[0:00] Introduction/ Varidesk
[2:07] Introduction to this Episode
[3:40] All About Peter Shankman
[7:42] Why ADD and ADHD Are Responsible For Success
[8:59] What Peter Knows About ADD and ADHD From A Chemical Standpoint
[12:49] Did Peter Experiment with Dopamine Precursors and Nootropics
[16:14] How To Find Out If You Have ADD/ADHD
[17:41] How Peter Got Interviews With People With ADD/ADHD
[21:44] ADD/ADHD As Just A Title For Creative Or Busy People
[24:46] Quick Announcements/Nuts.com
[26:39] National Academy of Sports Medicine
[28:33] If Hacks Are Useful To People With ADD/ADHD
[29:39] Three Ways to Fast Reboot an ADHD Brain According to Peter
[31:32] Ben's Quick Tips Regarding Water
[33:47] Peter's Exercise Strategies
[36:08] What Kind of Foods Peter Eats
[38:19] Peter's Supplementation
[41:40] Lifestyle Tips for Those With ADD/ADHD
[45:41] What One Can Do For A Loved One That Has ADD/ADHD
[53:01.6] End of Podcast
Ben: Hello. It's Ben Greenfield. Sometimes I feel like Elmer Fudd when I say that. Hewwow! Hewwow! Hewwow! No, seriously. Hello. I hope your day is going well. I just got off a plane. I've been sitting on a plane for the past five hours. I hopped on a plane to fly down to Kauai, Hawaii, and I'm here for the week attending a friend's wedding celebration, and I must admit, doing a little bit of spear fishing on the side. I like weddings, and but I also like catching tasty fish. So my hip flexors are tight, I've been sitting a long time, but I wanted to get in here and get this podcast out to you.
Now, speaking of sitting, I wanna tell you about the benefits of standing. Now, you know the benefits of standing. Do I really need to insult your intelligence and tell you that maybe you stand or sit too much? You can stand too much too, did you know that? Standing too much is just as bad for you as sitting too much? Well, the idea is that in two rooms in my house, at my kitchen table, which annoys my wife, but I do it anyways, and also up in my bedroom, I have on the counter in the bedroom and down on the kitchen table this thing called a Varidesk. So it goes up and down, meaning I can kneel sometimes, I can lunge, like I am right now as I'm talking to you. I don't have my Varidesk with me, but if I did my computer would be on that. You can stand, you can sit, you name it. You could do jumping jacks or jump on a mini trampoline. I don't care. But this Varidesk goes straight up and down in literally seconds and allows you to use a computer, a laptop, PC, whatever you want.
They have a whole bunch of different models, and they're super affordable. They start at just 175 which, I would say, for allowing you to burn an extra 650 calories per week, is pretty good. Plus there's all the benefits of you not having low back pain, say, or high blood pressure. All sorts of cool benefits of standing. So you get a 30 day, risk-free guarantee on the Varidesk. The way that you try it is you go to VARIdesk.com, that's varidesk.com. VARIdesk.com. And if you, like today's guest, have ADD, you'll be able to just make that desk go up, and down, and up, and down, and up, and down.
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“You have a five year old kid, ‘Oh, he's hyper. He must have ADHD. Let's put him on meds.' That's the first solution, okay? Or maybe you wake 'em up early, you let him go run around for half an hour, you actually give protein for breakfast instead of frosted cereal sugar bombs, all of a sudden, you're gonna notice a massive change.” “When your body is producing it naturally, it knows exactly how much it has to give you. It says, ‘Okay. I'm gonna produce this much of X,' so your body releases this much Y of endorphins and things like that. You do a line of coke, your body's like, ‘Holy (censored)! Release everything we ever had!'”
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Ben: Hey, folks. Peter Shankman is my guest on today's podcast. And if you've been a longtime podcast listener, you may have actually heard Peter way back in the hundreds, which seems like it's eons ago. It was titled “Top Fitness Productivity Tips From Peter Shankman”. So long ago that I can’t guarantee that my voice wasn't bouncing around because I believe I had just gone through puberty. However, it's there. I'll link to it in the show notes for today's episode. You can find the show notes for today's episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/fasterthannormal. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/fasterthannormal. Why faster than normal? Well, it's because Peter is a big believer that ADD and ADHD are good for you. He believes they're not just good for you, but that they can actually make you more successful. And because of that, he has this relatively new website called Faster Than Normal at fasterthannormal.com, and it is a blog that focuses on the benefits of having ADHD, and ADD, and a podcast in which he interviews CEOs, and celebrities, and a whole bunch of successful, and people who I was frankly surprised to find out had ADHD or ADD, who have actually turned it to their advantage.
Peter, in his own right, is a relatively famous guy. He's a founder and CEO of something called The Geek Factory, which is a social media, marketing, and customer service strategy firm. And in the world of social media and marketing, he's probably best known for this really cool website that he has called Haro, H-A-R-O. That's where I first discovered him. H-A-R-O stands for “help a reporter out”, and you sign up for this service, and it actually sends you an e-mail each day, or on the days that you prefer, that tells you what reporters all around the world are looking for stories. And so, if you're a person who writes stories, who's available to be interviewed as an expert, et cetera, it's actually really, really good, free way to get out there in front of the media.
And because of his expertise in this area and a lot more of Peter's keynoted for a whole bunch of different clients, like the US Department of Defense, and Walt Disney World, and Sheraton, and American Express, and Cisco, and Sprint, and beyond, and because he does still have a little bit of time on his hands, plus he's ADD of course. He's an angel investor, he's a sub-4 marathon runner, he's an Ironman triathlete, he's a sky diver, he's on the advisory board for NASA, and he also recently authored the book “Zombie Loyalist: Using Great Service To Create Rabed Fans”. So he's kind of an underachiever, but we decided to have him on the show anyways. So, Peter, welcome.
Peter: Thank you. Good to be here. What a great intro. Rabid fans, by the way. I'm afraid I've actually created rabied fans. That wouldn't go over well.
Ben: That's my problem with being one of those guys, ever since I was a kid, I would read books to myself and not read them aloud. Part of that might be because I was homeschooled K through 12, and so I didn't spend a lot of time like standing up in class reading. And so I'll have these words that I pronounce inside my head. Another one, what is one that I'll do, like autofagey, versus autophagy. That one has come back to bite me before.
Peter: What's the one from the The Simpsons where Marge Simpson just shouts out, “Lisa, run like the wind!” And Lisa goes, “Mom, it's the wind!”
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. Run like the wind. There's one other, it's on the tip of my tongue. I'll remember it later on. But, yes, rabied versus rabid. Yes, good point. Okay. So anyways, ADD and ADHD. It's really, really interesting that you actually think that it's good for you, so let's just start right there. Why do you say that ADD and ADHD are actually responsible for success?
Peter: Best way I could phrase it is if you give everyone, you drive down the road, you're gonna see a lot of Hondas. You've got people in Hondas all over the place. You don't see that many Lamborghinis. Hondas are great cars. They'll get you where you need to go, whatever. Lamborghinis are fun. Lamborghinis are fast. Lamborghinis are pretty awesome. ADHD simply means that your brain runs at a faster level than a normal brain. Problem is, a lot of people don't know how to control that. You're used to driving a Honda, then I give you a Lamborghini, you try to drive it like a Honda. You're gonna crash into a tree. But if you've trained your brain or trained yourself to drive that Lamborghini the way a Lamborghini's supposed to be driven, you're gonna be cornering like it's on rails. You're gonna have a field day with that car, right? But you have to know how to drive it.
And so, the problem with ADHD is that we spend a lot of time teaching people to be one way, to be normal, not to do anything different, and our brains don't function that way. ADHD is very real. It simply means that we have less, we naturally produce less dopamine, monoamine inhibitors, adrenalin, things like that. And because of that, we have a hard time to stay focused until we learn how to use our brains to our advantage. Once we learn to use our brains to our advantage, we can go faster than almost anyone else.
Ben: That's interesting.
Peter: And so that's where it gets fascinating.
Ben: What you just mentioned about monoamine inhibitors and dopamine, how much have you looked into like the biology of ADD and ADHD in terms of what's going on from a chemical standpoint?
Peter: Quite extensively. There are a lot of things that are basic, common knowledge. Essentially, at one point I dated a neuro, what was her title, she was a neuro, she was doing her third PhD, which frankly tells you we should not have been dating.
Ben: You could just say she was a really smart person.
Peter: Oh my god! Like ridiculous! And we were dating right around the time that I started skydiving and got my own skydiving license, and one point she came out and she took my blood when I woke up. Took a little bit of blood, and she took my blood again. We got to the drop zone, she took my blood again when I landed after jump. And she said that the basics of what was in my system, typical ADHD before I jumped, about 25% less monoamine inhibitors and things of that nature. When I get to the drop zone, I was pretty much normal, right, as you define normality. When I landed, she goes, “There's a molecule difference between you and someone bingeing on cocaine.”
Peter: Which was just fascinating to me, and that's what started my sort of research, the excitement.
Ben: So she was taking your blood like when you woke up in the morning?
Ben: Just like taking off to the lab?
Peter: This wasn't like a sex thing or whatever. She actually said, “I want you as an example for this thing.”
Ben: Right. She didn't have a fetish.
Peter: Right. But it was pretty fascinating, to sort of put a name to what I understood I always had all my life, and it's probably about 10, 12 years ago. So I started researching from there, from that I look back towards my schooling and I talk to thousands of people on this. It's pretty much a given [0:10:29] ______ , the kind of people who do things like skydiving, the people who do things like run marathons, do triathlons, things like that. We're pretty similar. And the benefit is that we found positive ways to figure out what's up with our brains and how to make them function the way we want.
There's another side of this where there is a whole society of people who have not found positive ways to do this, and they found negative ways to do this, and that could be crime, or drugs, or antisocial behavior, things that if you look at the number of criminals in jail with ADHD, the numbers are off the charts. So it's not always a gift. In a lot of ways it can be a curse. Before I figured out what it was and how to handle it, it definitely was a curse and it hurt. But once I figured it out, I was like, “Holy crap, I can control this. I can use this to my advantage.” That sort of really changed the game for me, and that's, I think a lot of my success, professional, personal really comes from…
Ben: You figured out how to drive the Lamborghini. I'm actually fascinated, maybe amazed, because I have such a bent towards biochemistry, but MAOA, that's monoamine oxidase inhibitor, more or less, it'd be like when people go on ayahuasca retreats, they'll take ayahuasca, but it's got this MAOA inhibitor, I believe. So like DMT stays hanging around the bloodstream for a longer period of time. But from what I understand, MAOA inhibitors, those reduce the breakdown of things like serotonin, and norepinephrine, and dopamine. So are you saying that you would produce more of those inhibitors if you had ADD or ADHD, and so you'd have more serotonin, more norepinephrine, and more dopamine hanging around? Or less?
Peter: You have less dopamine, and less serotonin.
Ben: So you have less of these MAOA inhibitors?
Peter: Exactly. The best way to describe it is when a normal person, or a slower-than-normal-person, not slower than normal but when someone who's not ADHD, when my assistant says to me, “Hey, you gotta do your expense reports or your client's not gonna pay you,” whatever this, right? Normal people would simply say, “Okay, let's buckle down and do this.” The act of buckling down and doing that produces serotonin, dopamine, things you can use to focus. We don't have that. So that's why we're sitting there, going, “Okay, let's! Here we, — Oh! Something else.” We're looking for that something else to give us that same level of whatever.
Ben: Okay. Interesting. So what about, like can you or have you experiment with using things like Mucuna dopa, I know, is one supplement. That's like a dopamine precursor. Have you tried things like that to see what happens? Like if it allows you to focus more, things that would be like serotonin precursors. Like bananas, I know, are one common one, or even like these supplements out there. Like a lot of nootropic supplements on the market now, they have things like dopamine precursors in them. Have you experiment with many of those?
Peter: No. I have a prescription for Concerta that I call my expense report medication. When I have to do an expense report, I take it. Otherwise, I tend to understand myself and I've learned to do things in my brain the way that work for me, instead of having to take anything. So, I have life rules that I live by. I will not go more than 24 hours without exercising. I don't sleep in. I get to sleep early. I don't drink.
All these different things that I've learned benefit me that do pretty much the same. I'm very aware of my diet. These kind of things are ways of, I wouldn't say tricking my brain, but ways of optimizing my brain. When you have a brain that focuses, that does things differently, you have to do things differently to make them work. I find that if I give up processed foods, I see a difference. I find that if I, on days that I don't exercise, if I don't get out, and first in the morning, get to the gym, or get on a run, or bike, or swim, my day is impacted, and I feel that.
And so, I'm very aware of the things, we could talk for hours about something I call the elimination of choice, which is essentially, remember the movie “War Games”? The only winning move is not to play. There are certain things that I will not do. There are certain places I will not go. In my closet, I have t-shirts, button down shirts, and jeans, and that's it. I have one type of outfit that I wear, if I'm on stage or TV, it's one. It's the button down shirt and jeans. If I'm just having a normal day, it's a t-shirt and jeans, and I don't fluctuate from that. So I don't have to spend my time doing the things that doesn’t matter, I could focus my time in doing things that matter and dismiss the stuff that doesn't, because if I woke up first thing in the morning and said, “Oh! I have 47 sweaters that look… I remember that sweater! What's her name? Gimme that sweater. I wonder how she's… lemme look her up on Facebook.” Six hours later, I haven't left the house.
Ben: That's really fascinating, Peter. And I wanna get back into like food strategies, and supplement strategies, and lifestyle strategies here in a second because that's actually something that I run into is I have found that, in many cases and in cases that, especially I don't have the right type of foods or supplements in my system, or I'm distracted, or a hectic day, or whatever, I will go up to get dressed in my closet. We have one of these walk-in closets. I will stand in front of the pants, the shirts, et cetera, and I will stand there for about 10 minutes.
Peter: Spaced out!
Ben: My head will be spinning and I'll space out. That will happen to me too if I don't, I'm one of those people who needs to go to the website of a restaurant before I visit that restaurant, and look at the menu, and make sure that I've chosen what I'm going to order because otherwise, I will go to the restaurant if I'm not careful and I don't reign myself in, I will look at the menu for 10 or 15 minutes and I'll get super annoyed. I won't be happy with the food that I order because there are too many choices. If I show up already knowing what I'm gonna order and just point at it, and put the menu down, I'm a much happier person. So what this is leading into is I'm curious if I have, not to like paint everything with a disease, or condition, or whatever, but I'm curious if I have ADD or ADHD. Other people listening in might be too? Are there simple surveys, or questionnaires, or ways that you can know if you have ADD, or ADHD, or if you're just like a really busy person?
Peter: The best thing I can advise is to go get checked out by a doctor. Get a recommendation to a psychologist, a psychiatrist, have them ask you some questions, have them talk to you for an hour. Nothing beats that. Short of that, there is a book called “Delivered From Distraction”. It's written by a wonderful man named Dr. Ned Hallowell. I'm fortunate to call him a friend. He's sort of the godfather of ADD/ADHD. I read his book probably 12 years ago and it literally changed my life almost overnight. All of a sudden I had a name to what I had, and that's where I started my research. He's a great guy. He has offices in New York and Boston. But “Delivered From Distraction”… the precursor to that was “Driven To Distraction”, followed by “Delivered From Distraction”. Both of those are phenomenal reads, and they both have quizzes in them that'll tell you, sort of a…
Ben: “Delivered From Distraction”?
Peter: “Delivered From Distraction.” Of course, look. The brain sees what it wants to see. You take a quiz that you read in the book and you could pretty much say, “Oh my god!” It's the WebMD scenario, right. I have a headache. “It means you have cancer!” That premise. So I encourage you, it's nice to read the book. I definitely think you should read the book, but see someone.
Peter: And make sure that the person you're seeing isn't, make sure their only goal is to put you on meds.
Ben: You have this podcast in which you interview people who have ADD or ADHD. I'm fascinated with that because, first of all, how do you know? Do you stalk these people first, and look them up, and then ask them to be on your podcast? Or do you have them on and then realize they have ADD or ADHD? Or how does that work exactly?
Peter: I talk to people who have been public about their ADHD, who understand they do have it, who have mentioned it in passing, or people that I know that I've met personally. There's almost like an ADHD-dar. You could tell just by talking to someone, it's pretty much a given. You can figure out, “Yep. He has it.” “Yep, she has it.” It's pretty easy to figure that out.
Ben: So who are some people we'd be surprised that have ADD or ADHD?
Peter: Well, actually it's interesting. It's not a surprise in the respect that when you understand sort of what makes ADHD and how to benefit from it, it makes perfect sense. So you look at, basically look at anyone who had founded this country, right. Ben Franklin is like a dead given that he had ADHD. You don't come up with all these rules, “early to be, early to rise”, things like that, without needing to control your life. “Let's start our own country somewhere far away where there's nothing there and we'll figure out how to make it work. It's all good.” Right? You don't do that, unless you're thinking a little differently. “Let's fly this kite into a storm and attach a key to it to see if we can create electrical…let see what happens.” Right? So that's much a given. You could figure out in that regard.
But then, I talk to people who I think who are successful, and who have either mentioned it or at some point talked about it, and I simply encourage them. I'm like, “Look, we have thousands of people that listen to our podcast, a lot of kids, a lot of parents of kids with ADHD who need some support and need to know they're not alone. It would be great if you came on.” It's funny. We've had tremendous success from business leaders. We've had tremendous success when I've reached out to celebrities personally. When I try to go to their publicists, they simply don't get it. It's amazing. They're…
Ben: That's funny. That happens to me with podcasts. I'll read an amazing book, and I'm like, “I have to have this author on.” And I'll contact their publicist, it's just like a dead end and they're like, What's a podcast?” And then I'll contact the author…
Peter: Well, that's the thing! They hear podcast, like, “Oh, you must be some kid in your basement.” Well, yeah. I'm the kid in the basement who, by the way, Random House just signed to write a book called “Faster Than Normal,” so take that.
Ben: Yeah. It's really interesting. You have to actually bypass the gate keeper. And I found that Twitter actually works quite well. It seems like many celebrities' publicists actually don't have any responsibility for that celebrity's Twitter account. Instead the celebrity actually reads it. I actually just pulled up iTunes, Peter. Seth Godin, I see you interviewed him. Does he have ADD?
Peter: He does, and that was a phenomenal interview that aired last week. He talked all about how he, in school, the first signal that he might have had something different was that he wasn't being called on enough. So he built a hand out of paper towel holders and a stick, and held it up higher than all the other kids hands. That kind of thinking led him to found Yoyodyne, led him to start his company. I mean, just amazing, amazing stuff out there. It's so nice because you have all of these kids or whatever, I was the same way. When I was a kid, I was totally different. And when you're a kid, Ben, different's wrong. Right? I mean you learn that different's great. But when you're a kid, man, your job as a kid is to make friends and to have fun, and when you're being ostracized for being different, holy shit. It's like a death sentence.
So I love being able to produce this podcast and interview these people. If you scroll down we have Adam Sud. He used to be like 300 pounds, and he discovered eating better and that got rid of his ADD/HD and kept it at bay. He discovered how to use it. We interviewed the Chief of Staff to the mayor of Boston. I mean, these phenomenal people who all had the same concepts growing up that “we're different, and you're different, that's wrong”. I'm all about, “Guys, if you're different, that's freaking awesome.”
Ben: Yeah. Cameron Herold, he's one of the guys who I would say is, if you're into business, you must, must follow on Twitter. He has ADD?
Peter: Yeah! I mean, spend 30 seconds with Cameron Herold. He has ADD. Trust me on that.
Ben: Wow. I had no clue.
Peter: But all these guys do!
Ben: That's crazy. So what about this though? Is ADD, because a lot of people think this and I wanna play devil's advocate here a little bit, Peter, is this just like an overprescribed term that we use to, in many cases people will say they don't have ADD or ADHD, a 9-year old boy, or they are just a regular person who gets stuff done. Like what say you to this idea that like ADD and ADHD are really only conditions that exist because we've created a title for creative or busy people?
Peter: Yeah. It's like those people who a hundred years ago, would just die randomly and it was because we angered the gods. And then they discovered like cancer.
Peter: I hate that. Don't tell me he's a 9-year old boy. First of all, let's talk about that. You get a 5-year old kid, “Oh, he's hyper. He must have ADHD. Let's put him on meds.” That's the first solution, okay? Or maybe you wake him up early, you let him go run around for half an hour, you actually get protein for breakfast instead of frosted cereal sugar bombs. All of a sudden you're gonna notice a massive change. Okay? So you have two aspects there. The first aspect is that you put, “Oh, he's acting a little different than everyone else in the class.” Boom. Throw 'em on meds. He must be ADHD. That's number one. That's the mistake. The second mistake is, “He doesn't have ADHD. He's just a 5-year old kid who needs to shut up and buckle down harder.” And that's the cancer aspect, right?
I mean, think about, my god, think about how many people were put into mental hospitals and ultimately died because they had bipolar before it was diagnosed. For Christ's sake! Think about the people who had a simple illness, and then we discovered penicillin. Just because we're learning about what new ideas, just because the science has improved, doesn't mean we're labeling things. Now that being said, I can't stand, there are a lot of people I can't stand, now that I think about it. But on the flip side, I can't stand people [0:23:25] ______ “I lost my keys, I must have ADHD.” No, you're a (censored) idiot. Just find your keys. Hang a hook up by your door. It's tough, it's difficult because things that you know, you break your arm, bone's sticking out of your arm. “Yeah, I broke my arm.” You could pretty much see that. Little different on the other side.
Ben: So are there varying, and I might sound like an idiot asking this question for you know a lot about ADD and ADHD, but are there varying degrees that would allow you to say, “Okay. Well, maybe this is just a busy person who is hyperactive, and this person actually has like full-on, clinically diagnosed ADD or ADHD.” Like are there brain scan tests that you can do? Are there like different surveys that you can take that really, say, that you are definitely dyed in the wool, extreme ADD or ADHD, and this isn't just like some term being used to tell you that you're hyper?
Peter: You wanna talk to a doctor.
Peter: At the end of the day, I'm not one. Yeah, there are tests that doctors can perform. They can ask you questions, they can talk to you. Not everyone who has ADHD has ADHD. Not everyone diagnosed with it has it. You wanna get fully informed, and I am not a person who can do it. That's not my job. But I could tell you how I use my ADHD to make it work for me. That much I could give you.
Ben: Hey. I wanna to interrupt this interview to tell you about a book I was reading on the plane down to Kauai. It's called “The Road to Sparta”. It's by Dean Karnazes, and in it, he talks about how he tried to, when he ran the original marathon which is actually over 140 miles. The original guy that ran it, Pheidippides, died, and it's the story of that. But he talks about how he tried to, Dean Karnazes, tried to stick to an all, kinda like Greek ultra-runner diet. Meaning, he was eating like sesame paste, and nuts, and among other things, figs. And this got me thinking about how much I like, if I'm going to eat some kind of a dried fruit, these things called Turkish figs. Turkish figs are the ones that are kind of shaped… I dunno how to describe them. They're like cylindrical with a little curly pointy thing on the end of them. That's my best description of a Turkish fig. You can give it a try. You try describing a Turkish fig to me.
Anyways, huge amount of antioxidants, and they work pretty well for running. I mean you can't eat like ten of them an hour, but figs are a great way to get energy into your diet when you're out on the go. I like to mix 'em with a bunch of nuts and fats, like Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts, and then just a lone Turkish fig here and there. And I'm telling you all this because nuts.com is a sponsor of today's show. And at nuts.com, you can only get Turkish figs, but a whole bunch of different dried fruits, and cooking, and baked goods, and coffees, and teas, and even gifts like tins and baskets, and, heck, for the person who you really love, buckets and buckets of nuts. And who doesn't want a bucket of nuts? So you can get four free samples, 100% free, from nuts.com. That's like a $15 value of free samples. After you get all your Turkish figs, you can go run 150 miles. Here's the code: go to nuts.com, enter code ‘fitness’. Nuts.com and code ‘fitness’ for those four free samples.
And then finally, if you wanna be just like me, 'cause who doesn't want to be just like me, and eat Turkish figs, and fly on airplanes, and use stand-up-sit-down desks? You're learning all sorts of interesting things today. You can be a personal trainer. That's how I got my entire start in the fitness industry. Was helping 40-year old moms look good in bikinis, and also helping little high school soccer players, and also teaching triathletes. Wasn't just about the bikinis.
Anyways though, check out the National Academy of Sports Medicine. What they do is they allow you to become certified as a personal trainer, so that you can have a flexible schedule, you get paid to do something you love, help people get in shape, help them reach their fitness goals, help teach them how to do something other than freaking dumbbell curls and sit ups. And NASM has a really good certification. You can get a 14-day free trial, on it and they guarantee you'll land a job in the fitness industry within 90 days of earning your cert from them. So to do that, go to myusatrainer.com. That's myusatrainer.com, and you'll automatically get a 14-day free trial from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, NASM. Enjoy that.
Ben: There's a lot of people, like do you know who Dave Asprey is?
Ben: Okay. So you have Bulletproof coffee guy, and he has created like this 40 years of zen type of program where he's actually doing like brain retraining. Another friend of mine named Dr. Andrew Hill who runs Peak Brain LA, he is actually doing the same thing. I'm actually going down there in a couple of weeks to do a full week of intensive neurofeedback to reprogram my brain, and to learn how to subconsciously direct a blood flow both to and away from different areas of my brain that might be hyperactive, and anxious, or irritable, and areas that actually don't get enough blood flow.
In your writings and in what you know about ADD or ADHD, have you come across the use of any of these hacks, like the Halo headband for meditation, or the Neuroptimal system, or any of these forms of neurofeedback or brain scanning, have you found that any of those seem to be useful or of utility to people have ADD or ADHD?
Peter: I've heard they exist. I haven't done enough research to figure out whether or not they're beneficial, because I can tell you again that the kind of things I do to change my brain are self-facing. I focused a lot of my time on trying to understand myself better, to understand why certain triggers happen, why they affect me, how I can mute them, how I can eliminate them if possible, or at least calm them down. That allows me to focus on sort of retraining my brain in a different way.
Ben: Okay. Gotcha. And by the way, for those of you who want to know more about what I just talked about, I do plan on reporting on my results of doing my own brain reinvention, and I may turn into a vegetable. I'll know in a couple of weeks. But ultimately, just stay tuned, and I'll be talking more about that in the future. You do however, Peter, I noticed, have three ways that you've talked about to fast reboot an ADHD brain. What are those three ways?
Peter: I have multiple ways, so I'm not sure if these are the three that you're talking about, but I can tell you that the first one…
Ben: Well, the reason I say three is because I noticed you have a blog post about this.
Peter: I probably do. Yep. Hang on. Let me find it. (laughs) Or if you wanna tell me what they are, what I wrote about, I'll tell you why they were.
Ben: You know what? I just noticed when I was stalking you that it pulled up as one of the articles that you've written, but you can pull whatever your biggest tips are. But, yeah, you say there's, here we go: “Three Ways To Fast Reboot An ADHD Brain”.
Peter: The first one is to fill a water bottle and drink. Studies have shown that given close to 80% of the population any given time is slightly to moderately dehydrated. Okay? So we don’t drink anywhere near enough water as we should and that you have to force yourself to actually get into the ritual of drinking water on a regular basis. I remember 10 years ago, 20 years ago, when I used to smoke, I would take smoke breaks. Now I take water breaks or pee breaks, as it were. If I'm not going to the bathroom at least once every hour and a half, I'm not drinking enough water.
You wanna constantly be drinking water, constantly be, especially when you wake up. First thing in the morning, before my alarm, when my alarm goes off, before I shut it off, I take a huge bottle of water that I keep by my bed and I just chug it because it does so much for you. It starts the processes in your brain, it starts your blood flowing again, it wakes you up out of that sort of sleep funk, as it were.
Ben: Do you put things in your water, like essential oils, or lemon, or things like that? Or just plain water?
Peter: Yeah. I like club soda. I like sparkling. But during the day, I have in the morning, when I get to the office, my first bottle of water is filled with BCAAs, branched chain amino acids. But after that, it's pretty much just plain water.
Ben: Do you want a couple of quick tips from me?
Ben: Okay. So first of all, I dunno if you've seen the recent studies that have shown that like probiotics can help to heal depression and have a significant effect on mental function.
Peter: I actually take a probiotic, but not in my water.
Ben: Water filters, like I'm super-duper careful with my own house, with all my clients. We use like reverse osmosis filters with remineralisation, everything, because the chlorine and many of the compounds that you find in municipal, or airport water supplies, or elsewhere, they can kill the good bacteria in your gut.
And so folks, if you're listening in and you're concerned about like mental function, depression, ADD, stuff like that, make sure that if you're taking into account Peter's recommendations here on drinking a glass of water and staying very hydrated, that you not kill your gut bacteria. It's like good water.
Peter: And if you don't mind my playing devil's advocate here, I grew up in Manhattan drinking tap water from New York City apartments my whole life. I've never had one cavity. There are a lot…
Ben: I don't think it's gonna cause, actually the…
Peter: Actually, the concept of fluoride in the water, right.
Ben: Well, the fluoride will help with cavities.
Peter: Right. On the flipside, I don't think it's…
Ben: You're just not supposed to swallow it.
Peter: I don't think it's turned me into a vegetable just quite yet, but, no. At the end of the day, if you have the means to get to filter your water, sure. By all means. But at the of the day, just drink water.
Ben: Yeah. Okay. So what is number two?
Peter: Number two is to exercise. And again, I talked about this earlier, but, first thing in the morning, I will get up, I sleep in my gym clothes. Sounds pretty crazy, but it eliminates the choice. I wake up, I fall into my sneakers, I'm out the door in under two minutes. I brush my teeth and I'm gone. If I have to think about it, I'll come, I'll figure out a reason not to go to the gym. “Oh, well, you know, there might be an asteroid that hits next week. So I better stay.”
Ben: Have you found with ADD or ADHD, because this is something that I've also wondered, is it just me or do other people have this? I find it much, much easier if I'm going to exercise, and especially if I'm going to exercise for a long time, to break things into circuits. And that even mean sometimes like I'll take a run, like a five mile run, and I'll say, “Okay, every half mile, I'm gonna stop and I'm gonna do 10 push ups, or 15 burpees, or some squats. So almost everything I do in like tiny chunks, instead of one big long chunk. Do you use strategies like that when you exercise?
Peter: When I hear you say that, my first thought is that you in no way, shape, or form, have ADD or ADHD.
Peter: Because for me, when I go for a run, the sole purpose, other than obviously to get healthy and improve my cardiovascular health and physical health, the purpose of going for a run for me is to get into a zone. I get into a thinking zone. I get into a reboot zone. I can, if I have to stop every 30 seconds, or every 30 minutes, or whatever, two miles, whenever I run and do something else, I break it. So for me, the greatest thing in the world is an hour on the recumbent bike in the gym, or six hours on the bike to do 80 miles up 9W, or an Ironman.
Ben: Oh… those days.
Peter: There are more recovering addicts in triathlon than any other sport in the world, and it makes perfect sense because it lets us focus on other things and zone in. So that, for me…
Ben: Chronic repetitive motion.
Peter: It's very much what I do. And I also have to do it, like I said, super early. When I'm out of the gym by 6:45, I've got endorphins up the ass and my whole day in front of me.
Ben: Do you meditate?
Peter: Occasionally. Not anywhere near as much as I should.
Ben: Right. Okay. What's number 3?
Peter: Singing. So this sounds kinda crazy, but I have an ADHD buster iTunes mix that I keep on my iPhone. And when I need a break, when I need a rut, close my door, or I've gone outside, I've walked away from people, and I will sing my guts out. You sing “La Vie Boheme” from the broadway show Rent, and my magic is on for the next day.
Ben: That's really interesting. Did you know that there's actually some science to that. Singing activates the nervous system, it actually activates a part of the nervous system called the vagus nerve. And chanting does it, and gargling does it, and like the “Ohm” that you do when you're doing yoga, and meditation, and stuff like that, does it. But it actually increases what's called the tone of your vagus nerve and activates your parasympathetic, like your rest and digest nervous system.
Peter: Makes sense! Yeah. I mean, I have 20 years of classical vocal training under my belt, which very few people know. So it makes perfect sense, yeah. It sounds logical. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. That's interesting. Okay. So glass of water, exercise, and singing. That sounds easy enough, and those obviously aren't too, too complicated. You mentioned a little while ago about how you avoid processed foods, et cetera. Have you delved into using like ketosis for controlling blood sugar swings, or a high amount of some of those like dopamine precursor foods like bananas, and capers, and stuff like that. Do you have any special diet, or dietary strategies, or foods that you really go out of your way to include specifically for ADD and ADHD?
Peter: It's interesting. I don't go out of my way to include foods if they’re for ADHD, but I do, my diet itself is based on the premise that when I am in a healthier place, my ADHD does not affect me or does not get the best of the me, as it were. So I am very aware of lack of process. My logic is if my grandmother wouldn't recognized in 1912, I won't eat it. I focus on, and look, I wish I could say I'm 100% at this. I'm not. I live in New York City. If you don't have pizza at least once a week, you're asked to leave the city. So obviously not perfect, but 99% of time I am very much all about lean meats, fish, veggies, as many veggies as humanly possible. I try to keep my carbs somewhere between 20 grams and 40 grams a day. That's not a lot. It puts me just into/over the edge of ketosis.
Ben: Gotcha. Even though you do lean meats, you don't do like fatty meats?
Peter: I do lean meats primarily 'cause I'm always trying to improve my times for running. I get my fats through nuts. I get my fats through, you know, look. When I go to Morton's, no matter how lean the meat, it's gonna have enough fat on it. But I use regular butter, I use coconut oil things, like that. I try to, I avoid margarine, I avoid things processed, and I try to just eat in a way that, my logic is if I wanna eat in a way than an hour from now, I don't hate myself.
Ben: Yeah. Well I know in addition to bananas, like I mentioned, for those of you listening in, I know chocolate is a big one, obviously, for dopamine. Coffee is another one. Avocados. Do you much avocados?
Peter: Yup! I do. The pure fats in avocados are phenomenal.
Ben: Yeah. Avocados are a huge dopamine boosting food. And then almonds also. Are you an almond fan?
Peter: Yep. Got a bag right here.
Ben: Wow. Cool. Okay. So in addition to going out of your way to eat clean and also include some of these dopamine-boosting foods, supplements. We briefly touched on supplements. And I even talked about, for example, this one that I'm aware of, the mucuna dopa. There's a company called Natural Stacks, I know, and they make one called Dopamine Brain Food, which I believe is that mucuna dopa, and then there's some other things that they throw in there which are selenium, and tyrosine, and some of these other precursors that help you to, I suppose feel happy or increase dopamine levels. Do you take supplements?
Peter: I don't. I take supplements, but not related to that. I'm getting older, so obviously there's fish oil every day, there's flax seed oil, things like that. But for me, I don't take supplements for dopamine. I don't want to rely on a supplement that at some point, I'm gonna excrete out of my body. Okay? ‘Cause the best example of that is the difference between going for a skydive or doing cocaine. Okay? And I'll explain my logic. When you do a skydive, your body is producing extra dopamine, serotonin basically to keep you alive. It's a great high. It feels wonderful. The difference is, and when you do cocaine, it's also a great high. The difference is when your body is producing it naturally, it knows exactly how much it has to give you. It says, “Okay, I'm gonna produce this much of X,” so your body releases this much of Y of endorphins and things like that. You do a line of coke, your body's like, “Holy (censored)! Release everything we ever had!” And that's why you crash.
So I am more of a fan of doing things on my own, within my own body, understanding my own body, that release just the right amount according to what my body needs. And look, I have nothing against people who take those kind of supplements. That's totally cool. I am just more about figuring out ways to do it so that my body gives me what I need. If you treat your body well, it'll give you exactly what you need. You just have to figure out how to do that.
Ben: For me, it comes down to negative feedback loops. Meaning like if a supplement or some exogenous compound is known to shut down your body's own production of said compound, that's where I'm careful. Like testosterone is, of course, a classic example of that. But there are other like little known ones, like antioxidants. Like if you do high dose vitamin C or vitamin E, and you actually don't need those extra antioxidants, your brain can, or your body, can shut down your own antioxidant response, and it blunts basically your response to exercise, and results in you actually becoming less fit by taking high dose antioxidants.
And granted some people produce way more free radicals, like Ironman triathletes, and they might need those extra antioxidants, but so many people take amounts that they don't need or forms that they don't need. So that's kind of like my litmus test is this or is this not creating or a negative feedback loop or shutting down my own endogenous production. I think it depends. Like fish oil, for example, that doesn't shut down your body's own production of essential fatty acids 'cause they're essential 'cause you don't make them. So you have to take them from some external source.
Peter: Exactly. And like I said, those I do take. But I think at the end of the day, I really wanna be aware of, I'm trying so hard to put in good things. I wanna be aware.
Ben: Yeah. Now I thought also, your discussion of like lifestyle strategies 'cause we've talked about exercise, and we've talked about food and supplements. You talked about like having like that same color, or the same simple items of clothing you might wear from day to day. Do you have other little things that you do from a lifestyle standpoint to control ADD or ADHD? Especially because this fascinates me in particular, eliminate decision-making fatigue.
Peter: Yeah. So like I said, the concept of only having a couple of different types of clothing. That's number one. Other things I do, I try to keep my fridge filled with things that I'm gonna eat, and not things that I’m potentially could not wanna eat. Stupid things. I deleted Seamless off my phone.
Ben: You deleted what off your phone?
Peter: There's an app, I don't know if it's where you are, but there's an app in New York called Seamless.
Ben: What is that?
Peter: Seamless allows you, in one click, to reorder any restaurant take-out and have it delivered anywhere near you. So, in one click, I get home, “Hey, I'm hungry,” in like 30, not even 30, 12 seconds, I could order a large buffalo cheese pizza and it'll be delivered. I don't even have to have my credit card. It's one click versus “Okay, why don't we take the steamed grilled chicken out of the fridge, and throw some salsa on it, and have that.” So you eliminate the things that can make you have those kind of decisions, and it helps a lot. My speaking, I mean I'm a corporate keynote speaker. Spoken to companies ranging from Saudi Aramco, to American Express, to SAP, and my speaking contract is like the easiest thing in the world. I'll speak, you'll pay me, and you'll pay for my expenses. That's it. Except in Las Vegas.
In Las Vegas, I have a writer. When I have to speak in Vegas, I have a writer on my speaking contract that says “speaker does not have to be on the ground from wheels down to wheels up for more than eight hours,” and that means that if you want me to speak in Vegas, I have to do an afternoon, like a 12:30 lunchtime keynote. I'll take 6 AM flight out for New York, I'll land at 10, I'll do a 12:30 keynote, I'll be on a 4 PM flight back. And the reason for that is because I know myself well enough to know that if I have to give a morning keynote or an evening keynote, that's going to require an overnight stay in Vegas. Twelve hours on my own in Vegas. Nothing good is going to come of that.
Peter: It's not like I think I’m gonna do anything stupid, but why put yourself in position where you could?
Ben: I have the opposite approach. When I travel to speak, I typically request or add in a buffer day. Meaning like I actually have that extra day that I use to sit in my hotel room and do nothing but get work done that I otherwise probably wouldn't accomplish at home because of this idea that to radically change a habit, you need to radically change your environment, and I find that those extra days when I travel, of me just sitting by myself in a hotel room, working, actually make travel less likely to leave me walking in the door all hectic and grumpy when I arrive home to my wife and kids. So that's interesting.
Peter: I do a quarter million miles a year on the road. The last thing I wanna do is spend the extra day where I don't have to do. What I've learned to do is utilize my flight. So my last two bestselling books have been written on planes. My last book,
“Zombie Loyalists”, I actually flew, I had eight months to write it. With two weeks left, I hadn't written it. I booked a flight to Tokyo, I had absolutely no reason to be in Tokyo. I wrote chapters one through five on the flight from New York to Tokyo. I landed in Tokyo, I went to the lounge, I had a couple cups of coffee, took a shower, got back on the same plane, same seat two hours later, wrote chapter six through ten. Landed 34 hours after it took off, with a book.
Ben: Lucky man. I developed a medial epicondylitis, or what they call climber's elbow when I type on planes probably because of the copious amounts of pull-ups that I do for obstacle course racing. But I actually, I can't type on a plane for longer than about 20 or 30 minutes without developing like shoulder pain, and elbow pain, and a tight neck. It's really weird. So I actually use the plane as my reading time, or for international flights, to catch up on that movie that people always tell me that I need to see but I never have time to watch.
Ben: It's interesting to hear people's different travel approaches. Peter, I also know that some people are listening in who may not have any concerns whatsoever that they have ADD or ADHD, but they might live with someone who does. What are some things that folks can do if their loved one, or someone close to them actually has ADHD? How can they make that person's life easier or understand them better? What would be a couple of your top tips for that?
Peter: Okay. So I actually wrote a piece on this, and I'm gonna find for you right now, which was basically “10 Ways To Be Happier When You Live With Or Love Someone Diagnosed With ADHD”. And the concept is that you have to understand, number 1, our ADHD occasionally drives us insane too. Okay, so when we absolutely positively, 100% intend to do something and then forget to do it, you've written down remind for us, you've noted the time every 5 minutes, you've set multiple alarms, for whatever reason we simply didn't do that thing, trust us. As much as you think it sucks, it sucks a million times more for us because not only did we not do the thing, not only did not fulfill what we were supposed to accomplish, but worst of all, we let you down, we let the kids down. That just kills us. Alright? So already feel like (censored) about that, so reminding us that we screwed up, we know we screwed up. We totally did. Are you angry? Tell us you're angry, but we know. Here's the thing if it's truly an ADHD moment to cause us not to do that thing, we're already beyond hurt. So you have to understand that.
And on the flipside, you have to understand that sometimes our brains move so fast that in our heads, we've already friended, best friended, argued, broken up, and divorced you from our lives in the space of four minutes. I remember when I was married, I had landed this major contract, and I was really excited, I called my wife at the time, she didn't answer her phone. I'm like, “Why isn't she answering? Doesn't she know? She's always in her office. Why isn't she there then? She must know it's me and just doesn't wanna talk to me. What the hell?” Called her again, I called her mobile. “What the hell? This is bullshit! Why doesn't she care about me?” By this time, I had sent her an e-mail. Like five minutes in, I'm like, “I can't believe it. This is ridiculous. You didn't even care about me. You obviously don't care. I have great news. All I wanted to do is share it with you and you've just crushed my … So I'm coming home, packing my stuff, moving out.” Five minutes later, she calls me, “Hey, I was in an impromptu meeting with my boss. I just saw that you called. Oh, I got an e-mail from you…what the hell is wrong with you?” Click. So you have to laugh it off. You have to understand that no matter how hard we try, we're going to screw up on occasion.
And finally, I think the best rule I'll give you, if you ever call someone with ADHD, and they're working, and they say, “Hey, can I call you later? I'm in the middle of something.” The worst possible thing that you could do is go, “Yeah, I just have one quick question for you,” because that's technically not allowing us to call you later. Well, what’s happening with that, we're always to answer a phone because ADHD, we wanna make sure we're there in case something happens to you. We are fiercely loyal. We truly care. But if we say, so your logic is, “Oh, will he answer the phone? Obviously it’s not talking about asking this one thing. If you proceed to ask us this one question, what you're doing is you're taking us out of our zone. And we talk about that earlier.
If we're in the middle of writing something, and we're in a zone, or creating content, or producing, or whatever it is we do, we might be two hours in, imagine the equivalent of being like 400 hundred feet underground or underwater, if you pull us out to the top and then keep us there, we're gonna decompress and die because now, all of a sudden, we can take ideas and go from paper, to computer, to implementation the matter of minutes, it would take an old person hours to do that. But if we're interrupted, getting back on track takes forever. So understand that when we're working, just leave us alone. We have happy zones, work zones, love zones. We will have time for you, and we will focus on you, and when we do focus on you, it will be entirely on you. But right now, I'm in a work zone. You have to love me. Be there.
Ben: Got it. Well, I know that on your podcast, “Faster Than Normal”, you have a whole bunch of really cool interviews, and I actually will admit, I have yet to dive into many of them, but the Seth Godin one is definitely on the top of my list because I love all his books. Seth Godin is one of those few authors where any time he publishes something, I will buy it and I will read it. And for those of you listening in, Peter's website is Faster Than Normal. I've been taking some notes during this call, and I'm linking in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/fasterthannormal not only the interview I did with Peter a very long time ago, but also this book “Delivered From Distraction” that Peter recommended, along with some of the other resources that we discussed during today's show.
Peter, is there anything else that you want to share with folks while I have you on, and you have access to a massive audience of people drooling over how to control ADD or ADHD, or live with someone who has it.
Peter: I'm always looking forward, always excited to talk with people who do. You can reach me at [email protected] My Twitter is @PeterShankman. I'm happy to say on all the socials. If you know anyone who has had success, learning how to use their ADHD to their advantage, I'd love to have them on the podcast. I'm really just trying to change the game here. This is a labor of love for me. I've been very successful. I've had three great companies, all of which have been acquired. I've been very fortunate and very lucky, and to be able to give back like this and show, “Hey, you know what? It's okay to be strange. It's okay to be different.” I'm just blessed that I get to do that. So I'm always up for talking to people about it and people can reach anytime. I created a mastermind group for entrepreneurs that are either with ADHD or without, but that are in that similar vein of that constantly working, constantly moving, constantly unable to shut their brains off. It's shankminds.com.
Ben: shankminds.com. Cool.
Peter: ShankMinds. Yeah. I'm happy to have people there as well.
Ben: And then the last thing is for people who are Ironman triathletes who are out there on the circuits racing marathons, et cetera, when's your next race or your next big event?
Peter: So I have the Atlantic City Half Ironman. That's in late September in Atlantic City. Yeah. I'm special. Then I have the New York City Marathon in November. And then someone convinced me to do the Dopey Challenge, which is Disney's, it's 5K Thursday, 10K Friday, half Saturday, full Sunday 'cause I'm a moron. I'm gonna do, I think, my third triathlon, my third Ironman probably in November 17.
Ben: Yeah. I've coached a lot of people for that particular challenge at Disney, so hit me up if you need any tips. And in the meantime for those of you listening in, if you see Peter out there in those events he just listed off, give him a banana.
Ben: Because it's good for dopamine. Cool. Well, Peter, thanks for coming on the show today, man.
Peter: My pleasure. Always good to be here.
Ben: Alright, folks. Well, this is Ben Greenfield and Peter Shankman signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com/fasterthannormal if you want to pipe in with your own tips, comments, feedback, or just access the show notes. Thanks for listening and have a healthy week.
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
Peter Shankman, my guest in this podcast, truly believes that ADD and ADHD are good for you. He believes they’re not just good for you, but that they can be keys to success.
He hosts the website Faster Than Normal, a blog that focuses on the benefits of having ADD/HD and a podcast that interviews CEOs, celebrities, and other successful people who have ADD/HD, and have turned it to their advantage.
For several years, Peter has been public about the fact that he’s ADD/HD, and that he blames ADHD for most of his success. He’s best known for founding Help A Reporter Out (HARO) and as the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc. a boutique social media, marketing and customer service strategy firm located in New York City.
Peter spends the majority of his time on the road, keynoting corporate events for clients including AmericanExpress, Sheraton, Saudi Aramco, Cisco, SAP, Sprint, The US Department of Defense, Walt Disney World and many more. In his little spare time he is a NASA Advisory Board member, angel investor in multiple start-ups, sub-4 marathon runner, Ironman and B-licensed skydiver. A tweet of his was voted one of the top 10 Tweets of 2011 by ABC News and Twitter. He also recently authored the bestselling book Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans. He lives in New York City with his beautiful wife and daughter, and two psychotic cats.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-Why Peter thinks that ADD and ADHD are good for you…[7:30]
-How do you know if you have ADD or ADHD or if you’re just a “busy” person…[16:20]
-The best book to read if you have ADD or ADHD…[16:46]
-Famous people who have ADD and ADHD (you’ll be surprised), including Ben Franklin, Seth Godin and more…[18:17]
-Whether ADD and ADHD is an actual condition, or just an overdiagnosis for people who are busy and get stuff done…[21:35]
-Peter’s top three easy and simple ways to “fast reboot” an ADHD brain…[30:14]
-Specific supplements that can help with ADD or ADHD…[38:27]
-How to eliminate decision-making fatigue and keep too many choices from “paralyzing” you…[41:40]
-What are the most important things you can do if you live with someone who has ADHD…[45:50]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
-Book: Delivered From Distraction
-My original interview with Peter: Top Fitness Productivity Tips From Peter Shankman AND A Massive Fitness & Nutrition Q&A Bonus!