[Transcript] – How Long Can We Live?, The Knight’s Templar Longevity Diet, How To Have Bigger Babies, How *Not* To Exercise, The Best Morning Meditation & Journaling Practice & Much More!

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From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/how-long-can-we-live-the-knights-templar-longevity-diet-how-to-have-bigger-babies-how-not-to-exercise-the-best-morning-meditation-journaling-practice-much-more/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:51] Podcast Sponsors

[00:06:06] Today's Solosode

[00:07:56] What We Can Learn from Supercentenarians

[00:13:39] The Knights Templar Diet for Longevity

[00:18:24] Timing Caffeine Intake for Optimal Oxidation and Aerobic Capacity

[00:22:31] Omega-3 Supplementation in Pregnancy for Bigger Babies and Children

[00:26:23] Podcast Sponsors

[00:28:39] Why HIIT is Not the Way to Train

[00:33:08] The Relationship Between Exercise and Having a Purpose Statement

[00:35:34] Ben's Morning Journaling Practice

[00:44:01] Ben's Evening Journaling Practice

[00:48:04] Where to See Ben LIVE

[00:50:50] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

It turns out that there was a distinct link between exercise and a sense of purpose. This is probably why exercise is also associated with a reduced rate of depression and just overall higher profile of mood states scores overall. By programming your subconscious to just dwell upon that person, it's as though you're helping them out subconsciously throughout the day. And then, finally, at what point in the day was that character, me, most connected to my life's purpose?

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Alright, folks, this is it. This is the magical moment. My brand new, pretty unique, kind of weird cookbook is ready. Why do I say weird? Because it's just chock-full of all these crazy and unique mashups of molecular gastronomy, and biohacking, and superfoods, along with recipes from my wife, from my kids. It's an epic bounty of mouthwatering, taste bud entertaining goodness. And I think the luscious photo spread throughout are pretty darn cool as well. It's a beautiful cookbook. It's big. It's beautiful. It's chock-full of all the crazy, unique recipes you hear me talking about making on Instagram, and podcasts, and articles. Now, it's all done for you. It's all spelled out. You can eat the way I do from the comfort of your own home using the same type of foods that I eat.

So, here's the deal. In the final weeks leading up to the cookbook launch, I'm running some pretty darn cool promos. So, I have a few partners who I've partnered up with, who are going to be giving away a ton of extra goodies like $4,000 worth of extra goodies if you preorder the cookbook before, drumroll, please, June 14th. Okay. So, if you just go to boundlesscookbook.com and you order the cookbook before June 14th, and preorders are live now, then you get automatically registered to win free gifts from Traeger, their Ironwood 885 Grill, that giant smoker grill, same one I use. Yeah, you can get free one of those on your porch, or your kitchen, or your bedroom, wherever you want to keep your grill. Organifi is giving away a ton of their red, green, and gold powder. Dry Farm Wines, a 12-bottle case of their natural organic biodynamic wine. Kion is hooking you up with three bags of organic coffee, two boxes of clean energy bars, and a bottle of the amazing colostrum that they have. Kettle and Fire is giving you 24 cartons of their organic packaged bone broth. And Four Sigmatic is stepping up and giving you a huge pack of their medicinal shroomies.

So, we're going to announce the winners on June 14th, which means you got to get your cookbook by June 14th. That's coming up quick, boundlesscookbook.com. Go grab your copy today.

Got a doozy of a podcast for you today. I feel kind of weird because I just took four days off completely, kind of off-grid with my family to hang out with my boys and my wife, and it feels odd to be back in front of the microphone after these four days. Isn't that crazy? But very little work and a ton of time with family, and I feel like a new man, holy cow.

Today's podcast is brought to you actually by my own company, Kion. Kion is a company I created to scratch my own itch. We blend ancient wisdom with modern science and my own quest to find cool formulations, and molecules, and plants from around the world and make super unique, but highly efficacious formulas. We only, only use stuff that's both world tested, if I can spit that out, and also backed by human clinical research. One of the products that's probably our most popular for sleep, for the gut, for satiating your appetite when you're on a fasted state for building muscle much more quickly even if you are eating a lower calorie diet, it's pretty shocking. How all this stuff works is like the Swiss Army knife for all things health and fitness. It's called Kion Aminos. These are essential amino acids, not branched-chain amino acids, which in my opinion do not work based on the research I've done, essential amino acids, and they're called Kion Aminos again. You can get it for 10% off, really cool ratio of essential amino acids. You got to try these things. They're like steroids, getkion.com/bengreenfield. That's getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield.

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Welcome to a very special episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show. Why is this episode special? Because it's just me talking to you. And in this case, I call such an episode a “solosode” because this is my chance to sit down solo, or rather stand up at my hand crank stand-up desk solo and talk to you about some of the things I haven't really been able to talk to you about because I've been too busy talking to other people. I often spend my mornings, as most interesting or boring people do, sipping my cup of morning coffee, or tea, or lion's mane, or whatever I happen to be drinking, reviewing research articles, scientific studies, interesting and compelling research and posts from around the world, and taking notes on those. I often put them out on places like Twitter, or Facebook, but I also sometimes like to dive into them in some of these episodes.

And so, that's what we're going to do today. We're going to explore longevity such as how long you can actually live, some of the new effects of caffeine on fatty acid oxidation, omega-3 fatty acids, some of the newer research on exercise, a high-intensity exercise and beyond. And also, I have a very interesting morning practice I have developed of light practice that involves journaling, meditation, visualization, tapping, gratitude, et cetera, that I also like to share with you towards the end of this episode, something that has really made a difference in my own life in terms of my, shall we call self-optimization in the morning. And I think you'd benefit from that as well. Now, I'm going to put all of the shownotes for today's show over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/junesolosode. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/junesolode.

That being said, I suppose we can just delve right in. I'm often asked by folks how long I think that I'm going to live. Frankly, I really don't care as long as I am impactful and have good health span and lifespan with however long I've been genetically programmed and ordained by God to survive on this planet, I'm happy with that. I don't have a number like 120, or 150, or 170, or anything like that, but I do find it interesting to look at long-lived people and analyze what we can learn from them. And one of the more famous long-lived people who has since deceased is Jeanne Calment from France.

Now, there are some interesting things about Jeanne Calment. First of all, she enjoyed a glass of port, a cigarette, and chocolate nearly every day. She was also known for her optimism, her good humor, and her wit. As far as I know, she did not do stem cells, peptides, NAD, or anything of the like. And so, of course, I'm certain that she had strong genetics, but she also lived a joyful life. She engaged in what we might consider to be vices, yet these things, including cigarettes, believe it or not, in small doses, alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate, and they do seem to impart some type of hormetic effect. I'm not, I'm not endorsing the smoking of cigarettes to live a long time, but I do think it's interesting that she was sucking down toxins every day and yet lived a remarkable lifespan.

Now, when we look at the data on Calment, she was one of the longest-lived persons or so-called super centenarians that we actually have on record. And of course because of this, many people are trying to figure out based on her and others what the actual human lifespan limit could be. There was one provocative study in 2016 in the prestigious research journal, “Nature,” that implied authors had found the limit to human lifespan. This was a geneticist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and they analyzed decades' worth of mortality data from several countries. And they concluded that the highest reported age at death in most of these countries actually increased pretty rapidly between the 20 years from the '70s to the '90s, but failed to rise since the '90s and stagnated at an average of about 115 years, which is actually pretty close to how old Jeanne Calment was when she passed. I believe she was actually exactly 115 years old.

And this theoretical limit on the length of human life has vexed scientists and philosophers for thousands of years, and what it seems is that human lifespan may have arrived at its limit. We're not seeing a staggering increase in the amount of time that people live based on this research that has been done and based on what's called the International Database on Longevity. But after that journal “Nature” published that study, two years later, the equally prestigious journal, “Science,” published a study that contradicted the one in nature. Now, what they showed that someone alive at about 105 had about a 50% chance of living to the next year, and the same was true at 106, 107, 108, and 109.

Now, these authors strongly suggested that longevity is continuing to increase over time, and that a limit, if any, had not been reached. So, lifespan statistics can only tell us so much, but it's interesting that a Jay Olshansky, who's an expert on longevity and a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois in Chicago, he basically says that the risk of death around that point, around 109 to 115 is so high that he says most people aren't going to be living much beyond the limits that we see today. However, Steve Austad, who's a biologist at the University of Alabama, said in Scientific American that the first 150-year-old person is probably alive right now.

Now, I don't believe that death is necessarily inevitable. I go into a great deal and great detail in talking about the naked mole-rat, and the Hydra jellyfish, and the bowhead whale in my book “Boundless.” It seems longevity is largely determined by species anatomy and lifestyle. But based on all the data that we have to date, it would appear that at this point, theoretically, the limit on human lifespan is about 110 to 115 years old. And I would be surprised if that significantly increases anytime soon. It will be interesting to see what happens to this increasing prevalence of biohackers who are spending their existence in hyperbaric chambers, cryotherapy chambers, pumping NAD into their veins, and getting stem cell infusions, guilty as charged. However, I really can tell you that based on everything I've seen, 110 to 115 seems to be around the maximum lifespan. And I think that's interesting. I'm going to link to an article about the Jeanne Calment and longevity in general, but if you want to sit back and have a glass of port, a cigarette, some chocolate, and have fun with a lot of people, have big family dinners, laugh a lot, make a lot of friends, it may actually be a better way to live than spending your life fasting, cold, libido-less, hanging out in an ice bath, or at least you should strike a balance between the two, in my opinion.

Now, onto another kind of special diet, and I thought this was quite interesting, they looked into the Knights Templars. So, these were Templar Knights that were associated with exceptional longevity. So, it was an order of knights. I believe it was back in about the 1300s who had compulsory dietary rules that may have contributed to their long lives and their good health. And I thought it was interesting going through and actually reading what it was that these folks, these knights, actually ate. So, it was a balancing act between the type of fasting that, say, monks in those days might do along with the type of provision that a knight living a more active military life would actually need to engage in because you can't crusade or joust on a fully empty stomach 24/7.

So, the way that these knights were fed was three times a week, they were permitted to eat meat. And on Sundays, everyone ate meat together with the higher up members permitted both lunch and dinner with some kind of roast animal-like beef, or ham, or bacon. They use salt or seasoning to cure the meat. But Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, they all ate these more Spartan-esque vegetable-filled meals, like two or three meals of vegetables or other dishes eaten often with bread. And sometimes they would include milk, and eggs, and cheese. They ate a lot of potage, P-O-T-A-G-E, which is made with oats, [00:15:12] _____, and fiber-rich vegetable stews. In their gardens, they grew fruits and vegetables, Mediterranean produce, figs, almonds, pomegranates, olives, and corn, not GMO corn of course, but just regular old corn, probably the teeny-tiny variety back before we genetically modified corn significantly.

Once a week on Fridays, they had a Lent fast, no eggs, no milk, no animal products. They relied on dried and salted fish, or dairy, or egg substitutes made from almond milk. And the weak and the sick amongst the knights were actually encouraged to abstain from this fast, and they got meat, flesh, birds, and all other foods that they believed would bring them good health to return them to their fighting shape as soon as possible. They all drank wine, but wine was also restricted. Alcohol was not taken in excess, but in moderation, which is interesting because you see this across a lot of the Blue Zones as well, and even in that Jeanne Calment lady I was talking about earlier. They would often mix the wine with different cocktails of antiseptics like aloe vera, and hemp, and palm, and all sorts of different herbs and spices. So, wine usually had a lot added into it that went beyond just wine.

Now, I think this is interesting because a few things stand out to me. First of all, they had like these fast-feast-fast cycles. Meaning, they had certain days where they were protein-restricted and certain days where they went heavy on protein. Those who were sick or injured of course got more of those amino acids, more of those proteins. They had low to moderate amounts of alcohol. They had a wide variety of plants, grains, herbs, and spices, and really not necessarily myopic diet, pure carnivore or pure herbivore, but rather more of a focus on cycling between the amount of calories they would consume and the amount of protein that they would consume.

Now, of course, there is only so much that we can learn from epidemiological data like this versus a hardcore human clinical research. I guess I play some importance on the idea that we can learn from our ancestors, from cultures such as the Blue Zones. And I'll link to the full article in the Knights Templars, but I think probably my biggest takeaway from this, and something I personally focus on is I will have some days, especially my heavier training days, my Templar Knights sword-swinging days, so to speak, or actually will have more ribeye steaks, and liver, and heavier meats, pork loin, and pork ribs, and pork belly, the beef pork wild game type of approach.

And then, on my lighter days, I actually do a lot more vegetables, herbs, spices, fish, eggs, et cetera. I have a little glass of organic wine or a mix of cocktails and bitters at the end of each day. And then, I'll typically have one day where I eat very light. Often I'll do a 24-hour dinnertime to dinnertime fast a couple of times a month. I definitely have periods of time where I train in a calorie-restricted state over 12 to 16-hour intermittent fast. And I just think that these are interesting things that we can learn from these type of populations. So, I'll link to that article, but I think you would find it interesting how the Knight Templars actually ate.

Alright, we're going to shift a little bit now and talk about one research study that I thought was interesting, caffeine's effects on fatty acid oxidation, aerobic capacity, when you had caffeine in the morning versus the afternoon. So, this was a study that appeared in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. And what they did was they tested when the body responds best to caffeine, particularly related to fat oxidation, to whole-body fat oxidation during exercise. Now, it turned out that saving your caffeine for later in the day, such as a microdose, and when I say microdose, somewhere around the range of 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, not a 500 milligram pop your eyeballs out and send smoke out your ears pre-workout drink. But like a little bit of caffeine in the afternoon seems to enhance fat burning more than when you have your caffeine in the morning.

And I think this is notable because one thing I've pondered about a little bit is why we drink coffee in the morning aside from its magical effect on the ease of a morning bowel movement when in the morning, as sunlight hits our eyes, and as we wake, and as our circadian rhythm begins, we have this natural cortisol response that dictates that our metabolism gets a jumpstart even without coffee early in the morning. And theoretically, if you're trying to keep yourself from getting tolerant to coffee or keep yourself from engaging in excess coffee intake, it would seem that you could, theoretically, perhaps have decaffeinated coffee, or tea, or some type of adaptogenic mushroom or something like that in the morning, and then save your caffeine intake for the afternoon and the evening, particularly if your goals are fat loss, and you would see an actual increase in fat oxidation by using this type of approach.

Now, furthermore, as I reported in a podcast recently, it appears that for pre-workout drinking, your caffeine is actually not as advantageous as chewing on some type of caffeinated gum, or like a caffeinated lozenge, or something along those lines. Now, one thing that you might find interesting that I've personally been experimenting with is you may recall Dr. Craig Koniver. He's a guy I've had on my podcast before. He's a guy who makes these fast vitamin IVs that he sends out. He's a guy who sent me like NAD IVs before. He's one of the cool physicians who I have in my back pocket, who I think is a real brilliant guy. He actually recently developed a gum. And the gum is super interesting.

So, the ingredients are NAD, which boosts ATP in your nervous system, allows for a higher concentration of mitochondria, increases ATP levels in the mitochondria. About 25 milligrams of NAD in this gum, and then it's got about 25 milligrams of caffeine. That microdose of caffeine that I alluded to, which is enough to improve things like concentration, focus, alertness, arousal, fat oxidation, and your workout performance, but it's a low enough amount to where it's not going to block these adenosine receptors that would lead to increased wakefulness late into the day. And then, he puts about 10 milligrams like a microdose of CBD in there, which is a little bit of a nootropic in and of itself, helps to protect brain cells, little bit of an anti-inflammatory.

And so, I've actually been popping a piece of this gum in the afternoon to experiment with this saving caffeine for late in the day. And then, I'll have some Kion decaf coffee, or some mushroom tea, or something like that. In the morning, I also like this cacao tea made by a company called MiCacao. And it actually seems to work pretty effectively in terms of an afternoon or early evening workout boost, and it seems to work better when I don't have much caffeine earlier in the day. And this latest study on the increase of caffeine and maximal fat oxidation when the caffeine is consumed in the afternoon seems to back that up a little bit. So, I thought that was interesting. You can check the–I'll link to that gum in the shownotes. I'll hunt it down and link to it if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/junesolosode. Cool study about the timing of your caffeine.

There was also an interesting study about omega-3 fatty acids. And this one is going to be interesting for those of you who especially have babies, or are expecting, or know someone who's expecting. It was a systematic literature review on the intake of EPA and DHA like fish oil when it comes to birth weight and healthier babies. Now, basically in a nutshell, or I guess I should say in a fish oil shell, what they found was that DHA and EPA supplementation in women who were expecting resulted in higher offspring birth weight and weight in childhood. Now, I've always, with any of the women who I work with, who I'm helping out with their meal plans, with their nutrition, even with their postpartum eating, helping to support more breast milk production, healthier babies, et cetera.

I've always recommended to them what's called the Weston A. Price diet, which is a diet rich in fatty acid, ghee, and coconut oil, and different forms of fish, fermented foods, lots of organ meats, and almost the type of diet that one would want to eat for really good hormonal support and arguably even either weight gain, or weight maintenance, or muscle mass, or hormone balance, or all the things that this diet is indicated for. Very clean, very cool diet. It's not necessarily like a fasting or weight loss diet, but man oh man, for healthy babies and healthy mothers. And this literature review definitely shows that if you are a mom and you're expecting, even more so if you're like vegan or vegetarian, you should really go out of your way to get a lot of EPA and DHA in your diet.

One thing that I actually get in pouches, and I even eat this myself, I don't just recommend it to women who are expecting, but also I enjoy it, it's like a sauce that'll put on steaks or put on salad. There's this company called Serenity Baby Foods. I found them a couple of years ago, and what they do is they make baby food, but they have these flavors like wild-caught salmon with squash. And all their baby foods have is really good amounts of olive oil, wild-caught salmon, organic beet, organic butternut squash, grass-fed, grass-finished meat, vegan or vegetarian varieties, too, like their organic roots one is sweet potato, carrot, beet, and olive oil. But these things are amazing for the essential fatty acids that encourage nutrient absorption and aid in brain development. They taste really good. I recommend them to pretty much all women now who are expecting or who have babies.

And I got somebody recently passed on to me like an investment deck for a baby food company, and it was like this vegetable-based baby food company. I looked at the labels and it was like soy, almond, a high amount of these polyunsaturated fatty acids, no meat, no DHA, no EPA, no saturated fats, none of the things that we know that babies and mothers actually need. And of course, I passed on the deck, but I actually emailed the guy who I know, Joe Carr, who's the founder of Serenity Kids, and I said, “This is sad that this company is probably going to get a bunch of money, take off, and women are going to be eating or feeding their babies this type of baby food that's not giving their babies anything like the babies actually need.”

These type of studies just show us what young human should actually be consuming, and I thought it was interesting. So, that company I mentioned, Serenity Baby Foods, and I'll link to this article, which appeared in the journal of Frontiers in Nutrition, it was a systematic literature review on the type of fatty acids that really support good birth weight. But I would look into the Weston A. Price Foundation's diet if you're expecting, or if you're breastfeeding, or if you have a baby. And I would also look into this Serenity Baby Foods company as well. Cool information on nutrition.

Well, hello. I want to interrupt today's show to tell you about the sauna, the sauna I have that I can fit me, and my children, and my wife into for a breathwork session. We can do a four-way family breathwork session in that thing. It's so big. It's the Clearlight Sanctuary yoga sauna. It's their infrared sauna, full-spectrum infrared. They have other saunas, too, but the one I use is the Sanctuary. And they shield against the EMF exposure, they do near, mid, and far-infrared heat, they come with a lifetime warranty, and they're going to give you a smoking hot deal if you use my code. It's healwithheat.com, and then mention my name, and that's how you get your discount, healwithheat.com. Call them up, write them, mention my name and you'll be into the special VIP club. So, those are the Clearlight saunas. Check them out, healwitheat.com.

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I want to shift focus now and talk a little bit about exercise. So, when I interviewed Stephen Hussey recently, which I caught a lot of flak about because Dr. Stephen Hussey, who I did a two-part interview of cardiovascular health, which I thought was amazing. You can find it at my website. I'll link to it in the shownotes. Just a wonderful treatise on what really causes cardiovascular disease and how to really manage heart health. I caught a lot of flak on that because people basically said, “He's a chiropractor. What can he know about the heart?” The dude knows a lot about the heart. I don't think you have to be a cardiovascular surgeon to understand how the heart works or to even have an alternative approach to caring for the heart that goes beyond things like, say, statins and aspirin.

But so interesting because I recently went to a doctor, for example, because I had a gut issue. And he took a look at my charts and everything, and took a look at some of my anatomy and said, basically in a nutshell, he wanted to cut out my colon and put me on an antidepressant, like cut out my colon and put me on an antidepressant. No talk about diets, no talk about the pelvic floor musculature training, no talk about defecation positions. I know this might be a little bit of a TMI or whatever, but I was having a gut issue, just a shocking approach. And he gave me about 10, 15 minutes and then walked out, treating me like dirt.

I think that there are many good allopathically trained physicians out there, wonderful allopathically trained physicians. But I also think that we shouldn't discount what a lot of these alternative physicians, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians know and practice when it comes to caring for the body in a more all-inclusive and natural way. Anyways though, I digress. One of the things that Stephen talked about was this idea that excessive endurance training and excessive high-intensity interval training causes the heart to shift into a state of glucose utilization and causes basically acidic like a lactic acid buildup that may be disturbing to heart tissue.

This latest study in the Journal of Cellular Metabolism, titled “Excessive Exercise Training” causes mitochondrial functional impairment and decreases glucose tolerance, investigated what happened when people were engaged in this high-intensity interval training. High-intensity interval training, meaning, you'd like two minutes hard, a little bit off, two minutes hard, a little bit off, but doing a lot of that type of training. And they found a striking reduction in mitochondrial function, a disturbance in glucose tolerance, a disturbance in insulin secretion. And this was in like world-class endurance athletes. And it just goes to show you that exercising harder is not what makes you healthy.

And arguably, if that's your own personal Mount Everest that you want to climb, you want to go do a Spartan race, or an Ironman triathlon, or whatever, and use that form of training, that's fine, but don't fool yourself into thinking that's going to make you healthy versus, say, long walks outdoors, preferably in the sunshine or what's called high-intensity repeat training, which is different than high-intensity interval training. High intensity repeat training might be go on a walk, and every time you go by telephone pole, you sprint for five seconds, super short sprints, long recovery periods, mostly low-level aerobic exercise, a little bit of sprinting thrown in. If you do that occasionally, you lift heavy weights over once in a while, you play a sport, you do some mobility, I have a whole training program like this laid out in my book “Boundless.” That's going to be far more healthy for not just heart health, but lifespan, and glucose tolerance, and insulin management, and mitochondrial function compared to fooling yourself that beating yourself up and crawling out of the gym and being hell sore the next day is actually the recipe for health, okay?

And you might look good to a certain extent for a certain period of time, but studies like this just keep coming out, showing that when we beat ourselves up and spit ourselves out using the old school marathon training approach of the '80s, or the bodybuilding approach of the '90s, it's just not the way to train. Just a word of warning for anybody who is exercising the wrong way, I'm not saying HIIT is bad. Most people overdo it. I might do a HIIT training session where I'm actually going longer than about 10 to 30 seconds in terms of the length of the hard duration that I do one to two times a week max. And that HIIT training session lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, okay? These are not like 60-minute long HIIT training workouts. So, just a word of warning for those of you who are engaged in excessive HIIT. So, be careful, you masochists.

Related to that, there was another interesting study on exercise published in the Journal of Genome of Medicine. Now, I've talked a lot about how important it is to have a purpose statement in your life, how important it is to have a single, succinct purpose statement that you identify with. You can go to my website and search for “How To Find Your Purpose In Life” to discover how to weave in things like what you enjoy when you were a kid, what makes time go by quickly for you now, what puts you in the flow, or what kind of things when you assess yourself at the end of the day, which I'll get into later, make you feel as though you're most connected to your life's purpose.

But ultimately, what this study found was that those with a sense of overall purpose are generally more likely to exercise, and that regular exercise can actually increase one's sense of purpose in life. So, what they did was they studied like almost, I think it was over 14,000 patients, and they ask them questions about their sense of purpose and their physical activity. And what they found was that active people have an exercise program that gives structure and meaning to their life. It provides them with goals. It provides them with a dopamine-inducing way to achieve and check those goals off. It engages them in forward motion, which according to an article that I recently published on my website and research done by wonderful folks like Dr. Andrew Huberman at Stanford University, these studies showed that forward motion can actually decrease your stress, just this act of taking one step forward. And sometimes taking one step forward can be a long walk, or a swim, or just doing an exercise session. One step forward could literally be like pushing away overhead.

But it turns out that there was a distinct link between exercise and a sense of purpose in life. This is probably why exercise is also associated with a reduced rate of depression and just overall higher profile of mood state scores overall. So, it was just a great insight into how much exercise can give structure and meaning to one's life. Of course, pair that with the warning that I just gave you. This is not hardcore exercise, riding your bike, and walking, and swimming, maybe a little bit of sauna, lifting a few heavy things, playing a sport. If you have a purpose statement in life and you're also exercising in a sane, and smart, and wise, and healthy way, it really is a good way to live your life, especially if you're eating like a Knights Templar, as we've already learned.

I told you also, related to life's purpose, that I wanted to share with you my own morning journaling practice, what it looks like now, how I combine breathwork, visualization, tapping, prayer, gratitude, service, self-examination, and purpose in my own life. I'll walk you through how I do this. So, what I have on my phone is I have what's called an Insight Timer app. I believe the app is free or the cost is pretty much negligible. And what I've done is I've set this app up to have a preset where you can preset your own time to meditations or whatever you'd like to do. So, I have it set up for a seven-minute morning meditation. I use this background music. They've all 20 different tracks you can use for background music. The one that I like, if you only use the one that I use, is called Angel Choir. Don't laugh. I like it. It really puts me in the mood.

And then, I set the timer. So, the timer will chime with these little bells. You like my bell? Dong. That's better. I set the timer to chime at the beginning of the meditation, and then at the two-minute mark, the second two-minute mark, and the third two-minute mark. Okay. So, it's a seven-minute-long timer that I do. Now, I do this with my whole family. We typically go to the back porch. In the winter, we'll sit in the living room and do this. And we use this thing that I actually developed called the “Spiritual Disciplines Journal.” It's at spiritualdisciplinesjournal.com. We open up to the page that we're all on in the “Spiritual Disciplines Journal.” We read the inspiring verse at the top of the journal, and then ding, set the timer.

Now, for the first two minutes, all we do is breathe with a six-count in and a six-count out, long, slow, deep breathing, preferably through the nose. And that is our time to connect with our bodies, to connect with God, to meditate upon that verse that was at the top of the page, to find a dark empty space in the back of our eyes, to rest our tongue at the bottom of our mouths, and just get into that meditative mood, so to speak. Sit there and sit there in silence for those first two minutes. And then, the next ding goes off at the two-minute mark. And at that point, we begin our gratitude practice. S0, for two minutes, what we do is we think about something that we are grateful for, typically something we experienced the night before or that morning. And it's interesting because by reliving that gratitude moment, by visualizing it in your mind, it actually induces the same physiological and psychological response that you had when that moment occurred to you.

I'll just throw this out there. Let's say you had a wonderful lovemaking session with your spouse the night before, and that's what you're grateful for that morning, and you relive that. You actually experience those same sensations, that little release of oxytocin, that little release of pleasure that you got from the night before by reliving that moment, by visualizing it. And we also make it a focus, and this is based on research by an institute instead called the HeartMath Institute, to breathe that gratitude into your heart, like a deep breath in and just imagine that whole experience traveling down to your heart center. And they've actually shown that this just almost instantly increases your heart rate variability and plummets your stress score, decreases your sympathetic nervous system activity, and increases your parasympathetic nervous system activity.

Now, as we're sitting there for two minutes dwelling upon that moment of gratitude, at some point we open our eyes and write about what it is that we are grateful for in our journal. It's the first question prompt in the journal is, what am I grateful for? Okay. So, it's two minutes dwelling upon gratefulness and finally writing it down. And by about that time, the next two-minute chime sounds. Now, when the next two-minute chime sounds, that's when we begin into what's called service. So, you think of one person, whose name you can jot down in your journal, who you can pray for, or help, or serve that day. Now, it's very interesting because what I've found is that by writing that person's name down, and sometimes we'll sit and think about that person because I have a full two minutes and I'll dwell upon who God brings to mind for me to actually go out of my way to either help or pray for, or serve, or send positive emotions towards that day.

It's interesting because you almost subconsciously manifest and program your mind to dwell upon that person throughout the day. This recently happened to me. Actually, this was just yesterday. The person's name who I wrote down, not only did I have two interactions with them later that day, once on the phone and once in person, and was able to go out of my way to give them helpful advice to smile at them, to make their day better. But it's interesting because by programming your subconscious to just dwell upon that person, it's as though you're helping them out subconsciously throughout the day.

If you listen to my podcast with Don Woods, for example, or Brian Scott, two podcasts that I released this year, we talk a lot about programming your subconscious to spin in the background throughout your day. It's related to the old school, the book, “The Secret” or “Think or Grow Rich,” or I really like Joseph Murphy's “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.” I think that's the best treaties on how this works. But basically, you program your subconscious as you think about that person in the morning. And then, that person just winds up being someone who you help every day. And if you think about this, if you're doing these 365 days a year, just imagine all the people that you are able to help and serve throughout the course of an entire year.

And I really like this better than those morning self-affirmations where you're just like me, I, old school Saturday night live, Stuart Smalley. What did he say? “I'm good, I'm smart and beautiful, and gosh, darn it, people like me,” something like that. You're instead focusing on others, and I find that to be far more meaningful. And so, that's during those two minutes. And at some point during those two minutes, you of course open your eyes and follow the second prompt in this spiritual disciplines journal, which is who can I pray for, help, or serve on this day. And you write down that person's name.

Now, by then, the third two-minute chime will have sounded, and you are at the six-minute mark. And for that final six to seven-minute mark, here is what we all do as a family or what you can do if you're doing this on your own. We return back to our breath, eyes closed, dark empty space in the back of our eyes, tongue resting on the bottom of our mouth, which is a really good way, especially if you read a book like Dawson Church's “Bliss Brain.” He gets into this. It's a really good way to almost instantly get into this deep meditative state and this delta brainwave production. So, dark empty space in the back of the eyes, tongue resting on the floor of the mouth. And what you do for that final minute is you reach for your heart or somewhere else where you want to set an anchor.

And as you're in that state of pure peace, and bliss, and delta brainwave production, you begin to tap, and you tap about 15 to 20 times in that location. I like my heart center. When you're tapping, you're setting an anchor. And the more you do this, as you do it every day, you entrain yourself to be able to enter into that state of peace, and meditation, and low stress, at any other point during the day when you're stressed more quickly. Okay. So, the first few times you do this, it doesn't work that well. And then, as you keep going, let's say later on in the day, you're checking emails, you're stressed, you're in an argument, whatever, you start tapping on that same area and it's really weird. You return like almost straight back into that state of peace that you were in before, especially if you take a deep breath and you do it. So, we spend that last minute just basically tapping, eyes closed, breathing slowly. Now, when we all finish as a family, we like to finish with a prayer. We typically will just say the Lord's Prayer together. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be they name, et cetera, et cetera.

So, we all say that prayer together, and then that seven minutes. So, that's the end of seven minutes, and that sounds like a lot to do in seven minutes, but it actually fits just perfectly. I use that Insight Timer to guide us through the entire routine. It is probably the best kind of combination of breathwork, and visualization, and tapping, and prayer, and gratitude, and service that I have discovered to be able to do in the morning.

Now, here's the thing. We bookend our day. And our evening meditation is not as long. Our evening meditation is typically two to four minutes long. And I like this better. I did like a transcendental meditation course 2 times, 20 minutes a day was just too much for me, but I can handle seven minutes in the morning and two to four minutes in the evening. You don't need the Insight Timer app for the evening journaling and meditation. You could use it if you want to, but we just lay silently typically in my son's bedroom. And we do it all in their bedroom. It's like the final thing before everyone falls asleep at night. So, what we do in the evening is first of all, we still have those same journals because there's two more questions in the journal that we need to complete for the day. You close your eyes, the same thing, you find that dark empty space in the back of your eyes, tongue at the bottom of the mouth. But rather than doing the type of breathwork we do in the morning, which is a six-count in and a six-count out, which is a fantastic form of breathwork, but we want to get even more relaxed in the evening. So, we do a four-count in and an eight-count out in the evening. It's even more calming when you exhale for a long period of time. This is all preferably through the nose.

So, four-count in, eight-count out. And as we settle into that breathwork pattern with our eyes closed, what we do is we begin to play our entire day like a movie in our mind, looking at ourselves in the third person. So, you're watching yourself go through your day. How did you wake up? What did you do when you first got up? How did you breathe? What did you have for breakfast? What did you do between breakfast and lunch? What did you eat for lunch? How did you spend your afternoon? How did you spend your evening? What did you read? Who did you talk to? And you just go through the whole day playing it. And again, it's only in a course of about two to four minutes, but you can easily gather the most meaningful moments of the day.

And as you're assessing your day, playing yourself third-person character movie in your mind, you're asking yourself three questions. Here are the three questions. What good have I done this day? Meaning, when was I proud of that character? When was I rooting for that character? When was that character like the hero of the movie doing the things that I feel really good about? What could I have done better this day? Meaning, where did that character fail and learn something? Where did that character succumb to temptation? Where did that character not rise to the occasion? When was I not proud of that character?

And so, you're asking yourself, what could I have done better this day? And then, finally, at what point in the day was that character, me, most connected to my life's purpose? At what point in the day was I doing something extremely purposeful? Usually, for me, it's something I've done with my sons, or an article that I'm working on that I find to be super meaningful, or perhaps this solosode that I'm doing with you right now. But you're asking yourself, what good have I done this day? What could I have done better? And what did I do that really lived out my life's purpose? What did I feel most purposeful? And as you play that movie in your mind for a couple of minutes, two to four minutes at the very end, you open your eyes and you write down those three prompts in your journal, which appear, what good have I done this day? What could I have done better this day? And where did I live out my life's purpose today?

You can jot all that down. And then, what we do is we return back to our breath and do one final breath in through your nose, out through our mouth. We smile, we open our eyes, we finish, we tuck away our journal for the next morning. And that kind of bookend way to start your day and end your day I have found to be incredibly meaningful. So, I'd be remiss not to share that with you. And I also will write an article somewhere in my website where I spell this all out, hopefully, soon. I already have a video on YouTube. If you go to YouTube and search for my morning journaling practice or evening journaling practice, you'll find it. But the journal is at spiritualdisciplinesjournal.com. The timer that we use is the Insight Timer app, which is free. It's been incredibly meaningful for me and I wanted to share it with you.

We're getting towards the end of everything that I wanted to share with you for the day, but I also wanted to let you know that now that things are beginning to open up again with COVID, being a little bit less restrictive on things like travel, I'm starting to speak again. I'm starting to travel to conferences again, and I'm going to start putting all the conferences that I'll be at, all my speaking engagements that are public if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar. At the time this podcast is coming out, the next one is the Ancestral Health Summit in L.A., this Ancestral Health Summit in L.A. And on the calendar, you'll see links and everything to that, but it is from August 12th to 14th. If you want to add that to your calendar, you want to attend this wonderful summit with a whole bunch of great talks based around ancestral biology, and healthy living, and really great expo, cool conference didactic you learn a lot. For you, geeks out there, you'll love this one. I will put that one on the calendar, and also put all future events that might occur before then or after then to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar. So, I also wanted to share that one with you.

The shownotes for today–I know somewhat brief podcast, but I just want to get a few things out to you. The shownotes I'll put at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/junesolosode where you can also pipe in with your own feedback, your comments, your questions. I love to help you guys out and I love to dialogue with you. So, leave everything over there. And oh, there's one other thing I want to tell you. I've gotten some feedback from many people of late that I've been interrupting guests. Admittedly, when I go back and listen to some of the podcasts that you all have said that about, I agree, I have interrupted guests. Sometimes it's an issue with connectivity where we're talking over one another when it's a Skype interview. Sometimes it's a case where I want to interject something, and I make a mistake, and I interjected too soon or I do a poor job letting someone finish their sentence. Be merciful with me, I'm learning, but I hear you, and I will do a better job making sure to let guests finish their sentences before I get so excited about something I want to add in that I interrupt them.

So, I totally hear you. I like for these podcasts to be a discussion, not just me asking somebody questions and sitting there with my hands on my lap while I'm waiting for them to finish their reply rather than being like a conversation such as one I would have with my friend. But at the same time, I get what you're saying. I went back and listened to some of the ones where you all said that I interrupted my guests frequently. And the beauty of that of course is that I can't interrupt myself on a solosode like this, so I believe I did perfectly not interrupting myself onto the, “Excuse me, Ben.” No, I'm just kidding.

Alright. Anyways, I'm going to end this thing before you all tell me not to give up my day job. And thanks for listening. Until next time. Have an amazing week.

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.


I spend a lot of time talking to other people on my podcast…

…but I'm not going to do that today.

Instead, today is going to be just me talking to you—a special episode that I affectionately call a solosode.

Anyways, I spend most mornings sipping my morning beverage (whether that's coffee or tea or Lion's Mane), reviewing the latest research on topics such as longevity, caffeine, and exercise. This is because while I've written about nearly every health-related subject matter in the past, what we know is constantly evolving. Today is my chance to share a few of the latest goodies with you.

So without further adieu, let's delve right in!

In this special solosode, you'll discover…

-What we can learn from supercentenarians…07:55

-The Knights Templar diet for longevity…13:40

  • Order of knights in the 1300s with compulsory diet rules (silent meals, a buddy system, and wine “in moderation”) associated with longevity
  • Balance between fasting and cyclic eating
  • Ate meat3 times per week
  • On Sundays, everyone ate meat together
  • Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, they ate vegetables, bread, potage, fruit
  • On Fridays, they fasted (dried salted fish or dairy substitutes after fasting hours)
  • Everyone drank winebut in moderation
  • Fast—feast—fast cyclic diet
  • Ben's dietary habits:
    • Rotate heavier eating days, lighter days, and fastsa few times per month
    • Occasionally trains in a calorie-restricted state

-How to time caffeine intake for optimal oxidation and aerobic capacity…18:25

-Omega-3 supplementation in pregnancy for bigger babies and children…22:30

-Why HIIT is not the way to train…28:40

-The relationship between exercise and having a purpose statement…33:10

-Ben's morning journaling practice…35:35

-Ben's evening journaling practice…44:00

-Where to see Ben LIVE…48:05

-And much more…

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Follow Ben's speaking engagements at bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Food And Supplements:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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