[00:00:53] Ben in San Diego
[00:01:55] Guest Introduction and Podcast Sponsor
[00:07:38] At the Swiss Clinic
[00:24:19] Carnivore diet results from my 12-week “bastardized” version
[00:35:56] Podcast Sponsors
[00:38:51] Nutrient Profiles of Organ Meats
[00:50:02] Differing returns on investment hunting small vs. big animals
[00:54:06] What are the best edible plants?
[01:15:35] The most radical thing I've done in the last month
[01:21:58] Closing the Podcast
[01:22:09] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Paul: You get to a certain extent or to a certain point in life where you've climbed that first mountain, or you have reached that point to where you are surviving and in cruise control and in comfort mode, and you realize how unfulfilling that is.
Ben: I think that these things are the future of a lot of anti-aging and longevity medicine, particularly, but just medicine as a whole.
Paul: I almost brought you a testicle today.
Ben: I've eaten plenty of those.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Hey, guys and girls. It's Ben. I am in San Diego right now. If you hear airplanes flying overhead, it's because I'm recording the introduction to today's show at little wellness institute I'm staying at. A cool place called the Sanctuary Wellness Institute in San Diego where they do all sorts of cool energy work therapies, and elixirs, and homeopathic remedies, things like that. And I'm also, after I record this introduction for you, headed over to my friend Tom's NAD clinic where they do all sorts of different anti-aging therapies in San Diego. I'm just recording all sorts of cool episodes as I make my way through San Diego, which means the city of–I actually don't know what's in. The City of Diegos is what San Diego means, the City of Diego's. That's where I'm at right now while I'm recording this for you.
I'm a historian also, by the way, an American Californian historian. So, I know these things. Trust me. My podcast guest on today's episode is a two Peter. If I'm going to be making up words, I might as well keep going, right? Paul Saladino, Dr. Paul Saladino, the carnivore diet enthusiast and physician, and one of the most well-spoken and knowledgeable guys in the realm of nutrition, the gut-brain access, and how food affects biology. We had a chance when I was in my hotel room a few days ago to sit down on my patio, squat down, literally, shirtless like monkeys, and record for about an hour or so, and we covered a lot in today's episode, everything from the carnivore diets to peptides to parenting and beyond.
So, this will be a lovely little episode for you. You can get the show notes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/paul2, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/paul, the number two. Like all episodes, this episode is brought to you by my company, Kion. One thing that I haven't talked about in a little while is our Kion Flex Blend, which is one of the best ways, especially if you take on an empty stomach before you go to bed at night to banish soreness and any kind of like joint discomfort, goodbye. It manages a proper inflammatory response to exercise and to all the things that I know you're beating up your body with. And it's basically like a shotgun formula of all the things that I've discovered to increase joint mobility, or to manage inflammation, or to manage fibrinogen and the different muscle inflammatory byproducts that build up during exercise. It's an enzyme blend, a mineral blend, something called FlexPro which is turmeric, and ginger, and white willow bark, and Boswellia, along with a really high-end collagen blend mixed with glucosamine and chondroitin.
We have a ton of research studies over at getkion.com if you want to go there and read up on Flex. And I recommend taking it on an empty stomach because if you take it with food, it tends to act upon the food, almost like a digestive enzyme would. But if you take it on an empty stomach, it helps you manage soreness. So, cool little trick. Check it out at getkion.com. You get a 10% discount, and that discount is BGF10. That product is Flex because you got to get your flex on. That's why I call it Flex. I am a genius when it comes to making up words and naming things today.
This podcast is also brought to you by Thrive Market. I recently discovered baby food that tastes like crack cocaine at Thrive Market. They have baby food because I was recently helping out one of my clients with a baby that they'd had. You probably saw that one coming. And this company Serenity Kids, and they sell all their different flavors at Thrive Market. It has these wonderful baby food flavors like grass-fed beef with organic kale and sweet potato flavor baby food, but this stuff is all real food. You can recognize, like the ingredients of this one is organic sweet potato, grass-fed beef, organic kale, and Himalayan sea salt, and that's it.
The problem with this is if you're a parent and you buy this for your baby, you are going to eat a lot of it too because it's like the most amazing puree you've ever had in your life. I don't know what crack cocaine tastes like actually, rewinding to my comparison earlier, probably a poor comparison. But Thrive Market not only has this, but thousands and thousands of other non-GMO foods, snacks, vitamins, supplements, personal care products, you name it, you can find it there. A ton of their catalog literally about–I think it's slightly over half of their catalog you can't find on Amazon, but you get 25% to 50% below traditional retail prices at Thrive Market. You also get an additional 25% off your first order. Buy all the baby food you want, baby. Plus, a free 30-day trial if you go to thrivemarket.com/ben. That's thrivemarket.com/ben, 25% off your first order, free 30-day trial. Alright. Oh, and check out the Serenity Kids baby food. Yeah. Let's go talk to Paul.
Paul: Ben, welcome to the podcast.
Ben: Yow, Paul.
Paul: Thanks for coming on, brother.
Ben: Welcome to my casa de casa, de San Diego.
Paul: This is your little hotel room in San Diego?
Ben: Yeah. My beautiful king size hotel room. Did you notice that when he walked in?
Paul: It's a king-size?
Ben: There's a king-size bed. Yeah.
Paul: That's amazing.
Paul: That's amazing.
Ben: I'm rolling. I'm rolling [00:06:45] ______ right now.
Paul: You're [00:06:45] ______ right now.
Ben: Yeah. I took an Uber. I got a king-size bed.
Paul: Uh-huh. But I wasn't your Uber driver this time.
Ben: No, you weren't my Uber driver.
Paul: People may remember that when we hung out in Paleo f(x), I was your driver,
Ben: You did. Yeah. I couldn't afford you. I'm not [00:07:02] _____.
Paul: Because you didn't give me a good tip.
Ben: Eventually though, I'll be in Bellagio and Paul Saladino will drive me everywhere.
Paul: It's possibility. I think it'll happen soon. For people who are just listening to this, you're missing out and you should listen, or you should watch the YouTube footage because we're both just squatting. I mean, Ben's squatting. I'm sitting. Maybe I'll be squatting in a second on Ben's little patio in his room and we're both shirtless, and so you can see it soon.
Ben: As gentlemen do when they hang out half-naked in hotel rooms in San Diego.
Paul: That's how we do with king-size beds.
Ben: That's right. Don't tell my wife.
Paul: It's what stays in San Diego. What happens in San Diego stays in San Diego. Well, I know that you recently were at the Swiss Mountain Clinic, and I would love to hear about what happened there. I heard there were all kinds of crazy abductions and probings.
Ben: There are some probing.
Ben: There are some probing. I think it's reverse probing when stuff comes out while you're being probed. It's like a hollow probe called a–what are they called? A colonic. I'd never done one of those before. That was pretty trippy and I'm not shitting you. There's this guy named Bruno with a ponytail and a polo shirt, like a nice lime green polo shirt as they were at the Swiss Mountain Clinic. And I walked into the room. I had no clue what to expect. I've done coffee enemas before. I do them regularly. So, I'm comfortable with things going up where things usually come out.
He has this giant machine. It even has a name on it. It's like Colonic Master 4000. Like that wasn't what it was, but it's something like that. I like the sexy title and the numbers. He lubes it up and has me rolling to my side and puts the tube where the tube goes and then has me roll back over. So, I'm on my back. The room is very hot. This was during the heatwave in Europe. It was 107 degrees that day in the Swiss Alps.
Paul: In the mountains of Switzerland.
Ben: It's very hot. This clinic, as beautiful as it is, has no air conditioning. It's like a digital detox place. There's no Wi-Fi, there's no Bluetooth, but there also happens to be no air conditioning. That's not uncommon in Europe anyways though. So, it's warm. I've got a tube up my butt. Bruno is hovering over me and he begins to–as the tube is there, making almost like these strange suctioning noises. He begins to massage my abdomen.
Paul: The tube is making the suctioning noises, or Bruno is making the suctioning noises?
Ben: No. Bruno is just humming merrily to himself. He actually had a little music in the background. It was kind of like deep house music like–
Paul: Did not have deep house music.
Ben: It was not like spa music. It was like deep house European music. And he begins to massage my abdomen in the direction of the large intestine. So, he's going from the right side down across, pausing over the ileocecal valve, doing a little bit on the iliacus and psoas muscles, and nothing's happening, nothing's happening. And he told me, “This is normal. This is normal. You wait. You wait.”
So, I'm wetting away and he keeps saying, “The doors will open. The doors will open.” And I'm like, “The doors will open. What the hell?” So, I'm just laying there and I'm like, “Maybe I just like–I had my morning poo today. Nothing's in there. We're good.” And all of a sudden, like 20 minutes in, stuff starts to gurgle like hardcore, gurgle like my abdominals are twitching and I can feel my internal organs almost like shifting and peristalsis initiating at a very significant level. And so, at that point, I feel it's a strange sensation. You can feel stuff beginning to come out of you, but it's not like you're making it come out. It's like it's getting sucked out, right? So, it's not a smooth muscle contraction that you're somehow consciously controlling. Stuff's just getting sucked out of you.
Well, overhead plane there. We're getting spied on. Maybe it's Bruno. Anyways though, the machine–we'll call it the Colonic Master 4000 for now.
Paul: Colonic Master 4000.
Ben: It has a window on it where you can see everything coming through this large glass tube. It's almost like those old school–I used to go to Washington State University and visit the agricultural facilities there where they have the glass windows into the cows' stomachs. And you can see the bile, and the green colors, and the fecal matter, and the bolus of food, everything. This is like that. And as my abdominals begin to twitch and I feel this peristalsis occurring, I looked at the screen and there are just gunks, and chunks, and goo, and green, and strings, and everything you can imagine, like little tiny alien parasites just flowing out of my bowels. And for the next 25 minutes, that continued.
After a while, things went clear again, right? And then Bruno stopped massaging–he's still massaging this whole time. I'm like, “This guy's got to be just bored out of his mind.” Just good left to right, left to right, and he keeps looking over at the screen and just humming along. And then he just stands up and says, “Okay. You're done.” And I stood up. I had to squat in the toilet to get whatever was left in there out because from what I understand, it pushes warm water up into you as it's suctioning stuff out of you. I'm not a gastroenterologist, by the way, in case you hadn't guessed. And felt clean as a whistle afterwards. Felt great, like I felt wonderful. So, that was one of the more notable procedures. But they also do quite a bit in the realm of hypertherapy for cancer.
Paul: Like hyperthermia?
Ben: Hyperthermic therapy. Yes. For example, one of the therapies that I did–and I thumbed through the book in the head physician's office for a while while I was waiting for a consult with her. And there's actually a lot of really good research on cytotoxicity on cancer cells and reduction in in angiogenesis I believe with the use of these hyperthermic treatments. And I, just out of sheer curiosity, wanted to try it. So, I asked her if I could try hyperthermia because I wanted to see what it was like.
They have this giant tube. It's very similar to almost like a tanning bed and just your head is sticking out of it. They told me I needed to warm up prior. Again, this is during the heatwave. So, I went for a walk outside for about 20 minutes and I'm already sweating. Then I came in and they put me on a bicycle, like a stationary bicycle in non-air-conditioned little gym they have there, and I rode my ass off for a half-hour. So, I'm already dripping with sweat. Then I went in and, a little bit of a continuing theme here, they inserted a rectal probe into my nice clean rectum at that point.
The goal is to reach–I believe the temperature is about 43 degrees Celsius. I forget what that translates to in Fahrenheit. But at the time they inserted the probe, just from the walk and the bike ride, I was already at 39 degrees, and I was very uncomfortable, mildly claustrophobic. Your entire body is in there. Just your head is sticking out. There's a nurse attending you the whole time. She began to give me water that I would turn my head sideways and suck through a straw from a glass. And as my temperature approached 40 degrees, she began to wipe down my face with a nice towel repeatedly. From what I understand, the brain doesn't undergo damage from the hyperthermia.
I laid in there for about two hours. I got up to 41 and a half degrees, and at that point, I had to call it. I mean, I've trained for Ironman Triathlon in saunas right in air assault bikes. I've gone pretty hot, or at least up until that point what I thought was pretty hot, and my whole body felt like it was going to explode. My heart rate was through the roof. I was up in the 150s at that point when I was above 40 degrees. Then you're under strict instruction to just go lay in bed for the rest of the day, and I couldn't do anything other than lay in bed the rest of the day. It induces a fever. So, I had a fever for about five hours.
Paul: Did you take your temperature afterwards? I guess they probably don't have any Fahrenheit–
Ben: No. It was just the rectal probes. I don't know what it's up to afterwards. But as I laid there and cooled down on the table, I was there on the table for 20 minutes after they turned off the machine and opened it, and it was still at 40 when they took the probe out. It was intense, and I could see that fever induction based on the research I saw on hyperthermia being pretty effective. They also do a lot of liver treatments there. They have something called INDIBA, which is like a microcurrent frequency that apparently induces not only enhanced bile production but somehow–I don't know exactly what it's doing in the liver. Some of these treatments I didn't fully understand.
They do a lot of different UV treatments of the blood, oxygenation of the blood, a lot of vitamin IVs. Gosh, there were like 20 different therapies that I did, something called biophotonic therapy. They, of course, have some of the basic things you can do here in the U.S., like pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, infrared. But it's all a one up to a three-week protocol. They see many cancer patients, Lyme patients, mold and mycotoxin, liver, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in addition to people who just want to do like a cleanse, like a gallbladder liver cleanse.
Before you arrive, they will research why you're coming in and then customize your nutrition protocol accordingly. So, I was allowed to check the box of the way that I wanted to eat. The first five days you're there, there's some pretty intensive fasting. It's mostly broths, teas, small amounts of these little vegetable juices that they give you, small amounts of berry juices, no meat, no eggs, no protein, nothing like that. And then after those five days, you start on to the diet that they've actually prescribed for you. And it kind of sucks because there are like 30 other people at the clinic and some people are already done with their treatment. So, they're walking past you with these big beautiful salmon and trout from the local lakes and this wonderful local grass-fed lamb and beef, and you're sitting there sucking a vegetable juice and a little bit of tea and you're starved.
But that's what they do with the liver and the gallbladder cleanse. And then once you're done with that, for the rest of your time there, or when you're sitting at the table, there's a little color code for you're sitting with what meals that you've chosen. And after that, the food was pretty good. It was again, like really good local fish and local meats and everything was very–it's all gluten-free, all leptin-free. They dial things in pretty well. So, I ate well after that point, although it was tough being in Italy or right in the border of Italy for two weeks with no gelato. They have no espresso, no coffee. They have this thing called–was it nut choco tea? It's like a chicory root tea, basically, that simulates coffee.
They're very successful. Apparently, they've been able to reverse cancer in some scenarios. People do pre and post-liver enzyme tests and have a really significant drop in liver enzymes. My digestion felt dramatically improved when I left there, although I don't know what it was because there were so many modes, so many protocols that I did while there. It was a cool experience. It's not something I do yearly, like some people go back there yearly. I brought 26 people there, like listeners of my podcasts and followers. It's probably the coolest thing about it other than the fact that I'm just interested. I'm an immersive journalist, or at least I fancy myself that to a certain extent.
In addition to getting to try out a lot of these protocols of what's called European biological medicine, things you can't get in America, it was a complete digital detox, no Wi-Fi, no Bluetooth, like I said. It was very clean. The air is very clean. You're up high in the Swiss Alps. There's no traffic. There's no pollution. I would hike in the Swiss Alps every day for hours. So, there's a lot of nature therapy. I had a little field guide and I like to do this when I'm in a place where I'm going to be for a while. I like to identify the local plants for medicine and edible uses. And so, I was able to go through and learn all the local forms of yarrow, and mint, and nettle, and just spend a lot of time in nature. So, that was pretty cool, too.
Paul: And you were there with your whole family, right?
Ben: My whole family, yeah.
Paul: I think your twin boys got to go. What did they think of the whole experience?
Ben: Well, they're unschooling now. And so, this was part–beforehand, I don't require them to do anything in their unschooling. It's all choice, but I offered them a little bit of extra Euro to spend–when we went to Milan to–if they would research and write an essay on all these different protocols. So, Terran and River went in knowing a whole bunch about colonics, and biophoton therapy, and INDIBA therapy. They researched all this and they wrote an essay on it. They have a little website called gogreenfields.com where they publish like cooking recipes and videos.
Paul: And they have a podcast too, right?
Ben: Yeah. It's all mostly based around food. You'd love it. They have paleo baked donuts right up your alley. A little bit more than meat in there. But they wrote a little essay on this. So, they would follow me around. Like they had this one thing. They're called a Vichy shower, which is basically like hot/cold contrast therapy but it's high-pressure water that washes over your body front to back like a moving shower, like a massage, but you can alternate hot and cold. And so they were in charge of the temperature dial. They would stand there and do the hot/cold therapy.
They came and washed all my blood. They've got a pint of my blood and it underwent UV therapy for 20 minutes, then they injected it back in. So, they followed the nurse around and watched the nurse do the UV treatment on the blood. They got to try all the different foods. They checked out a lot of the therapies. They played in the Alps and went hiking. They had a good time and it was mildly educational for them, too.
Paul: I heard you say on a podcast because I know you recorded a podcast on your show that you released recently like a question and answer with all the people that you brought.
Ben: Yeah. We did two different Q&As for my podcast while we're there.
Paul: That's awesome. I know one of them is released. And on the podcast, you said that at one point while you were there, one of your boys got a steak, and you just asked your wife to cut it because you didn't even trust yourself.
Ben: Well, before I went there–this was between the time that I interviewed you at my house and the time that I went to the Swiss clinic. I did 12 weeks relatively strict carnivore. You and I have talked about this before. But I threw in some berries, some honey, a little bit of root tuber-like cellular carbohydrates, things along those lines, but no raw vegetables, no bread, no grains, just mostly organ meats, meats, fish, et cetera.
And so when I arrived at the clinic, I hadn't been eating salads, I hadn't been doing vegetable juices, I hadn't been doing smoothies. So, I went from one end of the spectrum to the other and especially the first three days because I would sit with my family and my wife and neither of my sons were doing this protocol. So, they would get these hefty portions of meat, and these wonderful scrambled eggs for breakfast, and these cuts of fish, and I would sit there next to them and watch them eat this. And it was interesting. After about three days, I got over the cravings, like I was able to just sit there and eat this meager little salad, and drink tea, and coffee. But man, that first bite of meat I was able to dig into and this thing ended. It was really freaking lifeblood. It was so good.
Paul: Pretty good, huh?
Ben: Yeah. I felt my energy levels dragging after about five days. And I'm sure part of it was just pure caloric depletion, right? But yeah. It was difficult, but it was interesting. It took about 72 hours and I was okay after that point. But man, it took everything for me not to reach across the table and have a few bites of their steak.
Paul: Snatch that steak on his plate.
Paul: Well, how did you feel? I heard you say that in the podcast that you were doing the Q&A, that you'd been doing this carnivore-type diet, which I thought was really cool, and I wanted to ask you, how's it going? Like, how did you feel during that period? I will say that I'm writing this book and I'm trying to create different versions of a carnivore diet. And one of those versions is like a carnivore-ish diet, which is basically what you're doing. It's carnivore plus things we might consider to be least toxic plant foods, low lectin, some attention to food plant foods that might be more toxic and more triggering. So, you're pretty much–you were doing a carnivore-ish diet. What was that like? How did you feel for those 12 weeks? What did you notice?
Ben: Yeah. As I think you've heard me allude to it as my bastardized version of a carnivore diet. It worked out very well for me. I mean, my digestive function was great, my bowel movements were actually very, very clean, like no undigested food particles that I'd been so accustomed to seeing, little bits of seeds and nuts, very smooth–like the Squatty Potty unicorn commercial where it's just like a little bit of ice cream coming out of the little ice cream dispenser.
Paul: That's poo of your life.
Ben: Yeah. Wonderful poos, lots of energy, a significant increase in muscle mass because I was lifting simultaneously. I gained almost 10 pounds of muscle. Most of which I–well, not most of which. I would say I lost–let's see. I got from 175 up to about 186. Now I'm back down to 179, primarily because I've been traveling. I've fallen off that diet. I was in Europe. I lost a bunch of muscle while at the Swiss Mountain Clinic. I also didn't have access to heavyweights. I was doing like blood flow restriction training, bodyweight training and hiking. So, part of it was that.
But the increase in muscle mass, the improvement in digestive function, and also the simplicity of the diet was really nice. What I did not like about it was–and this is something that my wife was probably most–displeased isn't the right word, but this is something that she's very big on is traditions, gathering around food, creating beautiful, colorful, vibrant meals and these wonderful salads and new recipes, and making fresh-baked sourdough cinnamon rolls for the children for breakfast, and that whole social component.
Even for me as a foodie, as somebody who likes to cook, I missed going out. One thing I love to do is I'll go out onto our land in the forest behind our house and harvest wild nettle, and mint, and dandelion, and then go get rosemary and thyme from the garden. And I get some pine nuts and some extra-virgin olive oil, some salt, some pepper, and I make that into a pesto. It's one of my little recipes I make at home. And little things like that I did miss. Since getting back, I've worked in some of those things, not because I feel that they are, and I agree with you on this that they are an indispensable part of human physiological requirements. I do think that by eating nose-to-tail, we can certainly get everything that we need from meat or from animals.
However, those things from a culinary and a social standpoint provide me with a great deal of enjoyment. And yes, they originated to a certain extent as the ability for people who didn't have access to meat and fish to take what you call poor man's food, and somehow make it taste better, and somehow make that a traditional part of the diet. And I think that over the years, it has transitioned from being poor man's food to being like these traditional enjoyable culinary staples. As a married man with children in a wide variety of social scenarios, it is something that I enjoy and find part of my social life going beyond just like a strict carnivore approach, and even beyond that bastardized version of the carnivore diet that I was eating earlier.
Paul: I think that's totally cool. One of the things that I am trying to discuss in my book in the beginning chapters is this quality of life equation. And you're clearly, I think, understanding that. For some people, the highest quality of life is eating some plant products from time to time, and you're clearly kicking ass in so many areas of your life. You don't have autoimmune disease. You don't have inflammation. And so, I think in those types of situations–
Ben: I have a squeaky-clean colon.
Paul: You have the most pristine colon that Bruno has seen in the long time.
Ben: Glittering. Glistening.
Paul: Sparkle colon. Your unicorn poo was just–I just can't believe you didn't see glitter coming out of you.
Ben: I never said I didn't.
Paul: Oh, yeah. How come you didn't post that on Instagram?
Ben: I don't do poo on Instagram. I've heard their channels. I haven't even looked for them. I don't want to see that.
Paul: But I think this is totally appropriate that people can employ a carnivore-ish diet when they want. And people can eat plants if that's the highest quality of life for them at their time in their life, and if they're not having other autoimmune or inflammatory issues. What I'm super excited about is just giving people a tool so that if they want to leverage that in times when they are more sick, that there's another option. I think that's actually really cool.
Ben: And having beverages as well. I like a glass of wine. We just saw Todd White walk by the Dry Farm Wines guy. I love his wine. I'll probably go to his pool party tonight and have a glass. I like the kombucha that my wife makes. I like tea. I like coffee. I sell coffee, but I like it for more than just the fact that it allows me to afford a king-size hotel room with a pimp and porch that I can record podcasts on. I enjoy beverages as well. I mean, hell, I've got a refrigerator full of Zevia stevia plant flavored soda in my refrigerator right now with the mini-fridge in there in the room. I dig that stuff, too.
Paul: Yeah. And I think there's a balance there for sure. I think what's most interesting for me is that people are different. I kind of resisted this notion for a while, but the more I think about it, it's very clear that people have different tolerances for plant foods and you can clearly tolerate a lot of plant foods. I think some people can't. And perhaps, that's the most important part of my message to people is like, “Hey, if you can't tolerate plant foods, there are people out there like that.” But then there are people like you, Rich Roll maybe, who can probably tolerate plant foods to some extent. I know you're eating still a lot of animal foods and still kick a lot of ass with plant foods.
Ben: I can tell you one thing. Well, probably, the two biggest takeaways that I got from delving more deeply in the carnivore diet inspired by you, after I met you and learned a lot from you during that podcast that we recorded at my house, was, A, I hadn't realized how much raw vegetables, and I'm still not really eating much in the way of–aside from that brief for you at the Swiss Mountain Clinic, salads, carrots, smoothies with kale blended in. Just raw vegetables were really interfering with my digestion, were causing things like constipation, undigested food particles, a little bit of almost like irritable bowel type of syndrome. And I didn't really realize that until I really full-on eliminated them.
That was one thing that I discovered. The other thing that I discovered was just how freaking energizing, from a drive standpoint, from a performance standpoint, from a muscle gain standpoint, organ meats particularly are, because I mean, my organ meat consumption went through the roof. I mean, up to probably the equivalent about two pounds of liver and kidney and heart each week.
Paul: That's amazing.
Ben: Bone broth every day, at least a couple of cartons of that Kettle & Fire bone broth. So, I was getting the collagenous component as well. I've continued that and my energy levels are just through the roof. When I travel, it's noticeable. I do have a couple of different supplement manufacturers that I'm now getting the liver from. I haven't gotten into the other powdered versions of the organ meats that I know you get, like the brain and the heart. What's the company, American?
Paul: Ancestral Supplements.
Ben: Yeah, Ancestral Supplements. I have some of their liver, but I haven't tried their other supplements.
Paul: They have a full range now. They have prostate.
Ben: I want to try brain.
Paul: One of the guys on Instagram actually sent me real brain. He sent me like three pounds of lamb brain. It is amazing, Ben. I wanted to bring it to you but I ate it all.
Ben: No kidding.
Paul: Yeah. It's amazing. We'll get some.
Ben: What does it taste like?
Paul: It's creamy. Of course, I'm eating it raw because all the organs I just eat raw. Now, I don't like to cook the organs, but it's like creamy and mild. I don't even know what to compare it to. It's like nothing else I've ever had but it's very palatable.
Ben: Did you put salt on it, anything?
Paul: I put a little salt on, but it's so crazy. I have the brain on a cutting board and you can see the cerebellum. You can see like the back part of the brain. You can see the two hemispheres. It's a real trippy thing to see the brain–like, I'm eating brain stem. It's like a whole different interaction with the animal world. We are so separate–
Ben: Did you notice anything from like a nootropic standpoint when you eat brain, like the doctrine of signatures, phenomenon?
Paul: Too much confounding, I think, for me.
Paul: I don't know. I almost brought you a testicle today. On Sunday–
Ben: No, I've eaten plenty of those.
Paul: That's right.
Ben: Whenever I hunt, that's what I go after. Well, I soak them in a little bit of lemon juice, thin sliced them. Sometimes I'll dredge them in egg and a little bit of coconut flour, almond flour, and fry them up. But I have a testicle a lot.
Paul: Have you had a raw testicle?
Paul: We're going to eat one on Sunday.
Ben: Let's do it.
Paul: I've got a raw testicle. It's like the size of my fist. It's a lamb testicle. You can get them from the US Wellness Meats. They're really good.
Ben: We're going to a restaurant on Sunday. Can you bring it to the restaurant? Can you sneak it in?
Paul: I will bring it to the restaurant.
Ben: Is there a corking fee when you bring a testicle in?
Paul: We'll do an Instagram story about it.
Ben: I'm game.
Paul: I'm going to bring it in like a glass thing and just plop it on my plate, and everybody who were there, they're just going to lose their shit. You can see the epididymis. So, people who don't know testicular anatomy, there's like the testicle and you can see all of the seminiferous tubules in the testicle. It's big. And then you can see the epididymis going around it. We'll eat the whole thing. It's amazing.
Ben: Did you remove it from the membrane though?
Paul: I eat the membrane, too.
Ben: I've never eaten the membrane. I always slip it out of the membrane just because it's hard to cut through.
Paul: Yeah, membrane is hard to cut through. But a raw lamb testicle is super sweet and it's really good.
Ben: Fascinating. I do have a friend who does one in his smoothie every morning, Dr. Matt Dawson, who's been on my podcast down in Lexington, Kentucky. He does a testicle on a smoothie every morning.
Paul: I mean, I think that that's how I'm going to invest my money in the future is brain and testicle.
Paul: I've also been eating a lot of kidney. So, it's cool to hear you were eating liver, heart and kidney, huh?
Paul: That's awesome.
Paul: Were you cooking them up? Were you eating them raw?
Ben: The kidney and the liver I usually prepare the same way. I soak it usually in vinegar or lemon. Occasionally, raw milk. I always do heart in raw milk. I've experimented a bunch of different marinades and raw milk. The enzymatic process of raw milk just seems to make it taste the best to me and it gives the best texture, like a nice soft texture. I either thin slice it and cook it in butter, or I thin slice it, dredge it in egg, dredge it in coconut flour, almond flour, and fry it in butter. That's the way I do heart. That's the way I do liver. That's the way I do kidney.
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Paul: The organ meats are so cool because they have these unique nutrient profiles, you know. I've been looking a lot into the unique nutrient profiles of different organs, and kidney and heart and liver are actually really high in riboflavin more than muscle meat. And riboflavin is this interesting vitamin B2 that a lot of people don't get enough of, and people with MTHFR polymorphisms don't get enough off. So, those three organs are probably some of the most powerhouse organs. White Oak Pastures in Georgia, are you familiar with them?
Paul: I'll have to connect you with them. They did some really good stuff. They're sending me pancreas and spleen.
Ben: No kidding.
Paul: Which I've never eaten, but I'm really excited to eat pancreas and spleen, yeah.
Ben: I'll take either of those. It's interesting.
Paul: Yeah. I'll have to get you some. And then I'm eating a lot of suet. I don't know if that was something we talked about when I was on your podcast. But have you ever had suet, like kidney fat?
Paul: I think you'd really like it. It's pretty awesome.
Ben: Maybe accidentally, just from field dressing animals because a lot of times, I can get these organ meats from animals. They're field dressed and it's kind of messy, and you get some components [00:39:52] ______.
Paul: It's my favorite. It's my favorite fat right now. US Wellness Meats will grind it into like a very thick grind. And if you leave it out at room temperature with a little bit of salt, it tastes like a mozzarella cheese or something. That probably sounds gross, people.
Ben: No kidding.
Paul: No. It's really–
Ben: I don't know US Wellness Meats had that. I order a lot from them.
Paul: Yeah. Check it out.
Ben: So, we get our Pet Burger from them. Both our animals eat a raw food diet. Just all meat from US Wellness Meats. That's where I get, when I'm not getting it from the animals that I hunt, liver. I've gotten heart and kidney from them. Love, of course, their Tomahawk grass-fed–
Paul: We had those.
Ben: –grass-finished French cut ribeye steaks, my favorite cut in the planet. I think they'd have those.
Paul: Amazing, amazing.
Ben: I have a white-tailed deer and an elk hunt coming up. What is it, August now? Yeah, it's August. So, at the end of this month, I'll be hunting whitetail. And then a few days later, I'll be going to Idaho opening season for about three days out in the Saint Joe River going after elk, which I'm really excited about because not only is that a good portion of meat, but I have never successfully bow hunted an elk. So, I'll, hopefully, get my first elk. And I also have a steak locker in my garage in which I can dry-age this meat. I haven't really had a chance to do a good job dry-aging meat yet, so I'll dry-age elk for a good four to six weeks minimum and get a really good flavor out of it.
Paul: That's going to be amazing.
Paul: Now, when you get this elk, because I'm sending out good vibes for your hunting, are you going to get the organs? Because when I–
Ben: Oh, yeah.
Paul: Because I hunted a deer once, right? And I got a deer many years ago in Flagstaff and we did the silly thing. I didn't know this at the time, but we field dressed it and we left all the organs on the ground, and some cougar. I was super excited about that. So, when you get this elk, are you going to pack out the organs too?
Ben: I'll pack out the organs. The only time that I have not packed out the organs was when I was hunting in Hawaii and I hunted a wild horse, which is amazing meat. That's a delicacy in many countries. It's frowned upon because it's a work animal in America and we have a certain negative association with eating horse. But I mean, when I was field dressing that thing, the brisket, you could like poke your finger through. Just the most tender mitochondrial dense-rich meat with this wonderful, wonderful flavor. I've cooked that thing 10 different ways since I brought home the meat.
But the problem with a large ruminant like that is you get a great deal of bloat within just an hour after the kill, and that thing was so bloated by the time we finished getting the skeletal muscle off that I was not about to cut into [00:42:31] ______. It just would have been an explosion, right? So, that one I didn't get the organs out of, but every other animal, yeah, absolutely.
Paul: That's interesting that the ruminants bloat very quickly.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, and it stinks. It's gross.
Paul: Well, I've heard that indigenous cultures will eat the organ immediately, eat the liver immediately, and they'll eat it raw, probably for that reason.
Ben: Well, if I would have known, I would have started with that. I think this is somewhat controversial and I wanted to ask you about it because it does reflect this whole idea of, did our ancestors get their vegetables via other methods, this idea of cutting it open and harvesting the intestines where a lot of these grasses and plants that the ruminant has consumed are, and cooking those intestines over the fire immediately, which is what I understand is an ancestral practice. If I were camping and had a fire right there, I could see myself doing something like that.
Paul: Yeah. I don't know. I'd have to really dig into it and talk to an anthropologist to see whether they clean the intestines, because my impression is that a lot of times, they clean the intestines. They don't actually eat the fecal matter. But sometimes I've heard of them eating the stomach contents. I think it's–
Ben: Yeah. I don't know about the large intestine, or which portion the intestines that it is. It's almost like a sausage, right? You just cut it out and cook it over the fire.
Paul: A poo sausage.
Ben: A poo sausage, yeah, yeah.
Paul: I'd probably just eat the intestine.
Paul: Yeah. But it is an interesting concept and I'm not sure. I saw this really cool video on Instagram the other day. Of course, it was Joe Rogan reposting Nature is Metal. And it was this lion that had killed the zebra, and the lion was eating the zebra next to some water, and the lion had become so full that this crocodile came up and just started eating the intestines out of the zebra eating the organs. I think the lion just gorged himself on the organs and then he just backed away and let the crocodile kind of eat the organs. But it was just so interesting to see that even the crocodile was going for the organs first. The crocodile wasn't coming up and just taking a big bite out of the leg. The crocodile wasn't eating the shoulder or anything. My impression as a budding zoologist, but clearly a neophyte in the field, is that animals will just go for the viscera first.
Ben: Yeah. Well, you know what's interesting about zebras is that for a long time–I've hunted three-axis bucks and an axis deer. It's a very, very flavorful tender meat, widely considered to be one of the best wild game meats on the planet. But one of my guides when I was hunting axis in Texas told me that there was another animal that was the best, the top of the totem pole when it comes to the flavor and the texture of wild game meat. This is actually an animal that you can, if you have enough money and you're able to afford a king-size hotel room in San Diego, maybe. I've never done this. You can hunt. I think it's like a 20 to $30,000 tag. And I actually saw one of these animals when I was hunting down in Texas, and it is a zebra.
Now, my hypothesis is that–there's a book called “Zebras Don't Get Ulcers,” about how much of a low-stress animal the zebra is. And one of the best ways to ruin the texture and the flavor of meat is to allow the animal to know that it's being hunted, or to take an unethical shot, and to have that animal run for a long-distance or be stressed out for a long time before it dies because you get a lot of calcium influx into the tissue, you get a lot of rigor mortis, and it affects the flavor of the tissue due to the stress, due to the hypercortisolic response.
And so, I think it might be because the zebra is such a low-stress animal that the game meat might be so good. That might be the same reason that that horse tasted so good, right? It's just not a super finicky stressed out animal. I don't know that much about zebras. I'm not a zebraologist. I know more about, obviously, unicorns and horses. But it is interesting, and it's on my list of meats that I'd like to try is zebra.
Paul: Zebra meat. I've always thought–I mean, maybe those animals are just reincarnated bodhisattvas. They're just reincarnated people that are super peaceful, and they're just chilling in their Zen in the moment, and that makes the meat amazing because they never get stressed.
Ben: Yeah. I'd prefer to be reincarnated as maybe like a gorilla or, I don't know, a Python, or a gray wolf.
Paul: But if you were a gorilla, you just sit around all day eating leaves.
Ben: I just don't want to have hooves and a giant stomach. It just seems–it's awkward. Yeah. I want to be life and be able to stalk and run for miles through the forest.
Ben: Yeah, Jaguar.
Ben: Yeah. Actually, gray wolf is using my power animal. I will do like visualizations and meditations with the power animal. It's usually the gray wolf that I manifest.
Paul: Have you been to the Wild Animal Park here in San Diego?
Paul: It's amazing. You need to go. So, we can talk about this after the podcast. But you need to go and take your family there. They have lions, tigers. They do a Jaguar. They have a cheetah run. They'll race cheetahs against dogs that like grow up with them. It's really cool.
Ben: You know up in Spokane where you came and visited me at my house? About two miles from there up the hill, there actually is a wild cat–it's not called a zoo, not a compound. What would you call it? A sanctuary, something like that, where they have all these wild cats, tigers, and lions, and leopards. I took my boys there when they were four. The thing that I remember most distinctly about visiting this cat park was that every single cat there looked at my children like a giant snack, like a popsicle that they just wanted to jump on. All I remember is they would just eye my kids, and you could see this look in their eye. They were calculating. So, I'm game to take my kids to this San Diego Park as long as there are good fences.
Paul: There are big fences in glass. It's amazing though being–it was the closest I've ever been to a lion and it was just memorable. It's moving. Being that close to like an apex predator was really incredible. And of course, we've incarcerated them, so I guess we're the apex predator. But apparently–and I've actually been quite fascinated by what they feed these animals in these parks. And they feed the animal–I think the lions they said they feed a grind of–kind of like probably what you feed your animals. They feed a grind of the whole animal. They don't just feed them muscle meat.
And there's plenty of documentation of this that in the past, historically in these zoos, when they fed lions just muscle meat, the lions became infertile. They had to feed the lions liver and all the organs to get back the reproductive capabilities because of the vitamin A and the way that vitamin A is metabolized in humans, or the way that vitamin A is metabolized in mammals especially lions, but similarly, in humans. And they also feed the lion bones. So, they'll give the lion a bone every week. But basically, they give the lion just like a ground-up animal with like all the fat, all the organs, and then bones, and that's–
Ben: Otherwise, when they just get the meat, they're like the Loma Linda Lion.
Paul: Yeah. The Loma Linda Lion.
Ben: Infertile with the low sperm count.
Paul: Yes. They become the low sperm count lion and they don't want a meat, but they feed lion 10 pounds of this stuff a day.
Ben: Well, you would get a kick out of this. We just returned from a wilderness survival course where I took my kids and my wife out in the middle of nowhere and had this survivor man type guy from the Spokane survival school teach us just basic primitive fire-making skills, and we would take charcoal and some sap from the tree, and a little bit of clay from the dirt. And we made epoxy glue over the fire and an old cutout Mountain Dew can. And then used rocks to hone arrowheads, and we made spears out of the wood from an ash tree and the epoxy glue and the arrowheads.
We did our bow drill fire, of course, and debris shelters. And all men are different, just basic primitive survival skills. But the very first day there, we spent like four hours just setting traps, like wire noose traps and these rock traps set up on stick formations with–we use little bits of peanut butter that he had as our bait, which I guess isn't quite primitive, but that's what we had. And we would go check those damn traps every single day while we were there; morning, afternoon, and evening, and they were all set up to catch mice, squirrel, rabbits, et cetera. We did not get a single thing.
And we're going back out into the wilderness for a week later this month to practice all these skills without him. And my wife's like, “Ben, I'm just going to do berries, find some mushrooms, going to do some leaves.” She's like, “Screw this whole mice, rats, rabbits, squirrel thing.” Because it's surprising how hard you have to work for a few measly calories. I mean, my plan is to spend the entire day making a really good weapon, and then just spend the next few days getting a very large animal, then you're just set.
Paul: It's so much better. And there's a great talk by Miki Ben Dor about this. I actually interviewed him on my YouTube channel, but–and he's an anthropologist, he's a paleoanthropologist. He's actually somebody that you would love talking to. And he has been able to graphically illustrate or calculate the energy invested versus the energy return on small animals' tubers and the large animals. When you're hunting small animals, according to his calculations, the energy return is essentially like hunting a tuber.
Ben: Oh, I burnt a shit ton of calories making these little wire traps and finding the little–because you got to find the exit hole, the entrance hole, and the path on which the squirrels and the rabbits travel, and then go out and check the traps three times a day. I'm like, I would rather make a spear, spend five hours doing that, because you got to take the wood and hold it over the fire and then use like a tree as a crook to shape at the stick into a perfectly straight stick. Make your glue. Get the sharp object on the end using the glue. You cut a notch in the end of the spear into which the arrow goes, then you do epoxy on top of that, and then use like a cord wrap that you could use from cedar, for example, to make–I'd rather do all of that than just climb up in a tree and wait. That to me makes a lot better sense.
Paul: It makes so much more sense. The thing about that is that when you hunt bigger animals, they have more fat. I'm doing a talk at Ancestral Health this week and it's about animal fat, and how valuable it is, and how many unique micronutrients are in animal fat, vitamin K2 and things like this. But as you go up in, size there's more fat. The irony is that if you'd gotten a mouse or a squirrel or a rabbit, you guys would have gotten some protein, but that's it.
Ben: Increased risk of disease, very small protein. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Paul: Just not worth it.
Ben: Yeah. That or fish could be feasible if you can find a spot with some really good fatty fish. Some of these cold mountain lakes are amazing. I remember when we were up in the Beartooth Mountains fishing, we pretty much had–it was me and my wife and a couple of other couples, and we hiked about eight miles up and do the Beartooth Mountains. These lakes were just frigid, so cold. And of course, the fish are extremely fatty. And we weren't hunting them with primitive weapons. We just had fishing poles, an aluminum foil and a few bottles of whiskey, and that's all we did was fish and whisky for three days, and these were the fattiest most flavorful fish. You'd wrap them in aluminum foil, toss them on the fire, as soon as you heard crackling and popping, take them off, cut in, and just one fish was like a feast.
Paul: So, you could just survive on a fatty fish for a few days.
Paul: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. That is what it is about, my friend, those big animals, the fatty animals rather than the little guys. But let's highlight something else you guys were saying. So, when you guys were out doing the survival stuff, so your wife was saying that she's going to do some plants, but what kind of edible plants are even out there?
Ben: There are some plants that have a little bit higher amino acid content. Take for example nettle. We have some pretty big whitetail deer on our property and some nettle patches. That's a perfect place to hunt the deer because they love nettle. It's like candy for them. And these nettle plants grow very tall. They have both seeds and leaves on them. That's one thing I mentioned, like I'll make a pesto out of. You can actually get a decent amount of nutrients and amino acids out of nettle, and it's a little bit of pain in the ass to harvest because most nettle stings. But the interesting thing is most plants that have a little bit of a damaging effect like that, typically, there's another plant that grows nearby that will soothe that affect.
For example, plantain leaves. If you rub those on the sting of a nettle, it removes the sting of the nettle, and the plantain is also edible as well. You eat a lot of plantains; it will give you a little bit of a stomach ache. Same with nettle. You got to heat it, you got to boil it, mash it if you're really going to eat it in that quantity.
Paul: It's kind of a diuretic, isn't it?
Ben: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Paul: I've heard that, yeah, if you eat too much nettle, you can get some diuresis.
Ben: Yeah, it can be. Up around there a few others that are decent, other than plantain and nettle would be wild mint. There's a decent amount of morel mushrooms if you find some hot spots, like I took my kids on another survival camp where we were out near Sandpoint, Idaho, in the woods out by Sandpoint, Idaho, and we just came across patch after patch of morels. That's another really, really good satiating source, a little protein in there.
Paul: Yeah. The mushrooms. It is the right time of year. The mushrooms could be a feast.
Ben: A little bit of starch. So, we came across a lot of that and a lot of mint, and we also got one rabbit. And so, we did rabbit mint and morel, and it was fantastic, like I felt great on–we had a giant dinner with just roasting the rabbit over the fire with morel and mint. I haven't gotten into bark harvesting much, but apparently, the inner bark of the trees is something else that's decent as far as harvesting. Berries, like on our land, organ grape and black raspberry, they're growing all over the place right now. I could go for a walk and probably walking over the course of about 100 yards burning maybe 100 calories doing that harvest of good 500 calories of organ grape berry and black raspberry, right? So, berries and leaves you can get a decent amount from mushrooms if you know what you're doing and you can get the right quantity. Those are some of the main ones up there.
Paul: Yeah. I think it's also interesting to note that that's a particularly fertile area, where you are is a lot of foods. Perhaps, I think indigenous cultures in every area knew the plants that were edible in those areas, but there's like a few plants in every area, down here in the south, in the southwest and San Diego. It's probably a few plants that are edible, but the majority are just not, and you really have to know what you're doing and know the time of year, and how to harvest them, and how to process them, whatnot, overeat it. It's doable, it's just not easy.
Ben: Yeah. Where we did that wilderness survival course, there was also this last one. There was also a lot of wild strawberries, and those are really–if you come across a wild strawberry patch, you can easily get like 200 tiny little wild strawberries. Those things are like nature's candy. I mean, they're delicious. Get a decent amount of calories from those. And then the other one was the cattail, which has a decent amount of starch in it.
Paul: I have a cattail story.
Ben: So, yeah, you can get starch out of cattail. What's your cattail story?
Paul: I was in–have you ever been to Havasupai in Arizona?
Paul: It's a gorgeous canyon. So, Havasupai Canyon. There's this water in there that's this iridescent blue because of the minerals in the water. I think it's lime in the water. At the time, I was reading a lot of Tom Brown. You might be familiar with Tom Brown. He's a tracker.
Ben: Yeah. Tracker.
Paul: Yeah. Your boys maybe have read him. But I was super into this stuff at the time and he just stoles the virtue of cattail and the cattail roots. And as we were going down into the canyon, we're going on a backpack for a few days with my friends, I see some cattails. One of my other buddies is there, and he and I are coming to the survival thing. We've never really done it to any extent but it's been a fascination of mine, like how do I survive in the wilderness. And I'm like, “I'm going to eat those cattails tonight,” and I brought food, but I picked a bunch of cattails and I'm super excited rolling in the camp.
I've got my cattails. I go to make my dinner, which is like rehydrated–I probably had some rehydrated vegetables. At the time, I was eating plants, and some rehydrated meat in the pot, and I was boiling it, and I threw in the cattail sort of route into the pot and I cooked it up, and I ate it, and immediately, my eye started watering. My tongue swelled up and I'm just allergic. I'm just very allergic to the grasses. And then about 10 o'clock at night, unzip the tent and just puke everywhere outside, puke the whole dinner up. And in the morning, my buddies were just giving me such a hard time. They were all like, “Are you okay?” But they could just hear me just–
Ben: Make sure a deer didn't just take a giant shit on the cattail that you ate, so you don't get Giardia.
Paul: I don't think so. I don't think so.
Paul: I think I was so allergic to the–
Ben: Yeah. Because I got Giardia at this last survival course we did. I mean, I was on the toilet for six days, yeah, because the way that we were filtering the water was we use charcoal from the fire, sand, and some strawberry leaves, and little cut-off plastic water bottles. And I was so proud of my little homemade water filter that I just–I drank out of that. I didn't boil the water. I just drank straight out of my little filter I worked so hard to make, and got home from that thing, and like the night we got home, I had this gurgling in my stomach and this nasty foamy gasping diarrhea.
Paul: Not the Bruno gurgling?
Ben: No. Like bad. And so it took me five days to get over that. Speaking of Oregon grape, I went out to my land and I harvested a bunch of wormwood and root from the Oregon grape, which is very rich in a berberine-like compound that has some anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial activity, same for wormwood, made a ton of tea out of that stuff. I did some other things. I actually just wrote a blog post about how I naturally got rid of the Giardia, or at least got rid of the Giardia without the use of antibiotics. I used some peptides, like LL-37 is a good antibacterial peptide that also has some success against things like SIBO, for example. It's like an injectable peptide. I used the peptide BPC-157 to help to heal up the gut because a lot of the Giardia cysts can do damage to the gut lining. And then a lot of colostrum, a lot of bone broth, and a few other like anti-Giardial plants. Particularly, I used garlic, like a lot of raw garlic. I used a lot of ginger, a lot of peppermint, and a lot of oregano.
Paul: Yeah. I think people ask me this question a lot of the time. I think there's definitely a medicinal use for plants. I mean, many of the molecules we use in western medicine are derived from plants. And I think there are differences between food use and medicinal use of plants. But that's a really interesting medicinal use of plants. In western medicine, we would just give you Flagyl, but it's really cool to hear that you just got rid of it in the past with herbs and some of these anti-parasitic [01:01:26] ______.
Ben: Yeah. They taste like ass. This would not be something that you'd rely upon as a primary source of calories, but the same things that are used medicinally can also be used as flavor enhancers. Like when I make that pesto, I'll put a couple cloves of garlic in there quite often.
Paul: It's a powerful stuff.
Ben: Yeah. I'll use a little bit of ginger here and there in foods. Yeah. I think some of these medicinal compounds can also be used as flavor enhancing agents.
Paul: Have you ever had raw garlic? You ever done like a raw garlic clove?
Ben: Yeah. That's what I was doing. It's nasty, yeah.
Paul: Yeah. I did it long time ago before I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with a buddy. We were doing this like day or–I can eat more raw garlic cloves than you. It's the horrible idea. No one listening to this should ever eat raw garlic.
Ben: Anyone who gets gas bloating, has SIBO, garlic, onions, apples, any of those very thought- map-rich foods you need to be very careful with. A lot of people eliminate those, even if they're not going strict carnivore, something like that, and then their gas and bloating just tremendously improves. I used to go to the whole food salad bar. This was when I didn't realize that raw vegetables were doing such a number on my gut, and I would make myself these massive salads. And of course, two hours later, I'd just almost be debilitated with bloating.
But the salads were so good covered in that vegan avocado dressing that they have there and a little bit of sea salt. But I would always finish up the salad by going to the garlic. Like they have these roasted garlic buckets there. And I would get like six tablespoons of garlic and just drench my salad and this garlic. I'm certain that that was responsible for a great deal of the bloating just because it's such a fermentable–I don’t know what is that, root? How would you classify garlic? I guess it's a–
Paul: It's kind of a tuber in a root.
Ben: That's kind of root-ish, yeah.
Paul: Did I ever tell you that I was a vegan?
Paul: I was a vegan once. I had a vegan phase for about seven months. I was a raw vegan, maybe 12 or 13 years ago, and the amount of gas and bloating that I had was enormous.
Paul: But I was so ideologically committed that I ignored it and all the people around me. There's this hilarious story. So, I was a physician assistant in cardiology and I shared an office with a few other women who were physician assistants and nurse practitioners. They told stories to the CEO at the time, who's now a good friend of mine. I didn't [01:03:45] ______ at the time, but they would always tell him, “Man, Paul has the worst farts.” He would say like, “What do you want me to do?”
Ben: I don't know what's worse because I used to be a bodybuilder, and you'd go to these bodybuilding conventions and shows, and you get on elevator, and you could literally kill someone mustard gas on one of these elevators because of the whey protein farts. And I had these same way protein farts. They were horrid, horrid. But yeah, vegan farts are probably right up there with it. I think that's probably why so many vegans wear like the big flowy yoga clothes and tie-dyed shirts. I'm totally stereotyping, but maybe it just kind of covers up some of the bloat.
Paul: The bloat and, hopefully, it helps off-gas the emissions because it's pretty brutal.
Ben: Yeah. My apologies to all my vegan friends listening. I know you're not all dirty hippies.
Paul: And maybe not all vegans have horrible gas, but Ben and I have had ridiculously bad gas.
Ben: The worst thing ever I think would be to be a vegan who happens to cheat with whey protein. That would be the worst.
Paul: You'll just kill someone with your farts.
Ben: The vegan whey protein fart. Yeah.
Paul: Talk to me a little bit about the peptides because this is something that I know you've done a lot of research into. I don't know much about this but–
Ben: Yeah. It's very interesting because you can create amino acid sequences that target specific cellular functions. Like the peptide TB-500 specifically acts on actin and myosin fibers to repair them extremely rapidly. BPC-157, it's a gastric peptide that you find naturally in the human gut that heals the gut, but it can also be injected that same amino acid sequence and work systemically on inflammation. The LL-37 that I mentioned, it's a very good anti-parasitic, anti-bacterial peptide.
There are others that can cross the blood-brain barrier and act as neural inflammatories and as pretty potent smart drug-like compounds. And I've used modafinil before and found these to be superior to that in terms of the clean cognitive function that you get. Peptides like Fosamax–or not Fosamax. I don't know why I said Fosamax. Dihexa. Dihexa is actually not an injectable. It's a topical absorbable cream that you would rub into your carotid arteries, and that one pairs quite well with another very popular cognitive enhancing peptide called Cerebrolysin, also known as C-max, and that's an injectable peptide along with a couple others that work as a neural anti-inflammatory. One called Pinealon, and one called Cortexin.
And then there are others that are being researched, and even some very interesting human clinical studies on decreased risk of all-cause mortality. Epitalon is one. An Epitalon has some really good human research behind it. A couple of times a year, you take Epitalon injectable for about a 10-day protocol to get those same effects. Others act very similarly to calorie restriction mimetics to upregulate AMPK pathways. Probably, the two most studied right now that I think are very, very cool peptides, one is called humanin, and another is called MOTS-c. Many of these are unscheduled. They are not legally approved by the FDA for human consumption. Some of them are now prescribed by physicians, mostly physicians who are members of what are called the International Peptide Society. I think it's peptidesociety.org. You can actually find a doctor who will work with you on a peptide protocol, which is important because a lot of these are inexpensively made in China. They've got a lot of other compounds in them, the incorrect amino acid sequences.
For example, Tailor Made Compounding, which is a company in Kentucky. They actually have amino acid sequencing machines where they're able to take one specific sequence, target it for the exact need that they're going after, create the peptide. You typically get it in a very small bottle. You inject it via an insulin syringe. Many of them are extremely unstable under light, under temperature. So, the way that you store it, the way that's shipped, et cetera, is very important. But I think that these things are the future of a lot of anti-aging and longevity medicine, particularly, but just medicine as a whole. I think peptides are a really cool field.
Paul: Yeah. It's something I want to learn more about. It seems like in every conference I go to, the peptides talk is always the one that everybody wants to go to.
Paul: People are really talking about this.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. In the bodybuilding sector and the fitness sector, there are some peptide light compounds like ipamorelin, and tesamorelin, and some growth hormone precursors or growth hormone secretion precursors that many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts have found to just explode things like muscle gain and fat loss. If you see like a shredded bodybuilder, in many cases, they're either using growth hormone or they're using some type of growth hormone-related peptide.
But now, the field has gone far beyond that to a lot of what I consider to be more useful protocols, like some of these mitochondrial enhancement protocols, longevity enhancement protocols, like Epitalon. And then also some of these full-body or gut-healing therapies, like the TB-500 and BPC, and then the nootropic compounds like the Dihexa, the Pinealon, the Cortexin, and the C-max, or the Cerebrolysin. So, I think it's a really cool field, too.
Paul: Do you know how the one, the Epitalon works for longevity?
Ben: It's acting on the mitochondrial membrane, but I don't know the exact mechanism of action. I know it does upregulate AMPK pathways like the others. But I think there is a cellular autophagy component as well.
Paul: So, how often are you using these personally?
Ben: Well, if you look at something like Epitalon, a lot of the research is done in Russia on a lot of these peptides. A prominent Russian researcher named Dr. Khavinson did the human clinical research on Epitalon. In that particular case, it is a 10-day protocol of injecting Epitalon every day twice a year. I forget the exact dosage. I want to say it's something like–some of these are very small dosages like microgram dosages. Others are milligram, like MOTS-c, which is kind of like a calorie restriction mimetic. That one is a protocol of 10 milligrams every three days for about a month, and then you're just done.
Others can be used whenever–say, you're beat up and sore. Like you do TB-500 and BPC-157 simultaneously, post-workout on your hardest workout days of the week. You could do that year-round. Another would be, for example, if you have some kind of a gut infection, some really good evidence lately in terms of eradicating SIBO would be something like LL-37. You do that daily as an injectable, a lot of times in the evening as well, and you just do that until the symptoms subside. So, it varies from peptide to peptide.
Paul: Yeah. What are you using personally?
Ben: Right now, that nootropic stack that I mentioned, I just started experimenting with that. So, that's the Dihexa, Pinealon, Cortexin, Cerebrolysin stack in the morning, typically, pretty early in the morning because it–
Paul: [01:11:07] ______.
Ben: Yeah, except the Dihexa is right around the carotid artery topical. BPC-157 and TB-500 just occasionally, if I'm injured or really beat up. Like I just did back-to-back Spartan races a couple of days ago, and I did a hefty dose of TB-500 and BPC-157 after that. Others just on an occasional case-by-case basis, like I experimented with LL-37, like I mentioned during that Giardia. I think it helped. And then I've done the Epitalon protocol, and I've done the MOTS-c protocol, like both of those 10, 20-day protocols.
Paul: What did you notice after those two protocols?
Ben: Absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing. And the only reason I did them, and I should have done like a Life Length or Repeat Diagnostics telomere test. Those two companies are kind of gold standard for telomere testing. I didn't. I just did it based on looking at the human research on those two compounds, as far as mitochondrial enhancement, decrease risk mortality. It's almost just like a longevity hack and out of sheer curiosity about whether or not I actually would feel anything.
So, those are kind of like–for example, fish oil. I don't notice the thing when I take fish oil. I've seen some of the data on it for decreased triglycerides, and improved cardiovascular health, and improved joint function. So, I take it, but I can't say like I noticed a night and day difference. Whereas with those nootropic peptides, man, it's like your brain turns on like a light bulb.
Paul: You notice a big difference with those?
Paul: What does that feel like?
Ben: BPC-157 and TB-500, too. Like if I've got a buggy knee and inject that thing with a large bolus, the next day it feels better.
Paul: Wow. It's like wolverine status.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Paul: What does the nootropic effect of that stack feel like?
Ben: Clean-burning energy with enhanced focus. I recently did a test called a WAVi test, which is like a test of executive function where, for example, on the computer screen, you'll see, for example, a series of letters and numbers. And as fast as you can, you draw a line with the mouse connecting one to A, to two to B, to three to C, to four to D, to five to E, so on and so forth. And my score was off the charts on that. And I tried those peptides beforehand. It could be that I just naturally have executive function, but I like to say it was just the better living through chemistry that enabled me to do that.
My auditory recognition capabilities were again just like through the roof. So, I think it's acting on multiple pathways of cognitive function. But it also seems to help out quite a bit when you are sleep-deprived. Like I came in today, I wasn't feeling wonderful after getting up at 4:00 a.m. to fly down here and I don't like flying in airports, anyways. I didn't take those peptides even though I have them in my refrigerator right now just because I didn't want to be up until midnight tonight writing an essay. So, if you take these, you want to do–it's very similar with something like modafinil. You don't want to take this stuff in the afternoon, for example.
Paul: Because it'll just jack you up.
Ben: It is. You're super productive, yeah.
Paul: And you just have to have something that you're going to do for the whole afternoon?
Ben: Exactly, yeah. Your brain just goes in over time.
Paul: I would love to look into the mechanism. Do you know the mechanism of how they're working in the brain? Like, what are they doing?
Ben: I know there's some element of decreased neural inflammation. I know there's a synaptic transmission effect. There's an effect on neuroplasticity, on nerve growth factor, on brain-derived neurotrophic factor. I'm pretty sure it's multimodal.
Paul: I'll have to look into–
Ben: Kind of similar to something like lion's mane. There's like 10 different mechanisms of action of lion's mane.
Paul: Yeah, yeah.
Ben: The beta-glucans in that on cognitive function.
Paul: And it's hard to really pinpoint what be the major thing is. Yeah, yeah.
Ben: Yeah. And some of these work on neurotransmitter function, too. Like, they're dopaminergic, or they will increase either density of serotonin receptors, or decrease serotonin breakdown, or cause like a flooding in the synaptic cleft. I mean, I would imagine that. You probably would want to be careful with combining something like that with an antidepressant, or a St. John's wort, or anything else that would act on neurotransmitter function.
Paul: Yeah. You would probably now want to do anything with peptides at least unless you were under the supervision of a physician, and if you take another–
Ben: Yeah. Or even something like alcohol, right? You could potentially induce something like glutamate excitotoxicity, so yeah.
Paul: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.
Paul: Dude, it's fun talking to you.
Paul: We have a good time.
Ben: Yeah. Geek out. Talk about colonics, injections, and meat.
Paul: Colonics, testicles, and meat, and animal parks. So, the last question that I always ask people on this podcast now–I don't always ask it. It's my new question because I'm trying to refine the podcast. And I suspect you are going to have an amazing answer for this. What is the most radical thing you have done in the last month? Which is kind of ironic to ask Ben Greenfield because, I mean, of all the radical things you've done, like there's no shortage of them, right?
Ben: I read two books when I was down with Giardia, actually, just laying in bed. I read two books. I think that sometimes pain and suffering can give you a great deal of insight because you go through almost a state of ego dissolution, very similar to what you would experience in a plant-based medicine experience, for example. The two books that I read were “Falling Upward” and “The Second Mountain.” “Falling Upward” is by Richard Rohr. And I forget who wrote “The Second Mountain.” But you could find on Amazon.
Both of those books describe how much of our lives we spend in almost a Maslow's hierarchy survival mode; make money, have sex, get food, create some kind of a shelter for yourself, create a life. And you get to a certain extent or to a certain point in life where you've climbed that first mountain, or you have reached that point to where you are surviving and in cruise control and in comfort mode. You have your king-size bed at the San Diego hotel, and you realize how unfulfilling that is. You realize that there is much more to life than simply making it. And often, it takes climbing that mountain and then falling off it, or experiencing pain and suffering, or experience the loss of meaning, and even the loneliness that you get at the top of that mountain.
And at that point–and really, this is a lightbulb moment for me. I've already put out a couple of Instagram videos since then kind of describing some of my thought processes on this. But you realize that true happiness and true joy, fulfillment, and purpose is derived from dissolving the ego and realizing that you are interdependent on other human beings. And that the greatest thing that you can do is not to make it for yourself and not to figure out a way to get rid of your burden so that you can live comfortably in life, but to instead figure out a way that you can help to carry the burden of others, figure out a way that you can love others, figure out a way that you can care for others, figure out a way that you can rather than being independent, become interdependent. And that includes things like getting to know your neighbors' names, and having people over for dinner, and using your skills and talents instead of to, say, make money or get another follower on social media to actually form true friends and close relationships.
There is such a lack of that type of meaning in our current day and age where it's so possible to, whatever, start an online business, make money, become an entrepreneur, get a huge social media following, and realize at the end of the day, how much less meaning there is in that versus having your neighbors over for dinner and taking care of local homeless people and maybe going and strumming your guitar at a nursing home. And probably the most radical thing I've done in the past month is come to a pretty intense realization that I have a deep craving to steer my life in that direction rather than in the direction of becoming as successful or as popular as I can be.
I mean, already, I'm not going to say which I've canceled and what I've backed out on, but I've cancelled multiple trips, multiple conferences, multiple commitments, multiple pretty high money-making opportunities to instead be at home spending time with my family, being in my community, going to my church, and just living in a little bit more of just a caring, loving, human way. So, I realized that's not some sexy biohack, but that is probably the most radical thing that I've realized and radical thing that I've started doing in the past month.
Paul: I love it, dude. That's amazing. Thank you for sharing that.
Paul: One of the things I noticed when I got to hang out with you in Washington was how clear it was to me that your family was super important to you, and I was really impressed with that. I've never told you that personally, but the time that we spend together, at times it was very painful 24 hours because you were putting me through brutal workouts and then grilling me on a podcast, but I think that one of the things that I came away with was like, “My God, that guy loves his wife. He loves his kids.” I've seen your social media and I've always been super impressed at the way you prioritize them. So, I will absolutely validate you on that, and I really appreciate that about you, and I've always thought that was something really unique about you. So, I think you were already–
Ben: There is nothing more important to me than family and God. And the one thing that's changed the most about that in the past month is I've realized that family is not just my family, it's the other humans in my community. They're my family too and I need to begin treating them the same way that I treat and prioritize my own family.
Paul: Yeah. That's awesome. I feel it because as a budding entrepreneur myself, I feel the grind. I'm probably where you were 15 years ago, even though you're younger than me. But I feel it and I don't like the grind, I don't like trying to climb that mountain, and so what you said there really resonates with me and I can take a lot away from that too. So, thanks for sharing that, brother.
Ben: Thanks for having me on, man.
Paul: Yeah, man. I hope we'll do it again soon and I look forward to eating testicle with you.
Ben: I can't wait.
Ben: And we got to post that to social media.
Paul: We will post that to social media.
Paul: Alright. Later.
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.
Carnivore diet expert Dr. Paul Saladino was my guest on the show “The Truth About The Carnivore Diet: Everything You Need To Know About Dangers, Benefits, Mistakes & Hacks For Eating Only Meat.“
And now he's back!
In this episode, we discuss my time at the Swiss Mountain Clinic, liver detoxes, European Biological Medicine, peptides, spirituality, hunting, survival, homemade pesto, BFR training, my carnivore diet results (of course!) and much more.
Throughout the course of his life, Paul Saladino has embarked on many adventures that have shaped his personal interests—including his unique, individualized approach to medicine. After studying chemistry at the College of William and Mary, he spent 6 years traveling and exploring. Highlights included a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, a summer in the New Zealand backcountry, and 2 years skiing and climbing in Wyoming's Teton Mountains.
He returned to academic studies after these adventures, first becoming a physician assistant and practicing in cardiology before training at the University of Arizona, obtaining his M.D. in 2015. He is a certified functional medicine practitioner (IFMCP) through the Institute for Functional Medicine and will complete his residency in psychiatry at the University of Washington this June. When he is not researching connections between nutritional biochemistry and chronic disease he can be found in the frigid waters of the pacific northwest in search of the perfect wave.
In my conversation with Paul Saladino, you'll hear…
-About my recent trip to the Swiss Clinic…7:38
- BGF podcast of Q&A sessions delivered at the Swiss Clinic
- Colon cleanses
- Hyperthermic therapy for cancer
- Liver treatments (INDIBA)
- UV treatments for blood
- Vitamin IVs
- Biophotonic therapy
- Intensive fasting first 5 days; diet customized according to an individual's needs or condition
- Digital detox: no wifi, no Bluetooth, etc.
- Nature therapy; hikes and walks in the mountains
- Ben's two boys attended
-Carnivore diet results from my 12-week “bastardized” version…24:18
- Very positive results
- Good bowel movements
- Good energy
- Significant increase in muscle mass
- Missed the social aspect of food (veggies from the garden, home-made recipes, etc.)
- “Quality of life” equation
- BGF podcast with Todd White of Dry Farm Wines
- People have varying tolerances for plant foods
- My two biggest takeaways from the experience
- Raw vegetables are interfering with my digestion
- Organ meats are energizing for drive, performance, muscle gain
- Ancestral Supplements
-Nutrient profiles of organ meats…38:50
- Kidney, heart, and liver are high in riboflavin and Vitamin B2
- White Oak Pastures
- Suet – fat around the loins and kidneys
- U.S. Wellness Meats
- Pack the organs when hunting
- “Animals will go for the viscera before the meat”
- Book: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers by Robert Sapolsky
- Animals in captivity become infertile when fed only muscle meat
-Differing returns on investment hunting small vs. big animals…51:21
- Paul Saladino's podcast with Miki Ben Dor
- Bigger animals have more fat
- Increased risk of disease, no protein in small animals
- Fatty fish show potential
-What are the best edible plants?…54:06
- Some plants contain more amino acids (ex. nettle)
- Plants that have a damaging effect have another one close by that will soothe it
- Morel mushrooms, Oregon grapes, black raspberries
- BGF article on curing Giardia naturally
-How to understand the effects vegetables have on your body, for better or worse…1:01:00
- Raw garlic helped Ben with his giardia, but otherwise can cause bloating
- Paul was vegan for 7 months
- Was bloated constantly
- Remained committed to the ideology in spite of the unpleasant consequences
-My thoughts on peptides…1:04:52
- You can create amino acid sequences that target specific cellular function
- Some peptides cross the blood-brain barrier and act as neuroinflammatory
- Decreased risk of all-cause mortality (Epitalon)
- Humanin and motsC are the two most studied peptides currently
- Not approved by FDA for human consumption
- The International Peptide Society
- Many peptides are inexpensively produced in China; have undesirable compounds in them and incorrect amino acid sequences
- Tailor Made Compounding
- The industry has expanded beyond bodybuilding to more useful functions such as mitochondrial function, gut healing, nootropics, etc.
- Frequency of injection varies by type of peptide and by individual need
- Dr. Vladimir Khavinson did clinical research on epitalon
- 10-day protocol, 2x yearly
- Inject epitalon every day
- Ben's personal experience with peptides
- Saw no noticeable effects after doing the epitalon protocol
- Big difference after BPC 157 and TB500
- “Clean burning energy with enhanced focus”
-The most radical thing I've done in the last month…1:15:35
- Read two books while suffering from giardia
- “I've realized that my family isn't just my wife and kids. It's the people around me and in my community. I need to be more committed to that family as well.”
-And much more!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
–U.S. Wellness Meats (code GREENFIELD gets 15% off storewide. Offer good for up to 2 orders per customer. Excludes orders over 40 lbs, sale items, volume discounts, and gift certificates.)
–Kion Flex: A bioavailable blend to support joint comfort, mobility and flexibility, and bone health. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, receive a 10% discount off your entire order at Kion when you use discount code: BGF10.
–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!