Episode #360 – Full Transcript

Affiliate Disclosure


Podcast from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2016/10/360-poop-can-tell-health-heal-tendons-ligaments-faster-natural-ways-decrease-cortisol/

[0:00] Introduction

[4:17] News Flashes/ Trampoline Training

[8:25] Hot/Cold Contrast Showers

[12:06] Natural Kindergartens in Finland/ Biohacker’s Summit

[17:25] Diet Components and Cortisol Levels

[22:41] Oxytocin

[28:10] Special Announcements/ JOOVV Light

[29:45] Sauna Giveaway

[32:04] Indochino

[34:19] Four Sigmatic

[37:17] Growth Hormones/ Camel Milk

[41:01] Listener Q & A/ Poop

[57:44] Healing Ligaments and Tissues

[1:11:20] Float Tanks and Float Therapy

[1:18:49] How To Recover After Being on The Pill

[1:31:29] Giveaway of Gear Pack

[1:32:27] Podcast Review

[1:35:17] End of Podcast

Introduction:  In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: What Your Poop Can Tell You About Your Health, How To Heal Tendons And Ligaments Faster, Float Tanks Vs. Salt Baths, How To Get Your Cycle Back After Being On The Pill, 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 look at 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, I have a very, very important question for you because I have received, I think, five inquiries about this just in the past 24 hours alone.  And by inquiries, I mean recommendations that I must check this thing out.

Rachel:  Uhm.  Go on.  Tell me.  Ask.

Ben:  This movie, Captain Fantastic, have you heard of it?

Rachel:  I have heard of this film.  Yes.  And I'm super psyched to see it as well.  What have you heard?

Ben:  About some guy who like his kids like doing burpees and planks in the woods.  They live off the grid.  He calls like soda poison water, and basically he's raising his children to be little animals out in the forest.  And for some reason, everybody is saying that I should watch it.

Rachel:  You need to see it.

Ben:  Because I am…

Rachel:  It's a model for your family.

Ben:  …raising my family this way, which I'm not doing.  My kids play tennis, and they go to a private school with a bunch of kids whose parents are primarily like software programmers and bankers, and they don't live an incredibly sheltered life yet.  People seem to think that we're all running around barefoot, dirty, and completely shirking anything closely resembling, say, like a vaccination or social security number here at the Greenfield house.

Rachel:  Well, I feel like it's partly true, at least.

Ben:  What part of that is true?  Aside from the fact that my kids do burpees?

Rachel:  And they run around barefoot.

Ben:  Well, I mean you look at…

Rachel:  And their names are River and Terran.  Means earth and water.

Ben:  They do have dirty hippie names.  You know, my friends…

Rachel:  I love their names!

Ben:  The founder of Spartan, Joe De Sena, he moved his entire family, I believe to Indonesia because life in the United States was not difficult enough.  And if they want to watch television, they must do so in Mandarin Chinese so that they learn…

Rachel:  White people are so funny, aren't they?  Hilarious.

Ben:  Apparently so they can learn the language that the next superpower of the world will be using.  So I'm not that bad.

Rachel:  No.  You're not.  But that is also very smart of him, I think.

Ben:  Yeah.  I don't know.  I guess so.  There's an app on my phone, I think, that I can hold up that will speak Mandarin Chinese for me should I actually need to ever order food from a Chinese restaurant when the Chinese take over the world.  And I'm not saying that to be racist.  It's just…

Rachel:  Factual.

Ben:  It's factual.  Speaking of facts, we have lots of facts in today's show.  And it's been a while since we've had a Q & A.  I've been traveling all over the globe, I think you've just been sitting on your hands over there in Portland.

Rachel:  I've just been hanging out, just like waiting for you to come back so we could do this Q & A.

Ben:  Waiting with bated breath in front of your mic.

Rachel:  Yes!

Ben:  Well, hopefully your bated breath is ready because we've got news flashes, we've got Q & A, we've got some really cool special announcement in today's episode.

Rachel:  And we've got your favorite subject, Ben.  Poop.

Ben:  And poop!  So as they say, as I say, let's jump right in.

News Flashes:

 Ben:  Well, Rachel, in celebration of today's podcast, I did probably the dumbest workout on the face of the planet.

Rachel:  Wow!  What was your super dumb workout?

Ben:  This morning, I looked like an old man/biohacker.  I jumped up and down on my mini trampoline for 30 minutes with a training mask on.

Rachel:  That is a sight to be seen.  Did you put that on Snapchat?

Ben:  Okay.  So, no, I didn't because I couldn't hold my phone while I was bouncing up and down.

Rachel:  In your mask.

Ben:  My children and wife were indisposed to be able to film me.  They get annoyed anyways when I ask them to film me doing random things like this.

Anyways though, the training mask part of things, I'll save that 'til later.  There is a new research on the amount of carbon dioxide that you rebreathe when you're wearing it, the simulation of elevation, even though you're not actually at elevation, inspiratory and expiratory muscle fatigue, there are some really interesting things kinda coming down the pipeline with the whole training mask thing.  It's not a complete bunk, even though I think they should call it just training mask not elevation training mask 'cause you're not on a mountain, but the trampoline thing is really interesting.

So NASA has studied trampolining for astronauts, and there have been other studies just in random universities on trampolines on things like VO2Max and cardiovascular fitness, but this most recent study was by the American Council on Exercise — and of course as I do with everything I'm about to talk about, I'll link to stuff over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/360 so that I can prove to you I'm not totally making this up.  But what they found out was they had a whole bunch of people do 20 minutes of exercising on a trampoline, and by exercising on a trampoline what I mean is you don't just jump up and down while you're staring at the wall.  You like jump up and down — this is what I did this morning; and you do jumping jacks, and then you like sit on the trampoline and do like planking exercises, and then go from like sitting, to standing, to sitting, to standing.  You can bounce side to side, front to back, single leg, double leg.

So I mean like you can do a lot of stuff on these little things they called mini-trampolines or rebounders.  But what they found is that when they had these jumpers do this for 20 minutes, their oxygen expenditure and their caloric burn — two pretty good indicators of metabolic effect and cardiovascular fitness effect — were just as high as cycling, playing football, Ultimate Frisbee, running 6 miles an hour, and any of these other activities that are considered moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.  And by the way, exercise science researchers call things either very intense, moderate intensity, or light intensity for exercise.  And this actually fell into the moderates to vigorous intensity category.

Rachel:  That just seems so crazy to me.  How is that happening?

Ben:  You're bouncing up and down, and it actually is kinda hard.  I mean, if you've ever tried to do like a 20 minute work — we've all bounce on a trampoline, at least most of us have, unless you were deprived and grew up in the woods doing burpees instead. Captain Fantastic.  But the idea is that your body is still having to absorb the load of your body going up and down, your breathing, there's blood flow, there's even lymph flow.  There's some people that will claim, even though there's no research on this, that there's a detoxification effect because your lymph fluid is flowing around.  The cool thing is you've got 40% less impact than running.  So if you're overweight, joint pain, or something like that, or you're — I don't know — I guess an astronaut with brittle bones returning from Mars, these kind of things can actually help you out quite a bit.  So trampolining and a new study on trampolining shows – oh, the other cool thing about this study was people enjoyed it far, far more than the running.

Rachel:  And I imagine that makes it seem a lot easier as well, 'cause it's fun.

Ben:  Exactly.  Lower, as we would say in exercise science, rating of perceived exertion.  So, there you have it.

Rachel:  So trampolining, not just for old people.

Ben:  This podcast is brought to you by mini-trampolines.  The next thing, speaking of random things you can do to enhance health, cold showers.  Here is a very interesting recent research study published a couple of weeks ago that I tweeted about over at twitter.com slash — what is my Twitter account?  BenGreenfield?

Rachel:  BenGreenfield.

Ben:  I forget if it's BenGreenfieldFitness or Ben Greenfield.  So anyways though, in this study, what they looked at was 18 to 65 year old people who did hot/cold contrast showers, something that's actually really cool.  I introduced my wife to hot/cold contrast the other day, by the way, so remind me to tell you about this.  But anyways, hot/cold contrast shower, meaning that you go from a certain amount of time hot to a certain amount of time cold.  And in this case, they were doing what's called a one-one, meaning they were going from hot, to cold, to hot, to cold, to hot, to cold for either 30, or 60, or 90 seconds for 30 days in a row.  And what they found was that the people who did the cold to hot shower, this hot/cold shower contrast, they had a 29% reduction in sickness absence from work — meaning that there was a significant effect on the strength of the immune system from doing a daily hot/cold contrast shower.

Rachel:  And do you think that that would have increased if they had have upped the time they were doing it for?

Ben:  You mean like stayed in there all morning, singing in the shower?

Rachel:  Maybe not all morning, but like a little longer than 90 seconds.

Ben:  I don't know the answer.

Rachel:  Yup.

Ben:  It looks like, I'm looking at the actual results of the study, and it looks like for the 90 second, there was a pretty significant effect, but it wasn't that much greater than the 60 second shower.  I do know that the NASA materials engineer who spoke at a conference where I watched some of the graphs that he put up, or looked at some of the graphs that he put up of fat loss clients he'd worked with, they were doing a full five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening, and getting significant, meaning 10 plus pounds of fat loss per month with 20 seconds cold to 10 seconds hot 10 times through.  So that's like five minutes.  So a.) I think you need a really good underwater MP3 player to make time go by if you're doing something like that, but b.) in addition to all the benefits that we've already discovered about cold showers, and cold thermogenesis, and hot-cold contrast therapy, here's yet another one that we can add to that list of benefits.  It makes you bullet proof to getting sick.  So, there you have it.

Oh, and by the way, when we were in Kauai just a few days ago, my wife and I just returned from attending a wedding in Kauai, I brought my wife to a friend's house where said friend had a barrel sauna and a cold tub, and I had my wife do about two hours of getting into the barrel sauna for about 15 minutes then to the cold tub, and we even wore the funny little elven hats that one would wear traditionally in a sauna.  And we did the cold soak back, and forth, and back, and forth, she developed…

Rachel:  Did she love it?

Ben:  She did.  She loved the way that she felt, but she had splotchy skin and skin burns for a couple of days.  So maybe…

Rachel:  Wow.  What's that from?

Ben:  Maybe the sauna was too hot.  I dunno.  I kinda go extreme.  I jack it up a little bit.   So aside from burning the skin off my wife's thighs, it was a lovely experience.

Rachel:  A great experience.

Ben:  Yeah.  So there you have it!  We'll link to that study in the show notes.  Now here is something that's quite relevant to what we've already talked about: natural kindergarten in Finland.  Now I bring this up for a couple reasons.  First, I'm headed to Finland.  Did I tell you this?

Rachel:  Very soon.  You are.  Yes!  The Biohacker Summit!  It's happening, and you're speaking at it.

Ben:  I'm speaking at the Biohacker Summit in Helsinki.  Helsinki. People can still get in on this.  Actually, there's a 40% discount to be able to get into the conference.  You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/biohacker2016, or just go to the show notes for this episode and you can get it, and this is really cool.  We don't just implant chips in the backs of our hands or inject chlorophyll into our eyes to enhance night vision, two things that people are doing, by the way, these days.

Rachel:  I didn't know that.

Ben:  But we do things like molecular gastronomy, wild plant foraging, ancestral cooking preparation, and then we also do — the talks themselves are extremely good, refined speakers, meaning that there's like smoke comes out on stage before you get 'em speak and there's really good AV.

Rachel:  It's a performance.

Ben:  It's a fantastic conference.  Anyways though, it's November 17th and 18th in Helsinki and there'll be like a few extras.  I think we're doing a getaway out to a private farm in Finland for a few days after the event.  All sorts of cool things going on in that event.  So go to it.  And we've talked with us on the podcast before, discovered that kids in Finland are very, very smart.  Not only do they not have standardized testing, but there are a handful of these things that this article in particular is talking about, which is a forest kindergarten.  A forest kindergarten.  Kids are going to school in the forest instead of an actual classroom.

Rachel:  I feel like that's like a dream come true for me.  I would love that.

Ben:  How cool is that?  Get this.  In the article, and this article appeared in The Atlantic, a typical day in this school, they will do things like make fairy houses or use sticks to create like little drum sets.  The math lesson will include things like forming letters out of sticks, or measuring distances between trees, or learning how to do like [0:14:19] ______ .  And they learn to prepare meals over a fire like stew, and pancakes, and what they call stick bread, which is basically like baked dough wrapped around a piece of wood.

Rachel:  Yum!

Ben:  If there's anything that you could learn from nature school, it's how to wrap dough around wood and make bread over a spit.  I have always envisioned using like putting a squirrel on a stick and putting that over a spit, or a rabbit, which I've actually done before out in the wilderness, but I've never tried it with the dough.

Rachel:  It sounds good, and everyone should know how to do that sort of stuff, I think.

Ben:  Yeah.  So these kids just go out in the woods all day, and that's their school.  They're testing really well, they're getting very smart.  They're creating like gardens, doing scavenger hunts, learning how to track animals.  And I agree with, have you heard of Seth Godin before?

Rachel:  I have.  Yeah.

Ben:  Yeah.  So Seth Godin has this philosophy that your job as a parent, if you have children, so if you're listening in and you have children, your job as a parent begins when your kids walk in the door.  That's when you start homeschooling them.  And that's what I do with my kids.  So when they get home, we go out and we do wild plant foraging, and we look for mushrooms, and we shoot the bow, and we learn how to use Craigslist to sell things, and how to use Airbnb.  Things about entrepreneur, and business, and wild plant foraging, and for all the things that they don't really get in school, not that their school sucks, it's just that schools don't teach certain things these days.  So I think you can have the best of both worlds, and not be like this this purported Captain Fantastic character.  Again, I haven't seen the movie, but apparently as we would say here in the States, bad stuff goes down.

Rachel:  So what do you think the likelihood is that you would ever have natural kindergartens in America?

Ben:  I don't know.  Well, you know what?  I take that back.  I do know.  Katie Bowman, who we've had on the show a couple of times, her kids over in Seattle go to some kind of a forest kindergarten.

Rachel:  Oh, wow.

Ben:  So they exist.  They're not all over the place, and they're obviously not orthodox, but they exist.  So, there you go.  We can leap over brooks, and run through trees, and you know what?  You don't have to go to nature kindergarten to do this or forest kindergartens to do this.  You can take your kids out in the forest and teach them, even if they go to a regular school.  Okay.  So a of couple other things that I wanted to talk about, and I know there's a lot of news flashes today, but it's been a little while since we've had a podcast.  So I'm taking advantage of this in every way possible.  You're gonna be here for a while, Rachael.

Rachel:  I love it.  Go.  What do you got?  What's next?

Ben:  I hope you have your smoothie?  Did you have your smoothie this morning?

Rachel:  I haven't had a smoothie, but I'm on my second cup of coffee.

Ben:  I had a copious amount of smoothie this morning because I blended my smoothie in and it was too thin, and the way that you get it to be thick is you add extra protein powder, or extra collagen powder, or extra gelatin, or extra coconut flakes, or extra chia seeds.  So I just kept adding stuff until it got thick enough, and I think I doubled the calorie count of my smoothie.

Rachel:  That's a smoothie fail, or a smoothie win.  Depends.

Ben:  I'm a little bit insulinogenic right now.  Anyways though, so there is this fantastic paper about the effect of diet components on the level of cortisol, which sounds stupid, and nerdy, and boring, but it's actually one of the best articles and most digestible articles.  Really.  It's not that difficult to get through even though it's scientific.

It's a paper on all of the research behind things that can naturally lower the levels of cortisol because we know that, while cortisol is good, raised levels of cortisol for long periods of time can cause things like a catabolic effect, breakdown of muscle tissue, breakdown of gut tissue, inhibition of say like the conversion of inactive to active thyroid hormone.  There's lots of downstream effects, and this is near and dear to my heart because I have never in my entire life not tested either blood, or urine, or saliva with extremely high cortisol levels.  Now I also have high DHEA levels and my testosterone is good.  I just kind of have high everything, but my cortisol…

Rachel:  You're just an overachiever, Ben.

Ben:  Apparently, my adrenals are overachieving.

Rachel:  Overextending.

Ben:  So this article shows the effect of nutrients and food products on cortisol, and there are some very surprising things that came out of it.  For example, fermented milk products such as yogurt, kefir, things like this — they can actually cause an increase in something called gamma-Aminobutyric acid, which can get converted into something called corticoliberin which decreases cortisol.  And interestingly, taurine has a similar effect, taurine, such as we would find in Red Bull.  Isn't it sad that the first thing that comes to mind is Red Bull when it comes — Red Bull or the Kimera Koffee, I believe, has taurine in it.

Rachel:  I think it does.  Yeah.  And can just buy taurine in tablets, can't you?

Ben:  You can buy it in tablets.  You can also find it in lots of meats.  You can find it in eggs.  It's also found in seaweed, it's found in krill.  It's even found in brewer's yeast, which you can like buy and sprinkle on salads.  It's like a really nutrient-dense source.  So taurine was one, fermented milk products was another, and there are a few in there that kind of fly under the radar, I think.

Sprouts!  So I don't know if you've done much sprouting, Rachel, but you can take any number of different things and put them in glass mason jars.  My wife does a lot of this, and you can sprout brown rice, you can sprout quinoa, you can sprout barley, you can sprout beans.  And apparently sprouts, very similar to fermented milk products and very similar to taurine, they actually have a cortisol lowering effect.  And what I like about this is the article wasn't just jam-packed full of like supplements that you can take, bioactive vitamin C, and Rhodiola, and ginseng, things that we find often advertised as being able to raise or lower cortisol, but it gets into dietary components and food strategies that can lower cortisol as well.  And one really interesting thing, by the way, this is what I found fascinating.  Have you ever had green coffee?  Or like unroasted coffee at a coffee shop?

Rachel:  No.

Ben:  It's really interesting.  It's got like this peanut buttery, nutty flavor; and it's got a little less caffeine than regular coffee, different terpene profile, different antioxidant profile.  When I grew up, my dad was a gourmet coffee roaster.  So we'd have these bags from all over the world, and they would get delivered to our house, and my dad had this fancy coffee roasters.  It was like a $30,000 coffee roaster out in the shed, and us boys would go out and watch Dad roast coffee, and dump these green beans into the roaster.  And they're very flavorful, but he also had a very fancy espresso machine, and he showed us how to make coffee out of the green coffee beans rather than the roasted coffee beans.

Rachel:  So why is that not a thing?  Why are we not drinking green coffee?

Ben:  Well, some coffee shops do it.  I've been in, for example, you're in Portland, which is like a mecca of coffee shops.

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  I've been to a couple of coffee shops there that will serve you green coffee.

Rachel:  Interesting. I feel like I've been drinking coffee non-stop for like 15 years and I've never come across green coffee.

Ben:  Try it!  I mean, you can order like organic unroasted coffee off of Amazon and try making it yourself.  You just prepare it the way that you would prepare a normal coffee.  Anyways though, the reason that I jumped down this rabbit hole is that green coffee lowers cortisol while black coffee increases cortisol.  Isn't that interesting?

Rachel:  Wow.  That is fascinating.

Ben:  Yeah.  So black coffee stimulates the secretion of something called hydrocortisone, which gets converted into cortisol.  Decaf coffee doesn't do that quite as much, but green coffee can actually lower cortisol, significant decrease, very similar to another compound which is oolong tea.  You had oolong tea before?

Rachel:  Yep.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  And is green coffee the same sort of level of caffeine as like decaf?

Ben:  No.  There is, I think, slightly more in green coffee.  But you've asked me a question that I don't know that I fully know the answer to.  So if someone's listening in and you know the answer, green coffee versus decaffeinated coffee, which has more caffeine? And you answer that question over the comments section, you get nothing except feeling good about yourself and good karma for everybody listening in with high cortisol.  But anyways…

Rachel:  And you can go to the comments section at bengreenfieldfitness.com/360.

Ben:  That's right.  And then the last thing that I wanted to mention in today's news flashes is oxytocin.  Oxytocin is likely something that you've experienced before, Rachel.

Rachel:  It's true, Ben.  This article was one of those moments where I finally realized I had like a language for something about myself that I didn't know before, but there was so many phrases in here that I thought, “Oh my god.  I actually might be overdosing on oxytocin!”

Ben:  That's right.  It is the love hormone.

Rachel:  It is!  And I love, I just love!

Ben:  It promotes social bonding, altruism. They actually have done studies where they found that like if you're high on oxytocin, or if you have increased levels of oxytocin, and in this case they'll use like nasal or oxytocin injections, you tend to be a poorer negotiator because you trust people more.  So it could screw you in some situations like, I don't know, if you're working on Wall Street, or if you're a lawyer, if you're in on those situations.

Rachel:  Yeah.  You just imagine humanity are all good, we're all good people.

Ben:  Right.

Rachel:  That might not always be true.

Ben:  Well, in this study, they looked at spirituality and meditation, and they found that people who were given oxytocin in this study, they actually had enhanced amount of spirituality, meaning that basically they participated in like guided meditation.  And the people who receive the oxytocin during the meditation reported more awe, more gratitude, more hope, more inspiration, more love, more serenity.  And it didn't affect everybody equally.  There's actually this gene, and I wasn't aware this gene was CD38, and it regulates the release of oxytocin from the hypothalamus neurons in your brain.  And they found that there are certain people that are able to produce more and respond to it much better.

So what I did was I ordered oxytocin from an online pharmacy.  I spent a couple of weeks lurking on forums trying to figure out which pharmacy was going to like kill me if I order this oxytocin, and some syringes, just insulin syringes, and alcohol swabs.  And I injected myself for a week with oxytocin to see what effect that it would have.  I did this a couple of weeks ago just to see like how it would feel during the day.  I tried varying amounts.  Too much makes you sleepy.  I think you just get almost like too love-y, like you just wanna go curl up in bed and kind of like just like, rub your skin and lay there.

Rachel:  Cuddle yourself.

Ben:  Yeah.  Similar to like if you took like SAS, or MDA, or E for those of you who are out there who are ravers.  But the interesting thing is that it also has some very cool effects.  Like if you take it in smaller doses, I found in the morning when I'd inject smaller doses, and to avoid giving medical advice on the show, I'm not going to give you exact dosages.  Oh, what the heck.  Let me pull up my little — 'cause I kept track of this in Evernote.

Rachel:  But the disclaimer is Ben is not a doctor.  Nothing he says should be taken as medical advice.

Ben:  Yeah.  So there's a thousand international units and about a bottle of oxytocin.  It's very hard to get the nasal stuff without a prescription.  But what I did was I reconstituted that with what's called bacteriostatic water.  This is very typical.  You order something in powder form then you have to reconstitute it with water, and I used approximately for most situations about 10 to 20 what's called International Units, which if you're looking at like a half CC insulin syringe, you're drawing back to like the 7 to 15 tick mark, ish.  And I would simply inject that, and I use my inner thigh, which is an area of decent blood flow.  So I found that too much made you sleepy.  So once I got up to about 30 International Units, which would be three times what I tried in the morning to have a decent effect of just feeling positive.  It made me very sleepy.  But the other cool thing is that oxytocin is released during breast feeding and during sex, and it can enhance the closeness to a partner during sex.  And so I injected, in a few cases, about 30 to 60 minutes prior to sex, and I used 20 International Units.  I found that to be the sweet spot, and actually made sex not like some wild raving sex party, but more like the type of sex that's like cuddly sex where you just wanna like…

Rachel:  More like the female version of sex, that is it all the time for women?

Ben:  Yeah.  And guys, a lot of times, guys, you know this, when you finish, you just like roll over and go to bed.  It's like you've done your thing.  Women wanna cuddle, and it made me want to cuddle.

Rachel:  Oh, wow.  That's lovely.

Ben:  Yeah.  So it's really interesting.  Don't kill yourself, folks if you're listening to this with the whole like syringes and injections thing.  I do not endorse online pharmacy, but I thought I'd give it a try anyways 'cause I like to guinea pig this stuff on myself.  So there you go.

Rachel:  And are there any other downsides to potentially overdosing on it than getting sleepy?

Ben:  Oh, I suppose you could probably shut down your hypothalamic production of oxytocin and screw yourself from being trusting, or loving, or cuddling for the rest of your life.

Rachel:  For the rest of your life?  Okay.

Ben:  But I went through some of it and that's why I just experimented with it for a couple weeks and stopped.  If the results would have been jaw dropping, and amazing, and life changing, I probably would have continued to experiment with it.  But it was more subtle, but quite interesting to mess around.  So if you wanna experience what higher amounts of oxytocin feel like, then try injecting yourself with the love hormone.

Special Announcements:

Ben:  Alright.  So since we have recorded this podcast, we have been busy bumblebees at Ben Greenfield Fitness, and hopefully it wasn't too much alliteration.  We have been doing quite a bit, especially over on the Facebook page; and Rachel, as our social media ninja, has been working her magic over there.  I've been shooting videos.  For example, I recently did a video on red light therapy, which is somewhat similar to infrared therapy.  And if you go check out the recent video on Facebook, I show how, I guess to stay somewhat down the rabbit hole we were just on, shining 600 to 700 nanometer-based red light on one's crotch/testicles/balls for about five minutes per day has been shown to triple testosterone levels and increase of sperm count in men.  And I actually showed how I have this red light device that hangs on the door in my office that, while I'm talking on the phone or doing consults occasionally, I will pull down my pants and go stand in front of it with the light shining on my balls.  It's called a Joov light, a J — I think it's bengreenfieldfitness.com…

Rachel:  bengreenfieldfitness.com/joovv, J-O-O-V.

Ben:  J-O-O-V or J-O-O-V-V?

Rachel:  Oh.  J-O-O-V, I thought.  I have to look.

Ben:  Alright.  Well, here…

Rachel:  We'll put it in the show notes anyway.

Ben:  Okay.  We'll put it in the show notes.  Do you wanna put it in the show notes, Rachel?

Rachel:  I will put it in the show notes.

Ben:  Okay.  She'll put in the show notes.  So either the link to the video or link to this Joovv light.  Anyways though, there is something even cooler than that.  Rachel, you wanna fill people in?

Rachel:  There is.  Yes.  So as you all know, we do giveaways, and most of the types of giveaways that we do tend to be products.  And they're awesome and we love them, of course.  However, we have been lucky enough to be able to give away a full…

Ben:  A child.

Rachel:  Not a child.

Ben:  Oh.

Rachel:  Sauna.  That is right.  It's about $6,000 worth of sauna that Clearlight saunas has been lovely enough to allow us to give away to only Ben Greenfield Fitness Followers.

Ben:  That's crazy.

Rachel:  That's crazy!  Oh my god!

Ben:  They must have been injecting themselves with oxytocin.

Rachel:  I am so excited!

Ben:  This is the Sanctuary Sauna.  This is the same one I use, like to do yoga.

Rachel:  Yes!

Ben:  And you could even like drag dumbbells in there and do workouts inside your sauna, or just like lie in there and read magazines, or whatever.  It's low EMF, that's why I like the — not only big enough to exercise in, but you don't microwave yourself in them like you do in a lot of infrared saunas.

Rachel:  That's right.  And Ben has written two major articles about this specific sauna, and saunas in general, but you can find those articles at bengreenfieldfitness.com/sauna.  And if you want to enter the giveaway, which of course you do, so far we only have a thousand people who have entered.  So your chances of winning this are actually huge.  It's free shipping anywhere in the world.  This is crazy!

Ben:  Really?  In the world?

Rachel:  Yes! Apart from there is a tax that you might have to pay through customs, depending on what country you're in.  But it's small.  In order to enter, all you need to do is go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/saunagiveaway, enter your e-mail address and name, and voila!  You could win a sauna.

Ben:  Did you hear that, Joe De Sena in Indonesia with your family?  You could watch Mandarin Chinese in your Clearlight sauna.

Rachel:  In your sauna.

Ben:  Boom.  There you go.

Rachel:  Make sure you go over there and do that.

Ben:  Well worth it.  Okay.  So the link is in the show notes?

Rachel:  It is in the show notes.  Bengreenfieldfitness.com/saunagiveaway.

Ben:  Sweet.  Okay.  Well I have a few other things I wanna tell people about before we get to this week's Q & A.  And the first is — boy, where do I even start?  So I was down in Beverly Hills.  I don't think I told you this, Rachel, and I got, I think, probably the coolest suit that I have ever worn in my life.  Not that I'm big suit guy, as you know.  I'm usually in underwear or spandex.

Rachel:  What was so cool about this suit?

Ben:  This suit, here's the coolest thing — you know what?  I'll save the coolest thing for last.  I got to design the whole thing.  I got to pick out all the colors, I got to pick out the texture, I got to pick out like the little buttons, I got to pick out the collar.  It's olive green with like gray and white dotted interior, and then it has a vest that's like my party vest.  It's really cool.  It's like a polka dot vest that's polka dotted on the back with gray and white polka dots, and same color green on the front as the suit.  But here's the cool thing: you open up the inside, like the lapel of the suit, and it says “Mr. Greenfield” on it.

Rachel:  What?  That is so baller.

Ben:  So it's made by this company called Indochino.  Indochino.  And they do made-to-measure suits that fit you just perfectly.  I mean, like I put this on for my wife and did the whole thing where you walk out and you twirl.  Just like you're wearing a dress.

Rachel:  Like a catwalk.

Ben:  Yeah.  And she loves it.  And what they do is they're one of those companies where you just visit their website, and they have all these showrooms all over North America.  And I happened to be in LA, so I went to their showroom, and I did the fitting, and they sent me my suit in four weeks.  And what they are giving all of our listeners is 50% off the regular price for a made-to-measure premium suit.  That means you can get any premium Indochino suit for 389, and the way that you do this, and 389, by the way, that's like what I used to fly over to Thailand to get like custom suits of this quality for.  ‘Cause most of my suits I bought in Thailand when I've been over there 'cause that's where you go for like cheap, tailored, custom-fit suits.  You can get 'em in the US now.  So indochino.com, it is INDOCHINO.com, and you use promo code Fitness, and you get the suit for 389.  So again, that's half off, and you get free shipping, and you look like a million bucks.

Rachel:  Awesome.  And you can twirl for you wife, and she'll get a rush of oxytocin.

Ben:  Oh, yeah, baby.  No injections required.  So this podcast is brought to you by Indochino.  It's also brought to you by something that I actually made a cool discovery about the other day.  So there is this specific type of mushroom, and it's made from a fruiting body that you find typically growing in logs out in the forest, these things called foresees things called linden logs that you'll find in the wild forest, where you're out there doing your kindergarten.  You will find this specific type of mushroom growing on wood, and there is a company that has packaged up with licorice root, star anise, and peppermint to have almost like this calming effect on your nervous system.  And the mushroom itself has about a thousand milligrams of specific terpenes that cause relaxation, cause you to wind down, cause you to destress, cause you to — if you want to nap or sleep, or to just like not feel quite so stressed.  We speak about lowering cortisol levels, this is one that has been shown clinically to lower cortisol levels.  It's called reishi,  R-E-I-S-H-I.  You've heard of this, no?

Rachel:  Of course.  Yes.

Ben:  You've heard of this reishi, no?  You've heard of this.  So what I have found is you double dose — so I double dose on this stuff.  Yeah.  That's right.  I take two packets, and I don't even mix 'em.  I just dump it in mouth, let it dissolve, and swallow.  Chase it with a glass of water.  Just curled up in bed and fell asleep.  This was before my afternoon nap, right.  I love to like figure out things that can like help you nap better, and then usually like I've taken the tea before and just like drank it just to relax a little bit.  But, yeah.  It made nappy time amazing.

Rachel:  Delicious.

Ben:  So reishi, and anything else made by this company that I got it from — Four Sigmatic — you get 15% off of.  So you go to foursigmatic.com/Greenfield, that's foursigmatic.com/Greenfield, use code Ben Greenfield, and you get 15% off.  Four Sigmatic, FourSigmatic.com.  And they're gonna be at the Finland biohacking conference too.  Last time I was out there, I actually went foraging for mushrooms with the people who make these mushrooms.

Rachel:  That is awesome.  Hey, I have a question about the mushrooms.  Do they grow wild mushrooms that they use in the extracts?

Ben:  Yeah.  Most companies grow mushrooms on grains.  So you buy your mushrooms and they've got like gluten, and like all these carbs, and so they grow them on what's called a mycelium — not a mycelium, a grain-based medium.  What they do at the Four Sigmatic Foods is they use what's called dual extraction, and then they grow the mushroom on like the logs and the things that mushrooms would normally grow on.

Rachel:  Cool!  It'd be so cool to see their like plant.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  And it would make a lot of sense 'cause it's a plant and they're a plant…

Ben:  I dunno.  Their reishi factory.  We call them factories here in the US, not plants.

Rachel:  Oh, sorry.

Ben:  No, we don't call them factories.  I we call them, I dunno, facilities.

Rachel:  Manufacturing facilities.

Ben:  Yeah.  Plants.

Rachel:  There you go!

Ben:  Oh, and then finally, this podcast is brought to you by something I just recently wrote about.  So at bengreenfieldfitness.com, I talked about how a lot of people are now, speaking of injections, injecting themselves with growth hormone.  Growth hormone precursors, what are called growth hormone frags and things that cause pulses of growth hormone during the night — like ipamorelin is one example, or IGF-1 is an example.  And I talked about how a lot of this stuff, if you're not already clinically deficient in insulin-like growth factor, or in growth hormone, may increase carcinogenicity and increase your risk for cancer when you're injecting this stuff.  And I talked about natural ways that you could increase insulin-like growth factor and growth hormone without injecting yourself in a way that a lot of these biohackers and extreme anti-aging enthusiasts are now doing.  And one of the things that I mentioned in that article — go read the full article.  If you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com, it's right there on the home page.  Just scroll down.

One of things that I talk about though that stimulates the production of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor, which helps to speed the healing of bones and stimulates a balancing of blood sugar, helps to produce lean muscle mass, assist with rapid recovery, and anabolic tissue healing response is milk, and specifically raw milk from – (drumroll please) — camels.

And this company, this camel milk company, which basically has these organically pasture-raised camels; and the camels, I believe, are over in Missouri, and they produce completely raw milk, non-GMO, soy and corn free, and then they send it to you.  And it's got like prebiotics, probiotics, lactoferrin which is a really good anti-inflammatory for your gut, it's got a ton of colostrum in it, which you normally pay tons of money for, naturally high levels of electrolytes.  It is one of the most hypoallergenic foods known to man — well, they reflect protein-based foods known to man because it's so bio compatible with the human body.  It is at a discount to all of our listeners.  You go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/camelmilk and use code Ben20 to get 20% off.  It really actually tastes really good.

Rachel:  That was what I was gonna ask.  How does it taste?

Ben:   It tastes better than cow's milk and it tastes less like a puckery, bittery than goat's milk.  Less gamey, I guess, than goat's milk.

Rachel:  Okay.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  Good!  Somewhere in between.  Sounds perfect.

Ben:  So there you have it.  Camel milk.  Bengreenfieldfitness.com/camelmilk, use code Ben20 to get 20% off.  There you have it you can do it just like — would it have Bedouins, I believe who are…

Rachel:  Drink camel milk.

Ben:  The Bedouins and the — who is like the guy who conquered the world using camels?  Was it Genghis Khan?  Or was he horses?

Rachel:  Oh, god.  I don't know.

Ben:  We so suck at history.  Some people are just…

Rachel:  I'm not an ancient history nerd.

Ben:  Don't you feel like an idiot when we're doing this, when we sound so smart about health and fitness, and then all of a sudden we get screwed.

Rachel:  I was a modern history major.  But ancient, no.

Ben:  Wait.  Genghis Khan, maybe he was elephants?  Or horses?  I don't know.

Rachel:  Someone had camels, and it was important, and they were strong because they drank the camel milk.

Ben:  Yeah.  I'm pretty sure he may have been horses.  He was Mongolian, Genghis Khan.  I dunno.  Somebody go to the comments section and fill us in.  ‘Cause I know there is somebody in history whose army rode on camels.  Or maybe that was just J.R.R Tolkien's book, “The Hobbit”.

Rachel:  Or maybe it was a dream.  Yeah.

Ben:  There are elephants in The Hobbit.  Anyways.  We digress.  Shall we respond to some questions?

Rachel:  Let's do it.

Listener Q & A:

Annie:  Hey, guys.  I have a question about poop.  I've noticed that some foods come out the same way they look going in.  Corn, quinoa, nuts, raw carrots, and beans are some of the perpetrators.  I recently made a big batch of KIN-I-OA, if that's how you pronounce it.  It's kind of like similar to quinoa.  And after a couple of days, I had to throw the remainder of it away since just looking at it made me lose my appetite.  So, I was wondering what it means when I can see the pieces of food in my poop.  Specifically, are these foods being digested, and am I even absorbing their nutrients?  If not, is it even worth it to eat these foods?  Or is there anything I can do to make the nutrients more available, like for instance eating nut butters rather than whole nuts?  Thanks, guys.  I appreciate the research you do and the information you provide on so many unique topics.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

Ben:  Rachel, this is crazy, but did you know that some people actually have Instagram accounts where all they do is track their poop?

Rachel:  I didn't know that, and suddenly I'm really interested.

Ben:  Yeah.  They take photos of their poop.  You can actually find these.  There's one called The Daily Doodie on Instagram.  It's like a daily poop report.  If you just do like a search for poop Instagram or poop photos Instagram — and they're people; they just like take photos of their poop.  I guess it's like this self-quantification thing where you're using the world as accountability so that should you ever decide not to track your poop, your friends will call you out on it.  But…

Rachel:  I just can't help it that I'm Australian and I love dumb humor, but that is hilarious to me.

Ben:  ‘Cause poop, I mean if you look at your poop, do you ever do that?  Do you ever just like look…

Rachel:  I do.

Ben:  Like turn around and you're like…

Rachel:  I do.  I'm not sure how much I wanna go into detail, but I do.

Ben:  “What is in there?”

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  “What's in there?”

Rachel:  And why does it look different?

Ben:  “Oh! Hey there, little fella.  You're a little different.”  And sometimes you see things, you're like, “Is that a worm?”

Rachel:  I would freak the F out.

Ben:  No!  But there's all these stories, 'cause I go to all these health and fitness conferences and people like, “I went on detox regimen 22A, and I found a worm 3 inches long materialized itself from my anal crack for three simultaneous days.”  And I'm like, “Is it possible it was just like a little bit of mucus or maybe, I don't know, an undigested piece of very strung together beansprouts?”  Yeah. Or kale from all those copious amounts of kale smoothies you're drinking right after you do your detox yoga and your detox enema.  And typically they swear it's a worm.  I'm not sure about that.  Anyways though, yeah.  Corn, quinoa, nuts, carrots, beans, as Annie says, are some of the perpetrators.

Rachel:  That she finds in her poop.

Ben:  Yeah!  There's a giant piece of corn in my crap!  Anyways though, yes.  Most people have seen these type of things in their poo.  Let's take quinoa, for example.  Quinoa, of course, is super trendy right now.  It's a seed, it's not a grain.  And because it's a seed, the seed of a plant has the plant's embryo.  We know this, right?  And a plant's mission, just like anything living, from an evolutionary standpoint, wants to pass on its genes.  So around outer coating that protects the embryo is, or around the part of the seed where the embryo is contained, is this outer coating.  And the outer coating would protect the plant from microbes, and from insects, and from predators, and would help it to withstand passage through the digestive tract of any animal so it can be…

Rachel:  Wow.  I didn't know that.  That is fascinating.

Ben:  …safely pooped out and planted.  So in the case of like quinoa, what coats the outer lining of quinoa are little anti-nutrients known as saponins.  And saponins cause little holes in the lining of your intestine.  They can cause that what's called leaky gut, and they can cause gastric distress, and they can, of course, cause that quinoa to get passed through pretty quickly undigested, and not only quinoa, but other things you eat along with the quinoa, because frankly, if you have leaky gut, the cells that line your gut are so permeable that the tight junctions between the cells start to break apart and you actually lose a lot of your nutrient production, you lose a lot of your enzyme production, you lose a lot of the ability to be able to digest other foods, not just quinoa.

So there's one giant nasty party going in your gut, unless you actually render that quinoa digestible — which is not hard to do.  We mention soaking and sprouting; I will link to, because I have this over at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, I have a complete soak time chart that I send to my clients.  It's just free there on the website for very common seeds, and nuts, and beans, and grains.  I tell you how to soak everything from almonds, to how to sprout almonds, to how to soak and sprout cashews.  For example, for almonds, a proper soak time to render almonds digestible, if you have enough almonds in your crap, is 8 to 12 hours.  You soak your almonds in a glass mason jar and then rinse them.  And that would render them digestible.  If you wanna sprout them, you can actually leave them in there for up to three days, about 24 hours up to three days.  You'll notice little sprouts coming out of the almonds are like less than a quarter of an inch, but that's what you do with almonds.

With quinoa, it's a bit different.  With quinoa, you'd want a three to four hour soak time, which is not that long.  And then very similar to almonds, for sprouting, you could leave it in that jar, you could rinse it in the mornings to enhance the process, but you leave it in a jar for two or three days and you'll start to get these little quinoa sprouts, which by the way, like I mentioned earlier, have now been shown to do cool things like decrease cortisol.  But that also keeps quinoa out of your poo.  Am I making sense?

Rachel:  You are making sense.  So basically anything that's a seed to a plant needs to be sprouted before it can be digested.

Ben:  Yeah.  If it's got the embryo in it, if it's something that would be used to propagate a plant, and this would include a nut, you can soak it, you can sprout it.  You can sprout lots of things.  You can sprout pumpkin seeds, you can sprout rye, and spelt, and walnuts, and wild rice.  A lot of people don't think about soaking and spreading wild rice, but any of these things that would normally wind up in your crap, usually they are seeds, nuts, beans, and grains.  And corn is up there too.  Now that does not mean, for example, I could soak an almond and I could eat it, like eat it really fast and stressed out when I'm hunched over Facebook, and e-mails, and talk on the phone, and it would still wind up in my crap.

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  So another important thing here is actually chewing your food.  This is stupid, but so many people do not just chew their food enough.  And so, if you're chewing your food and you're eating in a stressful situation, that can also affect your poo and what appears in the toilet.  So that's another very important thing is chewing.  Just for a little bit of time, it's kinda like breathing.  So I wake up in the morning and I do two things: I do my gratitude journaling, and I take my heart rate variability, and do all my stupid morning self-qualification things.  But the whole time I'm doing that, I focus on deep nasal breathing.  Deep nasal breathing.  And then when I go downstairs, every morning I do a series of exercises called the core foundation exercises.  If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/morning, I have my whole morning routine kind of like itemized.  Anyway, but there are no pictures of my poop, by the way.

Rachel:  Yet.

Ben:  Anyways though, I do these core foundation exercises while I've got the water boiling for coffee, and they include decompression breathing for the spine.  Very big breaths from the rib cage, expanding your rib cage.  So I set the [0:49:18] ______ the rest of the day to breathe deeply.  And the same can be said for food, right.  So if you chew each bite of breakfast 25 times…

Rachel:  Very intentionally.

Ben:  Yeah.  Very intentionally, and even smoothies.  As I mentioned earlier, I like them so thick that I have to chew them, which came back to bite me in the butt this morning because I just wound up eating like 1,500 calories.

Rachel:  Pun intended?

Ben:  Yeah.  Pun intended.  But there will, I guarantee, be no unsweetened coconut flakes which were in my smoothies this morning, 'cause I'm chewing that smoothie so damn much that that stuff is much more easily digested.  So chewing is another big one.  Now another one, and you would have to get a gut test for this, and what a gut test is is — have you ever done one, Rachel?

Rachel:  I haven't.

Ben:  Okay.  Typically, you get a kit in the mail, and there's one that I like, it's a three day kit, and doing more than one test per day is important 'cause your gut will change from day to day.  So if you get a poop panel or a poop test, and you're only pooping once rather than like for three days in a row, you're not gonna get the whole picture of the poop.  But it has these little like trays, like the same as you would order at like a hot dog at a ball park in, and you poop in the tray — which is actually really hard to do, believe it or not, to like aim at the tray and poop in it.  I've found that the best thing to do is just put the poop tray on the floor of your bathroom on a paper towel and then just pretend you're taking a dump in the woods, and try not to overflow the poop tray.  Like try to somehow like wiggle your way from the tray over to the toilet if you can't cut the flow of poop before the tray is completely filled…

Rachel:  This is such an informative podcast.

Ben:  Anyways, and then you take just a very little bit of that poop, it goes into a little tube with special chemicals in it, and you shake up the tube, you put in a prepaid FedEx bag in the refrigerator, and you be sure to tell your loved ones that they shouldn't eat the tubes.  That is not a chocolate pudding.  And then after three days, you send it off.  You give it to the FedEx guy, he opens the door, and tell him it's a gift for your Aunt Mary in Minnesota, and wink, and off he goes with your biohazard-based poop bag.  Anyways though, so this gut panel will tell you, among other things, your enzyme production, and the health of the bacteria, and the number of the bacteria in your gut because dysbiosis, an inbalance of good bacteria in your gut, or insufficient enzyme production, or both can drastically decrease your ability to be able to digest foods.

And there are all sorts of digestive enzymes that you can take with food.  You can take not just an enzyme, but there are other things that many good enzymes will have in them.  For example, HCL, or ox bile extract is another that you'll find.  You'll find somewhat like herbal additives, for example, fennel or licorice, to assist with digestion.  Lemon juice can assist with it, there's a lot of digestifs out there.  I mean freaking alcohol is a digestif.  That's why sometimes if you like, if you eat in Italy, sometimes — before or after your meal — they'll bring you grappa or Vin Santo, which are like these herbal-infused alcohol derivatives that do indeed help with digestion.  So the use of digestifs, in addition to chewing properly, in addition to proper food prep, like soaking and sprouting can all decrease the ability of you to get very high Instagram clicks and traffic on your poop photos, but they also make your poop more healthy.  And more importantly, they actually allow you to absorb what it is that you are eating, nutrients.

Rachel:  And so are there, just to go into more detail on this subject, are there any other signs of unhealthy poop that isn't food in your poop?

Ben:  Oh, that could be a whole other podcast.  But, yes.  There is this thing called a Bristol stool chart.  Have you see in this?

Rachel:  I haven't.

Ben:  Okay.  You might wanna look it up.  A Bristol stool chart.  It classifies poop according to seven different types.  Type one being very separate, hard lumps like nuts, like almost like a rabbit poop; all the way down to like type four which would be smooth and soft poop, like a sausage or a snake, which is good healthy poop; all the way down to just like watery poop that explodes and hits the back of the toilet, and you gotta clean it off with a Wet Wipe.  There's all sorts of different types of poop.  But the Bristol stool chart allows you to kind of determine what little things like for example, if you have very, very narrow pencil-like or ribbon-like stools, that could indicate you have what's called a bowel destruction, or colon cancer, or a tumor, or like polyps in your colon.  So that could tell you something.  White stool, or pale stool, or gray stool can indicate that you have liver or pancreas disorders.  So it can be a sign of organ issues.  If you have a lot of floaters, a lot of splashers, that can indicate that you have a lot of mucus in your stool, and in many cases, people have inflammatory bowel disease like colitis or Crohn's disease.  They tend to have more floaters 'cause there's more mucus in their stool.  So it really depends.  And also, by the way, very, very odorous stool is an issue.  So I used to have, used to, I want to emphasize…

Rachel:  Go on.  Let's do it.  We're getting into it.

Ben:  I used to have really bad and frequent gas.  And I used to have very stinky crap.  And I used to eat Big Macs and a lot of like fermentable carbohydrates, fructose from things like Coca-Cola, and I used to eat a traditional, when I was doing Ironman triathlon for a couple of years, I ate very traditional pasta, bread, whole grains, and there was constant fermentation in my gut.  I'd wake up in the morning and be almost embarrassed because the bedroom didn't smell very good.  I'd be like, “My gosh.  Is this normal?”  And it was from copious amounts of food, and training, and training anyways makes you less likely to be able to digest food.  Now that I fixed my diet and I eat a diet comprised of raw dairy, and fermented grains, and low amounts of fruits but high amounts of vegetables, and wild meats, foraged plants, and things like that, I still poo and poo is still kinda nasty, but it doesn't actually stink the way, like I'm not gonna lie, poop has sulfur in it, and gas has sulfur in it, so you get like a sulfur smell, but it's not nasty like “what died” type of smell.

Rachel:  Right.  Yeah.

Ben:  So, yeah.  Even if you're stool has a really bad odor, stinky stool can be a sign that you have celiac, or Crohn's disease, or some kind of malabsorption, or typically a pancreas issue.  So, yeah.  There are definite things that your poop, or even the absence of your poop like constipation, can tell you about your gut.  So, yes.  That might be a discussion for another day, if someone wants to call that on in.  But the last thing that I should mention to wrap up this poop discussion, or should we say wipe up this poop discussion, is that I just got a bidet.  You've seen these?

Rachel:  The things that you wash your bum with afterwards?

Ben:  And super proud 'cause I installed it myself on my toilet just like a plumber.  I even wore like loose fitting jeans with no underwear so I can get like the little plumber's crack going on.  Big ol' wrench.  No, I didn't.  But I did purchase a bidet and I installed it all by myself on my toilet in my bedroom.  And now after I take my morning dump, I flip the on button on this little water thing, and I get this glorious flow of water spraying my little (censored).  So, yeah.  It's really interesting.  I just finished my morning dump, and this luscious flow of, actually cold because I didn't spring it for the hot water version, but cold water hits my butthole, makes me squeaky clean, and it's almost like a tiny little anal massage to start my day.  It's wonderful.

Rachel:  Interesting.  Anal massage.  Didn't know that was a thing, but cool.

Ben:  Anal massage and oxytocin injections.

Rachel:  It washes, and then you wipe, and then it's supposed to just enhance what?  Cleanliness and hygiene?

Ben:  Well, that and, let's face it, it just feels good.

Rachel:   (laughs) Ahh!  So there you have it, Annie.  That's what you need.

Yoddy:  Hi, Ben.  This is Yoddy.  At the end of the month, due to a congenital hand problem, I will be undergoing major ligament and tissue surgery in order to reposition the carpal tunnels in my right wrist.  Now the recovery period is substantial.  As a brief overview: 2 to 3 weeks for skin to heal, 4 to 6 weeks for ligament and tissue to heal, 6 weeks of wearing a splint, and 10 weeks of physio.  So it's safe to say that I want to be able to give my body the best chance of recovery.  Now a couple of weeks ago on Twitter, you sent me an article which discussed maximizing recovery from injury, but there seemed to be a slant towards recovery of joints.  Now my question to you is, in your opinion, for someone who's in my position, what would you do in order to maximize recovery and healing of tissue, and ligaments.  Thank you.

Ben:  Alright.  News flash for you, Rachel.  Did you know that tendons and ligaments are not like muscle.  They're not the same as muscle.

Rachel:  I did not know that.  No.

Ben:  Yeah.  So tendons and ligaments are these little bundles of filaments that lie in almost like a parallel arrangement.  I used to dissect cadavers, human cadavers, because I was a TA for the anatomy class at University of Idaho, and they actually are embedded in this really interesting, almost like this sticky jelly-like substance.  And these fibers, these threads, they're collagen.  And then everything else around them, and it's mostly what's called proteoglycans, which are big molecules that have absorbent capacity.  It's actually why people who eat a very, very low carbohydrate diet and exercise a lot, they get joint pain 'cause they don't have little enough of these proteoglycans 'cause they are derived out of a glucose molecule.  Just an interesting side fact for those of you obsessed with ketosis, but perhaps with joint pain, maybe you should step up the carb intake just slightly.

Anyways though, these collagen fibers are really long.  They can almost stretch along the whole length of the tendon.  They're much different, they're a little bit more dense.  And the way that they're laid out in a tendon or in a ligament is a little a bit different than that of a muscle.  And the main function of the tendon, for example, is to pull.  A tendon connects muscle to bone, ligament connects bone to bone.  And what happens is as the tendon gets tensile stress on it, these elastin fibers get stretched.  They get stretched, and stretched, and stretched, and the tendon acts like a spring and it can spring back.

Like when your foot hits the ground, the tendons stretch, and then contract, and you spring off the ground.  That's the way something like an Achilles tendon works.  And if the tendon gets pulled too far, and typically that would mean a stretch that's greater than somewhere between about 5 to 10% of the stretch capacity of a tendon, the tendon can rupture.  We tend to see a little dents appear because individual fibers, more or less, snap.  The tendon gets frayed like a broken rope, and that's what we would call a strain.  A sprain would be something similar, but it'd be something similar happening to a ligament, not to a tendon.  That's basically what's going on when tendons get injured when we have sprains, and strains.

And I know you had a question, but I wanted to throw something in real quick.  When a tendon ruptures like that, when there's been an injury, there is also damage that occurs to blood vessels.  And so, it's typically the blood vessel response and platelets in your blood that get activated when they come into contact with these proteins that wouldn't normally be found in the bloodstream like actual proteins from muscle fibers.  And when that happens, these growth factors get released, and that triggers all sorts of things in your muscles.  It triggers a basic inflammatory response, the attraction of inflammatory molecules to a site.  And then when that happens, the inflammation causes the influx of what are called endothelial cells, and you get new blood vessels getting formed, causes an influx of stem cells.

So you can start forming more collagen because stem cells can be precursors for collagen, and you get this new collagen material.  It's like this little watery-like gel.  And gradually, as things heal, as you get more stem cells and more blood vessels built, the tendon will repair.  And there are certain things that we know can actually assist with this lay down of new tissue, with the alignment of fibers so that scar tissue isn't formed from fibers kind of like all willy-nilly aligned in there in a scar tissue type of way, and also a way that we can kind of increase the assistance of the blood vessel and the fiber repair.  So before we get into that though, what are you gonna say?

Rachel:  I was gonna say does scar tissue feel like baby bumps under the skin?

Ben:  It can.  It can feel like little bumps under the skin, although that can also be calcification.  It can be laid on a little bits of bone.  It does kind of depend on where the injury has occurred.  But, yeah.  I mean in many cases, if you feel a lot of those little bumps, this'll happen in athletes a lot because we get a lot of calcium released post-exercise, that contributes to muscle soreness far more than like lactic acid, which is typically gone a few minutes after exercise.  But calcium deposits can cause that.  And when you combine it with the fact that a lot of athletes are deficient in magnesium, the calcification combined with magnesium deficiencies can cause a lot of calcium deposits that cause limited range of motion and a scar tissue-like appearance in certain areas of tissue, like calcified knots almost.

Anyways though, there are a lot of things that we know can help with tendons healing, like movement; and we've talked about things like electrostimulation to increase blood flow, and we even talked about like injecting with things like peptides, for example.  I've got a couple of articles that I'll link to.  There are these things called peptides that you heard me mention how we can cause inflammation in tissue, and we can cause the migration of growth factor subsequent to inflammation.  But when you inject a peptide, it's simply concentrating growth factors around that tissue.

So if you sprain or strain your ankle, you can get your hands on something like BPC-157 — don't confuse it with your oxytocin — and you can inject that, and that can help.  But there are other things that I think are perhaps even less fringe than that.  I'll link to the articles that I wrote on peptide injections, by the way, in the show notes.  But there are some other things.  So for example, we know that what are called cyclooxygenation inhibitors, which are also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are also known as ibuprofen, Advil, diclofenac, there's a lot of them, those have been shown clinically to have a clear inhibitory effect on tendon healing.  They shut down inflammation.

I would love for them to do similar studies on very, very high dose vitamin C, very high dose vitamin E, very high dose turmeric.  Because there are some things I see people who pride themselves upon being non-ibuprofen users when they get injured, will take too much of and shut down that natural inflammatory process.  I've seen with, in the case of ibuprofen, an amount of anti-inflammation that limits tendon healing and can cause the formation of scar tissue.  They've done studies in rats, they've shown that the effect is similar in both rats and humans with any of these non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  So, yes, they give pain relief, but they result in a partially healed tendon that ultimately will be a less healthy tendon in the future with more scar tissue, and less collagen, and less of this like fatty proteoglycan-type of coating around it.  So that's one thing.  So avoid excessive use of anti-inflammatories, whether natural or chemical from pharmaceutical.

The next would be mechanical loading.  We would think that, let's say in the case of something like an Achilles tendon rupture, Achilles tendon strain would be a more appropriate description, that if we load it, that it is going to basically keep it from healing because it is under stress.  What they found is that when you load an injured tendon, it triggers this really interesting cellular machinery and causes a lot of genes to become activated that have to do with inflammation.

For example, when we load an injured joint, we find that we stimulate the synthesis pathway of something called PGE2.  And PGE2 is actually what most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are trying to keep from occurring.  It is actually something that can enhance the growth factor and the healing response.  It is also associated with pain.  So it's kind of this catch-22.  You load an injured area, you'll experience a little bit of extra pain in it, but you also from this PGE2 response get increased triggering of the formation of new fibers, new tissues, and new blood vessels.  And this is why, if you have strained your elbow or if you have strained your Achilles tendon, or any other tendon, by doing very slow, what's called eccentric contractions that lengthen those fibers and that puts stress on those fibers, you can actually accelerate the healing time and accelerated the health of that tendon post-exercise.

So what that means is as soon as a little bit of the swelling has subsided, as soon as you've got a little bit of a reduction of what's called the edema, you can begin to do things like stand on the edge of stairs and slowly lower yourself, then use the railing on the stairs to pull yourself back up.  And so you lower yourself again, try with two legs, try with one leg.  That would be an example of loading that is of an eccentric form, because you're slowing the body down.  You'd have to be careful to keep it under control.  I wouldn't necessarily go out and start trampolining right away.  But in addition to avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, loading of a tendon, mobilization of a tendon can help out quite a bit.

And in general, even though most physicians recommend that we allow injuries to rest during the inflammatory phase and to begin to mobilize when the inflammation has subsided, we actually know that very close to immediately, I mean like once you've got a little bit of ice on there, a little bit of the swelling has gone down, within a day after hurting a tendon, you should begin to load it if you want to accelerate what's called the regenerative phase.  There's a very favorable effect of loading on the regenerative phase.  So you load it, you avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, you can experiment with things like peptides to enhance the migration of growth factors into an area, and…

Rachel:  And this is just for tendons, Ben?  Or is this tendons and ligaments?

Ben:  This would be tendons and ligaments.

Rachel:  Okay, yup.

Ben:  Both.  Even though with ligaments, typically in many cases, that's a more serious issue because if people have really damaged their ligaments, the ligament's torn, it has to get surgically repaired.  You cannot magically connect a ligament back to a bone without surgery.  So, yeah.  It kinda depends.  I'm not a doctor.  Please.  If you've freaking like fallen off your bike and torn your shoulder to pieces, go talk to a sports medicine doc or an orthopedic doc.  Don't just start doing like handstands and throwing out your ibuprofen bottles because Ben said so.  But you can enhance the healing.  I'm gonna throw this out here as a shameless plug, in my book “Beyond Training”, if you go to beyondtrainingbook.com, there's a chapter in there on 25 five additional ways that you can help your body to recover.  I would read that because I get into electrostimulation, I get into ice, I get into which topical creams and lotions work, which ones don't.  So read that at beyondtrainingbook.com.

And then the other thing is, and I'll link to this in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/360, listen to my episode with Shawn Stevenson where we talked about all the things that can assist with the formation of new stem cells, which you've just learned are important for healing.  We talk about aloe vera, we talk about colostrum, we talk about — what else is in that one?  I think we mentioned bone broth.  There's a lot of things that you can use as like foods and supplements to assist with repair as well.  So, there you go.

Rachel:  Final question.

Ben:  Yes.

Rachel:  Does all of this apply for old injuries?  Like long-term injuries?

Ben:  Yeah.  So long term injuries, the problem is that you've got a bunch of scar tissue laid down, and you typically have to reinitiate the inflammatory process…

Rachel:  Basically go and hurt yourself.

Ben:  Go and hurt yourself or inject.  Platelet-rich plasma injections, and peptide injections, and these injections that are designed to reinitiate a little bit of that inflammatory process.  That's one way to do it.  And then like really deep tissue massage where you're using like scraping tools like Graston tools, and there's new one called HAWK Tools, and your own thumbs, or river rocks, whatever, to like just scrape all over that tissue to reinitiate the inflammatory process and to begin to lay down those fibers in the proper direction.  Sometimes that's what it takes.  And, yeah, it feels like you're reinjuring yourself; and I guess, in a way, you kind of are.  But, yeah, for an old injury, a lot of times you just have to kinda injure it again creatively.

 Rachel:  Cool.

Miguel:  Hey, guys.  My name is Miguel.  I'm from Texas and I was wondering what your opinions are on float tanks/float therapy.  I love taking magnesium baths, and I'm curious if there's much difference between homemade magnesium baths and float therapy.  And finally, in general, what are pros and cons in regards to increased brain chemicals, stress relief, or recovery — both muscular and neural.  In short, where does float therapy stack up compared to other relaxation modalities?  Can't wait to hear back.  Thanks, guys.

Ben:  So, Rachel, how do you pronounce this guy's name?

Rachel:  Miguel?  Miguel?

Ben:  Mig-u-el.

Rachel:  Mig-uel?

Ben:  I believe that it is Miquel.

Rachel:  Miguel.

Ben:  Miguel.  But I like Mig-uel.  That could be the name of my third child, should decide to produce another burpee child in the forest would be Mig-uel.  Anyways though, float tanks, float therapy.  Have you done it, Rachel?

Rachel:  I have.  Yes.  I have.

Ben:  Yeah.  It's really interesting.  I personally get a little bit bored.  Maybe it's because I'm a swimmer, and when I get in water, I kinda wanna like move around and swim versus just lay there in the dark in a sinking pool, floating on my back.

Rachel:  Yeah.  I find it to be really uncomfortable, actually.  I'm not sure I'd dig trying to relax in such a seemingly unnatural environment where my skin is stinging and…

Ben:  This is why most people will use recreational drugs such as, whatever, anything from marijuana to mescaline before they'll use a float tank.  Not only to enhance the creativity and the thought dump that kind of happens when you're all by yourself and sensory deprived, but also to kinda keep some of that restlessness at bay, I guess.

But, yeah, these float tanks — they are also known as isolation tanks, like I mentioned, sensory deprivation tanks.  And there's float tank facilities popping up all over the place.  There's one very close to my house that just opened, and they were developed in the 1950's by this guy named John Lilly, and they have been used for everything from stress and anxiety, to migraines, to chronic pain, to mental disorders, and even recovery for athletes.  ‘Cause when you're floating in a bunch of water that has minerals, and a lot of those minerals — I mentioned magnesium, for example, to offset calcium — you're getting these absorbed straight through your skin.  And you get a great deal of relaxation, there's a little bit of a detoxification effect just based on osmosis, things moving from an area of high concentration — or low concentration of salts to high concentration of salts.  So you get some movement of metabolic byproducts out of your body through your skin.  Same as you would in, say, like a spa or an infrared sauna.

And you float, because in float tanks, they'll add hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of pounds of Epsom salts, and these get to the point where the water makes you so buoyant that you just like, if you've ever been to the Dead Sea in Israel, you just go in and you float.  And it's soundless, and it's dark.  And they have done studies and they found that you get an activation of theta brainwaves, very similar to what you'd produce during REM sleep, or deep, deep meditation.  These actually happen in a float tank.  And there are some other very interesting hormones that get produced, that cause things like a lowering of heart rate, lowering of blood pressure; and they found that, in studies, that when you float, you can not only reduce pain and decreasing anxiety, but you can increase optimism, and you can even fall asleep faster later on at night.  So, yeah.  A lot of interesting things happen, and plus you get out and your skin is all exfoliated and it's all soft.

Rachel:  It is.  Salty.

Ben:  Similar to if you were to take a bath, but without the sensory deprivation.  Now, Miguel was asking in terms of like the difference between magnesium baths and float therapy.  Really, the main thing is the lack of sensory deprivation.  I don't know about you, but if I'm in a bath, I'm freaking like reading my Kindle, drinking a glass of wine.

Rachel:  Yeah.

Ben:  Sometimes like shouting downstairs to the kids if they're doing their homework or playing their piano.  It's very different than just like being shut off in the dark, in a float tank.  And yeah, you don't get the same production of theta brainwaves, you don't get the same sensory depth, you don't get the same sparking of creativity.  Yes, you can still get high in your bath tub and dump a bunch of Epsom salts in there.

Rachel:  And you could turn the lights off and make sure you only do it when no one is home.

Ben:  Exactly.  And also, you're not gonna dump hundreds of pounds of Epsom salts into your bath to the point where you float.  Unless you're very bored and have a very high disposable income.  And in which case, maybe you are — going down to your local garden store and getting all that magnesium chloride they sell to melt ice on the streets when it snows.  You could technically bring that back, and have like a giant tub in your backyard, and kinda like create your own float tank, technically.

Rachel:  There you go.  Float tank hack by Ben Greenfield.

Ben:  Yeah.  And I actually use magnesium salts when I do an Epsom salts bath.  Magnesium chloride salts rather than Epsom salts because you actually have higher levels of magnesium.  They're little bit more expensive, but they're healthier in terms of the mineral content than just pure Epsom salts are.  But either one works, and both of them have that really cool effect.  It's just that, I mean really, the main difference is that the float tank has more salt and more sensory deprivation.  And so if that's what you're looking for, that extreme relaxation, or really, really large intake of salt — and it's worth what you're going to pay.  ‘Cause in many cases you're paying a — the last one I did, it was about 70 bucks for around an hour in a float tank.

So you're paying a little bit of money to actually go in and use them, but you can also buy them for your house.  I have thought about that.  I'm not sure where I would put it, but it's on my list of things to look into.  Maybe I'll put it next to the sauna.  I don't know.  But I think a float tank would be interesting to get just to be able to slip into every now and again when the family reunions are occurring at the house, or gets too busy, or let's just say, not that I endorse this, I wanna try some creative strain of plant-based medicine and go in there with maybe like an audio recorder to record my thoughts and notes, and I guess that leads me to the last thing I would wanna say.  If you run a float tank facility, here's a business idea for you.

Put little audio recording-like tools inside the float tank so when people are floating, if they have ideas that come to mind, they're not laying there for like 45 minutes trying to remember that idea that came to mind 45 minutes ago.   ‘Cause you aren't gonna have a notepad and a waterproof pencil in there.  So what you do is inside the float tank — I'm serious.  I'm telling this any float tank…

Rachel:  This is a brilliant idea.

Ben:  You have like a recorder inside the float tank and then you upsell that person, after they've floated, an MP3 recording of their entire float session should they want to actually listen to anything that they said as thoughts came to their mind, or if they wanna listen to the sounds of their own uncomfortable screams as they attempt to scrape their nails on the wall and climb out of the float tank due to extreme sensory dep… 'cause that happens.

Rachel:  I feel like that's a brilliant idea, Ben.

Ben:  Boom.  There you go.  Just pay me, I dunno, royalty or whatever.

Becka:  Hi, Ben and Rachel!  I'm a 25-year old endurance runner and long-time fan of the show.  I have question about preparing for pregnancy as my husband and I are hoping to start a family soon.  After about 10 years of being on birth control, I'm finally ready to get off the pill.  Do you have any recommendations for how to get my cycle to restart naturally?  I'm also wondering what prenatal vitamins you would recommend that won't break the bank.  Also, should I scale back and exercise at all while I'm trying to conceive.  I listened to your past podcast on tips for how men can increase their fertility, but what about for women?  Do you have any other suggestions for how I can best increase my chances of getting pregnant?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  Thank you.

Ben:  Wow.  She's got a lotta questions in there.

Rachel:  She has got a lot of questions.  Becka's not messing around.

Ben:  I dunno if I'll get to all these, but I can definitely talk about getting your period back.  Lord knows I've lost my cycle many times to the pill.  Had to fight an uphill battle to get it back.

Rachel:  Your mensies?

Ben:  Get back to my flow.

Rachel:  I just learned that was a thing the other day.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  The mensies.

Ben:  The mensies.

Rachel:  Wait.  No, the MAN-sies.

Ben:  The mansies?  Really?

Rachel:  Yeah.  The mansies.  When men get their mensies, it's called a mansies.

Ben:  Wait.  Men get mensies?

Rachel:  Well, apparently.  Someone commented on my Instagram and told me we should hang out when he has his mensies and I have my mensies.  I'll get emotional and he'll — I dunno what he does.  But something happens, apparently.

Ben:  Well, I do know that my mood will change based on moon cycles.  I do know that the best time to, say, like hunt a big buck is after a full moon 'cause they get all horny after a full moon and they're out there looking for does.  So, yeah.  I mean, like the moon does affect men, and of course, the moon, we know this, affects women's cycles because if you put a bunch of women together like in the same area of the world with the same moon cycles and leave 'em together for a few months, they all like wind up having their cycle the same time of the month.  It's really weird.

Rachel:  That must just be mind-blowing to men.  Like what are you?  You're like barely human.

Ben:  Crazy, barely human creature that has this weird thing happens to you each month that I had to explain to my kids last week, by the way.

Rachel:  How did they take it?

Ben:  They actually thought it was really…

Rachel:  “You mean she bleeds for 5 days and doesn't die?”

Ben:  Yeah.  We had to go, and this was when we were in Canada.  We had to go and buy tampons, and the kids wanted to know what those were for.  I mean, like my kids know anything they wanna know about, I educate them on because I'm of the opinion that a kid who is well educated will make better decisions in life and will be less likely to, say like, have like the forbidden fruit syndrome.  Like I didn't get alcohol when I was a kid.  My first experience with alcohol was when I stole a bottle of whiskey from my dad's office, and drank that, and got drunk in my bedroom because I hadn't really ever learned anything about like what alcohol is, what fermentation is.  Never had wine at the dinner table.  So my kids know about like any of this stuff.  Wine, and mushrooms, and weed, and periods, any of those things that…

Rachel:  Nothing is taboo or off topic.

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  Awesome.

Ben:  Nothing is taboo.  We talk about the meaning of every curse word on the face the planet, they know how to use it, they know the appropriate situation in which use it.  So they won't be that high schooler who's dropping the F-bomb in ill-fitting situations just to say it because they know they might use the F-word like maybe a dozen times in their life appropriately…

Rachel:  When they really mean it.

Ben:  Or a dozen times in a year, or whatever, because they know when to use it, when it would be used appropriately.  So, yeah.  Anyways, we digress.  So you've been on the pill; we've done podcasts about the pill and all the damage that it can cause.  I'm not gonna get into that because if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and you do a search for the pill, you can find out what it does.  And as I discuss what you can do to get your cycle back, I will mention a few of those little things, and I guess I'll start here.

There is a ton of evidence, and there's one pretty comprehensive article, actually, from 2013 that goes into oral contraceptives and changes in nutritional requirements while you're on them, that key nutrient depletions occur when you're on the pill.  It just happens.  It strips your body of nutrients.  The specific nutrients are folic acid, all your vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, and then the minerals magnesium, and selenium, and zinc.  And most research has found that the levels of these vitamins and minerals in the blood of women who take oral contraceptives is significantly lower than women who use like natural contraceptive strategies or who don't use contraceptives.

Rachel:  Do you mean when you say oral contraceptives, all forms of birth control?

Ben:  Yeah.

Rachel:  Okay.

Ben:  So I'm not talking like a cervical device or something like that per se, unless it's actually pumping some similar hormones or chemicals in your system.

Rachel:  Which they are.  Yup.

Ben:  But, yeah.  Exactly.  So it kinda depends.  Oh, and by the way, one more little rabbit hole, my wife and I are totally into a.) timing and b.) like really good condoms, like lambskin condoms.  We do that instead of the pill.  And there's a really good book about timing called “The WomanCode”, I believe it's called, by Alisa Vitti.

Rachel:  There's one called “Code Red,” I think it might be.

Ben:  Yeah!  Code Red!

Rachel:  Code Red.  Brilliant book on periods, ladies.

Ben:  We should link to that in the show notes.  I'll make a note to myself.  It's a great name too.  So anyways, you need to replenish those minerals.  That's number one.  So very good multi-vitamin, multi-mineral complex.  I like the Thorne Prenatal vitamin.  Thorne makes good stuff.  They've got a good prenatal.  If it were me, I would actually add a good mineral complex to it, like trace liquid minerals.  I would definitely add zinc to it because zinc is the one that, in terms of your plasma levels, gets most depleted by the pill.  And you can eat lots of shellfish, like oysters and clams, and pumpkin seeds have zinc, and so does red meat, and so does poultry.  But zinc, you typically, we're talking about like 15 to 30 milligrams a day, if you've been on the pill.  And most multi-vitamins don't have that much zinc, so you gotta add in extra zinc in addition to a really good multi-vitamin that has minerals in it.

The other ones that tend to get depleted, like I mention, is magnesium.  So use usually around in the range of a few hundred milligrams of magnesium, basically up until you get to the point where you have loose stool.  Your entire vitamin B complex, and vitamin B6 is the biggie.  Vitamin B6 is extremely low in people who have been on the pill.  You're gonna find that in a lot of different meats, for example, have pretty high amounts of vitamin B6 and some fermented foods, but you may wanna actually get a vitamin B6 supplement in addition to doing something like that Thorne Prenatal vitamin.  So you've got your zinc, your magnesium, your vitamin B6, and then just like a really good multi-vitamin.  So that would be number one.

Number two would be your sleep.  So we know that your circadian rhythms get affected by a whole bunch of different hormones, but luteinizing hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone, and prolactin are three of them, and all of those get thrown off by being on the pill.  And I know some scientists are screaming through the mic right now wanting me to get into the details of how they're thrown off, but we've been going for a while so I'm just going to kind of skim over that.  But basically, prolactin, FSH, and LH — luteinizing hormones, those can be reregulated to a certain extent by ensuring that you restore natural circadian rhythm.  And really, go listen to that interview I did on “The Power of When” with Dr. Michael Breus where we talked all about chronobiology, and about how to like figure out what your circadian rhythm should be, and then use every strategy you can — blue light in the morning, red light at night, avoiding screen time at night, blah, blah, blah, to get adequate sleep.

But specifically not just adequate sleep, like adequate sleep could just be like knocking yourself out by drinking a whole bunch of chamomile tea in the evening while you check Facebook.  But adequate circadian rhythm is primarily driven by three cues, thought what are called zeitgeist, I think they're called, circadian rhythm cues: exercise, light, and food.  So normal breakfast time and a normal dinner time.  Blue light in the morning, absence of blue light at night.  Exercise at a certain time of day, regular time of day, preferably light movement in the morning, more intensity in the afternoon or early evening, finishing up three hours before bed.  Those are the three ways that you really train your circadian rhythm.  So get that dialed in.

Number three would be basically this idea that you want to increase your calorie and increase your, shockingly enough carbohydrate intake so that you can put a little fat in your body.  You need to increase your storage fat to be able to become fertile.  And looking like someone on the cover of Shape, or Prevention, or Women's Health Magazine, looking like the airbrushed salt and water depleted model who got ready for that one single photo shoot on that one day plus got photoshopped is not a good way to be fertile.  And fertility and fashion magazines do not go hand-in-hand.  You can quote me on that.

Rachel:  So exercise, while she's trying to conceive, is that something that she should scale back?

Ben:  Shouldn't be doing that.

Rachel:  Or she should just eat more?  Or no exercise?

Ben:  Yeah.  If you wanna have a healthy, robust baby, like you can get pregnant doing Ironman, but if you wanna have a really healthy, robust baby who's got adequate amounts of fat soluble vitamins, not a lot of stress and cortisol, et cetera, I would be doing things like super slow training like yoga, swimming.  There are all sorts of ways that you can stay fit without like pounding yourself into the pavement, getting ready for Ironman wherever, just 'cause you paid your 900 bucks for it, or whatever they're charging for Ironman these days.  So, yeah.  Be careful and put on some weight.  Eat adequate calories.  Not a lot of fasting.

The next one would be stress.  I talked about cortisol little bit.  Chronic stress can cause what's called HPA-axis dysregulation, and that can result in a host of issues including decreased fertility.  So focus on stress.  Probably the best podcast I've done on stress to date, if I could think of one, would be my interview with Eudene Harry, the author of “Anxiety 101”, where we go into a whole bunch of different ways to control stress.  But it's not an impossible nut to crack.  Breathing, heart rate variability measuring, time in nature, avoiding stress relationships, things like that.  Gratitude journaling.  Lots of stuff you can do for that.

And then finally, the last thing I'd look into is taking a lot of oral contraceptives for a long period of time can cause a build-up in a storage of estrogen, specifically in fat cells.  And these estrogen hormones can stay in your body for a really long time, and the way that they get cleared is via the liver's natural detoxification process.  And probably the two biggest things you could do, and there's a lot of stuff you can do to enhance your liver detox.  But two big ones are to a.) get lots of really good like sulfur-based cruciferous vegetables in your diet, like sauerkraut, and broccoli, and cauliflower.  Especially like fermented cruciferous foods, sauerkraut is actually really, really good.  So eat sauerkraut to get pregnant basically is what I'm saying.  And then the other one would be, I just saved a lot of people a lotta money.  Folks are rushing out all over the place to buy sauerkraut and pop out babies.

The other one would be glutathione, which you can purchase in a supplement form like a liposomal glutathione.  And I would definitely recommend of a few of those.  I've got an entire podcast.  You could go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for estrogen dominance, 'cause I have a whole podcast on how to clear estrogen out of the body more quickly.  But glutathione and fermented cruciferous vegetables are a couple of them.  And so, I know I just gave you a buncha' little podcast to go hunt down and listen to.  I'll try and have some links for you over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/360.  And the only thing that would ask you is that you give me, just give me your firstborn child.  I don't need all of them, but just in exchange, good karma.

Rachel:  All the hard work is done.

Ben:  For all the hard work that I put into responding to your question, Becka.  Just, yeah.  Firstborn child.  Doesn't have to be rushed, like a USPS large priority box would be fine, and they can come out here and do burpees in the forest…

Rachel:  And walk barefoot.  And count mushrooms.

Ben:  And watch cartoons in Mandarin Chinese with my children.  So, yeah.  Those are all the questions for today.  But wait!  We still have a giveaway!

Rachel:  There's more!

Ben:  There's more!  We have a giveaway!  We wanna give away a gear pack, a Ben Greenfield Fitness Tech T-shirt, a sweet beanie, and a BPA-free water bottle that's not gonna give you cancer that fast unless you're drinking really crappy water out of it with birth control pills, which are in the municipal water supply, by the way.  Anyways, we're gonna give that to our top review in iTunes for the week.  So if you want to support the show, good karma, and win stuff, go leave a review in iTunes, say something nice.  And if we read your review on the show, and you hear read, hop on your computer and e-mail quick, [email protected] and include your t-shirt size.  That's [email protected].  We'll send you some cool stuff.  So that being said, we've got a review, it looks like, this week from NFC called “Backed by science”.  It's a five star review.  Rachel, you wanna take this one away?

Rachel:  Yeah!  Alright.  “Ben is one of the few people in the fitness podcast realm that can actually speak to the science he brings up.  It's one thing to have popular guests and new fitness trends to talk about, but Ben actually experiments, comprehends, and explains in an educated manner.  This is not a Bro talking about Bro science, this is a professional talking about actual science which he is capable of explaining.” Boom!

Ben:  Kind of.

Rachel:  If you can explain it to me, you're doing pretty well.

Ben:  I don't know how much actual science is involved with pooping in a hot dog tray or injecting love hormone into your body.

Rachel:  I feel like there's a ton of science involved in both of those.

Ben:  Playing with sticks in the forest instead of going to school.  However, I do appreciate the gesture.  And, yeah.  We try and at least throw a little bit of science in there, in here, 'cause we're just a little bit woo-woo.  I think we're like 20% woo-woo, 70% science, 10%…

Rachel:  I'm like 50-50, and I just wanna to put that out there.  I'm about 50% woo-woo.  I don't believe in it, but I leave space that really strange things could be true.

Ben:  She's lying.  Her entire closet's full of white lab coats and rats.  Alright.  Well, we should probably bring this thing to a close since it's been a while.  And again, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/360 for all the goodies; from your own custom-fit suit, and your reishi mushroom extracts, and your camel milk, to mini trampolining research, and estrogen dominance clearing, float tanks, and oh so much more.  And, Rachel…

Rachel:  Ben.

Ben:  I don't really know where to go from there.  So I guess we just say goodbye.

Rachel:  Bye!

You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.  Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

September 28, 2016 Podcast: 360: What Your Poop Can Tell You About Your Health, How To Heal Tendons & Ligaments Faster, Natural Ways To Decrease Cortisol & More!

NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar of events.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


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FourSigmatic Mushroom Extracts – use code “bengreenfield” for 15% off

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NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar.

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.

Nov 11-14, 2016: Ben is speaking at this year’s Weston A. Price Wise Traditions on real food to enhance physical and mental performance. If you’re an athlete, this is the talk for you! Click here to sign up.

Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Peter Shankman? It was a must-listen – “Why ADD and ADHD Are Good For You, (And Supplements, Foods, And Lifestyles to Help With ADD and ADHD) ”. Click here to listen now or download for later!

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!


Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.

What Your Poop Can Tell You About Your Health

Annie says: Annie has a question about poop. She’s noticed that some foods come out the same way they look going in. Corn, quinoa, nuts, raw carrots and beans are some of the perpetrators. She recently made a big batch of KIN-I-OA, which is similar to Quinoa, and she lost her appetite just looking at it.  So she was wondering what it means when she can see pieces of food in her poop? Are they being digested, is she absorbing their nutrients? If not, is it worth even eating them? And is there anything she can do to make them more bioavailable? Like eating nut butters over whole nuts?

In my response, I recommend:
3 Day Gut Panel
Soak Time Chart
Digestive Enzymes

How To Heal Tendons & Ligaments Faster

Yoddy says: He’s undergoing major ligament and tissue surgery his wrist at the end of the month for a congenital hand problem. His recovery time is 2-3 weeks for skin, 4-6 weeks for ligament and tissue, 6 weeks in a splint, and 10 weeks of physio. A couple of weeks ago you sent him an article on Twitter that was skewed toward healing bones and joints. What would you do in order to maximize recovery and healing of tissue and ligaments?

My article on TB-500
My article on BPC-157
My podcast on stem cells strategies

Float Tanks vs. Epsom Salt Baths

Miguel says: Miguel is from Texas and he’s wondering what your opinion is on float tanks and float therapy. He loves taking magnesium baths an he’s curious if there’s much difference between magnesium baths and float therapy. And finally, what are pros and cons in regards of increased brain chemicals, stress relief and recovery. Where does float therapy stack up compared to other relaxation modalities?

In my response, I recommend:
Magnetic Clay Magnesium Salts/Topical Magnesium

How To Get Your Cycle Back After Being On The Pill

Becka says: She’s a 25 year old endurance runner and long time fan of the show. She has a question about preparing for pregnancy as her husband and her are looking to start a family soon. After 10 years of being on birth control, she’s finally ready to get off the pill. Do you have any recommendations for how to get her cycle to restart naturally? She’s also wondering what prenatal vitamins you recommend that won’t break the bank? Also, should she scale back on exercise while she’s trying to conceive? She listened to the last podcast with tips on how to increase fertility in men, but can you do the same for women? Do you have any other suggestions on how she can best increase her chances of getting pregnant?

In my response, I recommend:
Thorne Prenatal
Topical Magnesium
Code Red



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