Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Is plaque really dangerous, top workouts to do this winter, do altitude training supplements work, how to get rid of parasites fast, and the best way to train for obstacle races.
Brock: So I have been standing here, twiddling with my thumbs for well, about 18, 19 minutes now waiting for…
Ben: I’m sorry.
Brock: That’s okay. I understand it takes a while for…
Ben: Blame it on the lab tech.
Brock: Yeah, 8 vials of blood does take a while.
Ben: That’s right, I rolled out of bed this morning. Unfortunately, no breakfast, no coffee allowed on blood testing mornings and went down to my local lab court. Actually no, it was not a lab court, it was a what’s called a quest labs for a blood draw. I did the Wellness FX Performance Panel this morning.
Brock: Oh the Performance Panel. That’s like full spectrum, the whole…
Ben: So I dug the eye crest out of my eyes while I fill about 40-50ml worth of tubes which look, it looks like a lot more blood than it actually is but the reason that I did that was because the, you know, I interviewed the 30 bananas a day guy.
Brock: Yeah, Durian Rider.
Ben: Which by the way, I have decided that I am going to release that to the general public this Friday.
Brock: Oh, because right now it is only available to the premium members of the podcast.
Ben: Yeah. And he published his blood results on that show so I’m gonna publish mine as well and we’ll be able to compare them. I should usually when you do a test with Wellness FX, you get results back in about 48 hours.
Brock: Oh wow.
Ben: Like they’ll send them over to me so I’ll put those up along there and that will come up on Friday and don’t worry, if you’re gritting your teeth now because you’re a premium member and you spent 10 bucks, I’ve got some special stuff coming your way that I’ll put in the premium app or the premium service this week so don’t worry about that. Oh and then the other thing, I got a lot of raised eyebrows this morning because I posted a photo on the Ben Greenfield Facebook page yesterday and it was a photo of head cheese and braunschweiger.
Brock: Oh yeah, all that delicious meat.
Ben: By the way…
Brock: I know not everybody felt that way about it, I, my stomach actually growled when I saw that photo but I know some people’s stomachs churned when they saw that photo.
Ben: And just in case someone thinks that head cheese is a large piece of cheese shaped like a head, it’s not.
Ben: That was what I used to think it was actually, believe it or not.
Brock: Well, yeah, they named it that. It’s all their fault.
Ben: Head cheese is, it’s beef, beef heart, beef tongue, sea salt, and then they throw in some extra spices like onion powder and white pepper and things like that. You could serve it sausage style with like mustard and sauerkraut and things like that.
Brock: Yeah it’s basically a sausage without the sausage case.
Ben: Yeah, exactly.
Brock: And awful, in it.
Ben: And a braunschweiger is kinda similar except it’s beef and beef liver and in the case of US Wellness Meats where I order from, everything kinda arrives on your doorstep in a little, you know, frozen styrofoam bucket. You know, this is it’s beef and beef liver mixed with sea salt and raw honey and there’s some pepper and coriander and all spices and stuff like that in there but I’m a huge huge fan of eating organ meats. Eating organ meats is hard sometimes if you can’t find a good, organic, raw or wild source close to you so I order from US Wellness Meats but I just thought I’d throw that out there for anybody who’s looking into thyroid health or who wants some of the benefits of eating organ meats in addition to, there are 30 a day. You can grab them from US Wellness Meats. We’ll put a link to that as well as the Wellness FX Panel on the show notes but that’s the deelio with head cheese baby.
Brock: Okay so if you’d excuse me, I’m just going to run off and have a little bit of a sausage.
Ben: I’m dipping braunschweiger in my coffee right now.
Brock: bengreenfieldfitness.com/262 is where you’ll find the show notes for this entire episode including all of these awesome and exciting news flashes.
Ben: That’s right. News flashes galore. Are you ready to talk about sleep Brock?
Brock: I’m always ready to talk about sleep.
Ben: You should see the cup of coffee I’m drinking right now, it’s about 32 ounces I think. I went a little bit over board. I came home and there were some French press going on so I think I didn’t over pour this morning.
If this podcasts sounds like it gets up to about 4 speed by the time we get to the end, that’s why.
Brock: You know, as far as like coffee snobs are concerned, French Press is like the bottom of the barrel, it’s like you don’t need to do that if you have no other choice.
Ben: Well I was in a rush to get in here. I slept 10 hours last night so I don’t think I need the coffee so much as I’m loving the flavour.
Brock: I was all proud of myself ‘cause I did 8 and a half. You always have to show off don’t you?
Ben: I needed a good night of sleep. I had a long day of work yesterday and I slept on one of those melatonin patches, about an hour before I hit the sack and you can get these melatonin patches off of Amazon or wherever else and they do a slow release, like a slow bleed melatonin while you’re asleep ad I tell you what, I, you need a sledgehammer to get yourself out of bed in the morning.
Brock: Did you put the patch like right on your ephemeral artery?
Ben: You could put it in the inside of your thigh. I actually put mine on the inside of my armpit. Not the inside of the armpit, the inside of the arm like kind of the fleshy area, the inside of the arm that doesn’t have hair on in, in most normal people so yeah. Anyways though…
Ben: The first article that I wanted to talk about was a really good article on Sleep Hacking and in particular, this article which we’ll link to in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/262 go specifically into a strategy to hack your sleep by getting up earlier and I thought this was interesting because I’m personally not an early riser. But this article goes into how the CEO of Apple and the CEO of General Motors and Richard Branson and all these extremely successful entrepreneurs get up typically some time between 4:30AM and 5:45 AM kind of an average and…
Brock: That’s early.
Ben: And then they list a lot of other famous folks like Ernest Hemingway and Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson who rose with the sun so to speak and..
Brock: So really, just a bunch of slackers…
Ben: A bunch of slackers. But they also, they talked in this article about how different people are hard-wired in different ways and that sometimes, if you force yourself to become an early riser, there have been studies that show that you actually have a natural drop in productivity, a relatively significant drop that winds up by the end of the day making you less productive than if you say being hard wired to be a night own, had slept in. So the interesting things that everybody kinda has their own personal biorhythm but this article goes into how you could potentially kinda hack your biorhythm by using things like naps, small doses of caffeine here and there. They don’t talk too much about supplements although I do wanna get into sleep supplements here in a second in talking about another article but they talk about essentially creating these sleep habits and I think for anyone who’s just kinda getting in to wanting to dial in a good sleep routine, this is a pretty good article. It’s more of an introductory sleep hacking article but I think it’s got some good information in there especially if you’re the type of person who needs to be an early riser based on your job, your schedule, whatever. There are some good tips in there for you so we’ll link to that one in the show notes. But then what I thought was an even more interesting article was one that appeared over at suppversity and what this one went into was popular sleep supplements and whether or not they actually worked so for example, we’ve talked about..
Brock: So these are supplements not medications…
Ben: Yeah, supplements. Not like Valium or anything like that.
Brock: Or those Doze… whatever they called easy doze or whatever you can buy at the drugstore.
Ben: Yeah. Speaking of doze, I used to pop a bunch of those no doze pills before I do like sprint triathlons and stuff…
Brock: Aren’t those filled with caffeine?
Ben: Abstain from caffeine for about 7 days before a race and then pop 3 or 4 of those. I think they’re 100 milligrams of caffeine in a capsule but those will have your eyes popping out of your head.
Brock: Yeah that would spell disaster pants for me.
Ben: Not the best thing for your adrenals yeah or your pants potentially so this article though of course went into the complete opposite. The first thing is that, it begins by talking about this GABA (gamma amino butyric acid) and I recommended in the past, in the recent past, the use of things like passion flower extract or some Somnidren GH which is like a powder supplement that you put underneath your tongue to help you to sleep at night. The first thing that they talk about in this article is that there may be responders and non-responders to gamma amino butyric acid when it comes to its effects as far as helping you to sleep and very interestingly, one of the reasons that some people may actually respond to GABA from things like passion flower extract for example and become more sleepy when they take it is because of a leaky brain barrier.
Now a leaky brain barrier can be caused by everything from sensory stimulation to stress to diet to spending too much time on the computer, whatever and it turns out some people actually have GABA cross that blood-brain barrier a little bit more easily and cause the sedative effect that it’s able to cause and if you have say like an extremely stable blood-brain barrier, that may not happen to you. So it’s interesting. For me, passion flower which is a GABA precursor and I think works really well for naps, it works really well for sleep, it works fantastically for me but at the same time, it makes me think twice about whether or not there are deeper underlying issues that could be at play if something like a GABA extract that causes you to become sleepy.
Brock: Really so like, so its effectiveness is actually an indication of there being something wrong?
Ben: There being something wrong or, yeah, there being something wrong or let’s put it this way, if constant exposure to electromagnetic fields and working on laptops and computers and reading my kindle and everything is giving me a leaky brain-barrier, for me it’s one of those risk-reward things, it’s like kinda how I pay the bills by working on the computer and writing and being exposed to wireless signals and all these things and you know, I kinda doubt there are many people walking around these days that don’t have perhaps a more permeable blood-brain barrier you know, maybe if I was living on a, you know, pristine Himalayan mountaintop you know, wearing an orange robe, reading the bogadavida or whatever that philosophy book is all day long. Maybe I’d have a really good blood-brain barrier but ultimately, I find these GABA extracts work really well for me. So what they talk about though are some of the effective ones in this article. We’ll link to the article in the show notes but I’ll tell you some of the stuff that they found based on the research that really helps you to sleep. Valerian extract at about 400-900 milligrams which interestingly is about 4 times more at least than you find in most supplements. So if you’re taking valerian root, make sure that you’re taking enough. And valerian, by the way, works really really well with anything that increases GABA levels because valerian root inhibits the breakdown of GABA in your brain so if you combine something like valerian root extract with something like say passionflower, that’s a good 1-2 combo. Ginseng, ginseng has some really good calming effects on the nervous system. But there’s different…
Brock: I thought it was a stimulant. That’s interesting.
Ben: Yeah, it’s very very interesting but only in low doses and so you’re looking at about 200-600 milligrams of ginseng and once you get above that then it does become that central nervous system stimulant so it’s one of those things where if you feel agitated when you take ginseng you can reduce the dosage and turn it more into a sleep supplement. A couple of others that were in there that I thought were interesting. One was L-tryptophan which of course we all know is in turkey. The amount in turkey is really, it doesn’t hold a candle to as much as you actually need to increase serotonin and cause yourself to become sleepy but about a gram or so of L-tryptophan preferably mixed into a 10-1 ratio which something else called 5HTP, that would be something similar to for example, kind of like a mood stabilizing supplement I’ve talked about before in the podcast called travaCor which I recommend a lot of times to people who are stressed out or who need a little bit of a neurotransmitter reboot so to speak but L-tryptophan with 5HTP was another one that they talked about. And then the last one that I wanted to mention since we’re fresh off of coming back from Kona and this is another one that has been shown to have a similar effect to these benzodiazepines in terms of the way that it acts as a sedative…
Brock: Is it a muay thai?
Ben: It’s close. No it’s just doing an Ironman triathlon. No, it’s kava kava.
Ben: So they have these cava bars all over Hawaii. Did you go to any when you were down there?
Brock: Yes, I did. It was very interesting.
Ben: A dirty dirty kind of flavour that turns your mouth a little bit numb almost…
Brock: Tasty weirdness.
Ben: But about 200 milligrams or so of this kava extract has a really good sedative effect as well, kind of a relaxing effect so I’ll link to the article. There are some other ones that they talk about there. I found out that different strategies work for different folks when it comes to sleep and most of these you time for about 30-60 minutes before you actually go to sleep but now that our entire audience is sawing logs, we could move on.
Ben: To the last thing that I wanted to talk about…this is gonna perk everybody up right away. And that is a new study that came out on Viagra and the effects of Viagra in increasing your testosterone. Now you might think that by using Viagra or the active ingredient is actually sildenafil in Viagra that the fact that you are, perhaps as a man, ladies this may be of interest to you or you may just want to press the fast forward button but you may think that just because you are probably having more sex if you’re using Viagra perhaps that is why your testosterone goes up because indeed, when you do have more sex, your testosterone goes up. However, this study shows that an increase in adrenal activity, your adrenal glands being those 2 glands that sit on top of your kidneys, an increase in adrenals steroidogenesis, which is something that typically wouldn’t happen with sexual activity when you’re using Viagra or a Viagra type of compound and a very significant increase in testosterone when you use this stuff. I thought it was kinda interesting. Viagra is something I have kinda sorta used a few times, not kinda sorta used, I’ve used it. I get the generic brand called kamagra and I keep it on hand when I know that we’ve got a babysitter and the wife and I are going you know, out on the town and maybe we’re gonna grab a hotel downtown or whatever, you know, I have to admit.
Brock: Going out on the town is the wrong time to take that.
Ben: I have to admit, the stuff actually does work and it does not only make you more horny but kinda gives you a better time in bed too and now, it turns out it also increases your testosterone significantly. I wouldn’t suggest popping it before your next basketball game because it does specifically have a vasodilatory effect and that specific crotchal area but…
Brock: It gives you a boner.
Ben: I well, I tell you where I get it. There’s a website called worldpharma.org…
Brock: Where you get a boner?
Ben: Where I get a kamagra. We may. I get it sometimes when I go to Asia and there’s also a website called world-pharma.org where you can get these stuff and I don’t think they have any type of special relationship worked out with bengreenfieldfitness.com but maybe if you tell them Ben Greenfield sent you, they’ll throw in some free kamagra samples or maybe they’ll even toss in some extra testosterone in there for you. So there you go. Be careful on websites like that by the way because they do sell illegal stuff so if you’re gonna order something like generic Viagra, stick to generic Viagra and don’t go to the section that says anabolic steroid precursors or syringes and needles. Unless you, unless that’s your thing. So there you go. World-pharma.org and so yeah, our audience is now completely educated on sleeping and other stuff.
Voice-over: Get the inside ads from Ben Greenfield Fitness delivered straight to your phone. Just text the world fitness to 411247 and you’ll instantly get exclusive VIP discounts and insider tips that no one else will ever see except you. Do it now, text the word fitness to 411247 and you’ll be in Ben’s VIPTextClub for free.
Ben: Alright. So first of all, by the way, if you are or if you were in the VIPTextClub I should mention like I did in the last podcast that the good old US Federal Government took all of our entire VIPTextClub away and made you do what’s called re-opting in. So if you were part of the text club and you wanna get back in, it’s free just text the word fitness to 411247 and you’re good to go and I’ll be able to text you at all hours of the day including when you’re fast asleep so which I do all the time.
Brock: Including when you’re on your awesome trip to LA, Malibu, Santa Monica, and Santa Barbara.
Ben: I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people about why I’m going to California this week so here’s a little insight into the life of Ben for those of you who care. So I’m flying in on Halloween evening and on November 1st, I’ll be meeting with the business mentor.
I actually have people who help me out who are light years ahead of me in the realm of business and writing and everything I have an interest in so I’m having lunch with my business mentor who lives in Hollywood hills and then I’m…
Brock: Of course he does. Where else would he like?
Brock: That’s so cliché.
Ben: driving over to a podcast with Rich Roll later on that afternoon so we’re gonna do a podcast with Rich. Rich and I in his recording studio and then on the next day, I have a group of guys who I’m part of a mastermind group with and that means that we get together at different places around the world and sometimes we talk and bounce ideas off of each other and I’m meeting with some of those guys and some of those friends in business on the next day and then I’m having dinner that night with one of my clients who’s, he’s kind of a big entrepreneurial coach and he hired me to get him ready for Ironman Hawaii this year. And I cut his volume in half and he PR-ed at Ironman Hawaii and he’s very happy about that and we’re gonna be having dinner and have a glass of wine together ‘cause we never got to have a my time together down in Kona. So the next day, I’m gonna do a podcast with Vinnie Tortorich and Tawnee Prazak from Endurance Planet is gonna come up to join us so we’re gonna do that and that will be in LA. And then I will head over to Malibu and see my friend Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple and we’ll throw down a lunch together and then I’m gonna drive down to Santa Monica and spend time with a couple of my friends down there who wanna teach me how to surf so I’ll spend a couple of days just basically learning how to surf and these are a couple of guys I’m launching a brand new phone app with as well and I really can’t say anything about that right now but it’s gonna be super duper cool so we’re gonna surf and wire for in that app and everything and it will be a very cool app for folks and then I’m gonna fly up to Portland on the way home for 2 days of top secret meetings with Nike of all things and for those of you who are concerned that I might stop wearing my Skora minimalist running shoes, let’s just say that this particular meeting has absolutely nothing to do with shoes but a top secret project with Nike and so stay tune for more on that so anyways, yeah, that’s why I’m travelling to California and that’s a glimpse of my life.
Brock: That’s pretty good. You know what I’m doing?
Ben: What are you doing?
Brock: I’m going to Mustra.
Ben: Actually you’re running the New York Marathon.
Brock: Oh that’s right. I was gonna pretend I was doing something like going to have some coffee and mustra with my aunt Mavis but I am going to New York.
Ben: Must be a Canadian thing. Yeah for those of you who are gonna be at the New York marathon, Brock will be there, he’s racing and stay tuned to that and then after Brock race, he’s jumping into the same protocol that I’m doing which is a big mass building program. Brock and I are gonna get swoll. We’re gonna get 70’s big.
Brock: I’m looking, I wanna be like Vin Diesel.
Ben: More later in this podcast how we’re gonna be piling a bunch of muscle over the next few months and it will be cool and we’re gonna put an opportunity out there for any of you listeners, males or females who wanna get big, get toned, get muscular, get curvaceous, whatever it is your goal is to join us so there’s that…
Brock: Alright. You’re off to do the creative live pretty shortly after that.
Ben: We need, if you’re listening and you’re living near the bay area in San Francisco or you wanna fly in the Bay Area and you wanna be part of our Creative Live audience, from December 11th through the 14th, I’m teaching an online class called Achieve Ultimate Human Performance. Very cool class. We’re gonna be digging into pretty much every biohack technique, nutrition strategy and exercise strategy possible to achieve ultimate human performance and we’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/262 with a link to a simple form that you can fill out to be part of the live studio audience down in San Francisco for that and we’ll also put a link to the class itself in case you just wanna sit at home in your underwear and attend a, attend virtually.
Brock: I love how you don’t undersell anything. I love how it’s called Achieve Ultimate Human Performance not called be a little bit better at doing stuff.
Ben: Lose fat.
Brock: It’s just go big.
Ben: Go big or go home baby. So that being said, what do you think, should we jump into this week’s old listener Q&A?
Brock: Let’s go big.
Keith: Ben and Brock, you guys are in my runs all the time. Since Ben recently had a heart CT scan, I thought you’d be interested in mine. It came back with a calcium score of 12000 which is you know, over 400 says you’re at risk. If I’d wing that, I had a cardiac catherization and I was told we’d probably put in stints. They didn't have to and told me that everything looked just fine. I could continue exercising like I have been and continue on the same diet I'm on. When asked for an explanation about the calcium score, all they said was maybe the calcium was on the outside of the arteries. Ben, do you agree with Dr. Mink off that Vitamin K2 may be very important in heart health?
Brock: I don’t think I've actually heard Dr. Mink off talk about Vitamin K. I'm not sure where Keith heard that. Do you know?
Ben: There has been some discussion over at the Endurance Planet podcast by Dr. Minkoff who’s our guest physician over there on Vitamin K.
Brock: He does the Ask Doc segment.
Ben: Yeah exactly and Vitamin K, there was a podcast that I did with the author of a book about Vitamin K and I will be sure to put a link into that podcast for Keith in the show notes. Vitamin K has a lot of very cool effects in the human body. It is one of the most deficient vitamins worldwide because most people do not eat potent sources of Vitamin K such as head cheese any more but when it comes to Vitamin K and heart disease, it’s very very interesting because Vitamin K’s ability to protect us from heart disease is extremely clearly established and there is a ton of research out there and a rapidly growing body of research that shows that a large part of heart disease is a result of a deficiency in Vitamin K and the reason for that is because Vitamin K plays with Vitamin D and Calcium in a way that Vitamin K, in particular Vitamin K2 deficiency causes what’s called calcification in your cardiovascular system. So it not only protects against inflammation and accumulation of oxidized cholesterols and white blood cells which is essentially what a plaque is but it also allows for calcium to not build up in the blood stream or you know, it allows for cardiovascular what’s called calcification not to occur. Now all of these effects of vitamin K2 are occurring in the middle or the inside of the arteries so you’ve got kinda 2 different parts of your arteries: your tunica intima and your tunica media and by the way I think tunica intima would be a great name for a band Brock.
Brock: That’s awesome.
Ben: If you ever decide to… What was your other band’s name?
Brock: Captain Tractor.
Ben: Captain Tractor. For those of you who didn’t know, you could find Brock’s old school Captain Tractor tracks like… Are they on iTunes?
Brock: Yeah. iTunes. You can find videos on youtube. You could see me with my 90’s long flowing locks.
Ben: Google Captain Tractor if you wanna get some serious Brockage. Anyways though, tunica intima and tunica media are inner parts of your arteries and for example, the tunica media has all these little elastic fibers in it that allows the artery to stretch and accommodate different kinds of pressure and when the elastic…
Brock: Wait a second. If we’re thinking of the artery as being like a straw, like a straw that you drink through, so would it, it would sort of be like a double straw and in between like the smaller straw and the bigger straw, that’s where the media is?
Ben: Yeah, that’s the tunica media. That’s the middle layer.
Brock: So that’s where the little strips and round bits…
Ben: You got all of these fibers in there and in healthy arteries, you’ve got what is called the Vitamin K dependent protein that’s called MGP and that congregates around all these little elastic fibers in that middle arterial layer and it guards them against the formation of calcium crystals. So that’s where Vitamin K2 comes in when we’re talking about the middle part of the artery. And when you don’t have sufficient Vitamin K, then what happens is that MGP does not get activated and so you get a build up of calcium crystals in and around these elastic fibers and you get hard arteries. That’s what a hard artery is, an artery that’s lost its elasticity.
Brock: Doesn’t get all squishy, rigid and…
Ben: Exactly. Now you’ve also got your tunica intima and that’s the inner layer of your arteries. It’s the inner most layer of the artery…
Brock: That’s where the milk shake is flowing through the straw.
Ben: Right. And that’s where atherosclerosis would technically develop an in atherosclerosis, you get these calcified deposits of cholesterols and white blood cells and they accumulate on all the inside of the tunica intima and you get dead cells, you get white blood cells, you get lipids and all these stuff builds up, the plaque breaks free and you know, can cause clots and things of that nature. So now, Vitamin K2 is also responsible for the integrity of the lining of that tunica intima as well so there’s 2 different places where Vitamin K2 is active. The reason I bring up the internal arteries is because Keith is asking about the outside of his arteries, that’s something completely different that I’ll explain in just a second. Now when you are using something like a blood thinning drug like warfarin for example, it’s a very popular blood thinning drug. Interestingly, that can inhibit the conversion of K1 into K2 and when you don’t have enough K2, you get that calcification of the tunica media and you also get the atherosclerotic build up in the tunica intima and what they’ve shown is that and people who are taking blood thinning medications, if they have adequate levels of K2 from dietary sources that you can actually keep that from occurring so if you are listening and you are in a blood thinning medication, there is no doubt that you should be getting adequate dietary sources of Vitamin K2 or you should be using a Vitamin K2 supplement without a doubt. I emphasize this because I know that a lot of people are on blood thinners and ironically, blood thinners can increase arterial calcification in the absence of adequate K2 so there’s a lot of stuff going on when it comes to K2 being very very crucial. Now, I am a fan of a course before you go and turn to a supplement, to looking at dietary sources and if you’re not an organ meats or a liver meats person, if you aren’t big time into grass-fed butter or maybe you just have a hard time getting your hands into that kind of thing, there is one really potent source of Vitamin K2 that flies under the radar and that is nato. Have you heard of nato before Brock?
Brock: Those snotty little beans.
Ben: Snotty little beans but of you put nato on white rice with maybe a little bit of green onion and some mustard, it’s actually a really nice little breakfast, you can have with eggs and avocado and believe it or not, it’s very easy to make your own nato. I’m gonna give you the bird’s eye overview here of how to make your own nato and I’ll put a link in the show notes to an article that will help you out as well. And so if you’re vegan or you’re vegetarian and you need to have K2 or you want to introduce this in your diet, here’s how you do it. You get yourself some soybeans. Now, before you give that sharp intake of breath and worry about all the man boobs and the breast cancer you can get from the soybeans, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna ferment these soybeans and that fermentation is gonna get rid of a lot of the digestive inhibitors and is going to make those soybeans a lot more natural for your body. So what you do is you simply get soybeans and you soak them overnight and then you have to heat them preferably slowly, preferably by steaming them for about 3 hours or so. You’re basically just going to steam them until they get soft and you can use just like a basic steamer for this. You might be able to use a pressure cooker, we haven’t used a pressure cooker before but it would probably work. Anyways though, you wanna slow cook these soybeans after you’ve soaked them overnight until they get nice and soft and then, here’s kind of the sneaky part, what you wanna do is you wanna get something that will make those soybeans ferment and the best way to do this is you go to your local grocery store that sells Asian food like an Asian market or anywhere where you can find nato and they sell these tiny little cups of nato. You’re gonna take that nato that you buy at the Asian market and you’re just gonna drop a few grains of that into about a cup of water or so and what you’ll do is stir that nato into the water, you’ll notice the water starts to turn a little bit white and that’s gonna be your starter for your own batch of nato. And you just pour that all over your steamed soybeans and you cover the whole thing with cellophane and you just pour into a baking dish and then you let it sit in like a slightly warm spot like you can put it out on your kitchen counter for example if you don’t have a really cold house and you simply let it sit out for a day and it ferments for a day and you’re gonna notice these little white like sticky fiber like start to form and as that soy is fermenting, the bacteria is producing huge amounts of vitamin K2 and so once you’ve made it and it’s ready, you toss it in your refrigerator, you can have that in the morning for breakfast.
For fat soluble vitamins, you don’t have to have them everyday. You can have a big thing of nato once a week if you wanted to or you can just toss it in every few days with breakfast but…
Brock: Yeah, like mega dosing with Vitamin D. You can do it once a week…
Ben: Yeah, exactly. Like if you wanted to bring your vitamin d levels up you can just do like you know, 30000 units of vitamin d once a week. You don’t have to take it every day. So similar deal with this or you could go lay out in the sun, you know, one or two times a week. You don’t have to go out in the sun like everyday so vitamin K2 though, yeah but you should. You’ll be happy.
Brock: It’s nice.
Ben: We’ll put a link to that in the show notes but let’s talk about the outside of Keith’s arteries because that’s something completely different and what happens is when you are gaining weight, your body is gonna initially store most of the extra calories in adipose tissue in these white adipose tissue cells and after a while, you’re gonna build up a lot of adipose tissue and then your liver is gonna start storing that excess fat and as your liver starts to store excess fat, you begin to get essentially what’s called fatty liver.
Brock: Fatty liver disease?
Ben: Then it starts to marbleize in your organs like your muscles, your kidney, your pancreas, your heart, and one of the places where…
Brock: And that’s what makes us delicious.
Ben: That’s what makes us delicious humans for those cannibals out there.
Brock: Marbleizing marble.
Ben: Between that and the head cheese, I think we’ve probably grossed out just about everybody.
Brock: And all the vegetarians.
Ben: Anyways though, what happens is…
Brock: What were you doing there?
Ben: I was taking a sip of coffee.
Ben: Dipping my head cheese into coffee. One of the places this fat goes is into what’s called the paravascular fat formation which is around your arteries. Now once you get fat forming around your arteries, this is if you’ve heard the term visceral fat thrown around before, this falls into that category. That fat that’s gathered around the arteries not only causes the arteries to shrink so you’re gonna get increased blood pressure as more pressure is around the outside of the arteries but it also sends a huge amount of inflammatory signalling via something called cytokines into the arteries and that oxidizes the cholesterol that’s circulating in your blood stream and increases your risk for that cholesterol to dig its way into the arterial cell wall and cause you know, again, like a clot or plaque formation or a heart attack. So when we’re looking at the fat outside of the arteries, this is less of an issue of like a vitamin K2 deficiency and more of an issue of fat build up from a dietary standpoint or fat build up from lack of physical activity, that type of thing. And really the best way to mobilize storage fat is to just go listen to the 3 pillars of fat loss, the 90-minute free audio podcast that came out on bengreenfieldfitness.com a couple of weeks ago..
Brock: What you did with Paul Jaminet.
Ben: I talk about fasting, I talk about cold thermogenesis, I’ve talked about you know, combining high intensity interval training in the afternoon or the evening with fasted aerobic exercise sessions in the morning. Just like all the little hacks that you can use to lose fat faster, to mobilize adipose tissue and to eventually get your body to use that pair of vascular fat for energy. Ultimately unless you put yourself into an energy deficit, it’s not gonna happen though so that’s something that’s really important to know is that that goes above and beyond just like, you know, taking a vitamin, for example. Now interestingly, in any population, including old mummy populations where they found atherosclerosis to be present, where they found plaque formation to be present, it really turns out that in most cases, it’s not one of those things that causes death or that causes that plaque to break and to rupture unless a big big part of the diet is derived from sources of oxidized cholesterol. Now the biggest source of oxidized cholesterol in just about everybody’s diet these days are dietary vegetable oils that have been heated. That’s the number 1 way to oxidize cholesterol is to eat processed or packaged foods that have high amounts of canola oil or soy bean oil or any other type of vegetable oil in them, to eat at restaurants most of which are cooking with these type of oils or to do things like eat crackers and baked goods and all of these other sources of heated dietary vegetable oils.
If you were gonna cut one thing out of your diet for the health of your heart, just one thing for say like the next 30 days, give yourself this challenge. Don’t eat any heated vegetable oils for the next month. That’s the biggest issue when it comes to atherosclerosis because it’s looking, when you look at ancient civilizations, like athrosclerosis in terms of actual build up of plaque in the arteries may be something that kinda happens to everybody but unless you actually have a huge amount of oxidation going on, it’s not as much of an issue and so yeah, heated vegetable oils. Number 2 would be like processed sugars and high amounts of processed starches. But I would really focus on vegetable oils when it comes to inflammation in the arteries so yeah, those are my main thoughts for Keith would be get Vitamin K2 into your diet, you listen to that 90-minute 3 pillars of fat loss webinar and then cut all sources of heated vegetable oils out of your diet period.
Angelo: Hey Ben and Brock, this is Angelo calling from Boulder, Colorado with a question. My question is with regards to the post-season kind of off-season period of time. I’m a triathlete, I focus predominantly in Olympic and half-Ironman distance triathlons and I just really wanna focus during the off season on getting enough recovery and also being able to canoe, moving forward in some ways with strength and speed workouts so just curious really on what your thoughts are the best ways to knack my post-season period of time. Thanks so much, bye bye.
Brock: And we also got a similar question from…
Josh: Hi Ben, my question to you is I’ve just completed my first year of international triathlons and I want to know what the best strength exercises I can do over the winter and to build my swimming and bike and running to lead me into next year better. Thanks.
Brock: So it would appear that it is the off-season for most people on the Northern hemisphere anyway.
Ben: Oh yeah baby.
Brock: We’re getting a lot of questions about this kind of stuff.
Ben: So I've got some cool workouts to throw your way. I’m gonna give you some of my best tips when it comes to workouts that you could do this winter. I'm gonna include a little bit of info on what Brock and I are doing in terms of our whole muscle building protocol that we’ll be going into we’re calling our mass game plan and give you a lot of options so first of all, whether you are a triathlete or a cross fitter or a marathoner or whatever, you have to have a period of rest in your year, that’s for your adrenals, it is for your mind, it is for the entire constitution of your body. You must must must have a period of rest. Now because most of us are, we do a pretty crappy job of injecting complete rest weeks or complete rest days even into our training protocol, we do need kind of an off-season. Now I call this an adrenal reboot and ideally it’s comprised of very light yoga or tai chi type of sessions combined with some morning stretching and some very easy aerobic type of movement, some mobility work, some foam rolling, some addressing of weak spots or tight spots, or spots that tend to get injured in your body and I'm a fan of taking anywhere from 4 up to as long as 12 weeks or 3 months to actually fix these type of issues. Now…
Brock: So of course, you’re throwing in some 7-hour bike rides in there too.
Ben: Nothing like that, just complete ease. Now this is a good time too.
Brock: I was kidding.
Ben: Let’s say you’re going to… maybe you’ve got gut issues and you need to do like let’s say a juice cleanse or gut cleanse or let’s say that you are somebody who’s always wanted to try like maybe ketosis or a high-fat, low-carb diet or something like that. Not having the stress of exercise present in your life is a perfect time to make a dietary change or to do a dietary detox as well. It’s very tough to detox or to change up your diet when you’re also throwing hard exercise sessions at your body. So you start off with these adrenal reboot. Now I’m gonna put a link in the show notes for you. I’ve actually written an entire adrenal reboot program that is on Training Peaks. It’s flexible for anything from 4 weeks up to 12 weeks but it kinda satisfies all the criteria that I just talked about. So we’ll put a link to that in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/262 but you start with that.
Brock: Now for those of you who don’t know, Training Peaks is an online system for managing your workouts so you can hire a coach, they can drag and drop exercises and stuff in or you can just track your own workouts or like Ben’s talking about, you can actually purchase some programs, lace out everything you need to eat or work out or you could put your metrics in there so your weight, your heart rate, all that kind of stuff.
Ben: Everything. And in this case, nutrition is also included with that program so that’s a 3-month program. It’s flexible so you could do this for as few as 4 weeks if you wanted to but it’s a $97 program, I call it My Adrenal Reboot Plan. So you start off with that type of program. And then what you’d wanna do in conjunction with something like that is make sure that something that I mentioned that you’re taking care of your gut and your kinda fixing yourself in the inside too. I mentioned doing detoxes, I mentioned doing cleanses, probably the top 2 diets though that I would say would be pretty good for just about anybody and you could just look at both of these, I’ll put a link at both in the show notes, choose the one that looks the most palatable for you. One would be the specific carbohydrate diet. If you experience gas, bloating, things of that nature, if you want to kinda get rid of fermentation or bacterial overgrowth in your digestive tract, this is really good one. There is a completely free e-book online. I’ll link to it. It’s called the SCD diet though. That would be option 1. Option 2 would be what’s called an auto-immune protocol and if you have issues like with acne, eczema, brain fog, and if you also, this can help with bloating and gas and things of that nature too but this one’s called a paleo auto-immune protocol. That would be option number 2. If you weren’t gonna use like the adrenal reboot program that I wrote which includes meals as well and it’s kind of a mix of auto-immune and SCD. I kinda combined the 2 for that particular program. But I would do paleo auto-immune protocol or the specific carbohydrate diet, one of the 2 and for the first 4-12 weeks of your off-season, you’re just going to really reinvent your insides using this specific diet. And then you move into the fun stuff. So then you move into really throwing some new curve balls at your body and some workouts that you aren’t used to. So last year, the protocol that I used and I really enjoyed that got me uber fit and ripped over the off-season was a book called Warrior Cardio by Martin Rooney. He’s got a 12-month program in there. It’s written really from kind of an MMA mixed martial arts fighting type of perspective. There’s some bag work in there, there’s a lot of jump rope work in there, there’ a lot of the dirty work…
Brock: Bag work?
Ben: Meaning you’re kicking the punching bag or hitting the punching bag.
Ben: There are you know, it’s kinda a cool program especially if that’s something that you wanted to get into like maybe you wanted to get into Krav Maga or MMA or karate or anything like that. It’s a tough program, I’m not gonna lie and I’m not doing it this off-season because it’s also a very metabolically demanding program and I want to put on muscle. This would be a program that’s kind of more, it’s gonna get you lean and ripped and that’s what it require. The other thing is that it does require you to be in a gym like there’s a lot of equipment in there like punching bags and you know barbell work and things of that nature that make it not super conducive if you’re doing lots of travelling and stuff like that but it’s called Warrior Cardio. I’ll put a link to that book in the show notes.
Ben: So that would be option one. Option 2 would be to go more of the body weight route. And this is a really good option if you’re gonna finds yourself travelling a lot over the holidays. If you don’t wanna spend a lot of time in a gym ‘cause you’re sick of the inside of a gym or whatever, you just wanna kinda get into this whole body weight workout type of thing. So 2 resources that I’d recommend for that. Number one would be the book Paleo Fitness which is written by this guy who is the fitness explorer and his name is Daryll Edwards. He’s got, it’s an 8-12 week program at the end of the book and these are a lot of body weight exercises that will have you moving like an animal like alligator walks and bunny hops and rabbit crawls and cat crawls and gorilla crawls and crab crawls and it’s a really really cool type of program. It’s a good book but it’s called Paleo Fitness.
Brock: I got crab crawls once but I got a cream for it.
Ben: So Brock no longer has his crab crawls going on.
Ben: That’s good to know. The other option and this is really cool too, for those who have an iPhone is this phone app called SafariFit. I’ve been playing with this one a lot and it’s kinda similar to Paleo Fitness. In that is a bunch of exercises that are named after animals. Fantastic app though, I’ve tossed in a few of these in travel…
Brock: It kicks your butt too.
Ben: Yeah but it’s fun. It gives you a circuit to do comprised of a series of exercises, you can choose your level that you wanna start at. You can do like the beginning levels like the meteor cat or something like that and you can, I’ve done the highest level which is the lion and it took me about 40 minutes to do the workout out in the park and there’s a ton of workouts loaded in this app but it’s really cool. It’s got a lot of video in there that shows you how to do the moves so you don’t have to guess as you’re going, it’s got kind of a progression in there, it’s even got like some gamification built in and where you can see how well other people have done on that particular workout so it’s called Safari Fit. We’ll link to that one in the show notes too. The last one when it comes to kinda like throwing some randomness at your body as far as like an off-season workout would be a brand new workout that’s brought to my attention this week so I figured should mention it on the show notes and it’s called Exercise Cards. Now this is similar to like playing cards so they’re made by the Bicycle Playing Card Company and there are these really high quality kind of cards and they’re 50 exercise cards and 5 different workout routines that show you the correct form and the correct movement and it’s just the deck of cards that you can use as like card games so you can like deal certain people in a group, different cards and they’re each gonna get different exercises. You can kinda you know, go through the cards one by one and see how far through the deck you can get. A lot of cool stuff but it’s actually right now a kickstarter campaign which I think is pretty cool way to launch a workout and it was designed by this 27 year old entrepreneur base on New York and it basically started with him drawing up little stick figure workout plans with exercises that he wanted to do before going to the gym and now he’s launched it to a kickstarter campaign and it’s called the exercise cards project. I think it’s cool. I love to support guys who are doing cool stuff like this so I’m gonna put a link to that in the show notes too for those of you who wanna check out the Kickstarter Exercise Cards Projects and for those of you who haven’t been to kickstarter before, it’s a pretty idea anyways, you can, you know, you can self-sponsor or “invest” and everything from workout plans like this to books to new ways to make coffee, you name it. Have you ever done anything over at kickstarter Brock?
Brock: I haven’t. I’ve looked at it a couple of times but I always feel like the stuff that people are asking for money is just not what I’m into. Maybe I’ll get more widespread and get more interesting kind of stuff.
Ben: Well it’s at kickstarter.com.
Ben: Let’s see. I’m going to go over kickstarter.com right now, you know, some of their popular ones are the Foodie Dice which is a fun new way to shake up your cooking routine. Foodie Dice is a set of 9 dice desired to inspire creative whole ingredients meals. Interesting. They’ve got the Chipolo which is a Bluetooth item finder. It’s a little chip that you put on your iPhone or your Android that helps you locate your belongings lost or forgotten. So you can put like a chip in your sock and help you find your sock. Interesting. They’ve got the premium active denim engineered for performance. Raw jeans, hand crafted in New York City with technologically advanced denim.
Brock: See? It just sounds like Skymall. Really.
Ben: Kind of yeah but it’s…
Brock: It’s interesting, cool stuff…
Ben: But looks like somebody gave a jeans company almost $200,000 so there you go.
Brock: I’m sure people buy stuff at Sky Mall.
Ben: But seriously, check out the exercise cards projects. I think it’s cool. I was surfing around, looking at it and it’s kind of a cool idea. But now the elephant in the room. The masking plan. So here’s what this is. Some of you may have heard of Dan John before. He’s got this book called Mass Made Simple and it is a 6-week program that is designed to put mass on your body while building strength, power, and coordination and it kinda does in a very simple way meaning most of your workouts are very similar. You go into the gym, you’re doing some upper body work, you’re doing what’s called a barbell complex which is a series of 6 different exercises with a barbell, same 6 exercises every single time you step into the gym, you know, it’s a row, back squat, front squat, clean, good morning, and overhead press.
A little bit of core work in there and a little bit of kinda like overhead pressing and some pulling work in there. And then you finish every workout with usually kind of like a special squat type of workout that Dan’s put in there that leaves you crying like a baby and crawling home.
Brock: Is that the 300 squats that you did the other day and you tweeted about ‘cause you were…
Ben: I had a lot, I think it was a hundred that I had in total, it was a hundred squats but most of it were loaded and squats, most of you don’t know, not only a great way to boost testosterone but a great way to build mass as well in both the upper and the lower body because of the hormonal response when you do a squat. It’s a very defensive position for your nervous system. Anyways though, my issue with this whole program made by Dan John is it wasn’t really built for triathletes specifically, it’s like I don’t wanna completely give up swimming and biking and running in the off-season. I just wanna do it minimally and then also put on mass at the same time. I also wanted to work-in more recovery. I wanted to work-in some cold thermogenesis, some foam rolling and mobility work, I wanted to work in a little bit of extra core work using like the foundation type of low-back core program we’ve talked about in the past few podcasts and that book by Eric Goodman so I took all this stuff and I put it all together into what I call the Mass Gain Plan for Triathletes. Really, it’s a mass gain plan for endurance athletes, skinny athletes, anybody who wants to kinda get a little bit thicker, a little bit more stronger, a little bit more curvaceous. So I’m gonna put a link to it because I literally just put the finishing touches on it last night in terms of finishing it up but it is the exact plan that I’m personally gonna be using to still maintain my swimming, my biking, and my running, prowess so to speak that I still can do a triathlon next year but at the same time, put on the 25-30 pounds of muscle that I’m looking for. I also put the nutrition there as well in terms of my meals and supplement recommendation for piling on muscle as fast as possible. So that’s called the Mass…
Brock: I wanna be the curvaceous version of it.
Ben: The curvaceous version of it. Brock wants…
Brock: Yeah can I have, can I have that one?
Ben: Yeah. We can give you the hourglass figure for sure.
Ben: So it’s called the Mass Gain Plan. It’s 47 bucks and what I’m doing as well and I include this in the instructions of the plan is for anybody who logs their before and after photos, every single month that we’re going through this whole winter, for anybody who’s doing the program and is posting the before-after photos to their facebook page, to their blog, whatever and then sending the link to us over at our facebook page, I’m cutting a $100 check every single month to the best before and after photos so if you stick with the program and you upload your photos, you’re pretty much paying for the program or making money getting paid to do the program as you go so anybody who wants to join along with Brock and I, I’m personally launching to this thing hardcore as soon as I get back from California. Up to this point I’ve just been kind of experimenting with it, putting the finishing touches on it but it’s called the Mass Gain Plan. If you’re listening to this podcast when it comes out which is on October 30th, and you wanna start it along with me sometime in the next 7 days, go to the show notes, grab the plan, and there’s no fancy picture of the plan or anything, it’s just, it’s all super simple, there’s just a line of text that you could click on and it downloads the plan on your computer via Training Peaks and you’re off to the races so yeah, those are all my thoughts on the off-season stuff and all the different options for you and we’ll put links for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/262 for everything.
Brett: Hey Ben and Brock, this is Brett Acres here in Atlanta. Long time listener and I wanna thank you guys for all the help you’ve provided over the years. I recently signed up to climb Mt. Rainier next June and I was reading some stuff online about supplementation specifically about a product called Altitude Adapt which contains nitric oxide. I wanted to know your thoughts on this and if that would be any benefit at all in high altitude climbing. Thanks.
Ben: Altitude Adapt. Have you ever seen this stuff before Brock?
Brock: No but I have used some nitric oxide supplements, not that one in particular.
Ben: I was looking through the ingredient list and you know, while I was doing that wilderness survival camp in Colorado…
Brock The zombie apocalypse…
Ben: The zombie apocalypse camp. Now the coffee’s kicking in. The, there are a lot of guys who struggle with altitude sickness and I got a lot of questions about you know, Oh Ben what could I take, what supplement should I use, you know, how can I get rid of this altitude sickness as fast as possible and in most cases I just told them to drink water ‘cause we didn’t exactly have a GNC up on the mountain.
This supplement in particular, this Altitude Adapt, I’ve never heard of, I’ve never used, but I looked at the ingredient label and it has a lot of stuff in there that has been shown in research studies to help out when you’re at altitude so like high dose vitamin c which helps to protect you against the oxidative stress that’s going to occur as the air gets thinner, as the sun gets more intense, as your body starts to have to deal with the stresses of altitude. It has magnesium on it which relaxes the smooth muscles that dilates your arteries so you get better blood flow, it’s got vitamin b12 in there which is another one that can help with altitude sickness in high doses and can also help to activate nitric oxide release which, speaking of Viagra as one of the main ways that you’re arteries and your blood vessels dilate, and then probably the most unique part about this particular supplement, this altitude adapt stuff is that they have beet root extract in it and it looks like they’ve got about 400 to 500 milligrams or so of like beet root powder mixed with a Hawthorn berry extract which is pretty similar to beet root in terms of being like a nitric oxide precursor that’s going to increase oxygen and glucose delivery to working muscle. So when you’re looking at any effect of any supplement on the human body, for Brett or anybody else who’s trying to figure out of any supplement would be good for them, I really like this reference guide book called The Supplement Goals Reference Guide Book. It’s about an 800 page downloadable PDF but what it does is that it allows you to look at what’s called the human effects matrix where you can go in and see okay, whatever, increased blood flow or oxygen uptake. What supplements are rated A, B or C in terms of the body responding best to that supplement for that particular health goal. Well it turns out when we’re looking at oxygen uptake which for performance specifically in altitude is gonna give you the most bang for your buck, the number one rated compound is what’s called trimethylglycine. Now trimethylglycine is most often referred to as betaine and it is…
Ben: It’s the active component of beet root, betaine.
Brock: Oh okay.
Ben: So when we’re talking about the supplement that’s shown based on chemical research to really have a very nice effect on oxygen uptake and altitude, it does turn out that beet root, in this particular supplement is the best way to improve performance at altitude either beet root or using like a betaine supplement. Now another way that you could kinda hack your way into this would be choline which causes a similar reaction as taking something like betaine or supplementing with something like beet root. The thing that you need to be aware of though and again you’d see this if you were looking through the supplement reference guide, I’ll link to it in the show notes is that dosage is important and in many cases, people hear that beet root for example, is you know, really good for them but don’t take enough of it so the standard dosage that have been shown to have a really good effect in terms of oxygen uptake are anywhere from 1-6 grams per day of a beet root extract. In many studies they are taking a 16-ounce beet root juice each day and loading with that for 1-2 weeks leading up to the event that takes place at altitude or the event for which they want the beet root for. So when I look at a supplement like this, I go straight to the dosage so looking at the dosage they have one that looks like it’s a lozenge so like an absorb able pill that you put in your mouth. Their nitric oxide blend is 420 milligrams so we’re looking at the low level of what would actually be necessary based off of studies and if you really wanted to get the most potent kinda like 6 gram type of effect, you’d have to pop 1 to like 12 of these in order to get what has been shown in research to be really good in oxygen uptake and oxygen delivery.
So always look at the dosage, never just look at the ingredients when you’re looking at something like this but make sure you realize how many you’re gonna need to take. Are the ingredients in your efficacious? Absolutely but know that you’d have to take a lot of them. In my case, and I think that it might be because I use adaptogens on a daily basis, I take that TianChi stuff on a daily basis, I have never had any issues at altitude, I mean I got a little short of breath like you typically do when you’re at higher altitude but never experience any issues with altitude sickness and I think it’s because I take adaptogens on a daily basis. I’m gonna put a link for Brett on the show notes to a really really good article on adaptogens but when we’re looking at well researched adaptogens, which essentially work on the level of helping a stressed out metabolic system to release proper amounts of things like nitric oxide precursors or sex hormones or you know, adrenaline or anything else, some of the better ones are American ginseng, ashwaganda root, asian ginseng, corticepts, rhodiola, aluthro, and licorice root extract. Those are some of the ones that have a good research behind then in terms of being the type of things that like Shurpos who guide people who go up of Mount Everest would use like medicinal extracts to assist with altitude so in addition to beet root extract, I would really look into the adaptogenic herb world because there are some pretty proven elements in there that really aren’t in this particular blend that’s in this altitude adapt stuff and the of course we mentioned in the last podcast, always understand that some herbal compounds are you know, kept in big bins in China and sprayed with ethylene oxide for years and some of them are fresh. So make sure you look into the source, usually you get what you pay for when it comes to adaptogens as well and that’s why you know, this TianChi stuff that I use is 90 bucks for about a month’s supply. I’m willing to put that investment into it because I mean it’s pretty potent stuff but you know, again, you know, you could potentially be consuming some pretty laced nasty compound if you’re not careful with adaptogens so they can be expensive to use but I’ll put a link to the reference supplements guide book for Brett so or anybody wants to research whether or not a supplement actually has good research behind it and then article on adaptogens and then also the link to the TianChi stuff.
Valerie: Hi Ben and Brock. It’s Valerie from Canada. I’m calling with a question about diatomaceous earth. I’ve read that a lot of people would use it for removing parasites and that some farmers use it for getting rid of parasites in their livestock. And I’m just wondering if it is a safe and effective treatment for eliminating parasites and how it compares to other parasite removal methods.
Brock: So I guess we should probably start by explaining diatomaceous earth is where some diatoms have either lived or died in the earth. And it’s a type of algae.
Ben: Yeah, diatoms we’ve talked about in the bed bug episode that we did from Hawaii. We were talking about if you really wanted to get rid of bed bugs, you sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your bed and it’s a rock, well it’s a powdered-up rock and it’s made from the skeletons of these diatoms that Brock talked about which is a kind of algae and when you grind it into a powder, it can eat through the exoskeleton of parasites and pathogens and bed bugs without being harmful to the human body so it’s something that you actually either sprinkle in an area, whatever, like a garden or a bed or anywhere else where you wanted to attack parasites, insects, pests, things of that nature, or you take orally as a detox or as a way to destroy pathogens. And there, it’s pretty popular in alternative medicine. It is something that can work for parasites, you can get it even off at Amazon as something that you can use orally as like 1-2 tablespoons per day mixed in a glass, like an 8-10 ounce glass of water. You can drink this stuff and it’s not something that I’ve used. I’ve used something else that I’d talk about in a second but you could certainly use diatomaceous earth. It’s safe and there are many alternative medicine physicians in particular who use this stuff as a detox.
Brock: Have you ever tried it?
Ben: Nope. I haven’t tried it but what I used before…
Brock: Neither have I. I was interested in what it tastes like, I guess I’ve eaten dirt before and it sort of just tastes iron-y.
Ben: I’ve used edible earth before and edible earth is a mix of calcium bentonite and a special type of clay and it’s designed for cleansing and detox and fixing your digestive tract. I get that from the same place that I get my magnesium lotion and magnesium bath flakes that I use but it’s a detoxing clay that from what I understand works pretty similarly in terms of its effect on the exoskeletal cell wall of something like a parasite or a pathogen. The nice part about something like the clay is that it also detoxicant for radiation exposure, you know we just had that recent earthquake over in Japan. I actually, I went to re-order edible earth, it’s out of stock right now. I’ll put a link in the show notes if people want to try and grab some, I don’t know when it comes back into stock but it’s really good for radiation exposure as well and I wanted to because we’re gonna be travelling near Asia, I wanted to get some and at least get it into my kids to help to protect them a little bit but it’s called Edible Earth and I have used that before. It’s supposed to work similar to diatomaceous earth and I’ve never had any issues. It does have kinda like a dirty kind of metallic earthy taste to it but it’s not bad. So what I’ve used though in the past when I actually had a parasite and I tested using the Direct labs has a test that you can get and it’s called the Comprehensive Parasitology Profile. Now if you ever wondered if you have a parasite, if you’ve got periods of insomnia that you go through, if you have weird bowel movements, if you look in the mirror and can see worms in your eye balls, anyways, comprehensive parasitology profile, if you get one of those at direct labs, and you find out that you have a parasite and you wanna get rid of it, what I’ve used in the past is oil of oregano now oil of oregano has some incredibly potent antiparasitic properties. A lot of these herbs do you know, garlic, oregano, even coconut oil. A lot of foods that you tend to find is staples in the diets of places where parasites tend to be more of an issue you know, we tend to see more of these types of these spices like garlic, onion, you know, cayenne, oregano, you now, all those kinds of stuff, but carvacrol is the active component in oil of oregano that can similar to diatomaceous earth or clay, again break down the cell wall and it’s something that I take as a daily tonic when I’m travelling and what I do is anywhere from 5-10 drops sublingually, it’s mixed in about a 7 to 1 ratio with almond oil and I’ll simply consume that when I’m travelling to protect myself not only against air-borne pathogens but to also knock any parasites out of the ball park. I’ll use it before I swim in water that I’m concerned about which is what I’ll be doing when I’m racing over at Thailand next month. I’ll use it when I’m exposed to the cold or to the flu or something else so really really good natural antibiotic, natural antiparasite so that would be another thing that I’d recommend looking into that might be easier for you to use versus diatomaceous earth or edible earth is you didn’t wanna do clay or didn’t wanna use a powder or wanted something small that you could keep like in your makeup bag or your purse but oil of oregano.
Brock: I actually like the taste of oil of oregano too where I think the edible earth is sort of tolerable rather than being delicious.
Ben: Yeah a lot of people don’t care for the taste of oil of oregano and I can’t say that I eat this stuff up and it’s a satisfactory culinary experience but…
Brock: I have been tempted to put it on my like put it in soup.
Ben: Use as cologne. There you go. Yeah. So yeah, you could use diatomaceous earth, you could use this edible earth clay stuff, you could use the oil or oregano. I’ll toss some links in the show notes for you Valerie to the parasite test at Direct Labs, the comprehensive parasitology profile. I recommend everybody to try and to that about once a year and then also check out the edible earth stuff and the oil of oregano.
Scott: Hey guys, love the show. My name is Scott. I have a question for you. I signed up to do this 11 mile extreme obstacle race and the race is in about 40 days. I’m very concerned about the distance. I’m only up to 4 miles currently, and I feel like I’m running out of time and I really wanna finish the race without killing myself. Is there a training protocol that you can recommend to help me get ready for the race?
My goals are to finish the race with my team and to shed about 4-5% of body fat. I’m completely loss on how I can, on how I should organize my training for an event like this. Your help is much appreciated. Cheers. Thanks.
Ben: Brock have you ever done an obstacle race?
Brock: I have not and I can’t say that I’m all that interested in it and mostly because you can’t quantify it but sure you can finish it at a certain amount of time but how do you know if you’re getting better or worse or I guess that’s not the point. I’m missing the point.
Ben: You just do it for the rush. I have done some pretty fun, like I did one like day-long adventure race in Thailand where we did like rapelling then we’d run through the jungle and jump off the cliff into an ocean and swim across the bay and get in a sea kayak and that was more like an adventure type of race. I did another one here in Idaho that was primarily mountain biking, orienteering, sea kayaking, hiking, running and swimming but these Spartan races kinda take you to the next level. Like you’ve got like fire and walls and…
Brock: Like electricity.
Ben: Electricity. And they actually a lot of people thing that Spartans are these tiny little short 40-60 minute events but they’ve got the Super Spartan which is like 8 plus miles and 20 plus obstacles and it’s like a 3 hour race. They’ve got the Spartan Beast which is 12 plus miles and 25 plus obstacles and then of course they have the Spartan Death Race over in Vermont and that one’s just nits. That’s like a multi-day event that you can only get into if you’re a navy seal or you’ve been in prison for x number of years, whatever. But I’m doing one in Las Vegas. I’m signed up for a Spartan Race in Las Vegas the Spartan, I’m doing a Super Spartan in Las Vegas in April so that one should be interesting. You can go to the Spartan website and you can find a Spartan race near you. They’ve got a ton of them and I think, I think it’s a great way to kind of get full body fitness the question is, you know, like Scott says, you know, what kind of training protocol do you use for one of these type of races ‘cause you’re obviously doing a bunch of different things. Well first of all, you know, we talked about like that Safari Fit phone app, we talked about the Paleo Fitness type of book, we talked about the MMA book Warrior Cardio, like any of those are gonna get you in pretty decent fitness for something like this but if you want something that actually has you, you know, for example running and then going straight from running around a track like running 800 on a track to doing pushups, doing some jumps, maybe simulating a climb with some pull-ups and then you know a bunch of burpees and then going back to the track and you know, kind of throwing you through the rigors of what you might experience physiologically during something like an obstacle race, I’d suggest this program called Race Day Domination. We interviewed the guy from Race Day Domination. There’s an article about it, I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/262 but it’s an article on obstacle course race workouts and this entire program is based around, like I just explained the idea of doing a bunch of exercises and then running really hard like on a track or wherever you know, keeping your stuff next to a treadmill at the gym however you decide to do that and then doing a bunch of exercises again and running really hard and really as simple as that sounds, that’s pretty much what that comes down to when you’re looking at the type of physiology you’ll be working during the obstacle race. As far as shedding body fat at the same time, I don’t think you need to worry about that.
Brock: Yeah that should just happen.
Ben: Yeah, that’s I mean assuming you’re not engaging in compensatory eating and you’re not making yourself 1000 calorie Jamba Juice style smoothies after every workout because you feel like you earned it after your 3 800 meter you know, hard repeats around the track. You’re gonna be good so I wouldn’t worry too much about the fat loss, I would just focus on the performance and the fat loss will just come on its own but yeah, I mean I don’t wanna blow off the question but you pretty much do just that. You run and then you do a series of exercises and then you run again and I will certainly link to that article we did on obstacle course race workouts in the show notes for you ‘cause it’s pretty comprehensive and there’s even a sample workout in there, there’s links to this Race Day Domination program and pretty much everything that you need to know as far as that goes so…
Ben: By the way, speaking of everything that you need to know, did you know that the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast is better than google search? According to an iTunes review that we got this week.
Brock: Okay. I was like how are you defining that information? Okay.
Ben: Megs1768, if you’re listening in then email us because we read your review on iTunes and we loved it and I wanna send you a care package straight from the official Ben Greenfield Fitness skyscraper offices here in Washington. We’re gonna send you a hat, a t-shirt, and a water bottle from Ben Greenfield Fitness but it’s because of this review that Meg’s left on iTunes. You wanna hear it?
Brock: Yeah let’s hear it.
Ben: Alright. So here’s what she says. “Ben Greenfield podcast, better than google search. Ben and Brock cover everything you can possibly imagine that has to do with health, fitness, and biohacking. If you have a problem, skip googling it. You will just come up with all sorts of pseudoscience and unsubstantiated articles. Instead, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and get the real information from well-researched studies and the experts he interviews on the podcast and on his articles.”
Brock: Isn’t it nice. Alright. Can’t argue with that.
Ben: So for any like venture capitalists, angel investors, people like that, google. We are the next google apparently so if you want to invest, just again, email us separately, [email protected] and we’ll fill you in and you could be on board for the next google search engine right there. Don’t get left behind. So and Megs, write us too. Let me know your address, write me, [email protected] and I’ll send you a care package. And if you want to leave an iTunes review, we’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/262 and you could leave your thoughts.
Brock: We’ll also leave a link to Audible, audiblepodcast.com/ben which is where you can go, you can follow that link and you can get yourself a free membership to audible.com for 1 month anyway and you can download yourself a free book that you can keep forever…
Ben: That’s right. We actually have a special guest at the end of this episode talking about his book that you can find on Audible so stay tuned for that. And then a couple other things, if you’re a podcast listener, you’re only gonna hear this on the podcast but of you go to giftfromben.com, Brock and I have a special little deal for you over there at giftfromben.com and we also have a little surprise waiting for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/love so check out bengreenfieldfiness.com/love and perhaps I’ll see any of our California listeners as I trek across California next week. We’ll put a link to…
Brock: And maybe I’ll see some of you in New York City at the New York City Marathon and while I eat and drink my way across the city after the marathon.
Ben: That’s right. That’s right so I think we’ve covered a lot today so what do you think Brock? Should we wrap things up and move on to our final special guest today?
Brock: Let’s talk to Vinnie.
Ben: Hey folks, what’s up it’s Ben Greenfield and Vinnie’s back. I got Vinnie Tortorich on today, the author of the book Fitness Confidential which just came out in audiobook. You’ll be able to get that audiobook in the links over at the show notes at bengreenfildfitness.com and Dean, you actually have a little special guest appearance in that recording huh?
Vinnie: Yeah, you said Dean but yes, it is Dean, the Dean Lowry. Here’s the crazy thing. You know Dean Lowry has been a Hollywood writer and producer for a lot of years. He’s written a lot of books in his own right but Dean is and you know, he’s crazy famous in one group. You know, he did that show Arrested Development that’s…
Ben: That show’s hilarious.
Vinnie: Yeah. People love that show. And Dean is also right now as we speak, last week, his new show on CPS The Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams just premiered as the number 1 new hit of the season of all the networks and that same guy came in at the end of the book and we did as we call it in Louisiana, a little lanyap. He came in and he and I just went off to cough for like 15 minutes on what it’s like to write a book so if anyone ever wanted to write a book, I know a lot of people out there have their own stories they wanna write, Dean and I talk about the process and that goes on for an extra 15 minutes in the book.
Ben: Nice. So the name of the book is Fitness Confidential and it turns out you cannot just hear Vinnie’s lolling voice but you also get that special guest appearance by Hollywood celebrity Dean Lowry so check it out. You can get it on Audible, you can get it on Amazon, you can get it on iTunes, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. Vinnie thanks for coming on.
Vinnie: Thanks for having me Ben.
Oct 30, 2013 Podcast: Is plaque really dangerous, top workouts to do this winter, do altitude training supplements work, how to get rid of parasites fast, and the best way to train for obstacle races.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.
- Are you a sleep hacker or early riser?
- Excellent article on sleep & supplements to get better sleep.
- Don’t know what’s more cool about this study – that Viagra increases testosterone or that it was done at Greenfield Health Center. I mention Viagra and Viagra substitutes from World-Pharma-org.
Oct 31-Nov 7, 2013: Ben Greenfield will be in LA, Malibu, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara
December 11-14, 2013: “Achieve Ultimate Human Performance” three day online class with Ben Greenfield. Want to achieve “ultimate human performance”? Check out Ben’s brand new CreativeLIVE course by clicking here. If you’re interested in being a member of our live audience, simply click here to fill out the form!
Want a done-for-you coaching package with Ben? Check out the new Black Box Coaching Package.
Ben’s new book has been released. Order it now and get entered into a raffle for over $5000 in swag! Just visit BeyondTrainingBook.com.
If you want to grab Vinnie Tortorich’s new audiobook Fitness Confidential: you can get it on Audible by clicking here, get it on iTunes by clicking here, or get it on Amazon by clicking here. And by the way, AudiblePodcast.com/Ben is the place to go to get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial.
February 6 to March 6, 2014: Want to get into the Perfect Health Diet retreat in Austin, Texas? Click here for all details. Ben Greenfield will be presenting at the Feb 6-Mar 6 retreat.
If you’re looking for a topic we covered in the past – we have released the Ben Greenfield Fitness Top Hits, Vol. 1 on iTunes.
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, edited and sometimes read by Brock, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast “sidekick”.
Is Plaque Really Dangerous?
He has had some tests and it appears that he has plaque on the outside (not the inside) of his arteries. Do you agree with Dr. Minkoff that Vitamin K2 is very important in heart health?
Top Workouts To Do This Winter
He is an triathlete who focuses on Olympic and 70.3 distances. He wants to know how he should approach the off-season in terms of maximizing recovery while still moving forward with his speed and strength.
— and —
He has completed his first year of International Triathlons and wants to know what the best strength exercises are that he can do over the winter to build his swimming, biking and running better into next year.
In my response I mention:
–Ben’s Adrenal Reboot Program on TrainingPeaks
–Paleo Autoimmune Protocol
–SCD free e-book
–Mass Made Simple (and Ben’s new Mass Gain Plan for triathletes on TrainingPeaks)
–SafariFit phone app
-The Kickstarter Exercise Cards project
Do Altitude Training Supplements Work?
He is planning to climb Mt. Rainier in June and is wondering if supplements like “Altitude Adapt” that contain Nitric Oxide would be any benefit at all for high altitude climbing?
How To Get Rid of Parasites Fast
She is wondering about diatomaceous earth. Is it effective for removing parasites? Is it safe and effective? How does it compare to other removal methods?
The Best Way To Train For Obstacle Races
Has signed up for an 11 mile obstacle race and is looking for a training protocol to finish the race and shed some body fat at the same time.