October 17, 2019
[00:00:49] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:14] Episode and Guest Introduction
[00:05:44] Why Ben Wrote “Boundless”
[00:10:40] Who the book is for?
[00:15:26] Why Ben wrote the book the way he did and how a reader should go about consuming it
[00:20:35] Training and Diet Plans in “Boundless”
[00:32:09] Podcast Sponsors
[00:34:22] A Brief Overview on Anti-Aging and Longevity
[00:45:56] Ben's Approach to Weight Loss
[00:53:06] The Best Way to Read and Consume the Book
[00:57:58] Hacks for The Brain Found in Boundless
[01:06:20] New Hacks for Travel
[01:17:32] Tips for Immune System Health
[01:22:12] More About “Boundless”
[01:27:18] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast…
I want this to be a book that is the kind of book I want to read, fully comprehensive and not leave you feeling as though there's a whole bunch of other work you need to dive into to actually figure things out. I mean, you have to tackle the immune system, the cardiovascular system, the musculoskeletal system, mitochondrial degradation, your telomeres. It's hard to crush the rest of life when the computer at the top of your head isn't working properly.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Alright, folks. This is it. My buddy, Angelo, has put me in the hot seat for today's interview, and we're going into all things boundless, straight from my brand-new book at boundlessbook.com. Everything that you hear in today's shownotes you can grab over at–everything that you hear in today's podcast you can grab in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/boundlesspodcast. You got to get the book, I dare you, boundlessbook.com.
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Well, folks, this is really, really awkward for me because I'm on my own podcast, but I'm about to completely reverse roles. Meaning that I'm going to get put in the hot seat by somebody you may be familiar with if you have been a longtime listener to the show. My partner in crime, my co-founder at Kion, and the beatboxing madman genius himself, Angelo Keely, is on this call with me and we are going to be chatting all things boundless, had a boundless energy all day every day. And I have this new book that I just wrote. Angelo has a bunch of questions for me about it. We figured it'd be cool to not only give you a bunch of the extra tips and tricks and hacks that are in this book so that during this show itself, you can learn a bunch of the stuff that I've woven in there about immunity, about anti-aging, muscle gain, fat loss, like prepare to feed through the firehose today and a lot of that stuff, but also get into why I even wrote this book, and who it's for, and how you might be able to benefit from it.
So, I suppose, Angelo, I should just shut up and let you take this away as the–I don't know. Are you going to do like the Terry Gross on Fresh Air thing?
Angelo: Yeah, man. This is like my show now, so yeah.
Ben: Yeah. Ssh, be quiet. This is going to be like NPR.
Angelo: No, I don't think quite like that. That's not quite my style. Although I did. I grew up with NPR parents, so I listened to a lot of Terry Gross growing up.
Angelo: Yeah, I did. I really did. Every day, actually.
Ben: That explains a lot.
Angelo: It does explain a lot, right? It's weird. It's weird that I didn't end up nerdier than you.
Ben: You seem like an NPR and like a public TV guy. What was it called? What was the station that has Mr. Rogers, and Sesame Street, and all that?
Angelo: PBS, man, PBS.
Ben: Yeah, PBS. You seem like an MPR, PBS kind of kid.
Angelo: Yeah. I mean, now I try to stay away from the news, TV in general, but I did–that was–we did not have cable, we had four stations, and the one that I was allowed to watch was PBS. So, you nailed me.
Ben: Well, that explains why you live in Boulder. You wear Mr. Rogers' sweaters and you speak with a very soft soothing NPR style voice.
Angelo: Thanks, Ben. I'll take that as a compliment. But enough about me. For real, man, let's get into you. Let's get into this book. I've been eagerly anticipating doing this interview with you. I'm one of the few people that has the early manuscript, took it to FedEx and got it printed. It's like hundreds and hundreds of pages in this gigantic white binder.
Ben: I was going to say how many trees did you kill doing that?
Angelo: I'm like an old school reader, man. I like it in paper, but for sure when they handed it over to me, I could tell they're like, “What is this guy?” Because someone had to print it and put it in the binder. They're looking at the chapter names and stuff. It's an odd thing. I mean, you let into it with your intro, but for real like, why write this book? You already wrote a killer book. I mean, wrote many awesome books, but “Beyond Training,” New York Times bestseller, really like a breakthrough book. Why write another one?
Ben: Why not just slip quietly into retirement in my little home in the wilderness and just go Unabomber style hole up and leave the world behind? Well, first of all, you are lucky that you got the relatively completed manuscript because I've been working on this book, which by the way is called “Boundless.” And I think we're making shownotes for you guys if you're listening at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/boundless podcast, if you want to access the shownotes, if you want to pre-order the book, anything like that. But your local FedEx could have been even more shocked and awed because this when I turn in the original manuscript of victory about, was over 1,000 pages.
I mean, I have been writing and writing, and researching, and accumulating a lot of these conversations I've been having in podcasts. And when I travel, and when I spend the first couple hours in the last hour of my day reading and going through research, kind of like accumulating all this and writing behind the scenes, a book that frankly, I really have always wanted to write and a book that I've always really wanted to read. Meaning that what I wanted was a massive tome, a complete blueprint on brain optimization, on body optimization, and on spiritual optimization, which is why the subtitle of this book is what's called “Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize your Body, and Defy Aging.” And that's what it really covers is everything from the secrets of the Blue Zones, and these longevity hotspots, to muscle gain, fat loss, immune system, and then a ton about the mind, blood flow to the brain, mold, mycotoxins, fats, just basically soup to nuts blueprint on the human body that we all own. And beyond that, the brain, and then, of course, the area that's often neglected, I find, in a lot of the fitness world, in the wellness world, especially the whole soul and spirituality component.
So, the reason this is different than “Beyond Training” is that I wrote “Beyond Training” because when I was competing in, at that time, Ironman Triathlon, I realized I was healthy on the outside but dying on the inside. Meaning I had the high inflammation, and pre-type 2 diabetes, and massively thrown off cortisol levels, and all these issues that made me realize that, especially for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, there's a lot that goes, as the title of that book alludes to, beyond just training.
And so, in that book, I got into things like digestion, and hormone balance, and proper recovery parameters. But that book was largely body focused. It was largely how to fix a lot of the issues that athletes face. But it didn't get into a lot of the cognition, brain, mind component. It didn't get into a lot of the spirituality component. It nowhere near addressed anything related to anti-aging and longevity, which has been a research I've been just researching every single day for the past couple of years. And there's also been in the–I believe it's what, six years since that book came out. Let's face it, there's a lot of new biohacks, and strategies, and research that have come out that required me to either completely update that book or move on and write something even more comprehensive, which is why I wrote “Boundless.”
Angelo: So, picking up on that thread about–“Beyond Training” definitely had more of this body in this performance focus. It was clear to me in reading it originally, it would really help someone who was interested in performing in endurance racing and other similar types of activities, as well as for a more general public, but it really had that focus. Who is “Boundless” for? Other than, obviously, like you're writing it for yourself, and I think for your family, and the people you care about, who's this book for?
Ben: Well, you're right. “Beyond Training” did have a little bit of a bent. It did have a little bit of a focus on the athlete, particularly like the endurance athlete, cyclist, swimmer, runner. I include a lot of like the CrossFitter as the hard-charging fitness enthusiast, et cetera, in that book. But I wanted this book to be written to give people the ideal combination of health span and lifespan, whether they're interested in extreme fitness, or competition, or not. Meaning that my goal for this book was to give anybody the ability to, once they get through this entire book, which really is like a cookbook for every single section of the body, mind, body and spirit, the ability to just have optimal energy all day long, which is why as I got towards the end of writing this book, which is when I actually began to settle upon a title, decided to call it “Boundless” because the idea is that 99% of the people on this planet, they aren't like Rocky Balboa, or Vin Diesel, or Mat Fraser of CrossFit, or Serena Williams, or Lara Croft, or any of these folks who are just like extreme hard-charging icons of fitness or of performance in pop culture.
And a lot of people will never fit into that category of being like those fringe unrealistic examples of a largely unattainable physique. And most people I know, most people I talk to increasing these days, they don't want to be Rocky. They don't want to be on the cover of some fitness magazine, and I don't think they need to be or that's healthy to be. So, the ultimate message behind this book is energy, right? If I were able to give you the power to have optimal boundless energy all day every day until it was time to go to bed, that would be a pretty cool gift. So, that's why I wrote this book, and I wrote it based on everything I've personally had to struggle with in my life, or that I've had helped clients through, or issues I've helped people through on podcasts and beyond.
I've had horrible gut issues I've had to fix from bloating to gas, to constipation, to parasites. I've had a ton of different injuries and a lot more aches and pains, especially as I age. I've tried out just about every diet on the face of the planet from carnivore to keto to vegan, and I've struggled. I've struggled with brain fog in the afternoon. I've struggled with insomnia and sleep issues, especially when I travel. And I've even had to fight, and this is something that I really get into in the latter half of the book, things like loneliness, in feeling disconnected in my relationships and with my community. I've had to struggle with sadness. I've had to struggle with what I sometimes wonder it is–could it be depression or something like that, and just had to dig into a lot of the shit that I've learned from being in the trenches in real life trying to fix myself or trying to help other people.
And because of that kind of combined with my–just the curiosity I've had ever since I was a kid, about all things health and physical culture, and wellness, and human optimization-related topics. I've just woven all that into this book and just split it into several sections on mind, several sections on body, several sections on spirit. Like I mentioned, when I turned it in, it was over 1,000 pages long, the manuscript, and we cut it down to 608 pages. So, this is not a small book. Hardcover like big coffee table kind of conversation piece, granted, it's not one of those flash in the pan paperback, buy it at the airport bookstore kind of books because I–like all the big New York publishers, they wanted me to dumb it down, they wanted me to get rid of way too much content.
Again, I want this to be a book that is the kind of book I want to read, like fully comprehensive, lots of beautiful illustrations and diagrams, and not leave you feeling as though there's a whole bunch of other work you need to dive into to actually figure things out. I wanted this to be, not to offend Tim Ferriss, for example, but almost like a modern really comprehensive version of The 4-Hour Body. I think it's been like almost a decade since that book was written. This is a similar feel I guess in terms of it basically being a cookbook for the human-machine.
Angelo: Yeah. One of the things I noticed just looking at the manuscript, obviously it's not done, there's not all the designs, but the format of it is unique to me and that it's got like your typical Ben Greenfield prose. The writing is just really informal. It feels like you. It feels like a person talking to me. It's not something like boring encyclopedic crap. Yet then you dive so deep into stuff and I feel like I'm really learning about the details of something. And then it pops out at the end and there's really easy synthesized summaries, and then tips on what I can do immediately to implement this stuff. I guess like, why do it that way? I mean, I loved it, but is that like what you think? Is there a way that people should be reading the book that you imagine they're going to use it, and why do it in that way?
Ben: When I think about the person who's going to read this book–and by the way, for those of you listening in, I want this to sound like some big long commercial. We're going to get into some of the really practical takeaways and I want to give you guys a bunch of previews in this podcast of some of the big gold nuggets from the book that you can just go and use right away. But before we do that, I like for everything I read for me to be able to say, “Okay, is there a PubMed study to back that up? Is there a good observational data even if it's large-scale observational data and not a human clinical study per se to back that up? Is this a blend of not just time in the trenches and experience but also science?”
And so because of that, I had two full-time research assistants working with me on the book. We have thousands and thousands of references, everything that was cut from the book, like the 400 plus pages that aren't in the printed book are all on the website for the book that everybody who buys the book gets access to. So, all that hidden behind-the-scenes stuff, it still exists. It still will be part of the book for people who get it. We created this massive webpage for every single chapter with all the podcasts, all the books, all the resources for people who do want to take a deeper dive.
But that's the kind of book that I want to read. I like the whole idea. I've talked before about how I read a book a day. I'll sail through a lot of books, but frankly, this is a book that's more of a treasure. It's more of something like if somebody gets this, let's say, for their birthday or it's coming out in January, so let's say somebody gets it as a New Year's gift, whatever, it's the kind of thing that they're going to be able to explore for months and months in terms of just delving into every little nook and cranny that I have in the book, starting off with the sections on brain, fixing your brain, mold, mycotoxins, cortisol, breathwork, how to fuel cognition, smart drugs. There's a big section on psychedelics, on nootropics, and then everything that goes into muscle gain, fat loss, sleep optimization, cleaning up the gut. There's a whole section on maintaining the ideal body as you age, how to recover faster. And then it gets into gratitude, into longevity. There's even a whole section on building–I guess the best way to describe it would be like a beautiful person, right? Like, how to maximize symmetry and beauty in yourself and in your children.
And so it really was one of those deals where so many nooks and crannies that I wanted to dive into in the book that–I had to write it from my own personal experience, but I also had to write it with a real bent on research and making sure every single statement in the book is able to be verified as far as credibility behind that claim. I mean, that's why it's taken me three freaking years to work on this thing. That's why I think a lot of, like I mentioned, like big New York publishing houses who write this stereotypical flash in the pan fatty fitness book just wouldn't look at this thing when I came back and said, “Yow, I want all of this included,” and they pushed back. And ultimately, I wound up going through the same publisher who did “Beyond Training.” So, we're able to do the audiobook version. We've got a full Kindle version. We've got the full big beautiful hardcover version. I mean, I'm excited about it. I've been working my butt off for the past several years on this thing. So, I'm very excited that it's now a reality.
Angelo: Yeah. And not to talk too much inside baseball on this, but just as being your partner in Kion, from my perspective, and I tend to be more like the business guy, I'm like, “You know, yeah, why not make a smaller book, like the 200-page book that other publishers want?” I was initially doubtful and now super grateful about how hard you fought to write the book that you wanted to write, and not write the book that publishers necessarily wanted you to write, or to write book agent wanted you to write because it's just–I can already tell, man, it's going to be such an awesome book. So, anyway, enough about all that. Let's jump into it. I think as anyone who follows the podcast religiously and reads the blog, like they're staying up to date on all the cool new stuff you find, what's in the book that we might not already know about? What are some new tips?
Ben: Oh, yeah. I've got some good stuff. Now, before I delve into that, I did want to know, because people have already been asking me this, they're like, “Does this book actually include plans? Does it have the boundless diet? Or does it have the boundless training plan?” Short answer for the training plan is yes. So, what I did was I designed based on all the concepts that are in the book basically a beginner plan. And the whole idea behind that training plan is it's designed to give maximum fitness with the complete minimum effective dose of exercise. So, what I wove into that plan was all the instructions for my own personal mobility routine and movement routine that I do each morning, all the practical tips to weave, low-level physical activity throughout the day.
And then basically, for example, for that routine on a Monday, you get up, you do your 15 minutes of mobility, you work your low-level physical activity in throughout the day. And then there's a super slow strength training program that you do in the late afternoon or the early evening to prime the carbohydrate pumps prior to dinner, about three hours prior to bedtime. It's an 18 to 20-minute strength training routine, and it walks you through that entire routine, push, pull core, everything. And then the only other component on Monday for that beginner plan is you do a hot-cold contrast shower, based on the research from Ray Cronise that shows that 20 seconds of cold, 10 seconds of hot, 10 times through, 1 to 2 times a day. Even in the absence of an exercise or a nutrition plan results in a steep increase in fat loss along with the nitric oxide production and stabilization of nerve system function like the vagus nerve, et cetera.
So, that's, for example, what the beginner program looks like. And then on that same day, if you're doing the intermediate version of that plan, you also have a sauna session on that day. Like before or after the super slow routine or at a different time of the day, there's a breathwork routine that you do in the sauna. It gives you all the instructions for how to finish it up again with the cold water, or the cold soak, or the cold water swim. And then if you're doing the advanced version, basically it's very similar. You have the super slow routine, you have the morning mobility, movement throughout the day, you have the sauna session.
But then the advanced routine, I work in a lot of the biohacks, a lot of the stuff that the advanced people want to do. Like on that day, for 20 to 60 minutes at some point during the day, you're actually wearing like cold thermogenesis gear. That's your task on that day. And I give instructions on how to get what's called a cool fat burner or a cool gut buster. And then the other thing that you do with that routine is in your last 20 minutes in the sauna, I've got a full holotropic breathwork routine, like a mini holotropic breathwork routine that you do in the sauna to basically give you this big DMT release, whether it's in the morning or in the evening that you do the sauna.
So, I build the training program from the complete beginner who just wants minimal effective dose of exercise, the intermediate who wants to do a little bit more and throw in a few extra challenges, and then the advanced where it gets like kind of woo-woo. You're doing like cold thermogenesis gear while you're at work, and holotropic breathwork, and just like–not to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but this is for the person who wants to be the Ben Greenfield, who wants to just do all the crazy bit that I do during the day. And then I rinse, wash, and repeat, like I write out the exact routine like I just described for Monday, for Tuesday, for Wednesday, so on and so forth. That's the exercise plan, and yeah, it actually is the boundless workout plan.
But then I also have a diet plan that is not necessarily the perfect diet plan for everyone. It's not like I could come up with the boundless diet. And as you probably know, Angelo, because we've talked about this before, there's no one diet that's perfect for everybody. I mean, I have a whole chapter in the book about how to test your gut, how to test your blood, how to test your saliva, all the different genetic markers to look at if you want to get that deep into the self-quantification. In every single plan, like if we look at a lot of these Blue Zones, for example, or people who are eating healthy diets, every diet, regardless of its macronutrient ratio or what kind of foods are included in it, they all have similar characteristics when it comes to their efficacy. Like, almost every single one incorporates regular periods of intermittent fasting. Usually, somewhere between like 10 and 14 hours for women, 12 to 16 hours for guys.
Every diet has a low amount of inflammation and a lot of control over glycemic variability or how much blood glucose goes up and down during the day. Every single diet has some periods of fasting, some periods of feasting, right, some days where you have a lot of calories and carbohydrates, other days where there's not as many. Every diet has some element of detoxification worked in at some point throughout the year. Aside from some of the carnivore instructions that I have on the plan, there's a wide variety of multicolored plants and herbs and spices, a lot of the foods that are all organic and wild and non-GMO.
And that all being said, what I decided to do for “Boundless” was to basically take all the different plans that I tend to recommend to the clients that I work with for their specific scenario and weave in all the nitty-gritty instructions for each of those plans in the book. So, what I mean by that is the beginner section of the meal plan section basically has all the practical instructions, the meal plans, the recipes, and also what type of person would fit into the category, meaning, based on symptoms, based on blood work, based on labs, based on goals, all of that. So, in the beginner section, you start off with some kind of a clean-up protocol. Meaning, it's–well, it is specifically you're either following the autoimmune paleo diet, the specific carbohydrate diet, the GAPS diet, which stands for gut and psychology syndrome, a cleanse diet like an Ayurvedic cleanse diet, or what's called an elemental diet which is almost more like a liquid smoothie-based diet designed for things like SIBO and gut bacterial overgrowth.
And I walk people through in the beginner section how to choose which of those diets they're going to follow to get the initial jumpstart for their body. It took a long time to put this together because I had to hunt down all the blood work, all the genetic markers, all the stool panels, all the urine panels, like everything that would go into someone choosing whether or not that was the diet they're going to start with based on what they need to clean up in their body on that path to beginning down towards boundless energy. And then it gets into the intermediate section of the diet where you get to choose between some different forms of super clean eating that are still somewhat limited, but that allows you to progress from that beginner section.
And so what I lay out for that are instructions for what's called the Wahls protocol, which is kind of like a plant-rich low immune protocol; the plant paradox diet, which is designed for people who have some gut issues, you need to clean out some of the natural plant defense mechanisms in vegetable-based foods; and then the low-carb Mediterranean diet. And so those are the three different diets that I lay out in the intermediate section. Again, walking people through how to choose which diet they're going to progress towards on that based on their genetics, their blood work, their stool panel, their urine, and basically know, “Okay. Well, when I pick this diet book up off the shelves, this is the one that's actually going to work for me based on me.”
And then finally, there's the more advanced dietary protocols that people progress into at the end of their journey where they get to choose between what's called a Weston A. Price protocol, which is a lot of like raw dairy, fermented foods, natural healthy organic meats, et cetera, a paleo diet which is very similar but in the absence of grains and dairy, and then what's called an ancestral diet where it's very, very genetically driven, and this would be for the people who know their genes to the T and want to eat exactly what their ancestors ate based on their specific genetic SNPs. And then aside from that, I simply have the travel diets. For people who are traveling, you just need something super simple on the go.
So, ultimately, it took–I mean, as you can imagine, that section alone took me months and months to gather all the different blood work for each diet, like how to choose which diet would be perfect for you. So, even though I don't have a boundless diet per se, what I've done is taking the best of the best diets that I tend to give to my clients. And even if people weren't able to hire me to coach them or hire me to help them decide which nutrition plan is the one they should follow, if they have this book, then all they need to do is open up to the diet section and they'll see exactly how to do that.
Angelo: I don't mean for this to be a dumb question, but how exactly does that work? I mean, I'm super intrigued by the way you just broke it down because it is confusing all these different dietary options. I know myself and many others want to do the self-quantification stuff and then figure it out. How do you walk through it in the book? What's the experience for a reader? Do I need to get the blood work done first so I can just kind of –?
Ben: There's a table for each diet that you–the table is partially symptom-based to where you can say, “Okay. My gut hurts. I don't do well with dairy and gluten. I like to eat plants and my ancestors came from Mexico,” or whatever, right? And so you're basically going to be put on the ancestral version of a diet that's also relatively low in a lot of the natural plant defense mechanisms. But then there are also options where you can literally pull up your genetic SNPs, you can look at your blood work, say like your levels of vitamin D or whether your thyroid hormones are low or high, which food allergy panels you came back positive or negative for and you can literally say, “Okay. This is the diet book that I need to read. This is the diet that I need to follow.”
And trust me, I could have made a lot of money by just making the boundless diet and the boundless cookbook, but I've always said on my podcast the reason I haven't written diet book is because it's–everybody in the fitness industry knows it's a fast track to make a lot of money. But unfortunately, 75% of the people who buy your diet book are following your diet when it's not the diet that's set up to be proper for them. So, I decided to decipher and decode all the diets out there that I currently use with my clients, that I currently go through with my clients looking over all their self-quantification data and deciding which diet category they're going to fit into. And I instead, basically, just teach people how to fish in the diet section of the book. I teach them how to take their own data, their own needs, their own limitations, and then take that forward and choose the diet that's right for them selecting from the 11 different diet options that I have in the book. So, again, it's super comprehensive, but that's the kind of book that I wanted to read was a book that teaches you how to figure out what's going to be right for you rather than just prescribing you a one-size-fits-all approach.
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Angelo: I guess like nice job making tons of enemies in the whole diet world now for me. I'm excited for that.
Ben: Well, I already made [00:34:30] _____ all the NPR and PBS people already hit me, so might as well attack the fitness community next. But I mean, if you want to, I can get into some of the little gold nuggets from the book too if people want to know, because I have some specific stuff like in the anti-aging, longevity world, in the fat loss realm. I know we're in cold and flu season right now, so this is some pretty good immunity hack, some jet lag hacks. I get a lot of questions about peptides. So, there's stuff I can get into if you want.
Angelo: Yeah, man. Let's jump into the new stuff, the cool stuff, the things that are maybe immediately applicable for people. Any and all of those, man, like what's most interesting to you?
Ben: Okay. Let's see. I think one thing that's very interesting that I could start with is from the anti-aging chapter. So, the anti-aging chapter is almost 200 pages. It's essentially a book in and of itself on everything from peptides to stem cells to different forms of NAD, basically every last molecule up to this date, including some of the future of things like cellular reprogramming and some of these things that are coming up behind the scenes. I wove that all into the anti-aging chapter. So, one thing that I'm a big fan of right now are called STACs. Have you ever heard of STACs?
Angelo: Yup, but what's the point?
Ben: You have heard of STACs? Okay.
Angelo: I have heard of because I listen to Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcasts.
Ben: Okay. So, a lot of people hear STACs. They think I'm talking about supplement STACs. That's all I'm talking about. I'm talking about STACs, S-T-A-C-S. So, this stands for sirtuin —
Angelo: Oh no, I don't know. I don't know.
Ben: Yes, sirtuin-activating compounds. Most of us heard about NAD by now, but these are all the enzymes that use NAD to remove specific chemicals from proteins via process that directly extends your lifespan. So, what STACs are, so it stands for sirtuin-activating compounds, they affect sirtuins, and sirtuins are what directly act on DNA. They remove what are called acetyl groups from DNA. And that process enhances your genetic expression in a way that directly increases lifespan by improving the formation of proteins, improving the folding of proteins, decreasing the rate at which telomeres break down, decreasing the propensity for DNA mutations to express, et cetera.
And there are specific research-based STAC foods and STAC supplements that achieve this best. And so what sirtuins are going to affect would be like your circadian rhythm, your mitochondrial density, your inflammation, your stress resistance, your energy efficiency. And they also interestingly act as what are called calorie restriction mimetics. Meaning, they mimic what the life-extending properties of caloric restriction would produce without you necessarily having to be like cold and hungry and libidoless all year long.
So, there are some very interesting STACs, but one, for example, that I talked about in the book is a newly researched one that I've actually been adding in the form of wild strawberry powder extract to my morning smoothie. So, it's called, fisetin, F-I-S-E-T-I-N. So, fisetin is this plant polyphenol, and you can find it in teas, you can find it in wines. It's actually pretty high in that pomegranate juice extract. But unfortunately, the pomegranate juice extract is very high in added sugars as well. I think it's got like 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates per serving. But you can also find it, like these tiny little tart low sugar wild strawberries are jam-packed with fisetin.
And the cool thing about fisetin is it's also what's called a senolytic. So, you hear a lot of people not talking about these so-called zombie cells or these senescent cells that tend to accumulate as you age. And fisetin actually reduces the development of those cells as well. So, it's acting on two different fronts to extend lifespan. And all you have to do is just basically buy wild strawberry powder. You can get this off at Amazon. Blueberry powder can also work really well. Fresh organic blueberries, fresh organic strawberries, they're okay even though you're going to get more of the fructose and the sugar out of that versus the densely concentrated powder.
But basically, what you can do is just add this to a morning smoothie. And if you're not like a fruit-forward person and you're into the fruits, you can get some of the same STAC effects from some things that people might be familiar with, like dark cacao powder or cacao nibs, those are STACs. Curcumin powder that you can add to your cooking throughout the day, that's a STAC. Green tea extract like a matcha green tea or some really good high-quality organic green tea leaves, those are STACs. Even wine, like wine that's been stressed, meaning the grape has been grown without a lot of water, it's preferably have been grown in an organic environment, hasn't been bred for really high sugar content, but instead has been exposed to a much harder environment like a European low sugar wine that's like a dry irrigation kind of wine, all of those are much higher in resveratrol, which is also a STAC-based compound.
But top of the totem pole as far as actual fisetin content is wild strawberry powder. That's like a little anti-aging hack that's super flavorful. You can easily add it to a smoothie. Even kids like it, but that's one thing that I include in the book as a recommendation in the anti-aging section. It's a really, really good one to include just based on the host of research behind these sirtuin-activating compounds and these so called senolytics that reduce the formation of these senescent cells.
Angelo: It's like how much of that strawberry powder would you put in a smoothie, and how much could you consume per day safely and wisely?
Ben: Yeah. Dosage is about a heaping tablespoon.
Angelo: Yeah. And that's assuming like you're also including some of the other little things that are in the book, like curcumin and quercetin and some of the–like I have a whole anti-aging smoothie recipe in the book where–for people who are following the more advanced protocol, and again want to take like the Ben Greenfield route, there's a dozen different things that you can buy and just toss into a blender in the morning. Because I'm all about killing two birds with one stone and not spending your whole day in your supplements pantry figuring out when to take what, it's just like I'd give you instructions for how to get this stuff and just dump it in your morning smoothie. And then I've also got a recipe for a specialty or a powder that you drink at night that increases your cellular autophagy or your cellular cleanup as you sleep.
Basically, I learned about this specific recipe from Dr. Mercola. And I do this in the book, like I weave in a lot of the stuff I've learned from different physicians, and researchers, and authors, and podcast guests that I've had. And for that one, you blend all the best things that upregulate the benefits of an overnight fast and cause your body to clean up cellular junk even faster while you sleep. So, these are things like–well, the powder that you would actually take before bed at night, and I keep this in a glass mason jar in my pantry, is quercetin, which is actually very similar to the fisetin that I just talked about, just a slightly different molecule.
And then also, Pau D'arco powder, which is the bark of a tree that will also increase your NAD production while you sleep. You're enhancing your mitochondrial health and your antioxidant while you sleep. Then something called Garcinia, and then glycine, and then chamomile. And those five components; quercetin, glycine, Pau D'arco, Garcinia, and chamomile are all things that specifically increase cellular autophagy or full-body cellular clean up while you're asleep. So, it's essentially like you're fasting on steroids when you're sleeping if you take some of this stuff right before you go to bed at night. And the cool part is the chamomile helps wind you down as well and helps you to sleep better.
Angelo: I mean, just getting to the practical matters of that. Again, you just named all these things. How do I know how much to take of each one? Do you break it down?
Ben: Yeah. I'd tell you the exact breakdown. So, essentially for that one, it's like a teaspoon of quercetin and a half teaspoon of Garcinia, and a teaspoon of the Pau D'arco. But what I do is I just put it all in a glass mason jar in the exact ratio or amount. So, I'm not measuring all this out. I'm just taking about a couple tablespoons of what's already mixed together in the jar in my pantry. I tried to think ahead and include some of this practical stuff in the book for people to. But I mean honestly, I don't want to give people the impression like the entire thing is all about supplements that you can buy. I could tell you about some of the–like the fat loss stuff, too. I have my whole protocol for staying lean the entire year, if you want to hear that one.
Angelo: Yeah. Just before the fat loss thing, you mentioned quickly that there's 200 pages just on anti-aging and longevity. Why so much? Is it because there are so many different components of anti-aging or longevity? Is it because there's a lot of tips in there? What makes it so dense?
Ben: It is because when you look at all the different pathologies and different physiological mechanisms that need to be addressed to really increase lifespan but ensure that quality of life is increased simultaneously, I mean, you have to tackle the immune system, the cardiovascular system, the musculoskeletal system, mitochondrial degradation, your telomeres, your thymus gland, and T killer cell production. There's so many different areas that you have to address that anti-aging becomes very multimodal. It becomes very multifactorial.
So, yeah, you need to address your sirtuin-activating compounds that I just talked about, but you also have to address things that will affect the NAD pathway. You have to address things that will cause mitochondrial biogenesis. You have to address things that will increase your stem cell mobilization and your stem cell proliferation. You have to address things that will directly impact the intracellular membrane and the amount of inflammation that occurs there due to the free radicals that are produced as you're shuttling hydrogens back and forth across that membrane to produce ATP.
There's all these different areas that you have to address. And so by the time I finished that chapter, finished researching everything in that chapter, well, finished that chapter like a year and a half ago, and then continued to annoy my editor by writing and be like, “Oh, we got to add this and we got to add this, and hey, this PubMed study just came out.” By the time it's all said and done, yeah, that anti-aging and longevity chapter morphed into almost like a book within a book. Yeah. And it's a personal passion of mine too, like how can we live longer, be around and hang out with our grandkids, and also be able to perhaps tackle them in a game of backyard football too? Because we're actually functional and full of life at that age.
Angelo: Cool, man. Alright. Well, yeah, so break down the fat stuff now. What are the tips on weight loss?
Ben: Okay. Alright. Again, I'm going to sound like I'm tooting my own horn here, but I take pride in keeping myself pretty lean year-round. Part of that is esthetics. I'm in the fitness industry. I have my six-pack abs, yadda-yadda-yadda. But I also know that there's a lot of benefit in terms of reducing the amount of visceral fat that you have, reducing the amount of inflammatory molecule producing adipose tissue that you have. And then a lot of people do want to be able to take off their shirt at the beach or put on their swimsuit for swimsuit season or whatever and actually look good, look the way that they want to look, have the body that they desire.
So, there's basically three separate steps I get into the book. So, one is the idea of the morning routine that I do 365 days a year. So, what it starts off with is aerobic conversational cardio in a fasted state. So, again, if you're a woman, typically the ideal window for fasting is somewhere in the range of about 10 to 12 hours; for guys, it's about 12 to 16 hours. That would be your overnight fast. So, for women, whatever, you're finishing your last meal at 8:00 p.m. and getting up in the morning and your first breakfast will occur at, let's say, 8:00 a.m. But at some point during that window, you're doing cardio in your maximum fat-burning zone.
And so what I do in the book is I include instructions for how to find out what that fat-burning zone is. And essentially, it's very simple. You go to a gym or, whatever, the bicycle that's in your garage or your basement, and you warm-up for about five minutes. And then for the next 20 minutes, you exercise at your maximum sustainable pace. Meaning, the pace at which your muscles are burning, and you're breathing hard, you feel that burn which is the lactic acid, but you're not slowing down. It's not so hard that your legs are turning into rubber and you can't even turn the pedals anymore. I like to recommend that folks state an RPM or like a revolutions per minute on the bike of about 90 if you actually have a computer on the bike that'll tell you how fast you're pedaling.
Now, that's not what you do every morning in the fasted state. This is how you can find your fat burning heart rate. So, you've done that and the whole time you're measuring your heart rate, right, and you're trying to keep your heart rate at a steady pace where it's not dropping and it's not increasing. For example, for me, that heart rate at which I can maintain my maximum sustainable pace is about 170 beats per minute. Now, in exercise physiology, that's called your anaerobic threshold. It's also known as your lactate threshold. You can measure it with a blood lactate meter, but a lot of people don't have those around. They're a little bit clunky to use, and so it's better to just go with a qualitative measurement of maximum sustainable pace, muscles are burning, breathing hard, but you're not slowing down and your heart rate isn't jumping over very much. Your heart rate is stabilized, which is also I like that five-minute warm-up before you start that 20 minutes of maximum sustainable pace.
Now, you take your heart rate during that 20 minutes. And again, for me, it stabilizes at about 170. And then you subtract 20 beats. And based on exercise physiology measurements, when you subtract 20 beats from that anaerobic threshold, you're very close to what an exercise physiology laboratory would identify as your maximum fat burning heart rate, your aerobic threshold. So, not your anaerobic threshold, but your aerobic threshold. So, again, for me, we take 170 minus 20, and that's 150.
Now, once I've got that heart rate of 150, what I like to do is give myself a range of about plus or minus 5 beats, right? So, my fat burning range is 145 to 155. So, now, I know when I get up in the morning in my fasted state, I can go out and I can move doing whatever, swimming, walking, easy bike ride, hike, whatever, at about 145 to 155 beats per minute, which for me is like an aerobic conversational pace. You can still talk during that pace. It's not so hard that there's like this barrier to entry of waking up in the morning and having to eat the frog and really crush it. It's actually doable for most people to just like roll out of bed in the morning, do their morning routine. And once you had your coffee and taken your poo or whatever is you're going to do, you just go out and you spend 20 minutes. Some people will go up to 60 minutes. I think that's overdoing it. I think it makes you too hungry and you wind up overeating breakfast and all the stuff that goes along with going too hard in the morning.
I like 20 to 30 minutes as a sweet spot, and you just basically do this aerobic conversational fat-burning pace for 20 to 30 minutes. You're in a fasted state, and then at the very end, you finish up with cold, like 2 to 5 minutes of a cold shower, cold soak, jumping into a cold ocean or river or lake or whatever so that once you've started to mobilize a lot of your fatty acids and once you've started to tap into some of the fatty acids from that adipose tissue, you basically blast away even more by finishing up with the cold.
And what's cool is I work into the book, all of these newly researched compounds that will accelerate in response to cold, the conversion of white adipose tissue into metabolically active brown adipose tissue that will simply burn calories to generate heat. And these are things again that you can eat, or specifically in most cases, you would drink these as like powders that you put into your morning coffee to enhance that white fat to brown fat conversion. And some of the more popular ones that work really well, one is curcumin, another one is anything from green tea.
So, if you have a cup of green tea or you add a little bit of green tea extract to whatever, morning glass water or hot drink that you're having. Mint can have an effect, like a little bit of mint oil, for example, like a mint essential oil. Another one is capsaicin, like anything spicy. Yeah. Just a little bit of a hot pepper or spicy extract to your tea or to your coffee, all of these accelerate the conversion of brown fat to white fat, or I'm sorry white fat to brown fat. And a lot of these are available supplements, too. You could buy capsaicin capsules, or resveratrol capsules, or like green tea capsules, and these will actually accelerate the effectiveness of any type of cold thermogenesis.
And I get into the mechanism of action and all the different compounds that exist in the book, but it's kind of cool that you can get a little better living through science by increasing the effectiveness of the cold that you're embarking upon at the end of that routine. So, essentially, it's wake up fasted, aerobic fat-burning cardio, then you finish with cold. And as an option, again for the more advanced people, you take certain supplements beforehand that would increase the conversion of white fat to brown fat.
Angelo: So, Ben, for a more general user, as someone first coming to this and they're approaching the book, I mean, those tips are awesome. And we've already gone through all these other awesome tips, like, where would one start? Do you just approach whichever chapter, what everything you're interested in first and just start working on that? Or how do you imagine people being able to start using all those stuff.
Ben: Well, I wrote the book, but I personally don't jump around that much when I read books. I tend to start at the beginning and read towards the end. And I really did write the book so that folks could first fix their brains, fix everything that would involve like brain fog, motivation, cognition, because if your thinking is fuzzy and you're demotivated and you've got neurotransmitter imbalances or you go through the mold and mycotoxin sections in the book and feel like you have some of those issues going on, it's hard to crush the rest of life when the computer at the top of your head, that's actually controlling things like motivation, and willpower, and how you feel throughout the day isn't working properly.
So, I think it's best for folks to start with the brain section, then move into the body section, then get into some of the more advanced longevity and spiritual optimization stuff towards the end of the book. But in a situation like that, you roll out of bed and start to move easy aerobic conversational cardio in the morning. And I don't just like leave people to figure out where they're going to weave that in. I include that exact protocol in the actual training plan. That's even included in the beginner training plan that's in the book with instructions on how to do everything that I just described. So, I think reading the book chronologically really sets you up for the best success.
Another really big part of staying lean is this whole idea of fasting. I address all the different fasting protocols in the book, but I also lay out my own routine and the one that I use with all my clients when it comes to fasting. It's very, very simple. You basically, as many days of the year as you can, you do this intermittent fasting protocol, all right, 12 to 16 hours for guys, 10 to 12 hours for women, and you do that as many days of the week as you can. And then, and this is kind of like the intermediate, the next step up, at some point during the week, at least a couple of times a month, you do a dinnertime-to-dinnertime fast, like a Saturday dinner. You push yourself away from the table on Saturday, and then you skip Sunday breakfast, you skip Sunday lunch, and you break the fast with Sunday dinner.
So, you're getting a lot of the benefits of that longer fast. And this would be for both men and women. And that longer 24-hour fast gives you a lot of the benefits of cellular autophagy that would come after you've passed about the 16-hour mark. And you get hungry about two o'clock or so in the afternoon. And I give tips for some of the stuff you can do to stave off that hunger like sparkling water, and natural xylitol gum, or some Zevia soda, or whatever, but that's the idea. And then finally, for the more advanced people, I give specific fasting protocols that you do as like a spring cleanup for your body two to four times a year. And this would mean like at the beginning of spring, summer, winter, fall, you do a five-day modified fast.
And there are certain people who have developed done-for-you versions of this, like John Douillard down where you are at in Boulder, Colorado, Angelo. He's developed a specific Ayurvedic-based cleanse that you can do for five days at the beginning of each season. That's actually the one that I do. You're essentially making like this Indian Ayurvedic cleansing stew called kitchari. You're drinking a little bit of ghee in the morning. There's a few specific teas and bras that you drink, and I include recipes for all of them in the book.
Another example would be Dr. Valter Longo wrote a book on longevity. He has another version that called ProLon, where it's an actual kit that you get mailed to your house where you open up the kit and there's a box for day one, a box for day two, box for day three, et cetera. But for the people who want the more advanced stuff, again kind of like the most advanced version of the “Boundless” program, you're doing the intermittent fast every day, you're doing the 24-hour dinnertime-to-dinnertime fast a couple of times a month, and then the beginning of each season, you're doing that five-day fasting protocol using any of the methods that I lay out in the book. It's kind of like done-for-you ways to do that. And those go really well hand-in-hand with that aerobic cardio, fat burning cold type of scenario that I described in the morning in terms of fitting in really well to the chapter that I have on fat loss and how to stay lean year-round.
Angelo: Awesome, man. You know what, you segued in between there about the–in response to my question about like what order should you go and you're talking about starting with the mind, and that makes a lot of sense. Actually, that was going to be one of the questions I asked just like why start with the mind. But going specifically into that, what kind of unique mind-stuff came out of this book?
Ben: Well, there's a whole chapter, like I mentioned, on microdosing with psychedelics, on nootropics, on smart drugs. There's one pretty interesting combo that I write about in the book that might be appealing to folks who are maybe a little bit more in the biohacking edge of things. If you go to the website, peptidesociety.org, you can actually find a whole host of different physicians that you can work with who will prescribe these things called peptides. You don't want to go to the deep dark corners of the internet to buy these things. They tend to, as I've discussed on previous podcast with some other peptide researchers, they can be impure, they can basically not have in them what they say they have in them, but peptides, good peptides, there are just amino acid sequences, and I think this is really one of the frontiers and the exciting features of the whole supplementation and wellness industry is the ability to create a specific amino acid sequence that acts on a specific cell receptor to cause a specific function.
So, for example, there are peptides now that can kill parasites. There are peptides that can heal the gut. For example, for a parasite killing peptide, there's one called LL-37. They all sound like Star Wars robots. There's another one for healing the gut called BPC-157. There's one that heals up joints super-duper quickly called TB-500. Now, unfortunately, and this is the part that makes a lot of people nervous about peptides even though there's millions and millions of diabetics who inject themselves with insulin every day, the fact that most peptides are actually injectable, meaning a tiny little subcutaneous syringe that you inject around your stomach. That makes them not as appealing for a lot of folks who don't want to be using needles every day to inject some fringe supplement into their midsection.
But there are some peptides, and I talked about some of these in the brain section of the book, on nootropics and smart drugs that don't require needles that–honestly, they work better than something like, let's say, like modafinil. You have a lot of CEOs in Silicon Valley use modafinil to get by on less sleep and enhanced cognition and productivity during the day. They feel like you've had five cups of coffee without the jitters as far as the clear-headedness and the lucidity of thought and they aren't injectable.
So, two in particular that I cover in the book. One is it's very simple to use intranasal spray, and it's called Cmax. It's also known as cerebrolysin. A couple of sprays of this in the nostril in the morning and your head is clear as a bell, even if you've just like, whatever, flown in from Tokyo at 2:00 a.m. the night before and you're totally jet-lagged. This stuff works like gangbusters. And a couple sprays up the nose and you snored a few times after you sprayed it up your nose and your head just goes clear as a bell, goes straight into your brain and it'll shut down neural inflammation, you'll enhance neurogenesis, it'll improve clarity of thought, it'll improve cognition.
So, that's one. And then the other one that this actually–so now we're going to talk about actual stacks, probably what you were thinking of when I said, “stacks,” S-T-A-C-K-S, things that you can stack together for added effect. There's another one called dihexa. Now, dihexa is a topical. It's like a transdermal peptide. Most peptides are too large. You measure peptides or amino acid sequences in what are called daltons. And so any peptide that's larger than 500 daltons is not going to get absorbed through the skin.
But dihexa is one of the ones that's smaller than 500 daltons that can get absorbed through the skin without needles again, and you just smear a little bit of this stuff on either side of your neck right over your carotid artery. And it also acts to shut down neural inflammation. It improves the integrity of the blood-brain barrier. It will, very similar to the cerebrolysin, increase things like neurogenesis and the growth of new neurons in the brain, almost like a miracle growth for the brain. It'll increase this brain-derived neurotrophic factor stuff, the same brain enhancing compound that gets increased for things like sauna use and exercise.
And so what I like to do is–and this is just one of the–I've got like 12 different cognitive snacks in the book, but you wake up, do a couple sprays of Cmax in each nostril, smear a little bit of this dihexa on either side of your neck, no needles, no capsules, nothing to swallow, and it works like gangbusters. That's one of the lesser-known nootropic or brain-enhancing stacks that I have in Chapter 5, which is the whole chapter on nootropics, and psychedelics, and smart drugs.
Angelo: Cool. And what about tips for brain health, for the mind that aren't necessarily supplements to take? Is there any cool new gear stuff or techniques?
Ben: Okay. So, here's one for you, Angelo. In Chapter 4, that's a whole section on how to eat yourself smart, like all the different fats and foods that can fuel your brain. And I also get into the different ways that inflammation can affect things like the integrity of your blood-brain barrier, or the way which neural cells can be exposed to more oxidation and more damage to their membranes. And one of the things I talked about in that book is canola oil, granted a company like Whole Foods, they use canola oil at the hot foods bar, at the salad bar. Yeah, it's expeller pressed, meaning that it's safer than a lot of the chemical processed GMO canola oil that you'll find elsewhere, but it's still canola oil.
And so there's this tactic that you can use, and it's based on research by a doctor who wrote this book called “Superfuel.” Really good book. I actually do have a–because I'm reading all the time. I almost view myself as like a filter for all the books that I read. I just weave into my own books so the people, hopefully, don't have to go out and read 50 different books after they read “Boundless” because I just weave a lot of the stuff I've learned from other books into this one. But Dr. James DiNicolantonio, he did some research and he found that there are two compounds that can actually protect you from the damage that canola oil can do to your nervous system. And these are things you can find anywhere.
One is glycine, and you would find that, for example, in bone broth. You can buy glycine and supplement form, but you can use about 20 grams of glycine, and that actually protects your brain from the damage that canola oil can do, not that I'm endorsing folks go out and start to chug canola oil, but let's just say, whatever, you're out Whole Foods, you have a little salads bar and you're like, “I had a lot of canola oil. I want to protect my brain.” That's one thing. The other one is spirulina, the algae spirulina, which is not only a really good source of DHA for, say, vegan or plant-based eaters but about 2 to 5 grams of spirulina can also help to mitigate some of the damage that you get from canola oil consumption. So, that's one of the little tips that I have in Chapter 4 in addition to all the healthiest fats that you should eat and some of the certain foods to avoid when it comes to brain health.
Angelo: Finally, I can enjoy my Whole Foods salad bar when I'm traveling again because it's like my go-to when I travel and I still have that weird guilt underneath at the same time.
Ben: Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, you know me. When I come to your house down there in Boulder and having all of our Kion meetings and stuff, a lot of times I'll wind up back at your house. I think you've seen me at your kitchen table. My go-to is I'll stop and get the organic half rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods, throw some mushrooms, a little bit of yam or sweet potato in there, and then just come back and steal your sea salt and some of your primal kitchen dressing, and that's dinner for me 90% of the time when I travel.
Angelo: It's amazing how dialed in your travel stuff is, which is another question I want to ask was like, are there any new hacks out there for travel?
Ben: Yeah. For jet lag, particularly. In the past, I've certainly talked about how to use light in the eyes and light in the ears to reset your circadian rhythm when you travel. I've talked about things like different snacks that I'll use in the airplane like macadamia nuts or spirulina and chlorella and very low glycemic index snack foods that I'll consume. But in researching this book, there were a few interesting things that I found. I'll give you a few. First of all, there's a company called Ultimate Longevity. I recently interviewed Clint Ober and it's funny because again, every time I do a new podcast and find out some really interesting information, I'm like going back and annoying the editor by adding these things to the book.
But I started to travel with the grounding mat that his company sells and it's very simple. It comes with little plug that you can plug into any hotel room that you happen to be at when you travel. It has a little light that goes on that will tell you if the outlet is properly grounded. And if that light comes on, you then take your grounding mat, you plug it in, and you put it underneath the top sheet of the hotel bed, and it essentially fills your body with all the negative ions that you lost out on when you were flying 40,000 feet above the ground.
We know that getting outside barefoot is very useful for diminishing a lot of the effects of jet lag, and that's important to do, but let's face it, sometimes I'm like from the airplane to baggage claim into the Uber, dropped off at the hotel, and then up into my hotel, unpacking my bags, down to the conference to speak, back to my hotel in an Uber, back up the elevator to my room, and it's like, when do I ground? When do I earth? And so now I have this mat and I just lay it down on my bed into a properly grounded outlet, and so I can just ground or earth the whole night while I'm asleep.
I'm also right now while we're talking, I'm standing on one of the grounding and earthing mats that they also sell for an office. And there's a cable going out my office door with this giant stake that's in the grass out my backyard. So, I'm literally just like sucking up the planet Earth right now while I'm standing here at my desk talking to you. So, I've been doing a lot more, the grounding and the earthing when I travel, and that mat has saved my ass as far as me being able to really enhance sleep and decrease inflammation and combat a lot of the effects of jet lag. Just while I'm sleeping, I'm traveling.
And then a couple other things, and these actually appear in the anti-aging and longevity chapter because they act on a lot of anti-aging pathways, but it turned out in my research on them, they also help to heal the cells from the effects of radiation, whether that's like solar radiation while you're flying or whether it's radiation from, let's say, like the giant X-ray machines that you go through. And there are two plant-based compounds that act on this concept of what's called xenohormesis, like exposing your body to a mild stress that makes it bounce back even stronger.
And these two compounds you can find its supplement form, and I now travel with them for my long-haul flights, and it's astragalus and rhodiola. You can get these in plant-based powder form. You can find them in supplement form. They're actually in one of the supplements that we sell at Kion in the TianChi that has some really good high-quality astragalus in it, and that's the one that I tend to use. You just take it right before you travel or after. As long as it's in your system, it doesn't matter.
But that rhodiola are really good for the radiation. And so you've got the radiation figured out, you've got the electrochemical balance that gets thrown off figured out through the earthing and the grounding, and then the last thing is the inflammation. Everybody gets low-level inflammation when they travel. Part of that is due to the effects that airline travel has been shown to have on the gut microbiome, some of it is due to some of the radiations, some of it is due to some of the crappy foods, the germs. There's a lot of stuff that can cause inflammation when you travel, but there are three things that I use now when I travel, specifically for the inflammation, and I realize this sounds like a lot to a lot of people. And sure, if you're going to Disney once a year with your family, you probably don't need to do all this stuff, but if you're like me and you're on a plane multiple times a month or whatever, you're an athlete flying somewhere to compete, like you want to pull out all the stops.
So, for the inflammation, the three things that I now do when I travel, number one, I take glutathione before and after I travel. I found a really good form of glutathione. It's called AlmsBio, and it's got some mitochondrial support in it like PQQ, and CoQ10, and certain things that help to protect your mitochondria. But then it's got really good glutathione and it tastes like an orange creamsicle. So, it's really tasty. It's about a CC of this stuff underneath my tongue, like in my mouth, and let it sit for 60 seconds before and after I travel for the glutathione, which is useful for me because, I know I'm rabbit holing here, as I get into in the book in the section on gut and microbiome testing, I've had my microbiome tested and I produce huge amounts of methane gas in response to sulfurous food consumption.
So, I used to go out and have like a bunch of broccolis, and cauliflower, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts when I travel to get all that glutathione. But I'd also be able to just like decommission a bathroom afterwards. And so now, I just use straight-up glutathione and it's a lot more comfortable for me and has the same effect on inflammation. And then the other two are hydrogen water tablets. Okay. You put these into every glass of water that you have on the flight, and then one glass of water before the flight and after the flight. Those are fantastic for the inflammation that builds up as you fly.
And there are certain websites. I like Quicksilver Scientific has hydrogen water tablets. And Robert Slovak, a really fantastic water researcher who I interviewed in my podcast a few months ago, he also has some really good lemon raspberry-flavored hydrogen water tablets. And we'll put all these in the shownotes for you guys at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/boundlesspodcast. But I always have a little bottle of either those hydrogen tablets. Then the final one for inflammation is ketones. And I think it was actually again Dr. Mercola who turned me onto this, the effect that ketones can have on enhancing what's called the NF kappa B pathway, which is one of the most potent pathways for shutting down inflammation. And the cool thing about that is they also stabilize your appetite so you don't get like mindless hunger or you're traveling and they just basically make you not hungry.
So, in summary, you travel with the grounding mat, you take astragalus and/or rhodiola before or after you travel. And then during your travel, you take ketones, hydrogen water, and glutathione, and I guarantee, if you don't do anything else and you fly a lot, you do that stuff and you're going to feel way better when it comes to jet lag and inflammation and just kind of feeling blah when you're on the road.
Angelo: What's cool about that is it comes back for me to this idea of like energy, like boundless, because when I do think of you, Ben, and I think about what I come to you for personally and what I look for advice on, I think of you as like having all this energy and being able to do all this crazy stuff like travel around the world and talk and somehow you keep having so much energy. It's amazing to have these tips that basically like–no matter what it is, whether it's like what I eat or what I need to do to exercise or even when I travel, like how to just not end up feeling blah, like you said.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And I've got one other–I know we're running short on time, but I have one cool tip for you guys because I was recently on–and this relates to feeling blah, like a lot of people, and you might even hear it in my voice a little bit, like I'm slightly congested because I just got back from a five-day survival course with my kids. We're doing like butchering and wild plant foraging. It was cool deals, like simulated hunt where we had to blood trail an animal and then bring it back, and butcher and fill dress and learn how to harvest all the meat. And then there was like wild game cookery.
We were also out in the cold a ton, so I came back congested. I actually have an entire chapter on symmetry, like I mentioned, like how to eat when you're pregnant to ensure that your child is born with a properly structured face and bone density, and symmetry, and muscle, and some of the stuff I do with River and Terran to really help them out with their own posture and symmetry and muscle formation. And then a lot of just like posture, back pain, sleeping positions. That was actually the editor's favorite chapter when I sent over the book was the chapter on symmetry. He was like, “This is my favorite chapter on the book,” because it's just like a ton of stuff about how symmetry and posture works, and how to take care of the body from that standpoint.
But one of the things I've been using, this is fresh in my mind, so I figured I'd bring it up just to give people a little glimpse of this section of the book, is this thing called a nose unblocking exercise. So, if you are congested, this works so fast. I was shocked when I started doing this. This is from a guy named Patrick McKeown, who wrote a really fantastic book called The Oxygen Advantage, and I've got some other tips from him in the book too. But what you do is you just go out on a walk or while you're standing on your office or whatever. If your nose is congested, this will decongest it super-fast and it's super simple. You just basically pinch your nose with your fingers, and then you hold your breath, okay, with your pinched with your fingers. And when I say hold your breath, what you do is you inhale a large amount of air, but not full-on like as hard as you can go like–just like a decent breath in, and you've got your fingers pinched around your nose. And preferably, you do this while you're walking. I like to do it when I'm walking because it just feels like the jarring motion from the walking seems to clear the nose even better.
But then basically, all you do is you walk as far as you can with your breath held and your nose pinched, and then as soon as you have to suck in that first breath of air, you do it through your nose. So, you only breathe through your nose. And then you do that again and you just do that like three or four times and it clears out everything. It's crazy. You don't need a neti pot, you don't need some crazy oil that you spray up your nose. It's called the nose unblocking exercise and it works like gangbusters. It's crazy. You just simply plug your nose, walk for as long as you can with your breath hold, and then once you do have to breathe again, you breathe through your nose. It sounds like a silly tip, but if you're congested, it works really, really well, and it also helps to train some of your breathwork patterns even if you're not congested. So, anyways, random tip, but I just thought about what you're talking.
Angelo: I love it, man. It sounds almost like a trick. Really, that's all I do, but I'm going to go try it. Just one more thing before we go. Just as we start to get into the fall and the cold and flu season, you said earlier there's some cool immune stuff in here. What are those tips?
Ben: Okay. I'll throw a good preventive tip your way, and then a few things to do if you do get sick to make it not last very long at all. So, first of all, preventive tip, and this is also longevity enhancing tip. I learned this from Dr. William Davis, really smart doctor. He wrote the book, “Undoctored.” He taught me how to make this wonderful homemade yogurt that is amazing not only for what's called its anorexigenic effect, which I know sounds like anorexia, but all that means, it shuts down your appetite completely. And so it's really good for staving off appetite cravings, make you full for a really long period of time, it helps with your collagen, it increases your levels of oxytocin, which is amazing for doing things like reducing insulin resistance, and increasing testosterone in guys, increasing estrogen in women, increasing bone density, and also protecting the immune system.
So, what you do is you go to Amazon and you get this probiotic called L. reuteri, R-E-U-T-E-R-I. The brand I use is BioGaia, B-I-O-G-A-I-A. And the problem with the ones you get from Amazon, there's only 100 million of what are called CFUs per tablet. CFUs are the live organisms of probiotics in the tablet. What you can do is you can grow those into trillions and trillions of CFU. And all you do is you buy these tablets and you take 10 of them. I think there's like 30 that come in a sachet when you buy them off Amazon. You take 10 of them and you crush them up with a mortar and pestle, for example, or I don't know, whatever you got hanging around your house, a rock. Okay. You crush them.
And then you add them to any form of dairy or milk substitute that you like. So, it could be like raw goat's milk or sheep's milk. I like to use canned coconut milk, just like BPA-free full fat coconut milk. And then you add a little bit of a medium that bacteria can grow on. That could be like a teaspoon of sugar. It could be a teaspoon of what's called inulin, which is like a starch they can grow on, any form of just a little bit of sugar. And then you stick that in the oven or you stick it in a food dehydrator at about 110, 115 degrees. Leave it for a day. Just walk away, leave it for a day.
And once that has fermented, you have trillions and trillions of these immune system enhancing L. reuteri probiotic in it. And then what I'll do is once the yogurt is all made, I'll add some stuff to it to dress it up. I like to put a little gelatin in there to thicken it. I put some vanilla stevia in there to give it a little taste, typically a couple of teaspoons of a cacao powder to make it chocolatey, vanilla-ey. And that one's really fantastic. It's just like a daily, almost like a tonic for you or your kid. You do a couple tablespoons of this yogurt. It's amazing.
So, that's one thing, and that's like a preventive tip is to make your own yogurt out of this L. reuteri probiotic. I mean, in addition to that, my holy trilogy for basically keeping you healthy but also helping you to recover faster from the cold, the section on not getting sick and protecting your immune system has 15 plus different strategies in it. But to cut straight to the chase, there are three that I really like that I use a lot during cold and flu season, and that is oil of oregano, bee propolis–and I get the oil of oregano from Kion. I get the bee propolis from Beekeeper's Naturals. They make this throat spray. And colostrum.
So, colostrum is in the morning or the evening, empty stomach, you put it in your mouth. I get into this in the book, but there's evidence that the salivary and the enzymes in your mouth help to activate a lot of the growth factors in colostrum that enhance your immune system. And what you do is you take the colostrum each day during cold and flu season, and then you also just do a little bit of this oil of oregano in the morning or the evening straight into your throat or in glass of water, a little bit of this bee propolis in the morning or the evening, and that's like my first aid travel kit to keep my immune system healthy along with doing a little bit of yogurt every day. And there's a lot of other stuff I get into in the immune section of the book, but those are some of my favorites as far as what I'm doing quite a bit of.
Angelo: Well, I know you're a busy man. I don't want to take up too much of your time. I appreciate you letting me hijack your podcast to interview you. What else, if anything, do we need to know about the book at this time?
Ben: Okay. Well, I partnered with a ton of different sponsors and affiliates for–I think it's almost a dozen different prizes that were given out in what we call the “Boundless Sweepstakes.” So, if you go to boundlessbooks.com and you preorder the book, we automatically put you in the sweepstakes. So, everybody who pre-orders the book automatically gets instant access to the introduction and the first chapter and all the hidden content on the website. You're automatically going to get all that stuff right off the bat. So, there's big goodies just off the bat for going and getting the book.
In addition to that, I had a film crew come to my house and film something that every conference I've led a workout at has asked me, “Does this exist, Ben? Do you have this on video? Do you have a book about this workout?” because I lead people through this breathwork, calisthenic, isometric, bodyweight routine that includes gratitude, visualization, breathwork. It's just basically this mashup that makes you feel amazing when you wake up in the morning, and it's adjustable to last anywhere from 20 minutes up to 45 minutes depending how much of the routine you do. But I turned the whole thing into a downloadable PDF and like this high-quality video where I walk people through how to do this exact routine that I've been asked. For the past four years, people have been asking me to put together this workout. So, I finally put this together and decided, “What the heck? This is going to also go to everybody who pre-orders the book.” So, I called it “My Perfect Morning Workout,” and it counts for that fasted fat loss workout that I talked about earlier, by the way. You can totally do this for that.
So, you get that, you get the advanced version of the introduction, the first chapter, all the hidden content. And then for the prize package, it's going to go to–I think it's around a dozen people who pre-order the book. I mean, it's literally a few thousand dollars' worth of stuff. You get a Hypervolt body massager, you get an X3 bar, you get 12 canisters of Organifi Green juice, a full WellnessFX blood panel, six bottles of the Qualia Nootropic, like their Mind Nootropic, bunch of Kettle & Fire bone broth, a bunch of extra books from my publisher Victory Belt, like “Becoming a Supple Leopard,” and “The KetoDiet Cookbook,” and “Practical Paleo,” and “The Natural Movement” book. You get a Joovv panel. You get the Joovv Go. You get a $300 gift card to Kion, and a full gut and biome testing kit, and 12 containers of the Four Sigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend.
So, I mean, just like a ton of stuff. Unfortunately, the book shows you how to use all that stuff too because most of everything I just mentioned is also in the book. But that's the Boundless Sweepstakes. So, you automatically get into the sweepstakes and then you also get all of the hidden contents, the intro, the Chapter 1, the perfect morning workout video from me. So, I wanted this to be a win-win for anybody who goes to pre-order the book. So, you get all that stuff too, and you just go to boundlessbook.com to get any of that stuff.
Angelo: You're a beast, man. It's amazing just getting to talk to you. I mean, I get to hang out with you a bunch and talk through stuff, but when we really dive in to like you and all your research in this book, it just helps remind me of just how much passion and dedication you put into this, and into health, and into bringing it to people, and I'm grateful for you, man. I'm grateful for this opportunity and I love you, man.
Ben: Well, you're no Terry Gross, but I'll take it. Alright. Well, cool. And again, I know we're long in the tooth and I've got another call, I got to get on pretty soon, but like I mentioned, for all of you listening in, “Boundless” book is where you could get the book, but then I know I just threw out a crap ton of stuff while Angelo and I were talking as far as like little tips, tricks for immune system, for longevity, all that stuff. What I'll do also is, let's say you decided you don't want the book but you still want to get into some of the stuff I talked about in the podcast, just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/boundlesspodcast and I'll create some really good shownotes for you. When you go over there, you can also leave your questions, leave your comments, ask me anything that's unclear about the book and I'll jump in and reply to your comments, your questions there. So, that's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/boundlesspodcast. And Angelo, are you done hijacking my podcast already, dude?
Ben: He's got a beatbox every time, every time I get him on the show.
Ben: See you on the flipside.
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.
For the past three years, I've been tirelessly toiling behind the scenes to create the book I've personally always wished existed: a complete guide to optimizing the human body, mind, and spirit—written with no stone unturned, no fluff, no “watered down” drivel—just pure, hardcore, practical, from-the-trenches content.
I won't lie: nearly every big New York publishing house turned me down for this book.
- It was too big. (The completed manuscript was over 1100 pages, and we trimmed it down to 608 pages for the final release.)
- It was too comprehensive. (It wasn't a flash-in-the-pan, pop-culture, buy-it-at-your-airport-bookstore read that someone could get through in a few days then toss and move on.)
- It was too edgy. (After all, I cover everything from the energy medicine to enemas to crazy sex tips to psychedelics and far beyond.)
But nonetheless, I decided to plow forward and write a book that I personally wanted to read and that I've always wanted to write: a big, beautiful, hardcover blueprint that anyone could rely on for years as a cookbook for all things performance, fat loss, digestion, brain, sleep, sex, spirit, happiness, anti-aging, longevity, and much more. (Heck, just the section on longevity covers every molecule in existence that can maximize your lifespan, and is over 173 pages alone!)
I call the final result “Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging,” and you can consider it to be the last book you'll ever need to unlock unparalleled breakthroughs in performance, recovery, sleep, gut health, hormone balance, and much more.
In this podcast, Angelo Keely, former podcast guest and co-founder and CEO of Kion, puts me in the hot seat. We reveal a ton of tips from the book, including hacks, tricks, and strategies for longevity, sleep, jet lag, the immune system, fat loss, fasting, and beyond.
During this discussion, you'll discover:
-Why Ben wrote Boundless [6:30]
- “A book I've always wanted to write, and to read”
- Brain, Body, Spirit optimization
- Beyond Training was largely body-focused, but didn't get into brain, spirit, anti-aging components
-Who the book is for [10:15]
- Anyone who wants optimal energy all day long
- Give ideal combination of lifespan and healthspan
- Written based on personal experiences, podcast guest experiences, etc.
- It's not meant for quick consumption
-Why Ben wrote the book the way he did and how a reader should go about consuming it [16:15]
- It's a blend of time in the trenches and well-researched science
- Web page for each chapter; references, podcasts, etc.
- “This book is more of a treasure,” something you can explore for months and months
-Ben explains the training and diet plans in the book [20:45]
- Training plans:
- Beginner: max fitness w/ minimum effective dose of exercise
- Intermediate: Add a sauna session w/ breathwork, cold soak or swim
- Advanced: Add biohacks (cold thermogenesis gear, holotropic breathwork, etc.)
- There's no one diet that's perfect for everyone, but there are some commonalities among diets:
- Regular periods of intermittent fasting
- Low amount of inflammation
- Periods of fasting and feasting
- Detox throughout the year
- Multi-colored plants and spices
- Diet plans in Boundless:
- Beginner: Clean up protocol; choose what diet will jump start the body
- Intermediate: Wahls Protocol, Plant Paradox diet, low carb Mediterranean
- Advanced: Weston A. Price protocol, paleo diet, ancestral diet
- Travel: Eating healthy on the go
- The book is written to allow the reader to determine what is best for their own body, rather than prescribing a solution
-A brief overview of the 200+ page chapter on anti-aging and longevity [35:00]
- Stacs (Sertuin Activating Compounds)
- Combo to increase cellular autophagy:
- Very multi-modal approach for a proper approach to the topic
-Ben's approach to weight loss [46:00]
- Three steps:
- Overnight fast
- Morning cardio in the fat-burning zone
- Cold shower or cold therapy
- Supplements to increase conversion of white fat to brown fat
-The best way to read and consume the book [53:25]
- It's written in order to start from the beginning (begin with fixing the brain)
- Address each element of your body/life and move to more advanced protocols
- Fasting protocols are listed in order of importance (getting started to major spring cleanups)
- John Douillard's LifeSpa
- Book: The Longevity Diet by Dr. Walter Longo
-Hacks for the brain found in Boundless [58:10]
- Peptide sequences
- Some peptides for the mind are not injectable (CMAX, Dihexa)
- How to “eat yourself smart”
-New hacks for travel [1:06:30]
- Grounding and earthing
- Xeno hormesis
- Decreasing inflammation
- Nose unblocking exercise:
- Pinch nose w/ fingers
- Inhale and hold breath (Do while walking for best results)
- As soon as you need to take a breath, inhale through the nose
-Tips for immune system health [1:17:30]
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
– BGF podcasts mentioned:
– Quicksilver (use code GREENFIELD15 for a 15% discount)
– Water and Wellness (use code GREENFIELD for a 10% discount)
– Book: The Longevity Diet by Dr. Walter Longo
– Book: Undoctored by William Davis
– Book: Super Fuel by Dr. James J. DiNicolantonio
– Real Ketones (code: BGF15 for 15% off of entire purchase)
– Alms Bio Glutathione (code: BENGREENFIELD10 for a 10% discount)
– Colostrum (code: BEN)
–Boundless: Pre-order Ben Greenfield's new book “Boundless” now to get in on the Boundless Sweepstakes by clicking here! (You could win an X3 Bar, Joovv Go, WellnessFX Personalized Panel, one year supply of Organifi Green Juice, $300 Kion Gift Card, and more!)
–Clearlight Saunas: You can be sure that I researched all the saunas before I bought mine and Clearlight was the one that stood out from all the rest because of their EMF and ELF Shielding and their Lifetime Warranty. Use discount code: BENGREENFIELD to get $500 off your sauna and a free bonus gift!