[1:17] Ben’s Trip To the Bahamas
[4:30] News Flashes/ Nike’s New Magic Shoes
[9:56] The New Sex Wearable
[11:41] 4 Science-Based Superfoods You Should be Eating
[16:12] The Real Mediterranean Diet
[20:28] Concept of “Geopathic Stressors”
[25:03] Special Announcements/ Kimera Koffee
[28:19] HumanCharger/ Gainswave
[32:09] Organifi Green Juice
[35:19] Live It and Lead It Conference in Atlanta
[36:20] Paleo FX/ Infinite Man Event in Bulgaria
[38:23] Listener Q & A/ How Runner Can Lose Muscle in a Healthy Way
(And Calorie Cycling 101)
[58:05] Natural Ways to Maximize Eye Health
[1:11:20] How Females Can Lose Body Fat Fast
[1:29:09] Podcast Review Giveaway
[1:33:29] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: How Females Can Lose Body Fat Fast, How To Get Lean On A Vegan Diet, 4 Science-Based Superfoods, Natural Ways To Maximize Eye Health, and Much More!
Rachel, my chest is killing me.
Rachel: Why is your chest killing you?
Ben: I’m havin’ a heart attack. How about, I’m not following your advice. No, I have a fire or coral sting on my chest.
Rachel: That sounds super painful.
Ben: It was really painful. I just got back from the Bahamas and while I was there I spearfish just about every day. I run in one of those crappy little pole spears from a local fishing village and went down in the water and spearfish, and it was just like offshore, like not deep spearfishing off of a boat. And so, I’m brushing up against rocks and seaweed, and piers, and all ducks, and I found this old sunken boat but I also happens to brush my little nipples, and areola, and chest against a fire coral and it’s frickin’ like it knock me out. I came out of the water and I went there with my kids everyday so that my kids would stand at the edge with their buckets and two little knives that they brought from the kitchen ‘cause I taught them kinda how to basically kill the fish after I brought it in. They put the knife through its eyes and the fish just die painlessly. Don’t worry, all of you the fish…
Rachel: (laughs) There’s no pain involve. It’s totally okay.
Ben: And then we of course ate them right afterwards so, we had fresh fish. We weren’t just killing fish for the heck of it. Anyways though, so I stumbled out of the water and went home and just like pass in bed for 2 hours because of this fire coral poison that was going through my system. We posted, if you’re listening, go to instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness, you can see my chest, and I’m looking at it right now. It’s still just covered in all this little red spots and this was like 5 days ago.
Rachel: Yeah, I don’t know if you notice about me, Ben but I’m from the land of weird things that sting you, but I’ve never heard of fire corals and I’m curious what it is.
Ben: I may possibly have just made up that term. Fire corals…
Ben: No, actually there is such a thing. It’s fire coral. Google it.
Ben: I’m serious.
Rachel: I’ll do it.
Ben: If it shows upon Google, it must exist. The rest of my body is sore too. I tackled the obstacle course last night because, I can’t say too much about this, but in addition to make in the Spartan pro-team this year, not lighting fire under me, do get my training in, I’m also in a reality TV show. I can’t talk too much about it but I’m out training hardcore now for this new reality TV show. I’m gonna be jetting off to film in just a couple of weeks, so…
Rachel: Ben, my big question for you is are you gonna win the spot in world champs this year?
Ben: Well, if I’m wearing Nike’s new magic shoes. Have you heard about Nike’s new magic shoes?
Rachel: Yes. I saw this article and it sparks a load of interesting conversation on Facebook, and I think if you wear the shoes you might win.
Ben: Okay. Alright. Let’s talk about the shoes in the upcoming news flashes. So those of you who don’t know about Nike’s new magic shoes in the 2-hour marathon, we will fill you in. So, that being said, we should probably just go ahead and jump in. Shall we?
Ben: Nike’s new magic shoes! Hey, we said we talk about it. We might as well just laid off with that.
Rachel: That’s right, Ben.
Ben: So, this whole like Nike, they want to host a sub-2 hour marathon attempt. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this but basically they have identified this auto drome which I think it’s in Italy where they want to do it. It’s like a Formula 1 race track in Italy and it’s a 1.5 mile loop which if you do the math you gotta run around that 17 and a half times to run an actual marathon which just sounds boring as hell.
Rachel: That doesn’t sound fun at all.
Ben: But they wanna do a near Milan, Italy ‘cause it has the ideal temperature which is apparently 54 degrees, I don’t know who identified that as the ideal temperature for marathon but apparently it is. It’s got the ideal wind condition which is supposedly next to nothing and then the altitude is kinda perfect, it’s like 600 feet above sea level. So Nike’s plan is not only to try and have some of their athletes, I think there’s 3 Nike sponsored athletes to try and break the world record there, but they’re also just rolled out a new shoe. I don’t know if you’ve seen the shoe. You said you saw the article, right?
Rachel: I did see the article and I don’t know if I buy it.
Ben: Well I mean honestly, running a sub to our marathon is not completely out of sight considering that people can already run like a 2O. I don’t really know what the record is. I think it’s like a 2O, 3 and a half, something like that, but I mean you look at it like Roger Bannister, he did the sub-four-minute mile and since then a whole bunch of people have run a sub-four-minute mile. Same thing with a 2-hour marathon or sub-two-hour marathon. As a matter of fact, Outside Online called me last night and they wanted to go the Outside Magazine. They were asking me a bunch of questions about how someone’s fuel would change running a 2-hour marathon, and one of my reply’s is not that gonna be like carbohydrate oxidation rates and gastric emptying or not gonna be that much different for like a 2-hour vs. 2O3 or a 2O4. And for an athlete like that who is extremely glycolytic for 2 plus hours or for 2 hours even you have to kinda like eat a mix of glucose and maltodextrin, or glucose and fructose, or fructose and maltodextrin, specifically because you’re using multiple carbohydrate transporters in the gut and I realizes this is a complete rabbit hole away from the actual shoes themselves but it has to be a liquid or a gel source because that’s going to facilitate gastric emptying best when you’re running. And there’s like little things that athletes can do to bring a normal carbohydrate oxidation rates up about 25% or so in terms of how many carbs you can burn when you’re running a marathon. But that’s on a side of the shoe. And will link to this article if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/… what is this, Rachel? 367?
Ben: 367. I cannot say this as well as sexy and Australian as you can. 367.
Rachel: Maybe one day you will.
Ben: One day. Anyways though, so it’s called the Nike Zoom Zape Vaporfly, I can talk, Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite. That’s a mouthful. So, they put a carbon fiber plate inside it and then the heel juts out so you get a whole bunch of stiffness. Apparently it increases your running economy fairly significantly when your wear the shoe. At least that’s the way that they’ve designed it. And it’s kind of a Frankenstein-looking prototype if you check up the shoe online, but they’ve got a different type of foam density that apparently gives you a huge energy return when your foot strikes the ground. It’s almost like running on springs, you kinda like bounce off the ground, which kind of I think that some people might raise an eyebrow whether or not it might be like in the legal performance enhancing aid, right? Like there’s a big controversy, I think it was Oscar Pistorius, the guy who had like… remember this Olympian, who wear a prosthetic limb that allowed him to like…
Rachel: That’s not what I remember him for though. He did a lot of other things as well.
Ben: He killed somebody too.
Rachel: He did that too. Yeah, well he didn’t apparently, anyway… we digress.
Ben: Anyways, so it’s called the Vaporfly, the Vaporfly. I don’t know who came up with that name. But it’s worth checking out the article if you’re into running and specifically improving running economy and efficiency, or if you just wanna see what they’re gonna break the 2-hour marathon in. It’s a pretty sexy looking shoe.
Rachel: Do you reckon they’re gonna break the 2-hour mark?
Ben: Do I reckon? Uh, I reckon. Yeah, I reckon it’s gonna happen.
Rachel: (chuckles) That’s a southern accent, an Australian accent.
Ben: I think it’s gonna happen. Humans are getting bigger and faster, and stronger, and heck you give someone enough chocolate milk, and a cool shoe. They’ll do it.
Rachel: Who knows what they can do?
Ben: In Milan, Italy. By the way, speaking of cool wearables, have you seen the new sex wearable?
Rachel: This made me giggle. This is a great article.
Ben: It’s a brand new smart condom. It’s actually a self-quantification condom.
Ben: When you wear it, apparently it answers pretty much every single burning question you’ve ever had about sex.
Rachel: Every man has that hot about sex.
Ben: Get this. It will tell you thrust velocity, it will tell you how fast your thrust are, how many calories that session just burnt, how many times you had sex in case you have trouble keeping track of that. (chuckles) If you’re one of those people. The average skin temperature of your nether regions, your girth, how many different positions you’re in. I mean, it will measure, I believe just about anything you’d ever wanna know. It’s the future of wearable technology in the bedroom.
Rachel: I am so curious if a man has ever questioned what his thrust velocity is.
Ben: Hmm. Well, the men all over the globe now submitting…
Ben: Submitting (censored) status updates to their Facebook feed with this thing. It’s called the i.Con, I dot Con. We should get them as a sponsor for the podcast. It’s made in Britain apparently.
Rachel: It’s one super practical thing as well. It detects chlamydia and syphilis which you know, I can see how that would be interesting to know.
Ben: Yeah, I miss that. I was into the all thrust velocity thing. It sounds like a spaceship measurement. Anyways though, so you can check that out. And perhaps we should talk about some more relevant things than magic shoes and smart condoms in today’s news flash. For example, four science-based superfoods you should be eating. Our friends over at examine.com came out with a very practical list steep in research about 4 things that actually do have lots of research behind them when it comes to superfoods. So, Rachel, drumroll please… you know what they are?
Ben: Okay. Number one is, something that my mom actually uses a lot of for blood pressure and also since she started using it, she swears that she never gets mosquito bites or insect bites at all ever. You know what it is?
Rachel: I know what it is ‘cause I’m looking at the article, but tell us.
Ben: Garlic. Anti-cancer effects, antioxidant effects, precursor to glutathione which I think we might talk about later on in the show or possibly next week. Pretty cool new research study came out on marathoners and ultra-thoners, mountain climbers, anyways, how quickly glutathione gets suppressed in them. So, anything that increases glutathione is gonna be super relevant to that crowd but glutathione or garlic specifically has a whole bunch of research behind it on everything from blood pressure to blood flow, to cholesterol, to anti-cancer effect. So including a glove of garlic a day, that’s the new apple a day. Glove of garlic a day.
Rachel: Have they ever researched anti-kissing effect? (laughs)
Ben: Hmm, I don’t know but you know, what they say about garlic is, as long as your lover too is consuming garlic, it’s…
Rachel: Then it doesn’t matter.
Ben: Yeah. So, there you go.
Rachel: Alright. What’s next?
Ben: Next is dark berries. Dark berries have been shown lately to improve memory. I don’t know if you’ve seen this but blueberries are like the new nootropic food that increases growth factor for neural tissue called BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and it’s as simple as eating dark berries. And you can even like go to the grocery store and get the frozen bag of berries. Have you seen this, like the blueberries and the raspberries, and what I do is my wife gets the one I think it’s from Costco, and I eat all the cherries out of it ‘cause I don’t like any of the berries in there except the cherries. So the kids will open the bag and all of the cherries would be gone. Yeah. But everything else remains, the black berries, the red, all the crappy fruits are in there but the cherries are gone. ‘Cause cherries, I actually specifically choose them ‘cause they have the best anti-inflammatory effect. So…
Rachel: There you go.
Ben: Anyways though, so dark berries are number two. The next one is spirulina. And they talked about some interesting things in the article which will link to in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/367. Now, it’s probably the worst tasting superfood on the list. I’m gonna have to say but it has a lot of evidence behind it now for its neuro protective effect. It’s been shown to lower risk for diabetes and obesity, and also increase something called bile acid in the blood which can help with things like digestion, (he said as he tried to suppress a burp from this morning’s smoothie) that has spirulina in it. (that apparently made him talk in the third person) But yeah, spirulina. So that’s number three.
And then the last one is leafy greens. This one seems kinda boring but they specifically talk about the extremely high levels of nitrate that is better on leafy greens. Very similar to beet root. Beet root and leafy greens have so much nitrate in them that they’re legitimate ergogenic aids and pre-workout supplements, and you just have to be careful of course with your leafy greens because using that as a pre-workout supplement could result in a diaper moment if you do too much of the kale smoothie prior to workout. However, regularly eating food high in nitrates can help lower blood pressure overtime and also be an ergogenic performance enhancing aid possibly as good as a $200+ pair of Nike magic shoes. So, there you have it.
Rachel: Hmm, leafy greens. Eat leafy greens.
Ben: Four science proven superfoods: garlic, dark berries, spirulina, and leafy greens. If you had to bring 4 foods to isolated desert island, those would be the 4 to pick.
Rachel: There are also 4 superfoods on the [16:09] ______ list.
Ben: That’s right. Speaking of foods, another study or it’s not really a study, it’s more of an article about the Mediterranean diet. One of my friends, Dr. Colin Champ, recently went to Italy and he came back with some pretty interesting observations on the Mediterranean diet which of course is heavily pushed as a way to lower blood pressure and reduce stroke risk and improve health. And you’re gonna see the typical Mediterranean diet. It’s like you eat a lot of fish, you avoid red meat, you avoid dairy, and you eat a lot of whole grains. And so, when he went over to Southern Italy, he made some very interesting observations about how flawed our perspective of the Mediterranean diet actually is.
For example, he says pasta which he figured would be raining from the skies was consumed in extremely small amounts. And he actually barely saw any bread at all, and even fish. And you know, what you would expect to be like the staple of the Mediterranean like fish and olive oil, he didn’t see as much of those as he did. The things that we here are not in the traditional Mediterranean diet like buffalo and liver, and awful, like organ meats, cheese, meatballs, aged meat and aged cheese platters. Minimal amounts of vegetables surprisingly rather than seeing a lot of lettuce and spinach, and arugula, and a lot of these vegetables we see hailed as the staple of the Mediterranean diet. It was really more meats, and cheeses, and liver and lungs, and tripe which is like the stomach of an animal, and a lot of these foods are like ancestral organs meats combined with cheeses, and quite a bit of red wine. That’s one of the main things that he did note kinda fit into the traditional Mediterranean diet that we also see in the recommended modern Mediterranean diet.
But yeah, the article is very interesting but it kinda redefines what our expectations of these whole Mediterranean diet is, and of course he has a few other observations. First of all, they fast the whole bunch and that’s not something that we ever see in the US, Americanized or Westernized version of the Mediterranean diet. But you know, my dad actually follows a traditional-style Mediterranean diet and half a ton with him is like fasting, or he is protein restricting, or he’s engage in something other than just like eating breadsticks and drinking wine. And the other things that Colin Champ highlights in this article is they had a lot of calamari, a lot of octopus rather than just fish. They’re having these other strange animals of the sea. Walking a ton, several miles a day. Extremely steep hills and of course being surrounded by some of the most beautiful places on earth in the Mediterranean, didn’t seem to hurt as well. So, it’s a very very interesting article in terms of what an actual Mediterranean diet and Mediterranean lifestyle is compared to what our Westernized perspective of what it is.
Rachel: Well either way it looks delicious.
Ben: It does look pretty delicious. It made me want to, one of my favorite vacations I ever went on was with my wife. We flew into Rome, we rented bikes and we rode our bicycles up to Florence. So we rode about 30-40K a day and we’d stopped for picnics out in the fields and we ride up these giant hills, up to castles and we’d of course stop along the way and buy red wines and cured meats, and it was just a magical, magical vacations. That’s one of the ones that we have on our bucket list to go back and do again is the bicycle ride through Italy. And if I went back and did it again, I would actually probably go more out of my way to try some of these foods that Colin highlights in the article, everything from buffalo, to tripe, to organ meats, to a lot of the stuff I don’t think we… I think we did a lot more of the gelato, the baguettes, and the red wine.
Rachel: Cheese, wine. Yup.
Ben: Yeah. So, anyways, it’s a great article. And then the last thing that I wanted to highlight was this concept of “geopathic stressors”. I realize this is a complete aside from everything else that I talked about. (chuckles) But I did find this article very, very interesting and I’ll link to it in the show notes but it has some really cool diagrams in it, and some really cool thoughts in it in terms of geopathic stressors and landscape trauma.
Rachel: Had you heard of this concept before you read this article?
Ben: I heard a little bit about. You know, of course, I’ve always been familiar with this concept of grounding the body and earthing the body, and how the electromagnetic field on the surface of the planet earth oscillates at a frequency of about 7.83 Hertz. It’s called the Schumann Resonance. That’s identical to the alpha brain wave zone of human beings, like our ability to be able to get into the zone and life on earth has kind of evolved or existed over the past several thousand years with that background magnetic field, and all creatures on earth including humans are accustomed to living in the presence of that field and absorbing this magnetic radiations from the planet earth when we’re standing on it, we’re lying on it or sleeping on it, or sitting on it, or whatever.
What they go into is when you look at the electromagnetic frequency in different places on earth, it’s actually been tweaked quite a bit by what they called “geophatic stressors”. So what we’re talking about are tall buildings with steel pilings, and power stations, and sewage, and drains, and buried utility pipes, and wires, and dockyard pilings, and bridges, and tunnels, and quarries, and mines, and they have these diagrams on the article that they go into how when you look at these specific areas especially areas around cities or industrializations on earth, you see a change on the vibratory frequency in that Schumann Resonance. And you see vibrations far far higher than that 7.3 Hertz like up to about 250 Hertz. Meaning that the ability of the planet to heal you actually decreases the closer you get to industrialized areas. And so it turns out that when we talked about the feng shui of our planet, if you really want to have harmony with the planet earth, or experience the healing ability of land, or earth, or dirt, or the Schumann Resonance, and you live in an urban area, you may need to drive pretty far outside the urban and kinda get away from all these to really truly feel what the earth is like without all these manmade geophatic stressors that it’s now being exposed to.
Rachel: Yeah. And it makes sense because I mean as soon as you do get out of urban areas, you do tend to feel a lot different.
Ben: Uh hmm, yeah. Yeah, so basically there’s even this idea that in Chinese medicine that the yin, yang balance of the earth can be pretty heavily distorted by cities and that’s why when you go some places, you can feel like the sacred energy in that place. Like there’s a place around Montana where these hot springs are, where I can feel a difference in the actual energy emanating from earth and they’ve like isolated these springs, and kept a lot of buildings from being erected close to them, and it’s kinda cool that there are certain places on earth. I feel the same thing when I go to Kauai, Hawaii for example for some reasons since I step foot on it and it feels like a different vibratory frequency. I know it sounds kinda woo but I think there’s something to be said especially if you’re living in an urban area, getting out, getting away from it and getting exposed to a part of the planet that hasn’t been exposed to these geophatic stressors.
Rachel: Yeah. It does sound super weird to me on this, I read it and I was like, “Oh god, I’m really woo and this is super woo for me”. (laughs)
Ben: Or you could just like buy one of this manmade like Earth Pulse devices or delta sleep devices and just slap something underneath your mattress or on your body.
Ben: Which have been known to do. So, there are ways that you can biohack your geophatic stressors away as well. So interesting article though for those of you who care about the feng sui of planet earth. Go knock yourselves out with that one.
Ben: Rachel, did you have your coffee this morning?
Rachel: I actually didn’t.
Ben: You didn’t? I actually skip the coffee this morning. I did not do coffee. Now, I get called out on this. I know people slat me on the wrist for talking about this kind of stuff. But you know I didn’t do coffee this morning?
Ben: ‘Cause I drop the acid.
Rachel: Oh my… this morning?
Ben: Yeah. Well, I’ve written about this a couple of times about like dosing schedules for nootropics, or smart drugs, or even some of these things that are considered to be psychedelic compounds like psilocybin or LSD. You take like 10 micrograms of LSD or you take like 0.5 milligrams of psilocybin and there’s actually some pretty cool nootropic effects, some pretty cool neuro enhancing effects as long as you don’t take like a hero dose, or a trip dose, or something like that. Yeah. Earmuff kids, but you get these blotter papers of LSD that has a hundred micrograms in one square of it which would be like a trip dose and for example, what I’ll do is I’ll take that and I will drop it into a little glass bottle, and I’ll add about 10 milliliters of vodka like an alcohol extract and that means that for every one milliliter that I take up out of that with a little dropper and put into my mouth, I’m getting 10 micrograms or a very very small microdose of LSD. So I skipped the coffee this morning and dropped acid instead.
Rachel: I did not expect you to say that. That was the last thing I thought you’re gonna say.
Ben: Yeah. So anyways though, so speaking of coffee however, it can enhance brain function and it is the most commonly consumes psychoactive substance in the world. And the reason for that is it’s got of course all sorts of things specifically cholesterols: cafestol, kahweol and we know about caffeine and theobromine, and some of the other things that we find in coffee. It spins the brain but one of our favorite friends on the face of the planet, Kimera Koffee has figured a way to make it spin your brain even more.
Rachel: Even more.
Ben: I don’t recommend the first time you try this combining it with acid. However, they take coffee and they combine it with alpha GPC, with taurine, with l-theanine which I especially like ‘cause it knocks some of the edge off coffee, and then DMAE. And anybody who is listening in to this show gets a 10% discount on this stuff. You just go to kimerakoffee.com. How’s it spelled, Rachel?
Ben: They should hire you. Kimerakoffee.com. So check out, kimerakoffee.com and use code Ben and if you wanna save 10% off of coffee that has a whole bunch stuff in it that will turbocharge your brain possibly even better than microdosing with acid. Who else is this podcast brought to you by? The sun in your pocket. Have you tried the sun in your pocket?
Rachel: I love the sun in my pocket. I love it.
Ben: I used it today actually. So this thing, the sun in your pocket is called the Human Charger. So if you haven’t tried this before, basically it’s sticking light into one of your body’s orifices specifically your ears. Your ears have photoreceptors in them, and photo sensitive proteins on the surface of your brain can actually interact with those in your ears and cause release of like serotonin, and dopamine, and noradrenaline. Originally I started using this thing called the Human Charger for jet lag and I still use it anywhere I travel around the world. However, you can also just use it for a mood enhancing or mood boosting effects at any point during the day. And you just turn it on and you leave it on for 12 minutes, Boom! Done! Bright blue light right in your ears. It’s just like looking at the sun even if you don’t have access to the sun, you’ve always got this thing. You can just shove up your ears. Chop into your ears. I should say.
Rachel: Yes. It makes you happy. Well, it makes me happy. It actually really does lift my moods, so it definitely worth your thing especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest like me.
Ben: Yeah. And it just look like you’re listening to music so nobody has to even know that you’re biohacking. You go to humancharger.com/ben, humancharger.com/ben and use code bfitness for 20% off, 20% discount.
This podcast is also brought to you by… some folks who‘d probably love to get their hands on that self-quantification condom we were talking about. The people over at Gainswave. It would actually be quite interesting doing an experiment to find out what happens to your thrust velocity.
Rachel: And your girth size.
Ben: And your girth size. So Gainswave and we gotta get you down there to try this, Rachel.
Rachel: I’ll be so cute to try this.
Ben: Actually you don’t have to go to Miami. I think they have a facility over in Portland. But for men or women, what they do is they use painless high frequency acoustic waves in your nether regions to wake up blood vessels and to do things like enhance orgasm, and in guys enhance size. And in people who have erectile dysfunction, just get that completely gone. It goes away. And I did it and the effects stuck with me for 2 months. I did one treatment and I was basically like a 16 year old boy for a couple of months.
Rachel: All over again.
Ben: Yeah. Pitchin’ a tent every single morning, and you can too. And you can save on this. So you text the word ‘greenfield’ to 313131. It’s “greenfield’ to 313131. They’ll give you a $150 voucher towards the Gainswave treatment at any of their 60 different facilities around the nation. So, sorry to everybody who lives in Australia or Britain, you got to come over here to get it done or if you got to buy yourself a high frequency acoustic wave machine to self-administer this. Which I don’t even know if that’s possible or not. Or you can go to Gainswave, go to gainswave.com and just click ‘find a doctor’ or if you go to a Miami facility and you ask for Dr. Gaines, they’ll give you the white glove treatment. And I don’t mean a prostate examination. You know what I mean. Anyways though, so the results last for months, no Viagra, no Cialis required. So check it out. Text the word ‘greenfield’ to 313131. You can even get a P shot or an O shot down there which is like a play leverage plasma injection. Also, for that down there region. I have to be careful so we don’t get too many words bleep out on the show when I talk about this.
Rachel: We’ve bleepers. That’s for sure.
Ben: Uh-hm. Oh! And then finally, fitlife. Organifi Fitlife.
Rachel: Favorite green juice. Yes, I love it very much.
Ben: Oh, yeah. It’s amazing. So, this is the green powder that you add to your morning smoothie or you add it to a glass of water, you add it to anything, anytime you want like just a shotgun of nutrients. It is a whole bunch of different things: wheatgrass, macha green tea, beets, mints, spirulina, moringa, all bunch of stuff that if you all put it together, you’d think that just basically result in this concoction that taste like cat diarrhea. But it doesn’t. It actually taste…
Rachel: But it definitely doesn’t.
Ben: It taste really good.
Rachel: It does.
Ben: I got to be careful not to overdose with it. I don’t know what would happen if you get a whole bunch of it? But it’s got…
Rachel: Green poop.
Ben: I mean, yeah, when you look at the ingredient profile of it, I mean, just iron alone. Two grams of iron which is like 11% of your recommended daily value. It’s got organic coconut water powder in it, it’s got turmeric in it. Anyways, it is our darling green powder of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show. Best up from the face of the planet if you ask me when it comes to greens powder, and you get 20% off. You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/organifi and you use discount code Ben, of all things, and that knocks 20% off. So check it out. It’s called Fitlife Organifi Juice. And it has moringa in it too. I don’t know if you know much about moringa but that alone… it’s got a lot of cool properties specifically one thing that moringa can do is protect against arsenic toxicity. So it’s like if you do a lot of brown rice or you get exposed to arsenic in your water, anything like that, moringa has actually been shown to clean up arsenic toxicity in the body. So, if you have no reason whatsoever to use green powder than to protect yourself against arsenic toxicity then try it out…
Ben: I can actually say the work toxicity.
Rachel: Guess what? I actually bought moringa seeds that I’m gonna grow, I’m gonna grow to plant and I might even bring you one up to Spokane.
Ben: I would love that.
Ben: Is that even better than bamboo when it comes to being like a friendship plant?
Rachel: Uh-mm. I don’t know. Maybe.
Ben: I have miracle berry plant growing in my living room. If you get a miracle berry before anything bitter or sour, it make it taste super sweet.
Rachel: I would love to try miracle berry.
Ben: I have a whole article. If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you do a search for miracle berry, I wrote a whole article about how I had a miracle berry party with me and my kids. Author Neil Strauss, whom I’m having dinner with this Sunday. I’m going to Malibu this Sunday and Neil, and Rick and I, are gonna do our usual, whenever I go down there we do like a sauna cold thermogenesis, like massive three hour session. Go on hot to cold, hot to cold, hot to cold, then we finish up with dinner. So we’d be doing that this Sunday. Anyways though, Neil was the guy who introduced me to the miracle berry. It’s really cool.
Rachel: It makes everything taste good.
Ben: Yeah. Everything. Okay, just a few last things before we jump into the Q and A. Coming up, we’ve got the Live It To Lead It Conference at Atlanta. Go to benatlanta.com. Benatlanta.com to get on this. It’s for health professionals, chiropractic docs, dieticians, nutritionist, personal trainers, anybody who wants to learn about marketing, how to build your practice, build your studio, build your gym. And where else can we talk about things like ketosis, and heavy metals, and detoxification. Anyways, the highlighted speakers are Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Dan Pompa, and mwuah! Yours truly. I’m the nerd there thrown in. So anyways though, special pricing… it’s normally a thousand dollars, tickets are about 300 and some just this week. So if you’re listening in to this podcast, the week that it comes out, you got lucky. Go to benatlanta (I can spit that out) dot com and you can register for that special pricing before it disappears. Also, Paleo FX is coming up and we’ve got the discount link for you to register for that if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleo17, the funnest party on the face of the planet when it comes to world class speakers, physicians, scientists, practitioners, athletes, activists, bloggers, biohackers, we all just basically go and party in awesome Texas for 3 days.
Rachel: But you can imagine the type of partying it is. It’s not really drinking. Or if any drinks, it’s vodka kombucha, so… (laughs)
Ben: Yeah, it’s more like eating organ meats and drinking kombucha, yeah.
Rachel: It’s the healthiest party you can imagine.
Ben: But it’s fun regardless. So anyways though, Paleo FX in Austin, Texas. That’s on May 19th through the 21st. So check that out. There are plenty of other events coming out. I’m also speaking in Bulgaria, of all place, so if you happen to want to go to this thing called The Infinite Man Event in Bulgaria and yeah dude, I don’t even know where Bulgaria is. I got to figure that out before I go there ‘cause it’s coming up. When is that, Rachel? Do you remember?
Ben: It’s like May…. May? Oh yes, it’s comin’ out in May.
Rachel: You throw me on the spot, Ben.
Ben: I wanna say, May 26th, here we go. May 26th through May 29th. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/infiniteman. If you feel like going to Bulgaria, you know, I think I announced earlier that it’s in London, and I was completely wrong. It’s in Bulgaria. I get London and Bulgaria mixed up apparently. I just myself found out that it’s not in London. It’s in Bulgaria. So check that out. If you happen to be swinging near Bulgaria any time soon, and we’ll put links to all of these and oh so much more, over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/367.
Des: Hi Ben and Rachel, thank you for an amazing podcast. I’ve learned so much and sometimes it’s overwhelming for me all the information that you give out but I try and retrain some of the snippets. I’m always going back to check the notes afterwards to make sure that I heard correctly. I have a strange question over the winter because I managed to increase my muscle mass quite a bit, but now it’s running season again and I’m just too heavy. I need to lose some of this. So I’m wondering what’s the safest way to go back losing this added weight which is largely muscle, but to try and maintain the benefits of the bone density, better hemoglobin, et cetera? I was wondering if you had any tips. Thank you. Thanks for a great show. Bye!
Ben: What do you think, Rachel? Should Des shed some of her swole muscle?
Rachel: Uh yeah, she should. Why not? She wants to. Whatever you want, Des.
Ben: Well, yeah. I mean, it’s honestly, so I did this. I used to be 215 lbs. and I’m at 175 lbs. now ‘cause I used to be a body builder. And then I switched to Ironman triathlon and I had to catabolize a lot of that muscle so that I could run. I remember my first triathlon that I did when I was a body builder. It was one of the most painful races of my life because my boobs were bouncing up and down.
Rachel: Welcome to every woman’s world.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, I had a nice big old chest and it came back to bite me. So I just catabolized it away, and there are definite ways that you can do it. I don’t endorse getting rid of too much muscle though because of the fact that once you reach a certain age, it can have a bit of difficulty maintaining and building your muscle as you age due to something called sarcopenia and so you need to be careful with excessive muscle wasting as you age, but at the same time if you’re going to drag your ass up hills as a runner, or an obstacle course racer, or a marathoner and you can afford Nike’s new vaporfly shoe that apparently fixes all your running ills, then you may want to catabolize a little bit of muscle.
Rachel: What is that age?
Ben: The age which you…
Rachel: You don’t want to lose muscle…
Ben: It’s between about 35 and 40. So it’s pretty young in terms of, it’s similar to bone density. Alright, so for a woman, the bone density that you have going in to about 30-35 years old plus is the bone density that you’re mostly stuck with for the rest of your life. So if you don’t do a good job with resistant training and axial loading of the bone along its long axis and some of the other things that can assist with bone density, as though like you’re totally screwed but you definitely have enough field battle to fight.
Ben: If you’re a woman not exposing yourself to loading. And loading can be everything from inversion positions in yoga to barbell back squats, right. It can vary, it can be gardening and carrying rocks around. I mean, it doesn’t have to be you going in to a crossfit WOD every day but there are similar to bone density, there’s some definite downsides to neglecting something like muscle mass as you age. However, if you wanted to actually lose muscle and do so without harming your body to too much. There are some definite things that if I could go back and do it all over again, losing muscle I’d probably do it this way because it would be a little bit healthier and this is the way that I recommend to you.
So the first would be calorie cycling. Calorie cycling is a way for you to be at a calorie deficit without getting into a lot of the metabolic or physiological damage that can occur when you’re just restricting calories day after day without doing calorie cycling. So the idea behind this is that for calorie cycling, you have certain days that are higher calorie and certain days that are lower calorie. And in the most common calorie cycling scenario you do 5 days of the week that are lower calorie, or 5 days of the week in which you’re eating just enough calories to sustain metabolism. So if you were to measure your metabolic rate in a metabolic laboratory or you will use a calculator, for example, I have a website over at getfitguy.com where there is a metabolic rate calculator that allows you to plug in your height, your weight, your body fat percentage, etc. and find out what your resting metabolic rate is or what’s called your basal metabolic rate is. Or what you’d do on your low calorie days, like your too low calorie days of the week is you would only eat that many calories. Like say, that you find that your burning at rest 1500 calories a day, that doesn’t count for your daily activity levels, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed, making breakfast, whatever, you’re only gonna eat that many calories on those 2 days. So they’re lower calorie days, and then the other days you’re eating 2 calorie balance. Meaning, as many calories as you burn. So you find your metabolic rate, you add to that how many calories you’re actually burning. So let’s say, instead of 1500 it’s more like 2600, and on those other 5 days of the week you would eat that 2600 calories.
So what that allows you to do is you avoid some of the things that can happen with long term calorie depravation. So the main things that you’ll tend to see are testosterone will decline, more in men than in women in response to calorie depravation but it happens in women as well. You get a decline in your resting energy expenditure. Meaning, your metabolic set point will actually decline and that’s usually after about 4 weeks of calorie depravation or you haven’t introduced a higher calorie day or what some people call a refeed. So if you don’t have that day where you’re sending your body a message that it actually does have access to adequate calories, your body will down regulate metabolism and it will down regulate fertility. And so, you wanna actually send your body a signal, and in this case it’ll be a couple of days of the week, you send your body a signal that it actually does have access to adequate calories.
The other thing that can happen with long term calorie depravation would be you’d get a decrease in thyroid hormone or in conversion of inactive or less active T4 into active T3. You get an increase in cortisol interestingly, so there’s kind of this excessive catabolic effect. You get a decrease in leptin which is the hunger hormone that’s supposed to tell your brain to be full and to stop eating, so you get some leptin dysregulation which means that you have a hard time knowing when you’re full or knowing when to stop eating, and then you get an increase in ghrelin which will signal to your brain that they’re constantly hungry. So, you essentially are just like always glancing at a Snickers Bar vs. if you have like those 2 days of the week where you’re adding your access or your adequate calories, you’re less likely to engage in binge eating, you’re less likely to engage in snacking on junk foods because your leptin and ghrelin levels are out of control. So there’s a lot of benefits to calorie cycling.
Rachel: And so, I just didn’t get this clear, the maintenance calorie days are 5 and the less calorie days are 2?
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So basically there’s 2 days of the week where you’re not fasting but you’re decreasing the number of calories that you take in. So you got 2 days of the week where you’re actually are losing some muscle because frankly if you’re only eating 1500 calories but you’re burning let’s say 2600, those are 2 days of the week where you’re having to come with your own calories off of your body to be able to satisfy your energy burn. So that’s the first thing that I would do is I would implement calorie cycling rather than just like long term excessive calorie depravation.
Rachel: This is like also just for fat loss in general?
Ben: It does, yes. It will work for fat loss but it’ll also work in an active person for muscle loss. The next that I would do to maintain the benefits of bone density, hemoglobin levels, athletic performance, et cetera, is I would still weight train but I wouldn’t do weight training that’s considered to be hypertrophic weight training or weight training that’s going to increase the size of the number of muscle fibers. And there are two ways that you can increase your number of muscle fibers. One would be high rep, low weight training to failure. Meaning sets of like 30 push-ups, 30 body weight squats, et cetera. Even body weight training when done to failure at a higher rep range can increase muscle mass or maintain muscle mass. The other thing that of course can increase or maintain muscle mass would just be heavy weight lifting. The complete opposite, low rep, high weight training. Deadlifts, squats, et cetera. But a way that you can maintain muscle performance without actually increasing muscle mass would be to do what you see these small, wirey, athletic power lifters do. ‘Cause if you look at a power lifter, sometimes they're deceptively small. I remember when I was at an event last year down in San Diego, a guy standing behind me in line at the line to the cash bar, we were both in a glass of wine. He was standing behind me, just this very small, mild unassuming man wearing a suit and he looked very, very skinny. But when you kind of glance at his hands and his neck, you could see like he had a lot of veins in his neck, like his hands were kind of meaty, he seemed to be carrying himself quite well, his posture is really good. And I got into a conversation with him, it turns out he's a competitive powerlifter. Just like this small, unassuming, wirey man.
And that's what powerlifting can do for you, it can maintain your bone density, it can increase your power, it can allow for you to maintain your athletic performance without you actually having to have large amounts of muscle. And so, what we're talking about is doing, so powerlifting, typically the definition of it is that you're lifting a weight that's not super heavy for you. Say like 60%-ish of what would be your maximum lift. So if you could maximally hoist a hundred pounds over your head, you would lift with 60 pounds. But what you would do is you would lift that weight as quickly and as explosively as possible for anywhere from two reps up to a maximum of about eight reps. So you can lift multiple days per week and maintain quite a bit of force production and athleticism by implementing a powerlifting protocol without actually getting a lot of the hypertrophy that you would get from something like weight training, traditional weight training. So using more power lifting when you're at the gym, right. So we're talking about light to medium weight lifted, very explosively, and quickly for anywhere from two to eight repetitions and using full body weight type of exercises, cleans, deadlifts, jerks, squats, presses, things along those lines. Or you could just Google powerlifting and come up with a pretty good list of exercises. But that's the style of training that you would want to be doing.
The next one that I would recommend to lose weight without excessive damage would just be cold. I mean staying cold is one of the best ways to burn calories off the body. Now recently on Snapchat, I actually, I don't know if you saw this Rachel, I Snapchat little stories I find in magazines, et cetera. Any of you who want to follow that, go to bengereenfieldfitness.com/Snapchat. But it turns out that people who live in colder countries and in Norse regions like Finland, and Norway, and Sweden, et cetera, they found a direct correlation between happiness levels and exposure to cold.
Rachel: That's so counterintuitive to me.
Ben: It's totally counterintuitive to…
Rachel: I hate being cold.
Ben: Yeah. But apparently these people have figured out a way to be very happy and satisfied with whatever life throws at them because they've just been exposed to cold. But in addition, cold can keep you lean, and cold can do a really good job keeping you lean. That's why I not only use like a chilly pad when I'm sleeping to keep my room temperature around 60 to 65. It's not 'cause I want to get skinny. For me it's because I know my central nervous system repairs and recovers better in a cooler environment. But anything from like a five minute cold shower at the beginning and the end of the day, keeping your house a little bit cooler, even wearing things like, like there's this company, if you go to coolfatburner.com, they make like a vest and like a waist wrap that actually burns fat or converts specifically white adipose tissue into metabolically active brown fat, and they've shown in studies with those that you increase your metabolism by up to 300% when you're just walking around with cold stuff on.
So that would be another thing that I would do in addition to like power training and calorie cycling would be use cold thermogenesis to lose weight. Because unlike, say, like pounding the pavement for a fasted two hour run, it's a lot less stressful. You just put on like the cold and you're just like mildly cold, you don't have to be shivering, you don't have to have your teeth chattering, you don't have to be blue in the face, but you're just like a little bit cold during the day. And you can even wear it under your clothes and nobody will know.
Rachel: And the same thing works just in being cold without wearing the vest? If you had a cold room or something like that, would the same thing happen?
Ben: Yeah. It's just the vest really accelerates it. Because what the vest does and what the belt does is it actually comes with cold packs that are specifically placed over areas where you would tend to form more brown fat. So you're just biohacking the process.
Rachel: It's a good little hack. Exactly.
Ben: Yeah. The next one would be, in moderation, glycogen depletion. So one of the reasons that people lose so much weight when they first start onto a diet is because they're either, typically they're increasing their protein intake, or they're lowering their carbohydrate intake, or both. Sometimes these days, people who are doing like ketosis, they're also increasing their fat intake and decreasing their carb intake. But anytime you're on a diet that decreases carb intake, carbohydrates, specifically your muscle storage glycogen and your liver storage glycogen carry up to four times their weight in water and also carry a lot of salts and minerals. And so over the first two weeks of a diet like that, you shed a lot of your glycogen stores, you lose weight like crazy, and eventually it kind of like plateaus, which is when people throw up their hands in despair and quit their diet. But ultimately, glycogen depletion can help keep you pretty lean, pretty light. However just like long term calorie deprivation can cause some thyroid, and metabolic, and infertility deficits, so can long term carbohydrate deprivation.
So what I'm a fan of is limiting carbohydrates all day long, so eating no to low carbohydrate all day long. Then at the very end of the day, and for most females it's going to come out to about 75 to 150 grams of carbohydrates, you eat those all at the end of the day. From yams, sweet potatoes, sourdough bread, white rice, red wine, dark chocolate, you name it. So if you really want this spelled out for you, there's a really good little e-book called “The Carb Backloading Protocol”. I'll link to that in the show notes, but that would be the next thing, would do doing something like carb backloading. And you combine that with calorie cycling. So whether it's on your low calorie days or your high calorie days, you're saving all of your carbohydrates until the end of the day. So that would be, in addition to calorie cycling, and power training, and cold thermogenesis, the next thing would be glycogen depletion, kind of like in moderation. So you're just saving your carbohydrates until the end of the day.
And then the last one is kind of like a one-two combo, and I found this to be really effective for me to maintain energy levels and not excessively catabolize muscle once I started doing it. And that is to combine fasted training, especially in the morning, with high blood levels of amino acids. What that allows you to do is burn through fat and burn through some of those muscle glycogen stores without catabolizing muscle too excessively or too quickly. So an example of this would be to use something like an essential amino acid, or a whole amino acid, not a branched chain amino acid because that's just leucine, isoleucine, and valine, and just having those three present is not going to save muscle. Those are just burnt as energy, but they don't actually keep you from catabolizing muscle. You got to be consuming a full amino acid spectrum from all the essential amino acids that your body can't make in order to actually maintain some amount of muscle or slow the rate of catabolism, so it's not occurring quite as quickly. So what you do is you get up in the morning and you do a fasted morning workout, but you consume about 10 to 20 grams of an essential amino acid source either right before or during that workout. So you would go out, let's say you're like a runner. You would go on like your morning run, let's it's like a 30 to 45 minute run and you would take an amino acid right before you head out on a fasted morning run.
Rachel: And is there an intensity level of fasted workout that's best for something like this?
Ben: Yeah. You generally want that to be an aerobic conversational pace, and that's going to be a little less stressful, cause a little bit less of a cortisol, cause a little bit less excessive catabolism, or cannibalism, self-cannibalism. I like cannibalism. It's a much sexier term than catabolism. It'll basically lead to your body getting a little less stressed out when it's in an aerobic conversational fasted workout. And by putting amino acids into your body, the difference being that and like a couple bullet proof coffee is the problem with the coffee is you're sucking down like 500, 600 calories of butter and MCT oil, not that there's not potentially a time and a place for that if you're looking for like the cognitive performance hack. But if you're just looking for a way to keep muscles from catabolizing excessively without dumping a bunch of calories down the hatch, the nice thing about essential amino acids or whole amino acids is they don't have calories, they don't cause an insulin release, but they do keep you from catabolizing muscle without actually introducing a whole bunch of excess calories into your body. So that'd be the last thing would be combining amino acids with fasted morning workouts. So that's what I would do.
Rachel: So now we've got a little hack.
Ben: Yeah. We're using that word a lot in today's episode. Anyways, so that would be a way that you could lose some muscle and you could do so in a safe and effective way without losing out on the bone density, the hemoglobin, et cetera. So that's where I would start, and we'll link to all that stuff over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/367.
Dave: Hi, Ben and Rachel. This is Dave calling from Bloomington, Indiana. I'm an active 29 year old recently diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma. I take a pressure-regulating eye drop as recommended by my ophthalmologist, and I've also tweaked my diet to increase my intake of my eye healthy foods like sweet potato, carrot, eggs, and dark leafy greens to help manage eye pressures. I'm curious though, since I am still pretty young, if you had any additional protocols you'd recommend. Either to combat the progression of glaucoma in specific or even just to promote better eye health in general for the long term. I love the show and hope to hear a response on the air. Thanks, guys.
Ben: Rachel, do you ever have eye issues? Do you wear glasses or anything?
Rachel: As I age my eyes are deteriorating, but I went and got them checked and the eye doctor said don't get glasses.
Ben: How do you know your eyes are deteriorating?
Rachel: Well, my long distance sites is very blurry. Sometimes I'm like, “I can't read that, Jake. Can you just tell me what that is?”
Ben: Have you ever heard of like the Bates Method, or the Vision Gym?
Rachel: Nope. Tell me! Tell me everything!
Ben: You totally need to do that. So I bought it, I own it, for if my eyes had, knock on wood, I practice what I preach. Like I constantly like the eye breaks and I stare at different objects, ‘scuse me, far off in the distance, or close, so that way my eye muscles are constantly contracting and relaxing. And I do a lot of these kind of things passively. Like right now, I'm not looking at like a computer screen, or a wall. I'm looking off through a window out into the distance as we talk. So I'm looking at trees, at mountains, and then I'll look at closer up rocks, and sometimes like a chicken, or a dog will walk up to the window, and I'll look at that, smile, and wave. But ultimately, what I have just in case is like this whole collection of like posters and programs that walk you through like divergents and convergents, which are two different ways to train the eyes, and they're almost like those 3D posters at the mall that they sell. Know what I'm talking about? Where you…
Rachel: Yeah. Where you have to figure out what it is? You have to like squint the eyes?
Ben: Yeah. That always just like piss me off 'cause I could never figure 'em out for years until I started doing these posters. But there's this company called Z-Health and they sell this whole program called the Vision Gym, and it's based on this old school method called the Bates Method, which is basically a way of either completely weaning yourself off and fixing your vision, even if you're already wearing contacts or wearing glasses, or a way of keeping yourself from having to get into a situation where you need to wear those because it just basically trains the eyes to relax and contract, and it trains the eye muscles as well, left, right, up, down, and it's a fantastic way to naturally train your vision. When you combine that with really taking care of your eyes from a health standpoint when you look at like screens especially in terms of like using blue light blocking glasses, installing a program like the one that I have in my monitor and on my computer is called Iris.
Flux is the one that most people talk about, but Iris is even better. Not only because it's named Iris, but because it actually affects things that Flux does not affect, like the actual temperature and the brightness of the screen, and I have a whole podcast with the inventor of that particular piece of software that I'll put in the show notes, this brilliant, I think he's like a Romanian programmer, Daniel Georgiev. Georgiev? Georgiev. He might be from Bulgaria. I don't know. Maybe I'll meet him when I go over there. Randomly show up at some Bulgarian coffee shop. Anyways though, so your computer monitor, the glare from the screen, the glasses that you wear, and then your ability to train your eyes, like that to me is just as important as all of the kale, and the fish, and the eggs in the world. When you're looking at like all the supplements in the diets that people are following for things like eye health. So to answer your question in a very long winded fashion, Rachael, you need to get this Vision Gym.
Rachel: Yes. I do.
Ben: Yeah. It's super easy to use. Just like a collection of little papers and stuff that you look at.
Rachel: Are there things that it doesn't fix?
Ben: Well, that's where we get into glaucoma. And so what Dave asked about was he said he has open-angle glaucoma. Now I'm not an ophthalmologist. Please do not take this as diagnosis of medical advice, blah, blah, blah. But glaucoma is like open-angle glaucoma, that's like 90% of glaucoma cases. So the way that it happens is you get like a clogging of the drainage canals in the eye, and then you get increased eye pressure, and that causes this wide, open angle between the iris and the cornea. And it develops slowly over time, and what happens is eventually your eyesight starts to get affected, but it affects like three million people in America alone. It's a very common form of glaucoma. But very similar to other forms of glaucoma, it cannot only be controlled a little bit by reducing glare and by training the eye muscles in the ways that I've just outlined, but there are some other things that you can do from a dietary standpoint that can help out. So, and I'm not kidding, like kale, eggs, and like carrots, or anything orange, you're getting lots of beta carotene, and what are called lutein and zeaxanthin. And those are just like power foods for the eyes. So if you're concerned about your eye health, eggs, kale, and orange stuff you should definitely be eating. And orange juice does not count, by the way.
Rachel: What about good orange juice?
Ben: Sweet potatoes, yams, carrots. Mainlining fructose into your bloodstream generally is just not good. Period.
Rachel: Bad idea.
Ben: So I'd avoid it. Anyways though, so what can you do, so for foods, foods high in carotenoids, yeah. Anything orange is going to help out quite a bit. So I'm a big fan of yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, those type of things, squashes. The blueberries that we talked about, or those cherries that I steal from my kids' frozen bags of fruit in the freezer? Those can also help out. Those have something called anthocyanidin in them, and that helps fight free radicals that specifically damage the eyes. So blueberries and cherries would be another big one. Wild caught fish, biggie. Obvious. EPA, DHA, what's called astaxanthin in those can also help quite a bit with eye health. And then there's one that flies under the radar, oh and eggs I should mention are also a biggie. So all these foods put together, you're getting high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. Also great for the eyes and eye health. But brewer's Yeast. Have you ever heard of brewer's yeast? Have you tried brewer's yeast?
Ben: Ton of chromium in it. And chromium is a mineral that you tend to find people who have glaucoma are deficient in. So getting brewer's yeast, like you can get it and you can just like, I'll put a link in the show notes. You can just like buy it off of Amazon, for example, and you just like sprinkle that on like a salad or into a smoothie, and it gives you massive amounts of chromium, which can actually help with blood sugar control, which is often why glaucoma can happen. That's why you see it so often in like diabetics, for example. But it's a mineral that can really help anyone, not just diabetics, with glaucoma. So that would be another one to include, it'd be brewer's yeast. Now a few other things from like a supplement standpoint that you could include that I'd recommend. One would be astaxanthin, an astaxanthin, if I can spit that out, it's not only like eating sunscreen. So I used to like load up with it when I'd race Ironman Hawaii. I'd take like 10 to 15 milligrams of astaxanthin before a race like that, but as little as two milligrams a day provides you with a really, really potent source of carotenoid. Like you could eat like six sweet potatoes or you could take two milligrams of astaxanthin. Helps prevent retinal damage. And the way that I get is I get it combined with fish oil. So that Super Essentials Fish Oil that I take, that's astaxanthin, vitamin E, and fish oil all blended together. And all three of those are fantastic for the eyes. So something like that would be really good. Any fish oil that's got astaxanthin added to it, you're killing two birds with one stone.
Another one, I talked about blueberries and cherries as being really good sources of these anthocyanidins. But if you want to supplement, that again kind of gives you this in a very concentrated manner at a dose much higher without all the fructose you'd be getting from the berries, bilberry extract. Bilberry extract would be another one. You can do like about 300 milligrams a day of bilberry extract, or a bilberry capsule, or just find yourself some organic bilberries I suppose. Those are a little bit harder to come by. But bilberries would be another thing that you can put in in terms of like a supplement. So that would be number two in addition like an astaxanthin in fish oil. Another one that I recommend is coenzyme Q10. That really really helps, specifically with the type of free radicals that can cause damage to the eyes. It's just a basic antioxidant. Thorne has a really good one called Thorne CoQ10. They also have one called ResveraCel. ResveraCel which got, it has a resveratrol, it's got quercetin, it's got betaine, it's got a lot of things that specifically can help with anti-aging but that also help very, very much with the type of free radicals that can cause eye damage or glaucoma.
And then last one would be magnesium. So about 500 milligrams a day of magnesium. What that does is it relaxes all the blood vessel walls around the eyes. And it's really cool to use as like a bedtime supplement too 'cause it will relax you, and you wake up in the morning and have a glorious bowel movement. Like a Dumb and Dumber with your legs up around your ears. Is that how most who poop in the morning, by the way? With their legs up around their ears?
Rachel: No. I don't poop like that. But I'm open.
Ben: Ahhhhh! No. Magnesium is not going to cause that. But it will relax things just a little bit. Make stuff come out a little bit easier. And it'll also relax the blood vessel walls around your eyes. Perhaps more relevant and important to you, Dave. And that would be another one to include. So you've got your Vision Gym, you've got monitoring the glare on the computer monitor and wearing these blue light blocking glasses, magnesium, some coenzyme Q10, astaxanthin, fish oil, some of these bilberries, dark leafy greens, eggs, fish. And then the last one that I would throw in there that you may want to check out would be essential oils. And it turns out that there are specific essential oils that when you apply them around the cheeks or the lateral, don't put them in your eyes. I don't want you to go blind. But you can put these like around your eyes or on the cheek muscles. There are three that can help to improve circulation, that can help to improve eyesight, and that can help to improve vision, and studies have been done on all three. I'm a huge fan of essential oils. I was actually in my sauna earlier this morning and I diffused, I always mess around with new oils. So this morning, I was diffusing sage. Sage essential oil, which is almost like, it's very similar to what would be burnt if you're going through like some kind of a ceremony, like, what do they call it? A snuff? Like you burn it like incense, but you can get it in essential oil. I just sprinkle around the sauna. Makes me feel like an old Native American medicine man sitting in there in the sauna.
Rachel: Sounds lovely.
Ben: Sitting in there in the sauna, sweating it out, doing my down dogs.
Rachel: Smelling sage.
Ben: Anyways though, so frankincense, helichrysum, and cypress.
Rachel: What's that one?
Ben: Helichrysum's really good for wounds, it's really good for healing like topical issues, but also helps to improve vision and supports nerve tissue health. And then cypress. So frankincense, helichrysum, or cypress, any of those, you can apply just a few drops of around your cheeks or your lateral eye area, and it can help with eye health. Who knew? But they actually work.
Rachel: Who knew? And for everyone from Australia, cypress is cypress.
Ben: Cyrpess. That's right. So I use this stuff from Young Living Essential Oils. There are other central oil companies out there as well. Just about every single one of them is a multilevel marketing machine. I don't know why. But anyways, so essential oils though, you don't have to have your friends over for a tepora party and deal them essential oils. You can just buy some. But anyways, I'll put links to all that stuff in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/367 and enjoy your new 20-20 vision courtesy of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show.
Heather: Hi, Ben and Rachel! This is Heather calling from Michigan. I love the show. Keep up all the hard work. I have a question regarding food. I'm competing in my first bodybuilding competition in 20 weeks, I'm doing the fitness division. The training is going really well, however food has become an area where I'm struggling with. I frequently binge, and it's very uncontrollable, and it almost feels primal. I was wondering if you have any advice, tips, supplements, things I can take to get that under control so when I get a little closer to competition, I can get my body fat down to what it needs to be. There's two caveats. I'm a vegan, and I've also been dealing with candida for about five years now. Any thoughts, tips are appreciated. Thanks, guys.
Ben: Wow. Heather is doing a bodybuilding competition, which means it's stilettos, and silver bikinis that look like they came out of the eighty's, and gold flakes.
Rachel: And lots of oil.
Ben: When I used to bodybuild, some of the women who would be backstage were scary. Scary.
Rachel: Yeah. You were scary when you used to bodybuild. I've seen photos.
Ben: Like double take, are-you-a-man scary. Or women who look like frickin' the female version of Adonis. What would that be? I don't even know. What's a Greek goddess? Athena?
Ben: Aphrodite from far away, and then you close up, and you're like, “OH, LORD!” Like wrinkles, they look like the grandma from “Something About Mary”. Not good.
Rachel: Alright, Heather, we're not talking (censored) about you.
Ben: Don't be that person, Heather. However Heather, you are fighting an uphill battle if you're vegan, and dealing with candida, and doing the fitness division. I mean I'm probably preaching to the choir here, Heather, but you're looking at risk for everything from like the female athletic triad where you've got like some eating disorder, or some low bone density, and some amenorrhea, which can affect your fertility and your thyroid for years, to obviously some of the psychological blowback from just like constantly having to look in the mirror and analyze your body, which can be tough. I mean trust me, even as a bodybuilder when I used to have to just like flex in front of the mirror every day, that stays with me to this day. Like 12 years later…
Rachel: Is that why we always get selfies of you in your undies?
Ben: No! But it's like you look at your body and you're like, “Oh, that bicep is slightly larger than that bicep,” or “I think my nine-pack is going away,” as Batman would say.
Rachel: Yeah. It's intense for sure.
Ben: So you're really looking at more like damage control than anything else.
Rachel: Than health?
Ben: Yeah. And so what you need to do is control the damage. And there are some ways that you can lose body fat fast and still maintain some amount of health. I still don't think that being a fitness competitor as a woman is going to be ideal for health. I mean just because our modern perception of what a sexy female body is flawed and distorted in my opinion. Women have essential body fat stores for a reason. Women, whether it seems fair or not, compared to men, actually have bodies designed to make babies, to actually propagate the human population. And when you get rid of all those mechanisms by lowering body fat, and by training excessively, and by restricting the type of nutrients necessary to do things like grow healthy nerves, and grow healthy hormones, and grow healthy babies, you're actually doing some damage to the body. Whether or not you want to have kids. I'm not saying every woman needs to be like barefoot in the kitchen, dropping babies out your vagina. But what I am saying is that if you're putting your body into a situation where it can't have children, whether or not you want to have children, you're actually looking at sacrificing health.
So in women, optimum fertility equals optimum health. That's really what it comes down to. And when you're competing in a female fitness division, and all of a sudden like fertility has gone, and you're menstrual period is gone, and your essential body fat stores become nonexistent, you really are putting yourself in that situation where, again, regardless of whether or not you want to be barefoot in the kitchen popping out babies, and I don't know why my perspective of every woman who wants to have a family needing to be barefoot in the kitchen.
Rachel: Right. That's true.
Ben: But, anyways. So get where I'm going. I'm not going to kick that horse to death.
Rachel: It's not super healthy. Right.
Ben: Yes. Okay. So what can you do? First of all, one of the main things that is going to happen when you are doing what you're doing, which I've already alluded to earlier in this podcast, is there is some thyroid dysregulation that is going to occur. Whether you're the vegan or whether you're omnivorous, the thyroid takes a hit. So for women who are having to limit calories, train, excessively, et cetera, I recommend some form of thyroid support. I do not recommend things like levothyroxine, or synthroid, or these isolated versions of what would be called T3. But instead recommend a full spectrum T1, T2, T3, and T4. I have no financial affiliation with this company, but the one that I like that I've even used myself in the past is called Thyrogold. You can get it at naturalthyroidsolutions.com, but it's whole gland thyroid powder sourced from non-GMO, pasture-fed New Zealand cows. Fed by a one-armed monk riding a unicorn.
Rachel: They're just already, just inherently more happy than every other cow in the world 'cause they live in New Zealand.
Ben: Well, New Zealand is among the countries that is completely banned Monsanto's genetically modified hormone, which is called posilac, and posilac is also known as recombinant somatotropin and that's the hormone that they use to stimulate the growth of calves and increase milk production, but they're not allowed to use that in New Zealand. So when you get something like a whole gland thyroid powder from a cow in New Zealand, you're not getting all that nasty crap that is given to us by the lovely folks at Monsanto. And then they take that, and they blend it with L-aspartic acid, which is designed to give you further thyroid support, something called coleus forskohlii, which can also help with thyroid support and a few other derivatives without any like corn, or gluten, or sugar, or soy, or yeast in there. So that's one thing that I would recommend is looking to supplementing with thyroid support.
Another thing that tends to be notoriously deficient in female fitness competitors and females who are trying to stay on the pointy edge of fitness is you tend to see progesterone decline. And progesterone is a hormone that would normally signal the lining of your uterus to get ready for implantation. It's secreted from your ovary after ovulation. So it's the hormone that's responsible for keeping you pregnant, but it's also a hormone that is very crucial for things like drive, energy levels, normal menstruation, et cetera. And in many cases, you'll see women who have lots of exposure to estrogens from things like plastics, and pharmaceuticals in the water supply, and synthetic hormones in personal care products or household cleaning chemicals. They didn't have lots of estrogen and very low progesterone levels. But you also tend to see very low progesterone levels in women who are just training a lot.
So what can you to naturally increase progesterone? There are a few things that I like. First of all, anything that is high in magnesium can help with progesterone levels. So you can supplement with magnesium. You can also do things like include lots of fish dark chocolate is high in magnesium. Mmm, that's a bonus. Dark leafy grains, which we already talked about, is a scientifically proven superfood. And then lots of seeds, specifically like pumpkin seeds are really high in magnesium. So look for foods that are high in magnesium, and that will help your body to absorb calcium, which help to regulate pituitary gland, which will regulate hormone levels, and the pituitary will regulate the production of FSH, and luteinizing hormone, and thyroid stimulating hormone, which will help to increase progesterone levels. So basically really prioritize your magnesium.
Vitamin C would be another one. I'm a big fan of supplementation with vitamin C in women who have low progesterone levels because they've shown that women who take about 700 to 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day see a leap in progesterone by over 75%, but also including of course foods that are high in vitamin C. Peppers are really good one, dark leafy greens again, broccoli is actually pretty decent, any of the berries that I was talking about earlier, those are really good. But vitamin C and magnesium. Zinc would be another. Zinc acts on multiple organs of the body implicated in progesterone production, like the pituitary gland, like the ovaries. My number one top recommended form for zinc would be a.) beef and b.) oysters, but you're vegan, so you may want to also consider supplementation with zinc or a good multi-vitamin that has zinc in it. I actually like the Thorne multi-vitamin for that.
Another thing that, a compound that flies under the radar that really helps women and progesterone levels is L-arginine. L-arginine. And L-arginine is an amino acid that creates nitric oxide, and that widens and relaxes arteries and blood vessels, and it's especially important for supporting what's called the corpus luteum, which helps to increase your progesterone levels. And they actually showed in the Journal of Ovarian Research that six grams per day of L-arginine supplementation could massively increase progesterone levels without you needing to be on like bioidentical hormones replacement therapy. Pumpkin seeds have a lot of arginine in them. So there's another one to chalk up for pumpkin seeds. Soaked chick peas, or garbanzo beans, those also have arginine. But honestly, like arginine supplementation would be something that you may want to actually look into.
There is a herb that can increase progesterone levels, again without you having to be on bioidentical hormone replacement. Now, guys, be careful. ‘Cause if you take this, it's almost like chemical castration. But in women, it appears to be able to do a pretty good job stimulating progesterone production and reducing levels of estrogen in the blood by suppressing something called prolactin, and this stuff is called chasteberry. Have you heard of chasteberry before, Rachel?
Rachel: l have. It's in a lot of natural medicine remedies for people with period issues, menstruation issues.
Ben: Yeah. Great way to keep you chaste. Especially for those period issues.
Rachel: It's very well-named.
Ben: So that would be another one that I would include. So progesterone support in the form of things like chasteberry, magnesium, a good whole food vitamin C, L-arginine, fish oil is actually very good. But again if you are vegan, you may want to consider an algae source, like chlorella or spirulina for your omega-3 fatty acids. Powdered flaxseed is okay. You don't get a lot of conversion into DHA and some of those things that you'll need for progesterone, but it's better than nothing. And then the last one that I'd recommend to make sure you don't have excess estrogen levels and that your progesterone levels are balanced out well would be diindolylmethane, which you'll get from things like broccoli, but you can also supplement with it. It's known as DIM. Really great for the liver. Keeping the liver in good shape is a really, really good way to keep estrogen levels low and progesterone levels high. So DIM is another supplement that you'd want to look into. So you want to naturally increase your progesterone levels.
The other thing that you'd want to focus on would be your DHEA levels. And DHEA is the other one that I tend to see really low in females who are trying to stay fit and keep body fat levels low. It's a pro-hormone that's tied to things like longevity and a lean muscle mass. And you naturally create a certain amount of DHEA in your body, but if it is legal for you to supplement with DHEA, you can simply supplement with anywhere from 25 to 75 milligrams of DHEA from a supplement source. You could also consume things that would naturally increase DHEA. And usually those are going to be fatty-based foods that you're going to want to be taking as a vegan anyway, so your coconut oil, olive oil, heavy amounts of avocado, things like that. But honestly if I were a female fitness competitor and were legal, I would be considering supplementation with DHEA. There are a couple of really interesting precursors to DHEA, I just recently wrote a post over at bengreenfieldfitness.com on this supplement company called Vaxxen. Sounds like a sexy reindeer, doesn't it?
Rachel: It does.
Ben: Vaxxen. And what Vaxxen has is a bunch of like DHEA precursors in it and stuff that you'll want to make sure is legal for you to be consuming for whatever division of fitness competition that you're in, because sometimes certain supplements are banned, sometimes they aren't. But either way, getting extra DHEA precursors into your body, even if it's just supplementation with a small amount of DHEA per day, would be prudent. And then a couple of other things I want to throw at you as resources. First the Candida Cleanse Protocol by Christa Orecchio, that's my number one go-to protocol for controlling candida. I don't have time to delve into the details, but I'll put a link in the show notes. It's called the Candida Cleanse. If you haven't done that yet, freakin' do it 'cause it's the best way to get rid of candida in my opinion. Christa's a total ninja when it comes to that stuff.
The next thing I would recommend is an article that I wrote about everything that vegans need to do when it comes to supplements and when it comes to things that you're not getting if you aren't eating meat, or things that you should supplement with because you're getting lower levels of them as a vegan. Some of the biggies that I mention in that article are vitamin D3, vitamin K2, making sure that you're soaking and sprouting any of the grains, and legumes, and nuts that you eat, getting like a good [1:26:17] ______ based source of iron, like iron bisglycinate that you can supplement with, and then a couple others that fly under the radar. Specifically taurine and iodine. Go read that full article though 'cause I really geek out in that article that I wrote about how you need to customize your diet as a vegan. And then the final thing I'd recommend to, when it comes to DHEA, adequate, hormones, adequate fats, would be really adopting more of like a high fat version of a vegan diet. So for example, fat sources, that's really not rocket science. Avocado oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, MCT oil, olives, avocados, coconut cream, like do a lot more of those than doing like, whatever, Quest protein bars and tuna fish cans.
Rachel: So you're saying that because of the uncontrollable bingeing that she's experiencing?
Ben: Yeah. Those high fat sources will really help to keep your appetite and your hormonal levels, well your appetite satiated and your hormonal levels elevated. Protein sources, you're looking at like fermented forms of tofu like miso, and tempeh, and natto. Pumpkin seeds, like I mentioned earlier, almonds and almond flour, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, chlorella, even things like Brazil nuts, and hazel nuts, and unsweetened coconut flakes have some amount of protein in them, macadamia nuts are really good source, and then just like a crap ton of plant matter because you don't have to count that as your carbohydrate intake. Low carbohydrate vegetables well to keep your appetite satiated and help you with some of the liver and the progesterone issues I talked about. So things like beet greens and bok choy. Sprouts are amazing, like alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, any sprouts are super nutrient dense, even things like quinoa, and amaranth, and millet sprouts. But basically lots of sprouts, lots of greens, lots of really healthy fats, and then tons of a variety of different protein sources from ferment soy, seeds nuts, that have been soaked, coconuts, et cetera. Really well-rounded, almost like a vegan cyclic ketogenic diet would be a really good way to go for keeping the hormone levels elevated. And I know I flew through a lot of that. I'll put some recommendations in the show notes for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/367. But that is where I would start, Heather. And then of course, to wrap things all up, what's really going to make or break the entire fitness competition for you is whether or not you've got Nike's new magic stilettos with the carbon fiber insoles and the negative drop. And a self-quantifying condom could help too. Possible. Get your thrust velocity measured. Should we wrap this thing up before we digress even more?
Rachel: I think we should. Yeah.
Ben: Alright. So here's the deal: first of all, we always, towards the end of the show, give something away. And today, we definitely have something to give away to you. If you leave a review in iTunes and it's a five star review, or you say something nice, or you just leave us a one star review but you say something entertaining, please don't do that. I'm joking. Leave five stars if you can. Helps with the karma for the show, helps to support the show, helps with our iTunes ranking. If you hear your review read on the show and then you e-mail your t-shirt size to [email protected], that's [email protected], we're going to mail you a cool gift back. And we got a doozy for you today. Five stars from BigPatTN who says, “Great for fitness, bad for finance.” You want to take this one away, Rachel?
Rachel: I do. It's a great subject line. Okay. “The Show is a great resource for learning about ways to improve and optimize training and performance. The only downside is between Ben and Tim Ferris I've accumulated a host of obscure training tools and supplements and my friends think I'm crazy. My house also looks like a cross between a physical therapy studio and a pharmacy. The show definitely keeps you up to date on the newest advances in training technologies, which is great for a personal trainer like myself. Look forward to meeting Ben at the Asheville Spartan Race, as long as he doesn't have any coffee in his butt.”
Ben: I always have coffee in my…
Rachel: Do you walk around with coffee in your butt, Ben?
Ben: That's the one time you do not want to have coffee in your butt is during as Spartan Race. Trust me. Now they do, they actually do make these, I talked about them in my interview with Dr. Dan Pompa, complete. We don't want to divert into this right towards the end of the podcast, but I'm going to do it anyways. Glutathione and caffeine suppositories that you can travel with to give yourself the equivalent of a coffee enema without actually giving yourself a coffee enema. And it literally is glutathione and caffeine in a suppository. I have some up in my refrigerator. I do travel with them. They're called Xeneplex.
Rachel: So at any moment…
Ben: X-E-N-E-P-L-E-X. Don't take them before a Spartan Race, but you can actually shove those things up your butt when you're travelling and get all the benefits of a coffee enema without actually giving yourself a coffee enema. So, you're welcome for that final little tip thrown in, and something else for you to Google and spend money on, dude. Sorry to throw that last little bad-for-finance tip to you, but Xeneplex. It's like sunshine in your butt. And your ears. Okay. We've totally equipped people with everything they need for happiness in life at this point. So let's wrap this thing up. bengreenfieldfitness.com/367 is where the show notes reside, and we got plenty more goodness coming at you this weekend where you're going to learn how to measure body's electrical capacity and a lot more. If you're in LA or Malibu area, look for me this weekend. You might see me running down the street with my shirt off, possibly carrying a large paddle board, or sweating after an intense sauna session. But either way, that's where I'm going to be running around this weekend. And Rachel, thanks for making yet another morning magical.
Rachel: Thanks for having me.
March 22, 2017 Podcast: 367: How Females Can Lose Body Fat Fast, How To Fix Your Vision Naturally, 4 Science-Based Superfoods & Much More!
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.
How Runners Can Lose Muscle In A Healthy Way (And Calorie Cycling 101)
Des says: She's big fan of the show and she's learned so much its overwhelming. She has a strange question. Over the winter she managed to increase her muscle mass a lot, but now it's running season and she's too heavy. She needs to lose some of it but it's mostly muscle. What's the safest way to go about losing added weight while maintaining the benefits of the bone density, better hemoglobin, etc. Do you have any tips? Thanks!
Natural Ways To Maximize Eye Health
Dave says: He's calling from Bloomington, Indiana. He's an active 29 year old and recently been diagnosed with Open-Angle Glaucoma. He takes a pressure regulating eye drop as recommend by his Ophthalmologist and he's also tweaked his diet to increase his intake of eye healthy food like sweet potato, carrot and dark leafy greens to help manage eye pressures. He's curious if you have any additional protocols that you recommend to combat the pressure of glaucoma specifically or promote better eye health in general? He loves the show and hopes to hear a response on the air.
In my response, I recommend:
–Organic bilberry extract or organic bilberry capsules or organic bilberries
-Astaxanthin/fish oil (recommend Superessentials)
–Thorne CoQ10 or Thorne Resveracel
–Natural Calm Magnesium
–Frankincense / helichrysum oil / cypress essential oil
–My podcast on healthiest computer monitors
How Females Can Lose Body Fat Fast
Heather says: She's calling from Michigan, she loves the show! She has a question regarding food. She's competing in her first body building competition in twenty weeks. She's doing the fitness division and the training is going really well. However, food has been a place of struggle. She frequently binges and its really uncontrollable and it feels primal. She was wondering if you have any advice, tips, supplements, things she can take to get it under control, so when she gets closer to competition she can get her body fat down to what it needs to be. There's two caveats, she's vegan, and she's been dealing with candida for five years. Any thoughts and tips are appreciated!
In my response, I recommend:
-Thyroid support in the form of a natural thyroid supplement like Thyrogold
-Progesterone support in the form of magnesium, whole foods vitamin C, L-arginine, Superessentials fish oil, chasteberry, DIM, and a full spectrum multi-vitamin
-DHEA support in the form of Thorne DHEA
–John Kiefer's Carb Backloading Protocol
–Candida Cleanse protocol
–My entire chapter on vegan athletes here