The Great Bread Debate, Detoxing With Food, Dangers Of MDMA (& What To Do About It), High Protein Myths & Much More With Max Lugavere.

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genius life
Body, Brain, Diet & Nutrition, Digestion, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Mind-Spirit, Nutrition, Podcast, Podcast-new

The author of the New York Times bestselling book Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life and previous podcast guest on the episodes “The Surprising Facts About What Bread Does To Your Brain (And What You Can Do About It)” and “Why A High-Fat, Ketogenic Diet Chock Full Of Saturated Fat, Coconut Oil & Butter Could Be Destroying Your Brain (& What To Do About It)” is back!

His name is Max Lugavere, and his new book The Genius Life: Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary features a lifestyle program for resetting your brain and body to its “factory settings,” to help fight fatigue, anxiety, and depression and to optimize cognitive health for a longer and healthier life.

In The Genius Life, Max takes his Genius Foods plan, which focused on nutrition and how it affects brain health, and expands it to encompass a full lifestyle protocol. We know now that the health of our brains—including our cognitive function and emotional wellness—depends on the health of our gut, endocrine, cardiac, and nervous systems as there is a constant feedback loop between all systems. Drawing on globe-spanning research into circadian biology, psychology, dementia prevention, cognitive optimization, and exercise physiology, The Genius Life shows how to integrate healthy choices in all aspects of our daily routines: eating, exercising, sleeping, detoxing, and more to create a healthy foundation for optimal cognitive health and performance. Among Max’s groundbreaking findings, you will discover:

  • A trick that gives you the equivalent of a “marathon” workout, in 10 minutes…
  • How to get the benefits of an extra 1-2 servings of veggies daily without eating them…
  • The hidden chemicals in your home that could be making you fat and sick…
  • How to boost melatonin levels by up to 58% for deeper sleep without supplements…

Max is a filmmaker, health and science journalist, and author. He is also the host of the #1 iTunes health podcast The Genius Life. He appears regularly on the Dr. Oz Show, the Rachael Ray Show, and The Doctors. He has contributed to Medscape, Vice, Fast Company, CNN, and the Daily Beast, has been featured on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and in The New York Times and People Magazine. He is an internationally sought-after speaker and has given talks at South by Southwest, TEDx, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Biohacker Summit in Stockholm, Sweden, and many others.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Just how bad bread is…8:08

  • It's one of humanity's oldest and most revered processed foods
  • Max's views have softened slightly over the years
  • Grains can serve a functional purpose
    • Glycogen storage
    • Help to power through resistance training
  • Not as toxic as made out to be, but not the most ideal option available
  • Changed views on brown rice
  • Preparation methods are important
  • Avoid GMO foods
  • No such thing as a one size fits all diet, nor an exercise regimen
  • Increased carbs in the diet may lead to increased strength (performance-enhancing tool)

-How Max's views on MDMA have evolved over the years…19:45

  • Being used to treat PTSD; given “breakthrough drug” status by the FDA
  • Being used to treat alcoholism, autism
  • Chronically dangerous to the brain; imbalance in neurotransmitters
  • Serotonin is modulated with MDMA
  • Acute doses are limited in potential harm; benefits outweigh the risks
  • Psilocybin can reduce activity in default mode network in the brain
  • Can damage mitochondria when consumed in large amounts
  • Dr. John Lieurance's glutathione/antioxidant suppositories (code: BEN)

-Max's overall goal in writing The Genius Life...29:00

  • The goal was to help people identify diseases such as dementia or cancer years or decades before they manifest physically
  • Genius Foods identified which foods affect the brain
  • We're essentially in “The Hunger Games” books
  • Sedentary, addicted to devices, rampant stress, circadian rhythms are out of sync
  • The default state of any organism is health; our society is anything but healthy
  • Max's mom developed dementia at a young age; was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
  • Conditions don't develop overnight
  • Prevention is not discussed by and large in mainstream medicine
  • Cachexia: extreme muscle wasting
  • Certain cancers are hormonally related
  • Book: Eat To Beat Disease by William Li

-Fish consumption and optimizing brain health…46:00

  • Fear of consuming mercury with fish is overblown; the benefits outweigh the risks
  • Selenium: mercury ratio in fish is key
  • People who eat more fish have better health; protection against Alzheimer's
  • Women who eat more fish have smarter kids
  • Oily fish (wild salmon, mackerel, sardines) are preferable
  • Lifestyle considerations:

-Healthy detoxification…51:26

-Why Max advocates increasing protein intake…55:45

-Max's big wins regarding biohacking, food prep, etc…1:05:08

  • Drink clean water
  • Time spent in nature
    • 30 minutes of sunlight in the morning
    • Suprachiasmatic nucleus controls circadian rhythms
    • 20 minutes in nature can reduce cortisol levels
  • Staying active
    • 2 minutes of activity for every 30 minutes sedentary can reset the blood flow to the brain
    • Fascia is a piezoelectric tissue
    • Foam roller, deep tissue work can be mildly addicting

-Max's favorite workout regimens…1:13:45

  • Resistance and strength training
  • Cut back on carbs, lost efficacy in strength training
  • Not a fan of steady-state cardio; lots of NEAT throughout the day
  • Staying active boosts lymph fluids
  • Keep protein intake up: 1.6 g/kg of lean mass
  • High-intensity repeat training
  • Joe Rogan podcast with Pavel Tsatsouline
  • You can have a great body without obsessing over fitness
  • Be more present with your food; distractions while eating can increase calorie consumption

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Ben Greenfield Fitness podcasts with Max Lugavere:

– Book: The Genius Life: Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary

– Book: Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life

Gluten intolerance and glyphosate link

– Dr. John Lieurance's glutathione/antioxidant suppositories (use code: BEN at checkout for a 5% discount)

Role of the Microbiome as the First Metal Detoxification Mechanism

– Book: Eat To Beat Disease by William Li

Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast with Dr. William Li

Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast with Wild Health MD

– Book: The Switch by James Clement

Total Dissolved Solids meter

Quinton hypertonic minerals (use code GREENFIELD10)

Episode sponsors:

Kion Creatine: You can grab your own Kion Creatine now at and save 10% off your first order with discount code: BEN10

JOOVV: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it's the only light therapy device I'd ever recommend. Give it a try: you won't be disappointed. Order using my link and receive my brand new book, Boundless absolutely free!

-Beekeeper's Naturals: A wellness company specializing in innovative nutraceuticals made from healing hive compounds and plant-based ingredients. Get 15% off your order when you use discount code: BEN

Organifi Glow: A plant-based beverage that helps support the body’s natural ability to produce collagen, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and protect the skin from sun exposure and toxins. Receive a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code: BENG20

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Max or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

4 thoughts on “The Great Bread Debate, Detoxing With Food, Dangers Of MDMA (& What To Do About It), High Protein Myths & Much More With Max Lugavere.

  1. Great interview Ben. Thanks for the shoutout for The Switch, I appreciate your kind words! James Clement

  2. Rich says:

    ah, I noticed not many replies – just want to say, I was listening in car driving from England to Wales – I really enjoyed.
    Have a ceremony this weekend so was very interested in hearing about taking 5HTP etc + other things you mentioned.. I’m actually here now looking for transcript .. thanks guys – good value in this one

  3. Marcus says:

    Hey Ben, love the podcast as usual. We are trying to make an order from Bee Keepers’s Naturals and the discount code “BEN” does not work. Thought we’d make you aware. Thanks again for al the information you share!

    1. Thanks! Can you try again and let me know if you're still having trouble? It's working on my end.

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