December 10, 2014
[00:00] Start of Podcast/Onnit
[02:47] What is Biohacking?
[04:49] Bedroom Tweaks
[22:12] Office Hacks
[35:30] Kitchen Works
[42:08] Gym Equipment
[48:16] Bathroom Alterations
[1:15:40] End of Podcast
Ben: So before we jump into this podcast, let me give you a quick insider view of my home-gym. So a few of the things in there, I’ve got a bunch of kettlebells with monkey faces on them; they’re called primal bells. They’ve been 3D scanned to give them this perfect monkey face. Not only are they extremely scary, but as you may know, kettlebells have been proven to be just as effective as all out sprinting when it comes to fat loss and metabolism boosting, but you also build muscle when you’re using them. So I will literally, not just carry them up and down the stairs, but also do swings, jerks, squats, et cetera with my kettlebells.
I’ve also got a battle rope in my gym and you can do all sorts of things with the battle rope. One of my favorite moves is to do a burpee where I’ll get down and do a normal burpee but both of my hands are holding the end of the battle rifts so after every burpee, I slam the battle rope down as hard as possible. It’s awesome for catharsis; it’s also a really, really good way to build muscle while you’re doing a burpee.
And then I’ve got a mace and a mace is really good for hitting big tires with or swinging around your head, training just like an ancient Hindu warrior. I’ve got a weighted vest, I’ve got some wall balls, I’ve got what’s called a battle bag filled with river rocks from the river near my house. Crazy fitness equipment that get me super fit and lets me have fun doing it. Where do I get all this stuff? From Onnit, the sponsor of today’s podcast, and if you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield you can get all this stuff; ab rollers, jump ropes, kettlebells, weighted vests, wall balls, maces, battle bags. It’s like a one-stop shop for pretty much every weird piece of fitness gear that you need. So grab some stuff over at onnit.com/bengreenfield, go on a shopping spree over there and just build your home-gym; you won’t be sorry and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. Alright, check it out.
So biohacking an unbeatable environment is what I’m gonna talk to you about today, and before I scare anyone away with the term “biohacking”, I think a lot of times we hear that word and we conjure up images of some guy with electrodes attached to his head or putting eight sticks of butter in a dead chicken and whatever else and your morning cup of coffee. And really, all biohacking is it’s just tweaking your environment, or tweaking your biology, to make yourself more efficient or to allow your body to do something more quickly or better perform whatever it is that you want to do. And a big, big part of biohacking is your environment.
Frankly, a lot of us spend our day to day routine experiencing things like brain fog, slow cognitive performance, weak reaction times, et cetera and it’s because our kitchens, our bedrooms, our bathrooms, our offices, our gyms, they’re not tweaked to really enhance physical performance or mental performance, and in many cases they’re holding us back. So what I’m gonna do today, and this is gonna be fun; I never like to give the same talk twice so this’ll be a new one from me, and what I wanna show you guys today is just like everything you can do in your home, in your office, in your workout environment, as far as little tweaks that you can introduce to make yourself just that much better, right? To get that 5%, that 10%, in some cases even more than that, advantage. So I will allow ample time for Q&A afterwards for anything that I show in the slide as well that you guys wanna talk about after.
So let’s just jump right in, oh and resources; I made a resource page for you at bengreenfieldfitness.com/unbeatable14. You enter your credit card information, no I’m just kidding; it’s just all there. And, we’ll jump right in.
So we’ll start with the bedroom, Mark sent me a photo of his bedroom just so I could use that as an introduction for this slide. Thank you, Mark, appreciate it. It’s very homey; I like it. So a lot of us, hopefully especially after Dr. Parley’s talk last night, we spent a lot of time in our bedrooms now that we know just sleeping and having sex, but it is a place where you spend a lot of your time, and I wanna talk about some of the hacks you can use in your bedroom and we’ll just jump right in. Okay, light is the first one. You learned about blue light and its ability to disrupt your ability to release melatonin while you’re asleep at night. Exposure to blue light is one of the biggies in people’s bedrooms and even if you’re going into your bedroom at night and you’re getting ready to sleep and you’re making a point not to have your laptop and your phone and stuff like that on as you’ve already learned, a lot of people’s lights, the lights in here, et cetera, they’re still releasing blue light like most LED and modern fluorescent lighting, there’s a big amount of light from the blue light wave spectrum.
So one of the things that I recommend you do in any area of your house where you need relaxation, this would primarily be the bedroom, is get lights that don’t have blue light wave spectrum on them. The ones that I have in my house, they’re made by a company called Lighting Science; they’re called “good night sleep bulbs” and they’ve eliminated all the blue light from the spectrum and I can just plug those into the sockets in the bed room. The other thing that you can do, if you want, that works a little bit similarly is infrared. You can get a fancy infrared lamp like this and you can also buy a cheaper infrared bulb off of Amazon for 10 bucks. And these infrared lights, they’re like warming heat lamps, so like what a farmer would use to hatch chicks or something, right? You’re trying out an egg; keep it warm. You can put it next to your bed, you can plug one of these up above your bed at night. It’s really cool; they’ve done studies. They did this really interesting study in athletes where they expose them to infrared light before they went to bed at night and they increase sleep time by almost 20 minutes in the morning just by basking in this infrared glow.
So you kinda get double benefit, a double-whammy; you eliminate blue light when you use red light in your bedroom and if you get one of these infrared lamps or an infrared light and you shine it on your body, like as you’re reading a book or doing whatever you’re doing in bed at night before you go to sleep, it has that added effect of eliminating blue light and helping you sleep longer in the morning. So the lighting in your room, adjusting the lighting in your room is really important.
Somebody asked a really good question last night during Dr. Parsley’s presentation about what do you do if you wake up at night and you gotta go to the bathroom or whatever, and you don’t wanna disrupt your circadian rhythm by flipping on the light in your house and get exposed to blue light; this works really well for that too. If you need to see your way into the bathroom or you need to flip a light on, next to your bed you keep one of these little infrared lamps on, you put that on and you get no blue light, you get no disruption of your sleep cycles when you get up at night to go to the bathroom. So just a super simple fix and again you can jump into that game for 9-10 bucks off of Amazon for an infrared bulb.
This is another really important one and one that I just introduced recently: the mattress. And I was actually talking last night at dinner to a few guys about mattress about how much they affect your sleep and your health. How many of you in here are familiar with electromagnetic fields? Like WiFi routers, cellphones and how there’s a lot of talk nowadays about being kinda careful with that stuff, about it’s potential for being a carcinogen for disrupting the electro-chemical gradient in your cells, things along those lines. Well mattresses that have springs in them, they act as very efficient EMF conductors. So if you got a lot of power circulating in your bedroom, if you have a WiFi router on, if you’re cellphone’s on or whatever, those spring coils can act as EMF transmitters.
So going out of your way to find a mattress that doesn’t have springs in it is actually a pretty good move, and there’s a few other things to think about with your mattress too. 68 degrees was I think the number that got thrown out by Dr. Parsley last night as far as your optimal sleep temperature; if you sleep on a memory foam mattress, does anybody sleep on a memory foam mattress? Synthetic memory foam stores heat, and there are forms of memory foam and there are some companies out there, I’m sleeping on what’s called an Essentia Mattress now, but those memory foams do not actually store heat or release heat, so your body stays at a cooler temperature while you’re asleep. There’s also, if you’re getting an organic cotton mattress, you’re gonna avoid a lot of formaldehydes and the benzenes and the other endocrine disruptors that you’ll find in a lot of other mattresses.
So there are a multitude of organic mattress companies out there; there’s one website I think it’s called thecleanbedroom.com where you can get linens, sheets, pillowcases, stuff like that but looking around at your bedroom, what you’re sleeping on, that’s really important too. And I think an organic mattress just coz you spend eight to nine hours a night sleeping, right? Exactly, so make sure that you sleep on the right thing.
BioMat is another really interesting one. How many of you have spent time in an infrared sauna, have you heard of infrared saunas before for enhancing recovery? The idea is that they’re supposed to increase growth hormone. Infrared is a form of light that penetrates about 6-8 inches into human tissue so it increases blood flow, it increases your cardiovascular capacity, but it’s tough to actually have an infrared sauna at your house. A lot of gyms and spas have these type of things and there’s this one really dorky one that you can get for your house where you get inside this tube and your head’s sticking out; it’s really kinda cool. But the BioMat is what I use, this is a mat that actually releases infrared waves. You can get ‘em for anything from 400 bucks up to this flagship, big model that dogs and kids and people can all be on at the same time; that’s like 1600-1700 bucks, but it’s an infrared mat that releases infrared waves. Very good for sitting and working on your laptop during the day or if you’re lying on your stomach for a little while, kinda back and forth as you’re working. It’s good for taking naps on; it’s a little bit hard so I don’t recommend sleeping on it all night but it’s very, very therapeutic for healing and recovering especially for athletes. And it also releases negative ions; very, very similar to what you’re going to get released if you were to ground or earth.
Anybody here use a grounding mat or an earthing mat or have you heard of those? They’re made very popular by Tour De France cyclists who are using them in-between stages to recover more quickly. Well this is the same concept, this releases those same negative ions, and especially if you’re around a lot of positive ions during the day. Positive ions are what would get released by the things I was talking about earlier, like WiFi routers, cellphones, et cetera; your cells are designed to work on a specific electro-chemical gradient, about 70-80 millivolts. So if you’re getting bombarded with positive ions all day long, typically what happens is that gradients drops down to about 30-40 millivolts and that disrupts your metabolic function, it disrupts the ability of the cells to operate properly. So exposure to negative ions, and this would especially be after airline travel, after a lot of time spent around electronics, anything that exposes you to a high amount of positive ions, getting in touch with the planet Earth, like that yoga we did outside in our bare feet on the ground that was really, really good stuff. This is kinda similar to that except on steroids; you’re just basically laying on this bed of negative ions. So, some kind of grounding mat, earthing mat, I like the BioMat coz it combines the infrared with negative ions; works really well, too.
A few other things for the bedroom. There were certain formulas that Dr. Parsley brought up last night. GABA, gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you to fall asleep, and he actually mentioned that as something that he was gonna put into his sleep formula, I think. He’s not here, so now I can totally bash him (chuckles). GABA is a big molecule; it’s not supposed to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier. If it does cross the blood-brain barrier, it reflects issues with the integrity of your blood-brain barrier and a lot of times you’ll see people with neural inflammation, which can be created from food allergies, gluten is a big trigger for that kinda stuff; again, a lot of exposure to electronics can cause it. The problem is GABA should not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier; your brain supposed to stay up there in your head. I like passionflower because it’s an herb that causes your body to make its own GABA. What this works really well for, and I keep this next to my bed at night, is if you wake up at like 3 or 4 AM, how many of you in here wake up early in the morning and it’s like you’re kind of on the cusp of “should I just get out of bed and start my day or should I try to get more sleep?”
Passionflower helps you fall back asleep for another two or three hours; just causes your brain to release this dump of inhibitory neurotransmitters. Super simply, you can get droplets off Amazon, dissolve them on your tongue for about 60-90 seconds, let it sit there and then just fall back to sleep; so passionflower is one that I keep in my bedroom. Another one, and again I don’t use it before bed, I use it if I wake up in the morning, and then lavender is another really good one. Lavender, totally natural essential oil; I first discovered this when we started giving it to our kids, our little babies, to help them sleep at night. But sprinkle a little bit of lavender on your pillow or on the back of your neck can be really, really good especially at night to help you sleep, so I’m a big fan of lavender as another oil. Passionflower and lavender are two just totally natural herbs that I find really relaxing. Incidentally, lavender you can also rub it on the bottom of your feet; any of these essential oils get really good absorption on the bottom of your feet so lavender, frankincense, lemon balm, any of these are very, very calming soothing oils that are great for the bedroom.
Pulse electromagnetic field therapy: so this is kind of a cool device. We were just talking about earthing and grounding; the Earth actually emits these hertz frequencies called a Shumann Resonance. Has anybody in here heard of the Schumann Resonance? It’s what you’re getting exposed to when you’re grounding or earthing or when you’re in touch with the planet. This PEMF device, and there’s a variety of different devices out there that are used for healing injuries especially for bones and connective tissue, it releases that same Schumann frequency. So I keep a PEMF device on hand for two things: one, to heal injuries faster. If you get a PEMF device, it’s a magnet; you hold the magnet up against an area of tissue or a bone that’s been affected for about 15-20 minutes a few times a day and it can work very well for enhancing injury without you having to go visit a physical therapist. The other thing that it works well for though is jet lag. If you’ve traveled across multiple time zones, putting this underneath your mattress, you could use it with an organic mattress, you could use it with a BioMat, you could use it for whatever; I don’t use it everyday, only after I’ve done a lot of travel across multiple time zones, you put it underneath your mattress and it helps you sleep and it helps repair your body while you sleep. They’re called pulse electromagnetic field therapy, there’s a bunch of different devices out there. This one’s called an EarthPulse; they also make coils that you can wrap around injured body parts, as well. Really, really cool technology.
Couple of other things, these are more things that I use when I’m travelling; these are not things that I use at home as much. Binaural beats. If you look at brainwaves, different brainwaves have different frequencies, and so for example, the alpha brainwaves zone is 8-10 hertz and that’s kinda like when were just doing box breathing, we were starting to tap into that zone with Mark a few minutes ago. The alpha brainwave zone, being 8-10 hertz, means that if I put a 405 hertz signal in my right ear and a 395 hertz signal in my left ear, then that’s gonna produce a signal of about 10 hertz and start to enhance my alpha brainwave production; that’s what a binaural beat is, it’s just one frequency in one ear and one frequency in another ear. And typically the way that you use binaural beat apps and sounds and tunes is you put headphones on; usually needs to be a good stereo headset. Don’t use the crappy one that you got off the airplane for free. So a good stereo headset, the ones that you get with your iPhone work fine, and you put those in and you play binaural beats and if you select a binaural beat that’s supposed to help you sleep, that’s supposed to enhance delta brainwave frequency, it does that. So I use this one on airplanes; the app that I use is called Pzizz. I don’t remember if it’s free or if it costs but it was cheap if it costs, like a couple of bucks. Anyways, you put that on, and understand that the first five/six times you use it, it’s not gonna work, it’s based off of brainwave entrainment. You actually have to use these apps a few times. So the first few times you use it, just lay there, let yourself get relaxed, you’re probably gonna fall asleep; and then about a half a dozen times in, you start to fall asleep everytime you use it. So it’s called Pzizz, you set it for however long you wanna sleep when you’re on an airplane or just like, take a nap somewhere and it covers up noise, plays these binaural beats, got a cheesy, really relaxing guy’s voice on it; so there’s that: Pzizz app.
Couple of other things for sleep: melatonin. One of the problems with melatonin is it’s either not absorbed in your gut or it’s absorbed way too quickly; you get a surge of melatonin and so if you take melatonin before bed at night, a lot of times you’ll wake up at like 2 or 3 AM once the melatonin wears off. So the trick is you figure out how to get a slow bleed of melatonin. Now I’m not a huge fan of using melatonin unless I’m travelling because I have hesitations about the potential for it shutting down my own endogenous production of melatonin by my own body, and the evidence kinda goes back and forth on that but I just wanna be careful. So I primarily only use melatonin when I’m travelling but when I do, I use a patch. You can get a melatonin patch; this one’s made by Respro. You can find this on Amazon. And you put it in an area of high blood flow like on the inside of your arm or the inside of your thigh; you put it on for about 20-30 minutes before bed, you leave it on there while you sleep, and if you find that these fall off, I usually have to put a little strip of scotch tape on to keep it on a little bit better if I’m thrashing around while I sleep or what. But I wake up sometimes and they fall off, but a melatonin sleep patch can work really, really well for getting that slow bleed of melatonin while you’re asleep.
One other thing about sleep, or about the bedroom really and this is something I do every single morning, is a heart rate variability measurement. Who brought up heart rate variability yesterday, was it Rob or Dr. Parsley? Somebody was talking about it, but heart rate variability is very, very simple; it’s the amount of time that’s spent in-between each heartbeat. And ideally there should be mild beat-to-beat fluctuations, like tiny microsecond beat-to-beat fluctuations in between each heartbeat. If there is, that’s a sign that you have a healthy, robust nervous system. It means that what’s called your sinoatrial node in your heart, which is responsible for all those pacemaker cells in your heart actually contracting. It’s responding to signal from your vagus nerve, and your vagus nerve is based off of feedback from your sympathetic, your fight-and-flight, and your parasympathetic, your rest-and-digest, nervous system. So when you’ve got good feedback from both these branches of your nervous system, you have this beat-to-beat fluctuation in heart rate variability and your heart rate variability is what’s called “high”.
So if heart rate variability is high and you wake up in the morning and you’re doing this measurement every morning coz you have your little app next to your bed at night with the heart rate monitor with some kind of a patch that allows you to measure, then you know, from the point that you wake up in the morning, and you can even do this while you’re box breathing or journaling or whatever it is that you do in the morning; you can kill two birds with one stone here. You’ll get that heart rate variability measurement and you’ll know “okay I should go hard today; I should go easy today; today’s a WOD day; today’s a yoga and an easy swim day” and you can make micro adjustments in your training, in your work, in your stress based off of what you’re getting from your heartrate variability number. And you can also use to peak for an event, like if you’re getting ready for a big event, a race, a big workout, whatever, and you wanna do what’s called “super compensation”, you can purposefully stress yourself out physically, drive yourself into a few days of low heart rate variability, and once you’re got about two to three days of low heart rate variability logged, then you can start to tap into the rest days and you can basically get yourself into that overreached valley and then super compensate.
There’s all sorts of cool things that you can do with heart rate variability and I could talk this whole time about HRV, but the idea here is get an app on your phone and then measure for about five minutes. Most research, to allow the levels to stabilize, use a minimum of a five minute measurement so make sure you’re not using one of these apps where you put your finger on and it tells you 30 seconds later what your HRV is. Technically it should take about five minutes to get a good measurement. Okay, let’s talk about the office.
“Did anyone see my stapler?”
Okay, so first of all: standing. We’ve probably all heard the news that sitting is the new smoking and that no matter how much you exercise, at the end of the day if you’ve been sitting all day, you still have a really, really high risk for a variety of chronic diseases. So the idea is you don’t necessarily wanna stand all day and I don’t stand all day. I own a standing desk but I’m like “I’m standing at my standing desk then I’m kneeling then I’m lunging then I’ll lay down on that BioMat for a little while and I’ll stand back up”. The trick is to be in a variety of different positions during the day. That’s why I like these stand up desks that allow you to go from a high position to a low position. Now the reason I’m a fan of the kind that have cranks on them is because the kind that have push buttons have EMF; it’s an electrical motor that they run on. I try and reduce EMF as much as possible, I tell people I don’t have a smart home; I have a stupid home because there’s no WiFi, there’s no Bluetooth, I made sure I don’t have any of those smart appliances installed. It’s just like living in a tent, more or less.
So my standing desk, plus it’s an extra workout for your biceps, has a crank on it that’ll go up and down. I use one called a Rebel Desk, there’s one called a Vera Desk, Focal, Upright, Mixa desk. There’s variety of different desks out there but if you invest in a good standing desk that has a hand crank on it, it’ll really allow you to not only avoid a lot of the issues that tend to occur when you’re sitting during the day; when you’re standing you get increased BDNF, that’s brain-derived neurotrophic factor, it allows for increased neuronal growth. I’m trying to convince the school that my kids are going to to install stand up desks in the entire first grade classroom just so we can get this for kids too. And these are really cool standing desks; they have a little bar on the bottom where kids can fidget and move. Very, very good for kids as well.
So the next thing is a treadmill, if you wanna take things to the next level. You can actually put a treadmill in front of a standing desk and this is the way that I have my office set up now, is I’ve got a standing desk, I have the treadmill, and then there’s a space beside the treadmill where I could stand, and there’s an adjustable chair that will go up and down as the standing desk moves up and down. But by putting a treadmill in front of a standing desk, you can walk and move while you’re talking on phones; once you get your coordination down, practice this for a little while, you can type, you can work on your computer, probably even draw pretty pictures on the computer, I dunno. You have to get pretty coordinated, but a manual treadmill, of course for the reason I’ve just outlined, is better than a motorized treadmill. Now the problem that I have is most manual treadmills that you put in front of a standing desk, they only go like 3 ½ or 4 miles an hour, so you could never run on them and if you wanna have a treadmill in your home for sprinting, running intervals, et cetera, you’re gonna have to buy two treadmills, right? One for your standing desk and then one for your gym or one for treadmill repeats if you wanna do treadmill runs. I use this treadmill called the True Form Treadmill; it allows me to run as fast as I wanna run, so as fast as I can sprint, the belt will move with me, so I could go 12, 13, I could sprint 20 miles an hour; do it all the time. No I’m just kidding. But you can sprint as fast as you wanna go on this thing but you can also walk during the day, so that one’s called a True Form. I have that set up in front of a standing desk and it’s a really, really good way to make my office just super-duper active.
So, few of the things in the office: first of all, you already know what negative ions are; I explained that to you, so know that you can, in addition to having mats and grounding and earthing and getting inside and being barefoot, you can put things that generate negative ions in your office. The best thing would be a waterfall, and I’m totally not kidding. If you could get one of those waterfall makers, when water splashes it generates negative ions, that’s why it feels so cool when you’re out in the forest and you walk up to a waterfall and you (inhales) breathe in that air and you feel so good; that’s coz you’re just dumping negative ions into your body. It’s tough to get a big Multnomah waterfall-size waterfall in your office but there are negative ion generators you could use. Purely Products makes one for like 25 bucks on Amazon; can plug that in underneath your desk. There’s one called a harmonizer that you can find on Amazon, and even these really cheesy hippie Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp things; those actually do release negative ions. So they not only look cool, but you can put one on your desk too, so it’s up to you, you can go from Star Trekky all the way to hippie to the cheap-o ionic purifier. But putting some form of negative ion generation into your office is a really good idea.
A lot of stand-alone Hepa air filters, which are great for purifying air of mold or fungus and mycotoxins and a lot of the things that can kinda mess around with your brain function during the day; a lot of these Hepa air filters, they actually have negative ion generators in them, so you can kill two birds with one stone with this, too. If you have an office space that you can put an air filter into because you’re concerned about air quality in the area that you’re working, these things can generate negative ions. Just do a search for “Hepa air filter negative ion generator” on Google or on Amazon and you’re gonna find a few that have negative ion generators. You can also get, what I’ve done in my own home, is I’ve just had a central Hepa air filter installed, I use one made by a company called AllerAir, as in “allergy air”; but the idea is it’s got an ozone cleaner in it, it zaps mold, mycotoxins, fungus, any of the things that tend to be kinda circulating through your home that can potentially hold back cognitive performance, give you a little bit of brain fog, and they can even get rid of things like yeast and fungus and candida and things of that nature if that’s something that you struggle with from a gut standpoint. Having a good air filter is a good idea, especially if you live in an older apartment or home that has mold or mildew issues, but even if it’s just in your office, it’s a really good place to have.
Electronics, especially laptops, are very notorious for this: if they’re ungrounded, they generate a lot more EMF and you can ground your laptop, it’s very, very simple. These little cables cost about 3-4 bucks. You plug in one end to the USB port on your laptop and you plug the other end into the three-prong outlet on your wall. If you work on a laptop during the day or if you’re working on a laptop sitting on your lap and you’re, whatever, at the airport, you can pull one of these out of your bag, plug one end to the USB port, plug the other end into the three-prong outlet and it grounds your laptop, so it reduces the amount of EMF that it releases. Very, very simple hack, so the way that I have my office set up is just, next to my desk I got one of these constantly plugged in, and when I have my laptop and I put it on top of the desk I just plug the USB cable into that; very, very simple. So grounding your laptop is a good idea.
Few other things in the office: WiFi routers. Of all the different things that generate electromagnetic pollution in your environment, a WiFi router’s one of the biggest culprits. There’s this really interesting study they did a couple of years ago where they grew plants at this elementary school and they had one plant that was next to a WiFi router and one plant that wasn’t, and over a series of weeks they studied the plants and the one that was sitting next to the router was shriveled and didn’t grow and was just nasty and the other one thrived and grew. So WiFi routers do things to living organisms. You got a couple of options: one, if you’re able to modify your house, you could just hardwire everything, right? Like no matter where you’re at, have Ethernet rather than having your WiFi router turned on. The other option is if you’re desk, if your office, has a WiFi router in it, get a short or long Ethernet cable and plug that into the router, and then turn the radio signal on the router off. So you’re hardwired into the router and it’s not releasing a signal. A lot of people will hardwire into the router but they’ll forget to turn off the signal, and most routers if you turn ‘em around, most WiFi boxes they typically have a URL you can go to. A lot of times it’s just 192.168.0.1; you type that in your browser, you type in the username and the password that’s on the back of the wireless box, and that will allow you to turn the radio signal on or off, or even decrease the strength of the radio signal, right, so it’s not blasting through your entire house, but is just in your office. So, WiFi router, mess around with that thing, get it to the point where it’s not releasing WiFi signal or using it minimally; so hardwire as much as possible.
Blue light blockers, those came up last night. I won’t spend too much time on this but getting a good pair of glasses that decreases the amount of blue light that you’re exposed to. If you want to take this one step further and enhance your reading speed, your visual acuity, and your depth perception, there’s a company called Irden, I-R-D-E-N; they’ve got outfitters in most cities and you sit with an Irden specialist for about four to five hours, and they test out a variety of different colors with you as you read and do eye tests. And at the end of the fitting, they generate a color that’s customized to the specific set of rods and cones at the back of your eye. Now once you have that Irden lens finished, you can ask them to put what’s called an amber lens on top of that color, so what you wind up with is a pair of glasses that enhances your visual acuity but also blocks blue light. Now all-in, you’re gonna spend anything from 600-800 bucks on this set of glasses but your fitting will stay with you for life; you can put it in your own set of frames, you can choose a frame from whatever company you want like Oakley, Ray Ban, whatever, and then they’ll put that custom set of lenses into that frame for you after you ship that frame to whoever did your Irden fitting. So a really cool way to customize blue light blockers if you wanna spend a crazy amount of money on a pair of glasses.
A few other things: screen dimmers. We talked about these last night too, GetFlux is the one that you can put on your computer that’ll decrease blue light on your computer based whatever area of the world that you happen to be in. You can put one on your phone, but you have to jailbreak your phone if you wanna put flux on your phone. Flux is available as an app in the jailbroken App Store. The other option is if you go to the iPhone App Store, the Android App store, and you just type in “screen dimmer”, there’s a bunch of different apps that just make dimming your screen as fast as pushing a button. So because I got tired of jailbreaking my phone I just installed one of these free screen dimmers on my phone; I put it on the main page where all the apps are, the first page that I see like my Home screen, I push the button and I can dim the screen right away. So as soon as it gets dark, I dim the screen on my phone, and then I got flux installed on the computer.
Okay, two more things for the office: one is dirty electricity filters. These are also called stetzer filters. I use some made by a company called Greenwave, and the way that these work is they plug into the existing outlets in your home and they decrease the amount of electrical surges that occur as power moves from different sources that are having power delivered to them back to the substation through the ground. You’ll typically get surges in your home, electrical power surges, and if it’s happening, especially in your office where you’re standing by outlets or on your bed if you’re sleeping by an outlet in your bedroom, this can cause a lot of electrical pollution as well. So I mostly have these in the bedroom and in the office. If you go to the Greenwave website, you can get a home pack. It’s like 8 or 12 of these; you don’t have to put ‘em in every room of your house, but any place in your house where you’re spending a lot of time next to the outlet, right? So if you have a desk and you’ve got an outlet underneath your desk that you know you’re sitting by all day or standing by or running on your treadmill by, put it into there. Or if you have an outlet next to your bed where your head’s next to all night, put it into there. Okay, so these dirty electricity filters.
If you wanna test and see if any of these things are actually working, there’s a really cool way to do it. There’s this device that plugs into your phone, it’s called a Lapka, have any of you used this before? Okay, so the Lapka plugs into your phone and it’s got an electromagnetic field measuring device so you can walk around your house and you can see which areas of the house are producing the greatest amount of electromagnetic field pollution, but it has a bunch of other attachments too; it’s got a nitrate detector, it’s this little prong with a nitrate detector and you can just push that into any fruit or vegetable and see the amount of nitrates in it, which tells you whether or not it actually has been exposed to fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides and stuff like that. It’s got a radiation detector on it, it’s got a humidity and temperature setting sensor on it; really cool device, it’s called a Lapka, L-A-P-K-A. You get this and you plug it into your phone and super-duper Star Trek-y; you guys are gonna be totally geeked out by the time we finish this thing.
Okay, but your kitchen gonna look like it came out of the 1940s. This is my kitchen, actually, that’s my wife in her apron and her high heels, a GMO-free pineapple there. Everything’s black and white in my house too, I told you that. Anyways though, there are things that you can do in your kitchen and I’m kind of joking but kind of not, like get rid of your microwave. Even if you don’t use your microwave, and I won’t go into too much depth about how much microwave affects the actual quantum electricity of a food; the photoelectric potential of a food like vegetables and fruits and all that. They get exposed to sunlight, they’ve got photoreceptors in them, they get jam-packed with a lot of energy from sunlight, and you can zap that completely out of them with a microwave. But in addition to that, when a microwave is plugged in, it’s constantly releasing an electrical signal. I mean, get that Lapka device I was talking about and walk into your kitchen and get closer and closer to your microwave and see what happens to that signal even if the microwave isn’t on. So I would recommend that you rip your microwave out of your kitchen; you can put a nice painting in the whole that it leaves there in the wall and just get rid of it. So toss the microwave; we have one of those, for fast heating, we have our oven and of course the broiler setting on the oven works really well but these little toaster oven heaters, those work really well too for just flash heating stuff. But I recommend that you get rid of the microwave, learn how to boil, broil, cook, steam, stuff like that.
Few other things that we have around in the kitchen that allow us to make good use of waste but also cook things in more ancestral ways: food dehydrators. So if you do things like, I’ll talk about this in a second, juicing, does anybody in here juice like carrots and ginger and lemons and stuff like that? You can save the pulp, you can dehydrate that and you can use carrot pulp, lemon pulp, things along those lines for flour or to basically thicken things that you’re baking with like bread for example, but a food dehydrator; we use one called an Excalibur, it looks like this. And being able to do things like learn more ancestral methods of food preparation, even if you take something as simple as nuts, right? Like a lot of us will go out and buy bulk nuts from the grocery store, and I used to do this all the time. I just buy the nuts and I eat ‘em, but it turns out that nuts and the skin of nuts and a lot of the interior of nuts as well have the ability to inhibit digestive enzyme activity in your gut. And a lot of times if you soak a nut, it allows a lot of that to be decreased, so you can soak a nut overnight in like a glass mason jar, you can rinse it and then you toss it in the food dehydrator, and you just let it go; it’s like a 5-minute extra step, really doesn’t take that much time. But learning how to dehydrate food’s really, really cool, you can learn to make your own beef jerky; all sorts of stuff. So I’m a big fan of having a food dehydrator; you can put it in the hole where the microwave isn’t at anymore.
A good blender, honestly when I talk to people who are athletes, they’re typically pretty far into blending mode anyway coz they’ve been blending whey protein smoothies since they were in college, but having a good blender around is a good idea; don’t just settle for the Magic Bullet, get something, like I make smoothies with avocados and I’ve got a smoothie that can blend the avocado pit, which by the way is actually jam-packed with antioxidants and all sorts of cool stuff, but getting a blender that can just about anything; Vitamix is a good brand, OmniBlender is a good brand. There’s another one, Blendtec is another good blender, but get a good blender; don’t just settle for the cheap-o Magic Bullet or Cuisinart. Having a good blender around that’s another little tool we have in the kitchen; a juicer, we have one of these as well. As an athletes, I really like inflammatory juicing recipes so I don’t really juice fruit, but one of my favorite recipes and I do this almost every week, is I juice carrot with ginger with lemon. So all of that goes through the juicer and into the cup, and then once that’s done I add olive oil and sea salt. And if this is a pre-workout or post-workout, you can also add turmeric, which works really, really well along with the ginger as an anti-inflammatory, and then amino acids. So you can get amino acids powders and you can add that in and that actually turns it into a really potent workout beverage/sports drink. You don’t have to do pears and apples and shove eight bananas into a juicer or anything like that, not that you put bananas in a juicer, anyways. But anyways making a good, high-quality anti-inflammatory juice, I’m a big fan for having a juicer around for stuff like that.
Few of the things we have in our kitchen: we don’t use plastic, we use either these pyrex containers that’s like glass with a BPA-free plastic lid or else we use these old-school glass mason jars because plastic leech a lot of endocrine disruptors into food, and a lot of times when someone comes to me and they have trouble losing weight, for example, and they’re working out and they’re eating right, and I can smell ‘em coming a mile away coz the endocrine disrupting perfume that they’re wearing is dumping a bunch of estrogens in the body or their cologne that’s disrupting testosterone. And you know right away there’s some other things at play; natural household cleaners, natural fragrances like using essential oils like frankincense and sandalwood and musk and a lot of these things that replace the common chemicals that you’re gonna find in a lot of personal care products and household cleaners, that’s a good idea but one of the best places to start is just with what you’re keeping your food in coz you’re eating your food and that’s going straight into your body; if you’re eating a bunch of plastics along with the food, plastics leech their plastic into food, especially if you’re heating that food in the plastic, but even if it’s at room temperature or refrigerated, you’re still gonna get a little bit of plastic. So we store everything in clean glass; glass or stainless steel is another option. There’re even companies like Clean Canteen, for example, that make stainless steel-type of beverage holders.
And then finally, like I mentioned, natural cleaners; we don’t really buy any cleaners from the grocery store. I’ll give you guys recipes and links at bengreenfieldfitness.com/unbeatable14, but some of our staples: lemon, vinegar, and oil of oregano; those are three biggies. Oil of oregano is a really potent anti-viral, anti-septic, anti-bacterial, it’s really good for cleaning; lemon does a good job as well; vinegar does a good job as well. But pretty much everything that we clean our house with is all 100% natural, so make sure that you educate yourself by how to do this; you’ll save a lot of money and it’s kinda fun to make your own cleaning products.
Okay, we’re gonna go on to the gym and how to biohack your gym. And these are the people at the gym whose Bluetooth or phones that they’re talking on the treadmill and I’ll rip off their face and pile under a mountain of kettlebells; don’t be that person at the gym. There are a few things at the gym that I keep in my gym; again we’re talking about biohacking, right? Enhancing efficiency while you’re working out or enhancing your ability to get more results from what you do. I restrict oxygen when I work out a lot of the time. I’ll even take a yoga session and restrict oxygen during that yoga session by wearing one of these training masks. I know they look weird, it’s fun sometimes to pretend you’re Bane from Batman, but you put these things on and you don’t even have to do intervals. You could technically do your laundry or clean your house while wearing an elevation training mask and a weighted vest and get a workout, but I’ll take any workout that would normally be kinda easy, like an easy mountain bike ride or a hike with my kids or chopping some wood in the backyard or whatever, I’ll put on the elevation training mask, it jacks up the heart rate. Doesn’t put any extra stress on the muscles, so you can even use it for recovery workouts, for example, but it just makes your lungs work that much harder; so you’re strengthening your inspiratory and expiratory muscles. I know these things are cheesy but it’s not all hype in marketing; they actually do work and this is one of the biohacks I keep around my office.
Another one is, of course, a weighted vest and I wore a weighted vest on the airplane on my way down here; I walk around in a weighted vest just to burn a few extra calories, get the body a little bit extra stronger, increase bone density; you can get weighted vests just about anywhere and use them. Don’t just save them for treadmill sprints or something like that, you can wear these during the day, you can wear them while you’re walking on a treadmill or working at your standing desk. I’m a big fan of just working in little biohacks here and there that get you a little bit stronger. Having a good weighted vest or maybe two which one that’s the stinky one and one that you can wear on the airplane. But having a good weighted vest is another thing that I keep around the gym.
Okay let’s talk about some other kinda cooler things: hypoxic air generator. Has anybody in here ever go compete at altitude, train at altitude? Okay. So altitude has some pretty cool physiological things that it does to the body like increasing the production of red blood cells, production erythropoietin, enhancing your ability to produce what you call the endothelial nitric oxide synthase which allows vessels to vasodilate and vasoconstrict a little bit better, but again, just like it’s kinda hard to put a huge waterfall in your office, it can be tough to put the top of a tall mountain out in your backyard. So you can get these hypoxic air generators that allow you to breathe air that’s essentially got the oxygen sucked out of it. You can do what’s called intermittent hypoxic training, where you work for a little while with the mask on, and then you take it off, and then you put it back on, and then you take it off; you can do full-on hypoxic training sessions where you’re running on a treadmill or riding a bicycle while you are actually hooked up to the hypoxic air generator. It’s tough to do weight training workout with something like a hypoxic air generator coz usually there’s a tube that’s attached to the mask and that’s attached to the hypoxic air generator on the other end. And typically there’s an air filter in between, so you’d have to be dragging this thing around the weight room if you were to bring it to the gym; you’d get some funny looks. But just keeping this in your office or keeping it next to a piece of cardio training equipment to get a lot of the really cool physiological effects that occur when you’re training at altitude, or to get you ready for performing at altitude; really, really cool device to have around. These Hypoxico Air Generators, you can rent them if you’re just getting ready, let’s say you’re prepping for a climb in three months; you can rent ‘em and put ‘em in your house for training. The other option is you can just buy ‘em and have ‘em around; they’re a few hundred bucks to rent on a monthly basis and they’re several thousand dollars to purchase, but it’s a cool training toy to have around.
A few other things just for enhancement, little biohack. Biohack your foam roller. If you’re doing deep tissue work, I like these foam rollers that have the ridges on them that really dig into muscle tissue and allow muscle adhesions to get removed more quickly compared to a smooth foam roller. So this company called Rumble Roller and it’s a really, really hard foam roller; it’s as hard as a PVC pipe but then it’s got the ridges coming out of it. This foam roller, I’ll spend two times a week about 20-30 minutes making love to this bad boy and you feel it a lot more than you do a regular foam roller. So Rumble Roller, biohack your foam roller, get your deep tissue work in.
One last thing, and this is especially true if you are gonna take that route of the standing desk and staying on your feet all day maybe wearing a weighted vest while you’re doing it, you’ll get a lot of blood pooling to your extremities. Unless you want Las Vegas waitress’ veins by the time you’re 50 and varicose and all that jazz, you wanna drain the blood out of your legs. So you can, for example, wear compression, like I’m wearing compression socks right now, right? Coz I’ll spend a lot of time standing and walking around today, or I’ll sometimes wear compression tights when I’m at home, but I’m also keeping an inversion table out in my garage. You can get these for cheap off of Craigslist. A lot of times rich people who bought inversion tables who don’t know what to do with them, they’ll pay you to come haul ‘em away. But you can put an inversion table out in your garage or somewhere in your house or in your gym, and you just hang from that for about 5-10 minutes at the end of the day, you can do this a couple of times a week, it works really well if you’ve had a road trip or you’ve been sitting on an airplane for a long time; you need a lot of compression. So you can lengthen your back, lengthen your joint, you can do what’s called “traction” on your joints by hanging from an inversion table. The other cool thing is that it forces the growth of capillaries in your head, so it improves blood flow to your head, as well. A lot of really cool downstream effects that occur with these things, and unlike a yoga inversion pose where you’re inverted and you got your legs up against the wall, it decompresses you, right? Like anytime you’re doing a headstand or a handstand, you’re not decompressed; there’s still a lot of compression occurring in the spine. When you hang, that doesn’t occur so an inversion table; good investment, cool biohack.
Alright, let’s talk about the bathroom, finally. And I can’t wait for number 2 to come out, by the way, Dumb and Dumber 2. I guess if you’re listening to this, not watching it, me saying I can’t wait for number 2 to come out. [laughs] Had to clarify there.
Ben: It’s a photo of Dumb and Dumber; two guys who… Okay, let’s go. Although we’re still gonna talk about number 2. So Squatty Potty, basically most modern westernized toilets, when you sit on them, cause a kink, a bend, to occur in your puborectalis muscle, and that can keep stuff from flowing the way that it’s supposed to, it can cause you to strain, it can cause hemorrhoids, it can cause a lot of issues down there when it comes to straining, constipation, et cetera. So the way that a Squatty Potty works is it goes next to the toilet. So normally if you’re taking a dump in the hole in the ground, we’ll see if I can do this in my tight jeans. You get down like this, right? So what a Squatty Potty does is it puts you at that same angle except your butt’s kinda lightly sitting on the toilet seat and your feet are on this stool and they even make nice little fashionable bamboo versions if you don’t want this big white ugly stool in your bathroom that all your friends are gonna ask you about when they go in there and then you have to do what I just did to demonstrate to them and it can get awkward.
So Squatty Potty, and they actually shove up next to the toilet and they can kinda blend in so you don’t get too many weird looks but figuring out a way to push your body into a position that’s more biomechanically favorable when you take a dump is actually something I classify as a biohack. And when I am travelling and I don’t have my Squatty Potty, I will get a chair; I’ll drag the office chair from the office area of the hotel room into the bathroom and I’ll get up on the chair and I’ll take a dump in the toilet like this. Just because I’m so used to doing things more naturally, so Squatty Potty; good investment.
Water filter. So your skin is a mouth and a lot of use will use Brita water filters or Biowater bottles and hopefully now you know, buy the glass water bottles, right? Not the plastic ones if you are gonna buy water bottles. But if you really want to take this seriously and you’re serious about the health of your family and yourself and your skin, the water that you’re showering in, bathing in, drinking, et cetera, you’re eventually gonna wanna just filter all the water in your home with some kind of a central filtering unit. Most of us that are living in US municipalities are drinking or bathing or showering in chlorinated and fluorinated water. There are some places that aren’t doing that; most of them are. So you need something that’s gonna remove chlorine and fluoride, and the problem is that anything that removes that, like a carbon filter for example, is a really good choice. Reverse osmosis works okay, but the problem is that a good filter, and I’m a bigger fan of a carbon-block filter, it removes the chlorine and the fluoride but it demineralizes the water, too. It just gets rid of the good stuff and the bad stuff, so if you use a filter like that, you have to re-mineralize your water. So I do recommend a carbon-block filter, like a really good filter, but understand you’re either gonna have to use a lot of sea salt during the day or you’re gonna need to use effervescent electrolyte tablets or even get some trace liquid minerals; you can get these in droplet form, and just make it a habit that when you’re drinking a big glass of water, you re-mineralize the water, you put a few drops of minerals into the water. So that’s a really, really good way if you’re not drinking well water, to be able to get around the chlorine and fluoride issues; a carbon-block filter. If you wanna take this even one step further, you should also structure the water, because after the water passes through the filter, it’s technically dead when it comes to a movement or vibratory standpoint. Water is meant to vibrate at a specific frequency just like the Earth when I was talking about grounding and earthing, vibrates at a specific frequency. You can get water called “structured water filters” and you can setup, a plumber could easily do this if you were to buy two different filters, right? You buy a carbon-block filter and then you buy a structured water filter, your water passes through the carbon-block filter after it comes into your home and then after that it passes through what’s called a structured water filter. A structured water filter is just a series of glass beads that the water goes through that gets it vibrating again, and it’s able to hydrate you and your body finds that a lot more nourishing and natural when the water’s actually vibrating once again at those frequencies that it did when it was travelling through the ground. Okay, so carbon-block filter and/or reverse osmosis, I like the carbon-block better, and then have it pass through some kind of a structured filtering system after that; really, really good way to set up your home water filtration system.
Just a couple other things then I’m done. Personal care products, I really don’t use it unless I could eat it without dying or getting diarrhea or something nasty. So personal care products, for example my moisturizer that I use, I just use extra virgin olive oil. For deodorant I use coconut oil. For my hair pomade I use this stuff called Nature Blessings, it’s like coconut oil and jojoba oil, some natural essential oils. There’s a bunch of different companies that make natural toothpaste; one really good one is this dental herb company. I use Dr. Bronner’s for all my soaps, my chap stick, stuff like that. So I told you about personal care products and endocrine disruptors and make it a point, and I put some resources in the URL for you but start to think about it and that’s a very simple rule, right? Look at the label, if you wouldn’t be comfortable eating it or at least taking a dare to eat it, then don’t put it on your body or smear it on your hair.
And then finally coffee. Oh, trying to remember why I put this in the bathroom slide. [laughs] Okay, so I forgot I was gonna talk about this. [laughs] We have this kind of hesitation in western culture to talk about anything that involves putting things up our butts, but basically if you struggle with digestion, if you struggle with constipation, if you struggle with enzyme production and heartburn, a lot of things like that, many times you need a jumpstart of digestion and a jumpstart of bio-production. And in many cultures, some type of a colonic cleanse or an enema is quite common and acceptable, and I am actually a fan of getting a good stainless steel enema bucket and cleaning out your insides once a month, and that’s why I put this in the bathroom slide is a coffee enema with good coffee where you actually get a stainless steel bucket, you give yourself an enema, hold it in there for 20-30 minutes and go; just try it sometime. You will, don’t try it in your hotel room, now; make sure you get some good coffee first. You will feel clean as a whistle and if stuff doesn’t seem like it’s working for you down there when you’re going to the bathroom, this automatically just jumpstarts everything and you’re good to go. So I actually recommend doing this about once a month or so, coffee enema. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Okay, so finally, Mark mentioned I got a book, beyondtrainingbook.com and I talk about a lot of other biohacks, it’s a big book, and any other resources you want over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/unbeatable14. So, thank you guys and I don’t know if we have time for questions or not or where we’re at but…
Question and Answer:
Mark: Whoa, woo, that’s awesome. So Ben will being giving demonstrations on the Squatty Potty [giggles]…
Mark: …and the coffee enema at lunch time. You can sign up at the back.
Mark: You know, the reason I know that all this stuff works is Ben is actually 63 years old, but then I learned you’re also an alien so I’m not sure which is which.
Ben: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Mark: So we got time; we got a few minutes, right Jeff? For Q&A? Maybe 10 minutes? Yeah we got 10 minutes. Hoo-yah.
Ben: Alright, hoo-yah.
Moby: Moby here. Quick question. What are your thoughts on the copper compression things that they have out there for the joints and all that for healing or for stability?
Ben: Copper compression?
Ben: I’m only familiar with copper being used for fabric as an anti-bacterial; I don’t know why it would add any benefit as far as compression goes aside from compression you’ll get sweaty and hot I guess, copper would help you to clean up. I’m a huge fan of compression gear, and the compression gear that I use mostly is the stuff that comes with ice sleeves that you can put ice into so you can cool a muscle at the same time that you compress it. And there’s a company called “110%” that makes these compression tights and compression shirts, you get ‘em sent to your house. They come with the ice sleeves, you freeze the ice sleeves, you put ‘em in and the cool things is that helps a muscle to heal faster and also burns a bunch of extra calories as your body tries to stay warm. So that’s what I like for compression gear, but I’m not too familiar with the copper stuff aside from just copper as an anti-bacterial; so I wish I had a better answer for you.
Enquirer 2: Great presentation. If you’re just now getting into this, this is a lot to consume because a lot of people in America from a conditioning standpoint are not used to thinking in this manner or rewiring themselves. What do you recommend in regards to getting started from an inventory perspective and making it realistic because if you try to take on everything, you’re going to ultimately fail.
Enquirer 2: So that’s my first question and then the second question, once you identify your objective and et cetera, that can get really expensive once you start lining everything out so where would you start?
Ben: Yeah. Really it’s more starting with the omission rather than the commission, and I’m not referring to the enema when I say that. So as far as omission goes, cleaning up your environment when it comes to EMF’s, that’s number 1; WiFi router, cellphone, being constantly plugged in and exposed to signals, that’s a huge win right there. Another huge win is your personal care products and your household cleaning chemicals. Again, you’re saving money, you’re not spending money when you do that. There’s a little bit of opportunity cost in terms of doing the research or doing the stuff or, if you want to, you can go to the resource page that I have set up and use what I use if you don’t wanna go through the entire educational process, but omit the perfume that you find in Men’s Health Magazine and omit the fabric softeners from the laundry and omit the normal detergent and learn how to make your own with borax, for example, that’s another big one. And then if I could throw one more, it would be food. I mean, Rob gave a great presentation yesterday about food; pair that with what I just told you about the way that you store and prepare food, not microwaving it, not storing it in plastic, kinda getting away from the westernized conception of fast food, leaning more towards slow food and learning how to prepare your own food; those will be the three biggest things that you can start with and they’re all cheap to free to do that.
Enquirer 3: Great presentation, thank you. What are your thoughts on white noise or anything during sleep?
Ben: Yeah, white noise in kids and babies is a bad thing and that can actually disrupt neural growth, and they’ve done interesting studies in kids that have shown these white noise apps and things that cover up noise, they’re not good for sleep; they can disrupt sleep, they can disrupt brain development. In adults, interestingly they don’t have that effect. If you live in an area that has sirens, whatever, cat’s howling, I dunno what kinda red-light district you live in but you got lots of noise kinda coming in through the house, white noise can help cover that up. It’s good for airplanes, I’m an even a bigger fan of the binaural beats app; but I’m a fan of white noise, I like it. If you download a white noise app, there’s one that’s a little bit more therapeutic and less harsh called brown noise coz these white noise, pink noise, blue noise, brown noise; they all come in different frequencies, but brown noise is on that I found to be the least harsh when it comes to the way that you feel in your ears when you’re listening to it, so…
Enquirer 4: I’m right over here. Thanks again for that information. That was great. I really appreciate it. Wanted to go back to the home filter, what was the company name that you use for your home filter, if you could just tell us that one more time?
Ben: Well, the type of filter is a carbon-block filter. Now I’m not married to a specific brand because my home, I’m kinda off the grid; I just got well water. But…
Enquirer 4: I’m sorry for the air filter. I apologize, not for the water.
Ben: For the air filter, AllerAir is the central heap air filter. A-L-L-E-R Air, AllerAir.
Enquirer 5: Great presentation, Ben. I love this stuff; it’s right up my alley. This isn’t really a biohack, but you seem like a guy who’s probably experimented with a vibration platform. I was wondering if you use one, what do you think about ‘em?
Ben: I was hoping you were not gonna go anywhere other than vibration platform with that [laughs] as opposed to other vibrating things. Yes, I have experimented with a vibration platform. And what the research shows is that when you do it prior to a strength building activity, like a squat for example, that it can enhance your strength or power or force production during an activity that you do subsequent to exposure to a vibration platform. I just find it clunky and inconvenient to stay on the vibration platform, do a set on that, then go do my squats. So I don’t personally use it for that. I like a vibration platform just as a recommendation for folks who want lymph flow and blood going in the morning. For example, doing a little bit of yoga and some single leg stands and some body weight moves on a vibration platform in the morning; same way as you would use a mini-trampoline for example. And actually my dad and my grandma both used mini-trampolines when they get up in the morning to get the blood in the lymph flowing and tai-chi, you have like that bouncing movement that you use in tai-chi or qigong. Same type of concepts, and I like it for that more than I like it in the weight room for priming a body for activity just coz I don’t find it to be convenient, but you could use it for either of those things and there’s good research behind it. Also good research for bone density which is why NASA has used vibration platforms for astronauts; so yeah, I’m a fan and their no thrills vibration platforms like Dave Asprey’s company, the Bulletproof company, they make that just basic plain Jane, steel vibration platform and you can’t adjust the frequency or the settings but it vibrates, so…
Enquirer 6: Great, I have a question about the water. What do you think about the alkaline water and water softener, adding that to your home?
Ben: Hmm. Alkalinizing water, you do need to be careful with, more is not necessarily better. I was actually a little bit concerned when I was at US Crossfit and they still had that maxed out on alkalinizing setting. I would dial it back just a slightly. Too much alkalinity is not necessarily a good thing because your body actually has to release minerals to adjust that, and I was talking to one lady who bought this alkalinizer, jacked it up and one of her kids started having seizures after about a month of drinking highly alkalinized water. But if you’re living in an acidic environment, and you’re eating foods that have acidity or you’re drinking alcohol, which I know none of us do, but let’s just say that we’re the case which can create a state of metabolic acidosis, right, a little bit of alkalinity, even squeezing lemon juice into a glass of water can do that if you didn’t wanna buy an alkalinizer. But introducing a little bit of alkalinity can be a good thing, but I think the benefits of alkalinizing water are a little bit blown out of proportion. I think that if you’re eating a non-acidic diet, not getting a lot of metabolic acidosis, that you’re fine just having drinking water with a normal pH and then just introducing alkalinic foods.
Enquirer 6: What would be a pH that you would wanna be at?
Ben: I think it’s like 7.4-7.6, something like that. Don’t quote me on that, I’m not 100% sure of the exact pH but it’s somewhere in that range, so you sound like you “it’s 7” so 7.0, yeah that’s neutral alkalinity. Oay, we have a water expert here. So I don’t personally use a water alkalinizer.
Enquirer 6: Okay, and then I live here in San Diego and we don’t have very good water, so what do you think about maybe having a water softener, does that have anything to do with biohacking?
Ben: I’m not sure; I don’t use a water softener. So yeah, I don’t know the answer to that question, but it’s a great question and I will find out. If you e-mail me, I’ll find out for you. Lot of questions that I don’t know the answer to so I have to go educate myself.
Enquirer 6: Okay, sounds good. Thank you.
Enquirer 7: Got a couple of questions. First of all, you’re on well water; I’m on well water. Is there any kinda way to measure the nitrates and sulfates other than having a well inspector come out and pull a sample; is there something I can purchase to monitor myself that you’re aware of?
Ben: You know I’ve only ever had a water inspector come out to the house to measure iron sulfates, nitrates, et cetera. I haven’t tried that Lapka device that I talked about to measure nitrates, it probably could coz it’s just a probe that you’d put into something and measures, so it could probably measure nitrates but it wouldn’t do a full chemical and mineral analysis of the water. I’m not really sure, I mean obviously you’ve got these drips that are used for pools that are pH, chlorine and bromine, but I don’t think a full…
Enquirer 7: The nitrates are really important. I mean, if infants have more than is allowed, it could kill ‘em or it wouldn’t kill an adult so that’s what I was curious about.
Enquirer 7: My other question is in your book, do you talk about the “el-fields” and remedies for that as well as the chemicals that we talked about today? Do you talk about that in your book so we can continue?
Ben: Oh, the electrical fields?
Enquirer 7: Yes.
Ben: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of chapters particularly on your brain; how to fix what’s called HPA access dysfunction which happens when you’ve been through a lot of stress and cortisol and over-exercising and that type of thing, and then also how to restore neurotransmitter production, right? Like how to rebalance dopamine, serotonin, GABA, a lot of these chemicals that get out a whack in folks. So I have a couple of chapters in my book devotes to that, yeah.
Enquirer 7: And also do you have recipes for all those natural products? I’m a huge fan of that because there’s no animal testing.
Ben: Yeah, for free. On this website, I’ve got a link to an article that I wrote with. All my wife’s recipes for that stuff. So she’s a wizard with that, so yeah.
Enquirer 7: Beautiful. Thank you so much.
Enquirer 8: Thanks! Awesome talk. Not a water expert but was under the impression that reverse osmosis was the only thing that was gonna get down to get the two microns to get the fluoride out, so I’m not familiar with the carbon-block filter, I just kinda wondering if you could expand on that; why you think that’s better than the reverse osmosis?
Ben: To my knowledge, the carbon-block will actually filter out smaller micron content than the reverse osmosis; a good carbon-block filter. So that’s all I know about carbon-block is it’s supposed to be an even better filter than reverse osmosis, but again I’m not a complete water expert but the one that I’ve found to filter out fluoride, chlorine, all that stuff and produce a need for remineralization would be carbon-block.
Enquirer 8: And what’s the cost on those generally, do you know the average cost?
Ben: I don’t know, I’m not sure. Again I don’t have to use one, so…
Enquirer 9: Great presentation. Do you know anything about magnets?
Ben: Yeah, they make two things stick together from the North Pole and the South Pole.
Ben: Yeah, I mean like magnets, magnetic braces, magnetic bracelets, stuff like that, the idea is that they can somehow improve blood flow by attracting anything that’s electromagnetic that’s circulating in the blood to that area where the brace or the magnet or even where the magnetic sleeping pads and things like that; it’s supposed to improve blood flow. And I haven’t found a lot of success with them as far as injuries and things along those line. I mean technically, that PEMF device that I showed you is a magnetic field is what it produces, but it’s called a pulsed magnetic field and it’s very, very powerful. It’s much different than wearing one of these magnets and technically you’re not supposed to use it constantly all the time coz it could produce too much heat and a little bit of damage just like ultrasound for example. But as far as magnets go, I haven’t really found that much to be particularly efficacious for injuries; I haven’t noticed much of a difference when I wear a magnetic bracelet for example, these balancing bracelets, that type of thing, but the magnetic field therapy I have found to be useful.
Enquirer 9: Thank you.
Enquirer 10: Great talk. You speak about it a lot in your podcasts so I’m gonna ask; you didn’t go over it here but when it comes to temperature, sleeping and also I’ve got a pool, can you get too cold coz I can sleep around 40 degrees and my pool is 42 degrees?
Ben: Yeah, yeah; if you have adrenal fatigue or overtraining, absolutely. Any stressor that would normally just be a mild hormetic stressor that in moderation would allow your body to bounce back like heat, right? You sit in a sauna for 30 minutes, you produce a bunch of heat shock proteins. If you sit in a cold pool, you decrease your production of inflammatory cytokines and you increase your metabolism and all these sorts of cool things. But if you get too cold and you’re overtained and you have adrenal fatigued, that can be an issue. I’m not a huge fan of too much cold thermogenesis or heat exposure in those type of folks. You can of course get cold burns, you can get hypothermia. Obviously you could do too much of anything: exercise, cold, anything.
Enquirer 10: Right. After my long runs and up WODs or whatever, I’ll go head first right into the 42 degree water, bundle up and just sit there, and then go into a 106 degree Jacuzzi.
Ben: Yeah, hot and cold contrast is great for recovery. But understand that when you’re looking at cold thermogenesis for fat loss, for blood flow, anything like that, 55 degrees is low enough to get a really, really good effect. So you don’t have to go a lot lower than that. The pool that I do cold thermo-swim training is 60 degrees, which isn’t that cold when you first get in. Once you’ve been in it for about 20 minutes, your teeth start to chatter, but you don’t have to do a full cryotherapy 40-42 degrees freeze-your-balls-off type of temperature. I’ve done those chambers and come out and notice a little frosted dick when you walk out of those and you kinda wonder if that’s good for the boys or not.
Ben: Yeah, like 55 degrees is technically cold enough, so yeah.
Mark: We have time for one more question.
Ben: Question in the back from the redneck in the trucker hat back there; his hand raised.
Enquirer 11: Hey Ben, a couple things: I am actually a big fan of the coffee enemas myself, and all the research I’ve read says to keep it under about 10 minutes; you don’t want to re-absorb. Have you heard anything about that?
Ben: The reason that I recommend a higher amount of time is because a lot of folks who I’ve worked with have what’s called “small intestine bacterial overgrowth”. Many, many people have this, it creates heartburn, digestive issues, constipation, all sorts of issues and one of the problems is once you got small intestine bacterial overgrowth it inhibits the activity of what’s called a migrating motor complex, which is retrosponsible for peristalsis; getting things moving down here. And one of the ways to stimulate that thing to start firing is by holding in the urge to go to the bathroom after you’ve done something like an enema; after you’ve held that in. And typically 10 minutes isn’t a long enough period of time as 20 or 30 minutes to get that going. So in someone who struggles with digestive issues, to fix that sometimes you have to hold in an enema for a longer period of time. If you’re just trying to clean yourself out, 5 or 10 minutes works. Such a great question to end on. Awesome. Are we gonna?
Mark: Since you called on him, we’ll do one more.
Ben: Alright, we’ll take bad boy’s question right here.
Enquirer 12: It’s tough to follow up an enema question but [laughs] I was just wondering, a little bit late to the party, if you had to say there’s one thing you cannot get from diet that would be involved with peak performance besides sleep, what do you think it is? As an athlete, I take nitric oxide supplements, beta alanine, creatine, fish oils; what is the one thing that you think is just the staple in a very active person’s diet.
Ben: Essential fatty acids. And they’re called essential fatty acids coz they have that name, and they’re tough for your body to make and so they’re essential coz you gotta get them from the diet. And so I’m a huge fan of either a really good quality, high-grade fish oil on a daily basis, or if you don’t wanna use fish oil: algae. Like DHA and EPA-rich algae, like spirulina, chlorella, stuff like that. So either a fish oil or spirulina powder or chlorella powder or ideally both; that would be the number one thing.
Enquirer 12: Awesome.
Ben: Well I hope you enjoyed today’s show, and you can get all of the resources over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/unbeatable14. Also, of course, a big thank you to today’s sponsor, Onnit. Just head over to onnit.com/bengreenfield, you’ll get 10% off fitness gear as well as food, supplements, pretty much anything you want over there, but the magical URL is onnit.com/bengreenfield. Hey, thanks for listening, have a great week and we’ll be back to our regular programming next week. Talk to you then.
Last week, I spoke at former Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine’s Unbeatable Mind Summit. During my presentation, I showed how to stop electrical pollution, enhance your cognitive performance, detox your surroundings, and do everything possible to create an unbeatable environment in your bedroom, kitchen, gym, office and bathroom.
Resources For Your Bedroom
- Lighting Science
- DPL Infrared Light Therapy
- Essentia Natural Organic Mattress
- BioMat Infrared Sleep Mat
- Cold Thermogenesis
- Passionflower Sleep-Enhancing And Anxiety-Reducing Extract
- Young Living Essential Oils
- Earthpulse PEMF Sleep Machine
- Binaural beats
- Melatonin Sleep-Enhancing Patch
- Heart Rate Variability Tracker
Resources For Your Office
- Rebel Desk. Use the code BEN to save $40 on the desk and code GREENFIELD to save $20 on the adjustable height chair that comes with the desk.
- True Form Treadmill.
- Negative Ion Generator.
- AllerAir Air Filter
- Less EMF Grounding Cable
- Unplugged WiFi
- Irden Glasses
- Screen Dimmer
- GreenWave Dirty Electricity Filters
- Lapka Personal Environment Monitor
- Tianchi Chinese Adaptogenic Herbs
Resources For Your Kitchen
Resources For Your Gym
- Elevation Training Mask
- Pure Fitness Weighted Vest
- Hypoxico Air Generator
- Ancient Minerals Topical Magnesium
- Rumble Roller
- Inversion Table
Resources For Your Bathroom
- Squatty Potty
- Greenfield Naturals Water Filter– use code “bg15” for discount
- How To Detox Your Home And Personal Care Products
- Bulletproof Coffee Enemas