Podcast #351 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/04/351/
[5:24] Benefits of training in hot conditions
[8:53] The greatest British sprinter
[16:03] Effect of gluten on fat levels
[20:01] Ben on Snapchat
[21:00] Emulsified MCT Oil
[23:37] C8 Form of MCT Oil
[24:35] Chaga Mushroom
[26:07] Harry’s Razor
[27:48] Surprise Gift Boxes
[28:47] Natural Grocers
[29:27] Biohacker’s Summit in London
[31:00] Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas
[36:06] PowerLung – resisted breathing device
[37:15] Ben’s take on Captain Crush Hand Grip Strengthener
[40:22] Compex and MarcPro – electrostimulation devices
[41:34] “Deskbound” book by Kelly Starrett
[44:18] “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans” book by Ben
[44:41] Ben’s take on Germ Theory
[47:30] Ben’s opinion about C-section
[48:20] Probiotics are important for babies
[50:09] Minimalist shoes or letting your kids go barefoot
[50:58] What to do with electrical pollution to keep kids safe
[52:40] Sleepy time bulbs for kid’s bedroom
[53:58] Rough housing is good for the kids
[56:17] The Healthy Baby Code Book and Better Baby Book
[59:30] What Ben says about Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
[1:02:39] Ben’s metabolic mobility routine
[1:04:35] Supple Leopard Book
[1:04:55] Voodoo flossing and traction
[1:06:11] Kaatsu Training
[1:08:54] Getting rid of RSI – food and supplement standpoint
[1:15:46] 5 things to avoid and 5 things to would eat before a workout
[1:26:52] 5-Star review on iTunes
[1:28:06] Cold shower challenge
[1:30:45] End of podcast
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show: Secrets of the Fittest Old People, How to Stay Fit When You’re Sitting, My Top Healthy Baby Tips, How to Get Rid of Injuries Fast, What to Eat Before, During, and After Workouts, and much more!
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.
Ben: Rachel, today is a very, very special day in the Greenfield household.
Rachel: It is? Why is that?
Ben: Uh, because today is the first day in the very long time that I’ve not been eating waffles.
Rachel: (laughs) Waffles!
Ben: I have been…
Rachel: Are so American.
Ben: … inundated with waffles. My children, well, let me put this in the context. My wife left for LA for about 4 days to go and visit her family, and so I was left with my 2 boys who are relatively obsessed and seemingly becoming more obsessed with the process of making various flavors and kinds of waffles. Like our waffle iron is getting used.
Rachel: Really good use. I saw some of the videos on social media. They are epic! I can’t believe they can make those waffles themselves.
Ben: Well, yeah! I woke up one morning and they had gotten out of bed before me, I mean, they must have been up at about 5:45, and I woke up to a giant stack of waffles next to my computer, and…
Rachel: And, the video that they made completely without your help was incredible!
Ben: They did the waffle show, and then the night before mom got home, they wanted to have a waffle making contests, and this is where – if you’re listening in, things get interesting because I actually came up with what I would consider to be a pretty good waffle. Uhm, you wanna hear what it is?
Rachel: I would love to. Here we go.
Ben: Okay. So, here we go. This is a protein-packed chocolate orange, gluten-free waffle, and it was very simple to make. What I did was – and this was enough to make 2 waffles, so scale accordingly, you take a couple of scoops of protein powder, okay, I like to use chocolate because that gives the chocolate flavor. If you don’t use chocolate, you could always just use like a little bit of dark chocolate stevia to make whatever protein powder that you choose more chocola-tey.
So, I used a couple of scoops of chocolate protein powder, in this case I used the hemp protein powder from Onnit, and then I used 1 egg beaten, I used a couple of tablespoons of coconut flour, as the flour of choice. A little bit of olive oil added in so that the waffle didn’t actually stick to the pan. One drop, just one drop of orange essential oil. That’s where you get the orange flavor, and then just a little bit of salt, and of course a little bit of baking powder, and that’s it. You stir it all up and you dump that into the waffle iron, and it makes this fantastic chocolate-orange protein gluten-free waffle.
Rachel: That sounds delicious.
Ben: Which I will post by the way to Instagram, you can go to instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness, and I’ll put a little photo up there, and there you have it.
Rachel: Who won the contest?
Ben: We decided that it was a tie.
Rachel: (laughs) How sweet River and Terran.
Ben: Yes! One of them made gingerbread lemon, and it was so many ingredients that I believe we lost track of what exactly the title of the waffle was, but regardless they’re little chefs. By the way, for those of you who are gonna be at Paleo f(x), my kids are gonna be doing a cooking demo there, they’ve been working up a fantastic Japanese-Thai fusion recipe that I think is gonna blow peoples’ minds and so, we’ll talk about that perhaps a little bit later in this podcast but for now, let’s get on to the good stuff. Shall we?
Ben: So, as it’s customary on the show, let’s start off with some of the latest science. The latest cutting-edge science. Here’s an interesting news study that found that for those of you out there who might happen to want to get some of the benefits of altitude training like the increase in red blood cell production and hematocrit, and the increase in blood volume, or perhaps you’re training for like a race or competition at altitude. They’ve recently published a new paper in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, and I’ll link to the full free text in the show notes.
So if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/351, for what they found is that when you train in the heat, when you train in a sauna or you do just training in hot weather, what happens is there is what’s called a cross acclimation effect. So, what this means is that by training in hot conditions, you actually improve your performance at altitude. And in this particular study what they did was they took a bunch of folks, and they had them do a series of cycling sessions and exercise sessions in the heat for 10 days. And what they found was that the group who exercised in the heat compared to a group that did traditional and what would be called hypoxic training where you hook yourself up to an air generator that removes the oxygen from the air to simulate altitude, they found that the group that trained in the heat actually got results that were pretty similar to the group that did this hypoxic training, and they were able to have a good amount of performance at over 10,000 feet of elevation which is pretty significant. And the proposed mechanism of action here was the production of these things called heat shock proteins.
So this is one of the reasons that I spend quite a bit of time in the sauna myself. You know, I try and get into the sauna about 4 or 5 times a week for around 30 minutes or so, and these heat shock proteins, they defend yourselves from stress induced damage, and so if you repeatedly trigger this heat shock response, your body increases its level of heat shock proteins, and it appears that this heat shock proteins can somehow help you to perform better in conditions of hypoxia such as altitude.
Ben: So, it’s really, really cool adaptation or mechanism, and if for example you live in a low elevation area but maybe you have a raise at high elevation or maybe you want to increase your blood cell production, maybe you live in Florida or something like that. This research shows that you could just go out and train in the heat for a little while and be ready for the altitude. So I thought that was kinda cool.
Rachel: This cross acclimation mean that it works in a reserve as well if you train in altitude that you’d be more heated after?
Ben: Hmm, I like the way you’re thinking. You know, I don’t know but I would imagine because altitude training can increase blood volume, and it may also increase the production of heat shock proteins and that could be true. It would be interesting to see the study in reverse though, wouldn’t it? To see if folks who train in altitude could do better training or competing in the heat, so, yeah. So I thought that was cool. We’ll link to that study in the show notes.
Another really cool article that recently came out was an article in Esquire Magazine, or I’m sorry, it actually wasn’t in the Esquire Magazine, it was a Vice yeah, Vice.
Ben: They talked about this guy who they described as the healthiest old person on the planet. This guy’s name is Charles Eugster, and he’s a British sprinter. So he’s got world records in the 200-meter and the 400-meter sprints as well as the British record in the 60-meter, the 100-meter, and the 200-meter, and the dude is 96 years old.
Ben: Uhm, and he does a bunch of stuff, right. He’s a body builder, he’s a rower, he’s a wake boarder, he’s got like a bunch of businesses, he’s even got his own clothing line that he’s designed, and the interview with him which I’ll link to in the show notes, it was really interesting, I thought there were a lot of cool takeaways from it, but one of the things that I thought was most interesting was when they ask him about his diet. What he eats to stay in shape. So, here’s what he says. I’ll read this to you Rachel. He says, “Variety is key. I start everyday with a protein shake because as you get older, your protein synthesis no longer functions as well”, which by the way is true. This is something I recommend to a lot of seniors that they take things like hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to allow them to get more amino acid absorption from their protein. And he goes on, he says, “I avoid sugar and eat lots of meat especially fat. Fat! Piles of fat”.
Ben: “Yet, I was in supermarket the other day and was perplexed to find yogurt with zero fat. What on earth is that? The idea of the nutrition pyramid where, at the top, is a little fat and meat, and at the bottom is a lot of carbohydrates, is excuse me, BS. Humans are so unbelievably stupid that we have begun to tinker with food.” He says, “Our theories of nutrition have resulted in a pandemic of obesity. Can you imagine a hunter-gatherer enjoying a low-fat diet? Let me tell you this too, I read a report recently which said that a fatty diet increases your drive”.
So, really interesting and I love to study how old people who are fit and they happen to have just like amazing bodies, and are doing epic feats of endurance or even cognitive performance, how they do what they do, and I’m actually working on an article about this, and for those of you listening in, you may or may not know this but every single week I published an article over on the website quickanddirtytips.com. And one of the articles that I’m working on right now is an article about some of these other folks who are fit, old people. So there’s this guy, this is Charles Eugster, we could say that perhaps one of his tips is to eat a lot of fatty foods, but you look at like Laird Hamilton, right, in my podcast interview with him, one of the big takeaways from him was he constantly learn new stuff.
Ben: What the dude’s garage is just full of skis and snowboards, jet skis and balance devices, and all these different tools to challenge his body and his brain, and develop new neuronal firing patterns because he’s constantly learning new stuff, and I think that we have a short interview that we did with him on Facebook where that’s where he talks about how he stays young and he’s just always experimenting and learning new stuff.
Rachel: Can I tell you my favorite secret from this article?
Rachel: He says…
Ben: You mean the article on Vice?
Rachel: Yeah, the article on Vice. This is really the part that really stood out to me ‘cause it’s like so counter intuitive to me. That he said that the reason why he started working out and getting healthy when he was 87 years old was because he was so vain. And I said to myself, “Is vanity really the secret to a long life?”
Ben: Uhm, yeah. I don’t know, it is interesting though that he didn’t start until he was 87.
Ben: This is why I just started playing the ukulele, and I would love to be just like an awesome at the ukulele by the time I’m 40, and you know things like this when I read about people who are 87, who just gets started give me quite a bit of motivation to know that it’s never too late to start something.
Ben: Uhm, yeah but there are other old guys like you look at Mark Sisson, right, and Mark Sisson’s philosophy is you lift, move, and sprint. His whole thing is every 7-10 days he does something that shoves his body into anaerobic mode, right, for him it’s ultimate Frisbee, but it could be a hard bike right uphill or treadmill high intensity but it’s not that often, it’s once every 7-10 days. And then he does heavy weight lifting 1-3 times a week for just 7-30 minutes. And then his last thing is he moves frequently at a slow pace, so he does like treadmill, work stations, and low level physical activity all day long. So his whole day was lift, move, sprint. and for Laird Hamilton is to learn new stuff.
There’s another guy named Don Wildman. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this guy but Esquire Magazine did an article on him called the hardest workout in the world where he talks about this grueling, intense, multi-stage weight training routine that he does each week, and this guy also does mountain biking on this really hard trails in Hawaii, he does stand-up paddle boarding, he does big waves surfing, he does helicopter snowboarding, and now he’s about 80 years old, but one of my takeaways from this guy Don Wildman, is to pick something that’s kinda scares you right? Pick something kinda epic, and this is something I live my life by like at least every quarter, at least 4 times a year, I try and pick something and put it in my calendar, something that scares me.
Rachel: That’s awesome!
Ben: It makes me go outside my comfort zone. You know, like case and point this weekend I’ll be in Seattle and I’ll be doing this 12-hour hurricane heat where I show up at 10PM, and it’s basically a Spartan race that goes until 10 AM, right? I don’t really – like let’s put it this way, I would rather be at Pikes Market eating sushi and stayin’ in a nice hotel, but I know that when I go out of my comfort zone and I choose to do that epic, scary thing, it build this resilience that almost kinda keeps you young.
Rachel: Uhm, and you must almost get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
Ben: Uhm, you know what? It’s hard when you’re doing it. It really is. It’s hard when you’re doing it, but when you finish and you feel like a god among men, or a goddess among women, it’s a cool feeling. It’s a cool, cool feeling and it’s well worth the pain and the suffering that you go through. So, we’ll link to this article in Vice, check it out and stay tuned for another article that I’m working on where I kind of like put together a lot of device from a lot of these old fit people.
Rachel: I can’t wait for that one. It sounds awesome.
Ben: Yeah. And then finally, there was another really interesting study that looked into gluten. And in particular the effect of gluten on fat levels. So, obviously gluten-free diets have been pretty well researched for the removal of them being helpful for people who have autoimmune disease, or gluten intolerances or food allergies, but this particular study just wanted to look into whether even if you don’t have a food allergy or a food intolerance if gluten could cause weight gain.
And so what they took was four groups of mice and they put one mice on just a standard diet. One group of mice on a diet with about 4 and a half percent gluten intake. One group of mice on a high fat diet, and then one group of mice on a high fat diet also with 4 and a half percent gluten intake. And what they found was that gluten consumption caused increase weight and fat gain, and decrease metabolism regardless of the diet although the effects were more pronounced in the mice that were on a combination of a high fat diet that also included gluten. And they also found that gluten consumption was associated with some changes in gene expression and inflammatory and metabolic markers in fat tissue.
Rachel: So gluten doesn’t sound fun then.
Ben: Well, interestingly and we have to take in to account how much that they gave the mice but interestingly that the biggest thing that gluten seem to do was it shut down the activity of some of the lipases, and some of the enzymes responsible for mobilizing, and burning fatty acids even when a gluten tolerance or gluten allergy was not present. Now, here’s one thing that we always have to look at when there is a study like this: a) it’s done in rodents and mice aren’t necessarily little people but it can give us clues, but b) a diet that is 4 and a half percent gluten, that doesn’t sound like much but that means that these mice were consuming the equivalent of 20 slices of whole wheat bread per day during the study, okay? So you always have to step back and look at the amount that that is being included in the diet.
The takeaway from me is it does continue to motivate me to avoid some of these modern cultivated forms of wheat because the idea is that when you systematically crossbreed wheat for higher yields, you concentrate the wheat-germa glutenin or the gluten content. And so, this simply means that if you’re going to say eat bread or eat pasta, you would ideally choose what would be called ancient wheats, and you can find these kinda stuff online, two examples would be einkorn wheat and emmer wheat. Eincorn is spelled e-i-n-k-o-r-n, emmer is e-m-m-e-r, but these wheats have uh, because they haven’t been bred for high yield crop, they have fewer chromosomes and they have a lower gluten content compared to basically modern wheat, bread wheat, commercial wheat which has more chromosomes and a higher concentration of gluten because it turns out that especially if you’re trying to you know, whatever, keep some 6-pack abs or keep ‘em up and top it bay that these study gives you a clue that gluten may not be your friend in that context even if you don’t have a food allergy or food intolerance to gluten.
So really interesting study. I’ll link to it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/351, but for those of you who are still doin’ wonder bread and subway sandwiches, you may wanna reconsider.
Ben: So Rachel, this morning right before we started podcasting, I snap chatted.
Rachel: You snap chatted? You’re such a snap chatter now, Ben.
Ben: I’m such a snap chatter. That’s right. I’m doin’ a lot of snap chatting. Like gym selfies, a lot of bathroom selfies, a lot of mirror selfies, a lot of abs selfies…
Rachel: That hasn’t changed in like that… let’s be honest… (chuckles)
Ben: Yeah, you know, that’s from what I understand, that’s how you make it big on snap chat is selfies. So anyways, this morning I snap chatted my pre-podcast meal, and this morning I did – and it’s pretty rare that I actually do this. Usually I have a big green smoothie, but I had a lot of food for dinner last night so I wanted to eat a low calorie breakfast this morning. So I just took some coffee, and some ice and just a little bit of chocolate powder, and a little bit of sea salt, and a little bit of dark chocolate stevia, and then the last ingredient that I put in was this new stuff called emulsified MCT oil.
Ben: So this emulsified MCT oil is a brand new stuff from one of the sponsors of today’s episode Onnit. And the idea behind this emulsified MCT oil is it blends extremely thoroughly without you having to necessarily beat your coffee to hell with a latte frother or with a blender. Now, it’s still just MCT oil, right, it’s coconut sourced MCT, bypasses digestion, gets burned extremely readily as a fuel, results in enhance production of ketones. That’s the whole idea behind this MCT, but this stuff is really delicious, and it’s brand new. They have a vanilla flavor, they have a coconut flavor, and they have a strawberry flavor, and it’s easy-peasy. It’s just like in this little squeeze bottle and you squeeze it in to whatever you want to put it in like smoothie or yogurt, I mean, you could put it on toast or you could put it on fruit or whatever, but it’s really tasty and everybody who’s listening in, you get 10% off this stuff. Actually, you know what? They’re having a sale right now. So technically, it’s 20% off.
Ben: But you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield, and I would recommend that you check this stuff out. Just grab yourself a bottle and try it. What I’ve been using is the creamy coconut flavor. So the creamy coconut.
Rachel: Hey Ben, question on that. Quick one. Why does MCT oil make me sick?
Ben: How much are you using?
Rachel: Like a tablespoon or less.
Ben: Yeah, that’s interesting. It can cause some stomach issues in some people.
Rachel: And nothing else in the world causes me stomach issues apart from MCT oil. It’s bizarre.
Ben: So if you want the brain boosting benefits of medium-chained triglycerides without the gut distress, and you simply get gut distress when you consume MCT’s, you get 2 options: number 1 is prior to using anything that has medium-chained triglycerides in it, you use a digestive enzyme, and you want that digestive enzyme to have lipase in it, ‘cause lipase is gonna help you with the breakdown of some of those fats. The other thing that can really help in a digestive enzyme if you have difficulty with breaking down fats is bile extract. All right?
Ben: So there are certain… Yeah, I know it sounds nasty and by the way, speaking of Onnit, they sell a digestive enzyme called Digest Tech that have both of those things in a lipase and bile extract, and the other thing would be, use a specific form of MCT that is known for not producing digestive distress, and that would be what is called the C8 form of MCT.
Ben: Example of this would be something called Brain Octane. The Bulletproof Company, they make this stuff called brain octane, and people who don’t do well with other forms of MCT, actually do quite well with the brain octane stuff. So that will be another option.
Rachel: All right! I’ll try that out. Thank you!
Ben: There you go. Uhm, I’ll just send you a bill, for consulting. (chuckles)
Ben: This podcast is also brought to you by Four Sigmatic Foods, and this is the company based out of Finland that makes this potent, dual-extract mushroom compounds. So, the one that I probably use most frequently ‘cause I’m just always nervous by getting sick. I just don’t wanna get sick.
Rachel: Yup, yup.
Ben: So there is this black gold mass that grows on birch trees. It’s called chaga mushroom and it is just an antioxidant bomb. It’s got the most powerful anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agents of any of the mushroom compounds that are out there, and what Four Sigmatic Foods does is they dual-extract it, so they alcohol before, they water extract it, so you’ll get all the different compounds from chaga that can fight infections and bacteria, and cold and virus, and what I do, it’s this little green packet. I keep it in the pantry, and all I do is I open it up and I dump it into the coffee in the morning.
So I’ve talked on the podcast before and I’ll go back and forth from the coffee I just described to like Kimera Koffee, the regular coffee, whatever, but almost every morning I put just like 1 pack of this chaga in there and just as a little bit of insurance. So the cool thing is it’s got minty in it too, so it’s got a little bit of a soothing effect on the stomach. So you get 20% off this stuff, I’m sorry, 15%. I lied. Fifteen percent. Foursigmatic.com, that’s the word four, f-o-u-r, foursigmaticfoods.com/greenfield or you just go to the link we’ll put in the show notes. And the coupon code is “Ben Greenfield”, so they’ve got all sorts of cool stuff, but I tried their chaga. It’s pretty good.
Ben: And then finally, let me tell you about this German factories. So they’ve got this factories in Germany that grind high-grade steel into blades. And the final sponsor of today’s show, harry’s, what they’ve done is they’ve sourced this blades and they’ve created this 5-blade razor that is a fraction of the cost of a drugstore razor and attached to this rubberized non-slip grip handle called The Truman Handle. And it’s just like drivin’ a BMW on your face.
Ben: That’s how I describe it. And I probably didn’t sound very pleasant, but it’s German engineering on a razor. I mean, it’s high quality, and it’s kinda cool, you’re reaching to your bathroom door, and just wrap your hands around this ergonomic handle and shave, and it’s like silky smooth blade running on your face. They just work, and I wouldn’t be talkin’ about it if I didn’t personally use ‘em, and I love their stuff! So, you get 5 bucks off. They’ve got this Truman starter set which is the razor handle, moisturizing – paraben and phthalates free, shaving cream – it’s got like aloe vera and stuff in it, and then 3 of these German engineered razors. And you just use promo code “Ben”, so go to h-a-r-r-y-s.com and you use promo code “Ben” and you get a 5 bucks off the fine, fine harry’s razor, so.
Couple other things by the way before we jump into today’s Q and A, we have 3 surprise gift boxes left. This is where I collect biohacking gear, nutrients, smart drugs, anything else that’s really cool that I wanna send you, and I put it in a box and I choose about 300 box worth of gear usually I sign a copy of my book, I put that in there, ton of stuff, and send it to your front doorstep.
Ben: So, you can grab one of those at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, right now we have 3 in stock. I know that doesn’t sound like much but these are just little special boxes that I put together each week.
Rachel: Like Christmas in April.
Ben: It’s like Christmas in April, or whenever you happen to be listening to this episode.
Ben: Two other things I wanna tell you about: first of all, these are upcoming events. Actually three, three. I lied. Keep lying.
Rachel: Stop lying Ben.
Ben: So the first is, for those of you who live in or near Spokane. There’s a brand new grocery store opening called Natural Grocers, and I’m gonna be speaking there on little known easy to find foods in the grocery store aisle that burn fat. So that’s gonna be May 11th that I’ll be speaking there, and I’ll put a link in the show notes for you to get in. I try and record it for those of you who aren’t lucky enough to live in Spokasikstan, but that’s natural grocers, naturalgrocers.com. Check them out ‘cause they kinda like a uh mom and pop version of whole foods, they're little less corpory I guess but check ‘em out, natural grocers. So, May 11th for those of you in Spokane, I’ll be speakin’ there. Uhm, London, I’m gonna be speaking in London and a brand new movie, called Supercharged is going to premier there at the Biohacker’s Summit in London. I am a star of that film. It’s the first time I’ve been – actually, it’s not the first time I’ve been a movie star. I was in a teen romance movie back in the day.
Ben: It’s like a decade ago.
Rachel: Fun facts about Ben.
Ben: It’s called Teenage Dirtbag. You could finally find it on IMDB…
Rachel: Oh my god, I will definitely gonna check it out.
Ben: A punch like hot and make out scenes and stuff.
Rachel: Oh my god! How we don’t know about this?
Ben: If you wanna see me in action, go look out ‘em with me. (chuckles) Uhm, yeah this was back when I was a bodybuilder and they wanted like uh you know, a hunk or whatever to put scene in a movie, and so…
Rachel: (laughs) Oh Ben, you are a hunk.
Ben: Anyways, if you wanna see me makin’ out in the big screen with a variety of women, go look up the movie, Teenage Dirtbag. Anyways though, this movie is different, it’s called Supercharged. You can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/biohackuk, or you can go to the link in the show notes, you can get a discount on that ticket to Supercharged along with an opportunity to go and check out this awesome biohacking conference in London that I’m gonna be at, and bunch other folks who gonna be at: Jack Kruse and Dr. Rhonda Patrick, bunch of folks who’ll be speaking there. So check out the Biohacker’s Summit in London.
Rachel: It’s gonna be a massive weekend.
Ben: Yeah. And then finally, Paleo f(x) like I mentioned, my kids are gonna be there, Rachel’s gonna be there, my wife is gonna be there, I’ll be there speaking. It is in my opinion the best health and fitness event in America, in Austin, Texas. Good barbeque, good partying, good fun. You don’t have to be paleo, you can eat all the bread you want and still go, and still benefit, but it’s just a fantastic event. You know, they’ve got fitness course, they’ve literally dozens and dozens of the best speakers on the face of the planet, and you can get in if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleo16. That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleo16.
There are a bunch of other upcoming events, and we will link to all of them in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/351, if you want to take part in anything else coming up because there are bunch of other things from the ancestral health symposium to the Finland biohacking event, to the room we get away in Costa Rica to everything else that occurring over the place of the planet that I’m gonna be at, and that you should be at too or else you suck. So, that being said, let’s jump in to the Q and A.
Listener Q & A:
Dougie: Good day, Ben! Dougie Boxall over here from Yarra Junction, Australia. I’ve got a question pertaining to sedentary behavior this time. Now, I’ve heard you talked and write a lot about how sitting, and not only sitting but also staying in the same position for an extended period of time could have deleterious effects on the human body. Now, unfortunately due to where I live I’m forced to drive at about minimum of 60 minutes a day, usually everyday of the week usually 4-6 days a week but sometimes the whole week everyday. So that means I’m sitting, and more importantly I’m staying in the same position for at least 60 minutes a day just a bit everyday. Now, I really thought hard a bit but I can’t seem to decrease more sedentary behavior or sitting time, and I’d really like to ask you if you have any ideas on how to combat this. Thanks for listening, and keep up the great work.
Rachel: Dougie is an Aussie! Like Dougie tweets you 10 tweets at once. He’s that guy.
Ben: Do they name people… is that his handle or footer?
Rachel: Uhmm, it’s Dougie Boxall, I think.
Rachel: His name would be Douglas, but…
Ben: I like Dougie.
Ben: That’s pretty cool. If I have an athletic, like a pet or somethin’ like a nice dog, and then Dougie. Doug, Dougie is a cool name. It’s badass.
Uhm okay, so here’s the deal Doug, you can’t necessarily stand up, you gotta sit down, what do you do? I’ve got some suggestions for ya’. So first of all, different positions when you’re sitting or different contractions when you’re sitting. So for example, some of the things that I will do whether I’m sitting on an airplane or I’m sitting in a car is that I will keep my hip flexors from being shortened, and the way that you do that is you place some kind of lumbar support behind your back whether it’s a pillow or rolled up blanket, or rolled up coat, or whatever you can use to keep your hips or your hips flexors from shortening. You can also kinda arch your low back, squeeze your glutes, and push your hips forward and up, and you can do repeats of that, right, like almost like thrusting like air thrusting, air humping in your car. Do the vehicle based air humping, whether you’re at your desk or in your car. And that will keep those hip flexors that tend to get short from shortening, and being in that state that cause low back pain and a lot of other bio-mechanical issues when you’re driving. So that’s one that I’ll do on an airplane…
Rachel: You air thrust on an airplane?
Ben: …in a car, air humping… that’s one good one to do along with the lumbar support. The next thing that I’ll do is, I’ll work on shoulder alignment and shoulder posture by doing steering wheel rows. What this means is you hold on to the steering wheel at 10 and 2 as you learn in driving instruction class, you pull yourself in towards the steering wheel, nice and slow as your breathe in, and then you breathe out, and you push yourself away from the steering wheel. It’s not dangerous. It really it is. It’s not that hard to do, but you can go through repeats of this, right, almost like a very slow, super slow contraction where you put yourself into the steering wheel and push yourself out focusing on using your shoulder blades more than your biceps to pull and push on the steering wheel. So that’s another one that works quite well for the upper body postural alignment.
The next thing would be your diaphragm and your inspiratory and expiratory muscles. Now, I like this thing called a PowerLung. I keep one in the glove box of my car, and this is a resisted breathing device that resist both your expiration and your inspiration. And so what I’ll do for this, and this is actually the program and recommended training session from the PowerLung website, is you do 10 repetitions of 3 seconds out, and 3 seconds in. And then you’ll take a breather for a little while and do another 10 repetitions of 3 seconds out, 3 seconds in. The PowerLung has the ability to increase the inspiratory resistance, and also the expiratory resistance so depending on how hard you feel it is, you know, you don’t wanna turn blue in the face and pass out when you’re driving unless you wanna windup on the front page of the newspaper for whatever town you happen to be driving through. But the PowerLung works quite well, and will get you fewer funny looks than wearing a training mask while you drive.
Ben: So that’s another one that I liked to use, so we’ve got the hip flexors that we’re working, we’ve got the shoulder muscles that we’re working, we’ve got the diaphragm like the inspiratory and the expiratory muscles that we’re working, another one that I’ll use when I’m driving is I have 2 different devices. I have what’s called a Captain of Crush Hand Grip Strengthener along with what’s called a Hand Expander, and on Amazon they have a package where you can order a Captains of – they’re both been with the same company but the hand expander are little bands that you attached to your fingers, and you expand your hands against those bands, and then the grip strengthener device, the Captains of crush is just what it sounds like, like a device that you squeeze.
And when you do this, when you do the expand of your hand bands along with the Captains of Crush, what you’ll find is that it’s not just your grip that you’re working, you’ll find that your entire body tends to tense a little, and one of the things that I’ll do is I squeeze the Captains of Crush, or I’ll open my hands against this hand expander bands and at the same time I will do a kegel contraction. So I’ll squeeze my sex organs, right like you’re stopping the flow of urine, and do that the same time that you’re squeezing the hand grip strength in the device for expanding the hands, and you’ll get this full body contraction.
Ben: And again a lot of these stuff sounds humorous but there are people, you know, there are trackers, there are frequent travelers, there are people like Doug who have to sit for a long periods of time, you would be surprise at how fit you can get your body even when you are relegated having to be in a seated position when you start to use some of these little tips. And I’ll go on a road trip where or maybe I will land when I’m traveling somewhere and have a 2-hour drive, right, where I land in San Francisco and I got to drive up the coast to whatever triathlon or Spartan race or something like that. And I’ll just sit in the car and for 5 minutes I do the PowerLung for the next 5 minutes, I’ll do the Captains of Crush with hand expander band for the next 5 minutes, I’ll pull myself into the steering wheel, and push myself away from the steering wheel. I’ll do 10 air thrust with my hips and just do it like a circuit as you drive. So, all of these things can really add up when it comes to combating the effects of sedentary time.
Ben: Now, couple of other things. You can always use something like electrostimulation device, and these are devices that have been proven not just to increase blood flow to an injured area but also to maintain muscular fitness when you attached this electrodes to specific body part, and you work that body part. And so, I even done this before when driving for example to a race where you want to arrive at the race and have lots of blood flow in your muscles. So you’ll attached like this electrodes to your quads, and run and sit on your quads, then your hamstrings and run and sit on your hamstrings, and they actually do work, uhm, obviously a little bit more of an expense compared to a hand grip strengthening device or an elastic band, but 2 examples would be the Compex or the MarcPro device and I know we get a discount on a Marcpro device.
I’ll put that in the show notes for you, but electrostimulation, if you spend a lot of time driving, it’s a very, very simple to use and you can attach them to like low back to quads to shoulders, to biceps and they can maintain fitness in those areas even when you are driving. And I take them on airplanes, especially for international flights, I’ll nap with for example electro is attached to my right and my left calf when I’m on an airplane, and it keeps blood flowing up and down your calves and you could wear compression socks too. And you can pull the socks up and over these electrodes but it’s kinda cool.
Rachel: That’s a brilliant idea.
Ben: Yeah, how much different you feel when you use something like this after you’ve been sedentary. It’s just, my opinion better living through science, you take it out of your bag before it goes to the security scanner, you know through TSA or whatever, and usually nobody gives a fiddle about it as long as you take it out of your bag before you bring it through the scanner.
Rachel: Right. So you don’t try to hide anything.
Ben: Yes, it doesn’t look like this bag of tangled wires inside your carry-on which tends to raise some eyebrows. The final tip that I would give you is there is a brand new book that I just finished reading. It’s called “Deskbound“, and it’s written by Kelly Starrett who also wrote the book Becoming A Supple Leopard, and there are a variety of different tips in there for a sitting position like bracing yourself correctly as you are in a sitting position, a tips for standing work stations, tips for mobilizing with like golf balls and lacrosse balls, specific areas that tend to get tight when you’re sitting. It’s just chock full like every tip that you’d ever need to have proper ergonomics and biomechanics whether you’re sitting in a car, or whether you’re standing at a standing work station, and it’s just chock full of photographs, right, it’s like the Kamasutra for people who have to sit or stand for long periods of time, and different positions that you can be in, uhm really, really great book.
Kelly is a brilliant guy and I would highly recommend anybody who uses a desk or who sits on a car like Dougie does or sits in airplane. You should own this book. Very, very simple to read, I got through it in a couple of days, it’s called Deskbound by Kelly Starrett. And just like his other book, it’s kinda like a cookbook really, like I’ve been sitting for a while and my calves bug me, and then he’ll show how to get rid of the calf pain, how to adapt to your work place, you know., uhm really good book, so that’s one called Deskbound, I’ll put a link to this along with the other things that I just talked about at bengreenfieldfitness.com/351, but Dougie, I hope that helps.
James: Hi Ben, my name is James. My wife and I just had our first child and I would like to know what are some of the things you did with your boys to make sure they’re flourishing and healthy? Thanks very much.
Ben: Well, I admit I was actually a little bit scared about how my boys were gonna look when they came out.
Rachel: You were?
Rachel: ‘Cause they look like aliens?
Ben: So I did like my first Ironman triathlon, right? And after I did my first Ironman triathlon my wife and I thought, well okay, you know, I got that under my belt. Something epic, maybe we should have babies now.
Ben: Or a baby rather. And so, the very first time that we tried, we conceived, and my concern was that maybe an Ironman really messes up your sperm and your DNA, and I’m gonna have little freaks. You know, when they actually do come out.
Rachel: Yeah, and then that you probably would anyway ‘cause…
Ben: Yeah, they turned out to be beautiful baby boys! Yeah! Nah, I’m not… they’re little adonises. But yeah, we certainly did quite a few things to really give them a step-up in life, and I can tell you some of the things that we did. You know, I wrote this little book called “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans”, and I talked about some of the steps in the book and there’s some other things that I wanna tell you about it as well. Probably the number 1 tip I can give anyone out there whether you just had a baby or whether you have a child who’s just a few years old, is you really need to understand this concept of germ theory.
Germ theory meaning that we live in an era where there is an infatuation with healthy hygiene, and in many cases that can ruin or delay the strengthening of a child’s immune system which is incredibly important because a healthy intestinal environment, means that your kid is going to have a healthier brain, healthier neurotransmitter production, get sick less often, have better bacterial profile in terms of like their skin, and their gut microbiome, so I would say if I could pick one thing to throw a dirt at as like the most important thing to do for a child, it would be that.
Now, some of the things that you can do, first of all is to take care of that pre-natally, as they’ve done a little bit of research. So one of the things, speaking of gluten is that they’ve done studies in rodent showing that a gluten-free diet actually increases the gut barrier function of the offspring. And so, that would be one thing if you’re pre-natal would be you know, we’ve talked about gluten and again, I’m not a gluten freak, I’m not one of those guys who there’s like you know, freaks out of my kids have a cupcake or whatever, but if you’re pre-natal, avoiding gluten could be a good idea along with taking probiotics and eating fermented foods.
They found bacteria and things like amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood in the placenta and they do know that colonization of a fetus’s gut begins in the womb, and maternal probiotic usage directly affects the gut microbe of the fetus. So, if you are a mom, you should be going out of your way to do things like sauerkraut, and kimchi, and yogurts and like a good therapeutic grade probiotic, and those type of things. So, consider that during birth, my kids were born via C-section. What they’ve shown is that when a child is born via C-section, it takes 7 years for their gut to develop as healthy a microbiome as a child who is born vaginally and is able to, as gross as this may seem, swallow a little bit of mom’s feces as they coming through and going out. Like that’s how a child’s microbial colonization begins is that basically have a little bit of a fecal feeding.
Rachel: I just learn something that I can never take back. Thanks Ben.
Ben: Uhm, I’ve got a gal comin’ on the podcast pretty soon, and we’re gonna talk about all the most recently research on fecal transplants, and poop pills reversing irritable bowel syndrome and colitis, and how therapeutic it can be, but it turns out that if you were born vaginally, you probably don’t have much of a need for something like that. So avoid unnecessary C-section, right? If you don’t need a C-section, don’t get one, ideally. And in the event that you do have a C-section, give your child probiotics. So we did this with our children. You can actually use infant probiotics and you can also use smaller doses of just regular adult probiotics to colonize a child’s gut. And of course, you don’t have to go out and buy pills and capsules. One of the other things that we did quite a bit of with our children was we had access to raw cow’s milk and raw goat’ milk. Two things that are very successful in terms of probiotics and in this case my wife was a member of what’s called The CSA where she took turns with 6 other women who would drive out to a local farm every week and bring back raw goat’s milk and a raw cow’s milk from a good lean farm.
Ben: And we would give that to our children, and of course, breast milk contains probiotics as well but once the breast feeding is done with, you can use goat’s milk and cow’s milk, is great sources of probiotics along with fermented foods. There’s no reason that you can’t include things like chocked out and blended sauerkrauts, and kimchi, and things like that in a child’s baby food. And so, what my wife would do was she’d take fermented foods and she’d blend them with things like fresh, organic fruits and fresh vegetables, and she’d flash freeze these in little trays and keep ‘em in the freezer, and just pull them out when she wanted to thaw them and give the kids a little meal.
Rachel: Hmm, brilliant!
Ben: So, yeah. Probiotics are really important. Few other things from a post-neo standpoint is you know, when we looked at this germ theory, a lot of these stuff is kinda like “keep it simple, stupid”, right, let them play outdoors. I’ve talked about this before but dirt, dirt is full of microbes and it’s really important that your kids make mud pies and play in the garden soil, and get out in the dirt, and get out in sandboxes, and play in the playground. And they found that kids who do that actually have lower amounts of intestinal permeability, meaning that they have a healthier gut lining when they get out, and of course they’ll gonna get plenty of vitamin D as well.
Ben: Super important. They’ve shown that kids who play with other kids who get exposed to farm animals, who like eat their own boogers, and who don’t get exposed to a lot of antibiotics and antibacterial hand soaps, these kids that get exposed to dirt, they’re healthier. So, let your kid get dirty like…
Rachel: Let your kid eat their boogers.
Ben: Yeah. This whole concept of germ theory that is the most important thing that I recommend. So that’s the number 1 thing.
There were few other things that we did: first of all, they’ve shown that the loading patterns of a child’s foot early in life actually affects the shape of for example, the cavity that their lungs are in along with their hip biomechanics and their knee biomechanics later in life. And so minimalist shoes or letting your kids be barefoot as much as possible, is actually something that is very important. And so our kids were barefoot a lot, and we use a lot of kid’s based-minimalist shoes like companies like Vibram and Merrell, and Nike Free, like they all do this thin-soled shoes, and I would highly encourage you to have your child barefoot as much as possible, and once they do start wearing shoes, have ‘em go with minimalist.
Ben: What else do we do? We’re very careful with electrical pollution, so when my kids were born I started using an electrical timer on the Wifi, meaning you can get this little digital wall timers off Amazon that you can program and it will automatically turn off whatever is plugged-in to that outlet at the time that you’ve chosen, and then turn it back on at the time that you’ve chosen. Now, in my current house, I don’t have Wifi at all, right? Like I just have Ethernet cable, that’s it. And because I have the privilege of having built this house, I just hard-wired all the rooms with Ethernet, so there is no Wifi, but when my kids were born we lived in this little home where I have a Wifi router, and so I had it automatically turn off at 10pm and turn it again at 6am so that my kids while they were sleeping weren’t getting exposed to these Wifi signals.
And in addition if I ever give them my phone to play with, whether they wanna like mess around with Snapchat ‘cause you can make funny things with Snapchat or they wanna play a little game, always in airplane mode, right? And they still do that, I explain to them that a child’s thinner skull rapidly dividing neurons, rapidly dividing cells, they’re going to be more susceptible to some of the damage of that Wifi and Bluetooth, and constant electrical radiation and pollution can cause. And so, my kids know from the time they were young, I’d put the phone in airplane mode, and now when they’re using the phone, or playing around with the phone, and they don’t need a connection for what they’re doing, the phone’s always in airplane mode. So, phone, Wifi, be careful with that stuff.
Few other things that we did: there’s a company called Lighting Science that makes special bulbs that don’t produce a lot of blue light wave spectrum, and they’re healthy baby bulbs and you can put them, I think they call them Sleepy Time Bulbs, you can put them in your child’s bedroom as the main source of light in the child’s bedroom. So that’s Lighting Science that makes those. What that does is just it’s easier on a child’s melatonin production, it enhances their sleep cycles, and so we use those in the kid’s bedroom rather than opting for regular light bulbs. So we use a specific type of light bulb, and I’ll link to the one that we use in the show notes. I have to remember the name of it.
Rachel: I think it is Lighting Science. You can get it at Amazon, right?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Sleepy Baby, Sleepy Baby Bulb, is what it’s called. The Sleepy Baby Bulb is called the biological LED lamp. And so, rather than using regular lights in the kids bedroom, you use this lighting science sleepy baby bulb. So, I’m writing a note to myself to make sure that I’ll link to the correct one in the show notes for ‘ya.
Rachel: And if I wanna be a sleepy baby I can just use that in my room.
Ben: You can use them in all bedrooms too, actually that’s my wife and I have. You know, we have little lights next to our bed stand, and that’s what we use the sleepy baby bulbs, so.
Uhm, a few other things that we do with our kids: a ton of rough housing. A lot of fighting, a lot of rough housing. They’ve shown that kids who rough house a lot when they’re young tend to be less violent and more socially adapted. You know, as ironic as that may seem as they aged, and so I wean out of my way from the time my children were young, your boys and girls would benefit from this. You know, fighting, rough housing, wrestling, uhm, now my kids are in jiu jitsu, but basically giving children a chance to tussle and to wrestle, and not only do you get the ability for a child to be a little bit more open to physical touch, and a little bit better able to respond to whatever bullying, violence, etcetera, but you also get a big dump of ocytoxin, this feel good hormone when you’re touching your children. And when my children are in diapers, touching their skin, wrestling, rolling around, just lots of movement, and if you’re not into jiu jitsu, fighting and stuff like that, they’ve got classes like baby yoga, you can workout like we use to swim, my wife and I would go to the pool and we’d swim. We put our kids on our back when we swam, right. We’ve laps back and forth and our kids would just be along for the ride.
Rachel: That’s awesome.
Ben: And when we are traveling, my wife and I would always use our kids as weights. So we would do walking lunges, and then we do push ups, and then we do body weight squats, and then we do V-ups on the floor but all these different moves with the kids. So it’s like, the child is having a great time, right, ‘cause they’re almost getting like massage, and again they touch the parents, and you’re working out at the same time plus they’ve shown that the child who sees their parents working out tends to perceive themselves to be a fitter child. They’ve done some really interesting studies on this that have shown that the more fit and physically active the child sees the parent being the more fit and physically active, the child will be.
Rachel: Make sense!
Ben: So, those are few of the things that we did that I think were big wins. And I will link to my little book, it’s super-fast book. It takes 45 minutes to read called “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans”. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. There’s 2 other resources that I want to give to you that I would recommend you read: Dave Asprey wrote a book called “The Better Baby Book”. Really good book when it comes to almost like biohacking your baby’s diet, and their bedroom, and a lot of little things that I haven’t even have the chance to go into my response to James, so I recommend that James, you check out that book. And then another really good smart physician named Kris Kresser. Kris Kresser has this program, it’s like an online program, it’s called the “Healthy Baby Code”, where he goes over the best micronutrients to make sure that you get your kids some super foods that help to boost fertility, and encourage a safe delivery for a baby.
The different types of solid foods to introduce and in which order, how to manage some of the stress and some of the potential health issues that could occur in the mom during pregnancy, a bunch of like breast feeding tips in there. Just a really, really cool book, it’s called “The Healthy Baby Code ‘cause that’s exactly what it is. So he’s a super-duper smart dude, I like that program, and if I were gonna like push the rewind button and have a baby, those 2 resources didn’t exist when we had our children but I certainly wish they had. So that’s Kris Kresser’s Healthy Baby Code and then Dave Asprey’s Better Baby Book, my book “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans”. I’ll link to all these stuff in the show notes for you but hopefully that helps when your child grows up to be president of the United States of America, you can send me a check or give me a fat tax refund.
Neale: Hi Ben, it’s Neale from Calgary Alberta, Canada. I’ve been having issues with one repetitive strain, pain in my shoulder, and also pain in my hip. I had it scanned and it looks like I have a spurs started in my hip region. Just wondering if you can give me any suggestions to get these 2 things sorted out either using supplementation or anything food related. I’m currently doing a low-carb, high-fat diet swap over about a year, just over a year ago. Seems to be going well, but I just want to get running again consistently and wonder if you can give me some suggestions to fix my issue. Thanks Ben. You’re doing a great job. Love your show, love your podcast, got your book, awesome stuff. Keep it up. Thanks Man!
Ben: So you know what RSI is, Rachel?
Rachel: Repetitive strain injury.
Ben: Yeah. Repetitive strain injury. Some people call it repetitive stress injury but yeah, it’s doing the same thing over and over again, right? Like for example, case in point for me, I just started kneeling more at my work station rather than standing. I just wanted to push things up, and all of a sudden after week of kneeling, guess what? I started to get like chronic butt pain in my right butt cheek, and I realized that I just like slightly rotate my right pelvis back when I’m kneeling, and it puts a little bit of strain on that right butt cheek and I’ve developed like a little bit of almost like tendonitis on my right butt cheek and that’s technically just from kneeling for a week, a repetitive stress injury. And you know, we see this especially in like chronic repetitive motion athletes, right, like cyclist developed piriformis syndrome where the front of their hip flexors tighten up, or runners get plantar fasciitis or achilles tendinitis or swimmers get shoulder pain, list goes on and on.
As far as my suggestions for how to get things sorted out, how to get rid of injuries fast, I’ve got a few techniques that I personally use. I’ll give you some of them from a nutrition standpoint, and also from a movement standpoint. So, the first thing that I’d recommend that you do: step number 1 is deep tissue work. So, there is this idea of the cumulative injury recycle. What that means is when you have friction and pressure and tension that arises primarily from cross adhesions, from cross linking in your fascia – the sheath that surrounds all the muscle fiber in your body. What happens is you get decrease circulation, right? Like hypoxia and decrease blood flow to an area which actually tends to create even more pressure or tension. And eventually what happens is that muscle becomes weak or tight from that lack of circulation and from that constant pressure or tension, and you get to a certain point where it become so weak or tight that it develops little micro tears, okay. These micro tears result in chronic inflammation, so they’ve got a combination of inflammation and decrease circulation and constant pressure and tension, and eventually your body begins to lay down scar tissue in that area. And scar tissue is very immobile, and so you develop the scar tissue and that leads to even more tension because scar tissue is this immobile, and you get this vicious cycle that gets worse, and worse, and worse as it goes, so the trick is logically, right, you wanna decrease pressure and tension, you wanna decrease inflammation, and you want to increase circulation to an area so that you get rid of that cumulative injury cycle.
Now, one of the things that I personally do to avoid repetitive strain injuries is, every morning when I get up I do about 10-15 minutes of deep tissue work. Now, I recently posted 2 Youtube – if you go to youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness, what I call my metabolic mobility routine. It’s me and my underwear doing a bunch of jumping jacks and burpees, and stuff like that in between hittin’ up the foam roller, like with the rigidstic amount of it, massage ball – I’ve got this little vibrating massage ball, what’s called a Battle Star, which is like a rolling polyurethane, super-duper hard type of roller that really digs in to muscle tissue, and then an arm aid which is this thing that you can use on like your triceps, and your biceps, and your wrist. And I’ll do that once a week, okay? And then that takes about 30-60 minutes depending how long ago. I do about 10-15 minutes every morning, and then once a week I get a massage, okay? So, I’m getting deep tissue work for good probably 2-3 hours every single week. I know some people, there are some really good crossfitters I know, some of the people who are some of the top rank guys and gals in the crossfit games, they will do multiple times a week up to 2 hours of massage as in soft tissue work. I mean, and sometimes when you’re really beating up your body, that’s what it takes, but soft tissue work is incredibly important and typically what should precede any type of stretching, any type of traction, and I’ll explain what I mean by that in a second that you do. So everything starts, number 1, with the soft tissue work because if you pull on a rope and that rope has a knot in it, what happens?
Rachel: It tightens?
Ben: Right. Not tightens, right? So, what you wanna do is you wanna get rid of the knots, get rid of the adhesions, and then you work on the flexibility and the mobility. So really train yourself in how to do your own deep tissue work and preferably work with a massage therapist as well. Probably one of the best resources for this would be another book by Kelly Starrett called “Becoming a Supple Leopard”. But just so you know, I mean, like I literally doing deep tissue work every single day, okay.
The next thing would be mobility and 2 of my favorite – or the next would be stretching. And 2 of my favorite method of stretching would be a) this thing called Voodoo flossing. So voodoo flossing is the way that you milk fluid like synovial fluid in and out of joints. The way that you do this is you take an old bicycle tube, and what I do is I tie 2 bicycle tubes together, and you wrap the bicycle tube above the joint really tight and then below the joint really tight. And then you extend and flex the joints, so you can do this with your knees, you can do this with your elbows, and what it does is it just causes a bunch of milking of fluid in and out of the joints. So anywhere where you tend to have chronic pain, voodoo flossing can work incredibly well. You don’t need an expensive equipment. Just bicycle tubes, right. You tie the joint above, you tie the joint below and that’s it.
The cool thing is that if you have this bicycle tube meaning it can also do what’s called Kaatsu Training. It’s blood flow restricted training where for example, you want to do a set of squats and you want to increase the amount of lactic acid that builds up in your muscle during the squat, you can literally use that bicycle tube like a tourniquet and you’ll tie it on. Tie one bicycle tube on one leg, one on the other leg, do your set of squats, right, and then you rest for 30-60 seconds. Then you do another set, and then you do another set called Kaatsu Training, k-a-a-t-s-u training. A bunch of new research behind it. It’s also called blood flow restricted training, and what it does is it vastly improves the hormonal response to a set, and also your ability to be able to buffer lactic acid. So if you get your hands in this bicycle tubes, you get 2 uses for ‘em right? You can do the voodoo flossing, but then you can also use it as like a tourniquet to restrict blood flow when you work certain areas.
The other thing that I really like for stretching in an area is traction. So this would mean you’ll gonna take a specific area, and you are going to pull on that joint. So really simple, example of traction would be like an inversion table, right, where you’re hanging upside down from an inversion table which, believe it or not, you can get pretty cheap online – Craigslist for example, there’s a lot of rich people that buy inversion table and don’t use them. But you can hang upside down, and it stretches and give traction to your vertebrae. Pulls the vertebrae apart, pulls the hip flexors apart, pulls the knees apart. I like the inversion table ‘cause you hit a lot of things all at once, and you just hang from that for 5-15 minutes. A couple of times a week, and again preferably after you’ve done the soft tissue work. So you’re not stretching the rope that has knots in it.
The other thing that I have are these bands, uhm, they’re just really thick elastic bands. You can find them at sporting goods store, you can find them online, but you can attached these bands to your ankles, or to your wrist or to your elbows or to your knees, or even to your hips, and then you just back away as far as you can after you’ve attached that band to an immobile object like a bed stand or a pole or something like that, and you literally stretch almost like in the old medieval days where they used to quarter and torture people and kill ‘em by you know, attaching the horse to each limb, and…
Rachel: Oh my goodness!
Ben: So don’t use a horse, use an immobile object preferably but the idea is very similar like this voodoo flossing concept. You’re pulling apart that joint capsule, and allowing for a bunch of like blood flow and lubrication to get restored to the area, so that’s called traction. Traction.
Ben: So, we’ve got deep tissue work, we’ve got voodoo flossing, we’ve got traction, and then one other tip that I’ll give to you even though there are a lot of other ways to kind of like get rid of injuries pretty quickly, and I will do everything that I just described. Let’s say I hurt my elbow, right. I will voodoo floss the elbow. I’ll do deep tissue work on the elbow, and then I’ll do traction on the elbow.
The other thing now when you ask about food, supplement related, some of the top things I’d recommend, number 1 would be bone broth. Bone broth has a lot of really good joint healing compounds in it because you’re sucking it all that marrow that’s coming straight out of a bone when you take a bunch of bones, and you just put them in a crock pot for 24, 48 hours throwing some black peppers, some salt, some thyme or oregano, or whatever you want for spices, or maybe some carrots or onions, and make yourself some bone broth. You know, I always have a pot in a fridge. Super-duper easy to make. I drink a cup here and there throughout the day, and really, really just chock full of joint healing compounds. That’s one.
Ginger would be another one. I always have a root of ginger in the kitchen and if I’m ever injured, I’m having ginger tea every single day, multiple times a day, I’m grating ginger on salad. Ginger is a very potent anti-inflammatory. Fish or fish oil, again a lot of research behind that, and decreased osteoarthritis, decreased joint pain, decreased inflammation, and you can do everything from like can of sardines on a salad to 4-6 capsules of a good fish oil, and sometimes I’ll double up on fish oil if I’m injured, but that’s another really, really good one would be omega 3-fatty acids. From a food standpoint? That’ll probably my top three: bone broth, ginger, and either fish or fish oil.
From a supplement standpoint, there are a lot of different things out there but 2 that I really like would be: number 1, proteolytic enzymes. So, you’ll see supplements that have things like trypsin and chymotrypsin, and papain and bromelain, and if you were to eat those with a meal, they’re gonna work on the meal. If you’re gonna eat them with a steak, they’ll gonna digest all the proteins in the steak, but if you take them on an empty stomach, they breakdown what it’s called fibrinogen along with scar tissue and what are granulomas and tough cell codings and a lot of the things that cause joint pain, and lack of mobility. And as a matter of fact for example like in Europe, in Japan, proteolytic enzymes are used pretty extensively to speed up healing from surgery. Very easy to put your hands on, I like a local health food store, there is a supplement called Nature Flex that I designed that you can get at Greenfield Fitness Systems that’s just – it’s ginger, it’s proteolytic enzymes, it’s tart cherry, it’s turmeric, it’s like this cocktail of stuff that rapidly heals the body, and along with doubling up on fish oil, I’ll just like overdose on that stuff if I’m injured, and it speeds up healing dramatically. And you can’t just pop pills, you got to do these other stuff like you know, the deep tissue working stuff but…
The other thing in addition to proteolytic enzymes, I would say if I could choose one other supplement, it would be glucosamine chondroitin. So, glucosamine is a sugar that they get from the exoskeleton of shell fish and stimulates cartilage production in the joints, and then chondroitin, that’s something that they get from cartilage, typically like chicken cartilage for example, and that attracts water to tissue which helps the cartilage to stay elastic. So you can use that to keep injuries at bay. You can also double up on it if you are injured, and that’s another thing that I found to be quite effective.
The final tip that I’ll give you is something that flies under the radar but it’s relatively kinda new in healing world. Proceed at your own risk on this one, but there are – these things called peptides that you can inject into a joint. So, for example, one is called BPC-157, and you can find it on like peptide website. And you can literally use an insulin syringe and you can reconstitute this peptides with what’s called bacteriostatic water, and then you use the insulin syringe and you can inject a joint subcutaneously and this produces a healing effect very similar to people who are spending like tens of thousands of dollars on to go to Europe and do stem cell injections. You can inject peptides into your body, in the comfort of your own home pretty safely and extremely effectively for like pennies on a dollar. Really amazing, they’re legal, they’re not technically sold for human consumption or human use, but you can get them from chemical websites, and one of the most researched is called the BPC-157. And I’ve…
Rachel: What are they sold for if they’re not sold for human use?
Ben: They’re sold for human use but they’re not allowed to say that they’re sold for human use basically.
Ben: So yeah. So anyways though, I don’t know, rodent use, mice use.
Rachel: Okay, uhmm,
Ben: Anyways though, I do consults with people privately or I walk them through the use of some of these more frenched type of healing methods. So, I’m happy to help via consult as well, but most of these stuff you can find it at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com or in Kelly Starrett book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, and then like some of the more French stuff, you know, that’s what I get paid to do is walk people through these stuff that still flies under the radar. So anyways, those are my recommendations, Neil and I hope that helps man.
Rachel: Hi Ben and Rachel, it’s Rachel. My question is, what you should be eating pre-work, and post-workout. I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information on proteins, fats, and carbs, and when you should be eating them. I would love to get your insight on this. Thank you so much for all that you do. Bye.
Ben: I’ve got one word for you, Rachel. Gatorade.
Ben: Gator, as we all know. Gatorade.
Rachel: I don’t believe you!
Ben: Scientifically formulated for every need in athlete, might ever, ever need. Gatorade – purple, blue, green…
Rachel: Looks like nature.
Rachel: Drink it.
Ben: Looks like nature. Drink it. No actually, there are uh, not that many things that would be worse than Gatorade to consume.
Rachel: Oh my goodness!
Ben: And I’ve got it in this on previous podcast on how the osmolality of the concentration of Gatorade actually creates stomach distress, not to mention all the frank and fuels, and colors that are in it but anyways, I will give you… Rachel, obviously this is a question we could spend hours on and I’ve gotten I mean, if you get my book “Beyond Training”, I’ve got literally like 4 chapters in the book on this, but what I will give you, here real quick are 5 things that I would avoid, and 5 things that I would eat before a workout. With the caveat being that I am a huge fan of, as I talked about with Mark Sisson on my recent podcast with him, if you’re not trying to gain muscle, really not eating a lot before or after workout because of the decrease rate at which telomere shortened, the production of ketones, the increase release of growth hormone and testosterone, all the really interesting things that happened when you’re a little bit more Spartan-esque with your fueling out before and after workout.
I’m a big fan of doing things like exercising in intermittently fasted state or waiting for a few hours after you’ve worked out to actually give yourself a bunch of nutrients, and maybe stringing yourself along with just some amino acid or something like that. But ultimately, 5 things that I would not go near prior to workout. One would be fructose and maltodextrin. Two of the things that you will see added to most sports nutrition compounds. I have found that that combination especially when taken for hours in a row, for things like a triathlon or a marathon, flips your stomach because maltodextrin is basically a complex carbohydrate that can attract a lot of water and blood to the gut and away from the muscles, and then fructose can actually cause because it is a fructan that can ferment, it can create like gas, bloating, gut rot after the workout, a lot of these issues. So look at whatever you’re eating, try and avoid the combination of fructose and maltodextrin.
Number 2, another thing that you’ll see in a lot of pre- workout compounds is very high amounts of caffeine. Now, there are typically doses that exceed about a hundred milligrams of caffeine, and many of these gels and sports drink that are out there, but most of the evidence shows that you can get a benefit, a pre-workout boost, an ergogenic boost from as little as 50 to 100 ml of caffeine. So, I’m a bigger fan of micro-dosing caffeine rather than using a high amount of caffeine. And by the way, something will be talking about in next week, next Wednesday’s podcast episode as an alternative caffeine. Believe it or not and don’t rush out to buy this ‘cause I’m gonna be talking about dosing and sourcing, and everything, is nicotine. Nicotine, you can like chew on nicotine gum during workouts, get a similar effect of caffeine without as many central nervous system issues as caffeine but more on that later, but either way, avoid high amounts of caffeine.
Number 3, you’ll find that one common sweetener found in many sports nutrition supplements even healthy “Paleo” type of supplements these days are sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol, and stuff like that. Those can actually similar to fructans create a lot of fermentation, and gut issues during exercise that make an exercise sessions less than pleasant. So, that’s another one that I would avoid in addition being careful with fructose, maltodextrin, and high amounts of caffeine, would be sugar alcohols. It should go without saying that like sucralose, and acesulfame potassium, and a lot of these other potential neurotoxins and gut damaging compounds should be avoided, but a lot of people don’t realize that xylitol and erythritol and stuff like that, can also cause a lot of stomach issues during exercise. High, high amounts of fiber – that be another one to be careful with. You know, 18 pears and 9 apples and 2 bananas and 8 bunches of kale all shove in to 1 tiny plastic bottle that you purchased from Whole Foods.
Ben: With the picture of the person running on the front of it. Uhm, that’s stuff. Not only ferments but it can also move through your system relatively quickly especially when you’re doing it before a workout. So, I would be extremely careful with high, high amounts of fiber in some of these compounds that are sold as like pre-workout super foods.
And then finally, the last thing that I would be careful with are foods that have a lot of water volume to them prior to workout. I found this to cause stomach distress in people too. So like melons, apples, pears, things along those lines like really big sweet potatoes. I’d actually be a little bit careful with that stuff, and again like the number one complain I get with people with their pre-workout nutrition is their gut, right? Like my gut doesn’t fell right before workout, I would avoid a lot of things that I just mentioned. High amounts of fiber, foods that are heavy in water, foods that are heavy in sugar alcohols, high amounts of caffeine, and fructose/maltodextrin, and this is also why I’ll typically really not eat much at all for 2-3 hours prior to workout, and if I need a quick hit of energy before the workout, I’ll do something like small cup of coffee, and I throw in some amino acids, right? Or a packet of adaptogenic herbs like Tianchi, or something like that. So, those are the things to avoid.
Things that I would use, one, I actually I’m a fan of, if you’re going out for a big workout and you do find that you get tired during a workout and you need more nutrients, I like juicing. I have a masticating juicer and I’ll juice for example some carrots and some ginger, throw a little bit of olive oil, a little bit of sea salt in there, and these juicing recipes that don’t include a lot of fructose, right, that are more like some super foods that aren’t fermentable, that don’t have a lot of sugars in them. You know one of my favorites like I mentioned: turmeric, carrot, I throw a little bit of olive oil and sea salt in there, and uh, I’m trying to think if there’s anything else, sometimes like a scoop of aminos, like amino acid or scoop of electrolytes, but that can work really well if you have a juicer. My wife actually likes to juice before she’ll do a trail run, beets are another really good one to juice. So, having like a good what’s called a masticating juicer, that can be a really good option.
Small amounts of caffeine like I mentioned, 50 to 100 ml what you get out of say, a cup of coffee. That would be another thing that I’m a big fan of for pre-workout. You know, that or like I mentioned, nicotine gum which I’ll talk about later, but I like juicing, I like a little bit of caffeine, uhm, if you do have a pretty epic workout, something like an easy to digest carb, a little while before the workout can work pretty well. When I say an easy to digest carb, what I mean is avoid fructose, avoid maltodextrin, but something like potato-based starch would be a perfect example of something that’s very easy to digest.
There’s a company called Thorne that makes this stuff called Carb Fuel. Very slow release potato-based starch, it doesn’t have a lot of water volume in it because it’s a powder, it’s not like eating a sweet potato or a white potato, doesn’t have a lot of the same fibers and skins, and stuff like that, but it’s just potato-based starch. There’s another company called UCAN that makes a super starch, it’s again very similar like a slow release starch, and this would be for a longer workout where you actually need the carbohydrate, and that your body may not be able to rely on its own glycogen stores for long periods of time. So that’ll be an example. Easy to digest fats, we talked about MCTs earlier in the podcast, and I am a fan of very easy to digest fats. Two perfect examples of that would be like a very easy to digest MCT oil, and again if you have stomach distress, use something like the C8 based MCT, like brain octane, and then they also sell now these exogenous ketones. Ketone salts like beta hydroxybutyrate salts. There are companies like KETO/OS, which is also known as Pruvit. There…or uh, oh what’s another one?
I’ve got a whole article on ketone salts that are out there on the market now. There’s a bunch of them. Precision nutrition makes one, or not a precision nutrition – Prototype Nutrition makes a ketone, but basically these are exogenous ketones that allow your body to be able to burn a source of fuel that really preferentially used by your liver and your diaphragm and your heart and your brain without you actually having to rely on a lot of other sources of fuel. I’m a fan of that! Like some form of ketones or MCTs, and then finally, easy to digest proteins rather than a steak or eggs or going with the rocky style blender, natural amino acids like Essential Amino Acids. Huge fan of about 10 grams of essential amino acids prior to a workout for a huge boost, and one of the things that they do in addition to staving off your muscles from catabolizing during a workout is normally your body produces a lot of tryptophan during a big hard, long workout and that crosses the blood brain barrier, and it makes you a little bit sleepy while you’re working out, but what happens when you take amino acids is that they compete for tryptophan and so you stave off of this central nervous system fatigue because they bind to a lot of those receptors that tryptophan would normally bind to.
Rachel: Uhm, interesting!
Rachel: Science baby!
Ben: Magical science! Uhm, sooo much more I could talk about like I mentioned. Read my book “Beyond Training”, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for what to eat before, during, and after workouts, do a search for ketosis, I’ve got tons of articles on there, you know, the list goes on and on, but anyways, hopefully that helps you Rachel, and everybody else. I’ll put links to most of these things I talked about if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/351. It’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/351. Uhm, that being said, what do you think? Should we do a giveaway?
Rachel: Let’s give away some free stuff.
Ben: Let’s give away some free stuff. So here’s how this works. If you hear the podcast, and you go and leave us a nice tidy 5-star review on iTunes, and you say something nice, we will send you a gear pack. All you have to do is email [email protected], that’s [email protected]. If you hear your review read on the show, you let us know your t-shirt size and we’ll throw a water bottle, a beanie, and a t-shirt, all in the mail to you and it will arrive magically at your door anywhere in the world where you happen to be. So today, we are gonna give something away to listener craterfrog, left uh, I love the name. Left a 5-star review on iTunes called “New Human, Super Human”. Rachel, you wanna take this one away?
Rachel: Yes! “This podcast has 100% changed my life. Using tips and methods from the show, I’ve been able to lose 26 lbs. in 4 months while putting on muscle. So who knows how much I lost in fat. My biggest regret is not taking a “before” pic. Total body rebuild. I love being able to pass on knowledge that I’ve picked up here to my friends. I’m not an Ironman/Tough Mudder/Spartan, or any crazy endurance athlete. Just a civilian who wants to be in the best health possible, and this podcast has played a major role in getting me where I am. Thank you Ben and Rachel!”
Ben: Uhm. Kind of a slacker, not an Ironman, not a tough mudder…
Ben: Not a Spartan.
Rachel: Oh! I’m a slacker.
Ben: Gotta get out there craterfrog. Uhm nah, that’s awesome! Congratulations! 26 lbs of 4 months.
Rachel: That’s huge!
Ben: It’s nothin’ discovered. I wonder if they did the cold shower challenge.
Rachel: I think that might have helped. I wonder that if he had cold showers in there, or she.
Ben: I love cold showers. I’m tapering right now for this 12 hour super Spartan. I’m gonna be doing this Friday night which is just 12 hours of complete suffering but I do a cold shower, five minute cold shower in the morning and five minute cold shower in the evening, and that keeps me from gaining weight when I’m not exercising as much as I usually do. I like these cold showers.
Rachel: Speaking of the cold shower challenge, tomorrow is the final day. Twenty one days we had 75 people, take a 5 minute cold shower everyday, and the general feedback has been, that it’s incredible and they gonna keep going.
Ben: I do wanna leave folks with one last final tip. Do a search like if you use social media like twitter or facebook or whatever, do a search for the #coldshowerchallenge. There are some extremely entertaining photos of half-naked people competing in the Ben Greenfield fitness cold shower challenge. So check that out – #coldshowerchallenge, and uh, that being said, what do you think, Rachel? Shall we call it a podcast?
Rachel: Podcast is done.
Ben: Check out bengreenfieldfitness.com/351. Thanks for listenin’ everybody, and we’ll be back this weekend with a special episode with a very special guest. Stay tuned along with the special episode next Wednesday on nicotine gum and oh so much more. Rachel…
Ben: Talk to you later.
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Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Aron Synder?. It was a must-listen – titled “Backpacking, Wilderness Survival, Combat Conditioning, Hunting Fitness & More With Aron Snyder”. Click here to listen now or download for later!
May 11, 2016: Ben is speaking at the brand new Natural Grocers in Spokane, WA on “Little Known, Easy-To-Find Foods That Burn Fat”. Click here for more details or to get in for free now.
May 21-22, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in London. The venue will be one of the most charming venues of London, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, and features an Upgraded Dinner with wild forager Sami Tallberg and a great opportunity to bring together some fantastic UK based biohackers in the realms of digital health, wearables, supplements, biohacking, lifehacking, quantified self and much more. You’ll discover digital health & wellness providers, nutrition & supplement companies, wearables & mobile applications and smart home appliances from infrared saunas to smart sensors. Click here to register and use 10% code “ben”.
The “Supercharged” film will also premier at the London Biohackers Summit! Imagine, a mind quick as lightning, a body charged with energy. No, it’s not a fictional superhero. It’s you. SuperCharged. Ticket Includes a live Q&A panel with the stars of the movie: Ben Greenfied, Jack Kruse and Ruben Salinas. Panel moderated by the director Sarah Turner and producer Harry Massey. All conference tickets include the movie. A ticket for only the movie & panel is available at a price of £29, but you get an instant 10% off by clicking here.
May 26-29, 2016: Ben is speaking at PaleoFX 2016 in Austin, Texas. This is the The Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including New York Times bestselling authors, leading physicians, scientists, health entrepreneurs, professional athletes, fitness professionals, activists, bloggers, biohackers, and more. And you DON’T need to be Paleo to be able to get a ton of benefit and fun out of this one! Also, one day prior, on May 26 is Health Entrepreneurs f(x) – a full day of deep discussion on marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship for health and wellness people, featuring Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Melissa Hartwig, Sarah Ballantyne, Mike Bledsoe, Abel James, and a bunch of other speakers in small group coaching sessions.
July 8-10, 2016: Join SEALFit and Ben Greenfield for a SEALFit 20X event at Ben Greenfield’s home in Spokane, WA – combined with Obstacle Course training with Ben Greenfield and Hunter McIntyre. Get all details here and get in soon because this one will fill up fast!
August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.
Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.
–Dec 3-10, 2016: Runga in Costa Rica: 8 days, epic food, twice daily yoga, salt water pool and manual therapy and spa services galore, experts from around the world teaching running clinics, kettlebell seminars, lecturing on nutrition, etc. Also daily adventures ranging from zip lining to white water, along with a full digital detox. Code “BEN” gets you a free gift with your RUNGA registration valued at $75! Click here to get in now.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.
How To Stay Fit When You’re Sitting
Dougie says: He’s seen you write a lot about sitting and sedentary behavior. He has to sit in the same position for the 60 mins/day every day when he drives. He can’t decrease his sedentary sitting time. Do you have any ideas for house to combat this?
In my response, I recommend:
–The new book “Deskbound” by Kelly Starrett
–Compex or MarcPro ($32 discount at http://www.MarcPro.com with discount code “Ben”)
– Captain of Crush/Hand Expander Band– Eric Goodman’s Core Foundation
Ben’s Top Healthy Baby Tips
James says: His wife just had their first child. What are some of things you did with your boys to make sure they were flourishing and healthy?
How To Get Rid Of Injuries Fast
Neale says: He’s been having issues with RSI in his shoulder and his hip. He’s wondering if you can give him any suggestions for how to get these things sorted out? Anything food/supplement related? He’s currently doing LCHF diet, for the past year and its going well. He wanted to get consistently running again, can you help him out?
What To Eat Before, During And After Workouts
Rachel says: Her question is, what should she be eating pre and post workouts? She’s heard a lot of conflicting information on protein, fat and carbs and when you should be eating them. She’d love to get your insight.
In my response, I recommend: