June 16, 2022
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/lauren-vaknine-podcast/
[00:01:42] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:43] The “softer side” of biohacking and life optimization
[00:11:35] Ben's big “why” for doing what he does
[00:15:19] Ben's morning routine while traveling
[00:22:30] Jet lag management tips
[00:27:23] Ben's favorite biohacking devices and gadgets
[00:34:18] Podcast Sponsors
[00:39:1] Does Ben's wife Jessa share his enthusiasm for biohacking and self-optimization
[00:42:47] Lauren's journey through health challenges
[00:46:15] Ben's education philosophy and strategy for his children
[00:54:42] A sneak peak of Ben's new parenting book
[00:58:38] When not to engage in fasting, ice baths, sauna
[01:04:53] Ben's Christian hedonism philosophy
[01:08:42] Lauren's “lighting round” questions for Ben
[01:14:46] End of Podcast
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Wellness is loving yourself, loving other people, loving God fully.
In the rain, somewhat chilly out recording. And, I'm one of those guys who I'd rather be outside in nature dancing in the rain and sitting inside running from the weather.
All that stuff adds up. So, I always ask myself if I lived this same day over and over again, what would it look like at the end of my life?
Lauren: If your sons could take one thing from what you teach, what would you want it to be?
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
Hey, folks, welcome back. This is Ben Greenfield recording for you the introduction to today's show from the back of a taxicab in London. And, this show is an interview, someone interviewing me that's also being released on my show, a gal named Lauren Vaknine who has a podcast called Reconditioned. She herself has an amazing story of being two years old and developing rheumatoid arthritis and having to learn how to manage that nutritionally from an exercise, a biohacking, and a lifestyle standpoint, but we just had a fantastic discussion walking around Regents Park in London and it was wonderful. We covered parenting and family and fitness and food allergies and a whole lot more.
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You guys know I talk about the microbiome and probiotics all the time because there is so much BS and misinformation in the probiotic space. When I heard about this company called Seed and interviewed their amazing team of crack scientists over there with leading academic partners across microbiology, immunology, genetics, metabolomics, and gastroenterology, I realized somebody had actually formulated a probiotic that I like. It's a patented delivery technology to ensure the probiotic arrives at its final destination, no loss luggage, no misconnections because it's engineered in this special cap called the ViaCap, which not only contains some prebiotics in it to help to feed the probiotic but it shields it against oxygen and moisture, and heat, and light, and stomach acid. So, your probiotic strains get delivered and this is near unheard of alive and well to the end of the small intestine to then be delivered into the colon where they give you all those health benefits including probably the most important very, very nice bowel movement regularity, and stool consistency, and ease of expulsion and bowel movement comfort. So, enjoy. It's called the Seed Probiotic.
And, I'm going to give you a 15% discount on it. It's shelf-stable, by the way, no refrigeration necessary. It's sustainably delivered to your door every month. I take three a day on an empty stomach. Sometimes I take a little bit more when I travel because jet lag and traveling can disrupt the microbiome, but it's just a great probiotic. It's wonderful. So, go to Seed.com/Ben, S-E-E-D.com/Ben. That'll get you 15% off your first month of their — they call their Daily Synbiotic, S-Y-N-biotic.
Alright, you looking for a job? Huh? You want to get out of flipping burgers, repairing fax machines, or selling used cars, whatever it is you do right now? Well, come join Ben Greenfield Life, team Ben Greenfield Life. We're currently hiring. Check out the careers page that I've created for more information. Go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers. Ben Greenfield life is setting ourselves, itself, I don't even know how to say it, but we're basically creating the most creative and inspirational network on the planet to make people's lives better. We passionately empower people to live a bold purpose-filled and adventurous life filled with health, hope, happiness and love. And, it is a hell of a lot of fun to be on our team.
So, as a part of that mission, our team is, of course, growing and we're hiring. Check out all the open positions at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers. Good luck spelling careers, just google that. BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers.
Well, hello, Laura.
Lauren: Hello. Okay. I'm with Ben Greenfield and we are walking through Regents Park, which is not something you say every day.
Ben: I like walking and recording though, especially if we're a health podcast or for health podcaster is it feels so much more on brand.
Ben: And, I occasionally will get some people when I'll record, when I'm walking, people like, “Why are you walking? We heard wind, we heard birds.” I'm like, “Who cares? We're supposed to be out.” It's the same information, it's just recorded well in the fresh air, in the sunshine, living in natural light.
Lauren: Always going to be a little bit of wind. We're in London. I feel people will be able to feel the energy just so much nicer than sitting in a studio.
Ben: Oh, yeah, the sound of children playing and birds singing and squirrels screaming and falling from trees, so everything.
Ben: Yeah, nature.
Lauren: Amazing. Okay. So, we are off the back of the Health Optimisation Summit.
Lauren: And, you did the most amazing talk.
Ben: Well, thanks.
Lauren: Two of them which was pretty incredible. Okay, so let's start here. So, what I took from you the most, obviously you're into health optimization, fitness, biohacking, et cetera, et cetera, but the thing that got me was when you were talking about parenting. But, not just the parenting, it was being life optimization because I feel this world of health optimization, of biohacking, there can come a bit of arrogance sometimes and everything can be about the tracking and the numbers, the statistics, and you brought it back to a bit of that feminine energy. And so, I'd love you to just go into what you were speaking about there.
Ben: Well, allow me to claim it for the masculine among us too. I get what you're saying when you say feminine energy. It's a lot of this biohacking health optimization, eat, move, be healthy, it can be very yang. And then, when you look at what might be considered the softer side of life optimization such as love and relationships and as you mentioned parenting and family and legacy and really the reason that we do all this in the first place be more impactful with whatever purpose that God has blessed us with in life. Yeah, I could certainly see that being a little bit more a feminine yin type of approach. But, these are the things that aren't necessarily quantifiable, they're not necessarily the things that you directly feel via some blood pump or a nootropic or smart drug hit to the brain or an injection or anything like that. These are the things that feed your soul, that feed your spirit. So, we talk about things like the Spiritual Disciplines, meditation, or silence, or solitude, or worship, or prayer, or devotions and the like, fantastic authors such as such as Donald Whitney and Dallas Willard have written wonderful books about caring for yourself spiritually using a disciplinary approach, similar to what you'd use for physical or mental training. And then, you've also got, of course, and I think I even said this during my talk, the 110-year-old — let's turn this way. I guess your listeners will hear us weaving through the park. The 110-year-old gin chugging cigarette smoking grandma in Sardinia, Italy who's a centenarian despite her lifestyle because she's full of love, and relationships, and family, and perhaps even in that societal setting, a more matriarchal role might be bestowed upon that grandmotherly figure so that there actually is a life extension component of being useful as you age.
And so, yeah, everything that I used to do to optimize my body at one time in my life was really either, “Look at me, look at me, look at me.” So, I'm doing these cool things, do the Ironman, or the Spartan race, or your bodybuilding, or whatever, or it was really based on self-optimization just for the sake of the endorphin rush and the mild addictive nature of exercising and eating healthy that accompanies that dopaminergic endorphin-like rush that you get when you're taking care of your body. But, now I've changed my perspective. The only reason I really want to be healthy and fit and have a good lifespan and a good health span is twofold. A, I want to be able to maximize my ability to live out my life's impact, to be able to do what it is that I've been called to do with all of my might each day. And, I know I can't do that unless I take care of my body or at least I can't do that as effectively as I'd like feeling as good about as I like if I don't take care of my body.
And then, in addition to wanting to be impactful, I also think that a big part of living on this beautiful planet is just savoring all of God's creation like hiking, and running, and swimming, and enjoying nature, and throwing a football with the kids or I guess we're in England, so kicking a football with the kids and bow hunting and doing all these things that involve just adventuring. And really, I mean, if you take care of your body, you're also able to really just savor all elements of this wonderful planet that we live on far more expansively.
Lauren: Absolutely. Yeah.
And, you spoke about impact there which is something I was going to ask you. I guess what do you feel your impact is? What is your why? What set it off in the first place? And, has that changed? Because I guess you said that you started because it was more about the rush of being fit, but what is your why now?
Ben: Well, yeah. So, your why, your purpose statement, despite being important to have, doesn't have to be static and permanent throughout your life. It's very, very likely to fluctuate and change as your interest change, as you enter a new chapter of your existence, and as you get pulled in different directions or you feel called in different directions. At one time, my purpose statement was to empower as many people as possible to live an adventurous and joyful and fulfilling life. And, that was their wonderful purpose and sent me on adventures all over the globe to inspire people and teach people and push my own body. And then, I became more interested in things beyond just adventuring. So then, my purpose statement for a while was to sing, speak, write, teach, compete, and create in full presence and selfless love to the glory of God. And, that was another example of just a single succinct statement that was my reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
Now, my purpose statement has shifted to faith and to family. I'm working on a parenting book right now. I'm finding great deal of fulfillment and also purposeful activity and being with my family and raising my 14-year-old twin sons during arguably a pretty formative time of their life when they need a strong father figure in their life. I'm also really feeling a call towards singing and songwriting and making music and also building myself spiritually and learning more about God and learning more about the holy scriptures and learning more about prayer. And so, right now, my purpose statement is to love God through prayer and worship and to love my family through preparing and providing. And so, that's my current purpose statement in life. And, your own purpose statement's going to vary it, might be things that you like to do when you're a little kid, things that put you in the flow now or make time go by quickly. I think I even said during my talk, do things that make you forget to eat and poop as an example of a way to start to think about what things really feed your life's purpose. But, yeah, that's my purpose statement currently. That's what gets me out of bed the more is I want to prepare and provide for my family. And so, that means a solid 50% of my energy isn't in my business right now, it's in my family, being with my family and going places with them, being present with them. And then, another large, large part of my life is focused on building myself into being a little bit more of a spiritual warrior. And then, a little bit of it is business and accomplishments of my own personal adventures but I put a lot of that in the back burner of late to focus more on faith and family.
Lauren: I agree with that about purpose change. And, my spiritual teacher always says that your purpose will change as you go on, and with everything, we have to be in this flow state, allow things to shift and to change and to expand like the universe is expanding. So, I really agree with that.
Your talk was set around the day in the life of Ben Greenfield.
Ben: Yeah. I was self-aware of the narcissistic flavor of that talk here, look at me, everything I'm doing, but it was used for teaching.
Lauren: Absolutely. But, I think that is what people want to know about you.
If you hadn't have done that, the questions at the end would have been, what do you do when you wake up? And, what time do you break the fast? And, at what time do you do your sauna?
Lauren: So, it was amazing. And, I'd love for you to take us through that a little bit. Well, the first question I usually ask on my podcast is, what have you done so far today to support your wellness? And, with you, that's going to be a massive long-winded answer. So, maybe take us through a little bit of what a day in the life of Ben Greenfield looks like in terms of biohacking, health optimization, life optimization.
Ben: Yeah. Well, obviously, I mean, the talk took two and a half hours so there's no way I could do it justice on a walk. And, I'm sure people will be able to access the Health Optimisation Summit lectures later on. But, gosh, I mean, if I could, you ask me, for example, because I'm traveling right now about what I might do to optimize my body leading up to this point of the day, 11:00 a.m. on a weekday morning, especially being outside of my normal comfort zone scenario of home. Well, what I try to do as much as possible, whether it's my sleep habits, or my eating habits, or my supplementation habits, or my spiritual habits, I like to take as much as possible with me on the road simply because it allows my body to be in a little bit more of a parasympathetic state, it allows me to create a somewhat familiar environment when I travel. So, I do a lot of what I do when I travel is the same as a lot of things that I do when I'm at home.
So, for example, I woke up this morning, I usually wake up to a really nice uplifting song. This morning, it was one called “So Will I,” which is a Hillsong worship song. And so, I love to wake with just beautiful song to cut not emails and text messages or even just silence. I like a nice song to start off the day, it just really gets my energy going in a really positive way. And so, while the song is playing, I get up and I do some oil pulling, swish around oil in my mouth to take care of my mouth's biome. And, when I travel, I can always find a little bottle of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil or whatever to buy at the grocery store and I'll just use that for the oil pulling, which is nice too if you forgot your moisturizer, it works great as a facial moisturizer as well. And, also, if you're at a restaurant and there's not a expensive list of healthy things on the menu, you can just order a bunch of vegetables and just drench them in olive oil or coconut oil. So, it's a good little habit that stacks into a few different sectors of healthy travel life.
I do some tongue scraping to clean up my tongue. All these ayurvedic practices to get the morning started. And then, I'll typically shake my body like some tai chi style shaking, and some stretching, some jumping jacks, just get the blood flowing for about 10 to 15 minutes. And then, I'll take some time just to check in with God, do a little prayer. There's an app that I like to use, one that I use this morning. It's a three to five-minute pause. It's called the Pause app and it's just a little bit of carved out music and breathwork and time with God, but it's nice sometimes to have the accountability, if that's what you want to call it, of an app to put you into that space. And so, I'll do all of that and then typically use the restroom. I even travel with a little portable squatty potty that allows you to use the restroom more efficiently when you travel.
Lauren: My husband does —
Ben: I know it's a little fold-out squatty potty, it works perfectly. It fits very easily into a carry-on. And then, I'll typically go do some form physical movement. This morning, I did super slow training, which is one big hard set to failure for the chest press, the shoulder press, the row, the pull-down and the leg press or the squat. And, it's very efficient way to get a lot of strength training in a short period of time with a low risk of injury. So, I went to the gym in the hotel and I did that and I'll typically sandwich that strength training session in between some type of an intense ride on the bicycle, or the elliptical trainer, or the rowing machine. So, I'm doing cardio and strength all in one session. When I'm at home, I'll usually do something easier, a nice walk in the sunshine or a sauna session with a little bit of a cold bath afterwards. But, I know when I travel, if I don't do the hard workout in the morning, it just doesn't get done because the day gets so busy. So, when I travel, I usually do something a little bit more difficult in the morning.
And then, typically, I'm one of those guys who does the intermittent fasting protocol. So, at this point in the day, it's usually 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. And, I haven't eaten any food yet, so I'll go have a breakfast. And, my breakfast at home is a smoothie. I don't travel with a blender, but usually for the typical continental breakfast is I'll choose some mackerel, and some smoked salmon, and maybe a little bit of egg if they're pastured eggs, and possibly a few blueberries or a little bit of natural yogurt or something like that. Just try and choose as many, many of the natural foods as possible. And, that's the start of my day. And, if I have a little bit of extra time, I do like to throw in a meditation session if I can. Typically, if time permits, I'll do that after I do that Pause app and I'll just sit silently for 10 or 15 minutes and think about what I'm grateful for and who I can serve that day and have a little bit of extra prayer time. And, that'll just depend on how busy the day is.
And, in the case of today and especially when I travel, I walk a lot, I take on my phone calls when I'm walking. Obviously, I do podcasts when I'm walking. And so, I'll walk around the city quite a bit today. But, my morning always consists of something like that, some ayurvedic self-care protocol and then some type of shaking and stretching, some type of spiritual time, use the bathroom, then some physical time and then breakfast. And, the only thing that I should mention is that I mentioned that it's important to take your environment with you on the road, but I mean, for example, sleep last night, I put on the same sleep sounds that I do when I'm at home so my body feels like it's at home. In this case, I use one called a Brain.fm. I use little biohacking technologies. I have one called an Apollo, it's a little ankle band that I wear around my ankle that vibrates to lull you to sleep and my body says, “Oh, my ankle is vibrating just like it does at home, I must be in a safe place.” And, I'll even travel with a little blanket that blocks EMF that I pull over my body before I go to sleep. And, I do all these things to just make my body feel really safe and relaxed when I travel because the problem is you can be very comfortable at home. And, when you travel, you just go into sympathetic mode and stress, stress and stress. So, I always like to think about what stressors my body might be subjected to. Now, I can manage those so I stay in just a little bit more of a natural parasympathetic flow state when I'm traveling. So, that's a little glimpse of what the morning might look like.
Lauren: So, what else do you do in terms of actual stuff for when you're traveling to mitigate the effects of jet lag or being on the plane and stuff like that? Do you take melatonin? Do you have a protocol that you do?
Ben: Yeah. So, the jet lag management begins, of course, for the several days before you leave to the new time zone as much as possible if you can adjust your habits to the habits of the time zone that you're traveling to, that's better. So, when I'm traveling this far over to London, it's not like I'm going to get up eight hours earlier because I'm eight hours off my time zone. But, I'll get up a little bit earlier and I'll go to bed a little bit earlier and I'll start to prepare my body. On the plane, you tend to get exposed to a lot of both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. You tend to get exposed to a lot more inflammation and you're, of course, also totally disconnected from the planet Earth, 40,000 feet above the planet in a metal tube. And so, you're not harnessing a lot of the positive electrical energy that the planet has to offer.
And so, to mitigate some of the effects of that, I travel with this little, it's like a tracksuit that blocks EMF. And, I'll just put that on, kind of protects my whole body from a lot of the Wi-Fi going through the airport and a lot of the radiation on the plane. I take a few choice supplements when I'm on the plane that help to protect the DNA from damage and help to protect the cells from the calcium influx that occurs when you are subjected to a high amount of electricity or radiation. And so, specifically, when I get on the airplane, I take some NAD, which is a great cellular protectant. I take a little bit of ketone esters which are not only really, really good for managing inflammation but also help to keep your appetite satiated so you don't have to eat the crappy airplane food. I take a little bit of magnesium which helps to protect the cells from that calcium that I talked about. And then, I always take a lot of electrolytes and a few hydrogen tablets. So, that's my stack is NAD, ketones, magnesium, hydrogen, and electrolytes.
And then, when I get to where I'm going, I make it a point to engage in what are called zeitgebers, which are circadian rhythm cues that allow your body to adjust to a new time zone a lot more effectively. And, the three best ones are food. So, I'll wait until it's the actual meal time in whatever area of the world I happen to be in. so, if I get into a place at 2:00 a.m., I'm going to wait 'till 9:00 a.m. or the standard breakfast time wherever I'm at because food helps you align your circadian rhythm. The next is exercise. So, I always make sure I exercise. And, for me, the first exercise when I get to where I'm going is usually outside sunshine barefoot or water, anything that grounds me back to the planet Earth, even just finding some place outside the hotel to go do a little yoga or just walk a few laps barefoot or find a nearby park. And then, in addition to food and exercise, the last zeitgeber is light. And so, I blast myself with as much natural light as possible in the morning. And, of course, I eliminate a lot of the bright light at night but I'll travel with in-ear light-producing device like the Human Charger or light-producing glasses. There's a good set called the Re-Timer.
And, the reason I travel with those is because sometimes it's not sunny when you wake up and with whatever area the world you travel to or you're in meetings and you're unable to get outside into the sunshine. So, I'll use those to stimulate my body with light. And, between those strategies on the airplane and then doing the food, the light, and the movement when I land, I typically feel pretty good. I won't lie, everybody gets jet-lagged but the more you can do to manage it the better. And then, to finish this up, you mentioned melatonin, well, there's three things I use to help me sleep when I travel. One is actually a sleep supplement that I designed called Kion Sleep and it's a blend of theanine and 5HTP and GABA. And then, I'll use a little bit of CBD and then I'll use a lot of melatonin. I'll take a ton of melatonin on the first night of wherever I get to where I'm going like 500 to 700 milligrams, which is a boatload. There's actually a slow-release form that you can take in a suppository which is what I do. It's literally just a melatonin suppository that slowly brings into the system. And so, I'll put that up in my butt literally about 20 minutes before I go to bed. And, man, it just resets the circadian rhythm. And, melatonin is also a natural anti-inflammatory, so I'm also combating some of the inflammation again.
So, yeah, that might sound a lot of stuff but I mean, once you get used to managing jet lag in that fashion, it's just brushing your teeth. You didn't think about the stuff, you just do it when you travel.
Lauren: Obviously, you mention a lot of product a lot of the time and I guess we all do. But, if people are listening to this and it can be a bit overwhelming with all the products that you recommend, what are your top biohacks or gadgets or products whether that'd be the sauna, the Apollo, the ice bath, what are your top things?
Ben: Yeah. I would say the top things that I do all return to the concept of the human body being a battery. And, there's great books about this, “The Body Electric” or “Healing is Voltage” by Jerry Tennant. “The Body Electric,” I believe, is by Robert Becker. But, these books get into the idea that our cells back to that calcium leakage I was talking about on the airplane, which is a positively charged molecule, our cells are designed to have a more negative charge on the inside and a more positive charge on the outside. And, any time that that electrochemical balance becomes disrupted, it disrupts cellular metabolism and can cause things like poor sleep, brain fog, poor energy levels, et cetera, because your battery is essentially drained to describe it in very simplistic terms. And so, when I look at the most important biohacks, it's one of the ones that help my body to be restored back to normal electrochemical balance. And, many of these practices are the same type of practices that would also allow for better health of the mitochondria, which really the parts of the cells that really help you to produce cellular energy.
And so, I would say that the biggies would be some form of grounding or earthing or what's called pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, which is basically harnessing the same type of low-level hertz frequencies about 3 to 100 hertz that are naturally emitted by the planet Earth and that you would naturally come into contact to when you're touching trees, or rocks, or outside barefoot. And, you can use certain biohacking technologies to concentrate those same frequencies even if you can't get outside if you're in the comfort of your own home. And so, you have grounding and earthing mats and some type of pulsed electromagnetic field technology that's really, really great for charging up the body.
Another one that I do a lot of is light. I'll use a lot of infrared light, these infrared light panels that just bathe the body and healing spectrums of red light, of near-infrared light, and a far-infrared light. It's based on a scientific concept called photobiomodulation. Meaning that photons of light can actually help to stimulate energy production in the cells and can even help with things like thyroid balance and testosterone production and the collagen and a lasting health of the skin. And so, I'll do a lot of light play as well.
Heat and cold. You mentioned the sauna. Heat and cold are our two practices that I do on a regular basis throughout the week. So, I have a cold tub and I have a sauna, and that allows my body to become more resilient to stress and to grow stronger as it encounters things that based on the concept of what's called hormesis would kill you in large amounts trying to trek through the Sahara Desert or stay five hours in the sauna would be damaging to the body but short bouts of heat stress are very, very beneficial to the human body as are short bouts of cold stress. And, the cold stress really helps with your nervous system balance and inflammation and help with recovery, and sleep, and body temperature. And then, a couple other things I would consider for maintaining the natural electrochemical balance of the body would be really, really good clean pure water. So, I start every day with 32 ounces of a giant glass Mason jar of water, but I put electrolytes in it and I put baking soda in it, I put vitamin c in it, so adjusting the acid-alkaline balance. And, I drink that giant glass of water. And, I'll even put the same hydrogen tablets I talked about that I'll use in the plane. I'll put those in the water that I drink in the morning. And then, I repeat that typically in the mid-afternoon so I'm getting at least two huge glasses of a supercharged water during the day.
And, the important thing is that I also not only put the electrolytes and the minerals into the water, but I'm constantly salting my food and using electrolytes throughout the day because these minerals back to the concept of a charge, electrical charge are what carry the charge throughout the body. And so, by keeping minerals coming in, I'm able to really maintain good energy levels. And, a lot of people say, “Oh, salt, it's bad for the blood pressure.” Well, it's true, isolated sodium chloride as you might find in the average table salt or the average heavily packaged food where it uses a preserving agent, yeah, that's not so great for blood pressure or for the acid-alkaline balance of the body. But, natural sources of complete full spectrum minerals, that's a whole different story. And, that actually helps out a ton not only with blood pressure but with the adrenal glands and the minerals that they require, and again, the charge that you're able to carry through your body.
And so, I would say that the top things I do would be the grounding, the earthing, and the electrical frequencies, the light, heat, cold, water, and minerals besides just moving and eating healthy.
Lauren: Yeah. So, for those listening in the UK, we use Celtic Sea salt, which is a great —
Ben: Oh, that's a good one. Yeah, Celtic is it's low in metals, it's very high in minerals, it's easily accessible in most grocery stores. And, that's a fantastic brand. Redmond is a good one. I've got one called Colima that's a good brand of salt. I'm a total salt junkie.
Lauren: What said about it being available in grocery stores, grocery stores here are literally selling high sodium table salt and they package them, sometimes there's low sodium, low sodium bits table salts.
Ben: Because in the U.S. like Celtic salt, you could pretty much get, just like the average crap grocery store has Celtic salt.
Lauren: Oh, really?
Lauren: Yeah. I always see on food blogs and health food blog, in America, they call it kosher salt. Is that the same thing?
Ben: No. Kosher salt is it's salt that adheres to whatever the kosher standards are. Simply like a thick coarse grind of salt. It's decent, it's not bad, it tends to be pretty clean. Not as good or as high in minerals or as low in toxins as an unrefined Celtic salt, for example, though.
Lauren: Right. Because I'm Jewish and I never heard of kosher salt here in the UK.
Lauren: But, yeah, we have good access to Celtic salt which is great.
Ben: Yeah. And, I don't know everything that makes a kosher salt culture that doesn't have bacon in it.
Lauren: Right. That's the metric, the bacon in it. Yeah. And, obviously for any of the products that you just mentioned, if anyone wants to check out obviously Ben's website for information on that or I have some UK-based ones on my website, so just head there.
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Alright, this is pretty cool. As a matter of fact, I'm going to do a whole podcast about this soon if it hasn't already come out. It's personalized farming. Yeah, you may not have ever heard that phrase in your life. But, here's how it works. You get your own farm like your own farm that you control. And, this company manages everything for you. So, they manage the farm, they minimize environmental impact. They grow 250 times more food per acre than a traditional farm. They use 99% less water, none of our precious topsoil. And, throughout their entire life cycle, all the crops from these farms are never exposed to chemicals or pollutants. It's as pure as produce can get. What is it? It's called Willo, W-I-L-L-O. These are innovative vertical farms that produce the tastiest cleanest most sustainable produce on the planet. I have a whole refrigerator full of their greens and sprouts and amazing products, and I can literally, using the app, go on there and choose anything I want to receive any of the leaves, or plants, or vegetables. You can grow it, they can make it. As low as 100 bucks a month, you can start controlling your own farm and they're going to give all my listeners 20% off. I guarantee this stuff is going to go pretty fast for people who want to own their own little personalized farm and get food delivered right to their doorstep from their own farm even if you don't even have a backyard.
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Lauren: I have a question for you because I didn't make it to both days of the summit, so I only had the second part of your talk.
Lauren: A friend of mine who I was with said that someone asked you the question, “Does your wife do all this stuff?” So, I'd love you to give us the answer to that.
Ben: Well, my answer in the session was basically no. The shoemaker's wife wears no shoes. When I want my wife to do something, I'll leave out a book for her, have one of my doctor friends talk to her or something. So, basically, my wife and I are yin and yang. She's very type B kind of flowy, creative, artistic, I'm a little bit more type A, scheduled, organized, regimented, and a creature of habit, and a creature of my schedule. And, it's great because we complement each other's lifestyles, but she's very healthy. Genetically, she's got the grandparents that live 'till they're over 100 years old and she comes from these hard Montana U.S. rancher genes kind of lean and mean and tough, and they've lived through hard winters. And, she's genetically equipped to have pretty good cellular resilience. But, she takes a couple of supplements. For her hormones, she uses what I consider to be fantastic for just about any woman as they age, transdermal progesterone, a little bit of oral DHEA. So, she'll use progesterone and DHEA as supplements. She plays a lot of tennis. We have a little farm with goats and chickens, so she's constantly out there digging in the garden and hauling alfalfa and chasing chickens and herding goats. And, she does some hiking. She's really into hot yoga. She'll do hot yoga usually three or four times a week. But, she's also one of those people who she doesn't do it, she's not like, “Oh, I didn't do my yoga this week,” she's just like, “Oh, I feel like doing yoga today.” That's more —
Lauren: So, she's an intuitive being.
Ben: Totally intuitive, yeah.
Lauren: Just how a human being stays healthy is what she's doing without thinking too much.
Ben: Right, exactly. If you ask her like, “What's your diet?” She's like, “I don't know, I just eat when I'm hungry and eat whatever looks good.” So, yeah, she's a lot more loosey-goosey than I am but she's healthy. And, she takes care of herself, she was one of the top track athletes in Idaho. And, when I met her at University of Idaho, she was racing track and field, very fast mile, very fast 800 meter. She doesn't really run anymore, but, yeah, she's healthy naturally and she also despite not being as regimented as me, she does things actively and mindfully to make sure that she stays healthy.
Lauren: Yeah. So, my husband's family are the same. They're that robust good genetics, those strong constitutions nothing really can get to them. Whereas, I'm the MTHFR, everything's going to knock my immune system if I don't look after it kind of thing.
Ben: Yeah, that's funny. I'm the same way. I've got people listen to the interview I did with Mansoor Mohammed of the DNA company. This was a while ago, probably four years ago where my genetic results, he's like, “Dude, if you didn't do all the stuff that you do, you have so many dirty genes that you would feel pretty crap all the time.” And, it's interesting because you wonder, “Gosh, am I going to now think myself into an unhealthy situation because I feel that I'm genetically ill-equipped or am I going to use this to empower myself to make really positive choices that would allow me to be perhaps just as healthy or healthier than somebody who has better genes?” And so, yeah, I don't look at genetic analyses like that that might give you unfavorable results as something that might produce a defeatist mentality. I think it's rather empowering because now I know how I can live longer, how I can be more impactful.
Lauren: Well, this is what I tell my clients and this is why I do a lot of genetics testing with my clients. Let's have the information, let's empower ourselves with it, and figure out how to live our lives based on what our genes are telling us.
Lauren: I mean, for me I learned that the hard way. I was obviously disabled for a very long time not really understanding why all the things that weren't impacting or affecting other people were affecting me. Why —
Ben: And, what were you disabled with?
Lauren: So, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis just before my second birthday.
Ben: Oh, wow.
Lauren: I was vaccine injured and it started just after that. So, that was a whole journey and then my mom treated me with homeopathy from the outset spiritual healing. We really went down the holistic route, but there were so many missing pieces.
Lauren: We have a Mediterranean diet, my family is Israeli, we very much eat like that, but then there was Diet Coke on the table, and cordials, and squashes, and chocolates and the rest of it. So, there were lots of missing pieces that we didn't and it took for me to become an adult to fit those pieces together. And, when I got really sick and things were getting really bad in my late teens, I was told I needed to go on this chemo-based drug. And, I was like, “Well, I'm an adult, I'm going to do what I want and I did it.” It was the worst thing that ever happened to me but it was also the best thing that happened to me because it put me in this state of complete disability, damaged my liver, lost my hair. You name it. It did it to me, but it was from that that made me think, okay, this is 10 months on this drug and the doctors are only saying to me, “Well, it works for 70% of people and for 30% of people, it doesn't.” And, I was like, “I think there's more to healthcare than statistics.” I was 18 and yet somehow, I just knew that there was more to why my body was reacting like this than just statistics.
Lauren: And, that's when I set out to find the answers at 18. And so, I had to be that sick as sick as I got to lead myself back to really wanting to find the answers and looking into everything what we've just spoken about epigenetics.
Ben: Yeah. And now, I assume you probably follow a largely autoimmune diet and avoid the things that would — eggs and nightshades, and dairy, and seeds, and nuts and soy and the like.
Lauren: Well, I've learned what works for me and what doesn't. So, again, I've been on all those things, this is an anti-inflammatory diet and this is what you need to be on. And, I've very much a follower of my intuition now. It's taken a long time to get to that and to know what my body needs and what it doesn't want. So, it's a little bit more varied, it's a little bit more nuanced.
Lauren: But, generally, I mean, yeah, my diet's pretty great but it might be different to what someone else might see as being a great anti-inflammatory immune diet.
Lauren: And, that's just come through a lot of trial and error really. But, yeah, it took many years to get to that point of inner knowing and all the research and failing a lot. So, I basically when I set out at 18, really 19, and said, ” I'm going to do this,” it took me 10 years from that point to get into remission because there was so much to learn and also so much healing and detoxing to do.
Lauren: I had to detox from heavy metals, from the chemo. I worked with amazing practitioners and homeopaths and herbalists and all sorts, but at the end of the day, something I always say is it's about coming back to knowing that we have to take responsibility for our own well-being, take ownership of that. And, that was really where the key was, and knowing that someone else couldn't fix me, I had to fix me.
Ben: Wow. Since 2 years old, that's a crazy story.
Lauren: Pretty crazy, yeah.
So, let's go back to you. So, we've spoken about your wife and all of that stuff. How do you feel you raise your kids differently because I know you do things in a way that others might feel a bit that's alternative or not conventional? Because we've got a lot of moms listening to this, how does that work for you and how do you implement it? Because one of the things that I find challenging with me is that my kids aren't homeschooled, I want them to be. I've got a very big community of friends that homeschool. I'm running my business and I'm also the provider of all the health stuff. My husband's also running his business. And, it's pretty impossible and we're trying, we're constantly trying to think of ways to make this work.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I mean, I've accepted the fact that despite me having the heart of a teacher and I would love if I had my way to teach my children everything arithmetic, and reading, and writing, and logic, and computer programming and rhetoric, I have a degree in education. I love to teach, but I don't have the time to do both that and run a couple of different relatively large businesses in addition to my travel schedule and everything else.
And so, I've accepted the fact that the two best things I can do for my sons is to manage the physical disciplines and the spiritual disciplines. So, I lead them in meditation, and journaling, and prayer, and worship and devotions. And, we go through certain books during the week and I lead them in kettlebells and ice bath training and heat training and breathwork and anything related to the physical disciplines. And then, everything else really it's outsourced to a certain extent. Mom does a lot with them very similar to me in the areas that she feels best equipped to teach them, primarily art, the creative art, crafting, sewing, crocheting, painting, sketching, and even animal husbandry, and gardening and a lot of things that she's doing at home. She's training them in that. And then, everything else is outsourced, they have a math tutor who comes over to the house a couple of times a week and does math with them and they have a Spanish instructor and they go to jiu-jitsu and they go to tennis. And, they have a few online curriculums that they do for reading. And, we go through certain blocks.
So, when I say that the model that we use is called unschooling and it's this concept of a little bit of a loosely structured approach where you're simply paying close attention through dialogue with your children about what it is that their current passions and interests and desires are and then trying to foster the development of skills related to those passions and also surround them with as many books, and games, and tutors, and models, and toys and documentaries as possible, and even excursions, and traveling, and adventures that allow them to study those things that they're really super-duper interested in while still covering the basis for things they might not be interested in. My kids don't wake up begging to learn math, but I know it's a skill that will serve them well in the future, so I make sure they do math. They probably wouldn't have chosen to study a foreign language like Spanish, but they know it's good for them. I know it's good for them to develop a language at an early age. And so, we do certain things that they might not have expressed as their passions and interests and desires, but we weave those in anyways. But, I mean, 80% is just stuff they wake up just really wanting to do.
And so, the way that it looks is we have one person who works with us online who helps to figure out what blocks what parts of the year the kids are going to do, what it is that they're interested in. So, right now, they're in a Bitcoin investing financial block where they'll get to start their first non-profit. I'm opening a custodial account for them where they can have a certain structured stock and bond portfolio, some crypto exposure, a little bit of real estate exposure, some business development. And so, that's something that will be a three to four-month block during this year, 2022. They're also right now very interested in building their cooking podcasts and their YouTube cooking channel. And so, there's typically three to four times a week they're doing excursions to bakeries to walk around and shadow the bakers or going to restaurants and doing stories with the chefs or planning out new meals in the kitchen. They're also preparing to be mentors for their first wilderness survival experience where in the past, they've gone to a little wilderness survival school where they learn a lot of survival tactics. But, this year, they're going to be mentors in that same school and help other kids who are younger.
And so, it's fun and a little bit unstructured at the same time. So, for me constantly as a parent, I'm asking myself, “Gosh, are my kids getting the right education? Are they studying the right things? Are they going to turn 18 and be mad because dad didn't teach them more about, I don't know, what NFTs or the metaverse or whatever else?” Because you're not outsourcing their entire education to a neatly packaged traditional schooling system which I think is rife with failures, no peer pressure and bullying and learning things you don't necessarily need to learn and outdated —
Lauren: That is standardized —
Ben: Yeah, memorization of facts in an era of Google when we don't really need that. And so, I think that, yeah, going with the neatly tightly packaged outsourced curriculum at a public or private school can take a little stress off of parent, a little worry off a parent. The fact is I think too many parents take that approach and then assume their child is learning everything that child needs to know at school when in fact there's so many elements of life that a kid still needs to learn and there's so much experiential hands-on learning that doesn't take place at a school. And so, our approach was when my kids were in fifth grade and going to a school like that, private school, I sat them down and said, “Hey, look, you guys don't need to go back to sixth grade.” If you decide not to go back to sixth grade, dad will just basically take everything it is that you want to do, put together a curriculum for you, I surround you with the right resources to study what you want to study, support you in that, help to teach you. And, they both replied with the main worry that they weren't going to get to see their friends as much or engage in social life as much. And, the fact is with all their extracurriculars and jumping at the trampoline park, and going to jiu-jitsu, and playing tennis, and going on museum excursions, and even finishing school earlier than a lot of kids so they have more time with their friends, they see their friends just as much if not more than they did when they were going to a “normal” school. So, that's what we do from an educational standpoint.
Lauren: I think it's such a misconception that unschooled or homeschooled, home-educated kids are unsociable or don't socialize enough. From my experience of all my friends who are home educating, they're always around different groups and the kids are socializing not just with the same people every day and also importantly, not just with children, they're getting to know and be around and respond to different adults every day.
Ben: Right, exactly. They're not around people of their same age all day either. They're learning how to navigate through life in a manner that gracefully teaches them how to interact with people from a wide variety of backgrounds in as non-judgmental ways possible. So, they're not all snooty and only want to hang out with the other 14-year-old kids. I think that's important too is expose your kids to a wide variety of people of all ages and backgrounds and habits and let them see you interact with those same people. We don't just hang out with the fit people who are entrepreneurs running their own businesses, you hang out with the plumbers, and you hang out with the accountants, and you hang out with the people from church you might not normally otherwise hang out with. And, you basically develop a human network that's based on the value of each individual human being as a sacred soul and not necessarily someone who might serve you transactionally or have the exact same interests as you. And, I think that cementing that into a child at an early age is important and helps them become somebody who's better equipped to just love more people.
Lauren: Yeah. I mean, I just think it's really empowering to watch for kids to watch parents be entrepreneurs and then start implementing that into their own lives like what are we actually sending them to school to do other than to be empowered to do, something like that. So, I love that.
And, I'm writing a parenting book right now. And, I have focused on me not being the only author of the book. I've got 30 other parents of children of a wide variety of ages, parents of many different backgrounds, everything from some of the most successful entrepreneurs and billionaires to people who are just living an ancestral life in the back woods.
Ben: And, I'm basically collecting all this information. And, it's interesting because you see repeated themes. You see, for example, a consequential base discipline where rather than just engaging in capital punishment or hitting a kid's hand or spanking them for doing something which may have its time in its place in extreme circumstances, you're instead just teaching a child about the natural consequences of any decision that they might make whether it's eating gluten, or watching porn, or drinking alcohol, or anything else.
Ben: And then, allowing them to make the decision. So, there's no bedtime in our house, there's no screen time rules, there's no food rules, we just do a really good job educating our children and then setting an example for them of the way that things should be. Screen time, for example, they have a phone, it wasn't a big deal, we just got them a phone one day and said, “Hey, if you need to make any phone calls, here's a phone for you.” And, because mom and dad aren't obsessed over our phones because the phone isn't like this, “Oh, this amazing thing that you have to own when you turn 16, you get a phone or whatever,” it's just another random tool in the house that's used for, whatever, research or wayfinding or taking a photograph but they're not spending a disproportionately large amount of time on screens just because in our home screens are used to create and to produce and occasionally to communicate. But, it's really not the center of our household, the TV is hidden away downstairs, we don't make a big deal out of the phones, same thing with alcohol, pour a little wine and let them taste a little wine and they're not going to grow up thinking that alcohol is some forbidden fruit and wind up getting drunk one day when they're 16 years old. So, see I'm constantly just making sure that I allow them to learn about the natural consequences to be educated on the natural consequences, then I let them deal with the results as much as possible.
Ben: And, you see that. You see this repeated theme a lot in many of the parents who I'm interviewing for this book. Another example would be a lot of them have really, really strong family traditions. Here's what we're doing Christmas, here's where we're doing our vacations, here's what we're doing, the kids are 12 years old, 16 years old. Here's the other family values, the rituals, the tradition kind of a strong sense of legacy built-in rather than just having a loosey-goosey approach to everything that happens in the household. Many of them also carve out not only dedicated one-on-one time for each child but dedicated one-on-one getaway time for the couples where every quarter of the couples will go away to some place just —
Lauren: So important.
Ben: And, plan out things and plan out what's going with the family, where do we want to live? What do we want to teach? What do we want to learn? How are each of the kids doing? How are you doing spiritually, physically, mentally? And, my wife and I certainly carve out intentional times to do that. And then, also one-on-one dates with the kids too making sure that you get a kid off and away from their siblings because often the way they express themselves and the things that they talk about and the things they open themselves up to are different than the type of things that they're going to focus on when they're with their siblings or with their peers. And so, yeah, it's been really, really interesting and super refreshing and educational for me to work on this parenting book because I'm just learning so much about the way that amazing parents raise children who eventually grow up to be amazing human beings themselves.
Lauren: It's called “Boundless Parenting,” right?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. That's going to be the name, “Boundless Parenting.” It'll come out in hopefully about November or December of 2022. Yeah. So, this winter, yeah.
Lauren: Okay. Well, we'll definitely make sure to keep an eye out for it.
Just quickly going back to the health optimization stuff. Is there anyone that shouldn't be fasting, shouldn't be doing ice baths, shouldn't be doing saunas?
Ben: Oh, I mean, theoretically if you have adrenal fatigue or you're a super-duper low chronically low heart rate variability score or a really weak nervous system and you need a lot more just easy walking in the sunshine and maybe some restorative yoga and a really, really nutrient-dense diet, a lot of calories kind of restore the body and adrenal reboot so to speak, most of these things are amazing for the human body and can be handled by just about anybody within moderation. I just think some people. I know some people reach out to me like, “It's okay if I do two sauna sessions a day,” mostly rich people with too much time on their hands who are just like, “What else can I do to optimize my body?” I'm like, “Well, you could or you could go volunteer at the soup kitchen or go mow somebody's lawn or do something nice for somebody, you don't have to optimize all day long.”
Ben: Or, the people want to do the 20-minute cold bath so that they just masochistically feel good about themselves versus the quick two or three-minute cold soak, which is just as good. I think people will sometimes get super obsessed about this stuff and take it too far and do too much of it, or they need to give their nervous system a little bit of a break especially if they have, like I mentioned, some kind of adrenal fatigue. In that case, yeah, they might not be able to handle some of these hormetic stressors until they've restored their body back to a condition where it can handle stress.
Lauren: And, if people can't afford a proper ice plunge bath, can they just do it in their bath with ice cubes?
Ben: Oh, yeah, yeah. So, I mean, cold therapy has been shown to produce benefits even as low as 55 degrees Fahrenheit. My apologies I don't have that in Celsius, but basically, longer treatment times and less cold temperature like a five-minute cold shower or shorter treatment times with a really cold temperature, a two-minute-long ice bath, you're still going to get the benefits of cold. I mean, cold lakes, rivers, oceans, ponds, cold showers, ice in the tub, even just the ambient air, going for a walk in the morning with not a whole lot of clothing on when it's a little chilly outside. Any of these things can be used for cold. You don't have to have the fancy cold tubs. Last I checked, our ancestors didn't have any ozone-cleaned infrared light-infused UV cold tubs.
Lauren: Yeah. But, they also didn't spend as much time inside as we do and on screen. So, I guess we need to use these hacks.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. That's what a lot of these hacks and, sorry about the background noise of the tree cutter up there, but a lot of these hacks they're used to basically fight against an evolutionary mismatch. We can't get a lot of sunshine so we might use light panels or we might not be able to drink water out of a spring but we can put a whole house structured water filter system in our house or we might not be able to be outside barefoot or on the ground all the time, but we can get a grounding or earthing. And, we might not have a job dedicated for manual labor but we can visit the gym and simulate that same type of hard work that our ancestors would have done. So, yeah, a lot of these things we do to stay healthy, they are really almost fighting this evolutionary mismatch that we have to deal with living in this post-industrial era.
Lauren: So, you mentioned obviously not having access to the sun, what's it been like for you being in the UK and seeing what our weather is like in nearly noon?
Ben: I happen to be from a part of the United States that tends to have a lot of rainy grey dreary weather, the inland northwest. And so, I'm pretty used to. Obviously, we're walking now in the rain, somewhat chilly out recording. And, I'm one of those guys who just I'd rather be outside in nature dancing in the rain and sitting inside running from the weather.
Lauren: Yeah. I mean, this has been a journey for me, my whole ancestral line. My dad's ancestral line, Moroccan. The Moroccans have this fear of cold and my dad has raised me to fear the cold, and it's been such a journey getting into cold water therapy and just going out the house without too many clothes on. And, my dad will be like, “Why wrap up?” He's always trying to put more —
Ben: Going to get sick. Yeah, yeah. And, fantastically enough, the cold therapy is actually pretty good for a lot of arthritic type of symptoms. You'd think that the cold would cause the joints to become stiff but it seems to do a really good job restoring blood flow and synovial fluid to joints and, of course, decreasing the inflammation that can contribute to arthritic symptoms as well. So, I think cold is fantastic.
Lauren: And, it's funny you say that because for me, how I was raised to manage the illness was with this mix of strength and kind of get up and go and you're going to be okay and you've just got to go and keep moving and also having this amazing nurturing mother who wanted to protect me. And so, at the beginning of my cold-water journey, it was like, “Oh, if my knees are inflamed on that day, I'm not going to do it.” And then, it became, “No, that's exactly when you need to do it.” And, it's changing that mindset around these ways of being that we've been raised or conditioned into being just bathed in fear, none of these decisions should be made of it.
Ben: And, nobody is pretty good at making excuses too. When you wake up and it's like, “Yeah, I don't quite feel right, I think I should just do some easy stretching on the floor instead of going to the gym.” Sometimes, you push through the first two minutes of some of these uncomfortable activities and you realize your body was just being a little bit lazy. And, yeah, you want to be intuitive, you don't want to push through and overtrain yourself, but I think a lot of people, they baby themselves a little bit too much. You have to understand the body in its natural state wants to be lazy, wants to conserve calories, wants to eat calorically rich food like ice cream and you just have to be aware of that and pass the marshmallow test. Delayed gratification for better health and feeling better. And, I don't talk to many people who aren't happy that despite not really wanting to go to the gym or get into an ice bath or do a sauna session, having done one don't feel absolutely amazing afterwards with a big smile on their face.
Lauren: Yeah, absolutely. Exactly. That's the thing. Sometimes I'll treat myself to a hot shower and then I don't feel good when I come out. But, just going back to treats a minute because I have seen you say something about being consistent but also being consistent with how was it, you did indulgences or?
Ben: Oh, yeah. Hedonism. And, what I mean by that is, yeah, I mean I'm constantly making healthy choices for both my body and for the planet. So, for me a cheat day, I'm not going to go eat a bunch of monocropped donuts fried in vegetable oil that's highly inflammatory and is going to remain in my body for 90 days made with wheat from monocropped agriculture that's destroying the surface of the planet paired with just the fact that it's a low vibrating energy food that typically doesn't leave me feeling being a very impactful person. But, at the same time on a “cheat day” if that's what you want to call it, I'll have just a giant rib-eye steak, and nice glass of organic red wine, and a good bar of dark chocolate, and maybe a little bit of sweet potato fries or carrot fries. And so, I indulge in the good stuff. I take time to dance and to play music and to sing and to enjoy all elements of God's creation. I think especially for me as a Christian, a lot of people think that many Christians are like puritanical, beating people over the head with the Bible telling people, yeah, you got to live a certain way and they're almost boring to a certain extent. I want to live and try to live just a wild life full of seeking all the adventures that this planet has to offer, bringing my family and my friends and my audience along for the ride, savoring all aspects of God's creation, being super curious about, “Oh, what's this new thing we can eat, or what's this new exercise, or what's this new adventure we can go on.”
And so, yeah, I think to a certain extent, you can live a regimented lifestyle, but at the same time embrace spontaneity, embrace adventure and embrace basically savoring creation in a sense. And, one of my favorite books in the Bible, Ecclesiastes talks about this, really the very best thing we can do with our lives is to put our hands to work with all of our might to chop wood, to carry water, to do the hard work, and then at the very end of the day, to celebrate the blessings that result from that hard work to eat, to drink, to be with family, to dance, to sing, to dream and to engage in all aspects of what it means to be a truly sacred spiritual fully vibrating human being. And, it goes way beyond just whatever doing CrossFit and eating protein bars.
Lauren: Yeah. And, I love that. I mean, it's one of the questions I ask on my quickfire round is, what do people almost get wrong about you? Well, a few people have asked me that and it always comes down to people get wrong about me that I'm not fun. So, I don't think it's [01:07:35] _____, it's just generally people and wellness, they might think that we're just pretty rigid —
Ben: Yeah, we're funny daddies. Yup.
Lauren: And, my husband and I are more extra than most people we know. We explore, we do so many different things that other people might want to do because we understand the fullness available in this life.
Lauren: And, also, I think growing up being sick has been one of the biggest blessings because I'm so grateful every day. There's not a morning I wake up and I'm not grateful for not being in pain.
Lauren: So, I think that's really important as well, an important part of my journey and giving me that access to gratitude that makes me want to really live life fully.
Ben: Right, right. And, let's say taking your family to the movie theater at night and disrupting your circadian rhythm and maybe even having a little bit of the popcorn, yeah, that might suck 20 seconds off your life but it's also going to create an amazing memory, an amazing time with the family. And so, I think within balance, especially if your choices are made through the light of loving other people, and loving God, and loving the planet that you can engage in a somewhat hedonistic lifestyle while still also being a healthy and dependable and responsible person.
So, yeah. I've got a few minutes left before I got to go off to my next little walking meeting. But, you mentioned lightning round. I don't know if you have other questions or where you want to go.
Lauren: Absolutely. So, I just want to end with this though before we do this.
Lauren: Supplements. There are so many. And, I personally like to take a personalized approach to supplementation. But, are there specific supplements that everyone should be thinking?
Ben: Everybody I work with, especially people asking this question, they get a genetic test, they get a stool test, they get a urine test, they get a blood test. We look at their activity desires and their physical goals which can sometimes not somebody who wants to race in Ironman triathlon, they're probably going to have a slightly higher amount of carbohydrates and calories and perhaps some malt deduction of fructose during their rides, things that the average healthy person might not engage in, but because that person's chosen a physically challenging activity, it's not just about the health of the nutrition, it's about some other choices that need to be made.
But, that all being said when it comes to supplementation, I think there's a few things that have proven or been proven over and over again and many scenarios to be healthy. A lot of people don't get a nutrient-dense enough diet, they need some type of a good multivitamin-mineral complex. So, I think a well-formulated multivitamin. There are companies like Thorne is one that I like. They do a really good multivitamin. And then, fish oil and creatine, creatine for brain power, for muscle, for longevity, fantastic fish oil for heart health, both of those very safe proven well-researched supplements. So, if you're going to start anywhere, I would say eat a naturally healthy diet as close to nature as possible and throw in some fish oil, throw in some creatine, throw in a good multivitamin-mineral complex, and that's going to be a pretty good place to start if you're operating within a budget.
Lauren: Right. And, what about in terms of detox? I know you're quite big on your detoxing, would you recommend everyone does binders and some detoxing quite often?
Ben: Well, I don't live my life with this idea that you let a bunch of stuff build up in your body and then every January do a 30-day detox or whatever. I jump up and down trampoline every day. Like I mentioned, I sweat in a sauna three to five times a week. I do a coffee enema once a week. I'll take binders before I do that enema and follow it up with a sauna session. And, I will just basically constantly think about how can I move lymph fluid, how can I sweat, how can I excrete toxins through the stool, through the urine, through the sweat, through the breath. And so, I think small daily choices that I lay in can actually detoxify are better than doing some giant detoxification programs because you let so many metals and toxins build up in your body.
Lauren: Yeah. Okay. So, quick fly around. We've just gone completely the wrong way, so we're just really far from where we need to be. But, never mind. Okay. So, I always start with this one. Wellness is?
Ben: Wellness is loving yourself, loving other people, loving God fully.
Lauren: Okay. If you could have another career, what would it be? You could try something new really.
Ben: It's tough. I'd rather be a fiction author. I would be a singer-songwriter.
Lauren: Wow. Okay. A book that changed your life that everyone should read.
Ben: Oh, there's many of them. But, one that comes to mind that's pretty good is called “Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday. I think in our busy culture, more people should read a book like that. And, of course, the Bible is probably the most formative book that I read and own daily.
Lauren: What makes you worried or scared and how do you manage fear?
Ben: The main thing I get worried about is if I'm prioritizing the right thing making the right choices, doing the right things in my business or personally because I have so many opportunities inevitably being someone who lives my life in the limelight. And so, I'm constantly asking myself that. And, the way that I manage that is at the end of each day, I do a process called self-examination in which I close my eyes and play my whole day like a movie in my mind and I ask myself, what good have I done? What could I have done better? But then, one question that's really important and related to this is, where was I most purpose-filled today? And, by identifying those activities that really left me feeling like I was truly acting up my life's purpose, I'm able to prioritize and make decisions that engage in similar activities the next day.
Lauren: I love that. I love the self-examination. And, just the very last one is, if your sons could take one thing from what you teach, what would you want it to be?
Ben: How you live your days is how you live your life. How you live your days is how you live your life. The little choices that you make each day whether it's how you're going to care for your spirit and your soul at the beginning of the day, whether you're going to exercise, what you're going to eat, who you're going to spend time with, what activities you're going to prioritize, how much time you're going to waste in say social media or how many minutes you might skip of practicing some skill, all that stuff adds up. So, I always ask myself, if I live this same day over and over again, what would it look at the end of my life? And, you ask yourself that question, you might be pleased or displeased with the answer but constantly analyzing how you're living your day through the lens of that being how you're actually going to eventually wind up living your entire life, I think, is the thing that comes to mind that I'd love for my children to have taken from me.
Lauren: Amazing. I know from the talk that you did everyone stood up because everything you spoke about was, I know people use this word inspiring and it's a bit generic, but it is the things that you speak about inspire people to be better. So, I just think that everyone will feel like this about this interview as well. So, thank you so much. And now, we're absolutely getting soaked.
Ben: We are getting soaked, but we made it through. We've moved through half the podcast. I'm honored that you have me on and yeah, I love this city and parks like this. You go to walk, meet new people. So, thanks for doing what you're doing and keep up the great work, Lauren.
Lauren: Thank you so much.
Ben: More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
Today's episode is the second of three “walk-and-talk” podcasts I recorded while attending and speaking at the Health Optimisation Summit in London in May 2022.
This time I was put on the hot seat by a leading UK biohacking expert named Lauren Vaknine.
Lauren Vaknine is a holistic health and life coach, wellness educator, speaker, and host of the popular Reconditioned Podcast. As a leading voice in wellness in the UK, Lauren uses the experience and knowledge she gained during her three-decade-long journey from severe disability to complete wellness to help women heal and transform their lives. She does this by using a range of holistic healing arts in a unique, whole-person approach. This approach enables Lauren to take her clients on a journey from existing to living a life of purpose, intention, self-mastery, and fulfilment. You can find Lauren on Instagram @laurenvaknine, her podcast, Reconditioned with Lauren Vaknine as well as her website www.laurenvakninecoaching.com and her blog www.laurenvaknine.co.uk.
During my chat with Lauren, we discussed faith, family, how females approach biohacking, and much more. Enjoy!
In this episode, you'll discover:
-The “softer side” of biohacking and life optimization…07:40
- Family, parenting, love, legacy
- Feminine vs. masculine; yin and yang
- Spiritual Disciplines Journal
- Donald Whitney's books
- Dallas Willard's books
- Ben's two motivations for self-optimization:
- Maximize ability to live out life's impact
- Savor all of God's creation
-Ben's big “why” for doing what he does…11:45
- Our “why” changes over time
- Ben's purpose has shifted more to faith and family
- Boundless Parenting book
- Learning more about Scriptures and God
- Balance between business and family
-Ben's morning routine while traveling…15:22
- Wake up to an uplifting worship song
- Oil pulling
- Tongue scraping
- Tai chi shaking
- Pause app
- Super slow training
- 10 am light breakfast
- 10-minute meditation
- Podcast with Will Ahmed:
-Jet lag management tips…22:30
- Track suit to protect from EMF (use code BENPROTECT to save 5%)
- NAD supplement (use code BEN to save 5%)
- Ketone esters (use code BENG to save 10%)
- Magnesium supplement
- Hydrogen tablets
- Food at meal time where you are
- Exercise (outside barefoot)
- Blast with natural light in the morning
- Kion Sleep
- Melatonin first night to help reset circadian rhythm (use code BEN to save 5%)
-Ben's favorite biohacking devices and gadgets…27:36
- The Body Electric by Robert Becker
- Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant
- PEMF mat
- Joovv light panel (photobiomodulatoin)
- Clearlight sauna
- Morozko Forge cold tub
- Hydrogen tablets in the morning water
- Electrolytes throughout the day (salt on food)
- Celtic Sea salt
-Does Ben's wife Jessa share his enthusiasm for biohacking and self-optimization?…39:02
- Jessa and Ben are yin and yang in personality and lifestyle
- Transdermal progesterone and DHEA supplements
- Hot yoga 3x per week
- Eat when hungry, and what looks good
- Podcast with Mansoor Mohammed
-Lauren's journey through health challenges…42:48
- Lauren was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis before the age of 2
- Mom treated her using homeopathy but with a lot of missing pieces
- Prescribed with chemo-based drug; damaged liver, lost her hair
- Had to detox from heavy metals, chemo
-Ben's education philosophy and strategy for his children…46:18
- Can't teach the children everything and fulfill business responsibilities
- Focus on spiritual and physical disciplines
- Outsource to mother, hired teachers and tutors
- Unschooling podcast:
- Bitcoin and investing education
- Teach entrepreneurship
- Go Greenfields cooking video podcast
- Twin Eagles Wilderness School
- Podcast with Tim Corcoran:
-A sneak peek of Ben's new parenting book…54:45
- Children should see mom and dad interact with all sorts of people
- Boundless Parenting book
- iPhones and alcohol not a big deal
- Consequential-based parenting
- Dedicated time with each child; and with the spouse
-When not to engage in fasting, ice baths, sauna…58:43
- 5-minute cold shower will give benefits of cold therapy (55° F)
- Think about what our ancestors did to optimize their bodies
- Evolutionary mismatches in the industrial era
- We baby ourselves too much
-Ben's Christian hedonism philosophy…1:04:55
- “Cheat days” are a nice steak, good wine, dark chocolate
- Puritanical vs. an adventurous life
- Focus on quality of life with family over excessive attention to your health
-Lauren's “lightning round” questions for Ben…1:08:44
- What supplements to choose?
- Detox strategies:
- Jump on trampoline everyday
- Sauna 3-5x/week
- Binders before a Coffee enema
- Wellness is…Loving yourself, loving other people, loving God, fully
- Ben's alternate career – writer of fiction or singer/songwriter
- Recommended book: Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
- Prioritizing family and business (self-examination)
- What one thing do you want your children to take from you?
- How you live your day is how you live your day
-And much more…
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldlife.com/calendar
Resources mentioned in this episode:
– Lauren Vaknine:
- Q&A 408: The Awesome History Of Fad Diets, How To Upgrade Your Protein Shake, Blood Flow Restriction & Super Slow Training & Much More!
- A Day In The Life Of Ben Greenfield: Ben’s Exact Morning, Afternoon & Evening Routines.
- Beyond 23&Me: A Deep Dive Into Ben Greenfield’s Personal DNA Results (& How To Get Your Own Genes Interpreted).
- The Ultimate Guide To Unschooling: Top Tips To Create Free-Thinking, Resilient, Creative Young Humans Who Can Thrive In A Modern World.
- How To Go On A Vision Quest & Embark Upon A Rite Of Passage.
- Boundless Parenting by Ben Greenfield
- The Body Electric by Robert Becker
- Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant
- Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday
– Other Resources:
- Spiritual Disciplines Journal
- Oil Pulling
- Tongue Scraper
- Pause App
- NoChoics Track Suit For EMF protection (use code BENPROTECT to save 5%)
- NAD (use code BEN to save 5%)
- Ketone Esters (use code BENG to save 10%)
- Hydrogen Tablets
- Thorne Multivitamin
- Fish Oil
- Kion Sleep
- Melatonin (use code BEN to save 5%)
- PEMF Mat
- Clearlight Sauna
- Morozko Forge
- Celtic Sea salt
- Go Greenfields
- Twin Eagles Wilderness School
–Organifi Apple Green Juice: The new green juice crisp apple is made with organic, wholesome, hand-picked apples. And tastes like a fresh juicy slice in every sip. If mint just isn’t for you, this refreshing new recipe certainly is. Making it the first of its kind the whole family will love. Go to organifi.com/Ben for 20% off your order. (01:42)
–Seed Daily Synbiotic: A formulation of 24 unique strains, each of which included at their clinically verified dose, to deliver systemic benefits in the body. Save 15% off your first month's subscription when you use discount code BEN15. (02:46)
–Ben Greenfield Life Careers: We’re seeking motivated, energetic people with whom the Ben Greenfield Life message rings true in all facets. Click the link to check out current openings. (04:48)
–Joy Mode: Want to spice things up in the bedroom and boost your sexual performance? And do it naturally without nasty prescription drugs? We have a special offer for the Ben Greenfield audience. (34:19)
–Willo: Willo lets members tailor their experience to suit their taste and wellness preferences. Members can even monitor the progress of their produce each step along the way. Use code BEN20 for 20% off. (36:13)
–Kion Aminos: Building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. (37:37)