March 25, 2015
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Vegan Bone Broth and Vegan Bulletproof Coffee, Can Your Heart Rate Variability Be Too High, Natural Remedies For Menstrual Cramps, Do Tesla Cars Have High EMF, How To Choose The Sex Of Your Baby and much more!
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Brock: So you made it back from Teen Timex Camp alive and well, I take it?
Ben: Barely alive and kicking. You know I actually have to admit that I was using my trip down to Tucson, Arizona to for the annual pilgrimage to my Teen Timex Camp to reinvigorate my passion for triathlon and multi-sports.
Brock: Yeah, I was really surprised to see that you were doing something triathlon-related. I was – I was just kinda forgotten that you ever did triathlon.
Ben: Yeah, well you know for our listeners who may know that I did Ironman Hawaii in October, and just kind of quit triathlon for a little while after that and have been doing things like…
Brock: Well, you need some kneading after that. It was sort of pretty sparse as well like that total entire season last year. What you’d do like three triathlons, maybe?
Ben: Yeah, I did a handful but you know, so that people know – you know, I’m not out of that sport. As a matter of fact, I’m gonna be travelling around the world doing a few – a human interest pieces, shall we say. For Lava Magazine and possibly a couple of other magazines in the triathlon industry so you may see me at races like a Norseman which is a crazy triathlon where you jump off a ferry order of a boat into a ferry order like 4:30a.m and do this ungodly cold swim, and a long bike, and a run up some craggy mountain. And possibly – possibly the Yelp West, there are few other races, one in Spain. I may pop up in Thailand again this year.
Ben: We’ll see… so. So, yeah I survived Teen Timex Camp and did have a few rough sessions in particular, about a 5.5k swim after I really haven’t been swimming too much, that was interesting. But actually the most interesting part of that camp and something that I’m going to be recording a podcast on soon was a meeting with Allen Lim.
Brock: Ah, cool!
Ben: The physiologist and nutritionist who works with the teams like the professional cycling team ‘Team RadioShack’ and who is involved with this Skratch Labs electrolyte drink.
Brock: Yeah, that’s how I think he is best known.
Ben: Yeah, very smart guy and we actually did an interesting test down there in which – I actually podcasted this so I won’t get into too much detail ‘cause we’re gonna really geek out on it in the future podcast. But specific patch that was able to induce a hyper sweating I guess, you would say hyperhidrosis in the specific area of the arm. And then from that sweat, measure a sweat sodium. It was a very elegant in simple way to measure the amount of sodium loss and…
Brock: Ah! So you didn’t have to jump on a treadmill like weigh yourself, with your clothes on, and start on jump on a treadmill, run for a bunch of time and weigh yourself, and wring the clothes out into a vat and all that kind of stuff – it was just a patch?
Ben: Sounds to me like you have some experience with this.
Brock: Well, back in the old days, that’s how we used to do it.
Ben: The way that I used to do sweat sodium analysis actually when I hadn’t an exercise phys lab was we would cut about eight different maxi pads into specific standardize sizes, and you ride on a bike for an hour in a hot room, collect the sweat into those maxi pads, we’d centrifuge each pad, collect the sodium and then using an equation – an approximated sodium loss based off of the loss on those specific body parts going into the maxi pad, we’d be able to get a rough approximation – ‘rough’ being the key word there, of sodium loss. And this seem to be a much more simple way to do things what we did down there. So…
Brock: And there you go folks, you just got the history of sodium analysis for physiology.
Ben: Yeah, so stay tuned for a really interesting podcast on that, and that being said, I suppose we should jump into this week’s nerdiness.
Brock: Shall we go forth!
Ben: While you were taping things to various parts of your body and inducing sweat, you are also tweeting little snippets of brilliance all over the internet at twitter.com/bengreenfield.
Ben: Yes, the twitter bird was flying heavily. And of course, everything we talked about here, we link to over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/313, or you can follow some of the articles we’re about to talk about as well as everything else we discussed on the show. And there’s an interesting article I guess I’d like to start off with, that I tweeted about over at the dietdoctor.com website in which they analyze the food that is served at various obesity conferences.
Brock: Oh, I saw this article. It was shocking!
Ben: And it started off actually…
Brock: The stupidity is shocking!
Ben: Pretty promising. The Low Carb, High Fat Conference in South Africa which I suppose might qualify as an obesity conference was certain things like: wild caught salmon and red onion and red pepper salsa with an organic cottage cheese, and it appears to be some type of a squash dish or a pumpkin roast with pumpkin seeds and you know, pretty healthy variety of food. And it all kinda went downhill from there. For example, at the world’s biggest obesity conference, the International Conference on Obesity in Stockholm, the lunch appeared to be sugar-filled dannon-style mini yoghurts and chocolate bars.
Brock: And chocolate bars, yeah!
Ben: Yeah, chocolate bar and then lunch was a sandwich with an apple and another chocolate bar.
Brock: A nice white bread sandwich by the looks of things too.
Ben: Yeah, the world’s biggest diabetes conference was a brown bag served with a banana, a bag of potato chips, a Twix and a sandwich.
Brock: It’s like a ten-year olds birthday party. It’s ridiculous!
Ben: Yeah, you can go to the website, we’ll link to it in the show notes for you to see more of the apparent hypocrity. Hypocrity? Hypocrisy.
Ben: That appears at these obesity and diabetes conference.
Brock: Actually I’d call it idiocracy, maybe.
Ben: Idiocracy. It’s relatively shocking, so check that out.
Brock: I don’t know if you’ve notice I was really happy to see that our buddies Jimmy Moore and Tim Noakes were both at the conference in South Africa where they serve the salmon and the delightful cottage cheese and salsa and stuff, so.
Ben: Stuffing their gaping molars with pumpkin seeds.
Ben: I supposed which is better than potato chips and Twix. Quite ironic. Anyways though, another interesting article that I tweeted was over at the website that I follow – there’s a few different blogs that I follow just for kind of cool articles and I was following earteasy.com which is kind of a good website to check out interesting articles on farming, emergency preparedness, healthy holistic living and etc. This article was about 5 Science-based Reasons to Plan for a Natural Childbirth’ and a natural childbirth can be everything from having like doulas and midwives in your home to doing the whole water birthing and basically avoiding the needles and tubes and the beeping machines – that going to much of the modern birthing process not that I think that those are completely needless all the time and my children are born in a hospital – but this was interesting, this article. And a few other reasons that they gave in the article to perhaps consider natural childbirth: one was to avoid what they call the “Cascade of Interventions” such as the…
Brock: Cascade of interventions, that’s sounds – dangerous.
Ben: For example, some of the things they talked about was that an epidural increases the length of labor. It makes fetal distress more likely and none of us want fetal distress.
Brock: I’ve had that and it’s not good.
Ben: Especially, a baby. And can lead to the use of other drugs like Pitocin which decreases the ability to push effectively and then leads to the need for getting more help in getting the baby out such us forceps or episiotomy. Episiotomy?
Brock: Hmm, I have no idea.
Ben: I’m not even sure if that’s how that’s pronounced. Or surgery and kinda like that classic slippery slope where a woman winds up feeling really not in control at all – the labor and the delivery and it turns out to you know, basically create a like I said a slippery slope. So that was interesting and also of interest was the fact that when you go into a hospital, you have of course a much, much higher propensity – get a C-section. We’ve talked about before in the show how even though a C-section is definitely necessary in many cases, there is a higher risk for infection, for bowel obstruction, for organ damage, for blood clots and then of course, the fact that your child doesn’t get pre-populated with all the healthy bacteria they would normally get when they pass down the birth canal.
Brock: It’s a very gentle way of saying it.
Brock: The pre-populated rather than jam full of acid squeezes through a tiny little opening.
Ben: Yes, rather than swallowing mom’s poo and bacteria. So another thing that they talked about was the freedom and awareness during labor. And that babies can experience drug hang-overs or loss of coordination after medicated birth.
Brock: That makes sense.
Ben: That was something that I wasn’t aware of but certainly something to consider and that mother saying ‘yes’ to an epidural may not actually anticipate the discomfort of urinary catheter insertion or the constant tether of the spinal tube or the reduced mobility at a time when walking and freedom of movement can be a tremendous relief. So…
Brock: Wait, so if you get an epidural, you’re actually tethered to something?
Ben: Yes! Yes…
Brock: The entire time?
Ben: Oh, I don’t think you’re tethered the entire time but apparently, a spinal tube is tethered for significant period of time.
Brock: Crazy, I had no idea.
Ben: Yeah. Breastfeeding – a strong start with breastfeeding is of course something that a lot of people are aware of. It’s something that helps with the – you know, a baby getting I suppose to things like colostrum to help seal up the lining of their guts, and to help with bacteria and a really good protein fat carbohydrate macronutrient ratio in breastfeeding but often, you don’t get quite as much of a breastfeeding relationship initiated when you’re in the hospital and as a matter of fact, when my children are in the hospital, even though we insist upon on breastfeeding, babies were often taken away from us. River and Terran would just disappear and I’d find them in a nurse’s station being fed soy formula even though I distinctly said that I did not want that to happen – it just happened. So, that’s another kinda issue and I know that – that many people who are working and like perhaps in neonatal units or people who work in hospitals and nurses who perhaps work in very responsible good hospitals are cringing right now and perhaps I’m painting with a broad brush, but these are things to consider. And then they get into the fact that you know, a lot of the immune boosting microbes and the good bacteria that a baby is exposed to in the vagina and when the baby is snuggling with mom as its first born, they lose a little bit of that with some of the modern hospital person and especially with like I mentioned – the C-section. And the list goes on and – in the article but I actually do think it’s interesting and in full disclosure, you know, when we had our twins, we started off with a home birth and a water birth and after ten hours of labor and the eventual realization that my wife’s hips are so small, that back in the wild, wild west day she probably would’ve been the woman who died during childbirth. We did wind up going to the hospital and having a hospital birth and it was not that much fun and I much would have rather done it at home. But this article is certainly something to read if you’re expecting or if you know someone who’s expecting, it’s – it’s good. It presents a pretty fair view of things in my opinion and it doesn’t completely shove hospitals under the bus but it does make some good points. So read that one, we’ll link to in the show notes.
Brock: I think this is another one of issues that doesn’t have to one way or the other, it’s not black or white. It’s not one is evil and one is – one is better or perfect or anything. It’s just a matter of – they both have their place.
Ben: Hmm, and being educated on your options. And speaking about childbirth, one…
Brock: Do I need to get the sensor beep ready?
Ben: It was a study on swearing! And this study was brought to my attention and even though it is a little bit old, I became aware of it just this week. And it is entitled “Swearing as a Response to Pain” and was published in the journal of Neuroreport. And…
Brock: I think it was in response to *curse word* pain. That was the name of the study, really. It was done by a doctor Samuel L. Jackson.
Ben: Well, what this study investigate was whether swearing affects pain tolerance. And in this case the ability to withstand immersion of a hand in icy water along with pain perception and heart rate. And what they found was that swearing did in fact increase pain tolerance, increase heart rate, and decrease perceived pain compared with not swearing. So it turns out that if you want to shut down the pain response it may be good to let out a little *curse word* here or *curse word* there or a *curse word*, *curse word* – I don’t know. What are other swear words? I don’t even *curse word* that much so I’m not even too familiar with the *curse word* that you tend to see so often among the kids these days.
Brock: Yeah, the kids really know how to *curse word* put down these days. I *curse word* but – I think we can let the audience use their imaginations.
Ben: Yes and one interesting thing about this study, one interesting take away was that swearing did actually not increase pain tolerance in folks who had a tendency to catastrophize.
Brock: Yes, I like that word.
Ben: So, I suppose that if you were the type of person who thinks that the world is ending every time cold water touches your body that even if you swear, it’s not going to help you out. You may have bigger problems that you need to *curse word* address.
Brock: I’m glad I had the sensor beep handy… at this section.
Brock: I’ve been daydreaming about the Tex-Mex that I’m going to have when we’re done at Paleo FX.
Ben: Yes, down in Austin, Texas.
Brock: I’ve never been to Texas. I hear the food is awesome.
Ben: If you’re listening in the word on the street is that Paleo FX 2015 which is kinda like the can’t miss conference, the Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement with world-class speakers and authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientist and also hacks like myself. It’s going to fill up this week and so if you wanna get in, head over to our special link to Paleo FX so you put a few nickels on our hat when you register. It’s over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleofx15. That’s Paleo… the letter F, the letter X, 15.
Brock: And it’s true that Ben and I actually share a hat, so.
Ben: Yes, we do share a hat.
Brock: Our hat.
Ben: It’s a fedora and a violin case. Anyways though, when you register, you will be ready to take a part on what I consider to be one of the more fun conferences of the earth, jam-packed with parties and fun people, and great food, and even if you’re not paleo and even if you are one of those people who walks around sneaking out baguette into your backpack in the sessions – you can still have a good time. Even if you do eat bread and drink milk.
Brock: And Twinkies or not Twinkies, Twix and a – and a bag of chips.
Ben: Twix and a bag of potato chips, so check that out. We’ll also link to it in the show notes, it’s April 24th thru 26th, 2015 and directly after Paleo FX, I’ll be jetting over to Ari Meisel’s “Less Doing Conference” which is where you can learn about how you could do things like manage your e-mail inbox and hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, and learn how to install lots of shiny penny apps on to your phone that you may or may not use but at least you’ll learn how to use them. So check all that out, we’ll put a link to that over in the – over in the show notes but that’s called the Less Doing Conference that’s one in New York. And then finally, this is coming up right around the corner – April 13th thru the 16th, the New Media Expo. So check that out over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/nmx. And if you’re a content creator, if you have a blog, if you wanna learn how to podcast, you’re a podcaster who wants to learn how to do it better – Lord knows we need to learn how to do that, so I’m glad I’m going. So I can – perhaps I’ll buy a spendy microphone and a boom and maybe even a mixer and I don’t know. Whatever else that I get, I get attracted to over there. Maybe an entire like a – what are those things like those photo booths that you can purchase for weddings and things like that where you can climb into, and kinda take a photo of yourself? Maybe I’ll get a podcasting booth that I can just put in my backyard.
Brock: That’ll be great that – that would not have to edit out your children playing in the background all the time.
Ben: Gotta sit on my booth out in the woods and podcast. Anyways though, you – we’ve got a code that you can use to get 20% off the New Media Expo, if you too want to learn how to sit in a booth in the woods and podcast. The code is “bgreenfield20” – it’s a creative one, “bgreenfield20” to get 20% off the New Media Expo, and of course if you like sticking around an extra day, the Spartan Vegas is the day after that conference. If you wanna stick around and throw a spears and stuff and flip heavy tires. So check that out, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes as well over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/313.
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Listener Q & A:
Ben: So Brock, before we jump into this week’s Q & A, can I say something about the last week’s Q & A?
Brock: Uh-oh, am I in trouble?
Ben: I think at one point, I believe it was either during the Q & A or during the Special Announcements. We were talking about what exactly this whole certified paleo thing that’s…
Brock: Oh, yeah.
Ben: We’re talking about a supplement it was at – actually it was the Natural Force supplements we’re talking about certified paleo. And I received an e-mail after that show from Karen Pendergrass. And Karen Pendergrass is the mastermind behind the Paleo Foundation, and apparently the Paleo Foundation actually helps to certify things like farms and ranches and a lot of these people kinda running around the paleo community, you know, hawking their wares and ensures that some of the ingredients that are actually going into these compounds are indeed paleo-ish.
Ben: So, it actually is a legit certification, and I happen to know Karen and she’s a very intelligent and smart person who is committed to – I know a high amount of quality and making sure that the paleo doesn’t turn into a total *curse word* show. So, anyways, Karen Pendergrass wrote to me and inform me that it actually is legit. So there you go if something says is certified paleo on it, they’re not just making stuff up.
Michael: Hey Ben and Brock, this is Michael. I have a question: is it possible for someone to have too much Heart Rate Variability? I measure my HRV almost every morning with a SweetBeat app and I tend to score above the maximum value of 100. I even scored 107 once. I am nowhere near a professional athlete but I do train a lot. I sprint, run, do obstacle racing and heavy lifting and I’m wondering if I have some weird, unknown medical condition or I’m just really good at doing the test? I’ll send you some of my scores to take a look at, I hope to hear from you. Thanks.
Brock: I am lucky if I make it into the 80s these days, I – it baffles my mind the people can get into the 90s and the 100s? Come on!
Ben: I’m actually reading if someone just facebooked me because I – what I do on my facebook and often on twitter as well, I will publish my morning heart rate variability readings because…
Brock: Yeah and I always go, “Come on!”
Ben: My heart rate variability is good, I won’t lie. I have very high – what are called frequency scores, meaning that the feedback of my sympathetic and my parasympathetic nervous system is quite robust to my vagus nerve is sending feedback from my nervous system to my heart’s pacemaker cells and I measure that every morning, and it’s very high and I get high scores. And someone actually just emailed me and they said, “That extremely high HRV with a very low heart rate Ben, this could indicate severe adrenal fatigue. Have you checked your cortisol and your DHA?” Well, I should know then I haven’t written back to this person that an extremely high heart rate variability with a very low heart rate can also indicate that you’re just a freaking beast. And so, the very low heart rate is of course indicative of a high stroke volume in being fit. The high heart rate variability as long as you’re frequency numbers are high, like your high frequency and your low frequency numbers – that’s a good sign of a robust nervous system. So whoever wrote me, I’ll write you back at some point. Sometimes high HRV is in fact good. I know it sounds like I’m bragging but I’m honestly just trying to use myself as an example of what, you know, a high heart rate variability can indicate. But a high heart rate variability can actually be bad as well. So, I’ll go into why that is in a second, but let me explain something about heart rate variability to you. And by the way, if you’re listening in and you completely don’t understand heart rate variability, this may go slightly over your head. I would recommend that you go back and listen to any of the previous podcast episodes that we’ve done on heart rate variability because we’ve really spent probably I would say good four hours into getting folks about it and going into it. The idea between heart rate variability is it’s analysis of what’s called the RR interval which is just basically one point in the wave you know, when you’re watching say like a – you know, a medical show on television and seeing that the little beep, beep, beep of the heart rate and seeing that wave. There are certain points in that wave that are identified as the R party interval and that what is happening when you’re measuring heart rate variability is you’re measuring the time spent from – from one point in the R interval to the next occurrence of that R interval. And when you’re analyzing those intervals, they have to be analyzed using a statistical analysis actually – statistical and a geometrical analysis.
And there are a few different ways that these are analyzed but one of the more popular ways is what’s called the square root of the mean squared difference between those intervals. Now stick with me here – that’s abbreviated R-M-S-S-D, R-M-S-S-D. And that RMSSD is basically used as an index of the vagus nerve mediated cardiac control of what’s called sinus arrhythmia or the actual electrical innervation of the heart by the nervous system. And so for example when you inhale, your heart rate slightly speeds up, and when you exhale, your heart rate slightly slows down and RMSSD is basically smoothing out these slight variabilities and allowing them to be given a numerical value. And that numerical value can indeed actually go above 100, and there are some heart rate variability analysis tools out there that actually rely upon that RMSSD value. And in something that does that you can often get values like 110 and 120, and those values would in a normal heart rate variability app expresses like 80 or 90 and the reason for that is that most of the apps out there, like the Nature Beat app that you know, the Greenfield Nature Beat app that is actually you know, my app for measuring heart rate variability or the BioForce app or the Ithlete app or the SweetBeat app or many of these – they’re modified RMSSD values. They’ve actually transformed the RMSSD value to allow it to figure on a 100 point scale. So scores above 100 are possible but – but pretty uncommon, you usually see them in highly fit individuals but for the most part unless a heart rate app and here’s where I’m getting at: unless a heart rate app is measuring using an RMSSD interval without that interval being modified to allow it to be on a zero to one hundred scale, there’s usually something else going on. If your heart rate variability is consistently measuring above 100. And here’s what it could be that is going on and this is what has actually been looked at in research: when you have what are called periventricular contractions or heart rhythm abnormalities or what are called ectopic beats – any type of basically hiccup in the pacemaker cells of your heart. It can cause that abnormal heart rate variability pattern and often a heart rate variability that is above 100 and this, in this case is not a sign of superior fitness but rather a sign that you have an electrical abnormality in your heart that needs to be checked out.
Brock: So perhaps an arrhythmia?
Ben: An arrhythmia, exactly. So this would be a case in which you know, it would be prudent to actually pay a visit to a cardiac physician and do an EKG stress test in which you have electrode to test your heart, you exercise at an easy pace all the way up to a hard pace and you check to see if you’re displaying PVCs and in particular, displaying those PVCs or periventricular contractions or like electrical rhythm abnormalities of the heart at lower intensities. Because frankly, and this is something I actually talked about in my book ‘Beyond Training’, I published some secret hidden chapters they come along with that book. And if you’re reading the book as you get towards the end of the book you’ll – you’ll get access to this website where I’ve published about ten hidden chapters and one of those chapters goes into my journey of finding out whether extreme endurance had hurt my heart. And I detailed my process of going and visiting a cardiac physician and getting all these measurements done and what I discovered during that process was that most athletes, in general, actually do display electrical abnormalities of the heart once they’re approaching their VO2 max at a maximum pace.
Ben: And that’s not necessarily a – a sign that something is wrong with your heart, it’s just a sign that you’re you know, you’re working a hell out of your body.
Brock: And it hurts and so it’s freaking out!
Ben: Yeah, but if it’s happening when you’re walking, or when you’re jogging that’s another matter altogether. And so, that’s what I would do if I were you. Is I would actually consider getting a cardiac analysis you know, a cardiac stress test, an EKG-based stress test of the heart – that would be prudently as if you’re consistently testing and your heart rate variability is way above 100 and you’re not using – let me put this way: most apps out there, they’re not using this RMSSD scale. They’re using a log-based version of that scale that allows HRV to typically be between zero and one hundred.
So if you’re typically way above hundred, that’s – that’s a sign that’s something else could be going on and so I’d recommend getting checked out.
Ellie: Hey Ben, this is Ellie here. I’m just wondering if there’s a vegan equivalent to bone broth. I don’t mean like vegetable stock or anything, I kind of mean the nutritional benefits to bone broth brings. Another – I guess the second question would be: is there a Bulletproof Coffee for vegans? If I add up some Earth Balance to my coffee would that be kind of like the fatty coffee that you guys drink? I’m guessing not, but I figured I would throw it out there. Have a good day. Bye, loved the podcast.
Brock: Vegan Bulletproof Coffee?
Ben: Mmm-hmm-hmm. And vegan bone broth – that’s interesting. Which should we tackle first?
Brock: I don’t know, I’ve looked at that Earth Balance fake butter stuff and it scares me.
Ben: You know what? That’s perfect. Let’s start with that.
Ben: First of all, whether it’s bone broth, or whether it’s Bulletproof Coffee – don’t add Earth Balance. So Earth Balance is kinda like the hippie version of ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter…
Brock: Exactly, yeah.
Ben: So if you look at the ingredients, you know the first ingredients in there: canola oil, a soybean oil, I’m sure there’s some flax and olive oil in there as well, but ultimately, these are oxidized vegetable oils that can down the road create some cardiovascular issues, a high intake of omega 6 fatty acids which are not bad in small amounts but can create inflammation when they’re imbalanced relative to omega 3 fatty acids. And ultimately, even though Earth Balance probably isn’t as bad as deprived Twinkies, it’s definitely not high up there…
Brock: Perhaps to expire in a bag of chips.
Ben: In most of the things you should prioritize if you care about your heart health in particular.
Brock: Ellie is a smart girl, we’ve know her and she – I’m sure she’s not pounding that stuff.
Brock: Do not apply that she’s doing that.
Ben: But let me tell you this, Ellie. You know the reason – I know, I know what your thought pattern is: you’re thinking maybe use this Earth Balance as a substitute for the dairy-based butter if you are vegan. The reason that butter is added to something like say, Bulletproof Coffee would be for the butyric acid, because butyric acid has a lot of cool effects: they can suppress inflammation in the gut and in other tissues and as a matter of fact, butyrate and a lot of other short-chain fatty acids that are produced by your gut bacteria. You got a lot good, healthy gut bacteria that has a really remarkable effect in your intestinal permeability. And in both tissue cultures and in rats, a high intake of butyric acid can show a really big decrease in intestinal permeability so essential what that means is that it can cause a decrease in leaky gut and it can heal you know, the lining of the gut. And it can also get absorbed into the circulation and in human blood immune cells butyrate is very anti-inflammatory. Butyric acid has been shown to increase resistance to metabolic and physical stress, it can reduce the harmful effects of Type 1 diabetes, it can, in my – it’s been shown to increase the function and the survival of mice who have neurodegenerative diseases so it can help out with the brain and with neuroma health as well. And there’s some other interesting things to – for example, the body’s immune system becomes altered when you’ve got a high amount of butyrate in the digestive track and there’s a hypothesis out there that butyrate is used as a signaling mechanism between bacteria in the gut allowing them to operate much better when it comes to immunity. So, you know, basically if you’re not getting some form of butyrate or butyric acid in your diet, you are really shortening yourself in terms of your gut health and your immunity and anti-inflammatory potential, in particular. However, there are ways to get butyric acid that they go above and beyond just butter.
Ben: Just simply walking around with you know, whatever the –this stereotypical you know, Kerrygold unsalted butter in your back pack at all times just in case you should walk into a Starbucks and need to – shocker, get a cup of black coffee. So, for example, if you have a high amount of fiber in your diet, clinical trials have shown that increasing dietary fibers significantly increases butyrate production. And when you consider that a lot of the vegan and plant-based dieters are getting – in most cases, more fiber than the general population. They’re also by nature, probably getting more butyrate as well so you know, sweet potatoes and beans and vegetables and fruits and nuts, all of those can get you butyrate, another short-chain fatty acids too. In addition to of course, butter.
Now cod liver oil and butter would be the – the main non-vegan ways to get you butyric acid but if you’re getting fiber from other sources eating lots of you know, salad and sweet potatoes and all that good stuff, you’ve got other sources of butyrate in your diet that would make it so you don’t necessarily need to be dumping butter into your cup of Vegan Bulletproof Coffee. Now this leaves some of the other things that would normally get added to Bulletproof Coffee. And normally you would, for Bulletproof Coffee, you’d blend up butter and you’d add some MCT oil and typically, you know, you could add some other things like cinnamon or stevia or some like organic cacao or vanilla powder, vanilla extract or something like that. And last time I checked, everything that I just mentioned was a – was vegan. So you can pretty much make Bulletproof Coffee without the butter and it is – is vegan and as a matter of fact, if you were to search for a Bulletproof Coffee vegan recipes on the internet, you pretty much going to find that was is recommended is to take coffee and to blend it with some extra-virgin coconut oil or MCT oil and add some vanilla, some stevia and potentially some raw cacao. So it’s pretty much Bulletproof Coffee without the butter and you do get – you do get some recommendations by the way, out there to add things like almond milk or rice milk or soy milk or coconut milk for example to that Bulletproof Coffee, and one thing you should be aware of is that once you begin to add any type of milks that have no sugars in them, if you are consuming Bulletproof Coffee for the fat-burning effect or you’re consuming it – well let’s put it this way: if you’re consuming it in general, you’ll gonna be increased in cholesterol and you don’t necessarily want to be spiking blood sugars at the same time that you’re doing that. You also don’t wanna be spiking blood sugars if you’re trying to engage in all the benefits of increasing your fat oxidation or kinda keeping yourself in a fat-burning state so I’d actually leave the milk out.
Brock: That’s why I stopped putting almond butter in my Buletproof Coffee too.
Ben: Yeah, exactly, if you wanna do the vegan Bulletproof Coffee thing, just have Bulletproof Coffee and do the coffee and coconut oil and maybe some vanilla and some stevia, some cinnamon or some cacao if you wanna add some party to your coffee – leave out the milk, leave out the butter and you know, have a sweet potato in a salad later on the day and I don’t think you’re gonna be experience any butyric acid deficiencies.
Brock: You don’t put stevia in your coffee, do you?
Ben: I will, occasionally. I’ve got a little bottle of a liquid chocolate stevia and even though I’m usually a one-cup-of-coffee-a-day person. On some days where I need a little bit of energy in the afternoon, I’ll make a cup of iced coffee and in that iced coffee, I’ll put a few drops of this chocolate stevia and it’s a nice little beverage so, I do that sometimes as a matter of fact.
Brock: You know the old blues song by Howlin Wolf, “sugar and my coffee makes me mean”?
Ben: Mmm, no!
Brock: That’s how I feel.
Ben: It must have been before my time.
Brock: It was before my time, too. Let me just put that down.
Ben: Okay, so let’s move on to – to bone broth.
Brock: Bone broth! – without the bone!
Ben: Yeah, and you know one of the primary benefits of bone broth which we’ve talked about before on the show quite a bit, and we’ve done stories on it and everything so we don’t need to get deep, deep in the bone broth on this, but gelatin is one of the things that you’re gonna find in bone broth especially if you’re not skimming all the fat of the bone broth which you shouldn’t do. And gelatin has a few benefits, first of all, it helps to balance out meat intake and we mentioned this in the news flashes a few months ago on a show how mussel meat and eggs – they’re high in methionine and methionine is an amino acid that raises homocysteine levels in the blood. And this is one of the reasons that people all say like red meat causes heart disease, is because it can elevate those homocysteine levels if that red meat is not balanced out with glycine. If you have – basically more methionine that you do glycine, more methionine amino acid than you do glycine amino acid, you can have excess inflammation, high homocysteine. And the way that you can get the added glycine is from a source of gelatin. And so this is why gelatin is rich foods and bone broth and things like that should ideally be included if you are a meat eater. And of course if you’re trying to make vegan bone broth, you should ideally have some source of gelatin in there, even though you’re not getting methionine in your diet from red meat obviously for vegan or vegetarian. The reason for that is that there’s some other benefits to gelatin as well for example, it helps improve your gut integrity and your digestive strength that helps out with gastric acid secretion, it helps to restore healthy mucosal lining in the stomach – it has some of those same benefits such as the butyric acid does, so it can help out with that.
It’s a well-known promoter of skin health so it helps to make your skin healthy and beautiful because gelatin gives you glycine and also gives you proline, and those are two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. And so a diet rich in gelatin can help you kinda have a little bit of anti-aging effect and help you be protected against sunlight and wrinkles, and all sorts of things. Gelatin is good for protecting the joints, obviously because like I mentioned it helps with the production of collagen and they even had done research today to show that athletes take hydrolyzed collagen which is very similar to gelatin. They experienced less pain in their joints and so you know, if you exercise you would definitely wanna include gelatin and then finally, gelatin has been shown about 3 grams of glycine as a matter of fact before bed time was shown to help with sleep quality and so having enough glycine in your diet can help you sleep as well and it has a little bit of calming effect. So as far as how you can get gelatin and do like a vegan bone broth, well, one of the first thing you gotta have on hand is gelatin and you know, this kinda depends on how vegan you are, like how plant-based you are. If you don’t wanna use any animal sources at all period in your diet, it’s gonna be tough because most gelatin comes from you know, for example the one that I like is Great Lakes Gelatin that comes from grass-fed animals. You can get it in its hydrolyzed collagen form, you can get it in its whole form and that’s a great thing to have around but again, like it starts with an animal but you know, so does most vitamin D. So that’s one thing to know, is that if you get a gelatin powder or a collagen powder, most of the time it’s still gonna start from an animal source. However, one of the ways that you can get around that is, like I mentioned, you know for example: glycine, proline, glutamine, a lot of these compounds are the bioactive compounds of gelatin and you can actually purchase amino acids in their isolated form or you can even get like the whole amino acids supplement like an amino powder or amino capsule. And those don’t start with animals as their initial source, those are just basically you know, they were all laboratory produced amino acids and no, they’re not – they’re not frankin foods, they’re not chemical you know, cocktails but they’re amino acids that didn’t necessarily start with like a – I don’t know, I think possibly a lot of vegans has just imagined cows getting shoved into a blender when they think about eating certain foods. Moooooooo!
Brock: I’d love picturing that.
Ben: Will they? Anyways though, you can just get amino acids and you can include those in some of these recipes, even in a vegan bone broth recipe if you didn’t want to use gelatin and you can get some of those effects of gelatin that you’re not gonna get from just like making a vegan bone broth. If you wanted to make something like bone broth that is going to help out with collagen production, there are some things that you can do. So for example…
Brock: Boil rocks.
Ben: There are foods out there that can help you with promoting collagen like seaweed is one, celery is another, kale, beets, spinach, olive oil – all of these are not only very alkaline substances that can help keep minerals from leeching from your bones but they can also assist with collagen production with healthy hair, skin, nails and joints in a similar way that bone broth – the animal based you know, gelatin bone broth can. So for example, you know, there’s one recipe for vegan bone broth where you can take olive oil – I think about 4 tablespoons of olive oil and then you just mix a bunch of chopped vegetables right? Like chopped celery and chopped beets and some chopped spinach and kale and then you would technically wanna put some seaweed in there. Wakame, w-a-k-a-m-e is really nice in soup such as source of seaweed for soup, it’s much better like nori or – or kelp or dulse it’s called wakame – w-a-k-a-m-e. You put some of that in there, you can put a soy sauce or if you didn’t wanna use a soy sauce, you could use coconut aminos which are very similar in terms of taste to soy sauce but don’t have the actual soy in them. You can add some miso paste and any herbs that you want like parsley or cilantro and then you add your water. And you can just basically you know, large stock pots, simmer all of that over medium to low heat and that’s kind of like a vegan-based bone broth, so you’re just wanting to make sure you add seaweed, you add some of these collagen supporting foods, you add a little bit of miso, some herbs and – so you can still get a lot of the benefits of bone broth and then technically,
if you’re the sack-that-down and maybe using amino acid later on in the day or in the morning, you’d be getting some of that you know, some of the same glycine and proline and glutamine that you’ll be getting from the gelatin. So you know, you can kinda skirt your way around for in bone broth but…
Brock: Well, you don’t need to cook that for like 12 or 24 hours or anything like you do with bone broth either, it’s just a soup you could whip up.
Ben: Yeah, traditional bone broth you’d simmer for you know, around 24 to 48 hours and something like this with vegetables, I mean 45 – 60 minutes and you’re good to go. So yeah.
Brock: That’s way better than what I was gonna stress which was did it just like throw rocks in a pot of water and cook those for like 48 hours.
Ben: Hmmm, yes, rocks. Yeah, good idea, Brock. I’m glad we have you on the show to balance things out.
Jasmine: Hi Ben! My name is Jasmine. I have two questions relating to periods or menstrual cycles. What do you recommend for pain? I get incredible cramps that leave me sometimes just in bed. I’m like so seriously can’t get up and go throughout my day and so I have to reach for over the counter pain medication and I really hate doing that. Do you have any suggestions for me? And the second, due to – related to menstrual cycles is that I actually get incredibly fatigued. Sometimes I’ll be at my standing desk which again, thank you for – to you for teaching me about standing desk but I’ll be in my standing desk and all of a sudden, I’ll literally just have to lay down on the floor where I’m at, ‘cause like fatigue has hit me and I’ll just knocked out for like half-an-hour in some random area and it becomes incredibly difficult to get up. So do you have any recommendations for fatigue and tiredness due to menstruation and also do you think this is kind of normal or what is your opinion on that? Thanks for the great podcast. Bye.
Brock: And I’ve known a lot of women who get the bad cramps but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody complain about actually like having to lay down on the floor.
Ben: Mmm, I have.
Brock: Have you?
Ben: I’ve talked to someone just like it paralyze by the menstrual cramps.
Brock: Ahh, that sucks.
Ben: Yeah, it does, it does. It’s so awesome being a dude.
Brock: I’m so happy sometimes.
Ben: I’m so happy I’m a guy. Yeah. Yeah, the whole lot, just like, yeah. We’ve already talked about like babies and vaginas and all about that jazz. They’re just… you know woman is so freaking complex. Geez. Alright, well, Jasmine first of all you know, I obviously empathize with you even though I’m also making fun of women at the same time. I’m not a complete *curse word* because I will give you some recommendations here for menstrual cramps so just when we dig into this and look at the physiology of what causes PMS and menstrual cramps. You know, it’s largely just hormones that we’re talking about and when you have your monthly fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone and what are called FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone and LH or luteinizing hormone. These hormones can interact with brain chemicals and neurotransmitters and create some pretty significant issues when you’re – when you’re going through menstrual cycle in particular. And there are some things you can do to control it. So for example, one of the things that can happen is when we look at dietary factors, and in particular dietary fats. There are some oils that can get incorporated into cells in your reproductive tissue and can cause problems such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome and also a lot of kind of like excess bleeding and excess cramping that you might experience during a menstrual cycle and the type of oils that would cause an issue like this would be: oils that are high in omega 6 fatty acids, you’re a lot of your polyunsaturated fats. These would be things that you would want to avoid during that time of the month in particular, now I’m a fan of being pretty careful with this in general but we’re talking about Earth Balance butter, for example – but vegetable oil, peanut oil, soy bean oil, canola oil, margarine, a lot of these snacks that tend to be coded a lot of times you know, even “healthy snacks” with canola oil, those bastards, they sneak into everything and you just want – it’s not like you need to be fat-free. You just need to choose fats like coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil and you know, you can do animal fats even you know, like ghee and tallow and lard but you’d just wanna be careful with omega 3 fatty acids. So eat your tub of lard, but avoid any type of oxidized oils or vegetable oils. Another thing that can contribute to this issue and cause an imbalance between estrogen and progestogen will just be phytoestrogens and particularly chemicals that mimic hormones,
and one of the things that drives me nuts is when women complain about menstrual cramps and about issues with – with PMS in their cycle and then you open up the bathroom covered or you look at what’s sitting on the shelf in the shower and it’s a bunch of parabens and phthalates and hormone-disrupting chemicals. You know, everything from plastic containers that you’re storing your food in, to household chemicals that you know, anything that has pesticides like you’re using non-organic produce. All of that can create some estrogen dominance that can contribute to this issue because one of the things that – that can really affect PMS would be progestogen deficiencies and by nature, estrogen dominance is going to contribute to progestogen deficiency, so that’s something else to be very careful with. Another thing that can potentially create a lot of inflammation that will exacerbate the symptoms of PMS would be common inflammatory foods like grains, processed sugar, commercial dairy, vegetable oils – I know that for our listeners in many cases I’m preaching to the choir, but at the same…
Brock: You know other people are voting those anyway.
Ben: Yeah, but you know I would consider you know, even – especially during that time of the month just go completely as hard it is, as hard as it can be, go completely grain-free and dairy-free. And you know, these are just simple things that you can do that will you know, make a pretty good change when it comes to abdominal cramping and heavy bleeding that can occur during menses. These are things that that definitely influence that. Now of course, there’s really not any population on the face of the planet that doesn’t use things like herbs, oils, plant extracts, medicinal compounds, etc. to control certain symptoms and we certainly have access to all of those too, that we can add in. I know a lot of what I just talked about was omission but you can also engage in commission and includes in things that will help you out. So I’ll put links to some of my favorite versions of some of the things I’m about to talk about in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/313. But one thing would be adaptogenic herbs you know, things like maca, ashwagandha, eleuthero. Maca in particular is actually a tuber, it’s in a radish family and you can get it in powdered form and it can boost hormone production and drive but it can also help control a lot of the symptoms of PMS. Many adaptogenic herb compounds can do the same thing, my wife takes something called Inner Peace – when she’s experiencing the symptoms of PMS, it’s great, I just give her about ten capsules of Inner Peace and then I run away fast. That’s my strategy: run into the forest and let her swallow the capsules and then come back two hours later and all is good with the world. But Inner Peace or Maca, they would be kind of redundant, I wouldn’t say take both but choose one or the other like a Maca Powder, this Inner Peace capsules –that’s one thing I would include. Another one would be magnesium and magnesium can definitely help with hormonal balance, it can also just help to relax you and it has another thing that traditionally has been shown to and has helped with digestive tract issues and also PMS symptoms and menstrual cramping. I’m a fan of a transdermal form for this, the Transdermal Magnesium lotion. Don’t get a spray, I found that the spray leaves a residue on the skin – I’m not a big fan of the magnesium oil sprays but the lotion, it’s very soothing, it’s very calming. You can rub it into the back of your neck, you can rub it into your temples, you can rub it into your legs, and the Transdermal Magnesium is certainly something to include as well. That’s something also that my wife uses, she’ll use that if she feels like a headache or a migraine coming on which will happen to her sometimes during that time of the month, then she’ll rub it into her neck and her temples. And she also will take about 2 to 3 capsules of that Inner Peace so. Another thing to consider is any type of fat-soluble vitamins that will support hormone function. A lot of people immediately think of vitamin D when they hear about fat-soluble vitamins, but remember you don’t want to take vitamin D in the absence of vitamin K, I used to make the mistake of recommending like these liquid vitamin D supplements you know, like – what was one that I would recommend, Carlson’s for example, like Carlson’s Liquid Vitamin D. The problem is it’s completely absent of vitamin K and you don’t want to create a vitamin D – vitamin K imbalance because you’re gonna get low absorption of vitamin D and potential for vitamin D toxicity. So combine vitamin D with vitamin K. EXOS makes a really good one that’s a blend of vitamin D, vitamin K, and MCT oil. So that’s what I’ll go with, that’s one that’s used to be the Thorne FX Vitamin D, but all the Thorne FX stuff is now called EXOS, e-x-o-s.
So that’s another one to get and that’s just like a liquid vitamin D. I know that sounds like a lot of stuff, but this is just – these are things you don’t take every day, these are things – that you break out of that time of the month when you know that you’re gonna need you know, some adaptogenic herbs, some magnesium, a little bit extra vitamin D and mix with vitamin K. That’s another thing I’d go with. We already talked about gelatin and how gelatin can support digestive health and help to sooth inflammation, but it can also support hormone production, and as long as you’re not vegan which I already touched on, you can use gelatin. If you are vegan, you could always turn to amino acids but I’m a bigger fan of using gelatin and this is something that you can mix into glass of water and drink, you can also just put it into for example, put it in smoothies – it’s great in smoothies. You can just stir it into a smoothie, you can blend it but the blending could potentially harm the – harm the gelatin. So I’m a bigger fan of just stirring it in. And then one that I’d recommend there is this compound – I think we’ve talked about this on the show before and warned against men using this unless they wanna lower testosterone, but that’s Vitex also known as chaste tree. And that can help the length of what’s called the luteal phase and raise progesterone and like I mentioned, progesterone deficiencies or estrogen dominance can be an issue when it comes to PMS and Vitex or chaste tree berry can help out with this, so that’ll be another one to look into would be this Vitex. So those would be, those would be some of the basic recommendations you know, of course you know, sleep and distressing and containing to move as much as you can and as far as exercise is concern, you know and especially relaxing exercises like walking and swimming, a lot like running and you know, cross fit and high intensity cardio but movement is definitely going to help you as well. So those are some of the things that I would do when it comes to natural remedies for PMS, I know those are – those are certainly why I’ll tell you once that my wife does, she does vitamin D, she does magnesium, she does the Inner Peace – I mentioned the omega 6 fatty acids and how to be careful with those. You could also probably benefit from just balancing things out when it comes to omega 6 fatty acids by using a fish oil like an omega 3 fatty acids source that may help you out a little bit as well, and that could be something to include, it typically goes well with something like a vitamin D and a vitamin K as far as taking it all at the same time to help out with absorption and it also – a fish oil is gonna provide some of the same building blocks for hormone production that those fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin K are gonna provide so.
Brock: Couldn’t you just take, what’s it called, the cod liver oil… instead?
Ben: Cod liver oil, as well, yeah. Cod liver oil is fish.
Brock: Because it has the D, the K, the fish or the trees.
Ben: Cod liver oil has a higher amounts of fat-soluble vitamins, yeah? And cod liver oil has the A, D and K in it so yeah, you could do that as well – its freaking expensive stuff but…
Brock: And it’s kinda gross, but…
Ben: I think it’s actually… if you’re looking at things from expense standpoint, it’s cheaper to use like a liquid vitamin D, like that vitamin D/vitamin K blend that I talked about and then take a fish oil at the same time, I think you’re still gonna come out ahead of things from a financial standpoint which is using cod liver oil. But you know, it’s kinda up to you.
Brock: I’ve got to look at my credit bills.
Ben: I know all of our listeners are loaded so they don’t care anyways.
Brock: So you mean, they’re drunk?
Ben: Isn’t – doesn’t load mean ‘wealthy’? Maybe it means ‘drunk’ too. Maybe they’re ‘drunk’ and ‘wealthy’.
Brock: Yeah. That’s the best way to be, really.
Ben: Drunk, wealthy and menstrually cramping.
Maria: Hi, this is Maria from Minnesota. Thanks for the great show, I listen to you guys a lot as I drive for work. I am considering getting a Tesla car and I am concerned about the EMFs, so I just wonder what are your thoughts are on this? I do have two young kids that will be sometimes riding with me in the backseat. So I have some concerns if it’s worth never came for gas again in exchange for maybe some exposure to EMFs. Thanks again for the great show, and looking forward to hearing your answer.
Brock: Ben, the questions are – our audience is not taking it easy on you today.
Ben: Uhmmm-mm. These are tough questions.
Brock: Geez, I’ve got left and the right and the –need of the balls and the…yeah.
Ben: Well you know, they actually – it was several years ago that Consumer Report’s website actually looked at this idea circulating that hybrid vehicles or electrical vehicles are gonna produce higher amounts of EMF than just regular old cars the rest of us non-hippies drive. And when they run a test, what they did was they actually did – they used a – what’s called the 3 axis magnetic field meter. Now this is you know, something like a gauss meter which you can purchase on Amazon but it gives you readings and milligauss units which is the commonly accepted measure for magnetic fields and is also abbreviated MG. And they measured the EMF levels on thirteen different vehicles all under the same conditions.
So they took measurements of the right foot of the driver, the knee, the waist, and the head, both went idling and when driving around assimilated stop and go city driving course, and then also accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour. And they tested everything from the Chevy Cobalt which is a conventional non-hybrid, non-electric cars, just a small Sedan and they tested some of these like hybrids, like they tested the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid and Toyota Prius and a couple different miles of the Prius. They tested the Nissan Ultima Hybrid and they also tested of course, a several non-hybrid vehicles. Now, they found some interesting things: first of all, they found out that for every vehicle that they tested, the EMF readings where highest in the foot and second highest in the waist and relatively low higher up, like near the head and in the brain which is actually where I personally most concerned about EMF. And so, it turns out that the majority of your body exposed to EMF when you’re driving around in any car, is not that high in the areas that are gonna be potentially more susceptible to the deleterious effects of EMF. It’s kinda like the difference between having a Fitbit on your wrist you know, and the Bluetooth signal emitted from that Fitbit might not be as deleterious as like a Bluetooth headset constantly sitting on your ear next to your brain, right?
Brock: Yeah, or even a cell phone pressed up to your temple.
Ben: Right, exactly. Now, some of the hybrid cars had readings pretty similar to conventional cars you know, for example the Mini Cooper showed the reading of 2 milligauss in the Toyota Prius Hybrid, also had a reading of 2 milligauss. And the thirteen vehicles tested – out of those thirteen vehicles as a matter of fact, the hybrids did not have the highest peak readings of EMF. The Chevy Cobalt actually had a 30 milligauss at the feet and 16 milligauss at the knee you know, whereas when you’re looking a lot of these hybrids they were down around like 2 to 3 milligauss.
Ben: So, the hybrids actually had a lower amount of EMF and in many of these cases. Now If you wanna look at that in context relative to other things that you’re around, other than cars, if you’re looking at a computer, usually that’s gonna range from 2 up to about 20 milligauss so, pretty similar to a car and in many cases higher than a car when you’re just working on your computer, a hairdryer is like 10 up to 70 milligauss. So a hairdryer, churns out EMF that’s way higher than most cars, power lines or like above 200 milligauss in many cases, so you’re like hanging around under a power line, you’ve got a bigger fish to fry than the car that you’re driving around and…
Brock: I can see five of them out of my office window here.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. So you know, ultimately it’s not as big of an issue as we might think when it comes to EMF readings in hybrids. Now when you look at your car, first of all, I would recommend if you wanna test this yourself and look at milligauss readings you know, the generally accepted safe exposure levels for people who just wanna avoid EMF in general, you should try and keep most the things that you’re hanging around spending a lot of time and blow 1 milligauss. One milligauss is a pretty good number to shoot for to kinda avoid, especially up around your head, or places where like your head and your heart and your brain are gonna be by. And so you can get a gauss meter and you can walk around, oh I use one of these devices called the Lapca device, that plugs in my cellphone and I actually interviewed them in the podcast. If you go to the bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for Lapca, or just go to show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/313. I’ll link to that interview. But there’s a variety of ways that you can test this, but when you looking at right around 1.0mg as a relatively safe number when you’re around like electrically operated equipment you know, like a car or you know, a hairdryer, you know, good luck with the hairdryers, those things churns out a lot. Tesla is an interesting company, because Tesla, if you’ve got the 50 to 100 grand to spend for a good electrical car, Tesla actually purposely shield against magnetic fields.
They have equipped their vehicles with special shielding devices inside the vehicles and most Teslas’ are gonna be at 1 milligauss or less when you’re driving around you know, compared to a lot of cars are gonna be like 3 to 10 like I mentioned, that Cobalt can get a size 30. But Tesla of all the hybrids would be actually the safest to get for, so it’s very interesting. They’ve actually considered that fact that Tesla, and they’ve lowered EMF when it comes to Tesla.
Ben: So, yeah. Ultimately you know, there are modifications you can make. I know some people are super-duper aware I can – they’re putting like shut-off switches in the engine compartments or somebody electrical components that can turn on and basically drive a car around with a lower amounts of magnetic fields, I have no clue how to do any of that stuff and that’s kind of a pretty significantly D-I-Y project and I would think you need to almost be a car mechanical or electrical engineer to pull that off. But ultimately, if you’re gonna buy a car and you want the lowest EMF car that you can get, not only you should get a hybrid, but you should get a Tesla. So, there y0u go! Go grab alone and slap down 50 to a 100 grand and get on the wait list for a Tesla.
Brock: You know what the coolest thing is about getting one of those gauss meter things?
Ben: Being able to look for ghosts?
Brock: Exactly. You can track paranormal activities.
Ben: As soon as I checked-in the hotels, first thing I do, is I analyze the ghost factor.
Paul: Hello Ben and Brock. Just to say I’m Paul Nikel from the UK and I just wanna say thanks for the entertaining help you guys give so often. And me and my wife would just have third baby girl and I love her to bits, actually she’s an absolute angel. There is a time too much estrogen in my family now. So I was just wondering that if me and my wife were to get on this road again which I would like to do. If we’ve come across anything in your research, the tip of balance to getting a little baby boy this time as I do fancy you know, bringing up a son as well and doing all those crazy-boy things that you can do, ‘cause playing with dolls just thank God not right at the moment. Again, thanks a lot for any help you can give. It’s much appreciated. Take care. – Paul
Brock: That’s a hard question. They’re not taking it easy on you.
Ben: Man, where have we go from Tesla and EMFs to have to choose the sex of your baby?
Brock: That’s, that’s the kind of show this is.
Ben: This is gonna be a pretty, pretty fun question actually because…
Brock: Is it?
Ben: Yeah! I think it’s interesting. I’ve actually thought about, in the past, like I’ve got twin boys, right? And my wife and I have talked before about potentially having a little girl you know, introducing a little pink dress clad girl into the Greenfield household to make me into a softer man, and to kinda round things out with all the – all the sausages that are running around the Greenfield house. And at the same time though when you’ve had multiples, your chance of having multiples again goes up by 30%, so we could try for a little girl and we can wind up with what? Three more little boys! So this is the topic that’s near and dear to my heart. So it’s interesting stuff. I looked into this before just because, don’t tell my wife, I hope she doesn’t listen to this and even know that I’m considering it because then, well, yeah well, you know.
Brock: Anyways, yeah.
Brock: Everybody, don’t tell Jessa.
Ben: Don’t tell Jessa. So you have about a 50/50 chance of conceiving a boy or a girl through just like plain old, old fashioned intercourse, and a lot of people have looked into finding ways to stack the odds in their favor you know, like I mentioned for myself, you may want like a whatever, a daughter to balance out their families or a son to balance out their families and so, this is really something that has been talked about quite a bit. And I would say that the most well-known and advertised strategy out there for choosing the sex of your child is the book “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby” which was written by this guy named Shettles and I believe he’s a doctor and…
Brock: So he just googled “how do you choose the sex of your baby” and then you just take the first hit, right?
Ben: No. “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby” is a book.
Brock: Yeah, that’s what I mean. That’s – might be there in first Google you’ve tried you’d do.
Ben: You probably would be. Yeah.
And what Shettles argues, he says that the male sperm, the Y sperm is smaller and it’s faster, but it’s more short-lived than the female sperm or the X sperm. And so if you wanted a boy, for example, you would have sex closest to the time when the mom’s egg is released or closest to ovulation and so that would mean that the speedy male sperm could get to the egg sooner than the slower, but more hardy female sperm. So, the other thing that happens is that Y chromosome – that boy chromosome might also get discharged as close as possible to the opening of the cervix and so, in order for that Y chromosome to get discharged as close as possible to the opening of the cervix, he argues that rear entry intercourse or what we like to call on the Ben Greenfield Fitness show, doggy style – would be the best way to go if you were wanting a boy.
Brock: I was thinking more of like reversed cowgirl with myself.
Ben: Or reversed cowgirl, there you go. So the other…
Brock: Just keeping it classy, keeping it classy.
Ben: The other consideration here would be of course, the opposite. If you wanted a girl and according to the Shettle’s method, you would be wanting to have sex in the missionary position, much more traditional and conservative position. And for those of you who don’t know what the missionary position is, that’s face to face, man on top so just that include that up. And that would be about 2 to 4 days before ovulation, so that by the time the egg come, you’ve only got the hardier, the more resilient X sperm, the female sperm hanging around and waiting in the mom’s reproductive tract. And you know, the thing is that when you look at the Shettle’s method, there’s no actual evidence and there’s no studies that show that it works. And there’s actually a pediatrician in Texas named Jay Martin Young who’s done a medical literature review on sex determination and found that the Shettle’s method fared worse than just plain old random sex with a 39% success rate in choosing the sex of a child which if you look at 50/50 chances of just a normal intercourse is 11% lower chance of having the child that you want you know, when you look at just regular old sex compared to the Shettle’s method.
Ben: So it’s kind of interesting, and the guy who runs that test has also written a book to just introduce even more bias into this. He wrote a book called “How to have a Boy” and also a book called “How to have a Girl” and in that book he has a strategy that completely opposes Shettle’s strategy. He says if you wanna have a female, if you wanna have a little girl you’d have intercourse as close as possible to the time of ovulation, and if you want to have a male, you’d have intercourse a number of days before. And he claims that the chances are about 67% of successfully choosing the sex of your child with this particular method. And I believe he’s just going on the data from the folks who he has helped choose the sex of their children and there is no third party verification of that claim. So I know that muddies the waters a little bit. Now you’re completely scratching your head because there’s two different doctors saying two different things. Never heard of that before, huh?
Ben: So, but then we’ve got these more advanced things like there’s one method or one technology called MicroSort. And MicroSort is an actual laboratory method that’s separates the male sperm from the female sperm once you submit your sperm to this MicroSort’s place and that’s like…
Brock: Is that a _______ [1:14:12.7] thing to as Bill Gates?
Ben: I don’t know.
Brock: I was kidding. It’s Microsoft.
Ben: Oh, Microsoft.
Brock: Don’t trust Windows to sort your sperm.
Ben: Bill Gates is in the in vitro fertilization biz.
Brock: You never know!
Ben: And you know, it’s licensed by the genetic and the IVF institute and it’s going through FDA clinical trials. It involves separating X and Y various sperm using laser light and dye and this machine called the flow cytometer and once they are divided, you just simply insert it back in the sex of the sperm that matches what you would want and it actually has a very high success rate: 91% success rate among couples wanting girls and about 75% for those wanting boys. And of course the only drawback to IVF is that it is ex-pens-ive you know, you’re looking at – the cost of a vehicle basically you know, not as much as a Tesla…
Yeah, to choose the sex of your child. So the sperm cells…
Brock: But it does involve lasers.
Ben: Yeah, yeah lasers. So I think it’s about 15 to 20,000 dollars to do something like that. So that’s really expensive and there were some other technologies out there like for example, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and that’s a process in which they collect eggs from the mom, they fertilize the Y sperm from the dad, they incubate the embryos for a few days, they grow a few cells and they analyze the cell, and they basically choose the embryo that is most like the sex that the parents would want and that’s like about – I think it’s right around 3,000 to 5,000 dollars but once you figured out everything, as far as the doctor’s office and everything else, you’d probably be close to the sperm sorting method and of course, the difference between the two is that for people who believe that life begins at conception, that could potentially be considered as an abortion to do a pre-implantation genetic diagnosis because you’re sensually tossing the embryos that you don’t want. So there are ethical implications with that particular technique. There’s another technique called the Erickson Technique and that’s used to separate the Y chromosomes, the fastest from the Y chromosome boy sperm from the slow-moving girl sperm and in that, they separate the sperm by pouring a sperm sample into a test tube that has glue layer of fluid and all of the sperms swim down towards the bottom of the test tube and of then course the one’s that get there faster are the boys, they isolate those and then reinsert them using artificial insemination. And that’s actually not that expensive, it’s almost under a thousand dollars, I believe at this point to do that particular technique even though it’s apparently not quite as accurate or doesn’t give you quite as high as the chance as that MicroSort’s sperm sorting method. And then finally, this Dr. Shettle’s actually has the sex selection kits and those are like ovulation predictor test sticks and herbal extracts and thermometers that will allow you to tract your time of ovulation. And if you agree with his theory that the – since the boys swim faster you would actually, if you wanted a boy, you would want to have sex as close as possible to the time of ovulation. And if a girl you know, 2 to 4 days prior to ovulation then, you could use that method but again, apparently, it may have a low rate of success. What I get a kick out of are all the other things that are out there on the internet, when it comes to proposed methods for affecting the sex of your child. So for example, here we go, you ready for this, Brock?
Brock: I’ve been waiting for this. This is a good stuff.
Ben: If you wanna have a girl, make sure you’re only eating acidic foods because the Y chromosome boy sperm is very delicate and cannot survive in acidic places mainly the vagina where the sperm goes into meet the eggs. Those delicate little boy sperm, they sure are fast but they are not very resilient. So if you want to have a boy, you would just eat a super crappy diet, full of acidic foods and if you wanna have a girl, you’d eat very, very alkalinic foods you know, you would avoid like your caffeines and your red meats and your dairy and you’d be you know, like a high amounts of vegetables and fruits and lemons and baking soda and all these alkalinic compounds. There are you know, you can get a test strips to measure your pH levels so you wanna give a really alkaline environment and if you want to give the Y chromosome boy sperm a better chance of living and fertilizing the egg so that’s a one method that’s out there. Here are some other proposed methods out there: if you want to conceive a – well these are things are already mentioned you know, girl would be missionary position and boy would be rear-end position or standing position. And by the way, when I say a rear-end position, do not take that the wrong way, I do mean that you do need to actually do things the normal way just from…
Brock: What could you possibly mean? (laughter)
Ben: Here’s another one, if you wanna have a baby boy, enjoy sex at night during a quarter moon.
Brock: Oh, of course!
Ben: But if you want to have a baby girl, enjoy sex in the afternoon during a full moon. My problem, if it’s the afternoon and I’m about to have sex, I’m usually not in the state of mind where I’ll remember whether or not there’s supposed to be a full moon. Here’s a good one: for baby boy, have sex on odd days and on even days have sex for a baby girl. So they all goes downhill from there like for a girl, you should a pink ribbon under your pillow and for a boy, a wooden spoon under…
Brock: A wooden spoon?!
Ben: Or no, no. What it is is for girl, put a pink ribbon under your pillow and a wooden spoon under your bed. And for a boy, the men should wear his socks during sex.
Brock: That’s a given. You can get cold feet while you’re doing it.
Ben: So yeah, I mean ultimately the – what would make the most sense to me I guess if I were gonna do this would be the sperm sorting method. I mean if you really wanted to just like, you know – hey, you’re gonna be growing up with whatever choice you make for the next eighteen years or so, so you might as well you know, put aside a little money, skip Starbucks for five years and go with the sperm sorting method I’d say that it has about the most promise when it comes to doing things, the most technologically accurate way. And I think that – that’s probably what I would go for if I absolutely wanted close to a 100% chance of getting the gender that I wanted with the baby. So…
Brock: If I’m gonna spend that kind of money, I’d better involve lasers.
Ben: Yeah. Otherwise, you could just you know, go out, get drunk, have hot, crazy, wild sex and keep your fingers crossed that…
Brock: Roll the dice!
Ben: What happens, happens and if not, hey, que sera sera. So, there you go.
Brock: Yeah, well speaking of que sera sera, should we – na, it doesn’t transition at all, should we give away some gear?
Ben: That was a pretty crappy sejway – segue.
Brock: It was a terrible sejway.
Ben: Sorry, I’ll just talk about genders and sex and doggy styles, I got my tongue tied. Yeah! Let’s go ahead and jump into this week’s review and by the way, if you leave a review over at iTunes and you give us some good stars and you hear your review right on the show, all gotta do is email [email protected] and when you email [email protected], we will mail you a cool beanie, a tech t-shirt and a BPA-free water bottle, and if you wanna just support the show and you don’t give a crap about leaving a review, you can buy that same gear over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear, so there’s another way to do it.
Brock: Actually there’s one more way to do it is to go down by the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. under the bridge. I threw my beanie off during the marathon last weekend so…
Ben: Oh, nice!
Brock: If you go down there, you’ve probably find it, wash it, you got yourself a beanie!
Ben: Just the cost of the homeless man who’s wearing a Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie…
Brock: He’s probably got it by now, yeah.
Ben: You too can score. Ah, so what’s this week’s review?
Brock: Alright this comes from jimnewell73, and it’s called ‘Shower Curtain’. It goes like this: “So there I was, hanging a shower curtain, I felt slightly uncomfortable, so what should I do? What should I do? I thought. Without much debate, I switched side so that I would balance out each side. Don’t wanna throw out a muscle groups. Gotta keep things in sync. Thanks Ben and Brock. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I do appreciate the perspective.”
Ben: We get some – this weird listeners.
Brock: I’d like how it is very story-like and sort of had a sense of urgency. “So there I was, hanging a shower curtain.”
Ben: It did. It was a little bit mysterious and then it was suspenseful and then it had a resolution.
Brock: It did.
Ben: So he told a good story. Yeah, a totally good story even though it’s still – I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. So he basically wanted to hang his shower curtain using both sides of his muscles so he was able to achieve muscular balance?
Brock: I guess. I don’t know how long it was taking to hang his shower curtain though.
Ben: Yeah, it’s freaking weird. Yeah, I don’t know. I have a shower door so I’m not – I don’t even really know. But you what? I do actually have to squeegee the water off of the glass shower door after taking a shower, and I switch hands when I’m squeegeeing to use balance. So I kinda sort of do that actually. Dude, I’m turning into one of these people…
Brock: So there Ben was, squeegeeing his shower, feeling uncomfortable.
Ben: Switching hands.
Brock: What should he do?
Ben: Muscle balance. Alright, we better end this thing before we go completely off a ______ [1:24.05.7] because we obviously haven’t done that yet, talking about high EMF and Tesla cars and the proper sex position to have the correct gender of your child and of course, Vegan Bulletproof Coffee and vegan bone broth. We’ll put the links to everything we talked about on the show notes in case you wanna pursue even more goodness and those are at bengreenfieldfitness.com/313. Hey, thanks for listening in folks and what do we have coming up this weekend? If you wanna look forward to this weekend, well let me tell you as soon as I get the – our little editorial calendar pulled up in front of me. This is gonna be a good one, this is called the ‘Behind the Scenes of How a Supplement Is Made” an insider interview to talk about suspense, stacked on top of suspense.
Brock: Hmm-mmm. So there I was, touring a supplement-making factory. What should I do? I thought.
Ben: Alright. Later, folks!
Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.
Mar 25, 2015 Podcast: Can Your Heart Rate Variability Be Too High, Vegan Bone Broth and Vegan Bulletproof Coffee, Natural Remedies For Menstrual Cramps, Do Tesla Cars Have High EMF and, How To Choose The Sex Of Your Baby.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.
- This is kinda interesting: lunch at different obesity conferences.
- 5 science-based reasons to choose natural childbirth.
- Dirty, dirty mouth? You may actually have a higher pain threshold…
April 13-16, 2015: Ben is speaking at New Media Expo, where the world’s top bloggers, podcasters and content creators teach you how to make money by creating content online, and how to enhance your blog, your podcast, your videos and any other media you create online. Better yet, you can come and attend the conference, then join Ben at Spartan Vegas on April 17! Click here to register for New Media Expo and use code “bgreenfield20” to get 20% off the current pricing.
April 24-26th, 2015: Come hear Ben and Jessa speak at PaleoFX 2015. The can’t-miss conference that is the Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including best-selling authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientists, professional athletes, trainers, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, and more (including Jessa’s “Whipped Up Homemade Heavy Body and Face Lotion.” and Ben’s potentially offensive Pecha Kucha presentation).
May 1-3, 2015: Ben is speaking at Ari Meisel’s Less Doing Conference, the year’s top conference for learning about things like how to manage your email inbox, hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, learn how to use the latest and greatest phone apps and productivity software, free up as much time as possible, and much more! Click here to get more details and to book a free productivity call with Ari.
Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
Can Your Heart Rate Variability Be Too High?
Michael says: Is it possible to have too much HRV? He checks his HRV every morning and regularly scores over the maximum value of 100. He even scored 107 once. He is nowhere near a professional athlete but he trains a lot. Does he have some weird medical condition or is he just good at taking the test?
In my response, I recommend:
Vegan Bone Broth and Vegan Bulletproof Coffee
Ellie says: Is there a vegan version of bone broth? Not just veggie stock but something with the benefits of bone broth. Also is there a vegan version of Bulletproof Coffee? Can she add some Earth Balance and get the same benefits that you get? Probably not… but she thought she’d ask.
Natural Remedies For Menstrual Cramps
Jasmine says: She gets very bad menstrual cramps that leave in her in bed and she seriously can’t get up and go through her day. She doesn’t want to take over the counter meds but what else can she take? She also gets incredible fatigue where she actually has to go and lay down on the floor by her standing desk (thanks to you for the standing desk idea) because fatigue has just hit her. Is that normal? What could be wrong that she gets so fatigued during her period? Do you have any suggestions of what to do about fatigue and tiredness due to menstruation?
Do Tesla Cars Have High EMF?
Maria says: She drives for work and is considering purchasing a Tesla car but is concerned about the EMFs. She also has two small children and doesn’t want to expose them if it might be dangerous. Do you think the pros outweigh the cons in terms of never having to buy gas again? Or is the risk of harm too much?
In my response, I recommend:
–A gauss meter
How To Choose The Sex Of Your Baby
Paul says: He and his wife have just had a baby girl and while she is an angel and he loves her very much there is a lot of estrogen in the house now. If he and his wife were going to have another baby, have you seen any research or do you know of any way to tip the balance toward having a baby boy next time? He would like to do all those crazy things you can do with a boy… ’cause playing with dolls just isn’t cutting it.