November 23, 2011
In this episode: The New BenGreenfieldFitness Podcast Host, Are Packed Organic Foods Really Healthy, Is An Off-Season Necessary, How Hard To Train In The Winter, Is Aspirin Healthy, What Kind Of Calcium To Take, How A Gluten-Free Diet Affects Menstrual Cycles, and How To Use Beet Juice For Sports Performance.
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield. And I’m pretty excited right now not just because Thanksgiving is two days away and I get to eat a lot of turkey but also because the brand new BenGreenfieldFitness podcast host is with us today. We’re changing up the format of the podcast. And I am pleased to introduce you to a guy with a pretty long name. So, Brock what’s your full name? I’ll let you go ahead and spit it out.
Brock: This is all because of Facebook and its silly policies of making sure that you’re using your appropriate name. And when your last name is Skywalker, you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get them to actually recognize the fact that that really is your name. So, I ended up being Brock Jason Armstrong Skywalker on Facebook. And it’s just sort of stuck now. Everybody decides they’re going to use my entire name. So that’s it.
Ben: So, everybody meet Brock Jason Skywalker Armstrong. I will be calling him Brock for obvious reasons.
Brock: That would be great.
Ben: But Brock is going to be really involved with the BenGreenfieldFitness podcast. He is unfortunately a Canadian, right Brock?
Brock: It’s true.
Ben: And where are you at Canada?
Brock: I’m in Toronto. I’m originally from Edenton. But I live in Toronto now. So, it’s not quite as much as the great white north as I used to be in. But it’s still pretty cold up here.
Ben: And Brock is intensely interested in all of the topics, the fitness, and nutrition, and endurance sports and healthy lifestyle topics that we go through in the BenGreenfieldFitness show. But Brock, how do you spend your day? What do you actually do up there in the cold frigid North?
Brock: Well, most of the time and this is how I pay the bills I guess, I’m a web developer and an e-mail newsletter developer as well. I spend pretty much my entire day in front of a computer. Now, I stand in front of the computer instead of sitting in front of the computer all day. I’m also a marathon coach. I work with a group called T-Man Training. It’s part of a leukemia lymphoma society. So we run marathons all around the world and raise money for blood cancer research and patient services and stuff. So, it’s really fun. It’s really fulfilling. And you get to travel a lot.
Ben: You know folks, if you really want to get infatuated with and stalk Brock, he does have a website. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. But it’s basically frozenpuck.com. And he’s being humble because he’s got a ton of different plates spending. I noticed Brock that you even have your own wikipedia page.
Ben: And you’re quite the musician there as well.
Brock: I have several former lives. I just turned 40 this year. And somehow I’ve managed to gouge and cram a whole bunch of different lives into those 40 years. My first profession was being a professional ballet dancer. And I broke my foot and was rehabilitating that. And I ended up joining a band. And I traveled with the brand called Captain Tractor for ten years. And I then decided to go back to school. And that’s when I started the web development stuff and also got into marathon coaching and triathlon coaching.
Brock: Yeah. It has been an awesome life.
Ben: Yeah. It sounds like you really need to get busy and start accomplishing something with your life.
Brock: That’s why I’m here.
Ben: As the new BenGreenfieldFitness podcast host. So folks, rather than you listening to Brock and I chat about our lives. We’ll go ahead and jump into this week’s content. And I will tell you in advanced that this may not be the smoothest of show as we go through our first official show with having a host. But I’m pretty excited about it nonetheless. So, please forgive Brock and I for any hiccups as we go through this first podcast episode with you and I.
Brock: It’ll only get better.
Ben: That’s right. That is the advantage of being in the state that we are in right now. Alright, we are going to start off with this week’s special announcements. In the future though, they will be wrapped up right here at the beginning of the show as they usually are. And Brock will be helping me along with this of course. But there have been a few different articles that I’ve come up on BenGreenfieldFitness this week. Did you see any of the articles this week Brock?
Brock: Yeah. `
Ben: So, that appears, if you’re planning on running at Turkey a 5K or a 10K or any other holiday run, check that article out. Interestingly, it actually originated from a response to a client who I coached in Dubai who’s about to run his 10K which is obviously not a Thanksgiving 10K. But my response to him grew so enormous that it decided to turn into an article for BenGreenfieldFitness.com. So, you can check that out. And then the other article that came out this week was on the four steps to get on a better butt. And that’s part of a seven part series I’m doing as a build up to the upcoming launch of my tri-ripped triathlon program which is basically something you can check out at tri-rips.com. But in a nutshell, it’s a way to get a really nice body and work on making your muscles look good and also get pretty fast triathlon at the same time.
Brock: And as a warning to you guys out there, the four steps to getting a better butt, don’t send that link to your girlfriend.
Brock: I thought I was being really nice and really helpful and kind and considerate when I sent the link because I know she’s been asking about how I can improve parts of me. And that was one of the parts that she was talking about. And I thought, oh hey, great! Four steps to a better butt here, baby.
Ben: Yeah. Always be careful of what you forward in bookmarks especially to a significant other.
Ben: I think the turkey trot one is probably safe for her though.
Brock: That’s safe. Yeah.
Ben: So, aside from those two articles which you can check out at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, the only other thing that I wanted to go over was that you may have noticed if you’ve got iTunes is that the download all podcast function disappeared for a little while. And if you do use iTunes to listen to this podcast, and just want to grab all of the podcast that we’ve ever had, update iTunes and that button should appear again. The update all button. And if you really want to go get all of the audios that have been put out or surf them a little bit more intensively, I’ve set up the BenGreenfieldFitnessiPhone and Android apps to allow to do that a little bit more efficiently in terms of getting instant access to all of the podcast from 1 up to 171 that we’ve ever done. So, heads up on that for downloading all the podcast. And that’s about it. So, I guess we can jump in to the Q and A.
Listener Q and A:
Brock: Okay. So, our first question is an audio question coming from Chuck. Let’s take a listen.
Chuck: Hey Ben, this is Chuck. Congratulations on your winning Jamaica last week especially after ITU worlds. Doing that ITU was my last race this season. And my coach, he was ex-Brazilian pro-triathlete world champion, wanted me to take ten days off at least after this race to reset mentally, physically, and all that stuff. And then ease back into it. However, I’ve been doing intermittent workouts when I feel like it and basically, at the same intensity and length that I was doing before ITU. And when he and I discussed this, he said, “no you can’t do that and you just take the time off completely.” And I wanted to see what your take on was.
And then additionally, what sort of an off season was it like for you. Then he’s stance on that was you have to get unfit to get fit. So, I wanted to see your take there. And then additionally is I’ve been doing those intermittent workouts even though they’re at the same intensity, I feel like I’ve gained a layer of fat on my stomach even though my calories have been at a very acceptable level for the activity I’ve been doing. And my thinking was then maybe since my body knows it’s going to have to work hard but doesn’t know when it has to do it, it’s storing a little bit there. I don’t know if that has any but doesn’t able one to see why I may be doing this. So, I’d love to see your take on some of this, what an off season would look like. And what you suggest, if ten days off is what I need and then whatever your answer is. Thanks Ben.
Ben: Alright. So, this is an interesting question. Brock, are you in the off season right now?
Brock: I’m not actually because I’m actually gearing up for the Disney World Goofy Marathon and a half. I do the half marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday. And that’s on January. So, I don’t really have my off season until after that.
Ben: Yeah. And I also am not quite in what I would consider to be an off season yet as I am going to race in Phuket, Thailand for the Asia Pacific 70.3 World Championships down there which are next weekend. But basically, the whole idea behind the off season is to give yourself a mental and physical break. So, if you look at something like a taper for a race, when you begin to lay off and taper for a race, a bunch of pretty cool things happen to your body. So, you basically get an increase in the oxygen carrying capacity of your red blood cells or what’s basically called your hemoglobin. That bumps up. The percentage of red blood cells in your blood bumps up or what’s called your hematocrit. And the actual size of your red blood cells goes up. That’s called your RBC volume or your red blood cell volume. So, you’ve got this increase in all these blood parameters that’ll allow you to carry more blood throughout the body and carry more oxygen throughout the body when you start to lay off and taper and beat your body up a little less with daily hard workouts. You get change in your hormones.
So, basically an increase in what would be considered your anabolic hormones or the hormones that build up and repair tissue. And you get a decrease in the catabolic hormones which are the slightly more stressful hormones that can cause damage to tissue. There are some pretty cool neuromuscular effects. Basically, meaning that your muscle contract properties actually change. They gain the ability to produce more power, more strength. And that’s an effect not only of them having more storage carbohydrate in them because you’re draining your fuel a little less, more storage carbohydrate, more storage Creatin. But you also get a change in the muscle fiber type. You get a little bit of a shift towards what are called the type two-A muscle fibers which produce a little bit more power and strength. Your immune system gets stronger.
So, you’re able to produce a lot more eosinophils which basically are the detoxifiers, the inflammation fighters, in your body. And your lymphocytes or your white blood cells on the cell count for those goes up. They’ve even had studies where they’ve looked at sleep levels during a taper and sleep quality goes to the roof up seven and a half to nine hours of sleep just because you’re beating your body up less. You tend to sleep a little bit better with this changes that come hormonally. So, you can extrapolate that a little bit and say that an off season, in a way, is like an elongated taper. And that’s not to say that you completely stop exercising during what would be considered an off season. But you’re taking a break from a lot of the modes of exercise that you’ve been beating yourself up with. So, you’re giving your joints a break. You’re taking advantage of some of these physiological adaptations that happen when you begin to give your hormones, your immune systems, and your blood cells a break. And you also, and I think this is one of the most important things, is you get that mental break because frankly, Brock I don’t know how many marathons you’ve been doing over the past few months. But I was telling my wife two days ago as I was getting ready to do another workout to ready for this race I’m doing that I’m ready to be done swimming, biking and running for a while.
Ben: I’m ready for a break.
Brock: Yeah. I’m totally with you. Every once in a while I’ve been heading out from my runs just getting ready for this. I’ve got less than two months before these two marathons. And as much as the idea of running a half marathon one day and then running a full marathon the next day is that really interesting challenge. And it’s something I’ve been looking forward to. I’m pretty tired of running at this point. I’ve really bumped up my cross training for this portion of the season just because running mentally is really getting me down.
Ben: Yeah. And I think that that’s the fear of a lot people who are used to exercising a lot. And especially we get, endurance athletes, triathletes, marathoners, you get that rad on a wheel, mouse on a wheel type of deal where you get these huge dopamine and serotonin release that essentially cause you to become addicted to the activities that you’re doing. And there’s a little bit of fear there that you’re going to lose your fitness and also an actual chemical break in the addictive cycle that you’ve been going through during the course of the race season. And as long as you’re staying active and shifting your activities to new activities, for me it’s tennis, basketball, and weight lifting, then you’re off season is not going to get you fat or out of shape. It’s simply a shift in your levels of activity. And to more directly answer Chuck’s question, yeah, I do highly recommend it if you want to stay injury free and stay really mentally fresh and mentally motivated. But it’s just a matter of understanding that it’s a shift in your activity and not necessarily a cessation of activity.
And even if you look at Ironman World Champions, I was listening to a lecture given by Paula Newby-Frasier, who won a bunch of World Ironman Championships down in Hawaii. She said they’d cross the finish line in Ironman Hawaii and then basically just surf for the next two months. And again, they weren’t channel surfing in the living room watching TV. They were out surfing. And if you surf for a day, it’s a pretty tough activity. So, again, it’s just a shift in your activity levels. It’s not a complete cessation in your actual activity. And if you approach the off season that way and understand that a lot of these physiological effects that happen during a taper can also happen when you start to take it easy and give your body a break. Then that’s a great mentality to go into the off season with.
Brock: So, it’s certainly not like Chuck’s coach. Chuck had mentioned that his coach said just the words you have to get unfit to get fit again. That’s scares me. That’s not really what you’re saying at all.
Ben: No, it really isn’t. And whereas fitness is certainly a stair stepping effect where you work and work and work and then recover and then work and work again and then recover. You’re not getting unfit during the recoveries when you actually increase your fitness. And so, ideally, best case scenario, you get fit from year to year without an actual decrease in fitness or significant gain in fat during the off season, just a shift in activity to give yourself a mental break as much as anything else.
Brock: Awesome. Okay, our next question is from Nadine. And she has a great title for her question. She used intensity wars. And I really like that. It has a really nice ring to it.
Nadine: If you read the December 2011 triathlete magazine, they’ll tell you that you can get fit faster by including more intensity and less volume over the winter. In Velo magazine in December 2011, the long slow zone one and two is recommended for the whole off season. And you Ben, you’ve talked about more intensity and less volume being more important. And Phil Maffetone, on the show here, that you should keep your heart rate in zone one for the prep and base periods. So, I am confused. And I want to know what is the deal with intensity? What’s the real deal there?
Ben: It totally depends on you. Let’s say that you’ve got anywhere in the range of 35 to 50 hours a week to train. Not only is the long slow style of aerobic training going to be more beneficial for you in developing endurance and economy and efficiency. But it also is going to ensure that you stay in your sport or in your activity long term because you’re not beating your body up for those 35 to 50 hours a week with intense training sessions. But for those of us who are not pro athletes, who do not have that type of time to train, we simply have to squeeze more into a shorter period of time. And the only way to do that and actually significantly increase or maintain fitness is to include more intensity and less volume. So, Maffetone style volume training works really well if you’ve got lots of time on your hand to put in those long slow aerobic sessions. If you look at Mark Allan who is probably one of the more successful athletes to have adopted the Maffetone philosophy of doing all of your training at this aerobic heart rate. He was training upwards at 50 hours a week to prepare for ironman. And you simply need to put in a significant number of hours if most of what you do is aerobic training. And that’s simply because it builds fitness more slowly. And while it does build a really big aerobic engine, a big base, a big foundation, especially for something like marathon or ultrarunning or Ironman triathlon, it takes a lot of time. So, both of these magazines are correct when it comes to the type of training that actually works. But even more specifically, she’s asking about the winter and the off season and how you should spend your time during the off season. And both camps, whether you’re doing the Maffetone style of aerobic training or whether you’re more like the high intensity person, either way you should spend a little bit more of your time building up your aerobic based foundation in the winter. Simply because you’re going to be spending more time when your race approaches doing intense race paced type of workouts which will really beat you up if you’re doing them for long periods of time.
So, my whole philosophy for the off season is you build your base, you build your foundation. This is actually something I went over in a video seminar I did yesterday for the Rockstar Triathlete Academy. But you also include, during the off season, a few visits to the pain cave and a few intense sessions that actually keep your muscles responsive and able to build power and strength and maintain some of that intensity. So for me for example, what means is that during the off season I will do one long slow aerobic session each week for each sport. So, I’ll throw in a long swim to maintain my swim base. That’s like 40 to 45 minutes of continuous swimming. I’ll throw in a long skate ski session or a cycling session. And I’ll throw in a decently long run. Like a 75 to 90 minute run. And then everything else will be playing basketball and tennis and doing some weight lifting and maintaining the intensity. So ultimately, it comes down to slightly more volume in the winter. But not a completely neglective intensity especially if you’re somebody who doesn’t have 40 or 50 hours to train.
Brock: So, talking about not changing your routine drastically. But in the off seasons, skew more towards the long slow and in the on season or especially approaching a race skew more to the higher intensity.
Ben: Yes. Unless, and this can be on a case by case basis, if you’re somebody who just has no time in the winter or no motivation to train, in that case even though physiologically it might not on paper be the most ideal thing. You may be better off just doing high intensity 20 or 30 minute interval training sessions each day and using that to maintain your fitness over the winter if it’s simply a torture for you to get on the indoor trainer especially if you’re Northern climate athlete when there’s snow outside. So, it does depend on what motivates you and keeps you fit. And that’s a big part of this equation too. If it’s long runs and three hour indoor trainer rides, or say if you’re a triathlete or a long two-hour treadmill runs or snowy runs if you’re a marathoner. If that type of stuff doesn’t get you excited and get you motivated to stay fit and makes you want to basically quit your sport in the winter, then you should switch to short more intense workouts.
Brock: Coming from the great white north especially Edenton and -30 degrees Celsius and everything, intensity is a big help because you got to keep that core warm. So, if you’re doing to long slow stuff, you generally can’t do it outside. But if you’re doing some outdoor runs, the higher intensity, the better. It keeps the frost bite at bay.
Brock: So, that’s awesome. So, our next question is from Craig.
Craig: Hey Ben, my doctor says everyone should take a baby aspirin everyday. What’s your opinion on this?
Ben: I think whoever is making aspirin is making a lot of money off that recommendation.
Brock: I’ve actually had that recommendation from my doctor as well. And he was certainly I think it was a gear towards more cardiovascular or even just heart related sort of thing.
Ben: Right because aspirin has a blood thinning effect. So, technically it could reduce risk of stroke or reduce risk of plaque formation on the coronary arteries. But the problem is that aspirin or salicylic acid that’s in something like that it can basically damage your stomach’s lining. And same way that something like ibuprofen can. So, you’re looking at a big problem with potential for gastrointestinal bleeding or ulcers. There’s bit a little bit of evidence that it could in a similar way cause some bleeding in the brain as well. And whereas the bleeding in the brain, I think is less of an issue. There’s certainly some big gastrointestinal problems that can be created by using aspirin on a regular basis like that especially when there’s other things you could do that are better for your stomach that can still thin your blood in the same way and improve your cardiovascular health. Probably, the most popular thing would simply be an omega three fatty acid supplement like flak seed oil or fish oil and using lots of extra virgin olive oil in your nutrition plan. Any of those types of fats as well as eating lots of cold water fish, getting your salmon, your macarol those types of things are super good for increasing your levels of omega three fatty acids and helping thin the blood.
Brock: And it’s much tastier.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Brock: Everything you just mentioned is like my stomach is growling now. That’s so much better than taking an aspirin. It all tastes so good.
Ben: I know for some people probably an aspirin is more palatable than a can of sardines. But for me personally, I’m a huge fan of my cold water fish. There are herbs too. A lot of these curries and cayans, anything that would be considered an anti-inflammatory type of supplement, ginger would be another. Pepper mint, turmeric, and these types of things. These are all blood thinners as well. So, you’re making sure that you’re using a lot of fresh herbs in your cooking and having a dish that’s got a lot of good curries in it at least once a week. My wife and I love Thai food. We usually eat Thai at least once a week usually. Like the other day, Jessa made spicy Thai beef salad. And including things like that in your diet is really important especially if you’re trying to improve your cardiovascular health or you have some medical reason for wanting to thin your blood. And this isn’t to be misconstrued as medical advice. There are things that are smarter out there to use than aspirin. And there are also things that can thicken your blood or lead to a little bit more inflammation in the blood particularly omega six fatty acids like corn oil and vegetable oil and soy bean oil and safflower oil. Fried foods and pretty much any trans fatty acids like the spreadable cream cheese, spreadable peanut butter, spreadable margarine, and the thicker versions of mayonnaise. All of that is fighting against what you’re trying to achieve with aspirin. So, one two combo of getting omega three fatty acids and the herbs in and decreasing some of those other foods that I just mentioned would be way better than taking a baby aspirin and as you mentioned Brock, in many ways a lot tastier.
Brock: In so many ways. So, when you were saying spreadable, I heard people refer to that before as anything that doesn’t change consistency as it warms up or gets colder is generally is that what you’re getting at that it’s generally worse for you if it’s just sort of this always one spreadable consistency.
Ben: Exactly because that means it’s typically been chemically hydrogenated to be in that super portable and conveniently spreadable form. But it’s not so convenient for your arteries.
Brock: Yeah. Cool. I hope that answers Craig’s question for him. Our next one comes from Melanie. And it’s not a tasty question unfortunately. We won’t be talking about delicious food in this one. Well, maybe, we’ll see.
Melanie: Hi Ben. I have some questions regarding calcium. First, if you’re trying to get your calcium from food rather than supplements, how should you count calcium that has been added to foods? Is that considered a supplement? And how useful or absorbable is it?
Brock: So, I think that’s the first part of the question. It would be the foods that have the sort of added calcium to it. Or is that good? Is it absorbable?
Ben: It is absorbable. But it’s not better than food. They’ve actually done studies on this. It was a few years ago. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did a study primarily on women. And they compared women who were getting most of their daily calcium from tablets, pill, and supplements with women who were getting most of their calcium from dairy products and other foods. And basically what they found was that the women who were doing the diet and the supplements for their calcium intake were getting far less absorbable calcium and actually had lower bone density compared to the group that was getting it primarily from food. And part of the reason for that is the absorbability of calcium when it’s in its whole food form is a little bit higher. Part of that is because a lot of times if you bump up calcium from a supplement source essentially it can steal the calcium that it needs from the bones as you metabolize that added calcium. It strips magnesium a little bit too. And then the other issue is that women who aren’t eating a healthy diet, a lot of times they’ve got some hormonal issues. And estrogen is one of the things that really help women especially in maintaining their bone mineral density. So, if you have a hormonal imbalance or estrogen is being broken down or not metabolized properly, a lot of the times you’re going use your calcium less efficiently as well and have lower bone density. So, in most cases, you’re going to be better off trying to get as much of your calcium as possible from your organic healthy dairy sources, your dark leafy greens, and that type of thing. So, supplement moderately.
Brock: So, necessarily. And Melanie added in her question that she is drinking some almond milk that says it has 50 percent for a daily value of calcium but a lot of it was added to that almond milk. So, that’s not the kind of food you’re talking about. You’re talking about the stuff that actually naturally has the high calcium in it coming right out of the ground.
Ben: Right. Not like a calcium fortified cereal or a calcium fortified almond milk per say. Almonds do have a little bit of calcium in them. Seeds and Nuts too have some minerals. But ultimately, the more you can get from real food that’s grown in the ground of from a naturally calcium rich food source like a dairy source is going to be better than anything that’s been basically calcium fortified or a calcium pill.
Brock: So, the second part of the question that we’ve explained.
Melanie: Can you clarify the relationship between magnesium and calcium? I’m having some success with my PMS by taking magnesium powder which you recommended. And I don’t want interfere with that success by adding in a calcium supplement.
Brock: So, can you explain Ben how that might work together?
Ben: Magnesium is basically a co-factor for calcium. Meaning that it is essential not only for the uptake and absorption of calcium but it also balances out calcium in the bone mineral matrix. And it also balances out calcium in a lot of the enzymatic reactions that take place. Like a muscle contraction is dependent on enzyme reactions that include both calcium and magnesium. And it’s a really good point that I’ve brought up in the show. And for anybody who is more interested in, I would highly recommend that you go listen to the interview I did with Doctor Caroline Dean entitled the magnesium miracle. Or just go read Caroline Dean’s book The Magnesium Miracle. But in most cases, what studies have found is that your calcium magnesium ratio should be about two to one. So, two parts calcium and one part magnesium. And you’re going to get some folks recommending you like the Nutritional Magnesium Association recommending more of a one to one ratio. But most people are way higher than that. I mean most people are up around like a ten to one ratio of calcium to magnesium.
So, generally about two parts calcium to one part magnesium is better. And supplementing with magnesium is going to help with everything from sleep to irritability to high blood pressure to your heart function to you muscular performance. So, there are a ton of reasons for including magnesium in the diet. It’s really tough to get a ton of magnesium from food especially for sweating athletes, people who are losing a lot of minerals. I personally take some natural palm before I go to bed at night which is calcium or a magnesium citrate form. And then I use a topical magnesium spray that I rub into my muscles as well. But that’s the deal in terms of including calcium along or including magnesium along with calcium. And it is super important.
Brock: I use the topical spray as well. And I tried using one of the Cal-mag sleep aids that had a balance of calcium and magnesium. And I think I took a little too much.
Ben: You’ll have loose stool.
Brock: I had some distress in the morning.
Ben: Exactly. You will get loose stool. And the interesting thing is that you can tolerate more magnesium as you supplement with it. So, I can handle about 1200 milligrams of magnesium a day.
Ben: And when I first used magnesium, it was 400 or 500 milligrams would have me on the toilet with a good book.
Brock: I took 500 and that was me.
Ben: You can go up as you go.
Brock: Alright. So, that’s something to work towards everybody.
Ben: Did she actually want to know the type of calcium?
Brock: There was part of the question where she was asking which type of calcium would be best if she is going to go with the supplement or one that’s been added to a food.
Brock: Is there a big difference between the different kinds?
Ben: Yeah. There’s kind of a difference. Calcium carbonate is the one you’re going to see most often like a calcium carbonate or a calcium citrate. And those are pretty decently absorbed. Essentially, all that happens is that they typically bind the calcium salt to carbonate or glucomate or anything else. And that allows it to be better absorbed by the body. There’s one form that’s basically hydroxyl appetite calcium. And you’re going to start to find that in a lot more supplements these days. It is a little bit better absorbed than the calcium carbonate. And they have found that it’s more effective in slowing bone loss. So, If you’re going to take a calcium supplement, I would actually look at the label and look for the calcium hydroxyl appetite version as one of the better, more absorbable versions of calcium versus a calcium citrate or a calcium gluconate or a calcium carbonate. So, when you’re looking at the label that is something to look for. Typically, the hydroxyl versions are going to be slightly more expensive. But if you really want to supplement with calcium, I would choose that version.
Brock: Cool. I think that covers that question. So, we’ll move on to Kyoko.
Kyoko: How does a gluten free diet affect the menstrual cycle?
Brock: She wants to know what those effects are and how serious can they be. I guess if they’re negative effects, how serious they can be. And what would your advice be?
Kyoko: I have no period and no PMS. But I feel better.
Brock: We can’t argue with that.
Ben: Yeah. And by the way, I’m getting a little bit of feedback from your microphone on that question by the way.
Brock: Oh, alright. I will deal with it while you answer.
Ben: Maybe there’s something going on in Canada. Maybe your internet is buttoned up there.
Brock: It always is.
Ben: Yeah. I still get a lot of feedback. It’s really scratchy. I’m not sure what that is.
Ben: Alright. While you’re doing that, I’ll launch into the answer to this question about gluten free and how that affects the menstrual cycle. Basically, they’ve done studies on folks with celiac disease. And they found that there’s a really big correlation between celiac disease and what’s called endometriosis. Basically, it’s a lot of heavy menstrual bleeding and pain during intercourse and sleep issues. And that means is that endometriosis basically means that uterine cells are growing outside the uterus. So, you get a lot of chronic pelvic pain. The other issue that they found is dysmenorrhea or severe menstrual cramps that occur. Again, in folks who have celiac disease which is a really extremely sensitive reaction to gluten. And it can result in a lot of issues but especially in women, reproductive problems. Now, they’ve also found that with the intake of gluten in people with celiac disease, you also get some real issues when it comes to the hormonal response to those like a hypogonadism type of deal going on.
In men, a significant drop in testosterone, men with celiac disease are consuming gluten. And you can also get essentially like a loss of fertility in women. That’s related to a big change in hormones. And one of the reasons for that is that when you have celiac and you consume gluten, in addition to the issue with gut inflammation, you get a real loss in your ability to absorb vitamins and supplements and minerals.
And so, when a woman’s sex hormones are at their peak during the cycle, there’s a big need for specifically like B-vitamins, calcium and magnesium which we already talked about, vitamin D, zinc and a bunch of other minerals. And so, when you have a nutrient deficiency and you’re not absorbing those properly, it can tend to throw off your menstrual cycle. Interestingly in most cases, what you see is this dysmenorrheal, the heavy bleeding, the endometriosis and sometimes, a complete in the actual cycle. But in this case, what was being asked was whether actually going gluten free could cause a cessation in the menstrual cycle. It can certainly cause a cessation of PMS. And they have done some studies that have shown that people with gluten free experience far fewer PMS symptoms. As far as a complete loss of cycle, I haven’t seen any studies that have shown a complete loss of the cycle. But it may be that your body is making a hormonal adjustment as you’ve gone gluten free.
Ultimately, what I would make sure of is that in the change that you’ve made to your diet, you’re getting enough healthy fat. You’re supporting your hormones that you’re actually producing estrogen and maintaining your normal reproductive status because that’s one big issue I see in folks who make significant dietary adjustments like going gluten free is that calorie count goes way down. The total fat intake goes way down. And it’s the same thing that happens when you start into any diet is that you run that risk of not getting enough fuel to make hormones. So, I’d make sure that you’re including coconut oil and avocado and olives and olive oil and a lot of good healthy fats in your diet. And it may even be a good idea to go get a 24-hour urine sex steroid panel to take a look at where your estrogens are at and whether or not you’ve got a good estrogen progesterone balance and whether you’ve got enough hormones on board. And if you do and you also going gluten free and getting in enough vitamins and minerals and supplements, I don’t think there’s a big reason for worry here.
Brock: And with all the talk about everybody going gluten free and being able to buy gluten free stuff everywhere, there seems to be a lot of people that are just jumping on board as if it’s a cure all or it’s going to make everybody thin or makes everybody more beautiful. It seems to be the choice of the day for diets. Is this rare that there is a benefit like when you’re not celiac that you actually see this kind of benefit from going gluten free.
Ben: Yeah. You can certainly see a lot of benefit from going gluten free primarily because most of the foods out there that contain gluten, they aren’t processed the way that our digestive systems have grown used to for literally thousands of years. I mean, in the past century, breads, pastas, grains, everything quite being sprouted and soaked and essentially go through much quicker processing. And it’s exposed to a lot higher temperatures and pressures. And it can sit for long periods of time. And the bread that we eat now is not the bread that our great grandparents were eating. So, there can certainly be a bunch of digestive issues that are taken care of when you go gluten free. And those digestive issues can be extremely related to immune system issues and hormonal issues. What my wife and I do around our house is if we consume any food that does contain gluten or phytic acids or digestive system inhibitors, we soak it. We sprout it. And pretty much our rule is if we’re going to have a wheat compound or anything like that, it’s soaked. It’s sprouted. And that massively improves digestibility. And can help out quite a bit with the way that you look, feel, and perform. So, a gluten free diet basically consists of going out and just choosing gluten free foods at the grocery store that are packaged and still full of anything from artificial sweeteners to high glycemic index foods that are going to spike your blood sugars to lots of preservatives. It is not technically in my opinion a healthy gluten free diet. A healthy gluten free diet just involves preparing your food in a way that it minimizes the damage that gluten could cause.
Brock: I got you. Okay. That’s good to know. Okay. So, the next question comes from Erin.
Erin: I am a big fan of the show. I heard you talk about the use of beet juice for improved endurance performance a few times on the podcast now.
Brock: And Erin, you have me to thank for at least two of those questions about beet juice.
Erin: I’m just curious to know if you’ve actually tried drinking 16 ounces of beet juice. I tried drinking eight ounces of it once and was very quickly it made me very nauseous. I had to pull over the car because I thought I was going to toss my cookies. I’m great with other vegetable juices. But I can’t do straight beet juice. And I’m wondering if other people have the same problem.
Ben: Yeah. I mean the studies that they’ve done on beet juice like there’s the one in the professional cyclist where they drank six ounces of beet juice. And they went out and they rode in a simulated competition. And they shaved significant seconds off of their finishing time. And then they did another study where they found that it also enhanced performance in endurance athletes and lowered blood pressure and had a lot of these effects. They were based off the fact that beet root juice works in the same way that like something called nitric oxide does. It can cause vasodilation and better blood delivery to muscles during a workout. The issue is that it is hard for you to digest 16 ounces taken in all at once. And that’s primarily because the digestion of beet juice requires quite a bit of saliva. What happens when you drink the beet juice is you get a conversion of a lot of the nitrates to nitrites. And what happens is it does require a lot of amylases, a lot of digestive enzymes, and a lot of digestive will and power to do that as well as the ability to stomach the taste of the stuff. I’ve never actually drank 16 ounces before I’ve gone out and done a workout because I’m not a huge fan of that taste. And you could do a little bit better if you drank it more slowly. And also took digestive enzymes along with it. Particularly, something that contain amylases to help with the digestion a little bit. That’ll help with the nausea a little bit. And you can also look into using a beet juice capsule or a beet juice powder as well to see if that helps out a bit more.
But ultimately, in these studies, if you look at the actual studies themselves, they did have some folks who just dropped out of the study or didn’t complete the ride due to gastrointestinal issues that were probably related to their inability to digest those 16 ounces of beet juice or inability to stomach it. So, I would take digestive enzymes, try and sip it slowly if you can. And drink your 16 ounces of beet juice over the course of 30 to 60 minutes and that should help out a little bit.
Brock: I actually tried this. About three weeks ago I did a marathon. And what I did was the day before the marathon I started just drinking the odd like just taking a good swig of beet juice periodically throughout the entire day. Then the night before the race, I drank quite a bit of it. I also, when I made my sweet potatoes and kinwa and stuff, I mixed some actual boiled beet. So, I got some more beets that way. And then just before bed, I drank a little bit more. And first thing in the morning, I was all prepared to drink 500 milliliters of this stuff. My plan was to drink it two hours before the race and then be good to go. And I got about half way through it. And I just couldn’t take the flavor anymore. So, I actually bailed out about 200 milliliters.
Brock: But I did set a personal best by 20 minutes in that race.
Ben: Nice. And I should mention that I actually stayed at a friend’s house before my recent ITU World Champions race where I won the gold medal for the USA. And I had a bunch of beets the night before during that. He cooked up some beets. And we had some salmon and some dark leafy greens. But I had a fair share of beets the night before that as well. So, I agree. There’s certainly something to be said for beets. And it’s a great gluten free carbohydrate source as well. So, I was watching the time here as we were talking Brock. And we actually have an appointment with Doctor Josh Axe here in just a couple of minutes. So, I guess that’ll probably it for this week’s Q and A. Although, folks if you’re listening in, keep listening because the upcoming call with Doctor Josh Axe I think is going to be really cool. We’re going to be talking about organic product, packaged organic products and whether or not they’re healthy. What kind of options there are out there. And I will put a bunch of links in the show notes as well to a lot of the stuff that we talked about with Doctor Josh Axe. If you’ll like him, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and do a search for Josh Axe because I’ve interviewed him before. I’ve got his cook book. I love his cook book. I love the stuff that he puts out. Brock, you listen to him as well don’t you?
Brock: Yeah. He’s got a fantastic podcast. He basically turns his radio program into a podcast. And it’s available on iTunes. I’ve been listening to it for quite a while. He’s got some really great ideas and some of them are quite revolutionary too as far as I’m concerned.
Ben: Cool. Well, we will be right back with the call on organic products with Doctor Josh Axe.
Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield. And we’ve got Josh Axe on the call. And the reason that I have Doctor Axe on the call is because he is the expert when it comes to these new organic products that I’ve been seeing online. You may have seen them too. It started showing up a few weeks ago. They’re called beyond organic. And it’s basically this range of packaged organic food. And what I wanted to explore today was whether packaged organic foods can even be healthy and if they’re just marketing height if there’s anything to be said here when it comes to organic food. So Josh first of all, thank you for coming on the call. And we’ve got Brock on the call too by the way. And second, tell me a little bit about this whole beyond organic thing before we delve into on me asking you all of my criticisms about what I see in these products.
Dr. Josh: Sure. Well, I heard about beyond organic about a year ago. I’m good friends with Jordan Rubin who’s the founder of the company. And I’ll actually just tell a little bit about Jordan too. Jordan Rubin is the author of the Makers Diet in New York Times. They’re selling books. He’s the founder and CEO currently of the second largest basic nutrition company in the world that’s called Garden of life. And anyway, he’s had a lot of success. And his food products that we’re sharing with people beyond organic actually helped saved his life. Jordan had ulcerative colitis. He went to visit the doctor. And they told him that they were going to remove it into his chest and into his gut. So, it was a bad. He lost about 50 pounds floating in his stool. He was very sick. And then he stumbled upon a natural doctor who told him that he needed changes, diet, changing what he was eating, doing Sherman and dairy products like kiefer, doing a lot of raw foods. And he started changing his diet and his body was healed for ulcerative colitis.
Dr. Josh: And he this literally saved his life. So, that’s why he went on to start a fight. He started to be on to organic company. The mission of beyond organic is to create the world’s healthiest food. And I can tell you, I’m a big foodist myself. I’ve got my own cook book. I’m big into health food. And these foods are basically or ideally what I want to be putting in my body on a daily basis. So, again the mission is creating to healthiest foods in the world and that’s just what they’re doing.
Ben: Cool. So, of course I’ll put a link for people listening in to some of the stuff I’m going to go through with you here Josh. But I guess I just want to launch into these products. And the first thing I noticed when I got on the site was there were beverages. And of course, I always have my eye brow raised whenever I see healthy beverages for two reasons. I get a little bit concerned about whatever sugar or artificial sweetener content might be in them. Second, when beverages like these are on this site that are claiming probiotic activity and living healthy bacteria in the actual products, I always wonder what’s going on because most of the stuff out there are pasteurized. It’s exposed to a lot of high temperatures. And most of time, the bacteria is pretty much dead from the kombucha and a lot of the kefirs and stuff that you find out there. So, first thing I noticed was and this is probably because my wife and I make and drink our own kefir, was this cultured dairy product. I think you pronounce it amasai. But it’s a cultured dairy product. It’s supposed to have probiotics in it. Tell me a little about this and also tell me how you actually keep probiotics alive in drink form and still are able to shift it to somebody’s house.
Dr. Josh: Sure. Yeah. That’s a great question Ben. Jordan stumbled upon this food. And he was down over in Africa. The dominate tribe in Africa known to have the longest life span now is called the amasai tribe. What they did was they fermented milk out of a gourd. And they created what they called amasai. And so, Jordan went over there. He tasted it. He loved it. And this is very stellar to achieve for it to taste more like a drinkable yogurt. And I’ll tell you I’ve seen it myself. And I loved it. I actually had a smoothie this morning for breakfast. And it tastes great. But the bigger reason I’m drinking it is the health benefit. Today, a lot of farmers are getting arrested for selling raw milk. Actually, just now a recent farmer went to jail for it which totally another topic that I probably know we both feel strongly for. Then again, I think we should consume what we want. But when you look at an amasais, it’s typically half dried when they’re dairy specifically what we’re talking about is milk and yogurt products. However, Jordan found a, I don’t want to call it a loophole, but a system. And here’s what happens in pasteurization today, and I haven’t even break anything that’s been pasteurized for years. I don’t even get close to them because they give me severe allergies when I do consume pasteurized dairy.
So typically, things are pasteurized today well over 200 hundred degrees, shields off all the vitamins, all the minerals. It also promises teenagers some protein. And it basically chills off the good bacteria that we’ve been talking about here. Now, this amasai product, what they were able to do was they were able to heat it up for a little bit longer period of time, put it to low 140 degrees, that’s on 130 degrees. And when it’s lower than 140 degrees none of the proteins are denatured. Most of the good bacteria are kept in tact. It was really still a super food and a health food. Now, it’s not considered raw by some raw foodist. So, raw foodists say that they have to stay below 118 degrees in order to be raw. So, this is slightly above that. But overall, I guess all the vitamins, all the nutrients, all the proteins, are still intact. So, you’re basically getting the same thing you would be getting from farm. Now, here’s another thing. Jordan wanted to make sure that his food was high in probiotics. And it was cultured for a long time. If he’s going to replace whole food today, they’d culture their top of the line kefir for four hours. This is actually cultured for well over 16 hours in their facilities there in Missouri. So, this product is very high in probiotics. Legally, they’re not going to let something called a label. But I can tell you that if you drink this product and Ben you know this feeling. If you drink raw kefir, even if you take on supplements today, you can take a couple of billion probiotic units. And you don’t necessarily feel a lot in your stomach. But when you drink that kefir, you feel something happening. You know what I’m talking about there?
Ben: Right. It’s not something bad. It’s not something that’s going to make me stuck in the toilet for three hours.
Dr. Josh: Exactly. It’s something good. You can feel bacteria working in your system. And you feel that exact same thing here with the amasai. And it’s an amazing product. Everything is still intact. And it goes through processing. But still, everything is intact. And there are three flavors now. There’s a plain. There’s a honey. And there’s a raspberry flavor. They do add some honey for the honey flavor. I’ve gotten questions about the sugar or if sugar should be a concern. Sugars are concerned especially when they’re isolated. So, if you’re just out there drinking soda or even some kombuchas out there those are pasteurized, basically it’s not a whole lot better than sugar water.
Dr. Josh: And when they’re isolated, the good thing about this though is eating honey is probably your best form of sugar you can consume. And it’s also mixed with all the healthy protein in the amasai and all the healthy fat that’s going to lessen the effect. And the plain has no added sugar at all. It’s plain just like your plain kefir and your plain yogurt.
Ben: Right. Go ahead Brock.
Brock: So, you said earlier on that it tasted like yogurt and now there’s some flavors and stuff. So, I have to admit when I hear the words fermented milk and especially when you’re talking about fermenting them in gourds. That doesn’t sound that appetizing to me. But it sounds like you’re saying that it’s quite delicious.
Dr. Josh: Well, yeah. I’ll tell you that it’s delicious. But it depends on I’d say the person. But if you drank let’s say and anyone out there that’s seen yogurt before when you eat yogurt, I love it. And you guys may love it as well.
Ben: Oh yeah.
Dr. Josh: So, when I do a plain, I like it. But some people though, they really want that fruit. They need something good to add a little bit of sweetness to it. A little bit of tartness. And it’s the same thing here again. They add in some raspberries into one of the flavors that they’re making. You can add in a little bit of honey in the other. And I’ll tell you when they added a little bit of those flavors, it really taste great. And I do this myself. What I do is I take the plain amasai typically, and I’ll throw in a hand full of blue berries or raspberries just to sweeten it up a bit. And it really tastes amazing.
Ben: Okay. I got you. A concern here for me Josh and I don’t know if you’ve heard this NPR special Brock or Josh. But there’s a big deal last month that came out about honey. And I see that you’re using honey in this. I see you’re using honey I think it’s in the other thing you have that’s like kefir that I’ll ask you about a second. But the fact was that a lot of the honey had the pollen removed. And so essentially, it didn’t have all those health benefits that all honey was supposed to have in terms of anti-allergenic and immune boosting properties. And so, you basically just get fructose with none of the positive health benefits. So, when it comes to honey, are you guys, I guess it sounded like it was really hard to find raw honey that actually had the pollen still added. Where do you guys stand with that with the inorganic stuff?
Dr. Josh: Well, let me say this first about Jordan Rubin. Out of all the people I’ve ever met, I’ve never seen anyone who has pursuit in excellence as much as he has. Also, all his products are the products that he’s consumed. So, we tried to make use of the top of the line products that we would be giving our own families. And so, when we look at the honey, we actually chose a raw organic honey to start. And again, I know the honey is organic and raw. All of those pollens are in their stem. And I’ll tell you, I’ve seen same thing. A lot of these companies will promote that they have honey in their products and berries and things along those lines. Then again, those are just marketing gimmicks and marketing trolls. The really main goal of the company is that we want to create the healthiest foods on the planet because some of us are able to go to our farmers. And we can take up somebody’s food. And it’s easy to do.
So, for a lot of people, even myself I live more on the city. It’s a little bit harder for us to go drive an hour on the country and try and get stuff under the fade or be a in a city and go to the black market. We’re worrying about getting arrested to try and get somebody’s food. And so, we really wanted to bypass that and figure out how to get this to people can be a great thing. I went on the market site, ordered some products. Three or four days later, I’ve got this amasai grass-fed bees. All these things ship right to my home. And that’s something that’s exciting. And one other thing here to touch on, one of the things that we wanted to do as beyond organic is we wanted to support local farmers. One of the things that beyond organic is dealing is they have something called a healthy living account. If you’re purchasing a certain amount of food or you’ve refer people to buy the food, you get something called a healthy living account. Or you get anywhere from 200 to 800 dollars a month that you get to spend on natural health care practitioners like chiropractors and the therapist or you can spend it at your farmer’s market. So, actually they’re really trying to promote partnerships with different farmer’s market, the local farmers and buying these products.
Brock: Wow. That’s very unique. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any kind of program like that before.
Ben: Yeah. Frankly, when if first heard about this packaged organic food that was being sold, I was like nah, who cares. I don’t care because I’m surrounded by all these farms. But there are many folks who I coach and I work with and people that I know who listen to the show they really live in organic food oasis with access to this stuff. Or I want to talk about some of these other foods that are on the website just because some of it is just pretty dang appetizing looking stuff. So, let me ask about this other beverage before we talk about some of the foods that are on here. And the other beverage that I see here is and I’m sorry if I pronounce this incorrectly, it’s swear-o-vie. And it looks like maybe like kombucha. My wife and I grew our own kombucha. And when I looked over the ingredients on this, it’s similar. But it’s a little different. What’s going on with this cultured beverage?
Dr. Josh: Well, swear-o-vie is actually in French it means the way of life. And so, the reason they used this is the way they fermented it is part of the way of what they did. And swear-o-vie is like a cross between coconut water and kombucha. It’s full of all the electrolytes that you’re going to find in something like coconut water. It actually has seven times the amount of potassium as something like a Gatorade would. So, it’s very high in potassium. And again, it’s like a kombucha. Its firm and it’s very high in probiotics which is great for digestion. I’ll tell you, I’m a triathlete like yourself Ben. I love working out. We really created this as the ideal workout drink. There are also some amino acids in there. There’s about 67 grams of protein per bottle that aids in recovery during a workout and yet it’s not too much for your body to handle. And this summer, I’ll be traveling to London for the 2012 Olympics. So, I’m actually one of the official positions for USA wrestling, USA judo, and USA weight lifting. And this is something we really plan on giving a lot of the Olympic athletes to consume and give them an edge in training and helping in their recovery. So, it’s good to know that a lot of Olympic athletes are going to be drinking this swear-o-vie. I know a lot of the wrestlers that are already training are starting to consume it. And this is great for people in pre-workout, during workout, and post-workout.
Brock: So, that’s something that we could throw in to a water bottle and take out on a long training run if you’re training for a marathon or something like that.
Dr. Josh: Exactly.
Brock: Wow, Okay.
Ben: Interesting. It’s kind of a weird spin on kombucha. Cool. That sounds good actually. So, you also have, and this is something I guess that unlike drinks people might not be so familiar with getting shipped to their house or buying online. But you’ve got beef on here. So, tell me first of all, what’s going on with this beef? Why is this type of organic beef good? And if somebody wanted to get this stuff, how is it shipped to your house and still kept safe and everything?
Dr. Josh: Sure Ben. That was a great question. And this is a question we’ve got fairly often. First off, there are several unique things here about the beef. Number one, we have three categories of foods today. We have condensed milk. You have organic. And then there’s also what’s called beyond organic. And we really wanted to raise that standard to the next level and get organic foods that are great yet they are not the best they can possibly. Let me give you an example today. When you read something that says grass fed beef today. The organic standard says that in order to be called grass fed, it actually only has to be fed grass 30 percent of the year. Not 100 percent of the year, only 30 percent of the year. And so, a lot of these products and grass fed beef today that you’re consuming really aren’t as high in omega three as it should be. Now, I’ll give you an example. I mean you guys, Brock I know you’re up in Canada. And Ben you’re in Washington. There’s going to be snow on the ground. So, some of these cows are eating grass early in the summer. And a lot of the times what they do is they eat grass and finish it on grains. And when they did studies, we looked at studies on conventional beefs, on organic grass fed, and the beyond organic. Conventionally, they tested them for two nutrients. One is called CLA. It stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid. CLA is the number one fat burning supplement on the market right now.
Dr. Josh: And CLA has also been shown to help fight cancer in recent studies. In fact, there are 35 clinical studies showing that CLA helps in weight loss and burning body fat. Now, if you do conventional beef today, it has anywhere from 0 to 60 milligrams of CLA. If you look at grass fed organic, they have anywhere from 60 milligrams to probably 250 milligrams. If you’re looking at this beyond organic beef, it’s probably anywhere from 250 to maybe even close to 500 milligrams of CLA which helps burn fat and fight cancer. So, that’s very significant. The other thing we’re looking at is omega three fats. In fact, the thing about beyond organic is we don’t call it grass. But we call it green fed because we’re making sure that our cows are eating grass 100 percent of the year their entire life in the winter included. And so, they’re eating this grass. And we made this testing for the omega three fats in this green fed beef or beyond organic. And they found that it has one to two ratios. Your typical grass fed beef that you pick up from your farmer has a four to one ratio. So, it has double the amount of omega three fats that you’ll find in traditional green fed beef.
The other thing is that again it’s whole organic, no vaccines, no antibiotics, and no steroids. And also, it’s killed in a closure manner. This is really one of the first companies where one of the cattle is killed biblically and the beef is also fed organically grass through its entire life. And I’ll tell you, this is actually a big deal. Most today, even your local farmers, they’ll kill cattle by electrocution or shooting them in the head. Now, when you’re killing an animal in that way, it’s sends a surge for four months throughout their entire body especially in electrocution. And it will damage the meat. It will damage the cells. It will basically create unnatural hormones in the body just like they were injected with hormones which are really bad for the cow and it’s sad for you. So, that’s another thing. So, we’re really the first company with biblically based processing methods and organic as well.
Dr. Josh: And let me touch on the shipping too because that’s a question I didn’t get to answer. In the shipping, it’s set on dry ice. And so, Jordan with Garden of Life, he has all these raw supplement products like probiotics and raw enzymes. So, they’ve been using this method for years. And so, I just got the shipment to my house. And when they shipped it to my house, it was frozen like it should’ve been even though it was shipped over a three day period. And I get stuff fully frozen on dry ice.
Brock: That’s a very cool method. That actually beats me to one of the questions that I was going to have. And that’s because I’ve encountered and I know that there’s a lot of listeners out there that aren’t. In the United States, you guys ship to any international destinations or have any of that in plans?
Dr. Josh: Yeah, we do. Actually, Canada is going to be the first place we’re going to open up shipment to. That’ll probably be the beginning of the year 2013. And just over a year away, we’re offering these products in Canada. After that, we’re going to expand probably a couple of years later to Europe and also some other areas. So, Canadians are number one on the list. We’re going to get foods up there to you guys. Now, here’s a side note. With beyond organic, people can just buy these foods retailed. They can buy it as a preferred customer. Or they get a 20 percent discount on all foods. That’s like having a club membership. They just pay 90.95 one time’s fee. And basically again, they get all the food with a discount. But also, if people want to, they can refer friends and family and do this as a business. I actually have one friend up in Toronto. And he is doing this as a business even though he is not able to get the food himself right now until next year. He’s actually still running a beyond organic business which is pretty cool. But with big bands like the Canadians, they really want to help get some of food and get their number on the list.
Brock: Oh, thanks.
Ben: So, I’ve got one other question about this beef. Is the dish like A1 versus A2 cattle? You got to explain what that is Josh and what kind of cattle you guys actually use.
Dr. Josh: That’s a great question. This is a really important aspect of what Jordan and what beyond organic is trying to do. You have two types of cattle. Actually there are a hundred types of cattle. But species-wise, you have a type of cattle called Holstein cattle which is very prominent here in the United States, North America and Canada. There’s another type of cattle called Vas cattle that’s over in places like the Middle East and Africa. Now, most of our cattle today just like we have genetically modified corn and soy, most of our cows may have been genetically modified over time to be able to produce a lot of milk. In fact, most Holstein cows today live about seven to nine years because they’re injected with so many steroids and antibiotics that they just die early. Basically, health these things to death, it’s a very sad process. And again, you look at animal cruelty, any conventional company out there today. But in most part, that’s what they’re practicing, by the way they’re their cows.
Now, these Holstein cattle have a type of protein called beta-casein A1. And this is the protein that many kids on the autism spectrum are allergic to. I work with a lot of kids with things like Asperger and they’re very allergic to many dairy types. We put them on a gluten free taping free diet. And I know myself I’ve been allergic to that sort of protein for a long time. And so, I would do okay with goat milk or sheep’s cheese. But I couldn’t do cow’s milk. Now, I went out to the ranch here in June, and Jordan said hey I think you’re going to fine with this sort of other cow’s milk which is from Vas cattle. Its protein is not A1. It’s called A2 casein. I went ahead and drank the milk, ate the cheese, and guess what, I had no allergies whatsoever. So, these Vas cattle are actually genetically superior type of cattle. Jordan, I know just shipped anther ten cattle from somewhere in the Middle East, it’s called Vansickle cattle. And again, he is basically breeding these super cows to the healthiest cows possible. When you look at most cows today, they are very sick in the US. And that’s where we’re getting a lot of our dairy products. And whether it’s raw, organic, or conventional, I get a lot of these Holstein cattle that’s genetically modified over the years. And there’s a great book on the topic, it’s called “The Devil’s In The Milk.”
Dr. Josh: “The Devil Is In The Milk” is what that book is called.
Ben: Okay. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes for folks. I’ll have to add that to my reading list as well. That’s one I haven’t heard of. The devil is in the milk. Cool. So, I noticed that you got this beef as a hotdog or a patty. But you also have these raw cheeses. Are those coming from the same type of cattle? And what’s the deal with those?
Dr. Josh: Exactly. It’s coming from the same type of cattle. Again, it’s all the A2 casein. And the beyond organic flock of cattle, the only cattle that is certified in the US can be all A2 cattle which is pretty awesome. Now, the thing about the cheese is that I just found this cheese for a night, last night. There’s raw cheddar. There’s a raw cobbardy. There’s also raw blue cheddar coming out here in about six weeks which I’m really excited about. The cheese is never heated about 101 degrees. So again, it’s completely raw. It’s been aged over 60 days. It’s very flavorful inside. I know it’s the tastiest cheese I’ve ever had. It’s very good. You get some significant health factors about it. The omega three to omega six contents is a one to one ratio which means it’s entirely anti-inflammatory. Most diseases today are inflammatory in nature. Ulcer colitis is inflammation of the intestines. Arthritis, that’s inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is actually inflammation of the arteries. The number one way to reduce inflammation is consuming good omega three fatty acids. And this cheese is very high in omega three. It’s also high in CLA that we talked about earlier. And one ounce of this raw cheese has seven grams of highly absorbable protein.
So, if you’re looking to burn fat, build muscle, and lose weight, the cheese is a good way. If you’re looking for a healthy snack, kids absolutely love this cheese as well. And it also has probiotics in it that aids in digestion. So again, the cheese is very healthy. And another great about these products, I got a question here recently about shelfla. And the shelfla is from amasai’s two month or more. The cheese is at least three months. And so, the great thing is you can order these products. And you can keep them in the fridge for months. Now, most of the time I’m experiencing, and I believe everybody’s tried them already. And by the way, I mean there are tens and thousands of people who’ve already gone on and tried these. And the company just launched it about four weeks ago. I’ve already ate probably four packs for cheese.
Ben: Yeah. It’s a pity that thanksgiving is tomorrow because I would’ve grabbed some. So, we’ve got the cheese, the beef, these drinks, and the last thing that I saved for last because it’s a little bit of a desert and also because it surprised me. But there’s actually a chocolate on here. And chocolate is not something you’ll often think of as a health food per say. I see that this chocolate has got some probiotics and omega three is added to it. So, what’s the deal? What’s going on with the chocolate?
Dr. Josh: Well first off, we’ve got several questions about how chocolate can be healthy. Well, chocolate can be healthy. And there are a lot of good nutrients in here. Now, I’ll say this, there is some sugar in there. So, it’s very low amounts of sugar and also the serving times of this are just 35 grams. They did about a one third of a bar. And I’ll tell you, it’s very satisfying. But there are several things here. One, it’s got over 60 percent coco powder in it. Coco is one of the top antioxidants on the planet. It’s a very good for anti-aging. It’s also full of flak seeds. First, they added the flak seeds because wanted to add a health benefit. The other thing that happened though is that it added more flavor to it and a better texture. And I’ll tell you, this taste very similar to a dark chocolate nestle crunch.
Actually, one of those bars has a thousand milligrams of omega three fats and because of the flak seeds it’s got four grams of fiber per serving. So, even if there is only 12 grams of sugar which is very minimal. If you look at a snickers bar, it’s got probably 40 or 50 grams of sugar and just that alone. So, it’s really just 12 grams. It’s high in fiber. It’s high in good healthy fat. It’s high in antioxidants. And it’s high in omega three fats. So again, it’s a healthy dessert that I know I’d love. And it’s nice for people. And again, 99 percent of people here on the line love chocolate. There are probably one percent of people who are maybe total free so they eat wheat for desert. But for most people here, the dark chocolate bars are a healthy way to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Brock: I have a little concern. There are probably some people out there listening that are thinking that I’m going live off of this stuff. It’s amazing. That would be a little dangerous though, I think.
Ben: I could pull it off. Well, cool. Like I said, I’m going to put a link to this stuff in the show notes. I’ve seen it. I was on defense about whether or not the products were really truly healthy. But I think after talking to you, it looks like there’s the option to go on there and order a paper sack full of sampling of all these different things that we talked about. The dairy beverages and the kombucha stuff, the beef, chocolate, and cheese. So, I think what I’m going to do is go on there and pick up a bundle package and just try this stuff out now after talking to you. So, I’ll put a link there for other people as well.
Dr. Josh: Well, also Ben, let me just close here by saying that I think they’re going to love these foods. I’ll challenge everybody. Hey, go and try some of them. They’re delicious. They’re really healthy. Also, we tell people that there’s three ways to win and there are three ways to buy. You can just buy retail. If someone just wants to go on there and buy some of the spring water or buy some of the chocolate or just some of the few things, the amasai, they can buy retail. Those people, what they’re chose to do is to buy that club membership where they pay 20 dollars and then they get 20 percent off of all of the products which is pretty amazing. Also, people do that, if they refer their friends and family members, what they’re able to do is actually get points back and potentially get their food for free. Or people can sign up as a mission marketer doing this as a business. Again, they prefer friends and family. And then they have the potential to get that healthy living cow where they can spend food not only beyond organic products but also health care providers, farmer’s market, whole foods, and places like that as well which is pretty awesome.
So, if people follow the link of your site Ben, they can look at those three ways to win. Also, there’s a great video online to go to the detail to know more about beyond organic. It’s a seven minute video. You can check under the opportunity section. It’s pretty phenomenal. If people have extra questions, they can run out to my page. Ben and Brock are both very knowledgeable. So, thanks guys for having me on. I’m really excited about helping the world live beyond organic because that’s what this is all about. It’s changing the world. Helping change lives through proper nutrition.
Brock: I think you guys did a great right on the homepage having the holy trinity of food the cheese, the beef and the chocolate. You had me right there.
Ben: Boom. There you go.
Dr. Josh: I had you with cheese.
Ben: Alright. Well, Doctor Axe, thank you. Folks, if you’re a fan of Josh Axe, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com, do a search for Josh Axe. And you’ll find the other interview that I did with him. That was really good.
Brock: Sign up for his newsletter as well. I’m on the newsletter. It’s a fantastic way to get some great information.
Dr. Josh: Well, thanks guys.
Ben: Well, thanks Doctor Axe.
Dr. Josh: Okay. Thanks everybody.
Brock: You too Josh.
Ben: Alright. Well, that was pretty interesting. I was kind of salivating. For some reason, the amasai sounded really good to me and the chocolate sounded pretty good.
Brock: The cheese got my stomach growling.
Ben: Yeah. Too bad you’re up in Canada.
Brock: Yeah. I have to go across the border to Buffalo and find somebody to sneak somewhere across the border.
Ben: Well, we’ve people doing weed runs over at the Vancouver Park with some of the BC buds. So, maybe I’ll see if I can get some chocolate up your way.
Ben: Well, that about wraps up everything that we have to go. This was the first podcast with the new host. So folks, thanks for listening to us piece it together here.
Brock: And listening to me effectively double the length of time that it takes to get through the show. We’ll iron that out. We’ll get a little more slick next time.
Ben: I just got used to the Canadian accent. So, you can go to iTunes. Update your iTunes. You can download all the podcast like I mentioned. Leave a ranking while you’re over there. And of course, you can access the show notes as well as the beyond organic stuff. I’ll put a link to all that stuff that we just talked about over in the show notes. Leave comments underneath if you have questions. And actually, Doctor Axe feels pretty good about coming over to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and answering people’s questions in the comment section there.
Brock: That’s pretty cool.
Ben: Alright. Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Next week we’ve got a cool interview coming out with Lance Armstrong’s strength and conditioning coach. And we’ll be somehow doing that as I am stringing my way down to Highland on a series of planes and airports. But we’ll come to you either way. Brock and I will connect. And we’ll get you the next episode.
Brock: We’ll make it happen.
Ben: Alright folks, so until next time, this Ben and Brock signing out.
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In this November 23, 2011 free audio episode: The new BenGreenfieldFitness podcast host, are packaged organic foods really healthy, is an off-season necessary?, how hard to train in the winter, is aspirin healthy, what kind of calcium to take, how a gluten free diet affects menstrual cycles, and how to use beet juice for sports performance.
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