[00:01:05] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:57] 3 Non-Negotiable Things for Mitochondrial Health
[00:13:25] The #1 Biohacking Device for Calm and Sleep
[00:16:42] How to Use A JOOVV Device with A Pre-Existing Tumor
[00:19:10] Carb Refeed Strategy
[00:24:36] How to Rid the Body of Glyphosate
[00:28:44] The Importance of Eating Local, Seasonal Food
[00:29:49] Podcast Sponsors
[00:32:59] The Proper Use of Psychedelics
[00:35:37] Recommended Self-Quantification Methods
[00:41:02] A New Gadget
[00:42:29] A Healthy Approach to Coffee Consumption
[00:44:48] Assertions and Claims Made on The Game Changers Documentary
[00:49:25] Tips for Improving Posture
[00:53:02] One Belief That Changed Course on In the Last 1-2 Years
[00:57:11] End of Podcast
Ben: Howdy, howdy, ho. Welcome to today's show. I had the pleasure of giving a dinnertime Q&A talk in New York City at the wonderful restaurant of my friend, Chef David Bouley over in the Flatiron District in New York City. He has this amazing restaurant that's all designed around healthy ingredients that he hand-picked from places like Japan and France. He travels all over the world finding the best of the best ingredients, brings them back, makes amazing meals, and then bring speakers and physicians and nutritionists, even hacks like me to talk at you while you're eating dinner. We decided to turn the entire dinner into this massive health and fitness, and nutrition, and biohacking Q&A, and I think you're going to absolutely dig it.
The shownotes for everything I talk about, if I mention anything, you'll find it in the shownotes, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/bouley. That's B-O-U-L-E-Y Q-A, BenGreenfieldFitness/bouleyqa, B-O-U-L-E-Y Q-A. That's where the shownotes are at for everything we talked about. I also have not mentioned this to you in quite some time, but I have a text club, a VIP text club, which I send out special deals, discount codes, insider tips, early releases of products, all sorts of cool things straight to your phone. And to get into the VIP text club totally free, you just text the word FITNESS to 411-247. You just pull open your messages function in your phone, text the word FITNESS to the number 411-247. You'll get a text back from me where you can opt-in and you'll automatically be part of the VIP text club.
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It's even got proline-rich polypeptides called PRPs in there, which encourage the growth of white blood cells. So, this is amazing for cold and flu season as well. It's one of my favorite supplements and it's from an organic grass-fed goat farm in Central Washington. Super clean place and the colostrum is absolutely amazing. So, the best colostrum you'll find out there. It's called nature's first food for a reason. So, you can get 20% off Kion Colostrum if you go to getkion.com. That's getK-I-O-N.com and just use discount code BGF10 over there at getkion.com.
Finally, this podcast is brought to you by these super unique products that come from bees. A lot of people are familiar with of course honey and all the benefits of like a good organic raw honey for the immune system and for a nutrient-dense way to sweeten food. But bees also make things like propolis, which has incredible germ-fighting properties in which if you spray in your mouth, for example, is amazing for fighting off airborne pathogens. Bees also make royal jelly, which when you consume it is actually a nootropic. It acts like a smart drug for your brain for enhancing focus and concentration.
And then bees, of course, have pollen, which is chock-full of amino acids and B vitamins and minerals. And this company, Beekeeper's Naturals, they harvest all this stuff sustainably from bees. They have no cheap fillers or pesticide residues or anything like that, and they make these bee products that combine royal jelly, and propolis, and bee pollen. They have like this nootropic shot that you simply drink that fills your brain with the royal jelly. They have the bee propolis throat spray that's in my bag when I'm getting on an airplane. I spray this stuff in my mouth. It's wonderful for the immune system. They have bee pollen, which you can sprinkle on top of smoothies or avocado toast or a salad to again help your immune system and give you like this bee-based multivitamin. And they're giving all my listeners 15% off. It's Beekeeper's Naturals. You go to beekeepersnaturals.com/ben and use code BEN for 15% off. So, it's B-E-E, beekeepersnaturals.com/ben. Use code BEN to save 15%.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
I'm assuming if people sign their names, I could throw them under the box. But we have a question now from Drew. So, what are the two or three things that you think most improved your health? Dr. Drew, are you saying I'm sick? Two or three things that most improved my health. It's tough to choose these three obviously, but I would say three things that I do on a very regular basis that for me are non-negotiables to care for my mitochondria and to care for my health are as follows. Number one, light. I'm reading a book right now called “The Human Photosynthesis.” It's very interesting book, kind of a rough translation. I believe it's out of Russia, but this book is about the pigment melanin and how it kind of simulates chlorophyll. And it highlights how the human body is actually capable of producing electrical energy in response to biophotons of light using this melanin molecule. But of course, we find it in our skin and elsewhere, our retina, for example.
And these blood vessels have different photoreceptors that was from the light. This is why one study showed that a light shone even on the back of the knee during sleep may actually disrupt circadian rhythm. It kind of highlights the importance of making sure your room is very dark when you go to bed at night. So, when you walk into a hotel room that's lit up like a Christmas tree, you want to kind of find the plug as much as you can. But this idea of light is, of course, a blessing as well because we know that exposure to photons of light can amplify our mitochondria's production of ATP.
That appears to be something that is even more favorable when we have things like this green and blue pigments circulating in our system, things like chlorophyll, things like this blue spirulina [00:07:23] ______ blueberries and anthocyanins and dark leafy greens and things like that. The combination of colorful foods and sunlight is actually a very, very cool strategy for giving you ATP without eating an appreciable amount of calories. And I'm not a breatharian, and I think we can survive on air, but we can actually produce electrons in response to light, which is very interesting.
So, number one for me would be light, and that would include both sunlight and exposure to as much sunlight as possible during the day, but it would also include–because I like to live with one foot in the realm of ancestral living and the other foot in the realm of modern science. And I'm not opposed to using a lot of these so-called photobiomodulation therapies that you cannot find with increasing frequency. Things like light panels, light treatments for the head, intranasal light devices, especially for people–and I know you guys experienced this in New York City quite a bit because I've walked around today. I mean, you don't necessarily have days that are full of sunlight. Down in Spokane, Washington, same thing.
So, I can simulate some of those more beneficial wavelengths of light in my office using these red-light panels or the infrared light therapy for your head, using infrared light saunas, things like this. So, the idea of lights and using biophotonic energy to amplify health I think is pretty clear and precise, especially when you pair that with this concept of kind of eating the rainbow and getting some of these molecules in your bloodstream that respond very well to those photons of light. Some of these greens and blues, particularly.
Number two, in addition to lights, another non-negotiable for me that I do on a daily basis every day–I did it this morning. I'm actually staying over at David's place in Tribeca, and the shower that's nice and cold there. And I do hot/cold contrasts every day. When I'm at home, I'm in a sauna every day, always followed up by about two to five minutes of something cold. When I'm traveling, I'm often too busy, I drop into one of these wellness spas with the saunas or go to the cryotherapy chamber. But I have a very simple practice when I'm on the road. It's a five-minute shower and I realize there's a little bit of water waste going on there. It's not too much. I make up for that by brushing my teeth with a nearly dry toothbrush sometimes.
The hot/cold contract shower is very simple, 20 seconds of cold, 10 seconds of hot, 10 times through. So, it's a five-minute shower. And when you're alternating heat and cold [00:10:01] ______, I mean, this is a trick from athletes. I think LeBron James recently said that was one of his non-negotiables for recovery is this hot/cold contrast because of the nitric oxide that's produced, because of the blood flow, because of the decrease in inflammatory products, the wakefulness, the cognition. It stimulates the vagus nerve. But you alternate from hot to cold or you do a long hot session followed by a cold session. That's also something in addition to light that I played around every single day.
And then the third would be our Mother Earth. I try to get in touch with the planet every single day, whether it's my hands on the surface of the earth, my body laying on my back on a nice stay in the park, wearing these newer grounding or earthing shoes that allow you to walk and still maintain connection to a conductive surface. They often have things like copper plates or the copper plugs built into the bottom of the shoes. On Amazon, you can actually buy straps that wrap around any shoes, not just a pair of grounding shoes or earthing shoes and way to walk around the city in your loafers or your tennis shoes. You can actually still be grounded. I make it a point to get in touch with the planet every single day because the earth is chock-full of negative ions. It collects them whenever lightning strikes the surface of the planet.
And so, when you do that, what you're doing is you treat your body like a battery because the entire body, our cell operates on electrochemical gradient, meaning that there's typically a slightly negative charge inside the cell, positive charge outside the cell. And that's crucial for the proper activity of the electron transport chain. And so, your mitochondria are going to be able to make ATP. Now, when you are in a state of exposure to a lot of these positive ions, appliances, non-native EMF like Wi-Fi, computers, Bluetooth and causes you exposure to those things, you're actually shifting yourself towards more positive brain. And one of the best ways to fix that is to get exposed to negative ions. And the way that you do that is by grounding or earthing.
There are many companies that sell technologies like grounding or earthing mats, shoes that I've mentioned, pads that you can place in your desk. The research goes back and forth and is kind of controversial about whether or not those type of technologies, if you're in an area that has a lot of power traveling through the ground from your substations, for example, such as you can find in very metropolitan area like this, whether or not those are actually healthy, but there's no denying that at least getting out into a park, or a beach, or a salty ocean, on anything like that we're getting more of these negative ions is beneficial for the body. And there's an entire book about this called “Earthing.” I interviewed the guy who wrote that book on my podcast. You can go listen to it.
It's profound, the effect on wellness, overall energy and health that just simply being outside specifically in touch with the planet can help your body. So, those would be the top three really. It would be light, the use of heat and cold, and then also grounding and earthing. Those are non-negotiables that I do just about every day. There are plenty of other things [00:13:10] ______ and movements and quality relationships, time with the family, all of these other variables, but those are three that come to mind for me right off the bat.
So, great question, Dr. Drew. If you had to recommend one biohacking device to help with calm and sleep, what would it be? I would definitely say anything that stimulates the vagus nerve. So, the vagus nerve [00:13:41] ______ your entire body, it innervates most of your organs, and it actually in a state of fight and flight, in a state of constant sympathetic nervous system activation, the vagal nerve tone can decrease. You can shift towards a state of being constantly, sympathetically aroused, like that blessing that we did before dinner, that was to shift you into a parasympathetic state. So, you would do things that you normally would not do if you were in fight and flight mode. Your body doesn't want to digest food if you're running from a lion or if you're in battle.
And so when you take a pause to breathe like that, and when you take a pause to be grateful, and when you take a pause to meditate during the day, you actually shift yourself into parasympathetic. And there are other ways that you can tone your vagus nerve, singing, chanting, humming, breathwork, gargling, that hot/cold contrast that I talked about. There's many ways to tone that vagus nerve, so it's better able to shift between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activation. But this question is specifically asking about a biohacking device, like a tool, like a technology. I would consider biohacking to be any element where we use science to somehow change human biology some way or another.
You can actually use local vagal nerve stimulators. There are companies that sell electrodes that are typically applied to the temporal lobe sometimes for every year and they actually stimulate the vagus nerve, the signal that shifts it towards parasympathetic. Couple of such devices that I own and I've used and I can vouch for because I've used both of them. One is the device called the Circadia, which was designed for sleep by a company called Fisher Wallace, but it works so well for sleep. If you're busy at the end of the day and your thoughts are racing or you want to settle down for a nap midday and check out from all the hubbub at the office, you apply this Fisher Wallace device. It runs about 25 minutes and it shifts towards the parasympathetic nerve.
The other one that I use, and this one I use more now, it's called the NuCalm. N-UCalm. And this is also a vagal nerve stimulator like device, but it also is paired with an app that creates special beats that kind of roll you into a very relaxed state, on an airplane or any place where I need to get a good 20 to 40-minute power nap. The only [00:16:07] ______ 80/20 guy. I will just use the 20% of any device or technology or strategy that's [00:16:14] ______ results. It's got like 10 different tracks on it, but all I use is the powernap setting. And I'll play the powernap setting once if I have 20 minutes, twice if I have 40 minutes, and it works like gangbusters to relax you. And to answer this question about calm and help with sleep. There are again plenty of other things you could do for sleep, but when it comes specifically to a biohacking device, that's the first thing that comes to mind would be something like the Fisher Wallace Circadia or the NuCalm device.
Alright, Joovv, J-O-O-V-V. If you're regularly using the Joovv, that's one of those photo light devices, and have a tumor that you weren't aware of, what do you think would be the effect of the light on the tumor? I have no freaking clue. I don't know. I mean, I should save this. And I'm not a doctor. Please don't misconstrue this is medical advice. But some of the things that I would do if I had cancer are a lot different than what I would do if I did not have a pre-existing tumor or cancer. For example, protein intake, right? Protein intake is wonderful for activating mTOR, shifting into an anabolic state and saving up sarcopenia and loss of bone density, maintaining strength as you age. But if you're eating a lot of protein and you already have a tumor–this was demonstrated in my book, the China Study, which is full of flaws, but it is true that in that study, they gave rats in which they induced the tumor high amounts of casein protein and caused the tumor to grow, right?
So, I'm a fan of moderate to slightly high protein diet. But if I have cancer, then all that would go out the window. I'd been in a low protein, low-carbohydrate, high-fat, high-plant diet to shift myself in the state of ketosis to give my body other nutrients that it needs for fighting off cancer, for alkalizing the body, to keep cancer from a lot of glucose substrates when you have a burn. But that is the diet I would use for cancer, not a diet that I would use for my normal day-to-day energy sustenance.
There are other examples such as amino acid supplementation that I would avoid if I have cancer [00:18:20] ______ shift you towards more pro-growth state. And as far as light goes, technically, it is going to induce a little bit of what we called angiogenesis, which is going to increase the growth of capillaries and could technically feed more blood vessels to tumor. There's a wonderful book written by a guy who runs the Anti-Angiogenesis Foundation, Dr. William Li. He has a very good book called “Eat to Beat Disease.” If you're into food, [00:18:45] ______, there would be wonderful books to add to your library. And in that book, he gets into a lot of foods that are actually anti-angiogenic that would keep some of that pro-cancer blood vessel growth occurring. So, it would be a good book to check out to get more to that. So, good question. You'll notice how I'll just steer these questions away from the actual questioner, actually towards something that's a little less hippie.
Alright, so this question says, “When you refeed at night with carbohydrates, what and how much do you eat?” That's a great question. So, I personally don't eat–how many of you in here who listened to my podcast, by the way? Obviously, [00:19:26] ______. I don't eat any carbohydrates until the nighttime. I save all my carbohydrates for the evening. The reason for that is multifold. First of all, a little bit of carbohydrate and I can help with your serotonin production. So, you sleep a little bit better. And assuming that you're restricting carbohydrates the rest of the day, it's not going to have a huge impact on your triglycerides or on things like [00:19:49] ______ liver disease or something like this because if you've not eaten carbohydrates all day, your liver glycogen stores are a little empty, your muscle glycogen stores are a little empty, and your body just sucks up those carbohydrates to be used for the next day's activity, and it's burning fatty acids and producing a lot of ketones the rest of the day. So, it's almost like a cyclic low-carb, or a cyclic ketosis-based diet.
So, it's a very good way to increase your metabolic efficiency to kind of turn yourself into a fat-burning machine by not eating a lot of carbohydrates. And eating all of your carbs in the evening helps with sleep. The other thing is of course, if you guys [00:20:25] ______, dinner a lot of times is the most social meal of the day. Now, I think the people who follow the rules of dinner like a pauper, not eating carbohydrates at night, the problem is it really flies in the face of social enjoyment. So, if you're good all day long, a lot of times, you let yourself go a little bit more in the evening because again, you have empty muscle glycogen, relatively empty muscle glycogen and pretty empty liver glycogen stores. So, your body is going to use that glucose, rather than converting into triglycerides and storing this fat and adipose tissue, it's going to actually restore your liver and your muscle glycogen levels.
Now, it is true that you're more insulin sensitive in the morning. From an endocrine standpoint, your body is better equipped to be able to handle carbohydrates in the morning without a [00:21:09] ______ blood glucose response or without a long time of that glucose remaining in the bloodstream. But you can induce a state that's very much like that in the evening. You guys know how you can do that? Exercise, right? For example, I've walked over here from Tribeca, right? So, I got a good brisk 40-minute walking before dinner, timing a strength training session, or high-intensity interval training session, or even a brisk walk like that. But 5:00 or 6:00 or 6:30 before dinner pushes you into a state of insulin sensitivity very similar to what you would be at in the morning. And so again, if you save all your carbohydrates for evening, it kind of behooves you to do some type of exercise later on the day, especially timing it before you have dinner. So, there's a variety of reasons that I do for carbohydrates in the morning.
Now, how much and how many? The quality of the carbohydrates is always very good. So, I'm not talking about the Twinkies, donuts, pizza diet in the evening. For me, it's always like butternut squash or a roast pumpkin with a little raw honey or my wife's lovely fermented sourdough bread with some grass-fed butter on it, some of the wonderful clean type of crackers and breads that we had tonight. Usually with dinner or after dinner, a little bit of dark chocolate. Sometimes with dinner or before dinner, a little bit of red wine. That's all recognizable carbohydrates, carbohydrates that are typically cellular.
Do you know what a cellular versus acellular carbohydrates? Acellular carbohydrates are carbohydrates that have been heavily processed, like Wonder Bread, white rice would be another example, a lot of the sugars that you find isolated from the actual cells, in which they are supposed to be accompanied. Quinoa, amaranth, millets, good fermented bread, squashes, underground storage organs like tubers, purple potatoes, yams, all of these are cellular carbohydrates. They're more nutrient-dense and they're processed by the body in a way that is not as significantly rise more glucose.
So, if you get a chance to some points, you look up acellular versus cellular carbohydrates and consume cellular carbohydrates as the lion's share of the carbs that you take. And certainly, there's some situation like I talked about chocolate, a little bit of coconut sugar or sugar in it or some acellular carbohydrate, but it's trace amounts of that and the actual–the large portion of carbohydrates with dinners, typically cellular carbohydrate. As far as how many, here's the deal. We know that the liver can store about 400 calories of carbs. So, if you've been eating a low-carb diet all day long and you're relatively active, your liver glycogen stores are going to be pretty empty. So, most people, men or women, can handle about 100 grams of carbohydrates with dinner in this scenario. And an active person will also have some kind of empty muscle glycogen levels going in.
I mean, I have some athletes who I work with who have 250, 300 grams of carbohydrates with dinner and be just fine as far as their blood glucose levels, their hemoglobin A1c levels, the amount of ketones that they produce. So, it's kind of dependent on activity levels. But typically, if you want all the glucose that you need for your joints, for your hormones, for a workout the next day, et cetera, usually starting somewhere around 100 grams is a pretty good goal to shoot for, assuming you're active and you've been restricting carbohydrates the rest of the day. So, it's a great question. A lot of places we could rabbit hole on with this question.
Alright. What can be done to rid the body of glyphosate or to mitigate exposure? Such a good question because–how many of you have heard of that story of your friends who travels to Europe or to, say, Italy? Has pasta and has bread, and comes back and feel great, and they gain weight, [00:25:01] ______. I had all these glutinous products, but I felt fine. Well, sometimes a big reason for that can be because especially in the U.S., the gluten that we're consuming is accompanied by glyphosate because many of the crops that contain gluten are sprayed in herbicides and pesticides in the U.S. I'm glad to say it's capable of rendering your gut wall slightly permeable. So, this gluten protein, these large gluten proteins don't stay in the gut. It passes through the bloodstream and cause some new reactions, some inflammatory reactions.
And so that's why if you are going to consume gluten, rule number one is don't consume gluten from a crop that's been sprayed with glyphosate. So, if you don't know that it's organic or non-GMO, I really wouldn't be going near wheat or any gluten-containing product, just about most grains have trace amounts of gluten in them. Milk was one of the safer ones if you want to play totally safe. The other thing is that there are certain compounds that can help to render the gutless permeable that can be used to heal the gut. One is colostrum. This is the first part of a mammal mother's milk. And some supplement companies will harvest colostrum from goats, from cows. And upon consumption, we've got some really interesting studies. Again, athletes who are exercising in hot weather, that's one of the worst cases of a glyphosate to render the gut wall permeable, they'll feed in colostrum before this exercise in hot weather, and that permeability significantly decreases.
So, colostrum is fantastic for the gut. Another one is called lignite. Lignite is a soil-based probiotic extract. And there's a company called Ion Biome that makes lignite. And my kids use that because we are exposed to glyphosate no matter what if we're having produce or grains or anything like that, and even though we're very careful in those trace amounts. So, my kids have a shot of lignite every day. They also, if we are going to go to one of the restaurants we like, there's one in Spokane and it has these wonderful popovers, these bread popovers with this lavender butter that's amazing, nothing like the grass-fed butter [00:27:08] ______, but they're pretty damn good as popovers.
We always travel the restaurants with this stuff called Gluten Guardian. There's basically an enzyme called dipeptidyl peptidase and a [00:27:19] ______ soup. So, even though you're still getting exposed to glyphosate, you take a spoon [00:27:26] ______ bunch of gluten-containing food, even it's a non-glyphosate gluten-containing food, usually digested far easier. And also, by the way, speaking of blood glucose and the carbohydrate thing, I almost forgot to tell you guys this. The two best ways to plummet your blood glucose after a long meal like this, postprandial stroll, like going for a walk. And it can be as little as 10 minutes, right? So, for example, if I take the subway home tonight, I'll just like skip two subway stations and take one that's 10 minutes away some minutes around the corner.
The other one is cold. It doesn't have to be a cold shower, but it can literally be like a brisk walk in cold weather. So, you guys were on perfect scenario right here when you leave. Maybe walk out 10 minutes before [00:28:07] ______ or walk around the block before you go to your car. It's actually a very good way to drop your postprandial glucose [00:28:12] ______ big dinners. So, let's take a quick walk after meal [00:28:18] ______ car with a bunch of people right in front of the restaurant, I will sometimes [00:28:21] ______ take a cold shower before I get home and go to bed. And the next part about that is the cold. Actually, brilliant answers are deep sleep. Sleeping in a cold room or sleeping cold is one of the best ways to sleep solid. My rule for sleep is if there's slight resistance for me mentally to removing my clothing before I get into bed, the sleep temperature is part of it. Take off [00:28:41] ______ do it, that's a good sleep temperature.
Alright. How important do you think it is to eat seasonal local food? Pretty important, but you have to live a little too. We do live in a magical age with our giant jet planes to play across the sky and we've got the ability to be able to import wonderful foods from South America and get coffee in Costa Rica. So, yeah. I've got avocados at my house, I've got some coconut milk, I got coffee, but 90% of what we eat we get in a local farmer's market, growing garden beds. I have [00:29:17] ______ get as much as we can locally, look up local CSAs. So, it's just better for the body. And the cool thing is all of that food contains bacteria and [00:29:27] ______ for your biome. And specifically, foods that are full of the bacteria that supports your biome based on your local environment, it's actually good for your immune system where you live. And so, raising children in that environment, their needs to be very capable of handling any type of viruses or immune system assailants in the environment they're going up in, [00:29:45] ______ a lot of that local seasonal food that has a lot of bacteria.
Hey, I want to interrupt today's show. You're no doubt familiar with probiotics, but many probiotics are simply cheap fillers, they're broken down in the acidic environment of the gut, they don't make it to the colon, and they don't use many strains at all. This Seed probiotic, I've interviewed the founder. He's absolutely brilliant. She goes into my interview with the guy from Seed probiotic, but what they've done is combines 24 different strains of bacteria plus three different prebiotic compounds including pomegranate seed extract, which is amazing for the bacteria in your gut to feed the bacteria.
And perhaps even more importantly, they developed this stuff. They wrapped it in an algae medium that allows it to survive the acidic nature of the stomach and to actually make it all the way through your digestive tract, all the way down to your colon, which is where many people actually have bacterial deficiency. So, this is the only probiotic that I use now. It is absolutely the smartest one out there in terms of the way they designed it and the strains that they used. And you get a 15% discount on what they call their daily Synbiotic, which is S-Y-Nbiotic. That's their main flagship compound, the best probiotic out there for everything from gut immune function to dermatological health to urogenital health. So, you can go to Seed, S-E-E-D, seed.com/ben and use code BEN15 to dial in that 15% discount. And this probiotic is absolutely amazing. If you have gut issues, you really want to try this one. If you have bacterial deficiencies, it's going to be wonderful for you. So, it's seed.com/ben and use code BEN15.
This podcast is also brought to you by one of the best ways to introduce something called photobiomodulation, something I talked about in today's podcast, this use of red light and near-infrared light to do things like enhance collagen and elastin production on your skin, to increase testosterone production. Guys, if you shine it on your gonads to reduce pain, inflammation, to use as a pre-workout primer for nitric oxide production. This company Joovv has these panels, full-body panels that allow you to just bathe your body in this red and near-infrared light.
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Alright. What is your take on psychedelics? Bring it on. I think that psychedelics, honestly, are used very irresponsibly these days because people are doing psilocybin, and MDMA, and LSC, and ketamine, and Burning Man is becoming so popular, and books like Michael Pollan's “Change Your Mind,” and Steven Kotler's “Stealing Fire” has everybody off to their 38 ayahuasca session and sitting with some shaman in their apartment doing MDMA. And the problem is that like 10 minutes takes hard work. There's a lot of integration. There's a lot of journaling. There's a lot of preparation going into properly structured plant medicine or psychedelics ceremony, and a lot of preparation going out.
I will do plant medicine. I'm not talking about microdosing with a little psilocybin and lion's mane or something like that, which is actually great for cognition. Microdosing with a very small, like one-tenth of a trip dose of LSD. Very good for merging the left and right hemispheres of the brain for creative and analytical thinking. But we're talking about getting yourself into an actual psychedelic state, in which technically, you've lost control, you're journeying, your ego has dissolved, you're incapable of being fully present and lucid. That's something that you need to approach very seriously.
I will do something like that about once a quarter. And typically, I'm journaling and listening to a digital recorder that recorded what I said during that session, if I said anything, and then transcribing and writing that down, and sitting with that, and analyzing that. And there's a [00:34:54] ______ going in fasting from many different compounds like alcohol or certain forms of meat. You approach this stuff religiously. This is not about going with your buddies to Costa Rica and doing ayahuasca, and then [00:35:05] ______. This stuff takes integration, takes journaling, takes preparation. But in a proper sentence setting, I'm not opposed to the use of psychedelics. There's a specific intention. Otherwise, I think that it just becomes a party drug that exhausts your serotonin levels, that mess up receptors and your sensitivity of the neurotransmitters. So, it's something you need to play very carefully with, but I'm not against it. I'm certainly not against like small responsible microdosing.
Alright. When you are trying a new diet, product or workout method, how do long you try it for before you feel you can give an accurate assessment? It totally depends. I quantify a lot. And I'll tell you why I do quantify and keep my finger on the pulse of all these new things that I'm trying. You guys saw the book back there, it's hundreds of pages of biohacks, and supplements, and tools, and toys. What I used to engage my own body is I track my–what's called my heart rate variability every day. Heart rate variability is a measurement of that sympathetic and parasympathetic tone I was talking about, your vagal nerve tone. I use this ring. It's called the Oura ring for that. There's another, there's a wrist band called WHOOP that can work well for that. There's also a real-time measurement that you can use using something like an Elite HRV or a NatureBeat.
But tracking HRV is trickle down from like professional European sports where they're always on the cutting edge, especially European football. They've been tracking HRV to predict illness and injury and performance metrics for a very long time. But now it's something that via wearable devices that are relatively affordable, most people in the general population track things like HRV. And it can predict illness, it can predict injury, it can predict whether or not a supplement was good for you, bad for you, it can give you clues about what kind of diets and foods agree with you. And you're simply tracking that value, it seems to be going up, which is good, or down, which is less favorable each day.
So, I track HRV on a continual basis. I also track sleep. I use the same type of devices to track my sleep, my deep sleep cycles, how long it takes when you fall asleep, how restful I am, whether it's three or five glasses of wine that throws me out of deep sleep cycles. You can [00:37:24] ______ anything. We have a big track in the audience, Quantified Bob, right? Local guy. He quantifies everything. What's your website, Quantified Bob? Just Quantified Bob, yeah, he tracks [00:37:34] ______. So, we've got sleep, we've got HRV. And then as far as like blood measurements, things like that, it's very simple, I do a quarterly blood panel. There are companies like WellnessFX or InsideTracker that will allow you to get that blood panel access to a nice slick PDF or dashboard that shows you and you can nav. And it's pretty easy. You go down to a lab and it's somewhere near your home, and you get a blood draw, and you have the results within a week or so.
There are other companies like Thorne that are now allowing you to do that in the comfort of your own home being a test that they send you using much, much smaller amounts of blood. So, a blood test on about a quarterly basis. I do a stool test about once a year, looking for yeast, parasites, fungus, gut inflammation, anything that would affect the gut. For that, I use the company called Genova Diagnostics. It's a three-day stool panel because we want to look at how the stool is changing from day to day. It's nasty to think about, [00:38:32] ______ most of you, especially the chocolate souffles. If you have a parasite or something [00:38:37] ______ hatch, release egg, but not every day. So, you want to test for three days in a row if you're going to do a stool panel, and you want to look for everything if you're going out in your gut. So, the stool panel.
DNA test, that's something that technically, unless you mess on a CRISPR technology and changing your genes, you only need to do once in a lifetime. I think it's very good data. And typically, I'll take my DNA data and 23andMe will only give you access to a certain amount of health metrics. So, I'll export that data to a company or a website like–one that I like is called StrateGene, S-T-R-A-T-EGene. And if you guys are writing things down or recording all this, you do get access to the recording later. But StrateGene will identify all the different dirty genes. Okay, you don't produce enough glutathione, so you could use glutathione supplementation. Or you have a poor conversion of sunlight, the vitamin D, so you might be a candidate for vitamin D supplementation. So, it gives you a lot of really good actionable data.
And then finally, in addition to blood, gut, and DNA, a couple of other tests that I really like is a urinary test for hormones. There's one called a DUTCH panel that will test your hormones and your neurotransmitters. You pee on a stick for five times during the day. It tells you a ton about your body. And the last one is a really good food allergy panel. That's not going to give you this big long list of false positives that you need to avoid and hang in the refrigerator, but instead, it identifies a pretty laser-like precision, which foods you should not be eating based on a true allergenic response or food intolerance. That one's called the Cyrex panel, C-Y-R-E-X.
That's an example of the type of panels that I kind of keep my eye on. Some need to be done very frequently, like a genetic test or food allergy test. Some I do regularly, like a blood test or hormone panel. And then some I'm doing every day, like tracking HRV and sleep. With all these metrics, I'm able to really truly see the impact, those sort of lifestyle change or dietary change or exercise change that is happening to my body. So, those are a few of the ways that I self-quantify. As far as how long, I try something out before I feel like I can get an accurate test in. That totally depends. If I'm taking a nootropic or some incremental function, I know within a couple of hours. If I'm taking something that kind of [00:40:51] ______ within the body like a multivitamin or something, it's typically from one blood test and a whole quarter for the next one test before I'm actually looking at that data and seeing the effects in me.
Alright. What's my favorite health-related gadgets? Favorite health-related gadgets. Alright. It varies, but right now, I'm wearing a gadget that I'm really liking. It's called an Apollo. It's on my ankle right now. And Apollo was developed by a guy who works with a bunch of different neuroscientists, and also does research with the MAPS Foundation on psychedelics, has done a lot of research on trauma. And he has developed a device that emits a non-audible sound signal that travels at the long bone, whichever limb that you happen to have placed it on, to induce a specific function. So, using a phone app, you can set it to sleep, or you can set it to relaxation, or you can set it to meditation, or even set it to social and open, and you can set it to wake up.
It's called Apollo. I think it launches next week, actually. I'm actually trying out the baby face over, and now I have an interview with the guy coming out next week, David Rabin. You guys should listen to that interview because it's actually a fascinating device. This is important to me, the Bluetooth, and any Wi-Fi signals or anything like that could be disabled on it. So, once you activate it from your phone, you can set it into kind of dead mode or airplane mode and just runs on its own. So, that's something I really like. That one is called Apollo, and it uses soundwaves to induce a specific emotional reaction. It's kind of slick. So, that's the first one that comes to mind.
PS, told me to avoid coffee. I can't. Issues with cortisol, inflammation, or adrenal glands. I don't quite understand the question, but I can tell you that my approach to coffee is that it's tasty effective stuff, but it is not without its vices. Meaning that because it can really activate or buying to these adenosine receptors and tissue–adenosine is the molecule that makes you sleep. So, the more coffee you drink, the more adenosine receptors your body has to make for the coffee to bind to or the caffeine to bind to. And so what happens is it gets harder and harder and harder to fall asleep and more and more coffee use over time, the more regularly they use coffee over time. And this is even for using coffee in the morning. A lot of people say, “I'm just not going to drink coffee. After noon, I'll be fine.” But if you start with your sleep, a lot of times, it's because you've oversaturated your receptors. You don't have adenosine to bind to the receptors and make you sleep.
So, to fix for that, you just switch to decaf once a month or so, once every couple of months. It takes about 7 to 10 days of avoiding caffeine or just taking much smaller amounts of it like decaf coffee to reset the adenosine receptors. That's my strategy, I just have certain times of the year where I'll switch to decaf. Usually, I'll just wait until I'm about out of the coffee, the wonderful tasty anti-oxidant [00:43:54] ______ coffee in my pantry. And then my mom owns a coffee shop and I just have her send me up some of her wonderful decaf coffee. And I just drink that for 7 to 10 days and reset the receptors and switch back to regular. So, that's the way that I do. It's just not having any of decaffeinated stuff around the house once in a while and switch decaf or switch to non-caffeinated beverage of lowering caffeine.
Another one I like for that is drinking chocolate. I use this stuff made by a company called MiCacao. We do this really good cacao seed. It's not many calories, which is organic cacao shells to soak in water, and the end result was [00:44:31] ______. It tastes amazing like chocolate. I put a little bit of stevia and cinnamon in that. It's an amazing caffeine substitute. It has a totally feel-good effect from the theobromine [00:44:41] ______ dopamine release. That's also a good coffee alternative.
Here's a good one. Thoughts on the assertions or claims made on the Game Changers documentary. Who saw the Game Changers documentary? I can tell there's a majority of you. But it's a very popular movie. It's basically outlined in the fact that athletes could drive on a plant-based diet and it doesn't say outright [00:45:09] ______ the fact that meat might actually be bad for you. My take on that is that you can certainly build muscle and be athletic and have high performance on a plant-based diet, but the risk that you take are the number of anti-nutrients that come in those plants. Meaning that quinoa has a soap-like irritant that's covered in called saponins that require the quinoa to be rinsed and soaked, and rinsed and soaked repeatedly. They do this in South America. They'll use the water that they rinsed the quinoa and wash their clothing because it's so high in these soap-like irritants.
We already discussed gluten, right? I got to ferment gluten in order to deactivate a lot of the gluten, predigest a lot of the gluten, and deactivate a lot of the phytic acids that are in that gluten that can also do a number on your gut. Legumes, same thing. A lot of legumes need to be soaked. They need to be treated properly. There are some grains that need to be sprouted. There are many plants that have a host of anti-nutrient. They can affect thyroid function, like large amounts of kale, or spinach, or broccoli, or cauliflower. And smaller amounts of them aren't too bad, but when you get to the point where you're relying upon plants as your primary source of protein, you risk having to eat enough plants, so we're either, A, you're getting gas and bloating from the mass amounts of fiber that you're having to digest and consume, or B, you create gut damage and you don't feel well because of all the plants' anti-nutrients that you're consuming.
The exception to that would be if you're using a lot of old-world methods like fermentation and soaking and sprouting, it's a huge chore and it takes a ton of time versus just having a freaking piece of salmon, or a couple of eggs, or a little bit of grass-fed steak, for example. So, it's much easier to get the proteins that you need for meat, technically with the right mix of plants, grains, legumes, et cetera. You can match the amino acid profile. It's just far more work and there's a bigger risk of damage to your gut from the anti-nutrients.
In addition to that, it can be difficult on the environment to grow that many plants, especially in the era largely monocropping. We don't have proper soil treatment practices. If you're in for the ethical game to save the animals, so many small animals died from the monocropping. So, that can be an issue. This same issue could be said for CAFO food for animals that are raising [00:47:31] ______ ethically. But if you can hunch them, or if you can get your meat from a good regenerative farm, which is in a proper ethical practices to raise its livestock and raise its animals, pasture-raised chickens, grass-fed, grass-finished beef, et cetera, then I think that you can make an ethical argument for eating meat being okay, and you can certainly make it nutrient density argument for eating meat and being okay.
And when you look at a lot of the athletes in that movie, “The Bodybuilders,” big muscular guy, what they leave out is how much powder and processed plant protein they're having to eat to sustain the amount of amino acids that they need. So, again, you can do it, and even that comes with a host of–have you ever stepped on an elevator and they fart? You're passed out. It's pretty bad. A lot of bodybuilding shows that [00:48:19] ______. Not just with the whey protein with the plant protein powders, too. So, I just can't really endorse for athletes who are not willing to do all the work necessary to make plants digestible a purely plant-based diet. And even in that scenario, getting yourself with creatine, carnosine, L-carnitine, taurine, vitamin B12, DHA, a host of nutrients that shove the supplement budget through the roof, if you don't want to build a nutrient deficit over time.
So, I'm an omnivore. I eat good, healthy plants, usually local that are growing organically, that are sustainably harvested, and that don't rely upon monocropping like lots of grains and corn soup. And then I hunt my meat or any meat that I eat that I haven't hunted. I make sure that I know the source of that meat. So, I think that's a much, much better way to treat food versus myopically eating say just a carnivore diet or [00:49:14] ______ diet or plant-based diet. So, yeah, I had some issues with that documentary, and I think some issues were not raised in that documentary that should have been.
Here we go. Any tips for improving posture? And I love this question. The entire Chapter 18 in the book is all about posture and symmetry. And I spent so much time in that chapter because it is such an underemphasized component of beauty and health and aesthetics. So, a few very simple tips. I'm going to give you just a few. Read that chapter of beauty and symmetry though because [00:49:51] ______. Number one, breathe through your mouth as little as possible. When you breathe through your nose, not only do you fully oxygenate the air and you filter the air much better, you also don't activate the baroreceptors in your chest that are responsible for triggering the release of cortisol sort of in more parasympathetically driven state.
And your actual facial structure change in terms of your jaw formation and the position of your tongue when you train yourself to breathe through your nose. This includes, and there's a wonderful book about this called “The Oxygen Advantage” by Patrick McKeown. This includes during exercise. You need to train yourself to the point where you can get through a tough gym workout. And only when you're digging to the deepest of wells would you breathe through your mouth. The rest of the time, you breathe through your nose. It's actually a wonderful way to train little Spartan kids and send them off on runs where they had a little [00:50:40] ______ water in the mouth, just breathe in the nose the entire time. And that was a form of mental training, but it's actually breathing through your nose, especially when you sleep. Some people are even [00:50:48] ______ when they sleep. It's wonderful for posture.
Number two would be your shoes, the actual [00:50:55] ______ of your shoes. Right now, I'm wearing Vibram monkey shoes. These are Vibram KSO Treks that I'm wearing. I wear these Earth Runners sandals. It's like earthing or grounding sandals. My kids right now wear Nike Frees. So, any minimalist, low-drop shoe. Girls, I know that you like the way you look in heels. Guys like the way you look in heels. Guys, you want cowboy boots. The ladies like how you look in cowboy boots and high jeans. But if you want to check yourself biomechanically, that is one of the fastest ways to do it because you completely turn off your glutes and activate your hip flexors, and you create a lot of postural issues that resulted in low back pain like you're sitting for a really long time.
So, pay attention to the shoes. Pay attention on nasal breathing. And then there's a lot of different forms of structural therapy that can really help to realign your body that you can do. So, movement snaps throughout the day. Two of those that are taking courses in that I think are good tools to have in your back pocket if you have a chance to take a movement or a symmetry course. One is called Eldoa, E-L-D-O-A. I have a podcast about it on my website. It's a form of self-myofascial stretching. I'm a fan of any type of stretching or body work that you can do yourself so you don't have to rely upon a practitioner. If you go [00:52:11] ______ get a massage twice a week to put your body back into place. But Eldoa works very well.
And then the other one is called Foundation training. Those two forms of training, Eldoa is self-myofascial training and Foundation training is a form of [00:52:25] ______ to kind of reactivate your glutes, turn on your butt, decompress your spine, get rid of back pain, alleviate some of the pain related things like herniated discs. It's a very, very good way to train. It's Foundation training. It's just a series of 8 to 10 different moves that you can do in the morning when you wake up, or maybe if you're in the sauna. Or sometimes when you have a quick break during work, cut your lunch time shorty 20 minutes earlier, you go to your Foundation training. That's a very, very good way for symmetry as well. There's a whole bunch more stuff in the book, but those are a few things to pay attention to your nasal breathing, your shoes, either Eldoa or Foundation training.
What's one thing you have changed your mind on over the past year or two which you previously felt strongly about? I would say something even more important that I've changed my mind on the past year or two is just in writing “Boundless” and getting to the anti-aging longevity chapter that I'd go through what all the Blue Zones are doing. There are freaking 110, 112-year-old cigarette smoking, gym chugging, great-grandmothers who are living these long wonderful relatively healthy happy lives. There are dudes in Sardinia and Nicoya and Okinawa who would not know a biohack if it slapped them in the face, who've never been on a Vasper or ARX machine, or used a photobiomodulation panel, or taken metformin or rapamycin.
And in many cases, that's not even because they're doing the equivalent of that that gave them some sunlight maybe in controlling glycemic variability, but also some of these guys are eating potato chips and driving dachshunds around a polluted city. But, one element that you see over and over and over again in the lives of these people and in the habits of these people is that they have a good circle of friends. They have healthy thriving relationships, the people whose homes you go to for lunch and there's like three uncles and two cousins arguing at the kitchen table with some TV sitcom. And we're used to hunching over a computer, shoving salad in our faces all alone in the office, right?
People who at first glance we would say are defined, everything that we've learned in westernized culture about lifespan and about longevity, and yet they're still living these long healthy lives. And it's because in many cases, emotions and relationships, characteristics, all of these can trump biology. If you have love in your life, if you have positive relationships, a belief in a higher power, a meditation practice, a prayer practice, low amounts of stress, people in your life who love you and who you love. Then in many cases, all this other, pardon the expression, shit that we're doing in our quest to live the longest time would be as healthy as possible or get the best sleep score, it's actually pretty meaningless because why do it when you're happy? Why do it if you have a bunch of stuff with your brother and your sister, and your mom, and your dad, and your friends, and you don't know your neighbor's name, and you've lost contact with all your buddies and girlfriends from high school and college.
I mean, like that's the stuff that really counts. That's the stuff that really matters. And I went for a really long time in my life thinking I could be like the lone wolf biohacker who didn't need friends, who didn't prioritize family dinners, who didn't have a deep spiritual relationship with my wife, who wasn't talking to God every day, and I could just push through with all my fancy biological firepower and know-how, and it's simply not true. I vastly changed my mind on that. I would rather be in here 'til 1:00 a.m. eating chocolate and getting drunk with you guys and having an amazing time. We're not going to do that. Don't worry. But I would much rather that than go back to my condo and shine laser lights on my balls and fall asleep on those. So, that's the one thing that changed my mind [00:57:07] ______. Thank you guys for coming.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
I recently had the pleasure of giving a Q&A talk on all things health, wellness, nutrition, biohacking, and more at Bouley's Test Kitchen in New York City.
Every week, as part of his speaker series, world-famous chef David Bouley brings in a physician or other guest expert to present on a topic or to answer questions, and each series is accompanied by a fabulous 5 star, multi-course meal that is both amazingly healthy and delicious.
I always enjoy giving these talks and decided to record this one for your listening pleasure. Every member of the audience received a signed copy of my new book Boundless, so you'll hear me talk about the book a bit in this episode as well. Enjoy!
In this episode, you'll discover:
-The 3 non-negotiable things Ben does for his mitochondrial health…5:35
- Book: The Human Photosynthesis
- Photobiomodulation (JOOVV)
- Cold thermogenesis
- Hot/cold contrast showers (2o sec. cold, 10 sec hot 10x thru)
- Grounded w/ the earth(exposure negative ions in the earth)
-The #1 biohacking device Ben recommends for calm and sleep…13:25
- Look for stimulating the vagus nerve
- Shift yourself into parasympathetic state
- Vagal nerve stimulators
-How to use a JOOVV device with a pre-existing tumor…16:40
- Shift body into state of ketosis
- Low protein, low carb, high fat diet
- Avoid amino acid supplements
- Light can potentially exacerbate the tumor
- Book: Eat to Beat Disease
-Ben's carb refeed strategy…19:12
- Save carb intake until the evening
- Helps w/ serotonin production
- Won't impact triglycerides
- Producing ketones throughout the day
- Dinner is often the most social meal of the day
- Exercise mimics the insulin sensitivity we have in the morning
- Quality carbs: butternut squash, pumpkin, homemade sourdoughbread, etc. (no Twinkies)
- Shoot for 100 g of carbs
-How to rid the body of glyphosate…24:40
- Rule #1: Don't eat from crop that's been treated w/ glyphosate
- Compounds which make the gut less permeable:
- Gluten Guardian
- 2 ways to plummet blood glucose after a long meal
- Post-prandial stroll
- Cold exposure
-The importance of eating local, seasonal food…28:20
- Contain bacteria that's good for the biome and immune systems
-The proper use of psychedelics…33:00
- Used irresponsibly in many cases
- Lots of preparation that goes into (and going out of) proper ayahuascaretreat or use of psychedelics
- Journaland listen to digital recorder for what you've said
-Ben's recommended self-quantification methods…36:00
- Track HRV via…
- Track sleep(Quantified Bob)
- Quarterly blood panel
- Stool test once per year
- DNA test once per lifetime
- Dutch Panelto test hormones and neurotransmitters
- Cyrex Panel
-A new gadget Ben is trying right now…41:05
- Apollo wearable(BGF podcast w/ the founder of Apollo is coming soon!)
-A healthy approach to coffee consumption…42:30
- Very healthy and tasty when used in moderation
- Overuse can lead to a dependency
- Switch to decaf coffee for 7-10 days on a regular basis (reset adenosine receptors)
-Ben's thoughts on the assertions and claims made on the Game Changers documentary…44:50
- The risk of anti-nutrients found in plants may outweigh the benefits of a plant-based diet
- Must be soaked, fermented, treated properly prior to eating (quinoa, legumes, etc…)
- Risk excessive gas, or gut damage
- A piece of salmon, eggs, grass-fed steakis simply easier to get the protein you need
- Can be difficult on the environment to grow the amount of plants needed
-Tips for improving posture…49:30
- Ch 18 of Boundlessis on symmetry and beauty
- Breathe through the nose as much as possible (including while exercising)
- Heel rise of your shoes (as low as possible)
- Earth sandals
- Movement throughout the day:
-One belief Ben has changed course on in the last 1-2 years…53:02
-And much more…
Resources mentioned in this episode:
– Book: Eat to Beat Disease
– Book: The Human Photosynthesis
-The BGF Text VIP Club: Get early access to deals, discount codes, and insider tips. Just text the word “FITNESS” to 411-247
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–JOOVV: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it's the only light therapy device I'd ever recommend. Give it a try: you won't be disappointed. Order using my link and receive a month's supply of Kion Berry Aminos absolutely free.