382: The Carnivore Diet, Vaporizing Essential Oils, Everything You Need To Know About Mobility & More!

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Mar 15, 2018, Podcast: 382 – How To Increase Mobility, Vaporizing Essential Oils, Everything You Need To Know About Garlic For Health, and How To Get Rid Of Sun Spots.

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.

How To Increase Mobility [00:23:05]

Anthony says: My main issue is, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get flexible. I have been doing squats, stretching, martial arts, and a bunch of different things for well over 3 years and no matter what I can't get any flexibility or rotation. I can barely squat but I can do everything else. I don't know what to do. Do you have any answers? The problem is in my arms (overhead), legs (can't touch my toes) and torso (rotation).

In my response, I recommend:
Kion Aminos
Kion Flex
Primal Collagen
My article on mobility
-My audio on the Alexander technique

Vaporizing Essential Oils [00:43:11]

Katie says: Recently you talked about Vaping essential oils. I was wondering if you could give us more details on that. I have a bunch of friends who live very healthy lifestyles aside from the fact that they can't give up their vapes. How does vaping essential oils compare to a regular vape? How much smoke does it produce? How is the flavour? How do you choose your blends? How do you use it?

Everything You Need To Know About Garlic For Health [00:53:23]

Mark says: What do you think about aged garlic extract? It seems they recommend it for just about everything and I was wondering what you thought about it for daily use.

How To Get Rid Of Sun Spots [01:01:14]

Anthony says: How can you get rid of sun spots or age spots? So far I have used Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice. Any advice would be great.

In my response, I recommend:
Kion Anti-Aging Serum

Prior to asking your question, do a search in the upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!


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23 thoughts on “382: The Carnivore Diet, Vaporizing Essential Oils, Everything You Need To Know About Mobility & More!

  1. Mike says:

    So basically your not even doing the carnivore elimination diet. You named 15 to 20 items that are clearly not part of the diet that you are going to to use.

    As a human guinea pig / biohacker, why don’t you do the full carnivore diet for 30 days and then do the Ben Greenfield version of the carnivore diet. Does it make sense for you to assess it with your own protocol because then we’re never really going to know if the carnivore diet itself had any profound effect on your biomarkers.

    Love ya Ben!

  2. Trey says:

    What do you think about the all in one essential oil vapes like Monq or Corked? My concern is that they contain vegetable glycerin.

    1. Yeah, that'll produce something called acrolein, and that’s a respiratory irritant and carcinogen.

  3. Liz says:

    As a student of the Alexander Technique, I respectfully suggest that it might be more useful to think of “releasing,” rather than “pulling,” the hip and shoulder away from each other. The AT teaches you to have the intention of inhibiting excess tension while performing any task, and thus is of great value to athletes. The real magic of the Technique is best experienced through lessons from a qualified teacher. Bill Conable at The Holy Names Music Center in Spokane seems to be the top guy in your area. I would love to hear you podcast about your experience of working with an Alexander Technique teacher!

  4. max says:

    Hey Ben! Does sprinkling deluded essential oil on the stones of a sauna have similar effect to vaporizing? It is a standard practice in Russia.

    1. Seems like it would have a similar effect, yes.

  5. Beau Beard says:

    First of all I want to say how much I have learned from you over the past 2 years of avidly listening to your podcast. You are an inspiration when it comes to better oneself in every aspect of life.

    On quite a few of your episodes you are dealing with or talking with others about the musculoskeletal system, injuries and movement. When I listen to some of these episodes I wish I could just throw my 2 cents in, and I know you are probably saying ‘well why does this guys opinion matter?”.

    My wife and I run the FARM: Functional Athletic Rehabilitation & Movement in Birmingham, AL. We try to stay at the forefront of physical conservative medicine by constantly honing skills in the clinic, learning from various seminars and teachers as well as practicing what we preach as competitive athletes.

    The following are some of my thoughts on a few of the topics discussed on episode 382;

    You were talking about your wife dealing with IT band friction syndrome. The notion of the IT band being able to move or transpose during running or walking gait cycle was challenged over a decade ago by Fairclough et el. In this study he looked at both symptomatic and asymptomatic participants and in all those studied it was shown that the IT band is contiguous with the fascia lata. It is now the common thought that most of the pain is attributed to excess tension building in the slow contracting cells of the IT band fascia as well as the vastus lateralis which causes underlying compression of the fat pad.

    As far as stiffness being attributed to stress it is true that someone can be dealing with physiologic and biomechanical stiffness which is correlated with the bodies stress responses. From a biochemical stand point long-term cortisol production does stiffen tendons, it also weakens them over time just as with chronic corticosteroid use. The other mechanical presentation of stress/anxiety is usually seen in chronic pain patients or those dealing with prior trauma and we would say that the person is using a ‘high threshold strategy’. These people will present with confounding findings during exam. For example, someone may note be able to touch their toes, but when lying supine they have perfect straight leg raise of 90°, or when seated they can only turn their head 50° bilaterally, but when lying supine (unloaded by gravity) they have full rotational range of motion. This type of compensation could be due to past injury, chronic pain, stress or biomechanical compromise in order to carry on with every day life. There is no amount of static or ballistic stretching, manual therapy or extracorporeal schock-wave therapy that will improve these conditions. These are centrally mediated, cortical, protections against perceived risk, and usually half the battle is determining what the risk is, i.e. job, money, pain, diet, sleep.

    As far as static stretching decreasing a power output, this topic is usually split down the middle. I think most studies don’t have enough time variables accounted for as most individuals in sporting events are not static stretching immediately before an event, rather they may stretch and then have 20-30 minutes before competition and these type of time intervals have been shown to give a null effect when compared to a non-static stretching group in respect to power output. Now I don’t recommend that my athletes static stretch before competition, but what I was really wanting to get into is that you still stated that you stretch your hip flexors for longer durations of time. As more and more research comes out on how central stability can effect distal mobility, in our office and among most of my top notch colleagues it is the shared idea that most mobility issues are underlying stability issues. So I guess I would always want to assess WHY someone always has an area that is chronically tight. The first argument for that questions, is lifestyle or activity. Well it seems that you are not one to sit in a chair for long periods of time and I don’t think you are sitting in a saddle for hours on end anymore. So with the hip flexor and lower back issues you have been dealing with and chronicity of your anterior hip tightness it would beg the question what is lying under the hood when it comes to breathing dysfunction, motor control and possibly some other areas that have went unnoticed.

    The topic of reciprocal inhibition. So reciprocal inhibition is a myotatic reflex, much like deep tendon reflex. When you stretch your quadricep there is absolutely a reflexive relaxation of the antagonist, but this is as short-lived as a the EMG readings of your patellar DTR (milliseconds). So the idea of something like resistance stretching is a bit misguided. Now in the thought process of things like PNF or PIR, if we can use an isometric contraction from 45 to 55 seconds of the muscle targeted for the ‘stretch’ we will get a bit longer term release from the GTO and muscle spindle as well as a small analgesic boost from centrally mediated pain receptors. The interesting thing is that when the muscles is relaxed after the contraction on these types of stretches the EMG readings stay the same or even increase. Which means that the central nervous system is actually allowing the target tissue to lengthen or as you stated gain mobility or rather controlled flexibility. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, because if we had to carry something for a long time after hunt or to gather water, muscles would need to relax and not be in pain while maintaining and isometric contraction.

    On the topic of SMFR (self myofascial release) techniques and adhesions, this is always a bit like a dog chasing it’s tail. In vivo and and cadaveric studies absolutely show evidence of fascial adhesions or fibrosis, but most if not all of these studies are showing these in correlation with surgical or traumatic scarring. There is little evidence to show that ‘adhesions’ form from mechanical overload or repetitive trauma. Is it true that we lay down more fibroblasts as we induce more stress into an area? Of course, but this is the same process that develops our skeletal structure. What has not been shown possible yet is that we can reverse these areas of increased fibroblastic action, in particular through the use of such tools or methods as foam rolling, Graston, dry needling, etc… Chaudry et al found that fascia was too tough to be ‘released’ by mechanical means in particular through the skin. The frictionless interface between the epidermis and the fascia is even more proof that the effect therapist and athletes think is occurring may be nothing more than palpatory pareidolia or rather perceiving the familiar in the random. If our musculoskeletalfascial system was fragile enough to be deformed by the tools that have become so popular over the last 5 years then we would literally vaporize when running a marathon due to the shear impact forces!!! :) What current research is elucidating is that what is likely happening is that we are desensitizing sensory or peripheral nerves. This would explain why sometimes a decompressive therapy like cupping will alleviate pain when foam rolling or massage has no effect or even negative outcomes. In our office we use a lot of peripheral nerve dermal traction with movement and have stellar results with both chronic and acute pain relief. This is not to say that there is not a time and place for deep tissue work, but the body of work coming out, in particular in the pain neuroscience world would lead us in the direction of being ‘nice’ to the nervous system first and then proceed with ‘aggressive’ techniques as needed.

    Well these were just some of thoughts on this particular episode, I hope it gets you thinking and maybe these will spur some ideas for future episodes. Again, thank you for everything you are doing for the fitness and medical realm. Attached are some resources regarding these topics.


    IT Band ‘Friction’ Syndrome


    Central Stability/Distal Mobility


    Static Stretching


    Reciprocal Inhibition

    Moore MA, Hutton RS.  Electromyographic investigation of muscle stretching techniques.  Med Sci Sports Exercise 1980;12:322-9.

    Magnusson SP, Simonsen EB, Aagaard P, Dyhre-Poulsen P, McHugh MP, Kjaer M.  Mechanical and physiological responses to stretching with and without preisometric contraction in human skeletal muscle.  Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1996;77:373-8.

    4.  Osternig LR, Robertson R, Troxel R, Hansen P.  Muscle activation during proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching techniques.  Am J Phys Med 1987;66:298-307.


    Chaudhry H, Schleip R, Ji Z, Bukiet B, Maney M, Findley T. Three-dimensional mathematical model for deformation of human fasciae in manual therapy. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2008 Aug;108(8):379–90. PubMed #18723456.


  6. TODD UPCHURCH says:

    BG – Regarding essential oils, this just came out – More evidence essential oils ‘make male breasts develop’ http://www.bbc.com/news/health-43429933

    What say you?

    Thank you!

    1. I would first look into the other ingredients in the products these children were using. There’s a whole bunch of confounding variables when it comes to these products as they typically have known endocrine disruptors that would give me pause. I've gone over this in a previous podcast here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/transcripts/tran…

  7. Jon says:

    For removing sunspots/age spots, I had one form on my right temple after spending a bunch of time in the sun in Thailand, and I tried lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, castor oil, tea tree oil and a bunch of other things. None of them worked, and the acid in the lemon juice and ACV even made it look more damaged. Then my mom told me about this thing she’d tried called “Scar Reducing Herbal Cream” from Quantum Derma (available on Amazon and many other places for under $20). It was all natural (ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, aloe vera gel, purified water, vitamin E, allantoin, chamomile extract, tamanu oil, sweet almond oil, gum benzoin extract etc.), and it miraculously made by sunspot completely vanish after about two weeks of daily use (mornings and evenings). I am in no way affiliated with this product, and know nothing about the company that makes it, etc., but I highly recommend anyone with this issue give it a try.

  8. Ivo says:

    Btw, amino acids have no calories? What is your source?

    Other sources state differently:
    https://www.myoleanfitness.com/do-bcaas-have-calo… https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/52/5/770/46…


    1. There are only a couple of calories per 5g of the EAAs….So basically 0.4 calories per gram.

      1. Ivo says:

        That’s awesome news! :D

        Thanks, Ben.

  9. Ivo says:

    N=1 experiment. If I eat quinoa even after soaking it for +24 hours I still see pieces of quinoa in my stool. If I eat more than 20g of fiber a daily I have loose stool.Only exception being almonds. However almonds seem to bind fat in your stool. So not the best approach if I’m trying to bulk and want to absorb all the calories I’m taking.

    Anyway, Vince Gironda’s steak and eggs diet rules! ;)

  10. Jeff says:

    Hey Ben,

    I want to vape me some home made organic oils but am striking out. Those amazon links do not provide the right products (only accessories) and I googled da buddha and magic flight box but those are for dry herbs. How do you vape your own oils, pour it on to dry herb then vape? You mentioned a product that allows you to make your own. I tried one off the street and it tasted like I was inhaling diesel fumes. Please help!

    1. Jake says:

      Hey Ben, I had some of the same questions about vaping the essential oils. Super interested.

      The link you provided above brought me to an inhaler. Is that as good as vaping? If I did vape, is there any recommendations for how much to do of each essential oil? Can you over do it?

      I’m trying to get buzzed off Francincense in my IR Sauna, help a brotha out!

      1. I go over the pros and cons above, just depends on your preferences and what you're vaping/inhaling. I used 2 to 3 drops. I find if I do more than that it gets overwhelming. I use the magic flight box in my IR sauna.

    2. I just put a few drops of essential oil in. You need to do it at a very low temperature. Da Buddha sells an EO Vaporizing Kit, BTW.

  11. Greg says:

    Hey Ben,

    Where is the link about vegetarianism being bad for children?

    1. It's above, under Newsflashes.

  12. raf says:

    hi Ben,

    you advertised joovv.com ben25 as 25% off, but it only gives $25 off. that’s quite a difference.

    1. Hi Raf! Where did you see 25% advertised? I will fix it.

      1. Jake says:

        You just said it in the podcast. I got excited as well. But actually already bought my Joov and knew that was not the case.

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