Episode #154 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure

Nutrition, Podcast, Transcripts

Listen on:

Podcast #154 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/07/episode-154-everything-you-need-to-know-about-how-a-plant-based-diet-affects-your-performance/

Ben:                In this episode, everything you need to know about how a plant based diet affects performance, kosher protein, food combining, amino acid comparisons, cramping on the bike, does pot help performance, pre-race nerves.

Hey folks, this is Ben Greenfield.  And I’m coming to you having just returned from Portland where I was racing a triathlon called the REV-3 triathlon.  And interestingly, some of you may remember that a few weeks ago, we had a gentleman on the show talking about a low carbohydrate diet.  And I actually experimented with a low carbohydrate diet in most of my build up for that race.  And then I switched to a carbohydrate loading protocol just a few days prior to the race.  And I ended up doing okay.  I raced about a four hour and fifteen minute Half Ironman.  And I was happy with that.  And I will continue to experiment with these dietary protocols.  But speaking of experimentation, in the interview that you’re going to get to listen to today with Dr. Bill Misner, we discuss a plant based diet.  And Dr. Misner, at the end of the interview, actually proposes to use me for an experimental protocol.  And you’ll just have to hear about what that is and whether or not I agree to do it.   So listen in to that interview.  It’s going to be really interesting and just a few other quick things in terms of special announcements.  I have started to log my personal diet for all of my clients.  They now have access to my photo log.  So, anybody who is part of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle or anyone who I do coaching or consulting for can now stalk my nutrition intake and any bite of food I put into my mouth.  I haven’t figured out yet whether I’d like that.  But it is available if you’re interested in getting access to that.  You can do it.  Again, as part of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle or as part of any of the coaching or consulting programs that are available with me, that you can view over at https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching.  Alright, well there’s not a whole lot else to go over.  So one quick special announcement and we’re going to jump right in to this week’s listener Q and A.

Listener Q and A:

Jeff:                Hi Ben, this is Jeff calling from Tampa, Florida.  I use a recovery product that has whey protein.  And it’s a great product.  And it’s Kosher dairy certified.  It’s not certified organic but it’s Kosher dairy certified.  And I’m just curious if you could speak to kind of the benefits of a Kosher dairy certification.  Or these cows that are free range cows.  Obviously it’s good or they wouldn’t be advertising it.  I’m just curious if you could just speak to that as a product differentiator as we’re looking at different things in the market.  Thanks a lot Ben.  Have a great day, man!  See you!

Ben:                Alright!  Well, I know my name is Benjamin Greenfield but I’m actually not Jewish and don’t really eat a Kosher diet.  My grandfather was Jewish.  My father was adopted.  And yes, I do somewhat have a Jewish name.  So I’m not the expert on Kosher.  But from what I understand, when it comes to Kosher dairy and that would include a Kosher whey protein product.   What that means is when you see that Kosher symbol, it means that the company that’s processing the milk and skimming the cheese to make that whey, is working under the supervision of a rabbi who is checking to see that no non-kosher additives or non-kosher processes were used in producing the protein.  So that could be anything from the actual additives that go into the protein as well as, for example, the enzymes that would be used to actually make the cheese because we get that whey from the coagulation of the cheese.  So, that’s basically all that means.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is any healthier.  But I think that it’s important in two ways.  First of all, it is of course important to those who are following a Kosher diet.  The other thing that’s important for the company that manufactures the protein is that anytime you see a seal like that in the protein, it does make it look that much healthier.  It’s like licorice and candy nowadays and it says gluten free on it even though they wouldn’t have said that in the past.  Just because they know it’s a buzz word now, because people want to be healthy.  It’s just one extra thing you can add to the package.  So probably two things going on there but that’s the deal with the Kosher based whey protein.  So the next question comes from listener Helen.

Helen says:  I just read an article that you wrote about food combining.  I’m an ultra trail runner.  I’m also a certified natural hygienist which means I know everything about food combining.  From my knowledge, I don’t have any information on how to apply it while doing endurance sports.  I have only found conventional reading on endurance nutrition where everything you eat is mixed together.  In competition, I never use gel, energy bar, or sport drink because I am vegan.  All I ingest is water and fresh fruits.  I still get very good results.  I never even have a cramp.  But after four hours into it, I can still feel a lack of energy.  Do you have any interesting source of information on this subject?

Ben:                Well first of all, there is an article floating around on the internet that I wrote about food combining.  That does not necessarily mean that I am a proponent of food combining.  The whole idea behind food combining is that different types of foods require different types of digestive enzymes to break down the food.  And what proponents of food combining would tell you is that carbohydrate foods require carbohydrate enzymes.  And protein food requires protein enzymes.  And basically, carbohydrate enzymes only properly function in a non-acidic environment.  While the protein enzymes properly function in acidic environment.  So, if you eat a protein food and you pair it with a carbohydrate food, it could impair digestion since the two compounds are trying to be digested in competing environments.  And frankly there’s really not a lot of proof that that actually happens.  People do get good results when they incorporate a food combining diet, in terms of seeing an increase in energy or a decrease in gastrointestinal disturbances or an improvement in the ability to lose weight.  And usually that’s because they’re just being more careful about what they eat.  It’s not because they’re necessarily directly benefiting from, for example, not mixing fruit with vegetables or not combining protein with starchy carbohydrate, etc.  So, that being said, I don’t necessarily recommend a food combining diet.  And as a matter of fact, when it comes to endurance sports in general, which is what Helen has asked specifically about, I think that you actually should combine food. And specifically, you should combine sugars.  And the reason for that is there have been studies on sports drinks or sports products that use a mix of sugars versus sports drinks or sports products that only uses one sugar.  So, for example, if we look at glucose, which is basically what you’re going to get when you breakdown carbohydrate or sugars that are longer chain sugars like maltose, sucrose or lactose, glucose is mostly assimilated by a transporters that are called sodium dependent transporters.  You look at something like fructose, which is another sugar, and that’s going to come from the breakdown of sucrose, which is a combination of glucose and fructose, that’s absorbed by glute-5 transporters.  So, it’s a completely different type of sugar transporter.  And you’ve got these different sugar transporters or carbohydrate transporters in your gastrointestinal tract.  And the idea behind this is if you ingest too much of the same kind of carbohydrate or the same type of sugar, like say just glucose or just fructose, you actually limit your ability to absorb as many carbohydrates as you might be able to absorb under ideal condition because you might actually overwhelm the actual sugar transporters that are responsible for transporting that specific sugar through the digestive tract and into the blood stream.  And so they’ve actually done studies on this.  And one of the first ones that brought this to light was a study that was done in Birmingham.  And that compared glucose and fructose eaten in a combined format versus glucose only consumption during exercise.  And a sports beverage that had about a 2:1 ratio of glucose to fructose actually allowed for a significantly greater amount of muscle usage of the carbohydrate compared to an equal calorie amount of just glucose.  So, then they went even farther and they tested a combination of glucose, sucrose and fructose.  And that was in a 2:1:1 ratio so, twice as much glucose as the sucrose and the fructose.  And that actually had an even higher rate of oxidation or rate of utilization.  And so whenever you’re looking at gel or a sports drink, there’s a pretty good chance that you are going to absorb it best if it is a mixed carbohydrate gel or a mixed carb sports drink because it allows multiple sugar transporters to work.  So, I guess you could take that to almost say that I am a proponent of food combining during exercise.  And definitely not a proponent of isolating specific foods especially when it comes to sugars.  Now the thing about many real whole food sources are that some of them that people eat during exercise like say peanut butter and jelly sandwich, that’s going to expose you a couple of different types of sugar something like fruit, primarily fructose.  You’re probably not going to get as much sugar absorption from that as you would from a glucose fructose sucrose blend or a lot of other popular sports supplements out there or a maltodextrin fructose blend.  So, that would be what I have to say about food combining.  I actually am not a proponent of food combining diet per se.  But I think that food combining in a sense of carbohydrate combining could certainly help you during exercise.  So, question from listener Cara.

Cara says:      What’s your take on the use of Humanofort to improve training recovery and performance?

Ben:                Humanofort kind of flies under the radar.  I actually don’t know if I’m saying it properly because it’s like this Romanian word.  But it is a supplement that has actually been coming out of Romania.  It’s extracted from embryonic chicken eggs.  And the idea is that it’s had a few studies that have showed that it reduces cardiovascular disease risk factors.  And it may assist a little bit with lowering inflammation.  Possibly lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol, and improving some of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, which is basically a cluster of diseases that can include things like obesity, and insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, bad cholesterol levels.  So, that’s what this supplement actually is.  And there have been a few studies that show that it might actually have pretty promising results when it comes to that.  It is basically just like a baby chicken extract that’s coming from an avian embryo.  And most of the studies are done in metabolic syndrome.  There was a supplement that contained humanofort that appeared as a body building supplement.  It may still appear as a body building supplement.  I know a few years ago when I was body building, they had it.  And it was marketed as both like a sexual performance and a testosterone enhancing supplement.  So, it’s been around for a little while.  I really am not convinced that it is going to get you incredible performance results.  And frankly, I have not seen any long term safety studies done on it.  So, it flies under the radar probably for a reason.  And I am not convinced that it is something that you could or should safely use yet just because I haven’t seen enough research on it.  So question from Igor.

Igor says:       After hearing about amino acid benefits from your podcast, I’m thinking to start supplementing with them.  You’ve been recommending the Master Amino Pattern product which I find a little bit expensive for me.  Do you have suggestions for what to look while shopping for cheaper amino acids?  Will it do more harm than good by using the cheap amino acids?

Ben:                Well, basically any amino acid is just going to be a blend of different amino acids in different quantities.  So like the master amino pattern stuff that I use and I recommend, it’s leucine, valine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine and methionine.  It also has tryptophan in there.  So, there are eight different essential amino acids.  And they’re fairly well purified.  They’ve done some studies on them.  They’ve shown that they do have really good utilization and specifically compared to a protein powder that has to undergo a bit more digestion.  Amino acids digest in a matter of minutes.  So, we’re talking about anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes for it to digest, for it to appear in your blood stream and for it to be available for muscle repair and recovery.  Or for increasing blood levels of amino acids so you’re rating of perceived exertion during exercise goes down and possibly your propensity to dip into lean muscle as a source of energy during exercise goes down.  Depending on the type of amino acid supplement that you get, it may not have all the essential amino acids in it.  They may not be blended in a ratio that allows for optimum absorption.  And with amino acids in most cases, you do kind of get what you pay for.  So, if you’re getting something that has very low utilization in terms of the amount of bio available amino acids that you consume then you may be just wasting money on a product.  So you may be looking at something like master amino pattern.  I think that’s 90-95% net protein utilization, whereas some less expensive amino acid formulations may not be quite that high.  So ultimately, you don’t need to take a ton of amino acids anyways.  They’ve shown that as little as about six grams of an essential amino acid supplement which is not very much is enough to give you an anabolic muscle repair and recovery response, assists with muscle protein synthesis.  And that’s really not that much compared to taking three or four scoops of whey protein.  Plus it’s lower in calories.  It doesn’t need to be digested, etc.  So, all that you’re really looking and doing if you get a cheap amino acid supplement is you may end up getting a formulation that is not ideal for recovery.  You may end up wasting money on it if you’re really getting a low protein utilization out of it.  So, a lot of cases with supplements, you do get what you pay for.  So, the master amino pattern is something that I personally use or I recommend.  Bioletics has a good amino acid supplement as well.  We have Bill Misner on the show today.  Hammer nutrition makes an endurance amino acid supplement that is specifically designed for endurance sports.  So, there are a few different options out there that I personally like.  I recommend master amino pattern.  I know it’s expensive but I definitely know the difference especially in terms of soreness when I do take it before I work out versus when I don’t.  Alright question from Craig.

Craig says:     I participated in a 70-mile charity ride yesterday.  And I had severe cramping in my inner quad.  And slight cramping in my upper quad area.  I couldn’t turn the pedals of anything but my lowest gear without bringing the cramps back in full force.  I took in a 28 ounce bottle of water plus 200 hundred calories of Hammer PERPETUEM per hour.  And 4-6 hammer Endurolytes each hour. 

Ben:                For those of you who don’t know what those are, those are basically salts and calories.  So he was taking in a good amount of food.

Craig says:     I was taking on so much fluid.  I had to relieve myself at every rest stop.

Ben:                Now, initially here when first reading through Craig’s first question based on the fact that he was staying very adequately hydrated and consuming a decent amount of electrolytes, I suspected it was probably a bike fit issue.  Usually cramping in the inner quad is due to a seat that’s too far forward or too low.  And sometimes it can also be due to really tight hips specifically very tight external rotators.  But Craig goes on and he says…

Craig says:     About three weeks ago I started a conditioning program at the YMCA three times a week that consist of machines and cardio including leg extensions, leg presses and leg curls.  I’m doing low weight high reps as my goal is to reduce fat.  What steps do I take to overcome the problem?

Ben:                Alright, well a few things here, Craig.  First of all, doing a low weight, high reps doesn’t reduce fat in the weight room.  As a matter of fact the hormonal response, the fat burning hormonal response to a low weight high rep protocol in the weight room is not going to be as advantageous as a high weight low rep program when it comes to fat loss.  So I would certainly reconsider your approach to your conditioning program if your goal is to reduce fat.  Next, in terms of muscle cramping, there’s actually a lot more evidence coming to light that shows that muscle cramping is more likely an issue of muscle fatigue and less likely an issue with hydration or lack of electrolytes.  And what happens is that all of your muscle contractions are based on electrical signals.  And when you’re getting toward a higher intensity or a higher volume of exercise or a higher amount of power and strength production required from the muscle, what can happen is that a muscle twitch can get to a point where it escalates into a full blown cramp where the whole muscle completely tightens.  And whether due to poor conditioning or you’re requiring your muscles to produce a contraction that they haven’t been required to produce during your training, you get this excessive excitability in the muscles.  They fatigue in the high intensities.  And they eventually just lock up on you.  And it’s likely that what you were experiencing during your bike ride was not necessarily you asking the muscles a force that exceeded what you are producing in the weight room.  But more likely that you were recruiting those muscles to the point where they came fatigued.  And essentially just went into a state of spasm or excessive excitability.  The only advice that I can give to you is that if you’re going to go out and do an event or race, and this is something that I’m very careful of during my higher priority, for example, triathlons, is you avoid any type of weight training that’s using the muscles that you are going to use during that race.  I even made that mistake once of doing an ab workout because I thought an ab workout would be safe in the week of the race.  And I got abdominal cramping in both of what are called my psoas muscles kind of on the front lower part of my abs.  Both of those cramped up half way through the 10k of an Olympic distance triathlon because I’d done an ab workout about 72 hours prior.  So understand that it can be about six to seven days for a muscle to fully recover from the weight training session.  And if you’re experiencing cramping during an event, think back to the last time that you lifted weights.  And that can be a pretty big clue in terms of how the muscle got fatigued to the point where it would actually cramp especially when you’re hydrating and consuming electrolytes properly.

Dan says:       What are your thoughts on marijuana use and aerobic training?  I don’t use marijuana all the time but enjoy it during long runs.  I find that it gets me on the groove or the mindset to maintain a steady pace.

Ben:                Well, marijuana is basically a mind altering drug.  It contains a cannabinoid extract and that affects the brain.  It’s highly fat soluble.  It rapidly enters the brain.  And usually it peaks within about 20 -30 minutes of actually inhaling marijuana smoke.  And what can happen in terms of performance is it reduces your hand-eye coordination.  And it decreases your reaction time.  It can reduce your coordination.  It can reduce your concentration.  It can reduce your fine motor skill.  Activities like golfing or tennis or something like that, it can definitely be deleterious for those sports.  It reduces your maximum exercise capacity.  So, it can reduce yourVO2 max.  And it has never been shown to have any type of performance enhancing potential although, it is actually banned by the WADA and the IOC or the International Olympic Committee.  The reasons that I’ve seen is that it may have potential to put an athlete into a state of relaxation that may eventually cause him to have ideal performance or reach an unfair performance level.  But there’s really not any data that shows that that could happen.  Even like the World Anti Doping Association, they say that in the case of marijuana, basically they come out and say that doesn’t align with the spirit of the sport.  And I think you’re walking a fine line there as a committee or as an Anti-Doping Association when you’re trying to legislate morality in sports.  And you’re not going to get any benefits from doping.  Especially when it comes to fast explosive performance efforts or fine motor skill efforts.  It may relax you when you’re out on a long run.  But in a marathon, about all that it would do is slow you down.  It does have this kind of euphoric effect.  So, it could reduce some of your pain tolerance for something like an ultra marathoning or a trail running type of race.  So, I can see how you could use it in a situation like that.  But what it really comes down to, I mean it is classified or referred to as ergolytic drug.  So, it impairs performance versus being an ergogenic or performance enhancing drug.  Obviously, we could get very political here with the discussion on pot and the immorality of its use.  What I personally meant is I’m just fine with its use in medicinal situations and in situations where pain control or relaxation is the goal.  But if I were a coach, I would not be very happy if I find out that an athlete I was working with was using marijuana in pre-competition or during competition because I think that ultimately the deleterious effect that it has on performance is going to outweigh any relaxation advantage that it might give you.  And then finally, I’d just leave you with the thought that anytime you’re inhaling smoke you need to be careful about the possibility of reduced lung function. It can reduce you’re VO2 max and possibly having some type of immune system response to any type of carcinogens or additives in the smoke.  So, just be careful from that perspective, too. 

Chris asks:    In a recent half iron man, I tried to eat my normal race morning breakfast of pancakes and really struggled to get anything down due to race stomach nerves.  This has been a little bit of an issue at all races this year and a bigger issue at the races that I want to do best at.  My question is twofold.  Do you have any advice with coping with pre race nerves?  And do you have any good ideas of pre race meals that are easy to handle if I’m having trouble getting food down on race morning?

Ben:                Well first of all, from a relaxation perspective of coping with pre race nerves, I actually did just finish an interview with a guy who has worked with the military.  He has done a lot of sports psychiatry and sports psychology stuff.  He’s got a lot of really fringe stuff that we were talking about on the phone.  And I’m going to be releasing that interview here sometime in the next two weeks.  So, I’m going to kind of stall here and put this on hold because I’ve talked about visualization strategies before on the show.  I’ve talked about progressive neuromuscular relaxation strategies.  You can go listen to previous pod asts or do a search at BenGreenfieldFitness.com for visualization or for relaxation.   And you’ll find links to me talking about those.  I recently had an athlete who had a little bit of trouble with almost like a panic attack with open water swimming in a race over the past weekend.  And I actually sent them an audio file of a seminar that I’ve listened to kind of get myself relaxed.  It’s called the I.M seminar.  It is the one that the navy seals use.  A guy who does life coaching kind of turned me on to it.  And that one works pretty well.  It’s called the I.M seminar.  It’s about a 30 minute audio that you listen to and you close your eyes.  And it takes you through visualizing different spectrums of the colors.  And you basically get into this deep state of relaxation then come back out of it.  And you’re fairly focused and concentrated than while you are down in that deep state of relaxation.  You actually have a word that you say or a color that you visualize.  And then when you’re getting stressed out, you say that same word or visualize that same color and it kind of brings you back to that state of relaxation.  I have talked about that stuff before.  But definitely stay tuned for a mental training special podcast episode that we’re going to have here in the next couple of weeks for even more on handling nerves, pre event, pre race, pre competition.  As far as pre race meals that are easy to handle, definitely foods that you don’t have to chew much.  That would require minimal work on the part of your masticating muscles are going to better off for you.  So for example, you could go with a carbohydrate that’s very soft.  A mashed sweet potato or a mashed yam, I’m a big fan of.  You can simply boil them and mash them with a fork.  Mix a little bit of honey or little bit of salt and have them that way.  That would be very good.  Another example of food that’s easy to eat and kind of a mashed liquid form, something I’ve talked about on the show before, would be the Living Fuel.  Specifically, I like to do the product called the Living Fuel SuperGreens pre race.  That’d be another thing that would be fine in giving you some dense calories that you are able to eat without chewing much that digests really well.  Interestingly, the difference between simple carbohydrate consumption and complex carbohydrate consumption is not that significant when it comes to your performance a couple of hours after consuming those two different types of calories.  So, I mean if you really had to, you could do something like drink a bunch of juice.  And that would still give you a ton of carbohydrate in terms of getting extra carbohydrate on board without you having to digest anything or you’ll have to digest it but it will ease the process of digestion.  The thing that you want to be careful with that is you will get extra water content.  And some people do kind of feel that hyperglycemic followed by that hypoglycemic or a low blood sugar crash.  So, if you’re using simple or carbohydrates like juices and sports drink, just experiment with those on your training  a couple of hours before to make sure that you don’t get a sugar crash from consuming them.  But I would definitely go with a mashed sweet potato, mashed yam.  Like a cream of rice or a cream of wheat cereal should be pretty good in terms of something that your stomach is able to handle as well.  And you could also go with like the smoothie option.  You know iced fruit.  You can even do things like blend oats or blend grains put them all in the smoothie and drink those down.  That’s another option as well.  So, hopefully that just kind of gets your creative juices flowing.  And for me, every single time I race, I just do a sweet potato or yam.  And sometimes I’ll mix it with a little bit of that Living Fuel SuperGreen stuff.  So, I hope that helps.  And before we go on to our interview with Dr. Misner I do have a called in comment from an athlete who is using the Triathlon Dominator product from TriathlonDominator.com.  And he recently did Ironman Coeur D’ Alene and he called and here’s what he said.

Derek:            Hey, Ben, it’s Derek.  I used your 36 week Triathlon Dominator to train for my first Ironman which was Ironman Coeur D’ Alene.  I do travel frequently for work, domestically and internationally.  And when I started I had some concerns about getting all my training and being able to finish a race in good shape.  It wasn’t long into this plan that I knew that it was going to work.  And it was going to work very well.  I have time to get all my work done and get all my training done at the same time.  The quality workouts were great.  Not only did it cover the swimming, biking and running, it covered the strength training, nutrition, and race week preparation and race execution which were just priceless.  I knew going in the race how to pace myself and where I should be at as far as heart rate and what not.  I had a good idea what my pace should be but I still managed to surprise myself on race day.  I finished my first Ironman in under 12 hours.  And truly, I can’t say enough good things about this training plan.  It simply works.  I’m looking forward to next year’s race already.  And I will definitely be using this training plan again.  And I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.  Thanks for putting it out there.  And we’ll be seeing you online.

Ben:                Alright!  Well, congratulations, Derek!  And if you folks want to check that out, if you’re a triathlete.  You want to get into triathlon beginner, intermediate or advanced, it doesn’t matter.  Check out TriathlonDominator.com.  Alright, well we are going to go ahead and move into this week’s interview with Dr. Bill Misner on a plant based diet.

Special announcements:

Hey folks, this is Ben Greenfield and I am here with Dr. Bill Misner.  And Dr. Misner is a PhD.  He’s a nutritionist.  He’s an alternative medicine practitioner.  He’s a top master’s runner.  And he actually just recently had a very impressive national trail race where I believe that he had won by over 25 minutes.  Was it over 25 minutes Bill or was that the course record that you set?

Bill:                 Yes, it was both.  I had a good day.

Ben:                How old are you?

Bill:                 I’m 71.

Ben:                Okay!  So that was the age 70 and up category, incredibly impressive.  And for the past 20 months, Dr. Misner has been on a plant based diet which makes it all the more interesting.  His results and his athleticism because he was actually in the process of converting to plant based during that training and of course on that diet during the race.  And we’re going to talk about that today.  And Dr. Misner does know quite a bit about these things.  He has a book in which he talks about plant based diets and many other important nutrition considerations.  The book is called Finding Fitness For Life.  And I will put a link to it on the show notes to this episode.  For you triathletes out there, you might recognize Dr. Misner because he’s one of the head researchers and advisers for Hammer Nutrition.  So, if you read the journal that they put out or go to their website and read some of their articles, Bill Misner’s name comes up quite a bit.  So, Dr. Misner, thank you so much for coming on the call today.

Bill:                You’re welcome!  Thank you!

Ben:                So, I know that you haven’t always eaten a plant based diet.  So, what led you to make the switch?

Bill:                For a number of years, I ate whey protein as my principal protein.  And for my Omega 3s, I ate salmon.  And other than that, I was pretty much on a plant based diet.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 90% of my calories came from plant foods.  I was watching a public television show put on by Mike Anderson who’s the author of the Rave Diet.  And he and his colleagues were talking about reversing disease and the effects that that would have in terms of cancers and auto immune diseases and heart disease.  And they actually showed a picture of a heart artery that was taken in a study done at the Cleveland Clinic before and after going on a plant based diet.  The individual was 90% clogged at the start and his diet wasn’t that bad.  He ate a little bit of animal food.  A little bit of plant food.  And otherwise his diet was American standard about a Grade B.  But he had a heart attack while doing surgery one day.  He just collapsed.  And they had to rush him in and put him under the scalpel.  And so it made him very serious.  And he asked one of the colleagues in the Mike Anderson tape that he asks him what he could do.  And he says; well just go on a whole plant food diet.  So he went on a whole plant food diet.  And about 30 months later, they took another picture of the same clogged artery and it was wide open.  It was basically plaque free.  It was a healthy normal descending coronary artery.  That rocked me that a guy on what we would call a normal, healthy American diet what most people say is okay, was actually contributing to and he had no family history of heart disease.  And yet he had this build up of plaques.  This is a 43 year-old doctor who was doing all the right things.  But he was on his way to an early grave.  And so that caused me to go out and buy Dr. Collin Campbell’s book on the China study.  I bought Brendan Frazier’s book on the Thrive Diet.  And all of Mike Anderson’s books on the Rave Diet which were basically all whole plant food diet.  And I had a lot of questions too because as an athlete, I was concerned about my protein, where am I going to get all my protein if I go on only whole plant foods and so forth.  But in the study of all these books, I looked up all the research references that they used for support and I could not find one mistake.  I could not find also that it totally concluded that the whole plant food diet was the diet.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t find any mistakes.  And so I thought; well the next thing for me to do rather than wait for 20 years of science is to try it out.  And so, that’s when I started it.  And I noticed within about 3 months, my times were not going slower.  They were actually going faster.  I lost some weight.  And I’m pretty lean anyway but my fat percentage went way down.  My times went down also.  So I thought; well this is pretty good.  This seems to work.  It’s very gradual but it works. 

Ben:                Oh okay!  Well, cool!  I’ve got some follow up questions based on that.  You talked about how the typical American diet compared to this plant based diet basically caused the plaque formation.  And put someone into increased risk for heart disease.  But would you necessarily use that as an argument in favor of a plant based diet over a healthier, non-westernized or less typical American diet.  Diets like the paleo diet or a diet that would not have a lot of the processed food or high carbohydrate content of a typical American diet.

Bill:                In other words, does the fact that it reverses cardio pathology have an effect on a person who is not one who is suffering from that same cardio pathology. 

Ben:                Right.

Bill:                Can you compare a normal person to a person that’s a patient?  And the answer is no.  You can’t.

Ben:                Well that’s not exactly what I’m asking as much as can you compare this typical American diet that would be considered healthy which we’re starting to find out a lot more about how it really isn’t all that healthy.  But could you necessarily say that this particular study affirms that the plant based is the way to go versus just affirming that a plant based diet is healthier than the typical American diet?

Bill:                Well, I think, from a scientist’s point of view, you’re looking for all kinds of absolutes.  And of course, looking at the effects of the plant food diet, they seem to live longer.  They seem to have lower body mass index.  They have lower fat mass.  They are a leaner group of people.  And even the people on body building and weight lifting strength type sports do pretty well on it.  They have to manipulate some of the amounts in order to get protein, in order to get some of the B Vitamins and so forth for their sport.  But basically, they can keep up their bulk.  They can keep up their strength.  And they can compete on a whole plant food diet as a strength athlete or as a sprinter in a sprint sport.  And of course the endurance athletes, there’s a whole contingent of Kenyans and Ethiopians that dominate the middle distance track events worldwide.  They are just preeminent.  And they’re largely people who eat whole plant food diets with a small amount of animal source calories that their cultures feed maybe once or twice a week.  So, they get maybe 90% whole plant foods and 10% animal source calories in their diets.  I’m not saying diet necessarily makes the runner.  There’s a genetic component.  And there’s the altitude they live at.  And their clustered body mass index.  The way those people are built lends itself well to the running sport.  But largely, when we look at cultures that eat whole plant foods, we see better health, better longevity.  And in many instances, I won’t say all, in many instances, they are better athletically than people who consume large amounts of animal source calories.  The American diet is, by nature, fairly high in its percentage of animal source calories.  When you mix in the amount of cheeses and dairy and of various sources of mixes that the grocery store gives you to enhance the taste the food, the oils and so forth are very high in the animal source calories. 

Ben:                Now, you mentioned that China study which I read and that study obviously was very favorable towards a plant based diet.  But there were also several compelling reputations of that book.  And I don’t know if you are familiar with those.  Particularly the possibilities of an unfounded link between the facts that casein protein causing cancer kind of implicating all of the other animal proteins and then the other issue being not accounting for a lot of other disease causing variables that you find in a lot of these higher cholesterol areas that were studied in China in addition to the meat that they were consuming.  So, when you see stuff like that, does it give you pause of the plant based diet or what’s your response to something like that?

Bill:                I look at some of my criticisms of the critics of that.  A lot of the criticisms I’ve read are done by people who are not even in the nutrition-science area.  They might be nutrition oriented or they might have an RD degree.  And their basis for their background education is not so much science as it is in the various culinary arts and various food sciences.  But not as what I would call real nutrition scientist.

Ben:                I guess I would be most convinced though by analysis of that book that were done by more kind of like statisticians.

Bill:                Yeah.  Statistics is a very critical field. And having been a member of the sports science network and been in many arguments with statisticians over the years, I don’t like to go there because I see the statisticians arguing among themselves over things that to most of us is like very nitpicky and so forth.  It’s not big enough to throw out the information.  But I see them arguing over things that don’t have anything to do with the science.  They don’t interpret the science itself that was reported.

Ben:                If all the listeners having kind of dropped off the face of the map now as we talk about the China state.  Just in case those of you who have no clue what Dr. Misner and I are talking about.  It’s about the China study that was done on plant based versus animal based diets in China.  And for those of you who want to learn more about the book and the debate around the book, I’ll put a link to the book in the show notes.  I do recommend that you read it and you check it out.  I’ll also put a link to some of the common reputations that you find out there about the book so you can educate yourself more.  Just so Dr. Misner and I don’t end up just having a conversation the whole time about the China study.

Bill:                Look at the credentials of the critics and if they are asking a question based on the data that’s reported.  If they have a critical question even if it is negative, are they asking it from a nutrition perspective, a statistical perspective, or are they asking the question based on their background?  Many people with the background that can be slighted toward what is approved in terms of the American diet today.  And I’m going to say a critical thing of people who are RD’s.  Some of the RD’s are very open to the plant food lifestyle while some RD’s go right back to the basic learning they got in preparing to take their registered dietician certification test.  So, a lot of them are going to pivot out the way they were taught more than what the data actually says.  So, I’m questioning a lot of the critical comments I’ve heard about Collin Campbell and the data that he used.  You have to look at where the person is coming from whose criticizing Campbell.

Ben:                Yeah, I think that’s a wise advice.  Well, let’s talk about what you eat.  What does a typical day of eating look like for you, Dr. Misner?

Bill:               Well, I typically eat a breakfast of oatmeal and ground flax.  I’d use a little cilium in it occasionally to raise the fiber content.  That would be a breakfast.  And then throughout the day, I would wait until after my workout.  And then I would go to a more hardcore whole plant food menu that would consist of spinach and broccoli and brussel sprouts and carrots and maybe even cabbage.  For carbohydrates, I like to use sweet potatoes and apples and oranges and cherries and cantaloupe and bananas.  So basically, those are the foods I eat that I would call whole plant food.  My top favorites are kale and black beans and asparagus are my favorites.  So I eat those fairly regularly.

Ben:               So, you would have your oatmeal with your ground flaks and your cilium for breakfast.  And then post workout, do you juice all these different vegetables and carbohydrate sources you talked about?

Bill:               I don’t.  I want the fiber.  So that’s why I stay away from juicing.  I have juiced before and I don’t get the fiber content that I want.  I don’t like to, if I’m running from doing that high quality workout either speed work or if I’m doing a long distance trail work, I don’t like the high fiber content on the gut.  So I may take a couple of days before a sprint or a long distance quality workout and minimize the fiber intake.  Under those circumstances, I could be juicing.  Just simply to take a little bit of the fiber weight load off the gut.  But all in all, I’d say probably 5 or 6 days a week, I eat a very high fiber diet.  They recommend you get over 30 grams a day.  And I probably get at least 65 or more grams a day.

Ben:                Now, if you eat all these vegetables and sweet potatoes and maybe some fruit post workout, are you getting all the protein that you need from those vegetables sources?  Or what are you relying on for amino acids?

Bill:                That’s where I’m getting it.

Ben:                How many plants do you actually eat in terms of volume?

Bill:                In terms of volume, I probably get somewhere between 200 and 300 grams worth of whole plant foods a day.  And I’m talking what most people would say are fruit and vegetables only.  And I use that for my post workout.  And I’m probably getting what’s called the ORAC value from my foods alone up in the hundreds of thousands of units.  That means that the foods I’m eating are very potent in terms of reducing free radical build up from exercise.  So, the post workout, one of the things I’ve said for a long time that really helps with rapid recovery.  And as you know, during a hard workout anything over an hour, you’re building those free radicals when you exercise.  It’s the free radicals that do a lot of the damage as well as the lactates that build up in the muscles.  And you can’t just massage them out.  You can’t just take a hot bath, relax and have them come out.  You can’t just take an aspirin and hope that the inflammatory process of post workout would go away that way.  But rather, treating it with high antioxidant content from your food is the way I’ve enhanced my recovery.  And that I would say is me.  I’ll probably workout the very next day.  The very next day I go out, I’m way more recovered when I’ve eaten a large amount, 200 to 300 grams of plant foods from the hard workout the day before.   So, you get a buildup of faster recovery, better workouts in between equals better performance on race day. 

Ben:                Now, what would you have for something like dinner?

Bill:                That’s what I have for dinner, that large bowl of vegetables and fruits.  My dinner will last from say, it takes me probably three hours to eat my evening meal.  And if I start at 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon, by seven I’m done eating.  And I have a big bowl.  It can weigh as much as 300 grams.  And it’s full and it’s just pack full of these.  And I eat them real slow.  I’d chew them up real good.  And if I’m going to have bread, I’ll have whole grain bread with bananas and oranges and apples.  And I eat as much as I want until I’m full and then I stop.

Ben:                Now, in terms of like if you go out and watch vegetarian animals like a cow, they’re just kind of like that.  They’re eating and chewing all day long.  Just from a logistical stand point, do you find that that is something that’s practical for the person who kind of rushes home from work and needs to throw down dinner real quick?

Bill:                You can graze.  And grazing is very good.  Especially following a speed workout or real high intensity long distance workout, grazing the next few days is advisable to get your muscle glycogen levels go back up.  ‘Cause you’re looking at three days after a workout just to rebuild muscle glycogen expenditure from a hard workout.  And so, it takes time for the body.  It loses muscle glycogen faster than it replenishes it.  We all know that.  So, I’m saying by adding the plant food in their whole form is better than adding them as a corrupted or processed form.  The nutrient content is way higher.  The antioxidant content is way higher in a raw, unprocessed plant food.  So, that’s what I’m suggesting is one of the mechanisms by which a plant food increases an individual’s performance.  We tried this out with a couple of athletes in the local area.  One now is leading the Washington state cycling championships pro cat level one.  And he went on just this year.  And he is leading our state.  Another fellow rode ram this year the race across America’s cycling event.  And he’s been on it for about a year.  And they were runner ups this year in his division.  Another fellow in Vermont with the name of Kim Van Arden is pretty well known for this.  And he’s placed in the top 5, top 10 overall in masters racing at the national level and every event he’s been in this year practically.  And this is his claim, too, that the whole plant food protocol is something that’s actually causing him to recover faster.  And therefore, he can run higher quality workouts.  And this interesting fellow is in his 40’s.  And he’s running with the 20 and 30 year-olds.  He’s been in the top 5 and top 10 in every event he’s been.   And these are events at the national level.  He’s the only master’s athlete over age forty that is performing at this level.   And sure enough he attributed largely to the whole plant food diet.

Ben:                Now I’m curious.  You mentioned that you do some flax seed with your morning oatmeal.  But when you describe your diet to me, it seems like it’s kind of low in fat.  I’ve talked to some other vegans, specifically vegan athletes, and they talk about doing things like drinking coconut milk or using protein blends of brown rice and pea and hemp protein, using almond milk.  In terms of fats, are you concerned or do you get enough fats?

Bill:                I’m concerned about my Omega 3’s as we should be because it’s an anti-inflammatory fat.  And it’s a very healthy fat.  And we need maybe 2-4 grams of it a day.  In other words, we don’t need a lot of it but we need to get some of it.  You know the other essential omega fatty acid is Omega 6.  And most of us just get way too much of it.  And it’s an inflammatory fat though it is an essential fat, we need some.  There’s a fellow named Vogel who did some interesting experiments that we should be shouting about as athletes.  Vogel took subjects and he did what is called a brachial blockage test.  He examined how fast arteries dilate when nitric oxide is the inducer of dilatation.  And so, he wanted to know what the food effect of macro nutrients were on how an artery dilates in the arm.  And so, they set people with two meals.  One was a typical McDonald’s American big mac with fries and so forth which amounted to just about 50 grams of fat.  And then they went after the individual who ate that particular meal.  And we’re talking that they didn’t over eat it but just enough to give them 50 grams of fat in the menu.  And then they went to the brachial artery and looked at what the brachial artery was doing.  And the brachial artery was completely shut down.  There was almost no nitric oxide available to dilate that artery.  The artery could not dilate.  And it stayed in a constricted phase for 4 hours after that meal.  Then he took a typical American breakfast, largely carbohydrate and very little fat.  And he gave that meal.  It would be like a bowl of oatmeal, a cereal with raisins, and maybe milk, if you wanted to put milk in there, but it was very low fat.  This is my point.  And then he looked at the same artery and that artery was dilated to normal levels immediately after that meal.  And it stayed dilated for the 4 hours that he took to examine it.  So the point is, why would an athlete need to take fat if it wasn’t an essential fat?  Why would they need to eat fat since their liver takes all the macro nutrients?  It makes all the fat the body needs.  It makes all the cholesterol the body needs for itself.  That’s the question he posed.  And we’ve looked at other studies that looked at as little as 20 grams of fat and what that did to the nervous system in terms of artery vassal dilation.   And even 20 grams of fat has an inhibitory effect on how wide an artery can dilate and supply blood to an exercising muscle.  So, that’s just a question.  I didn’t supply the answer there.  But I don’t see a need for much more than 2-4 grams of Omega 3 fat.  And maybe 9-11 grams of Omega 6 fat in the diet every day.

Ben:                Do you think that’s enough for neural health as well considering that there are studies that link to Alzheimer’s to low fat intake?

Bill:                Yes.  I do because I do believe that if body is getting all the nutrients from a number of sources that the body itself will manufacture the fat it needs to maintain the myelination and to prevent the auto immune diseases.  A lot of the auto immune diseases that we’re talking about can be linked to, interestingly, a baby being fed a cow’s milk or being fed an animal protein before they had the capacity to digest it properly.  And not everybody’s going to have this.  But a number of auto immune diseases and perhaps even some of the people that have the diabetic lime condition.

Ben:                Dr. Misner, can I interrupt you for just a second.  You’re getting a lot of static on and I’m not sure where it’s coming from.  Is the phone connected properly?

Bill:                Yeah, I think so.

Ben:                Alright.   Sorry, go ahead.

Bill:                But I think probably a lot of these diseases that we’re talking about can be connected to animal protein consumed by a baby before the baby had the potential to digest it.

Ben:                Now, I’m curious if you take and I imagine you probably do take some nutrition supplements.  There are so many different elements that people who eat a plant based diet could be at risk for being deficient in like Vitamin D and CoEnzyme Q10 and Vitamin B12 and iron and Vitamin A.  Do you actually supplement with these type of things to make sure that you are covering your bases?

Bill:                I do.  I don’t do iron.  I’m afraid of that.  I think that there’s a lot of studies that show that if you’re getting a wide variety of colors in your plant foods, the amount of iron you’re getting from the whole plant food diet is way higher than what you get from animal derived sources.  So I don’t supplement iron and I advise others don’t do it unless you have a doctor monitoring your blood levels.

Ben:                You take other supplements?

Bill:                I do.  I’m profoundly interested in CoEnzyme Q10 and B12.  I take folate.  I probably don’t have to, but I like to balance B12 with folate because of the fact that those two methylators go together.  I could be taking in zinc; I’m not in current time.  But zinc is something that a plant food diet might not provide as much of it as it should for some people.  I still take Vitamin C.  I probably don’t have to.  I like to balance C with the CoEnzyme Q10.  I take garlic in the odorless form simply because it’s not because I don’t like garlic, I just don’t like the smell.  So, those are supplements that I take that enhance the plant food deficiency or to prevent.

Ben:                So you definitely think that people who are eating a plant based diet should be popping pills?

Bill:                I do.

Ben:                Now, in terms of you know, you mentioned bread and from soy to grains to legumes etc… there is some concern about digestive inflammation or phytic acids or gluten based inflammation.  Are you concerned about any of those things?  Or do you like to soak and sprout the grains and legumes that you eat or how do you approach that?

Bill:                I don’t.  I have done that though.  You know, the protein quality of a sprouted anything is always better.  And I think you have to be careful if you’re gluten sensitive or if you have a cilliac disease or something like that.  I tried to stay away from some of the soys that have been processed.  I think soy itself is not so bad in the processed form.  I just think that probably people can overdo it because of their fear of not getting enough protein.  Of course soy is a very good source of protein and it’s a complete protein.  I’m not convinced that the plant food diet by itself just eating whole plant foods, I’m not convinced that it doesn’t supply better protein than the animal source protein.  The animal source supplements especially that is like whey protein and so on.  I think that’s way blown out of proportion in terms of its value.  The idea on protein and protein quality from food goes a little bit further back than just a complete protein versus a not complete protein in terms of what you get out of the food.  I think probably that all stems from the fact that we base our protein needs on what a 6 year-old growing child needs to grow at its maximum rate.  Maximum protein growth at age 6 is not the kind of growth rate you want after puberty.  The best of a protein growth rate is simply counter indicated in a number of diseases.  And therefore, I think you could probably apply that to the athlete.  Why would an athlete need to grow protein?  Unless they were doing it for a body building show where their focus is not on the performance of the muscle but their focus was on the size of the muscle fiber.  So if you want to grow muscle fiber faster, yes, animal protein is the way to go. 

Ben:                What about repair and recovery?

Bill:                I think that’s dangerous.  I think that’s dangerous to get into the growth rate as a focal point for what foods you choose to eat.  No one has ever showed that expanding growth rate (size of muscle fiber) was that much of an element of performance.  When you compare athletic performance of strength athletes, you could say it does.  But when you look at actual muscle output, torque output of the watts produced on a bicycle, the same wattage reproduced in a sprinter.  There’s no carry over between the rate that muscle grows based on food consumption and muscle torque output.  That’s what I’m saying.  And performance says a lot.  What the individual can lift?  Or how fast they can run?  What distance?  How fast they can swim?  Or ride?  These are things that have to do with the muscle torque output.  And I don’t think that I want my muscles growing as fast as a 6 year-old if I am concerned about my performance.  Do you see what I mean?

Ben:                Yes, I do.  What about the rate of muscle repair?  If growing your muscle like a 6 year-old allows your muscles to repair more quickly because of higher blood levels of amino acids.

Bill:                I don’t think that’s been shown.

Ben:                So I’ve got a question for you because I guess you’ve been on this diet for… you said about twenty months?

Bill:                Yes.

Ben:                Okay.  Do you or are you concerned or have you or do you do test on yourself like blood test or saliva test or anything like that to kind of assess the potential for any type of changes from a hormonal stand point or biological markers of performance?   We talk about iron but things like fatty acids or amino acids.

Bill:                I’ve done my B12.  My B12 was something like 1400% above normal.  My Vitamin D was high normal.  When I took seeds and nuts out of my whole plant food diet and I removed whey protein and fresh salmon, my cholesterol went from 232 to 151.

Ben:                 Are you concerned about that?

Bill:                No, because under 150 is the dividing line, in normal circles of cardiovascular disease.  People under 150, cardiovascular disease can occur only when certain other blood factors are elevated such as CRP, such as homocystine.  There’s a good HDL and there’s a really bad LDL that can get high in the blood.  And so once you mitigate these out then 150 is a target or less for a person’s total cholesterol. 

Ben:                But shouldn’t you be more concerned about the size of the cholesterol particles because it’s my understanding that a nice full fluffy LDL cholesterol particle is actually quite healthy for delivering your body the fat nutrients that it needs.

Bill:                There are, Ben.  There are ten elements in blood that can trigger cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular events.  So, there are actually ten of those.  When we’re talking about the actual total cholesterol levels we’d have to divide those total cholesterol levels by these ten individual units, ten factors, that could be present.  And person, even though they had a 150 cholesterol, if they had one of these ten items that I mentioned such as homocystine or CRP, if those are too high then that person could very well be on their way to a cardiovascular event.  I think it’s probably important to note that a high level of cholesterol can happen even with a good hard workout.  You can actually raise, for example, homocystine which is a very serious danger to our health, you can raise it by going out and running a marathon.  If you go out and run a marathon, you raise homocystine in the neighborhood of 60% above normal.  But if you go out and run that same marathon slow, you don’t raise it.  So, the quality of your workout has a lot to do with the factors that are produced in terms of causing heart problems.

Ben:                In terms of plant based diet implementation, people are listening into this and they want to kind of get started with eating a plant based diet.  What are some of the ways that people can start into that?  I mean, is it dangerous at all to just quit meat cold turkey if you’re having a little bit of meat each day?  How do recommend people ease into things or how did you do it?

Bill:                Well, I’m pretty strict.  I let the facts rule what I do.  And so, as I read the facts, I looked at the people who were easing into it.  And I found that those people were actually tickling in addictive nature to the food that they were teasing themselves with food.  They weren’t really talking themselves out of the sugar and the processed fats and some of the eloquent flavors or meat barbequed and so on.  And so really what they were doing was it was just kind of flirting with their health.  And I didn’t want to do that.  I wanted to see what it would really do.  So I just jumped into it.  And the interesting thing I found, it took me about six weeks to get rid of the things that I enjoyed about eating animal source.  I love salmon.  I love the whey protein flavored whether it’d be energy bars or the powder or the flavored variety that whey protein can come in.  And so, for me I had to just eat nuts.  I can eat nuts and seeds but the fat content was so high.  Not that they’re not plant foods but I was eating foods that I saw a fact said that I shouldn’t eat that much fat in terms of getting out easily past the 20 grams of fat per a handful of nuts.  And so, based on the Vogel principle and the other principles that I had learned, I said well I’m just going to stop doing that.  And it was then that I had during that six weeks’ time, I lost about 12 pounds of weight that my wife says I shouldn’t have.   And my times improved.  And my cholesterol dropped.  Since then I’ve been really serious with people and I said look if you are going to go on it, then get serious about it.  Make up your mind and go on.  If you’re not going to go on it, don’t flirt with eating the delicious animal source foods that are going to do nothing but cause you to return to them with a vengeance.  I think there is a taste barrier that I know I had to go through it.  And people who started on this diet, they had to go through it, too.  And it’s hard.  But after about 4-6 weeks, you begin to lose that taste.  The thought of eating whey protein or eating a nice slab of salmon, it doesn’t tempt me at all.  And the taste of it is not something I hunger for or I miss. When I sit down with this huge bowl of vegetables tonight, it’s like eating desert.  And I don’t flavor it a lot.  I don’t put any salad dressing on it.  I just eat it raw.  And the taste I had for that has gotten so… my taste sensations are so titillated by that, that I look forward to that like a desert.  And so it took about 6 weeks for me to make that change.  It may take other people longer than that.  But it’s something that you have to get used to.  And of course if you see results that encourages you.  And it’s a barrier that I know I had to go through and I’ve seen other people have to go through it, too.  The ones that didn’t make the “I’m going to do it” decision, they failed.  They weren’t serious enough in the first place to make the commitment to go whole plant food.

Ben:                Alright.  So, we’re starting to run short on time.  And we covered a lot here.

Bill:                And Ben, I’ve got one thing for you now.  You do triathlons; have broken that 9-hour barrier yet for Ironman?

Ben:                That’s not a goal so I haven’t tried.  But why do you ask?

Bill:                Well, I ask because I thought you might be a very good case study.  I know that you may not totally subscribe to the whole plant food idea.  But I thought maybe you might be someone that would be a good test for this for 6 weeks.

Ben:                I’ve done about a 9/40 Ironman and it would be interesting to see the comparison.   But I actually ate a raw plant based diet for about 8 weeks last year.  And I was using primarily Brendan Frazier’s book Thrive to dictate a lot of my nutritional decisions.  But call me vain, but I like my six packs and my chest and my big shoulders.  And my rate of muscle loss went through the roof.  And I started to look really skinny and leaner than I like to aesthetically be.  So, I went ahead and return to fats and meats.

Bill:                I did, too.  The first time I tried it was back in 1995.  And I was running ultra marathons on a national levels then.  And I go out for a 30-mile run every Saturday.  And this was in a 2-year period when I was doing a 120 – 250 miles a week.  And I just died on the whole plant food idea at first.  And when I came back to it this past time, I of course am not doing an ultra marathon per se, although I will be doing one in September.  I found that I wasn’t getting enough calories.  I mentioned that in my e-mail to you that I wasn’t getting enough calories the first time I tried it.  And this made a huge difference.  And we see this in some of the African countries where a kwashiorkor occurs.  And there’s muscle wasting.  But it’s generally with the same thing that I experience.  When you’re not getting enough calories, the muscle mass loss becomes ridiculous.  I mean it’s just not good.  And so what I did this time was I ate enormous amounts of whole plant foods in order to get the calories.  Once I got my calories up then the muscle mass problem was solved as well as my appetite.  My craving level for animal source foods went way down.  So, that’s the only thing I would throw in there.  If you ever do try it again, for the sake of performance, I mean I’ve got this one guy, Rod Ram and he’s a really intense guy.  And he was on our national track cycling team.  So, he is a good example for somebody for his sport that needed size especially in his quads.  When he went on it, this is what he did, he just went cold turkey and he went for it.  His performance was way up from what it was and he is in his 40’s.  You were one that I thought of.  I know that the triathlon isn’t your total goal.

Ben:                I’ll make you a deal.  How about you buy my groceries for the year then I’ll do it.

Bill:                I don’t think I could afford it.

Ben:                You probably couldn’t.  Either way, it could be something that I can decide to do now that I know that the offer is out there on the table, I’ll let you know if I decide that I wanted to be the guinea pig.  We do have a lot of elite triathlete listeners that listen into the show.  So, if you’re listening in right now and this appeals to you to try this out and kind of do comparisons as a case study.  Just go ahead write into the show [email protected] and I’ll forward you on to Dr. Misner and connect you two.

Bill:                Let me add one last thing.  I use computerized dietary analysis software, a really expensive software to analyze the content of food.  And I’ve taken away all my food, all those whole plant foods.  And I do this often.  So, I know what’s going into me.  Otherwise I’d never know.  It’d just be a handful of food.  And based on what the computer tells me, all my nutrients even at the RDA level are being met by this protocol.  And as well as the macro nutrients of whole carbohydrates, whole proteins, amino acids, and the essential fats.  So, it does work even when it’s measured very carefully item by item.  And of course I do it by my body weight, height and so forth.  So it’s supplying all the nutrients that you need.

Ben:                Well, we’re running up on an hour of time here.  So, we’ll go ahead and I’m sure that we’ve generated questions.  And I will certainly, if people leave comments on the show notes to this episode, would certainly go in and try to respond to your questions.  And whenever we have a guest, I always forward questions on to them, as well.  If follow up questions are something that might better be addressed by Dr. Misner.  And so this podcast is certainly open for further discussion by you, the listener.  And Dr. Misner, thank you so much for coming in the call today.

Bill:                You’re welcome, Ben.  And when you get ready to do it, I’ll do a dietary analysis of your foods for you.

Ben:                Sounds good.  Alright folks, until next time, this is Ben Greenfield and Bill Misner signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.

                        Well folks, what I will do is I will put a link to all the things that Dr. Misner and I talked about. And I do know Dr. Misner may come on and also leave a comment on the show notes for this episode, Episode #154 coz he has some extra information he wants to send on.  So go visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com and look at the show notes for Episode #154 coz we’ll not only have those extra comments from Bill, but I will put a link to the China study, that book that we mentioned, as well as a link to reputation from the China study over at the Western Price Foundation.  I’ll put a link to Bill’s book Finding Fitness For Life in there.  And I’ll also put a link to everything else that we’ve talked about in the show – the LivingFuels SuperGreens, the Master Amino Pattern, TriathlonDominator.com.  All that good stuff and remember if you like the show, do me a few favors.  Go to i-Tunes and leave a ranking or a review.  And also if you get a chance, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and sign up for the one dollar monthly donations.  Its sounds kind of silly but if everybody that listened to the show donated one dollar, it would completely cover the cost of all the downloads that happen when the show comes out on a weekly basis.  So, it truly helps out.  And that being said, that’s going to wrap it up for this week’s podcast from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  Have a healthy week.

For personal nutrition, fitness  or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *