The Ultimate Healthy-Eating Hack, Making Family Dinners Fun, Getting Kids To Cook & Much More With Shawn Stevenson.

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family meals are important
Body, Diet & Nutrition, Family, Family, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Mind-Spirit, Parenting, Parenting, People, Podcast, Podcast-new, Purpose

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Imagine transforming your family dinners into not just a routine but a cornerstone of health, connection, and joy.

Just like you, I savor those precious moments with my wife and sons gathered around the dinner table. And today, we're delving into the art of family meals with none other than Shawn Stevenson.

You might remember Shawn from our enlightening discussion on “Sleep, Light, Alarms, Caffeine, Night Shifts, Naps, Sleeping Positions & More With Shawn Stevenson.” I've also joined him on his show for the episode “TMHS 133: Accelerated Fat Loss And Going Beyond Training — With Ben Greenfield.

In an age dominated by the incessant pull of cell phones and the constant glow of television screens, meaningful moments of family connection can fall by the wayside. Shawn's latest book, Eat Smarter: Family Cookbook, transcends recipes, emerging as a guide to reclaiming family togetherness over meals.

Additionally, Shawn is the mastermind behind the USA Today national bestseller Eat Smarter and the internationally acclaimed Sleep Smarter. As the creator of The Model Health Show, Shawn's impact on the health and wellness community is undeniable, holding the esteemed position of the number #1 health podcast in the U.S., boasting millions of listener downloads each year.

A graduate of the University of Missouri–St. Louis with a background in business, biology, and nutritional science, Shawn co-founded the Advanced Integrative Health Alliance. His expertise has garnered attention from Forbes, Fast Company, The New York Times, Muscle & Fitness, ABC News, ESPN, and numerous other major media outlets.

Excited to explore how meals can be more than just sustenance but a source of joy, connection, and well-being for your loved ones? Get ready to revolutionize your family dinners and elevate your health game with Shawn's expert guidance.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Shawn Stevenson?…05:56 

-Why is it important to eat meals together as a family?…07:35 

-How are meals with friends and family beneficial to your health?…15:35 

  • Cortisol is involved in regulating metabolism, reducing inflammation, supporting the immune system, and aiding in the body's response to stress
  • When it is out of balance, it can be problematic
  • Rest and digest parasympathetic state
  • Your ability to assimilate nutrients is better when you're with friends and family
  • Oxytocin is produced when you are with people you care about
    • Oxytocin appears to neutralize the activity of cortisol
    • Your chemistry changes when you are near the people you love
  • Kelly Starrett
  • You're not hard-wired to deal with thousands of friends on social media
  • Comparing yourself with others gives a feeling of being inadequate
  • A family meal allows real face time with children

-What are the different inputs of reward when eating?…22:22 

  • The best time to eat bad food is when you are happy
  • Eating lunch while looking at emails
    • The problem of staring at small screens
  • Putting your nervous system in a place that is not advantageous to interacting with food
  • Ben’s family gaming nights during dinner
  • Creating different levels or different inputs of reward apart from food
  • You tend to eat better when you're with family and friends
  • When you purposefully implement cultural pieces around that meal, it makes it even more desirable

-What do family meals in Shawn's house look like?…30:15 

  • Making coffee and breakfast for his wife while playing music, singing, and dancing
  • His wife prepares dinner while watching TV and doesn’t like to be bothered
  • On certain days, they cook with children
  • While his wife is cooking, he hangs around with his sons
  • When they get together, they share 3 different things they are grateful for
  • Ben's regular daily routine with his family
    • Ben’s sons are usually at home in the evening
    • They have different duties in the morning
    • They meet in the kitchen at 7, talk about a book they read, play guitar
    • Kids thrive on an element of predictability
  • Routines and circadian rhythm
  • Shawn’s family sings and dances after dinner
  • Shawn on Sway's Universe 

-How do you handle divisive devices?…45:49 

  • Just having your cell phone in your sight creates distraction in your brain
  • Shawn’s family doesn’t bring phones to the table
  • Screens must not replace face-to-face time
  • Seeing differences in the personalities of his sons
  • His son Braden wants people to be happy and included

-How do you deal with ultra-processed foods?…53:04 

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Unlock Longevity: February 24, 2024

Join me in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, February 24, 2024, for the Unlock Longevity event where I'll be presenting on “The 5 Elements in Your Environment That Will Make or Break Your Health.” Check out more by going to (use code Greenfield10 for $10 off your ticket).

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

Resources from this episode:

– Shawn Stevenson:

– Podcast:

– Other Resources:

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

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Healthy-Eating Hack, Making Family Dinners Fun, Getting Kids To Cook & Much More With Shawn Stevenson.

  1. Joe says:

    You’ve been open with the negatives of a DNA test and the calcium in the widow maker artery so this question is not off limits. Do you see a counselor for mental health? What do you do for mental health if you do not? Have you ever been diagnosed as on the spectrum?

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