[04:20] News Flashes
[13:03] Does Alcohol Make You Live Longer?
[21:47] A New Use for Rosemary
[25:32] Special Announcements
[25:51] Oak Meditation and Breathing
[31:40] Harry’s Shave Club/Weightless.me
[35:47] California Jam
[36:55] Listener Q&A
[37:04] Cold therapy vs. Cryotherapy vs. Cold Thermogenesis
[47:41] Liver Issues and High GGT
[1:01:03] Self-Healing Overwhelm
[1:12:00] Fit Teens on a Budget
[1:26:43] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: The “Big Vitamin D Mistake,” How I Read A Book A Day, Cold Therapy Versus Cold Thermogenesis Versus Cryotherapy, How To Deal With Self-Healing Overwhelm, What Do You Do About Liver Issues, Fit Teens On A Budget, and much more.
Ben: I’m trying to settle my body down right now, Brock, by diffusing a woo-woo essential oil into my office because I just finished swinging around on the kettlebell.
Brock: Which woo-woo oil are you diffusing?
Ben: It’s called, brace yourself, are you ready for this?
Ben: My kids love this one by the way, it’s called Three Wise Men. Yeah.
Brock: Oh, let me guess, does it have…
Ben: Go ahead and guess.
Brock: Does it have Frankincense, Myrrh, and oh crap, what’s the other thing, Gold?
Ben: Gold! Well, here’s the deal with the whole “Wise Men” thing: apparently back in the day when they would have been bringing essential oils to baby Jesus…
Brock: I think it’s pronounced Jee-bus. Actually Jee-bus.
Ben: Baby Jeebus. They didn’t have essential oil extraction technology so they were actually resins that they brought that you would then heat up and simmer down or something like that. They weren’t actual oils.
Ben: Believe it or not they didn’t have the little glass bottle.
Brock: The little dropper bottles?
Ben: Yeah, what do they call them? Miron glass bottles?
Ben: Impervious to sunlight. But yeah, I was swinging around the kettlebell. I’m getting ready for that RKC certification.
Ben: Do you know about that one?
Brock: Yeah, I’m excited to see how you do, I mean, you’re working really hard on it. So, hopefully you don’t fail it!
Ben: Snatches, cleans, presses, a bottoms-up press, lots of goblet squats. I’ve pretty much have been rarely touching any barbells, any dumbbells much at all aside from kettlebell and body weight stuff lately.
Brock: Nice, I just finished doing some kettlebell stuff too as part of my circuit. I have a couple living room circuits that I get to on days when I’m just totally slammed and can’t actually get outside or do anything.
Ben: Living room? Is that you jump on the couch and then you go over and then you sit cross-legged in front of the TV?
Brock: Yeah, turn the TV on.
Ben: Then meander over to the coffee table.
Brock: Yeah, meander over to the little bar and make myself a cocktail. Yup, pretty much.
Ben: Okay, before we jump into the News Flashes, hardest kettlebell exercise for you right now?
Brock: Turkish get ups.
Ben: The most challenging thing. Turkish get ups?
Brock: Absolutely. I can and I should qualify one side is not bad, my other side is abysmal.
Ben: That’s actually my favorite way to get ready for a workout is Turkish get ups.
Ben: You do 10 Turkish getups per side, you can pretty much open up just about every muscle in your body including your hips, especially, and yeah, it’s a good warm up. It’s a lot better than…
Brock: For me, I was more opening up my screaming muscles.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. It’s a lot better than the elliptical trainer though. The elliptical trainer used to be, of course, when I was a personal trainer, the most epic warm up workout tool ever, but I think that’s been replaced by Turkish getups now that I’m older and wiser. So…
Brock: All right! There you go!
Ben: There you go!
Ben: Alright, I get this question a lot about how I remember what I read and how I read a book a day.
Ben: And so I thought I would kick off today’s News Flashes by filling folks in on a little bit of that, on opening the kimono so to speak. I just love that analogy.
Brock: Yeah, you really do.
Ben: Because I imagine some creepy old dude walking down a dirty ally with his kimono open. That’s me.
Brock: Or not completely open, but just sort of peeking, sort of flapping it a little too much.
Ben: Right, just barely, just showing off some chest hairs.
So, there’s great new article that came out. I follow this blog called the Farnam Street Blog. It’s actually a really good one and they published an article on how to remember what you read, how to remember what you read. Not only does this particular website really get into how to read quickly like skimming the index, skimming the contents, skimming the preface or the pre-face as I would imagine you say up there in Canada.
Brock: Prefa-che actually.
Ben: Yes, exactly. And then they go into some other recommendations like matching the book that you’re reading to your setting or situation like if you’re traveling or on holiday, let’s say you’re going to Hawaii, then you would read the book Hawaii or you would read the book by Machiavelli if you were going to Italy or Jack Kerouac or John Muir if you were going to be reading in America.
Brock: In Middle America with lots of pot.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So, set the setting.
Another thing that they recommend is to make notes as you read which I indeed do with a pen or I do with my finger on the highlighter when I’m reading with Kindle. So I’m constantly never just reading without an intention to find something meaningful in what I’m reading, like without an intention of mindfulness. They recommend in this article to stay focused, which is kind of a dub but they get into turning push notifications off, things like that, which I also do when I’m reading.
Brock: Yeah, everybody should do that, not even when they’re just reading.
Ben: Unless I am, which I tend to do a lot, Snapchatting some things that I’m reading, like I do that on Snapchat. Folks following me on Snapchat, you know that’s one of the best ways to look over my shoulder and look at what I’m reading.
Ben: This article goes into quite a bit. It’s a long one, it’s a 4,000+ word article, but it’s really, really fantastic. I can’t remember everything it said, but it’s called How to Remember What You Read.
A couple other tips I would give people though, for me personally, from my own reading, I have a rule I would follow when I read and that is that I cannot turn the page backward ever because I used to find that when I read, I would zone out for a little while and I would be like “oh, crap! I don’t remember what I was looking at for the past six pages.” So, now that I have that rule that I can never turn the page the backwards, just my personal rule, I don’t and so I read more quickly and I read with a greater amount of, again, mindfulness, same as I do when I’m holding a pen knowing that I’m looking for things to underline.
I also always have a paper book or two up by the bedroom, a paper book or two in the bathroom, a paper book or two on the coffee table or the kitchen table, so in any given situation, and I’ve actually heard the same is true of, and we have similar bank accounts, Warren Buffet. It’s probably why our bank accounts are so similar. Warren Buffet apparently just spends most of his day with his nose in a book and I am a little bit similar in that I pretty much have constantly a book around just to be able to read.
So anyways, a book a day and my wife makes fun of me because, honestly, maybe we’ve gone out on a date, her and I, we’ve had two martinis, we’ve had hot, crazy, wild sex, it’s whatever, 11:30 PM, and I’ll roll over to finish reading some book on science or personal development that I haven’t quite finished yet at the end of that night and she’ll just smirk because I basically tend to follow that rule to the tee that I have to get my book a day and that’s a great little article that you can read which we’ll link to in the show notes over at BenGreenfiledFitness.com/377.
Brock: Obsessed much, maybe?
Ben: Yeah, I’m a little OCD.
Ben: But, I’ve read a lot of books. I’ve read a lot of books, as a matter of fact, over 300 a year, gives me 3,000 over the past decade or so. So, that’s a lot of paper.
Brock: You killed a lot of trees.
Ben: Yeah, I killed a lot of trees. Speaking of killing a lot of trees, no this doesn’t have anything to do with killing tress, that’s a horrible segue.
Brock: Okay, we’ll pretend it was good.
Ben: The big vitamin D Mistake!
Brock: There’s vitamin D in trees!
Ben: Is there?
Brock: Nah, I don’t think so.
Ben: Vitamin D? In trees? Someone let us know! Anyways, the “big vitamin D mistake.” Did you hear about this?
Brock: I did, I did. I actually upped my IUs because of this article.
Ben: Yeah, so the Institute of Medicine has been recommending for quite some time that 600 international units of vitamin D daily should be the appropriate dose. Of course if we look at vitamin D levels, we’ve found that, in most countries, as a matter of fact one of the biggest is up there in your neck of the woods, the Canadian Household Study, most studies find that most people have extremely low levels of vitamin D compared to what would be recommended which would be above approximately 40 nanomoles per liter.
Ben: Kind of in the 40 or 80-ish range. More is not better, less seems to be not that great for steroids, for hormones, for influenza and cold production or cold protection. It turns out that there was a regrettable statistical error by the Institute of Medicine when they came to that conclusion, that folks need around 600 international units of vitamin D per day, and I’ll link to this study in the show notes, but it turns out that once you actually look at all of the errors in that largest meta-analysis ever conducted on vitamin D from which they drew those recommendations, turns out by correcting for the statistical error, it’s not 600, it’s 8,000.
Brock: Oops! 8,000!
Ben: 8,000 international units of vitamin D a day, which honestly, if you don’t want to get arterial calcification from excessive vitamin D intake causing calcium to accumulate in your arteries, you’re going to need to not just supplement with vitamin D, if you happen to live in an area where you don’t get much access to the sun, but you need to go out of your way to get sun when you can get it and to eat foods rich in vitamin D because if you are just relying on the sun to get 8,000 international units of vitamin D a day, you may not get all of that. I think that if you look at things from an ancestral standpoint, yeah, we’re supposed to get a little bit from the sun, but then of course, there are things like cold water fish, fantastic source, like sardines, salmon, mackerel, raw milk has a decent amount, liver of course as an organ meat, a lot of these awful meats have good amounts of vitamin D, caviar, egg, mushrooms that have been exposed to the sun,
Brock: Yeah, mushrooms! That’s super cool, you can actually increase the vitamin D concentration in a mushroom if you place it in the sun with its little furry part pointing up.
Brock: There’s a little hack for you.
Ben: That’s great. I like to go out in the sun with my little furry part poking up. So, there you have it!
Anyways, it turns out, if you’re taking vitamin D, don’t just take a vitamin D supplement all on its own, make sure you’re getting some from nature, make sure you’re getting vitamin K too along with your vitamin D, as you would find it in all of the foods I just mentioned and if you want to take a deeper dive into this “uh oh” moment that apparently found from the Institute of Medicine study, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/377.
How about this one, does alcohol make you live longer? What do you think, Brock?
Brock: Okay. I’m going to go out on a limb here, only if you’re consuming it in great happy social situations. If you’re drinking it alone in your mum’s basement, no, but the other way, yes. How about that?
Ben: Lot of confounding variables there.
Ben: Lot of confounding variables…
Brock: Yeah, I didn’t make it easy to test that.
Ben: People who live in their mom’s basement may be happier though. It does mean you have a good relationship with your mother which I think could confer longevity.
Brock: Is that what it means?
Ben: Possibly. Anyways, though, I found a pretty good article I read and I tweeted this one and it asked that question: does moderate drinking really boost longevity? And we’ve all been lead to believe and even I have been up until New Year, I’m not drinking alcohol right now by the way…
Brock: Me neither actually for the month of January.
Ben: Yeah, I drink a glass of wine a day or have a Moscow mule or a put a little vodka into my wife’s kombucha…
Brock: Without her knowing.
Ben: Yeah, exactly, without her knowing. I can’t tell you the last time that I had more than two drinks in a setting or the last time that I was drunk and I think a big part of that is once I adopted this habit of a drink a day… it’s kind of like working out if you skip a whole bunch of days of working out, it’s very tempting to do some brutal four hour workout that completely destroys you.
Ben: At least that’s the way I’m wired.
Brock: Yeah, me too.
Ben: On the flipside, if you skip any alcohol intake, let’s say, for every single weekday, it’s a lot more tempting to say on the weekends, “hey I’m going to go out and get sloshed.” Right. I’m going to have four or five drinks at the steak house or at the club. What I find, when I have a drink a day, I basically am far less likely to engage in excessive alcohol intake on any given day of the week. So, it’s one of those hormetic things, right, small amounts of sunlight, small amounts of cold, small amounts of heat, small amounts of exercise, small amounts of alcohol probably have a hormetic effect.
But, this article actually gets into it and looks at several studies following large samples of people in which they found that moderate alcohol consumption correlated with a reduced risk of dying with the theory of being related to alcohol suppressive effect on MTOR which is called Mammalian Target of Rapamycin. We talked about it on the show before, but it basically would be something that when inhibited, when MTOR is inhibited, would theoretically extend human life.
However, there was a meta-analysis done last year where they found zero effective moderate alcohol consumption, moderate being a decent fishbowl-size glass of wine a day, which most… I read a very interesting statistic: the size of wine glasses has increased four or five fold since the 1800s. So, out consumption has gone up dramatically just from the size of the serving vessel, but it turns out in this big meta-analysis where they combined dozens of studies, they actually controlled for two things that a lot of these other studies didn’t control for: they controlled for people who abstained from alcohol, “abstainers” because they…. I’ll talk about it in a second why they ruled out those abstainers and socioeconomic class. Right, so they controlled for abstainers and socioeconomic class.
Ben: Now, if you think about it, this makes sense because abstainers would often quit drinking because they have poor health from all those previous years of drinking to excess and so that would skew the mortality data because former alcoholics who are drinking zero drinks a day may still be unhealthy due to the fact that they were alcohols for so long. So, they rules out those people, those darn people, and they also ruled out… Basically they controlled for socioeconomic class meaning that rich people are more likely to drink moderately because they figure they can afford to drink moderately, they can also afford better medical care, better food, better supplements.
Brock: Yeah, I think that’s the bigger factor.
Ben: Yeah, so they thought it was logical to control for that, but once they controlled for those factors, there were zero longevity benefits. Sorry, folks, for moderate alcohol consumption and in fact, the article goes on to show all these different studies that show a significant increase in intestinal permeability or leaky gut especially in people who have active intestinal issues like IBD or IBS when consuming alcohol. So, it turns out, I think you make a good point, Brock, that they didn’t control for setting of drinking, right are you drinking healthy-happy.
Brock: Yeah, that whole blue zone thing.
Ben: Exactly, which we’ll actually get into hopefully later on in this show, but they did indeed control for abstainers and socioeconomic class and they did point out this gut issue which leads me to not necessarily say that I’m going to quit drinking, but it makes me feel a little more comfortable about taking periods of time not drinking and again, should give you pause any time you hear about anything that makes you live longer and whether or not that’s actually been controlled for some of those things they controlled for in these studies. Now, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. I hate to burst the bubbles out there. No, I’m not going to quit my daily moderate drinking habit because of this, but I am going to be cognizant especially when I’m in situations where my gut might be beat up, let’s say hard exercise session in the hot weather, perfect example of something that increases intestinal permeability, while dumping alcohol into that situation by having a whatever, big cold one after your long run in the heat, may actually not be the best thing for you long term.
Brock: That’s the best time to have one too! That’s a bummer.
Ben: I know.
Brock: That’s a bummer.
Ben: I got one more for you! Maybe two more for you.
Brock: Okay, bring them on!
Ben: Something not to consume with your alcohol. So, this was a study that just came out, it’s called, brace yourself, Dietary Linoleic Acid and it’s Oxidized Metabolites Exacerbate Liver Injury Caused By Ethanol via Induction of Hepatic Proinflammatory Response in Mice.
Brock: That’s quite a title!
Ben: Long story short is that when linoleic acid, and I’ll tell you some sources on that, are consumed along with alcohol it appears to be bad news bears for the liver, something we’ll be getting into in today’s show: liver health. So, that may lead you to ask what foods are high in linoleic acids or in these linoleic compounds.
Brock: One of my favorites to have when I’m drinking is in this list.
Ben: What’s that?
Brock: Pumpkin seeds.
Ben: Oh, I was going to say tofu.
Brock: I used to go out of my way.
Ben: I always imagined you with a big brick of tofu and a martini.
Brock: When I’m not doing that, I’ve got a big handful of pumpkin seeds because of the zinc and you know the saying “zinc sync when you’re going to drink” or something like that.
Brock: Yeah, zinc is protective from alcohol but linoleic acid now ruins that!
Ben: Oysters might be a better friend for you in that scenario, but really, the bigger culprits are vegetable oils that have been oxidized or heated or pressurized like canola oil or soy bean oil for example.
Ben: Which, unfortunately, you’re going to find at a lot of restaurants. I feel like we’re telling people what’s wrong with their life in this series of news flashes.
Brock: Isn’t that the point of this podcast?
Ben: I mean, really, just be cognizant! Lots of seed oils, lots of nut oils, lots of vegetable oils consumed in correlation with alcohol appears to be really not great for your hepatic health, for your liver health and this study kind of backs that up. So, just be careful, if you’re going to have alcohol.
I even ask restaurants because I like to order the Brussel sprouts and I’ll do Brussel sprouts with bacon. Have you ever had those Brussel sprouts with bacon, a lot of times they’ll throw in seeds or nuts like pine nuts, stuff like that, in there and that’s a classic at a restaurant. Well, I ask now, most of them, even healthy restaurants, fry up the Brussel sprouts in canola oil. So I’ll ask if they can, for example, use butter or use an extra virgin olive oil and usually they oblige, or at least they say they oblige. They probably go back there and dump extra canola oil on it and spit and maybe throw a pubic hair in there and bring it out, but I like to think it does not have vegetable oil in it.
Anyways, so, one other for you! As I’ve alluded to you on the podcast before, speaking of the Three Wise Men essential oils, I use rosemary quite a bit. I diffuse rosemary essential oil in my office because it’s really great for cognition and I smear it on steaks because it’s really, really good for limiting the carcinogenic compounds that build up when you grill up a big ol’ steak.
Brock: And it’s delicious!
Ben: But, I came across a study that showed a new use for rosemary. Here’s a cool one, as I’ve talked about before in the podcast, glycemic variability is a big issue when it comes to longevity and your risk for disease, that means controlling how much your blood sugar fluctuates throughout the day, that’s why I use things like apple cider vinegar shots before dinner or Ceylon cinnamon with breakfast or this thing called bitter melon extract made by my company Kion, we make a supplement called Lean, that’s got bitter melon extract in it which also lowers your postprandial blood glucose. Well, it turns out, rosemarinic acid that you find in rosemary extract and in rosemary and in rosemary essential oils and in just plain ol’ rosemary herb, it increases what’s called skeletal muscle cell glucose uptake and activates what’s called AMPK and if you hear about this research on mice where they’ve got a new selective androgen receptive modulator called exercise in a pill which upregulates this AMPK pathway or if you look at lifting weights prior to a big meal, so you upregulate the activity of the skeletal muscle glucose transporters. Well, it turns out rosemary acts very similarly.
So, cooking with rosemary is once again, not just for reducing the carcinogenicity of meats that you might consume with rosemary, but also for the overall blood sugar controlling effect, even including it in supplements, in teas, or, we talked at one point about putting it in coffee something we see some of the blue zones doing, turns out that there’s yet another advantage chocked up to rosemary. But, you know what the best part of this is, Brock? The best part of this study.
Ben: It was done at Brock University.
Brock: Of course it was!
Ben: Of course it was.
Brock: My namesake.
Ben: Yeah, you have no excuse now not to basically have rosemary coming out of your pores 24/7.
Brock: I’m curious what’s an efficacious dose because just smearing a little bit on your steak, that doesn’t give you a whole heck of a lot of rosemary, like a lot of this stuff like the Ceylon cinnamon, you actually have to have two teaspoons of it.
Ben: Yeah, two teaspoons, which is a decent amount. In this study, five micrograms per milliliter, I believe, was the amount used. I honestly have no freaking clue how that translates to a sprig of rosemary.
Brock: Me neither.
Ben: Yeah, so I would, as a matter of fact, if you’re listening in and you’re a chemist and you would like to take a dive into this study and fill us and all the listeners in on the actual dosage that would be necessary to simulate what the folks got in this study, feel free to let us know. We do know there was dose response effect meaning the more you got, the more it assisted with glucose uptake, but the exact amount I don’t know. We just need to eat a Christmas tree-size bush full of rosemary possibly? Let us know. Jump into the show notes on BenGreenfieldFitness.com/377 if you’re a chemist and you can help us. So there you go.
Ben: Alright, so Brock, do you know Kevin Rose who has been on the show before?
Brock: Yes, I know Kevin.
Ben: Oh, he’s come out, I think he had a fasting app before, but now he’s got a meditation app if you want to meditate while you’re fasting… or well, you’re not fasting while you’re eating rosemary and steak.
Ben: It’s a totally free meditation app. I’ve got it now. It’s called Oak. He actually used data from 10,000 different beta testers, almost like artificial intelligence, to make sure that everything was optimize like the cadence and the speed and the wording and the tone and it’s really cool. Even all the background sounds he recorded in nature so there’s no synthesized or fake sounds like for the rain or the stream. I’m assuming for the cave water, he or one of his cronies actually crawled into a cave to record the cave water.
Brock: Of course.
Ben: It’s got guided breathing, it’s got interval chimes, it’s got background music, and he’s even adding support for things like the Apple Watch or the Oura Ring and other ways you can track what your heart rate do when you meditate. What your heart rate variability do when you meditate. So, it’s called the Oak app. O-A-K and the URL to go to to get it is BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Oak. BenGreenfieldFitness.com/O-A-K. It is called Oak and it’s actually, a lot of these meditation apps are kind of cheesy and involve typically Enya playing in the background while a woman’s faint voice walks you through mildly annoying meditation protocol, this one is actually pretty good. So, it’s called Oak.
Also, this podcast is brought to you by Eharmony. Have you ever used e-Harmony, Brock?
Brock: The internet was not invented back when I hooked up with my partner.
Ben: You didn’t use the Eharmony paper?
Brock: Did they have that?
Ben: The quarterly.
Brock: Where you put a little note on the bulletin board at Safeway.
Ben: Yeah, well Eharmony is not like some of these other dating websites meaning they are focused on helping you to find lasting, meaningful relationships that you can…
Brock: It’s not just about hooking up?
Ben: It’s not a shallow hookup site. It’s created for people who want to be married for decades and decades and have boatloads of children.
Ben: Maybe, I don’t know. I guess there’s not a rule that you have to have tons of children if you’re in a lasting and meaningful relationship.
Brock: Yeah, I didn’t see that in the user agreement on Eharmony.
Ben: But they’ve got kind of like the Oak app, they’ve got science, they’ve got data, they’ve got research, they send you the right matches, and it’s super-duper easy to use. Eharmony. Eharmony and there’s not lazy text messages or dead-end conversations or random matches that don’t turn into dates, personally my wife would probably not be a fan of me beta-testing it, but we did set up one of our staff with an account and they certainly like it quite a bit.
Brock: I thought you were going to say one of your kids, you sicko.
Ben: Yeah, my child is a 9-year-old little girl and they have an amazing, lasting, meaningful relationship. Anyways though, by the way, I did meet my wife in second grade Sunday school. So, there’s that. There’s something to be said! We’ve been married for almost 15 years now, just saying.
Brock: It happens.
Ben: Just something to be said for knowing your partner when you’re children. Children, use e-Harmony.
Here’s how you can sign-up for a three month subscription and get a free month when you enter code GREEN at checkout. Enter code GREEN at checkout and you get a 3-month subscription along with a free month over at e-Harmony and the URL is just eharmony.com or just google Eharmony but the code is GREEN.
Also, once you’ve hooked up into that long lasting meaningful relationship you may want to take advantage of another one of today’s sponsors, GAINSWave which allows both men and women to achieve optimal sexual performance. They’ve got this non-drug treatment protocol that I, myself, meandered down to Florida to get done on my own crotch every few months, but it gives you these amazing erections and orgasm intensity goes through the roof for a good 30-days after you get this done. It makes sex, which is honestly good anyways, it makes it really, really good. They do it too for people who have erectile dysfunction, erectile issues, but long story short, it breaks up plaque and old blood vessels and it makes them more elastic and it stimulates the growth of new blood vessels.
Brock: It’s kind of like a jackhammer on your crotch isn’t it.
Ben: Yes and I can attest to the fact that it actually works and you get numbing cream. I actually had some leftover numbing cream. I got stung by a scorpion when I was in Panama a few weeks ago and…
Brock: Of course you did!
Ben: I had some leftover [beep] numbing cream from GAINSWave. So, when I got home, I was putting on my [beep] numbing cream on my knee and it worked! So, there’s that too. If nothing else, you have, at least, something you can use to numb things. I told my wife some guys would smear numbing cream onto their penis to make them last longer during sex and she thought that was just ridiculous.
Brock: It is true.
Ben: Some guys have premature ejaculation. I think Urban Dictionary has 8-billion other phrases for that.
Brock: At least. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah, anyways though. Numbing cream.
Brock: So, I haven’t been down to GAINSWave yet, but I’ve been basically, like you were asking about the kettlebell workouts earlier, I’ve just been whacking myself in the crotch with the kettlebell occasionally and I think I’m getting the same benefits, really.
Ben: Yeah, that’s science.
Brock: Breaking up all that calcification in there.
Ben: That’s science, kids.
Brock: Just nut yourself with a kettlebell and you’re good.
Ben: Yeah, save 150 bucks off. Texts the words GREENFIELD to 313131. Text GREENFIELD to 313131, you get 150 bucks off of GAINSWave.
Brock: Or come to my house and I’ll do it for free.
Ben: That’s right, that’s right.
And then, finally, there’s Harry’s, the new Harry’s Shave Club.
Ben: Harry’s. Harry’s actually makes really good razors, like one pass down your face or your leg or wherever you happen to be shaving and it literally cleans things up right away.
Brock: Like butter!
Ben: They don’t have vibrating handles, they don’t have heating blades, they don’t have 15 lubricating strips, but what they do have are extremely, extremely high end blades. These things were made in a German-engineered factory and they just freaking work. There’s over 3-million guys now that have switched to Harry’s. Even my wife, steals my Harry’s razor to shave her legs, but I personally dig it because I can shave fast. I’m all about time management and I can do one pass on my face and boom done because their blades work so well.
Ben: And, you get their entire trial shave set for free when you sign up at Harrys.com/Ben. H-A-R-R-Y-S.com/Ben the only cost for you is shipping. So, you get the entire trial shave set for free, say that ten times fast, trial shave set…
Brock: Trial shave set. Trial shave set. Trial shave set.
Ben: Harrys.com. Shut up, Brock. Harrys.com/Ben and that’s a $13 value for free. You get the weighted ergonomic razor handle, five precision engineered blades with one lubricating strip, not fifteen, and a trimming blade, their lathering shave gel, their travel blade cover. Harrys.com/Ben. Check it out and I’m going to make this up right now, but tell me if you think they’ll go for this…
Ben: Harry’s: a better way to shave. I like that.
Brock: Uh… You’re no Don Draper.
Ben: Okay. I tried. Hey, you want to tell people something too.
Brock: I do! You remember our good friend Monica Reinagel?
Ben: The Nutrition Diva?
Brock: Yeah, the Nutrition Diva over at Quick and Dirty Tips. Ben was the Get Fit guy over at Quick and Dirty Tips for a long time and he handed me the reigns to the keys to the kingdom back in July. So, I’ve been working on Quick and Dirty Tips along with Monica Reinagel and the two of us have actually joined our forces together in a program called Weightless.
Ben: For astronauts?
Brock: Exactly. It’s all about being suspended in space! No, it’s actually a lifestyle change program that will teach you how to weigh less! This is quite different from what you would normally hear.
Ben: So, it’s called, sorry to interrupt, it’s called Weightless or Weigh Less?
Brock: Weightless. But, it teaches you how to weigh less!
Brock: And I’ll give you, this is sort of our cheesy little pitch from the sales website, it’s a structured lifestyle change program that combines nutrition science, behavior modification, professional guidance, and community support in an evidence-based approach lead by research from the National Institutes of Health, and at this point, we’ve helped 150 people lose a significant amount of weight and all these people were people who came to us because they failed at sticking to diets and had fallen into that whole yoyo diet program or problem where they’re just losing 10-pounds and then gaining 20 and so on.
Brock: Yeah, Weightless! So, you can go to Weightless.me to find out more about it and since you’re listening to this podcast, you can get 60 bucks off if you use the code BEN60.
Ben: BEN60 at Weightless.me.
Brock: Yeah, B-E-N-6-0.
Ben: Alright, cool! You could sell that URL to NASA once you’ve finished it.
Ben: The whole weightless thing. Gravity free. Weightless.
Brock: You’re a freaking genius.
Ben: Yeah, I’m sure they’ll spring for that. Okay, cool. So, Weightless.me.
Ben: Code BEN60.
Ben: Cool, I like it!
Brock: Find out more!
Ben: One last thing for you folks listening in, I’ll be down at Cal Jam at the end of January speaking at this Ted Talk style format with a bunch of chiropractic and health education along with a rock and roll show. Not only will I be speaking but you may or may not see me on stage with a guitar singing into a microphone as well. So, it’s called California Jam, Cal Jam. I’ll put a link in the show notes if you want to get a ticket and attend, especially if you’re in the chiro industry, it’s a fun little event but on by Billy DeMoss, my friend who believes in chemtrails and that the government is trying to kill us, and I don’t know about flat earth, but he’s an interesting guy.
Brock: He’s right on the first two things.
Ben: This whole event. Yes. I recently did a podcast with him naked. So, very interesting guy.
Brock: Wait, what?
Ben: Bill DeMoss, yeah we actually did. I had my shirt off during the whole podcast. So, if you watch the podcast, you’ll understand why it was one of those deals where we were talking about bodies, nipples, stuff like that.
Ben: Yeah. Alright, let’s jump into this week’s listener Q&A!
Ashleigh: Hey, Ben, this is Ashleigh in Ottowa. My question is about cold therapy. I’ve done a little bit of cold water immersion therapy. I attended an XPT event in Montauk and hung out with those guys and jumped into an ice bath and I’m convinced of those benefits and I enjoy it, however, it’s not always practical or easy to do in my condo. But, I do happen to live in a very, very cold city in the winter months and I do have access to a balcony, and so my question is do I get some at least, or most of the same benefits if I go say hang out in my balcony in -20 degree Celsius with some slippers on an not much else and go out there and hang out in the cold for a bit or am I just going to get cold? So, that’s my question. Thanks!
Ben: What do you think, Brock? Do you think standing outside in the cold is as beneficial as a cold bath or maybe one of these fancy Han Solo cryotherapy chambers?
Brock: You mean the ones that encase you in carbonite and deliver you to a bounty hunter?
Ben: Uh huh!
Brock: Alright, yeah, I think those are pretty efficacious except for that whole blindness thing.
Ben: Yeah, exactly, the blindness. Getting woken up by Princess Leia wouldn’t be a bad gig though.
However, they actually have studied this. For example, this study showed that whole body cryotherapy, actually had a negative effect on muscle function, of perceptions of soreness, and on a bunch of different blood parameters they measured on inflammation and on muscle damage compared to cold water immersion, just our typical cold bath or cold shower which totally contradicts this whole idea that whole body cryotherapy is this new space age-y superior recovery strategy. I know there are some people listening in who own these cryotherapy fitness facilities which are getting super sexy these days, I’m not saying cryotherapy doesn’t work ever and couldn’t be an efficacious fat loss strategy and wouldn’t be a cool way to wake up in the middle of the afternoon when you’re tired, but if you’ve run a marathon, it turns out that a cold bath or a cold shower, let me put it this way, the cryotherapy was no more effective than a placebo in this study of zero cold whatsoever.
Brock: But much more expensive.
Ben: Yeah, but there’s more. They also looked at the effectiveness of whole body cryotherapy compared to cold water immersion in another study and what they found in that study was this very stereotypical two to four minute exposure to very cold air in a controlled room, despite its growing popularity, that the alleged benefits of whole body cryotherapy were largely based on anecdotal evidence and there were no randomized clinically controlled studies found anywhere regarding its efficacy for anything from markers of inflammation, to markers of muscle damage, to anything.
And then they did another study just a few months ago where they looked at recovery from exercise induced muscle damage. They had these dudes really beat up their hamstrings doing hamstring eccentric exercise which is a lengthening exercise and they did five sets of 15 reps. They toasted the hamstrings and they compared cold water immersion versus whole body cryotherapy and they found cold water immersion beat the pants off of whole body cryotherapy when it came to accelerating recovery and removal of soreness.
Brock: I think we should explain the difference between the two for those who aren’t super familiar with…
Ben: Yeah, cold water immersion is usually just what it sounds like, actual immersion like a cold bath, jumping into a cold lake, jumping into a cold river. Some people say the cold shower kind of sort of counts, the reason I don’t think it’s quite as good is because you don’t get the hydrostatic pressure of water against the skin that you do when you immerse yourself and that limits what is called lymph fluid backflow that can occur. I’ve written an article about this over on BenGreenfieldFitness.com if you go there and do a search for “does icing work”. I kind of get into this idea that anything that produces pressure against the skin combined with cold is a really good one-two combo. Actually, in that article, I even endorsed the idea of wearing compression garments right when you’re doing an ice bath or doing a cold soak if you want to get the most benefit out of it from a pure recover standpoint.
One thing that I should point out, elephant in the room here, is that all of these studies looked at recovery parameters they did not look at fat loss parameters. They didn’t even look at some of these immune system parameters that folks like Wim Hof have proven from cold exposure like increased ability to fight off e coli and improved production of T killer cells and a lot of these things that have a remarkable effect on immune system function whereas Wim Hof has done most of his stuff outside Mount Kilimanjaro snow-cold weather, you could say that a cryotherapy chamber is kind of approximating that. So, I’m not saying that they’re useless for everything, but for pure recovery, probably not the better choice when it comes to that versus cold water immersion.
Brock: Yeah, cryotherapy being a thing where you stand in a tube and it drops the temperature down to -200 degree and you only stay in for three minutes maximum.
Ben: Right, now at the same time, as long as you are shivering, anything that you are doing that is inducing shivering is going to cause that activation of brown adipose tissue which is going to be very metabolically active and advantageous form of fat and when we convert energy storing white fat into energy story brown fat there is a very beneficial effect to that from a health and anti-inflammatory and from a fat loss standpoint. The reason for that is when you shiver, whether you’re in the cold or in a cold bath or in your cryotherapy chamber, that simulates this hormone irisin and irisin is relatively new hormone. It was discovered in 2012 over at Harvard and it promotes the browning of fat to reduce energy and it also improves glucose tolerance in the body which can prevent diabetes and reduce those fluctuations in blood glucose I was talking about earlier. You actually release it during exercise as well, but in the case of cold exposure and standing on your porch in your bare feet shivering, you don’t even have to move, you’re just shivering! Your body is kind of automatically doing it.
Also, interestingly, it’s been shown in research that irisin lengthens your telomeres so there’s this very distinct anti-aging effect that is derived from shivering from the range of 10 to 15 minutes. So, it doesn’t take that much and this could be a 20 minute walk outside when it’s cold which I’ve been doing a lot of in the Spokane winter. It could be doing yoga in a cold room. It could be using one of those fancy chilly pad devices or sleeping in a room that’s cool; keeping your house cold; even if you live in a hot climate, having a practice of cryotherapy or cold soak or surfing or water sports or going out into the sea or anything like that can have an effect. Ultimately, the response to Ashleigh’s question about the benefits of real cold therapy by just going out in the balcony in -20 degrees Celsius, she said…
Brock: In slippers and not much else!
Ben: What does that -20 degrees Celsius… I’m try to remember the…
Brock: Fahrenheit and Celsius line up at around -40.
Ben: Okay, so that’s about -4 degrees. That’s cold. That’s cold. You would die, no, I would be shivering. If you’re shivering and especially if you can shiver for at least 10 minutes which is what’s shown in literature to be effective, that would be useful. There’s also a couple of other resources that I’ll put over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/377.
The first would be that I wrote a big article for a website called T-Nation called Cold Thermogenesis and it’s a really long article that would be quite time consuming to get into here but I get into the difference between moderate intensity cold thermogenesis and hardcore intensity thermogenesis and what forms of therapy have shown to work and what haven’t and how long to do each. So, if you really want to take a deep dive into the cold, go read that article preferably while you’re inside a meat freezer or in a cold bath.
Also, they make this device, a lot of my clients use this device and I’ve got a couple up in my freezer right now, they’re called Cool Fat Burner and Cool Gut Buster wearables and you put them on your body when you’re at work or when you’re just sitting around the house or whatever and they make you shiver within about 20 minutes and you’ll keep shivering for sometimes up to an hour. You can burn massive amounts of calories! The dude that invented those did a lab study that was showing a 300% plus improvement in resting metabolic rate and so those are over at CoolFatBurner.com. I don’t have a discount code or anything, but CoolFatBurner.com, you can get one of those if you use this in the winter time, it’s probably completely useless for you or at least or if you to spend money on one when you can just go on outside. But, if you want one for the summer and you can wear both at the same time, the gut one and the fat burner one, it’s one of the few things that’s been shown to spot reduce fat! There’s this myth that you can’t spot reduce fat but you can and one of the ways to do it is to… There’s actually two things I found that can do it, in literature, one is these electrical muscle stimulation devices that you place over and area in which you want to increase body temperature and burn more fat and the other one would be a localized cold induction via the use of these cooling devices. So, if you have a fat wrist, then you could just do cold therapy on your wrist.
Brock: Muffin wrist!
Ben: So, there you have it! Hopefully that helps out Ashleigh and I’ll put a link to a lot of these resources over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/377.
Beau: Hey, Ben, my name is Beau, first of all thanks for the awesome podcasts, I’m always learning something. I have a question about my lab results. Over the past three years, I’ve had my blood work checked quarterly and my GGT has been consistently elevated; it’s around 110 to 111. The only other abnormal lab result is a slightly elevated [0:47:54] ______ nothing that I’m too concerned about. Besides glutathione supplementation what are some good supplement ideas for elevated GGT, but more importantly, what is the best strategy to lower GGT besides completely eliminating alcohol, upping overall antioxidants, more concerned on my end about this with all the research coming out that GGT is a marker for more things than just liver disease as far as cancer and various physiology. Thanks for everything, Ben, looking forward for your answer.
Brock: You actually found out you had some liver issues when you visited the Human Garage didn’t you?
Ben: That have been replicated in follow up tests, yes and that actually I will admit that partially influenced my decision to pretty drastically cut back on just about anything processed by the liver. We’re talking alcohol, of course, like I mentioned, also anything that would get a pass by the liver, meaning anything like…
Ben: No, like a popular… I don’t do a lot of Tylenol, but any of these popular smart drugs out there that I’m occasionally offered when I’m at events like, believe it or not, at these longevity, anti-aging health events you get things like metformin and modafinil going around like candy to open the kimono again. I’m kind of avoiding any type of thing that gets a first pass by the liver as well as… I used to live in Washington State and once a week, I’d have an edible. I even quit doing many of those, again, because even those cannabis derivatives are processed by the liver. I was also vaporizing tobacco for a little while, like a good organic tobacco, but I’ve even been pretty careful with that. So, the reason for that is that’s of course a pretty important organ responsible for detoxification.
Ben: And I actually have a podcast coming up pretty soon about detoxification: the importance of the liver related to that, but probably the biggest, biggest thing that I’ve personally been prioritizing for the liver, the reason why I just had whey protein in my smoothie this morning and doing intranasal glutathione and I’m doing a glutathione injection is this idea that glutathione is probably the better molecules to prioritize increasing in your body if you’ve got liver issues. Now, the gamma glutamyl transpeptidase test, this GGT test, that Beau is talking about being consistently elevated, that test measures the amount of the enzyme GGT in the blood and GGT plays a really significant role in helping the liver metabolize drugs and other toxins. Not to say that an elevation of GGT would just reflect liver issues because you’d find it in the gallbladder, or the spleen, the pancreas, the kidneys, but you’ll typically see it high when your liver is damaged. One this I should put out there is a caveat, if your liver enzymes are elevated on a blood test and you’ve exercised hard the day before the blood test, the elevated enzymes may be due to the difficult exercise the same could be said for inflammatory more than the GGT. So, make sure you get a test where you’ve had an easy day the day before and you haven’t ran a marathon in the past 48-hours or anything like that.
In terms of GGT, one of the first things they’ve shown in literature is that regular coffee intake, regular amount of caffeine, actually does have a little bit of a liver detoxification effect in terms of stepping up your own endogenous production of glutathione and your production of bile in the liver. Don’t laugh, coffee enemas has been shown to do the same thing. So, if you don’t like to drink coffee, you can always put it up your butt or roll into Starbucks and have them put their daily Americano into your stainless steel enema bucket and roll that way if you want to. But, should coffee not be your thing, for enhancing your glutathione production, there are some other things that you can do and glutathione is a very simple molecule, it’s just a three protein building block: cysteine, glutamine, and glycine. So, glutathione is going to be one of the main molecules that your liver relies upon for both what’s called Phase I and Phase II detoxification. Some of the ways you can increase glutathione, one would be just whey protein.
Ben: Whey protein has everything your body needs to make its own glutathione and there’s some really good literature out there showing that whey protein can significantly increase glutathione especially when you consider that many glutathione supplements are not absorbed very well and cysteine tends to be a limiting factor in glutathione production, whey protein is a great way to get more glutathione into your life.
Another one would be one of these sulfur rich vegetables like garlic, or onions, or parsley, or cruciferous vegetables. Even to a lesser extent avocados and squash and tomatoes, but cooking reduces the glutathione content by up to 60% so, (a) you’d want to do it raw, and (b) those would not want to be your primary sources of glutathione if you have some thyroid issues where you want to be careful with excessive goitrogens that you get from things like raw kale and raw cruciferous vegetables or if you tend to have bloating like FOD Map sensitivity is a common one where people would get a lot of bloating in response to a lot of raw vegetable intake, so don’t use that as a strategy if that’s you and actually that’s me. I don’t do well with lots of raw vegetables: raw broccoli, raw cabbage, raw kale I’ve found. So, I don’t use that as a primary strategy, but it is one. If you’re fine with raw vegetables, that’s another really good one.
Brock: I love raw vegetables.
Ben: Yeah, they’ve also found that raw milk as well as raw eggs, interestingly enough, can promote glutathione production as can a high intake of organ meats and so, you could actually do the whole liver once a week, raw eggs every now and again, and getting access to some good, fresh, raw milk. It’s very much like a Weston A. Price kind of diet. You can go to a website like realmilk.com or purchase Sally Fallon’s book “Nourishing Traditions” to learn about these more ancestral foods that increase glutathione production.
Another one would be turmeric. Curcumin specifically can be very helpful in enhancing glutathione metabolism. So, cooking with turmeric, using some of these supplements that have curcumin in them, like a good bioavailable form of curcumin, even that multivitamin I take, the Thorne multivitamin that has a really good absorbable form of curcumin in it. That would be another way to increase your level of glutathione.
Now, of course, not to overuse this phrase on today’s podcast, there’s that elephant in the room, glutathione supplementation, right. Why not just take a supplement? Well there’s a little bit of debate out there whether glutathione can indeed be broken down and oxidized before it’s actually absorbed and how much glutathione you take in a supplement actually gets absorbed. It turns out that when you’re just taking the average glutathione capsule, there really isn’t much absorption, but you can because glutathione and what’s called liposomal glutathione has the advantage of being packaged into liposomes which are small droplets which are enclosed by membranes very similar to your very own cell membranes. Those membranes can shield the glutathione from digestion and allow them to actually get absorbed and taken up by the cells as entire droplets and they have found that liposomal glutathione can be up to 100 times more effective in delivering glutathione to some forms of tissue especially brain cells. They’ve found some really good data on glutathione for anti-inflammation in neural tissues especially when it comes to this liposomal form of glutathione.
So, if you were going to get glutathione, liposomal could be a good way to go although my fried, Chris Masterjohn, who’s kind of into the math behind this looked into the cost and it’s kind of like krill oil. Krill oil is a superior way to get DHA into your system but it’s also 10 times more expensive than fish oil and gives you something like three times as much DHA, so technically, you could just take more of the fish oil and save yourself some money. So, if it’s just about the money, basically Chris Masterjohn, and he’s got some podcast out about this, he says, just take more of the regular glutathione if you want to save money. Well, I like to not put as quite as big a load on my gut with all the things they stuff into supplements these days from maltodextrin to magnesium stearate to everything else. I personally like to go with whatever’s the most bio-absorbable form of the supplement is that I can take in most cases, some fish oils don’t have a lot of fillers in them so I’d still do a fish oil versus a krill oil, but for glutathione not only am I a fan of liposomal glutathione versus regular glutathione or versus say like acetylcysteine is another common one to boost glutathione levels, but I’d rather just get it into my system in as active of a form as possible.
So, you could buy a liposomal glutathione off of a website like Amazon. I also, right now, am doing an injectable glutathione and those folks I mentioned earlier, the people at GAINSWave, they send that to me.
Brock: So, it’s just like an IV bag?
Ben: Yeah, no it’s a butt cheek intermuscular injection.
Brock: Oh, really?
Ben: I just put a pretty heft amount just mainline that into my system once a week. By the way, I’ve done DNA testing to show that I personally have very, very low levels of endogenous production of this antioxidant called superoxide dismutase and that’s why I really prioritize glutathione because I just genetically produce less and then I also do intranasal glutathione so I actually snort the stuff as well.
Brock: I did not know that was possible.
Brock: I knew about the injectable and the IV but… Snort it?
Ben: Yeah, I’ve only been doing it for a couple for weeks, but you can get intranasal glutathione and there are some good, good PubMed studies on the effectiveness of intranasal glutathione. The nose is actually really good for delivery of a lot of good stuff.
Brock: A lot of good stuff.
Ben: You’ll see a lot of people now doing oxytocin and testosterone and all sorts of things intranasal-y, but intranasal glutathione you can…
Brock: Did you say oxycontin?
Ben: Oxytocin. I don’t know about oxycontin. Yeah, you could try. But, that’s another one to look in to.
Not to get too long in the tooth with this reply, but glutathione would be your biggie, but then I’d also look into a couple other things. Number one would be black seed oil, that one kind of flies under the radar but it turns out that black seed oil has some really interesting studies on it in terms of its ability to inhibit liver oxidative stress markers. I did a whole YouTube video on black seed oil back in the day and I’ll link to that one in the show notes so you can learn more about black seed oil.
Then, finally, shameless plug, I guess or at least I have to say I personally profit from this supplement, but there’s one called Cleanse that I actually have over at GreenfieldFitnessSystems and that’s just if you just want to go, I’d still do glutathione, but if you just want to get everything else: milk thistle extract, hyssop leaf, ginger root, yucca root, rosemary leaf, turmeric root, pretty much everything in the kitchen sink, that’s why I put this. I’m a big fan of supplements that are just shotgun formulas that you just kind of give you as much as you need in one swoop. So, this stuff is called NatureCleanse and I’m also doing that. I’m taking six of those in the evening with a big glass of water and I’m actually putting oregano in that as well. So, you know, I know that sounds like a lot of stuff, but most of the people I know or study up on or know personally, Dave Asprey, Peter Diamandis, and a lot of these folks who are pursuing longevity and pursuing longevity in a very cutting edge of things, many of them are popping 100 to 150 capsules and pills and oils a day. I’ll be honest, it’s a little bit complex but you feel like a million bucks.
So anyways, those are a few of my suggestions for the liver and then, yeah, wash it all down with a couple martinis and you’ll be good to go.
Brock: No, no. Don’t listen to him.
Kathy: Hi Ben, my name is Kathy and I am overwhelmed and trying to figure out where to start and just anxious after realizing how many things are out of whack in my environment and my daily life. I was diagnosed with Lyme and I just feel anxious about all that I have to do in trying to reframe the way I look at it instead of being ill but it seems like there’s obviously something else I have to do. So, mindset and overwhelm. Thanks!
Brock: Yeah, after that long answer you just gave to the previous question, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I’m with Kathy.
Ben: Well, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. We’ve got forums and Dr. Google and your friend and that Facebook thread that you started about anybody else have suggestions for this particular condition and then the three podcasts that you listen to where each one says a different thing and the books and yeah, it can be…
Brock: Then Gwyneth Paltrow comes out of nowhere with something else crazy.
Ben: Right, right and I even had this issue in the past. In the past year, I’ve dealt with a psoas injury, I’ve dealt with…
Brock: Did you say a sore ass injury?
Ben: Sore ass… Psoas injury, gut infection, I had a hurt toe, I had a scorpion sting, and for me, let’s use the scorpion sting which was a recent one, I’m like, “oh, do I do the fig leaf or the [1:02:21]______ or the plantain poultice or do I do all three and then what should I use? The tropical transdermal magnesium or the canabidiol mixed with turmeric lotion or the topical glutathione rub?”
Brock: Yeah, it’s endless.
Ben: And then, “should I do my vibration therapy on it or will that cause damage? Or should I do electrical muscle stimulation? I better Google this! Oh, wait, here’s a body building.com forum thread where it goes into how this may inhibit the growth of my biceps if I do the electrical muscle stimulation on the scorpion sting on my knee” And you just keep getting deeper and deeper into this rabbit hole and it can definitely cause overwhelm.
So, a couple of tips that I have. First of all, if you’re not trying to defeat a disease or condition, but you’re just trying to get as healthy as possible, you can tend towards OCD self-obsession in the same way if you might if you were trying to get rid of a condition or manage a condition and in that case, I would advise you go listen to a podcast that I recorded called “How to Quit Obsessing About Health, Eating, and Exercise: Dodging the Silver Bullet of Orthorexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” As a former body builder, I’ve had to fight that uphill battle myself where I, to be honest with you, I don’t even look in the mirror. I know I do a lot of these shameless, shirtless photos and videos on the internet, that’s what I’ve known for, but I don’t want to give people the impression that I, like I did back in the body building days or even when I was a teenage boy, wake up and flex in the mirror in the morning. I actually avoid much of that. The main reason I do the shirtless stuff in my photos and my videos is twofold. Number one, they freaking convert really high! I listen to statistics and people watch my stuff more when I’m wearing fewer clothes.
Brock: People like skin!
Ben: That probably could be because I take care of my body and when one takes care of their body, I don’t want to say this to be narcissistic, sometimes it can be more pleasant to look at a body that’s trim with six pack abs or whatever and I’m aware of that. But, at the same time, I spend very little time looking in the mirror at all. A lot of times, the first time I’ll see myself shirtless in a really long time is when I’m watching my own video that someone shot of me shirtless.
Anyways though, I remember back in the day, I’d wake up and look in the mirror, turn sideways, turn this way, turn that. “Oh wait, my right lat looks a little bigger than my left lat, I better work on that” I had that issue when I was a bodybuilder for sure.
Anyways, listen to that podcast. But, when it comes to going after an actual disease or condition some of my biggest tips for you would be, first of all, understand this concept, this is going to sound kind of nerdy, of catastrophe theory. I was recently reading about this in a fantastic book that I read on the “Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” where it gets into this idea that you reach a certain point when you are using proven small, solutions to go after an issue at which point you begin to see exponential effects. This catastrophe theory where all of a sudden boom things work and you see a big fix happen and a reason that I think that’s important is because it may be indeed multimodal or multifactorial; there probably are going to be multiple things, we look at Lyme and we see everything from taking care of the mitochondria, to using different botanicals that are anti-bacterial or anti-viral to love, life, relationships, and laughter, to a whole host of things that seem to be pretty efficacious for Lyme. Understand that sometimes it is necessary, based on the concept of catastrophe theory, to potentially follow a few small shifts in behavior when added together can cause an exponential change in circumstances. So, don’t think that doing just one thing, one dogmatic approach, is necessarily the best way to overcome overwhelm. Sometimes, it does take a multimodal approach. By the way, I’ll put a link to that book. If anybody out there has Lyme or chronic fatigue syndrome, this new book by Dr. Sarah Myhill is fantastic. I just finished it. I have a lot of pages folded over and will definitely have her on the podcast.
Ben: I have to say, a few things that I personally do. Number one is I usually, for any given condition or any given thing that I’m going after, whether it be I want to do 100 kettlebell snatches in five minutes or I want to fix a tight psoas, I start up an Evernote document that is devoted to that specific goal. Then, I will take all of the different pieces of advice that I have given or things that I’ve found in books that I’ve read, I’ll put them all on that Evernote document and then I sit down and I’ll spend quite a bit of time, sometimes up to an hour, systematizing that into a plan where I wake up in the morning and this is what I do on this day this is what I do, on this day this is what I do. Right now, for the psoas issue that I’m dealing with, it’s very straightforward. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I do 15 minutes of deep tissue work on my psoas using a series or exercises and moves and deep tissue modalities that I have found via books like Kelly Starett’s “Becoming A Supple Leopard” or the mobility [1:08:07] ______ etcetera and then Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I do the core foundation exercises to decompress my spine and elongate the psoas even more. That’s it. It’s simple, I’ve written it down, it’s systematized, I was up in the morning and it’s not like “oh, which of the hundred things that I’ve found am I going to do?” I kind of go with the 80/20. The stuff that seems to feel the best and give me the most bang for my buck.
Brock: And then do you put a time limit on it if I’m not improving for, say, six weeks of doing this, then I’m allowed to go out and research more?
Ben: I don’t have a set time limit, but I always have that at the back of my mind: “is this working or is this not working; is this actually moving a dial” and sometimes I experiment with things before I create that plan so that I know when I create the plan, what the most effective modalities are that need to be put in that plan.
Ben: So, I’ll use Evernote to systematize. I always rely on research. That means two things: one, I use a lot of PubMed and that would mean do a search of the condition that you’re trying to manage and then use the bouillon search term “AND” in Google and in PubMed. I don’t even know if Google Scholar exists anymore, I just use PubMed. Basically, that will narrow down the results that you’re looking for to actual clinical meaningful results. That’s not to say…
Brock: You don’t rely on forums?
Ben: Sometimes tying a dead chicken around your neck and smelling rosemary works, but most of the time it doesn’t. Whereas studies most of the time do.
So, rely on research and just as you alluded to, Brock, the two places to really avoid would be, I’m not saying there isn’t sometimes a gem that turns up there, but forums and comments on a blog post or comments on podcast. Usually, those are deep dark rabbit holes from once you nary emerge again the same person. So, be very careful.
Brock: Never ever emerge victorious.
Ben: Yeah. And then, the final thing I tend to do a lot of when I have assimilated some amount of information I have to digest, this sounds dumb, but I put away my MP3 player and my phone and I put black Sharpie and some post it notes in my pocket and I’ll go walk for anywhere from 30-minutes up to two hours. While I’m walking, I have so many thoughts, not just about that condition or that thing I’m trying to figure out, but also just things in general and I’ll come back with four post it notes full of notes from my sharpie that I will then act on.
I found walking to be… I walk almost every day now for a little while but it’s not with a phone or with an MP3 player, it’s just my thoughts, a post it note, and a sharpie.
Brock: Oh, there are tons of stories about how some of the greatest thinkers of history would go and have their best ideas while they were walking.
Ben: Potentially, that might be due to the BDNF release that occurs when you walk or something, but ultimately, those are my suggestion for you. Listen to a podcast, follow my notes on that book “Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” which I’ll put over on BenGreenfieldFitness.com/377 and then write down a plan, systematize that plan, make sure the elements of that plan are primarily comprised of research proven methods, avoid forums, avoid comments, and then take long walks when you just need to assimilate stuff and simplify things in your mind.
Ben: There you have it. Occasionally sleep on things, that also helps too. I have one of those little pens with the light on it that I sleep with. I mean, I don’t sleep with it but I’m not spooning my pen, but it’s right by my bed side and I can take it out and switch on the pen and write stuff without having to write on my phone because when you pull out your phone it just really Fs up your melatonin production and can pull you into Facebook at 3 AM which is never a good idea.
Kyle: Hi, Ben, listened to your podcast for a few years, love it, applied a lot of your content to my own life, recently as a PE teacher I’ve been asking how to take my classes deeper. So, here’s my question, if you and your partner had 40 minutes a day for 30 weeks to improve the nutrition, and exercise habits of 350 low socioeconomic teens, let’s say 11 to 18 years old, what would your curriculum look like? What units would you teach? Would you even teach in units? How would you break down each day? How would your curriculum change if your budget was 500 to 1,000 dollars or less? Thanks for your work to make healthier humans. Sincerely, Coach Kyle, Houston, Texas.
Ben: Alright, Kyle, this podcast is getting a little long in the tooth, but I will give you my biggest tip right here, right now.
Brock: You know, long in the tooth actually means us getting old.
Ben: Oh, really?
Ben: Oh, crap, now I feel like an idiot. Alright.
Brock: [laughs] Well, it is getting old because of the passage of time.
Ben: So anyways, what I would do if these were my teenagers is I would pay attention to data that has investigated the things that move the dial the most when it comes to longevity and anti-aging in humans because longevity and anti-aging are so heavily correlated with overall health, overall fertility, overall happiness that I think it’s just a very good way to, again, systematize and advise the program that you’re putting together.
Brock: Sort of like a big watch pad.
Ben: So, basically what I’m saying is the best budget-friendly way to do this would be to move all the teens to Okinawa and have them live in Japan for a years upon years until they die of the old age of 120 in the rice fields. No, I’m talking about this idea of the blue zones, these areas where we see higher than normal levels of people who live a long time like Sardinia, Italy, Caria, Greece and Okinawa, Japan and Nicoya, Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, California where the Seventh Day Adventist live and play.
Brock: Oh, I was wonder what that was.
Ben: And so, yes. Alcohol and meat-free! Again, not that I indorse that, but there is a time and a place. And so, when we look at these blue zones, there are definitely some lessons that we can learn from them that I think can be very easily worked into a curriculum. So, what do we see? We see a real appreciation for whole real foods usually gathered from a garden or the wilderness. So, you would want some component built around growing and finding and eating and foraging whole foods, whether that be a community garden, that be a foraging trip, or a series of foraging trips, but basically learning how to eat from nature and grow in nature. So, that would be number one and that is something I do with my own children quite a bit and it’s not expensive, it’s in fact, less expensive than the grocery store.
Number two, speaking of the grocery store, because we do live in a modern era, it would be teaching these teens how to properly read a nutrition label. Because again, we see in the blue zones, a pretty strict avoidance of processed and packaged foods. I don’t expect that a teenager, living in America or modernized westernize country, is not going to sometimes have trail mix or beef jerky or some kind of packaged soup or some kind of packaged beverage or some kind of processed food, but teaching them how to read a food label like is this sweetened with Stevia or acesulfame potassium or sucralose? Or, is the sugar content, the total carbohydrate content in this derived from fiber or derived from processed sugar? Or, is the high amount of saturated fat in this from a fully hydrogenated lab-dried fat or is it from a coconut oil. So, reading nutrition labels would be number two.
Brock: Yeah, but beyond the RDA percentages. Going much deeper.
Ben: Right, right. Yeah, exactly. Very easy, low budget teaching mechanism. I’m not going to recommend a bunch of spend-y biohacks. No infrared light on your [beep] for these teens. Next, would be the importance of your environment. Right, we know that…
Brock: I think you can go to jail for just saying that.
Ben: We know that according to the blue zones books, emulating the environment and the habits of these world’s longest living people by having a home or environment that simulated nature as much as possible. Teaching them maybe about WiFi off on their phones or on the computer when you’re not using it and insuring that the air in the home is clean, if you’re going to go rent an apartment, maybe check into the history of the apartment to look into how much mold or fungi it might have or replace the light bulbs in your study room or your dorm room with a more biologically appropriate light bulb. These things, I don’t think a lot of teens are taught these days, but that are important. Like, care for your personal environment: air, light, water, electricity, things like that.
Ben: Next would be fasting. We see some elements of intermittent fasting, periods of time where people might not eat meat or might not eat dairy or may just eat fish and eggs as their primary proteins or may have 12 to 16 hour intermittent fasts or weekly 24-hour fasts, whatever. A fasting module where folks are learning about the importance of fasting. That would be another thing that I wish I learned when I was a teen like periods of time to give the body and the gut a break.
Brock: Yeah, we were told the opposite when we were teens. We were told don’t skip breakfast and don’t miss meals.
Ben: Yeah, next would be to learn how to exercise as play and as habit rather than just think of exercise as your PE or the gym.
Brock: Or punishment. That thing that you do when you’re bad.
Ben: Or as punishment exactly! What I mean by that is, things like fitness walks and nature walks and obstacle courses outside and learning how to use standing work stations and walking as much as possible and when they’re navigating through the airport or through the mall, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Basically engaging in low level physical activity all day long. That doesn’t mean they have to hunt and garden and forage all day long, but it does mean teaching how to move, like during our podcast, I’m actually alternating sitting on a stool and standing about every five or ten minutes I’m shifting into a different position. Something as simple as that. I didn’t even know that when I was in college, I would just sit for six hours while studying.
Ben: Just not get up and then I’d get up and feel horrible and try to go to the gym and get injured because my hip flexor are all short. So, understanding that movement should be an integral part of your lifestyle and not just something relegated to the gym and teach them how to do that. Then, just a few other things, we see a low amount of stress in the blue zones and a high amount of social connectedness.
Ben: When it comes to stress, one of the main things I would emphasize is a course on breath work. Teach box breathing, teach 4-7-8 breathing, teach these different forms of breath work that can enhance the body’s ability to be able to withstand stress. Honestly, if there’s one course I wish I had in college, I would have loved to have had a couple of semesters just on breath work and breathing patterns because it’s freaking free! Again, you can do breath work in the car. I was on a six hour bus ride when I was in Panama and I was in the back doing fire breathing and deep nasal breathing and hypoxic because I had nothing else to do. I didn’t have internet, I was just working on my…
Brock: Didn’t have the internet?!
Ben: No internet!
Ben: Yeah. So, breath. Then, family, love, relationships teaching the importance of that. Teaching the importance of forgiveness, of maintaining connections with your mother, with your father, with your siblings. Again, not something I discovered until later in life that I wish I had known about earlier on in life. And, this concept of not going to bed when you’re angry with someone and instead, calling them up and mending any differences. Understanding the potential, harmful effect when it comes to presence of chronic disease if you have things like anger or hate or bitterness bound up inside you that you haven’t taken care of. Basically, understanding the importance of not only that but also love and laughter and being in social settings and group dinners and relationships. For me, as an introvert, that’s something I realize the importance of again, later in life, but it’s super integral.
Finally, nature immersion, which goes hand-in-hand with this whole idea of plant foraging, this whole idea of constant movement and being outside, just basically some kind of module whether it’s camping or maybe it’s fishing or maybe it’s long hikes. Basically a lot of time spent getting very, very comfortable in the cold, in the heat, in nature, potentially in situations where some of your daily comforts are taken away from you and you’re just learning how to be very, very comfortable just being you, a human, on planet earth, in nature, fending for yourself and learning how to do things like start a fire, or cook something, or even trap or shoot or forage something. Basically, just learning how to connect on a deeper way with nature that goes above and beyond just raping the landscape by eating huge amounts of wheat bread and pasta and supporting commercial agriculture. So, on that high note…
Ben: Those are some of the things that I would love to see in a curriculum. As a matter of fact, I would take that curriculum myself. So, that’s what I would recommend, Kyle. It’s a great question and hopefully that helps you out.
Brock: Can I throw one in?
Ben: No, not if it’s going to lead to…
Brock: Really quickly!
Ben: Your weightless.me tip.
Brock: No, it’s not!
Brock: It’s actually called cognitive distortion. It’s a thing from cognitive behavioral therapy where you learn how to identify those self-fulfilling thoughts that you have where you tell yourself that you’re not worth or you’re destined to be overweight or whatever that happens to be or I’m an anxious person, or I’m depressed, and reframing those thoughts into a much more positive thing. Not just lying to yourself but reframing those thoughts. I think if I knew that as a teenager, if I knew that, I would have saved myself so much misery.
Ben: Cognitive distortion!
Brock: Yeah! From CBT you can look that up.
Ben: Boom. I love it. Well, that being said, let’s give something away! What do you think?
Brock: Alright! Yes, let’s do something fun.
Ben: This is the time on the show where we give away a Ben Greenfield Fitness sweet gift pack sent straight to your house chock full of Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie, a BPA free water bottle, and a sweet tech t-shirt you can go exercise in and flex in and if you leave a review on iTunes and you hear your review read on this show, all you need to do is e-mail us with your shirt size and the email is just [email protected], that’s [email protected] and we’ll get a gift pack out to you!
Ben: That being said, we’ve got a five star review left by Matt85web. Brock, do you want to take this one away?
Brock: I do! It goes like this: “This podcast is superb overall. I listen to a lot of top performers including Tim Ferris…” That guy? Really? “Joe Rogan.” Oh, come on! These are my interjections, by the way. “Kevin Rose and others. I can usually decipher pretty quickly whether someone is very smart in their field or just using a bunch of BS pseudoscience. Ben Greenfield and team are legit. I heard a stat mentioned which shows his discipline and long term focus and that is that Ben mentioned he has read a book a day for about 10 years. That’s impressive to me.”
Ben: Or just means I’m a total social outcast/introvert who spends way too much time at home with my nose in a book.
Brock: Means he has a lot of time on his hands.
Ben: But… Anyways, either way, great review, Matt! So, we’ll get that gear pack out to you. Just email [email protected]. For the rest of you, all of the goodies from this episode from the research you heard in the News Flashes to the recommendations on cold therapy, to some of the liver things you can do, how to deal with self-healing overwhelm tips and even my fit teens on a budget recommendations. You can find over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/377. Brock…
Ben: Go hit that kettlebell, baby.
Brock: Not my nuts though.
Jan 4, 2017 Podcast: 377 – Cold Therapy vs. Cryotherapy vs. Cold Thermogenesis, What To Do About Liver Issues & High GGT, How To Deal With Self-Healing Overwhelm, and Fit Teens On A Budget.
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.
News Flashes: [4:20]
- I read one book every day. Here’s how I remember what I’ve read.
- WOW: The big vitamin D mistake…
- I smear rosemary on steaks and diffuse rosemary essential oil for COGNITION, but here’s a new use for rosemary.
- Does alcohol make you live longer?
- Here’s what NOT to consume with your alcohol.
You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Snapchat, and Google+.
Special Announcements: [25:30]
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-Eharmony – Enter my code GREEN at eharmony.com checkout to get a FREE month with every 3-month subscription.
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–Weightless.me – Weightless is a program run by Brock and Monica Reinagel (the Nutrition Diva) that helps you develop the mindset, habits, and lifestyle that leads to a healthy body weight. Use code BEN60 for $60 off enrollment before Jan 12, 2018.
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Ben’s Adventures: [35:45]
-January 26 to 28, 2018: California Jam combines a TED talk format with chiropractic education and a rock n’ roll show! Over two dozen speakers, who are experts and innovators in their field, take the stage throughout the weekend as two live bands play in between. The driving objective of the event is to get attendees up to date on chiropractic research, scientific studies, and useful practice management strategy. The hope is that attendees bring all they learn at Cal Jam back to their communities to implement real, rippling change. Get your ticket now!
-March 2, 2018: Academy of Regenerative Practices Winter Conference & Scientific Seminar @ Weston, FL, USA. Sign up today!
Giveaways & Goodies:
-Grab your 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: [36:55]
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.
Cold Therapy vs. Cryotherapy vs. Cold Thermogenesis
Ashleigh says: Can I get some (or most) of the benefits of real cold therapy by just going outside on my balcony in -20 degrees celsius, in slippers and not much else… or will I just get cold? I have done cold water immersion (at an XPT event in Montach) and am convinced of the benefits but am looking for a more practical way of doing that in my condo.
In my response, I recommend:
-Recovery following a marathon: a comparison of cold water immersion, whole body cryotherapy and a placebo control.
–The Effectiveness of Whole Body Cryotherapy Compared to Cold Water Immersion: Implications for Sport and Exercise Recovery
–Recovery From Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage: Cold-Water Immersion Versus Whole-Body Cryotherapy.
–Tapping The Power of Cold to Lose Weight
–Cold Temps For A Hot Body
–CoolFatBurner and CoolGutBuster
What To Do About Liver Issues & High GGT
Beau says: I have had lab tests done over the past three years and my GGT is consistently elevated (around 110-111). Besides glutathione supplementation, what are some other supplements that lower GGT? What else can I do aside from cutting out alcohol and increasing antioxidants? I am concerned about this since GGT has been linked to more than just liver disease. (Another caller asked what you, Ben, are doing about your liver issues that were found when you visited the Human Garage?)
How To Deal With Self-Healing Overwhelm
Kathy says: I need some help with mindset and overwhelm. I was diagnosed with Lyme and am feeling overwhelmed with all the things that are out of whack with me and all the things that need addressing. How can I handle this feeling of overwhelm?
In my response, I recommend:
-Podcast: How To Quit Obsessing About Health, Eating & Exercise: Dodging The Silver Bullet Of Orthorexia and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
-Book: Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fit Teens On A Budget
Kyle says: If you and a partner had 40 minutes a day, for 30 weeks, to improve the nutrition and exercise habits of low socioeconomic teens (11-18 years old) what would your curriculum look like? Especially if your budget was $500-$1000 or less.
In my response, I recommend:
-Book: The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest
-Growing/Finding/Eating/Foraging Whole Foods
-Reading Nutrition Labels
-Importance Of Environment
-Exercise As Play/Habit, Not “Gym”