[Transcript] – Q&A 464: How Ben Greenfield Plans His Week, Shocking Weight Loss Revelations, Muscle Gain For Teen Boys, Can You Be Allergic To Meat & More!

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/recovery-podcasts/qa-464/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:31] Six Sunday habits to prepare for tackling the week ahead via @artofmanliness

[00:16:40] Ways that we could regulate appetite

[00:33:04] ” Methylene Blue: Biohacker's Delight, or Playing With Fire?”

[00:43:21] How To Recover From An Appendix Removal

[00:54:34] How Teen Boys Can Put On Muscle

[01:02:54] Can A Tick Bite Make You Allergic To Meat?

[01:07:02] Closing the Podcast

[01:07:45] End of Podcast

[01:08:01] Legal Disclaimer

Ben:  In this episode of Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

How I plan my week, shocking weight loss revelations, muscle gain for adolescents, methylene blue controversy, and a whole lot more.

Fitness, nutrition, biohacking, longevity, life optimization, spirituality, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Life show. Are you ready to hack your life? Let's do this

Alright, folks. Welcome to today's solosode where me, just boring little old me, with no guest hops on mic's hot, as they say, and records for you the latest newsflashes, tips, tricks, life hacks, biohacks, and beyond. And, I also reply to listener questions. If you want your question read and replied to in some effective way that hopefully makes your life better on this podcast, you can leave your question at BenGreenfieldLife.com. You can also access both the audio or the video version of this podcast along with comprehensive shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/464. We do pretty decent shownotes if I don't say so myself. And so, hopefully, those serve you well. 

And, that being said, I think today we're just going to jump right into the goodness, namely this idea of planning and organizing. I'm often asked how I get a lot done. And, I certainly have certain systems that I adhere to. And, I was reminded of my systems when I was reading an article on a website that I actually enjoy quite a bit. The guy who runs this website is a former podcast guest of mine and I've also been a guest on his show. His name is Brett McKay, and he has a great website called The Art of Manliness probably because of the art of manliness, womanliness was too long a URL to secure at GoDaddy. So, it's just the Art of Manliness. Sorry, ladies, but this will still be pretty relevant to you. And, just so you know Brett's wife, Kate actually helps him with quite a few of these articles. So, there's something in there for everybody.

Anyways, though, they recently published an article about Sunday habits for tackling the week ahead. And immediately, this caught my fancy because I sit down every Sunday evening, and I plan out my week because I do not like friction and I do not like decision-making fatigue. The more frictionless I can make my day and the more I can wake up and at a glance see where I'm supposed to be for a podcast, what workout I'm doing, what I'm going to eat that day, when I have a meeting, everything planned down to the tee, none rigid, I'm never going to drop stuff to go play pickleball if a friend calls me, but in a pretty controlled way that allows me to make the most out of my time, I tend to have very productive week. I don't know if that long run-on sentence even made sense grammatically, but I'm going to roll with it.

So anyways, Sunday nights are the night that I make sure I've planned for the week ahead. And, this is good for me because I typically take what's called a Sabbath, a day of rest, a day of rejuvenation, a day of totally open and flexible scheduling, speaking of rigid scheduling, in which I'll just go on a two-hour hike and listen to an audiobook or bust out and play tennis with the family or go try out some new workout I've never done before. Just basically allow for free time, dinner parties, meeting with friends, going to church, engaging in spiritual habits, maybe trying some new breathwork routine, you name it. Having that one day that you have during the week is a lifesaver in my opinion. And, I'm pretty sure God had a good idea when he set that thing up and give us little humans the idea. 

But anyways, the concept of planning out your week on a Sunday night is something I've done for a very long time. And, it turns out that in this article that was released at the Art of Manliness that I tweeted out about. I tweet out a lot of these studies and newsflashes over on my Twitter account. I guess I X them out. I X them out. That doesn't quite sound right, but I X them out on x.com or whatever it's called.

So anyways, the article begins with planning out your week. It turns out that Brett also has been planning out his week every Sunday morning for the past 15 years, reviewing the calendar for the week, so he's aware of any appointments that he has, and then doing a big mind up going over his trigger list of getting things done. He uses an app called Todoist. I'm a little bit more basic, I just use the Notes app on my computer, which is also synced, of course, to my phone. And, I tie that into a calendaring app that I use called BusyCal. So, my notes document is my brain dump for all the little things that have come into my mind during the week. And, any of those that involve scheduling, calendars, appointments, certain times when I want to check certain things out, free times that I want to use to be able to research topics, read books, et cetera, all of that goes into BusyCal.

This is also useful too, because my wife, my sons, my executive assistant, my team member, everybody has access to that same calendar. So, they can at a glance when they want to send me a text message, send me an email, Voxer me, which is an app that I love. You never heard of Voxer. It's an audio app that's fantastic for asynchronous communication. Having nice, tidy phone call-esque conversations without actually having to say, “Hey, could you talk Thursday at 2:00 p.m.? Hey, you're free for a quick chat in 20 minutes?” whatever. I actually use Voxer quite a bit to catch up on those conversations.

And, slight rabbit hole here, I use Voxer so much for asynchronous communications that I have a text shortcut set up in my smartphone. That tech shortcut is XOV like Vox spelled backwards. And, when I type in XOV generates a one-paragraph summary of me inviting someone to instead of setting up a phone call with me get Voxer download it and add me as a Voxer profile to their contacts list. So, it basically says, “Hey, I don't have time for a phone call for several weeks now. But, I like to chat with VIP contacts, friends, clients, and people just like you via a walkie-talkie-style communication app called Voxer. And then, it gives them a link to my Voxer profile. They can then, instead of trying to sneak me down for a phone call, hit me up on Voxer. And, we tend to have a conversation walkie-talkie style right there on Voxer that tends to be just as productive as a phone call but without all the hassle of scheduling. However, like I mentioned, that's a rabbit hole.

Back to planning out Sunday night. So, plan out Sunday night using my notes app and using BusyCal, write everything down, and that sets me up for the entire week to be far more frictionless and allow for far less decision-making fatigue. When I walk into the gym on a busy Monday morning, even though I don't have a personal trainer, I don't have a coach, I know enough about fitness and training to where I map a lot of that out myself, yet I look on my phone, on my notes app where I've written out my workout. And, right there, it tells me, “Hey, you're doing 10 kettlebell swings, 20 super slow push-ups, 30 air squats for 10 rounds,” boom, go. And, you don't stand there scratching your head and wondering if today is going to be the leg extension machine and the leg curl machine with the adductor and the abductor and the nautilus chest press, and then walk around scratching your head about what you're going to do in the rest periods. Right. So, it's all mapped out.

So, that's the first tip on this fantastic article about six Sunday habits to prepare for tackling the week ahead. But of course, there's five others. They have a marriage meeting. A marriage meeting, Brett and Kate have been doing it for seven years now where they talk about appreciation, meaning telling their significant other what they appreciate about them. To do's, meaning what household chores or tasks need to be done. Planning ahead, discussing problems, discussing issues. It's about a 20-minute meeting.

Now, my wife and I, we actually have something similar. I can actually pull up my BusyCal here and read it to you. It is called the Ben and Jessa Love Meeting. The Ben and Jessa Love Meeting. So, written on the BusyCal it goes like this. Schedule. Go through the week, make sure we have date night and at least one day where we move together. Make sure we aren't missing anything that is happening for each other. Is there anything we need support with during the week? Then date night, what are we doing? Does it need to be moved? How can we make it special? How can we improve from the date night setup from the week before? Sex. What do we want this to look like? Exploration. Anything we want or need. Create intentional time to play. One person takes the lead, one is in enthusiastic submission. Really, that's a little PG13-rated, but we are open and authentic with each other about sex. And then, finally, anything left unsaid. Are we holding on anything, any complaint, any issue, any compliment we didn't say? So, that all occurs also on Sunday nights.

Now, of course, you should note there that we do have one-on-one date nights scheduled. And, I should also note that in a similar vein as this Sunday evening love meeting with your significant other, we also have every day of the week a family huddle. At 7:00 a.m., our entire family meets for about 15 minutes, sitting on the living room floor and we discuss what's going on that day, what's for dinner, who's got meetings when, who's got classes, anybody have any issues, any blocks, anything we need to discuss. Very similar to a business huddle meeting, we pair that with our morning family meditation, devotions, prayer and we always finish with a big group hug and a clap just like a football team.

And, the other thing that's pretty meaningful and that my sons really like is every once in a while, the family huddle just turns into a family dance party where I put on a really fun song and we all dance together around the dining room table, clapping our hands, twirling each other around, have a fantastic time. And, I'll sometimes call our huddle and turn it into a dance meeting just in case I feel the energy needs to be picked up in our home.

So, the third tip is clean out and back up your computer from accumulating a bunch of crap each week. Well, I think that's a great idea. So, I actually clean up crap on my computer, believe it or not when I'm on airplanes because I usually don't access the WiFi, maybe 20% of the time when I've got a lot of work as a long plane flight. I'll activate the WiFi, but most of the time, I will use that time for deep work and writing and also for cleaning up Dropbox, cleaning up Google Drive, deleting stuff from that pesky Download folder that's full of 1-gigabyte downloads from three months ago that you've totally forgot about. So, I use my time on the airplane to clean up my computer. But, similar to Brett, every Sunday, I run an app called CleanMyMac on my computer, which goes through. And, as the name implies, cleans my Mac. I don't even know what it does. It's a magical wand of defragmentation and deletion and cleaning up. I really can't say I understand everything that it does, but it will clean out system junk, some malware removal and uninstall things and find old files that are large that you haven't used recently and ask if you want to delete them. So, I do that every Sunday, clean out the Mac.

So, number four, conduct a what do I need inventory. This basically is an intentional inventory on Sundays in which you're physically looking through a stock of things and the different rooms of your house. The contents of your bathroom counter, shower, cabinets, fridge, pantry, et cetera, to remember to restock certain things: toilet paper, black pepper, ink for the printer, whatever. And, Brett puts these into a to-buy list that he then takes care of that day. I don't do a what do I need inventory, I actually have in the spirit of Tim Ferriss‘ “4-Hour Workweek” kind of one-up Brett. I actually have a house manager. I literally have a guy, his name is Steve. He might even be listening to this. If he is, hello Steve. He lives in my house during the day. He grabs mail, he grabs packages, he fixes stuff, he makes me feel less of a man when he's out mowing the lawn and taking care of the hot tub. He basically also will keep track of certain things that seem to be emptied. “Hey, Ben, your frozen raw liver bites in the freezer for your morning smoothie seem to be disappearing. Should I order more liver from U.S. Wellness Meats and make those liver bites for you?” Or, “it appears you're low on dude wipes in the men's bathroom, I should probably grab some more dude wipes so your butt stays clean this week.” Or, “I noticed that you're getting a little low on apple cider vinegar, I didn't see any bottles in the pantry or the garage and I order some of those.”

So, that's obviously a little bit more of conducting a what do I need inventory on steroids because I literally have someone living at my house doing it. But regardless, it's important to be able to walk into your bathroom on a Monday busy afternoon and you got to take a crap and know that the toilet paper will be there because you already took care of that on Sunday or you had Steve in your bathroom checking out your toilet paper supply.

Number five is plan out your meals. Now, Brett does this, I don't do this. I actually plan out my meals two days prior because I like for food to stay fresh. There's this whole idea of histamine leftover food, the freshness of photonic light hitting vegetables, the tastiness of meat when it hasn't been excessively thought or sat for a long time in the refrigerator. So, what I mean by that is on Monday, I will ask my wife about what she wants to do for Wednesday dinner or my son's during that morning huddle, and I will pull fish from the freezer on Monday for Wednesday night's dinner.

On Tuesday, I will rinse wash, and repeat that for Thursday dinner. Yeah, I as the dad, I'm usually the guy going out to the freezer and grabbing everything. And then, we as a whole family wind up cooking together. But, I actually kind of like that. I'm the planner. I'm the organizer. If my wife decides that we're going to have steaks for dinner, she'll pull them at 4:00 p.m. before 7:00 p.m. Thursday night dinner and be just stressfully trying to thaw steaks under warm water in the kitchen sink. Whereas, I'll pull them out a couple of days prior. But, this whole idea of planning out your meals is important. Having some idea of what you're going to eat over the next few days and having the things in the refrigerator that you actually need to be able to eat those items. That's another thing that I do. And, I don't do that on Sunday nights per se, I do it every day because our diet wildly varies from week to week and we don't plan it out every Sunday night. We're just not that organized. Sorry, Brent. We're failing the Art of Manliness quiz.

And then finally, order what you need. This one kind of overlaps, I think, with four and five, but he makes sure that he orders via Amazon, Instacart, online grocery shopping, whatever, what he actually needs to be delivered and picked up the next day. Now, I personally, and this is probably back to a little bit more of that natural lifestyle, don't order a lot of food. We do a lot of farmer's market. We grow a lot of foods. We have chickens that lay the eggs. I hunt so we have a freezer full of meat. We do a monthly order from this website U.S. Wellness Meats, bone marrow and bone broth, and liver, and kidney, and heart, and thymus glands, and steaks. There's another couple of companies I really like Seatopia for fresh clean fish. Force of Nature. I've been eating a little bit of their meats more, as well, but I don't really do a lot of traditional grocery shopping.

That being said, I have basically given my wife oodles of time back lately by purchasing us an Instacart subscription, because there are certain things that she sets up and orders from Costco, or that Steve helps us to identify and make sure that she orders. And so, Instacart does the delivery to the house. You go online. It paid for itself within two grocery shopping or is it was nuts, everything shows up, you're not wasting gas, parking, driving time, et cetera. Yes, you miss out on that nice close community feel of pushing a shopping cart around the grocery store. But, you know what, I'd rather use that time to play tennis in the local community or go play little frisbee golf or something like that, and not be running around the grocery store aisle. So, Instacart is something that we now use, and we're usually doing Instacart over at least once a week to restock the things that we aren't getting from farmers' market or growing ourselves or getting from the giant meat chest freezer in the garage.

So ultimately, there's more details in the article. I'll link to in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/464. But, it's called Six Sunday Habits to Prepare for Tackling the Week Ahead. Highly recommend.

Alright, so the next article isn't really an article, it's a study. It's called Beyond Appetite Regulation: Targeting energy expenditure, fat oxidation and lean mass preservation for sustainable weight loss.

Now, this was an article that appeared in the journal Obesity, about basically all these ways that we could regulate appetite. And, it was stemmed by the onset of popularity of these semaglutide agents. This Ozempic is probably the most common. I've done a podcast about those before, these so called GLP1 agonists that stimulate feelings of satiety by increasing the level of the incretin and other so-called hormones that allow you to feel fuller. 

And, I remember when I realized how powerful these things were when I went out to dinner with my friend Martin, who's also a foodie like me. And, we ordered a bunch of our favorite foods and appetizers and I'm ordering every appetizer off the menu family styles. I'm prone to do at restaurants and everything comes out and he eats half a deviled egg. And, he looks at me and says, “I'm not hungry and I feel a little nauseous.” And basically, that's what these semaglutide GLP1 agonists do is they make you really not want to eat food, including food you normally love. 

I'd go crazy because I'm such a foodie and I love to eat. If you were obese or overweight, I can see those things coming in pretty handy. You do need to be careful, as I talked about in my more comprehensive episode that I did on them, that you get forms of protein in like amino acids or collagen or gelatin that you lift weights that you do things so that you aren't losing a lot of lean muscle at the same time that you lose the fat. There's, of course, some concerns about long-term safety of some of these in terms of potential for pancreatitis or even thyroid cancer. There's just not hundreds of years of research of humans actually using these weight loss agents, these peptides. But, at the same time, they do seem to be pretty effective for people who really, really need to control appetite.

However, this article was offering up some alternatives to these weight loss drugs that resulted in a few key tips that I thought I'd share with you. So, here's some of the so-called shocking revelations if you're trying to lose weight. Around 30% of the weight that you lose when you diet and do a lot of cardio and calorie restriction comes from muscle tissue. That means that when you step on the scale, if you've lost 10 pounds after three months of dieting and calorie restriction, a good 3 pounds of that is muscle, which long term could, if you gain the fat back, put you in a scenario in which you're skinny fat, and also long-term result in a loss of frailty, grip strength, the overall muscle power and muscle strength, which correlates pretty well to longevity. 

And yeah, you don't have to look like a bodybuilder, but considering how difficult it is to gain muscle back once you've lost it, dieting and doing excessive amounts of cardio in my opinion is not as effective a long-term lifespan and health span increasing weight loss strategy as consuming adequate amounts of protein, lifting weights, having a high step count, but not doing lots of chronic cardio frowny face on the treadmill at the gym, engaging in some elements of cold thermogenesis and sauna and other things that can help to keep the metabolism elevated. But basically, if you look at my overall strategy when it comes to weight loss, yes, calories in equals calories out to a certain extent, and you do need to restrict calories if you want to lose weight. But, I don't endorse excessive calorie restriction combined with lots of cardio. Instead, I endorse a very physically active lifestyle with lots of walking and weightlifting, and temperature dysregulation through cold and heat, combined with fueling the body with lots of good strong nutrient-dense foods and getting a slow steady drop in body fat percentage without a drop in lean muscle with that type of approach. So, know that around 30% of the weight that's lost if you decide you're going to lose weight with excessive dieting and lots of chronic cardio is going to come from muscle tissue.

So, the other thing that happens is that when you use diet and excessive cardio to lose weight, your heart, your liver, your kidneys, and your pancreas decrease in size, and that further lowers your resting metabolic rate. And, this is a catch-22. I talked about this a little bit when I interviewed Dr. Amie Hornaman, “The Thyroid Fixer” doctor about this idea that if you excessively restrict calories and do tons of cardio, when you lose size in a lot of these organs, your metabolic rate will decrease, your brain will sense that you're getting a loss of organ tissue and send a message to your thyroid gland to decrease your metabolic rate because starvation or famine or something of the like has set in even though you're not actually starved, You probably, if you live in America, at least 10 minutes from a bag of Cheetos and a can of Coke, anywhere you're at in the planet, or at least in the country. But, this exposure to hyperpalatable foods is not something your brain knows is the case, all it knows is this person is moving a lot, they're losing organs, they're losing muscle, I need to put the brakes on metabolism, so this person doesn't die. And, the problem is that as that occurs, and as your metabolic rate decreases, you might have restricted your calories from 2,000 calories down to 1,700 calories per day. But, because your metabolic rate has dropped from say 1,700 calories down to 1,400 calories per day that you're actually burning, you don't see an appreciable loss in weight, it gets harder to lose weight, it gets harder to keep the metabolism elevated because you've lost muscle and organ size. And again, it does not do you any favors versus a slow controlled focus on weight loss in which you're maintaining muscle, eating nutrient-dense foods, and engaging in a smart level, but not an excessive level of physical activity.

So, the next tip from this is that weight training, not cardio, helps to fight off all this muscle and organ loss when you're dieting even if you're at calorie restriction. And, this is crazy. I mean, there's studies that go all the way back as far as I know, 2008, that show the individuals eating as few–and, I realize this is going to sound like it defies the law of physics. This is what the studies show, eating as few as 800 calories a day can still maintain and even build muscle if they're lifting weights while they're dieting. If you subject your muscles to a load, if you subject your body to heavy weights or, as I like to say, lift heavy shit and get harder to kill, what happens is this weird phenomenon in which your brain says, “Okay, I am not going to strip weight off this person's body, especially muscle weight, they appear to actually need this muscle because they're doing something useful.” Even though you aren't actually building fences or a rock wall, you're just picking up weight up and down the gym and moving your legs and your arms against resistance. But ultimately, again, your brain doesn't know, all it knows is that you need muscle so it better keep muscle on. 

And, this is why if you want to lose weight, you got to hit the gym. I know it's harder than getting on the treadmill and doing chronic repetitive motion. I know it's harder than just hiking up and down and up and down a hill. I know it's harder than swimming laps in the pool. And, none of those things are bad. I mean, I'm a 13th-time Ironman triathlete, okay? And, I'm not saying that to brag, I'm saying this to tell you that I really know cardio and I also know strength because I used to be a competitive bodybuilder before was an Ironman triathlete. And, when I decided to hang up the hat on Ironman, it was when I tried my first Spartan Race and I couldn't climb a rope. I couldn't carry a bucket full of sand. I couldn't haul a sandbag. I was weak sauce and I was easy to break. My body completely transformed when I went from all the chronic cardio that I was doing in Ironman to weight training. I still do cardio, but my cardio is brief. It's a 20-minute high-intensity cardio routine, high-intensity interval routine, or a Tabata set of 20 seconds hard, 10 seconds easy, before or after I've lifted weights. And, it's a lot of walking but walking again, that's a very primal low heart rate aerobic conversation, what we might call, zone two activity. It's not the type of zone three, zone four and even zone five excessive cardio that you might see a triathlete or marathoner or swimmer engaging in. 

So, it's the type of cardio that counts. So, on low-level physical activity like walking combined with weight training. And, it turns out that even if you're at calorie restriction, you're going to maintain good aesthetics and good muscle if you are lifting weights, two, three, four times a week. I'm a big fan of the single set-to-failure training in which you're just doing a few big lifts. For me, it's the chest press, pull down, the shoulder press, the row, the squat and the deadlift is what I did this morning. One single set to failure, boom, done, takes about 25 minutes. And, you can do that two or three times a week, so you don't have to be a Schwarzenegger-esque bodybuilding aficionado who's got your arms and triceps and core day and your leg day, and your abs and your back day and your shoulder day. No, you can literally just do a full body weight training routine three days a week, maintain muscle, and even do so while you're out of calorie restriction.

The next tip from this article is that intermittent fasting, resistance training, and cold thermogenesis along with adequate nutrients and no huge calorie deficits is better for long-term sustainable fat loss. That's a very important sentence. I'm going to say it again. Intermittent fasting. I think most of us by this point know what that is. If you finished dinner at 9:00 p.m., don't eat again until 9:00 a.m. Resistance training, weight training, and cold thermogenesis, some element of regularly scheduled cryotherapy along with adequate nutrients, meaning a nutrient-dense diet that is not cardboard and lean chicken, rice, and broccoli. And, no huge calorie deficit is better for long-term sustainable fat loss. Few little subtle nuances there for you. Most pre-menopausal women for intermittent fasting do better with about 10 to 12 hours. Most men and postmenopausal women to maintain adequate hormones and metabolic rate with fasting do better with about 12 to 16 hours without excessive long three, four, or five-day fasts. Okay, those are okay every now and again as a religious fast or as detox, but you don't want excessively do those.

Resistance training. I think we've already kicked that horse to death, lifted that horse to death. And then, cold thermogenesis, again, it does not have to be 10-minute frowny-faced ice baths. For me, my cold thermogenesis is every morning anywhere from one to five minutes I do something cold. If the weather's cold outside, it can be a cold walk down the mailbox and back. It can be jumping in a cold lake or river or ocean. If I'm staying in a hotel and they don't have cold water, it can be ambulating down the hallway, filling up the ice bucket with ice, hanging the ice bucket from the showerhead is a nice hack. And, running the shower as it runs through the ice and giving me a nice cold three-minute shower. These are quick bursts of cold but the metabolic response and the conversion of metabolically inactive white tissue to brown fat is profound when you're doing regularly scheduled cold thermogenesis. And then, of course, you pair that with adequate nutrients. Okay, if you're eating meat, not just meat but organ meat, liver, heart, kidney, bone broth, bone marrow, vegetables that are nutrient-dense and mashed, pureed, boiled, whipped and beaten down and fermented and basically digested to allow the plant defense mechanisms in many plants not to harm your gut. And then, things like seeds, nuts, avocados, coconut olive oil, all the healthy fats and Mediterranean fats, lots of fish, lots of eggs. You want to see the most nutrient-dense diet I can think of. It'd be the Weston A. Price diet.

You ever heard the Weston A. Price diet? Alright, here, I'll link to this in the shownotes. But, here's the Weston A. Price diet. And, this is actually very useful information for that person who wrote a question about how they can help their adolescent to maintain or build muscle, their adolescent son to maintain or build muscle. Here's the Weston A. Price diet, same diet when I'm doing consulting with a woman who's breastfeeding or pregnant. Most of the women who I've helped with their pregnancy, they give birth these 7, 8. 9, one lady even a 10-pound baby with big beautiful teeth that set in and hair, and the mom's healthy and the breast milk is flowing. Well, this Weston A. Price diet is fantastic. There's a whole history behind it I've talked about in other podcasts, but I'll skip that for now and tell you what the diet actually consists of and then I'll link to the dietary guidelines for the Weston A. Price diet. If you want to read up on it more, eat whole unprocessed foods, duh, eat beef, lamb, game organ meats, poultry and eggs from pasture-fed animals, eat wild fish, fish eggs and shellfish from unpolluted waters, eat full-fat milk products from pasture-fed cows preferably raw and/or fermented like raw milk, whole yogurt, kefir, cultured butter, full-fat raw cheeses and fresh and sour cream. Use animal fats like lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream, and butter liberally. I would actually. That's from the Weston A. Price website. They say liberally, “Look, if you're trying to lose weight and you're eating a pound of lard with lunch, you aren't going to lose weight.”

Okay, I would say use them wisely not necessarily liberally. However, include some of those items because they are very nutrient-dense. Use only traditional vegetable oils, extra virgin olive oil, expeller-expressed sesame oil, small amounts of flax oil and the tropical oils like coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. Take cod liver oil regularly. I'm a fan of fish oil also, by the way, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables preferably organic. Use whole grains, legumes, and nuts that have been prepared by soaking sprouting or sour leavening to neutralize the phytic acid enzyme inhibitors and other anti-nutrients. Include enzyme lactofermented vegetables, fruits, beverages and condiments in your diet in a regular basis. Prepare stocks from the bones of pastured chicken beef and lamb, fed non-GMO feed and wild fish used liberally as a bone broth and soup stews, gravies, and sauces. Use traditional sweeteners in moderation like raw honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, date sugar, dehydrated cane sugar juice, and stevia powder. Those are really the main things filtered water. They want filtered purified water. But ultimately, that's what I mean when I say a nutrient-dense diet. Yeah, if you have lactose intolerance, you're going to skip the milk part. If you got an APOE4 e4 gene that dictates a high risk for Alzheimer's in response to heavy intake of saturated fat, you're probably going to skip a lot of the butter and the lard.

So, there are certain modifications that need to be made, but ultimately, I just wanted to give you that example of what I would consider to be a nutrient-dense diet. So, when I say nutrient-dense diet, widely varied, preferably omnivorous diet with properly prepared vegetable and animal compounds that allow you to get lots of vitamins and nutrients and minerals. You pair that with intermittent fasting, with resistance training, with cold thermogenesis, and I realize it sounds paradoxical and flies in the face of what Men's Health or Women's Health Magazine might tell you about, again, the lean chicken, broccoli, and rice. But, you will not only lose weight but maintain muscle and be very healthy in the process because it's not just about being cold and hungry and libido-less hunched up in your hyperbaric chamber with your cold hat on, it's about living a full and remarkable life, going out on adventures, maintaining muscle, maintaining good body fat percentage in the meantime and eating good tasty foods too.

Okay. So, a few other tips from this article. If you use this approach, you'll experience less risk of the weight regain than you would with chronic cardio and excessive calorie restriction. That's back to that yo-yo bounce back when you gain a bunch of weight back after you've dieted because your heart, your liver, your kid, and your pancreas have all atrophied along with the muscle and your resting metabolic rate has lowered and thus as soon as you stop dieting, you gain massive amounts of size. So, in summary, get cold, fast intelligently, eat nutrient-dense foods, lift weights, and avoid excess dieting if you want long-term sustainable weight loss. And, that's basically the takeaway from this paper beyond appetite regulation targeting energy expenditure, fat oxidation, and lean mass preservation for sustainable weight loss. And, I wish more people would kind of try out some of that stuff before they turn to Ozempic or whatever.

Alright. So, there is a video and a Substack article that has been making the rounds lately. It's actually produced by my friend, Chris Masterjohn who has a PhD in summer thing like biochemistry. I don't recall off the top of my head, but he's incredibly knowledgeable about the way that nutrients and vitamins and minerals, things like that, interact in the human body. And, while I certainly took microbiology and biochemistry and OChem and pre-med and all sorts of stuff in my master's degree at University of Idaho, I would say that Chris is a Tesla and I am a Prius when it comes to biochemistry. So, he actually knows a lot about this stuff. So, when he piped up and produced this article and video about methylene blue and whether it was, how did he say it, he said, “Biohackers Delight Or Playing With Fire,” it caught my attention because I use methylene blue. I've used it for years. I think it's fantastic, honestly, as a sort of, I suppose you'd call like a smart drug or a nootropic, like a cognitive aid. And so, this is also the same thing that you might have seen in people who have Smurf mouth, like the biohacker with the mouth that's dyed bright blue or sometimes the butthole if they're using a methylene blue suppository, which does exist, by the way. Dr. John Lieurance in Florida make some methylene blue suppository. I tried it a couple of times. Couldn't get the toilet bowl not to be blue which my wife obviously did not appreciate. And so, I nixed these Smurf turds and have stuck using methylene blue mostly orally. You can actually get it as an IV too. Some doctors will do methylene blue IVs and even combine that with red light therapy.

Maybe, I'm putting the car ahead the horse though or in front of the horse however goes because you might not know what methylene blue is, but it was basically used in the 19th century as a textile dye. And then, a couple of different scientists started to look into it: Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich were the names of these two fellows because they recognized that methylene blue had antimicrobial properties. So, they kind of help transition it from textile labs to medical clinics. And, by the onset of the 20th century, it was considered to be a pretty groundbreaking treatment for malaria. But, it's very interesting because when you combine methylene blue with other so-called biohacks like infrared light therapy or hyperbaric oxygen. you wind up seeing some effects that people tend to really like like clear thinking and better focus and better energy, and supposedly is good for the mitochondria, which I'll briefly talk about here. And basically, the way it works is that methylene blue donates and accepts electrons based on the needs of the biological process at hand. So, it has an ability to help shuffle electrons, and that makes it an integral part of many reactions in biochemistry, including most importantly for our sake, cellular energy production.

So, it's very interesting if you look at some of the data on methylene blue because there's research that shows that it can bolster memory and attention and overall mental performance. It may inhibit the buildup of harmful proteins like beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles, which are pretty well-known for their association with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's. And, that protective feature of methylene blue might also help to slow down the progression of brain diseases and help to maintain brain health and prevent neurodegeneration. I sometimes wonder if my brain is actually a little bit blue from the fact that actually since I read this article by Chris Masterjohn, I've been using methylene blue every day just to kind of pay attention and use myself as an n equals 1 and see what happens. And, I have noticed a steep uptick in energy, particularly on days where I use infrared light. But, it's also been shown to help alleviate symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. It helps to modulate inflammation because as an antioxidant, it can opt to neutralize free radicals and it may promote autophagy, may help with the removal of dysfunctional so-called zombie cells or senescent cells, which could be a little bit of an antiaging or longevity play. And, usually, people will take it orally, that's why it stains them mouth blue.

There are companies like Troscriptions and Mitozen that make methylene blue troches. There's another company I recently found called BioBlue they make a tincture that has methylene blue and nicotinamide and fulvic acid and gold and silver. It's very interesting mix. So, that is a relatively new one. Like I mentioned, Troscriptions and Mitozen, there's this called Lumetol Blue. Those are ones that you dissolve under the tongue. There's some places that seldom as oral, a swallowable blue capsules. And, like I mentioned, you can actually get sustained release delivery of methylene blue via an IV if you want to get it very quickly into the bloodstream. And obviously, that's a whole different ball of wax to arrange for methylene blue IV, but I've had it done. I had it done at Dr. John Lieurance's clinic, and that's something that may help a little bit with some of the other reasons of methylene blue is used, which is primarily as something that is antiviral and antimalarial so it may have a little bit of a protective effect in situations where you might be exposed to a virus.

So anyways, warning, you do get blue urine, you do get blue stool, some people get gastrointestinal disturbances, some people get allergic reactions. But, what was interesting about Chris Masterjohn's article in particular was he really got deep into the science of methylene blue. And, one thing he noted is that it does carry risk of what's called serotonin toxicity and hypertension and even dependents. Meaning, you wouldn't want to use it on too regular of a basis so as not to become addicted to it. Now, I just realized the pot calling the kettle black. I have been using it daily for a couple of weeks now. I don't feel as though I wake up in the morning with an urge to take methylene blue, I'm more doing this just as an experiment. I think next up, I'm going to do new margaritas.

So anyways, methylene blue is a stressor to the body. It's a mild hormetic stress. And so, you do need to be careful. More is not better. Now, in medicine, they'll use 50 to 250 milligrams a day. Most of the doses in most of the so-called biohacking supplements that I talked about however are around in the range of 8 to 16 or so milligrams per day, which is a pretty small dose. It's like a low dose hormetic stress. And, it is far lower than the amount used in some of the studies that Chris Masterjohn points out to to say that methylene blue might be dangerous. So, it's kind of like you need to modulate your dosage with methylene blue.

Now, the whole article is really interesting. I think it's worth checking out, but the major takeaway message when it comes to methylene blue, and I'm going to link to an article in the shownotes with even more on methylene blue, is that it plays a role in Alzheimer's disease research, it can support cellular energy production by improving the activity of the electron transport chain and that can lead to enhance ATP creation by the mitochondria it has cognitive enhancement and neuroprotective effects, pain-reducing effects, anti-inflammatory effects, potential antiaging benefits due to what I mentioned earlier, the autophagy promotion. And, some people, and again I'm not doctor, I just wear the t-shirt that says “Trust me I'm a doctor,” but methylene blue might assist in treating chronic infections, particularly Lyme disease. And, that's one of the reasons that some naturopathic physicians primarily will use it as a methylene blue IV. So, you should definitely refrain from using it if you have kidney or liver issues or you have low blood pressure, or if you're on an SSRI or what's called an MAOI. And, that would include some plant medicines, by the way. I would be careful with combining methylene blue with things like LSD or psilocybin or something like that. But, if you combine it with hyperbaric oxygen or red light therapy, it appears to really enhance the effects of methylene blue. I think it's worth trying.

Oh, there's one of their population, by the way, that shouldn't take it. There's something called a, I think it's a glucose 6-phosphate deficiency. I believe G6PD. Yeah, glucose 6-phosphate deficiency. You'll know if you have that. I'm not going to go deep into that or pretend that I know a lot about that particular issue, the glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. But, if you have that, it the may be contrary indicated meaning the use of methylene blue.

So, you can check out Chris's full article and I'll link to it in the shownotes. He has it on his Substack. He also has a video about this, but I have really enjoyed the feeling of using it daily and combining it with red light, and I f feel as though it is something that in small amounts, again somewhere I would say in the range of about 8 to 16 milligrams are so that the hormetic stress that it can cause is not excessive and that at low doses it can work really well for mitochondrial optimization and enhancement without causing significant stress or significant, as Chris says, rewiring of the electron transport chain. So, I just think you need to be careful with the dosages and how much you use, and again, in many of the references at Chris' sites, were talking about 1 to 1.5 milligrams per kilogram dosing or greater and that's a lot.

So anyways, I hope that helps you understand methylene blue just a bit more and you can leave your comments and your questions and your feedback in the shownotes, BenGreenfieldLife.com/464.

Alright. So, real quick, opening the kimono inside baseball, opening the baseball inside the mixed metaphor kimonos. You might notice I had a quick wardrobe change there. It's because I hit Pause on recording with you and then wound up working about six hours, which is why it's evening and now I'm wearing blue light-blocking glasses. You are not hallucinating. I had a wardrobe change and a time shift change. But regardless, we're going to grind into some podcast questions here.

So, the first question comes up from Carl who says he recently had an unexpected appendectomy and he wanted to know if I had any recommendations to help recover from surgery. And so, here, we get to the part where I tell you I am not a doctor and this is not to be misconstrued as medical advice. I simply have the T-shirt that says “I'm a doctor, trust me,” but I have not any board certifications, whatsoever. 

However, I can tell you that just getting your appendix taken out is not as simple as just getting your appendix taken out. I mean, the appendix is a lowly and much-derided organ often thought to be a vestigial organ. What's that mean? It means something evolution has been trying to get rid of but hasn't really figured out how to do so so far. It's this little pouch that's attached to the bottom right part of your large intestine. That, speak of the devil, if that pouch becomes inflamed can be really, really painful, and if that pouch bursts can be life-threatening. 

But, it turns out that the research that's been going on since the mid-2000s has now shown that the appendix carries out a pretty important function. It acts kind of a storage locker for beneficial gut bacteria. So, if you get sick or you get on a pretty significant multi-spectrum antibiotic regimen, it can destroy the flora living in your GI tract, and the bacteria that's stored in the appendix can come out and help you as a memory blueprint of the bacteria that you had at one time. And, once the illness has passed, repopulate your gut tract. And, that's something that occurs in a variety of species from marsupials to rodents to mammals to us humans.

So, it turns out that there was a very interesting study in 2011 in which they took a bunch of people who were infected with what's called C. difficile, Clostridium difficile. And, that can take over the gut after antibiotics have destroyed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. So, what they found is that the people whose appendixes were intact actually suffered from C. difficile in only about 10% of the cases. And, the people who had appendectomies actually suffered at about a 50% rate. So, this kind of shows how having your appendix removed can affect your biome in a deleterious manner. And, that's not necessarily a doomsday scenario. You could say the same thing about babies that are born via C-section, right? They don't pass through their mother's vaginal canal swallowing all of, it's kind of gross, but mom's poop flex. And, it's shown that it can take up until about the age of 7 for a child who's born via C-section to have a biome that matches that of a naturally born child. And, you can fix a lot of that through colostrum and breast milk and L glutamine and probiotic regimens and making sure your child gets in touch with animals and the dirt and his outdoors and around a lot of other kids a lot and goes to chickenpox parties. I don't know, I might get canceled for saying that now. But anyways, it turns out the appendix is kind of similar. If you have it taken out, it's not life or death, you can still live a full and healthy life even if the beneficial bacteria that the appendix were acting as a storehouse for have been wiped out.

So, the main way that you would do that, no surprises here, is to eat a diet rich in a variety of fermented foods. It's variety that matters. You don't just take one probiotic the rest of your life. As a matter of fact, rotating probiotics, introducing new strains, using akkermansia, using a synbiotic like there's one I really called the Seed Synbiotic, using soil-based strains such as Beekeepers Naturals has some great strains for that, using kimchi sauerkraut, kombuchas, kefir, yogurts, and all manner of different fermented items along with very similar to babies and young children being outdoors, being in the dirt, being around animals, being around other people. All of that stuff can help to repopulate the gut and keep it populated.

But, this question is not about how to repopulate the gut if you're listening carefully, it's about how to recover from that surgery. And so, there's a few things that I would mention after a surgery. Some of these are general to surgeries in general. But, there's a few things that would go beyond what your surgeon might recommend to you. So, for example, there have been studies that have shown that essential oil therapy and aromatherapy can help with controlling pain post-surgery. I was actually at my bedside last night experimenting with a bunch of these new oils are called Vibrant Blue and they're different oils for different organs and different conditions like pain, stress, liver, gallbladder, et cetera. They're called Vibrant Blue. I'll link to them in the shownotes. But, I was very impressed with them particularly using the sleep and the parasympathetic formulas. But, aromatherapy can help with sleep, with pain, with relaxation post-surgery. So, that's one thing to think about.

Guided meditation can also be really helpful. People hear, “Oh, meditate and do breathwork to control postsurgical pain.” Look, I'll cut straight to the chase. As a self-professed biohacker, I can tell you the best thing you can do if you want to learn how to meditate for pain and how to do specific guided meditations to help churn out your own painkilling molecules in a way that would allow you to be on fewer or no pain drugs, there is a device that is amazing. It's called the BrainTap. I've done a whole podcast with the founder. I use it this afternoon, actually. I ducked away after lunch and did about 30 minutes on it. It is light sound stimulation, meaning for both your eyes and your ears. I'm non-hypnotizable and look, this thing just whisks me off to another planet right away. And, there's an entire series on there. There's 800 different meditations or tracks or so-called Journeys. Now, I say journey intentionally, it literally is a plant medicine journey, many of these sessions. There are a collection of sessions that are specifically designed to turn your body into its own painkilling machine. So, that BrainTap is fantastic. You can also look up guided meditation for pain on YouTube, for example, and find some good sessions there. But man, if you can get your hands on that BrainTap, it's amazing.

One of my friends is well-versed in homeopathy, took a homeopathy course, loan me the textbooks for that course, the kind Mrs. Applegate, hello, if you're listening in, Mrs. Applegate. And, I was blown away at the research and the data on homeopathic remedies, particularly for inflammation and pain including following surgery. An example of that would be homeopathic or homeopathic, horrible at speaking, arnica. And so, homeopathy and working with someone who is well-versed in homeopathy would also be something that you could look into.

A few other things regarding post-surgery. Proteolytic enzymes and vitamin C both things that have been used in battle surgery, in acute situations, both things that I really like for enhancing faster healing. I'll toot my own horn here, I think the best mix of proteolytic enzymes, natural anti-inflammatories, and even what you might consider to be painkilling type of natural compounds are in a formula that I personally help to design. It's called Kion Flex. You can get it on the Kion website. It's called Flex. I designed it for joint pain and for post-workout soreness, also fantastic for tissue healing. I can't make medical claims around that product, of course, but I can tell you that if I'm in pain or if I'm injured and if I've had someone who's gone through surgery and wants to try something natural, it's something that I would personally use. You got to take it on an empty stomach, by the way. If you take digestive enzymes or proteolytic enzymes with food, they'll digest the food, not the inflammation. So, make sure that you take it up on an empty stomach.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C IVs are real fast track to faster wound healing but just like a whole foods vitamin C source, good mix, because you do want to look for whole foods. Ascorbic acid interacts with the cell membrane a little bit differently than a whole food's vitamin C extract. I won't get deep into the biochemistry of that here, but it turns out that the whole foods forms of vitamin C are a little bit more absorbable. Acerola cherry, guava, red peppers, papaya, but then also just, for example, there's a company called Jigsaw Health. They make an adrenal cocktail that has whole foods vitamin C in it. You can find whole foods vitamins vitamin C at Whole Foods and a lot of natural grocery stores as well.

Zinc is very important for the healing process. Zinc-rich foods like lamb and pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate, hurray, you can have chocolate bars as you're recovering from surgery, fantastic omega-3 fatty acids. So, slightly higher intake of omega-3s. I like around 2 to 4 grams instead of the OFT recommended for cardiovascular health, 1 to 2 grams would be a good idea. I just find a good fish oil. Dr. Jeffrey Bland, the father of functional medicine, has a great one that he harvests from fish guts, salmon guts, off the coast of Alaska. Nordic Naturals has a good one. Totally self-conscious saying this. I have a good one. Kion has an omegas as well. Ours is from a super clean anchovies caught off the Peruvian coast. But anyways, around 2 to 4 grams would be really good for the omega balance for inflammation and for pain. I shouldn't really say for pain. Fish oil is not going to help that much with pain. It's going to be more for the inflammation. And, if you're already on a blood thinner, proceed with caution with fish oil and any other blood thinner.

Glutamine can help out, particularly with the gastrointestinal health that you need to rebuild along with the probiotics that I already mentioned. Glutamine, it's very interesting. A lot of people don't know this. You can take 5 grams of glutamine with every meal if you have irritable bowel or if you're healing up a leaky gut or whatever and it's fantastic. It's 5 grams. You can get NOW Foods L-Glutamine Powder on Amazon, and you just do a scoop, a glass of water, stir it in with every meal and it's fantastic for any bowel-related issues. I would also rank colostrum up there, a scoop of colostrum that you dissolve in your mouth, the digestive enzymes in your mouth activate the growth factors in colostrum which can also really help with gut stability. That would be another one to consider throwing in there.

And then, really the only other thing I'd mention is if you're concerned about scars and stuff like that, coconut oil is good. A lot of people don't know that you can massage coconut oil around a scar and that helps to nourish the skin and to keep any fungi or bacteria or viruses lurking on the skin, somewhat controlled. There are specific essential oils. Probably the most popular is helichrysum, which is fantastic as an essential oil for scars and wounds and things like that.

So, those are a few things to think about as well. But, biggest message I'd give you besides those natural ways to recover from surgery or an injury would be just basically make fermented foods and probiotics a part of your vernacular for the rest of your life if you had your appendix removed.

Alright, the next question comes from Jenn who says she just finished up my book “Boundless Parenting.” Hooray, somebody other than my mom read it. That's fantastic. And, Jenn says her 14-year-old just started playing football. He's getting into health and fitness. He wants to bulk up and get swole. She says we have creatine, we have protein shakes, but I'm wondering what else you would you do for your boys if you wanted them to get jacked? Are you saying my boys aren't already jacked? Just kidding. 

My boys are Greenfield, they got the mom's lean mean Montana rancher jeans and my skinny hard Gainer jeans. And so, my sons will probably need to eat about 6,000 calories a day to gain a pound once they're past the age of 16. And, my son all ripped the meat in our freezer. Speaking of meat in our freezer, it seems to be disappearing much more quickly. My sons are eating three sausages for breakfast. It's nuts. They haven't discovered my whey protein yet in the pantry. I'm glad because I know what their room is going to smell if they do. You know what I'm saying. But anyways, there are certain things that can be super beneficial and I would say essential for building muscle quickly.

First of all, you mentioned they're in creatine, good. As a matter of fact, a recent paper just came out that said that creatine should be considered a conditionally essential nutrient. See, creatine is a major component of energy metabolism. You'll find it abundant in human skeletal muscle, in brain, in heart. Years of research in creatine nutrition and physiology suggest that the amount the body naturally synthesizes is not sufficient to meet most human's needs and definitely not sufficient to meet the needs of a rapidly growing human, a lifting human, or a human who eats vegetables or is a crappy hunter. Sometimes that's synonymous.

So anyways, that creatine in one paper that recently came out in the Advanced Journal of Nutrition was considered to be a conditionally essential nutrient. It's quite simple. You don't need to load with it. You don't need to do any bodybuilding magazine crazy up-down cycle protocols. It's just 5 grams every day, day in, day out. On sleep-deprived days or on days in which you want creatine for better mental function, you can up that to 10 to 20 grams. But, once you get above 5 grams, you might have to be near a toilet for a few days until your gut gets used to that. And so, creatine, you're on the right track with that.

Protein. I'll tell you another paper that just came out. They looked at two different high protein diets in resistant trained males who were doing weight training and they actually found that there was a pretty significant dose-response effect with creatine, but it topped out at right around, you would translate this in pounds, I'm doing a quick math in my head, 0.8 grams per pound of protein. Okay. So, anyone who's wanting to gain muscle should eat at least 0.8 grams per pound of protein. There is some evidence, especially in heavily trained bodybuilders and people who are just weightlifting and jacked that they can even get away with up to 1.2 grams a day, which for many people in the bodybuilding industry, they would consider it to be small beans for protein or I should say small beef for protein. But, the idea here is that I recommend about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of day for muscle gain.

Now, what are the things that you can do in addition to creatine and protein to gain muscle? And, I'm assuming, we're already talking about a person that's lifting come back to this phrase, lifting heavy shit, do it. Pick up heavy things and that will help with muscle gain if you're not excessively restricting calories as we established earlier at least eating adequate protein.

So, protein, creatine, top of the list. Next would be fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the factors that regulate muscle protein breakdown and enhance rates of muscle protein synthesis. Both my sons take about 2 grams of fish oil per day. They eat dad's dog food and take the Kion stuff. But again, you can hit Rewind and listen to those other fish oil recommendations I made. Vitamin D, I recommend blood testing first. Different people have different vitamin D excretion rates. Excess vitamin D can cause calcification in the arteries. Is rarer than most people would claim, but vitamin D especially when balanced out with vitamin K and magnesium, fantastic. You might have heard my interview with the guys from Xtend-Life. I interviewed them about their children and their men's multivitamin. That'd be a fast track because then you get vitamin D, vitamin K and magnesium all at once.

There's also another fantastic highly absorbable form of vitamin D that my sons are currently using it. I ordered some. The name of this vitamin D is d.velop. It's D-V-E-L-O-P. And, the reason that I like it so much–and, I did a pre and post-blood test with it, I was at 60 for my vitamin D. I took two of these gummies for three weeks and retested and my levels are actually above 100. As a matter of fact, I quit taking it because it was so effective at getting my vitamin D up. I didn't want to approach toxicity levels but it's a form of vitamin D called calcifediol, highly absorbed, about three times more absorbable, and gets your vitamin D rates up much more quickly. So, if you want to fast-track the vitamin D, you can do that.

I said my sons take this stuff but we also eat organ meats as a family and just like I don't take vitamin D myself on days that I have organ meats because they're so chock full of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. If we have liver or heart or kidney or something like that, we usually don't do as many fat-soluble vitamins during the day. so, you can of course eat organ meats or your son, in this case, can eat organ meats. And, that's also a fantastic source of those fat-soluble vitamins. There are even companies like the Liver King, we all know that's how he got swole, that sell liver capsules if you don't want to prepare liver and you don't like the taste of it. I've got great liver recipes in my cookbook. And, shameless plug number 18, I think, and my cookbook that just came out, BoundlessKitchen.com. I just published a cookbook and yeah, there's some pretty darn good organ meat recipes in there.

What are some other things to think about? Essential amino acids, no brainer. The ISSN, International Society of Sports Nutrition just came out with a massive paper on essential amino acids. I take about 20 grams of those a day. You can take up to 40 grams a day. They're way different than branched-chain amino acids, which I consider to be expensive flavored water. Essential amino acids have an amino acid composition that is much more favorable for muscle growth and muscle protein synthesis. So, I would throw essential amino acids into the mix as well. They're just one of the most digestible amino acids out there and that's based on protein digestibility. Corrected amino acid scores, PDCAAS, a good determination of protein quality essential amino acids just about anything out of the water. And, they're great pre-workout because you have to digest them. And, when I interviewed bodybuilder Milos Sarcev, he even sips on them between sets. He swears by them so much for building muscle.

So, those are the biggies. Would be creatine, protein, vitamin D, fish oil, essential amino acids. And, of course, there are others that you're going to see thrown around out there. I'll name them quickly just so you know. L-carnitine is not bad. Carnosine also useful, conjugated linolic acid, HMB, and beta-alanine. I realized I just flew through those. But look, all those that I just listed, those would be like if you're already doing the other stuff and your son has any money left or if he wants to go get a new lawnmowing job or something, and I know I just stereotyped every teenage male in the face of the planet, I'm going to own it. He could throw in those other supplements. But, the first ones that I named, the vitamin D, the essential amino acids, the fish oil, the creatine, and the protein, those would be the biggies. So, hopefully, that helps, and no, do not let your son get on steroids or testosterone replacement therapy for the love of God.

Okay. Although, by the way, I should say, if you are a young male and you want to stay fertile and get your testosterone up and you're doing all the other stuff and then you want to turn to pharmaceutical methods, it would at least pay off to look into something called enclomiphene. I'm going to do a podcast on it soon. I think it's actually really great for reducing ball shrinkage and maintaining fertility and guys who want to get testosterone up who are already doing all the other things and still experiencing, I don't know, maybe due to a head injury that they've had in the past or other reasons, low testosterone.

Okay. Finally, a question from Lauren. This is fascinating. If you eat meat or you know somebody who eats meat, you should listen to this. You ever heard of lone star tick? Well, Lauren says, what are your thoughts on the new research that ticks can pass a protein through their bites effectively and cause an allergic reaction to meat from animal ticks? And then, she goes on to explain it can cause autoimmune issues and some people can even go to the ER after they've consumed meals with certain meats.

Wow. So, I've known about this for a little while. It's very interesting. So, a lot of people associate ticks with Lyme disease, but there's one tick that's more prevalent in the Northeast, the lone star tick that transmits bacteria that could lead to a different condition. A literal meat allergy. I'm not joking. So, the lone star tick is unique and that it has this molecule that it can transmit into your blood when it bites you that causes what's called alpha-gal syndrome, which is a food allergy to red meat. And, there was one study that showed I think at this point, or maybe it was a few years ago. I want say it was 2018. Let me look at my notes, 2018. 34,000 documented cases of alpha-gal syndrome in the United States. So, you might know 38,000 different people, 34,000 different people who are literally allergic to me. So, anyways, alpha-gal is this sugar molecule that we humans don't normally have in our system, but a lot of other animals do; cows and bison and deer and pigs and sheep and lambs. And, if a person gets bit by a lone star tick and it transmits the alpha-gal molecule into their bloodstream, that person can then develop an antibody reaction to that molecule. Well, the bad news is that same alpha-gal sugar molecule is in, you guessed it, red meat like beef or venison or even something made with beef gelatin like bone broth. And so, what can then happen is you get hives and swelling and wheezing and cramping and pain and diarrhea and nausea. And really, the very best treatment for it that I know of is to simply avoid eating red meat. And so, it is a thing and it does happen.

Now, there are other ticks that can cause alpha-gal syndrome even though it was originally linked to the lone star tick. So, don't think you're out of the woods, huh, if you don't live in the northeast because there's a variety of different tick species that can cause this. So obviously, if you eat meat and you feel crappy, you may want to actually get tested for it. There's a skin prick test you can do. It's not that effective. You really need to do a blood test. You need to ask your healthcare provider for what's called an alpha-gal allergy blood test. And so, that would be the way to actually find out if you have it.

Here's what else is interesting. Gelatin from animals that can contain alpha-gal is not just found in meat, it can be found in various, I'm going to get canceled for saying this, vaccines, antivenom, which is I'm going to get canceled for saying this, in pesticides, at least I'm never going to get sponsored by Big Pharma, gummies, marshmallows, Jell-O sutures, collagen-derived contact lenses, shampoo, tattoo ink, and to my understanding, tennis racket strings. Hopefully, you're not eating your tennis racket strings. But anyways, as you can imagine, there's a few other things you got to be aware of if you're testing of alpha-gal syndrome if you don't want to feel like crap.

And so, there are a few things that might actually increase the onset of this. They've shown that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs could actually aggravate it like heavy use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, heavy exercise, bummer, certain medications. And really, medications are mainly those nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, but it's really odd. So, yeah, you can be allergic to meat. Eat your heart out, Paul Saladino, or don't eat your heart out if you have an alpha-gal syndrome because apparently, it's an issue.

Alright. Well, folks, on that note, I think we're going to end today's show. So, if you have your own questions, your own comments, your own feedback to add, you can go to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/464. See the video version of this if you want to see my wardrobe change halfway through the show. I didn't do it live, and you would have been disappointed. I merely removed my hoodie and put on some blue light-blocking glasses. And yeah, leave the podcast a ranking or review wherever you listen to it. That always helps it out a ton, I think, from what they tell me about these algorithms, these mysterious algorithms. And, until next time, have an amazing week. I'm Ben Greenfield signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com.

Want free access to comprehensive shownotes, my weekly roundup, cutting-edge research and articles, my top recommendations for everything that you need to hack your life, and much more? Visit BenGreenfieldLife.com.

In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site. Most of the links going to products are often affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you and sometimes I even get to share a unique and somewhat significant discount with you.

In some cases, I might also be an investor in a company I mentioned. I'm the founder, for example, of Kion LLC, the makers of Kion-branded supplements and products which I talk about quite a bit. Regardless of that relationship, if I post or talk about an affiliate link to a product, it is indeed something I personally use, support, and with full authenticity and transparency recommend in good conscience. I personally vet each and every product that I talk about.

My first priority is providing valuable information and resources to you that help you positively optimize your mind, body, and spirit. And, I'll only ever link to products or resources, affiliate or otherwise that fit within this purpose. So, there's your fancy legal disclaimer.



Have a question you'd like Ben to answer on the podcast?

Click here

Before asking your question, search in the upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Life!

News Flashes:

  • Six Sunday habits to prepare for tackling the week ahead via @artofmanliness… I actually do most of these myself on Sundays: “6 Sunday Habits to Prepare for Tackling the Week Ahead”…05:38
  • New study “Beyond Appetite Regulation: Targeting Energy Expenditure, Fat Oxidation, and Lean Mass Preservation for Sustainable Weight Loss” has some shocking revelations for those trying to lose weight:…20:47
    • Around 30% of the weight that's lost when you diet and do excessive amounts of cardio and dieting comes from muscle tissue…
    • …heart, liver, kidneys, and pancreas decrease in size, which then further lowers your resting metabolic rate…
    • …weight training NOT cardio helps to fight all this muscle/organ loss off when dieting, even if you’re at caloric restriction…
    • …intermittent fasting, resistance training, and cold thermogenesis, along with adequate nutrients and no HUGE calorie deficits, are better for long-term, sustainable fat loss…
    • …AND you’ll experience less risk of weight regain with that type of approach vs. chronic cardio and excessive calorie restriction.
    • …so in summary: get cold, fast regularly, eat nutrient-dense foods, lift weights, and avoid excess dieting if you want long-term sustainable weight loss.
  • “Methylene Blue: Biohacker's Delight, or Playing With Fire?” Great comprehensive overview by @chrismasterjohn — I will address this in a future Q&A podcast with my own thoughts…39:56

Resources mentioned:

Listener Q&A:

Want to submit your question for Ben to answer on the podcast? Submit here or send a direct message on InstagramTwitter, or Facebook. To make it easy to spot, preface your question with “Q&A Podcast Question: (ask a question)” and keep it concise, please.

Q: Carl asks: I recently had an unexpected appendectomy. Any recommendations to help recover from surgery? 50:06

How To Recover From An Appendix Removal:

Q: Jenn asks: Hey Ben! Jenn from New Hampshire here, just finishing up “Boundless Parenting,” been a long-time listener, love what you do! Anyway, my son is 14, just started playing football, and is getting into health and fitness. He wants to bulk up and get “swoll.” We have Kion creatine protein shakes, but I’m wondering what you would do for your boys if they wanted to get jacked — what is safe/effective? Thank you so much! 1:01:51

How Teen Boys Can Put On Muscle:

Q: Lauren asks: What are your thoughts on the new research that ticks can pass a protein through their bites effectively causing an allergic reaction to meats from animals ticks most commonly bite? Do you think all bovine-derived foods and supplements should be avoided? As someone struggling with autoimmune issues, I have first-hand experience with fun, ER trips 6 to 8 hours after consuming meals with certain meats. Appreciate your thoughts! 1:10:12

Upcoming Events:

  • Elements of Vitality: December 8, 2023

Return to the Elements of Vitality: This will be the second time my good friend Dr. John Lieurance and I collaborate to bring you the most effective and cutting-edge health and wellness advice, protocols, and some of our favorite tools. If you’re into health and wellness and want to stay on top of all the cutting-edge, latest, and greatest innovations and protocols, you don’t want to miss this event. Learn more here and use code GREENFIELD for 5% off at checkout.

Special Announcements…

Episode sponsors:

Thyroid Fixxr: If you're ready to give your fat-burning efforts a turbo boost, check out Thyroid Fixxr. Embrace the magic of T2 by going to betterlifedoctor.com/Ben and use code BEN20 for 20% off.

ProLon: A 5-Day Fasting Nutrition Program that is scientifically tested and patented to nourish your body while keeping it in a physiological fasted state. Right now, you can save 15% on your order when you go to ProLonLife.com/BEN.

Lucy Gum: If you are looking for a cleaner and tastier alternative to other nicotine products, Lucy is for you. To save 20% on any order, head over to lucy.co use discount code BEN20.

Organifi Gold Chocolate: Organifi Gold Chocolate is a superfood hot chocolate healthy enough to drink everyday. It was formulated to deliver the same amazing benefits as Organifi Gold, but with a delicious chocolate flavor to help curb those holiday cravings. Go to organifi.com/Ben for 20% off your order.

Levels: If you want to better understand how food affects your health by trying continuous glucose monitor, you need to check out Levels Health. Your first purchase will include a one-month supply of continuous glucose monitors, a 12-month software membership, and an additional 2 free months of their annual membership if you go to levels.link/BEN.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *