Introduction: In this episode, exactly what to expect if you try acupuncture, exercise and diet during Ramadan, the HCG Diet, running with a labrum tear, training with hypothyroidism, how fast should your feet move when you run, is too much Vitamin E dangerous, how chain rings work on your bike, and what kind of diet do I eat?
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield and this is kind of low carbohydrate week over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. If you didn’t go over to the website this Monday, I released an article about all of the dangers of a low carbohydrate diet. So, you should go check that out at BenGreenfieldFitness.com and this Friday or just a couple of days after this podcast is release, I’ll be going into more details of really how to do a low carbohydrate diet right. So, today’s podcast has really absolutely nothing to do with carbohydrates. I’ll be talking to Dr. Jerry Bailey. He’s a pretty cool Acupuncturist. He lives barely close to me over in the town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He’s not just an Acupuncturist. He’s a Functional Nutritionist and a Chiropractic Physician. So, he goes into a lot more detail and he does everything in his practice from blood and hormone testing, to herbal medicine, to detoxification, chiropractic acupuncture. So, he’s got some pretty cool things to talk about when it comes to that. You’ll gonna learn some things that you probably didn’t know before about acupuncture. In addition to that we’ve got a Q and A and some cool special announcements so, let’s jump right in to this week’s content.
Ben: I’ve got three special announcements for you today. The first is that, for any of you listening to this podcast right when it comes out, if you happen to be at Sacramento area tomorrow night at 7 pm, I will be giving a diet and fitness presentation down on El Dorado Hills talking about the things I’ve been implementing lately in my own nutrition program and in the fitness programs of myself and my clients and I’ll let you know how that’s working out and how you can make some changes in your life, your nutrition and your fitness. So, that’s gonna be at El Dorado Hills, California, 7 pm August 18th, that’s a Thursday evening. And I’ll put you a link in the show notes for the details for any of you who wanna jot over there at the last minute. Okay, next. I mention that this week is kind of low carbohydrate diet week over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. I have also put out the free video in a brand new guide that I wrote about how to do a low carbohydrate diet right. Because fact is most of them out there do not take into account the crazy activity levels of most of the people who listened into the show. Basically, if you are trying to do an Ironman triathlon, a marathon, a cross fit competition etc. and you’re living low carb, you could be shooting yourself in the foot from health, immune system and performance perspective. So, I got to tell you how not to do that over at LowCarbTriathlete.com . Primarily written for triathletes but just for anybody who is physically active and wants to eat a low carbohydrate diet will benefit from this. Okay, and then last thing, just a few hours ago, I found out that the brand new Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear and Clothing Store is now live. Those of you who have seen me in person know I have a huge tattoo in my back. That’s basically kind of a mix of fire and water. That tattoo is kind of like the background of all the brand new tech tees, tech shorts, performance gears, cycling jerseys, cycling shorts, triathlon performance suits, pants, coats and tons of other stuff over there at the brand new Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear and Clothing Store. So, I will put a link to that in the show notes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com at the special announcements of this episode, Episode #159. So, we’re gonna have a quick message and then move on to this week’s listener Q and A.
Listener Q and A:
Patrick: Hi Ben! This is Patrick from Nashville, Tennessee. Giving you a call with a question for your podcast. I’m a personal trainer and one of my clients is a Muslim and is observing Ramadan this month which essentially means that she can only eat twice a day, once at 8 P.M. and once at 4 A.M. She wants to continue her training sessions but obviously she has no energy as she’s pretty much fasting all month and I just want your opinion on what exactly I can do with her that’s not going to destroy her body. Thanks a lot, man!
Ben: Okay, first of all my apologies because I think Ramadan is just about over now. This question was asked a few weeks ago. I’m just now giving to it but for those of you who are listening in, this is something that you can reference in the future since all our show notes are transcribed. They are on the site. So, basically a quick primer in Ramadan, basically, you fast from sunrise to sunset for a period of a month. That means no food, no water, sunrise to sunset and at sunset you can eat whatever you want until sunrise. Okay. So, that’s kind of like the 30 second elevator pitch of what goes on during Ramadan. Now, when we think about exercise and the way that it would best be implemented for something like this you need to come out from a fuelling standpoint. Because if you exercise in the afternoon or in the middle of the day where you do the type of exercise that tends to be very calorie depleting you really gonna shoot yourself in the foot and come out the other end of a month of fasting with a very depressed immune system and possibly a little bit of metabolic damage going on. So, the first thing that you need to be willing to do for that month is to forego high intensity metabolic style training where you are going hard for long periods of time or lifting weights to a level where your muscles become exhausted and instead replace those type of sessions with either quick powerful weight lifting or with very short high intensity cardiovascular intervals. And this would be the type of exercise that you’d want to do if you’re trying to maintain fitness or lose as little fitness as possible during this month. So, when I talk about powerful intense weight lifting, I’m talking about for example doing a 20 minute circuit of weight lifting where you’re choosing 4 multi-joint exercises, say, squat, dead lift, shoulder press and bench press. And you’re doing anywhere from 3 to 6 sets each of those exercises and you’re not doing that many reps, you’re doing any more than 4-8 reps with the fairly heavy weight. So, it’s quick, choppy, powerful, fast, boom, boom, boom and you’re done. Not a lot of caloric requirements for that, not a ton of muscle damage going on, specifically the type of muscle damage that’s gonna require a ton of protein to fix that muscle. Of course you’re not gonna be getting ideal amount of calories and protein in conjunction with that weight training session during Ramadan. The next thing I mentioned is high intensity cardiovascular intervals. I’m talking about super short stuff. I’m looking about working in like 10 x 100 meter sprint in the morning or in the evening just before you break your fast and having that just very short, quick burst of cardiovascular exercise and you can replicate them with bicycle or elliptical trainer or rolling machine or swimming pool, just enough to stimulate as much cardiovascular fitness response as you can possibly get away with without dipping in to high number of calories. So, you wanna avoid a lot of high impact sports, you wanna avoid a lot of like intense metabolic sessions like going out in a doing like a long, hilly bike ride or going out and doing a weight training session and that’s made up of 10 exercises where you’re doing 4 sets of each and you’re going 10-12 reps, that type of thing. Those are the type of exercise that you would want to avoid. I would recommend in terms of timing your exercise sessions ideally in the morning either right before you break your fast and so you are fueling your body directly after you’ve done those exercise sessions or right after. The problem with doing your exercise session right after you break your fast is it does kind of limit the amount of calorie dense like higher fat, higher protein types of food that you really should be eating for breakfast to get you through the rest of the day. So, kind of like the third scenario you could do is you get up and you have a snack and you get your work out session and then before noon you eat breakfast and the snack that you haven’t before your workout session. Just a quick hit of fruit carbs, something easily digested, quickly assimilated and then after that, you had your higher density breakfast whether be made up of eggs or meats or coconut milk or nut butter or the type of things that are gonna keep you going throughout the day. That’s the way that I would do it, I would definitely be eating more calorie dense foods both in the morning and in the evening. I’ve talk about things like healthy higher fat foods like avocados and coconut milk before. I’ve talked about engineered neuro-replacement food that are very dense from your nutritional standpoint, things like the living fuels, super grains for example, is something that I would use in a situation where I need to get a lot of dense nutrition calories in in a short period of time. Meat works pretty well for stuffs like this. Seeds, nuts; I’d go with those types of things rather than low nutrient density food. Low nutrients density foods being things like breads, rice, juices; things of that nature you’re getting a wall of calories without a ton of nutrients. So, hopefully that helps you and your client out and kind of put you in the right direction. It’s a great question.
Mary says: I’m curious about your opinions on HCG diet. Is it hype? Can you still train hard while doing this diet for the 6 weeks recommended to reset your weight?
Ben: Well this HCG diet I mentioned a couple of times on the show, I have watch several people through and I actually used to actually market my services as somebody who would walk people to HCG diet. Now I don’t do it so much because I don’t want to give people the impression that I necessarily think that it’s the best way to go or when people decide to do the HCG diet. I do know about that, I’ve research it a lot kind of it can help walked folks through it without doing a lot of damage to their bodies because basically it’s a combination extremely low daily calorie intake. So, about 500 calories per day unless you modify it which actually I do recommend to skew some little bit of protein and fat in there. But during the time you supplement with something called HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which is a hormone that’s produced by pregnant women. So HCG is not technically approved by the FDA for weight loss but it is approved for treatment of female infertility. So, you can pretty easily get HCG at the internet or get it prescribed. So, the diet’s been around since the 50’s and the whole idea behind it is that the HCG kind of allows you to control your appetite and also tap into your fat source as you’re on this super low calorie diet. There are a few risks, you get really tired, you get irritable, you get headaches, and you get pretty rapid weight loss which can lead to some loss of muscle mass. There’s some evidence that being on the HCG diet could precipitate something like gallstones because what happens is when you lose weight rapidly your liver increases how much cholesterol that it produces in the bile that it makes and so, whenever that happens that increases the risk of forming these gallstones with this little structure that can kind of prevents the flow of bile increasing inflammation of your liver, your pancreas, your gallbladder, your bile ducts. So, that’s one issue that kind of pops up with the HCG diet. Some guys got a gynecomastia or man boobs when they’re on this because technically it is a female hormone that could potentially cause that. There is one study done over the University of Maryland found a bunch of thyroid hormones in a blood almost like a toxic level of thyroid hormone in the blood after HCG supplementation and that can cause basically fever and confusion, swelling, rapid heart rate, all the things you kind of associate with a sky high stimulation of a thyroid or by thyroid hormones. So, some issues with the HCG diet ultimately I’ve seen people lose and keep the weight off with a diet like this but it’s not a lifestyle. And anytime you’re injecting a hormone into your body, you always need to be aware that there could be long term risks coz there haven’t been a ton of studies on long term or repeated use of something like the HCG diet. I’ve seen it work on some people. I even had clients try it out and it’s one of those things where I don’t really encourage it but if you decide that it’s something that you wanna do and you wanna try it out, I walk people through it sometimes and there are definitely some dietary modifications you can make particularly skewing up the protein intake a little bit to allow for a bit less muscle loss in a diet like this especially if you’re trying to exercise. Either way you can’t exercise very much at all. This diet is really limited to light movement and you may do body yoga, some walking, very lightweight.
Susan says: My 17-year old niece and high school track star suffered from a labrum tear. Physical therapy and cortisone shots haven’t helped. She’s facing surgery but college recruiters have expressed interest in her and if she has surgery now, she’ll miss half of cross country season and may lose out on scholarship opportunities. Her hip doesn’t hurt when she runs but aches afterwards. Any suggestions to what she can do to get through the season?
Ben: This is just my opinion but I think you’re playing with fire here because unless your daughter had an instance where she actually knew that she tore her hip labrum usually as a result of like an injury, a fall or an accident, this should be due to a degenerative tear of the labrum which is the result of repetitive use or repetitive activity. And that can easily kind of like the early stages of something like hip arthritis specially if you got a torn labrum and the bony sockets of the joints are really not protected the way that they’re supposed to be. Now I’m not a sports medicine doctor, I’m not an orthopedic physician, but I would say that if the inflammation isn’t shut down, things like rest and cortisone injection and physical therapy; the tear is probably serious enough to where running through it could cause a lot more hip issues down the road. And the last thing you want is your daughter when she’s 35-40 yrs. old being unable to do the things that she loves to do because she pushed through cross country season when she was in high school. You also run that risk of her really having that horrible college career because of hip issues as a result of running through a hip labrum tear. So, if I were you I would not encourage your daughter to push through this. I would look into actual surgery to fix it. If she really is this good as you say she is, she’ll figure out a way to bounce back and still turn the head of some college recruiters and that’s just my opinion. I think that when you push kids through injury you’re playing with fire and that’s just what I have to say about that.
Matt says: I’ve got a question with working out for triathlon and having hypothyroidism. I’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I’m on hormone replacement therapy. I’m supposed to take my medication on an empty stomach and not eat for an hour afterwards. Unfortunately, most of my workouts are in the morning before work so, I’m consistently training in a fasted state and I can tell my workouts suffer. In lieu of waking up earlier do you have any suggestions or any experience in working with triathletes having this condition?
Ben: You know, you hear that a lot that thyroid patients on thyroid medication are told that they need to take it on an empty stomach, wait 30 to 60 minutes before eating and also not take their thyroid together with calcium or iron which interferes the absorption of the thyroid hormone. But there have been studies in the past that have actually found that taking something like centroid or levothyroxine which is like the most popular thyroid medication out there, you might actually get a little bit better results from it if you take it at bed time compared to the morning and based on this knowledge, I could kind of get rid of your issue right there. There is one study in clinical endocrinology back in 2007 where they change the timing of the thyroid medication from early morning to bedtime and basically what they found was that there was a better, more favorable change in terms of the rhythm of thyroid stimulating hormone and the thyroid hormones and thyroid hormone metabolism. And basically, what they’re looking at was a higher thyroid hormone concentration and lower thyroid stimulating hormone concentration which would be a good thing in this case. Positive response to the thyroid supplementation or the thyroid medication and reasons that they said that might be happening is a better conversion of the T4 in the centroid to the active T3 part of thyroid that might be a little bit better achieved in the evening. A little bit slower activity in you gastro-intestinal tract at night specifically what’s called your bowel motility which means that’s it might get a little bit longer for the thyroid medication to move to your system which means it’s got a longer period of time being exposed to the intestinal wall; which means that the medication has a better chance to absorb. The other possibility is that when you eat breakfast even if it’s 30 or 60 minutes after you take your thyroid hormone or thyroid hormone medication, breakfast could still interfere with that intestinal absorption. And there’s another study in 2010 that kind of indicate the same thing. They’re pretty decent studies. So, basically what I mean is you may just want to think about taking your thyroid medication in the evening instead. This is something you definitely want to talk to your doctor about any ways. Now all that being said just because a thyroid medication usually is synthetic thyroid medication like levothyroxine or centroid is not quite as beneficial in many cases as a natural desiccated thyroid drug and there are many out there and I would think about talking to your doctor about whether or not they might be willing to put you on a natural desiccated thyroid drug. If they do that though, none of these studies were done on the natural desiccated thyroid drug. So, it may kind of bring you back to square one if that happens. In which case, if that does actually happen, then I would consider just eating a bigger dinner with more carbs so you got more storage liver and muscle carbohydrate on board when you wake up in the morning and you really don’t have to worry as much about breakfast or the lack thereof kind of depleting your energy levels coz if you have a decent dinner a night before working out fast in the morning is not that big an issue when she ain’t going. So, good question.
Ben says: I’ve been taking Vitamin E supplements for about 6 months for a variety of reasons most of all being restless legs or limbs at night. It seems to work great but I recently read that there was a study that link regular dosing of Vitamin D to an increase risk of stroke. I have a family history of stroke and I would really not like to increase the risk. Any thoughts?
Ben: Well, you’re absolutely right, Ben, there was a study, what it found was that Vitamin E supplements actually decrease the risk of you getting the type of stroke where the blood flow to your brain gets block, it’s called a ischemic stroke, but it increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke which is where the bleeding occurs in your brain. The actual study that found this took people and they gave them Vitamin D everyday and they gave them about 50 mg. or so which is most of the time what you’re gonna find in a basic Vitamin E supplement. Not in a multi-vitamin, typically multi-vitamin has lower levels of Vitamin E than that. But like in over the counter, Vitamin E supplement that you get at the health food store, it does not have that level of Vitamin E in it. And this kind of led to people saying that anti-oxidants are bad because Vitamin E is a potent anti-oxidant. They did this study and they found out that this potent anti-oxidant increase risk for certain types of stroke and so, anti-oxidants are kind of thrown under the bus. The issue is that when it comes to anti-oxidants, taking a full spectrum of anti-oxidants by eating lots of different type of foods that have anti-oxidants in them is not the same as taking a high mega dose of a specific anti-oxidant. For example, Vitamin E if you look at it in its natural form it is mostly gonna be found from like berries. But if you look at a full spectrum of anti-oxidants, you’re looking at wanting in addition to Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamin A what are called polyphenols, selenium, lycopene, lutein, there’s a ton of different anti-oxidants out there and so, if the Vitamin E studies are kind of keeping you from taking an anti-oxidant just make sure you’re getting your anti-oxidant from a whole food anti-oxidant form rather than a specific pill that isolates one anti-oxidant. So, like I mentioned that living fuel like super green stuff and I’m not trying for this to be like a commercial for that particular neo-replacement powder but it’s got berries, chia seed and brown rice bran and alpha lipoic acid and a glutathione and Co-Enzyme Q10, and green tea cathecins and all these different things that are like a full spectrum of anti-oxidants rather than like a single Vitamin E. So, that being said, if you have increased risk of stroke, I would look at what type of stroke that the increased risk is actually for whether it’s the hemorrhagic or the ischemic and I would highly consider based off the results seen from the studies not taking Vitamin E and also talk to your doctor about that, as well, because I’m sure it’s something that they can help you out with a little bit if you have more questions about how that might affect your stroke propensity.
Brian: My Dad and other endurance athletes keep recommending I keep my foot stride cadence at about 90 steps per minute when I run but I can’t seem to hit this number without my heart rate sky rocketing. Instead, my normal cadence is about 83 to 85 steps per minute. What do you recommend in this case?
Ben: I’ve seen a lot of either beginner runners or young runners really having a hard time getting their cadence up to 90 steps per minute but I don’t really wanna blow smoke at you. Basically, if you look almost every elite marathoner out there and elite runner, their cadence is gonna be very, very close to 90 steps per minute and rarely down around that 83 to 85 steps per minute that you are taking. Now if you’re listening in and wanna see what your cadence is at just count how many times one of your feet, like the right foot hits the ground in 2o seconds while you’re running and if that hits the ground 30 times in 2o seconds that’s a foot strike cadence of 90 or 90 foot strikes in 60 seconds. So that’s how you actually measure your cadence and what I’m gonna do, Brian, is I’m gonna put a video of Ryan Hall who is a fantastic American marathoner. I’m gonna put a video of him running and training in the show notes of this episode, Episode #159. You can watch him, you can count his cadence, you can see how he does it – nice forward lean, mid-foot strike and he achieves a beautifully high cadence. So, what are some of the things that you could do to actually improve your cadence? Probably 5 things I would recommend, the first would be plyometrics. So, single leg hops, double leg hops, hops on to a box, hops off of a box, anything that involves you popping with your foot off the ground coz that’s gonna improve the tendon stiffness in your legs; it’s gonna decrease your ground reaction time, help you pop up the ground a lot more quickly while you’re running, enhance the number of steps that you take per minute. I would recommend, if you would like to actually measure your cadence proactively in a different way than simply counting the number of foot strikes that you take in 20 seconds, that you consider using a metronome and you can get running metronomes that you would simply listen to while you’re running that would click, click, click you through. I would, and this would be my third suggestion if it were me, rather use music that is set to a BPM of 180. There are even free podcasts on iTunes that you can search for that will give you a BPM of 180 for running and you’ll just play that for like an hour. And it usually like some type of a techno beat and you simply run to that beat. That’s another really good way to do it especially if you have rhythm. If you don’t have rhythm, you might struggle a little bit with that. Okay, the next two kinds of training protocols that you can use, the last two things that I wanna mention to you, the first would be over speed workouts. A standard over speed treadmill is a type of treadmill that can literally go over 20 miles an hour and has like a harness attached to it that allows your feet to move very, very quickly underneath you as that treadmill just turns away. So, those are really expensive and they’re kind of hard to get access to. Some colleges, like track and field program, have them. Some physical therapy facilities have them and medical facilities have them but it’s not something you’ll gonna find in the average gym. I would just imagine if there would be carnage strewn about that thing if they have a treadmill or an over speed treadmill at the gym. Putting the treadmill at your local gym like a flat inclined or bringing it up to you as fast as it can go like a ten and just holding on to the rails and letting your feet move underneath you as fast as they can go, that can kind of work but definitely doesn’t increase your cadence as much as one of those fancy over speed treadmills can. Certainly an option if you don’t have any excess on over speed treadmill. Last thing you could do is downhill running repeats. Find a nice soft area, golf courses work really well. Especially when there’s no one swinging away on them and you just run downhill and you let gravity do the work. You lean forward and you get your cadence way up and when we you get to the bottom of the hill, on the flat, you keep running and trying to maintain that quick cadence that you kind of forced to keep while you’re running downhill. So, downhill repeats can work really well also. Great question! Question from Mac about chain rings and cassette combinations and for those of you who are scratching your head, I’m sure Mac is talking about bicycling.
Mac: I’m assuming different combinations benefit different terrains. Can you explain which combinations are for which terrains and why? What is the perfect all around combination?
Ben: Okay, first of all, kind of like bike gearing 101. Most road bikes, most triathlon bikes, too, got two front chain rings or what are called front sprockets. So, usually you got one, that’s a bigger one, it’s got a lot of teeth on it like it might have 50 tooth and you got a little one that has a fewer number of teeth, that might be say, a 34 tooth. And then on the back and behind those chain rings is the actual cassette that’s attached to your rear wheel. And on that cassette, let’s say it’s a ten speed cassette you’d have 10 different individual little sprockets on there and they might go from 12 teeth on the smallest one up to 25 teeth on the biggest one. So, what the teeth do is when you’re on the bigger plate at the front, it’s gonna make you go faster for any given rear sprocket that you’re using or any given rear cassette that you’re using. So, let’s say you’re using a 50 tooth front chain ring and that you’re on your big chain ring, no matter where you’re at on that back chain ring you’re gonna go faster compared to if you’re on the 34 tooth of your rear chain ring and that’s because for every time that you turn the crank on your bike around, you’re gonna travel farther when the chain is attached to 50 teeth rather than when it’s attached to 34 teeth. But when you’re climbing up a hill, being attached to 34 teeth might give you extra benefit because even though you won’t travel as far per pedal stroke, it allows you to apply a little less force or move your cranks around a greater number of times per minute. So, you’re gonna go slower but it will also feel easier to pedal. So that’s kind of what it comes down to when you’re choosing which cassettes and which chain rings you’re gonna ride with coz if you have a huge number of teeth on your front chain ring and you have a very, very low number of teeth on your rear cassette, you’re setting yourself up to be riding on flatter terrain. And if you have a smaller chain ring on the front and you’ve got larger teeth on your cassette at the back or larger number of teeth then you’re setting yourself up to being able to climb a little bit better. So, as far as what gears you should use, you’re looking at most triathletes just because triathlon courses tend to not have a ton of hills on them. They usually use something like a 53-39 for the front chain ring. Most triathletes use that. That’s what I use, that’s where I’ve had the most success with, and that’s what reallymost pro-triathletes use. It’s really versatile on both flat and hilly courses. Now what you would change out if you are gonna change out your cassette and go through that trouble for a hilly course versus a flat course is, for example, on a flat course, you might have an 11-23 rear cassette. So you’ve got 11 teeth on the smallest sprocket of your rear cassette and you’ve got 23 teeth on the biggest sprocket of your rear cassette. And what that means is that the smaller number of teeth on the smaller sprocket of that rear cassette allows you to go really fast on flat terrain because smaller number of teeth on the rear cassette combine with a large number of teeth on the front chain ring means fast and flat. But you might switch that out for a very hilly course. Like if you’re gonna go do like a really hilly Ironman or half Ironman triathlon you might consider switching your rear cassette to a 12-28. And that 28 number means that you have a lot more teeth to work on that rear cassette for climbing and really spinning out and being able to climb without fatiguing the legs by mashing the gears. And the flip side is that by not having 11 or a 10 as the smallest sprocket in your cassette, you might sacrifice some speed and kind of almost spin out at a really fast cadence once you get to the down hills or the flats. So, you always kind of have that trade off. I think that in most cases the best combo to use for triathlons is a 53-39 in the front. I’m saying this because I know a ton of people listening to the show are triathletes so that’s why I’m emphasizing that particular sport. 53-39 on the front and if you are light and strong and a decent climber use an 11-23 rear cassette and if you’re heavy and you need a little bit of extra help on the hills use an 11-26 rear cassette. So, that will still likely to go fairly fast on the flats. That rear cassette that might be slightly heavier than the 11-23 but it’s really kind of a move point. So, those are my recommendations when it comes to gearing and cassettes.
Alan: For a while, I thought I had you peg but there has been so much on the podcast recently about 80% fat diets or 80% carbohydrate diets and plant based nutrition. I think I’m questioning what you think on the subject of nutrition.
Ben: Well, this is a great question. One of the reasons that I get so many different people on the show is because I like to foster healthy thought and I like to educate people and I am certainly of the opinion that there is more than one way to live healthy and you can live to be 90 years old as a vegetarian and live to be 90 years old on whatever like a paleo diet or low carb diet. There’s no perfect way to do things. I don’t get very defensive or very political when it comes to diet. That is not the way I think. That being said, if there were one philosophy, one book or one kind of website that would sum up what I personally feel is proper and what I personally use in my own diet, in the diets of myself and my own family without trying to push one of my own books or something like that, I would say for a cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. Nourishing Traditions is a fantastic book. It’s got an awesome primer in the beginning of it. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes but essentially, it gets rid of a lot of product of industrial revolution like refined grains and canned foods, pasteurized milk and sugar and replaces those with foods that have really been traditionally used for a long period of time in non-industrialized societies and found to be associated with very passive levels of health. So, we’re talking about specifically like milk and grains products and vegetable and fruits and meat that are often allowed to ferment or pickled to something called lacto fermentation. Talking about lots of sprouting and soaking of food, lots of slow cooking and basically what happens is when you do that, the type of food that would be banned on something like a paleo diet. Much friendlier to the gut. And so, for example, if could even go as far as doing something like getting a jar of quinoa, sprouting it overnight. Quinoa sprouts very quickly. Mix it with some walnuts and some almond milk and then having that for cereal in the morning. Okay, that’s just an example of a super cold cereal from using a lot of concepts of the Nourishing Traditions book. You will need to learn some new cooking techniques because you will be cooking with fermentation and pickling lacto fermentation if you were to use a book like Nourishing Traditions. And you will be sprouting and soaking grains and using things that allow you to have your bread and your legumes and your grains and eat them, too. Okay. So, Nourishing Traditions, highly recommend, probably the cookbook we use most in our house if you actually have no desire for that amount of work in your diet. You know I really like Josh Axe. I had him on the podcast. He’s got kind of a cool book called “The Real Food Diet”. Real food, no processed crap, super simple way to look at things. I like his approach, too. Website would be the WestonPriceFoundation. If you wanna spend hours and hours sitting there and reading and looking at articles and printing stuff and reading it in kind of learning to think about nutrition the way that I think about nutrition, that would be the website to visit. Last thing, in terms of fat, carbohydrate protein ratios, stuff like that I don’t worry about it too much, man. I really don’t. I eat lots of fat but I don’t necessarily go for certain percentage per day At the end of the day it turns out to typically be any more than the range of 40-60% fat. I fuel my workouts when I need to with carbohydrate and sometimes if I don’t feel like doing that, I will fill my workouts with an avocado and a glass of water. So, I don’t worry about that much at all, frankly. I do have the advantage of having genetically gifted body that allows me to do and experiment a lot of weird things nutritionally and not really have my body fat percentage go up significantly and not really have my health affected deleteriously as long as the experimentation that I am doing is still with healthy foods. So, 80% carbohydrate diet, I could try that out. Fruits, veggies etc., I’ve tried that out like a raw or vegan diet like kind of been along those lines; felt great, performed great, lost a lot of muscle but some people don’t mind that type of thing. High fat diet, I actually feel good on a diet like that. The type of diet where I get sick a lot and don’t feel well are diets that have processed crap. And I wish that I could get the way more detail with you than this but really what it comes down to is don’t eat processed crap and eat nutrient dense foods. So, that’s where I stand on diets and I’m not even a huge fan of the word diet. So, when you see me writing a diet book, I’ve got the Rev Diet, the LowCarbTriathlete.com, the low carbohydrate diet for triathletes, I’ve got the Shape 21 diet, I’m a fan of like KC Craichy’s Super Health Diet,. I am not necessarily married to any of these diets. I approach it from a highly individualized standpoint and it does really depend on who you are. So, I mean what I would love is if somebody were thinking about buying one of my books. If you should need to know me first, tell me who you are, what kind of category you fall into and that really helps me help you a little bit more if you just told me in the dark about you know, “is the low carbohydrate diet for triathlete right for me? Or shall I use the Rev Diet or shall I get the Shape 21. Just ask me. I like to think I’m fairly responsive when it comes to Twitter and email and help you people out. Or facebook; www.facebook.com/BGFitness for the facebook page. Okay, I blabbed on enough, we’re gonna move on to this week’s interview with Dr. Jerry Bailey. All the things that you could kind of expect when you’re going for Acupuncture. It’s a great interview. I hope you enjoy it and we’re gonna have one quick message and then move on to that interview.
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield here and sometime ago at BenGreenfieldFitness.com we actually did an interview with a woman named Dr. Langenderfer who introduced you to the concept of acupuncture. And we’re back talking about acupuncture today with Dr. Jerry Bailey who actually works very close to where I’m located. He’s over in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and what we specifically want to focus on for you today when it comes to acupuncture is acupuncture and sports injuries or acupuncture and treating those nagging aches and pains that are creeping up when you’re out swimming, biking, running and lifting and doing what you do. So, we’re gonna talk to you about what to expect and what type of things you should take into consideration when it comes to getting acupuncture with these type of issues. So, Dr. Bailey thanks for coming on the call today.
Dr. Bailey: Well, my pleasure to be part of this!
Ben: Awesome! So, do you end up seeing many athletes in your facility?
Dr. Bailey: Yes, I do! I’m enjoying of my practice, kind of a sports medicine. And what comes with that is my duality of my profession as chiropractor and acupuncturist. So, I approach them from that aspect of looking at the functionality from chiropractor perspective and also the acupuncture base where I’m looking at energetically what’s going on with the body and why those injuries have occurred or why they’re continuing to be a problem.
Ben: And what type of injuries do you tend to see people coming in with that are successfully treated with acupuncture?
Dr. Bailey: Quite a few actually. Just this past Ironman here we had quite a few ITB syndromes. We had a gentleman from Indiana that had a 6-year chronic tendonitis which we were able to get treated about 4 to 5 treatments he may actually be able to run the marathon after w end in about 2 months.
Dr. Bailey: So that was a nice one there. The very common injuries, we see different… being in sports medicine based IFC and just about everything. We can successfully treat pretty much those things but we don’t see it in a couple of weeks of having good results. We have to figure out why then go to the next step to try to get stuff from occurring. But a lot of athletes that come in that have been everywhere and done everything. They had kind of injections done for whatever it may be. I don’t know what else to do. And I would say you know what, you haven’t done acupuncture. Let’s give that a shot and see. And it usually does work pretty good with them because we’re not only treating the area itself but also looking at it from a Chinese medicine perspective that that’s the where the home meridian is. And the galbladder and the liver coincide with muscle and tendons. So if we go back to digestion, which are usually these ultra endurance athletes because of shunting that blood from the digestive system through the muscle tissue for so long. The digestion is usually pretty weak. So we address digestion with some herbs or some supplements to help balance that out. And the ITB will tend to go away.
Ben: Wow! That was a lot of information! Really fast especially when it comes to this home meridian issue. So, can you go back for a second and touch on that in more detail what you just said on gallbladder and IT band.
Dr. Bailey: Sure! One of the main meridians in the body that run along that lateral part of the leg is the gallbladder meridian. And from the Chinese medicine perspective is when there’s something going on along the meridian channel, we have to check the organ that corresponds with it. And so there are 12 main organs in the body that corresponds with different meridians. We have gallbladder, liver, spleen, stomach, small intestines, heart, triple heater, pericardium, lung and liver and kidney and bladder. When we look at those main organs there that when they went to the body which usually cause an injury in the area. So, again going along that gallbladder that goes outside of the leg along that ITB line. And right along the knee, you’ll have times you get the ITB syndrome with that pain along that lateral knee. We also ask question about “How about your digestion? How’s that doing?” You know I’m not digesting very well. I have constipation. They have some bloating. And it correlates with that. So I say well you know I guess we’ll treat that digestion. And we’ll do kind of what we call working on those specific tender points along that meridian. We’ll get the results from there.
Ben: Wow, that’s amazing! I think a lot of people kind of think acupuncture as just sticking needles into the body. But I guess you kind of treat more underlying issues than just say the actual traditional idea of what acupuncture might be.
Dr. Bailey: Yeah, and that part is the key. You know, we can do this technique that we use called circle the dragon. And if it is a current injury that just occurred, we’ll tend to needle around that area. And we’ll needle all the points that are around that area. So it’s circling that dragon. That painful area. And that works really well for the acute injuries. If we’re seeing whether this is becoming that chronic injury where we have to do some kind of maintenance to get the body going, there’s something going on within their body, within their organ systems that are causing the problem. So it’s the underlying factor there. Not just the chronic symptom. There’s an underlying factor. There’s some disbalance in their system that we have to correct. And that’s what’s makes about acupuncture. It’s not just some western thing of treating the symptom, if we can do that. But if we don’t see a improvement we need to explore deeper and see why this is occurring. So unless it’s a chronic kind of issue, we need to look at the liver and gallbladder being an issue with controlling that because from a Chinese medicine perspective the liver is associated with the tendons and the galbladder also controls them and perhaps in balance there. We need to correct it so that we don’t have those chronic injuries.
Ben: Do all acupuncturist look at these underlying issues that kind of go a bottom beyond just acupuncture or are you special? Do you have some type of a certification that makes you able to do that?
Dr. Bailey: You know all acupuncturists may look at that underlying issue there but not many acupuncturists; very few actually, have that sports specific training. My background is in Exercise Physiology in sports medicine also being a chiropractor, I have that specialty too. So it kind of brings that full front of the acupuncture to help with those athletes and get those athletes performing better. And get those injuries treated. So not all will look at it that way as far as circling the dragon or doing those injury treatments that they’ll tend to look at that underlying factor of why it’s occurring.
Ben: Interesting. So, when someone’s going out and kind of researching in acupuncturist to go see if there’s an athlete. Would it be prudent to say if they actually look for an acupuncturist to maybe his version in sports medicine or has experience if he has been an athlete himself or at least understand what people are doing?
Dr. Bailey: I think so. I think it will be prudent for them to do that because you’re getting somebody who really understands not only the sports aspects of things but also they understand the underlying thing like how the body functions. And that’s really important because if you just look at the injury that’s occurring, you could be missing some bigger underlying thing that could be occurring.
Ben: What should somebody expect like when he walk into the office and used the term needling, think that might make some people shudder but what should they expect. I mean, does it hurt? How many needles go in, how deep do they go? What type of things should people be ready for when they come in?
Dr. Bailey: When they come in for some acupuncture, the needles themselves are very fine. They’re about the diameter of your hair. So, in the needling, when we needle somebody or place a needle under the skin, it usually doesn’t hurt at all. We use a little guide tip that presses against the skin and then we insert the needle. Sometimes you feel a little poke or a little sting. Usually that happens. and that depends on the areas that were needling. If it’s in their back or buttocks, if there’s back pain or hip inflexibility there then we can go actually deeper because there’s a lot of muscle mass and a lot of tissue in the area. If we’re up along the neck and shoulders, there’s not a lot of tissue between that and the lungs so we’re gonna go very, very superficial and angle away from the lungs. So, it just depends on the tissue area; what we’re doing and what our goals with the needles. So, when a person comes in, we walk through and show them the needles. We’ve got a nice patient who brought back from China for us years ago what showed the original needles that were used by acupuncturists. And some of them are very scary looking. This is exactly what they used to use. And here’s what we use now. They’re kind of very fine, very easily penetrates the skin, no discomfort at all. I’ve got a lot of patients that are afraid of needles. They have that fear that needle injection. The average type of needle we can fit 30 to 50 of these needles in the average hypodermic needle. That’s how small they are. So it’s very delicate going in. And as far as the number of needles going in, it really depends on what’s going on. If it’s something straight forward, it maybe 4 or 5. I think the most I did was about 40 needles in a person. And they have a lot of things going on health wise and injury wise that required correction. So the average I think is probably about 10 to 15 needles in various parts of the body to help with what’s going on with them. For the patients who really just can’t do needles, we can use lasers. Laser works really well at treating the acupuncture points without having to do insertion of needles and for kids too. You can’t really needle them. So we use laser to treat them. So it works really well for a lot of people that have fear of inserting needles.
Ben: So, in terms of cleanliness, are there certain things that people should be looking for or all acupuncturists kind of equally clean? I see these needles; they are not re-used, right?
Dr. Bailey: Right. We use new needles every single time they’re discarded in sharp containers and taken for disposal and in sterilization, we use new needles on every single person, every single treatment. That’s pretty much the standard. I think that’s the standard in the country with all of those who use needles in blood pathogens that occur. We always use sterile needles. It used to be not that way. And in China that was for a long time until the sterilization practice came in the ‘80s and ‘90s for them. Transmitted those communicable diseases like hepatitis, those type of diseases because it was the same needle used over and over on different people. And the cleaning consisted of essentially only wiping the needle on a piece of cloth. And then they insert it again into somebody else’s skin. Now it’s a standard across the borders. It’s here that it’s you know you’re using clean needles and brand new needles on every single person.
Ben: Okay. Now in terms of what to expect after you’ve gone through an acupuncture session. Let’s say, I come in there, I’ve got Achilles tendonitis, I haven’t been able to run for a while, I do an acupuncture session, what will I feel like immediately after? Will I be on the run that afternoon? Is it you where I need to come back a few times or what do you typically see?
Dr. Bailey: Usually it’s that miracle one treatment. We get you in there. And you’re ready to go. Chronic issues can take 5-6-8-10 treatments to get a result in there. We only say give us time. Give us at least 10 treatments. And then usually at that time, we can work out the magic of what it is and get your body healed. So it varies per person. That’s what tonight’s about the Eastern medicine and the more alternative medicine is it’s specialize to you. Historically we can say that Achilles tendonitis takes 6 to 8 weeks to get better with the proper therapy and ultrasound inferential to different analysis. With acupuncture, we can really speed that up. And it usually takes half that time. 2 or 3 weeks then you’re good to go. And you’re able to function again.
Ben: Now, in terms of cost, is this something people can get covered by insurance like when it comes to doing something like this for sports injuries?
Dr. Bailey: Yes! Most insurance do now have acupuncture covered. It just depends on your plan. But usually it’s $800, $1200 sometimes they are covered for and that’ll give us about 10 treatments to get somebody better. So most insurances and people check from your insurances if you have that considered alternative or complementary coverage. You’ll have chiropractic acupuncture and naturopathic coverage all in that plan. Here locally, pretty much all of them. Mostly insurances have coverage and they will cover us in you.
Ben: Do you know much about international coverage? You know I have a lot of international listeners in places like Australia, New Zealand and England. Does acupuncture similar there, in terms of its regulation or its recognition as an acceptable medical practice?
Dr. Bailey: I think regulation, yes. It’s pretty much standard sterile neat technique making sure sterile fields are done and protecting the body, and protecting the patient from patient to patient. As far as the regulation and license, I don’t know but I’m pretty sure in Australia and other larger countries will have coverage to communities in their social life medicine. They have in those countries. Insurance is probably covered.
Ben: Okay. In terms of finding an acupuncturist, is there a good layer rather than going to Google the name of your city plus the word acupuncture? I mean is there a good safe way to find an acupuncturist and make sure that you’re finding someone who is reputable, who has the proper certifications and who’s licensed to do treatment for you?
Dr. Bailey: You know definitely with asking friends, asking co-athletes that you train with if they know anybody or friends. Somebody will know somebody who sees them and has that success with them. That’s kind of the big one. The word of mouth. A person’s success is really going to help getting to a good acupuncturist. If there are acupuncturists in your area, talk to them on the phone. You can talk to their staff. You can see what their specializations are. A lot of what their asking you is that if you have special certifications in sports medicine. Are they good in any way? Are they naturopath and licensed acupuncturist? A chiropractic who’s also a certified chiropractic sports physician. And they do acupuncture. There’s a really good program that just started the last 2 years out of California. They do it in California. They do it in a school in Boston. And it’s sports medicine acupuncture. It’s a 2 year program where it takes acupuncturist and teaches them the sports medicine aspect of therapy. So finding one of those certified people who are certified through that certification is a good way to go to.
Ben: Awesome! Well, that was very comprehensive and I know it has many questions as we get from people about acupuncture that we should have cleared up in the air or something and these interviews always have show notes that accompany them where people can ask follow-up comments or give questions or feedbacks. If you’re listening in acupuncture or something that you’re thinking about doing then certainly, use some of the resources that Dr. Bailey has described and also leave any comments or questions there in the show notes. For you local folks, because I know we have a lot of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area listeners as well, Dr. Bailey, like I mentioned is located over Coeur d’Alene. What’s the name of your practice Lake Side?
Dr. Bailey: Lake Side Holistic Health. And actually Dr. Langenderfer, the physician you interviewed a couple of years ago, she’s my wife. So we work together. And so that’s that duality approach. So we practice together. We’re able to balance ideas and thoughts when we see patients come in. And if we are having a hard time with somebody, you can have a second brain to pick. But they can find us on the corner of 4th and Garded in downtown Coeur d’Alene.
Ben: Fantastic! Well, thank you Dr. Bailey.
Dr. Bailey: Thank you! It’s been a pleasure talking to you.
Ben: Well that is gonna wrap up today’s podcast. So be sure to visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com and check out the show notes of this episode, Episode#159 for everything that I’ve talk about today. That video of Ryan Hall running, that lowcarbtriathlete.com the link to the brand new Ben Greenfield Fitness clothing store and everthing else including full transcriptions in each podcast. So, until next time, this is Ben Greenfield from BenGreenfieldFitness.com signing out.
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