March 12, 2020
[00:00:46] About this Podcast
[00:02:06] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:44] Panel and Q&A w/ Darshan Shah
[00:06:12] The Process of Writing “Boundless”
[00:10:02] Tips for Biohacking Your Sleep
[00:17:15] How to Personalize Your Diet
[00:27:05] The Importance of Spiritual Connectedness
[00:31:35] Ben and His Two Boys
[00:37:02] Fighting EMFs And Hidden Toxins in An Urban Environment
[00:40:32] Audience Q&A
[00:51:43] Podcast Sponsors
[00:55:22] Talk about “Boundless” at The Bungalow in Santa Monica
[01:00:42] Introduction to Drew Canole
[01:02:33] Biggest Three Biohacks
[01:11:06] How to Maximize Deep Sleep When Everything Else Has Failed
[01:15:50] Long-Term Effects of Psychedelics
[01:22:31] Effectiveness of NAD
[01:25:59] Tips on Improving Fitful Sleep
[01:29:21] How to Help with Bladder Issues at Night
[01:32:08] How to Calculate Proper Protein Absorption
[01:35:35] How to Lower A1C Levels
[01:39:04] Up and Coming Peptides to Watch For
[01:43:37] How to Keep Things Hot in Bed as You Age
[01:51:44] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast:
Darshan: I think that's a huge, huge part of this. And for me, I would say it's the past two years that the light bulb has really, really gone on.
Ben: But, you just need to be careful and you need to be intentional. Things such as meditation and breathwork that can take you to a very similar place.
Yeah, I have a podcast and I have a voice and I create a platform for myself where I can tell people things; but, I'll tell you what I tell my kids.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Hey, folks. What's up? I recently went on a whirlwind tour of L.A. as part of the launch for my new book, “Boundless.” And did a ton of panels and Q&As. And I recorded them all for your listening and your educational pleasure.
In the first part of this episode, you're going to hear me on a panel with Dr. Darshan Shah of NextHealth who I've been with on a bunch of other podcasts that I'll link to in the show notes. And during that panel, you'll hear about sleep habits and routines, rituals, longevity, biohacking, parenting, spirituality, and a whole lot more. And then, in the second part of this episode, you'll hear a separate Q&A at the book launch party at The Bungalow, in which we covered deep sleep and REM sleep, and sex hacking, and plant medicine, psychedelics, NAD, sirtuins, a host of other interesting topics. So, everything that you hear, the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/BoundlessLA. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/BoundlessLA. And of course, the book is available at boundlessbook.com.
This podcast is brought to you by the tasty punch of mouth-watering chocolatey, salty, coconut goodness that is the Kion Clean Energy Bar, formulated by yours truly. It is a blend of everything from grass-fed gelatin to organic cocoa butter, sea salt, coconut flakes, cocoa nibs, and a whole lot more. We designed it to be very low in lectins, free of glutens, no saponins, low carb, moderate to high fat, moderate protein, no dairy, no soy, no whey protein, isolate, just a completely clean hypoallergenic bar that is extremely tasty and that we field-tested in everything from extreme cold to extreme heat, variety of different guts. Everybody loves it. Even my kids absolutely adore it. It's the Kion Clean Energy Bar.
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Alright. Let's jump in. And remember, all the shownotes for everything you're about to hear are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/BoundlessLA.
First of all, you are all amazing, by the way. It's just so cool to see just vibrant, beautiful, amazing people.
Darshan: [00:04:59] _____ to you, guys.
Ben: But, I still took this, just in case anybody has any dirty, dirty germs. That's my secret weapon. I keep a little bottle in my bag and I just do a few.
Darshan: You keep a lot of bottle of that.
Ben: If you can smell my breath, it's full-on clove of cinnamon, knock you out. It's good, though. It's good.
Darshan: I don't have a chance to smell your breath. It smells pretty amazing. There you go.
So, everybody, thank you so much for coming tonight. It's incredible to have all of you here. Like Ben said, Ben Greenfield, needs no introduction, so happy to have you.
Ben: You know what? I need to figure out how to smirk like I somehow did in that photo. I feel like I need the sly.
Darshan: It took us a while to find the smirking photo.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Darshan: And we just want to thank all of our sponsors of this event. Of course, Orangetheory is here, Warby Parker, Peloton. Who am I forgetting? Under Armour and us, at NextHealth. So, thank you all for coming. Thank you to our sponsors. And we're ready to start our conversation.
Ben: Budweiser wouldn't come on board.
Darshan: I wonder why. So, Ben, this book literally gave me a flashback to medical school when I was carrying around textbooks this thick. Do you guys pick up a copy of the book yet? I mean, is it not crazy?
Ben: Oh, thank you. It looks like a textbook, but I'm not smart enough to write an actual textbook. If you actually open it, it reads a lot easier than a textbook, but it makes me look really smart to have a book that shapes like a textbook.
Darshan: Arguably, though, there's a ton of information in there. I mean, I feel like everything that you and I have been talking about since we've met each other for years now is in that book, like that's basically a download of everything in your brain, right?
Ben: Not everything in my brain, but yeah, I mean, what I wanted. And this is probably why I got turned down so much trying to get the thing published. It's a book I wanted to read. I just wanted a book that I love, which is something I can come back to over and over again. As a matter of fact, how many of you in here have bookshelves in your house with real paper books? So, I always have one shelf and it's dedicated to the books that I returned to every year. So, there's about 12 books up on that shelf right now.
And it's really cool. When you really, really dig a book and you put it up in your books I want to return to every year shelf, it is a way for you to return to that wisdom. There's an app also called Readwise. Anybody here use Readwise? You sign up on this app and it curates all your books. And then, every single week, it sends you an email with the most popular highlights, including your highlights and little snippets from the book. So, your favorite books are always top of mind. But, I wanted to write “Boundless” to be a book like that, that you come back to over and over again, that wasn't kind of a flash in the pants.
Darshan: Right. And what I loved about it is–I just got the book a couple of days ago. I read a few chapters. I mean, it's so comprehensive. You kind of follow the structure in the book where you start off with brain health and you go through everything. What was your thought process around about the content?
Ben: Well, originally, it was 10 chapters on the brain, 10 chapters on the body, and 10 on the spirit. But, the problem was that turned into 1,200 pages. So, I kind of melded a lot of the content together. So, it's ultimately still what I want it to be: mind, body, and spirit. But, it's kind of all woven together into the chapters. Although, what I want to do, which hopefully, you see as you go through the book, as I start with the brain because I think if you don't have the motivation or the energy or the mindfulness or the clarity to be able to digest information you might find elsewhere in the book, then, I don't think it serves you as well. So, that's why I start off with the neurotransmitters and the blood-brain barriers and some of these things that I think ultimately can optimize your cognitive functions so that you can get through the rest of the book for anybody who's crazy enough to actually want to read it cover-to-cover. I also wrote the book to be like a cookbook. So, you could whatever. I'm going to travel to India in a couple of weeks. So, I would go through the immune system section and I would say, “Okay, what can I do before I get on the flight? What can I do to make sure I'm not catching any airborne pathogens? What do I take if I get food poisoning?” So, that's kind of what I want it to be, is something that you don't have to feel guilty about not reading cover to cover, but you can just keep wherever you keep it and flip to whatever chapter. It fits your fancy or your need at the time.
Darshan: Yeah, it's like a part reference book part just great read. So, I wanted to ask you some of the chapters I read. I have some specific questions for you and I'd love to get some feedback from you on some of this stuff.
So, one of the things that I think a lot of the patients we share we talked about a couple today, sleep problems. I mean, this is something I talk about all the time. But, you had some pretty advanced biohacks in there for sleep, some stuff that even I just barely heard about that you've participated in and working on. So, tell me a little bit about that wristband you're wearing and some of these things that you're doing for sleep.
Ben: I'm going to release a podcast on this. I think it comes out next week. Because I'm always messing around with random stuff that get sent to my house and half of it I don't wind up implementing. And I've always just worn this cheap-ass Timex watch and then the ŌURA ring, but this was developed by a guy who is, in the past, with Trauma and PTSD and the MAPS Foundation. He wanted to try to create something that instead of requiring things like ketamine and MDMA would instead elicit similar neural response using soundwaves. So, I have it on right now. And it sends sound waves up the long bone of the legs, or you could wear it on your wrist and it send sound waves that way. And it seems to be working. Right now, I just have it on the social setting. Otherwise, I'm just a complete bore and totally introverted. So, I have to put on a wearable to actually be social because they didn't have any cocktails here. But, it's also got a sleep mode.
Darshan: Cocktails are coming.
Ben: Oh, they are? Okay. It's got a sleep mode and a rest mode. I mean, something that I would consider to be very fringe icing on the cake compared to sleep hygiene. Beginning your circadian rhythm at the beginning of the day which everybody forgets. The first thing I did when I woke up this morning, I'm down in Santa Monica, took off my shoes, went out, walked along the beach, got the sunshine. When I'm at home, I'm either doing that or I'm doing the biohacking equivalent of that, standing with the, I have two of those Joovv lights. I have a short one that I put in front of me. And then, the long one goes behind me. So, basically, at my stand-up desk, I can be standing like that and typing. And then, I have the glasses that kind of charge you up and in-ear phototherapy. So, yeah, you always start your circadian rhythm at the beginning of the day.
And then, I'm very cognizant. Everything from the glasses under the bright lights to the light exposure in the evening for setting up normal sleep hygiene from a lighting standpoint. But, again, it's also a lot of the little things. Huge game-changer for me are the incandescent red bulbs in the bedroom, in the bedroom and in the master bathroom. So, every time you flip on the lights or you get up at night to pee, you're not blasting yourself with that blue light. And then, I found this red light covering on Amazon that I put on the refrigerator light. So, when we're cleaning up the kitchen after dinner or if, God forbid I decide I'm going to get up at 11 p.m. and go make myself some coconut milk honey collagen, whatever, I don't get blasted with the circadian rhythm. So, that's another one.
And in addition to light, most of you are aware of normal sleep hygiene. The other two are, what in addition to light? If you could name two others. Yeah. Temperature, exactly. The temperature. I think, somebody also said noise. It's temperature and the silence. And so, the temperatures is a big one. So, when I travel, it's hard because I don't have the chiliPAD and, sometimes, I don't have say over how low the engineer at the hotel has allowed the cooling system to go.
So, when you travel, there are little hacks, too. I always do a hot-cold contrast shower before bed. So, it's 20 seconds of cold and 10 seconds of hot that gets me nice and cool before bed. And then, I also wear socks to bed because when you wear socks to bed, there's a fascinating study on sleep latency in wearing socks. It actually vasodilates and allows the rest of the body to cool. But, sometimes, it's more than just taking off all your clothes. There's a lot of other little things that go into the cooling component. But, that's huge. I mean, I've quantified that. And that's one of the best things, especially for deep sleep, is the cold.
And then, the silence piece. No, it's not just in the bedroom. On airplanes, any situation where I want to be more parasympathetically driven, the more I can block out that noise with the foam earplugs. And then, typically, either the side sleeping headphones, sleep phones, or I'll sometimes wear the Bose noise-blocking headphones if I'm sleeping on my back using the Neck Nest pillow. And that allows me to just block everything out.
Now, I was thinking about this the other day. I think, there's a fourth and I think the fourth is safety. Safety. How many of you sleep way better at home than you do in a hotel room, or whatever, the back of a taxi or an airplane? Part of that is we're just slightly on guard. We're out of our element. There's a little bit of sympathetic nervous system activation. And that's where I think there's some other things that you can do. I mean, like on a plane, I figured out that if I pull on a hoodie and I pull the hoodie over my head and I've got the Mindfold sleep blocking mask and the headphones, I can just block almost everything out, like total sensory deaf.
Another example would be a gravity blanket. I have a 25-pound gravity blanket. It's too heavy to travel with, but I have that at home and I pull it over myself. And it just elicits this parasympathetic feeling of safety. And so, I think the more that you can convince your body that it's safe, I think that's also really, really important when it comes to sleep. And that even includes your bedroom. Work is not something your body associates with safety. That's more sympathetic focus active activity. So, I never, even when I'm at a hotel, even if it's a small hotel room, I don't lay on the bed with the laptop. I can have that rule: my laptop can't touch the bed. And that's because I associate it with work and I don't want the bed to be associated with work. So, I think safety is under-emphasized with sleep hygiene, but I think that's another big one.
Darshan: Great tips. And I love it how you say that it really starts in the morning. I tell all my patients that your sleep routine starts as soon as you wake up by going outside and exposing yourself to the sun and the elements and grounding. All those things are so correct. And I kind of chuckled when you said the safety element and the heavy blanket. My wife who's here, she's like, “Why the hell do we have this 30-pound blanket under the bed?” Trust me, it works.
Ben: My wife goes back and forth on a ton of this shit. She has a chiliPAD on her side. She never turns it on, and the gravity blanket. She doesn't like it a lot because she can't squeeze me and snuggle with me as much, but she loves the infrared lights because our bedroom is like a nightclub. So, they double as a sex hack, too, those red lights. Because your lover looks amazing under the red light and, usually, they think you do, too. It just makes you look better, the red lights. So, there's a bonus.
Darshan: I love it. I love it. So, just remembering some time I spent with you and your wife. We ate at the restaurant called Saddle Peak. We had a lot of great meat. And we were talking about the carnivore diet. And I love your book because there's not one diet that everyone can do, right? We all know that. But, I love how you talk about personalizing your diet and you give people hints on how to do that. And can you talk a little about that, just give a quick kind of overview of that?
Ben: Yeah. I mean, you go and you read a book like Roger Williams' “Biochemical Individuality,” which was way back in the day. I think that book was written in the '60s and it's fascinating because he's got 12 different shapes of the liver and different sizes of the stomach that vary from human being to human being. But, it's not just the shape of the anatomical structures. There are highly variable rates of vitamin D excretion in many people, meaning if you take a vitamin D supplement, you're not quantifying. You might be getting arterial calcification from vitamin D. Same thing can go for oxalate and uric acid excretion. Same thing can go for your ability or non-ability to harness vitamin D from sunlight, based on your FTO gene, your predisposition to weight gain in response to saturated fat, or the ketogenic diet craze. You might have familial hypercholesterolemia or you might have poor gall bladder or liver bile function that might limit your ability to do well with that. And this dictates that you just can't pick up a popular diet book and follow it and assume because it worked for everybody it's going to work for you. If you're an undermethylator and you have poor availability of methyl groups and you're eating a plant-based diet but you're not getting the methionine and the methyl groups from meat that might not be the best diet for you.
But, the cool thing is we live in this era now where self-quantification that would have only been something in the hands of the rich and the wealthy 10 years ago, when people are participating in executive longevity programs, we can now do things like a $97-genetic test and a micronutrient panel and a Genova gut panel and a Cyrex food allergy panel. There's these five or six different tests that you can get. And for those of you who have the book, once you get to the diet section, all I did was find out, “Okay, what are the blood markers, gene markers, urine markers, lifestyle markers, activity goals?” The things that would allow you to choose any one of these popular diets and decide whether or not it's going to work for you. And then, I just worked with most of the diets I use with my clients. Everything from a Wahls protocol to a plant paradox, low lectin diet, to an autoimmune diet, ancestral diet, carnivore diet. So, what I wanted to do was just basically give you 12 to 13 different diets. And that's enough. Once you get past that, most of the diet start to look pretty similar. And then, teach you how to choose which diet is right for you because that's so important. And it changes. If you're a candidate for the paleo autoimmune diet because you have leaky gut and autoimmune sensitivity issues, that's not what you're stuck on for life. Same thing with a carnivore diet. I think it's wonderful for healing the gut, but I'm not going to eat sheep testicles and kidney suet for the rest of my life when I want to have grandma's wonderful casserole Thanksgiving dinner and my wife makes a kale beat goat cheese salad. I'm not going to say, “Well, that's poor man's food or survival food.” Even though it technically is and, yeah, you can get everything you need from meat.
I think that a lot of these diets are things you do short-term to heal the body before you progress into a more expansive diet with, probably, what I think is the best example of that. Most of my clients, once they're healthy, once the gut is fixed, they're feeling good, most of them are on kind of a Weston A. Price type of diet. Soaked, sprouted, fermented grains and legumes good, wild cod, organic grass-fed, grass-finished meats, eggs, heavy amount of fermented foods, raw dairy, fermented dairy. And I think of all the diets like, once you're healthy, it's pretty dang ancestral and tasty and easy to follow.
Darshan: I love how you bring it out the science of it and testing biomarkers and tying it back to the biomarkers to individualize what an individual needs. That's what we do in NextHealth. We do the biomarker panel first; and then, we do a diet recommendation. Because doing it the other way, it just takes you forever to figure it out. And you end up finding out things later than you should without having the biomarker data. So, it's definitely the way to go. And I think if your doctor is not doing that for you, which most doctors aren't going to do it for you, you can seek out a place like NextHealth. All of this information is in Ben's book. And he goes through one biomark at a time and tells you what to look for. I love that.
Ben: I mean, I'll tell you what. I mean, even that can get expensive. If you do the five or six tests, if you're paying out of pocket for some of these stuff, still pushing north of a thousand dollars. But, I mean, the heart rate variability metric, just for real-time quantification of how food agrees with your body, I would honestly say that or continuous blood glucose monitor. Because even for me, when I wore Dexcom last year, I found out weird things, like when my blood sugar kept sneaking way high when I've had green beans, a slow-release legume. So, I got Cyrex panel and I actually have a true autoimmune reaction to that food. So, a glucose monitor or an HRV analysis, meaning if your HRV is dropping, put in a post-prandial state when it should be rising because you should be parasympathetically driven in a post-prandial state, that can be a sign that, whatever diet you're eating or whatever meal that was might not have been the best one for you. So, even if you're not going to get in blood, saliva, and urine, even just HRV and blood glucose can give you a decent real-time running analysis.
Darshan: Right. And if you don't have access to a CGM, we can prescribe one for you. Sometimes, your insurance will cover it, which is great. And it's amazing data. You don't have to wear it all the time. You just wear it for three months. And I wore mine for three months and I found out everything I needed to know as far as what foods caused the glucose spike and what didn't. And it really helped to control my insulin levels.
Ben: And you know what plummeted when I wore that thing for a year? What plummeted blood glucose more than anything else and kept it stable nearly the entire day, all the way through dinner, you know what it was? Cold in the morning. During the cold shower or the cold soak in the morning, vast difference in blood glucose response the entire rest of the day. So, I mean, to me, having a free hack like that, metformin or any fancy supplements. Not that those things aren't useful to put you in an insulin sense of state or help after a pasta feed or something like that.
But, man, the cold, it was the biggest thing for me. And then, another one that surprised me was how high it spikes after a cup of coffee. After a cup of coffee without sugar or calories or anything in it, the blood glucose still goes up because you get that cortisol release. So, you get glycogenolysis, your liver starts to break down glycogen. And it's kind of good. That's what you want coffee to do, wake you up and get you a little bit of cortisol. And it's not necessarily a bad thing because it's not exogenous glucose. It's very transient, very short-term rise in blood glucose. And it's coming from your own store so you're burning whatever's in your body, anyways. But, that was interesting, too, was how high blood glucose spikes after coffee.
Darshan: What worked for me was apple cider vinegar. Just doing a little bit of apple cider vinegar before meal really control my glucose response. I read the studies and the studies show this to be true. But, I was like, “Come on. It can't really, but it works.”
Ben: Apples cider vinegar. And you can make a cocktail with apple cider vinegar. Here's one for you. This isn't in the book because I just discovered this. And I don't think you can get it anywhere yet, but I bet it will become popular. 1, 3 butanediol. It's a form of a ketone ester that gives you the same buzz as alcohol but it doesn't form acetaldehyde. So, it's not an actual neural toxin. And I've been experimenting with that for two weeks. Because I usually have a glass of organic wine or I make myself a little gym bitters cocktail when we're having our family dinners. And I started to do some of this butanediol with lime and tonic water. And I get the same buzz as alcohol and none of the toxic side effects.
I think one of the next big things in wellness is going to be healthy cocktails that give you good buzz and make you feel amazing. Not that I have much against that. I think microdoses of ethanol, I think, they induce a good mild hormetic stress. I think that's one of the reasons people in the Blue Zones, a lot of them will have one or two drinks a day. I think there's a hormetic stressor from that poison. At the book launch party in New York City, it was really cool because we had 12 different cocktails on the menu but they were all adaptogens and chaga and reishi and all these amazing feel-good compounds that didn't actually involve alcohol. And there's some companies commercializing that. I think [00:26:28] ______ is one that I'm familiar with. But, I just think it's really cool how we don't have to just have a margarita or a mojito at night. And I think that's going to be, mark my words, one of the up-and-comers in the whole wellness industry.
Darshan: Where do you get that from?
Ben: I got it from a guy who–I think it was made in Frank Veech's lab, a ketone researcher. And it's not commercially available or anything. I'm just throwing that out there. But, I think even the use of variants of ketones as an alcohol alternative.
Darshan: You got to get that on Kion, the website. So, flipping to the book, I noticed that there was at least three times where you mentioned you were naked. You spend a lot of time naked.
Ben: Yeah, but that's not a marketing ploy.
Darshan: We will find out.
Ben: When I was a kid, if you talk to my mom and dad, they would put a diaper on me and every single morning the diaper would be flung across the room, sometimes with extra [00:27:31] _____ on the walls and everything. I would not keep my clothes on ever. I ran around the house naked. My parents got to the point where they put eight baby diaper pins in the diaper to keep me leaving my diaper on at night. And when you come into our house, USPS, FedEx, UPS, my boys and I, sometimes we don't put in clothes on until noon. We're very kind of free at the Greenfield house. My wife, God bless her, she somehow stays sane. We just like to be free, loosey-goosey pajama pants.
Darshan: That's awesome. I mean, there's something super spiritually liberating about that. And you talk a lot about having kind of a liberated spirit and having a spirit where you're feeling connected to nature, to God. That's a big part of your life, right?
Ben: It's the biggest part of my life. There's just something about living life and being full of hope and being able to speak to a higher power and being able to engage in what I think is one of the underemphasized parts of a lot of these Blue Zones and longevity hot spots. And that would be the spiritual disciplines. Just as important as the physical disciplines, the Turkish get-ups and the kettlebell swings and the things we do to get fitter. And the N-back and the mind games, and maybe, playing musical instruments to get smarter.
Well, I mean, the most important part of us and what I think is the one part of us that's going to go on to live forever that spark your soul. So many of us have that part just shriveled up and shrunken inside of us because you don't care for it. And when you look at things like fasting and fellowship with other people and positive relationships and living with the spirit of love towards other and having some kind of charity or service in your local community and a gratitude practice and those times of the year when you go off into silence and solitude and your own little getaway. I think that when you build your spiritual armor in that way, it's one of the best things you can do for your happiness and for your purpose and for your fulfillment in life. And I've said this recently in a podcast, the 109 or however old she is, John Claremont. I think she recently passed away, but there are others, or John Coleman. And these are gin chugging cigarette smoking folks who are living well past the age they should be living past since they don't have crowd therapy chambers and NAD IVs and infrared saunas. But, they've got strong love and relationships and a robust social life and a belief in a higher power. And they've gotten the journaling. And I think that's a huge, huge part of this. And for me, I would say it's the past two years of life I was really going on. I'm literally sitting cross-legged in my hotel room now for 20 minutes before I even think about hitting the gym or any of those things that I would have done right when I got up. And our whole family's gratitude journaling together in the morning and I'm taking my kids through a meditation and a prayer. And at night, we revisit the gratitude journals and we all talked about who we helped that day. And it's just this magical way to live.
And I think more important than any chapter on fat loss or muscle gain or biohacking the brain or anything like that. I think that's the most important. That's the biggest thing.
Darshan: I'm so glad we talked about that because one of my favorite things about you is you're not just a biohacker, you're not just an elite athlete, but you're such a well-rounded person. And all of this that you're talking about, it's all in the book, guys. So, he's not just talking about biohacking in the book and blood test. He's talking about how to become a deeper spiritually more connected person with the world and everyone around you. And it just totally is your personality.
Another thing that I love about you is how much you love your kids and all the things you do with your kids. It's too much to get into right now, but I have kids and I follow your example. And so, I'd love for you to talk about two or three things that you're doing with your kids right now to kind of have them follow in your footstep of mental, spiritual, and well-being.
Ben: Well, number one, I already mentioned. Having your children join with you. And we carve out that time, meaning that the night before we all decide what time we're going to meet as a family. Everybody's just there in the living room and they're waiting and we gather together and we talk about what we're going to do that day. And everybody opens their gratitude journals and shares what they're grateful for. And we do a meditation and I lead them. And at least once a week, I get to teach my kids a new form of breathwork or a new way to meditate, whether it's mindfulness or whether it's a centering prayer or something that they can learn each week. So, they're just building each week as we go. That's one of the coolest things, is for us, originally, it was the family dinners and having these wonderful long family dinners. Playing, the other night it was monopoly. That's when I made it through three of those ketone cocktails because that's a long-ass game. And we play all the games from TheOatmeal.com like Exploding Kittens and Unstable Unicorns and Bears versus Babies. And we have these wonderful family dinners. They're just laughing and playing for a good hour for dinner. But then, that morning practice.
And then, the two other things that are probably the biggest things for us from a child-rearing standpoint is, A, we kind of parent based on this. I think it's called a Love and Logic philosophy. And this is based on the idea that you don't tell your kids, “No;” you don't slap their hands away from things; you don't setup forbidden fruits, like, “No, you can't taste that wine. You're not allowed to touch alcohol until you're 18,” or, “Don't eat gluten ever. I don't care what everybody else is doing at the birthday party. Don't touch it,” or, “We don't use screens at night,” or, “Never let me find you looking at a porn website.” None of that. There's no rules. Instead, we educate our children about the consequences of their decisions; then, let them go on to make that decision. Sure, if they're a baby walking towards a hot stove, you want to keep them away. There are some exceptions to rules that children might not be able to understand. But, when we get our shipment of wine to the house, I pour a little into the shot glass and I go through the origin and the grape and how it was grown. And the kids get to taste, mom and I taste. Then, we share the notes. And my first experience with alcohol was still on a bottle of scotch from my dad's office and getting drunk in my bedroom when I was 14 because alcohol was just this off-limits strange thing that we weren't allowed to go near. And it sets up this forbidden fruit. And we teach them what gluten does and the neural inflammation, even if you don't have an allergy to it, how it can affect the body in other ways, and the glyphosate that's often accompanied with the gluten. And then, we tell them, “You want to go to the birthday party. Sure. Have as many cupcakes or as much pizzas you want. Here's a bottle of gluten digesting enzyme.” And then, they take that with them. But, they make a decision. Sometimes, they'll have a quarter of a cupcake and they'll come home punish some coconut ice cream or something later on. But, they're making the decisions for themselves. We empower them. And they're 11 now. When they're 12 or 13, I'll be taking them through yourbrainonporn.com and tell them, “Go hang out on porn websites all you want, but here's what it does to dopamine. Here's what it does to your view of the opposite sex. Here's what it does to objectifying women.” And so, they'll learn that and then they'll be free to go on and make their own decisions. So, that's the second thing.
And then, the last thing, just very quickly, is I gave them the option last year to not go to school. And I told them that I was willing to, if they didn't want to go to school all they need to do is share with me all their dreams, all their passions, all their interests, all their desires. And what I would do is find a way for them to pursue that and surround them with the activities and the tutors and the local community classes and the places they can go and the things they could see and the areas they could travel to. And it's not homeschooling, which is more formally gathering around curriculum at the kitchen table with mom and dad. This is instead just life experience-based education. It's called unschooling. Probably, the best book I read that really helped me wrap my head around the logistics of it was a book called “Unschooling to University” which is a pretty good recently written. So, it's a relevant book on the topic. But, this idea now of life-based education.
And I think when you combine that with the set up family times throughout the day and the building of the spiritual disciplines, when you combine that with this love to logic type of parenting approach or education approach, and then you use that unschooling type of mentality and life-based experiences. My kids are only 11. I can only say so much about how it's done. Maybe, I can tell you more when they're 18, whether they're in prison or they're curing cancer, one of the two. But, it just works. It seems to work really well. So, that's my philosophy.
Darshan: That's awesome. Fantastic. So, last question and we're going to take some audience questions. So, I'm always jealous when I see pictures of your house and stuff you're doing up in Spokane. It is such a beautiful setting. It looks it's super clean and gorgeous out there. But, we live in LA and we are constantly surrounded by EMF and toxins in our water and our food. What can we do other than becoming a nut-like [00:37:23] ______ story and build an entire house around this to fight this? It's a constant struggle.
Ben: Well, it's an evolutionary mismatch. That's a term I've thrown around before. This idea that we are faced in especially the past 100 years by things that human beings for thousands of years from a genetic standpoint have not had to deal with. And perhaps, in a thousand years, we will have developed some kind of genetic response to non-native EMF to where our cell membranes might become more impervious to 5G or something like that. But, right now, what we're facing is a complete universe of evolutionary mismatches. And you can't do a lot about it when you're out and about, aside from undo the damage when you're home.
For example, we know that flowing in an airplane, airline radiation, x-ray machines, toxins in the air, et cetera, the primary thing that you get with all the non-native EMF as you're on airports and traveling is you get calcium channel or calcium influx into the cell membrane. So, you're setting up a positive ionic environment inside the cell when it's supposed to be a negative ionic environment. You get DNA and protein damage. And you get a downregulation. It what's called the NF-kB pathway which modulates inflammation. Well, this is just one example. We can talk for hours about this, but I'll just give you one example. So, what do you do after you fly? Well, how can you offset the calcium channel influx into the cell? You take magnesium. So, that's part of your travel kit, is use magnesium after you've traveled, and heftily when you're doing airline travel.
How can you stop the DNA damage? Well, the two things that repair DNA are NAD and sirtuins. So, you get your hands on sirtuin-rich compound like a resveratrol or a pterostilbene or even some cacao or beets or any of these other sirtuin-rich foods. And you take an NAD supplement or an NMN or NR to combat the DNA damage.
How do you upregulate the NF-kB pathway? Through fasting and ketosis. So, you fast a little bit when you're traveling or, at least, you're going to snack. You snack on macadamia nuts or something that's a more ketone friendly food. And so, once you begin to systematically identify the evolutionary mismatches and then systematically identify, “Okay, what can I do to undo the damages of this?” Then, you can just start to set up your life so that even though you might not be able to escape it while you're in an airport or on an airplane or in your office or at a mall, you can at least take little steps to address what you're doing. If I didn't have blue light blocking glasses on tonight, I was under these bright lights, well, I know that even though I don't need to take melatonin every night to sleep, I'm in a situation right now where melatonin is going to be suppressed later on. So, maybe, tonight would be a night where I take melatonin because I'm in an environment I normally wouldn't be on at night. I'm not in the incandescent red lights. I've got these fluorescent lights on. And the mall would not replace all their lights with incandescent. I don't know why.
So, yeah, it's just a matter of identifying evolutionary mismatches, then, being smart about the way you battle them.
Darshan: I love it. Awesome. So, we have some time, 15 minutes or so, for audience questions. Who has a question?
Male: I was wondering if there's any biohacks to help me heal a navicular stress fracture on my foot and what I could do in training to keep developing running endurance through this injury.
Ben: The bone healing thing, sort of biohack for that. Probably, the best one for bone healing is PEMF. There's good data behind that for bone healing, for mobilization of stem cells. I mean, it's handy for a lot of things. It's kind of like a shotgun for a lot of things. But, for healing up a broken bone faster, PEMF works really well, like a flex pulse or an earth pulse, or one of the Pulse Centers units or anything like that. That's really good.
And then, as far as the running goes, if it's in your feet, a lot of people are big on the minimalist footwear thing. But, if you're going to go minimalist, you got to get a shoes with a good footplate, like the–it's not Vivobarefoot. Their shoe is called–I'm blanking right now. I was racing on it in Spartans all last year. It starts with an “A.” Altra, yeah. The Altra. A shoe like the Altra, it's minimalist, plus it has a good footplate in it. So, yeah. I mean, there's a lot more you could do. But, yeah.
Darshan: There's a peptide called BPC-157 that you could also try. So, that's another thing.
Ben: And Kion Flex, of course. That stuff's amazing.
Male: Hi, I'm a bartender and I just want to know, I've gotten into sleep biohacking. Is there anything I can do? Two, three nights a week, I'm usually going to sleep at 3:00, 4:00 in the morning. Is there anything I can do to kind of help with that circadian rhythm thing that I know I'm messing up?
Ben: Probably, the best thing would be to–and this is in the book–go to the section on napping and just train yourself how to become a napping superstar. I mean, for me, with as much as I travel, I live and die by 20 to 45-minute power naps. And usually, it involves some kind of vagal nerve stimulation. I'll use the Circadia Fisher Wallace. The NuCalm device is my favorite right now. Some kind of relaxing compound that doesn't leave you drowsy after the nap. And my favorite top of the totem pole for that is reishi mushroom. So, I do a couple packets of the Four Sigmatic. Same thing I was talking about sleep and safety, meaning noise blocking headphones, something like the Mindfold sleep mask. And then, really good beats that you're playing Brain.fm or NuCalm through the headphones. Something like a gravity blanket or something that gives you that intense feeling of safety. And then, usually, I'll use a 4-8 breathwork protocol to breathe myself into that napping state.
There's missing data coming out. The guys at NuClam right now are showing that 20-minute cycle can simulate close to what a 90-minute sleep cycle does for you. That's expensive. It's like $5,000. But, the other thing that does something similar is Yoga Nidra. Alright. So, if you can go to YouTube and download something like the 30- or 60-minute Yoga Nidra tracks. So, you got a few on your phone and you can say, “Okay, I got 30 minutes right now. I'm going to do this full body awareness, full-body scan.” And they've done some brain scans of folks doing Yoga Nidra. And it helps to simulate that sleep cycle for winding down as well.
Female: Hi, I have a question for both of you. Success comes with obstacles and challenges. What do either of you do or both of you do to keep yourself mentally strong as opposition and challenges come when you're wanting to forge a new pathway or just push forward in your life to that new plateau?
Ben: Do you want me to go first, Doc? Alright.
Darshan: All you.
Ben: Daily, I pray and I meditate every day. I mean, that's a number one way that I stay sane with all the bullets that are flying out of the computers, email inbox, and the freaking matrix that I wake to every morning. And I would put breath work right in there as well.
And then, I also have those times where I have some pretty intense periods of silence and solitude. On a quarterly basis, I have three to four days carved out. And it's typically either complete alone time unplugged from work in the wilderness or at home or in the forest, but without any consults or calls scheduled. Or else, it's a plant medicine ceremony which I highly respect and I think is often overdone and over-emphasized and kind of bastardized a little bit. But, I'll do either quarterly plant medicine or some kind of quarterly retreat where I'm just able to go into a deep state of introspection, much deeper than I'd be able to do in the middle of the day during a 20-minute meditation session. And then, daily prayer, meditation, and breathwork.
Darshan: That's all great stuff. For me, this has been a constant struggle in my life. I run two companies and kids at home. And it's just nuts all the time. And for me, what I figured out a long time ago, probably eight years ago, was stress is actually not a bad thing if you know how to manage it. And the way to manage stress is to break it up. You can't have constant stress because constant stress causes constant inflammation. So, I make it a definite requirement that if I'm doing some activity at work that I have a timer and I set that time at 40 minutes. And after 40 minutes, I take a 10-minute break every single time. And then, every week there has to be one day of self-care. Every month there has to be a weekend of just being alone or being with the family. And in every quarter there's a week off. So, if I follow that routine I find that I can handle the stress really well.
And then the other two things I do is, number one, journaling is very important for me. I find life goes by way too fast. And sometimes, you just can't remember how amazing your life is. And I keep a journal every single day. I use an app called Day One. And every day, I look at it and it reminds me of this day last year, this day five years ago. And I see that I've had this full amazing life.
And the last thing I do is I always try to stay optimistic. I think, once you lose your optimism and just your drive to wake up every morning and make a difference in the world, then, life just gets horrible. And so, I just stay optimistic and I look at all the positive things around me. I have a gratitude journal. It's called the 5-Minute Journal. If you're looking for a great way to stay in a state of gratitude, the 5-minute journal is a great way to start off. We have our kids doing the 5-minute journal every day.
Ben: Yeah. And the gratitude, I mean, it's so important. That's part of kind of the meditation and prayer practice, is the gratitude piece. And there was something I was going to comment on. It's related to what you said about optimism. And this is a big one that you'll find in the writings of folks like Anthony de Mello and Eckhart Tolle, and just this whole concept that, really, nobody has the power over whether or not you're going to be happy, except you can choose to be happy no matter what circumstance that you're in. You can choose to find the bright lining or the silver lining no matter how dark the cloud is. And you can choose to be grateful for some tiny moment of the most horrible experience, whether it's that you're sitting at the very, very back of the plane, tucked into the corner right next to the bathrooms. But, “Oh, my gosh. You have this amazing SkyMall magazine in front of you.” It's got so many. Aren't humans cool? And they can invent all this cool shit. You can just find the tiniest thing to be grateful for. And if you can do that in any circumstance and almost just become a ninja no matter how crappy a circumstance you're in, finding one little thing to be grateful for, it does make a big difference.
Female: So, when you were doing the intermittent fasting thing, there was the whole thing of if you're a female, maybe only 12-hour feeding fasting time, or to sixteen hours because it can interfere with your fertility situation. However, I was wondering if you're done with all your fertility stuff, does that still apply? Can you then do 18-hour fast and you're kind of in the dude land where you can kind of do what you want to do?
Ben: Intermittent fasting for postmenopausal women is actually really good. It's really good. And kind of the opposite is the case if you're trying to be fertile or you're trying to maintain normal endocrine function. So, yeah, if you're postmenopausal, it's actually a longevity enhancing tactic that definitely fits in.
Female: Cool. Thanks.
Darshan: And the other thing with intermittent fasting is if you have any hypoglycemia or if you're on any medications that treat your glucose levels, you should definitely talk to your doctor before you do it. Of course, just make sure you're not setting yourself up for a hypoglycemic attacks.
Female: Right. Thank you.
Male: What's going on, you guys. So, most of us know you as an athlete and a biohacker and really into the science and stuff. However, I've heard rumors of a country-music EP and I was wondering if we could get a release date on that.
Ben: I got a little country music set that I think is going to come out in the next month or so with Dr. Matt Cook. He and I have been making little music. And I've got a little song book that I travel with three originals I've written so far.
My goal is to cut an album by the time I'm 40, even if it's just a little recording studio at the house or whatever. So, I'm working on it.
Darshan: How do you find time to do all this stuff?
Ben: I don't know.
Darshan: What about the other books? You're writing other books, too, right?
Ben: What's that?
Darshan: Tell us about the other books you're writing. Do you have more books coming?
Ben: Well, yeah, I'm working on a fiction series right now.
Darshan: Are we not supposed to talk about it?
Ben: I haven't written in about a month and a half just because the “Boundless” launch kind of derailed some of my other writing. But, yeah, I also plan to finish my five-part fiction series by the time I'm 50. I want to have that done. So, yeah.
Darshan: Sorry, we don't have any more time for any more questions. I just want to thank all of you for coming. I hope you got a lot out of this. I feel like we all got to know you a little bit better, Ben. And thank you for everything you've done for everyone in the planet.
Ben: Well, thank you. I mean, I don't know when they're shutting down this area, but I mean, stick around. You got a bunch of kindred spirits around. Meet some people. Make some friends. Go out to dinner. Have a cocktail with somebody tonight.
I never have any clue how much of a difference I'm making until so many of you come up to me at an event like this and just shake my hand and tell me some little way that I helped you. And it just means so much. But, I want to tell you that every single one of you can do the same thing. You can do the same thing. You have so many lives that you can touch. So, thank you so much for caring about that, for caring about yourself, and for coming out tonight.
Well, hello. I want to tell you about the hidden component in your diet that destroys your gut, decommissions the bathroom, has you faint at the back of the toilet seat, and, even if it doesn't do anything to your gut, causes things like neural inflammation and autoimmune issues. And that is, of course, our lovely friend, gluten. And I am not gluten-free, you guys. I am not gluten-free. I'm actually more careful with glyphosate than I'm with gluten because I think that's the bigger issue. But, I also know that a lot of these gliadin-based proteins that we find in gluten, they're essentially like human hair as far as their digestibility. So, unless you're eating all slow fermented wheat, that's like a slow fermented sourdough that's actually been fermented properly, you're getting a lot of this gluten in your diet. And my approach is I go into every feeding, whether it's a steak house where I'm going to have some sourdough bread or I'm taking my kids out to a farm-to-table style pizza restaurant, or even if I'm having sourdough bread, I'll still use this stuff just to give myself a little extra advantage. Basically, it's a gluten enzyme, or gluten-digesting enzyme, that predigests the gluten to get rid of the inflammation and gut irritation that would normally come from gluten consumption. It's called Gluten Guardian.
You probably heard me talk about it before. I have a bottle in my bag at all times. When you see me walking on my fanny pack, there's a little Ziploc bag in there, chock full of Gluten Guardian, which is technically an enzyme called dipeptidyl peptidase-4 which just breaks down the exterior coating of gluten protein. It is your ultimate defense against gluten. It lets you have your cake, literally, and eat it too.
And you get a 10% discount on their already discounted price. You just go to GlutenGuardian.com/Ben and use code, BEN10. That's GlutenGuardian.com/Ben. Use code BEN10 so you can get all those rare glutinous delicacies that I know you're craving.
Speaking of gluten, here's something that doesn't have gluten in it, cereal. You thought all cereal had gluten in it? No, it doesn't. There is actually a way to make tasty cereal that mimics all of your favorite childhood flavors, like cocoa puffs and fruity loops and frosted flakes. But, what this company, Magic Spoon, has done is they have cracked the code on making tasty cereal that's gluten-free, that's grain-free. Then, they add protein to it. So, it's got 12 grams per serving, which can be higher than a can of sardines. Low carb, meaning just three grams of net carbs per serving. So, it's keto-friendly. Zero added sugars. And again, the nostalgic flavors that it comes in, like cocoa and cinnamon, and frosted and fruity. It's absolutely amazing. I mean, sit down and watch your Saturday morning cartoons with a bowl of this stuff with some coconut milk or almond milk, yeah, it's good. My kids are eating a bowl of this stuff nearly every day now. And I'm happy about it because I don't have to look at them like they're eating a bowl of peanut butter flavored Cap'n Crunch, which is what I grew up on.
So, the company is called Magic Spoon and they're going to give all my customers free shipping. You may want to check out their brand-new variety pack, which is all of your favorite childhood cereals. But, they're sent out in those mini boxes. Remember, mini boxes, the mini boxes of cereal? Yeah, they're doing that now.
So, check them out. You go to MagicSpoon.com and you just use discount code, BENGREENFIELD. They'll give you free shipping at MagicSpoon.com. They have 100% happiness guarantee. So, if you don't love their cereal, which you actually will, they'll refund. No questions asked.
So, check out MagicSpoon.com and use discount code, BENGREENFIELD.
That being said, just a few quick words. This has been just like a whirlwind a couple of weeks for me. I finally did take some piracetam this morning. For those of you wondering, I did take a little drug this morning. And it's just been a total whirlwind tour [00:55:43] _____. And this book for me has been three years in the making. I wanted to write more than my last book, “Beyond Training,” which was really, it kind of had a bent towards performance. But, in the past few years, I've become increasingly interested in anti-aging and longevity in family.
And I'll be honest with you. I don't think I've even said this before, but this book was originally going to be a book on parenting. Did you know that? On parenting. Like that. Because I wrote that little book, “Raising Tiny Superhumans.” And I had several publishers come up to me to ask me if I do a book on parenting. And when I sat down and kind of mapped out what I wanted to write, just the whole thing took on a life of its own. And I began to shop it around to all these big New York publishing houses. And nobody wanted it. Nobody wanted a book of this magnitude and with the table of contents. They knew how many pages it would likely turn out to be. And there's some controversial stuff in there, like sex and orgasms and LSD and psilocybin meshed up with spirituality and fitness and fat loss and biohacking. It was not an easy book to sell to anybody. It's hard to describe what I wanted to do, to make almost like a Bible for the human body, mind, and spirit.
And I wound up going with Victory Belt who also published my book, “Beyond Training.” And they graciously allowed me to do these 650 pages. And then, this book is not me. It's not me. I am surrounded by such an amazing team at Kion and at Ben Greenfield Fitness. I had three research assistants working with me on the papers and the referencing and the research. And we created a wonderful, for those of you who have the book, there's a wonderful beautiful page for each chapter with all the podcast and the additional books and articles and the resources, and all the content, all the babies I had to kiss goodbye as we cut 400 plus additional pages from the book. We put those all on the website, too. So, you can read all the crap that didn't make it into the book.
And there was one other thing I was going to say as I was going through that. The books. My publisher told me this. Eric at Victory Belt, he said, “The only problem with this book is it's going to make people have to buy 100 other books,” because that's the thing, is I consider myself just a curator, an assimilator of information. I love to read. I always have since I was a little boy. I love to discover information and turn around and figure out a way to teach that to people, not only to try a lot of these things out for myself but to turn around and figure out a way to package that information and teach it to others.
And so, unfortunately, as you read “Boundless“, you're probably going to find 50, 75, 100 other books you're going to have to buy and add to your bookshelf. So, my apologies. You're all going to ask for Amazon gift cards for your birthday and Christmas this year. But, I just wanted it to be as a book that you could read on its own. But, honestly, if you want to take a deeper dive, I just put as many resources as I could in there from podcast, to books, to articles, to websites, for you to take an even deeper dive, if you would like.
And so, I will quit talking now I don't want this to turn into a commercial for my book. But, I want to hear what kind of questions you guys have about any of the information in the book or just anything that you've been wondering about. I find that Q&As always threatened to be some kind of an inquiry about some random condition that someone has. And they instead turn into a wonderful discussion that turns into a broader more generally applicable type of scenario where, hopefully, you guys get a lot of value out of tonight. So, I would love to take your questions about anything from sleep to gut to immune function, muscle building, fat loss. Do not ask me anything beyond health because I'm an idiot. That's one of my keys to productivity, is I don't watch a lot of TV. I read USA Today this morning for the first time in a few weeks, which I'll occasionally do if I have a nice breakfast. The Fairmont is hosting me here and I had a wonderful breakfast at their FIG Restaurant. I had my eggs and my avocado. And as I do, I snuck in my can of sardines in my back pocket and my sea salt in my other back pocket, and my allulose ketchup in my front pocket, and I ordered up my eggs and avocado and dumped my sardines and my sea salt and my healthy ketchup on there and had a wonderful breakfast and read USA Today this morning. But I generally ignore politics and the Blockchain and pop culture. And so just don't ask me any questions about anything other than health and fitness and nutrition. We'll have a grand time.
So that being said, if you have a question, you can raise your hand and my boy, Brent here, will run the mic out to you and we'll rock and roll. So let's do this. Mr. Drew Canole of Organifi with an “I”.
Drew: Hey, baby.
Ben: Yes. I've had to say your name so many times on my podcast because you keep on advertising on the damn thing. This is Drew who makes the green juice, the red juice, and the gold juice.
Drew: And when you started speaking in Italian, conversion went up like 40%. So thank you for the accent.
Ben: Drew left me a text message. He said, “Dude, keep doing the commercials in Italian accent. We're selling more products.”
Drew: People like real men, and we love you at Organifi, dude. You've totally crushed it. You went above and beyond and I'm just continuously inspired by you, Ben.
Ben: Thanks, man.
Drew: Thanks for doing this tonight.
Ben: Thank you, brother. You, too.
Drew: Thank you, bro.
Ben: Thank you for inspiring me spiritually.
Drew: Thank you, man.
Drew: I was hoping there's going to be a guitar here.
Ben: My guitar is over my room, actually, but we could get that later. Anybody who plays music or wants to learn the guitar, I got this for Christmas, the Traveler's Guitar. The Traveler's Guitar is an ultralight guitar. It's got a pickup on it, and then there's an amp called the Jamstack, tiny little amp like the size of a phone. You can plug into the thing, and I've been jamming in my room. I used to travel with my ukulele, but this is tuned to a guitar. It's got six strings. It's amazing, so the Traveler's Guitar.
Drew: I love it go. I'll be ordering that. I literally order everything this guy talks about. Rebecca is like, “What's going on here?” Even like the tables, like the PEMF, the biochargers, the cold plunges. It's nuts.
Ben: BenGreenfieldFitness.com/—Jillian, go make a link for us.
Drew: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ben: Yeah. She's the affiliate manager standing right besides Drew.
Jillian: I got you.
Drew: You got me. Come on. So, biggest three, and I know it's a constant evolution because as you grow and you learn new things, what are the three biggest biohacks for somebody to get started in the world of Ben Greenfield that would really benefit them in their life? I know you talked about tons in “Boundless“, but what can somebody do and take home from here?
Ben: Boy, I feel like a broken record sometimes because I think of late, for those of you who have been listening to the podcast, I have this answer I've been giving and I tell people, well, it's grounding and earthing. It's like photonic energy or photobiomodulation, the use of heat, the use of cold, water, and minerals, and it's those six because if you treat the human body as a battery and you view the mitochondria as just a series of electrochemical interactions, those are the best things that you can do. But now, Drew has gone ahead and limited me to three.
I'm just going to go with the three at home. I'll just be totally honest with you, guys. Expenses and all that jazz aside, the three that I use at home every single day, every single day at home, I'm not bullshitting you, and this isn't based on how much money I make off selling something or anything like that, the three things I use at home every single day now are the red lights, the photobiomodulation, and I find it's wonderful for my skin, for my endocrine function, for nitric oxide synthesis, for simulating the sunrise in the morning, and I use those lights every single morning. And when I go in my office at night, I have the little red lamp and I turn that on, and I'll turn those lights on again sometimes to simulate sunset. And then I have the incandescent red lights in the bedroom, and I'm just a huge fan of not just the red light, but the infrared light. So, that would one.
And along those same lines, the Vielight device, that's the infrared therapy for neural tissue. Excess use, meaning, using it more frequently than every two days could create some excess reactive oxygen species, but I use that every other day. So, I'm using lights pretty much throughout the day. And then when I travel, I'm always walking in the sunshine to get the same thing from the sunshine. There's a fantastic, fantastic book I'm reading right now called “Human Photosynthesis.” Human Photosynthesis goes into the idea that melanin—melanin actually kicks off—each molecule of melanin kicks off four electrons in response to photons of light and literally allows for the creation and replenishment of ATP in the absence of calories, and it's fantastic for how humans can photosynthesize very similarly to plants.
Now, the author, Sayer Ji of GreenMedInfo has a fantastic new book. See, I told you, you're going to have to buy new books. His book is, I think it's called “Regenerate.” I just finished it. And he goes into this as well I think in much more understandable terms in this book, the Human Photosynthesis, but he highlighted this on his website, GreenMedInfo like four years ago about how when the human bloodstream has chlorophyll in it, it can do something very similar to what melanin does in terms of kicking off electrons in response to photons of light. So, what does this mean? This means that if you consume chlorophyll-rich foods with something like the blue spirulina bowl I had done at the hive down there in Santa Monica earlier today, or chlorophyll from chlorella, from dark green or blue compounds. You're actually going to be able to produce energy if you combine that with infrared light or sunlight.
Does anybody know any good sources of melanin aside from your own skin? I'll tell you one. It's chaga. Chaga mushroom is actually chockfull of this melanin. And so that's another thing that you can consume before you do infrared light or before you go for a walk in the sunlight and that will also produce electrons in the absence of calories. So, this idea of human photosynthesis and consuming specific compounds and getting exposed to infrared light or getting supposed to sunlight, it's fascinating, and I think this will actually be a continuing almost like a fad or an emerging trend in the realm of self-optimization is combining light with specific compounds to be able to create free energy in the human body without having a giant ass smoothie.
And the second thing that I use just about every day is some form of grounding or earthing. So, I stand on a grounding mat when I'm at my desk. I have one from the company Ultimate Longevity. I interviewed author Clint Ober, who co-wrote with another physician, a cardiologist, Stephen —
Ben: Yeah, Sinatra. He wrote this book about earthing and grounding and the impact it has on everything from inflammation to soft tissue healing to counteracting some of the effects of non-native EMF. And so I sleep on a mat that produces something very similar to the human resonance all night called the BioBalance mat. I walk in my Earth Runners. I have the grounding and the earthing mat. I get outside barefoot. I walked barefoot on the beach this morning. It is true that if you live in an area that's highly urban that has a lot of Wi-Fi signals and a lot of power traveling from the substations through the ground back to the homes, there is—and I'm actually trying to host a debate on my website right now between Clint Ober and another guy in the industry who believes that this grounding and earthing in a highly electrical environment may actually introduce excess kind of like exposure to AC currents in your body. So, that aside, I mean, even just getting outside in your barefeet walking out on the beach away from all the power lines and everything, more if you don't live in a highly urban environment getting a grounding mat or an earthing mat. That's another thing that I do every single day.
And then the last thing I'm using now every day is hyperbaric oxygen. I got one of those soft shell chambers from HBOT USA. And so I crawl in there and I read a lot of books, I read a lot of magazines and scientific journals. Or when I nap, I go into this hyperbaric oxygen chamber and lay in there under pressurized concentrated oxygen, which is fantastic for delivering high amounts of oxygen to neural tissue, for healing soft tissue injuries, for faster recovery. It's unlike an oxygen bar that you might go up to where you're just putting in a nasal cannula because that oxygen is not pressurized, it's just concentrated. And the oxygen has to be pressurized based on basic physiology to actually be dumped into muscle tissue or neural tissue more readily. And I think a hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy—and even my children go into this now, every Sunday, I write out for my kids because they're competing in jiu-jitsu and tennis now and I've chosen to largely outsource a lot of the unschooling that we're doing for the kids because I just can't do it all myself.
But I told the person who's managing—we hired like an ex-professor to manage some of the unschooling for our kids, but I'm in charge of the physical disciplines and the spiritual disciplines. Meaning, I lead my children in gratitude journaling, and devotion, and study of the scriptures, and meditation, and breathwork. So, I love to teach those things to the boys. And then I also write out their workouts. Every Sunday on a shared Google Doc, I set them their workouts for the week, but part of those workouts include recovery workout. So, they crawl on those little hyperbaric chamber and they'll zip themselves up in there and read their little books and everything. So, it's even wonderful for kids, too. And I really, really like, with increasing frequency, the research that I'm seeing on HBOT or hyperbaric oxygen. I'm going to do a podcast on it pretty soon. So, photobiomodulation, earthing and grounding, and hyperbaric oxygen, those are three non-negotiables for me at home right now.
Male: Hey, Ben. Author from [01:11:07] _____. I've got a question for you on sleep. Do you have any tricks for maximizing deep sleep? I'm struggling to get to—say even an hour per night, I've tried a lot of things, nothing works. So, curious to hear your opinion.
Ben: Yeah. Deep sleep, probably the two biggest things that I've personally found just in my own self-quantification are, A, core temperature. Anytime you finish a workout within three hours of bedtime, a quick cold shower. And remember that cryotherapy or cold thermogenesis will not blunt the hormetic response to exercise. So, many people are concerned about this idea that any anti-inflammatory activity will minimize mitochondrial adaptation or satellites our response to work out and limit muscle growth or aerobic capacity. But when you dig in, look at the research, it takes at least 10 minutes of being very cold to get the muscle temperature low enough to where that's going to happen.
So, like a quick two to five-minute cold shower, cold exposure, walk in the cold air after any hard workout that's occurred within three hours of bedtime along with doing things like wearing wool socks to bed, which sounds counterintuitive. It feels like that would warm the body, but it actually causes this vasodilatory effect to the organs that cools the body using one of these OOLERs or chiliPADs that you set at about 55 degrees before you go to bed at night, or like a bed jet, which instead of using water uses air, keeping the room at—for me, the sweet spot is about 64 degrees Fahrenheit sleeping nude. And doing all these things that will lower the core temperature has a profound impact on deep sleep.
And then I found that CBD in higher doses really, really helps with deep sleep as well without suppressing things like dream and memory consolidation—something like THC I found actually decreases my sleep cycles, but CBD. And if you look at a lot of studies on CBD, it's 300 to 600 milligrams. So, it's a pretty hefty dose. I don't think you need that much, but starting around 60 milligrams and working your way up 'til you find your sweet spot. I think that keeping the body cool and using something that targets the endocannabinoid system like CBD or another kind of newer one that you can get—as a matter of fact, down here in California, one good manufacturer that's got like an herbicide, pesticide free version of CBN, a different cannabinoid, CBN, it can be even more effective than CBD. That's lower dosages. That's about 5 to 10 milligrams of something like CBN can also really help with sleep and that's actually well-absorbed transdermally, too. I know that Mary's Medicinals does like a little transdermal pen that you can use. So, CBN or CBD can really help with the deep sleep cycles as can keeping the body cool.
There's another doctor I've been growing a relationship with down in Sarasota, Florida and he does like a slow-release CBD suppository. He also does a melatonin, like a high dose, like 100 milligrams, Dr. John Lieurance. And for rebooting the circadian rhythm when you're traveling, if you have long-haul travel, I don't endorse the use of melatonin unless you're above about the age of 40. Small doses of melatonin, because your own production goes down as you age, can be a useful strategy for sleep. When you're traveling, those larger doses of melatonin, like this 100 mg melatonin suppository I found to be amazing when I travel for the first night that I get to a new location. When I'm going across time zone, just like, whoop up the ass and I do it within like 30 minutes. You're dead to the world and you hope your hotel room doesn't catch on fire. But in a normal day-to-day—and he does a 300 and a 600 milligrams CBD suppository. If you do that at the same time as a melatonin, you're going to sleep 10 hours. But just a smaller dose of CBD, those 600 milligrams and work your way up along with staying cool, those are the two things I found to be most effective at the deep sleep stuff. So, yeah.
Female: What about for REM?
Ben: No, I haven't had any issues with REM really aside from I think that based on what it does to dream cycles, I think THC really shifts me, excuse me towards light sleep. So, like hitting a vape pen or something like that before bed seems to impact both deep sleep and REM sleep. So, I stay away from something like that. But as far as anything that directly increases REM sleep, I'm not aware of anything personally. I just focus on the deep sleep particularly. That seems to be a thing most people have more of an issue with is getting up to like that 20% range of deep sleep.
Male: How are you doing? My question is about psychedelics being real heavy in the psychedelic since moving to California, like everybody else. But yeah. I've got a lot of friends that have come up to me asking about it and stuff, but the big thing is a lot of them are very scared just because they think there's going to be like a long-term negative impact on their brain or anything like that. So, what would be your advice or anything you've researched as far as like long-term effects?
Ben: It's an issue with the increasing frequency, popularity, and availability of psychedelics. I'm concerned there are a lot of people who are on their 38th ayahuasca retreat who are doing ketamine every weekend, who are microdosing with psilocybin every day, who are taking LSD on Wednesdays and Fridays. The problem is that you're just flooding that postsynaptic cleft with serotonin and creating serotonin imbalances or deficiencies or insensitivities. You can create dopamine issues. You can exhaust things like your inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. You can deplete the vagus nerve of the Acetyl-CoA and the choline that it needs. And yeah, you can supplement your way out of some of that.
You can take 5-HTP, you can take acetylcholine, you can take methyl donors because they also will accelerate your methyl turnover. So, you can take things like SAM-e or trimethylglycine or betaine. It can create excess oxidation due to the amplified neural activity and things like vitamin C and N-acetylcysteine will help with that. I personally journey on psychedelics about once a quarter. And I do for about a week going in and a week going out, I take vitamin C and N-acetylcysteine in 5-HTP and a methyl donor, and I do a couple of NAD IVs. I pull out all the stops because I know the impact that it has on my neurological function and the potential to literally fry the brain, so to speak.
And so you do need to be careful. You need to be aware of replenishment, and also you need to be cautious with frequency of use. I approach psychedelic very carefully with great intention and follow a dieta going in of limited alcohol and meat consumption and different things that might impact your function or your toxicity going in. Alcohol would be another. Cannabis would be another. And so I am not opposed to the responsible use of psychedelics and the proper set and setting, but my concern especially with the potential now for the legality of psilocybin, the increased use, again kind of like the emerging increase in the use of recreational ketamine, recreational MDMA.
It's definitely a problem and the problem, the bigger problem is I think that people are justifying the use of psychedelics and a non-recreational more spiritually enlightening environment because now that's acceptable, but the problem is people are still overusing it. And part of that is the accessibility part of it is the acceptance in culture. Now that we have research coming out of the MAPS Foundation and Johns Hopkins hitting the news, people find that they can justify a little bit more, like, “This is medically proven therapy and I'm just taking care of my body and enhancing myself spiritually.”
For me, I think of it as like an Ironman triathlon. If I'm going to do an Ironman, I know it's going to destroy my body. For at least a month, I'm going to be in an inflamed state with a leaky gut and soft tissue damage, and increased risk of injury, and lower heart rate variability. And so I might do two Ironman triathlons a year. I'm not going to do like a stent where I'm going to do 20 Ironman triathlons over the course here because I know the biological blowback of that is intense. And the same thing can be said for psychedelics, like you need to take them very seriously and treat it as a real journey of self-discovery that you respect. And also, you need to study up on what you need to replenish going in and going out if you don't want to create a long-term impact.
That being said, I think they're useful. I think that not only did God put everything that grows on the face of this planet from cannabis, the different fungi to ayahuasca, to all these things. We find a combo from frogs, peyote from—and San Pedro from, cactus all of these things were placed on this planet to be used responsibly. And I think that God has also equipped the human brain to create jet airplanes and Vitamixs and LSD. It's cool that we can create these modern technologies and even synthetic molecules that simulate what nature gives us, but that also places upon us, the burden of responsibility to use these things wisely.
And so I do not think that just because something spins a few dials in your brain that it's wrong to use. I think that there's a definite purpose for a lot of these things, but you just need to be careful, and you need to be intentional, and you need to be aware, and you also need to realize that there are things beyond psychedelics such as meditation and breathwork that could take you to a very similar place without that kind of neurological or biochemical impact. And so I think doing something like quarterly, plant medicine with breathwork and meditation, and in some of the less intensive forms of self-inflicted psychedelic therapy without the use of chemicals is kind of a prudent way to go.
And I got to tell you, even just before I came down here, I'm using a meditation app called Pause right now. And Pause gives me a one, three, five, or ten-minute meditation that to me puts me in a state that I feel very similar after I've taken like a few grams of psilocybin. And I can get there with meditation, I can get there with holotropic breathwork. And so exploring some of these other options too I think is prudent. So, thanks for the question.
Nikki: Thanks. Hi. I'm Nikki. Question, can you tap more on NAD and the effectiveness?
Ben: Yeah. Because of the impact it has on DNA repair and on mitochondrial function, I'm a huge fan of NAD and increasingly, as I see more and more research on it with the caveat that it does increase methylation, and so I think it should be co-administered with a good methyl donor like what I was talking about, same as you would use with psychedelics, like you can eat liver, for example, as a natural version or you can take trimethylglycine or SAM-e or betaine. And many good supplement manufacturers are now packaging their NAD, or their NR, or their NMN with methyl groups.
I personally use NAD. I use it for the DNA repair when I'm on an airplane where I know a lot of DNA damage due to radiation can occur. I wear an NAD patch that slow bleeds NAD into my system. I put it on my inner thigh. It's an electrophoresis patch and I'll get 500 to 1,000 milligrams of NAD while I'm traveling. I get an NAD IV once a month, typically just drop into a clinic and do 500 to 1,000 milligrams of NAD. That type of patch-based or IV-based administration of NAD is the best way to get a full-body absorption and bioavailability of NAD. That being said, those can be expensive and inconvenient ways to get NAD.
There are things like fasting, the consumption of fermented foods, for example, would be another that will naturally increase NAD. You can also use oral nicotinamide riboside, which gives you good full-body delivery of NAD. If you want more of a neural impact for neural repair, sublingual NMN is also a very good way to get more of a hypothalamic delivery of NAD. Sublingual NAD, not like an oral capsule of NAD can also be really efficacious for that as can intranasal NAD. There's one company called Alive by Nature I've been using with increasing frequency, which does sublingual NMN, sublingual NAD, and intranasal NAD.
I think a good way to go is to just like get some patches that you can wear when you're exposed to a little bit more radiation and inflammation, and then use like oral NMN or oral NR in between the IVs and the patches. And then finally, understand that for DNA repair to occur, NAD has to be accompanied with sirtuins, which we would find from things like a Mediterranean diet rich in some of these darker compounds like blueberries and cacao and red wine, or even the use of sirtuin supplements like resveratrol or pterostilbene. Those two work like friends to repair the DNA. So, you need to make sure if you're doing this for the DNA repair for the anti-aging effect that you combine the NAD with sirtuins. I think it's a very, very good anti-aging and DNA repair tactic. So, yeah, I'm a huge fan of NAD. Absolutely. Yeah.
Male: Alright. So, the good news is you convinced me to get the Oura ring, but now I'm obsessed, but we went through deep sleep, we went through REM. You got to get on the REM and I need an answer for that. But the other thing I need help with is the restfulness, if you have any tips on restfulness and the Oura ring or anything along those lines, I'd appreciate it.
Ben: Yeah. The biggest thing with frequent awakenings during the night, it would really be two things. Number one, in the low-carb ketogenic intermittent fasting community, I find that many people are relatively hypoglycemic. And typically, like a 1:00 to 2:00 am-ish awakening is often a sign that your awakenings are due to hypoglycemia or just being hungry while you sleep. And using some slow-bleed type of nutrients before you go to bed at night that aren't going to spike the blood sugar dramatically, like fructose from raw honey, for example, collagen or amino acids can be really useful for this.
Medium-chain triglycerides for a slow bleed of fats, even the use of ketone esters or ketone salts, doing something like that before you go to bed, granted it might mess up your whole intermittent fasting scenario, but if I had to choose between the autophagy benefits of intermittent fasting and a good solid night of sleep, I would choose the latter, especially in an active person because it's mostly active people who are having nighttime awakenings due to not enough calories and not enough food. They're already getting a decent amount of autophagy because of their active lifestyles anyways. And so sometimes it's undereating or excess of fasting, especially close to bedtime. So, that's one thing.
The other one is low amounts of GABA, low amounts of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. And because of that, I encourage folks who have a lot of restlessness at night and frequent nighttime awakenings to keep some type of GABA precursor on the bedside. An example of that would be like passionflower extract, valerian root extract. The company Quicksilver Scientific has a really fantastic liposomal formula called LipoCalm. That's the one that I use. That has some really good GABA precursors in it that just give you this inhibitory neurotransmitter release that helps you to fall asleep if you wake up at night. So, I would say those are the two biggest things, getting adequate calories and a slow bleed of nutrients in the system prior to bed along with GABA or inhibitory neurotransmitter.
And I'll give a shameless plug here if you're concerned about the blood glucose elevation or something like you getting ripped out of ketosis from a nighttime feeding like having a quick snack at 10:00 p.m. before you go to bed. That's where something like Kion Lean would come in. So, you could take that to allow the blood glucose to drop more rapidly because one of the mechanisms via which that works is it causes the blood glucose to get transported into muscle tissue more readily. So, it has a less transient time in the blood stream and gets shoved in the muscle tissue more quickly. So, that's something you could take at the same time as you take something at night to make sure that you don't wake up hungry later on.
Male: Okay. I have a question.
Ben: Yes, sir.
Male: If I could be so humble. On the sleep thing, you don't understand this because you're like 25, but I'm 50 and I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night because I have to pee a lot. Is there anything that you know that can solve that problem for all the senile older folks in the crowd whippersnapper?
Ben: Yeah. I mean, I would definitely pay attention to the prostate gland, using things like saw palmetto extract. There's a newer supplement out by a guy I've had on my podcast before, Judd Brandeis, who's a sexual optimization doctor. I forget the name of his supplement, but he has a good one. It's a specific blend of herbs for the prostate gland. And something like that can help out a little bit if it's like an enlarged prostate or excess PSA or something like that, which can cause more frequent nighttime urination.
Another one, of course, would just be fluid intake prior to bed. I'm a bigger fan of using like a really good mineral complex, which allows you to stay hydrated without excess water intake. There's this stuff called Quinton, and it's a very mineral-rich solution, but they have a hypertonic formula, which is something you would take in the morning because it's very energizing, but then they have an isotonic formula, which is a little bit lower in minerals, which is more parasympathetic base that you can have at night if you're concerned about hydration, but it allows you to hydrate and essentially allows your muscles to soak up more water without you drinking as many fluids prior to bed. So, that's another one. I also like to duct tape my dick to my inner thigh and that seems to compress things and vasoconstrict a little bit.
Male: I do it to my ankle, but I don't know what you—I don't understand but —
Ben: Fantastic urethra plug you can get on Amazon. But yeah, I would go through it from a prostate gland standpoint, and then just the fluid prior to bed. Those would be a couple. And then of course, like I mentioned, melatonin is going to decrease as you age. And anytime you're in a slightly more awake state, you're more likely to wake up, more likely to be aware that you have to pee. So, I'm definitely not opposed to frequent nightly use of melatonin as you age, like 0.3 to 3 milligrams or so of like a good melatonin. That same company I mentioned earlier, Quicksilver Scientific, they have a really good liposomal melatonin that I like, if you didn't want to shove it up your butt. So, that's the right start. Yeah. Glad to know Brent doesn't have any hair on his ankles now.
Male: So, I had a question about how do you factor in the protein absorption when you're calculating, like if I'm trying to get 200 grams of protein in a day and your aminos have 99% absorption, and I think egg whites for around 50 and weigh maybe 20. So, how does that factor in when you're calculating how much protein you should be getting if I take 30 grams of your aminos? Is that 30 grams or is that 60 grams because it's better than 30 grams of eggs?
Ben: Right. There's a glaring lack of research on the equivalency of let's say a poorly absorbed protein in terms of grams of absorption versus a better absorbed protein, let's say in an egg, or a whey, or a casein, or an amino acid. And so it's difficult to say, but a couple of things. A, we know that most folks can absorb a maximum of 30 to 40 grams of protein at a sitting. And so if you're taking more than that of the meal, you need to space your protein feedings out. So, you can't get it all at night, for example. That's one of my beefs pun intended with the OMAD or the warrior diet is how much of that protein are you actually going to absorb.
And then the other thing is—Wade, you make a protein-digesting enzyme, you would appreciate this. The fact is you can, and there's studies on this, you can increase the bioavailability of just about any protein by consuming a protease-based enzyme along with the protein. So, that's a prudent strategy anyways is to not eat more than 30 to 40 grams as a sitting, and then if you're not using like an essential amino acid complex to consider the use of a protease along with the protein. So, you're at least maximizing that bioavailability as high as you can. But I can't say there's an actual equation I'm aware of to say, “Okay. Well, this has an egg or a pea or a rice or a beef-based protein in it. Therefore, I'm getting X amount of grams of absorption from this. I'm sure there's some deep dark bodybuilding form you could hop on where somebody's got calculator out there, but I'm not aware of one, and I'm probably not so obsessed with my protein intake that I would be, but yeah. I mean, it might take a little bit more research, but at this point, I'd say use a protein-digesting enzyme and donate more than 30 or 40 grams at a time and you should be pretty good.
My protein intake, for people who want to make sure you're getting enough protein, everybody I coach, everybody I work with, it's 0.55 to 0.8 grams per pound and always on the more active days. Just you naturally cycling between anabolic and catabolic, kind of like press-pulse cycling your proteins, which can be a useful longevity hack as well is on the lower activity days, we're always closer to 0.55 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. On the higher activity days, closer to 0.8 grams of pound per protein or of protein. And so that's a useful calculation to use if you want to make sure you're getting enough. Once you exceed 0.8 grams per pound, you're looking at a risk for excess ammonia toxicity without a whole lot of benefit in terms of excess muscle protein synthesis from the excess protein. Good question.
Male: Hey, Ben. Just to follow up on your comment that you had about Kion, your new product. Talk about bitter melon. You mentioned that it could actually help reduce glucose level, but is that also for people that might be considered pre-diabetic? Because there is a little bit of a debate whether or not that actually helps. Or what would you suggest will be a good regiment for somebody [01:35:59] ______ besides diet of course and exercise, but what would be a good supplement to lower overall, like A1C?
Ben: Well, there's a lot of things you could do. I mean, exercise, when I wear a continuous blood glucose monitor, a morning cold regimen was the best thing. That was the thing that shoved my blood glucose lower than anything else. A shot of apple cider vinegar prior to a meal or a splash of bitters if you're at a restaurant, want to get something from the bar, Ceylon cinnamon and your morning smoothie. We'd literally just today announced the reformulation of Kion Lean for blood sugar management because we added something called InnoSlim to the bitter melon extract, which seems to have a really good impact on blood sugar management as well.
And I personally don't use just one thing. I did a lot of things. I do cold thermogenesis, I use Kion Lean before my evening carbohydrate refeed, I use apple cider vinegar very frequently, I use Ceylon cinnamon almost every morning in my smoothie or in my coffee. So, I think it's a multimodal approach when it comes to management of blood sugar and low-level physical activity all day long. Like I wear the ring and my minimum step count is 15,000 steps. I almost always go for a postprandial walk 10 minutes, and sometimes I'll make an excuse. Like if I'm at dinner, I'll just be like, “I got to call my wife,” and I'll walk 10 minutes and then call the Uber from wherever I've walked to.
I actually have a lot of little rules. And the reason for that is my genetic results show that I have a higher than normal risk for type 2 diabetes. So, that's why I'm so cognizant about it. That's why a lot of things I talk about on the podcast for me scratching my own itch, right, like I have higher than normal risk of type 2 diabetes, I have multiple cousins and family members who have died of colorectal cancer. The coffee enema thing isn't a stick. That's not like a publicity stunt. I do that to help out my colonic health along with some of the other things I do, like magnesium and replenishment of my gut flora. Yeah. A lot of what I talk about on the podcast is me just figuring shit out for myself because I fight the same battle you guys fight when it comes to impacts on sleep, and I have struggle with gas and bloating. In the afternoons, I've had to deal with gut issues, I've had to deal with all sorts of different muscle injuries.
I used to get sick all the time. So, a lot of this stuff is just me figuring out issues for myself and then trying to package that up into some kind of an article or a book or something that'll help other people hopefully discover some of the things I've found to be helpful. But yeah. When it comes to blood sugar management, it's not just one thing. It's low-level physical activity all day long, it's cold thermogenesis, it's the use of a lot of these insulin stabilizing herbs and spices. And so yeah, it's just pulling out as many stops as you can.
Female: Awesome. Hey, Ben.
Female: I am a holistic doctor and I'm using a lot more peptide therapy with patients. And I know you've had some really good interviews on the podcast about peptides, but I'm curious what has been your favorite peptide that you've used, and then what is an up-and-coming one that you're interested in.
Ben: Yeah. When Drew asked that question about biohacks, I would almost say like a [01:39:31] _____ peptides just because these are amino acid sequences that can target cell receptors in very specific ways. I first discovered when I was recovering from an injury, BPC-157 and TB-500 as a subcutaneously or localized injectable peptide to be really dramatically impactful and far more affordable and accessible than something like a stem cell or a PRP injection. And then when I began to interview people, I'd talk to folks like physicians from the International Peptide Society like Dr. William Seeds or Ryan from Tailor Made Compounding, I found out there are nootropic cognition enhancing peptides like transdermal dihexa or intranasal Cmax, which are fantastic for the blood-brain barrier and for neural inflammation.
I found out about a deep sleep inducing peptide, which you can inject a little bit before night of sleep to enhance your deep sleep cycles. I found out about some of this Russian research on peptides like Epithalon and MOTS-c and humanin nor increasing telomere length and lifespan, and peptides like LGD for tackling giardia or bacterial infections or gut bacterial imbalances. So, there's a lot of them out there and the fact is, that's like saying which supplement is best because it depends on what you're using the peptide for. But I would say as far as the actual human data that I've seen as far as reduction in all-cause risk of mortality, probably the most powerful would be Epitalon, which could just be subcutaneously injected for a 10 to 20-day protocol couple of times a year. Really good research behind that.
And I would go to the website for the International Peptide Society. I would subscribe to their newsletter. I would connect with a good doctor who is able to get good peptides that are made with amino acid sequencers because a lot of peptides are made using peptides that are basically grown on E. coli. And E. coli essentially poop out the peptide and it can be a little bit iffy as far as the peptide efficacy and the consistency as far as quality, but some of these companies like Tailor Made have amino acid sequencers, which can create really reliable and consistently pure forms of peptides. And I am a big fan of them. I think that the reason they haven't become more popular is because most of them need to be injected. And despite the fact that millions of people are injecting insulin daily, there's a lot of people that just have like a needle phobia, but I've had needles stuck into my dick so I'm not too concerned about needles. And Brent has some ankle scars from that as well.
So, yeah, I would say it really depends, but I mean, I would say probably one of the best ones for just like a full-body effect would be something like Epithalon. But I use peptides. It's like a tool. Like if I'm injured, I'll use TB-500 or BPC. If it's a day where I've got some neural inflammation or low levels of sleep, dihexa or Cmax, a couple rounds of a MOTS-c or Epithalon. One of my buddies, Dr. Craig Koniver is now producing like a peptide kit where it's like a morning dose. It's got some growth hormone precursors like tesamorelin, some peptides like PPC-157, and some mitochondrial enhancers in the morning dose, and then things like CJC and Ipamorelin, and then some anti-inflammatories in the evening dose, and it just comes to you in this little black box and there's like—I think it's like 15 to 30 syringes on the morning side, 15 to 30 syringes, they're all pre-packed on the evening side and you just pull out the syringe for the morning and inject once in the morning, inject once in the evening, I think that's a cool idea. So, yeah, I'm a fan of peptides for sure.
Female: You just keep going. I was going to segue from speaking of your dick, let's talk about sex. You've been with your wife over 20 years, right? So, I would love to hear any biohacking tips you have on keeping the sex alive and exciting or just increasing libido, especially as you age.
Ben: Yeah. Fifteen years.
Ben: Twenty soon, 30 after that, 40 after that. Hopefully, we die holding hands. So, yeah. Sometimes, [01:44:15] _____ reticent to talk about biohacking sex because sometimes it can turn it into like this very physical shallow experience where you're going to, whatever, put on some special, I don't know, vibrating photobiomodulation cock ring and smear nitroglycerin cream on her clitoris and go at it while you're playing binaural beats that enhance the orgasm. Sometimes that can suck just the specialness—I mean, sex is very, very spiritual and I think most people, many people, I should say, experience sex as almost just like mutual masturbation, just like rubbing two bodies together until some fireworks happen and then you collapse or fall asleep or go at it again.
And talk about things like ketamine and oxytocin and all these things that can amplify the experience. And it's true, there are things that you can do to make sex more interesting to disinhibit you or you can even engage in breathwork practices like tantric sex, or I recommend to a lot of guys to read books by—like the “Multi-Orgasmic Male” book. I would say though that the works of guys like David Deida like “Finding God in Sex” and turning sex into a more spiritual experience has been a real game-changer for my wife and I.
And I would say that admittedly, and I'm reticent to say this as well because I don't want to make people think that they have to get high or journey or take psychedelics to make sex more meaningful, but my wife and I did begin journeying together on a quarterly basis and actually using some plant medicines and sitting for long periods of time, just legs intertwined, facing each other in bed with our souls and spirits wide open, just staring into each other's eyes and talking for hours and seeing each other as not just physical beings but as spiritual beings. And that changed sex a lot for us. Meaning, everything from breathing into each other's bodies during sex to eye gazing and having a very deep spiritual connection to just holding each other and embracing each other for a long time afterwards and realizing that sex really is a deeply, probably one of the most deeply spiritual experiences that two human beings can engage in.
It's also just changed my perspective on marriage and in sex even more because when you're engaged in serial relationships, when you are engaged in sex that's primarily physical, you're really not experiencing sex I think as it as was meant to be. And human beings have this conscious capability to be able to experience sex spiritually. And I would say even if you're not going to do plant medicine, one of the most important things to do is to learn tantric sex, breathwork practices that allow you to move energy up and down your spine, and then begin to do that with your partner as you're breathing into each other's bodies, you're breathing her breath down your spine and back up and she's breathing your breath and you're looking into each other's eyes, which is also useful because as you do that, you find yourself, and I know especially men because we're more visually driven, you find yourself fantasizing about others less or letting your mind go to some other place less because you're very focused on your lover. And when you see your lover as a spiritual being, you also become less —
It's not as though the physical body doesn't turn you on, but that doesn't become something that you're dependent upon to become aroused, meaning that you're so in love with this spiritual being and this person that you're engaged with in a very deep spiritual experience that you know that you can enjoy that when she and you are 70 and 80 and 90, old and wrinkled and ugly. It goes way, way beyond the physical. And so I would say with sex, yeah, there are biohacks that you can do, like ketamine and oxytocin, and red light, and vibrators, everything, but nothing beats a deep spiritual connection with your lover and a deep commitment to your lover. And I think that's the most important thing when it comes to sex.
If I could just tell you guys one last thing when it comes to the truth or when it comes to spreading whatever message you want to spread, because I'm not special, like yeah, I have a podcast and I have a voice and I create a platform for myself where I can tell people things, but I'll tell you what I tell my kids, I'll tell you what I tell my kids. Find your purpose in life, what is it that you were good at when you were a kid, what is it that makes time just flow for you now that you're naturally skilled at. Don't take that for granted.
I always took writing for granted, like I can sit down and I can just write for hours. I can sit down and write at 4:00 p.m. and my wife's calling me for dinner at 7:30 and it feels like a half hour went by. Whereas my wife, she'll look at a blank page and start crying because she hates writing. She hates reading, too. But I love it, and it's easy for me to take that for granted, but I realize now that as Mark Manson says, do things that make you forget to eat and poop, and I'll write for hours and just forget to even go to the bathroom, which is why we've got this huge six-armed 50-page book sitting here.
But if you do that, and then once you've found your purpose and your passion in life, what it is that you're naturally good at, all you need to do is go out and love others with whatever that purpose is, with whatever that passion is. And if you love other people and you know your passion and your purpose in life, you're going to find happiness, you're going to find fulfillment. All you're going to want to do is speak the truth and tell the truth and share what you've discovered or what you're able to help other people with, not because you feel like that's a sacrifice or a duty or a job, but because you freaking love to do it. So, find your passion, find your purpose, go out and love other people with that passion and the purpose and you'll change lives, and you'll change yourself, you'll be happy, and you'll be fulfilled. So, do that.
You are all so amazing. Thank you for coming out. Thank you for caring about yourselves and for coming out tonight. I love each and every one of you, so thank you so much.
Drew: Thank you, Ben.
Ben: 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 recently went on a whirlwind tour of LA for my new book Boundless. I sat in on and hosted plenty of panels and Q&As—and recorded the best of the best of all of them for your listening and educational pleasure!
In the first part of this episode, you'll hear me on a panel with Dr. Darshan Shah of NextHealth, with whom I have collaborated on multiple podcasts, including:
- A Biohacking Clinic Straight From The Deck Of Star Trek, The Minimum Effective Dose Of Exercise, How Ben Greenfield Fasts, Increasing Mitochondrial Density & Much More!
- 12 Easy & Practical Ways To Upgrade Your Body & Brain (Ben Greenfield’s Live Talk From NextHealth In LA!)
- “Optimizing Your Body Mind and Soul” with Ben Greenfield
After the panel with Dr. Shah—in which we discussed sleep, habits, routines, rituals, longevity, biohacking, parenting, spirituality and much more—you'll hear the Q&A we recorded at that same event.
In the second part of this episode, you'll hear a separate Q&A recorded at the second book launch party at The Bungalow, in which we cover deep sleep, REM sleep, sex hacking, plant medicine and psychedelics, NAD best practices, sirtuins, and a host of other interesting topics.
So sit back for a wild biohacking Boundless ride (and if you haven't yet purchased your copy of my new book Boundless, you can grab it here).
In this two-part episode, you'll discover:
Part 1: Panel and Q&A w/ Darshan Shah
-The process of writing Boundless…6:13
- “I wanted a book I wanted to read”
- Originally 10 chapters on brain, body, spirit
-Tips for biohacking your sleep…10:00
- Be aware of the circadian rhythm
- Natural “biohacks” like walking on the beach barefoot
- No blue lights at night
- Red light covering on the fridge lightBen mentions
- Temperature and noise
- Neck Nestpillow
- Gravity blanketto feel safe
- Sleep routine begins the moment you wake up
-How to personalize your diet…17:15
- Book: Biochemical Individualityby Roger Williams
- Self-quantification is a reality for most people today
- Wahls Protocol
- BGF podcast w/ Paul Saladinoon the Carnivore Diet
- Glucose monitorand HRV analysis device can give many key indicators
- Cold therapy in the morning was efficacious in managing blood glucose levels (spikes w/ coffee)
-The importance of spiritual connectedness…28:06
- Spiritual disciplines are one of the most underemphasized elements of fitness
- Fasting, fellowship w/ others, spirit of love toward others
- Christian Gratitude Journal
-How Ben helps mold the well-being of his two boys…31:34
- Have them join you in your routine
- Happy family dinners
- Love to logic philosophy (no forbidden fruits)
- Educate on the consequences of their decisions
- BGF podcast on unschooling
- Book: Unschooling to Universityby Judy Arnall
-How to fight EMFs and hidden toxins in an urban environment…37:00
- Calcium influx in the cell membrane
- DNA and protein damage
- Downregulation of NF-kB pathway (Fasting and ketosis upregulate NF-kB pathway)
- Use Magnesiumto offset calcium channel influx
- NAD and sirtuinshelp repair DNA
- Biohacks to help heal a navicular stress fracture and continue to train
- How to help the circadian rhythm working bartenders hours
- How to stay mentally strong as challenges come in your professional life
- Intermittent fasting for post-menopausal women
- Is Ben Greenfield really a recording artist?
Part 2: Talk at The Bungalow in Santa Monica
-The 3 things that Ben uses at home every single day…1:02:33
- Grounding and earthing
- Hyperbaric Oxygen
-How to maximize deep sleep when everything else has failed…1:11:06
- Pay attention to core temperature
- Cold shower before bed
- Warm socksin bed actually cool the body
- Higher doses of CBD(300-600 mg)
- High dose of melatonin(Dr. John Lieurance of Advanced Biome Corp.)
-Long-term effects of psychedelics…1:15:50
- Serotonin imbalances, dopamine issues, etc.
- Quarterly journey on psychedelics
- Be aware of replenishment, and cautious with frequency of use
- Limited alcohol and meat consumption prior to use
- Socially acceptable, but overuse is a problem due to accessibility and lack of knowledge
- Be aware of the effects it will have on your body
- Pause meditation app
-Effectiveness of NAD…1:22:30
- Caveat: it increases methylation; use with a methyl donor
- Patch-based is the most efficacious (expensive though)
- Fasting, consuming fermented foods
- Oralnicotinamide riboside
- Sublingual and intranasal NAD
- Alive by NatureNAD spray
- NAD must be accompanied w/ sirtuinsfor DNA repair to be effective
-Tips on improving fitful sleep…1:26:00
- Many people are hypoglycemic; early morning wakeups are indicative of this
- Low amounts of GABA
-How to help with bladder issues at night…1:29:10
- Saw Palmetto Extract
- BGF podcast w/ Judson Brandeis
- Quinton hypertonic and isotonic formulas
- Melatonindecreases w/ age
- Quicksilver liposomal melatonin
-How to calculate proper protein absorption…1:32:10
- Most people can absorb a max of 40 grams of protein in one sitting
- On lower activity days, less protein and vice versa for higher activity
-How to lower A1C levels…
-Up and coming peptides to watch for…1:39:03
- BPC-157and TB 500
- International Peptide Society
- Tailor Made Compounding
- BGF podcasts on peptides
- LGD (Ligandrol) for giardia
- Craig Koniver(code: BEN2020)
-How to keep things hot in bed as you age…1:43:37
- Book: Multiorgasmic Manby Mantak Chia
- Book: Finding God Through Sexby David Deida
- Quarterly journey w/ plant medicines
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