[Transcript] – Muscle Gain, Fat Loss, Stem Cells In the D*ck, Microdosing Plant Medicines, Splenda, Amino Acids, Content Creation, Adult Slurpees & More With Filmmaker & Content Creator Darren Doane.

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From  podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/muscle-gain-fat-loss-stem-cells-in-the-dck-microdosing-plant-medicines-splenda-amino-acids-content-creation-adult-slurpees-more-with-filmmaker-content-creator-darren-doane/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:53] Guest Introduction

[00:03:08] Kion Halloween Sale/Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:26] What Ben and Darren Doane have to say about childhood and healthy development into adulthood

[00:12:59] How to listen to one's body and rethink societal conventions

[00:20:55] How Ben manages success without being an [BLEEP]

[00:29:00] A recount of the feature article on Men's Health from a few years back

[00:35:17] Podcast Sponsors

[00:36:40] How to do gimmicky-looking things without excessive hype

[00:40:19] Why we should be concerned with amino acids

[00:52:06] The best time of day to consume carbs

[00:58:33] The difference between a “hack” and cutting corners when it comes to one's health

[01:00:37] How to define “microdosing” as it relates to psychedelics

[01:10:34] Why that caramelized, high-sugar, foo-foo coffee drink is basically an adult Slurpee

[01:14:14] Why Splenda is toxic to the brain and gut

[01:17:08] Legal Disclaimer

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

Darren:  But, anyone that can see knows that you take this stuff pretty lightly as well.

Ben:  Well, you have to.

Darren:  And, this is a crazy experiment that you're doing on yourself. And, you did it. But, now, you're sitting there, and you're going, maybe, you went too far.

Ben:  But, no toast and orange juice for breakfast.

Darren:  Let's not keep coming back to that. You're shaming.

Ben:  Yeah, they're not going to be sponsoring this episode.

Darren:  It feels like you're shaming this morning. They'll feel like they're cheating.

Ben:  Yeah, I'm sorry.

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

Well, folks, what you are about to listen to is a fun little chat with a new friend of mine. His name is Darren Doane. Darren is a filmmaker. He's an actor. He's a music video director. He has produced and edited projects for a client list that's pretty impressive: Toyota, Hurley/Nike, Saatchi & Saatchi, Atlantic Records, Universal Records, JBL, ton of music videos from a whole bunch of bands that you have probably seen. And, he also did–and if it's done in time for when this podcast comes out, I'm going to link to it in the show notes for you–a pretty sexy how to create the most epic steak on the face of the planet video with me, that I think you'd actually find pretty entertaining.

So, I'm going to link to Darren, all his stuff, his extremely entertaining Instagram channel, his podcast, The Doane Cast, and everything that Darren does at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Doane. D-O-A-N-E is how you spell his last name. I had trouble with that one, too. Not Doane, not Duane, not Dwayne, but Doane, D-O-A-N-E.

Now, Darren's a new friend of mine. He lives about an hour or so for me. So, we've been hanging out recording quite a bit lately and eating good food together. I think cooking and food porn on steroids, if you want to see that steak video we made. But, anyways, on a recent foray of mine to my old haunting grounds in Moscow, Idaho, I stayed out at Darren's beautiful farmhouse on the countryside. And, we woke up at the ungodly hour of 7:00 a.m. to go out to his home recording studio inside a giant shipping container. And, we recorded a bit of a coffee-fueled random show episode for you. It was a wild free-for-all discussion where we weren't sure if I was interviewing him for my podcast or he was interviewing me for his podcast. But, nonetheless, it included stem cells in the ding-dong, microdosing, plant medicine, Splenda, amino acids, Levitical priests, weight loss, content creation, adult Slurpees from Starbucks. You'll want to buckle in for this one because it got pretty wild.

And, again, I'll link to all of Darren's Instagram channel and podcast and the show notes as well, so that steak video, if it's done in time, which I really hope it is, because you're going to dig it. You're going to love it. It'll make you really want to go out and eat a steak. Heck, if you've eaten tofurkey all your life, this will make you want to go out and eat a steak.

Alright, mark your calendars, boys and girls, because the Halloween Sale of Kion kicks off tomorrow, October 29th. That's my vampire voice. I think it's a vampire. Yeah, a vampire, like the old European vampire voice, like the sesame street guy. Alright. Anyways, back to the Kion Halloween Sale, kicks off tomorrow October 29th. See, it pays to listen to my podcast because you could be the first in line tomorrow to get in on this scary good sale. So, October 29th through November 1st, you can save up to 35%, 35 not 10, not 20, not even 30, but up to 35%. You go to GetKion.com/Halloween. That's Get-K-I-O-N.com/Halloween. No code necessary. You'll get spooktacular savings on all your favorite Kion supplements, the brand-new Kion Clean Protein, our wonderful whey protein isolate with these delicious creamy chocolatey and vanilla, and even unflavored flavors that are just blowing people's minds and taste buds.

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This podcast is also brought to you by Paleovalley.com/Ben. What occurs when you go there? You get access to their grass-fed, grass-finished, fermented beef stick. So, they take beef. They ferment it, which creates these naturally occurring probiotics that are really good for your gut. They use all-organic spices, rather than the conventional spices sprayed with pesticides or so-called natural flavors which are often made from GMO corn that a lot of these popular beef jerky brands use. And, these things are keto-friendly, chock-full of glutathione, bioavailable protein, omega-3 fatty acids.

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BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Doane, D-O-A-N-E, is where you can find the show notes for today's show.

Darren:  Well, it's actually just fun to do this. It's fun to get to know each other and be friends. But, it is really, really interesting what you've carved out for yourself in, literally, the most crowded space on the planet.

Ben:  Fitness?

Darren:  Yeah.

Ben:  Fitness or health. Actually, with that hair thing–

Darren:  I have an idea for a workout video, Ben. You know what I mean? That's crazy that you– to me, that just seems so antithetical.

Ben:  Yeah, it's because with the fitness world in general, people are craving science and a little bit deeper intellectualism and biohacking and a lot of the arguably brainier elements of fitness. People dig that stuff because it lends itself well to content. You can only get so far with teaching people how to do three variations of a dumbbell curl. But, once you get into neurology and neurogenesis and hair growth, all these other avenues, it's like, holy cow, there's a lot to mind and body optimization. And then, you pair that with spiritual optimization and what people are really craving. And, dude, people heat it up.

Darren:  I want to get some questions in for you. And, that's probably good for your audience, too. I'm sure you've got people that's listening now.

Ben:  That's what I figured, was we just talk to each other.

Darren:  Yeah, you've been doing this for a while now. I'm assuming there's probably people that don't–We always think I can't tell my origin story again. But, really, we probably should every week.

Ben:  There's always a different twist on an origin story.

Darren:  That's so true. That's so true, especially, with time and trying to figure it out, because what I didn't realize now–

Ben:  And, there's perspective on your origin story changes, too.

Darren:  Well, I didn't realize I've been reading your book and my kids have been reading your book, too.

Ben:  Which one?

Darren:  Not the cookbook we're doing stuff, too. But, the Big Ben Greenfield.

Ben:  The “Boundless” one?

Darren:  Yeah.

Ben:  It's a huge, huge one.

Darren:  What's it called again?

Ben:  “Boundless.”

Darren:  Yeah, that one. But, it also tells your history, you graduating in high school at what age?

Ben:  High school? 15.

Darren:  Fifteen, early. You got in high school early.

Ben:  Early-ish, for a homeschooler, late. We're a late bloomer [00:08:13]_____. I'm a late bloomer homeschooler.

Ben:  Well, I was going to ask you that. Was that more of a homeschool graduation, or were you smart?

Ben:  That was a homeschool graduation. But, I was smart.

Darren:  That's what I mean.

Ben:  Well, no. I don't think I was smart for a homeschooler. I was smart for a jock going on to play tennis in college. And, I was smart for that, for a physical culture guy that I would stand up.

Darren:  But, was there something where–if I was to go ask Nate Wilson, “Hey, was Ben a smart dude back in the day?” Just for a fun question, what do you think he would say?

Ben:  He'd probably say yeah.

Darren:  Are you a math guy?

Ben:  I was a nerd. I really liked school. And, I really liked studying. And, I tested out 99th percentile whenever I'd take all the–what do you call them, the standardized–

Darren:  SAT, PAST, whatever.

Ben:  Yeah, I always had that nose in the book.

Darren:  That's what I mean.

Ben:  Well, actually, if you would have asked anybody back in the day, “Was Ben good at sports?” I would said no. I was good at intellectual stuff. I had to try really, really hard, and still have to try really, really hard in sports and fitness. Naturally, I'm more cranial.

Darren:  Are you coordinated?

Ben:  No.

Darren:  Can you dance or breakdance?

Ben:  I can be really good at anything if I try.

Darren:  Is that really your mentality?

Ben:  Actually, so my mentality–

Darren:  Because, you're like a real-life meme to me, which is funny.

Ben:  I'm not saying this to be all the popular trendy Carol Dweck fixed mindset stuff. So, what I've identified about myself and the way that I learn is I don't like to learn in public. I like to make a bunch of mistakes on my own. When I'm writing, I don't like anybody to see what I'm writing, in a story, in a book, nothing. I don't like to reveal anything to the world, a podcast, a song, a book, a dance move, a tennis serve, a basketball free throw.

Darren:  Wow.

Ben:  Nothing. I like to figure out how to do it, and often, figure out how to do it myself. Possibly, some of that might be the egotistical narcissistic part of me. And then, I practice and practice and practice. I am the most stubborn practicer on the face of the planet. Even when I competed in Ironman triathlon, I would literally sit on a bike for three hours with my bike, both pedals connected to a power meter with a screen showing how much percentage I was applying on the right foot and how much percentage I was applying on the left foot. And, I would just ride for three hours until I can nail it at 50/50.

Darren:  In my journey, there was a moment where I remember looking at my family. I think I had two kids at the time, just looking at my wife. Two kids at the time, we're going to do our first family movie night. They were old enough. And, I think we did “Cars.” “Cars” was the first [00:11:16]_____.

Ben:  Owen Wilson.

But, they were old enough to watch a movie, to be up on a Friday night. It was like we were getting a movie night. I remember after that night thinking, “I don't think I want to try to be a genius anymore in my craft.” These really weird monks. Because, there's something about when you may have–I think I have the ability, maybe, but genius seems to me, based on all the pattern recognition, that you will lose your family.

Ben:  So, what you're saying is, let's say like an Elon Musk is so intertwined and obsessed with achieving excellence in his chosen path that he would be more tempted to forsake his [00:12:06]_____.

Darren:  And, I'm not picking on anyone. 100%.

Ben:  No, I'm sure, [00:12:07]_____ with us right now.

Darren:  100%.

Ben:  But, he would be tempted to forsake his family. I think that you can definitely sacrifice your family life or your spiritual life for excellence or genius in your pursuits. But, I think that being driven to excellence and wanting to create beauty [00:12:28]_____.

Darren:  And, I think this was a journey for me to even get here today. You joked about being narcissistic. I'm curious because it'd be really easy for someone to say, “I'd go to Ben's stuff. His shirt's off. He's flexing,” literally just flexing. He's flexing, right?

Ben:  I'm flexing right now, mostly because we're podcasting at 7:00 a.m.

Darren:  You're trying to burning calories.

Ben:  And, I'm holding my morning food and drinking coffee.

Darren:  Alright. I can say this is the worst.

Ben:  No, we were joking last night. I got you. You elbowed me because I used the old man phrase, I needed to take my shit shower and shave this morning before we jumped in. And, actually, I'm proud of myself. I got that done. I got up. I made myself this tiny little thimble full of coffee because–

Darren:  It is. You don't want to be pooping 20 minutes into this.

Ben:  No, I'm an intuitive eater. I grabbed the coffee and it's like my body was–I made myself the coffee. No, seriously. I'll pick up food and listen to what my body is speaking to me. And, I felt more like a cream soda–

Darren:  I saw that when you walked in there.

Ben: —and a piece of nicotine gum. So, as soon as I finish this coffee, which is all for the camera, so we do this kind of “Good Morning America.”

Darren:  Yeah. So, we have this.

Ben:  I'm shifting straight into cream soda and nicotine gum. So, anyways, I did get my shit shower and shave. So, I'm not flexing. 

Darren:  So, I've been listening to my body lately, too. And, people that know me will say this is getting funny. I can't believe Darren's talking like this. But, before I became a Christian my mid-20s, I was raised martial arts, spiritualism.

Ben:  Really? You were doing your farm chores in a trap suit last night when I saw you.

Darren:  Well, that's a new me. I was a suburban kid. But, loved all that stuff. There was an amazing health food store that I grew up next to. So, when you grow up next to a health food store, in the '70s and '80s, for whatever reason, there's a lot of bee pollen. I don't know why I was eating a lot of bee pollen back in the day.

Ben:  Yeah, geez.

Darren:  But, that was a big deal.

Ben:  Geez, that would be dirt poor if I go to a health food store, just to freaking [00:14:27]_____.

Darren:  And so, sprouts were on everything because I think that was just standard. But, loved all that stuff. But, it's funny now that I think I've got a lot of stuff in order. But, listening to what my body is saying is fine, this is morning, that's why I love going through your book. But, this morning, I was like I haven't had a piece of toast with butter and orange juice in, I don't know, probably, two months in the morning. And, my body was like, “You need to give that to me now.” And, it didn't feel like

Ben:  You're fired from America.

Darren:  Really?

Ben:  You're not having toast and orange juice for breakfast every morning, scrambled eggs?

Darren:  I know. Well, my wife makes these amazing–again, this comes back to father. We're hanging out with you realizing [00:15:12]_____.

Ben:  It's diabetes for breakfast. It's diabetes for breakfast. My kids have eggs, bacon, fish, avocado. We don't do a lot of toast and orange juice. 

Darren:  That's my point, though. I haven't done it in months. And, you've been talking about trying to understand your body when it's a pure craving or it's, actually, this will do. This will do. 

Ben:  Or a societal obligation in any situation.

Darren:  Sure.

Ben:  It could be food or movement or whatever. But, society dictates that either a bowl of cereal or toast and orange juice is the American breakfast. And, now, the health world is becoming more aware of everything, from intermittent fasting to having a cup of coffee, maybe, with a little bit of coconut oil or butter in it, or eating a more substantial breakfast, like scrambled eggs with spinach and avocado and, maybe, some sardines or something like that. And then, there's a societal implications that dictate that, whatever, when you go to the doctor's office or when you're waiting for the flight to take off, you sit in the chair. You don't stand and stretch.

And so, I think that if you live your life by these principles that, pretty much, 99% of the world is unhealthy or slowly dying from chronic disease because they eat for breakfast what societies eat for breakfast and move in the way that society moves, or more specifically, does not move. When you're willing to go outside the norms, do farm chores in your tracksuit, skip breakfast–

Darren:  Yeah, absolutely.

Ben: —like me before we did this session this morning, before we hopped in for the podcast, I did my five Tibetan longevity exercises. These are exercises or morning moves.

Darren:  My lungs get the exercise, of course.

Ben:  Twenty-one movements of each one, the Scandinavian longevity express, that sitting in a sauna, drinking whiskey.

Darren:  Exactly.

Ben:  And so, the five Tibetan longevity exercises are these five different moves that this reportedly long-lived group of Tibetan monks somewhere often in Tibet, of course, do every morning. But, it takes 15 minutes. And, it's these special moves where you spin counterclockwise and you do some bridges and some body shaking, some tai chi-esque moves. But, dude, when I get up in the morning and I do that, it takes about 15 minutes, my energy is perfect.

Darren:  I started planking in the morning. And, it's funny. Usually, I have to say in conversations, no, I'm not joking. With you, I don't have to do that because this stuff is so–clearly, we're not joking.

Ben:  Of course, bro.

Darren:  But, it's like that is–I don't know what it does.

Ben:  Front plank.

Darren:  Yeah, front plank, just I don't know what has been going. What's my body be?

Ben:  Well, a properly performed plank, if you think about it, you're incorporating shoulder for a musculature, the core. And, there's a Russian kettlebell instructor who trained the Russian military and is considered to be one of the OGs of fitness, especially, hardcore fitness. His name is Pavel Tsatsouline. He's a Russian kettlebell instructor, basically. But, in his course, he teaches what's called the hardstyle plank.

And, I took his whole course last year. I went to the Russian kettlebell certification and everything and got my piece of paper. And, the hardstyle plank, you get into a front plank position. And, when in that front plank position, you've tightened every muscle in your body, you draw your elbows, which are on the ground because your forearms are on the ground, towards your toes, almost as though you're zipping up your entire core, and everything just goes super tight, the longest you should be able to handle it. A proper hardstyle plank is 10 seconds. And, your entire body fires up. But, even a half-ass plank, you're firing up every part of your body in that plank position. And, when done in the morning, you're turning on muscles. If you haven't had a bowel movement yet, you're starting to move some of the digestive juices.

And, these Tibetan longevity exercises are that similar concept, but five different moves. And, you do them very precisely, 21 reps of each. And, you breathe the whole time. And, my sons do them with me.

Darren:  Nice.

Ben:  And, when they get up earlier, when we're out on father-son trips, they get up and do the Tibetan longevity exercises.

Darren:  Love it.

Ben:  I talked about that in the book, actually, how everybody should have a special series of movement snacks that you do during the day. You have little breaks during the day where you might be stringing together the tai chi shaking or some type of swinging back and forth, or a plank, three different forms of plank.

Darren:  I do shadow boxing. I do shadow boxing. And, with just some front push kicks, it just gets my body going.

Ben:  Have many 10 to 15 -minute workouts or even two to five-minute routines. Because, I work with actors, with executives, people who are just go, go, go, and then they have these little bits of time, like 2 to 15 minutes in between everything else, that they're going. So, we just string together all these tiny mini workouts. And, my whole philosophy on fitness is that, whether or not you go to the gym or the shiny health club or your basement treadmill or whatever for a proper formal, what would be recognized as a workout, you should structure your day so that you're just moving and shaking all day long. And, whether or not you go to the gym, you feel like you've actually just kept the body moving all day long, whether it's walking everywhere, when you got to take a phone call, stepping outside, dropping new push-ups in between calls.

Darren:  Do you think people know how funny you are with everything you've built?

Ben:  What do you mean?

Darren:  Because you're actually a really funny guy. I'm curious, do you think that comes through?

Ben:  You mean humorous?

Darren:  Yeah. You're a funny dude. You're not laugh at you, laugh with you. You're a funny dude. You look at things in a real funny way. Stuff can look so serious. Again, t's not easy to walk around with your shirt off and not come across an a-hole. And, you pull it off–

Ben:  I'm pretty sure I come across an a-hole.

Darren:  But, you don't. To me, that's actually funny, though.

Ben:  I look at the Instagram comment sometimes.

Darren:  Well, that's good.

Ben:  You dig dark rabbit hole

Darren:  But, anyone that can see knows that you take this stuff pretty lightly as well.

Ben:  Well, you have to.

Darren:  That's what I mean, though. It's you've built this whole thing, whether you want to call it biohacking. I remember I think the first time I heard of you, it was some gnarly stem cell injection somewhere.

Ben:  Is your show for kids?

Darren:  No, we're on your show as well.

Ben:  Alright. Well, I was going to say, the folks–

Darren:  That was my first introduction.

Ben:  I used to say, moms driving minivans, turn around and tell your kids to put their hands over their ears.

Darren:  Let's do it right now.

Ben:  And then, I got called out, because apparently, guys drive minivans, too, Darren. So, I have to be inclusive.

Darren:  Okay.

Ben:  So, well, all you dads and moms out there driving your kids around in minivans, “Men's Health” magazine three years ago, I want to write an article about this.

Darren:  Let's talk about this because this is my first introduction to you. And, I've heard about you and known about you. But, sometimes, you just don't put the pieces together. And, someone said to me, “Hey, this guy–” Here's what I heard about you. Tell me if it's true. I heard there was this guy and he got stem cells injected into his penis, true or false?

Ben:  That's true. But, there's a story behind that. I was supposed to write an article for “Men's Health” magazine.

Darren:  Let's do this.

Ben:  Because, I do some [00:23:01]_____. There's always a story whenever–

Darren:  Inject something.

Ben: —you're talking about needles in general.

Darren:  Right, there's always.

Ben:  There's always a back story. And, in this case, “Men's Health” magazine–

Darren:  Our friends.

Ben: —wanted me to write an article because I was doing a lot of freelance. I don't do that much freelancing anymore. I did a lot of freelancing and a lot of outbound content. 

Darren:  You were a nomad out there.

Ben:  Kind of a little bit of a rabbit hole. But, I built most of my business on content because I love to write. And then, I started recording on my podcast a lot of what I was learning and writing about as publishing content in an audio medium. But, there's this concept in marketing that's basically outbound content where you're writing for magazines, you're writing for other websites, you're basically getting links and traffic back to your platform based on content that you put on existing platforms that usually have a bigger footprint than you already have. So, piggybacking–

Darren:  But, they need content.

Ben: —and providing them value. Exactly. So, I used to wake up in the morning–This was back when I was mostly in the endurance sports world, when I was training triathletes and racing triathlons all over the world and writing for triathlon magazines and sponsored by triathlon companies. And, my shtick every morning was I would get up and I had the little tabs on the browser. This was probably Netscape or something like that way back in the early days. And, I had all the forums. Remember forums?

Darren:  Yeah.

Ben:  This was before social media and blog–There's still some forums out there. I've read it's probably the best example of life forums.

Darren:  Yeah, the last forum.

Ben:  [00:24:35]_____ website, the last standing forum. That still does pretty well, actually.

Darren:  Yeah, absolutely.

Ben:  Actually, I still do some Reddit AMAs. And, they perform remarkably well for marketing. Just get on, ask me anything for the next 24 hours on Reddit. And then, it just blows up. But, anyways, what I used to do was I'd wake up in the morning, and I would have 20 different forums. Mostly, in the endurance sports and the triathlon world. And, I would go and post on these forums. And, I would tell myself, every single form I go to, I have to post at least one helpful thing. It was never marketing. It was never, “Come back to my website and buy this coaching for me–

Darren:  Whether a flagged funnel.

Ben: —this triathlon training program that I wrote.” But, I would always have a link to my products or my website and my bio of the forum, which is automatically filled in for you, so you don't have to fill that in every time you just post, and when you buy, it will link back to your site. So, I would get so much traffic from simply having 20 different forms that I was on every day, because I was one of the known guys in the forums. It's like when you–

Darren:  This is what year?

Ben:  It's like, if you go to Twitter, it's like everybody knows who @Jack is on Twitter. It was like that.

Darren:  What year is this?

Ben:  This would have been 2004 up till about 2007 or '08 or so.

Darren:  That's so early, dude.

Ben:  I was just super active. I started my podcast in 2005, back when you had to code your own RSS feed.

Darren:  We're doing a split here. We got your audience, my audience. My audience is super geeked out on content and brand build, dude. This is, dude, mid-2000s, you're doing what I think is so game-changing right now, you were doing back then, which I think helps really put into context how in the world–You were so early. And, the reach was insane. Back then, you could do an email blast and get a 50% open rate. So, this is so OG of you.

Ben:  Yeah, but that's what I love to do. Even in high school, before I fell in love with the sport of tennis and got into physical culture and training and bought my first set of dumbbells and everything, I was full-on computer programming. I would be a video game designer. I would buy computers, tear apart the hard drives, and install new graphics cards. Basically, when I wasn't studying, I was either in front of a computer or playing the violin, or playing chess. I was super, duper intellectual.

Darren:  Are you good at the violin?

Ben:  Used to be.

Darren:  It's a cheat.

Ben:  Probably, kind of squeaky now. I could play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Darren:  You have strings on that song? 

Ben:  A-A-E-E-C.

Darren:  That song, come in and do that.

Ben:  On my SoundCloud?

Darren:  Yeah.

Ben:  I have a personal [00:27:12]_____.

Darren:  Wow. But, you get it. You get music?

Ben:  Yeah. I love music. If I could be any other person or have any other profession aside from what I'm doing right now, I would choose to be either an author of young adult fiction books and/or a country music musician, like a Christian country musician.

Anyways, back to the forum. So, I posted these forums all the time. And, I just really valued producing content on other platforms and saw the value of that bringing traffic back to my own platform. So, when I was writing and freelancing, back to stem cells in the dick for “Men's Health” magazine–

Darren:  Good.

Ben: —they wanted me to do a story on what if a guy, a so-called biohacker, was to just go out and do everything you could for amplifying male sexual health and sexual performance? What if you could go out and do everything from the old Eastern practices of not ejaculating for a month, all the tantra and all the tight tricks that multi-orgasmic stuff, to the–

Darren:  I'm old school.

Ben: —to the gas station dick pills that you have at the trucker stock, what's in those, what you do. What happens when you take them to these different weightlifting devices? There's one called the Penis Gym, these magnets that you hang, and then you get stronger every day. Just did it all, spent six months doing all this stuff. And, my wife thought it was hilarious. “Men's Health” magazine sent a photographer to our house. And, they had me in my boxers in the kitchen with her eating a banana while looking at me in the–the whole, you can still find the article, I'm sure, somewhere.

Darren:  Oh, we will.

Ben:  But, anyways, as a part of this whole process–It was crazy, we found out all sorts of stuff. The gas station pills, it's just basically ephedra and caffeine and Viagra. If you want Viagra without a prescription, just go buy those [00:29:15]_____.

Darren:  Is there Viagra in it? Is there a generic?

Ben:  Still beneficial.

Darren:  Oh.

Ben:  And, your palms get sweaty and your heart rate goes to the roof, but they work as advertised. Or, the reduced ejaculation frequency, you're so pent up because it's not reduced intercourse frequency; it's just reduced ejaculation frequency. So, you're having sex, but you're not cumming. So, for the next few days, you're just all pent up, rised energy. And, all you want to do is go crush the barbell at the gym.

So, a lot of this stuff seems to actually work. But then, we got to what would arguably be considered the more expensive or advanced protocols on the list of things that they sent me that they wanted me to try. And, that was this idea that–

Darren:  So, this was the dirt level, what's out there in gas stations, and dirty magazines.

Ben:  But then so, it was medicine, because if you go to PubMed or you look at medical research in the realm of sexual health, guys who have erectile dysfunction or what's called Peyronie's disease or other abnormalities of the genitalia, which would be a great name for a podcast, “Genitalia Abnormalities.”

Darren:  [00:30:25]_____, Ben.

Ben:  The idea of using stem cells, literally extracting stem cells from your bone marrow in your hip or the fat in your in your back, or even using what would be called non-autologous stem cells, meaning not your own, but umbilical or amniotic or placenta stem cells. 

Darren:  Like when I drink yours.

Ben:  Exactly, and injecting them into a joint or, in this case, injecting them into a bum dick, would actually allow it to have youthful vitality restored, because you're basically putting your young cells into that.

Darren:  In theory.

Ben:  Right, in theory. That's what they're doing in knees. You're taking an old knee, turn it into young knee by putting stem cells that could turn into any new tissue [00:31:05]_____.

Darren:  But, it doesn't need to work the way a penis works?

Ben:  I don't know. I can't say I've ever gotten an erection in my knee or impregnated my wife with my knee. But, it isn't.

Darren:  That you know of.

Ben:  It's the funny part. That I know of. I'm pretty sure my wife would actually know–

Darren:  Sure. Or, if her knee got impregnated.

Ben:  –if we tried it. Or, if her knee got impregnated by my knee.

Darren:  Because we don't even know what that produces.

Ben:  Anyways.

Darren:  But, you went there. You went there.

Ben:  Yeah, I got the fat cells, literally, flew down to Florida. They went to town on my back with a liposuction wand sucking all the fat out. Then, they concentrate it. And, they grow it. And, they expand the fat cells. Then, they shipped them up to a doctor. I go in the doctor's office.

Darren:  Tell me they put you under.

Ben:  No, no, no. But, what they do is they–And, this doctor had done the protocol before on men who weren't necessarily doing it, just to see what would happen to a young healthy male who did this. But, rather, the guys who had issues. And so, they shipped my stem cells up there on ice. And, you open the Styrofoam. And, smoke's coming out from the dry ice. And, there's the stem cells.

So, first, he takes out a needle, and he's got, to answer your question, the numbing stuff in it. And, he injects me with all the numbing–

Darren:  Which is like an oxymoron.

Ben:  Yeah. Numbs me up. But, the deal is anytime you're using the numbing needle, it's a very, very small gauge needle. So, those you barely even feel. It's so small. It's a hair-like needle, which is good. And then, the stem cells go into the bigger needle. And, he injects. He does either side of what's called the corpus cavernosum, which is either side. And then, the head.

And so, I did the whole protocol. I'm numb for the next six hours or whatever. And then, I went home. And, my dick looked like they'd been run over by a semi-truck for the next three days. It's all purple. And, I'm like, “Oh, gosh.”

Darren:  I don't need that in it.

Ben:  This was as far as I should have taken it.

Darren:  Hold on. Hold on. Stop there. This is really interesting to me because at that point, you weren't doing this to be funny. It wasn't a joke.

Ben:  It wasn't a joke, but it was a slightly comedic article.

Darren:  But, for you, though, you're into this stuff–

Ben:  That stuff, per se.

Darren:  But, you're into figuring out what the heck is going on, what will happen? We're wired this way.

Ben:  Just like right now, before we start recording the podcast, I'm on a hair growth project, where we're doing all these crazy protocols up in Spokane. And, they're micro-needling and taking my blood out of my right arm and putting it into my hair. I just love–

Darren:  When people say biohacking, it's almost a term now, you're the OG. You're literally doing it. And, this is a crazy experiment that you're doing on yourself. And, you did it. But, now, you're sitting there and you're going, maybe, you went too far?

Ben:  Could have messed things up because anytime you do a protocol like that, you're waiting for the smoke to clear, especially, when it's a medical protocol. And so, just like with the hair. Is all my hair going to fall out when I microneedle it and use little vibrators and put blood all over it? What happens afterwards? You just trust the doctor and trust the research.

And, what happened was, after about three days, basically, I tried to have sex for the first time since the protocol, and just felt freaking bull, absolutely as advertised, increased performance, longer orgasms. The whole experience was amazing. And so, it worked as advertised. And, I don't think that if a guy were to come to me asking me, what should I do? I can't get it up. Or, I want better size.

Darren:  Disclaimer, Ben's a married man. He's faithful to one woman.

Ben:  Well, that was the funny part about this, too, 

Darren:  Is that women.

Ben:  No, no. Is that I'm a total one-woman man family man. I got my kids, lovely, wonderful, magical relationship with my wife.

Darren:  Well, that's why this is also–

Ben:  It's the kind of article you would have expected “Playboy” to write.

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Darren:  No pun intended. People don't have the balls to go and get their junk shot up with a knee–That's what I mean by when people think they're funny or when people think–I watch you get a testicle on Instagram the other day, what I thought was interesting–

Ben:  Not mine.

Darren:  No, but I thought it was interesting. This is what I mean by I find you just really interesting as a person. You did the testicle challenge. You don't sensationalize anything.

Ben:  No.

Darren:  Really, no. You could have sound it like, “Here, I go. I'm going to eat–” You're in your house, wife, family in the back. You're like, “I got this testicle. Dig it in a little olive oil.” You ate it. You didn't hype it up. You don't hype things up.

Ben:  You're in marketing. You're in content. I think you probably understand this. People crave, especially, these days, authenticity. Like the old-school days, let's say you and I would walk:

“Good morning, everyone. Good morning, America.”

Darren:  Hey, Ben, great to have you this morning.

Ben:  And, you guys have your script. And, we're reading off the scripts.

So, at 8:00 a.m. this morning–

Darren:  I'll tell you what, Ben, you couldn't hate me to shoot that up.

Ben:  Everybody, quiet. We're going to tell the scrambled eggs joke now.

Darren:  Oh, my God.

Ben:  So, Darren, did you have scrambled egg, toast, and orange juice this morning?

Darren:  Did I ever?

Ben:  Let me tell you about the latest research on diabetes.

Darren:  Well, this is amazing because I have just been fascinated about this. “We're going to get commercial break, but when we come back, Ben is going to tell us about his new cookbook and tack those up.”

We don't have to be that anymore.

Ben:  No, we don't have to be it. And, people don't want that. They want authentic, either long-form conversation, or they want a dude eating a testicle to just eat a testicle and not have the pomp and circumstance right in the background. And, I've donned this hair. It's like me sitting right there before dinner with my son making cookies in the background, eating a testicle. And, I think that authenticity, especially, in these days where content is everywhere and everybody can do it, it's like the people who are just being themselves and finding interesting things to do and sharing that with other people and teaching it to other people, I think that's what people crave. And, that's what I dig as far as my own content, is concerned in why–I shouldn't say hate. That's too strong a word. But, when I'm doing a video, or like I just did a fitness app, anything like that, people always come to me, podcast commercial, they're like, “Say this.” I don't look at it. It's a script. I'm like, “No, I just want to say what I want to say.” If somebody's advertising in a podcast–

Darren:  What's the amino thing you've been talking about earlier?

Ben:  Amino acids?

Darren:  Yeah, from Kion. I think this is fascinating because I've been working out now. I did a whole weight loss thing, which is a whole other journey. I was just like, “I'm just going to eat less and just try to get my brain.” Can I just get some mental toughness here first and just eat less—not 800, 500 calories a day. I'm talking about, could I just eat less and get that first goal done? Come on. There's a baseline of just not looking for any tricks or shortcuts. We do that for four or five, six months. Finally, get back to working out. Now, I'm two months into working out and not really much at, right?

Ben:  Yeah.

Darren:  But, reading your book, talking about lifting heavy things a few days a week. And, I'm doing my 20-minute workout a day. That's what I set my timer. I got four little things I do because I don't want to think about it yet. But, now, I'm two months in. And, now, I'm like, “Well, I probably should be putting something on my body, maybe a little bit more.” I'm working out now. So, I'm assuming I'm probably burning more–

Ben:  Besides the gas station dick pills?

Darren:  Exactly. Now that I know that there is Viagra. And, I'm listening to you talk about this, but the way you talk about it, how long you've been talking about it, the formulation behind it–

Ben:  The amino acids?

Darren:  Yeah. But, I haven't taken an amino acid–

Ben:  Careful, you're talking about nutrition with a guy who's eating nicotine gum and drinking soda.

Darren:  Yeah. Well, that's what I like about it. And, we're going to talk about my Splenda in a minute. But, I haven't taken amino acids since I was in high school, playing football and going to the gym, drinking Joe Weider weight gain and amino acids. Are amino acids a legitimate thing people should be thinking about?

Ben:  Are you trying to throw me a softball as a guy who sells amino acids?

Darren:  No, I'm into it.

Ben:  I'll figure it.

Darren:  Hold on. Hold on. Here is the demo because this is where real life meets.

Ben:  We're being authentic. This wasn't planned.

Darren:  No.

Ben:  So, I used to do amino acids a lot too because I did bodybuilding. North Idaho Athletic Club. So, we're in Moscow, Idaho.

Darren:  NIAC?

Ben:  So, NIAC, old-school NIAC.

Darren:  Shout out to me.

Ben:  I went to University of Idaho. That's where I got my master's degree in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics. And, I would appeal every semester to take 30-plus credits. So, all I did was go to school, and class after class of class after class, I would go to NIAC at 5:00 or 6:00 after I'd finish all my classes and train people until 8:00 or 9:00. So, I was personal training there. And then, a lot of other mornings, I'd go and open the gym in the morning. Across the street from NIAC was a French bakery,

Darren:  Back in your day.

Ben:  –which is where Bloom is at now. So, I would work at the French–But, I would get there about 4:00 a.m., open the bakery. And, the sourdough would be cooking it back. And, I didn't know, but I'm slightly gluten-intolerant. And so, I would basically eat all the previous day's baked goods for breakfast while I'm opening. And so, just would duck in the bathroom for horrific farts and come back in. People baked goods and sell the croquemon sois and everything all the people come into the French bakery to get in the morning. And then, I'd go, sometimes, over the gym, train a couple of people, and then go to classes all day, come back and train people at NIAC. And then, after I'd finished at NIAC, I could go over to Bootsters. And, I worked making coffees and–

Darren:  Family business?

Ben:  –five years at University of Idaho, I slept four or five hours a night. All I did was work at NIAC, at Bootsters, at the French bakery, and then the random jobs I could get. I painted all summer for another guy who went to Christ Church. So, I lived with him, painted houses all summer. And then, I go back to school after that. That was my life for five years down there.

And so, when I was at NIAC, one of my fellow personal trainers challenged me to be in a bodybuilding competition that was coming up a year from then up in Spokane, Washington.

Darren:  Challenged you?

Ben:  Yeah, he was like, “Dude, you should do bodybuilding. So, I'm going to do it, too.” So, that bastard drops off after a month because true bodybuilding, especially, a lean ass, a hard gainer like me, I was having to work out an extra two hours a day. And so, I was doing full-body really heavy workouts at NIAC, just crushing myself. Sometimes, two days because you have the cardio that you're doing to strip the fat off. And then, for a lean gainer, what works really well is full-body training. So, lots of bench press, overhead press, squats, deadlifts, none of just the bicep curls and the tricep pushdowns and what's called the single-joint stuff. You just do all multi-joint big, big exercises. For me, it was just all-barbell and free weights, and then just burning calories in the elliptical trainer, and then walking to class.

So, I wound up going from 100–I was about 178. I went up to 215. Because, I was a poor ass college student, too, at one time.

Darren:  I just asked you a month that you go. What do you weigh right now?

Ben:  I'm about 179 right now.

Darren:  And, you were 215?

Ben:  I was 215, 3% body fat. Didn't have much money. And, of course, haven't…

Darren:  What are you eating back then?

Ben:  Well, I wasn't on gear.

Darren:  What's that mean?

Ben:  No steroids and hormones. I couldn't afford any of that stuff. I knew a few guys at University of Idaho, like the football players sitting in the back, some of the guys from Europe. There was this one big German guy. I knew he had access to some of that stuff because he would sit in the back next to me in class, and he had these catalogs from Germany with all the steroids and the horse pills and everything in them. I couldn't afford any of that shit.

So, I was using Redline, which was the big pre-workout back in the day that was those gas station pills, like sweaty palms, heart rate through the roof. But, it works.

Darren:  For energy?

Ben:  I had access to creatine. I got a company called ABB Bodybuilding, which makes these man-in-the-can protein shakes. It's a can of chemicals, which is horrific.

Darren:  Which I've learned from you.

Ben:  Yeah. But, anyway. So, I had these cans. I would drink three or four of those a day because they gave me a really good deal. There's giving me a 50% discount, which is great. I had a cheap creatine.

Darren:  Is that high-level creatine?

Ben:  So, you can get creatine from Germany called Creapure. That's actually what we use at Kion. At Kion, we just get the purest stuff we can get from Germany.

Darren:  This creatine is what?

Ben:  It's creatine monohydrate. It's just a molecule. It's an amino acid molecule–

Darren:  It is an amino acid, okay.

Ben:  –that's split into ATP and uses energy. And, actually, just like regular creatine monohydrate, is pretty affordable and works pretty well for putting on muscle as a cheap muscle gain aid.

Darren:  As a dumb kid in high school, I was always told that the creatine was just putting on water weight.

Ben:  No, it does cause your muscles to retain some amount of water and some amount of glycogen, which is your storage carbohydrate.

Darren:  But, that was actually true, what I just said, there's a little bit of water?

Ben:  Little bit, yeah. But, also, because it gives your body an extra what's called a substrate to produce ATP, your body's energy currency, if you combine creatine with weightlifting, you also put on muscle based on the idea that you'll be able to crank out a few extra reps for every set that you do–

Darren:  Because why?

Ben:  –if you have more creatine in your body.

Darren:  But, because why can I do a few more reps?

Ben:  Because, if you were to hop in your car and you were to drive to Spokane and put x amount of gas in your tank, and then you had a tiny little gas tank on the side of that, you get 8 miles past Spokane. Creatine is the extra little gas tank that lets you get 8 miles past Spokane, or that lets you, say, get two extra reps on the bench press. So, you're basically able to put on just a little bit of extra muscle every time you go to the gym. That's the idea behind creatine, just extra gas on the tank you normally wouldn't otherwise have.

Darren:  In general?

Ben:  In general, yeah. Then, the last thing that I had access to was BCAAs, branched-chain amino acids. Same things you took in football. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine names those amino acids. And, what they do is, similar to creatine, they give your body a little bit of energy that it can burn as extra energy during exercise. Thus, dictating that, if you combine BCAAs and/or creatine with a good weight training program, you'll put on muscle more quickly.

Darren:  Hold on. This is important. Are you telling me that the reason why someone should be interested in amino acid anything is for more energy?

Ben:  It technically would be increasing the bioavailable pool of amino acids in your body that can be used for anything, from energy to recovery to neurotransmitters for sleeping better. That's why it's such like a Swiss army knife.

Darren:  Let me tell you what an idiot like me thinks. See, when I think amino acids, what I thought in high school and what I think now–

Ben:  The ones that you took in high school and the ones that I was taking when I was bodybuilding are horrible. I'll tell you why.

Darren:  Okay, but were they horrible going the same direction? Meaning that, was it still an attempt to get more energy; and therefore, if you have more energy, you can do more reps; if you can do more reps, you're going to get bigger and stronger?

Ben:  Yeah, it's the same idea. But, the problem, and I haven't learned this until later on, with BCAAs, it's only three of the amino acids. And, there's nine essential amino acids. So, essentially, you're spending money on overpriced flavored water that, theoretically, is supposed to help you build a better car, when all you're getting is three wheels of that car and not the doors, the chassis, the engine, anything else. You got a bunch of car parts that are unable to really truly build a complete car.

And so, what supplement manufacturers know is that BCAAs give you this feeling of better energy. But, they don't really result in meaningful muscle gain or energy levels unless they're accompanied by all the other amino acids that you need.

Darren:  That's my question. What helps muscle gain? Not energy. Are you saying it's tied together and you can't get muscle gain without energy?

Ben:  Yeah. So, you either need to combine the BCAAs with whey protein or some other protein source that allows you to have those kinds of acids.

Darren:  That's why this comes into play with–

Ben:  But, our problem with that, and here's coming full circle, is you got to digest all that protein, and you have to, if you're trying to not put on a lot of weight, have all the calories from all that protein: the whey protein or the steak or the fish or whatever, which is great if you are just trying to get swole, bro. But, if you're also trying to lose fat, ideally, you would like a way to get all the amino acids without the shortcomings of the branched-chain amino acids, but without all the calories of the other complete protein sources.

And, that's what we did at Kion, was we made an essential amino acid that's basically got all the stuff that branched-chain amino acids do for you, plus all the stuff that protein does for you all in one supplement, but without the calories. So, that's the idea.

Darren:  Now, it makes sense.

Ben:  And, that's why people like it so much. And then, we just retooled the flavor. And, it's really good. And so, you literally just gave me the opportunity to do a 15-minute promotion. Thank you.

Darren:  Well, no. But, again, I think maybe I'm the demographic. I know I need to do something, but that wasn't it. I had no idea. Again, when I hear amino acids, I assume I'm going to take something and it's going to help my muscles form better.

Ben:  The number one demographic: people who want to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. That's the people who use it the most. And then, I started using those when I was competing in Ironman triathlon. And, I realized that when you run out of energy during a long run or during a long bike ride, like old-school marathoning advice from the '80s is that you're bonking, that you've run out of your orange juice and toast.

But then, when you look at it, a lot of times, people will still have full muscle glycogen levels or full liver glycogen levels. They haven't run out of carbohydrates, but it's turkey dinner syndrome. What happens is, as your body breaks down all of its muscle tissue while you're out on that three-hour run or whatever, part of that muscle contains tryptophan, same stuff that you get in turkey, that makes you sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. The tryptophan crosses your blood-brain barrier and makes you tired. And, your central nervous system, your brain, is trained. God made us in this really cool way that if your body's doing a budget damage to yourself, it starts to shut itself down. And so, what happens is you start to get sleepy as your body starts to degrade, basically, because you're tearing your muscles apart.

And so, what I figured out during triathlon was that, when I'd get tired during exercise, if I could get amino acids in my bloodstream, they compete for tryptophan and that blood-brain barrier, and you don't get the central nervous system fatigue. And, because, at the same time, I was getting into the whole low-carb thing, so I could restrict carbohydrates but not get that same blocking effect if I also take the amino acids. That's when I started taking it. It was not for muscle gain.

Darren:  Well, right.

Ben:  Well, it was for my long run and stuff in the triathlon.

Darren:  Well, now, it makes sense why it wouldn't just be for muscle gain. But, see, you turned me on to this. I haven't gotten through your book yet, but you turned me on a conversation where I said I'm going high-protein, high-fat, and I'm doing that morning fasting. But, I'm built that way anyways. I don't need a Jamba Juice smoothie in the morning, and then I'm done. Got rid of that. It's my coffee. I'm not really eating until unless my wife make great eggs with butter and stuff. I love that. But, high-protein, high-fat. But then, you said drop some carbs at night in your dinner, I like it, at nighttime. Gaining new carbs, drop it there. Dude, that's been a game-changer.

Ben:  Well, it works–

Darren:  Do people know this?

Ben:  Some people know.

Darren:  [00:52:49]_____ being you?

Ben:  You can have your cake and eat it, too.

Darren:  Well, legitimately.

Ben:  Yeah, here's how it works. Restrict carbs all day long, literally, almost nothing. Occasionally, for me, I'll put a few blueberries in the morning smoothie.

Darren:  Let's be honest, does that count?

Ben:  But, something low glycemic index, it doesn't spike the blood sugar. Occasionally, some, whatever, seeds and nuts with a lunchtime salad, which have some carbs. But, no toast and orange juice for breakfast.

Darren:  Let's not keep coming back to that, because I feel like you're shaming at this point. It feels like you're shaming this episode. It feels like you're cheating me.

Ben:  Yeah, they're not going to be a sponsor in this episode. I'm sorry.

So, the idea, though, is that you restrict carbohydrates all day long. Thus, forcing your body to burn primarily fatty acids as a fuel. You can literally retrain your body to operate more efficiently on its own fat and fat from dietary sources versus carbs, which is important because most people walk around needing glucose as that short-term fuel. You think about that as the quick-burning kindling when you want to train your body to be able to burn slow-burning logs, which is what the fat is. The problem is that–

Darren:  And, I've got some logs right here that's burning.

Ben:  –there's logs you want to burn. If you restrict the carbohydrates all the time, what happens is that your thyroid gland needs glucose.

Darren:  People go menthol. People go menthol, too.

Ben:  Your joints need glycans. So, your joints need glucose. Your brain needs trace amounts of around 40 grams of glucose a day. So, if you restrict carbs constantly, you get low brain energy levels, your joints start to hurt, your testosterone decreases, your thyroid decreases. And, this actually happened to me because I spent a month eating 90% fat, or I'm sorry, 12 months eating 90% fat because I was enrolled in a study at University of Connecticut, this was eight years ago, where they want to take a group of athletes, endurance athletes, who ate a standard Gatorade Sports Science Institute-prescribed high-carb diet for 12 months and compare that to a group of athletes who followed a high-fat, low-carb so-called ketogenic diet for 12 months. And, they brought us into a lab. And, they just ran every test, like the poop test. And, they had me run on a treadmill for three hours, just staring at a wall, and a maximum exertion test on the treadmill, and taking bloods and all this stuff. And, ultimately, that study is called the FASTER study. It's actually a famous study now in exercise science literature because it rewrote the textbooks.

What happened was that the amount of fat that they thought that athletes could burn during exercise was half of what it actually was if the athlete actually followed a high-fat diet for a long period of time, like six-plus months, meaning that you could actually spare carbohydrates, exercise more efficiently, not have all the risk of chronic disease, like diabetes and stuff that comes from high-carb intake, and actually transform your body into a fat-burning machine.

The side effect of me following that diet over 12 months was it was so low on carbs. My testosterone went down. My thyroid went down.

Darren:  Whoa.

Ben:  I started getting joint pain. I had sleep issues. I had all the issues that go along with not enough carbs.

So then, after that test, I was like, “Well, I really like the way I feel on this diet, except all these side effects. So, let's try this.” We know that carbohydrates are the precursor to melatonin, meaning that they help your body produce serotonin, which can be used to produce melatonin, which helps you sleep better at night. We know that if you're not spiking your blood glucose all day long, it's pretty healthy. But, what if you just spike it once at night right before you go to bed? And, what if you even make sure that it's not going to get spiked so much if, and I don't know if you and I talked about this, you do certain things before dinner to help get the carbohydrate into your muscles more efficiently? And, there are certain supplements like berberine or bitter melon extract. That's one of our one of our supplements at Kion, is Kion Lean, which people take. I take that before the carb feed in the evening, because it causes your body to take the carbs that you eat and shoves them into muscle tissue.

So, you wait, wait, wait, wait, wait all day long. You do something like berberine or apple cider vinegar or Ceylon cinnamon or bitter melon extract. They're called glucose disposal agents. You take that right before dinner. And, you and I are going to pizza tonight on the Maialina's Pizza. So, right before pizza tonight, I'll have the Kion Lean, and then have the pizza. And, I'll have 200 grams of carbs tonight for dinner, sleep like a baby, get up in the morning, rinse, wash, and repeat. No carbs all day long, save the carbs for the evening, get all the carbs you want–Well, not all the carb, within reason. For me, it's usually 150, 200 grams or so of carbs.

Darren:  What's a slice of pizza, thin slice of pizza equivalent?

Ben:  A slice of pizza is probably around 40 or 50 grams.

Darren:  Really?

Ben:  Yeah. So, four slices of pizza, that type of thing.

Darren:  That's a great one.

Ben:  So, it's a perfect little hack.

Darren:  It's those little things that I just think have been so fun to watch what you do, get to see what you do, spend time just around you, and how you think about this stuff. Not that I think it's bad to be dogmatic, but every question I've asked you about health, you've never had a blanketed answer because, I think we know this in life in general, there's other factors before you give an answer to anything. Well, what are you looking to do? I'm sure a certain diet for a certain lifestyle is going to be totally different, if I'm just trying to be a healthy dad and husband. And, I don't want to die of a heart attack.

Ben:  There's certain principles that broadly apply across marketing, across [00:58:28]_____, everything.

Darren:  Sure, yeah.

Ben:  Your entire world of video production–

Darren:  What are you looking to do? But, you seem to, with health, you do that. Again, you look at the hacking aspect, is I think–It's funny. We think of hack as a shortcut. But, really, the way you hack is you have to be more thoughtful.

Ben:  It's an efficiency mechanism. Biohacking is the idea of using some kind of tool or technology or toy or smart scientific concept or principle to allow the human machine to operate more efficiently or to reach a goal more quickly than might have been able to do otherwise in its native state. And so, the true original biohackers, they would refer to their body as wet wear, and then install certain elements into their body that they would call hardware to get the body to operate more efficiently, like a compass that you can embed in your chest that will vibrate every time that you face true north, or there was a guy named Kevin Warrick who was termed “the original cyborg.” He and his wife installed, I think it was Kevin, little magnets in their fingertips that allowed them to interact with screens, like “Minority Report,” rather than having to type things in. There's the guy who injected chlorophyll into his eyeballs to be able to have night vision. That was the original biohack.

Darren:  That's technology. That's both.

Ben:  Yeah, like stem cells in your dick type of stuff. And, whereas, now, biohacking could be putting butter in your coffee.

Darren:  Right, bullet coffee.

Ben:  Yeah, or jumping up and down on a trampoline in the morning. And so, I think that the original biohacking was true biohacking. And, now, it's a pretty dang large umbrella. But, yet, the concept still applies. It's like, well, what are you trying to do, and how can we use all these cool elements of science and smart living to allow you to do that, particularly, from a body self-improvement standpoint or a brain self-improvement standpoint to operate more efficiently?

Darren:  How much flack have you gotten for the microdosing?

Ben:  You mean microdosing with plant medicines?

Darren:  If I go to your Instagram, I see the term, “microdosing.” Forget what you're doing.

Ben:  Microdosing, specifically, these days, it typically refers to using a minuscule or small dose of the type of things people would have traditionally used to achieve an altered state of consciousness, such as psychedelics or hallucinogens, in much smaller doses to instead allow for improved creativity or improved productivity or a better focus or being able to work for a longer period of time without getting tired, those type of things.

So, let's say psilocybin, for example. If I were to give you 6 grams of psilocybin, you'd probably be running naked through that field with your pants around your ankles, running for the trees.

Darren:  Again?

Ben:  Yeah, again.

Darren:  No one needs. 

Ben:  Probably, a pretty good little addition to your weight loss protocol you're going after. And, you guys would have fun with the video cameras. And, granted, there may have been certain reasons that God created that particular mushroom to be used in higher doses, in a very controlled setting for some type of spiritual breakthrough or commune with the divine or something along those lines. But, psilocybin in much smaller doses can actually just have this effect.

Darren:  Is that the assumption God would need an altered state for Him to communicate something to you?

Ben:  Well, if you look at, for example, the oils and incenses that would have been used when the Levite priests entered into the Holy of Holies, those particular mixes really do shift you into some significant altered states of consciousness. I've tried them. And, God dictated some very interesting blends, for example, in the Book of Exodus, that the priest would use in the Holy of Holies that absolutely shifted one into an altered state of consciousness.

And, in that state, anything from meditation to prayer to fasting to speaking to God to listening to God becomes amplified 10-fold. And, it's difficult to describe without being in that state, but it's a little–I go on prayer walks in the morning where I open myself up to God and I'm speaking to God and listening to God. And, if I were to take even 2 grams of psilocybin and do that same thing, it's like God with a megaphone. And, simply, you feel a little bit more tuned in to your spiritual side.

Darren:  But, that almost seems to me like that's the equivalent of injecting the stem cells into your dick, meaning that I'm sure it's great for a month. I'm always interested in the things that–“Well, but then what?” Well, I'm going to get to, every time my friends are microdosing or tripping or all my friends that into it are into it now, no one ever comes back from a crazy mushroom spiritual enlightenment that changes their life and says, “You know what, dude? Communism is theft. This free-market system based on goods and services.” When they come back, the thing they've experienced is a little wishy-washy to me. It's not that it's not powerful. We should love each other. But, it never seems to come with–

Ben:  We should love each other, collective human consciousness. We're all in this together, bro.

Darren:  It never has legs. Does it have legs for you?

Ben:  In the absence of faith, and in my opinion, union with God and a deep relationship with God, and I would go as far as, which for many people who partake in those type of medicines, is a stretch, but in my opinion is also crucial, a belief in the deity, the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Christ as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and really, the only true path to salvation and eternal life and happiness and fulfillment. In the absence of a belief in God, a relationship with God, and a belief in Christ, I think that, at the end of the day, the use of any of those type of medicines will result in a continued search for fulfillment.

Darren:  That's why your layering of it, it seems counterintuitive. But, I want to give you the opportunity to really explain. This doesn't seem to fit your profile.

Ben:  Well, when paired with an acknowledgment–

Darren:  Because, how many grams are you talking about?

Ben: –that for us, for humans to love each other and to strive for world peace and for judgment to be set aside in terms of, I guess, being more accepting of your fellow human being and covering conflict with peace and love and forgiveness, really, the only way that that is going to result in a meaningful shift in the, I guess, many people who use these type of substances are going after the salvation of humankind, is the acknowledgment and dependence upon, at the end of the day, God and the death of Christ, the sacrifice of Christ, as being the ultimate way to achieve that. But, in terms of opening up our perception and, really, our deep spiritual experience of, I guess, an understanding of that, plant medicines seem to be able to shift you into that state much more quickly.

Darren:  100%. How could you do that? I'm curious for you.

Ben:  I don't think it's for everybody, though. I think that there are certain people that can go out and do a tripped dose, for example, and sit with that in a proper setting, combined with a relationship with God, and have that forefruit into their life, and also, be able to share what they've learned or discovered with other people, that allow that also to occur.

But, with microdosing, that's totally different. Microdosing would be using a far less perceptible dose of LSD or psilocybin or San Pedro cactus or anything else, simply in the same way one might use a really nice cup of coffee to get the day started, or the same way–

Darren:  Are you saying those two things that you believe in the category of health and fitness and molecular things, are you saying that you think microdosing of, let's say, a mushroom and a cup of coffee, are you putting those in the same category?

Ben:  Absolutely. We shifted ourselves into an altered state of consciousness with this cup of coffee. If you and I had never had coffee in our lives, we would be tripping balls right now. You can buy a bag of caffeine on Amazon that, if you take 10 teaspoons of it would kill you. That's how much caffeine can amplify the activity of the nervous system.

Darren:  Sure.

Ben:  And, when we're talking about a small dose of psilocybin or LSD or something like that [01:08:47]_____.

Darren:  So, is your category–I love understanding what–Are you saying that you mean you are hallucinating right now?

Ben:  No, but if we weren't in a state where we'd been drinking coffee for long enough to where we'd grown pretty tolerant to the effects of caffeine and a cup of coffee, something that better bodies can process and metabolize pretty quickly, we actually would be in an altered state of consciousness, something like a hefty dose of caffeine. So, what I'm saying is that, when you look at any chemical contained in any plant that God created, really, the effect is in the dose.

Darren:  Sure.

Ben:  Even the field of wheat out there contains a bunch of–

Darren:  What's poison?

Ben: —opioid binders in the gluten that technically make wheat somewhat addictive, that triggers a ton of opioid receptors in the body. And, if we were to concentrate all that gluten and kneed a ton of it, it'd be a far different effect than us having a nice, lovely piece of slow-fermented sourdough bread.

Darren:  I'd say I understand that.

Ben:  So, anything in nature, you have to look at the actual dose. And, smaller doses of certain chemicals can simply be used to turn on certain neurotransmitters in the brain, get the brain working more effectively. Whereas, larger doses of those same chemicals can shift you into a state that could be considered, either, drunkenness with something like wine or a super-altered state of consciousness, like a giant cup of cold brew given to an eight-year-old kid, just send them bonkers or an adult who'd never had caffeine before.

Darren:  I grew up going to 7-eleven. I love a Slurpee. There's a point in your life where you go, “I'm an adult. I can't walk in and get a Slurpee anymore.” I remember then when Starbucks–

Ben:  Having a blue-stained mouth is not serving you any longer

Darren:  And, nachos. But, I remember when Starbucks explodes. And, I remember thinking, “These are just adult Slurpees.” And, it was okay. I remember thinking that, somehow, became culturally acceptable to be able to walk out with a frappe with something-something, with whipped cream. It's even more than a Slurpee. It actually was a malt shake with everything, and that became acceptable. They're really just adult Slurpees, right?

Ben:  Yeah, they really are adult Slurpees, which is so funny, because back to the old Moscow days–Probably, just sitting here in Moscow is making me think back to those days, was my dad started one of the first little coffee stands here in Moscow. And, that was back before Bootsters. Now, you eventually start a Bootsters, a little coffee stand over by Otto's Produce. Actually, I'm headed down after this, down to the homecoming parade where my mom reopened this tiny little coffee stand in the same general area.

Darren:  I just saw that.

Ben:  But, we used to sit there.

Darren:  At the [01:11:52]_____, right?

Ben:  And, this was when Starbucks was pretty fledgling. Me and my brothers, because my dad bought all these blenders. My brother would just sit there bored in the cart because he hired us to work at the coffee store. And, we would come up with all these crazy recipes. We combined all these different chocolates and vanillas and syrups and salts and make all sorts of variants of Frappuccinos. When we started Bootsters, we used to do wine smoothies. And, we would literally just spend a bunch of time with the Vitamix and all these different coffees and espressos. And, when I was 13, I was probably doing seven or eight shots of espresso a day, speaking of giving an eight-year-old kid a cold brew.

And so, this was at the same time Starbucks was coming out with all of its Frappuccinos and whipped cream, this and then, the orange mocha cup of frappes. And, we were doing the same things, just total molecular chemistry at the coffee stand, making thousand-calorie beverages that we'd hand to people as they'd come through the coffee stand, saying, “What do you think of this new smoothie that we just came up with?”

Darren:  Fantastic.

Ben:  This is great. You just gave me ice cream for breakfast.

Darren:  Exactly. And, it's totally acceptable. It's actually cool. It legitimized, like, “Look at that.”

Ben:  I was talking to a little girl the other day. And, she said that she drank coffee. She was just at her house. Too much people were at her house. And, she was sitting across me as I was chatting with her. She's with her family. And, she said she has coffee every morning. I'm like, “What kind of coffee do you have?” And, she's like, “I have these drinks that mom and dad have when they go to the coffee shop in the mornings.” And then, she start to describe it. I'm like, “Geez, this girl is getting these 600-calorie.” She thinks coffee is the double triple chocolate mocha with the whipped cream and the rainbow sprinkles on top. So, these things are highly palatable to children as well. So, I'm into coffee, but I'm not into that form of coffee. I don't think that's done our health much disservice.

Darren:  Look, I know you have tons of stuff to do today. This is part one of the no-agenda.

Ben:  This was absolutely no agenda. It was either a train wreck from Frappuccinos to stem cells in the genitals.

Darren:  To microdosing.

Ben:  Yeah, to microdosing.

Darren:  We got to get to Splenda because that's my favorite thing in the world.

Ben:  So, we'll throw them in real quick, because you can't refer to it, and then just not close that loop. That's the most annoying part for me at podcasts, is where guys, like, “Wait, come back to that. You mentioned that.” So, we'll close the loop on Splenda. 

Darren:  You got to go. I know.

Ben:  This is perfect. So, Splenda, basically, it is a little bit of a neurotoxin.

Darren:  Thank you. Thank you.

Ben:  And, it, along with sucralose and NutraSweet, all these other artificial sweeteners, can also alter the biome of the gut and result in a dysbiosis of the gut, dictating that if there were a low-calorie or no-calorie sweetener alternative out there that did not do that, it would be a better choice. And, the cool thing is there are two.

Darren:  What do you like about Splenda?

Ben:  Stevia and monk fruit.

Darren:  Hold on. But, what do you like about Splenda?

Ben:  I like nothing about Splenda.

Darren:  There's got to be something.

Ben:  Aside from the fact that, maybe, it allows people who are doing tons of sugar to wean themselves off sugar. But, considering the fact that both stevia and monk fruit are fabulous, tasty alternative sweeteners that do not have all of the chemical effects of Splenda and sucralose and what would be considered artificial chemical-based sweeteners, dictates that it's a no-brainer if you just switch out the Splenda for stevia or for monk fruit.

Darren:  But, the Splenda in your world would also probably be Diet Coke, you probably don't think that.

Ben:  I'm drinking this. This is a stevia-flavored soda, all-natural, and metals and the can–We should get them to sponsor the podcast now, Zevia.

Darren:  Yeah, let's do that, Zevia.

Ben:  And, I'm totally comfortable drinking this. Is it still making me want something sweet during the day?

Darren:  Is that the problem?

Ben:  Keeping my palate adjusted slightly towards a more dopaminergic desire for sweet things?

Darren:  Say that again.

Ben:  Dopaminergic, just flooding the body with dopamine all day long.

Darren:  Dopaminergic?

Ben:  There's this concept of dopamine fasting now, like turn your iPhone to grayscale for a week so that you're not as engaged with all the colors, and the iPhone becomes more boring. Same thing, why not just eat potatoes for a week and reset the palette? But, if you'd like to have sweet things or you like to live a little–stevia or monk fruit is way better than these artificial sweeteners. So, I'd just switch it out for that. And, I'll try to remember later on at dinner tonight or whatever, I always travel, my bag always has a bottle this butterscotch toffee flavored organic stevia. It's made by a company called Omica Organics. And, I just put that in coffee. I put it in club soda.

Darren:  And, that's the sweetness that you want?

Ben:  That's the sweetness I want without the chemicals.

Darren:  Love it. Ben, have a great day, brother.

Ben:  Appreciate it. This amazing. This is fun.

Darren:  Thank you.

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It was created by my friend Darren Doane, and features quite a bit of cookery and recipes straight outta my Boundless Cookbook. Pretty sweet “food porn”, eh? (and feel free to share it far and wide, as I'd love to get some good eyeballs on it!)

Darren “Steak” Doane is a filmmaker, actor, and music video director.

He has produced and edited projects for a client list that includes Toyota, Hurley/Nike, Saatchi & Saatchi, Atlantic Records, JBL, and Universal Records.

Darren started his early music video work with Ken Daurio and directed several early Blink-182 music videos, as well as two live-action short film adaptations of the Malibu Comics superheroes Hardcase (a six-minute music video style promo starring British kickboxer Gary Daniels) and Firearm (a 35-minute-long movie which served as a prequel to the actual comic, and came as a VHS packaged alongside specially ordered copies of the comic's #0). In fact, in Hardcase #1 there's a single panel in-joke referencing a “D. Doane” as being the director of “Hardcase: The Movie.”

Darren is also a new friend of mine, and we've not only been hanging out and recording a few quite epic videos that I have a hunch you'll enjoy (think cooking and food porn on steroids!), but on a recent foray of mine to my old haunting grounds in Moscow, Idaho, we also sat down at the ungodly hour of 7 am at his home recording studio inside a giant shipping container and recorded a bit of a “random show” episode for you. This wild free-for-all discussion includes talk of stem cells in the d*ck, microdosing plant medicines, Splenda, amino acids, Levitical priests, weight loss, content creation, and adult Slurpees from Starbucks. So buckle in for this one!

You can find Darren Doane's entertaining The Doane Cast podcast here and Instagram channel here.

During our wide-ranging, random, agenda-free discussion, you'll discover:

-What Ben and Darren Doane have to say about childhood and healthy development into adulthood…07:05

  • Ben graduated high school at age 15
  • Excelled at intellectual stuff, not naturally gifted in sports
  • Don't reveal anything in public until it's perfected
  • Pattern recognition of a genius points to losing one's family
  • Boundless by Ben Greenfield

-How to listen to one's body and rethink societal conventions…12:45

  • Orange juice and toast: “Diabetes for breakfast”
  • Get up and move when everyone else is sedentary (like on airplanes)
  • 5 Tibetan longevity exercises
  • “Movement snacks” throughout the day
  • Structure the day to be moving all day long

-How Ben manages success without being an asshole…21:00

-A recount of the feature article on Men's Health from a few years back…28:45

-How to do gimmicky-looking things without excessive hype…36:38

-Why we should be concerned with amino acids…40:45

  • Kion Aminos
  • Ben went from 178 lbs to 215 lbs as a poor college student
  • Kion Creatine
  • Creatine gives body a substrate to produce ATP; allows a bit of extra endurance in strength training
  • BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) give the body a feeling of extra energy to burn during exercise, but are only a few of the aminos
  • Combine BCAAs with whey protein; have to digest, or deal with extra calories
  • CNS (central nervous system) fatigue often occurs during endurance training or competition
  • EAAs (essential amino acids) help the body burn muscle tissue more efficiently, thus limiting tryptophan from crossing the blood-brain barrier and causing fatigue

-The best time of day to consume carbs…52:15

-The difference between a “hack” and cutting corners when it comes to one's health…58:05

  • A “hack” suggests doing something to make the human body function more efficiently
  • Original true biohackers referred to their body as “wet wear” and installed “hardware”
  • Kevin Warrick
  • The umbrella of what defines “biohacking” has greatly enlarged over the years

-How to define “microdosing” as it relates to psychedelics…1:00:35

-Why that caramelized, high-sugar, foo-foo coffee drink is basically an adult Slurpee…1:10:51

-Why Splenda is toxic to the brain and gut…1:14:13

-And much more!

Upcoming Events:

Resources from this episode:

Darren Doane:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Additional Video Clips:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science. 

Paleo Valley Beef Sticks: 100% grass-fed AND grass-finished. Keto friendly and higher levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Receive a 15% discount off your order when you go to paleovalley.com/ben

Butcher Box: Delivers healthy 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door on a monthly basis. All their products are humanely raised and NEVER given antibiotics or hormones. 

CAR.O.L: The AI-powered exercise bike that is clinically proven to give you the same cardio benefits as a 45-minute jog in under 9 minutes, with only 40 seconds of hard work. Get a $100 discount off your CAROL bike when you use the code BEN.


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