May 4, 2023
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/dan-merily-pompas-parenting-podcast/
[00:00:58] Podcast Sponsorssss
[00:06:24] Who are Dr. Dan and Merily Pompa
[00:10:00] Mushroom-growing technology
[00:19:39] Fasting protocols for kids
[00:30:22] Podcast Sponsors
[00:34:36] Is juice fasting beneficial?
[00:42:19] How did the Pompa family get kids involved in their business
[00:52:04] How to avoid silver spoon mentality
[01:00:04] Family time to keep family together
[01:06:07] The power of God’s promise
[01:16:29] Closing the Podcast
[01:17:46] Upcoming Event
[0:1:19:39] End of Podcast
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Merily: When people would ask me about raising kids, my only intention was that I really had every plan and intention that I was trusting God for to raise five leaders. That was always my thing. “Lord, I'm going to raise five leaders.” That's all I know especially given the fact that our story and the challenges with getting two children that were not ours and the challenges that came through that as well, but that was my whole intention. And, the other thing that I've always said to the kids is our ceiling will be your floor.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Alright. So, I've got a probiotic for you that is literally as they say the shiite. If you're looking for a pill to hack your bathroom habits so you can, let's say, get off to your morning workout or your other morning routines more quickly because stuff namely your poops just slip out of you smooth like creamy, creamy ice cream–it's kind of a gross analogy for anybody who eats ice cream. I'm sorry I just destroyed your evening dessert experience for you. Anyways though, you get what I'm saying. Sometimes pooping is nice to have done in a quick and convenient manner and your biome influences your poop. Most probiotics that support the type of biome that goes on to support healthy pooping don't work. They'll make their way to your colon. Translation, that would mean easy poops for you if it did happen.
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Well, I'm pretty excited. As a matter of fact, at the time I'm telling you this, to my house this weekend, I've got two amazing scientists coming to visit and talk all about the latest and the greatest in ketone research. Both of these guys work with what I would consider to be one of the most cutting-edge ketone companies out there. Now, ketones are basically a form of supplement that you can drink to shift yourself into ketosis and to get all the mental clarity, the athletic performance, and the metabolic health from ketones both without doing things like never visiting an Italian restaurant, never having pasta or bread. Not that you know eating noodles of pasta and bread is good for you, but you get what I'm saying. We want to have even things like blueberry and sweet potatoes but maybe also be able to unlock all the mental and physical power of ketosis.
By the way, ketones are also great for fasting. They're also great for keeping your appetite satiated for an incredible period of time when you're sitting on an airplane and you want to skip the airplane food that smells so good and that tastes so bad or at least it's so bad for you. You get what I'm saying. This drink is truly cutting-edge, this ketone ester, and HVMN is called Ketone IQ. They made it through a $6 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense and deep partnerships with some of the top researchers in ketone science. No insulin spikes, no caffeine jitters, no mid-afternoon energy crashes and they stand by their product 100%. If you don't like their ketone esters, your order's free. That's how much they believe in the power of ketones. You can get them online. I'll give you the URL in a second. You can also, if you live in California, lucky you, you can get them at California Earth Bar locations located within Equinox Gym and also at Sprouts grocery store locations. So, there you have it if you're in California. If you're not in California, also lucky you, sorry Californians, visit hvmn.com/BenG, hvmn.com/BenG, and use code BENG20 for 20% off any purchase of Ketone IQ. That's an exclusive offer for my podcast listeners hvmn.com/BenG and use code BENG20 for 20% off any purchase of Ketone IQ.
Alright, folks. So, one of my guests on today's podcast is a multi-time repeat pretty popular guest. The other guest, his wife, I don't think has ever been on my show before even though we've spent tons of time together as families. And, my wife Jessa and my other guest on today's show who I'll introduce briefly are great friends and we have a ton of fun hanging out whenever we go down to Park City, Utah. She's never been on the show. so, this is going to be a first and super fun.
My guests are Dr. Dan Pompa and his wife Merily Pompa. They're just absolutely amazing people. They're good friends and they also are after me witnessing their really unique parenting approach which includes everything from some cool fasting protocols to including their children in the family business in a really cool way are people who I wanted to feature in my book, “Boundless Parenting.” And so, there's a whole chapter from them in “Boundless Parenting,” but I also want to just dive into a lot of the nitty-gritty approaches that they use as a family and as parents on today's podcast, maybe even touch on some of the cool geeky stuff that Dan's doing with some of these supplements that he's creating with mushrooms, which I briefly touched on in the Jordan Rubin episode if you heard that but I thought I'd let Dan explain a little bit more.
So, Dan and Merily are well-known in the fields of functional medicine. If you heard any of Dan's previous podcasts on my show, particularly in the realm of detoxification and kind of this feasting fasting protocol that Dan and I have geeked out on before, they also have their own podcast or Dan specifically has his podcast called True Cellular Detox, True Cellular Detox. So, Dan speaks all over the world. I run into him at various conferences. We seem to cross paths quite a bit at many of these longevity and health and optimization conferences. And, he's written a couple really fantastic books, “The Cellular Healing Diet” and then also “Beyond Fasting,” which is an awesome book when it comes to some of the science and practical protocols around fasting including some concepts from a historical and also a scientific standpoint that you probably haven't run into before.
So, I'll put links to all of Dan's books and also our previous podcast if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Pompas, P-O-M-P-A-S, BenGreenfieldLife.com/Pompas. And, like I mentioned, Dan and Merily live out in the mountains in Park City, Utah. Fantastic place if you ever get a chance to visit Park City, I highly recommend. And, like I also mentioned, they have a very unique parenting style with fasting and detoxification and alternative education models and family game nights and making the kids a part of the family business and spirituality and a whole lot more.
And, Merily, Dan's sidekick has also gone through a lot in her own life in terms of detoxification and hormone challenges. And, she has just picked up a lot of really great wisdom along the way. Not only as a parent but also as a little bit of a health practitioner herself.
So, Dan and Merily, welcome to the show.
Dan: Yeah, love being here.
Ben: Usually, we're sitting around drinking a glass of wine and just shooting the crap about anything and everything.
But, Dan, before we dive into the parenting and family stuff, when I was talking with Jordan which was just last week, so this is all fresh on my mind, he was blowing my mind about these mushrooms that he grows on his farm and how he's doing things like growing reishi mushroom on turmeric and harvesting the turmerosaccharides using the mushrooms and blending them all together and chaga. I think he was growing chaga on ginger or something like that. And, he mentioned that you actually have some of his first growth projects packaged up in a couple of these detoxification or cellular energy products that you're making. Tell me about the specific mushrooms that you've gotten your hands on from Jordan.
Dan: This technology, actually I was first in on it with Jordan back in 2013. And, it was like the market wasn't ready. No one knew about mushrooms then. So, it was kind of shelved and we may have disagreed on how we should have brought it to the public, but here we are now years later and I brought it out in a product line called Cellular Solutions. It is a doctor-only or physician-only line. Licensed coaches can get it at wholesale, but it's practitioner only. And, if people go to cellularsolutions.com, you just have to prove some type of license to sell it, to utilize it. But, the technology is growing mushrooms on certain substrates. So, we target certain cells. I'll use a couple of examples like the brain cells. We would utilize lion's mane to target brain cells because it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and target specific receptors of specific brain cells. So, we utilize that to target those cells. Then, we would grow it on a substrate of the function that we're actually trying to perform. For example, if we're developing a product for the brain to de-inflame, we would grow it on say turmeric, ginkgo, ginger, which is part of what we've done.
Now, here's the interesting thing. Mushrooms, in nature, they absorb, they eat and absorb the nutrition out of basically whatever you're growing it on, the substrate.
Ben: For better or worse, by the way, because that's why you got to be careful with the source of your mushrooms because they're almost a little bit of a bioremediate. I think lettuce is a more common example. You got to be careful to buy organic lettuce because it's essentially one of nature's filters and sucks up anything from the soil that it's grown in.
Dan: So, when we grow this stuff, for example, on grape skins to pull up resveratrol and all the good things that are in there, you see it goes up into the mushroom. You'll see grape. You'll see the colors from the grape skins. If we grow it on turmeric which we do in the brain product, it pulls up and makes it more bioavailable. Turmeric, actually so much of what's in it is not bioavailable or utilized in the human cell. But, when you pull it up in the mushroom, it becomes bioavailable in the human cell.
Ben: Wow. So, normally with turmeric, you get a lot of supplement manufacturers, combined with bio pairing from black pepper, for example, to increase bioavailability. What you're saying is if you were to grow a mushroom on turmeric, you could even skip that step and still be bioavailable?
Dan: Yeah, exactly. So, you're pulling it up in and then you're targeting specific cells. So now, you're pulling it up in the example I'm using is the lion's mane, and then the lion's mane is going to target the brain cells. So now, you're taking the functional properties of the turmeric, delivering it into exactly where you want.
Now, of course, this is kind of not new because drug companies have taken, you mentioned, chaga. Chaga will grow on a birch tree.
Dan: It'll extract a nutrient out of the birch tree that only it can do. You can't go into a birch tree and pull that nutrient out and make it bioavailable to human. Drug companies pull out that one nutrient and use it in specific drugs but they can only utilize it once it's pulled up into the mushroom. So, same technology, we have actual patent on it, how it works. So, whatever cells were targeting, that's the mushrooms we use. Whether it'd be immune cells, like I said, whether it'd be brain cells. And then, we're utilizing the substrate as the function. So, again, I've created a whole detox process with different products many, many years. Now, we've replaced it with this newer technology.
Ben: That's super cool. So, with detoxification, what would be an example of a mushroom and something you'd grow it on for the detoxification benefit?
Dan: One of the things that we do is, for example, we're growing on say milk thistle. We all know milk thistle works wonders in the liver. But again, how much of it is absolutely bioavailable? But, when we grow the mushroom on the milk thistle, now we can actually pull up some of that more active ingredients, make it more bioavailable to the liver cells.
Ben: Okay, cool.
So, Merily, a couple of weeks ago, my wife Jess was down there hanging out with you guys, were you eating mushrooms growing on milk thistle after your glass of wine?
Merily: That was after dinner.
Ben: Okay. But, actually, seriously do you take this stuff Merily?
Merily: Oh, my gosh, yeah, of course. I'm his guinea pig as well as his sidekick.
Dan: Here's an interesting thing. While experimenting with different mushrooms, we actually ended up using lion's mane on the gut product because one of the things that, obviously, the second brain, this brain, that brain, but we realized that lives may also targets a lot of the gut cells. So, again, utilizing some things that de-inflame the mucosal layers of the gut was key because a lot of leaky gut–we, also put in a lot of different humex, things of that sort. But, by growing it on these things that we can target the gut cells, we're able to de-inflame. The Gut Enhancer, it is like–
Merily: Our whole family. Well, we all started one day, February 1st, they arrived the whole line. And, we had a little party with the kids. Everybody took the products. Everybody slept amazing that night and everyone got up talking about how much they pooped.
Dan: Yeah, big long poops, right? And, I get a text. I just got one two days ago from one of my clients and like, “Okay, Dan, this new product,” he's like, “my wife stopped me from taking a picture of my poop because I have poop issues. I have loose stools, blah, blah, blah.” Anyways, yeah, that product has been an absolute game-changer.
Merily: And, I will say, honestly, our energy, like sustained energy, after taking the products, well they made me because I'm mostly not intolerant but I have the highest tolerance for supplements and things. I can take anything and not typically react. So, my husband suggested, okay, a few weeks into it, “Are you feeling this energy that everyone else is talking about?” I said, “No, maybe because I'm splitting it up.” So, he had me take the full dose that was recommended over the course of the day. And so, I did that and first day I did it. I said, “Yes, absolutely, I noticed that I had amazing energy.”
Dan: Yeah. The other thing that made this surprise unique, Jordan talked about his ranch, most of the ingredients were growing on the ranch. So, it's literally from farm or ranch to pill as much as we can. Not every ingredient we can do yet, but it's a big deal because with the soil project that–I've been a part of this ranch for, gosh, how many years now, a lot, many. But anyways, regenerating the soil, the problem with today's crops even organic crops is the soil that it's grown in. It's so void of most of the nutrition. So, the soil regenerative process that Jordan's been working on with Baylor University has been extraordinary to grow extraordinary herbs. So, you grow extraordinary herbs that have far higher nutrition value than most herbs that most companies are sourcing. And then, we do this technology on top of it. It takes it to another level. And then, most of the herbs were fermenting to also make it more bioavailable in people who have bad guts. You know this. The people that I help are people that have done everything and still not getting well, can't get well, can't figure it out. So, these people typically, we need really good delivery into the gut and into the cells.
Ben: Interesting. So, you can actually ferment the herbs, and then also I was thinking about this, if you're growing, let's say, something like turmeric and then growing a mushroom on top of that, theoretically, the turmeric would also be taking in whatever compounds minerals and things like that that the soil's actually grown in or that the soil contains if you're inoculating the soil with things like humic acid fulvic acid, mycorrhizomes, et cetera, then it's actually three things you're getting whatever's in the soil going up into the mushroom and then that's going up into the plant or the herb that you would grow on top of the mushroom.
Dan: Exactly. One of the big problems of why people don't feel well today is lack of minerals. It's very difficult because the soils are void of it. But, plants take up plant minerals, we'll just call it rock mineral, elemental mineral, and then it makes it bioavailable to the human. Okay. So, eating a plant is actually the way we should get minerals. But then, we're taking in another step to your point up into the mushroom making even more bioavailability especially a lot of the things that we need for cellular health. It's not bioavailable by bringing into the mushroom it makes it very bioavailable.
Ben: Did your kids grow up taking supplements?
Dan: Yes, they did. Yeah, I'd say, a matter of fact, they still do. When they come in the house, first place they go typically, even the ones that don't live here anymore, is the supplement cabinet. And, they start taking–
Merily: Daniel goes to black olive jars.
Dan: Yeah, black olives. Leaves the refrigerator but then makes its way to the supplement cabinet, then all my supplements are spread out over the counter with lids off.
Merily: Actually, Daniel's on day nine of a water fast right now.
Dan: Today at 10.
Merily: 10, 10 today.
Ben: Yeah, I think that's super interesting how your kids have actually gone through fasting protocols. So, tell me a little bit about that, how you incorporate fasting with your kids because I think a lot of people just assume based on the need for mTOR activation or rapidly expanding endocrine systems and hormones and puberty that fasting with some somehow hold the kid back. But, tell me about your take on fasting especially for kids?
Merily: First of all, they choose to do it. We don't choose it for them. They've been educated on the benefits of it, of course. And then, at some point, they'd come to us and ask more questions.
Dan: In my book, “Beyond Fasting,” I told the story of Simon and one day, I was preparing a PowerPoint presentation and he saw this horrible skin condition. I mean, nasty horrible eczema and he said, “Oh, my gosh, Dad, what is wrong with her?” And, I explained, I said, “Basically, what you see there is kind of what's happening on your head.” Now, you have to understand, is my youngest son, he did not follow the Pompa way. By the last son, when you have five kids, you kind of just like, “Ah, they'll figure it out on their own.” And, they actually do and he did as well. But, he was definitely not our healthiest child.
So, he had these little spots on his head he was always worried about. I said, “Well, that is this expanded. You could end up here if you don't change your ways, son.” And, as he leaves the room, I'm like, “Okay, maybe heard me.” He comes back and says, “Well, Dad, do you help her?” I said, “Well, look, you didn't get to see the after picture. That's what she looks like now.” And, he said, “What did she do?” “Well, my detox but she also fasted a few times.” So, he leaves the room, comes back and says, “Okay, I want to fast.” I'm like, “Okay, yeah, sure.”
Ben: And, how old was he?
Merily: I was actually just about to find the picture because it came up in Facebook memory and I sent it to the whole tribe.
Dan: Yeah. Was he like, I don't know, 14?
Merily: I think it was two–
Dan: We'll find out.
Ben: This might have been close to the time that I first met Simon. I think, it was at a conference that you and I were speaking at, Dan. And, I mean, not to offend him or anything but I did notice that Simon was a little bit more overweight than some of your other kids.
Dan: You're being very kind. You're being very kind, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, a little less fit and he had some skin issues. And then, I don't think I saw him for two years. And, the next time I saw him, he was lean and mean and buff and apparently had gone through a few different fasts after that point. So, it definitely did something.
Dan: Well, he ended up water–I said, “Okay, you want to fast, just set out a simple goal, two, three days.” Well, first of all, I didn't think he'd make it to dinner. That's the honest truth, okay. He was carb addicted. I didn't think he went into dinner. For some reason, he did. He went one day. He went two days, three days. He ended up going 10 and a half days to be exact.
Merily: Yeah. We left town and days later, he said, “You know, I'm still fasting.”
Dan: So, the bottom line is he fixed the skin issue. He broke his carb addiction. And, after that, he never gained the weight back, which was extraordinary because he was very carb addicted. But, that one fast transformed his life. All of my kids have fasted, all of them, five out of five, multiple times. As Merily point out, Daniel, my biological oldest is on day 10 right now of another fast. And, that's pure water. Now, there's partial fasting, there's water fasting, but our family, we love water fast.
Ben: So, for parents listening in who know the benefits of fasting or know that's good or maybe are already fasting themselves, do you guys have any tips for them if they wanted to incorporate their kids with fasting and also include with that what age this might be appropriate to begin with your kids.
Dan: In the United States, it's “not appropriate,” I'll put quotes around it, to have children fast. In most other countries in the world, children fast a lot. So, just understanding cultural norms. One of the things I talk about in my book a lot is the feast is as important as the famine. Now, you could say it the other way. The famine is as important as the feast. You mentioned mTOR. mTOR is a process that can be good. You can put on muscle. You can heal. Too long time in mTOR is not good. You can develop bad cells, cells that are inflammatory and tumor cells, et cetera. But, likewise with the fast or the famine. Too much time fasting or low caloric intake is not good either, but we need times a feast and we need times of famine.
So, the advice is is that you have to teach your kids that both are very important. So, if they're going to fast, they should have times of feasting. Now, feasting could be higher calories than normal, more meals than normal, feasting could be a higher protein than you typically take in. Feasting could be high carbs, especially if you're low carbs. All of that will drive mTOR. And again, short-term good, long-term not. Same with fasting, autophagy happens in the fast. That's the pathway where your body's getting rid of cells opposite of mTOR where your body's making cells. So, doing time where you're fasting to get rid of bad cells is as important. And, I think for something like a partial fast is appropriate for kids who have health problems probably as a starting point. Simon jumped into a water fast, which is definitely probably more appropriate for a heavier child.
Ben: Which to clarify, by the way, that's no calorie intake but water is included in the fast?
Dan: Yes, correct.
Merily: And, I think it was about 2017 I was trying to find the video of you and him that you did together, but I think it was about 2017. He's 19 now. So, he was about 14 years old.
Dan: Yeah. I'm never right, so that's really odd. Yeah.
Ben: How often do your kids fast now? Is it systematic where you guys have certain periods of the year like a religious fast would include?
Dan: Once or twice a year we all fast.
Merily: Not together. We don't recommend fasting together. We don't.
Dan: No, not together.
Merily: Him and I fast together.
Ben: I was going to say, why not fast together because it seems like there'd be some accountability worked in?
Dan: Look, everyone has their ways. Merily can't be around food. She gets grumpy because food is very emotional for her. So, God forbid–
Merily: It's very social for me. Emotional, it's social–
Dan: Yeah, very social. Okay. Well, that's emotional.
Merily: Emotionally social, socially emotional.
Dan: And then, my son, Daniel, he's fasting. He's cooking his white food. He's in the kitchen. He's–
Merily: Oh, my gosh, he's on a roll, actually.
Dan: He's been working. My son, Daniel, he runs Pompa Program, which has 200 employees. He's CEO. And, he's running that. He's on day 10 of a fast. I was on a meeting with him already today and his brain's functioning better than ever and he doesn't want to quit his fast.
Merily: Which is scary.
Dan: Yeah. But, her not, so much.
Merily: Yeah. No, I literally pine away. I shut myself in the house. No one is allowed how to cook. I don't want to smell it. I really prefer not to see many people just because I don't even really like to talk to people.
Dan: So, to answer your question why we don't fast together.
Merily: No, you and I do.
Dan: Yeah, yeah.
Merily: You and I do. We get each other.
Ben: Okay. So, for a typical day of fasting or period of fasting for a kid or an adolescent, how many days do you think is good or if there is a set gold standard protocol? And, besides water, are there certain things that you think would, especially for a kid who's fasting, help them with the transition or even assist the results of the fasting whether that's ketones or certain supplements or anything like that?
Dan: Yeah. I mean, taking ketones in the first couple days of a fast does help. The reason it helps is because your body is not really used to using ketones. It's not efficient at burning fat to make a really high level of ketones. So, assisting that will absolutely help. Hydrogen water that you've talked a lot about on your show, is dramatic. Actually, studies show that it actually helps with ghrelin. So, it cuts hunger. And so, it really does. And, it also takes a lot of the first, two or three days of a fast is typically when you get most of your symptoms. It knocks down a lot of those symptoms that you may get.
Now, you have to understand, fasting, symptoms are normal during a fast in the beginning for some people. I can fast. I get no symptoms but I fast a lot. But, most people will get symptoms just when they go into ketosis. They'll get symptoms just because they're getting rid of a lot of electrolytes. Taking electrolytes can be very helpful in the beginning of a fast just going into ketosis. So, yeah, I mean, there's a couple little tips for sharing.
In my book, I talk about you don't just run a marathon. To get the best results, you want to train for it. So, the book, I take you off what you can do ahead of a fast to actually get the best results during a fast and actually make it easier.
Ben: That's the book, “Beyond Fasting“?
Ben: And, is that based on the idea that when you fast, you're shifting into metabolic ketosis? And so, are you just shifting macronutrient ratios leading into a fast like higher fats, lower carbs or use of ketones, et cetera, to make that transition easier?
Dan: It's best to go into ketosis first. And, what I've noticed is I have a way of measuring when you hit max autophagy. And, for your audience, that just means your audience quite knows what it means, but getting rid of a lot of cells. So, when your body goes into this max autophagy, you're just crushing bad cells. So, what we've noted is if you go into ketosis first, you can shift into max autophagy within a day or two. Otherwise, the average human, it takes almost four days for most people because they're coming off standard American diet. They don't hit that max autophagy. That's why I used to fast people on average for five days because it would take them four days to get into max autophagy. And, I wanted to run it out at least one more day. Now, if you get into max autophagy faster, you could technically and you're healthier, you could do a three-day fast and still get a lot of benefits.
Ben: You've probably heard of grounding or earthing. I was literally reading about it in the newspaper yesterday. That's how common the knowledge of the benefits of being connected to the planet is becoming. The way this works is the electrons you absorb when your feet are in touch with the planet Earth or your back or you're swimming in the ocean or anything else, the electrons help to neutralize free radical damage. They squelch inflammation. They restore healthy endocrine function. They enhance cellular gating and circulation, which improves the cellular uptake of nutrients and oxygens and hormones while maximizing the removal of cellular waste. There's a whole book about this. I also interviewed a guy named Clint Ober about this idea of grounding or earthing. Problem is, we can't all be outside all the time like dirty hippies neither do we sleep in caves. My apologies to all my hippie listeners.
Anyways, Clint Ober, the same guy I interviewed, he designed a ground therapy sleep mat. Now, this allows you to sleep for six to eight hours on a grounded surface. That means more time, more beneficial electrons, more results just like you were sleeping outside or camping but in the comfort of your own bed on your fancy overpriced mattress. Full body grounding, maximizes the electron transfer with huge surface area contact the whole time you sleep. So, while you're asleep, healing electrons help repair your body during the night of sleep when your body does most of its healing and repair anyways. You can put it on any mattress. It just basically goes right underneath the sheet and transfers the electrons to your body, easily fits into a suitcase. You can take it on the go-to which is great because grounding is awesome for jet lag and travel recovery. There's over 20 peer-reviewed research studies published on the extensive health benefits of grounding and now you can sleep grounded the whole night. The other cool thing is it mitigates damage caused by the more harmful EMFs from your Wi-Fi router or whatever.
So, so many reasons to try this thing. They got grounding mats for your mattress, for your pillow, for your blankets. There's one for the office. I'm standing on it literally right now. It's amazing. So, it helps to bring down your inflammation, jump-start your healing, gives you massive amounts of energy especially if you're in an EMF soup environment. And, if you're ready to hack your sleep and stay grounded anytime you want, again, without having to be outside all the time, go to ultimatelongevity.com/Ben. That's ultimatelongevity.com/Ben.
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The first fast that Jessa and I did was a juice fast and I didn't do a lot of research prior and I felt like crap for about the first 24 hours. And, this was super low-calorie juices like 20- or 30-calorie vegetable juices that we're doing about three or four juices of during the fast. So, maybe 100 to 150 calories a day. And, I didn't experiment much with shifting to a high-fat diet prior or using ketone esters or ketone supplementation to shift myself in the nutritional ketosis prior. But, I wish I'd have known that before because since then, using some of the information from your book and elsewhere, Dan, I've used ketones and carbohydrate mitigation in the one to two days prior to a fast and it's way, way easier.
Dan: Yeah, way easier. And, obviously even doing some intermittent fasting ahead of it, this diet variation strategy that I'm talking about feast-famine weekly helps, but that's in the book. And, right now, the book, we're re-editing it. So, I think you have to get it if you go to beyondfastingbook.com is the only place to get it right now.
Dan: I think the other important note is that fasting, it's an art. Most ancient cultures were forced into times of feasting, when they had killed, they feasted, but also famine. And, I visited a tribe that just came out of the mountains in Africa. I believe I was the first White person they ever saw and they were fasting. And, for just, I think, two days before I saw them, they really hadn't eaten. But again, famine represents a very little amount of food.
So, you mentioned juice fasting. I'm not a fan of juice fasting because most juice people drink is going to be very high in glucose. And, a glucose spike shuts down autophagy.
Dan: Just like too much protein. So, I'm a fan of partial fasting where you have to limit your calories, typically below 800 calories depending on body size. And, you have to lower protein, typically under 120 grams of protein a day. So, if you eat too much protein, you'll shut off autophagy. If you eat too many carbohydrates, you'll shut off autophagy. So, juice fasting can shut down autophagy. Now, obviously, you can get back in autophagy but you're really messing with the innate intelligence of what it wants to do to kick in this healing process.
Ben: I'll hunt it down and link to the article but I did find one juice company that makes these so-called keto juices. I think it was called Farmers Juice because that's my beef with juices, of course, the 18 apples on the 10 pears and the 3 pounds of lemons that they squeeze into these juices. And, if you look at the label, it's 300, 400 calories of juice with a lot of glucose and sugars. And so, I was looking for a juice that was super low calorie and these ones were. They were just a little bit of celery. Some of them had some charcoal and cilantro for binders and a little bit of ginger, a little bit of lemon. So, they're pretty low-calorie, but I think that if you're not juicing yourself, it's possible to hunt down low-carb juices. But, I think a lot of people fool themselves into things on a juice fast. And, when you actually look at the calorie intake on their so-called fasting day, they're exceeding sometimes 100 or 1,000 calories of primarily fructose during a fast. And, you're still going to get some benefits because that's still at a negative calorie balance, but nothing like the autophagy benefits you'd get from no calories or much, much fewer calories than that.
Dan: Yeah, absolutely. But, I mean, to answer your question, partial fasting is going to be easier for most children where they're just in a state of caloric deficiency for a period of time in protein as well. But again, it depends on the kid. We never made our kids fast, they had to choose it.
Merily: And, get a blood ketone meter that also measures glucose. I think that's just a really good tool because you can see what the body's doing.
Ben: What do you guys use for a ketone meter?
Dan: Yeah. We use Keto-Mojo.
Dan: Yeah. And, measuring ketones and glucose is an example. So, just to know if you're in max autophagy. I got this really from Thomas Seyfried. I was in a mastermind with them and they were talking about–he said, “When you hit one-to-one ratio with glucose and ketones, you see the max shrinkage of tumors and during a fasted state.” And so, I was like, “Oh, that's just kind of the number that they had realized that we see this max shrinkage.” I said, “Okay, so that represents max autophagy.” He said, “Yeah.” So, I said, “Oh, well, that's interesting because now that gives me a way to measure max autophagy based on his study.” So, I always give him credit for that. So, if you take your glucose, let's say, it's 80 and you divide it by 18 just to get equivalent numbers of ketones.
Ben: That's how you get the glucose because ketones are measured in millimolars and blood glucose varies, but I believe in the U.S., what is it, is it–
Dan: Milligrams per deciliter.
Ben: So, milligrams per deciliter. Mine actually is at 57 right now, actually. So, if you measure milligrams per deciliter of glucose, you would divide that by 18. And then, let's say you're using a ketone monitor and it's telling you you're at, I don't know, 1.5 millimolar ketone or something like that, you would want whatever glucose number you divide by 18 to be close to 1.5 for you to reach that one-to-one ratio.
Dan: Yes, exactly.
Ben: And, by the way, for those of you watching the video, Dan's holding up in the illustration right now.
Dan: Okay. And, I'll explain it. So, 80 if you divide it by 18 is 4.4.
Dan: So, your ketones would have to be 4.4 to be at a one-to-one ratio.
Dan: You hit max autophagy. So, you're not going to hit that just by being in ketosis. To have 4.4, you're going to have to be in a fasted state. But, as you fast, you see glucose drops. So typically, your glucose is going to drop to say 50. Now, let's see what 50 is. So, 50 divided by 18, now you're 2.7. So now, your ketones only have to be at 2.7. But, I'm going to assure you if your glucose is 50, your ketones are probably going to be much higher than that. so, you're going to be even above max autophagy.
Ben: Right. And, just as a quick explanation for people for that, it's because if you're carbohydrate-depleted or glucose is low, your body has to burn something for fuel, it's going to shift into higher ketone utilization so your ketones will go up as your glucose goes down and eventually you'll reach that sweet spot of what you said that you learned from Thomas Seyfried, the one-to-one ratio.
Dan: Yeah, exactly. I have people they'll text me and say, “Oh, my gosh, my glucose is down to 35 or 40. Am I going to be okay?” First question I ask is, “How do you feel?” “I feel fine.” Like, “What are your ketones?” “Well, it says high.” Typically, it's nine or 10 or something.
Ben: Oh, yeah, that's funny. The only time I've consistently reached 40s, like I mentioned, my glucose right now is at 57. I did do a breathwork and cold plunge with my sons this morning, which is probably why. But, the only way that I'll typically be in the 40s is if I've actually had a large amount of those ketone esters I was referring to. And, you can supplement your way into that. And, that seems to cause a pretty significant hypoglycemic drop interestingly without a lot of the blah low energy feelings you get when you're that low. And, by the way, you guys mentioned hydrogen as being one thing that you've found to really accelerate the benefits of fasting or support it. What do you use for hydrogen, the tablets?
Dan: No, we have a machine. It runs it through a tankless RO and then it makes hydrogen on the side so you can choose hydrogen or just straight RO.
Ben: Oh, cool. Nice. That's just under the sink?
Alright. So, I want to shift focus here a little bit because you alluded to, Dan, how as the CEO of your True Cellular detox company now running over 200 employees. Last time I was down, I visited the office and of course, he's got the big captain's chair and four screens in front of him working on SEO and ads and all this stuff. I'm curious how you guys actually began to implement the kids in the family business and what that looked like?
Dan: Well, let me tell you something. This is actually a God thing. And, that business is actually called Pompa Program and that's what they run. So, I'll quickly tell the story, then Merily can add to it. It was four Christmases ago and every year, I pray for a word from God and I give a little family, what would you call it?
Merily: Encouragement through inspiration that God is giving you. I mean, you pray about it in advance and God lays something on your heart.
Dan: This year, he laid it heavy on my heart and it was prophetic. And, I sat there and where I always sit in the living room every year and I delivered a very prophetic message to the children that they were going to take this message far higher than me. And, I've been teaching doctors for almost 20 years now everything I learned because of my own illness and coming out of my own illness of just unexplainable illness, we'll just keep it simple like that, it took me several years. But, everything that I learned coming out of my own illness I now teach.
But, this has been a mission of mine for many, many years. I hear God gives me this prophetic word to my children that they're going to take it. They're all going to be working in this mission and they're going to take it higher than me. Of course, they're sitting there with looks of like, “What are you talking about? We don't want anything to do with what you do, Dad.” And, they thought I was crazy, all five of them. Trust me.
Well, it wasn't, but a year later that I'm talking to Daniel about taking this, what I do, and scaling it to the world in a very way that we do it. You have to understand, cellular detox, it has to be different for everybody. You can't give someone the same box. You can't put this person on the same detox as this person. Doses are different. Cellular support is different. So, how could I structure this? And, I started thinking about this whole process. I came up with it. And, Daniel being savantly brilliant with social media, so basically here's how we can take it to the world, and Pompa Program was born.
Dan: And, we went from a company because of his efforts. And then, my son, Isaac, became part of operations in Pompa Program. Now, my daughter Olivia graduated chiropractor. Now, she's head training coach for all the coaches. And Simon, well, he's been in and out of the business. Dillon's been in and out of the business.
Merily: And, Daniel and Simon are actually starting a SIBO jerky company.
Ben: Did you say SIBO jerky?
Dan: That's another story. Let me finish this [00:45:17 _____. Hold on. So, the bottom line is is we went from a company zero worth nothing startup, and the first year, I don't know, maybe he did 7 million and helped, I forget, how many thousands of people we took it to. The next year, it was over 10 million. It's now over 20 million. And, this year, looks like it's going to be $60 million company reaching hundreds of thousands of people. It's been a Godsend and a blessing. And so, already that word from God, they have taken my message to more people than I did in 20 years. That's the ability that my children have.
Merily: Yeah. And, Daniel had always really was very disturbed by the fact that his dad couldn't help more people with the information and the ability that he had that he was helping people one-on-one. So, Daniel was always saying, “Dad, you have to help more people. We have to think of a way to help more people.” And so, when people would ask me about raising kids, my only intention was that I really had every plan and intention that I was trusting God to raise five leaders. That was always my thing. “Lord, I'm going to raise five leaders.” That's all I know. Especially given the fact that our story and the challenges with getting two children that were not ours and the challenges that came through that as well. But, that was my whole intention. And, the other thing that I've always said to the kids is, “Our ceiling will be your floor.”
Merily: And heatedly, I really do believe that when you–I mean , honestly, Daniel would be the one kid that would say to you, “My mom put a lot of heavy stuff on me.” And, that heavy stuff was honestly just the thing in my heart that I really believed that God was going to do something great. In fact, I was reading something this morning on Facebook and it was a whole little thing about how men would go to God. Men would travel. In the Old Testament, they would seek God. They would find him on the mountaintops and they would be with him and he would speak to them and women can't do that.
And, in this message, it was, well, but God comes to women. And, I just thought of that it was such a big deal for me because I said, “Oh, my gosh, it's so true. God has come to me twice in my life.” And, the first time was when Danny was very sick and there were no answers and he was not going to compromise his philosophy of the body. Doesn't need help healing, it just doesn't need interference. What is the interference? And, we already ate well according to everything that God has given us and we avoided things that man messed with. We stayed away from it. And, we didn't understand environmental toxins, of course, at that time. But, that was when I remember saying in just big frustration, enormous frustration, Lord, what is happening with Danny? And, God spoke to my heart and I heard so clearly, not audibly, but I know he spoke to me and He said, “Not only will Danny get well but I'm going to use him to take a message to the world.”
Dan: Let me speak into that a little bit. I never liked when she said that to me because I was sick. And, my exact words back to her were, I would laugh, I would say, “I can't even get myself well, so why would you put that on me?” Like, “How possibly could I do that?” And so, I would get angry. But, she would always repeat it to me despite my dislike of it, but that's what happened. So, she's right.
Merily: Right. Well, I remember one time. I mean, it was very bad, my husband was very sick. By the way, I really feel that it was because God deposited that into me that no matter what he felt, no matter how difficult he was for experiencing himself to be or me experiencing him, it anchored me to the future and to the hope. And, as believers, isn't that how we're to live anyway? We're to be anchored to the hope of our faith. And, the second time God spoke to me was when my cousin was killed and we were to take the kids.
Dan: That's a whole story that her best friend Lisa growing up, horrible tragedy in their family, but mom and dad died, her cousin Lisa and her husband and we ended up with the kids through the will, actually. But, two, boy and a girl, they were seven at the time.
Ben: Is that a Dillon and Olivia?
Merily: And so, we at the time had a five-year-old Daniel, a three-year-old Isaac. My husband's still just beginning to get well. He now knew what was wrong. He was on the path and a six-week-old baby, that was Simon.
Dan: So imagine, I just am starting to get better, okay, and thinking, “Oh, my gosh, it's so good to have my life back again.” And, we go from two kids in six weeks to five.
Ben: Newborn baby and then these two that got willed to you.
Merily: And, my mom was begging me not to take the kids, begging me. And, of course, I never ever thought otherwise. Basically, I knew that not that God willed it, but in His providence, He provided and He allowed for all this to be figured out in advance. And so, I remember one of the things my mother finally said to me after everything else she had been trying to say to me to appeal to me was, what about Daniel? And, I stopped in that moment because I had never thought about Daniel, but obviously, birth order disrupt the whole thing. And, I remember freezing in that moment, and again, I said, “Lord, what about Daniel?”
And God, again, same experience, but boom and He said, “Not only will I do great things for Daniel, I will do great things through Daniel.” That's a whole other story because we have another kid in our life that I thought would have been a Daniel, Luke Winters. He's on the U.S. ski team. He is like our kid and–
Ben: Oh, yeah. I met Luke when I was down there. He's a beast.
Merily: Yeah. And, I thought Daniel would be my ski kid because he just loved it so much. And, I thought, oh, that's going to be the thing God does for Daniel. No, God has really chosen Daniel for this–
Dan: To take this Mission.
Dan: I mean, it's pretty remarkable the people that we've been able to turn their lives around through everything like you said, all the knowledge that I learned to her first prophetic word that God will use me to take a message to the world and then God speaking through me to the kids. He's going to take it higher through you kids and now we're reaching people all over.
Ben: It's interesting how your son, and it sounds like Olivia also left at the chance to be a part of the family business. From the time I've met you guys, you've been pretty well off and seemed to make a good income and you have a nice house and your kids are well taken care of and get all the black olives and supplements that they want. And, when you interact with the family like that, I think a lot of times the kids do have a kind of a silver spoon mentality and everything's been paid for them and they maybe don't work so hard or at least tend to sometimes slack off a little bit.
And, I'm curious if you guys did things like allowance. If you gave your kids allowances or if you had certain methods or strategies that you used to ensure that they didn't develop a silver spoon mentality growing up in a well-to-do household, did you guys do anything that would have made them kind of more hungry to be a part of the family business and contribute?
Dan: We had a greater blessing than that. We lost everything in our life. So, there was a time before you knew us, Ben, where we absolutely we went bankrupt, lost everything.
Ben: Yeah, I didn't know that.
Dan: Yeah. So, when we took on the twins, we ended up in a battle with the grandmother and it was horrible. We were in court for three years, now maybe two, I don't remember, but we lost everything. And, our kids going through that, it ended up to be so many blessings to us. If you would have told me that all of this was going to be one of the greatest blessings in your life, I mean, even coming out of my sickness, that ended up to be the greatest blessing of my life and that dealing with all these legal things after we took on two kids that disrupted our whole family units, it just disrupted everything in our life in dealing with this court stuff and the grandmother. And, all of that ended up to be more than a blessing. And, one of them was that our kids knew what it was like to have, knew what it was like to have nothing and to struggle. Honestly, that was the greatest lesson it could ever be taught. And, God taught it not us.
Merily: If you asked especially Daniel, just the emotional connection, I think, with your firstborn is–because he's privy. First-born kids are just kind of privy to you emotionally. He's definitely wired closely with us and was as a kid. And, he would tell you if you asked him about a time when he can remember in that adversity, we had moved to our condo in the mountains and he would drive the kids when he would go to the office an hour and a half one way to school. And, he did that. The balance of the year. And, it was another six months from the time we moved, we chose that to be–
Dan: When I think about that now, I don't know how I did it.
Ben: Yeah, that's a long ride to the bus stop, geez.
Merily: Yeah. He did that and there was a time when Danny didn't have gas in for the truck and was on the side of the road basically crying out to God. And, I believe all the kids were there but it was definitely a time that Daniel has spoken of as just seeing your dad–first of all, seeing your dad's sick, my husband wasn't able to play with his kids when they were little. To be the wife and experience that was really hard, but yet, again, the fortitude that I have or had came from God. So, he enabled me to frame it in a way that allowed us to get through it with hope as hard as it was.
And then, to have our kids go through that experience, absolutely, they know the substance of our parts. They know who we are and our core. They know when things fall apart or when things are difficult, what our sources and who it is, and how we anchor to him. And, circumstances don't have to make sense. Life is hard. I mean, my gosh, look around right now right at the insanity, the absolute lunacy, and yet those situations have huge impact on your life, but when your core values are strong and you know the foundational premise by which you function. And, it is so important to know that.
For everyone listening, if you haven't yet done this, you need to sit down with your kids or just sit down with your spouse, identify your foundational premise for how you live your life, what are your values, what is the most important things in order of priority and stay there, stand on those, teach your kids and demonstrate.
Dan: And, I think our kids, obviously everyone's going to go through hard stuff and trials and it's how you go through it. My kids can quote the scriptures that I quoted hanging on and telling them it's going to be okay because I believe this.
Dan: Right. So, you could look at all the hard stuff as opportunities. Going through my sickness, I always say I probably didn't go through it perfectly. I lacked faith at the times and probably got angry at God at times and questioned Him at times. But, the next big valley in our life, I went through it very differently with a lot more faith and a lot more hope than I did the first time. And so, when we hit adversity, our kids know where we're reaching. Now, we're reaching out.
Ben: Yeah. I'm so glad you brought that up about family values and knowing what your family believes in Merily because not only is it kind of a repeated theme in the book but our family even went down there to meet with somebody else who's in the book, Rich Christiansen. And, we actually had three days in his cabin with him riding on walls and on giant whiteboards and mapping out and listing all the things that our family, well, particularly mom and I, held dear and things we inherited from our parents in terms of family values.
And, we wound up creating an actual mission statement for the family and a list of values that the mission statement was built upon and a family legacy playbook and basically this whole structure, this whole branding almost of what it means to be a Greenfield and what we actually do stand for and believe in and hold dear. And, I found that to be there's certain repeated themes throughout the book like more is caught than taught, and lead by example, and travel for building culture and children, and prioritization of family dinners, and things like that. But, this idea of having some type of structured or almost ceremonial way in which you pass on the family values and the family mission statement onto the kids is just so important.
Did you guys ever do anything like that? Did you ever do a trust document?
Merily: We know Rich.
Dan: We know Rich.
Ben: Oh, he's your neighbor.
Dan: We did the exact same thing. And, with the family, they said that everything we do we live in our family; the fasting, the supplements, the detox. The very thing that got my life back is the detox that I teach and the detox that's in Pompa Program that Daniel brought to thousands of people. We live it. But, our mission and I had a conversation with Daniel yesterday and Isaac was actually on the call.
Ben: Your other your other son, Isaac.
Dan: Yeah. And, he runs operations for Pompa Program, but it was a reminder to all of us that, you know what, we serve people who are crying out for answers. That's what we're called to because it was a decision whether we should spend this much more money on what we were actually looking to spend that much more money on to make the program that much better. It was going to cost us a whole lot more money to do that from a financial standpoint did not make any sense. But, one of our core values in our business is the fact that we've served that mission first and foremost of people crying out for answers. And yeah, it was an easy decision. But, my kids are rooted in it because they saw, they suffered, and they had their health challenges later in life as they fell into the world and came back out of it.
Ben: Yeah. It seems when I've had dinner with your family, you guys are very together and connected and I see one issue, especially in a lot of modern families is that the comings and goings throughout the day result in everybody almost being ships passing in the night and never really connecting at any point during the day, back to the idea of some type of a ceremonial practice worked in throughout the day whether it'd be a family dinner or family meditation or like I interviewed the Gentempos and they had the family morning hour where everyone gathers with music and burns incense and meditates and has waffles or whatever.
Did you guys have anything like that? I seem to recall in the book chapter. I don't have it in front of me right now, but I think you had mentioned you have family game nights or things like that. Were there certain ways that you kind of kept the family together?
Dan: Yeah. We did game nights for many, many, many years. That was something we absolutely loved.
Ben: What did that looked like?
Merily: I was going to say that.
Dan: Yeah, now it's all about poker with the kids but we still do it, we still love it. And then, we have this Christmas thing where God gives me a word. This year's was as special as the one that I talked about four years ago where I give each child prophetic words and God always gives me some type of vision for them and some type of prophetic word to the family or to them individually. And, that's become a family tradition as well. And, they've watched it walk out. They've watched every bit of that happen. And, that just is just a faith builder for them.
Merily: We spend a lot of time obviously traveling as you know.
Merily: And things he has to do. And, we have a great time with the people that we spend time with, case in point. But, I can honestly say, and I love my people everywhere I go and love on them, that's a big thing for me. But, when we come home, our kids, it's a priority for us to be together. It's a priority for them to be with us.
Ben: Do they still live with you?
Merily: One, Simon. Full-time still. And, according to Simon, he's going nowhere anytime.
Ben: You can't just stop feeding him because we've established that doesn't work.
Merily: Well, see, the grass-fed meat that keeps him here. Yeah. But, what I really think is that our experience, we experience this is that our kids wanting to be with us. I don't think there's anything that I could say I've done really well as a mom. I was raised by a single mother. My grandparents pretty much raised me. And, I always said, “If I would just be there for my kids, that would be enough.” And then, you raise kids and you realize that wasn't enough. But, what was enough is that I would always ask God to make up for what I'm not. And, I would ask him to be what they look to and that they could see my intentions and my heart even if it wasn't always in my actions.
Merily: And so, now I'm looking at you because now I really feel that God has honored that. He really has. The kids have a desire to be with us. We have a desire to be with them.
Merily: And, we have so much fun with them, so much fun.
Dan: Yeah, Merily said there was some of the best times of raising children, especially a dad with his kids were taken from me because of my illness. And, that was heartbreaking for me. Honestly, looking back at my illness, it was probably the thing that I regretted the most, had the worst thoughts about. But now, here I am and my children are adults and I'm working with them. How many people get that opportunity? So, once again, God gave back tenfold. I think it's a hundredfold, maybe a thousand. I mean, I'm on the phone with my kids every day. I'm on meetings every day with my kids Zooming. I'm doing life with them in a big way. And yes, dinners, for us is–now, a lot of our kids have moved away, but when they're here, we are together and we love it.
Merily: And, we take trips together, too. And, we do business together so we have to be together.
Dan: Yeah, exactly.
Ben: Yeah, and–
Merily: Yeah. God has really honestly, I believe with all my heart, it is one thing, one thing only, that has unified our family and it's trusting God and letting Him know we expected it from Him.
Ben: Yeah. I knew you guys were savvy travelers when I first met you and we went out to dinner together. And, I think it was Merily who ordered the Brussels sprouts off the menu and she said, “I'm allergic to vegetable oil. Please cook them in butter.” And, that was the first time I'd seen someone actually go out of their way to ensure they didn't get the oxidized vegetable oils in their dish. And now, yeah, that rubbed off of me because when I go out now, I'll ask, “What's the sauce? What's the dressing?” And, I'll tell them, “Hey, could you use extra virgin olive oil or butter?” I was in India, I told them, “Use ghee.” And, I actually learned that from Merily. I'm like, “Oh, you actually can ask them to use a different fat or oil, I never thought of that.”
Dan: Absolutely. Our three of the five if you went to dinner with them, they would be saying, “I'm allergic to vegetable oil, just drilling them to make sure.” It's like, look, I'll make an exception on a dessert. You've been to dinner with us, maybe, but we don't make exception on the oils. And, the reason why is because the oils stay in your cells literally in your cell membrane. It's causing dysfunction for months, not days, months, if not years of bioaccumulation. So, it really is something that we make no exception on, ever. But again, I'll have a dessert, maybe she won't, but I'll have a dessert periodically. I don't care, but–
Merily: Well, I care what's in it. I do ask which one doesn't have a vegetable or canola oil. I do. I say, “Which of your desserts do not have that?” And, I won't taste it until I know.
Ben: I'm often known for having a bottle of extra virgin olive oil in a small bar of dark chocolate and a little bit of really good salt in my fanny pack. And so, I can always kind of play my own game with the menu.
I got to return to one thing because I'm absolutely intrigued with it. We pray for our kids. As a matter of fact, every night before we go to bed, it seems simple but I think it's one of the keys to Jessa and I having a lasting relationship is the very last thing we do in our heads, hit the pillow, is we pray. And, a big part of that prayer is for our sons to grow in wisdom and discernment and for God to forgive our sons of any sins that they've committed and for them to wake, committed to achieving their life's purpose that God has given them. And, it's very difficult to say that prayer at night and not wake up the next morning committed to implementing, you pray to God but then you put on your seatbelt and strap on your sword and go out and take action. So, I feel very hypocritical if I don't gather the family for our morning devotion and prayer or don't check in with my sons on their Bible reading to make sure they did their Bible before breakfast, Bible before bed type of habit. And, the prayer manifests in all sorts of really interesting ways which I think is one of the powers of prayer. If it comes from the heart, you got to act it out.
And so, prayer is a huge part of our family and of our relationships. But, Dan, I'm intrigued about this praying for a word. You've mentioned it a few times about how you do on Christmas, what's that actually look like? Are you going off by yourself? Are you there for an hour, a day, hearing voices in your head? I would love to hear a little bit more about that.
Dan: Yeah. Look, I start every day in the word and I've done that for many, many years. And, when we were going through a lot of hard times, we didn't have that opportunity to just pull in our kids and pray every day, but they saw me there every day. And, to the point now where they're like, “Hey, could you pray this for me, Dad? Can you put this in your prayer time for me?” Because they know what comes out of it. But, it's in that time that I get those words. And, God leaves it. I ask Him in my prayer time, “Lord give me a word for each child this year. Give me a word for the family.” And, it never is boom, like that. That's the way God works with Merily. And, I mean, boom, big things.
But, for me, it's something that comes and it keeps coming. I read the word. I love the Old Testament. I probably spend more time there. But, in it, God starts to open things up to me. And then, in my prayer time, he just starts to speak to my heart and it forms the message that he gives me and it's as clear as day.
And, I have challenged him in it several times like, “Okay, Lord, if this is what you want me to speak, if this is exactly what it is, then you have to show me another way.” And, it's laying fleece. Then, sure enough, God shows me another way. This year, God was giving me this word, give me this word, and then this young man that we put through school in Africa, he sends this email and it was like, “Oh, my gosh.” It was just exactly what God was giving me. And, I already had written out and it was absolute confirmation. I was chasing Merily down with it like, “Can you believe it?” And, she's always busy and like, “Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” She didn't realize the correlation until I spoke it that year of what God was speaking to me and what he just cemented into my mind through what the young man gave me.
Ben: Yeah. And, speaking of words, there's a point in your chapter in the book–and, I also heard you speak at Cal Jam down in California. First time I ever saw you speak from stage. It was powerful. And, you were speaking Hebrew and it was raka something.
Dan: Rak chazak amatz.
Ben: Yeah, rak chazak amatz, which could be a Sesame Street character but I think it's got a little bit more meaning than that. so, what does that phrase actually mean and why is it a part of your chapter?
Dan: It means a lot to our family because I said from pain, my illness, and obviously all the other stuff that we've been through. But, from pain to purpose, and the most important part of it is to promise. So, from pain to purpose to promise is the key to our family. Merily is writing a book right now of that title, but rak chazak amatz, when you look at the English translation in the Bible, it really doesn't do much for us. But, the English translation is “be strong and courageous.” So, every time someone was fearful or something god-awful was going to happen, God would send somebody to speak rak chazak amatz. But, most of it is when someone's about to go into a promise God had and they were fearful to step into the promise, whether it was Solomon sitting there as his father David was giving him the whole layout of what he was going to do because God told him that I am not building the temple, I am not taking the legacy just like what I was telling my kids but you are. And, Solomon's sitting there frantic but it was spoken through David in the prophet, “Rak chazak amatz, Solomon.”
As Israel was about to cross the Jordan into the promise that God had given them 40 years before. I mean, here they are about ready to walk in, all they saw was the 31 armies that they were about to confront instead of focusing on the promise. So here, God speaks to Israel through Joshua, “Rak chazak amatz, Israel.” Here's the best part of the translation, it's not the English. The Hebrew translation means, “I've already done it for you. I've already taken the battle for you. I've won the battle. All you have to do is step into the promise that I have declared for you, Pompa family, Greenfield family.”
Rick Warren wrote the number one book of all time, and it was, “The Purpose Driven Life,” meaning every human has a purpose. And, I think we all believe that.
Dan: But, I truly believe it's stronger to know that focusing on the promise God has for you is where the fears come in. And, most people don't step into the actual promise God has for them and their family perhaps. And, that's rak chazak amatz. He's already done it. All you have to do is step into what He already has for you.
Merily: And, that's an identity issue, by the way.
Merily: And, that is a lot of what I'm speaking about in the book because it's so important for people, I think, especially now as the world just feels so hopeless for so many reasons, and even in families, good families, families whose kids love their parents and vice versa. People are still anchoring to maybe the way they've been raised just like I was saying, if I thought if I just raise my kids this way it would be enough. So, at a certain point, I realized, wow, even though Daniel now knows the thing that was in my heart, I didn't necessarily need to speak that over him because he was too young to handle it, but yet, God was merciful and he allowed Daniel to step into his God-given purpose in spite of me in any unfair burden I put on him. But, when we identify what he says about us, then we travel that journey and amazing things happen.
Dan: So, when you look at the promise God gave Merily about me getting well and taking the message of the world, that was a promise that she anchored into. And, she —
Merily: Probably shouldn't have told you.
Dan: Yeah, yeah. She does that oftentimes better than me, honestly. Obviously, me giving the kids a promise that God's going to take this through you and reach many more people that are suffering with what helped me. That was a promise that I held on to and they've watched that happen. The promises are where God will move you. And, promise gives you more than hope. Promise is something that brings you into a calling.
Merily: It's beyond hope.
Dan: Yeah, it's beyond hope in my mind.
Ben: Yeah. Well, you guys are a really great example of this whole concept of generational legacy passing on values to your children from practical standpoint even doing things like prioritizing family, praying for family, and then including family in the family business which is just it's been amazing to see that growth and it's been inspiring to me as I kind of start down the path of something we can talk about later since I've already talked about my podcast but me and my sons are launching a card game company right now and it's just super fun working with them and kind of seeing the writing on the wall that they've kind of observed and are now implementing some of the entrepreneurial and hard work principles that I've taught them. And, I've learned a lot from you guys as well.
Merily, when does the book come out in case I want to link to that or feature it?
Merily: I'm literally telling my husband. I think I had to go away to finish this thing up.
Ben: Yeah, go to Paris. That's where people right.
Merily: [01:14:46] _____ but I have to go through it and make sure it has my voice. I've done it. I actually did it with Scribe.
Merily: Yeah. So, she interviewed me and I'm happy, but I really want it to be solely expounded upon based on things only I can add to it.
Merily: And, I've already in what I've spoken, but yeah. So, I don't know, hopefully in a year.
Ben: Best tip I can give you is give yourself a deadline. That's how I work. I give myself a hard deadline then come hell or high water. Sleep deprivation or not, you just do it. I was going to say I don't know if you heard me. One thing you could do a lot of authors do is just go to Paris for a few months and that's where the muse strikes apparently over a glass of wine.
Merily: Alright. Well, I haven't been, so okay. I might have to see that.
Dan: It just cost me some money, Ben.
Ben: Yeah. Sorry, Dan. Sorry.
Merily: But, I will tell you the one thing that is in the process of launching, and you already can see how my allergy affects people's lives in a good way to south's Jeff Hayes, the Fussed Up Foodie.
Dan: Basically, people want to always know we travel so much. What restaurant, so we get–she gets mostly because she knows all the restaurants. We are in wherever city, Austin, where do we go that's healthy quality food?
Ben: Oh, yeah.
Dan: And, she'll tell four restaurants–
Merily: Searching them out.
Dan: Yeah. So now, she's doing–well, it's not a blog, it's–
Merily: It's more of a social media. It's a website. Yeah.
Ben: For staying healthy when you're eating out?
Dan: Yeah. fussedupfoodie.com and then you can go there and find out what her take on restaurants that are out–
Merily: Yeah, what restaurants we went to, why we like them, how accommodating they were.
Ben: That's useful. I'm going to link to that in the shownotes. By the way, it's going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Pompas. I'm also going to link to previous episodes I've done with Dan, deep dives into fasting and keto and detoxification. We went deep into the science on, I think, three or four episodes. I'll also link to their supplements company, all their programs and anything else you want to know about Dan and Merily. And, if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Pompas, you can also leave questions, comments or feedback for Dan and Merily. We didn't even get to things like education and homeschooling versus public schooling, et cetera, but they have a fantastic chapter. I'm going to toot my own horn in my new book, “Boundless Parenting” at BoundlessParentingBook.com. So, I would definitely check out their chapter there because it's a hoot, it's a great education and you're going to learn a lot from them in that chapter too especially paired with this interview.
So, Dan and Merily, thanks so much for coming on. And Merily, congratulations on getting on the podcast finally.
Dan: Make sure you put pompaprogram.com in that too–
Ben: pompaprogram.com, okay.
Dan: People looking for answers, that's where they go.
Ben: Okay. I'll put it all in there. So, Dan and Merily, thanks. I wish I was down there in Park City with you so we can go out to some fussed-up foodie restaurant afterwards, but we'll make it happen at some point.
Dan: Awesome, Ben. Love you.
Ben: Alright, you guys. I love you. Bye-bye.
Alright, folks. It's coming up. It's right around the corner. It's the Health Optimisation Summit. Me and my entire family are headed to London for this thing and it is crazy, amazing. It's this massive expo full of the best biohacks.
You get to be ahead of the curve and see this stuff before it even hits the streets. You get entrance and access to all stages and breakout talks by an amazing variety of speakers. They've got 35 world-class forward-thinking speakers from the biohacking nutrition longevity fitness functional and preventive medicine fields. They've got next-level exhibitors and workshops, amazing VIP experiences with parties, with gadgets, with refreshments, with priorities, seating with upgraded goodie bags, and the list of speakers at this event is crazy. So, it's happening June 17th and 18th this year.
So, it's coming up quick. Jim Kwik, Vishen Lakhiani, Mimi Ikonn, my friend and dentist and former podcast guest Dr. Dominic, Dr. Jolene Brighten, Dr. Mark Atkinson, Kris Gethin, Dr. Christopher Shade, the list goes on and on. Some of the best of the best speakers, the coolest crowd and the exhibition for is absolutely mind-blowingly amazing. Plus, London is fun, great restaurants, cool people, and it's a party.
So, if you want to go to this year's Health Optimisation Summit, here's how to get in with a discount that's going to give you 10% off of all the regular and the VIP tickets. So again, it's June 17th and 18th. So, the Business Design Centre in London. And, here's your code, BenGreenfieldLife.com/HOS23. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/HOS23 for this year's Health Optimisation Summit. Enjoy.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
Dr. Daniel Pompa and Merily Pompa – amazing parents who are featured in my new Boundless Parenting book – are leaders in the field of functional medicine. Through years of self-experimentation, Daniel and Merily have crafted a “From Pain to Purpose” mindset, which they teach to others as they travel and speak together.
A former chiropractor, Daniel is a global leader in the health and wellness industry, with a focus on educating the public on the root causes of inflammation-driven diseases through his program True Cellular Detox™. Daniel’s weekly Cellular Healing TV podcasts are viewed worldwide by thousands. In addition, he speaks to audiences of international presidents and delegates, as well as on some of the largest natural health stages in the country for both public and practitioners. He is the author of The Cellular Healing Diet and Beyond Fasting: A Cellular Solution to Break Through Weight Loss Resistance, Slow Aging, and Get Well.
Merily spent years on her own healing, and now shares her history of overcoming toxicity and hormonal challenges. Daniel and Merily live in the mountains of Park City, Utah with their five children – who they have implemented into their health practice using a very unique combination of fasting, detox, alternative education models, family game nights, making the kids a part of the family business and other topics we discuss in this episode!
Dan's previous podcasts:
- Beyond Fasting: How To Biohack Your Fast To Accelerate Fat Loss, Stave Off Carbohydrate Cravings & Enhance Cellular Autophagy.
- The Most Effective Detox You’ve Never Heard Of (And Exactly How To Do It).
- Insider Secrets To Multi-Day Fasting, What Kind Of Fasting Burns The Most Fat, Boosting Your Own Stem Cells, Diet Variation, Feast-Famine Cycles & More With Dr. Dan Pompa.
- Kava Extract, Quantum Physics, Filtered Water, Mushroom Coffee & More: A Special Weekend Podcast Episode!
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-Mushroom growing technology…10:40
- Cellular Solutions
- A doctor-only or physician-only line
- Licensed coaches can get it at wholesale but it's practitioner only
- The technology is growing mushrooms on a certain substrate
- Targeting certain cells and growing on a substrate that influence them
- Mushrooms absorb nutrition from the base they are grown on
- Grow on grape skins to pull up resveratrol
- Grow on turmeric to make it more bioavailable
- Chaga mushroom and the birch tree
- Example of a mushroom grown on something that benefits detoxification
- Mushrooms on milk thistle to pull up ingredients useful for liver
- Gut Enhancer with lion’s mane targets a lot of gut cells
- Most of the ingredients are from Jordan Rubin’s regenerative organic farm
- Podcast with Jordan Rubin:
- Most of the herbs are fermented
- The quality of the soil is essential
- Dan's and Merily's kids grew up taking supplements
-Fasting protocols for kids…20:08
- Kids choose to fast themselves, having been educated on the benefits of it
- Beyond Fasting by Dr. Dan Pompa
- The story of Simon Pompa’s fasting journey
- skin issues and losing weight
- All their kids fast -prefers water fasting
-Tips for parents who want to include fasting for their kids and at what age should this be started…23:35
- In the U.S., it is not appropriate to put children on fast
- In other countries, kids fast
- The feast is as important as famine; the famine is as important as the feast is also appropriate
- we need times of feast and times of famine
- A partial fast is more appropriate for kids
- The Pompa kids fast twice a year
- The son Daniel, who is the CEO of Pompa Program, is on his 10th day of fasting
- Everybody reacts differently to fasting
-How many days of fasting do you think is good for a kid? Besides water, are there supplements kids should be taking?…27:25
- Ketones help in the first couple of days
- Hydrogen water actually helps
- cuts hunger
- takes away a lot of symptoms
- Symptoms are normal when fasting, especially on the first 3 days
- For the best results, you have to train and prepare
- Beyond Fasting
- Best to shift into metabolic ketosis first
- It takes several days to achieve autophagy
-Is juice fasting beneficial?…35:00
- Jessa's and Ben’s first fast was juice fast
- super low-calorie juices
- now uses ketones and carbohydrates mitigation
- Article on juicing:
- Intermittent fasting is also useful
- Fasting is an art
- Ancient cultures and fasting
- Dr. Dan is not a fan of juice fasting
- very high in glucose
- shuts down autophagy
- Limited fasting is okay
- Farmer’s Juice super low-calorie juice
- Partial fasting is more appropriate for children
- Keto Mojo
- 1:1 ratio of glucose and ketones leads to max shrinking of tumors
- max autophagy
- how to measure max autophagy
- How to measure glucose and ketones
-How did the Pompa family get kids involved in their business…42:18
- 4 years ago, as Dan was praying to God
- Got prophetic message that his kids will take his message higher than him
- Kids thought he was crazy
- A year later, talked to Daniel about how to scale his work and take it to the world
- Daniel is brilliant with social media
- Cellular detox is different for everybody
- You can't put a person on the same detox as the next person
- doses are different
- Pompa Program was born
- Isaac, became part of operations in the Pompa Program
- Olivia, who graduated as a chiropractor is now the head training coach for all the coaches
- Daniel and Simon are actually starting a SIBO jerky company
- Went from a start–up zero to a $60 dollar company
- Daniel wanted his dad to help more people
- Merily prayed to God to raise 5 leaders
- our ceiling will be your floor
- believing that God is going to do something great
- In the Bible, men are leaving to find God, but God comes to women
- Dan was very sick
- Merily prayed for him
- God told her he will get well and help others in the future
- anchored to the hope of their faith
- Dan started getting better
- How they came into 2 of her cousin’s kids
- God has chosen Daniel for the mission
-How to avoid silver spoon mentality…52:04
- The Pompas when bankrupt during the court battle to get the 2 kids
- court battle with a grandmother
- lost everything
- the kids going through that was a blessing
- learned how it feels to have nothing and to struggle
- the greatest lesson to be taught and God taught it
- Having strong core values and knowing the foundational premise by which you function
- Identifying your values and priorities
- Dan coping with adversities
- Podcast with Rich Christiansen:
- Ben’s family's mission statement
- Core value of the Pompa business
-Family time to keep family together…1:00:36
- Podcast with the Gentempos:
- Game nights when all kinds of games were played:
- Dan’s prophetic words to his children on Christmas
- They spend a lot of time traveling
- Trusting God and letting him know we expected it from Him
- Ordering food in restaurants without vegetable oil
-The power of God’s promise…1:06:07
- Ben’s prayers for his family
- prayer is for our sons to grow in wisdom and discernment
- for God to forgive our sons of any sins that they've committed
- for them to wake, committed to achieving the life purpose that God has given them
- Dan’s praying for a word on Christmas
- Hebrew phrase Dan utters: Rak Chazak Amatz
- means a lot for his family because it was said from pain
- from pain to purpose to promise
- be strong and courageous
- Merily is writing a book of that title
- “I've already done it for you. I've already taken the battle for you. I've won the battle. All you have to do is step into the promise that I have declared for you”
- The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for? by Rick Warren
- Most people don’t step into the actual promise of God has for them
- The promises are where God will move you
- A promise gives you more than hope
- A promise is something that brings you into a calling
- Scribe Media
- The Fussed Up Foodie
-And much more…
- Health Optimisation Summit: June 17th – 18th, 2023
Join me at The Health Optimisation Summit in London! This is your chance to be part of a community of 2,500 like-minded people and learn from world-leading health speakers. You'll be able to fast-track your health journey, discover cutting-edge secrets and hacks, explore the latest tech and gadgets, and find the cleanest and healthiest supplements and nutrient-dense foods. Don't miss out on this incredible experience! Use code BENGREENFIELD for 10% off regular and VIP tickets. Learn more here.
- HUM2N Event: June 19th, 2023
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn from the best in the field and take your biohacking journey to the next level. You’ll get the chance to be involved with a private network of biohackers, a live discussion with myself and Dr. E, a live Q&A, an experiential biohacking experience, tasty food, and a chance to win some mind-blowing prizes! Learn more here.
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!
32 Questions For Boundless Parenting
The following questions were posed to Dan and Merily Pompa, and the rest of the wise parents interviewed for my upcoming book, Boundless Parenting.
- How many children do you have, how old are they, what is their profession or passion, and why, in particular, are you proud of them?
- Are there any elements of your parenting approach that you would consider to be particularly unique?
- What books, systems, models, or resources do you rely heavily upon or consider to be indispensable in your own parenting?
- What traditions, habits, routines, or rituals are most important, memorable, or formative for your family?
- What rites of passage or significant moments of maturation to adolescence or adulthood have your children experienced, if any?
- Who do you look up to as parenting mentors?
- What have you taught your children about raising their own children?
- Do you have any philosophies or strategies for educating your children outside of traditional school, such as homeschooling, unschooling, self-directed education, or other alternatives, creative, or “outside-the-box” forms of education?
- What has been your proudest moment as a parent, and why?
- What do you wish you had known before first becoming a parent?
- Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome as a parent? If so, how have you coped with that?
- How have you achieved a balance between mentoring and passing on wisdom without “living vicariously” through your children?
- Have you ever faced any big parenting decisions that kept you awake at night worrying or that you feared you would mess up?
- What do you regret, if anything, from your experience as a parent?
- What is the biggest mistake you have made as a parent?
- What, if anything, from your parenting experience would you go back and change or improve?
- If you had multiple children, what did you think was right at the time with one child that you then went back and changed with the next child or future children?
- Have you ever sensed or feared that your children would grow up too different or weird as a result of any “outside-the-box” parenting approaches you used? If so, how did you deal with that?
- Have you ever differed from your spouse on parenting principles, techniques, or approaches? If so, how did you manage that?
- Warning: This question is long but important: As a parent, have you ever felt conflicted about wanting to share a book, teaching, resource, or method with your children as a means of impacting their future success, but feared that it might “overload” them, especially at their age? If so, how did you balance bestowing this valuable knowledge to your child without causing them to worry too much about adult concerns? How did you decide when to just “let a kid be a kid” versus nudging them towards responsible adulthood and the attainment of valuable wisdom?
- How have you balanced being a present, engaged parent while preserving your own identity, taking time for your own self-care, tending to your career, or pursuing other interests that did not include your children?
- How have you engaged in one-on-one time or created space for dedicated time with your child, especially if you have more than one child?
- If your children have grown up and moved out of your house, what strategies have you found most helpful for maintaining and building your relationship with them?
- If your children have grown up and moved out of your house, do you often miss them, fear for them, or think of them? If so, how have you coped with any loneliness or desire for their presence?
- Do you have non-negotiable rules for your children?
- How have you disciplined your children, if at all?
- How have you helped your child to establish responsibly, moderated, or conscientious consumption or use of books, media, entertainment, screen time, and social media? This is not my favorite question because the focus on “limiting screen time” seems a bit blown out of proportion these days and I think causes kids to get obsessed with the “forbidden fruit” of screen time, but it seems to be on the minds of many parents today, so I’d be remiss not to include it.
- Have you emphasized or encouraged any health, fitness, or healthy eating principles with your children? If so, what has seemed to work well?
- If your child or children could inscribe anything on your gravestone, what would you hope that they would write? What would you most want them to remember about you?
- What do you most want to be remembered for as a parent?
- What do you think your child or children would say is their fondest memory of being raised by you?
- What message for parents would you put on a billboard?
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Cellular Solutions
- True Cellular Detox
- Cellular Healing TV
- The Fussed Up Foodie
- The Cellular Healing Diet
- Beyond Fasting
- Beyond Fasting: How To Biohack Your Fast To Accelerate Fat Loss, Stave Off Carbohydrate Cravings & Enhance Cellular Autophagy.
- The Most Effective Detox You’ve Never Heard Of (And Exactly How To Do It).
- Insider Secrets To Multi-Day Fasting, What Kind Of Fasting Burns The Most Fat, Boosting Your Own Stem Cells, Diet Variation, Feast-Famine Cycles & More With Dr. Dan Pompa.
- Kava Extract, Quantum Physics, Filtered Water, Mushroom Coffee & More: A Special Weekend Podcast Episode!
- How To Start A Farm & Grow Your Own Food, The Craziest New Mushroom Formulations You’ve Never Heard Of, How To Be Insanely Productive & Spiritual At The Same Time & Much More With Jordan Rubin.
- How To Build Your Legacy, Bond Your Family With Traditions, Rituals & Routines, Rites Of Passage & Much More With Rich Christiansen of Legado Family Founder.
- The Wake-Up Lounge, Italian Dinner Feasts, Travel As Education, “FU” University & Other Massively Important Parenting Principles With Patrick and Laurie Gentempo.
– Other Resources:
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Ultimate Longevity: Ready to hack your sleep and stay grounded while recovering? Head to ultimatelongevity.com/ben to get your hands on grounding mats for your mattress, pillow, blankets, and other valuable tools to help you bring down your inflammation and jumps start your healing.
Kion Aminos: Aminos are building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. Go to getkion.com/ben to receive 20% off on monthly deliveries and 10% on one-time purchases.