April 22, 2021
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-427/
[00:00:38] Back on Clubhouse and An Upcoming Article
[00:06:10] Time Of Day To Work Out
[00:08:01] News Flashes: Coloring Our Steaks Blue
[00:20:13] Bringing Dirty Carpets And Dirty Rugs Into The House
[00:24:16] Food Insecurity, Intermittent Fasting, And Exercise Are All Ways To Grow New Neural Pathways
[00:29:58] Podcast Sponsors
[00:41:12] Exercises to Balance the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems
[00:52:31] Natural Ways to Boost DHEA
[00:57:56] Is Mold in Kombucha a Good Thing?
[01:04:59] Sauna Use in an Apartment
[01:10:05] Featured Review
[01:12:16] Closing the Podcast
[01:13:54] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Blue steak, dirty carpet, growing your brain like your evolutionary ancestors, a whole host of Clubhouse Q&A questions from our fantastic listeners, and much, much more.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Jay, [00:00:44] _____.
Ben: We did it. We're back on Clubhouse once again.
Jay: Hey, man. We're getting faster and faster. Only took us like 20 minutes to set up today.
Ben: Amazing. Well, the Clubhouse room is filling up. We're going to be getting to a ton of great, great questions today, and I'm feeling energized. You know why I'm feeling energized? I'll give you a clue. It has nothing to do with nootropics, with smart drugs, with coffee.
Jay: My first guess seriously was that you threw those–what's that crap you throw in your eye that you've been talking about for the past two podcasts?
Ben: Oh, those Sananga eye drops? No.
Jay: Yeah. I thought that was it.
Ben: I did not do that, no. I've got this article that I am actually working on. I'll hopefully publish it in the next maybe two or three weeks over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. But I've really been studying up on this whole idea of activating key and getting energy flowing through the different meridians or chakras of the body. I'm just going to throw out as many woo-woo words as I can here in the introduction, just to scare away anybody who's not a yogi.
Ben: And anyways, there's this old book that was published in 1939. It's called “The Eye of Revelation.” Have you ever heard of it?
Jay: No, I have not.
Ben: Okay. So, this book–what, you got go to the library for your books from the 1930s?
Jay: Haven't been checking out key books from 1939 here recently, but give me some time.
Ben: Well, the book, “The Eye of Revelation,” it is on Kindle as well. And anyways, it's written by this guy named Peter Kelder, who is stationed, who described the story of this British army officer who was stationed in India, and who apparently discovered this so-called fountain of youth. Meaning, he studied with a bunch of these old-school Tibetan monks who had a certain series of rites that they would do each day. And apparently, they had a remarkable amount of vitality and youthfulness. And he actually wound up recording all of these different moves that they did. There's five, arguably six of them, and it's a fascinating read.
But what I did was I've actually been studying up on the so-called five Tibetan Rites along with the sixth rite that induces an even greater fountain of youth effect, and then combine them with several other exercises that I've borrowed from like tai chi, qigong, and a few different breathwork protocols. And I've woven all these together into like this 15-minute morning routine that I do. And it's everything from like twisting side to side to different spinning motions, to these kneeling backbends, to a tabletop exercise, to some things people might be familiar with from yoga, like the upward/downward dog is basically one of the five Tibetan Rites.
And so, yesterday, I filmed about a 20-minute video, walking people through the whole thing, but I didn't want to publish the video until I actually wrote an article about it as well. And so, yeah. I've been doing these five Tibetan Rites along with a few other moves each morning. And this book, “The Eye of Revelation,” is really, really super interesting. And by the way, there's also a really good website at t5t.com. They actually are like selling their own version of the Tibetan Rites, but you can actually–there's a bunch of free resources and information on that website to learn more about the rites and what they actually are. And then, there's actually also a really good book by a guy I'm going to have on the podcast called “The Reality Revolution.” It's by this guy named Brian Scott, and he details some of the things he's mashed up with the five Tibetan Rites. And so, anyways, stay tuned because I'm going to release that soon on the podcast, but that's the morning routine I've been geeking out on, and I will get into it in more detail.
Jay: Yeah. I bet you're experiencing, or you will if you haven't, or anybody who utilizes this will experience this, a fair amount of parasympathetic flow. And I don't know if you're measuring this via heart rate variability or anything, but some of the positions that you mentioned, especially like in child's pose, can be quite parasympathetically stimulating, and it sounds kind of contradictory to one another. However, it's something that I use a lot of with my clientele in order to expand the diaphragm, increase vagal tone. I mean, it's kind of right up my alley.
Ben: Oh, yeah. I'm sure a lot of this could be quantified as well even though I haven't really–like one of the beauty aspects and simplicity of it is you don't need like a foam roller, a mobility ball, a BioCharger, a PEMF mat, the heart rate variability mat–this is just like you and your body. So, I like this routine. So, you can take it on the road with you as well. And I'll link to a few of the resources if you go to the shownotes for today's podcast, which are going to be, once they're published, unless you're listening to this live, in which case those shownotes aren't available yet, they're at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/427. I'll link to the book that I'm getting some of this stuff from. And then, I'll also link to–or also just send it on my newsletter, which is straight from the website once I release the video that walks people through the whole routine. So, anyways though, we should dive in pretty soon. But before we do, Jay, did you do anything particularly intriguing to enhance your energy levels this morning?
Jay: So, I wouldn't say anything out of the ordinary. So, I got my workout in. I hate doing this. I'm on the east coast, and so my workouts are generally–I like to do kind of like the 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. workout. And so, I had to do mine this morning around 10:00 or so, which isn't optimal for me, but for me, it's better to get it in than to not do it at all so I'm not whining. But I just took some ketone esters right before we started this podcast because I was feeling like a little bit of the afternoon lag because it's 1:45 now for me. And now, I'm jolted, man. Dude, I'm feeling pretty good right now even though that stuff tastes like, man, snake piss. Is that a word? Can we say that?
Ben: I don't think it tastes too bad. I gave some to my kids the other day. I told them it tastes like rocket fuel. And one of my sons drank like half the bottle of the ketone esters. One from KetoneAid. It doesn't taste that great, but he was like, “Yeah. It's not that bad.” So, fortunately, the kids are a chip off the old block and they don't mind the taste of stuff that really has the flavor of straight-up ass because as long as it has a functional effect, we're all happy. And that's an astute observation, by the way, that you made, and then we can jump into the news flashes here because I want to allow a little bit of extra time for Q&A. And that is that the best time of day to work out based on science, based on research journals, based on a deep, deep body of exercise physiology research is, drum roll, please, the time of day when you're most likely to do it. So, there you have it.
Jay: There you have it.
Ben: Alright. Well, let's go ahead and let's jump into today's news flashes.
Alright. So, this is the time on the show when I delve into a few of the more particularly intriguing things that I have brought up on particularly Twitter and Facebook where I release a whole bunch of different news flashes, and articles, and research studies that I've stumbled across since I spend a little bit of time each day, typically around an hour or so just reading journals, and articles, and everything from Sci-Hub to PubMed and beyond. And then, I choose a few of the better or more intriguing ones and talk about them in the news flashes section of the show. And I've got a few doozies today, got a few doozies today.
So, Jay, do you remember when–and this would have been I think podcast 424. We got into this redonkulous article about tackling climate change through human engineering in which we had a discussion about this article that proposed that we do things like induce pharmacological meat intolerance in people by injecting them with specific compounds that would basically make them allergic to meat, similar to like a nicotine patch that someone could put on a patch that would fill them with a sugar-like alpha-galactose, for example, that would cause them to produce antibodies that fight against any of the sugars that might be found in meat. They also proposed that we could somehow engineer humans to make them smaller, thus, reducing human ecological footprints. They've also, in that particular article, discussed cognitive enhancement to make people smarter because of the link between lowered birth rates and smarter people having fewer kids.
And then, finally, pharmacologically inducing things like altruism or empathy, which would theoretically lead to more climate awareness and better environmental responsibility specifically by getting a whole bunch of oxytocin into people's systems so that they were better capable of caring for the planet based on increased empathy. And it was a very interesting discussion that we had about that particular article. And if you guys want, you can go back to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/424 to hear us weave through some of those proposals, which I think are, in my own opinion, absolutely bullshit. Or I guess to be grammatically correct, I should say absolute bullshit. But I recently read an article this week that is right along the same veins as that, and I suppose veins here is a pun intended term because the article is about whether or not coloring our stakes blue could help reduce the world's insatiable demand for meat. I don't know if you read this, Jay.
Jay: Yeah, I did.
Ben: But there was a review of blue foods that was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. And it gets into this idea, beginning with a story, about how color plays an important part in the enjoyment of food, how our appetite is conditioned by our senses of sight, but also by things like smell and taste.
And he talks about this one study I guess that they did where they dimmed the lights, or somehow reduced people's ability to be able to see their food. And then, they had a steak that was kind of like this bluish-gray color, a celery that was kind of pink, salads that were a little bit like a muddy violet, green peas that looked like black caviar, milk that was like blood red, blue eggs, and kind of like a sickly yellow color to the coffee. And the dinner turned into an absolute failure because all the guests lost their appetite, unless you're looking at the success of a meal being dependent upon how many calories one consumes. In which case, you could argue that it was a smashing success because people ate less food.
So, blue, it appears, and especially blue associated with a food that we don't expect to be blue. It's not like a blue raspberry smoothie or a piece of candy, but rather particularly meat and fish. It's a very off-putting color, probably because from an evolutionary or an ancestral standpoint, we tend to associate blue with mold, which makes sense, kind of the self-protective mechanism that when you're looking at the color of a food, it is one thing to pay attention to. It's like when you're doing wilderness survival and plant foraging, it's very few red foods that you can actually eat without getting sick. Red is often a color of warning in nature, or like black spots on a leaf or a plant could indicate, for example, mold. That'd be another example.
And the interesting thing is that they've found in multiple studies that coloring food, particularly meat or fish, or animal-based protein, blue reduces the palatability rating of that food. And so, this article proposed that we deliberately taint meat by injecting it with like a blue food dye, such as salmon, beef, et cetera. And that if we do that, we may actually reduce patterns of food consumption that could lead to poor health patterns, and basically induce people to eat less meat by coloring food differently. Now, of course, this entire article is based upon the arguably faulty premise that meat or fish are bad for you, which I think we've established many times on this podcast, are not, if they're kind of like unprocessed healthier forms of meat, not paired with, say, like broccoli drenched in vegetable oil from your local steak house, or the bun, the mayo, the vegetable oils, everything else that might be on a burger from a fast-food restaurant.
But nonetheless, making food less attractive by coloring it differently is the main thrust of this article. And it was written by a gentleman who actually published a very interesting book. I'll try and find it and link to it in the shownotes called ” Sensehacking,” which just gets into, basically, as the name implies, how to hack our senses to cause us to do more things or do less things. But in this case, hacking food would involve making it a less palatable color. And this is actually very interesting also because they already do this in a way with bacon. Like, they'll take bacon from unhealthy CAFO feedlot hogs that's heavily processed bacon full of nitrates that are used in meat processing, which I agree is one of the reasons that red meat and meat, in general, has such a bad rap, particularly related to its carcinogenic potential. It's sort of the processing of the meat.
And in many cases, these N-nitroso compounds that are formed when red meat particularly is processed, the heme iron, and the amines, and the amides in red meat will interact with the nitrates used in meat processing to form these carcinogenic compounds. And one of the things that they do with bacon is they'll use specific processing methods that turn the bacon like this nice, rich, rosy color to make it a little bit more palatable even though post-processing, and especially from unhealthy hogs, bacon's kind of like this nasty brownish-gray color.
Ben: And so, they actually already do color bacon. They also color like farmed salmon. They'll dye that with kind of a darker reddish-orange dye to make it look like it's a more rich astaxanthin fed wild salmon. And so, this is something that's already done. But now, the proposal is we do this in reverse and make people less likely to eat meat by painting our meat blue. So, what do you think about that?
Jay: Yeah. It's just interesting they're coming after meat again because–you made a comment, and one of the first things I thought about is, “Oh, yeah. You don't think about like a blue raspberry gummy as being like non-palatable.” You think that, “Okay. That matches with what I expect.” But what if we made gummy bears all gray, or we made donuts all black, or some other pastry, like some kind of off-color? Like, what if we spent our efforts writing about that instead of meat? Because I didn't know, too. One other question that I had a follow-up was, was this coming strictly from a nutritional standpoint, or was this also coming from like an environmental sustainability standpoint? Because I feel like that is another area where they put meat in the crapper, if you will. But yeah. I mean, that's exactly where my mind went.
Ben: I don't think that it was necessarily one or the other per se, but the article itself basically says that patterns of food consumption, specifically, traditionally farmed animal protein are unsustainable at a global level. And so, I think it's actually looking at both minimizing risks to health, which again, I think is a flawed premise, unless we're talking about processed meat. But then also, the direct health effect on the body. So, I in no way endorse government or any other body legislating that companies like McDonald's or Burger King develop a blue or a purple Big Mac, but I don't know. Maybe if you have a certain processed meat food that you're addicted to, or you want to drink less coffee and you want to turn that yellow or turn your sushi blue, or do some other type of color hacking to reduce the palatability of a food that you might have a problem with. I mean, I see something there, but I would never want to see businesses legislated to turn their food to specific colors that we consume less of it. But it's an interesting article, interesting idea.
Jay: Sure. I'd be put off by a blue steak, too. I mean, the article is pretty accurate in that sense, but I mean, should we be doing that or should government step in to make other companies or organizations do that? Yeah, that's a whole different story. And yeah, my answer would be no.
Ben: Well, maybe those of you live on Clubhouse, you can pipe in if we bring any of you up during the Q&A to tell me what you think about this. But you can also leave your comments at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/427 about whether or not you would endorse the development of blue meat. I personally like my big old tomahawks, and ribeyes, and any other food that I prepare to be the exact color that nature intended it to be, unless I put a nice big coffee rub on there, in which case, yeah, it is a little brownish, or a reddish, or whatever the case may be. But speaking of ridiculousness, here's another interesting theory. Why not make the insides of our house more dirty? Oh, wait, you know what, there was one other thing I did want to mention that I forgot about in relation to that color thing. You know how a lot of folks will wear like blue light blocking glasses at night, like with a red lens or orange lens?
Ben: I break all the rules. I don't do that at all. During dinner, I whip the glasses off my face because I've found whether I'm out of the steakhouse or any other restaurant, or I'm having dinner at home with the family, as soon as I put those glasses on, I experience myself subjectively reduced palatability of the food that I'm eating. I rarely, if ever, eat food with blue light blocking glasses on because I just can't see my food as well, and I enjoy my food a lot better with those glasses off.
Jay: That's interesting.
Ben: Screw my circadian rhythms. I want to enjoy my steak.
Jay: I've got little, little kids. We eat at like 5:00 p.m. You probably eat at what, like 7:00 or 8:00?
Ben: Yeah. We eat around 7:00 or 8:00, yeah, like 7:30, 8:00. Yeah. Late dinners just because it's more conducive to our big glorious family dinners that we have. So, circadian rhythm be screwed. I'm whipping off my blue light blocking glasses and eating light just because it renders my life far more enjoyable. So, there's something to just enjoying life also and not being starved, hungry, cold, and libido-less for 160 years that you've hacked for your life on this planet.
Anyways though, here's another snippet of ridiculousness. So, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal, and the article was about different ways that we could enhance immune system health, especially during the era of COVID. And one of the suggestions was to bring the outside in, to bring the outside in. And this was based off of studies of the indoor environments at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare where they packed a thin layer of microbial-rich soil from rural areas of Finland into rugs, and then place those rugs into homes. And they found that microbes got distributed through the air in the home over the course of several weeks. Thus, increasing the diversity of the indoor microbiota, increasing the microbial richness in home spaces, and basically creating a scenario in which there were more beneficial microbes indoors by basically bringing dirty carpets and dirty rugs into the house.
And so, the hypothesis here, or the proposal of Joel Salatin, who has a wonderful little musings blog called thelunaticfarmer.com, he wrote an article about this and basically laid out this idea of a million-dollar business opportunity for people who want to develop dirt and soil, and dirty carpets, and dirty rugs that folks could put into their house, like a compost soil entry mat for doorways that would enhance their immune system while they were kicking around their house. Now, I don't know about you, Jay, but in my home, that would be as simple as taking down the sign right by the door that says, “Please remove your shoes,” and/or kicking the kids outside to roll around outside in the dirt a little bit during the day versus bringing all the dirt indoors, which I kind of find humorous because for so long, many of us have operated with this idea that we take off our shoes before we come inside and we don't spread dirt all over our carpet and our rugs for obvious reasons.
Well, this proposal is that we do the exact opposite. It's kind of like that–I think it was the AOBiome was the company that came out with like a microspray, like a probiotic soil-based probiotic spray that you could spray around your house, or the development of all these spendy soil probiotic organisms. When I interviewed a guy, I forget who it was back in the day, who demonstrated that you could get just as many by like going outside every once in a while and putting your finger in the dirt and licking your finger. So, it's funny how we'll pay to do things that we could get for free outdoors and how–and I will totally not be surprised if somebody does come out with like a compost infused doorway mat that you can rub yourself and your feet in before you go into your house and walk around to increase the microdiversity of your house and turn it into its own little McDonald's farm.
Jay: Right. Yeah. It is funny. And you're probably right that somebody is going to probably go with this. I don't know if it's going to be marketed very well. But the one thing that I was thinking about, two things, yes, if you've got kids–especially for me, I've got two younger kids that are outside all the time in the dirt planting, gardening, let them come inside and have a blast inside. The other thing is if you have a dog, your dog is running outside, getting their feet all in the dirt and mud, and whatever else, and bringing in the biome as well. So, just let that happen. And if you don't have either, then I'd say what you said. Go out barefoot or go out with your shoes on, and then just maybe not kick them off immediately. Drag a little bit of dirt around the house and there you go, problem solved. And then, you spend zero dollars.
Ben: Yup. Exactly. I just love how we're living in this era where we're making blue stakes and dirt-infused doorway mats. It just seems absolutely ridiculous.
And then, here's something that's kind of cool. There was actually a really compelling study. And this is the last thing I want to mention before we jump into the Q&A for today. It was an evolutionary perspective on why food overconsumption impairs cognition. And basically, the theory of this article is that our brain structures and our neuronal networks, from the time that we are hunter-gatherers, those did things like mediate spatial navigation and decision-making, and the ability to be able to acquire food in unpredictable food acquisition scenarios. Like, if you can't open your refrigerator and get food, essentially, what this paper is showing is that you see an increase in neuroplasticity, a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and brain growth by being forced to, in a hungry state, go out and engage in all the mental time travel, and problem-solving, and social cognition, and spatial awareness, required for you to harvest your own food, whether that would be going out to the field or going out with a weapon to actually engage in food acquisition.
And they lay out a really, really cool kind of like biological mechanism that relates to optimal, or conversely sub-optimal cognitive function based on food availability. So, in the presence of food deprivation and/or fasting or intermittent fasting, we see more ketone bodies produced naturally with no ketone esters or coconut oil fat bombs in your freezer required, and we see intensified cognition. Both of those lead to an increase in what's called adaptive cellular signaling where you see an increase in things like brain-derived neurotrophic factor, one called PGC-1 alpha, which allows for better mitochondrial function, increase in the expression of what's called Nrf2 and NF kappa-B, which will long term be able to modulate your levels of inflammation, an upregulation in antioxidant enzymes based on those two pathways, an increase in cellular autophagy and longevity, enhance what's called a GABAergic tone, which is similar to your vagal nerve tone or your neurotransmitter balance. And all of this results in better synaptic plasticity, better neurogenesis, and better neuroprotection.
And anybody who's, say, gone out hungry on the morning of a hunt, for those of you who are hunters out there or want to get into hunting, you do have this weird kind of like mental edge, mental high, even if it's like four o'clock in the morning and you're out in the dark getting ready to go hunt deer, it's like your brain is just operating in this different hyper-excitable type of way where you're tuned in, your senses are a little bit more alive and alert, and you feel, you can almost feel the neuroplasticity. Whereas in the presence of food abundance and overeating, you see what the authors of this paper describe as cognitive complacency. So, a disengagement of all those adaptive signaling pathways that I just talked about.
And what they demonstrated in this study based on a literature review was what's called synaptic dysfunction, impaired neurogenesis, and neuronal degeneration in folks who, compared to people who have food deprivation or absence of copious amounts of food always handy when you open the refrigerator or you open your pantry, in the presence of food abundance, we actually see people becoming more or less, in both rodent and human models, more stupid based on having access to lots of food and not having to go out and find your own food. And I'm not saying that everybody needs to be a hunter. But if you can artificially create a scenario in which you have sporadic food availability by, for example, having a less full refrigerator, shopping at fewer grocery stores that allow you to purchase bulk food, or at least having that bulk food a little less conveniently available, I don't know, buried in a concrete bunker in your backyard or something, or you're doing things like–let's say you live in the city and every time you want to go to your favorite restaurant, you have a rule that you got to walk there instead of drive there.
So, you got to walk a mile to go “find” your food, basically figuring out a way to force yourself even in an era of food abundance to kind of like a food scarcity type of scenario where there's less food around your house, where you're forcing yourself to exercise before you actually go out and have food, or you engage in periods of food deprivation or intermittent fasting. It actually appears to not only be good from a longevity standpoint, but it's actually wonderful for just like getting smarter. Isn't that interesting?
Jay: Super interesting. The one thing that I thought about is that when there's food abundance, then it's much more easy from a neurological standpoint for us to go on autopilot because really, there's nothing at stake, there's no risk there, really. I mean, you always know in the back of your head, like there's no reason for you to get up and go because the thing that can continue to sustain life i.e. food is just an arm's length away, or maybe a short walk away. So, I see it as like the brain just knows when there's food abundance, I can go on autopilot. There's no need for me to rev up and get ready for action, and it's quite the opposite when there's food scarcity. So, I like that this was able to highlight the physiological aspects and brain and neuronal networking of this. But yeah, it just makes sense from an evolutionary perspective.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I think it's super interesting. And of course, at the risk of shooting ourselves in the foot now, we're going to move on and give people a bunch of fantastic discount codes on things like my new cookbook, and a brand new secret product we just released from Kion, and some different greens powder, and even ButcherBox. We're going to give you guys a bunch of discounts on those shortly. So, if you want to become smarter, ignore everything that we're about to say. Don't get coffee, don't get meat, don't get greens powders. Figure out how to grow a coffee tree a mile from your house and go harvest your own coffee beans. Don't get ButcherBox and maybe go out and hunt, I don't know, a nearby cow. And for God's sake, don't drink any Organifi Green Powder. You're going to go out and harvest your own nettle, and spinach, and mint, and all that jazz, if you really truly want to be Einstein status. I'm just saying.
Jay: Your sponsors are going to be pissed, Ben.
Ben: Alright. So, this is the part of the show where we give you some fantastic discounts. So, first of all, folks, my new cookbook is live. All of my favorite recipes, all of my crazy biohacked ingredients, all the different superfoods I use, the specific strains of bacteria I use, how to whip up a batch of homemade yogurt, how to make the nutrients in your food more bioavailable using some pretty cool molecular gastronomy concepts that I wove into the cookbook. It's a full-on culinary journey, nutrient-dense, wild game fish, organ meat recipes, plant recipes, desserts, cocktail smoothies. The cookbook is available for pre-order. You can go to boundlesscookbook.com to secure your copy. I'm pretty darn proud of how it turned out rich, full color photos, and beyond. You won't want to miss out on this. It's at boundlesscookbook.com. And my only complaint is I've been cooking so much, just being super excited about this cookbook launch. I may have to write a second cookbook soon.
Jay: And you're getting dumber according to what we talked about.
Ben: I did deep fry a steak the other night just to try it.
Jay: Like an oil? Did you batter it?
Ben: I had a bunch of leftover like lard and coconut oil from some chicken comfy that I made. So, I put it all in a Dutch pot. I melted it down, then I smoked a steak for about an hour and a half on a Traeger like a big old tomahawk steak. So, the tomahawk has a big bone coming at the end. So, I actually used that as the handle. And holding on to the handle, I dipped it into the heated oil for about six minutes, and then took it out and used a paper towel to basically soak up some of the oil that was on the outside. And that's not, from a fat oxidation standpoint, the healthiest way to consume meat, but I just want to try it to see if it worked. It actually worked remarkably well. It was like a super-duper flavorful steak. You'd never want to do this in like a vegetable oil, but I used some pretty heat stable oils and it actually turned out really well.
So, if any of you have some coconut oil, or some lard, or even like macadamia nut oil, or avocado oil, or a pretty decent high smoke point heat-stable oil, I don't think you should frequently consume meat that's been fried, or even oils that have been heated to high temperatures, but it was a pretty cool culinary experience. So, I smoked it first and then just did literally like five, six-minutes tops in oil, just holding this big old tomahawk steak down. I'll publish the recipe to Instagram pretty soon at instagram.com/bengreenfieldfitness. But it actually worked out really well. It was really good. Like my kids and my wife–
Jay: You could get it to like medium-rare? I feel like I'd overcook that fast.
Ben: No, it didn't overcook at all. It was like a perfect medium-rare, rare plus maybe.
Jay: Huh, that's cool.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, I used a meat temp, too. So, I had a meat temp sticking out of it while I was–
Jay: Yeah. Smart.
Ben: So, yeah, yeah. So, there you have it. So, grab the cookbook at boundlesscookbook.com for recipes like that, and a whole lot more. And then, this is pretty cool. I was making coffee yesterday actually, and I opened up my bag of coffee and I had forgotten that we just did this. So, I would put up my coffee and it was my Kion Coffee, and it was already ground. And as you guys have heard me say in the past, like you want to wait 'til the day of to grind your coffee because otherwise, you lose some of the flavor, you lose some of the freshness, some of the pesky oxygen starts to degrade the coffee. But what we figured out how to do recently at Kion was use this special nitrogen flushing process. We pre-grind the coffee so it's still the same USDA certified, organic, ethically sourced, mold and toxin-free coffee beans that we use in the whole bean product for our decaf and for our regular.
But we figured out how to grind it and still keep it healthy, and still keep it fresh, and it tastes actually really good. But it's also cool because if you want to use coffee for a meat rub, like I do a lot, you just pour out of the bag and it's ready to rumble, or if you're traveling. And a lot of times, I will travel, not to gross people out, but I'll take like a coffee enema kit a lot of times with me when I travel, like a portable coffee enema kit. And a lot of times, the damn Airbnbs, they don't have like a coffee grinder. Sometimes I'll have a blender that'll grind my coffee in. But if you can't hunt down a coffee grinder for coffee when you're traveling, this is super convenient. If you don't have time to grind your coffee, you don't want to wake the whole family up at 5:00 a.m., if that's the time you grind coffee, it's good for that. And it's also just incredibly convenient as a time hack to have coffee that's still just as fresh, tastes just as good, but you don't have to grind it. So, we've got brand new ground coffee at Kion, and it's just called–we were super creative, it's called Kion Ground Coffee.
Jay: I like that one.
Ben: Yeah. Twenty percent off. You go to getkion.com/bengreenfield, getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield. It gets you 10% off your first order of the brand-spankin' new Kion Ground Coffee. So, there's that for you. You're welcome.
Ben: And then, a few other cool things that I want to give out to people, PowerDot. This is like these little electrodes that you attach to your body. They call them smart muscle stimulators, but they tie to a mobile app on your phone. They sent me one of these and I thought it was going to be a total gimmicky joke. I'm like, “How high a power can these tiny little electrodes tied to my phone deliver for anything except maybe a little bit of blood flow or a little bit of pain management?” And holy cow, I put these things in my quads and I was sore the next day. I mean, you can get a full-on weight-training-esque workout with these electrical muscle stimulation units, and like for an airplane, for a road trip, for if–let's say you have like a knee injury and you want to train your quads, or you've got some kind of a low back tweak and you want to increase blood flow to an injured area.
It's got 13 different programs. You can customize the intensity, you can choose from pain, recovery, muscle building, endurance, and it actually works remarkably well. It's called a PowerDot. And so, they want to give all my listeners a 20% discount on this thing if you go to powerdot.com. That's kind of weird to say, powerdot.com/ben. And if you go to powerdot.com/ben, code BEN gets you 20% off of one of these PowerDot devices, super small, super portable, great for travel, again great for like road trips, airplanes, but cool technology in terms of like super portable electrical muscle stimulation.
Jay: The one I have, yeah, it's hard to carry around. It's not like it's huge, but anything smaller. Yeah, PowerDot sounds sweet.
Ben: Yeah. It just works. And then, a couple last tasty things I'll give you guys, Organifi Green Juice with the ashwagandha, and Moringa, and chlorella, and matcha green tea, and turmeric, and everything else that gives you the dark green shits in a good way without all the chopping, and the cleanup, and the mess. This stuff's super-low sugar compared to those high sugary drinks with the eight apples and the four pears that you get from the local cold press juicery. It ends up being like less than two bucks per juice with our discount code. Get a little cold water, or coconut milk, or whatever else that you want to amp up with green flavor. And I'll even sprinkle this stuff on top of salad sometimes just to add a few extra greens to my salad. It's also got spirulina, and mint, and beets, and wheatgrass, and lemon, and coconut, this delicious, healthy superfood blend. Organifi.com/ben gets you 20% off of this stuff. It's called Organifi Green Juice. So, it's Organifi with an “I” dot com/ben. Oh, and everything's certified organic, too, in the juice, which is amazing. So, organifi.com/ben. And that's 20% off, Organifi with an “I” dot com/ben.
Then finally, ButcherBox. The good folks at ButcherBox are back at it again. This time, they're giving three pounds of chicken breast, two pounds of pork chops, and two pounds of ground beef for free in your first box. So, they go out, they work with all these sustainable farms, these small farms, and they get high-quality meat like grass-fed, grass-finished beef, and free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught seafood, comes out to less than six bucks a meal for your whole family. They ship it straight to your house, they cut out the middleman, and you get an amazing meat experience, and did I mention, three pounds of chicken breast, two pounds of pork chops, and two pounds of ground beef for free in your first box, that's a meatapalooza, if you go to butcherbox.com/ben.
Now, my only complaint about ButcherBox is that they don't sell whole pigs. And I got to hunt down a whole pig because I decided for my wife's, don't tell her I said this on the podcast, her 40th birthday party's coming up in June. And I'm going to do a giant underground pig roast and have like 50 people over, and do it like dig the whole pit, and get a whole hog, and butcher it, and basically bury it in the ground wrapped in banana leaf, and do the whole traditional old school underground pig roast. So, you may have to buy a plane ticket out to my house, Jay, in June if you want to get some good–
Jay: I've got the invite. I'm there, man. That actually sounds like a lot of fun.
Ben: I'm serious. You should come out on June 30th. I think it's a birthday party. So, yeah. My wife's going to be 40. And to celebrate, we're going to eat a giant pig that's been buried under the ground as you do because America–
Jay: You put the apple in the mouth? Is that a thing?
Ben: I could put an apple in its mouth, yeah.
Jay: If I'm coming, you got to put the apple in the mouth.
Ben: Why not? Yeah. That makes it healthy, adding a little bit of produce. Maybe I'll dye it blue, too, so people eat less, so there's more left for me because then I can put on my blue light blocking glasses and it's not going to be blue anymore. That's my theory at least, and that's going to be my hack, so there's more pork leftover for me. How do you like that?
Jay: I like that. It's great idea. Brilliant.
Ben: Alright. Well, let's go ahead and jump into this week's live listener Q&A from Clubhouse. And I'll put links to all of our different sponsors, all the codes, and everything else that we talk about including the news flashes and any of the resources that we get to during our Q&A if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/427. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/427. And now is the fun part of the show because we're going to start taking some live questions.
Blair: Ben, I'm actually enjoying the mountain biking trail in Sedona as I listen to your podcast we discussed. But it was–yeah, it was fantastic listening to the podcast. I love the Finnish in regards to redundancy because it's so funny living in a time where the Tibetan Rites are–obviously, those are way too simple to be effective. Obviously, we can't just detox our body and then have our body communicate to us what are the healthy foods to eat. We can't just get outside, we have to create walls and doorways to bring in the microbiome. So, not as much of a question, but just wanted to touch base on the beauty of the direction our planet's heading and really the simple solutions that are available. So, I appreciate what it is you're doing and making the natural solutions fun.
Ben: Blair, are you having a heart attack right now? Are you like out hiking or something?
Blair: I am currently dragging my mountain bike up a hill in Sedona.
Ben: Oh, amazing. I love Sedona.
Blair: Oh, it's fantastic.
Ben: After you go mountain biking, make sure you go visit ChocolaTree and have one of their–they have a salad there that's amazing, the ChocolaTree salad. And of course, you got to have a chocolate, too.
Blair: Green goddess and chocolate, way to go.
Ben: Yeah. Well, that was a total waste bringing you on stage, Blair, because you didn't really have a question. But it was refreshing to hear from a listener who's out enjoying an adventure while engaging in this week's–
Blair: One question I had I guess in regards to the parasympathetic versus sympathetic balance that you and Jay opened up with in regards to Tibetan Rites and other activities, what sort of exercises have you noticed that provide the preferred balance in that parasympathetic to sympathetic ratio of information exchange?
Ben: I try to choose exercises that are parasympathetically, I guess what you might call unbalanced when I'm working out because I want to decrease my heart rate variability in most cases pretty significantly while I am working out by choosing exercises that ultimately stress my body and activate the sympathetic nervous system as much as possible because that's why I'm working out for that particular hormetic stress. Just like if I'm going to do cold exposure, I'd like for that cold water to be as cold as possible, as stressful as possible because it just means I'll have to spend less time in it, and the payoff will be higher.
And I used to, for a period of time when I was doing a lot of trialing with heart rate variability monitors, wear one that would collect my HRV in real-time. I just used a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate strap. I was using one made by a company called Viiiiva, V-I-I-I-I-V-A. The Polar H6 also works very well for this. And I simply paired it to an app that I helped to develop called NatureBeat, which will gather both parasympathetic and sympathetic balance in real time as you're working out, or meditating, or breathing, or whatever you're doing. So, you can see how that's affecting heart rate variability. And also, heart rate variability split into both sympathetic and parasympathetic in real-time.
And for example, what I found was that exercises, and no surprises here, such as uphill sprinting, back squats, and deadlifts, all caused a very significant decrease in HRV and shift from parasympathetic into sympathetic mode. Whereas other exercises that seemed safer for my body, push-ups, for example, or even pull-ups, didn't really seem to do that, versus things that either loaded me or forced me to be in a scenario where it seemed as though my body thought that it was running from a lion. Now, when you choose those type of sympathetically stimulating activities through trial and error and real-time HRV testing, and then begin to weave those specific stressful activities in your workout routine, then pair it with what a guy like Paul Chek would call working in. Meaning, you do the working out and the working in.
And the working in means that you finish a workout laying straight on your back in something like the yoga chaturanga–I believe it's called the chaturanga, the corpse pose, is simply doing deep nasal breathing. Or you do a series of squats that are very slow and tai chi-esque where you're going to the ground and scooping up energy, and then reaching up over your head, breathing through your nose. Or you are recovering in between sets by, say, riding very easily on a stationary bicycle while engaged in nasal breathing. Those are all examples of what we call working in versus working out. Pavel Tsatsouline, kettlebell instructor, is also very big on doing a very hard kettlebell set, and then sometimes just doing like deep nasal breathing in between, then going back and smashing it with the next 10 to 30-second set, and coming back again and again. He talks about those type of techniques in his books like “The Quick and the Dead” or “Simple and Sinister.”
And so, I think what it really comes down to is sympathetically stimulating yourself as much as possible, and then chasing that with something that's very parasympathetically stimulating. And if you're into biohacking, you can even engage in more parasympathetic stimulus by using like a BioCharger set in post-workout relaxation mode, or a pair of NormaTec boots, or pulse electromagnetic field therapy, which I find shifts me into parasympathetic balance very quickly and increases my HRV. So, really, it doesn't come down to necessarily parasympathetic, sympathetic balance as much as something more like a press pulse, or something very similar like a fast feast fast cycle in nutrition where you're really stressing yourself out sympathetically, and then activating the parasympathetic as much as possible after that.
Jay is somebody who specializes in heart rate variability and sympathetic/parasympathetic balance. Is there anything you'd bring to the table as far as exercise considerations for getting the most out of HRV measurement during or after exercise?
Jay: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think that one of the things that you hit on at the end of what you just provided was very important, is that there's this bit of misconception that goes around. And I've done this in the past, too, so I'm not going to say that it's below me to do it or above me, whichever one fits. But there's this talk about parasympathetic, sympathetic, or autonomic balance, and that would insinuate that these things have a one-to-one or should have a one-to-one relationship with one another. Whereas that's not really the case. We can actually influence one or the other, or actually have them both turn on and off, and I won't say turn on and off, modulate upwards or downwards at the same exact time.
So, a lot of it has to do with intention. So, if you are doing something, let's say high intensity, or if you're doing something like you mentioned, Ben, squats, deadlifts, bench press, you would expect and you would want the sympathetic nervous system to be the one in the driver's seat and you'd want to relinquish the brake, which is the parasympathetic nervous system. This is going to kick your body into high gear and allow you to engage in the full workout. The one thing that I would say to be cautionary of is trying to then counterbalance that by saying, “Oh, well, then I must include a parasympathetic exercise routine.” It's not that it's a bad thing, but if you're utilizing a biometric like HRV to measure those and you're in a full workout and you work in, like you mentioned what Paul Chek said, you're not going to see an LF/HF ratio, which is what we consider the balance. I put that in air quotes even though you can't see it. We call that the balance ratio. You're not going to see that go to one-to-one during a workout. You might see some relinquished control of the sympathetic nervous system and more of the activating of the break, but you won't see them go one-to-one. And that's where I think a few people find some mistake in utilizing HRV as a biometric.
Now, there are so many people, like everybody says, “I know how to exercise in order to engage the sympathetic nervous system.” That's kind of easy, straightforward, makes sense. However, engaging the parasympathetic nervous system through exercise is very–what I recommend is very similar to what you mentioned, Ben, doing things like different yoga poses, things like tai chi is another one. One of the ones that I mentioned even at the beginning of this podcast was child's pose, and I'll just go through really quickly for the sake of not getting too long in the tooth. Child's pose can be really important, especially if you do a modified one with the legs in an outward direction away from one another. The reason being is because it allows for lateral expansion of the rib cage, as well as a downward movement of both the lungs and the diaphragm to allow for more expansion of the lungs, and then that actually helps with vagal tone. The reason being is because expansion of the lower part of the lungs is where most of the bulk innervations of the vagus nerve or the 10th cranial nerve lie.
So, I have a lot of people who will engage in that nasal breathing, deep diaphragmatic breathing in child's pose. And almost a bulk majority of people who engage in that will see HRV fly upward, really high. Their HF or high frequency, Ben, will fly up really high. And that's a good indicator of a parasympathetic flow or parasympathetic engagement. So, I just want to clarify some terminology there because I mistakenly throw out the word balance as well, and I would think that it's more of modulation, kind of being able to utilize your control and volition to go in and out of each branch of the nervous system, and then use them correspondingly and together. So, yeah. Hopefully, that helps Blair.
Ben: Yeah. And then, one other thing I'd throw in there before we bring on our next question is that if you don't have access to a heart rate variability monitor, one of the things that happens when your sympathetic nervous system is stimulated is you engage in more glycogenolysis, which is basically releasing of glucose from the liver, for example, to supply quick energy. And so, this is something that happens to me during sauna sessions, for example. I know those are sympathetically stimulating for me at least when I'm exercising in the sauna, or doing yoga in the sauna, or getting myself very hot in the sauna because even if I'm not tracking HRV, if I look at my blood glucose measurement, it goes through the roof. It's kind of like that paradoxical increase in blood glucose that some people will get from high-intensity interval training, or from intense sauna, or from heavy weight lifting.
And any time that you're seeing a big glucose spike in response to an activity, it's a pretty good sign that that activity is stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. And again, that's not a bad thing. Even a cup of coffee will stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and cause a surge in blood glucose, but it appears that the long-term effects of that are an increase in insulin sensitivity and an increase in glucose balance once that short transient rise in blood glucose has occurred. So, even if you don't have a heart rate variability monitor, you can just pay attention to your blood glucose anytime it spikes up. That indicates that that's probably an activity unless it's just like you're eating a cookie that indicates your sympathetic nervous system is being stressed in a certain manner. So, if you're not checking HRV and you just have a blood glucose monitor, there's that, although I don't know many people who are so geeked out that they own a blood glucose monitor that they don't also have a heart rate variability monitor. So, there's that.
Alright. Well, let's go with another question here.
Male: So, long story short, I'm planning to go back to the cage as a professional MMA fighter, and I'm going to check my blood work next month, but I checked my DHEA level and it was within a range, but it wasn't optimal because of my sleep-deprived state or whatever. And since professional MMF fighting is a World Anti-Doping Association sanction sports, so I can do the illegal DHEA supplement or cream. Is there any strategy to increase the DHEA level naturally?
Ben: Yeah. You can't use–and this is actually interesting because I know a guy in Spartan racing who wound up getting–I think he got his trophy or his winning stripped after a race because he thought he was supplementing with DHA, at least this is what he said, and he was taking DHEA, which is far different. And DHEA is actually really interesting. I actually have an article coming out soon about DHEA, and this guy named Ray Peat, who's kind of like a fringe online anti-aging guru who is very bullish on using a stack of DHEA, pregnenolone, and progesterone as what he calls like the three youth hormone stack with progesterone being the basic hormone of adaptation and resistance to stress.
Pregnenolone, being a really good precursor for progesterone, but also having a lot of youth-associated protective properties. And then, DHEA is one that recently has been studied and shown specifically in combination with something like metformin to really be something that because the declining is very significant similar to NAD with age, supplementation with DHEA like taking 25, 50 milligrams of DHEA on a daily basis seems to do a really good job putting the brakes on aging, so to speak, and just increasing vitality and libido in a pretty cool way overall. But of course, that's one of the reasons it's also banned by WADA, by USADA. They'll take you if you're doing like a UFC fight, obviously, that'd be something that would be banned for you to take.
But it's also problematic because athletes have a higher turnover of cholesterols and fatty acids. They see a steeper rise or steeper drop in DHEA levels with time. And by the time those folks are about 80, their DHEA levels are like 90% lower than what they were in young adulthood. And that's where you see a lot of the effects of things like–everything from lower libido to sarcopenia or muscle loss, to a drop in bone density. Low concentrations of DHEA are associated with like immunosenescence, with osteoporosis, with physical frailty. And so, it's a real key to longevity, but of course, it's again problematic for people who can't actually supplement with it.
Now, here's my main tip for you is that your body uses cholesterol to make DHEA. So, I mean, anytime you're eating a diet that's wide in a variety of healthy fats like coconut milk and coconut oil, and an organic grass-fed, grass-finished butter, flaxseed powder, chia seed slurries, olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, a Weston A. Price type of diet approach, that's one thing. Another one that's interesting is ashwagandha, although you need to be careful with it because a lot of–studies have shown that a lot of these Indian ayurvedic herbs tend to be tainted with things like metals and other toxins. So, you need to be careful of your source. There are some companies out there like Gaia Herbs that do good sourcing of these type of compounds.
But ashwagandha has been shown in studies to be able to naturally increase DHEA levels. There was one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled style or trial that they did where folks were taking about a 300-milligram capsule of ashwagandha a couple of times a day, and they saw a pretty significant decrease in their perceived stress scores, but then they also saw a bump up specifically in DHEA. And so, ashwagandha might be one to look into. Last I checked, that's not something that was banned. And there are some other herbs that have been looked into for DHEA. Maca is another one. And that's also just a really cool powder overall for just overall muscle gain, libido, and energy level. So, maca would be one you could add to a little smoothie.
Wild yam is something that's been looked into as a potential precursor for DHEA because it's high in something called diosgenin, which your body can turn into things like progesterone or DHEA. So, wild yam root or wild yam extract could be another one to look into. And then, finally, rhodiola, which is one of these adaptogenic herbs. That's one that's also been associated with a slight uptick in DHEA. So, you could look into some of these so-called adaptogens like ashwagandha, or maca, or rhodiola, and then also a diet that's adequate in fats and fatty acids. That's where I'd start with kind of a natural bump in DHEA. So, I hope that's helpful.
Alright, let's go ahead and take another question.
Alexander: I've been making a lot of kombucha and doing a lot of fermentation. Sometimes it gets a little moldy, sometimes you're not quite sure what's going on. I was thinking, do you think there's any possibility that a tiny bit of mold–obviously it depends what the mold is, and there's a ton of different types of mold, but is there a possibility of there being some slight hormetic response from mold, or is it all just bad, super problematic?
Ben: That's a really good question. Kombucha is something that I'm pretty careful with. For me personally, we used to make it a lot. And from a fermentation liquid standpoint, I switched to using kefir because I actually found that I was getting a lot of candida-like issues with kombucha, and like some gas and bloating. A lot of people who are histamine sensitive don't do as well with kombucha either. But the scoby that you use for kombucha is not necessarily mold per se, but can be infested by mold, like mold can infest a kombucha culture. And if that happens, the general recommendations are go back and make sure you're using cleaned, and sanitized, and sterilized equipment that might be coming in contact with your mold. You can't even salvage your scoby. If it's been infected with molds, you got to start over with like a new scoby and new starter tea.
I can put links in the shownotes because I've done previous podcasts on how to make your own kombucha. But it's something that across the board, if you listen to most folks who are making their own kombucha, or read some of these kombucha cookbooks, it pretty much destroys your kombucha, and it's a good idea to cut to toss your kombucha if it has become moldy. Now, of course, we know that there is a hormetic response to the consumption of plant-based toxins. This is why trace amounts of lectins, and gluten, and phytic acid, et cetera, might not be something that we have to completely avoid. Mold can be something I'll be a little bit more careful with just because of its ability to be able to stay in the body, particularly if biofilms are formed. And you can develop almost like a cell danger syndrome through mold and mycotoxin accumulation in the body.
And I'm not quite sure that the stress defense response or the upregulation and endogenous antioxidants, or hormetic response, or anything like that is worth the risk of cellular damage or a drop in cellular function that could occur with mold exposure. So, if it were me, I'd be pretty careful with mold. And I just don't mess around with mold quite as much. Like, I'm a little less hesitant with some of the plant-based toxins, again like gluten and lectins. Trace amounts of those I'm okay with, but I'm pretty careful with mold even if I dry age a steak because I have like a dry aging fridge out in my garage. I make sure the mold is all completely scraped off of that thing just because–it's kind of like mushrooms. Like if you're plant foraging, the one you want to be super careful with is mushrooms because that's the one that can actually kill you if you're not careful. Mold's just so problematic and takes such a long time to get out of the system. And if you are infected with mold, it's such a long process to systematically get it out of blood, GI tract, nasal passages, especially if it's in there long term and forms a biofilm, which is super tough to break down and requires a host of different herbal antimicrobial protocols. If it were me, I wouldn't consume it. I'd toss it out and start over. I don't know. What do you think, Jay?
Jay: For me, I try to be a little bit more lenient on things and not be too much of a–I don't know, food and toxin Nazi at times. But mold is one that I have to be very careful personally because I battled with mold toxicity when I was in my mid-20s. And you're right, it took me a really long time to recover from it. And I'll even notice now, like if I'm not paying attention, I'm eating some, let's say like blueberries or blackberries and there's a little bit of mold in there, and I notice it after the fact, I see that there was some in the packaging or whatever it may be. I don't know. It could be a head thing, a little bit of placebo thing, but I still feel rough off.
And so for me, kombucha is one that I stay away from. There's a couple other foods as well. Coffee is one that I watch out for. It's why I only provide the shameless plug of drink Kion for the most part because I'm really worried about what mold will do to me personally. So, I think it might just depend, too, on how Alexander feels, or how you feel, Alexander, when you drink it. However, it's again like if this stuff is continuing to build up in the body, do you want to take the risk of having it become more toxic and starting to present itself in the form of manifestation of symptoms, and then you have to get on the journey in the road of trying to recover from it, which is not fun, it's not easy, and it's not cheap. So, yeah. I'm with you there, Ben.
Ben: Yeah. And one last thing to think about here is there's some cases where there are a few moldy foods that are considered to be okay, unless you're really mold sensitive or have some pretty significant histamine reactivity. Like, the white mold you'd find in like brie or camembert cheese because of that smooth creamy texture and unique aroma. And like the blue molds that you'll see in the veins and blue cheese, which gives it like that peppery kind of umami taste, or even like a fermented soy sauce, or a fermented miso, or fermented tempeh, much of the taste and texture of those coming from mold fermentation. We could even say like penicillin, another antibiotic. Those are developed from molds as well. Some enzymes are created industrially using manufactured mold. And even like compost, for example, that we'd find in organic materials contains mold. So, there are some cases where mold has been shown to be safe. But considering that nearly every kombucha expert I've talked to has said if the scoby gets mold on it, toss it out, you got to be super careful, dictates that in a case like that, I would actually rather be safe than sorry. So, it's my counsel to you, man, is I wouldn't be sucking down moldy kombucha if it was me.
Alexander: Yeah. I'm definitely not looking to culture any mold with my kombucha actively. Just kind of curious about how serious I should be. But yeah, I hear you talking about mold and mycotoxins all the time and definitely not looking to build that up in my gut.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I'd be careful. Alright, let's go with one more question. Let's make it a good one. And then, if we have time, we will go ahead and jump into a quick giveaway.
Jay: No pressure. Make it a good one.
Adam: Hey, everyone. Thanks for taking the question. A bit tough, hoping that this is a good one. Basically, I've been following you guys for a long time and started integrating sauna practice. That said, living in an apartment building, I've had to basically rent time at local clinics here. I'm curious if you've had any experience with any of the temp saunas, bed saunas, things that someone in an apartment building could get that low EMF, low BPAs, things of that nature, or if they're even effective.
Ben: Well, yeah. I mean, there's one. I'm missing it because I gave it to my mom who's having hip pain, and she's going and laying on it after work, and just melting away her hip pain. It's an infrared sauna blanket, a low EMF infrared sauna blanket. My wife tried to convince me the last time that I got a cold to have a shot of vodka and go lay in this blanket based on some old–I don't know. What do you call it, the old wives' remedy? Is that sexist for me to say? What's it called, Jay, old wives' remedy?
Jay: It's like an old wives' tale?
Ben: Old wives' tale. I don't know. Grandma's going to tie a dead chicken around your neck, take a shot of vodka and go lay inside a sauna. Anyways though, it's made by HigherDOSE. It's really cool company. They do like infrared PEMF mats, infrared sauna blankets. I think they actually sell an infrared sauna on their website as well, but their infrared sauna blankets are one of the few like low EMF sauna blankets out there. If I put that thing up on, I think nine is the highest setting and get inside it. I'll be sweating within like 10 minutes. Like, they heat up remarkably fast.
Jay: Yeah. I can't do nine.
Ben: Yeah. I have an old video on YouTube where I took a BioMat and some of those space-age like silvery Mylar thermal blankets and wrapped three of those around the BioMat. And that also was kind of like a makeshift sauna that I could just go wrap myself up and lay inside. That actually worked pretty well also if you happen to have like a BioMat or one of these natural low EMF heating mats with some of those Mylar blankets. That works pretty well. You can also just put a bunch of clothes on. That's what I used to do. And I trained for Ironman triathlon, a bunch of non-breathable clothes, and just jam on a bicycle kind of like the old school wrestlers trying to make way and sweat out things that way.
And so, there's a few options for you. But I'd say top of the totem pole for me are those infrared sauna blankets made by HigherDOSE. Those things just–they work, they heat up super-fast, they're low EMF. And honestly, you get like this almost euphoric feeling when you get out of it. And you still get all the benefits of heat therapy. You can't obviously do yoga when you're laying inside a blanket or move around like you could inside an infrared sauna. But if you're just looking for the heat, and the sweat, and the infrared, I'd go with something like that personally. You get super-hot. I thought it was gimmicky when they first sent it to me, and I was like, “Oh, here we go. Another gimmicky pro.” But I mean, it works remarkably well. It's called HigherDOSE. That's the one I check out, man.
I think SaunaSpace has one that's kind of like that. And theirs isn't bad. I think it's very, very much focused on the light versus the heat. Their philosophy is that you get more benefits out of the light than like the deep sweat. So, you never get as hot in one of those tents. And those small ones where your head sticks out, I've done those before, like health expos and stuff like that. They actually don't work that bad. You look like a total tool when you're sitting inside it with your head popping out. But honestly, if you want to do some laptop work and have your laptop there, your head sticking out of the sauna, working a little bit with your arms out and still sweating on the inside, I mean–and there are companies, I don't know any off the top of my head, but they do those saunas where your head just pops out the top and you sit there like a little pee in a pod, and your lower body is sweating, and your head's popping out the top. So, if you've got a big enough space to at least do one of those as a halfway between a sauna blanket and a full-on sauna, those aren't a half-bad option either.
Jay: I will say, too, I just wanted to throw my two cents in there because I use both the HigherDOSE blanket sauna, as well as the Clearlight. And I do like the regular formal sauna. Obviously, it takes up more space, the Clearlight takes up more space, but I can do more functional movements in it, yoga or some kettlebell swings wherever I want to there. However, if I am looking to sweat, like if the goal is to sweat, then I get in my blanket. Like, I'm always going to sweat more and it doesn't take nearly as long. I can't believe you can sit in there with a nine for any appreciable amount of time, Ben, because I put it on like six. And for me, within about 15 to 20 minutes, I am drenched. I have to put a towel inside of that blanket because it's just so hot. So, I mean, for me, I like the blanket because it's easy, roll it up, throw it in a closet. And they're relatively inexpensive. I say that, I don't mean to rue to anybody where the pricing is, but I think it's like 500 bucks. And for a sauna, it might even be cheaper than that, I'm not sure. But for that price point, I mean, it's a hell of a product.
Ben: There's some ideas for you, Adam. And you can eat your blue steak inside your sauna. There you have it. Well, we have just enough time here as we're wrapping up to give a goodie away. So, this is the time of the show we're going to choose our top review from podcast review websites like, for example, Apple podcast. You can also leave reviews on Spotify, on the new Samsung platform, or wherever fine podcasts are found, or unfine podcasts like ours. And if you leave a review and we read your review on the show, we're going to send you a handy-dandy Ben Greenfield Fitness gear pack with a wonderful custom-made toque, which is like a beanie, Ben Greenfield Fitness workout shirt, and a BPA free water bottle, the Ben Greenfield Fitness water bottle.
And all you got to do is if you hear your review read right now, you just email [email protected]. That's G-E-A-R, [email protected], and we will send you a gear pack. You just got to email us with your shirt size. We'll make it happen. Your shirt size and your address. So, this is our sneaky way of stalking people by getting their home addresses. But anyways, Jay, what do you think? You want to take this one away?
Jay: Yeah. I've got one. I was trying to see if this individual might be in the room because that'd be pretty sweet if they were in here. We could bring him on stage and give him a round of applause. But this review, I don't see him, it comes from a J. Matthew King. And they titled their review, “The best health pod.” They said, “Ben brings awesome content and isn't afraid to delve into complex and controversial topics. Ben does all the work and research so you don't have to.” Thank you, Mr. J. Matthew King.
Ben: That's nice. All of the work and research. So, you can trust anything I say and not go to PubMed to verify at all, and you'll be off to the races if you trust me that much. But fortunately for you guys, I will put links to all the research studies and everything we talk about if you want to check to see if it's actually verifiable if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/427. The only thing you aren't going to find that's verifiable is whether or not those five Tibetan longevity rites actually do make you live until you're 150 years old like a Tibetan monk. You may have to buy that giant orange kit they wear also to make that happen. I think they wear the orange. Aren't those guys who wear the orange ones, the orange monk togas?
Jay: Yeah. I think that is, yeah. Some type of monk, yeah.
Ben: Well, in the meantime though, for all of our Clubhouse attendees, thanks for popping in. If you're listening to this podcast after it comes out, you can go find me on Clubhouse or Jay on Clubhouse and we'll always put out notes on Instagram and the Ben Greenfield Fitness newsletter and beyond whenever we're going to do one of these Q&A podcasts, which is usually about 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesdays. That's when we tend to record these podcasts. And also, if you want the shownotes, go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/427. If there are elements of this podcast that you think could be improved, or the Clubhouse Q&A that you think could be improved from a technical, or production, or restructuring standpoint, we are always open to your feedback. We rely on you to help make this podcast better.
So, again, just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/427. And leave your comments there if you have any criticism or helpful anecdotes for us. And finally, make sure that you take off your shoes when you go into your house unless you want to have the immune system of wolverine. In which case, wear your duty shoes around the house, eat steak that's colored the way steak is supposed to be, engage in a little food insecurity and intermittent fasting here and there, and live a long, healthy, and productive life as I think someone said on Star Trek way back in the day in some way. Do you remember what the Star Trek guy said?
Jay: That is something I have like zero percent–
Ben: I think it was live long and be healthy, but I'm not sure.
Jay: Live long and prosper.
Ben: That's right.
Jay: Yeah. I don't know that much.
Ben: That's right, that's right. Alright, folks. Live long and prosper. That's our new tagline. Now, that's cool again. Over and out, I'm going to leave this room quietly.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
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News Flashes – Follow Ben on Twitter for more…08:15
- Could coloring our steaks blue help reduce the world’s insatiable demand for meat?…11:20
- Related to podcast Q&A424, in which I mentioned: Am I the only one who thinks this is CRAZY?… a proposal to give us patches that make us allergic to meat and smart drugs that make us want to have fewer babies, all for “climate change” management
- Blue light blocking glasses reduce the palatability of food
- A microbe enhanced carpet? Couldn't we just all wear our dirty shoes around the house?…20:22
- Food insecurity, intermittent fasting, and exercise are all ways to grow new neural pathways. Basically, your brain gets smarter to get better at surviving and hunting down calories…24:15
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Exercises to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems…42:40
Blair asks: What kind of exercises provide the preferred balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems?
In my response, I recommend:
Natural ways to boost DHEA…52:40
Q: I'm considering returning to the cage as a professional MMA fighter. What are some natural ways I can raise my DHEA levels without using banned substances?
In my response, I recommend:
- Ray Peat
- Sabbath Ramblings: Energy
- Body uses cholesterol to make DHEA
- Healthy fats diet to increase DHEA
- Wild yams potential precursor to DHEA
Is mold in kombucha a good thing?…58:30
Alexander asks: Is there a possibility a tiny bit of mold in kombucha can cause a slight hormetic response in the body?
In my response, I recommend:
- Kefir over kombucha
- Scoby is not mold but can be infested with mold
- Kombucha podcasts:
- Hormetic response to plant-based toxins
Sauna use in an apartment…1:05:40
Adam asks: Do you have any experience with temp or bedside saunas for use in apartments?
In my response, I recommend: