go near gluten, never go near an oxidized oil.
It turns out that that may make you a little more susceptible to this stuff really causing like gut issues to you not being able to fight off a lot of the oxidation from damaged foods when you do encounter them, uh, you know, another case in point would be like when I’ve gone off and done things like this Spartan Agoge or the Kokoro Camp, sometimes you’re eating MREs, right? Like the most oxidized, nasty, nasty stuff on the face of the planet, uhm, and if you eat 100% clean all the time, sometimes that stuff can really flip your stomach more than if you give yourself occasional, like, micro doses of gluten or vegetable oil or dairy. So, it’s really a compelling article. I’ve only scratched the surface of it, but I’d recommend that you’d go read it.
The last thing I wanted to mention is that a lot of people avoid grains because of the phytates in grains and the phytic acid in grains that can, not only the gluten, but also some of these other things. But it turns out that your gut flora, your gut bacteria can be trained if you give it exposure occasionally to these phytates that you’d find in grains. It can be actually trained to turn that phytic acid into something called inositol, and inositol is this nutrient that’s involved in mood regulation and insulin sensitivity and the more phytate rich foods you eat, the better your gut bacteria get at breaking down the phytates and converting them into beneficial compounds. So, truly interesting!
Rachel: So, basically, you don’t need to feel guilty all the time about cheating on meals?
Ben: No, and you may even want to go out of the way occasionally to cheat. So, really, really interesting perspective. I’ll link to that article in the show notes, and I have more because it’s been a little while since we’ve had a Q&A. I’m actually gonna throw in a few extra little articles. There was an interesting research study that came out and I kinda liked it because I start off every day with a giant ass cup of coffee and also when I first wake up, even before I get to that coffee, I have a big glass of warm water and I add a little bit of lemon juice, and I add a little bit of baking soda to it, and what they found in this most recent study was that even though it’s already well-known that caffeine is an ergogenic aid and can assist with performance, like climbing around logs in the morning, and it’s also known that sodium bicarbonate is a really good lactic acid buffer.
Baking soda is actually one of the best lactic acid buffers on the face of the planet if, as we’ve talked about in previous podcast, you don’t eat too much of it because it’ll blow out your backside. You will paint the toilet brown if you have too much baking soda, but if you micro dose it, the way they figured out to do it in studies is you take just a little bit, right? Like a half teaspoon of baking soda every 20 minutes for two hours leading up to some type of a big workout or event in which you’re gonna produce a ton of lactic acid, right, like a big crossfit workout or a sprint triathlon or a Spartan race or something like that, you can actually get the benefits of baking soda without blowing out your backside, and what they found is that the lactic acid buffering effects of baking soda are enhanced when you combine it with caffeine. And I’ll link to this research article in the show notes, but what this means is that you could, for example, leading up to a really tough workout or any event in which you’re gonna produce a bunch of lactic acid, what you could do is you could have, it’s typically about 100 plus miligrams of coffee or caffeine that have been shown to actually allow you to get a lot of the ergogenic performance enhancing benefits of caffeine, but you could combine that caffeine with microdosing of baking soda for the couple of hours leading up to this event where you’re gonna produce a bunch of lactic acid and the caffeine vastly enhances the effectiveness of the baking soda.
Rachel: There you go.
Rachel: Question! Question! Is bicarb soda good if you don’t have any issues going to the bathroom and also good in an athlete?
Ben: Yeah. It’s alkalinizing and, granted if you don’t lead a really acidic lifestyle, right, if you’re not just consuming copious amounts of red meat, and caffeine, and alcohol, and dairy, and all of these foods that aren’t necessarily villainous but are indeed acidic compared to a lot of vegetables and fruits, baking soda can help to alkalinize the diet a little bit. So let’s say that, whatever, I travel with baking soda. I travel with a little Ziploc bag of it, but if I’m in Las Vegas, right, and I go out to a big steak dinner and I have two glasses of red wine and a big chunk of steak and it’s got dairy butter and stuff like that, that’s a friggin’ tasty meal, but it’s also an acidic meal, so that would be a situation in which you could mitigate some of the acidity with a little bit of baking soda for alkalinity.
Rachel: And that would be the next morning?
Ben: Yeah, the next morning or, you know, that morning. I just do it as a daily tonic. The other one that works similarly for alkalinity, but that doesn’t buffer lactic acid, it’s not a sports performance aid, but it’s still very alkaline is apple cider vinegar. That’s another tonic that some folks will start their day with.
Ben: So, either one. Or you could just be boring and have, I dunno, chamomile tea or something like that.
Rachel: Just plain water?
Ben: Or water. Who wants just plain water? A couple other things, there was a really interesting study done just this month on light and, as we all know, when you get exposed to light exposure at night, even Apple has realized with this with their new addition of the night time setting on the new iOS system for iPhones. They’ve got a night time setting where it’ll diminish all the blue light from your iPhone when sunset arrives in whatever location of the world you happen to be in. The reason they do that is because we know that television and iPads and Kindles, phones, etcetera, can decrease your ability to produce melatonin while you sleep and disrupt your sleep quality.
Well what they found in this study was that if you get exposed to natural sunlight or blue lights during the day, right, like, let’s say you get out in the sunshine multiple times or perhaps it’s gray where you live, like Seattle or something like that, so you use, maybe like any of the little biohacks we’ve talked about in other podcasts like blue light producing glasses, or a blue light box, or even these like in-ear blue light producing devices, when you get exposed to blue light during the day, it makes any screen time that you get exposed to at night less likely to disrupt melatonin production.
And so, well I don’t think you should do this as a crutch to blast your eyes with a movie every night before you go to bed or spend copious amounts of time lying in bed before you sleep on your iPhone, it does turn out that if you’re gonna get screen time in the evening, and let’s face it, that’s just kinda part of life for a lot of us, right, like you get phone calls in the evening, sometimes you wanna watch something to unwind at the end of the day, if you get sunlight or some form of blue light during the day, all that stuff is gonna be less deleterious to sleep quality.
Rachel: There you go.
Ben: Yeah. It’s kinda cool. Yet another excuse to get out in the sunshine.
Rachel: Yet another excuse to move to a different country or state.
Ben: And, yes, exactly, to move from Seattle. Oh! And then one other thing that I wanted to mention, they have done a study in which they found that the lower your home temperature is, the lower your waist measurement is and, whereas we’ve known for a while that cold exposure will activate thermogenesis in what’s called brown fat, and remember brown fat is the fat that takes calories and converts those calories into heat. It’s very metabolically active fat compared to like, you know, boring old white adipose tissue on your waistline. What they found is that there’s a direct correlation between how cold you keep your home and the actual waist circumference, like your waist measurement, and they found that people who had homes with an indoor temperature of right around between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is kind of cold, right, like that’s not comfortable, but maybe if you wear a hoodie and teach your body how to put up and deal with the cold, it’s not that bad, when they compared that with people whose homes were at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the people whose homes were colder had lower waist circumference.
Rachel: That is the strangest study, but really fascinating.
Ben: It makes sense though.
Rachel: It does!
Ben: And I keep my home cold all the time, like even right now while I’m talking to you, just so I don’t get distracted by being too cold, I’m wearing a hoodie, but my office is at about 54 degrees and it’s just something you learn to deal with and, frankly, I think that sometimes we spend too much time not allowing our bodies, right, to adjust to extremes of heat or extremes of cold and this study shows that it may be a good idea, plus if you keep your home cold, you can eat more. So there’s that.
Rachel: There you go.
Ben: Well, Rachel, first of all, this podcast is brought to you by one of the most woo-woo things on the face of the planet that you can put on your feet.
Rachel: Oh! I like it already!
Ben: It’s something that I actually wear. So there’s this concept of grounding or earthing, right? Like, basically, you can sync yourself up with the Earth’s circadian rhythm, the Earth’s 24 hour cycle by getting in touch with the planet, so I did a full podcast on this before, but there’s this thing called the Schumann resonance? Like the planet Earth actually emits a specific frequency that puts your body into what’s called an alpha brainwave state, and it can be very therapeutic. There’s an excellent documentary on this called Grounding, about this concept of getting in touch with the planet, be it via grounding or earthing and there are even people who sell like grounding mats and earthing mats. And the idea here is that when you never get in touch with the planet and you constantly wear like insulated, modern rubber shoes, you never connect with the Earth in the way that, perhaps, like your ancient ancestors would’ve or your hippie neighbor down the street does.
Rachel: It’s barefoot everywhere.
Ben: Right. Exactly. So what they make now are specific pieces of footwear that have copper plugs in the bottom of them and these copper plugs allow you to have your feet protected, right, if you’re like out, trail running or you’re walking or you just don’t wanna look like a barefoot freak, but you wanna have something on your feet, but at the same time these copper plugs allow you to be grounded. They actually enhance the ionic exchange between whatever surface of the Earth you’re on and your feet biology.
Rachel: So it doesn’t matter if you’re like on a pavement or something like that? It doesn’t have to be like actual dirt, earth?
Ben: The closer you are to dirt and earth, the better, but you still get some of that Schumann resonance, like, coming up to like concrete, right, or pavement. So, yeah, if you were walking on the street, absolutely. So there’s this company called Earth Runners and what Earth Runners does is they make these really cool like Tarahumara, Indian tribe-style running sandals or walking sandals, but they actually, I call them Jesus sandals personally, but they have a silver-coated conductive thread up the entire length of the sandal, then they have these copper plugs in the bottom that keep you grounded. So, they’re super cool. I have a couple of pairs and you can get them at bengreenfieldfitness.com/earthrunners. Now, I have an apology and that is that I think on a previous podcast I said our discount was 30% off, it’s still significant, it’s 10% off, not 30% off, but you get a Ben10, or you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/earthrunners and you use code Ben10, and code Ben10 gives you 10% off.
Rachel: And do you know where you can also get a pair of Earth Runners?
Ben: My closet?
Rachel: (laughs) No! On Facebook! They are actually giving away one pair a week for the next three weeks and the giveaway was put out on Monday, we have like 12 people that have entered so far. So high chances if you go over to facebook.com/BGfitness, find the post and comment on the post that you might get yourself a lovely new pair of Jesus sandals!
Ben: A pair of woo-woo Jesus sandals. They actually are pretty cool sandals. I dig ‘em. This podcast is also brought to you by Harry’s, and one of the things that I wanted to mention is they just launched a new handle. So for those of you that get super-duper excited about razors and shaving, you’re going to be drooling over this and the rest of you who just need to get more into razors ‘cause they are kinda cool. So this Truman handle, they’ve got this rubberized, non-slip grip on the handle. I’m getting into shaving by the way, it’s this whole experience. I called my kids into the bathroom ‘cause my dad never taught me how to shave, so now what I do is when I shave, I’ll call my kids into the bathroom to like show ‘em little tricks like go with the grain, and I taught them how to use like a clay mask after you’ve done like your shaving to draw toxins out of your face.
And then, of course, we apply the brand new Greenfield Anti-Aging Skin Serum afterwards.
Rachel: Just to top it all off.
Ben: Which I don’t think we even talked about on the podcast yet, but we did.
Rachel: Which is crazy ‘cause it’s awesome!
Ben: I know. We launched the brand new anti-aging serum that I spent the past year developing just last week. We don’t have a lot of time to talk about it today ‘cause the special announcements are gonna drone on, but go to greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/serum if you wanna check that out, or just do a search for Ben Greenfield Anti-Aging Serum. Anyways though, so I teach my kids how to shave, and I show them some of my shaving equipment and the deal with this Harry’s stuff is they have this Truman handle where they have this rubberized, non-slip, ergonomic grip, but then it’s got five blades that are these German-engineered blades, and what they do is they ship it straight to your house. So they cut out the middleman, you don’t have to go to the pharmacy to get your razor, and when they do that, I don’t really know how it works, but apparently it somehow decreases the cost of the razor, like significantly, and you don’t have to get the blades that are locked behind plexiglass cases at the drug store, you can just get everything at harrys.com. So the way you do it is you go to harrys.com, that’s H-A-R-R-Y-S dot com and you use code Ben and it knocks $5 off any of their stuff. And I actually, what I use is the Truman handle, and it’s really cool. It’s their brand new handle.
Ben: Check that out, the Truman handle, harrys.com. And then finally, this podcast is brought to you by the best tasting green juice on the face of the planet, the stuff from Fit Life. So this is the green juice that is about the only, I think it’s the only supplement that I have in the pantry that my wife actually uses cause she actually likes it. She likes the way it tastes, she puts it in stuff, she puts it in like smoothies and, even though she typically does not go near pills or capsules or supplements or powders, I find her constantly dipping into my personal supply of Organifi Green Juice. And it’s like turmeric, it’s ashwagandha, it’s coconut powder, and it, have you tasted it before, Rachel?
Rachel: I actually got some and it’s delicious. I actually had it just with water and it was still really good.
Ben: Yeah, and a lot of these powders, these green powders, they’re heat dried? And this stuff isn’t heat dried, they use a different drying process that makes it, so the goodness doesn’t get oxidized. So, yeah, that’s why you feel it when you use it. So you get a 20% discount on this stuff if you go to Organifi.com, and you use the discount code there. That’ll get you 20% off this tasty, tasty green juice. So, we have a fantastic line-up on the Q&A today, but I wanted to mention just a couple other things. Do we have time? Can I throw a few things in there?
Rachel: I think we do.
Ben: Alright. So a few quick things. First of all, as usual, I’ve been assembling gift boxes for people, so this is where I personally find like the best biohacking gear, supplements, books, nutrients, smart drugs, and I hand-picked them, and I ship them straight from my house to your front door. I pick about $300 worth of gear, put it in a surprise gift box for you, and you get it for 50% off, and free shipping anywhere in the US. So the way you can get that is, actually, just go to the show notes. All this will be in the show notes, bengreenfieldfitness.com/350, and you can get yourself a surprise gift box right now while we have three. We only have three.
Rachel: Only three?
Ben: Only three ‘cause I’m literally, I’m personally putting these together, like in my kitchen. So there you have it. There’s also just a few events coming up soon right around the corner. There’s a full list of events that we’re gonna put in the show notes, but in the meantime a few things you should know about is, first of all, the Biohacker Summit in London is coming up and these biohacker summits are amazing. They had one in Finland last year. The one in London is promising to be even better. I’m gonna be speaking there. They do like a combination of like foraging and natural foods along with like digital wearables and biohacking and lifehacks and quantified self. It’s pretty cool, so you get 10% off. Just go over to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/350, all the links there and everything, that I will be in London, I’ll be appearing in the London reel podcast, I’ll be doing a few events over there, and then the actual biohacker summit is May 21st and 22nd, so check that one out if you happen to be a pond hopper, to hop across the pond.
Rachel: Sounds like an epic trip for you, Ben!
Ben: Epic. And then a couple of other things, Paleo f(x), my kids are gonna be doing a cooking demonstration that is going to knock your socks off. I’ve tasted what they’re gonna be cooking, super, secret recipe. This is in Austin, Texas and I’m gonna be there, Rachel’s gonna be there, a bunch of folks from the Ben Greenfield Fitness Team are gonna be there, and I don’t say this about a lot of like health and fitness events, but if there’s one event in the US that I would recommend that you as a listener attend, it’s Paleo f(x) in Austin, and it’s coming up May 26th through the 29th. We’ll put a link in the show notes for you to get in using our special link, but I highly recommend you be there, especially if you wanna party with Rachel and I.
Rachel: Right? It’s gonna be so much fun! I can’t wait.
Ben: Yeah. Just sayin’. So all of that, and many more goodies, are over in the show notes in bengreenfieldfitness.com/350. We’ve only scratched the surface on the upcoming calendar of events, and we’re actually working on a calendar page because I, for about the next five months, I’m gonna be all over the globe and Rachel and I are working on a special page to where you can kinda see which events that you could come and compete with me in and where I’m speaking, and all the fun goodness because we all know that wherever I go, the party closely follows.
Listener Q & A:
Phil: Hi, Ben! My wife is 54 years old and has a long list of health issues, many of which develop later in life. From food allergies and asthma to aching knees and swollen fingers in the morning, which she describes as Mickey Mouse hands. All of her doctors just want to treat her symptoms, but I wanna help her get to the root causes. Would you recommend a functional health test like Wellness FX, and if so, which test should she choose? Or something else? Thanks! I love the podcast and I think you’re absolutely brilliant. Great job! Keep it up!
Ben: You know, I can only imagine what Mickey Mouse hands are.
Rachel: I know. It sounds kinda cute, but it also sounds horrible.
Ben: It does sound horrible. Doesn’t Mickey Mouse have giant white hands?
Rachel: Yeah, but they’re like stumpy fingers, you know?
Ben: They’re huge. Yeah. Yeah. Probably not a good look. We should probably help Phil out with the Mickey Mouse thing.
Rachel: Phil, we’re gonna help you out. Phil’s wife.
Ben: Yeah, so here’s the deal, when you’re looking at something like this and trying to consider whether you should get a blood test or something else, you need to understand why some of these things happen to people, especially as they get older later on in life and you need to be familiar with this concept of autoimmune. Are you kinda familiar with autoimmune, Rachel?
Rachel: Kind of, but not everyone would be, so go on.
Ben: It’s kind of a cover-all term, but it’s one of the top ten leading causes of death, especially in women who are under the age of 65 and something that affects, literally, millions and millions and millions of Americans. Autoimmune diseases would include things like rheumatoid arthritis and type I diabetes and thyroid disease and lupus and weird patches on your skin and eczema and food allergies and multiple sclerosis. All of these are forms of an autoimmune disease, and all that means is just like it sounds like, self-immune, autoimmune. So, it’s an immune response in which your body creates systemic inflammation. Your body is attacking itself, so you’re immune system has this sophisticated system for keeping you safe that works by identifying any foreign substance that enters your body or that you come into contact with, like something you might smear on your skin or something you might eat or something you might rub on your hair and if your immune system deems that to be dangerous, it produces anti-bodies, and autoimmune diseases occur and can even happen even if you weren’t born with them when your body is working really hard to defend itself against something that it deems potentially dangerous, like an allergen or a toxin or an infection or a food or even a metal.
There’s all sorts of things that cause this and it fails to differentiate between the intruder that it’s fighting off and other parts of your body, okay, so it will mistake others types of tissues for harmful substances. An example of this would be like gluten, very, very high amounts of gluten are something that your body can mount an inflammatory reaction against, but gluten proteins closely resemble the same type of proteins that you find in, for example, thyroid tissue, and that’s why you’ll sometimes find people who have like full-blown gluten allergies also have the autoimmune disease hypothyroidism because they’ve wreaked havoc on their thyroid gland by mounting an inflammatory reaction against their own thyroid tissue along with the gluten.
Rachel: A lot on that, in particular, would there be other symptoms prior to it actually turning into a hypothyroidism?
Ben: Yeah. Oh yeah, sure. So a lot of the things that Phil is saying that his wife gets, you see with autoimmune. So classic things that there’s something on your skin, right, you got some kind of recurring rash or hive or redness, a lot of times you have a joint pain or muscle pain and sometimes it can be in just one part of your body, right, like just your knees or just your elbow, and you know it’s not from like running or changing up like the type of squats that you were doing or something like that, but it’s just like this mysterious joint pain that seems to have arisen at some point in your life.
Feeling tired or fatigued is a biggie, cold intolerance, heat intolerance, weight gain, excessive weight loss. A lot of times, you’ll see hair loss. An interesting one that you’ll also see is like if you look at your fingernails, you’ll see a lot of little white patches on your fingernails and sometimes on other areas of your skin, you’ll see white patches. Sometimes you’ll get numbness or tingling in your hands or your feet because the autoimmune disease is affecting your nerves. So there’s a lot of, a lot of little symptoms, very similar to what Phil is describing that lead up to, or that are present during an autoimmune disease.
Typically what modern medicine will do is they’ll give you an immunosuppressant drug, or a steroid, right, so you’ll see like hydrocortisone, or there’s any number of different immunosuppressant drugs they’ll give you, but the problem is that if you simply shut down the immune system without addressing what is causing the issue in the first place. You get rid of the autoimmune issues, but you increase the risk of two things: a) severe infection, right, like you’re gonna be way more susceptible to stuff like MERSA and STAF and influenza when you shut down the immune system because you’re taking an immunosuppressant, and the other thing is cancer. Immunosuppressant drugs can cause cancer, or increase your susceptibility to tumor growth. So there other things that you should consider doing if you have an autoimmune disease and this is where Phil’s question about testing fits in.
Ben: Because you can’t just say, “I’m gonna cut out dairy, and I’m gonna cut out gluten, and I’m gonna cut out soy, and I’m gonna cut out eggs, and I’m going to go move to a Himalayan mountaintop and live inside of a giant bubble. Just because I mean, that would theoretically work, but in the era that we live in where we can test this stuff, it’s about ready to test, and blood testing is useful for some stuff, right, like identifying cholesterol, you know, HDL versus LDL versus LDL particles, or identifying like your thyroid hormone production, or your vitamin D, but it’s not that great if you suspect that you might have an autoimmune disease and instead, there are some other things that I’d recommend that you have tested.
Now the very, very first thing that I should say is, insert disclaimer here, I’m not a doctor and this is not to be misconstrued as medical advice. If I suspected that I had an autoimmune disease and I couldn’t figure it out, the number one place that I would go would be to find a functional medicine practitioner. These are physicians who are well-versed in actually identifying the root cause, rather than, say, covering things up with an immunosuppressant drug. So you go to functionalmedicine.org, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, but there’s a practitioner search page on there, and that would be something prudent to do if you didn’t wanna just take it all under your own hands, and one of the lab tests I’m about to tell you about, actually the first lab test I’m gonna tell you about, you have to have a doctor order for you, anyways, so you’re gonna have to hook up with a good functional medicine practitioner anyways.
That being said, the very first thing I would do is I would test for potential dietary, or other environmental triggers, that would be causing you to produce a bunch of anti-bodies. Now the very best way to do that is via a specific lab called Cyrex, C-Y-R-E-X, and the reason is because if you go out and you get food allergy or food intolerance testing and just do a standard, like, blood spot test, there’s one called an ALISA or an ALKAT that a lot of physicians will run. The problem is, for example, they will take your blood sample and they will subject that to a variety of different food proteins to see if you’re allergic to those specific food proteins, but they’ll take like, they’ll expose the sample to, say like, raw egg, or raw chicken, and then they’ll look at the white blood cell under a microscope and see what happens to it and the problem is that just about all of us will have kind of a deleterious response to, say, you know, freakin’ raw chicken, right?
So they’re not taking, like, a cooked and a raw form, they’re just taking the raw form. They also don’t do a lot of like repeat tests to double-check and make sure there’s no false positives, and so what typically happens is they’ll do one of these tests and, you know, come back with like 300 foods you should never eat again, and they’re like every food that’s in your pantry.
Rachel: (Chuckles) Hence a new level of depression.
Ben: Extremely frustrating, so you want something that’s a little bit more precise and a little bit more accurate. Now there are these things called ARRAYs, A-R-R-A-Y, and that’s just the fancy name for all the different tests that Cyrex offers. So, for example, they’ve got a chemical immune reactivity screen which will look at specific chemicals in your environment. These would typically be things from like personal care products or household toxins, fungus, molds, stuff like that, that could be affecting your immune system. That’s their ARRAY 11.
They’ve got another one that looks at, for example, what’s called your gluten cross-reactivity. That’s ARRAY 4, that's a very common one and that identifies any dietary proteins, including things like coffees and teas, and eggs, and everything that would cause your body to become hyper-sensitive to gluten. They’ve got the best, most gold-standard wheat and gluten autoimmunity tests on the face of the planet to find out if your gluten insensitive. They’ve got one called the intestinal antigenic permeability screen, which measures whether or not you have leaky gut, what’s called intestinal permeability to large molecules that can inflame the immune system. So they’re a variety of different ARRAYs that they do and, for example, some of them you could just look at your symptoms and choose the right test. Like they have one called a joint autoimmune reactivity screen which actually looks for the specific things that would cause, what are called connective tissue disorders.
So if your main issue is joint pain, you would wanna get that one. That’s ARRAY 8. If you just want to take your, you know, I dunno if you have a health savings account or flexible spending account or good health insurance, when you meet with this functional medicine doc, they would be able to advise you which to get, but I mean you can test all these. You could test chemical immune reactivity, diet, bacteria, viruses, stress, all the different challenges to your immune system. It costs you a few thousand dollars if you’re gonna do every ARRAY on there, but, you know, if it were me and I had a bunch of stuff going on, I would frankly, you know, just say “Hey, we’re not getting on vacation this year.” And run the ARRAYs. I mean, and frankly, that just reality, but Cyrex labs, I’ll put a link in the show notes to Cyrex and also to the functional medicine practitioners website ‘cause you’ll need a doc to order these for you. I wish that I, as I’m a nutritionist and a personal trainer, but that does not qualify me, that does not certify me to be able to order these for people or else I’d have ‘em available at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, but either way, you could go to the Cyrex website and get those done. That would be number one.
The second thing that I would test for would be metals. Like I mentioned metals can be associated, specifically things like mercury, you’ve had mercury fillings, if you’ve done, like a lot of like dental work, if you have worked in any type of industrial setting, or you live in a city a lot of times you can have some very specific autoimmune reactions to mercury. And so, in that case, what you’d wanna do is heavy metal testing. I will link to a podcast that I did, it’s about an hour long, about kinda like the crucial do’s and don’ts of heavy metal testing and metal detoxification, but if you have a bunch of symptoms like this that are complete head-scratchers for you, metal testing would be one to do as well. The Cyrex lab testing doesn’t do a bunch for metals, they’re a little bit more and kinda like mold and fungi-related, so you’ll probably want to do a metal test as well.
And then the last thing would be a poop test. So, this one’s pretty straightforward, looks at enzymatic production, bacteria, yeast, fungus, et cetera. I’ll put a link to this one too in the show notes, but all it does is it tests to see if there is gut inflammation going on or if maybe you have bacterial dysbiosis, right, like an overgrowth of bad bacteria. It’ll test for the presence of like H-Pylorae, parasites, amoebas, you know. All sorts of fun stuff.
Rachel: Where does that one come from? The gut testing?
Ben: That one, you can do that through DirectLabs, in the comfort of your own home, you can poop in a tray.
Rachel: So you poop in a tray and then you send it back to them in the mail?
Ben: Oh no. You poop in the tray, then you take a little fork, and then you fork the poo from the tray into the tube, and then that goes in the refrigerator, and you repeat that for three days and then you take the little pre-paid FedEx bag that they send you, send that off, and just like magic, within a couple of weeks, you have a PDF that tells you everything that’s going on inside your poo.
It’s actually, it’s an interesting test. I do that test once a year on myself, and my personal protocol is I tell everybody, you know, even if you don’t have an autoimmune issue, test your saliva once a year, or, I’m sorry, once in a lifetime. So you have a DNA analysis, right? So you just know your DNA. Test your gut once a year, and then I personally test my blood four times a year, but that’s because I’m constantly self-experimenting, but I think once a year is reasonable, right, to test your blood. So that’s kinda like the protocol, but if you’re concerned about the autoimmune stuff, look into the Cyrex labs, look into heavy metal testing, look into gut testing, and then finally, as you’re going through all this testing, if you just freakin’ like wanna get rid of at least some of the symptoms, try something like the autoimmune diet. There’s a full-on book. The one that I like is called the Autoimmune Paleo Diet and it’s like an eight week long protocol that just cuts out a lot of the major offenders, and still gives you a food list that doesn’t make you feel like you gotta eat like cardboard and sparkling water.
Ben: And it’s pretty decent. There are stuff like, you know, bone broth and para-sauces and fish and all sorts of stuff that you could still eat in there. So that one, I’ll link to in the show notes. It was written by a friend of mine who’s really cool and smart when it comes to immune diseases. Her name is Mickey and she wrote this book called the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. So check that one out, even though I wouldn’t, you know, you shouldn’t just switch to that diet and say “I’m gonna be on that diet for the rest of my life.” Instead, figure out what’s going on.
Rachel: Right. Yeah.
Ben: Do some of those tests that I talked about, best of luck, keep us posted, if you have more questions and, of course, as with anything we’ve talked about, if you have questions, comments, feedback, you can leave ‘em in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/350.
Sherry: Hey, Ben! Hi, guys! First of all, love your show. Been listening to it now for the last six months. Extremely informative and I have been hooked, going to a bunch of the conferences you’re speaking at this year, 2016, so very excited. I’m a personal trainer, group instructor, and a massage therapist, so the question that I had for you Ben was, when you are using the massage oils with clients, do you have any idea on the absorption level of these oils into your body, and could you tell me about the pros and cons for this? I’m a little bit concerned about massaging five or six hours a day and absorbing all of this oil on my skin. Would love some information on that, love you guys, you’re doing an awesome job, and can’t wait to hear the next podcast. Bye-bye.
Ben: Well, your skin is a mouth and since your hands have skin, your hands are a mouth, right?
Rachel: That is so weird! (laughs)
Ben: Your hands are a mouth. Yes, skin absorption, it’s called dermal absorption, I wrote about this, I wrote a big article, I’ll link in the show notes, about this skin serum that I developed and, by the way, I don’t recommend it for massage therapy, a) because you’re gonna go through it pretty quickly if you use it for a massages, and b) it’s not, gotten a lot of questions about the skin serum from moisturizing standpoint, it’s not a moisturizer, like let’s say like avocado oil or coconut oil. Frankly, both of those are decent natural moisturizers. The skin serum is more something that is designed to remove wrinkles, to remove like oxidative damage on the skin, to improve glow, to feed the skin’s microbiome, but it’s not a moisturizer per se. I personally, ‘cause I don’t have to deal with dry skin that much, I just use the skin serum after I shave and that’s it, but a lot of people have asked me, well, “Should I use a moisturizer too?” I tell ‘em, yeah. Rub in the skin serum and then, on top of that, just use a little avocado oil or olive oil or coconut oil as a moisturizer.
And the idea behind this is that chemicals, so a lot of people kind of like, they over magnify the issue with skin absorption, it’s not as though you’re walking around like as one, like bag covered in, you know, bag of bones and blood and organs covered in this tiny single-cell layer of skin. Your skin’s pretty thick. Like, to get absorbed through your skin, the chemical has to go through a few layers, your epidermis, and then your glands, and your hair follicles and there are several different layers of skin. Your skin’s like a seven layer dip, really. You’ve got, you know, like I said, it’s not just like you are some weak, defenseless blob of goo and bones covered by this tiny little layer of cellophane-like material.
Like there’s the epidermis and the dermis, in the epidermis, you’ve got the stradium, and the cornium, and the granular layer, and the spinus layer, and the basal layer, and the basal lamina, and so there’s all these different layers that a chemical has to go through in order for it to get absorbed. Now, what happens is if a particular chemical is actually that fat soluble, it can pass through your outer skin layer pretty easily, and an oil, we’ll it’s an oil. It’s a fat and fats are fat soluble. Fats mixed with fats really well, and so what that means is that when you look at a lot of beauty products or skin cosmetics or massage oils, those are the kind of things you have to be concerned about because they have oils in them, and anything that has a fat soluble chemical, that’s the stuff that you have to worry about and that’s why when you look at like nicotine or birth control patches, like the epidermal delivery of these is far more efficacious and speedy than the oral delivery and that, you know, that’s why they’ll do medications through the skin a lot of times.
It’s also why, you know, they’ve done tests where they’ve screened new born babies and they’ve found literally hundreds of toxins in the umbilical cord blood of new born babies and when they identified these toxins, half of them were the things the women were using in their makeup or their lotion or their moisturizer, and I’ll link to an article that I wrote about this, but the environment, the working group did a really interesting article on studies in which they found a ton of these different, like, birth defects and carcinogenic type of compounds in the umbilical cord blood of infants and it was all related to the personal care products used by the mom.
Rachel: That is just so scary.
Ben: Yeah, so you do need to take into consideration even what your massage therapist is putting on your body. And fortunately, most massage therapists are pretty woo-woo folks, and they already kind of tapped into the state, you know. There’s not a lot of massage therapists using stuff like parabens and phthalates and, you know, masked carcinogens on your skin, but there are some specific massage oils that I would personally choose as some of the better ones to look into. And so here are some of my top ones: almond oil. Almond oil is really, really good. It’s good for the skin, it’s a little bit oily, so it lets a massage therapist’s hands glide pretty easily over the skin, and it’s reasonably priced so you’re gonna go through a lot of it if you’re doing a lot of oil-based massage, but it doesn’t irritate the skin.
The only people who shouldn’t use that is people who have a nut allergy, but I’m a big fan of sweet almond oil. That’s one that you could talk to your massage therapist about or if you’re a massage therapist listening in, that would be one that would be acceptable. I would endorse it. Apricot kernel oil is another, now it works very similarly in terms of texture and its usefulness for a massage compared to olive oil or, I’m sorry, almond oil, but it costs a little bit more. It’s got more vitamin E in it, it’s got a longer shelf life, but it also is one of those oils that’s really good for a massage but doesn’t leave you feeling greasy afterwards. And it smells really nice too, I dunno if you’ve ever smelled apricot kernel oil.
Rachel: I haven’t, no.
Ben: That’s another good one. Interestingly, and not to get too explicit, I know we got some complaints on iTunes recently for our explicitness in episodes, we had a little, perhaps we did go a little crazy in the past few episodes from a sexual standpoint, but any of these oils, any of these oils I’m talking about, they’re great for the bedroom too. So there’s that. Jojoba oil, jojoba oil, and my wife always gives me a hard time cause I’ll often pronounce it jo-jo-ba, 'cause I think jo-jo-ba just sounds better than yo-yo-ba or yo-ho-ba, some people will say, but that’s a wax that’s extracted from the seed of the jojoba, yoyoba/jojoba plant, and it has really good antibacterial properties and it’s got what are called long-chain wax esters in them and these long-chain wax esters are very similar to your skin’s sebum, so it gets very well-absorbed, it’s a good carrier oil, it’s actually one of the things we have in the anti-aging skin serum. It’s not irritating to the skin, and it’s very kind of silky. It’s one of the more pricey oils, so a lot of times you’ll mix it with other oils, but that’s another really good one. A couple more. Coconut oil. Do you use coconut oil much on your skin?
Rachel: I do. Yeah. That’s kind of what I use to moisturize my face, actually, but it’s so thick.
Ben: Yeah, it could leave a little bit of a shimmery appearance, you know, that’s why I’m a little bit bigger fan for some of these other oils if it’s being used on the face, but coconut oil is specifically something for massage therapy that you’d wanna get in a form called fractionated coconut oil 'cause it only contains a fraction of the whole oil and it’s less pricey than like sweet almond oil or the jojoba oil, but the idea is that fractionated coconut oil isn’t quite as greasy and it also doesn’t stain sheets.
Rachel: That’s helpful.
Ben: Again, helpful for both the bedroom as well as massage therapy.
Rachel: I put it on my face before I go to bed, and then I lay on my pillow, and then suddenly my pillow cases are ruined. (laughs) How’s that for a first world problem?
Ben: Don’t get the thick, white solid oil. Fractionated coconut is like a light, non-greasy, more of like a liquid. And then the last one I look into is sunflower oil. That’s also like a light, non-greasy oil that won’t leave the skin feeling oily. It’s extracted from sunflower seeds, it’s got a lot of like essential fatty acids in it, like linoleic acid and palmitic acid and stearic acid, a lot of things that are actually components of healthy skin and the only issue with sunflower oil is, even though it is pretty good for a massage in terms of its texture, it does go rancid pretty easily so you’ll wanna keep it in like a dark, cool area. That’s why you have to be careful with using it from a dietary standpoint, it’s just because of the potential for rancidity, so if you get that, just like fish oil, for example, keep it cool, keep it dark because it is prone to rancidity, but it’s another decent option for massage.
Those would be my top choices and the cool thing about any of those, especially the jojoba oil, is you can add essential oils to them like ginger or, you know, stinging nettle oil, or cinnamon oil, or peppermint, or any other things that you want to add aroma for, lavender, rose oil, there’s all sorts of different oils, you know. Like I personally keep lavender essential oil and rose essential oil at the bedside for just basically sleeping a little bit better because those are both relaxants and I’ll dab a little bit on my upper lip. I keep coconut oil and also THC-infused oil called Bond that I get from this company in Seattle and those are for sexy time, and then I keep the skin serum and I actually keep that on my bedside. I’ve been dabbing it on my face before I got to bed at night and then also a little bit in the morning. Those are all the different oils, you’ll find all sorts of fun things in my bed stand, sometimes I should do, or sometime I should do a blog just about all the things in my little drawer next to my bed. There’s all sorts of fun little things in there.
Rachel: Are there any downsides to, as a masseuse, absorbing that much oil if you’re massaging like over a whole day?
Ben: No. Not if you’re using anything I just talked about.
Rachel: Okay. Good.
Ben: It’s only if you’re using the bad stuff. That’s the skinny and we’ll put links to some of the stuff in the show notes for you. So hopefully that’s helpful, Sherry, and now you owe me a massage.
Ryan: Ben Greenfield! This is Ryan Walker, reaching out to you from Mobile, Alabama! First and foremost, I freakin’ love your show, man. It has changed my life, so thank you so much for all that you do and I’ve got a fun question for you. I’m one of those whacko conspiracy theorist-type people who believes that the sustainability of our financial system will not remain for much longer, so with that being said, I was hoping maybe you could put together a list of 10 items, or more or less, of, not necessarily items, but foods, remedies, things like that that we can keep, we can start storing that will help us optimize or at least maintain our health in times of hardship, looking mostly for maybe the best essential oils to have, if you can pick like the top five, or really anything that you, if you had to put together your own bug out bag kinda scenario, what would it consist of? So again, thank you so much for everything, Ben. Love the show. Keep up the great work, and thank you Rachel, you’ve been awesome as well. Hope to hear back from you soon. Bye-bye.
Ben: Well, this is a topic near and dear to my heart right now, Rachel, because I’ve been having to put together a bag of my own.
Rachel: You have? For what? The apocalypse?
Ben: Well, no. I always had for the past two years, since I took a wilderness survival course, I’ve had what’s called a bug-out bag, and it’s the bag that you grab if crap hits the fan and you gotta run for the woods. It just has everything in it that you need to survive for a while. You know, like I’ve got my compass and my magnifying glass, and my fire starter and my knife, and my like water filter and, pretty much everything I need to survive in the wilderness.
Rachel: I am definitely curious about when you say s*** hits the fan, what exactly you’re talking about that would require you run to the woods.
Ben: It would be, okay, so I have been accused of being a prepper, right. I’ve got gold, silver, guns, a well, I’m adding solar and wind power to my home so I can get off the local power supply. Yes, I have a social security number. Yes, I live legally and lawfully, but I also, let’s put it this way, if the million-man Chinese army were to attack or the Iranians were to send a bunch of nuclear bombs over our way and just like, you know, stuff got really, really bad, or Donald Trump pissed off, you know, Putin or whatever.
Rachel: That’s probably the most likely one I’ve heard so far.
Ben: Probably. So I would be able to survive for a while here on my homestead.
Rachel: How long is a while?
Ben: I think that, this point in my life, based off of the food we have stockpiled, gold, silver, ammo, farm, I think I could probably get by for years.
Rachel: And what does, how does Jessa feel about the prepping?
Ben: She’s probably a bigger fan of it than I am. I mean, she is responsible for the chickens, and the goats, and the garden, and, you know, she’s a total ranch girl and, you know, granted…
Rachel: Is that prepping for an apocalypse or…?
Ben: Some of my stuff is more based around, like, you know, the stuff you’d expect guys to be more into, right, like weapons and ammo and gold and silver and that kinda stuff, but you know, ultimately, I’m into this whole idea of survival. I subscribed to a magazine called American Survival Magazine and it’s just like every issue is chock full of “Here’s what to do if there’s a solar flare that knocks out all the WiFi on the face of the planet.”
Rachel: I feel like you’re really coming out right now, like I feel like this is actually coming out to the world. You’re a legitimate prepper.
Ben: I’m a legitimate prepper, I think, and that’s why I like this question.
Rachel: Hi, guys. My name is Ben, and I’m a legitimate prepper.
Ben: But I actually, I’d rather hold there a little bit, ‘cause I was gonna say I’m putting together a bag right now for the hurricane heat in Seattle next week. So I’m headed to the Seattle Super Spartan and I’m gonna do the hurricane heat, that means I show up at 10 PM and they just like put you through the wringer until 10 AM, and then I’m gonna do the race too the next day.
Rachel: Wow. That’s huge.
Ben: Oh yeah, I’ve got a full list. Here, I’ll give you a quick list and then I’ll just into my healthy bug out bag, but the full list of the stuff I have to bring to the Seattle event is ruck, headlamp, chem lights, high visibility safety vest, compass, duct tape, black sharpie, a 100 feet of paracord, a multitool, MREs, 3 liters of hydration, 25 pound weight in my ruck pack, a sandbag, and then, for some reason, they said I need to bring a kickball. I’ve no clue why, but what I have heard about these Spartan hurricane heats is, if you don’t bring to the tee everything they tell you, you tend to get punished with a copious amounts of burpess, so I’m just gonna bring all that stuff. So I’m putting together that bag right now, but I like Ryan’s question.
So, Ryan, let’s go ahead and just forget all the stuff that we would expect to be crucial, the stuff I just went over, right, like your water filter and your compass, and your magnifying glass, and like a knife and some fire starter. I like your question because what are some of the healthy things that will help you during times of hardship. So, here we go. First of all, my little favorite that I tend to wear when I’m travelling or when I’m in the forest when I’m out on a long hike, and this probably doesn’t fall under the category of something healthy or biohack-y, but it’s my survival bracelet. Have you ever seen a survival bracelet?
Rachel: What’s a survival bracelet?
Ben: So I’ll link to my survival bracelet in the show notes ‘cause you can get it off Amazon.
Rachel: That looks awesome!
Ben: Okay. So basically it’s a bracelet made out of paracord, so you can undo the paracord and have 12 feet of paracord that you could like suspend yourself off the edge of a cliff with, but then it’s got a kale hook for fishing, with liter of line, it’s got a little foam bobbers that are like roll-up foam bobber along with some egg sinkers you could just basically catch fish, fire starter rod, fire striker, dried grass tinder bundle, safety pins, compass, and those are the biggies, but it’s all built into this tiny little bracelet and you would never know, looking at it, that is has all this stuff in it. It just looks like a normal little bracelet, but you can literally, if you find yourself in the wilderness, catch fish, find direction, hang off cliffs, start fire, etcetera.
Rachel: And it’s only $20!
Ben: I know.
Rachel: Oh my god! That’s probably the best $20 I would spend!
Ben: So there’s that. I know. I don’t wear it all the time, 'cause it’s kind of a weird looking bracelet, but if I’m out just trucking around, I like my little survival bracelet. So, have that. The next thing that I would recommend is a good essential oil that’s gonna kill off anything like STAPH, MRSA, I don’t want to tell you how many times I’ve used this stuff in the wilderness, or when I am like in a hotel room where I have second thoughts about the cleanliness of that hotel room or AirBnB and I have like, you know, an open wound I’ve gotten from a triathlon or a race or something like that.
I always travel with a little bottle of Thieves’ Essential Oil, and Thieves’ is a blend of clove, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cinnamon, so it was inspired by these old school French thieves who used to travel all over the world and they would like, they wouldn’t, the legend is they never got sick and this stuff works like that. Like you could put a few drops in water if you feel that you’ve been exposed to something. You can put it on wounds, I have a really gnarly open wound on my shin right now from sliding down a rope while doing rope climbing, I put some Thieves’ on that this morning…
Rachel: Why don’t you use oregano? Why do you use Thieves’ instead of oregano?
Ben: Oregano’s good, but Thieves’ is, it covers even more bacteria than oregano does. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of oregano. Thieves’ is expensive too, right, so that's no issue. Oregano is a little less expensive, but you know a bottle of Thieves’ is like 50 bucks. But I have one on hand. So that’d be number two. Number three would be cinnamon and the reason I like cinnamon is because it has been proven to be more effective than deet in warding off mosquitos and insects and you could just get a little bit of cinnamon essential oil, two or three drops will literally cover your arms and legs, and if you find yourself in a mosquito-infested situation, mosquitos just do not like cinnamon at all. Those are the two oils that I have. It’d be Thieves’ and cinnamon. You can smell like a giant Cinnabon roll.
The next thing that I would have, and this is another one that flies on the radar, is sprouting seeds. So, the idea behind this is that sprouting seeds are basically these little seeds, you can get ‘em off like Amazon, and you can store them in your bag along with like a paper towel, and when you’re ready to sprout the seeds, you get a little bit of water on the towel, and then you wrap up a handful of these seeds, and you wait just a couple of days and they sprout into these extremely nutrient-dense snack. They’ve very, very portable and, again, all you need to do, and you can use these just for like your general cooking, and they’re great to add to smoothies or sprinkle on salads, but they’re sprouting seeds.
The ones that I get, you can find on Amazon, there’s a company called The Sprout House that sells ‘em and they’re clover, lentil, daikon radish, and fenugreek, and you literally just add water and they take a couple of days to sprout and they’re incredibly nutritious. Really, really good blend and that’s a great addition, you know, rather than having a bunch of nasty MREs for a bug out bag. Now I would also, of course, have another thing that I really, really like as a nutrient-dense, calorie, calorie rich source of fuel that gets rid of cravings and it gives you a little hit of energy, and that would be a really, really good dark chocolate.
Rachel: Oooooh! I think a lot of people are happy to hear that.
Ben: Yeah. There’s a lot of different dark chocolates out there, I tend to go between a bunch of ‘em, like I’ve used the Eating Evolution Choc. We did a whole podcast, Brock and I did, I think this was before you were doing the podcast with me Rachel, but we did a whole podcast on like which of the chocolates out there are the healthiest. The one I’ve been doing a lot of lately is the Bulletproof chocolate. So Bulletproof, the company came out with this chocolate, they call their chocolate fuel bar, and it’s about 80% chocolate, but then they sweeten it with xylitol instead of sugar, and I believe they add some MCT oil or something like that to it that gives it kind of this unique energy blend. It’s not MCT, it’s XCT oil, XCT oil, so that’s the stuff that gets readily burned by your liver for fuel so it’s like a chocolate bar that doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels, basically.
Rachel: Yum! That’s a win!
Ben: It’s a sugar-free chocolate bar, but it’s still got a lot of fuel in it. I like that one. I like that one that they’ve got coffee infused into 'cause you get that coffee-chocolate combo. So, I’d have that in there as well, dark chocolate. The next thing that I would add would be something that I use for, and I know this might be offensive to some of our Hispanic listeners, Mexican showers, which, from what I understand is just this idea that you use a baby wipe to shower rather than taking an actual shower.
Rachel: And, I’m sure, is kind of offensive.
Ben: Yeah, it’s kind of offensive, but I have these in my bug out bag and what they are is they’re called Action Wipes. I use them like after a triathlon, I use them to wipe my arse when I’m taking a dump in the woods, you name it. But they’re basically a wipe that is infused with frankincense, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil, so they smell really good, but they also kill bacteria if you happen, you know, kinda like Thieves’. You can even use them as like a wrap-around wounds, but you can also use them to just like, whatever, clean funky armpits. So these ones are called Action Wipes. I’ve actually been using Action Wipes for almost a decade. I discovered them at a triathlon down in California and, and yeah, just fell in love with them. So I’m always ordering myself a pack full of Action Wipes. They just work perfectly. The only thing I can tell you is they’re not a flushable wipe, so don’t wipe ‘em down the toilet ‘cause they’re really strong and they’re durable and designed to be used multiple times, but they work really well. They were originally, interesting story, I have a podcast that I do with the owner, they were originally developed for, for sexy time activities in the bedroom, and then she realized they worked well for sports.
Rachel: We just keep going back there, don’t we? Just can’t get away from it.
Ben: Well, no! No, only twice, but no. I mean, I don’t mind talking about that stuff. That’s life.
Rachel: Me neither.
Ben: But, anyways, the Action Wipes, I’d have those in there. So a few other things, ‘cause I wanted to give Ryan 10 things, Ambronite. I would forego MREs, any nasty, you know, oxidized, military-based ready-to-eat pouches. Basically ambronite, I just did a podcast with them, you can listen to it at bengreenfieldfitness.com/ambronitepodcast. I discovered in Finland, it was developed by a bunch of adventurers and mountaineers, it’s this little green pouch, 500 calories a pouch, it’s got like 20 different superfoods in it. You can literally, you don’t even need a cup. You can just open up the pouch, add a little bit of water to the pouch, eat it right out of there. It’s probably the most satiating meal replacement powder that I’ve ever used, and I would definitely have that in your bug out bag as well, would be some pouches of ambronite. Yeah, so ambronite would be the, you know, and you can even break up the chunks of dark chocolate and put them in the ambronite.
Ben: Not that I’ve ever been known to do that, but that’s like liquid ambrosia. Seriously. You have to try it. Have you tried that stuff yet, by the way?
Rachel: I haven’t, no. Actually, Jake had it last night for dinner though.
Ben: That’s really good. I’ve had it for dinner. It’s really good, especially when I gotta work during dinner and I just need to eat something with a spoon out of a cup while working.
Rachel: It’s just functional eating.
Ben: Yeah, but it’s good. Okay, so, kind of along those lines as far as a cleanse, we’ve all heard about activated charcoal before and how that can get rid of toxins in your gut if you’ve gotten food poisoning and that’s certainly something that’s in my bug out bag, but because I wanna be super unique with these ideas for Ryan, I would say that something that acts similarly to activated charcoal but also supplies you with amino acids, fatty acids, brain-building DHA, appetite satiation, etcetera, would be chlorella.
So chlorella will bind and remove toxins, that’s why one of the reasons why sushi is such a perfect food because it’s seaweed that is mixed with fish, and so the seaweed will bind a lot of the toxins in the fish, like the metals and stuff like that and help remove them from the fish, and chlorella acts similarly in your body, so it helps when your liver has used your livers antioxidants to help to metabolized toxins and stuff like that, chlorella is one of those things that can help to remove those. It’s basically what would be called a binder or a phase II detoxificant for the liver. So you could put a bunch of like little chlorella tabs in there. I’ll link to a whole article that I wrote about how to use chlorella tablets, but that would be another thing to add in. Almost there. Two more things to get us up to 10.
Next would be, again along the lines of something more supplement-ish that helps to decrease inflammation, decrease joint pain, decrease nerve pain, and that would be curcumin. So curcumin is a really potent antioxidant you could have, you know, a Ziploc bag full of curcumin capsules in there and basically curcumin is not very well-absorbed. There are only really two forms of curcumin that tend to get absorbed very well. Number one would be if it’s in what’s called nanoparticle form. There’s this whole emerging field of nanomedicine in which they take certain compounds, and they blend them into tiny, tiny little nanoparticles and those get absorbed much, much better than the bigger particles that you’ll tend to see in most supplements and medication.
And then the other way to make curcumin bioavailable is to blend it with a fat. This is why like adding like turmeric to, you know, like my wife did this last night. Turmeric juice, like juiced turmeric with a coconut oil as, because the fats act with the curcuminoids and the turmeric, and they get them really well-absorbed. But you can also just take curcumin in what’s called a phytosome form, you wanna look for curcumin phytosome. So either a nanoparticle curcumin or curcumin phytosome, but either of those are extremely well-absorbed forms of something that works similarly to ibuprofen or Advil, without the gut damage. Right. So if you happen to get injured, this would be a good one.
And then finally, because we’ve already been woo-woo talking about the Earthing sandals, the other thing that I would look into is something that will help to make your water healthier after you’ve filtered it. So there’s this idea that, of course when you filter water, you can get rid of chlorine and fluoride and, you know, amoebas, and E. coli and stuff like that, but the problem is water that’s been filtered is dead water. So when you filter water, it loses all of its vibratory frequencies. It’s just like if you put vegetables in the refrigerator for four weeks, they’re not as nutritious for you as, say, you just picked them out of a garden and ripped them up and made a fresh salad because they lose a lot of the vibrational energy that they get from like sunlight. Water’s this same way. Once water isn’t passing over rocks and underground streams and, you know, through pipes and stuff like that, and it’s just kind of stopped, it’s stagnant for a while, it is no longer what’s called resonating with the same frequencies.
There’s a scientist named Dr. Gerald Pollock at University of Washington who studies this idea that water that’s not vibrating at these frequencies doesn’t hydrate cells quite as well. So I have a whole house-structured water filter in my home that structures all the water because I get from a well, but then it passes through an iron filter because there’s iron in my well water, and it also passes through a manganese filter because there’s a manganese issue with my well water, but then, it’s dead water cause it’s been through all these filters, so the final thing I do is I pass it through what’s called a structured water filter and, typically, a structured water filter is, it’s like a vortex, a series of glass beads that the water travels through that restores that same frequency that would have had if it were like travelling through an underground spring, and you can get portable structured water filters that you can put in a bug out bag and then you can take water that you filtered and drink it through like, there’s one called, for example, a nanowell. It’s a kinda cool one.
It’s a little, little portable water bottle you can take with you when you travel, you can take it in a bug out bag, and it’s just a little mini structured water maker. And there’s a bunch of others, I’ll link to ‘em on Amazon, but they’re also known as like ionizers, water ionizers, but they make water bottles that will just do all this for you. They even make like little sticks that you can add to a bottle of water and then shake it up in the water, and it helps to restore some of the vibration into the water. So those are all the things that I would add to a healthy bug out bag. I’ll put a fill list in the show notes and, of course, a lot of this stuff is just good stuff to have on hand, even if you’re not a prepper like me, even if you don’t subscribe to Survival Magazine, even though I think everybody should subscribe just 'cause it’s just like, it’s prepper porn, basically. It’s fun stuff to read, so check all that out, Ryan and everybody else who’s listening in who wants to survive when Donald Trump pisses off our overseas neighbors.
Jennifer: Hi, Ben! This is Jennifer from Oceanside, California. I have a question about increasing thyroid function once damage has been done from all the carb diet. I had been playing around with nutrition and trying to get leaner and ended up depleting my thyroid function fairly significantly. I have a doctor and nutrition who’s a homeopath that will be helping me as well as a new nutrition coach, but in the interim, if you have any advice on how to use carbs to help reset my metabolism and get me back on track and what types of carbs to use, I would really appreciate it. I’ve been feeling really slow and not so good. It’s not a fun feeling. I know I can fix it in a month or two with help, but if there’s anything you can kind of guide me on between now and then, I would really appreciate it. Thank you and Rachel, for all of your excellent advice and products and wonderful things.
I can’t tell you how much I benefit from it, I’m a physician myself and often pass a lot of your information to my patients, other physicians, and friends. Keep it up! Thanks!
Ben: Well this is a topic near and dear to my heart because my wife, Jessa, is a former cross-country runner and she, and a lot of her teammates, dealt with like stress fractures and amenorrhea, and all of these issues related to training, getting really lean with like endurance training, and you’ll often see this to be not just an issue with endurance athletes, but also with active females in general. And so, there is this concept of the female athlete triad, which is a combination of disordered eating and also, a lot of people don’t realize this, it can be either disordered eating like anorexia or just low energy availability, like not eating enough damn food. And then that’s typically combined with amenorrhea and low bone density, like osteoporosis. That’s kind of like the cluster that you tend to see, and a lot of times it goes hand in hand with some of the hormonal issues like the thyroid issues that Jennifer’s talking about.
Now, it can be pretty prevalent, especially among athletes, and in studies that they’ve done, generally, in like the active female population, it’s about somewhere between 12 and 18% of the total amount of the active female population, meaning like exercise enthusiasts, triathletes, crossfitters, etcetera, have hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, growth hormone deficits, or any of these other functions of the female athlete triad. So it’s a pretty, pretty prevalent issue and when you think about 12 to 18% is a lot of women that deal with this, and there are some issues that tend to crop up over and over again when it comes to the long term effects of stuff like this. So not only to you, of course, lose fertility when you’re menses starts to disappear, and you begin to increase your risk for fractures as your bone health begins to diminish, but they’ve also looked at women who are showing a lot of these overtraining signs and they’ve found decrease left ventricular mass and diminished thickness of cardiac walls, and basically as nasty as it is to think about it, your heart tissue begins to almost eat itself because you begin to break down your own cardiac tissue to rely upon for energy. It’s not just your muscle tissue and bone demineralization, but also the heart.
Rachel: That’s crazy.
Ben: Yeah, and the culprit it not necessarily as many people have been lead to believe, carbohydrate restriction, as much as it is overall energy deprivation and, as a matter of fact, what they found is that the hormonal imbalances that are caused by overtraining, in females especially, can be reversed with high amounts of energy availability and so what I mean by that is they’ve studied the ability to produce things like luteinizing hormone, which allows for the restoration of fertility. They’ve looked at bone density. They’ve looked at the ability to produce things like progesterone, you know, one of the things that women tend to lose that affects like sex drive during periods of caloric restriction or overtraining and they’ve found that almost all of this can be reversed by increasing energy availability.
Rachel: What does that mean, increasing energy availability?
Ben: Okay, so what I tell my female clients who I’ve worked with and kind of walked through, you know, anywhere from 6 to 12 week programs for kinda getting their periods back or getting rid of thyroid issues or like the high TSH that Jennifer is talking about or, you know, the other issues that you see are like, again, low luteinizing hormone levels, low estrogen, low testosterone, low progesterone, usually whacked out circadian rhythms because there’s an absence of a cortisol spike in the morning, and then also really, really low insulin-like growth factor, which is one of the things that allows you to recover more quickly from exercise. And then, of course, the decline of heart mass, organ mass, bone mass, muscle mass, even brain mass, oddly enough, they even found that to be an issue. What I tell them is basically, it’s a process of allowing yourself to get fat and you put on some weight, and you decrease training because what’s going on is your body will tap into its energy stores in the form of body fat, muscle, and organ mass, as well as the insulating fat around nerves and neural tissue.
It will decrease metabolic activity, specifically by down regulating thyroid activity, and then it will shut down, non-vital, very energy-intensive parts of your system and the two most energy-intensive systems that that women have that get shut down are the immune system and the reproductive system. So you get sick more, and you lose fertility.
Okay. The thyroid activity decreases and then you start to see shrinkage of brain, heart, muscle, organ, et cetera, and women who ignore this and continue to just drive and train and not jump into a properly programmed training program, they eventually just waste away and you tend to see. I see this sometimes when you look at like, you know, 50 year old female ultra runners and they look like Yoda, basically. It’s like, that’s not the way that a woman is kinda supposed to look and, granted if you’re happy running up mountains and that’s what you wanna do and you’re okay with the fact that you might, in your 80s, step off a curb and get a fracture, and, you know, you’re not gonna have a sex drive, ever. You know, that type of thing. That’s fine if that floats your boat, but, for a lot of women, that’s not the way they wanna live.
Rachel: Can all of these things happen from undereating and not overtraining?
Ben: It’s very, very typical for these to be a combination of overtraining and undereating. Not, not both, so you get overtraining and undereating, and what you get from that is basically, you know, low luteinizing hormone. There are low levels of what is called leptin, which can help with the appetite regulation. There are, you know, everything else that I just got done talking about. Well, what you do, even if it’s only temporary, right, and a lot of times this can be as few as 8 to 12 weeks that you see this is you overeat and you undertrain. That is essentially how you reverse this. As simple and as stupid as that is, this is the thing that I have found to, and that research has shown, to reduce this issue in females and to get rid of this vicious cycle.
So it’s basically four different things: you provide adequate and continuous energy supply to your body, so this means breaking all the rules of ketosis and intermittent fasting, etcetera, and essentially, what you’re doing is you’re controlling what are called your ghrelin levels, which help to mitigate a lot of the loss of leptin hormone, which is an appetite regulating hormone that occurs when you’re overtraining and undereating, and helps to stabilize blood sugar, so that will help to stabilize cortisol levels, get the cortisol spike a crank in the morning, and restore proper appetite hormone expression, and the way that you do that is by eating three square meals a day and then multiple snacks too. So that’s number one.
Number two is you need to make sure that glucose levels are normalized and that will increase insulin levels and insulin-like growth factor levels and that can help out with the thyroid disregulation, and the way that you do that is you ensure that each of the meals that you eat throughout the day, include some type of low glycemic index carbohydrate that’s gonna allow for a low bleed of energy as you do a lot of like grains and legumes and seeds, and nuts and things like that. So not a lot of like super-duper sugary foods, but instead foods that are gonna give you a slow release of carbohydrate, and, again, this is not for everybody, right, this is for women who are specifically finding themselves in this issue.
Number three, is a really balanced intake of every type of natural fat you can get your hands on and, again, I’m basing this off of studies that have looked into reversal of overtraining symptoms in women. I’m not just pulling this stuff out my butt, and I’ll put links in the show notes, but what you want to look at when I say balanced intake of all types of natural fats is you would be going after things like fish oil, algae sources, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, so you wanna get a combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, because you have to rebuild things like cell membranes and hormones and steroidal precursors, and that takes a balanced intake of a good mix of natural fats.
And then, finally, you need a profound reduction in training volume to lower things like energy requirements, catecholamine requirements, cortisol requirements, vitamin D turnover into cortisol, et cetera, and that typically means doing a lot of like, kinda, you know, yoga, easy swims, foam rolling and mobility work, programming in far more recovery days, allowing for adequate rest between sets, lowering the number of sets or repetitions that you do, lowering training volume, et cetera.
And there’s actually a fantastic three part article series on a website called SuppVersity, that I’ll link it to, that are really goes into all of the different studies that investigate reversal of the female athlete triad, but ultimately what it comes down to is not just eating more carbohydrates or getting off a low carb diet, it comes down to everything that I just talked about, snacking frequency, avoidance of intermittent fasting, lowering of training volume, increase of all sorts of different types of natural fats, and those are some of the biggies, but I’ll link that full article for you in the show notes, but that is where I would start and that is, you know, something that a lot of times you’ll see, not just women, but also men need to do because this can be an issue in men who overtrain as well. So, yeah, that is where I would start, Jennifer. I hope that helps. Again, I should throw in a disclaimer here, I’m not a doctor. This is not to be misconstrued as medical advice.
Rachel: Well, it’s funny ‘cause she is a doctor. (laughs)
Ben: Oh! Oh! I thought, okay, so she’s, I thought she was saying she has a doctor, she is a doctor.
Rachel: She’s also a physician, herself.
Ben: Well, there you go. I’m just saying, if I wasn’t getting my period, that’s what I would do. I know she didn’t talk a whole lot about amenorrhea, but you’ll tend to see this, you know, hand-in-hand with thyroid dysfunction, is this whole female athlete triad. Anyways, there you have it. So, that being said, we covered a lot in today’s show.
Rachel: Huge podcast!
Ben: So, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/350 because we have tons of goodies in there for you. Everything from the Earth runners, to all the studies that we talked about, to all the links to everything I’ll put in my bug out bag, to the new anti-aging serum, to all the different events from the Paleo f(x) to the Biohacker Summit, on and on. You can get all the goodies from bengreenfieldfitness.com/350 and the last thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna give something away.
Ben: We have gotten a plethora of one-star reviews lately in iTunes. Considering we work our ass off to produce this podcast and to try and get you valuable information, that just irks me when I log in. And I know part of it is there have been a few episodes where we gotten, yeah, maybe a little bit too explicit for the kids in your mini-van, or you know, maybe I’ve talked about something that seems woo-woo like trends in adult meditation, shocker, but ultimately, if you’re listening in and you do dig this podcast, you wanna give us a little good karma, here’s what you do: go to iTunes, iTunes is the place to do it, leave a five star review, say something nice, say something cool, and if we pick your review to read on the show, and then you e-mail, just e-mail your t-shirt size to [email protected] if you hear your review right on the show, we’ll send you a cool Ben Greenfield Fitness gear pack with a water bottle and a t-shirt. Not just any t-shirt, but a tech t-shirt for exercising and a beanie, a really cool Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie. So, we have a review, five star review, called “great freaking podcast!!” left by JoelD82 and, Rachel, wanna take this one away?
Rachel: Yeah! Let’s do it! Alright! So, JoelD82 says “This is a terrific podcast. It feels like health and fitness based on science instead of outdated info from the 50s. This is the best podcast. It’s always a good listen, thanks to Ben’s humor, his cute sounding Australian co-host livens things up as well.” Aww, isn’t that sweet. What a nice pat on the head.
Ben: I like to think too that I am cute sounding.
Rachel: I thought you were the cute one, Ben! I was the smart one! (laughs)
Ben: Yeah. Although I think you probably got a lot of new followers from you posting bikini shots of you doing the cold water shower challenge that we just got done doing, I think.
Rachel: And then, like, come on now. Rachel’s not an athlete. She doesn’t have an athletic body. It’s like not a big deal.
Ben: I’m just saying, I think folks dug that, but anyways, the 50s, the 1950s, outdated info from the 1950s. I dunno what was going on in the 1950s, but I’m thinking like, wasn’t that when you would do like roller skating, drive-through, fast food.
Ben: Yeah. Milkshakes and, what else, like, you know, old school Fords. I think television just came around in the 1950s and music, of course, from the 1950s.
We hit Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, right? Those were big in the 50s, so there were all sorts of good stuff going on in the 50s dude, don’t slam the 50s. I’m just saying, but we’re still gonna send you a gear pack. So, just e-mail us, thanks for the awesome review, and again, you can leave your review, we’ll put a link in the show notes, just go to iTunes, do search for the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show and in the meantime, we have plenty of fantastic episodes planned for the future. I’ve been recording my butt off with podcasts about everything from staying fit when you’re injured to the healthiest kinds of wine to, I’m doing one later on today about algae, all sorts of really cool podcasts coming up the pipelines, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out the show notes for everything at bengreenfieldfitness.com/350. Rachel.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.
- Ben is eating black ant extract now.
- The amazing physiology of freedivers…VERY cool.
- And sometimes it’s OK to “cheat” on a meal.
- So…perhaps this means it’s a good thing that I start off each day with a spoonful of baking soda and water, followed by a cup of coffee.
- Bright light at night does LESS damage to you if you got good natural light during the day.
- This is probably one of the reasons I stay effortlessly lean every winter.
Two quick corrections:
–Earthrunners earthing sandals discount is 10%, not 30%. Our apologies!
–Ambronite superfoods meal replacement discount is “BEN15”.
This podcast is brought to you by:
–EarthRunners – use code BEN10 for 10% discount on these minimalist outdoor sandals that sync up with the earth’s circadian rhythm (24 hour cycle) by exposing your biology to planet’s natural frequencies via carbon lacing and carbon plugs built into the sandal.
–April 1-21: The Cold Shower Challenge – You take a 5 minute cold shower (no temperature rules, but as cold as your shower can truly go, scout’s honor…) each morning for 21 days from April 1st – 21st. Then you post a (clothed or towel clad, no nudies!) photo on any social media outlet you have (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as evidence. You *must* tag @BenGreenfield and you must use the following hashtag: #ColdShowerChallenge. The best part? All proceeds go towards The Brain Trauma Foundation, an organization that conducts innovative clinical research and develops evidence-based guidelines that improve the outcomes for millions of people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year. During this challenge you will learn everything you need to know about cold thermogenesis and cold showers, and even get access to a private Facebook community with all participants (including me), donate money to Brain Trauma Foundation, revitalize your life, body, brain and waistline to be ready for spring, and bask in the many cognitive and performance-enhancing benefits of cold thermogenesis! So…you in? Click here to join in now.
–Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine!
–GreenfieldFitnessSystems “surprise gift box” – 50% discount on instant access to a box shipped to your front doorstep and full of the latest cutting-edge biohacking gear, nutrients, smart drugs and more, handpicked and curated by Ben. Only three left.
Did you miss the weekend podcast episode on Transcendental Meditation. It was a must-listen – titled “TM – Cult, Quackery or Science”. Click here to listen now or download for later!
May 11, 2016: Ben is speaking at the brand new Natural Grocers in Spokane, WA on “Little Known, Easy-To-Find Foods That Burn Fat”. Click here for more details or to get in for free now.
May 21-22, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in London. The venue will be one of the most charming venues of London, Tabacco Dock, and features an Upgraded Dinner with wild forager Sami Tallberg and a great opportunity to bring together some fantastic UK based biohackers in the realms of digital health, wearables, supplements, biohacking, lifehacking, quantified self and much more. You’ll discover digital health & wellness providers, nutrition & supplement companies, wearables & mobile applications and smart home appliances from infrared saunas to smart sensors. Click here to register and use 10% code “ben”.
May 26-29, 2016: Ben is speaking at PaleoFX 2016 in Austin, Texas. This is the The Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including New York Times bestselling authors, leading physicians, scientists, health entrepreneurs, professional athletes, fitness professionals, activists, bloggers, biohackers, and more. And you DON’T need to be Paleo to be able to get a ton of benefit and fun out of this one! Also, one day prior, on May 26 is Health Entrepreneurs f(x) – a full day of deep discussion on marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship for health and wellness people, featuring Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Melissa Hartwig, Sarah Ballantyne, Mike Bledsoe, Abel James, and a bunch of other speakers in small group coaching sessions.
July 8-10, 2016: Join SEALFit and Ben Greenfield for a SEALFit 20X event at Ben Greenfield’s home in Spokane, WA – combined with Obstacle Course training with Ben Greenfield and Hunter McIntyre. Get all details here and get in soon because this one will fill up fast!
August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.
Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.
–Dec 3-10, 2016: Runga in Costa Rica: 8 days, epic food, twice daily yoga, salt water pool and manual therapy and spa services galore, experts from around the world teaching running clinics, kettlebell seminars, lecturing on nutrition, etc. Also daily adventures ranging from zip lining to white water, along with a full digital detox. Code “BEN” gets you a free gift with your RUNGA registration valued at $75! Click here to get in now.
Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.
When You Shouldn’t Get A Blood Test
Phil says: His wife is 54 and has a long list of health issues, many of which developed later in life. From food allergies and asthma to aching knees to swollen fingers in the morning, which she describes as Mickey Mouse hands. All of her doctors just want to treat her symptoms but he wants to treat the causes. Would you recommend a functional wellness test like WellnessFX and if so, which one would you choose? Or would you recommend something else?
Which Massage Oil Is Healthiest?
Sherry says: She loves the show, she’s been listening for the past 6 months and she hooked. She’s going to a bunch of the conferences you’re speaking at. She’s a personal trainer, group instructor and massage therapist. She’s wondering what the absorption level is of massage oil into your body. What are the pros and cons of of absorbing all that oil into the skin if she’s massaging 6 hours per day?
In my response, I recommend:
–New Greenfield Anti-Aging Skin Serum
Ben’s Bug Out Bag
Ryan says: He’s from Mobile, Alabama, and he’s got a fun question. He’s one of those Waco conspiracy theorist type – people who believes the sustainability of our financial system won’t remain much longer. He was hoping you could put together a list of top 10 items, foods, remedies that he can keep and start storming that will help them optimize or maintain health during times of hardship.
In my response, I recommend:
–Thieves essential oil
-Cinnamon essential oil
–Portable Structured Water Filter
–Healthy Chocolate (e.g. Bulletproof)
How Women Can Fix Metabolic Damage From Overtraining
Jennifer says: She’s from Oceanside, California. She has a question about increasing thyroid function once damage had been done from a low carb diet. She’s was playing around with nutrition and trying to get leaner and depleted her thyroid function fairly significantly. She has a doctor of nutrition and nutrition coach helping her but in the interim, if you have any advice on how to use carbs to help reset her metabolism and get her back on track and what types of carbs to use, she’d appreciate it. She’s feeling really slow and not so good…it’s not a fun feeling. She knows she can fix it in a month of two with help but if there’s anything we can provide in the interim she’d appreciate it. She thanks you for your excellent advice, and products and other things, she benefits so much from it. She’s a physician herself and she often passes along information to her patients, other physicians and friends.
In my response, I recommend: