How To Lose 131 Pounds By Eating Meat: The Rick Rubin Podcast

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Body, Diet & Nutrition, Nutrition, Podcast, Recovery & Sleep

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

What do the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Johnny Cash, The Black Crowes, Slayer, Jay Z, James Blake, Dixie Chicks, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Metallica, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Weezer, Linkin Park, The Cult, Neil Diamond, The Avett Brothers, Adele, Mick Jagger, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Sheryl Crow, ZZ Top, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Eminem, and just about every other world-famous band or musician you've ever heard of have in common?

They were all produced by today's podcast guest: Rick Rubin, the American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. 

In 2007, MTV called Rick “the most important producer of the last 20 years”, and the same year he appeared on Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World list.

Rapper Dr. Dre has stated that Rubin is, “hands down, the dopest producer ever that anyone would ever want to be, ever.”

But Rick has a personal passion outside of music that many people don't know about…

…health, nutrition, fitness and biohacking.

And in this episode, in which Rick and I sit on his back porch, watching a relaxing sunset after a hard morning of Laird Hamilton's pool workout, we have an intense discussion about veganism vs. Paleo, Rick's weight loss journey, and much more. During our discussion, you'll discover:

-The little-known Ayurvedic pulse taking technique Rick used to find out he need to “drink more bone broth”…[16:10]

-Why Rick thinks an ice bath is very much like eating meat…[26:25]

-How Rick lost 131 pounds by eating animal protein…[29:45]

-Why Rick took an entire week to eat one steak…[28:56]

-What legendary Ironman coach and physician Dr. Phil Maffetone told Rick to do for diet and exercise, and how Rick modified it…[37:35 & 41:05]

What a typical day is like for Rick…[54:25]

-How Rick uses “transcendental meditation”, and his insight into neurofeedback for the brain…[57:20]

-Rick's unique dietary and supplementation routine he uses each day…[60:35]

-The one herb Rick uses each day to decrease hunger and sugar cravings…[68:00]

-Rick's standing workstation setup…[68:55]

-Why Rick uses a projector instead of a television or computer to watch movies at night…[73:45 ]

-The audio track that Rick falls asleep to each night…[76:30]

-What is it that drives Rick to live the life he lives…[79:30]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode: 

My article on “hacking” an infrared sauna

The Ayurvedic pulse taking technique Rick refers to

-Don Wildman's “Hardest Workout In The World” article from Esquire magazine

-Phil Maffetone's “Big Book of Health and Fitness: A Practical Guide to Diet, Exercise, Healthy Aging, Illness Prevention, and Sexual Well-Being

My podcast on Transcendental Meditation

My neurofeedback EEG training experience

-The full recipe for Rick's Stim-Stem Shake

NatureAminos amino acids

-The herb Rick uses to decrease hunger and sugar cravings

-The Kybounder Mat Rick uses under his standing workstation

Sleeping Monk tea

Natural Calm Magnesium powder

-The alternative to Natural Calm Magnesium powder that Ben uses

Below is the Natural Calm Magnesium reply that Ben mentioned regarding heavy metals:

In regards to the Arsenic levels that Labdoor has decided to use, it is from a proposed limit over 10 years that was NEVER approved or accepted. The current established level for Arsenic is 10mcg/day. Why Labdoor decided to use a never approved or accepted proposal in unclear. In regards to the Natural Calm supplement, here is Natural Vitality's official statement on it:

“The simple truth is that Natural Calm both meets its potency label claim and is well within the No Significant Risk Levels for arsenic and in fact is less than 10 percent of California’s Prop 65 stringent safe threshold levels. This has been consistently scientifically validated by third party test results from top American testing labs as part of standard Good Manufacturing Practices.

While testing results commissioned by Labdoor, when correctly interpreted, align perfectly with our results, their report contains a number of distortions which provide both a highly inaccurate picture and a disservice to consumers. We believe Labdoor is attempting to use our well-deserved, award-winning reputation to inflate their importance. Apparently their business model involves casting themselves as a “trusted source” by creating sensationalized stories to drive traffic to their website with the objective of creating profit from advertising sales and, interestingly, sales of supplements.

Factual Flaws

Labdoor’s Natural Calm test size was over two and a half times our recommended serving size but they did not factor that into their analysis. When correctly interpreted our results read:
Magnesium was 346 mg, about a 1% variance from our label claim of 350 mg.
Arsenic was .7992 of a microgram. Less than 8% of the California Prop 65 No Significant Risk safe threshold.

Labdoor was approached regarding their misinterpretation of the results and asked to retract their press release, send out a corrected press release and update their website.

However, Labdoor refused to admit wrong doing of any kind and continues to assert the virtue of their inaccurate position.

At this point, both through the correct interpretation of the assay provided to us from Labdoor and our retest of the lot in question, Natural Calm has been clearly shown to be accurate both in terms of label claim and in following California’s Prop 65. The laboratory used by both Labdoor and Natural Vitality was the highly regarded Covance laboratories. Covance’s interpretation of test results (both Labdoors and ours) validates our position in terms of label claim and purity.

Additional information is available at Natural Vitality customer service if desired ([email protected]).

Having cleared the record with scientific facts, we now consider this matter closed.”

I would be happy to provide you with the Certificate of Analysis that we had performed on an actual servings size instead of the 10.66g that Labdoor used, which is 2.5x our suggested serving size.

-The ZMA supplement you can use before bed at night for minerals 

-The Jack Kornfield spiritual teaching download at

Ben's article on BPC-157 peptides for muscle gain and fat loss 

Ben's article on TB-500 peptides for muscle gain and fat loss 

Ben's article on SARMs for muscle gain and fat loss 

Kion Colostrum 

Kion Aminos 

Kion Fish Oil 

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

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

66 thoughts on “How To Lose 131 Pounds By Eating Meat: The Rick Rubin Podcast

  1. Shay Todd says:

    Hi Ben, really enjoyed the podcast. The link to the Sleeping Monk tea goes nowhere….. any chance I can get the exact name and maker of the one referred to?

    Thank you

  2. Jay River says:

    Hi Ben i see the complete list of ingredients for the Stim Stem Rick Rubin Shake , but i don’t see the quantity of each ingredient in each shake. Do you have this info?



  3. Edi Avdic says:


  4. john kirkman says:

    Very interesting podcast Ben!! Where might one find the exact recipe for the seven shakes a day Rick drank every two hours? I’ve search all over the internet and even bought Dr Hebers book to no avail. I’ve had low blood glucose all of my life -last a1c was 4.1 I hear 5.1-5.3 is optimal -keto makes me weak and sugar is even worse -throws me off the cliff.. I’m 58 6’1 235 and could use more muscle and less weight and a ton more energy -terrible sleep breathing -never a smoker besides pot as a youngster

  5. Hi Ben my wife and I will be in California next week visiting our 3 children who live there. My wife suffers from chronic pain which seems to stem from stress and anxiety. I would like to take her to the Spa you mentioned. Is it Voda? Please let me know I really appreciate it.

    Dr. Peter F. Taormino

    1. Oh, and she should try my NatureCBD…would help a ton with that…

    2. Al Barnum says:

      Hi Ben, I appreciate Rick’s desire to seek a healthy lifestyle, for him to become obese on a vegan diet, certainly validates his admission he had misinformation and he had a sedentary lifestyle. I suggest he / you visit Weimar Institue, in Calif. (NEW START) Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, Trust in Divine Power. I listened to his vegan diet which was basically substituting meat substitutes in place of meat, soy, gluten, etc. still no exercise or movement. Weight gain is inevitable. A National Geographic Longevity Study names SDA’s (Seventh-Day Adventist) live 8 to 10 years longer than the average American. I suggest Rick and yourself Ben, visit Loma Linda University School of Public Health, in Loma Linda Ca. less than 2 hrs. from L.A. a lot closer than Tibet, haha There are other places as well, Wildwood Institute in Wildwood, Georgia, and Uchee Pines Institute, in Ala. I have been to these places and studied. I have been a vegetarian, vegan and now I include fish, eggs, rarely, but a plant based diet makes up my diet for over 40 years. I am 68 years old, 6′ 185lbs. I take no medicines. I eat fresh salads, local fruit, beans, tortillas,& vegetables raised locally. I retired to Mexico, live in the mountains in a small fishing village and eat fish caught in clean waters. I also have a MSPH (Masters of Science in Public health) International Health, emphasis in Agriculture, from Loma Linda University School of Public Health. I appreciate you passing this info. on to Rick. All the best to you and Rick’s journey to health. Namaste.

  6. Tyrone Rubin says:

    HI Ben, in the Rick Rubin podcast it covers his daily morning stack. You mentioned your stack and said it could be found on your website. One you mentioned you and a few people are using on the fitness performance side. The only think I could find on your site is a brain and not fitness stack. Is there a link to your fitness stack you use daily? Thanks Tyrone

    1. It's basically BPC 157 <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( colostrum <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( fish oil <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( nature amino's <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( ATP + HMB ( creatine <a href="http:// (” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(” target=”_blank”>( and you will find links to all the products I recommend on this page above.We also cover it here:…

  7. Travis says:

    Ben, Great episode! You briefly mention a supplement to reduce cortisol levels made by Thorne? Phospa……something. Do you have a link for that?

    Cheers Mate

  8. MD says:

    I’m also wondering what that cortisol reducing supplement is! Thanks!

  9. Roger says:

    Been you didn’t mention the colostrum in the pod cast when referring to a great muscle stack. Is it required along with everything else you have suggested?


  10. Cass says:

    I’ll make this quick – I couldn’t believe that he actually said that a plant based vegan diet isn’t healthy! I hate when things like this are published endorsing the idea that someone needs meat to be healthy and that it is difficult to thrive on a vegan diet…

    Honestly, I have never had gluten gravy in my life! And if this is what he considered a staple to his “plant based diet” then I can see why he was 300 lbs. There are obviously ways to be vegan and yet still be unhealthy. When a plant based, WHOLE FOODS diet is consumed, amazing health can be achieved and there are many people (elite athletes included) that are living testaments of this.

    I hope this doesn’t turn anyone away from veganism – if it has, leave me a reply/question and I will happily point you towards some credible resources and help show you otherwise.

    Except for this particular podcast… Keep up the good work Ben!

  11. Brett says:

    What was the cortisol reducing supplement you referred to?

  12. linda says:

    Love your podcasts. Rick Rubin referred to a process of listening to music through headphones that would help retrain the brain and improve hearing. Would appreciate more details about this. Thanks Ben.

  13. David says:

    Ted, I think you dropped something.

    Yes, Ben’s show izzzz the best out there…#1. But I have to cringe a little because I know the work of Dr. Esselstyn, a highly distinguished plant-based cardiologist who is especially known for his work in heart disease reversal and prevention (which has been scientifically proven over and over again, at the Cleveland Clinic of all places, one of the top hospitals in the country, if not the world). Not to mention the hard work of other distinguished plant-based M.Ds in Human Medicine and Ph.Ds in nutrition, biochemistry, and microbiology…professionals that have conducted peer-reviewed, peer-published journals (not puny meta-analysises, but peer-reviewed, peer-published journals, with some studies taking 20 years to complete!!!) linking better health to plant based eating. So you have to understand that…well, when some stocky guy claims on a 60-minute podcast that plant-based eating is unhealthy and is not good for athletes there’s going to be some eye-rolling and kvetching. And then for Ben to agree that plant-based eating is a little hopeless for health was frustrating. And, seriously, gluten gravy, soy, sugar-gorged desserts…that’s not whole-food-plant-based eating, that’s kind of wreckless. No wonder he had a battle with weight issues.

    Eat what you want as long it’s in moderation and nutritious. And maybe vegan means something different than whole-food plant based eating, but to say the latter doesn’t lead to health is totally false.

    Bim. Bam. Boom.

  14. Antwain says:

    Hi Ben, Ive been using the natures aminos pre workout and collagen for joint health. You discuss colostrum for muscle growth and recovery and the label stated tissue repair. I crossfit and I’m always looking for the best way to recovery and stave off injury. Would it be a good idea to also take the colostrum for recovery, maintaining muscle and joint and tissue health? Thanks in advance

  15. ted bennet says:

    comedy sheer comedy….

    I too, like all the “ad’s”… I reckon better than the beer ad’s on tv. But I digress.

    I knew as Rick talked about forsaking being a vegan, people would whine about it.

    Folks, no place in science or anthropology have researchers found a single indigenous population that subsisted on vegetable diet solely. This idea is strictly a “re imagining” of the evolutionary record for 21th century PC science haters. The science simply does not match the dogma. See the Tanzanian tribe called the Hadza whom eat everything they get their hands on, like any tribe. Thuuuuddd…that’s the mike dropping.

    Ben, on a serious note, if there is a better show about health would you mention it here?

    I’m kidding, yours is the best, so thank you for doing it

    …. more mike dropping.

    1. Cass says:

      There is a difference between what an indigenous population ate and what they probably should have ate for optimal health. Back then it didn’t matter how old we lived… As long as we lived long enough to reproduce! Being able to eat anything we can get our hands on is what has made human beings so adaptable and able to live in such a wide range of environments and circumstances. It has been shown many times that a whole foods plant based diet can prevent and even treat many of modern society’s chronic diseases (heart disease, type II diabetes, certain cancers, etc.).

      But ultimately, humans are designed to eat plants! Some evidence:

      – Carnivores can make Vitamin C, yet we need to consume it from plants;

      – Humans have a longer digestive tract designed because we need longer to digest plant matter (need more surface area and microbes) compared to carnivores. (Meat doesn’t sit in a cat’s colon long enough to create carcinogenic compounds).

      – Humans have large molars to shred fibrous plant tissues

      … Something to think about.

  16. Ryan says:

    Would love to get the amounts of each ingredient in the Stim-Stem shake.


  17. David says:

    Difficult to achieve health with a plant based diet? Are you kidding? You guys are funny. I guess some people will say anything.

  18. Ben,

    As a trained acupuncturist, I have listened to many pulses. There are 3 pulses in each wrist, Right is Lung/Large Intestine, Spleen/Stomach and Kidney Yang/Urinary Bladder, Left wrist is Heart/Small Intestine, Liver/Gallbladder and Kidney Yin/Urinary Bladder. We listen to the texture of the pulse. What does it feel like under our fingers, e.g. like bamboo hitting our fingers, a stream, a tight thread, a rope, etc. We listen at 3 levels and it should have a nice rolling, sinus rhythm like feel. We should feel a pulse at all 3 levels. It tells us how the organs are functioning and then in turn tells us what symptoms the person may be experiencing as a result. In conjunction with a tongue diagnosis, you can tell if a person is sleeping well, has poor liver function, has back or neck pain and even if they have stones of some sort. It is a very powerful technique that I use every day in my office. If you or anyone else would like more information, let me know. I’d be happy to share.

    One question for you. The stacks you mentioned for building muscle, can women use them without any negative consequences?

    1. Women can use the stacks, yes!

  19. Ryan says:

    Ben, I’ve read the article on SARMS but are you doing a Podcast on the subject also??

  20. Candice says:

    Really enjoyed this podcast Ben! The music therapy that Rick is referring is called AIT auditory integrative therapy. Its basically weight lifting for you ears and helps balance your right and left hearing so your brain processes sounds correctly. I just went though the therapy with my son who was having ADHD tendencies. I completed the therapy as well and have seen a huge improvement in reading comprehension and less sensitivity to sound that would normally bother me. Its been a game changer for my son, we have observed a greater ability to concentrate and overall improvement in behavior in school. Hope this helps anyone having comprehension, concentration or kids with some behavior issues.

  21. Avery says:

    Great podcast. Rick Rubin was super knowledgable. I learned a lot.

  22. Charles B says:

    Ben, no fault of yours, but first and foremost, Rick Rubin worked with RunDMC, LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys (amongst other pioneers from the early 80’s) and started Def Jam Records (along with Russell Simmons). Yes, before your time, but without those pioneers there would be no Jay Z, Eminem or Kayne West.

    Nevertheless, good podcast with one of the pioneers.

  23. Joni Österlund says:

    The ending notions were sincerely raw , pure and beautiful !

    Thank you for this top notch piece!!

  24. Maurice John says:


    Have you done a podcast with Phil Maffetone. If so, what’s the link?



  25. Lucian Victa says:

    dont like all the commercialism

    1. Ann says:

      I disagree with Lucian – I want to know about the products.

  26. Ed says:

    Great pod, will you have on Jack kruse coming back anymore?

    1. Yep, he is coming back soon for an "MRI" podcast

  27. Jon says:

    Hi Ben, I’m a big fan of yours and also the podcast but respectfully I have to say this podcast left me a bit disappointed. I will be upfront and state that I am plant based (but not cult like about it!)

    I am happy to admit it is not for everyone and that some people do better than others however for Rick to say that athletes can’t do well on a plant based diet (only sedentary meditators..) is plain wrong!

    I would have liked to hear more about what he was eating while plant based (I try not to use the v word, too loaded) as the gluten gravy/corn heavy soy items he mentioned sound very processed and hardly a healthy addition to anyone’s diet.

    In my modest opinion and experience, people eating plant based who are overweight and unhealthy normally eat a lot of processed food!

    Personally I am doing well with a wholefoods plant based plan (ala Rich Roll) and I include IF.

    Anyway just my two cents worth.

    1. Kelly says:

      I was thinking the same thing, Jon.

  28. Ben W says:

    When following a link to a product being suggested, and it takes us to Amazon, it shows a list of different brands for the product. Is it safe to assume that the top result from the list is the one you’re recommending?

    1. Which one are you referring to?

    2. Ben W says:

      Specifically the alternative to Natural Calm Magnesium. I believe the Life Extension brand is at the top of the list the link takes you to.

  29. Angie says:

    Do you have the name of the hearing/brain training system Rick spoke of?

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