Month: November 2019

 

 

Here are two little-known but potent ways to kill fat cells and to lose fat fast.

By  

Ben Greenfield,  

May 30, 2017
 774 1009 25 111
Episode #339
2 Potent Ways to Kill Fat Cells and Lose Fat Fast

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Think about the last piece of fat loss advice you received. Let me guess? It went something like this:

“Move more.”

“Eat less.”

 

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“Try this pill.”

“Read this diet book.”

 

And sure: fat loss and the attainment of a sexy, lean body begins with getting off your butt, moving more, working out, and slowly lowering the doughnut from your gaping maw.

But when it comes to losing fat fast, staying shredded, rippedm and toned year round, and getting to the body weight you want—without two-a-day workouts and being hungry all the time—there are potent strategies that fly under the radar: strategies that go beyond fat loss.

For example, let’s take the flawed concept that, no matter what, you’ll always be stuck with the number of fat cells you’ve built earlier in your life. This commonly accepted dogma in the fitness and diet industry dictates that if you’ve ever had excess weight or bits of undesirable adipose tissue on your waist, hips, and butt, then the fat cells in those areas will never actually disappear, but will instead simply shrink. Those fat cells will then hide, waiting in the wings for the next time you mess up and eat a few too many bites of steak or an extra scoop of ice cream—at which point those food calories are doomed to wind up getting shoved directly into the eagerly waiting fat cells—resulting in a constant uphill battle against the bulge.

But this simply isn’t true. I realized this when I interviewed Dr. Cate Shanahan on my podcast.  Dr. Shanahan explained that if you banish just one particularly notorious biological variable that is present in most people eating a standard Western diet, then you can actually induce fat cells to not only die, but to get transformed into other physiologically useful tissues, such as muscle cells, stem cells and neural cells. So what is this variable?

It’s not excess calories. It’s not chocolate. It’s not, to the chagrin of diet book authors worldwide, gluten. It’s not a low-carb, high-fat or a high-carb, low-fat diet.

It’s inflammation.

That’s right: inflammation—particularly from exposure to a toxin-laden environment, consumption of heated and rancid vegetable oils, and a stressful lifestyle combined with not enough sleep – can make fat cells resistant to dying and resistant to getting converted into other tissues, particularly because excess inflammation creates excess insulin, and insulin is the hormone responsible for shoveling calories into fat tissue. So to achieve lasting fat loss, the solution is simple: shut down inflammation.

My fellow Quick And Dirty Tips podcast “The Nutrition Diva” has in the past delved into some of the most potent dietary strategies to decrease inflammation, so be sure to check out her many episodes on the topic. Other practical methods and useful resources for lowering inflammation, lowering insulin, and killing fat cells or converting fat cells, include:

-Avoidance of any oils exposed to high amounts of heat, pressure or other forms of oxidation, including rancid forms of canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and most packaged foods that produce a crunchy sensation, including so-called “healthy” trail mixes coated in oil and “healthy” nut butters and off-the-shelf snacks (hint: doughnuts, potato chips and french fries are the three most notorious food-based culprits that maintain the body in a constant state of inflammation)

-Paying attention to the results from a 2010 research study at the University of Sao Paolo, which reported on something called the “Inflammation Factor Rating”, which accurately predicts food inflammatory responses in human subjects. Charts that list both the inflammatory and the anti-inflammatory potential of just about any food can be found at “InflammationFactor.com”. For example, suggestions from that website include limiting coffee, alcohol, high fructose corn syrup and wheat, and instead eat choosing foods such as kale, raw seeds and nuts, coconut and avocado.

-The fact that during your deep sleep stages, particularly between 2 am and 6 am, your body’s core temperature drops, nervous system repair and recovery takes place, and cellular inflammation is “cleaned up”, so if you struggle through the day with appetite cravings and resistance to weight loss, inflammation related to poor sleep is usually to blame.

-Identify and decrease exposure to over-processed and refined foods, chemical additives, antibiotics and pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, chlorinated water, artificial sweeteners or anything else that might be considered “unnatural” enough to churn up high amounts of inflammation. For more on how to do that, ready my article on “How To Detox Your Home”. So what are some other potent ways to kill fat cells?

 

Since releasing last week’s controversial but curiosity-inducing Down The Rabbit Hole With Ben Greenfield video, I’ve received plenty of questions about my odd, far-from-orthodox daily routines for enhancing my own health, performance, and longevity.

So I figured I’d clarify everything for you in one big, mighty post that explains the majority of my quirky habits, tips, tricks, tools, devices, and strategies squeezed into my top ten tips to increase your longevity.

Finally, should you be wondering “why?” one would suck down 800 calories of mushrooms and bone broth from a blender, hang upside down in one’s dining room, push laser-light probes up one’s nose and fiddle with all manner of seemingly “non-ancestral” biohacks that you’d rarely see in more traditional, natural longevity hotspot blue zones such as Okinawa, the Italian island of Sardinia, Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula or Ikaria (an isolated Greek island)…

…my answer is three-fold:

1) You and I are fighting an uphill battle against a toxic, electrified, polluted, stressful, modern, post-industrial era and sometimes if you want to look, feel and perform as good as possible it does indeed require you to pull out some modern better-living-by-science stops that may not have been necessary in more ancient, clean, pristine, less-toxic times. From airline travel to X-rays to a cacophony of smartphones to cell towers, glyphosate and beyond (just read this to see what I mean), your only two options are to move to some quiet neck of the universe where you can be isolated and live a peaceful hunter-gatherer-gardener life or to (as I have) choose to live life as a modern citizen – albeit a modern citizen who sneaks home at night to snort anti-aging molecules and shine infrared lights on my gonads.

2) This stuff makes life convenient. Sure, I can fly to Colorado or move to a mountaintop to train for a week, take a two hour break from work to go get my 12pm-2pm vitamin D sunshine fix and go hunt down a natural hot springs mineral bath in the hills far beyond my home, but when time is tight and I need shortcuts or more hours available for friends, family, hobbies or work, I can also get the same effects as the aforementioned strategies by doing a brief 15 minute hypoxic-hyperoxic workout, using a Vitamin D lamp for 5 minutes, and dumping a bunch of magnesium chloride in a hot bath. You get the idea. Once again: better living through science does indeed afford us some luxuries our ancestors did not have.

3) Let’s face it: this stuff is fun and it feels good. Some people get their dopamine high and daily entertainment from watching Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead. Others enjoy a greasy burger and bag o’ fries from their favorite fast food joint. Some may dabble during the day with online poker, making macaroni and cheese or taking a long hot shower. Me? I actually enjoy an isometric, quick, 12-15 minute training protocol, an all-out that makes me feel like superman the rest of the day, mind-blowing sex after consuming a superfood shake of beets, cacao and pumpkin seeds, and typing this blog post while blasting my brain with infrared light to grown new neurons and spark creativity. Finding fun, new, novel, crazy, cool and exciting ways to make my body and brain feel better is actually a heckuva good time – and we live in an era in which we have access to an entire veritable playground to tap into this stuff.

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Whew! That’s a long intro, but I do have one last thought for you before diving in – if you don’t know my background and how I got into all this weird stuff in the first place, I’d recommend starting here.

OK, let’s do this: my top 10 steps to biohack longevity (and get plenty of weird looks from your neighbors), all compressed into my nitty-gritty daily routine.

Step 1: Do Weird Stuff In Your Underwear

It is a well-known fact among anyone who watches me on Snapchat that I rarely put any pants on until at least noon, and quite seldom don a shirt. Although some would argue that free-balling and minimal clothing is good for the gonads, there is no particular health reason that I don’t wear clothing much: it’s just the way I’ve operated since I was a baby (I am quite literally serious – my mother used to have to use clothes pins to actually force me to keep my diaper on).

Anyways, while lounging in my underwear, here are a few morning habits I consistently prioritize to enhance my longevity:

-Wake in an “intermittent fasted” state. I fast 12-16 hours per 24 hour cycle, 365 days a year. This means that if I finish dinner at 9pm, I don’t eat again until 9am to 11am. If I wake up for a midnight snack, I don’t eat again until noon. The only exception to this rule is (admittedly contrary to Satchin Panda’s teachings on time-restricted feeding’s positive effect on circadian biology) coffee and supplements. The research on fasting for longevity abounds and grows by the day.

-Gratitude journal. From improved sleep quality to reduced physical pain to better cardiovascular health, the host of scientific studies on the positive physiological effects from gratitude journaling is fascinating. So I wake and read this devotional, then I use this journal to answer three simple questions each morning: what am I grateful for? Whom can I pray for or serve today? What truth did I discover in today’s reading?

-Do deep tissue work. In the book “What Makes Olga Run?: The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us About Living Longer, Happier Lives“, one fascinating takeaway is the fact that Olga kept an old wine bottle on her bedroom nightstand that she would use during the night when she woke to “mash” tissue, keep muscles supple and pain-free, and address fascial adhesions. While I’m not necessarily making hot, sweet fascial love to a bottle of wine each night, I do take 5-10 minutes each morning when I rise to dig into tissue with a Rumble Roller, MyoBuddy, ArmAid or any of the other medieval-esque torture devices scattered about my living room. Defying collagen cross-linking is an important part of the anti-aging process, and while I may not have time for a weekly 2-hour deep-tissue massage, I can certainly find time to do just a bit of self-inflicted deep-tissue work each morning.

-Take morning supplements. When it comes to the morning supplements I consume each morning (along with two large glasses of fresh, filtered, structured water) I kinda kicked this horse to death in the recent article you can read here. But in terms of the biggest wins of late when it comes to feeling amazing each day, I’d highly recommend dissolving hydrogen tablets in that morning water, snorting intranasal glutathione daily, taking 5g of creatine per day year round, taking a good probiotic and colostrum and then, with breakfast, using a very good multivitamin that has a form of folate called “methylfolate” in it and a fish oil that is packaged with antioxidants and not rancid. You can dive into my other supplement recommendations here. Incidentally, it’s rare these days that I come across any anti-aging enthusiast who is not popping somewhere in the range of 40-70 tablets or capsules of supplements per day, other anti-aging enthusiasts I’ve written about, so my own supplement regimen still pales in comparison to the likes of folks such as Dave Asprey, Peter Diamandis, and Craig Venter. Ah…I can only profess to one day rise to that level of pill-popping.

-Consume a tannin-rich beverage. Beginning early in the day, I prioritize consumption of tannin-rich beverages such as teas, coffees, wines, various berries and nuts and other such compounds rich in plant polyphenols and proven to be life-prolonging when consumed in low to moderate amounts. Some mornings I consume a high-quality green-tea and other mornings an organic black coffee, and I typically also sprinkle in hints of mushroom extracts such as turkey tail, cordyceps and chaga too (here are a few of my favorite such shroomy treats). My only rule for the morning beverage? I don’t include actual calories in it. I save any collagen, MCT oil, butter, coconut oil, ghee or any other components that might keep me from tapping into my own fatty acids as a fuel until later in the day after my fasting is complete. And of course, said beverage must be consumed from my giant Theodore Roosevelt “man-in-the-arena” mug.

-Activate body. I kiss my boys and give them a big hug before they’re off to school, and then with an enormous cup of tannins in hand, I venture into my basement man-cave to engage in my first bout of work. For 20-30 minutes I engage in my most creative, least reactive tasks of the day (essentially anything that doesn’t involve social media or e-mail but that instead requires deep work, writing, and creation). At about this point in the day, the biohacking begins to get serious: I flip on my “Awake and Alert” bulbs by Lighting Science, jumpstart my circadian rhythm by donning my ReTimer glasses and shoving my Human Charger buds into my ears, fire up my ENG3 NanoVi device to repair DNA with reactive oxygen species signaling, flip on my JOOVV lights (one in front of me and one behind me), place a Vielight alpha brain wave stimulator on my head, and turn on my rosemary essential oil nebulizing diffuser. Between the circadian-rhythm friendly lighting, the humidified air, the infrared rays and the cognition-enhancing scents, I am now feeling and operating like an optimized human machine. Life is quite good and it is now just 7:30am.

-Perform self-love for the face and mouth. At some point in the morning routine you’ve just ready about, typically either before I come downstairs to make coffee or once I pop up from the basement and before I hop onto the toilet, I do the following: a weekly clay mask to detox my skin and increase collagen and elastin production on my face (I use the Alitura clay mask for this), a daily dose of Kion Skin Serum to get rid of wrinkles, increase tone and color,and stimulate additional collagen and elastin production, and five minutes of coconut oil pulling (for that, I am currently using this stuff by Water and Wellness). A few of these simple steps taken per day can take the incredibly important organs on the top of your torso from good to great, and in my opinion, not enough people (especially men) take adequate steps to keep their skin supple and mouth kissable.

Step 2: Evacuate Thy Bowels

A quick, riveting, sphincter-puckering glance at the investigative research behind bowel movement frequency, constipation, and mortality risk reveals…

…conflicting data. Some studies show zero correlation between how often one takes a dump and one’s risk of dying or getting some kind of nasty colorectal cancer. Others show infrequent bowel movements to be a definite long-term health risk. Oddly enough, there’s a smattering (wrong word, perhaps?) of data suggesting infrequent bowel movements to actually be a healthy thing (vs. spending all your time with your legs hoisted up by your ears in a kama sutra post of defecation all day long, I suppose this also makes sense). The ancient physician Hippocrates thought bowel movements should ideally be two or three times a day.

Me personally? I do best on one glorious giant dump each morning. Get it out of the way, I say. So how do I accomplish this?

While I have plenty of podcasts on pooping, including…

–The Zen of Taking A Good Poop

–How To Have The Most Amazing Poop Of Your Life

–My interview with Dr. Robynne Chutkan

–360: What Your Poop Can Tell You About Your Health, How To Heal Tendons & Ligaments Faster, Natural Ways To Decrease Cortisol & More

–#255: How To Get Strong As A Bull (And Then Get Ripped), Cold Thermogenesis Quick Tips, How Often Should You Poop, And Much More

–The Zen Of Managing Poomergencies – Natural Remedies for Traveler’s Diarrhea

–An Easy Three Step, 42 Cent Way To Naturally Fix Constipation

–Constipation, Fecal Transplants, Fiber Myths, Resistant Starch, Probiotics & More With Konstantin Monastyrsky

…I’ve currently found success with 400-500mg of magnesium citrate the evening prior, followed by my hot tannin-rich beverage mentioned above and a combination of a bit of deep ab clockwise circles and deep tissue psoas work in the mornings (typically with a kettlebell handle, Myobuddy, or Vyper vibrating massage ball). I then simply move on to squat on the Squatty Potty, which holds a hallowed spot in each bathroom of my house. Of course, it’s not enough to simply take a glorious dump. Based on the research on the gut microbiome, gut bacteria and longevity, if you’re serious about living a long time, you must also quantify said dump. For that reason, I’m currently experimenting with three different “complete” microbiome and gut testing options:

Viome: this is the complete gut microbiome test I’ve researched and used most. Here is my experience thus far:
-What Is Viome? How Gut Metatranscriptome & Microbiome Analysis Can Change Your Health.
–Age Reversing Via The Gut, The Ultimate Anti-Anxiety Pill, Customized Probiotics & More With Billionaire Entrepreneur & Viome Founder Naveen Jain. You can get Viome testing here (and use code FITNESS to get you moved to the front of their waitlist).
Thorne: waiting for results. Stay tuned. In the meantime, you can check Thorne’s slick new test kits out here.
Thryve: waiting for results. Stay tuned. In the meantime, you can check it out here – use code “bengreenfield15” at checkout to get 15% discount on testing kit purchases, and 20% discount on gut health program purchases.
The other gut tests I perform you can peruse here. And yes, to answer the question I’ve received multiple times: I would not be opposed to the idea of getting a fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) from an eligible, superhuman donor (this is perhaps just one step above – or I suppose in this case, below – last month’s experience of injecting my penis with stem cells). So if The Rock has banked his stool, someone simply let me know, and I will make that happen. Or perhaps I should just sell my own stool.

Step 3: Do A Hippie Workout

I am an enormous fan of, as my friend Mark Sisson so fondly puts it, “easing into my day”. Rather than beginning the day with a brutal Crossfit WOD or draining kettlebell session, whenever my schedule affords it, I simply perform 20-40 minutes of easy, fasted aerobic exercise in the morning, typically in the form of a hippie workout, which would include:

-Walking outside barefoot on the ground and in the sunshine at an easy conversation pace (or, if I’m in a strange city with syringes and glass shards on the concrete, I’ll wear my Earthrunners). This gives me a quintuplet dose of negative ions, vitamin D, nature therapy, aerobic movement, and grounding/earthing – all of which have been (along with walking speed) scientifically correlated with longevity.

-Swimming in cold water. The research on cold and longevity is also quite compelling, so if I don’t go for a swim, I still finish any of my other “easy” morning workouts with a quick cold plunge or cold shower.

-Sauna. The research on heat therapy and longevity abounds, and I’ll often combine my infrared sauna session with yoga, ELDOA or core foundation therapy in the sauna, followed, of course, by a cold soak afterwards (incidentally if you preheat both your body and the sauna adequately, you’ll receive a hefty dose of blood-boosting erythropoietin as well).

After all, a hard workout is best performed in the afternoon anyway, when your body could use that second surge of cortisol, and when body temperature, grip strength, reaction time and post workout protein synthesis all tend to peak.

To Be Continued…
OK, I will admit: I originally planned on giving you all ten longevity steps in one single, mighty blog post, but my children are begging me to take them “snow camping” (this is just what it sounds like – we pitch a tent out in the forest in the snow and freeze our asses off for the night), my wife wants to have a red wine and dark chocolate fondue party (who can say no?), and I want to go shoot my bow today (I have a big hunt in Kona coming up in April).

So in the coming weeks, right here on this website, I am going to dish out to you the additional seven steps…

…if you want them.

Do you?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Also, if you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about the first three steps you’ve just discovered, simply leave your comments below and I will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

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50 THOUGHTS ON “PART 1 OF 2: MY TOP 10 STEPS TO BIOHACK LONGEVITY (& HOW TO GET MANY, MANY WEIRD LOOKS FROM YOUR NEIGHBORS)”
Taylor says:
June 21, 2019 at 5:40 am
Ben, do you think that oil pulling in the morning is breaking your fast?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
July 17, 2019 at 9:23 am
If you swallow it, you’re technically breaking the fast. However, coconut oil has a low insulinogenic response and won’t knock you out of ketosis.

Reply
Alan Murphy says:
May 20, 2019 at 3:13 am
Is this still a pretty accurate Daily Routine or has it changed now as of May 2019?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
May 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm
This is pretty accurate… Have added a few things here and there to try, but haven’t for sure added them to set in stone routine.

Reply
Michael Whitener says:
March 18, 2018 at 9:04 pm
Hey Ben – I don’t see Foundation Training in your regimen anymore. Did you drop it?

I just did a FT workshop in LA and think it’s great.

Thanks,

Michael

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
March 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Still do it!

Reply
Cathy says:
March 15, 2018 at 12:04 pm
Do you have a promo code for JOOVV or Earthrunners?

Reply
Herman says:
March 13, 2018 at 7:26 pm
Hi Ben

The vitamin D lamp you linked to actually is UV filtered, that means it doesn’t help vitamin D production, is there something wrong?
https://amzn.to/2NNUQVE

Thanks in advance

Herman

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
March 14, 2018 at 11:12 am
Was the wrong link, It’s updated now.

Reply
Calvin Lehn says:
March 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm
What do you consider the top legal performance enhancing supplements for a serious endurance athlete? I started taking cordyceps powder (real mushrooms brand) every morning on coffee/tea. I try to limit coffee consumption to hard workout and race days to still receive the performance boost. I use the EAAs before and after hard efforts/races. Fianlly, I tried out the Biotropic Oxcia last fall and that seemed to also provide some benefits. Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks, I’m a big fan too 😉

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
March 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm
Biotropics is pretty good. Here is all the info on them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUr4ODszYdw

Use the stack in that video I linked to! Those, and Kion aminos are my top recommendations: https://getkion.com/shop/body/kion-aminos/

Reply
Kyle says:
March 6, 2018 at 10:14 am
Ben, With all these supplements isn’t there a point of diminishing returns? How do you split these up during the day to get full benefit. Any cycling off? Enjoying your posts.

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
March 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm
I have a few articles on timing and supplements. Here’s one to check out: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/suppleme…

Reply
Bart says:
February 25, 2018 at 3:07 pm
Heck yeah Ben you comprehensive biohacking animal ! Thank you.

Reply
Angelo says:
February 24, 2018 at 7:32 pm
Thanks for the post Ben.

Re: morning routine; does adding almond milk and stevia effect the health benefits of coffee? Would adding those elements effect the 12 hour fast?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 25, 2018 at 10:26 am
Yes, I would stick to black.

Reply
BJ Fogg says:
February 24, 2018 at 4:25 pm
Hey, Ben

Like many here, I do some of these things but not all. And to start doing all would require a lot of time. How do I figure out which of these I should prioritize?

Two general questions:

1. If money is no object, what are the simplest things to get the biggest results?

2. Taking money into account, what are the lowest cost (time&money) actions to get the biggest results?

And for a 54-year-old guy, how would your answers change?

You should offer this service if you don’t already: Assess a person’s strengths, needs, aspirations and then prioritize what that person should be doing.

Sign me up!

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 25, 2018 at 10:07 am
I think that’s too vague of a question for me to give a clear answer. What kind of results? Fat loss? Muscle gain? More energy? Who is the person? What’s their history? This is what I do via my one-on-one consults: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/coaching I will say that I think cold shower are huge/pretty much free, and if money is no object, sauna: https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/clea…

Reply
Andy says:
February 24, 2018 at 8:41 am
I’d like to know more about tech orange toe stretcher? thats on your feet whilst you’re “out in the woods”?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 25, 2018 at 11:01 am
That is kinesiotape for a big toe injury I had. More info here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/recovery…

Reply
James says:
February 23, 2018 at 5:55 am
If you lifting weights first thing in the morning, what would you take before and after working out?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 23, 2018 at 3:29 pm
EAAs, before or after: https://getkion.com/shop/body/kion-aminos/

Reply
Anthony says:
February 21, 2018 at 2:23 pm
Hi Ben. I am from London UK, but live in Quzhou Zhejiang in China. Thanks for all your information and podcasts. I have read 7 of your books. Basically, just wanted to thank you, I got pancreatitis in 2016, I have two little girls and basically I had to get my health fixed and conventional medicine did nothing for me, since about 3 months after getting ill, I followed the Ben Greenfield Bible; basically doing everything you do. And, it works. Thanks Ben. If you are ever in China, send me an email. Anthony

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 21, 2018 at 2:48 pm
Thanks! Very glad to hear you are bouncing back.

Reply
Attila says:
February 21, 2018 at 10:20 am
Hi Ben. Re fasting and coffee, every medical doctor I talked about said coffee on empty stomach is not a good idea. Don’t you have any concerns about it?

Thanks.

Attila

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 23, 2018 at 3:50 pm
Coffee is nowhere near acidic as the stomach acid already in your stomach. You can drink it just fine on empty stomach unless you have something like an ulcer.

Reply
Shawn says:
February 21, 2018 at 8:18 am
Thanks for all the great info Ben! Is it ok to take cold showers or baths at night before bed? Will the cold mess with your sleep? I have to train in the morning because of family and work. i have heard you say that you should not take cold showers etc.for two to three hours after working out so i have no time in the morning.

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 23, 2018 at 3:51 pm
Yes. Just finish with warm water so that your sympathetic nervous system is not too activated before you go to bed.

Reply
Trisha says:
June 2, 2019 at 9:58 pm
Why shouldn’t you take a cold shower after a workout? Does this just apply to a hard workout? In your longevity seminar on Mnidvalley you said to do the contrast shower immediately after 10-20 minutes of movement first thing in the morning in a fasted state. How do you use hot/cold showers differently than just a cold shower?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
June 3, 2019 at 10:21 am
It’s mainly not overexposing to cold as it can blunt the hormetic benefits of exercise… Essentially just keep it in the 2-3 minute range following workouts and if you do longer (5-10min range) soaks, showers, etc., it would be best to not do those directly after your workout.

Reply
Ryan says:
February 21, 2018 at 7:26 am
In “Step 1 – Activate body” you mention that you use ReTimer glasses to “jumpstart my circadian rhythm”, would this work for someone who wakes up at 3:45am daily? By jumpstarting circadian rhythm would this optimize hormone levels, considering that as you sleep different hormones are released at different times to support sleep/recovery/growth… and ideally this is all synced up with the earth’s circadian rhythm and ideally you would go to sleep when the sun goes down and wake when the sun comes up? Thanks for all the great content!

Reply
Michael says:
February 21, 2018 at 4:29 am
Would you change or add anything to a daily routine/supplements if you live in a city such as NYC?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 23, 2018 at 3:53 pm
You might need a little bit more detoxification support, since there is more pollution/toxins/metals etc. You could consider something like this: https://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/product/natu…

Reply
Jeffrey says:
February 21, 2018 at 2:59 am
Hey Ben, great post! Regarding hydrogen water, do you drink this just once in the morning or multiple times throughout the day? Thanks for the info!

Reply
Val Whybrow says:
February 20, 2018 at 9:44 pm
The neighbors already see me doing ‘weird’ things, so I’ll continue with your advice?

Reply
Sherrie says:
February 20, 2018 at 5:10 pm
Yes! I too want to get weird looks from my neighbors. Please continue with the rest. For now, enjoy your family time.

Reply
James says:
February 20, 2018 at 2:59 pm
Do you consider drinking coffee/tea or taking supplements, breaking a fast?

If not, can butter/cream/coconut oil be added to coffee without it breaking the fast?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 21, 2018 at 8:47 am
Black coffee, tea and supplements are ok to take and won’t break your fast. Adding butter, cream, or coconut oil certainly would break the fast.

Reply
Trisha says:
June 2, 2019 at 10:05 pm
Have you ever done a podcast or written an article where you weigh in on “bulletproof” coffee and the corresponding diet? What is your opinion on the claim that consuming only fat, and no carbs or protein, doesn’t interrupt autophagy and allows your body to continue reaping benefits of a fast? Does this only apply if you are in a long-term fat-metabolizing ketosis mode?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
June 3, 2019 at 10:44 am
There is strong evidence that shows many benefits to consuming a diet higher in healthy fats. Having said that, there are certain genes, lifestyle issues, etc that prevent a high fat diet from being right for everyone. Here are a few good resources to get you started: http://bit.ly/2Z1v6du , http://bit.ly/2vEJjk8 and http://bit.ly/2Z2wNr3

Reply
SlyNate says:
February 20, 2018 at 1:55 pm
Nice post Ben. I already do most of these myself, I just need to make more money so I can afford all the latest gadgets!

Reply
Jenny says:
February 20, 2018 at 11:10 am
Do you burn essential oils in your bedroom before bed or during sleep? What kind?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm
Yes, lavender and rose. https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/naturebeat

Reply
Liam says:
February 20, 2018 at 8:17 am
Great stuff Ben. Quick question on the cold showers/swimming – seem to recall you once alternated warm/cold showers in the morning. I’ve been finishing with a cold shower within maybe 15min of when I wake up and am wondering if this might be a little much for the first part of the day in terms of its effects on morning cortisol, etc.?

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 20, 2018 at 9:28 am
I take one every morning, so I’d say no.

Reply
Dion says:
February 20, 2018 at 7:24 am
Ben, does your morning coffee include cream? I’ve been grappling with this one for a while. I do not need to be fasting for weight loss but am looking for it’s cell repair and longevity benefits. So, does coffee with cream mitigate some of these benefits of fasting. Thx!

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 20, 2018 at 10:05 am
Mine does not as cream does contain calories. I would stick to black. Trust me, you’ll get used to and even enjoy it!

Reply
Jessica Yoon says:
February 20, 2018 at 5:36 am
The glutathione spray you link to is an oral liquid. How do you use this intranasal? Do you transfer it to a bottle designed for intranasal use (such as ocean spray)? Since this is alcohol based, do you experience any discomfort?

Reply
Bonnie says:
February 20, 2018 at 4:22 am
Yes! More please and thank you!! Please post about your afternoon workouts if you think applicable!!!

Reply
Ben Greenfield says:
February 21, 2018 at 9:09 am
My afternoon workouts will be in Part II. Stay tuned!

Reply
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1
THE IMPORTANCE OF DAILY
ROUTINES
At one of my favorite websites called “Art of Manliness”, my friend Brett
McKay notes:
“…secretary of state and president, John Quincy Adams skinny dipped
in the Potomac River in the morning, always trying to see how long he
could swim without touching the bottom (he got up to 80 minutes before
his wife told him to stop).”
“…after putting his kids to bed, President Obama goes over briefing papers and does paperwork, and then reads a book for pleasure for a half
hour before turning in…”
Other routines I came across the interwebs are as follows:
“…King writes every day of the year without exception, beginning work
between 8:00 and 8:30 am. He has a glass of water or cup of tea and takes
a vitamin pill each day, ensuring he is in the same seat and his papers
and desk are arranged in the same way every single day. King has a daily
writing quota of two thousand words and rarely allows himself to quit
until he’s reached his goal.”
“…the 31-year-old Harvard dropout and founder of Facebook, Mark
Zuckerberg, is well known for almost always wearing a plain gray T-shirt,
saying in a 2014 interview that wearing the same shirt helps allow him to
make as few decisions as possible.”
As a matter of fact, I don’t know any successful people who do not have
some kind of a relatively structured, and occasionally elaborate, daily
routine. So without further ado, for your entertainment and education,
let’s delve into the morning, afternoon and evening routines that will enhance your health, your energy, your body, your brain, your sleep and
beyond, beginning with the most logical place to begin: the start of your
day.
2
MY EXACT MORNING ROUTINE
UNVEILED STEP-BY-STEP
Several years ago, I posted a bunch of videos of me doing strange poses in my backyard while wearing teeny-tiny black shorts (at The Exact Stretch Routine That Ben Does Every Morning, No Matter What).
That ten-minute stretching routine was actually my very first foray
into doing something at the beginning of each day that established
blood flow, breathwork, and momentum, to achieve more the rest of
the day. Prior to beginning to do it, I would simply roll out of bed,
make a quick coffee and head to work with absolutely no clue as to
how much better a morning routine can make your day.
Since then, my morning routine has progressed way beyond the level of
just a few silly stretches in my underwear. My morning routine has, in
fact, morphed into an absolutely epic series of journaling, elaborate exercises, twists, oils, supplements, toilet techniques and an entire host of
other ridiculously complex self-care habits.
But I’m not complaining.
Not only do I absolutely love my morning routine, hopping out of bed
each day with a big anticipatory grin, but I also know that a morning,
an afternoon and an evening series of rituals, habits and routines are a
great way to “bookend” sections of your day. The morning routine in
particular allows you to prioritize all the things necessary to take care of
yourself and your body, your brain,, and your spirit while your willpower
and energy is high, grounding your body and mind, and even giving you
something “old and reliable” to use when you’re traveling or starting your
day in strange, new places.
Before you dive in, please understand that any new routine can initially
feel intimidating and confusing until it becomes an automatic habit. But
after 2 to 4 weeks of launching into a routine, you’ll subconsciously begin
adopting the habits you’re about to discover without even thinking about
it. You just need to stick with it each day until it becomes automatic.
3
-6:30-ISH…
BEN GREENFIELD’S
MORNING ROUTINE
Wake up. Unless I have a flight to catch, I do not use an alarm, and ensure
that I only book appointments, calls and work after 9am. This allows me
to follow my body’s natural clock. If you’re afraid you might upset a client, miss an appointment, get “fired from work”, then you need to understand the importance of “zeitgeibers”, which are circadian rhythm cues
that let your body and brain know that it is either morning or evening.
Some of the most important cues are A) light; B) movement; C) a meal.
For example, if you desire for your wake time to be at 6am, and you’re
currently sleeping in until 7am, then at 6am you would A) get plenty of morning sunlight or use something like a “Human Charger” or
“Re-Timer”; B) do morning movement between 6am and 7am and C)
don’t skip breakfast, and preferably have breakfast within a couple hours
after waking up.
Anyways, back to my own waking routine. Upon waking, I remove my
huge, wrap around SleepMaster sleep mask, turn off my Brain.FM sleep
sounds, remove my Sleephones and remove my DeltaSleeper.
I then roll over, strap on a bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor (most
models work but here’s an exact list of compatible ones, smear conducting gel all over the strap’s electrodes, and do a quick five minute measurement of my heart rate variability (HRV), nervous system readiness
and stress using the NatureBeat app. While I monitor my HRV, I read
my Bible, complete my daily entry into my Christian Gratitude Journal,
and pray.
4
I walk downstairs to the kitchen. I pour 20oz of water, into which I add
10 drops of lemon essential oil and 5 drops oil of oregano. As I drink this
water, I take my morning supplements. What I take varies, but just about
every day of the year I consume on an empty stomach:
-5 grams of creatine
-4 capsules colostrum
-2 capsules probiotics
After swallowing these capsules, I put on the water to boil for coffee and
head down to the basement gym or, if it’s a nice day, outside into the sun
(in my bare feet to get all the benefits of “earthing” or “grounding”.
-6:45-ISH…
If I’m outside, then I’m already
in the sunlight. But if I’m in the
basement gym, I flip on the lights,
which are powered by a special
kind of bulb called “Awake And
Alert”. These bulbs crank out massive amounts of blue light, and this
is why, if the day is gray, I’ll head to
gym rather than the backyard patio for a massive dose of light. Remember: light is a good circadian
rhythm cue.
Then, I proceed to do my 10-minute morning movement routine,
which frankly, is quite different
than that original routine I was
-6:50-ISH…
doing 5 years ago. The series of moves that I do now are designed to
“turn on my glutes”, “activate my breath” and “decompress my spine”.
They are called “Core Foundation” exercises, and you can read the full
story on them here. I do the M/W/F exercises from the book on M/W/F
and the T/R/S exercises on T/R/S, and Sunday too.
5
Now fully energized, I charge back to the kitchen and grab the coffee,
which is always caffeinated for 3 weeks, then decaffeinated for 1 week,
allowing me to only be nursing a caffeine habit 75% of the time (and allow for resensitization of the adenosine receptors). To do this, I simply
get 3 bags caffeinated and 1 bag decaf coffee with each coffee order that I
make, and typically opt for good organic coffee. And no, I do not use
copious amounts of butter or MCT oil. Just black coffee, thank you very
much.
While I drink my coffee, I do a bit of light morning reading, usually blogs
or research articles. I stay far, far away from e-mail, social media and
anything that would stress me out at this time of day.
-7:15-ISH…
So I’ll let you in on a little secret: I only poop once-a-day. That’s right
– I get it all out of the way with one massive toilet trip first thing in
the morning. There’s just something I don’t like about walking around
during the current day with the previous day’s majority of solid waste
still inside me.
I’ve pretty much got the morning poo down to a science. I stroll into the
bathroom, hop onto my Squatty Potty then shift, shimmy and shake
until everything is out. Typically, while on the toilet, I do indeed have
my phone, and I scroll through emails and Facebook (yep, you know it
and you’ve done it yourself once or twice I’d imagine), read any of my
bathroom books and magazines, and just chill out until everything is
expulsed. This is generally an oh-so-glorious 15-20 minutes. I walk out
of that experience with a big satisfied smile on my face. And yes, every
two weeks or anytime I return from a big bout of travel, my morning
bathroom routine includes a Bulletproof Enema.
-7:00-ISH…
6
-7:30-ISH…
I hang out with my two boys before they head to the bus stop. We talk
about their sleep, their dreams, their morning journaling, breakfast, and
the day’s activities. Then they’re off until 3:30pm, which gives me 8 hours
of extreme productivity. My day’s goal is always to be finished up with all
the hard work by the time the boys get home, so we have plenty of time
for afternoon workouts, adventures and fun father-son activities.
I complete 30 minutes of fasted morning movement. This varies a bit
from day-to-day but generally is setup as follows:
-Monday and Friday mornings: Yoga. I’ve been through enough yoga routines to where I have my own hybridized version, but it’s usually basic flow
yoga with an intense focus on deep breathing, often in the cold, and often
wearing an elevation training mask. Yes, nerdy, but effective.
-Wednesday mornings: 20-25 minute full body foam roller a la “Becoming
A Supple Leopard” and 5-10 minutes hanging from inversion table.
-Tuesday and Thursday mornings: Infrared sauna, Kundalini yoga, warrior breathing followed by a 5-minute cold water swim at 55-60F, or a cold
shower.
-Saturday and Sunday mornings: 30 minute nasal breathing and breath
hold walk (only do nasal breathing as 4 count in, 4 count hold, 4 count out,
4 count hold during the entire walk, and hold breath every few minutes for
as long as you can) or 30 minute kettlebell walk (just what it sounds like –
carry a kettlebell however you desire for 30 minutes).
I always finish any of these routines with my signature cold shower (see
video here). Post-shower, I slather my legs with magnesium lotion and I
slather my face with extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or my skin serum.
-7:45-ISH…
7
Breakfast. With very little exception, 7 days a week breakfast is simply a
green smoothie. You may want to take a deep breath before diving into
this. Ready? Here we go:
-A huge bunch of greens. I prefer kale, but spinach, bok choy, mustard
greens, etc. also works.
-Some kind of herb. Cleansing herbs like parsley, cilantro or thyme are nice.
Get ‘em fresh.
-Half an avocado, or a whole one if it’s a high calorie day.
-4-6oz of full fat coconut milk that is BPA free. The less you use, the thicker
your smoothie will be. I prefer an extremely thick smoothie that I have to
eat with a spoon, so that the digestive enzymes in my mouth can work on
pre-digesting before the food even makes it to my gut. Like my mom always
said, “Chew your liquids and drink your solids.” Didn’t you always wonder
what that means?
-2 teaspoons organic cacao powder.
-2 teaspoons cinnamon.
-1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt (I use the fancy Aztecan stuff).
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
OK, stop there. Blend everything above for 60 seconds-ish. You don’t
want to pulverize things like protein powder, collagen, etc., and you also
don’t want to pulverize the chunky chunks of goodness you’re about to
toss in.
Now, let’s keep going. To your blended green goodness, add:
-20-30g of a “clean” protein powder (I have been primarily using any of
these vegan protein powder)
-2 teaspoons of a good organic collagen hydrolysate.
-1 large handful of unroasted, non-vegetable-oil coated walnuts or almonds
or cashews or brazil nuts.
-8:30-ISH…
8
-1 small handful organic dark cacao nibs
-1 large handful organic unsweetened coconut flakes.
Boom. That’s it. You’re now ready to begin consuming your smoothie,
preferably with a spoon or a spatula. I personally use an enormous mug
with an inspirational quote from Theodore Roosevelt, although I have
been known to simply eat it straight out of the blender container when in
a hurry or when I’m too lazy to make the transfer into a civilized cup. Depending on how exact your measurements are, this smoothie is going to
weigh in at anywhere from 700-1000 calories, so scale yours accordingly
if you want fewer ecalories.
The morning supplements that I currently take with this smoothie (all
are best taken before or with a meal):
-2 capsules digestive enzymes
-4 capsules Superessentials fish oil
-3 capsules multi-vitamin
During breakfast, I surf through blogs, read research, plan my day, and
wipe green smoothie goodness off my face.
-8:30-ISH…
The work day officially begins.
And I’ll go ahead and close the morning routine curtains there. Now let’s
move onto the afternoon routine.
9
You’ve now seen the nitty-gritty steps of my morning routine, which
includes occasionally disgusting detail and everything from my giant
green smoothie to my goosebumping cold shower…
…I figured it is now high time to delve into the next section of this tiny
manual, in which I will describe every meal strategy, biohack, healthy
living trick and other features of my afternoon routine, specifically from
where we left off in the last post at 9:00 in the morning, all the way up the
beginning of the evening routine.
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t know any successful people who do not
have some kind of a relatively structured and occasionally elaborate daily
routine. So without further ado, for your entertainment and education,
here is mine.
MY EXACT AFTERNOON ROUTINE
UNVEILED STEP-BY-STEP
10
Breakfast finished, shards of green smoothie still stuck in my teeth, it is
now time for work to commence.
At this point, I am supercharged with nutrients and caffeine, and I’m
ready and raring to launch into the morning’s activities. As you learn
in my article “4 Steps To Getting More Done During Your Peak Time
Of The Day”, your most attention-demanding, left-brained tasks should
be performed during your peak hours, and your most creativeness-demanding, right-brained tasks should be performed during your nonpeak hours.
Based on the results of my Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, my
own personal peak hours occur from about 9:30am until 1:00pm, and so,
during this time, I work my friggin’ booty off.
I am not kidding.
During these peak hours, I am like a horse with blinders, completely focused on my primary tasks for the day. I do not snack, I do not answer my
phone, I do not text message, I put in headphones with Brain.FM so that
-9:30…
BEN GREENFIELD’S
AFTERNOON ROUTINE
11
nobody can bother me, I do not dabble in the fiction book I am writing
and I completely avoid any social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Instead, I focus on whichever tasks fall into that day’s “bucket” (a strategy
I outline in detail here).
In other words, on Friday, which is a day I reserve for writing, I will simply hunker down and write for about four and a half hours. During this
time, I alternate from seated to standing to lunging to kneeling to lying,
etc., exactly as I outline in this video.
Until I recently moved into my new home, I eliminated physiological
issues that would arise during these work “marathons”, such as brain fog,
tiredness, lack of focus, etc. by completely cleaning up any forms of electrical pollution around me. This video below shows the exact tactics I
used to do that.
Now that I am living in my new home, my office is completely hardwired
with shielded Cat-6 ethernet cable, and contains no bluetooth devices,
no stand-up desk motors or treadmill motors and no Wi-Fi. I’ve done
extensive testing of the EMF fields in the office using a Tri-Field EMF
meter and the amount of dirty electricity or electrical pollution is virtually non-existent.
It’s like working on a pristine Himalayan mountaintop, without the wind
chill factor.
To increase wakefulness and simulate sunlight, all the bulbs in my office
are “Awake & Alert” blue-light bulbs by Lighting Science. To decrease
cortisol levels, I generally work with pine or evergreen essential oil diffused via a cold air diffuser placed near the door of the office. To ensure
fresh air, I keep a variety of NASA approved air filtering plants such as
Weeping Fig, Peace Lily and Boston Fern scattered throughout both the
office and the rest of the home. You can learn about all these type of air,
lighting and electricity tactics, and many more, in my book “How To
Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home”.
Finally, although I am working in one long intense burst, I take brief
breaks to reset my visual balance by stepping outside and focusing my
eyes on a series of close trees, more distant trees, the far horizon, the sun,
and any moving objects such as cars or birds. A nifty program called
12
“Iris” reminds me to do this, and reduces glare and flicker from my computer screen.
Technically, if I wanted to be ultra-scientific with these breaks, I would
incorporate the proven method of “52 minutes on, 17 minutes off ”, but
frankly, I’ve found that 52 minutes is too short and 17 minutes is too
long, so I instead work for about 60-75 minute chunks with relatively
brief 5 minute breaks.
-1:00-ish…
Eventually, I finish my morning of research, book chapter writing, article
writing, podcast recordings, phone or Skype consults, and video recordings sometime between 1:00 and 1:30pm. At this point, I haven’t eaten
since breakfast, but I sip on my wife’s plain jane homemade kombucha
recipe, a glass of TianChi on ice, or just plain-jane sparkling water from
a glass bottle, and continue to do so in the afternoon.
Once I’ve slammed shut my laptop and turned off my working brain, the
very first thing I then do is assess whether the day is a “nap day”. If I am
coming off a non-taxing day of exercise the day before, I have an easy
recovery day planned, or I have completed at least five 90-minute sleep
cycles the night before (exactly as discussed in this podcast with Nick
Littlehales), or I’m simply not tired, I will typically forego my usual postlunch nap.
But most days, I nap.
So just before lunch, I take something that will help me wind my busy
mind down enough to fall asleep after lunch. Since I typically take CBD
and Sleep Remedy in the evenings, my afternoon napping weapon of
choice is Inner Peace, which is a blend of Chinese herbal adaptogens that
allows me to sleep like a baby every afternoon. I pop three of these just
before lunch.
But before the post-lunch nap comes something very important and epic
must occur…
…my Big Ol’ Lunchtime Salad.
13
Many folks have raised an eyebrow at my claims that I personally eat 20-
25 portions of plants each day, but today, as I write this little book, I took
a break to photograph my lunchtime salad. In the photo, you will see:
-2 servings of kale (often this can be any other random leafy green I grab)
-1 serving of squash
-1 serving of carrots
-2 servings of nori seaweed (I’ll often eat this salad like a burrito, wrapped
in the nori)
-3 servings of tomatoes
-1 serving of avocado
-1 serving of olives
-1 serving of a scrambled egg (often I’ll do sardines, anchovies, nuts, or
leftover protein from dinner the night before instead)
-1 serving of hard pecorino cheese (sometimes this is a dollop of yogurt)
You can do the math. I’m averaging eleven servings of plants with lunch
alone. My Big Morning Smoothie you read about in the first part of this
book contains another eight to ten servings of plants…
…and I haven’t even yet gotten to dinner. Frankly, this intake could put
the average vegan to shame in terms of total daily plant consumption.
Anyways, I top this cornucopia of vegetables with extra virgin olive oil,
balsamic vinaigrette, Aztec salt, black pepper, and turmeric.
Then, with olive oil and tomato juice drizzling down my chin from wrapping my salad contents burrito-style in a nori wrap, I generally eat outside in the sunshine on my porch, either listening to an audiobook or
podcast, reading a magazine, watching an instructional video on YouTube (e.g. cooking, guitar, documentary clips, etc.) or doing anything
else that is relatively non-stressful. And I make sure to chew each bite
20-25 times to enhance digestion. So yes, this salad takes me a long time
to eat. But it is oh-so-delicious and satisfying.
On a big training day, such as a Saturday or a Sunday that might include
a two hour heavy ruck, two hours of obstacle course training, a long bike
ride, a big swim or some other crazy adventure, I’m often still hungry
after lunch or I know I need to eat more to fuel activity later in the day.
On days like this, rather than opting for a pre-workout meal, which often
14
-2:00-ish…
leaves me feeling food sloshing in my stomach during the workout and
removes all the benefits of working out in a somewhat fasted state, I’ll
simply have a snack after lunch, typically:
-2-4oz organic, full-fat coconut milk
-a few drops dark chocolate stevia
-a handful of spirulina, chia seeds, or walnuts
Is there a “science” behind this concoction? You bet: very few carbohydrates, easy to digest fats in the form of medium chain triglycerides and
essential fatty acids, and easy to digest proteins in the form of amino
acids. You can read more about these tactic in this article. For this mix,
I don’t use a blender, but simply stir it all into a cup and eat with a spoon
or spatula. It keeps me more satiated that way.
My post-lunch napping routine is a science honed down over years of
practice, and I can now fall asleep within five minutes and wake completely refreshed. In addition to the Inner Peace I mentioned earlier, my
napping process is as follows:
Step 1: Unfold and plug-in Biomat on floor of my office, bedroom, living
room, or wherever else I plan on sleeping.
Step 2: Use Brain.FM napping app or place SleepStream app in
14
“Power Nap” binaural beats mode with “Sleepstream Mix” as white noise
in background (you must wear headphones for this to work properly, and
I generally just use my ho-hum standard white Apple iPhone headphones
or SleepPhones.
Step 3: Put on SleepMaster wraparound sleep mask, which generously covers both eyes and ears.
That’s it. And if your napping time is limited, you will be pleased to know
that the Power Nap setting on the Sleepstream app will allow for adjustments of 10 minutes up to infinity, gently lulling you back into a wakeful
state without any harsh alarms.
As discussed in Podcast #331, I took a transcendental meditation (TM)
course and for the past month have been experimenting with substituting the day’s nap with 10-20 minutes of TM. I’m still quantifying my
body’s response to TM with heart rate variability measurements, and still
consider myself to be a TM rookie, but eventually plan on releasing an
article on how TM can be potentially used as a substitute for either napping or even several hours of sleeping.
-3:00-ish…
At some point between 2:30 and 3:00pm, I wake up, and this means I
usually have a good hour and a half to “kill” before my two sons get home
from school.
What do I do with these 90 minutes?
So that I can spend quality, undistracted time with my kids, my goal is to
be completely finished with any stressful work, time-consuming tasks, or
fires that need putting out before they arrive home. That means that this
is now my time to make a cup of tea (I generally use mushroom blends
such as the cordyceps, chaga, reishi, etc. discussed here) and do any or all
of the following:
-Making phone calls.
-Paying bills.
-Opening mail and packages.
15
-Checking blog comments, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Since my peak morning hours are now over and my creative hours have
not yet struck, this late afternoon period is the perfect time of day for
these relatively less productive and less creative activities, which are typically also activities that tend to follow Parkinson’s Rule, which states that
tasks will expand to the time you allot to them. Because I only allow a
maximum of 90 minutes for these activities, they don’t wind up taking
too much precious time.
-4:00-ish…
The boys arrive home from school. And now the fun begins.
If you read my book “10 Ways To Grow Tiny Superhumans”, then you
know that I try to include my kids in my workouts. Since testosterone,
grip strength, body temperature, reaction time and post-workout protein synthesis all peak between the hours of 4:00pm and 6:00pm, this
becomes the perfect time of day to throw down a hard workout, which
can include things like:
1. Body Weight Workout:
-20 feet backward and forward crabwalks with kid riding on waist
-20 reps overhead child presses with squat
-20 feet bear crawls with kid on back
-10 pushups with kid on back
-20 feet crocodile crawls with kid on back
-10 arm curls holding kid upside down by their legs
2. Pool Workout:
-2 lengths underwater swimming with kid on back
-2 lengths doggy paddle with kid on back
-20 reps pool pullouts with kid on back
-2 minutes treading water with kid on back
3. Kids Mini-Version of My Workout:
-I sprint hill in weighted vest, kids sprint hill weight-free
-I do 10 reps barbell squat, kids do 10 reps body weight squat
-I do 10 reps barbell deadlift, kids do 10 reps sandbag deadlift
16
-I do 10 reps kettlebell swing, kids do 10 reps smaller kettlebell swing
-I do 30 burpees, kids do 10 burpees
-I spend 30 minutes in infrared sauna, kids join me for first 10 minutes
You get the idea. Sure, sometimes my workout simply isn’t conducive to
including children (e.g. a 40% incline walk on treadmill for 45 minutes),
but I try to save these “adults-only” solo workouts for when the boys have
some kind of post-school activity such as tennis, Awanas, piano, etc.
Why do I go through such trouble to include my children in my workouts?
A fascinating study at the University of Essex looked at the perception
of children about their parents’ activity levels. In the study, researchers
asked schoolchildren to rate how active they thought their parents were.
Then they had those children complete a test of their own cardio fitness.
In this case, they used a “bleep” test, which is a common way to measure
basic fitness levels.
What researchers found was that the likelihood of the child having greater fitness based on their performance on the bleep test was directly influenced by how active that child perceived their parents to be. In other
words, kids who were under the impression that their parents didn’t exercise very much, did not appear themselves to be exercising very much.
This resulted in a dramatic decrease in their fitness compared to peers
who rated their parents more highly in the physical fitness department.
This means that no matter their age, kids really do pay attention to and
mimic their parents. So a big step to getting your kids fit is to be an example yourself. It makes a much bigger difference than you may think.
If you don’t have kids, I still, for the physiological reasons outlined above,
recommend you save your hard workouts for late afternoon or early evening, and use your morning for less stressful activities such as yoga, Tai
Chi, morning walks in the sunshine, etc.
17
-5:30…
As you can read in detail here, nearly seven days a week I finish up my
afternoon or early evening workout with a glass of red wine.
Why?
Three main reasons, really.
First, I love the taste of wine, but I’m also well aware that alcoholic drinks
and the fructose and other sugars therein can make you fat if you consume them in a fed state, so I instead consume my daily glass of wine in
a “fasted” state post-workout (vs., say, having a big glass of wine during
dinner or after stuffing my face with dinner). In this post-workout situation, the fructose sugars in the wine simply help to replenish my liver
glycogen stores (muscles do not contain the enzyme to store fructose as
glycogen, but the liver does), and the glucose and sucrose sugars are far
less likely to spend significant amounts of time in my blood stream.
As for protein, if my workout includes any eccentric, muscle-damaging
activities such as running or weight training, I also pop 10 amino acids
tablets, which help with muscle repair and avoidance of tissue catabolism. I do this because any precious proteins I get from dinner usually
won’t be rolling into my body for at least another two hours.
By this time of day, I’m also inching back into my creative hours, and
since our family typically doesn’t eat dinner until 7:30 or 8:00pm, I now
have plenty of time for:
–Fiction or creative writing
-Playing guitar or ukelele
-Taking a class (e.g. boxing, tennis, etc.)
-Preparing or cooking dinner
-Walking and plant foraging
So that’s how the afternoon ends: nearly every day of the week, I sip my
wine and write while I sit for 20-30 minutes in compression boots (I
swear by these boots for making my legs feel light as a feather for the next
day’s workout), and then I venture into any other pre-dinner creative,
learning or fun activities.
18
But wait, Ben! What about what happens after 7:30pm? Dinner macronutrient ratios? Sleep routines? Evening hacks? Making love? Black-out
curtains? Epic fireside dance routines?
I have good news. Below, I’ll delve into all the juicey-ness that is my evening routine.
Let’s do this.
MY EXACT EVENING ROUTINE
UNVEILED STEP-BY-STEP
Well, this is it.
We have finally reached part three of this manual, in which I give you an
insider, sneak peak of every single nitty-gritty component of my daily
routine…
I’m now going to share with you everything I do at night to relax, enhance fat burning, enter deep sleep and biohack every PM hour of my
life.
The evening routine you’re about to discover is something that evolved
from years of studying, self-experimentation and self-quantification,
and interviewing experts like Nick Littlehale for advanced sleep hacking
tactics, Dr. Joseph Zelk for sleep tracking and deep sleep enhancement,
John Kiefer for evening carbohydrate, fat and protein ratios, and many
others you can discover in the sleep category of BenGreenfieldFitness.
com.
As I mentioned in the previous two parts of this book, I don’t know any
successful people who do not have some kind of a relatively structured
and occasionally elaborate daily routine. So without further ado, for your
entertainment and education, here is my current evening routine in extreme detail.
19
-7:00 PM…
BEN GREENFIELD’S
EVENING ROUTINE
As you learned earlier, because
physiological parameters such as
body temperature, grip strength
reaction time and post workout
protein synthesis (your anabolic response to a workout) peak
sometime between about 4 PM
and 6 PM in the day, I finish up
my afternoon with a difficult workout that challenges my sympathetic
nervous system.
After a quick cold shower (click here to watch a video), I then wrap a
big red bow around my afternoon or early evening workout with a lattefrothed glass of organic, low-sugar, high-antioxidant red wine. As I mentioned earlier, this is because in a post-workout situation, the fructose
sugars in the wine simply help to replenish liver glycogen stores (muscles
do not contain the enzyme to store fructose as glycogen, but the liver
does), and the glucose and sucrose sugars in wine are far less likely to
spend significant amounts of time in the bloodstream.
Glass of wine complete, it will now be around one to two hours before I’ll
have dinner. As I discuss in this podcast episode with Mark Sisson, this
is because avoiding a big meal in the immediate post-workout window
can actually help to enhance both growth hormone and testosterone. If
it’s been a very difficult, muscle damaging workout such as a hard run,
sparring, kickboxing or a weight training routine, I will often include 10g
of essential amino acids along with the wine, so that I can give my muscles some amount of repair capability without actually spiking my insulin
levels.
During these hours before dinner, I will, depending on the day:
20
-Write for 15-30 minutes in my book of fiction “The Forest”, typically using
the dictation methods I discuss in my podcast interview with author Joanna Penn and also sitting in my special, space-agey recovery boots…
-Play the ukelele or guitar, typically alternating between formal learning
videos on YouTube or from books, or playing actual songs via the Ultimate
Guitar app, which I’ve downloaded to both my phone and Kindle…
-Wrestle, play board games, walk in the forest or read to my twin boys…
-Play an easy game of doubles tennis in men’s league at my local tennis
club…
-Catch up on any last remaining e-mails, phone calls or work activities…
As I discuss in my article on getting more done at your peak time of day,
there are certain times of day during which you are most creative and
certain times of day during which you are most productive. I am absolutely, beyond a doubt, relatively useless in terms of productivity after
about 7 PM, and so I save most of my creative work for that time of day
(which fortunately happens to be my peak creativity time) and ensure
that by that time in the day I have already produced any articles, podcasts, consults, training plans, meal plans, etc. that I need to take care of.
-SOMETIME BETWEEN 8:00 PM AND 9:00 PM…
Yes, we are absolutely a late dinner family. While we do indeed eat together as a family most nights of the week, we’ve simply found that in
our household, it works best to save dinner for later in the day, after
nearly everything else is complete. Since my entire family is on board
with the concept that snacking and grazing is overrated and that three
square meals a day is about the most that you need to keep your metabolism elevated, nobody in the family really creates any grief over waiting
a long time for dinner.
When we do sit down for dinner, unless it is a very special “movie night”
(about once a month), we go completely screen and device free for dinner, and typically play a board game, spark conversations with questions
such as “What Superhero Would You Want Here At Dinner With Us?” or
“Where Would You Travel If You Could Snap Your Fingers And Trans-
21
-port Us Anywhere Right Now?”, and we also discuss what it is that we
learned in our morning devotionals, and what it is that we were grateful
for that day.
As a rule, dinner is nearly always the most carbohydrate-rich meal of the
day, and I personally, depending on the day’s level of physical activity, will
typically eat 100-150g (400-600 calories) of carbohydrates with dinner.
The concept here is that while carbohydrates will indeed spike insulin,
as long as your muscle glycogen stores are not full (as will be the case at
the end of an active day, and especially at the end of the day that includes
a hard workout in the afternoon or early evening) the insulin will drive
carbohydrates into muscle tissue, not into fat tissue. John Kiefer explains
this concept quite thoroughly in his “Carb Backloading” book.
Nonetheless, I still, for both longevity and blood glucose control, will
often use bitter melon extract capsules (which act very similarly to the
diabetic drug Metformin) prior to dinner if the dinner is very large in
carbohydrate content (e.g. 100g+) or if I’m going to a restaurant or a party where I do not know exactly what I’m going to be eating or anticipate
high carbohydrate intake.
Another supplement that I will use 20-30 minutes prior to a large meal is
digestive enzymes. This is because gut testing that I have done on myself
has revealed that I have low levels of enzyme production, most likely due
to my extremely high level of physical activity, and the fact that to support that high level of physical activity, I’m often eating in excess of 3500
calories per day.
So what exactly do we eat for dinner here in the Greenfield house?
While I eat nearly the same thing every day for breakfast (a green smoothie) and lunch (a salad), dinner tends to be our most varied meal of the
day. Some of our go-to staples include homemade pad thai with nori
wraps, quinoa salad with nuts and cheese, fish with roasted vegetables,
steak with sweet potato fries, falafel or lentils with yogurt, and many of
the meals I outline in my “40 Meals For Busy Athletes” article.
Contrary to what many folks seem to assume (since I’m a hunter and
often hang out with the Paleo crowd), we actually don’t eat meat every
night, and I personally only have a small portion of meat once every 1-2
22
days.
Why the meat moderation?
Three reasons, really:
#1: Meat has been shown to cause what is known as “Neu5Gc-mediated
autoimmunity”, which can cause everything from skin issues to hypothyroidism to increased cancer risk. You can read about this in Part 1 and
Part 2 of author Paul Jaminet’s recent treatise on the topic of red meat and
Neu5Gc.
#2: Excessive meat and protein intake is very anabolic, can cause uncontrolled division of a population of rogue cells in the body, and can increase
cancer risk, especially if that meat is cooked or processed. Stephen Guyenet
has written an excellent research-based article series on this topic.
#3: Due to meat and high protein intake’s activation of a protein called
mTor and an increase in the rate at which telomeres shorten, there is a
definite tradeoff between meat intake, protein, growth and longevity. Ray
Cronise details this in his Metabolic Winter Hypothesis by Ray Cronise.
For these reasons, my diet is primarily comprised of a copious amount of
vegetables and plant matter dressed up in plenty of healthy fats and oils,
and moderated amounts of meat and protein intake.
If we’re not eating dinner at home, we will typically wind up at a sushi,
Korean, Japanese, or local “farm-to-table” restaurant, at which we implement the following best practices:
-Always substitute roasted vegetables for any bread or mashed potatoes,
and turn down or avoid bread or chips if brought to the table, unless they
are something like slow-fermented sourdough bread or non-GMO corn
chips in moderation.
-Acceptable starches: rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sweet potato, yam,
squash, carrot, beet or other non-gluten, non-GMO sources.
-Acceptable proteins: nuts, seeds, grains and any non-fried meat that is
cooked in preferably low temperatures with healthy oils and is organic,
23
local, wild or grass-fed.
-Acceptable fats: coconut oil, grass-fed butter, olive oil, flax seed oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, and any fat that is 100% natural, that is not a
vegetable oil, that is not batter-fried, and that is not an oil with a low smoke
point (e.g. canola oil, sunflower oil or safflower oil) that has been heated.
When in doubt, we ask for creams, dressings and sauces “on the side”.
I’m often asked about post-dinner snacks and desserts. If I’ve had a very
active day, have a very big workout planned for the next morning (e.g. a
day hike with a heavy pack), or if I’m simply still hungry after dinner, I
will often include some kind of snack or dessert, including:
-A handful of chlorella or spirulina tablets mixed with 90%+ dark chocolate…
-Dark chocolate stevia blended with full fat, BPA-free coconut milk in an
immersion blender…
-Organic chia seeds soaked in water with Aztec sea salt and frozen berries…
-Half an avocado blended with dark chocolate powder, Ceylon cinnamon,
vanilla, coconut milk and almond butter…
-A spoonful of coconut oil with some kind of raw nut butter on a chunk of
dark chocolate…
-When I’m really in biohacking mode, some form of exogenous ketones to
shove my body into ketosis for the evening (they actually taste pretty good
blended with water and ice)…
-This homemade high-fat, low-carb ice cream…
As you can imagine, I do indeed have plenty of snacks in my pantry, and
you can read a full list of my staple pantry and kitchen items here.
Once I’ve finished stuffing my face, I glance at my watch. While I don’t
get too obsessed over quantification, I do indeed perform a quick mental
mental calculation and wait at least 12 hours before eating again. This
means that if I’m finished with dinner and snacking at 9pm, I won’t eat
24
again until noon. Due to the extensive research on the link between
intermittent fasting and longevity, cellular repair and gut health,
on nearly every day of the year, I incorporate this 12 to 16 hour fasted window. During this time, the only items I consume are supplements, water or caffeinated beverages such as coffee or green tea.
-9:00 PM…
With dinner over, it’s now time to begin winding down for the night.
It all begins with helping my twin boys, River and Terran. They personally take very, very good care of their teeth and bodies prior to bed,
and I don’t need to help them too much. We raised them on Kid’s Calm
Liquid Multivitamin, but now that they have teeth, they each use the
no-sugar version of the Smarty Pants Kid’s Multivitamins, then brush
their teeth with a special tooth powder that my wife Jessa makes (thanks
to my friend The Wellness Mama for this tooth remineralizing recipe).
While the kids are taking their multivitamin, brushing their teeth and
getting into their pajamas, I take care of my own body, using their same
tooth powder and also taking my nightly sleep remedy: 4 capsules of NatureCBD, 1 packet of Sleep Remedy, and if I’ve been traveling (traveling
tends to get me constipated), a cup of Natural Calm magnesium powder
or Smooth Move chamomile tea.
We then head up to the kid’s bedroom, where I play them a bedtime song
on the guitar or the ukelele, and then we gather around to give thanks to
God for one little thing we’re grateful for that day and also pray for one
way that we can help make someone’s life better the next day (this is very
similar to our morning Christian Gratitude Journal practice). I say General Douglas McArthur’s prayer over them, the same prayer I highlight in
“Five Quotes I Live By, Three Keys To Happiness, Two Questions To Ask
Yourself & One Must-Do Thought Experiment.”, and then tuck them away.
25
Yes, yes, yes, I realize I’m well known, and occasionally ridiculed, for dialing in every tiny detail to get myself into deep sleep as fast as possible,
to optimize every second of sleep that I get, and to get through four to
five full 90 minute sleep cycles each night. I’m constantly researching and
testing what truly works to enhance my morning heart rate variability, a
key sign of a well-rested body, brain and nervous system.
Jessa and I generally don’t waste too much time staying up after putting
the kids to bed, and rarely watch TV or spend time on a computer, Kindle
or phone at this point in the evening (should I use a screen after 7pm, I
do use my custom blue light blocking glasses or my Swannies). If we do
get it on, we do it in the evening, and it’s generally around this time after
the kids are down for bed. I really don’t feel I need to get into too much
detail as I don’t use too many “sex hacks” or crazy sex toys, but here are a
few quick tips:
-We use natural lambskin condoms for the ultimate sensory experience…
-If it’s legal in your state, a THC balm can also make things a bit more
exciting, and we use one called “Bond”…
-We use a special kind of bulb in our room made by Lighting Science. It is
a biological LED bulb engineered to remove blue light, but the nice thing
is that it also gives off a bit of a red glow that seems to be perfect for sex…
–Big stand-up mirrors in the bedroom – can’t recommend them highly
enough
In my recent presentation at the Men’s Sexual Satisfaction Summit, I get
into plenty more details about sexual habits, sexual practices, and sexual
health, so go listen to that, and if you want to enhance sexual fitness, I’d
also recommend you check out my article on “The Private Gym” (warning: it’s explicit).
Finally, after making love, it’s time for sleep.
-Attach the SR1 PEMF DeltaSleeper device to my collarbone and turn it
on…
-10:00 PM…
26
-If I’ve been traveling or I’m jetlagged, turn on the Earthpulse or lay on the
Biomat…
-Turn on the ChiliPad to 60 degrees…
-Put the room temp at 66-67 degrees…
-Close the blackout curtains…
-Rub down any sore muscles or tight spots with magnesium lotion…
-Flip the kill switches I’ve installed in the bedroom (detailed in my “Biohack
Your Home” book)…
-Sprinkle a few drops of essential lavender oil on the pillow…
-Put on my wraparound Sleepmaster sleep mask…
-Put on my Sleepstream app and play it in “Deep Sleep” mode or play Brain.
FM sleep track through my SleepPhones
-And…that’s it.
I realize this seems like a lot of “stuff ”, but now that it’s a nightly habit,
I fly through this entire routine in about 2 minutes, and makes a nightand-day difference (pun intended) in sleep quality and quantity.
I’m often asked if I track sleep. No suprises here: I do. I use a non-radiation emitting device called the “Oura ring”, which I wear all day long
to track things like activity, body temperate, nervous system, heart rate,
etc. and at night to track things like sleep latency, REM sleep, non-REM
sleep, sleep cycles, etc. Since any Bluetooth transmitting mode can indeed be turned off with this ring (think of it like airplane mode), and
it’s been shown to be over 80% as accurate as professional sleep tracking
equipment, it is, in my opinion, the gold-standard way to track sleep and
activity. You can listen to my podcast with Oura here, or read a follow-up
FAQ I wrote about it here.
27
Whew! You made it through.
Before closing, I’d like to make two resource recommendation to you. A
place where you can hunt down the routines of many famous folks is the
blog Daily Routines. I’d recommend you give it a read, or bookmark it for
later. Another place where you can find the routines of some interesting,
famous and successful folks is the excellent book “Daily Rituals: How
Artists Work”.
And finally, remember: this exhaustive list may seem – well – exhausting!
Or intimidating. Or excessive. But frankly, after making these routines
and habits subconscious and automatic rituals, I barely even think about
them, and I simply flow with ease through the day. You’ll discover that
the same thing happens to you once you make a commitment to one
month of establishing a morning, afternoon and evening routine. You
don’t need to do everything at once, but hold onto this little manual and
gradually begin to incorporate each of the tactics I’ve described.
You’ll sleep amazingly.
Your productivity will go through the roof.
Your exercise will become easy.
Your body and brain will start working the way they’re supposed to.
You’ll live in an upgraded fashion, unlike 99% of the world’s population,
with performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep and hormone
optimization. Enjoy the feeling.
And finally, for updates, new biohacks, more resources, and continual
learning, be sure to click here to subscribe to my free podcast, and click
here to subscribe to my free newsletter. This is a perfect way to stay upto-date with all the research I do on a daily basis to make your life better.
SUMMARY

 

Affiliate Disclosure

 

Today, I have three stories to share with you.

These stories are chock-full of inspiring pictures and practical tips to start your week the right way, whether you’re digging for inspiration, looking for a realistic idea of what’s possible for your body, or simply wanting to see proof in the pudding that my recommendations work whether you’re trying to do an Ironman triathlon or just shed a few pounds.

Let’s jump right in. I think you’ll find the third story in particular hits home for you…

——————————————–

#1: Mori’s Story: “From Sedentary To Superhuman”

Let’s start with Mori. Mori is a 29 year old member of the BenGreenfieldFitness Inner Circle, and here is Mori’s story:

“I just wanted to show what me implementing Ben’s advice has done for me.

I’ve been funneling a lot of Ben’s advice through to my parents and brother who lived a similar lifestyle to me. In the last 6 months between my mom, brother and I we’ve lost over 125lbs and are in the best shape of our lives (mentally and physically).

Get The Low Carb Athlete – 100% Free!Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Sign up now for instant access to the book!

 

On November 2012, I ran my very first mile of my life at 29. I now run 40-100 miles each week and am registered for a 50 mile ultra marathon in May 2013. This will be my first athletic or competitive event ever.

September 2012: Smoker, sedentary life-style, night owl, never been to the gym, takeout 2 x a day, ramen once a day, didn’t eat vegetables, 60hrs+ wk on the computer, 20hrs+ wk on the couch playing video games, depressed, taking 90mg of Ritalin a day, resting heart rate of 100 BPM, no energy.

Today: I basically try everything that Ben talks about in his podcasts. I’m in sync with circadian rhythm, workout 5-6 days a week (short HIIT on weekdays, strength 1x a week and long slow distance on weekends), i eat 95% superfoods, utilize a lot of the “extras” when needed (maca, chlorophyll, spirulina, b5, beta alanine, glutamine, trace minerals, tyrosine, 5-htp, bitter melon, etc. etc. etc.), wear Gunnar glasses, wake up and stare at the sun in the morning, my dog is on BARF diet (his coat is shiny!) and I feel awesome!

Mori in September 2012

Mori in September 2012, on his 29th birthday.

Mori 2

Mori’s 120 day photo timeline (15 days between each picture, first picture take on Oct 15th, 2012)

mori3

Mori’s Body Fat and Weight Progression During 2012-2013 – click to get a zoom in…

A lot of crazy s*&it has happened to me mentally and physically because of these extreme changes in such a short period of time. My senses are heightened, my sense of time has changed, I’ve become more social, I’ve become a much better person in general, I’m 10x smarter, I make more money, I can read faster…I could go on and on. Going from a decaying fat blob my entire life to whatever it is I am now literally feels like someone gave me superpowers.”

——————————————-

Robert’s Story: How To Lose 115 Pounds & Keep It Off

Next is Robert Wadhams. Robert is a BenGreenfieldFitness reader and listener, runs the blog “From Mailboxes To Miles” , and also writes articles for SparkPeople.com, such as “How To Lose 100 Pounds On A Crazy Schedule”.

In 2008, Robert started his journey at 385 pounds, and since then has gone from a size 52 to 38, losing over 115 pounds and running a marathon in the process. Robert is currently training for his first Half-Ironman triathlon…

“What did I do this time that helped me succeed when, at other times, I’ve failed?

I have asked myself that question often.

I was caught in a vicious cycle. I would experience a measure of success, then mysteriously self-destruct and find myself right back at square one again. At that point, I would lose hope and then lose interest altogether until the next health scare would jar me from my apathy.

How did I break the cycle? The foundation of my success boils down to four key concepts.

Robert Wadhams

Robert at 385 pounds…

1) I Made Small Changes

How many times have you and I started some diet with radical fervor and rigid adherence, only to have our resolve collapse after a month or two? I learned the hard way that trying to make sweeping dietary changes is like leaping from one speeding train to another headed in the opposite direction. I experienced success when I started right where I was with foods I was already familiar with and made them as healthy as I knew how.

For example, simple swaps such as drinking water instead of sugary soft drinks, lean sandwich meats instead of salami, thin crust cheese pizza instead of a deep dish supreme. While there was certainly much room for improvement early in my journey, I had to start somewhere. As I established a base of healthier eating, I slowly began to expand my horizons to adopt new practices and foods. Gradually, the results began to show as I patiently experimented and found what worked for me.

Take home lesson: Keep it simple. Establish a base of healthier eating and allow yourself time to grow.

2) I Looked for Opportunities

Exercise: Working a demanding or non-traditional schedule can leave us feeling like we are sitting on the sidelines, while our goals seem miles away. I needed to adapt because my situation was not going to change. Rather than allowing myself to feel controlled by circumstances, I took action by making a list of those things I did have control over and focused on that. I quickly identified gaps in my schedule that would allow a solid 15 minute workout before work or in between naps when preparing for night shift. By committing to short, intense workouts, I was able to maintain and even build my fitness in between my long sessions during my days off.

Nutrition: I succeeded by making my diet as “grab and go” as possible. For example, I made meals in bulk and pre-portioned them out by serving size in sandwich bags. By doing this, I was able to quickly assemble a lunch and run out the door when demands came calling. This allowed me to have better control of my calorie intake when my schedule was hectic. As a result, I became more consistent with controlling my calories in situations where I previously would have just guessed, or worse, grabbed something from the drive-thru.

Take home lesson: If you make it easy, you will make it happen.

3) I Learned The Power Of Consistency

For a time, I worked with a personal trainer and it was the best money I ever spent. Besides learning proper form and how to create my own workouts, I learned the value of commitment to training. For every time I “felt like it” there were probably five times I didn’t. She held my feet to the fire and would not accept no for an answer. We worked out when I didn’t feel like it, when I was tired, and even after a bad day. Thankfully she endured my complaints until I finally learned to discipline myself. As I pushed through it, the fog would clear. For those times the fog didn’t clear, I still burned more calories than if I allowed myself to stay in a slump.

A person who has a serious illness never quibbles with the doctor about finding the time for treatment. Obligations or not, the job gets done. Life’s priorities are upended and everything revolves around the next appointment. If I was to have any hope of overcoming my obesity, I had to make exercise and nutrition a priority.

Take home lesson: Do not wait for some elusive “I’m motivated” feeling. Just do it and the results will follow.

Robert Wadhams

Robert after running his first Half-Marathon…

4) I Abandoned My “Goals”

This sounds counter-intuitive, but hear me out. My motivation would plunge if my progress did not meet my expectations. I had what I call the “paycheck mentality”. I would work hard, then expect a “paycheck” at my weekly weigh-in. Unfortunately, no one informed the scale that it was time to pay up. After several weeks of mixed results, I would get discouraged and that is where the trouble would start. I finally came to an understanding that changed my whole perspective.

No one who is seriously ill goes into a hospital with the idea that they can set a timeline as to how fast they will recover and return to a normal life. The only thing that can be done for them is for the doctors to stabilize them and then create the conditions that will promote healing. After they have done that, it is up to the body to heal itself on its own schedule. The same applies to weight loss.

I had to quit setting unrealistic goals and focus on the only thing I had control over, the environment I created every day. Once I focused on creating the conditions for weight loss to occur through exercise and nutrition, I was able to relax and allow my body to respond. By letting go of my preconceived notions of what ought to happen, I was able to lead my body beside the still waters rather than beating it into submission. Instead of making empty promises of “I’m going to lose 40 pounds by summer”, why not say, “Today, I will commit to the choices that will create the best environment for my body and let nature take its course”.

Take home lesson: Create and maintain an environment where weight loss is possible. Then, just let it unfold.

This list is hardly all-inclusive. I am not the only one who has ever succeeded at losing a significant amount of weight. But these are the key concepts that I personally found helped me in my weight loss success.

Robert Wadhams

Robert at 269 pounds and still going down…

What made me a loyal listener of the Ben Greenfield podcast is the sincerity of his effort in bringing us well researched information week after week. When a man puts his heart into something, it shows. It was through his podcast that I understood my need to find a better fueling protocol. When I trained for my first marathon in 2011, I flew by the seat of my pants.  I used tons of gels, sports drinks, and what ever else the popular running culture promoted. At the same time, my weight loss came to a screeching halt.  

I continued on this path of frustration for almost a year until I started tuning into Ben’s low carb approach and became aware of the hazards of high carb fueling. The light came on and I realized that I was creating havoc in my body with my blood sugar spikes and the resulting insulin response. Small changes in my fuel choices began to pay off, and since then, I have lost another 15 lbs.  I have grown to appreciate the wealth of reliable information that Ben puts out there week after week.  When Ben’s podcast is on, class is in session.”

——————————————-

Story 3: You.

That’s right. It’s your turn.

What has worked for you, in training, weight loss, diet or life in general?

Have you gleaned anything from this website, or the BenGreenfieldFitness podcast?

Please share. You’ll find that by inspiring others, you feel really, really good, and just like Robert and Mori, you’ll pour even more fuel into your own inspirational fire. Give it a try, and if you like this kind of stuff, check out these inspiring video testimonials shot at my recent Become Superhuman live event and listen in to this story with a 55 year old man who I helped shed 130+ pounds in his quest for Ironman Hawaii in Kona.

You can share your story in the comments section below. Or if you’d prefer, you can e-mail me your story. Or better yet, if you’re really brave, you can go post your story on the BenGreenfieldFitness Facebook wall.

 

Affiliate Disclosure

 

Welcome to the Nutrition section of Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life. In today’s chapter, I’m giving you 40 meals for busy athletes (or the average health nerd or fat loss enthusiast), along with how to fuel your body with the thousands of calories necessary for endurance and extreme exercise – without destroying your body. 

I’m going to give you a comprehensive and simple list of the most easy-to-prepare, quick and nutrient-dense meals…

…and share a secret with you: aside from occasional nice sit-down dinners, my personal diet is extremely quick and non-complex because I simply don’t have much time to cook – and I’m going to give you the exact quick and non-complex meals I base 99% of my diet around.

Then, in the sections that come after today’s chapter, you’re going to discover:

-How Many Calories, Carbs, Proteins And Fats Should You Be Eating?

-3 Steps To Hitting The Reboot Button on Your Gut – A Detox Plan For Active People

-The Real Truth About Workout Fuel – How To Say Goodbye to Engineered Frankenfoods and Eat For Exercise With Real Nutrition

-A Healthy Race Day Nutrition Plan

Get The Low Carb Athlete – 100% Free!Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Sign up now for instant access to the book!

 

-The 21 Best Kitchen Tools, Grocery Shopping Guides, Cookbooks, Websites and Local Resources To Fuel Your Endurance Lifestyle

-The Confusing World of Supplements: How To Nourish Your Body With A Customized Nutrition Supplement Protocol Specific To Your Unique Needs

-What About Me? Diet-Tweaking Tips for Vegans, Aging Athletes, Males, Females and Low Carbers.

Sound good? Let’s jump right in!

89968430

I look at the diets of many endurance athletes, marathoners, cyclists, swimmers, runners and triathletes. Many eat enough (although some do not – a problem we’ll talk about in a bit), but in order to dump that amount of fuel into the body, there are several inflammatory, joint-aching, gut-disrupting, blood-sugar-spiking foods that consistently appear as traditional staples.

These staples include:

-Frequent coffeeshop stops to stock up with caffeine, sport drinks, and a variety of baked goods that include cookies, bagels, biscotti, scones, cinnamon rolls and anything labeled “Whole Wheat”, “Whole Grain”, “Fat-Free”, “Healthy”, “Energy”,  especially items with a “Stamp of Health Approval” from said coffeeshop…

-Cereal, including cereal that features athletes on the cover or appears at first glance to be loaded with meusli, whole grains, and added vitamins and minerals, which are usually covering up ingredients like genetically modified corn and soy, or lots and lots of wheat…

-Bagels, including whole wheat, cinnamon-raisin, and those with a guilt-free smathering of lite cream cheese or fat-free cream cheese…

-Muffins, chewy and dense sources of carbohydrate-based energy ( created with all the ingredients of birthday cake)…

-Granola, conveniently coated in vegetable oil and syrup or sugar, and often washed down with a couple cups of milk or strawberry-banana yogurt..

-Bread, in all types, shapes and sizes, including whole wheat, whole grain and fiber-enriched…

-Energy bars, energy chunks and packaged sports supplements being purveyed as organic or holistic or clean-burning energy sources…

-Cookies, sometimes the healthy energy kind, sometimes the traditional variety, often consumed at office parties or meetings…

-Deli-meat, a dense and convenient source of 98% fat-free protein….

-Lots of eggs as the fallback source of morning breakfast protein or a quick post-workout snack…

-Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’ve witness athletes slathering peanut butter on just about everything, really…

-Pasta, ravioli, fettuccini and spaghetti, in all forms, shapes and sizes, including whole wheat…

-After a long day of training, some type of sweetened dairy product, usually in the form of ice cream, milkshake or frozen yogurt…

-Energy drink, energy water, energy beverages and anything in liquid bottled form that is any color other than actual water…

-Lots of energy gels, sports drinks and bars – for every training session, since you have to “practice” with them to get your gut ready for the race…

As a matter of fact, just this morning I was reading the nutrition feature off the front page of Ironman.com (“Master Your Morning with a Better Breakfast“), and the meal sitting right at the top was the “Crunchy, Fruity Nut Butter Sandwich”, which consists of:

-2 slices whole grain bread (or 1 whole-grain wrap, pita or bagel)87993518

-1 Tbsp natural nut butter

-1 Tbsp jam/jelly (100 percent real fruit)

-2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (or nut of your choice)

-fruit of your choice (sliced strawberries, pears, banana, apple)

-1 Tbsp ground flax seeds

-Optional: minced ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg

Preparation
1. Spread nut butter on one side of bread (or ½ wrap, 1 side pita) and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
2. Spread jam on the other slice (or side of wrap/pita) and sprinkle with flax or chia seeds.
3. Place thinly sliced fruit on either side of bread (season with spices if you’d like) and close.
4. Wrap in tinfoil and enjoy with 8 ounces milk or ½ cup yogurt.

Sure, this is one fast and cheap way to get calories down the hatch – and healthier than, say, an Egg McMuffin, but when you’re truly trying to be healthy on the outside and healthy on the inside, there is a much smarter way to do things.

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Why Nutrient Density Is More Important Than Calorie Density

Now don’t get me wrong. You definitely need to eat and most endurance athletes need to eat more than they think. Consuming a low calorie diet simply results in lower consumption of all the tiny micronutrients you need for health, performance, and recovery – malnourishment, basicayll.  Humans actually do quite well when consuming a high number of calories.

How high?  According to one study that analyzed 4 popular (1), most diets require on average 27,575 calories per day to simply supply all the essential micronutrients you need (which is why you should pay close attention when we get to the supplementation chapter of this book unless you plan on eating nearly 30,000 calories per day!).

And a recent study in the journal of Metabolism also threw around some pretty scary terms.

The study was titled “Neuroendocrine Alterations In The Exercising Human: Implications For Energy Homeostasis”, and it highlighted the fact that we humans have complex mechanisms to defend against the adverse effects of negative energy balance (e.g. not eating enough calories) (2). Contrary to the sedentary or relatively less physically active population, too few calories often tends to be more of a problem than too many calories when training for endurance events or well above-average or extreme levels of physical activity into our life.

Just a few of these responses to negative energy balance – most of which you’ve already learned about in previous chapters – include disruption of our appetite regulating hormones, decreases in crucial hormones like thyroid, testosterone and growth hormone, estrogen deficiencies, amplified cortisol levels and other effects that can cause cardiovascular problems, low bone density, loss of reproductive function and drive, muscle wasting, metabolic damage and a host of other factors that aren’t too attractive for anyone.

So what’s an active person to do? The fact is, there are many books and articles that have attempted to address this problematic issue by warning us to “make sure that we eat enough“. That’s right: simply eat more. Quit fasting and complaining about your low energy and eat more. Interestingly, this concept becomes all the more important when you are female – and every calorie-restricting, intermittent fasting (IF’ing) chic definitely needs to read this article at Stumptuous.com.

It comes down to this concept: by simply sending a signal to your body that caloric energy is not a precious commodity, you can stave off much hormonal and metabolic down regulation.

As simple as it seems, this is sound advice. But the problem is that many of the calorie-dense foods we tend to see encouraged as “calorie dense” items have inherent health drawbacks (many of which you’ll learn more about in the gut-fixing chapter of this book, and which are also featured in my Holistic Fueling For Endurance Athletes manual). For example:

Legumes-Peanuts and legumes – although a dense source of calories, peanuts, peanut butter, and legumes such as lentils (especially when unsoaked or cooked incompletely) are high in lectins, which can cause immune (allergic) reations, gastrointestinal distress, and, ironically, nutritional deficiencies.

-Nuts and nut butters – while most almond, cashew, walnut and other nut based trail mixes or nut butters tend to be much healthier than the average peanut butter, they are also very high in heated oils (which produce cell-damaging free radicals) and inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids – which can tend to dump inflammation on an already stressed athlete’s body when overused to the extent most people implement such sources (by the handful and heaping spoonful).

-Grains – you’ve probably already seen your fair share of articles or books that caution against the potential inflammatory and gut-disrupting effect of gluten, but unfortunately, cereals, granolas, designer breads, and other “healthy whole grains” are still considered staples in most endurance athlete diets – and most of us are not going out of our way to properly soak, ferment or sprout these grains to make them digestible.

-Dried Fruits, Trail Mixes, Bars and Powders – both of these are touted as high-calorie, dense sources of energy, but upon inspection of the nutrition facts or ingredients on most such mixes, you’ll find oodles of added vegetable oils, sugars, preservatives, and chemicals – making these snacks more likely to give you a gut bomb or extra inflammation than they are to provide lasting energy. And while there are a growing variety of healthier bars, powders and mixes on the market, and more nutrition companies making wise decisions to pay attention to healthy, holistic ingredients, the fact is that many triathletes are still stuffing their bodies with fake, engineered foods from the grocery store bargain bin.  

Perhaps you’re chuckling at the limitations listed above. After all, with this kind of nutrition Nazi-ism, what’s left to eat?

You’re about to find out. But first, you need to be familiar with the two missing keys in most fueling advice:

1) Nutrient Density: Think of nutrient density as a ratio of actual nutrient content (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids) to the total energy content (calories). Just because a food is energy-dense does not mean it is nutrient-dense. For example, the notion that grains and legumes are amongst the healthiest foods comes from an analysis of them in their raw and inedible state. Once you look at their cooked values, they are amongst the worst from a nutrient density standpoint.

2) Digestibility: The digestibility of a food refers to any propensity to resist digestion or cause nutrient malabsorption due to content such as lectins, phytic acids, saponins, or other digestive irritants or inhibitors. For example, popular athletic fueling foods these days such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, nuts and seeds are all relatively nutrient dense, but unless you’re willing to rinse, soak and sprout them, their lack of digestibility tends to cancel out the actual nutrient density.

So now we know two things:

1) That neuroendocrine alterations can be caused by low calorie intake combined with high levels of exercise, and;

2) That to combat this message of low energy we must choose foods that satisfy the three criteria of being calorie-dense, nutrient-dense and digestible.

So what are my favorite calorie-dense, nutrient-dense and digestible foods that you can begin to implement into your training diet? In no particular order, here are enough foods to keep your body satisfied all week long (and don’t worry, those 40 easy meals are coming soon).

1. Eggs, with the yolk.

Eggs are easy to blend, cook and scramble with other foods, and are high in fat-soluble vitamins, choline, folate, selenium, lecithin, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids (3). Get your eggs from a grass-fed, pastured, organic source and don’t skip the yolk. For full benefit, an egg needs to be eaten with all the components – and not dumped from a cardboard egg-white carton. After a long swim, I love to mow down a few eggs with avocado, turmeric, sea salt and fish, then serve in a nori seaweed wrap.

2. Sea vegetables.

SeaweedSeaweed, nori, kelp, dulse, algae, spirulina, chlorella and other ocean flora is incredibly high in minerals, iodine, magnesium, manganese, iron, and trace minerals (4). You can buy kelp or dulse flakes to sprinkle on food, add dried kombu to soups and stews, add a side of seaweed salad when you’re at the sushi restaurant, and use nori wraps as an alternative to bread or grain-based wraps. Another dense source of sea vegetables are EnergyBits – chewable chlorella and spirulina based tablets which are good to have around the house for nighttime cravings, or to toss in a ziplock bag for a workout. Pop ’em like popcorn.

3. Organ meats.

I know they’re called “offal” but they’re really not all that awful. On most nutrient-density charts, organ meats and oils blow any other food out of the water, and if you find it palatable, liver is a fantastic source of fat soluble vitamins and nearly every nutrient on the face of the planet (7). Make sure you get it from a reputable source, and then after a hard day’s training session, fry it up with butyric-acid rich butter and quercetin-packed red onions and you’ll feel like a million bucks the next day.

4. Bone broth.

Every week in the Greenfield house, we brew up a big vat of bone broth that lasts all week long – typically by using a whole chicken  (although you can also use beef, pork or other bones). Once you’ve learned how to make it once, bone broth is easy to make over and over again, and is a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids (5).  When consumed along with the marrow that seeps into the broth, it can also heal your digestive system, fix joint pain, and enhance sleep. If you don’t have time to make bone broth, you can get some of the benefits by purchasing and using gelatin regularly (use an organic, clean source such as Great Lakes or Bernard Jensen) or ordering bone broth from a website like Kettle and Fire.

5. Shellfish.

MusselsOysters and mussels are extremely nutrient dense, and just a few medium-sized oysters can supply over 1000% of your daily vitamin B12 needs, along with a huge dose of vitamin A, Vitamin E, copper, selenium, zinc and essential fatty acids (7). Mussels are a close second, and are rich in the entire B-vitamin complex, along with selenium, zinc, protein, magnesium, and manganese. As with any meat or seafood source, it’s important to choose a clean, fresh source of shellfish – but including a serving of shellfish just once a week can make a drastic improvement in your nutrient status. A bib is optional.

6. Natto.

This fermented soybean derivative is actually quite easy to make if you grab a starter portion from your local Asian market, and then ferment along with soybeans that you can get from any grocery store. Although the “snotty” texture takes some getting used to, it has extremely high levels of one important bone and blood-building vitamin that most individuals – especially hard charging athletes – tend to be very deficient in: vitamin K2 (6).  Natto can be eaten for breakfast with some scrambled eggs and avocado, or simply served on it’s own, topped with sea salt and a generous serving of extra virgin olive oil.

7. Any dark colored fruit, vegetable or starch.

This is perhaps the horse that has been kicked most to death in nutritional advice, but it really is true that you need to eat colorful foods and lots of them. The polyphenols and bioactive compounds found in plants are no higher than in fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, purple grapes, pomegranates and currants, vegetables such as purple cabbage, kale, organic tomatoes and dark orange carrots, and starches such as sweet potatoes, yams and taro (7). Any active person’s refrigerator or countertop should be chock full of the colorful compounds, and the fresher the better.

Korean Kimchi8. Fermented foods.  Fermentation of a food increases that food’s nutrient bioavailability and digestibility, and renders many digestive irrating foods (such as dairy or soy) extremely digestible and nutrient dense (8). Cultures around the world have fermented a number of different products. In Asia, there is nattokimchikefir; in the Middle East, pickles , yogurts, and torshi; in Europe use of sauerkraut and rakfisk, and Pacific islanders with poi and kanga pirau. In America, we eat all these and also include kombucha and dark chocolate. Include  a variety of fermented foods in your diet to round things out, and your gut flora and immune system will thank you (you’ll learn more about that in the gut-fixing chapter).

As you can see, satisfying your crucial energy requirements in a healthy way goes far above and beyond slathering peanut butter on a slice of whole grain bread, downing a handful of dried fruit and trail mix, or unwrapping an energy bar or two. If you’re serious about the ultimate combination of health, performance and longevity, you should throw at least a few of the nutrient-dense, calorie-dense and digestible choices above into your daily fueling mix.

Finally, no discussion of nutrient density would be complete without pointing out the fact that human agriculture has led to a dramatic loss in the nutrient value of the plants we eat most commonly. In her book “Eating On The Wild Side“, Jo Robinson points out that the tiny molecular nutrients in antioxidant rich foods begin to disappear soon after harvesting. So when you are eating  extremely nutrient dense vegetables that tend to be exposed to large amounts of sunlight, such as artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, parsley, mushrooms and spinach, you should try to eat these foods as fresh as possible – and avoid storing them in the refrigerator or vegetable crisper for long periods of time.

————————————-

40 Easy Meals For Busy Athletes

So let’s say you want to take the concept of nutrient density and digestibility that you just learned about, and tweak it into a meal plan that meets your needs – without spending your life in the kitchen figuring out how to cook liver?

Below, I have 40 meals that I’ve designed for you to fuel your body with nutrient rich foods that are simple to prepare, but that also provide the density and digestibility necessary to fuel an active lifestyle.

These meals are not designed to impress or to knock people’s socks off at dinner parties. There are also no pretty pictures or complex instructions that are going to make you feel artistic and smug in fancy, new-found cooking skills. But if you were going to go through an entire year and eat nothing but the meals outlined in this document, you would be completely set with everything you need for supporting your body with nutrient density. There’s absolutely no need to feel “guilty” about keeping things simple and eating same breakfast, lunch and dinner nearly every day (yes, I coach athletes who are perfectly content drinking 3-4 smoothies a day).

Finally, before throwing at you an entire laundry list of random meals, please know that in later chapters I’m going to help you create your own personal meal plan based on calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats – but for now, quit worrying and start chowing away!

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Breakfast Options

1. Eggs With Avocado & Vegetables

Avocado and EggsThis is a lower carbohydrate meal that is best consumed on mornings you are not exercising within 2-3 hours after breakfast (since high-protein and high-fat meals will take longer to digest and require more digestive energy to be shunted to your gut). Scramble, fry, poach or steam 2-3 eggs from organic, pastured hens*. Duck eggs are also OK, especially if you tend to find yourself allergic to or bothered by chicken eggs. Cook eggs on relatively low heat to avoid oxidation and protein damage, and use grass-fed butter, gheeolive oilavocado oil, macadamia nut oil or coconut oil. Not extra virgin olive oil. Here’s a handy smoke point chart to choose your oils wisely and you use the stuff that isn’t damaged by high heat:

FATQUALITYSMOKE POINT
Almond oil 420°F216°C
Avocado oilRefined520°F271°C
Avocado oilUn-Refined, Virgin375-400°F190-204°C
Butter 250–300°F121–149°C
Canola oilExpeller Press375-450°F
190-232°C
Canola oilHigh Oleic475°F246°C
Canola oilRefined400°F204°C
Castor oilRefined392°F200°C
Coconut oilExtra Virgin (Unrefined)350°F
177°C
Coconut oilRefined450°F232°C
Corn oilUnrefined352°F178°C
Corn oilRefined450°F232°C
Cottonseed oil 420°F216°C
Flax seed oilUnrefined225°F107°C
Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter) 485°F252°C
Grapeseed oil 420°F216°C
Hazelnut oil 430°F221°C
Hemp oil 330°F165°C
Lard 370°F188°C
Macadamia oil 413°F210°C
Mustard oil 489°F254°C
Olive oilExtra virgin375°F191°C
Olive oilVirgin391°F199°C
Olive oilPomace460°F238°C
Olive oilExtra light468°F242°C
Olive oil, high quality (low acidity)Extra virgin405°F207°C
Palm oilDifractionated455°F235°C
Peanut oilUnrefined320°F160°C
Peanut oilRefined450°F232°C
Rice bran oil 490°F254°C
Safflower oilUnrefined225°F107°C
Safflower oilSemirefined320°F160°C
Safflower oilRefined510°F266°C
Sesame oilUnrefined350°F177°C
Sesame oilSemirefined450°F232°C
Soybean oilUnrefined320°F160°C
Soybean oilSemirefined350°F177°C
Soybean oilRefined460°F238°C
Sunflower oilUnrefined225°F107°C
Sunflower oilSemirefined450°F232°C
Sunflower oil, high oleicUnrefined320°F160°C
Sunflower oilRefined440°F227°C
Tea seed oil 485°F252°C
Vegetable shortening 360°F182°C
Walnut oilUnrefined320°F160°C
Walnut oilSemirefined400°F204°C

On the side, or heated along with the eggs, include a large serving of dark leafy greens (bokchoy, spinach, kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, etc.), and for added healthy fats, a handful of olives or 1/2-1 sliced avocado. As an alternative to avocado, you can use pemmican (you’ll learn more about this tasty treat later) or bacon. Add sea salt and pepper to taste and serve with fresh sliced tomato. If desired, this meal can be eaten with 1-2 nori seaweed wraps – with eggs, greens and avocado or olives and pemmican or bacon rolled up inside the wrap.

For extra vitamin K/carbs, especially if this meal follows a morning workout, you can include a small side of “natto” (fermented soybeans available at any Asian market), and for extra probiotics, you can also include a side of KimChi (see how to make your own probiotics in this video).

That sounded like a ton of work, but you can whip this together in 10 minutes flat and eat it even faster.

*When I use words like “organic” and “pastured”, I mean it. If you’re serious about wanting to look, feel and perform better by limiting the amount of hormones, antibiotics, toxins, molds and inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids that you consume, and you can’t find or order clean versions of meat and clean versions of anything that originally came from an animal, you’re better off choosing a non-meat based meal. In Chapter 16 I’ll tell you more about why this matters and where you can go to find what you need locally or online.

2. Supergreens or Superberry

Livingfuel SuperGreensThis meal is easily digested up to an hour before a workout, or can be used as a quick post-workout meal. My wife refers to it as “green slop”, but I absolutely love any of the meal replacement blends made by LivingFuel. Most athletes I advise do very, very well on this clean burning fuel.

Combine 2-3 large scoops of LivingFuelSupergreens or Superberry with 4-6 ounces full fat organic, BPA free coconut milk (unsweetened – we use Native Forest brand and order by the case off Amazon), 1-2 tablespoons almond butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a handful of coconut flakes (unsweetened), a tablespoon of chia seeds, or 1/2-1 packet of Cocochia Snack Mix. You can blend this, shake it in a mixer bottle, or simply stir it all together with a spoon. As an alternative to coconut milk, you can use organic yogurt or kefir if your stomach tolerates dairy.

3. Living Protein

This meal is OK up to an hour before a workout, or as a post-workout meal. Combine 2-3 large scoops of LivingFuel LivingProtein with 4-6 ounces full fat coconut milk (unsweetened), 1-2 tablespoons almond butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a handful of coconut flakes (unsweetened), a tablespoon of chia seeds, or 1/2-1 packet of Cocochia Snack Mix. You can blend this, shake it in a mixer bottle, or simply stir it all together with a spoon. You’ll find the flavor of this mix beats the pants off eating the protein simply stirred or blended in water or juice.

4. High-Fat Coffee – AKA Bulletproof® Coffee

This meal is perfect as a “fasted” meal before a long, hard workout, and also on easier days in which you need much less protein and carbohydrate than usual. Full credit goes to the genius “BulletproofExec” Dave Asprey for this recipe. In a blender, magic bullet, or shaker cup, combine 8-12 ounces black coffee (Upgraded™ organic, mold-freewith 1-2 tablespoons Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) oil, 1-2 tablespoons organic KerryGold butter and (optional, but for added calories) with a touch of vanilla powder and Upgraded Chocolate Powder to taste. Then sit back and wait for fireworks of extreme focus to form in your brain.

5. Seeds & Nuts + Fruit

This is a good breakfast to eat if you are in a hurry, and is also OK up to an hour before a workout, or as a post-workout meal. Simply eat 1-2 large handfuls of a raw nut or seed (the best are almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts or pumpkin seeds – and keep them in the freezer so they don’t go rancid) along with a piece of fresh raw fruit, such as a pomegranate, grapefruit or apple.

If you give a rip about the health of your digestive system, is highly recommended that you soak your nuts and seeds. Here’s how: place your choice of nuts and seeds in a bowl with enough filtered water to cover them completely, and add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the the water. Soak time for different seeds and nuts can be found by clicking here.

6. Sweet Potatoes or Yams with Sea Salt & Honey

This is a higher carbohydrate meal that should only be eaten prior to a big training day, big workout, race or if you’re “cycling carbs” on a higher carb intake day. Bake or boil 1-2 sweet potatoes or yams and consume with sea salt and 1-2 tablespoons local raw honey or organic maple syrup. For added calories (especially prior to a 2+ hour training session or race), you can include a dollop of organic, grass-fed yogurt or kefir (if your gut tolerates dairy) and/or 1-2 tablespoons almond butter.

7. Breakfast Salad

Breakfast SaladAlthough a salad for breakfast may seem unconventional or rabbit-like, this is a perfect meal when you have a little more time to sit down for breakfast, and you’re not working out in the next 2-3 hours. Over a bed of spinach or kale, add 2-3 steamed or poached, pastured and organic eggs, 1-2 tablespoons olive, 1 sliced tomato, 1/2-1 sliced avocado, a dollop of organic, grass-fed yogurt or kefir (if your gut tolerates dairy) and sea salt and pepper to taste. Eat up, little bunny.

8. Waffles or Pancakes (takes a little more prep time, but worth it to know this recipe)

Similar to the sweet potato/yam recipe, this is another higher carbohydrate meal that should only be eaten prior to a big training day or race. This meal is not to be consumed if you are on a gut healing diet (you’ll learn about that later in this book), since even though the grains are soaked and sprouted, they may still aggravate a damaged gut.

Begin by sprouting and fermenting millet, quinoa, oats or buckwheat. Yes, this may seem like a hippie step but it’s 100% necessary if you care about your insides. To sprout and ferment your grains:

1.Wash them with water four or five time and leave to soak them in filtered water over night in a glass bowl with a plate on top;

2. In the morning wash and rinse your grains thoroughly and cover with filtered water again. This time add about 1 T of whey or the juice of 1/2 lemon to the water and cover again for 12 – 24 hours;

3. Rinse the grains and strain out the water. They are now ready to use.

For your recipe, take 3 cups of your sprouted, fermented grain, add 4 organic pastured eggs, 3 -4 tablespoons grass-fed butter or coconut oil, 2 teaspoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Blend all ingredients in the food processor for at least 5 minutes until nice and smooth.  Use in your favorite waffle iron. This batter works for pancakes as well. Serve with grass-fed butter or almond butter, a dollop of organic, grass-fed yogurt or kefir (if your gut tolerates dairy) and a small amount of sliced bananas or berries of your choice.

9. Hot Power Cereal

cocochiaThis is another higher carbohydrate meal that should only be eaten prior to a big training day or race. Similar to the waffles/pancakes is not to be consumed if you are on a gut healing diet, since even though the quinoa is soaked and sprouted, it may still aggravate a damaged gut.

To sprout and ferment your quinoa:

1.Wash it with water four or five time and leave to soak  in filtered water over night in a glass bowl with a plate on top;

2. In the morning wash and rinse thoroughly and cover with filtered water again. This time add about 1 T of whey or the juice of 1/2 lemon to the water and cover again for 12 – 24 hours;

3. Rinse the quinoa and strain out the water. It is now ready to use.

Cook a serving of quinoa for 20 minutes over medium heat on stovetop, and then remove from heat and stir in 2-3 tablespoons of almond butter, a pinch of sea salt, a tablespoon of chia seeds or Cocochia snack m, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. On a cold winter morning, this hot mess of goodness will rock your world.

10. High Fat Smoothie (& Ketogenic Kale Shake)

I often have this not just for breakfast, but multiple times during the day, especially on busy days. Hell, I sometimes have this meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

You’ll need a powerful blender for this one. Toss into the blender a handful of almonds, a handful of chia seeds, 3-5 raw brazil nuts, 1/2-1 avocado, a teaspoon cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons cacao or carob powder with 1-2 heaping scoops grass-fed whey or vegan protein powder and 4-6oz full fat coconut milk. Then push blend and watch the magic happen.

As an alternative, you can use another Dave Asprey inspired meal: the “Ketogenic Kale Shake”, which includes 1-2 bunches of steamed kale, 2-4 tablespoons grass-fed butter, 1-2 tablespoons of MCT oil, 1 teaspoon sea salt (I highly recommend this Aztecan stuff), 2 tablespoons of high quality protein powder, 1-4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, full-fat coconut milk to desired texture, and a handful of your choice of herbs (i.e. cilantro, parsley, oregano, etc. – great for cleansing gut/liver too). Ideally, you should steam kale about 5 minutes to reduce oxalic acids, then blend with all ingredients. Here’s a video of me punishing the process of gracefully making a Ketogenic Kale Shake.

11. Green Smoothie

This recipe is far simpler (but less dense and fat-filled) than the Ketogenic Kale Shake. Blend 1/2-1 cup of spinach, 1-1.5 cups kale, 1/2-1 banana, a small handful almonds, 3-5 raw brazil nuts, and 1-2 tablespoons cacao or carob powder. Use water, almond milk, rice milk or (for added calories) coconut milk to get to desired texture.

12. Mid-Morning Snack Options

To maintain your metabolic, fat-burning efficiency, try to stick to beverages only in the mid-morning. No big ziplock bags of trial mix under your desk. Liquids are fast, convenient and lower calorie, and with the options below, you’ll still get some antioxidants and nutrient density in your brews.

TianChi-To one serving of TianChi or Lifeshotz, add 8-12 ounces water or unsweetened kombucha and 1-2 servings trace liquid minerals.

-Herbal tea of choice, including white tea, yerba mate tea, or green tea.

-Zevia all-natural soda.

-Coconut kefir, without added sugars (Kevita is good brand).

Zukay Kvass. Weird name. Tasty stuff.

-Sparkling or regular water with one GU Electrolyte Brew tablet, nuunuhydration tablet, or Hammer Endurolyte Fizz tablet (at http://www.HammerNutrition.com, use 15% discount code 80244).

-1 cup bone broth (see bone broth making instructions here or order from The Brothery)

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Lunch Options

13. Caesar Salad

This recipe will make 2 servings, so cut in half if it’s just for you – or be ready for soggy salad leftovers the next day. In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 egg yolks, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tsp Thai fish sauce, 2 cloves garlic, juice of one lemon, and Dijon mustard. If your stomach tolerates dairy, add several pinches of Parmigiano Reggiano (that’s my fancy word for Parmesan cheese) or Pecorino Romano cheese. Add several pinches of sea salt and black pepper, and pour over your choice of a head of Romaine lettuce or several large handfuls mixed greens. Top with a 1-2 handfuls of chopped walnuts. Eat like a king.

14. Sardine Salad 

Remember to brush your teeth after this one. Over a bed of mixed greens or spinach, add 1/2-1 sliced avocado, 1/2-1 can sardines (with oil), 1/2-1 sliced tomatoes or handful cherry tomatoes, a squeeze of lemon juice, and any other chopped vegetables of choice (for added crunch, use celery or carrots). Top with a handful of pumpkin seeds, and sea salt and black pepper to taste.

15. Grocery Store

If you’re eating lunch on the go, go into a grocery store and get an avocado, a can of sardines or packet of tuna or salmon or (if good breath is important) a few ounces of raw nuts, salt, pepper and if dairy is tolerated, a “hard” artisan cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, asiago, and gruyere (preferably from Europe, to ensure higher likelihood of A2 cattle and less growth hormone). Grab a plastic fork, a plastic knife and a plate from the deli and make yourself an avocado, nuts, fish and cheese plate! If this needs to be turned into a slightly higher carb pre-workout meal, include a piece of fresh, raw fruit.

16. Lunch Out

If you’re not careful, lunch out at a restaurant can be notoriously high carb, high grain and laden with vegetable oils and other nasty additives. So your best bets are a salad with no cheese and dressing on the side (typically a cobb salad with avocado is a good pick), or an easy-to-digest meat such as wild-caught salmon served over a bed of mixed greens. Try to avoid grain-fed or hormone-laden meats, and if you need additional carbs for a pre-workout scenario, you can include an order of mixed fruit on the side. Keep things simple: meat + vegetables + fruit. And don’t be afraid to order off-menu – meaning if you see that they have unhealthy chicken breast meals and unhealthy salads, you can just ask for a regular chicken breast served over a bed of mixed greens with a generous portion of olive oil. I have yet to have a restuarant server slap me in the face for this simple request.

17. Kale Wraps

Into a large piece of kale (or swiss chard, bokchoy, or butter lettuce), wrap 4-6 ounces of grass-fed beef, sardines, pastured chicken or wild fish, 1/2-1 avocado, 1-2 handfuls sliced olives and 2-3 tablespoons diced tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, turmeric and fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme or oregano to taste, and if desired, you can add either a dollop of organic yogurt (if your stomach tolerates dairy) or homemade healthy mayo.

To make mayo, simply blend 1 whole egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper while slowly adding 1 cup of olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or avocado oil (you’ll see it thicken as you add oil).  If this is a pre-workout meal or higher volume day, you can also add sliced yam, sweet potato or white rice inside wrap. If you don’t have time for this, just avoid vegetable oil based mayo and buy the olive oil mayo at the grocery store.

18. Chicken Cashew Wrap

In a big mixing bowl, toss one diced chicken breast, add a tablespoon of healthy mayo (see above), 1/2-1 avocado, 1/2-1 diced tomato or several grape tomatoes, a handful of cashews and sea salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh arugula and wrap it all in romaine or butter lettuce cups. Let me reiterate – making your own mayo is easy. Watch, I’ll do it on one sentences this time: blend 1 whole egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper while slowly adding 1 cup of olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or avocado oil (you’ll see the mayo thicken as you add oil).

If this is a pre-workout meal or higher volume day, you can also add some carbs like sliced yam, sweet potato or white rice inside wrap.

19. Hors D’ Ouevres 

Hors D'oeuvresI am not embarrassed to admit that both myself and my children have this type of meal for lunch all the time. This is also a quick meal that can be eaten while working (not recommended because stress and eating don’t mix well, but sometimes you just gotta do it). On a plate, arrange several rice crackers or flax seed crackers, 1/2-1 sliced avocado, 1/2-1 sliced tomato, 1-2 handfuls olives, and if your stomach tolerates dairy, 3-4 slices of a “hard” artisan cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, asiago, and gruyere (preferably from Europe, to ensure higher likelihood of A2 cattle and less growth hormone).

For added protein and calories, you can also include a can of sardines or packet of tuna or salmon. Just scoop ingredients onto a cracker and eat. It’s optional to pretend you’re at a fancy French restaurant or cocktail party.

20. Nori Rolls

OK, “Nori Rolls” is a really fancy title for my slightly barbaric habit of simply taking a nori (the seaweed based roll you use to make sushi) and simply use it as a “portal” to deliver as many vegetables and as much olive as possible into my gaping maw. The procedure simply involves putting 2-4 nori wraps on a plate, filling a bowl with vegetables, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and shoveling as many contents of said bowl into nori wrap, then eating quickly as olive oil dribbles down your face (don’t worry, it’s a skin moisturizer too).

21. Fast Avocado Soup

Mmm…another green, goopy blender mess that tasted delicious.  To make it, you simply blend and puree 1-2 ripe avocados (pitted, peeled and chopped) 1-2 cups coconut milk, salt and cayenne pepper to taste. You can top this soup with chopped cherry tomatoes, sliced scallions, chopped mint, or a dollop of yogurt or sprinkling of hard cheese. For added calories, you can add shrimp, chicken, beef or fish after making soup.Chill for 1-6 hours, and before serving, stir in 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice and add toppings. For extra calories or carbs, you can serve with 1 baked or boiled sweet potato or yam.

22. Sandwich

Miss your sandwiches with this whole “avoid bread” concept? Good news: you can have a sandwich, but you just need to be careful to avoid modern grains and gut-irritating wheat. So why not just make your own bread, Betty Crocker style? It’s easier than you think.

Pre-heat your oven to 375. While oven is heating, mix in a mixing bowl: 1/4 cup  melted coconut oil, 1/8 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup   protein powder, 5 pastured eggs, a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of baking powder.

Spread this mixture thin on a greased baking sheet (brushing with olive oil is fine) and bake for 15 minutes.

Boom. Bread.

You can fill your sandwich with avocado, tomato, healthy meat of choice, an artisanal hard cheese such as parmesan, asiago or gruyere, heathy mayo, salt and pepper to taste. To make mayo, simply blend 1 whole egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, salt and pepper while slowly adding 1 cup of olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or avocado oil (you’ll see it thicken as you add oil).  Due to the added carbohydrate content, sandwiches should be consumed on higher volume workout days only.

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Quick Afternoon Snack Options

23. Bar 

cocochia_3D_barIn a pinch or for a fast pre-workout option, you can toss in a gluten-free, natural energy bar with as few ingredients as possible. Because I’m tempted to eat several at a time, I rarely do bars, but when I do, my preferred brand is the Cocochia Bar, which includes Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Raw Almond Butter, Organic Agave Syrup, Non-GMO Rice Protein, Organic Cocoa and Organic Chocolate Liquor. Other good brands are Hammer Recovery Bar or Hammer Vegan Recovery Bar (use 15% discount code 80244 at http://www.HammerNutrition.com), LaraBar, Nogii Bar, Quest Bar, Zing Bar or HeathWarrior Bar. On higher calorie/higher volume days, or for something like a long bike ride, the calorie-packed BonkBreaker bar brand is also a good option.

24. Algae & AA’s

This strange snack is especially good for a lower calorie day or lower carbohydrate day as a pre-workout boost and good for fasted workouts too. It combines two of the most nutrient dense foods on the source of the planet: algae and amino acids. To pull this meal off, you simply swallow or chew 25-50 EnergyBits and 5-10 Master Amino Pattern (MAP) capsules. OK, yes, I admit that this sounds super funky and more like an astronaut meal than real food but try and it and I guarantee you’ll feel amazing, even with the miniscule number of actual calories you’ll be consuming. You can use 10% discount code “BEN” at https://www.EnergyBits.com and get NatureAminos at by clicking here.

25. Chia Slurry

Set 3-4 tablespoon of chia seeds in a small bowl of water and place in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours (the longer they’re soaking the more chia goodness will get absorbed from them). Add lemon juice and stevia to taste, and voila! Eat like jello.

26. Pemmican or Jerky

Suck down a 1/2-1 “tube” of organic, pastured pemmican from US Wellness Meats, a fantastic source of this grass-fed, hormone-free, traditional Native American beef and tallow source that gets frozen and sent straight to your front door. Alternatively, you make your own beef jerky, following my wife Jessa’a delicious beef jerky recipe in this video OR eat 200-300 calories of all-natural jerky from US Wellness Meats. I did a podcast interview with the owner of USWellnessMeats and the stuff is the real deal when it comes to “safe” meat.

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Dinner Options:

27. Cobb Salad 

Cobb SaladCobb salad is a good choice as a low carbohydrate meal, which can come in handy for non-afternoon or non-evening workout days. For this salad, use 2-3 chopped, hardboiled, pastured eggs, 1/2-1 avocado,  2-3 strips cooked and crumbled organic, pastured bacon, 1 small tomato, 1 scallion (green onion), 1/2 tablespoons diced almonds or chopped walnuts, 1/2 red onion, and romaine or butter leaf lettuce. For additional meat, choose 4-6oz grass-fed beef, free-range chicken or shrimp. Break the lettuce apart and add all ingredients. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt/black pepper to taste. I also order Cobb salad at restaurants quite frequently.

28. Scrambled Eggs

Just the other night, I was joking with a group of friends about how often it is when my wife is gone for dinner that I go back to my old stand-by – any variation of scrambled eggs. Simply scramble 2-3 organic pastured chicken or duck eggs in coconut oil or grass-fed butter, while steaming 4-5 chopped vegetables of choice on the side (such as spinach, kale, carrots, mushrooms and tomatoes). Serve vegetables and 1/2-1 sliced avocado over scrambled eggs, sea salt and pepper to taste, and (optional) eat by wrapping everything in nori seaweed wrap and using the nori like a scoop. You can also wrap in kale, bok choy, swiss chard or butter lettuce. For added calories, tossed in some crumbled cashews. Salsa is also a good companion for this meal.

29. Poached Salmon

This recipe uses 1lb of salmon, so will be enough for 2-3 meals – and leftovers can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. You’ll need:

-Salt

-Pepper

-White wine, 1 cup

-White wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon

-Bay leaf, 1

-Garlic, 1 clove sliced

-Dill, 2 sprigs or a half teaspoon dried

-Salmon filet, 1 lb.

-Grass-Fed Butter, 3 tablespoons

-Lemon, 1/2 juiced

Salt and pepper the salmon and put it in the skillet with a few pads of butter. Add the wine, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic and dill. Bring the wine to a simmer, then cover and let it continue to cook for about 6 to 8 minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

While the salmon is cooking, melt the rest of the butter in a saucepan and add the lemon juice. When the salmon is ready, serve with the butter sauce poured over it. If you want more carbs, serve over cooked white rice and mixed greens or a salad of choice, along with a sweet potato or yam, or sweet potato fries (here’s a sweet potato fry video recipe from me – and because of the heat instability of extra virgin olive oil, I recommend you use olive oil or coconut oil for your fries, not extra virgin olive oil).

30. Steak

Grilled SteakChoose a grass-fed cut of beef, bison, elk, venison or buffalo. Make a seasoning powder of 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon cayenne (optional and avoid if on gut-healing protocol), 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon white pepper and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Season meat liberally and place remainder of powder in ziplock bag or other airtight container to use in future recipes.

Sautee meat on cast-iron skillet in ghee or butter, or grill (preferably on lower heat). Serve with roasted, steamed or sautéed vegetables, and for additional carbohydrates in this is a post-workout meal or on a high volume day, serve with a baked sweet potato, yam or sweet potato fries.

31. Liver Pate

You can spread pate on anything and this is one quick dish that just might actually impress your friends if they A) like liver; or B) don’t know what pate is but know it sounds fancy. The recipe uses 1/2lb of liver, so will be enough for 2-3 meals – and leftovers can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. I get my liver locally or order it from US Wellness Meats. Slice the liver into 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick pieces and soak for 1-2 hours in milk (preferably organic, grass-fed milk). If you don’t have milk or don’t link milk, lemon juice is fine. Brown the liver slices in butter or ghee, cooking 3-4 minutes per side on low heat. At the same time, boil 1 egg. After liver is browned or while liver is browning, cook 1 diced onion for 5-10 minutes on same sautee pan.

Other ingredients are an onion and boiled egg; 4 tablespoons butter plus a similar amount of coconut oil; and cilantro (or you can use KimChi in place of the cilantro, for a spicier flavor). Put everything – the cooked liver, cooked onion, cooking fluids from the pot, and boiled egg, along with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and a handful of fresh chopped cilantro – into a blender and purée.

Serve your pate with rice crackers, flax seed crackers, or wrapped in bok choy, swiss chard, nori or butter lettuce. Alternatively, serve with 1 baked sweet potato or yam, over a bed of mixed greens.

32. Easy Chicken Dinner

It’s easy. It’s chicken. It’s dinner. Just reduce number of ingredients to adjust for the number of people eating. For 3-4 people or servings, you’ll need:

-3-4 chicken thighs or breasts

-5-6 heads of broccoli, chopped into florets

-4-5 tablespoons regular olive oil

-2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

-1 teaspoon garlic powder

-Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place broccoli florets and chicken pieces into a 9×13 baking dish. Pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar over  chicken and broccoli. Then season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix around to help coat the broccoli and chicken. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If post-workout or higher volume day, serve with sweet potato, yam, white rice, or if on lower volume day or not-post workout, serve with steamed carrots, cauliflower, parsnips or beets in salt and olive oil.

33. Eating Out: Sushi

SushiEat at one of my favorite inventions of all history: a sushi restaurant. Avoid soy, edemame and fancy rolls with fried ingredients, and instead eat your fill of sashimi and seaweed salad if you’re going low carb, and add sushi rolls if it’s a post-workout outing or you’re not worried about carbs. In most cases, you’ll only really need to include nigiri or sushi roll – both sources of starchy, white rice – if it’s a high volume day or if post workout.

34. Eating Out: Meat + Veggies

Choose a meat and vegetable based dish at a restaurant, and remember these restaurant best practices:

-Always substitute roasted vegetables for any bread or mashed potatoes, and turn down or avoid bread/chips if brought to the table.

-Acceptable starches: rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sweet potato, yam, squash, carrot, beet or other non-gluten, non-GMO sources

-Acceptable proteins: anything from my Superhuman Food Pyramid, but ask your server to cover your bases from an organic standpoint (i.e. “Is the fish wild or farmed?”)

-Acceptable fats: coconut oil, grass-fed butter, olive oil, flax seed oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, and any fat that is 100% natural, that is not a vegetable oil, that is not batter-fried, and that is not an oil with a low smoke point (e.g. extra virgin olive oil) that has had it’s pants cooked off. When it doubt, just leave creams, dressings and sauces “on the side”.

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Dessert/Evening Snack Options (included by popular demand)

35. Energybits

energybitsNotice I said dessert or evening snacks, and this one definitely falls into the latter category. Especially good for a lower calorie day or a day on which you’re not exercising any time in the later afternoon or evening. This is a fantastic way to quell your appetite in the evening. Eat 50-100 EnergyBits (pop them like popcorn). Use 10% discount code “BEN” at https://www.EnergyBits.com. You can learn more about why these are so good at quelling your evening appetite cravings in my article “Everything You Need To Know About How To Use A Slimy Green Plant to Slow Aging, Decrease Cravings and Recover Incredibly Faster“.

36. Coconut-Chocolate-Chia Blend

You don’t even need a blender for this one. In a small bowl, mix 25-50 EnergyBits (use 10% discount code “BEN” at https://www.EnergyBits.com), 2 teaspoons carob or cocoa powder, 4-6oz full fat coconut milk and 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds or a packet of Cocochia Snack Mix. Stir and chill in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. For added crunch, throw on some unsweetened coconut flakes.

37. Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate and Almonds.

The title pretty much says it all. Sea salts are rich in adrenal supporting electrolytes, almond are chock full of healthy fats, and dark chocolate is…well, dark chocolate.  I keep a few bars of 80%+ dark chocolate in the freezer, break up about a quarter bar, then toss it into a small bowl with a handful of raw almonds and 2-3 pinches of sea salt, preferably the mind-blowingly good Aztecan sea salt. I pop this like popcorn, often during a good flick. For added kick, include a pinch of cayenne pepper.

38. Protein Parfait

Yes, protein can spike evening insulin levels but in a post-workout scenario, this isn’t a big deal. Into 1-2 scoops of organic whey or vegan protein, add full-fat coconut milk to desired texture, along with 1-2 teaspoons almond butter, a handful of unsweetened coconut flakes, and a teaspoon of cinnamon. I typically stir, rather than blending, and eat with a spoon at approximately ice cream/custard texture. And yes, I’ll admit that I sometimes have this for breakfast too.

39. Healthy Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Blend together 1/2-1 sliced avocado, 1 teaspoons cinnamon, 1-2 scoops of organic whey or vegan protein, 4-6oz full fat coconut milk, 1-2 teaspoons almond butter, 1-2 teaspoons carob or cocoa powder, and a dash of natural vanilla extract or vanilla powder. Tell me this does not taste like glorious chocolate pudding and I will call you crazy.

40. Dipped Dark Chocolate

You know those dark chocolate bars I keep in the freezer? For a quick dessert or pre-workout snack, I’ll sometimes grab ½ a bar, and drizzle a tablespoon of raw almond or cashew butter over it, or (germ-phobes beware) simply dip the chocolate bar in the jar of raw nut butter. Careful with the calories on this one. It can get out of hand fast.

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Extra Resources

In chapter 16, I’m going to give you “The 21 Best Kitchen Tools, Grocery Shopping Guides, Cookbooks and Websites To Fuel Your Endurance Lifestyle”, but in the meantime, if you want some extra resources to accompany this meal, get some “acceptable” additional recipes, or get your creative cooking wheels spinning, here are a few of my favorites:

-Cookbook: Nourishing Traditions
-Grocery Shopping Guide: Rich Food Poor Food
-The “Science” of Proper Fueling: Perfect Health Diet Book
-My Superhuman Food Pyramid
-Any of my wife Jessa’s bonus meal plans inside Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle
-The websites TummyRumblrThe Domestic ManNutty KitchenFrancesca Eats10 Minute Meal and Chowstalker

Have your own handy-dandy resources you’d like to see added? Leave them in the comments section below this chapter!

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Summary

Dont’ worry – like I mentioned, I’m won’t simply leave you hanging with a laundry list of recipes and zero plans for proper implementation (in the nutrition world, that creates about as much confusion as shouting fire in a crowded theatre).

Instead, the next chapter you’ll get will teach you exactly how to figure out how many calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats you should be eating, and the final version of the book will include a meal plan that will include, among other helpful details, a plan for off-season, recovery weeks, base building, the last few hard weeks leading up to an event, and the week of your race and event.

And what about just “leftovers”? Simple – I eat them all the time, and simply choose any leftover from dinner the night before. Often leftovers are best wrapped in nori, bokchoy, butter lettuce or swiss chard. Avoid microwaving or excessive re-heating, and to avoid mold, fungus and toxins, try not to eat any leftovers that are more than 2-3 days old. For extra probiotics, you can also include a side of KimChi or sauerkraut (see this video on easy ways to make your own probiotics)

In the meantime, leave your questions, comments and feedback about easy meals for busy athletes below!

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Links To Previous Chapters of “Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life”

Part 1 – Introduction

-Preface: Are Endurance Sports Unhealthy?

-Chapter 1: How I Went From Overtraining And Eating Bags Of 39 Cent Hamburgers To Detoxing My Body And Doing Sub-10 Hour Ironman Triathlons With Less Than 10 Hours Of Training Per Week.

-Chapter 2: A Tale Of Two Triathletes – Can Endurance Exercise Make You Age Faster?

Part 2 – Training

-Chapter 3: Everything You Need To Know About How Heart Rate Zones Work

–Chapter 3: The Two Best Ways To Build Endurance As Fast As Possible (Without Destroying Your Body) – Part 1

–Chapter 3: The Two Best Ways To Build Endurance As Fast As Possible (Without Destroying Your Body) – Part 2

–Chapter 4: Underground Training Tactics For Enhancing Endurance – Part 1

–Chapter 4: Underground Training Tactics For Enhancing Endurance – Part 2

–Chapter 5: The 5 Essential Elements of An Endurance Training Program That Most Athletes Neglect – Part 1: Strength

–Chapter 5: The 5 Essential Elements of An Endurance Training Program That Most Athletes Neglect – Part 3: Mobility 

–Chapter 5: The 5 Essential Elements of An Endurance Training Program That Most Athletes Neglect – Part 4: Balance 

Part 3 – Recovery

–Chapter 6: How The Under-Recovery Monster Is Completely Eating Up Your Precious Training Time

–Chapter 7:  25 Ways To Know With Laser-Like Accuracy If Your Body Is Truly Recovered And Ready To Train

–Chapter 8: 26 Top Ways To Recover From Workouts and Injuries with Lightning Speed

-Chapter 9: The 7 Best Stress-Fighting Weapons That Will Make Your Mind-Body Connection 100% Bulletproof

-Chapter 10: The Last Resource You’ll Ever Need To Get Better Sleep, Eliminate Insomnia, Conquer Jet Lag and Master The Nap: Part 1

-Chapter 10: The Last Resource You’ll Ever Need To Get Better Sleep, Eliminate Insomnia, Conquer Jet Lag and Master The Nap: Part 2

Part 3 – Nutrition

-Chapter 11: 40 Easy Meals For Busy Athletes: How To Fuel Your Body With The Thousands Of Calories Necessary For Endurance and Extreme Exercise, Without Completely Destroying Your Metabolism. 

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References

1. Calton, J. (2010). Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans. J Int Soc Sports Nutr., 10(7), 21.

2. Fuqua, J. (2013). Neuroendocrine alterations in the exercising human: Implications for energy homeostasis. Metabolism., 62(7), 911-21.

3. Howe, Juliette C.; Williams, Juhi R.; Holden, Joanne M. (March 2004). USDA Database for the Choline Content of Common Foods. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). p. 10

4. K.H. Wong, Peter C.K. Cheung (2000). “Nutritional evaluation of some subtropical red and green seaweeds: Part I — proximate composition, amino acid profiles and some physico-chemical properties”. Food Chemistry 71 (4): 475–482.

5. Monro, J.A.; Leon, R.; Puri, B.K. (2013). “The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets”. Medical Hypotheses 80 (4): 389–90.

6. National Cardiovascular Center (Suita, Osaka, Japan) HuBit genomix, Inc. (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Go Ichien) NTT DATA Corporation (Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO: Tomokazu Hamaguchi) Municipality of Arita, Saga Prefecture, Japan (Mayor: Masata Iwanaga) (April 2006). “Examining the Effects of Natto (fermented soybean) Consumption on Lifestyle-Related Diseases”. Retrieved 2007-03-19.

7. Nutrition Facts.com. Retrieved 2013-07-13.

8. Steinkraus, K. H., Ed. (1995). Handbook of Indigenous Fermented Foods. New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc.

Affiliate Disclosure

 
Every month, I release never-before-seen videos, audios and .pdf’s inside the BenGreenfieldFitness “Premium” channel (just $10/year to access!). You can click here to go Premium and access an entire vault of all past, current and future protected content!

I recently read one of the best three-part series on sleep that I’ve ever seen, entitled “The effects of nutrition and exercise on sleep” and covering, in order of appearance in Alan Aragon’s Research Review, “Part 1: Macros, energy restriction, meal timing and composition”, “Part 2: Micronutrients and sleep” and “Part 3: Exercise and sleep”.

The series included several very interesting bullet points, including, from Part 1:

-Consider consuming high-glycemic carbs 4h before bed if the aim is to fall asleep faster.

-Do not consume an excessively large meal right before bed.

-Higher protein (>1.5g/kg) may help sleep in the case of energy deficits.

-A high-carbohydrate diet may shorten wake times.

-Consume adequate fiber.

-Keep saturated fat intake low to moderate.

-Keep total fat intake relatively low at dinner and later in the evening.

-Consume adequate omega 3.

-Regularly consume fatty fish (> 5% fat).

-If you’re overweight, weight loss increases sleep duration and improves sleep quality.

…from Part 2:

-Vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D < 20 ng/mL) is common among patients complaining of nonspecific musculoskeletal pain, and chronic pain.

-Clinical risk factors for chronically low vitamin D include dark skin tone, obesity, limited natural sunlight exposure, pregnancy, chronic anticonvulsant use, chronic steroid use, and intestinal malabsorption syndromes.

-Chronically low vitamin D is related to symptoms of sleepiness and other symptoms of wake impairment.

-Chronically low vitamin D may be a cofactor for the development of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and OSA- associated cardiovascular disease.

-Melatonin production can be increased by a high protein diet that contains more tryptophan than LNAA; ingestion of carbohydrate, which may increase the ratio of free Trp to branched-chain amino acids and facilitate the release of insulin, ingestion of a high-fat meal, which may increase free fatty acids and result in increased free Trp; exercise, which can influence both free fatty acids and insulin.

-Valerian, nitric oxide and magnesium may all be useful micronutrients for sleep aid.

and from Part 3:

-Acute and chronic exercise promote sleep;

-Exercise has the ability to induce circadian phase-shifting effects perhaps as potent as bright light;

-Training in the early morning can be detrimental, so employ strategic napping during the day, correct sleep hygiene practices at night, and consider aiming for at least 10 hours in bed per night;

-It is crucial not to schedule early morning training sessions after evening training to avoid sleep restriction;

-30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at 65% of heart rate attained at VO2 peak performed in the early morning seems to be beneficial;

-Afternoon exercise between 14:00-18:00h at 50-80% VO2max for 80-150 min can improve sleep;

-The most positive effects occur with exercise taking place 4 to 8 hours before bedtime;

-Evening exercise is not associated with worse sleep;

-30 min of high-intensity exercise at 85–90% of max HR to exhaustion, 3–4h prior to bedtime resulted in better sleep;

-Vigorous late-night exercise does not disturb sleep quality and can increase sleep efficiency and REM sleep latency;

-Brief periods of high-intensity exercise administered in the late evening (22:40-23:00 h) result in an immediate blunting of the nocturnal rise of melatonin;

-Long-duration exercise can partially alleviate sleepiness during the period of exposure;

-The effects of exercise on sleepiness is most pronounced when exercise is performed in the middle of the night;

-Short bouts (10 min) of exercise every 2 hours over a sleep deprived day can increased alertness but for less than an hour;

-Exercise in well-lit conditions may improve sleep for shift workers.

In this quick and dirty Premium podcast episode, I fill you in on a few of these highlights. And stay tuned, as I’ll be getting the paper author on a podcast soon to take a dive into the nitty-gritty details.

 

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

 

Affiliate Disclosure

 
Every month, I release never-before-seen videos, audios and .pdf’s inside the BenGreenfieldFitness “Premium” channel (just $10/year to access!). You can click here to go Premium and access an entire vault of all past, current and future protected content!

The podcast episode “How To Cure Yourself Of Cancer: An Epic Interview With A Man Who Defied Conventional Medicine & Cured Himself Of Prostate Cancer.” was one of the most popular and comment-filled episodes that I’ve ever released on alternative methods of healing cancer.

It was so popular, in fact, that I decided to approach Eric Remensperger, my guest on that episode, and propose that he address the host of comments and questions that materialized after that original show. He was kind enough to do so, and in today’s special Premium episode (available as a part of 300+ additional special episodes, videos and pdf’s you can access here), Eric delves into the following:

[00:00] Introduction

[01:57] Coffee Enemas

[05:39] Using Nystatin

[08:10] Wim Hof’s Breathing Techniques

[12:38] Emotional Blockages

[15:44] The Budwig Protocol

[21:21] Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

[23:37] Acupunture

[24:24] Sulforaphane

[26:56] DCA

[30:47] Laetrile

[33:52] High Dose Vitamin C

[40:26] Children With Cancer

[43:19] Fitting In With The Regimen In Your Everyday Life

[46:23] Cancer and Lymph Node Removal

[48:08] Eric’s Diet

[57:58] End of Podcast


Introduction:

Thank you, Ben.  The questions posed will include the following: a discussion on coffee enemas, the use of Nystatin as an anti-fungal agent, Wim Hof breathing techniques and oxygenation at a cellular and tissue level, the Budwig Protocol, sulforaphane, Laetrile or vitamin B17, high-dose vitamin C, and balancing oxidative therapies with antioxidants.  But before I begin, I have to make my usual disclaimer.  I’m not a doctor and I don’t give medical advice.  I make no recommendations.  All I’ve done is looked at the data, and as an attorney I kind of applied my own kind of skill set to looking at evidence, and come to my own conclusions.  And I’m sharing information with you so that you can have the same perspective that I came to when you’re trying to sort through and make your own decisions.

Let me also mention that in the process of coming to my own theories and conclusions, I’ve formed what I consider to be some foundational elements for moving back from a cancering state to a healing state over and above kind of nutrition and supplementation, which obviously a lot of us spend a lot of time focusing on nutrition and supplementation, but these other elements include, there’s really four of them that I kind of list down here: one is oxygenation of the cells and tissues, number two is proper cellular communication because in my view all we are are our bags of cells, and cancer are cells that are not functioning the way they should within that community of cells.  And so we do really need to kind of focus on proper communication between the cells.  Detoxification, which includes physical, environmental, and emotional, and energetic wellness.  Those are kind of the four underlying foundational elements for all of the protocols and the pillars that you’ll see if you go on my site.  So let’s go ahead and get started.


Coffee Enemas

The first question I’m going to address comes from Kathy.  Kathy’s concerned about whether or not coffee enemas might be contraindicated for her because she had several lymph nodes removed as part of a treatment for cervical cancer, and she asks whether she should be concerned about doing enemas without lymph nodes.  And I think before answering that question, it might be useful to talk a little bit about coffee enemas generally.  Let me mentioned for those of you who haven’t already seen it that Ben has a great blog post on coffee enemas entitled “The Bulletproof Coffee Enema: Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Coffee Enemas But Were Afraid To Ask”.  On that blog post, he goes not only into kind of how to do an enema, but why they do an enema and that sort of thing.  So if you haven’t or are not familiar with doing coffee enemas, I highly recommend that as a good source to go to.  But just kind of briefly, enemas are traditionally done to clean out the bowels of your colon.  Coffee enema, although this is an enema, it’s quite different, it’s done to help the liver do its job of detoxification.  As we all know, the liver is not just a detoxifier, it’s the ultimate multi-tasker.  It does everything from converting protein into glucose, storing vitamins and nutrients, regulating hormones, making bile, et cetera.

When a coffee enema is done, the caffeine from the coffee is absorbed into the system, where it goes into the liver and acts as a detoxifier.  It works there because there are these entrohepatic circulatory veins that carry toxins from the sigmoid colon to the liver for the detoxification process to run.  Coffee enemas also cause the liver to produce more bile, which as you probably know is stored in the gallbladder.  And as a footnote, I’ve discovered this recently, removal of the gall bladder is the number one surgery that’s done involving your organs.  But by producing more bile, the bile is necessary to move and provide for the process of elimination.  So the coffee has this affinity for the liver, and when it’s absorbed into the liver, it frees the liver up to do its job, which is processing toxic materials.  In addition, the coffee itself contains alkaloids that stimulate the production of glutathione s-transferase, which we’re going to talk about a little bit later on.  There’s a question that comes up on sulforaphane.  Glutathione s-transferase is an enzyme that’s crucial for these detox pathways to work properly.  So in short, a coffee enema will speed up and benefit the liver’s role in this entire detoxification process.

So to get back to Kathy’s question, I think, obviously speak to your doctor, Kathy.  But I would say rather than being contraindicated, it might be even more important if you’re short some of your lymph nodes to make sure that your liver’s functioning at its highest level because the two major detoxification processes the body has are lymphatic system and the liver.  And so I would also suggest that you, ’cause you still have plenty of lymph nodes, I think you mentioned 30 in your question, there are hundreds and hundreds of lymph nodes in the body, but obviously not having those lymph nodes means that that part of your body has less clearing capacity, and I would suggest that you do the dry skin brushing, and the rebounding, and all the other things, like exercise, movement to make sure your lymphatic system is functioning well.


Using Nystatin

Kathy also raised the next question, and there’s a few others actually, I think flagged this as a question as well.  She raised the impact whether or not Nystatin would be indicated for somebody like her in the impact, in particular the Nystatin might have on her liver.  She asked if she’d be concerned about this.  And in response, I should say that I am not a big fan of pharmaceuticals, and thus the decision to take Nystatin was a real challenge for me.  For those of you not familiar with it, Nystatin is an off-patent prescription drug.  It’s commonly used to address candida overgrowth and it’s been around quite a while.  I was told by my integrative doctor that, and she’s very cautious about prescribing integrated drugs, she’s an anthroposophical doctor, but she said as far as prescription drugs goes it’s about as safe as you get.  I’m not sure I’m necessarily convinced that that’s 100% true, but I do know that it’s, I did some research and the drug is designed not to leave the gut, it’s not designed to have any effect in the bloodstream.  It does what it does within the entire intestinal tract.  So therefore, it shouldn’t put the liver at any risk of damage by virtue of Nystatin itself going to the liver.

But you need to be very aware of the fact that the way Nystatin works is it literally blows up the organism.  So the fungus or the candida is literally blown up.  And this results in cellular die-off or residue of what was left to those organisms, which are then toxins that are distributed throughout the body.  And so this die-off, which is caused by Nystatin can be quite severe, and I don’t know how that might impact the liver.  I know some people have difficulty tolerating Nystatin because of the die-off if they have extremely high levels of fungus.  I didn’t have any issues.  So I think again it’s very important to make sure that both the lymphatic system and your liver are functioning at their optimal level.  So again, please talk your doctor if you’re considering fungal control therapies generally.  For those of you who might be interested in alternatives to pharmaceuticals, I think there are some natural agents that can be used that have anti-fungal properties and they include garlic, caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract, and olive leaf.  Those are all effective anti-fungal, natural agents.


Wim Hof’s Breathing Techniques

The next question comes from Ben and it concerns Wim Hof’s breathing techniques.  Ben asks if the controlled hyperventilation and breath holding, which is intended to raise blood oxygen levels and also raise pH, might along with meditation, slow down cancering and help convert to the healing state. What do I think? Ben, the first thing I would say is I think Wim is an amazing guy who’s done amazing feats using his breathwork techniques.  And as I mentioned earlier on, oxygenation in the cellular and tissue level is at the core of my protocols to address cancer, and therefore I was very interested once I heard about Wim’s techniques.  And so I did actually take his course and practiced some of his techniques myself, including the meditation and the breathwork.  I didn’t actually do the ice baths.  I didn’t get quite that far.  But I thought it might be a good way to kind of help facilitate oxygenation of tissues, particularly in the prostate.  And I took the time, but what I found was that I didn’t really kind of understand the science behind it and so I really needed to get into the weeds a little bit to better understand exactly what it was doing within the functioning of moving oxygen into your lungs, then from your lungs into your blood, and then from your blood into your tissues.

I think that question was answered when I came upon a book which Ben referenced in one of his podcasts by Patrick McKeown called “The Oxygen Advantage”, and I should mention just as an aside, since my original podcast with Ben and this particular taping, Patrick McKeown has appeared on Ben’s podcast.  And so if you Google Ban and “maximize oxygen utilization efficiency”, you’ll find the blog post on that and the posting for that particular podcast.  And if you haven’t already heard it, I would suggest you give it a listen ’cause I think it’s well worth a listen.  But in his book and on the podcast, Patrick makes it very clear that deep breathing does nothing to increase oxygenation in the tissues themselves.  He promotes, in order to best oxygenate your blood, the use of the diaphragm as part of your breathing process, which is used far more if you breathe through the nose than it is if you’re panting through the mouth.  And so doing that kind of diaphragmatic breathing, slow breathing, brings in through your nose, brings in nitric oxide, and this allows for what he calls ventilation profusion.  Because when you breathe in through the nose, you’re bringing in the air from the upper part of the lungs than lower.  And since most of the concentration of blood is in the lower lobes of lungs and breathing occurs in the upper lobes, you need nitrous oxide to bring blood from the lower lobes to the upper lobes.  And ventilation profusion apparently does this.

Getting oxygenation into the blood is one thing, and it really does you no good unless you can get that oxygen out of the blood and into your tissues, and that requires carbon dioxide.  And this is the rub here for me, to get those levels of CO2 up, you need to have controlled breathing.  What I am familiar with, ’cause I’m a big fan of yoga and done a lot of yoga, we call it Ujjayi breath.  Very controlled, through the nose diagrammatic breathing.  Now classic Ujjayi breathing includes moving the [0:11:38] ______, making that kind of ocean sound in the back of your throat, that’s done really to bring heat into your body.  So if you’re doing yoga on a really hot day, you don’t have to make the ocean sound during your Ujjayi breath.  But the whole idea is to really get your breathing down to an extremely low, controlled state.  And what that does is it raises your level of carbon dioxide, and that effectively allows for the movement of oxygen out of your blood and into your tissues.  I think the deciding point for me in ceasing any more of the Wim Hof methods were when I stumbled upon an [0:12:11] ______ that breathing hard increases the bond between oxygen and the blood cells.  And in fact he mentions in the podcast then that the amount of oxygen in the brain is actually reduced, not increased, which is why you get that lightheaded feeling.  So over breathing to me is probably not the best, at least for therapeutic purposes, there might be other reasons to do it, but certainly not for getting oxygen into the cells.


Emotional Blockages

The next question comes from Pete who asks about emotional blockages.  He says, and I quote, “Does sexual activity always play a role in what processes work to address blockages?”  Well at first blush, this might seem like a bit of an odd question, but he might be kind of tying back into some discussions that I’ve had on podcasts about the theories Wilhelm Reich, who was a brilliant German scientist who came up with this whole Orgone theory of life and created this Orgone machine.  And the word Orgone ties into orgasm ’cause he was a very firm believer that sexual health really played a major role in physical health.  And so if there were any kind of serious dysfunctions at a sexual level, it would manifest itself at a physical level.  I’m not sure necessarily you need to buy into that perspective to still understand the importance of kind of just maintaining energetic flow.  And I think sexual energy is just one of many energies that in Chinese medicine we call “chi”.  This particular element of the various protocols has been a real challenge for me because I think when it comes to this emotional, sexual energetic low, I’ve fallen down a bit.

To answer Pete’s question, I don’t think so, no.  I think the sources of cancer are really all over the map.  In my view as a non-scientist but someone who has looked at all the evidence, I think cancer is caused by defects in respiration, which could be the result of many factors.  It could be environmental toxins, it could be sexual and emotional blockage, they could be excessive radiation, EMFs, all sorts of different things that can interrupt the ability of the mitochondria to respirate the way that it should.  And so, anything that kind of interrupts that respiratory capacity could result in cancer.  I think chi is the obvious one ’cause that’s kind of the source of what we considered, at least in the annals of Chinese medicine, it’s considered to be kind of the source of all life.

So bottom line, not to get too woo-woo here, it’s really important to just pay attention to your attention, where you’re putting your attention.  Pay attention to your thoughts, see how much of your energy is being wasted chasing ghosts with your monkey mind, and just keep in mind that it’s about that awareness and where you put your focus or attention is where your chi, your life energy actually flows.  So just be very cognizant of that.  And if your sleep is good, and your energy is good, you feel some real passion, you get out of bed every morning and conquer the world, I think you’re pretty much there, and just do the best you can in all times to keep things kind of fresh.  Like changing up every now and then, don’t let things get too stale, don’t let things stagnate.  If you feel like you need to say something, say it.  And the best way to address blockage is just to remain present, focused, [0:15:33] ______.  Don’t find yourself be distracted, frustrated, discouraged, depressed, or disappointed.  Yeah, it’s not just sexual.


The Budwig Protocol

The next question comes from Rob who asked about the Budwig Protocol.  He says, and I’m going to actually quote his question here because he does raise several things that I had others bring to my attention as concerns when it comes to the Budwig Protocol, and I think these are all valid concerns and I can kind of go through why I don’t think that these challenges warrant me not taking the chance at doing this protocol based on what I view as kind of how it ties into my theories.  But he says, “I did the cottage cheese, flaxseed for a while, then got concerned because I read somewhere that flax was high in estrogen and omega-6, and the omega-3 wasn’t as bioavailable as animal-based omega-3.  This is correct.  I also have heard, I think from Rhonda Patrick, that casein in higher protein dairy foods like cottage cheese exacerbates cancer.  On the plus side there is supposed to be a reaction that takes place to create a sulphurated protein, is that right?  Can you comment?”

Well, I think let’s start by just talking about Johanna Budwig who came up with these protocols and kind of who she was, I think it’s an interesting story if we know the purpose to raise it.  She was a student of nursing at a large hospital, a thousand beds, and it was also a pharmacy boarding school where she studied pharmacology, and she later went on to study chemistry and physics.  And in that process, she became an expert in lipids.  So much so that after World War II, she was appointed that Chief Expert For Drugs And Fats at the Germany’s Federal Institute For Fats Research, which was at the time in Germany the largest office issuing approvals for new drugs, very much like our FDA, and she discovered that fats played a very crucial role in cellular respiration, and I would say communication too, cellular communication.  But she focused on the respiratory issues.  Her opponents, interestingly, as an aside, really came down hard that she wasn’t qualified because she wasn’t a doctor.  So at the age of 47, she went back to medical school and became a doctor.  Clearly this woman had a love of science and really never had kids or had a family, she just loved her science.  That was her life.

But she was convinced, and I think we all know this now, not a big stress to come to this conclusion, that highly processed foods, hydrogenated oils in particular, block this oxidative process.  For those of you know the work of Jack Kruse, what he calls quantum tunnelling.  And that’s what leads to the development of cancer, which ties in perfectly to the Warburg Theory, and Wilhelm Reich’s theories, and the other.  While doing her job as the Chief Expert For Drugs And Fat, she observed that cottage cheese or cork, contains the same sulfhydryl groups as those found in the cancer treatment drugs that she was being asked to look at in her official capacity.

The sulfhydryl groups are cysteine and methionine amino, methionine amino acids.  And she established that essential polyunsaturated fatty acids are proof as a crucial for properly functioning cellular membrane.  And of course without a proper cellular membrane, this respiration itself is impaired.  She flagged, which we now know as omega-6 and omega-3s, two of which he considered essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that are absolutely critical for cell membranes [0:19:10] ______, that’s linoleic acid and linolenic acid.  Linoleic being six and linolenic being threes, and the chemical reaction takes place when sulfhydryl in the cottage cheese binds with the unsaturated fatty acids in the flaxseed oil.  And this allows the flaxseed to become water soluble and enter a cell to supply energy.  So if I were to draw a metaphor, I’d say imagine the cells in the body are like a battery in a car and they require electrical energy in order to run and provide energy for other biological functions.  If your car battery is not functioning as it should, is dead and needs jumper cables, and apparently this combination of cork and flaxseed oil work together to kind of bring back that energy, it kind of helps facilitate the flow of these electrons.

“Know that part of the protocol is particularly effective when coupled with sun exposure.”  That’s a quote from her book.  And she said of all living creatures, the human being has the highest concentration of photons from the sun’s energies.  So I think in my view, this all kind of squarely within my theories that underlie not only the respiratory issues, but the cellular communication issues, and getting that stuff to function properly is really important.  And so I did bring Budwig’s Protocol into my daily routine.  I was doing it early on in addressing my cancer.  I did it every day.  I now do it probably three or four days a week, on days typically when I’m getting a lot of sun because I have like that kind of marriage of the photons from the sun, at the same time I’m consuming this electron-rich mixture, which I’ll get into it on my website but we need to do it here, but I actually make it, so it tastes good because if you just have it plain, it’s not the tastiest thing in the world.  But you can doctor it up and make it quite delicious.  One way I’m making it taste almost like cheesecake. So hope that answers that question, but I do think that you raise some good concerns.


Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide

Moving on to the next question, Wayne asks about the use of food grade hydrogen peroxide, specifically about grade and dosage.  And again I have to make a disclaimer, ’cause hydrogen peroxide is an extremely caustic substance.  You got to be very careful that you’re not doing this without the proper advice and guidance of your healthcare professional.  But that being said, the supplement, maybe about the theory first, hydrogen peroxide, as the theory is, the folks that promoted it have the understanding that it really is a way of killing all pathogens.  Viruses, cancer, fungus, they’re all anaerobic and cannot survive in the presence of hydrogen peroxide.  It’s the absence of oxygen that really kind of helps these pathogens survive.  And so again getting too highly oxygenated environment is really important, ties back into a lot of the protocols.  So more oxygen slows the progression of cancer and less oxygen will allow for faster cancer growth.  That’s kind of one of the underlying themes.  And so hydrogen peroxide does fit into that.

There’s two ways that I do it.  I do it using hydrogen peroxide, and I’ll tell you in a minute kind of how I do it, but I also do it through the high dose vitamin C done intravenously because that, I’ll get to in a second ’cause we’re going to have a question on that in a little bit, asking about high dose vitamin C, but it actually converts to hydrogen peroxide.  Don’t even consider the 3% that sold at your local drug store.  That’s a pharmaceutical grade, it’s not to be ingested and it has toxic stabilizers.  You can only use food grade, whether you’re ingesting it or using it in your bath.  And I use 35% food grade, it’s available on Amazon.  And the two ways you can take it, you can take a cup of it in a bath of hot water and soak it in for 20 or 30 minutes.  Or you can put, what I do is I put eight drops into a glass about eight ounces of aloe vera juice.  You can also use distilled water.  Some people say you can put it in regular water, but others say that if it has too many minerals in it, it kind of causes some issues with hydrogen peroxide, something I’m not familiar enough to speak on.  But I just use aloe vera juice myself.


Acupunture

The next question comes from Horatio who asks, “You mentioned how early on you had problems with waking up a few times at night to urinate, throat phlegm, coughing, and runny nose.  Was it acupuncture that remedied those?”  This is an easy answer, Wayne.  Yes.  Next question, no, I’ll just quickly mention that I also did some dietary changes and took some Chinese herbs as part of my treatment protocols.  But acupuncture was done, in my view, is it is extremely effective for these types of chronic ailments.  The only, I think, footnote or caveat to that is you need to find a good acupuncturist, and that’s not an easy task.  So my suggestion would be to ask for referrals and try more than one acupuncturist until you stumble upon one that you think really can do the job.  That really works.


Sulforaphane

The next question comes from Rob, a listener who’s been using many of my same protocols, and he’s been using them just to keep his PSA level down.  And Rob asks, “What is your take on sulforaphane from broccoli seed sprouts?”  Okay, he mentions Rhonda Patrick, who’s a big fan, and cited a French study where prostate cancer patients reduced their PSA in doubling time.  Yeah, I would suggest, if anyone is interested in sulforaphane as a medicinal and therapeutic element, you should take a good listen to Rhonda’s podcast ’cause she does a really deep dive on sulforaphane and its effect on cancer.  But in the trial that Rob references, which Rhonda talks about on her podcast, they discovered that prostate cancer patients who were taking sulforaphane had a significant drop in the doubling of the PSA marker of prostate cancer growth.  It was something like 86% just taking 60 milligrams a day of sulforaphane.  So yeah, it’s an isothiocyanate and it has a considerable impact on the progression of certainly hard tumor cancers.  I don’t know any test that they’d had done outside of this one.  I think if you want to learn more about it, you should just go ahead and get Rhonda’s podcast and listen.

In the podcast, she also gets into the phase two detoxification enzymes and the NRF-2 pathway and its role as an antioxidant response element.  And guess what is the phase two detox enzyme?  Glutathione s-transferase, which we talked about when we were talking about coffee enemas.  What it does, the glutathione s-transferase, is inactivates the pro-carcinogenic agents by transforming them into water soluble compounds, which are then able to be excreted in the urine and bile.  Personally, I take three forms of sulforaphane.  I do get broccoli sprouts from my local farmer’s market whenever they have them.  They don’t always do, but typically they do and I get about six ounces for the week.  And I also take daily a supplement called Crucera-SGS, manufactured by Thorne, which has 50 milligrams of sulforaphane in it.  And finally, I put moringa in the powder into my new smoothie, which I don’t do every day, I do it two or three days a week.  And that is also extremely high in sulforaphane.  I think moringa powder actually has more sulforaphane than broccoli sprout.  You can also get sulforaphane from regular broccoli and cauliflower, but I don’t think the levels are high enough to have any real therapeutic benefit.


DCA

The same listener, Rob, asks for my thoughts on dichloroacetate, which I’ll refer to as DCA.  And I should mention before I get too far into this that there’s a great article that was published in the British Journal of Cancer back in 2008 that you should take a look at if you want to know all about DCA.  I found it fascinating not only because of how it kind of walked through efficacy of DCA and its impact on the progression of cancer, but how all of that kind of laid into the same foundational elements that fit into the protocols that support my own theories of cancer.  So I guess we can sidetrack for a moment on my own theories of cancer, which is that, and again I apologize for repeating myself, but for those who maybe haven’t yet heard the [0:27:46] ______ podcast, at least solid tumor cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer, these are all characterized by aerobic glycolysis.  They use glucose for energy even when oxygen is available, and this is a far less efficient means of energy production than the mitochondria-based glucose oxidation which is the normal ATP process.  I think they produced two rather than 36 ATP per glucose molecule.  And thus, cancer cells can only thrive when there is significantly increased levels of glucose, significantly increased glucose uptakes, which obviously need glucose to do.

I have also concluded that, at least for solid tumors, a hypoxic environment can result in the transformation of a healthy cell into a cancer cell.  And cancer cells kind of revert back to their pre-oxygen based life form way of respirating whenever they’re exposed to a hypoxic environment.  It’s almost like a method of the cells to kind of preserve themselves.  If they don’t get enough oxygen, then they revert to this other form of providing energy.  And in the study that I referenced on DCA, they specifically noted that in this hypoxic state, the cells express pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, or PDK, which promotes or facilitates the conversion to aerobic glycolysis in the cytoplasm in the cell by metabolizing pyruvate into lactate.  And this lactate acidosis facilitates tumor growth and activates angiogenesis in the breakdown in the surrounding tissues.  So what DCA does as a drug is it increases the delivery of pyruvate into the mitochondria, which allows the cells to once again function the way they should, including returning to glucose oxidation and the functioning of apoptosis.  The way it functions not by inhibiting aerobic glycolysis, but by announcing glucose oxidation.  If it were the former, it would actually be fatal to non-cancer tissues that use aerobic glycolysis for energy production.

It does this again by bringing pyruvate into the mitochondria.  It’s been around for about I’m going to guess maybe a decade or so, maybe more, this trial was a while back, and there have been other trials done that indicate this same reference in this particular trial that indicate their concerns about peripheral neuropathy with DCA.  I don’t know that any of them concluded that that is something that won’t resolve itself if you stop taking DCA.  But I think there has not been enough clinical trial work to really know what the right dose strategy should be or how to manage any potential toxicity.  And unfortunately as this is now a generic drug, the likelihood of pharmaceutical industries coming in to help fund tests is very, very unlikely.  So if I ever decided that I had to kind of pull all the stops and use even some experimental pharmaceutical drugs, I think to answer to the question DCA would be on my short list.  No question about it.  But for now I’m just kind of adopting a wait-and-see, and I seem to be doing fine without it.


Laetrile

The next question comes from Steve who asks about the B17, also referred to as laetrile, and whether I take it.  And the quick answer is: yes, it is.  I do.  It’s part of my stack.  But I do take it in its natural state, i.e. apricot pits rather than taking a supplement form.  You can get it both ways.  I think there is even a version you can do via IV.  I’m not familiar with them, how to access that, or how that works, but someone mentioned it to me in the course of discussions I have had on laetrile.  One thing again I have to caution you on is that it’s not approved for use within the United States, and the National Cancer Institute has come up very strongly against laetrile.  So this discussion again is just for informational purposes.

How does it work? Well normal cells have an enzyme called rhodanese, which neutralizes benzaldehyde.  The benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide are what’s found in B17.  So normal cells have this enzyme, rhodanese, which render these two potentially toxic agents neutral.  Apparently this enzyme converts them into harmless compounds such as benzoic acid.  Cancer cells don’t have rhodanese.  They instead have an enzyme called beta-glucosidase.  Beta-glucosidase is an enzyme that’s only found in cancer cells.  And this enzyme releases the benzaldehyde and the cyanide from the glucose, which then kill the cancer cell.

There was another listener who I have to give a shout out to, I don’t have his name in front of me, but he referenced a documentary called, “Second Opinion”.  Hold on a second.  Let’s see if I have notes on this.  I don’t.  I think it’s worth a listen to.  It’s called “Second Opinion: The Sloan-Kettering Study”.  Anyway, in that documentary, they apparently did animal studies back in 1974 at Sloan and Kettering, and they took some specifically engineered tumor-bearing rats, rats designed to create cancer in their bodies.  In the control group they were testing for lung metastases and they found in the control group that only 25% of the rats that were given B17, or laetrile actually had lung metastasized cancer.  In the placebo group, 75% actually had metastases.  So you can see there’s almost an inverse.  Fairly high significant difference.  So that’s kind of the story on laetrile.  There’ve been some other kind of studies that have concluded it has no benefit, but those studies, I think the most recent one is far back as 1982, I found extremely suspect.  There were no control groups, there was no peer review, there were no experts, the people had no experience with laetrile.  It looked to me like it was kind of a functional equivalent of what we call fake news, just pure pseudoscience.  So I didn’t give those any credence at all, but you should draw your own conclusions.


High Dose Vitamin C

Next, I want to conflate two questions because there’s a bit of an overlap here.  The first comes in from Dave, both are normal patients who’s been using some of the protocols to keep cancer at bay for about four years, and he asks about hydrogen peroxide and mentions having taken as much as 125 grams IV of vitamin C.  That’s very high.  I’ve done 75.  And two other Ben listeners, Meg and Steve, also raise concerns about the use of antioxidants concurrently with using oxidative stress therapies.  And that’s an excellent question because that’s something I think people kind of gloss over.  They don’t really think about the fact that if you’re doing highly oxidative stress therapies, you don’t want to be taking a lot of antioxidants.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  One’s going to cancel out the other and you’re going to get good benefit from either one.  Let’s kind of maybe drill down a little bit on this.

Let’s start off just talking about antioxidants generally, kind of when you think about antioxidants, I think probably the first two that come to mind are glutathione and vitamin C.  And I think it’s interesting to note that if we kind of circle back for a moment on laetrile, tumors amass high concentrations of glutathione in order to protect themselves against chemotherapeutic attacks such as the hyperoxidative stresses in one of my protocols.  And those tumors need cysteine in order to produce that glutathione.  And what depletes the supply of cysteine?  Cyanide.  So laetril actually releases cyanide in the tumor cells, and one of the ways I think it destroys the cells is it reduces the cysteine levels and thereby reduces their intercellular concentrations of glutathione.  So we kind of think of glutathione as being nothing but a protective shield, but it can have other impacts.  It does with it needs to do, which is to offset oxidation or oxidative stresses.

So you really need to be careful when you’re trying to balance antioxidants while doing these oxidative stress therapies.  And I think probably the most clear and understandable way of looking at this question is to kind of take a look at and understand the redox effect.  ‘Cause the redox effect is what you’re striving for, and that’s where we’re going to kind of mention now when we get into taking high doses of vitamin C intravenously as a therapeutic intervention.  Linus Pauling, I’m sure many of your listeners know the name, he’s kind of the grandfather on the use of vitamin C as an orthomolecular medicine and he kind of set the stage for a lot of the science in this space.  All the materials that I’ve looked at that talk about high dose vitamin C as a therapeutic intervention intravenously evolve, come out of the Riordan Clinic here in the US, and so that’s a good place to go if you’re looking for more information.  In Japan, they do an extensive amount of, they use high dose vitamin C as a therapeutic intervention extensively.  So there’s also been an extensive amount of research as well, I would imagine, out of Japan.

And getting back to the redox effect, this is kind of where it gets interesting.  ‘Cause vitamin C, we think of vitamin C as antioxidant, and when it’s taken in normal doses in fact, it is an antioxidant.  But when it’s taken in extremely high doses intravenous, it actually turns into a proactive.  It has kind of an oxidative stress effect.  Dr. Riordan did a lot of testing and in his lab, came to the conclusion that you really want to get to between 350 and 400 milligrams per deciliter after getting an IV in order to really induce apoptosis in the cancer tumor cells to this highly oxidative stress.  I started with 25 grams, then went 50 grams, and then to 75, so that’s kind of where I am now.  And I do my IVs now every other week.  I was doing it once a week.  And when you take doses that gets you into the 350 to 400 milligrams per deciliter level, the vitamin C actually has a significant impact on the impact between the iron and oxygen in your tissues.  And in doing so, it kind of generates hydrogen peroxide.  And that’s what’s so lethal to the cancer cells.  So it’s kind of a way of doing hydrogen peroxide without putting hydrogen peroxide in your system your body’s creating.

And so, what we’re doing here is I would say we could call this redox therapy.  And getting back to Wilhelm Reich, his theories, all of life has these pulses, these ebbs and these flows.  This is like the ocean, our breath, things are constantly moving and what we’re talking about here are really just an ebb and flow of electrons.  Oxidation is a loss of electrons and reduction is to gain electrons.  And so it’s a cycling effect between the two is what kind of we know as like life energy.  You need this ebb and flow.  And so hydrogen peroxide generates free radicals, and the cancer cells just can’t handle the oxidative stress.  That, I hope answers the question.  Another interesting point about vitamin C that’s worth mentioning, and as it’s made from glucose, which we all know through Warburg studies and everything that’s happened since Warburg, that cancer feeds on glucose.

And it’s also important, I think to note that these molecules, the glucose molecules that are used are derived from corn products.  So you want to make sure that whoever is getting your vitamin C from is using clean, non-GMO, healthy sources of corn.  And if you ask your doctor, I’m sure you will get, make sure that before you take it, ask your doctor and get some comfort on that.  If not, find another doctor.  Mine said they’re very careful about where they source it.  Another corollary to this might be in others’ thought processes on vitamin C is this whole issue about liposomal vitamin C, which is kind of the newest thing, and there’s a ton of products out there.  Dr. Mercola has one, I take it as part of my normal daily stack.  That’s not high dose.  I take 2 or 3,000 milligrams a day.  It’s being studied as a potential alternative to IV vitamin C, but I don’t know there’s anything out there that you could point to answer questions about whether it’s an effective alternative.


Children With Cancer

The next question comes from Randy who raises an interesting conundrum.  He says, “Eric, and I agree with everything you said.  But if cancer is largely caused by stress, lack of creativity, drive, and general malaise, how do we explain the hundreds of thousands of two, three, and four year old children who get cancer every year?”  When I saw that, I said, “Wow.  This is a tough one.”  I totally get it. I totally get it, Randy.  You touch on a very important point.  In my view, there are several things at play, and again this is just my opinion, there’s no clinical evidence to back up what I’m about to say.  But first of all, cancer cells proliferate quite well when the environment is full of nourishing fuel.  Which could be one reason why it’s much harder for even kind of traditional doctors who are doing cancer treatments to have success with young kids.  They have better success with old people because young kids have so much chi, or life energy, so the cancer is much easier, it has much easier time proliferating, and growing, and spreading.

And I also, as a footnote, think that this could have played a role in my own cancer.  Because if you may recall from the prior podcast, when Ben and I met, I was constantly flooding my body with excess nutrients and not giving my body a chance to kind of clean itself out.  I was never going into the autophagy state, or allowing apoptosis to fully run its course.  And I think that probably contributed certainly to the aggressiveness of the disease.  It probably didn’t cause the disease, but it caused me to have a far more aggressive and prolific version of it.  I think another point worth raising is that young kids today are really exposed to environmental toxins that we simply were not exposed to in the past.  EMFs are an obvious example.  I mean every school classroom now has WiFi, and our bodies are clearly designed to heal themselves and deal with stressors, but there comes a breaking point when it can no longer remain in its healing state, it just has too many stressors to reverse its cancer state.  So I think these environmental toxins are a big problem.

And finally, I think kids are just not immune to the energetics of their parents.  They have the same genes, they grew up in the same environment, and they’re little sponges that pick up on everything they’re exposed to in the first two years.  So you know if there are any energetic deficiencies within the household, the kids are going to suffer from that.  And I think that coupled with the whole concept of Pottenger’s cats which show the impact of epigenetics on health and genes might also be a play too so that you have epigenetic impacts affecting future genes that end up having expression in subsequent generations.  So while it’s impossible to say what one element is, I think if you take a look at all these perspectives, you can kind of see why there might be this problem that we see with cancer in young children, which is unfortunate. Yeah, that’s a real downer.  It stresses me out to even talk about.


Fitting In With The Regimen In Your Everyday Life

The next question comes from Jackie and she raises probably one of the biggest challenges that anyone faces who’s trying to do alternatives to sanative care and it says, “How you manage the time involved in getting all these protocols in.”  I’m going to quote her.  She says, “Do you find yourself stressing out about everything you must do to manage your heath? It seems like you’re doing a ton of stuff.  I find myself getting overwhelmed try to fit everything into my schedule, like meditating, coffee enemas, energy work, going to appointments, so on, et cetera.  All that on top of having a job and a social life.  How do you fit everything in?”  That’s a great question.  That’s a really good question.  It’s interesting when I was originally was kind of asked about the challenges people face in addressing alternative treatments.  My initial response had always been, “Well, it’s unfortunate and I’m really, really upset over the fact that our insurance companies don’t pay for most of these treatments, hardly any of them.”  And so people that don’t have means or have to rely on insurance to cover them, [0:44:19] ______ we don’t have the option.  But a lot of the treatment protocols don’t cost much, if anything.  I mean sunlight’s free, grounding’s free, hydration is next to free, oxygenation, these are all things that really you just have to kind of, how you feel about yourself and how you feel about your life and all those things.  Those are not a problem as far as finances are concerned.

The bigger issue, the one that we’re touching on here, Jackie, is how do you fit it all into your schedule.  And that is a real challenge.  And I think the only way that I could maybe suggest that you approach this question is, first of all, you have to decide if you’re all in.  And you have to be all in.  In other words, you have to say, “Look, no matter what, I’m going to do what it’s going to take to heal myself” ’cause that’s the most important thing.  And that will mean that you may have to take some time sacrifices and take a period of time where maybe you’re not traveling, you’re not seeing your friends, you’re not doing anything because you’re just kind of putting down and focusing on some of these things.  Eventually you will get to the point where a lot of these protocols get to be part of your daily routine, and when that happens, it’s going to be a lot less time challenge.  ‘Cause anything you add that’s new to your routine, the first time you do it, it’s going to take a ton of time because you procrastinate, it is going to take a ton of time because you have to learn how to do it, it’s going to take a ton of time because you have to buy the equipment and whatever it is you’re using in order to do it, it’s going to take a ton of time to figure out how it best fits into your daily schedule.  All that stuff obviously eats up more of the time than it takes to actually do the protocol.

So the idea is to get as many of these into your daily regimen, your daily routine.  I personally like to get them all done early in the day if I can, so I get up very early and I get ’em all done.  And there’s probably a period of 4 hours between the time I wake up and the time to actually kind of, “okay, I’m going to take my coffee now, I’m going to the office, I’m upstairs in my office and get some work done.”  And so, it’s that period of time when I can really deal with most of these protocols.  And others, you kind of just figure out how to work it into your timeline.  But that’s a really good question.


Cancer and Lymph Node Removal

Moving on to the next question, Steve asks whether removal of a lymph node, which is an unnecessary surgery I had about 20 years ago in reference on the podcast, may have contributed to getting cancer.  And I think the answer Steve is, no, I don’t think so.  And there’s no way to know for sure, but because we have so many lymph nodes I don’t think that that would have been the cause.  But as mentioned, like I mentioned earlier on this particular recording, I think to get back to a healing state from a cancering state, you can really have to focus on getting your lymphatic system optimized and functioning.  And having a good, healthy lymphatic system is absolutely crucial to remaining in a healing state and clearing up the die-offs and everything else that occur when you’re uncancering yourself, you’re getting back into the healing state.

And so, I would caution those of you who are being advised to remove lymph nodes, obviously if you need to do it, do it, and I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t.  But do it judiciously, make sure it’s necessary.  Even if they’re saying, “Well, I have cancer.”  Well yeah, that’s what lymph nodes are designed to do.  They’re designed to absorb toxic things.  I’m sure my lymph nodes had cancer ’cause my prostate had cancer and they were trying to keep that cancer out of my system.  So I didn’t have them removed, they’re now normal and they seem to be functioning normally.  I’m not saying that everyone’s going to have that same result, but I’m saying that be judicious about it.  Understand what the lymph is doing and really talk to a doctor and say, “Okay, Doc.  I get it.  I don’t want to do anything that’s going to make it worse.  I know once it’s in the lymph system, it can spread throughout the lymph system.  These are all things that I’m well aware of.  Please advise me as to whether or not I can adopt more of a wait-and-see attitude or whether I have to do this right away, et cetera.”  So that’s just my advice.  Again, I’m not a doctor.  Talk to a doctor.


Eric’s Diet

Finally, Lisa asked me to drill down a bit on the diet.  And I think this is probably a good place to wrap this up.  There’s two parts to her questions.  The first one, and I’m going to read part of it because I think she raises something that I struggled quite a bit in trying to decide what dietary therapies I would adopt, and that is, she raises a question to kind of how can you reconcile the difference between Dr. Charles Majors’ juicing vegan versus the ketogenic diet, how could they both be equally efficacious.  I heard that you said you’re in therapeutic ketosis, but you have a highly plant-based diet.  What are you doing?  Are you doing juicing, et cetera, which I’m going to get into.  Thank you, Lisa, for that question.  And her second question was she asked about my super smoothie, which Ben referenced and actually put out a blog post on.  And she said, “Do you think it contributed to your disease?  Are you still doing it?  And if you’re not, why not?”

Let me first kind of jump to the second part of that question and that’s about my smoothie.  Yeah, I mentioned this just a few moments ago.  I was of the view that if a little is good, a lot is great.  So one of the reasons why I think I ended up where I ended up in this not-healing state is because I wasn’t giving my body a chance to clear itself out and I was flooding myself with far too many nutrients without really doing any blood work determining whether or not I really needed to be in these nutrients.  And so to answer your question, Lisa, I’m not doing that shake anymore.  I also had a lot of ingredients in the shake that were intended to raise my testosterone levels.  And obviously with the types of therapies that you’re dealing with prostate cancer, you don’t want to do that.  So I had to take all those things out of my shake.  And I just also changed my diet generally across the board, and so I kind of incorporated a lot of my new protocols or new dietary theories into a different version of that, which I now do on an intermittent basis.  And so that’s the answer to your second question.

Now let’s kind of go ahead and focus on the first part, and that is kind of about the diet generally.  Because I’m a firm believer in this whole Warburg theory on cancer and the works of you know Dom D’Agostino, and Tom Seyfried, and Travis Christofferson, and others who have really focused on cancer as a metabolic disease, and there’s a lot of stuff coming out on this now because obviously ketosis is kind of the hot thing.  I’m a firm believer that glucose is to be minimized if you want to get over cancer.  Period.  Full stop.  No further discussion necessary.  And so that definitely pushes me squarely into the ketogenic diet space because I don’t see how you could possibly do a plant-based diet and get enough fuel or energy in order to function unless you have extremely high levels of fat, and it’s hard to do in strictly plant-based diet.  Which is why most of my friends who are vegan and vegetarian end up consuming a lot of carbohydrates.  I’ve been to restaurants with them, these are great vegan restaurants here in LA and they have very tasty food, but I’m telling you, it’s nothing but carbohydrates.  And I don’t eat carbohydrates, so I walk out of those restaurants hungry every time.  That kind of forces you out of the more vegan approach to cancer and forces you more into the ketogenic, therapeutic ketogenic theory of cancer dietary modality for addressing cancer.

So, what I’ve done is I’ve kind of straddled both a little bit, and I’ve done this for intensive reasons too because I’ve read a lot of works that talk about the problems with too much animal-based protein is mainly contributor to the insulin growth factor, IGF-1.  I don’t think that eating healthy animal protein causes cancer.  I’m not one of these folks who think red meat causes cancer.  I do think eating factory farmed red meat, with factory farmed red meat fat full of factory farmed toxins in the fact could very well contribute to the, not the creation, but certainly the progression of the disease.

So obviously you want to source all your animal products from very, very clean sources.  And I do that, and others can, if you don’t have access to something locally, you can buy stuff now frozen from the mail, from all sorts of inventors.  But again, you don’t need much ’cause your body can’t assimilate more than a certain level of protein.  So you want to keep your protein down to whatever you need to kind of maintain muscle mass.  And in my case, that ends up being about three or four ounces of protein a day, of animal protein a day, which is not a lot.  I may, if I go to a nice restaurant, have a really nice prime rib.  I might do five or six ounces, but that’s rare.  When I’m eating at home, I keep the portions very small.  And then I have a ton of vegetables, which I think are great sources of fiber, which is great for the probiotics in your system, and they also have some micronutrients, but they’re a great place to put all your fat.  You need something to hold all that olive oil, or all that butter, all that wherever you get your fat from.

So I would say that my own version of the diet could be called a high fiber ketogenic diet, or perhaps a deuterium depletion diet because both the vegetable diet and a high fat diet are diets that are very low in deuterium, which I talk about briefly and I can talk about more perhaps later, but it’s a fairly new science.  It’s a hydrogen molecule that’s double the size of a normal hydrogen molecule that is found in trace amounts in the environment.  It’s in food, it’s in water, it’s in the air, it’s in the environment.  And when it gets into mitochondria, it’s much of the works.  So by depleting the amount of deuterium, you’re actually improving the function of the mitochondria, which gets back into the underlying tenure of [0:53:57] ______ protocol.  I get a lot of plant sources of fat, coconut oil, palm oil, MCT oil, avocados, I eat tons of avocado a day, olives, olive oil, nuts, et cetera, with a little bit of animal fat.  I do have butter, I do use ghee in my cooking.  I make my own Bravo yogurt out of goat milk, which I buy that’s raw.  I don’t know why I buy it raw ’cause I actually get to boil it before you make the Bravo yogurt, but that’s what I do.  It’s organic, it’s clean, comes in a glass bottle.  And I do consume carbohydrates, but they’re all from above ground vegetables.  I don’t eat any starchy carbohydrates other than when I have sushi with friends, I’ll have a little bit of rice with the sushi.  And all my animal proteins come from clean sources, mostly fish, shellfish.  I do have some ruminants and fowl, but again very much in its moderation.

And so my typical day goes something like this.  I have water to start with, about 30 to 34 ounces roughly to start with in the morning over about a two hour period.  And that’s all I have when I get up in the morning is just water, is just clean water.  I do have electrolytes, I do supplement with salt and some of the electrolytes.  Matcha green tea or coffee is what I’ll have kind of as I’m getting ready to start the day as far as work is concerned.  And the coffee, I drink at home.  I make it a version of decaf, kind of a Bulletproof decaf coffee with butter and MCT, Brain Octane.  The reason I do that decaf is because, first of all, it’s Swiss water organic, let’s be clear, decaf.  It’s not the garbage you’d buy if you went to Starbucks and asked for decaf.  The reason I do that is because coffee has that, the caffeine in the coffee has a very powerful diuretic effect and you really want to make sure your cells are being properly hydrolized.  And you can’t do that if you drinking too much caffeine ’cause you’re just peeing it out.  So if I go to a coffee shop, I would just get a regular coffee ’cause I’m not drinking that much coffee, one cup of coffee.  But if I drink coffee at home, I use decaf, but I have a large pot.

And then my first meal would usually be the Budwig blend, or my new smoothie, or a big salad if I’m out.  I go to a restaurant and get a big salad.  Or some leftovers.  And my dinners are kind of the main meal of the day.  And there I make myself a soup that’s made with bone broth and a lot of curcumin, turmeric.  I make a giant salad with steamed vegetables, add some sardines or anchovies on it, and all sort of goodies.  I cook a ton of veggies with a little bit of meat and a lot of fat.  I put olive oil and everything.  The diet, you couldn’t say what you eat in a typical day ’cause I don’t eat the same thing every day.  I do have kind of a fairly straightforward approach on a weekly basis is how I rotate through things, but I would say just take all the stuff I eat, just plan it out on the table, you’d see a big pile of vegetables, you’d see a couple of cans of coconut milk, full fat stuff, not the stuff you buy in a milk carton, you would see some ghee, you’d see some butter, you’d see some goat milk, you’d see a bunch of bone broth, you’d see maybe two cans of sardines, maybe a can of anchovies, maybe half a dozen eggs for the whole week.  I’m not just heavy on the protein, but I do have some animal-based products in there.  It’s just that I don’t have ’em everyday.

I don’t juice, to answer the question, and I think it’s probably going to end up becoming my next major project on my side is to kind of lay all the stuff out so people can understand it.  I hope that you found that informative.  And I want to thank Ben for giving me the opportunity to reach out to you.  And if you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to me.  And if you haven’t already done so, go ahead and pay a visit to my site, it’s questtocurecancer.com.  There’s a subscribe button there, just put in your e-mail address and you’ll be plugged in.  Thanks again.


Remember, you can grab the audio for today’s special Premium episode by clicking here (available as a part of 300+ additional special episodes, videos and pdf’s.).  Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Eric or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

 

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Ben Greenfield's Fully Updated Daily Habits
 

I stared out the window at the doe gently padding its way from the treeline of the forest, then across my driveway. It stopped and glanced my direction. Could it possibly hear the loud buzzing noise emanating from the modified car buffer I was massaging my head with as I stood barefoot in the kitchen, staring off into the wilderness behind my Washington state home? As the doe trailed off into the forest, I moved the car buffer from the right side of my skull to the left, gently digging into the tight craniosacral muscles at the back of the head with the rapid vibrational waves.

Why such a strange morning habit? In this case, better blood flow to my skull, a bit of a wake-me-up buzz for my head, and lower blood pressure and stress the entire remainder of the day from my relaxed neck and trapezius muscles. But my morning routine is not limited to taking a car buffer to my head – and indeed my entire day spanning into the afternoon and evening is rife with elaborate routine.

Why? Consider just a few brief snippets of the morning and daily routines of a handful of successful pop culture, historical and political icons:

“… secretary of state and president, John Quincy Adams skinny dipped in the Potomac River in the morning, always trying to see how long he could swim without touching the bottom (he got up to 80 minutes before his wife told him to stop).”

“…after putting his kids to bed, President Obama goes over briefing papers and does paperwork, and then reads a book for pleasure for a half hour before turning in…”

“…Stephen King writes every day of the year without exception beginning work between 8:00 and 8:30 am. He has a glass of water or cup of tea and takes a vitamin pill each day, ensuring he is in the same seat and his papers and desk are arranged in the same way every single day. King has a daily writing quota of two thousand words and rarely allows himself to quit until he’s reached his goal.”

“…the 31-year-old Harvard dropout and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is well known for almost always wearing a plain gray T-shirt, saying in a 2014 interview that wearing the same shirt helps allow him to make as few decisions as possible.”

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As a matter of fact, I don’t know any successful people who do not have some kind of a relatively structured and occasionally elaborate daily routine. Heck, there’s even an entire book – a book I recommend you read – entitled “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work”. The book includes a quote from novelist Franz Kafka, who, frustrated with his living quarters and day job, wrote in a letter to his fiancee Felice Bauer in 1912…

…“time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible then one must try to wriggle through by subtle maneuvers.”

Kafka is just one of the book’s 161 great minds of history, including novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, who all describe how they implement daily, often automated and slightly subconscious, rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether that be waking early or staying up late; self-medicating with a morning doughnut or a hot bath; drinking vast quantities of coffee (it is said the philosopher Voltaire consumed 40-50 cups per day), or taking long daily walks.

For example, Thomas Wolfe wrote standing up in the kitchen, the top of the refrigerator as his desk, dreamily fondling his “male configurations” (and you thought my infrared light on the balls trick is strange!), philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on Corydrane tablets (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin), ingesting ten times the recommended dose each day, and Descartes preferred to linger in bed, his mind wandering in sleep through woods, gardens, and enchanted palaces where he experienced “every pleasure imaginable.” British author Anthony Trollope demanded of himself that each morning he write three thousand words (at precisely 250 words every fifteen minutes for three hours) before going off to his job at the postal service, which he kept for thirty-three years during the writing of more than two dozen books, choreographer George Balanchine did most of his work while ironing, and composer and pianist George Gershwin worked for twelve hours a day from late morning to midnight, composing at the piano in pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers.

While I don’t necessarily endorse establish a daily habit of beginning each morning with a doughnut or spending your entire waking hours “lingering in bed” for enhanced productivity, I do know this for a fact: not only does a daily routine provide for structure and productivity to each day, but it also gives something to fall back upon and to depend upon in times of stress, and routine serves to be a fantastic source of comfort, peace and relaxation when life gets moving too fast or become too difficult.

So to fully equip you with your own daily routine, this article will delve into many of my own morning, afternoon and evening routines that I’ve discovered to vastly enhance and optimize my own health, energy, body, brain, sleep and beyond, beginning with the most logical place to begin: the start of your day.


The Morning Ritual

Nearly ten years ago, I posted to my YouTube channel a video collection of me performing a set series of strange poses in my backyard while wearing teeny-tiny black shorts. That ten minute stretching routine was actually my very first foray into doing the same something at the beginning of each day: something that established blood flow, healthy breathwork patterns and the physical momentum that inspired me to achieve even more the rest of the day (call me crazy, but as a guy with an all-or-nothing mentality, I’m often far more inspired to hit the gym if I know I’ve already started my day with, say, 100 jumping jacks). Prior to beginning to do this morning physical routine, I would simply roll out of bed, make a quick coffee and head to work tight, tired and deoxygenated, with absolutely no clue as to how much better a morning ritual can make your day.

Since then, my morning ritual has progressed far beyond the level of just a few silly stretches in my underwear. It has, in fact, morphed into an absolutely epic series of journaling, elaborate exercises, physical twists, oils, supplements, toilet techniques and an entire host of other ridiculously complex self-care habits that I’ve managed to automate and insert into each morning while maintaining high productivity.

And I’m not complaining: not only do I absolutely love my morning routine, hopping out of bed each day with a steely determination to go check off all those items I know will make my morning that much better, but I also now know that a morning, an afternoon and an evening series of rituals, habits and routines are a healthy and fulfilling way to “bookend” sections your day (just like gratitude!). A morning ritual, in particular, allows you to prioritize all the items necessary to care for yourself and your body, your brain and your spirit at a time when your willpower, decision-making motivation and energy is high, grounding your body and mind, and even giving you something “old and reliable” to use when you’re traveling or starting your day in strange, new places.

Before you dive in, it’s important to understand that any new routine can initially feel intimidating and confusing until it becomes an automatic habit. But after two to four weeks of launching into a routine, you’ll begin adopting automation for the habits you’re about to discover without even thinking about it. You just need to stick with it each day until your new ritual or any add-ons to your existing ritual become automatic and even subconscious.

6:00-6:30-ish…

I wake. Unless I have a flight to catch, I do not use an alarm due to its ability to rip one out of deep sleep and leave the body groggy for the first hour or so of the day. If you must use an alarm, I’d recommend a natural light producing alarm clock or an alarm such as the Sleep Cycle that tracks your sleep, then wakes you in your lightest stages of sleep. This allows me to follow my body’s natural clock.

If you’re afraid you might upset a client, miss an appointment get “fired from work”, then you need to understand the importance of “zeitgeists”, which are circadian rhythm cues that let your body and brain know that it is either morning or evening. The most important such cues are A) light; B) movement; C) a meal. For example, if you desire for your wake time to be at 6 am, and you’re currently finding yourself sleeping in until 7 am, then at 6am, as close as possible to waking, you should A) get plenty of morning sunlight or use something like an ear-light “Human Charger” or eye-light “Re-Timer”; B) do morning movement between 6am and 7am and C) don’t skip breakfast, and preferably have breakfast within a couple hours after waking up. This habit works especially well when traveling outside your normal time zone.

Anyways, back to my own waking routine. Upon waking, I roll over, strap on a Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitor (most models work but one of the more accurate is the Viiiva brand), smear conducting gel all over the strap’s electrodes, and get a quick five minute measurement of my heart rate variability (HRV), nervous system readiness and stress using an app called NatureBeat. While I monitor my HRV, I read anything that feeds or teaches me about the spiritual disciplines I hold dear, particularly prayer, study, silence, solitude, meditation or fasting. This is usually my Bible, my “Our Daily Bread” devotional or a spiritual book, followed by completion of my daily entry into my Christian Gratitude Journal. I then take a quick 60-second glance at my Oura ring sleep data so that I can get any information I need about how any habits the night prior affected my sleep patterns, and I hop out of bed and head downstairs to the kitchen.

6:30-7:00-ish…

Once in the kitchen, I drink about 24 ounces of water, into which I typically add several goodies – most often 10 drops of lemon essential oil or a squeeze of half a lemon for alkalinity and 5 drops oil of oregano for immunity, along with a pinch of sea salt for electrolytes. As I drink this water, I take any morning supplements best consumed on an empty stomach. What I take varies depending on my goals. For example, if I have a workout planned for the morning, I’ll consume 1-2g of creatine monohydrate (the most the body can absorb at a time is around 1.5g). I’ll often also include a bit of thyroid support (my thyroid is still a bit sluggish from year of chronic cardio training for Ironman triathlon), a handful of nootropic pills such as Qualia Mind or Lion’s Mane extract, and, if I’m preparing for a competition, a handful of colostrum capsules, which are fantastic for keeping the gut lining from becoming permeable due to hard exercise in the heat. The way I describe my supplementation strategy to folks is that my supplement pantry is just like my refrigerator – even though you’ll open my refrigerator and find, say, ribeye steak, eggs, kimchi, saurkraut, mixed greens, carrots, yogurt, chia seed slurry, bone broth, mayonnaise, cucumbers and parmesan cheese, this doesn’t mean I eat all those foods every day. I simply choose the specific foods that I have on my personal “menu” for that day. The same goes for supplementation: if I’m injured, I include a joint support compound such as curcumin, if my gut is feeling under the weather, I’ll include digestive enzymes or digestif supplements such as ginger, or if I’ve been around sick kids or am hopping on an airplane, a dropperful of oregano.

After hydrating and taking my supplements, I put on the water to boil for my French Press coffee and then proceed to do my 15-minute morning movement routine. The series of moves that I perform are designed to turn on my glutes, activate my deep breathing patterns and decompress my spine. This is typically a mash-up of “Core Foundation” exercises, jumping up and down on a mini-trampoline or standing on a vibration platform (also a great way to get the bowels moving), a few choice yoga stretches and a bit of foam rolling and deep tissue work. If it’s a nice day, I’ll do all this outside into the sun in my bare feet to get the benefits of earthing or grounding along with my dose of morning sunlight.

7:00-ish…

Now fully energized, I charge back to the kitchen and grab the coffee, which, up until recently, has been caffeinated for 3 weeks, then decaffeinated for 1 week, allowing me to only be nursing a caffeine habit 75% of the time (and allow for resensitization of the adenosine receptors. And no, I do not use copious amounts of butter or MCT oil or any other form of calories. Just black coffee to keep me in my fasted state, thank you very much.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…

wait Ben: doesn’t coffee destroy your adrenals, give you the jitters, jack up cortisol and blood pressure and render you addicted to caffeine?

I’ll admit that one downside of frequent coffee consumption can be caffeine overload. Some people are fast metabolizers of caffeine, and some are slow metabolizer, and slow metabolizers tolerate far less caffeine (e.g. one cup a day) compared to fast metabolizers. You can easily test this via a 23andme genetic analysis. Or you can just listen to your body: if you start to feel that jittery feeling, you have likely reached your personal threshold for caffeine.

However, scientific evidence indicates that for the vast, general population of healthy adults, moderate caffeine intake is not associated with commonly cited adverse effects, and surprisingly, the health benefits are linearly correlated with the amount of coffee drunk. Acceptable caffeine levels for most adults with no major health issues comes out to about 4-5 mg per kg body weight and that about 400mg per day should be the max (that’s around 4-5 cups of brewed coffee, although rumor is that the philosopher Voltaire consumed more than 60 cups per day). Even low dose caffeine can improve mental performance and protect against Alzheimer’s. But acting in a similar manner to anti-depressants, high doses of caffeine (or ephedrine, ephedra, guarana, Ritalin, and any other central nervous system stimulant) can flood the brain with excitatory neurotransmitters, creating neurotransmitter resistance or long-term receptor damage.

The solution I’ve implemented in the past and alluded to above for not being overcaffeinated? Simple.

For seven to ten days out of every month, I pull out a bag of swiss-water processed decaffeinated ground coffee and make myself a piping hot, muddy black cup of decaf as a substitute for regular. Here’s why this works: people who use frequently use coffee, tea, soda or energy drinks actually change their brain’s chemistry and physical characteristics over time. Because it is both water and fat soluble, caffeine can easily cross your blood-brain barrier, and as you dump more and more caffeine into your body, your brain cells actually grow an excess of receptors for an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine causes feelings of tiredness, but the structure of caffeine closely resembles adenosine – so caffeine can easily fit into your brain cells’ receptors for adenosine. See what I mean below?

With its receptors constantly plugged up by caffeine, adenosine can no longer bind to those receptors and cause the feeling of tiredness. Unfortunately, your body’s response is to create more and more adenosine receptors, so you eventually need more and more caffeine to block the feeling of tiredness. Then, over time, you build up a tolerance to caffeine’s ability to achieve this effect.

The good news is that to kick a caffeine habit and “reset” your adenosine receptors, you only need to get through about 7-12 days of caffeine avoidance, which is why in the past, I’ve recommended that you should consider keeping a bag of decaf coffee or decaf tea handy and taking a week-long break from coffee about once every one to two months. This allows you to tap into the wonderful aroma, taste, social benefits and bowel-moving glory of a hot morning beverage without exhausting your neurotransmitters.

But my recommendations have since changed, and I’m really not using quite as much decaf. Why?

It comes down to the roasting process of the coffee that I now use. Roasting involves some pretty complicated science: it literally involves taking a substance that has 300 volatile aromatic compounds and converting it into a substance with over 1000 volatile aromatic compounds. As you can imagine, this comes down to a lot more than simply tossing a metal bucket of coffee beans into a giant oven.

Why is the roasting process so important when it comes to your health and adrenals, and the purity of the coffee you drink? Think about this: even the highest quality coffee beans contain a substance called acrylamide, which has been known to cause cancer in animals. Most roasters work to roast the hell out of the coffee bean to eradicate this substance, but this dark roast process will often introduce other cancer-causing chemicals. For example, at high temperatures, roasting produces Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and results in the burnt flavor that so many coffees are known for. Taste is also a factor: taking out the beans before they’re too well-done preserves things like citric acid and malic acids, which provide orange and apple flavors. But leaving the beans in long enough to develop sweeter flavors like caramel, cacao and vanilla is also important! And if you leave the beans in too long? Burnt charcoal-ey carbon flavor. Ew.

But if a smokeless roasting process is used (this is pretty rare in the industry, but a few folks still do it), it obliterates acrylamide without sacrificing the numerous antioxidants found in coffee or creating PAHs. In addition, and most important the caffeine issue, this allows for a coveted sweet spot between a dense amount of antioxidants with only a low-to-moderate amount of caffeine. Compare your coffee to a nice cut of beef: you wouldn’t blast a filet mignon to well-done – you’d instead gently cook to a tasty and tender medium-rare for the ultimate combination of taste and health.

In other words, with a medium roast and a smokeless roasting process, you can get all the benefits of coffee, without all the issues of adrenal exhaustion and the jitters. You can have your cup and sip it too, baby. 

Anyways…we digress.

While I drink my coffee, I do a bit of light morning reading, usually blogs or research articles. I stay far, far away from e-mail, social media and anything that would stress me out at this time of day. If I’m outside, then I’m already in the sunlight. But if I’m in the basement gym, I flip on the lights, which are powered by a special kind of bulb called “Awake And Alert“. These bulbs crank out massive amounts of blue light, and this is why, if the day is gray, I’ll head to the gym rather than the backyard patio for a massive dose of light. Remember: light is a good circadian rhythm cue.

7:15-ish…

So I’ll let you in on a little secret: I only poop once-a-day. That’s right – I get it all out of the way with one massive toilet trip first thing in the morning. There’s just something I don’t like about walking around during the current day with the previous day’s majority of solid waste still inside me.

I’ve pretty much got the morning poo down to a science. I stroll into the bathroom, hop onto my Squatty Potty then shift, shimmy and shake until everything is out. I’ve personally found that with about a half-teaspoon of the ayurvedic herb Triphala at night along with 400mg of magnesium citrate and that piping hot cup of morning black coffee, I can poo like clockwork right about this time every morning.

Typically, while on the toilet, I do indeed have my phone, and I scroll through emails and Facebook (yep, you know it and you’ve done it yourself once or twice I’d imagine), read any of my bathroom books and magazines, and just chill out until everything is expulsed. This is generally an oh-so-glorious 15-20 minutes. I walk out of that experience with a big satisfied smile on my face. In addition, every Wednesday, to increase the health of my liver, my gallbladder and my colon, I give myself a coffee enema, which is far simpler than you’d think.

7:30-ish…

I hang out with my twin boys before they head to the bus stop. We talk about their sleep, their dreams, their morning journaling, breakfast, and the day’s activities. Then they’re off until 4:00 pm, which gives me 8 hours of extreme productivity. My day’s goal is always to be finished up with all my hard, focused “deep work” by the time the boys get home, so we have plenty of time for afternoon workouts, adventures and fun father-son activities.

8:15-ish…

I complete 30 minutes of fasted morning movement. I prefer to ease myself into the morning with simple exercise, rather than a brutal morning sufferfest, and you can learn why in my last article on sleep patterns and circadian rhythm. The morning exercise varies a bit from day-to-day based on how my body is feeling but is generally comprised of some form of yoga, deep tissue and mobility work, infrared sauna, a sunshine walk, or an easy swim. I always finish any of these routines with a quick cold shower or cold plunge.

9:00-ish…

Optional breakfast. If I’ve eaten a late night dinner or large evening meal the night prior, I skip breakfast, and often simply have a second cup of coffee. With very little exception, on the days that I do eat breakfast, I make either A) a “big-ass” green smoothie (see below) or B) my famous “healthy Wendy’s frosty smoothie”. During breakfast or while sipping my second coffee, I surf through blogs, read research, review the day’s calendar of activities, and wipe smoothie goodness off my face.

For choice A)…to a decent blender such as a VitamixBlendtec or Ninja, add:

-A huge bunch of organic greens such as a spring mix, kale, spinach, bok choy, or mustard greens.

-Some kind of herb. Cleansing herbs like parsley, cilantro or thyme are nice. Preferably get ‘em fresh.

-Half an avocado, or a whole one if I anticipate a high calorie, high activity day.

-4-6oz of full-fat coconut milk that is BPA free or organic bone broth. The less liquid you use, the thicker your smoothie will be. I prefer an extremely thick smoothie that I can eat with a spoon so that the digestive enzymes in my mouth can work on pre-digesting before the food even makes it to my gut. Like my mother always said, “Chew your liquids and drink your solids.”

-2 teaspoons organic cacao powder.

-2 teaspoons Ceylon cinnamon

-1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt (I use the fancy Aztecan stuff).

-1 tablespoon MCT oil, extra virgin olive oilavocado oil, or coconut oil.

OK, stop there. Blend everything above for 60 seconds-ish. You don’t want to pulverize later additions such protein powder, collagen, etc., and you also don’t want to pulverize the chunky chunks of goodness you’re about to toss in.

Now, let’s keep going. To your blended green goodness, now add:

-15-30g of a “clean” protein powder with no added fillers or artificial sweeteners. If you choose a vegan source such as pea, hemp, or rice, you can break open a few digestive enzyme capsules into your smoothie to increase the bioavailability of the protein.

-For additional joint, skin and muscle support (especially if you don’t use bone broth as your liquid base) add 2 teaspoons of a good organic collagen hydrolysate.

Now blend again. Quickly this time so that you don’t pulverize the chunks. About 15 seconds will do.
Finally, stir (don’t blend) one or a mix of the following ingredients:

-1 small handful organic dark cacao nibs

-1 handful organic unsweetened coconut flakes

-1 handful organic spirulina or chlorella tablets

-1 handful of unroasted, non-vegetable-oil coated nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts or, if you can find them, my favorite: Baru nuts.

Boom. That’s it. You’re now ready to begin consuming your smoothie, preferably with a spoon or a spatula. I personally use an enormous mug with the inspirational “Man In The Arena” quote from Theodore Roosevelt. Depending on how exact your measurements are, this smoothie is going to weigh in at anywhere from 600-1000 calories, so scale yours accordingly if you want fewer calories.

The two morning supplements that I consistently swallow before diving into this smoothie are best taken before or with a meal are 10-20g of a good fish oil (I use the brand Superessentials) and a serving of a good multivitamin (I use the “Thorne AM/PM” formula).

Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention that I occasionally – especially when my wife and children are gone and I’m free to get as weird as I want with my diet – break the mold of my daily routine and instead implement what I call “The Ultimate Biohacked Diet”. A blend of ancestral foods blended with modern science, it includes skipping lunch and incorporating a neural-enhancing, ego-dissolving dietary approach comprised of the following groups:

Major calories and nutrients:

Meatwild-caught fishbone broth, bitter greens and wild plants – some of the most nutrient-dense food groups you can easily find.

Beverages:

Black and green tea, red wine and coffee – all chock full of antioxidants and longevity-enhancing compounds.

Supplements:

Exogenous ketonesfish oilcreatineessential amino acids

Nootropics: Micro-doses of psilocybin blended with Lion’s Mane and niacin (a mind-bending, productivity-enhancing, brain-spinning stack made popular by mushroom expert and mycology researcher Paul Stamets)

Here’s how a sample day looks on this diet:

-Morning supplements: creatinefish oilmushroom stack

-Breakfast: Salmon and dandelion greens with green tea

-Snack: One cup of bone broth.

-Lunch: Fasting – black coffee only.

-Pre-workout: Exogenous ketones and essential amino acids.

-Dinner: Celebration of a day of hard work with a bone-in grass-fed ribeye steak accompanied by red wine and nettle leaves or some other handful of wild plants.

So that’s it: the “Ultimate Biohacked Diet”. I’ve found this blend to work quite well on cognitively demanding days when I’m at home, when my wife and children are gone, and when I need to buckle down and tackle a good 12-16 hours of deep work, which I occasionally do.

9:30-ish…

The workday officially begins.


The Afternoon Ritual

9:30-ish-1:00-ish…

Breakfast finished, shards of green smoothie and spirulina often still lodged in my teeth, it is now time for work to commence. At this point, I am supercharged with nutrients and caffeine, and I’m ready and raring to launch into the morning’s activities, which will involve approximately four hours of “Deep Work” (the book by Cal Newport of the same name does a fantastic job explaining why the maximum amount of time the average human can spend immersed in deep, focused, productive work is approximately four to five hours). As I learned from a “Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire”, one’s most attention-demanding, left-brained tasks should be performed during your what is called “peak hours”, while the most creativeness-demanding, right-brained tasks should be performed during “non-peak hours”. Based on the results from my questionnaire, my own personal peak hours occur from about 9:30 am until 1:00 pm, and so I choose this time for my daily deep work session.

During these peak hours, I am like a horse with blinders, completely focused on my primary tasks for the day. I do not snack on anything but sparkling water with a few drops of stevia added (or a couple cans of Zevia soda), I do not answer my phone, I do not text message, I disable all push notifications on the computer and phone, and if I am working while traveling or at a coffee shop or shared workspace, I put in headphones (often playing Brain.FM focus tracks).

During this time, I alternate from seated to standing to lunging to kneeling to lying, etc. exactly as I outline in my last article on how to hack your workplace. Admittedly, I feel that a great deal of my productivity and hyperfocus is due to the fact that I have “hacked” my home office environment to be as natural as possible, with no brain-fog inducing dirty electricity, no WiFi (everything is hardwired with shielded Cat-6 ethernet cable), no stand-up desk motors or treadmill motors, a HEPA air filter, a hydrogen-rich water generator and many other “building biology” tactics you in my quick e-book How To Biohack The Ultimate Healthy Home. I also use only biologically friendly, low-flicker lightbulbs and computer monitors, diffuse pine or evergreen essential oil via desktop air diffuser, and keep a variety of NASA approved air filtering plants such as Weeping FigPeace Lily and Boston Fern scattered throughout both the office and the rest of the home. In other words, it’s like I’m working on a pristine Himalayan mountaintop, without the wind chill factor.

Although I work in one long intense session of four hours, which is primarily comprised of writing, recording, editing and phone or Skype consults, I take brief breaks throughout for quick exercise bursts, stretches and eye care. Technically, if I wanted to be ultra-scientific with these breaks, I would incorporate the research-based Pomodoro timing of “52 minutes on, 17 minutes off”, but frankly, I’ve found that my own personal preferences and productivity work best with 25 minutes on and 5 minutes off. As a matter of fact, I keep a device on my desk called a “NanoVi”, which circulates DNA-repairing air that has been infused with small amounts of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS’s), and I simply turn this on for 25 minutes. When it shuts off, it serves as my reminder to begin my 5-minute break. During these breaks, in addition to exercises such as jumping jacks, burpees, kettlebell swings or mini-trampoline jumping, I reset my visual balance by stepping out my office door or gazing out my office window and focusing my eyes on a series of close trees, more distant trees, the far horizon, the sun, and any moving objects such as cars or birds. A nifty program I have installed on my computer called “Iris” can remind you to do this. This software also reduces light, glare and flicker from a computer screen and can also be set up to remind you to take your Pomodoro breaks at whatever timing and frequency you desire.

1:30-ish…

Once I’ve slammed shut my laptop and turned off my working brain, the very first thing I then do is take a deep breath, listen to my body, and assess whether the day is a “nap day”. If I am coming off a non-taxing day of exercise the day before, it’s an easy recovery day, I have completed at least five 90 minute sleep cycles the night before (as mentioned in my sleep article here), or I’m simply not tired, I will typically forego my usual post-lunch nap.

But most days, I nap. So just before lunch, I consume something that will help me wind my busy mind down and decrease cortisol so that I can more quickly fall asleep after lunch. My afternoon napping weapon of choice is Inner Peace, which is a blend of Chinese herbal adaptogens, along with two packets of Four Sigmatic Reishi extract. I take both of these just before lunch, along with a digestive enzyme or more lemon juice in water if I feel as though the morning of work has created excessive stress that could threaten to impair my ability to digest lunch optimally.

Then, based on the Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine principles of dietary variation, best learned in the book “Returning To An Ancestral Diet” by my friend Dr. Michael Smith), I choose one of two lunches: a cold, big-ass salad if it’s a hot spring or summer day or more warming “stir-fry” if it’s a cold fall or winter day.

My entire lunch – and frankly, every meal I eat each day – is highly focused on the concept of…

…”glycemic variability.”

In a nutshell, as you learn more about in this article I wrote on blood sugar control, glycemic variability (also known as “GV”) refers to blood glucose oscillations that occur throughout the day, including hypoglycemic periods and postprandial (after a meal) increases, as well as blood glucose fluctuations that occur at the same time on different days. In plain speak, glycemic variability basically refers to how much your blood sugar bounces around at any given point in your life. When it comes to your health, it is, in my opinion, a more important variable to consider than cholesterol, vitamin D, minerals, telomere length, cortisol, testosterone or just about any biomarker one could ever measure (except, perhaps, inflammation, which I would rank right up there with glycemic variability).

Based on this concept of glycemic variability, and also based on the concept that to reduce decision making fatigue and to reduce dietary variation (e.g. not knowing how many calories you’re eating because your meals fluctuate so much) my lunchtime salad is focused on herbs and digestifs that enhance my own insulin response to the meal, along with limitation of both starches and high amounts of protein.

On most days, I add a handful of wild plants or organic produce, such as arugula, nettle, spinach, thyme, cilantro, parsley, etc. to a large bowl (it’s eerily similar to my smoothie, but the plants are in a bowl rather than a blender jar). Over the plants, I lay a bed of lightly sauteed Japanese shirataki noodles (they’re zero calories and zero carbohydrates harvested from Japanese yams)- along with one can of sardines (or occasionally a couple lightly scrambled eggs on the days I don’t feel like fish) and a choice number of oils, herbs and spices such fennel seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, rosemary, thyme, cayenne and turmeric. If I want extra calories, I then top with half a sliced avocado, a slice of a good, hard fermented cheese such as Pecorino or a soft cheese such as goat cheese, or a handful of walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, or any other seed or nut option. Usually, rather than eating my salad with a fork, I eat my entire salad wrapped up like a burrito in a nori seaweed wrap. The size of my salad typically necessitates two seaweed wraps, which basically turns my entire lunch into two big-ass vegetable-sardine burritos. And that’s lunch, folks. I can make it in ten minutes flat, it tastes amazing, and if you haven’t yet tried this salad method, you are, in my opinion, missing out on a crucial component of your culinary existence.

As for the “warm” version of this lunch that I eat in the fall and winter when I don’t desire the intense cooling effect of oodles of raw vegetables and instead want something hot? It’s quite simple, really: I prepare essentially the identical salad I described above, but I toss it all into a cast iron skillet and lightly saute for about ten minutes. I then toss back into the bowl and eat the same way I eat my salad: using nori wraps as a hand-roll style delivery mechanism. Whether I’m eating this or the salad, I make sure to chew each bite 20-25 times to enhance digestion and to further improve glycemic variability.

Many folks have raised an eyebrow at my claims that I personally eat a couple dozen portions of plants each day, but as you can see, it’s totally possible to do with a breakfast smoothie, a lunchtime salad and a few choice vegetables with dinner.

Then, with olive oil and tomato juice drizzling down my chin from wrapping my salad or stir-fry contents burrito-style in a nori wrap, I generally eat outside in the sunshine on my porch or inside at my kitchen table, either listening to an audiobook or podcast, reading a magazine, watching an instructional video on YouTube (e.g. cooking, guitar, documentary clips, etc.) or doing anything else that is relatively non-stressful.

2:15-ish…

My post-lunch napping routine is a science honed down over years of practice, and I can now fall asleep within five minutes and wake completely refreshed. In addition to the Inner Peace and Reishi I mentioned earlier, my napping process is as follows:

Step 1: Unfold and plug-in Biomat on the floor of my office, bedroom, living room, or wherever else I plan on sleeping. This thing generates teddy bear-esque, warming, infrared heat that immediately calms my brain and body, and based on my own HRV testing, causes an immediate upregulation of my parasympathetic nervous system. If I’ve been traveling and am jetlagged, I’ll occasionally nap on the PulseCenters PEMF table instead, which is very good for lowering inflammation but doesn’t provide the relaxing warmth of the Biomat.

Step 2: Pull on Normatec gradated compression boots, which give me a full toe-to-thigh leg massage while I’m napping.

Step 3: On my smartphone, open Brain.FM napping app and place SleepStream app in “Power Nap” binaural beats mode with “Sleepstream Mix” as white noise in the background. You must wear headphones for this to work properly, and because people are still active in my home while I’m napping, I use a good set of Bose noise-blocking headphones.

Step 4: Put on SleepMaster wraparound sleep mask, which generously covers both eyes and ears.

Step 5: Turn on essential oil diffuser with lavender or any other relaxing scent.

That may seem complex, but it only takes me about two minutes to set all this up (remember: every ritual and routine in your day will eventually become automatic and slightly subconscious, just like your daily commute), and once my head hits the pillow, I’m out for a good 25-50 minutes of the afternoon. If your napping time is limited, you will be pleased to know that the Power Nap setting on the Sleepstream app will allow for adjustments of 10 minutes up to infinity, gently lulling you back into a wakeful state without any harsh alarms. The Brain.FM app also has a power nap setting.

2:45-ish…

The best part about taking an afternoon nap is that it gives you a “second day”. As soon as my eyes pop open, I’m groggy for about five to ten minutes, and then, typically after doing 100 jumping jacks and chomping on a nicotine toothpicknicotine mint, spoonful of black ant extract or some other quick, fast-acting cognitive pick-me-up I’m back in action. At this point in the day, I usually have a solid 75 minutes to “kill” before my sons arrive home from school.

So that I can spend quality, undistracted time with my kids, my goal is to be completely finished with any focused time-consuming tasks or fires that need putting out before throw open the front door and come running down to my office to present me with their latest project, new book or exciting discover.

Since my peak morning hours are now over, I typically devote this time of the day to my more reactive tasks, including:

-diving into the email inbox

-checking text messages, WhatsApp messages, important Voxer audios

-working on pieces that still need “tying up” from the morning work, such as finishing podcast shownotes or adding links to articles I’ve written.

Most of these activities tend to follow Parkinson’s Rule, which dictates that tasks will expand to the time you allot to them. Because I only allow a maximum of 75 minutes for these activities, they don’t wind up taking too much precious time, and I fly through them with maximum efficiency. If I have any time left over, I’ll jot down a few notes, open appropriate browser windows or skeleton out book chapters, magazine articles, podcast shownotes, blog posts or other copywriting tasks in anticipation of the next morning’s deep work session.

4:00-ish…

The boys arrive home from school, and now the fun begins. See, I’m a firm believer in challenging the human body and brain with novel movements and new learning challenges. Furthermore, my education philosophy is that an ideal one-two combo for a child is that they be given the opportunity to learn formal educational concepts such as reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, history, etc. from a tutor or teacher who is best equipped to teach them those materials, and that in that same school scenario, they also learn how to play well with others, how to be a good little “factory worker”, team player and cooperative group participant who works well with others.

When they arrive home from school, the parenting role is then not to assume the child has learned “everything they need to know at school”, but to instead immerse the child in less traditional schooling activities that teach them how to be a resilient, independent, free-spirited thinker, along with exposing them to hobbies, discoveries and interests they may not otherwise have been exposed to at school, including activities like hunting, plant foraging, meditation, fringe sports, new workouts, etc.

So a typical hour to hour and a half of activity with my kids after they’ve arrived home from school often includes:

-Shooting bows

-Playing basketball in the driveway

-Long walks with breath-holding and nasal breathing practices

-Plant foraging hikes

-Creating tinctures, oils and lotions from wild plants

-Slacklining

-Rope climbing and playing on the obstacle course

-Riding bikes, skateboards and scooters

-Sauna and cold

This part of the day is never the same. Some days, the kids walk in the door, grab a snack, then head back out for an extracurricular activity such as piano lessons or a playdate with their schoolmates and I’m left with an extra chunk of time for work. Some days, I’m “under the gun” to finish an article or work on a business project and must sacrifice this time for a quick snuggle with the kids and a focus on more quality time at our family dinner and bedtime later in the day. But most days, the late afternoon is set aside for the type of activities above.

5:30-ish…

Based on your built-in chronobiology discussed in my last big article on sleep, it’s in the afternoon when your body temperature peaks, your post-workout protein synthesis peaks, your reaction time peaks, a second rise in testosterone peaks and your overall ability to handle a difficult workout session peaks – making the latter half of the day a perfect time to throw down the day’s most demanding amount of physical activity. I’ve found this approach to be far superior to working out hard in the morning, when your body already has produced a natural surge of cortisol and when you’re far more likely to engage in post-workout compensatory eating and just sitting on your ass during the workday because you crushed a 5 am WOD.

Being the quintessential “biohacker” that I am, along with my hyperproductive mentality to achieve the minimum effective dose of exercise while maintaining maximum amounts of fitness, my afternoon or early evening workout is what I call a “Weird Workout”.

What do I mean by “Weird Workout”? While I can often be found running through the outside forest, climbing ropes, hauling sandbags, carrying rocks, flipping tires, riding my bicycle, swimming, trail running or spending time in nature for my workout routine, if I’m not in training for a specific event such an obstacle race or triathlon, my time is limited or I’m in an intensive season of writing, working or building Kion, I will definitely use specific biohacks to enhance the efficiency of my workout and squeeze a huge amount of fitness-building into a very short period of time.

For example, a typical Weird Workout for me would involve:

-15 minutes of hypoxic/hyperoxic training on my bicycle, which is set up next to a LiveO2 unit that allows me to switch between hypoxia (low oxygen) and hyperoxia (high oxygen) as I work through a series of short, explosive sprints. This exposes my body to the mitochondrial building equivalent of spending an entire 24 hours in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber or going on a 3-hour bike ride but squeezes it all into a brief 15-minute window.

-15 minutes “single-set-to-failure” training. After a hypoxic/hyperoxic training session, I’ll then move on to perform 60-90 seconds of an isometric contraction to complete failure by using a special force plate called a “PeakFitPro“, which pairs to my phone and allows me to completely exhaust a muscle group during one single, difficult set. A typical workout would include bench press, pulldown, overhead press, deadlift and squat. Doug McGuff’s book Body By Science does a good job explaining how this approach develops both cardiovascular fitness and strength simultaneously while resulting in a very large surge of post-workout growth hormone (which is enhanced even more by the fact that I do not eat anything for 2-3 hours following my afternoon workout). Sometimes, I’ll use something called an “X3 Bar” to do the same thing with a series of heavy-duty elastic bands that are attached to a special rotating bar that simulates an Olympic lifting barbell. Other times, I opt for a more hybrid bodyweight/kettlebell approach using the “Neuro-Mass” system by Jon Bruney. I’ve found PeakFitPro isometric training, X3 bar elastic band training and Neuro-Mass training to all be very effective modes of strength training with the minimum effective dose of exercise.

-15 minutes infrared sauna finisher. To boost red blood cell production and nitric oxide production, and to further enhance cardiovascular adaptations to the workout above, I’ll often finish things off with a sweat and several ELDOA and Core Foundation moves in a full spectrum infrared sauna.

You do the math. That’s 45 minutes total, and includes better living through science and fun, cool tools to gain big breakthroughs in fitness in a relatively short period of time and the ability to simultaneously build important fitness parameters such as strength, power, muscle, mitochondria, cardiovascular endurance and VO2 max all in one fell swoop. When combined with an active workday in which I take frequent breaks for movements such as kettlebell swings, hex bar deadlifts, burpees and jumping jacks, I can keep myself in very, very good shape with just 3-4 hours per week of formal training using the scenario I’ve just described.

Of course, I understand that a LiveO2 system, a PeakFitPro, an X3 bar, or an infrared sauna cost a chunk of change. But look at it this way: if you’re biohacking on a budget, you can simulate these type of workouts with less expensive equipment.

For example, if you’re on a budget or on the go, you can easily try 10 rounds of a 30-second sprint with a TrainingMask on, with each round followed by a 30-second recovery with the mask off. Then you move on to a super slow 60 seconds up, 60 seconds down repeat of pushup, pullup, overhead press, deadlift and squat. Then finish up with an extremely hot soak in a hot tub, a dry sauna or a steam room at the gym. Everything I’ve just described is very similar to how I tackle my more intense workouts while traveling with limited equipment or gym access.

One other very important consideration if you’re a parent, know a parent or plan on being one: my boys often join me in parts of my early evening workout routines, and in these cases, the workout is sometimes a bit different. Why do I go through the trouble and often, the distraction, of including my children in these workouts? In my book “10 Ways To Grow Tiny Superhumans“, I detail the results of a fascinating study at the University of Essex that investigated the perception of children about their parents’ activity levels. In the study, researchers asked schoolchildren to rate how active they thought their parents were. Then they had those children complete a test of their own cardio fitness. In this case, they used a “beep” test, which is a common way to measure basic fitness levels.

What researchers found was that the likelihood of the child having greater fitness based on their performance on the bleep test was directly influenced by how active that child perceived their parents to be. In other words, kids who were under the impression that their parents didn’t exercise very much, did not appear themselves to be exercising very much. This resulted in a dramatic decrease in their fitness compared to peers who rated their parents more highly in the physical fitness department.

This means that no matter their age, kids really do pay attention to and mimic their parents. So a big step to getting your kids fit is to be an example yourself. It makes a much bigger difference than you may think. Because of this, I’ll often weave in routines such as:

1. Body Weight Workout:
-20 feet backward and forward crabwalks with kid riding on waist
-20 reps overhead child presses with squat
-20 feet bear crawls with kid on back
-10 pushups with kid on back
-20 feet crocodile crawls with kid on back
-10 arm curls holding kid upside down by their legs

2. Pool Workout:
-2 lengths underwater swimming with kid on back
-2 lengths doggy paddle with kid on back
-20 reps pool pullouts with kid on back
-2 minutes treading water with kid on back

3. Kids “Mini-Version” of My Workout:
-I sprint hill in weighted vest, kids sprint hill weight-free
-I do 10 reps barbell squat, kids do 10 reps bodyweight squat
-I do 10 reps barbell deadlift, kids do 10 reps sandbag deadlift
-I do 10 reps kettlebell swing, kids do 10 reps smaller kettlebell swing
-I do 30 burpees, kids do 10 burpees
-I spend 30 minutes in infrared sauna, kids join me for first 10 minutes

You get the idea. Sure, sometimes my workout simply isn’t conducive to including children, such as when I’m training for an obstacle course race or triathlon that dictates a 40% incline walk on treadmill for 45 minutes or a hammerfest bike session in the hills behind the house or one of those “Weird Workouts”, but I try to save these “adults-only” focused solo workouts for when the boys have some kind of post-school activity such as tennis, Awanas, piano lessons, etc.

7:00-7:45ish…

By this time of the evening, my workout is typically done, which important, because – as you can read about in my last big article on sleep – you should finish any intense workouts at least three hours prior to bedtime so that cortisol subsides and your core cools for better deep sleep cycles.

Because I highly value my family dinners and don’t want to be distracted by work or thoughts racing through my mind later on in the evening, I spend this last forty-five minutes of my day, prior to my evening routine:

  1. Putting out any last minute workout fires, taking one final deep dive into the email inbox, getting any brainstorms, thought streams, ideas, tasks, to-do’s and other distractions out of my head and onto a document or calendar on my computer.
  2. Spending at least twenty minutes writing in my fantasy fiction book series.

During this time, nearly seven days a week, I’m typically vaporizing herbs, essential oils and loose-leaf teas, while simultaneously sipping on a glass of organic, biodynamic red wine from a giant fish-bowl size glass or a homemade Moscow Mule from a copper mug.

For those of you unfamiliar with vaporizing: one nifty trick I learned from friend and health pioneer Paul Chek is that by using a vaporizer in a very non-traditional way, one can get a dose of uplifting nicotine form organic tobacco, along with a lung-based delivery of a host of other compounds that can instantly act for either stimulation and relaxation, depending on the blend you pick.

For example, one pick-me-up blend I use in the “Da Buddha” vaporizer that sits on my desk is organic tobacco, dried and ground green tea leaves, and a couple drops of cinnamon or frankincense essential oils. For a more relaxing blend, I’ll use a relaxing indica cannabis strain, dried and ground chamomile tea leaves, and a small sprinkling of lavender essential oil. It’s plenty of fun to come up with your own recipes, but here are a few ideas to get your brain spinning:

-Peppermint leaves or oil: Improves blood circulation, raises alertness and clears the lungs and respiratory passages.

-Gotu Kola leaves or extract: Sharpens memory and concentration.

-Skullcap or Hops: Mild sedative with a calming effect. Skullcap also good for headaches, which makes me wonder if that’s why it’s named that.

-Wild Oat: Reduces mental tension and anxiety.

-Cloves: Reduces food cravings.

-Primrose: Helps heal lung damage from smoking.

-Chamomile: Antidepressant, relaxation and sleep.

-Ginger Root: Good for indigestion or stomach cramps, or pre-meal as a digestif.

-Marijuana: Indica strain good for relaxation, sativa strain good as a pick-me-up.

Whatever you choose, be sure to select herbicide and pesticide free leaves and plants. I do indeed recommend the Da Buddha vaporizer due to its ability to offer a variety of temperature settings for the strains and blends that you choose. You can learn more about the benefits of vaporizing in my Q&A podcast where I discuss vaporizing essential oils.

Why do I also choose this time of day to drink? Three main reasons, really.

First, I love the taste of wine, but I’m also well aware that alcoholic drinks and the fructose and other sugars therein can make you fat if you consume them in a fed state, so I instead consume my daily glass of wine in a “fasted” state post-workout (vs., say, having a big glass of wine during dinner or after stuffing my face with dinner). In this post-workout situation, the fructose sugars in the wine simply help to replenish my liver glycogen stores (muscles do not contain the enzyme to store fructose as glycogen, but the liver does), and the glucose and sucrose sugars are far less likely to spend significant amounts of time in my bloodstream. It’s important to realize that calories from alcohol must be preferentially burnt by your body prior to any calories from carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and that alcohol also inhibits fatty acid oxidation, so drinking on an empty stomach trumps drinking with dinner for this reason and also because – let’s face it – if you’re drinking to destress and induce a bit of a happy head high, it’s far easier to accomplish on an empty stomach.

The other compound I’ll often consume during this final workout of the day is essential amino acids (EAA’s). If my workout has included any eccentric, muscle-damaging activities such as running or weight training, I pop 10-20 grams of EAA’s, which help drastically with muscle repair and avoidance of tissue catabolism, but don’t contain many calories, so they keep me in a post-workout, relatively fasted state that boosts my natural testosterone and growth hormone.

So that’s how the afternoon ends these days: a final head-clearing session performed while sipping wine, munching on amino acids and vaping odd supernutrients.

But wait, Ben! What about what happens after 7:45 pm? Dinner macronutrient ratios? Sleep routines? Evening hacks? Making love? Black-out curtains? Epic fireside dance routines?

Let’s find out, shall we?


The Evening Ritual

8:00 pm-9:00 pm-ish…

At this point in the day, I emerge from the office to help prepare dinner and to assemble the family for our evening meal. Yes, we are absolutely a late dinner family. While we do indeed eat together as a family most nights of the week, we’ve simply found that in our household, it works best to save dinner for later in the day, after nearly everything else is complete.

Since my entire family is on board with the concept that snacking and grazing is overrated and that three square meals a day is about the most that you need to keep your metabolism elevated, nobody in the family really creates any grief over waiting a long time for dinner. I’ll readily admit that I’ve seen plenty of evidence that eating a large meal too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep but, fact is, there’s only so much time in the day, and I’d personally rather sit down to a meal completely de-stressed after having accomplished all my tasks for the day rather than eat dinner early just to get that extra one percentage of deep sleep. In addition, because I fast most mornings until at least mid-morning, this typically shifts my entire meal pattern forward just slightly anyways.

When we do sit down for dinner, unless it is a very special “movie night” (about once a month), or we’ve decided to watch a cooking or travel TV show, we go completely screen and device free for dinner, and typically play a board game, spark table topic conversations with questions such as “What Superhero Would You Want Here At Dinner With Us?” or “Where Would You Travel If You Could Snap Your Fingers And Transport Us Anywhere Right Now?”, chat about the day, discuss what it is that we learned in our morning devotionals, and name what it is that we were grateful for that day.

As a rule, dinner is nearly always the most carbohydrate-rich meal of the day, and I typically, depending on the day’s level of physical activity, will typically eat 100-150g (400-600 calories) of carbohydrates with dinner. The concept here is that while carbohydrates will indeed spike insulin, as long as your muscle glycogen stores are not full (as will be the case at the end of an active day, and especially at the end of the day that includes a hard workout in the afternoon or early evening) the insulin will drive carbohydrates into muscle tissue, not into fat tissue. John Kiefer explains this concept quite thoroughly in his “Carb Backloading” book. In addition, consuming carbohydrates with dinner allows for a slight spike in serotonin levels, which can assist with sleep, especially in highly active individuals.

For blood glucose control, I consume bitter melon extract capsules (which act very similarly to the diabetic drug Metformin) prior to dinner every night, and will often take a larger dose (3-4 capsules), if the dinner is very large in carbohydrate content (e.g. 100g+) or if I’m going to a restaurant or a party where I do not know exactly what I’m going to be eating or I anticipate high carbohydrate intake. You can discover plenty more about my tactics for controlling blood sugar, and why I’m a big fan of digestifs or bitters prior to a meal, in my blog post entitled “The Ultimate Guide To Biohacking Your Blood Sugar Levels (And Why Sugar Sometimes Isn’t Bad”.

The homemade Moscow Mule I referred to earlier is a perfect example of a digestif. Over a copper mug full of ice, I add a touch of ginger beer, half a shot of gin or vodka, the squeeze of half a lemon or lime, several fresh mint leaves, a pinch of sea salt and a sprinkling of any cocktail bitters I happen to have around. If I haven’t had that to drink during my evening work hours, I will either take a few digestive enzyme capsules prior to dinner or even put a few drops of a digestive essential oil such as peppermint or “Digize” into a glass of water.

So what exactly do we eat for dinner here in the Greenfield house?

As you’ve already read, I eat nearly the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch each day, but dinner tends to be the most varied meal of the day and is a chance for the ultimate foodie to try new recipes, new meals or even new restaurants. Making dinner the most complex or random meal of the day also allows for the fact that dinner is often the perfect meal to place yourself into social situations, be surrounded by friends and family, and celebrate the end of a productive, hard-working day.

Typically, dinner includes A) an organic meat or protein source such as sauteed wild-caught fish, barbecued grass-fed beef, fried pastured eggs, roasted chicken or grilled pork; B) a carbohydrate such as beets, parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, slow-fermented sourdough bread, quinoa, amaranth or millet; C) a fat such as a hard parmesan, soft goat cheese, avocado, extra virgin olive oilavocado oil mayonnaise, bone broth, grass-fed butter or a homemade gravy or sauce; D) herbs and spices such as turmeric, cayenne, ginger, thyme, parsley, rosemary, cilantro, mint, paprika, sea salt and black pepper.

Contrary to what many folks seem to assume (since I’m a hunter and often hang out with the Paleo crowd), we actually don’t eat meat every night, especially red meat, and I personally only have a hefty portion of meat once every 3-4 days.

Why the meat moderation? Three reasons, really:

#1: Meat has been shown to cause what is known as “Neu5Gc-mediated autoimmunity”, which can cause everything from skin issues to hypothyroidism to increased cancer risk. You can read about this in Part 1 and Part 2 of author Paul Jaminet’s recent treatise on the topic of red meat and Neu5Gc.

#2: Excessive meat and protein intake is very anabolic, can cause uncontrolled division of a population of rogue cells in the body, and can increase cancer risk, especially if that meat is cooked or processed. Stephen Guyenet has written an excellent research-based article series on this topic.

#3: Due to meat and high protein intake activation of a protein called mTOR and an increase in the rate at which telomeres shorten, there is a definite tradeoff between meat intake, protein, growth and longevity. Ray Cronise details this in his Metabolic Winter Hypothesis by Ray Cronise.

If we’re not eating dinner at home, we will typically wind up at a sushi, Korean, Japanese, or local “farm-to-table” restaurant, at which we implement the following best practices:

-Always substitute roasted vegetables for any bread or mashed potatoes, and turn down or avoid bread or chips if brought to the table, unless they are something like slow-fermented sourdough bread or non-GMO corn chips in moderation.

-Acceptable starches: rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, sweet potato, yam, squash, carrot, beet or other non-gluten, non-GMO sources.

-Acceptable proteins: nuts, seeds, grains and any non-fried meat that is cooked in preferably low temperatures with healthy oils and is organic, local, wild or grass-fed.

-Acceptable fats: coconut oil, grass-fed butter, olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, and any fat that is 100% natural, that is not a vegetable oil, that is not batter-fried, and that is not an oil with a low smoke point (e.g. canola oil, sunflower oil or safflower oil) that has been heated. When in doubt, we ask for creams, dressings and sauces “on the side”. You’d be surprised at how many restaurants are willing and able to take those tasty fried Brussels Sprouts and cook them up in grass-fed butter or extra virgin olive oil for you, rather than the canola oil they typically use on such appetizers.

I’m also often asked about post-dinner snacks and desserts. I am indeed a fan of polishing off dinner with something sweet or fun, including:

-A quarter bar of 85%+ dark chocolate dipped in almond, walnut or cashew butter…

-A spoonful of coconut oil or coconut butter topped with nut butter and raw honey…

-A golden milk bedtime elixir or cup of the done-for-you version: Organifi Gold

-Or my favorite of late: a few dollops of my Salted Caramel Chocolate Collagen Ice Cream recipe (see sidebar)…

Once I’ve finished stuffing my face, I glance at my watch. While I don’t get too obsessed over quantification, I do indeed perform a quick mental calculation and plan to wait at least 12 hours before eating again. This means that if I’m finished with dinner and snacking at 9 pm, I won’t eat again until 9 am. If 10 pm, then I will put off breakfast until 10 am. If I eat a midnight snack, I won’t eat again until noon. Due to the extensive research on the link between intermittent fasting and longevity, cellular repair and gut health, on nearly every day of the year, I incorporate this 12 to 16 hour fasted window. During this time, the only items I consume are any non-calorie based supplements such as my multi-vitamin, water, sparkling water with steviaZeviacoffee or green tea.

9:00pm-ish…

With dinner over, it’s now time to begin winding down for the night. In my last big blog post on blood sugar control, you learned about the importance of a postprandial stroll for improving the glucose response to a meal. If I’m at a restaurant or traveling, I use this technique, but when I’m at home, I’ve found that cleaning the kitchen, trudging up and down the stairs, putting the goats and chickens to sleep, and all the other household to-do’s that must be accomplished before bed seem to easily get me the equivalent of 15 minutes of walking.

During this time, our bedtime ritual begins. It all begins with helping my twin boys, River and Terran. They personally take very, very good care of their teeth and bodies prior to bed, and I don’t need to help them too much. We raised them on Kid’s Calm Liquid Multivitamin, but now that they have teeth, they each use the no-sugar version of the Smarty Pants Kid’s Multivitamins, then brush their teeth with a special tooth powder that my wife Jessa makes (thanks to my friend The Wellness Mama for this tooth remineralizing recipe). While the boys are taking their multivitamin, brushing their teeth, doing their coconut oil pulling and getting into their pajamas, I take care of my own body, using their same tooth powder and implementing all the pre-sleep supplements and steps I discussed in my blog post “The Last Resource On Sleep You’ll Ever Need”.

After this, the entire family up to the boy’s bedroom, where I play them a bedtime song, lullaby, hymn or my own twist on their favorite pop song, usually on the guitar or the ukulele. We then gather around to give thanks to God for one little thing we’re grateful for that day and also pray for one way that we can help make someone’s life better the next day (this is very similar to our morning Christian Gratitude Journal practice). I say General Douglas McArthur’s prayer over them, the same prayer I highlight in “Five Quotes I Live By, Three Keys To Happiness, Two Questions To Ask Yourself & One Must-Do Thought Experiment.“, and then tuck them away to sleep.

10:00pm…

Once the kids are tucked away, Jessa and I head for the bedroom. Let’s face it: I’ve outlined my sleep habits in nitty-gritty details in previous blog posts, including this latest comprehensive one. I also have an upcoming article in which you’ll learn plenty about lovemaking sessions and optimizing sex. But below, I’ll give you a few bullet points for both sex and sleep.

Let’s begin with the former. Jessa and I generally don’t waste too much time staying up after putting the kids to bed, and rarely watch TV or spend time on a computer, Kindle or phone at this point in the evening. But if we do get it on, we typically get it on in the evening. I really don’t feel I need to get into too much detail as I don’t use too many “sex hacks” or crazy sex toys, and am seldom dressed in leather and handcuffed with an apple in my mouth, but nonetheless here are a few quick tips:

-We use natural lambskin condoms for the ultimate sensory experience…

-If it’s legal in your state, a THC balm can also make things a bit more exciting, and we use one called “Bond“…

-We use a special kind of bulb in our room made by Lighting Science. It is a biological LED bulb engineered to remove blue light, but the nice thing is that it also gives off a bit of a red glow that seems to be perfect for sex…

-We have big stand-up mirrors in the bedroom – can’t recommend them highly enough…

In my recent presentation at the Men’s Sexual Satisfaction Summit, I get into plenty more details about sexual habits, sexual practices, and sexual health, so go listen to that, and if you want to enhance sexual fitness, I’d also recommend you check out my article on “The Private Gym”, my recent Men’s Health January 2018 article, and also stay tuned for an upcoming, very comprehensive post on sex health, sex hacks and sex habits.

After making love, I typically settle myself down by reading fiction (currently I’m knee deep in “Game Of Thrones” for about twenty minutes), then, by 10:45 pm at the latest, it’s time for sleep. Again, I’ve got some very comprehensive blog posts on sleep, but in a concise format, here’s my entire current pre-sleep routine:

-Turn on the “Flexpulse” PEMF in sleep mode (if I’m traveling) or if I’m at home, turn on my latest toy: a “Biobalance” mat for PEMF. Both were developed by my former podcast guest Dr. William Pawluk.

-Turn my ChiliPad to 60 degrees…

-Put the room temp at 64-66 degrees…

-Close the blackout curtains

-Rub down any sore muscles or tight spots with magnesium lotion

-Flip on essential oil diffuser or (if traveling) sprinkle a few drops of essential lavender oil on the pillow…

-Put on my MindFold sleep and relaxation mask (this is the same type of mask often used for DMT trips, plant-based medicine journeys, etc. but also works perfectly for sleep).

-Put on my Sleepstream app and play it in “Deep Sleep” mode and/or play Brain.FM sleep track through my SleepPhones (better for side sleepers) or through Bose noise blocking headphones (better for back sleepers)

-And…that’s it.

I realize this seems like a lot of “stuff”, but now that it’s a nightly habit, I fly through this entire routine in about 2 minutes, and makes a night-and-day difference (pun intended) in sleep quality and quantity.

Finally, for the final five minutes before I drift into la-la land, I ask myself one final question “What Good Have I Done This Day”. This single act of self-reflection, which was a regular habit of Benjamin Franklin, allows me to dwell briefly upon any ways that I could have lived my life better that day and small positive adjustments I can make to my daily routine.


What About Travel?

You’ve done it. You set up your own personal, flawless, tried-and-true morning, afternoon and evening routines. You know when to eat, when to stretch, when to poop, when to exercise, when to meditate, when to journal and when to sit in your lucky chair. And then a week of travel strikes. Your entire routine goes to pot as you sit on an airplane during your normal morning walk time, you’re stuck in a hotel that removes you from the habit-forming zone of your familiar office, and when you step into the health club, it’s a completely different scene than your customary gym. You suddenly feel out of control. Sound familiar?

Fact is, as a guy who is traveling for an average of 180 days a year, I know exactly what you’re experiencing, and I’ve had to figure out how to take my own elaborate rituals and routines “on the road” to allow me to optimize my body and brain and stay sane when I travel. Here are a few of my own personal habits for travel that allow me to effectively “transfer” my habits into new environments:

1. I Include 15 Minutes Of “Me-Time” Upon Waking

No matter where I am at in the world, whether the coffeemaker is in the hotel room or the lobby, whether I have to be on stage speaking in an hour or my flight arrived at 3 am the evening prior or it’s snowing, sleeting or sunny outside, I always set the chronograph on my stopwatch to 15 minutes and spend 15 minutes “making my body better”, usually using the same tried-and-true stretch routines I do at home. As a matter of fact, I have a few such routines in my back pocket that I can do anytime, anywhere in the world, including:

-15 minutes yoga warriors and sun salutations

-15 minutes of ELDOA stretches

-15 minutes foam rolling and deep tissue work

-15 minutes arm swings, leg swings and calisthenics

-15 minutes walk with deep nasal breathing and box breathing

2. I Have Airplane “Rules”

Even if I’m jetlagged, tired as hell, or simply don’t want to budge my butt out of my comfy window seat on the plane, I follow specific rules and habits that make every flight for me include a set routine I can rely on. My rules are as follows:

-every time I use the bathroom on the airplane I perform 20 air squats

-for every hour of flight time, I go to the back of the plane and perform a set toe-to-head stretch routine I know I can do in small spaces without annoying people, specifically: 10 ten calf raises with shoulder shrugs, ten deep squats, ten torso twists side-to-side, ten arm circles in each direction and ten neck circles.

-for any airplane naps, I use foam earplugs, a very good eye blocking mask (I use Mindfold brand), Bose noise-blocking headphones, the Sleepstream sleep app, a J-hook inflatable travel pillow and 2 packets of FourSigmatic Reishi extract. I’ve trained myself to fall asleep very quickly on airplanes by using these airplane napping tools.

Of course, you can grab even more airplane and jet lag tips from my last big sleep article here.

3. I Replicate My Home Working & Sleeping Environment

When I’m at a hotel or Airbnb, I do as much as I can to replicate my home office environment. Using the desk the TV is on, a kitchen counter, or a chair stacked on top of a coffee table, I fashion a standing workstation. I create a dark sleeping environment by fastening the clasps of closet hangers across the window curtains and unplugging everything in the room I don’t use (e.g. the microwave, the TV, etc.). I sprinkle lavender essential oil on the bed pillows, I set the room to exactly 66 degrees Fahrenheit and I hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door.

4. I Have A Travel Sleep Kit

I may not be able to take a giant Chilipad, a knee pillow or red lamp with me when I travel, but I do have a minimalist sleep kit that neatly fits into a small, blue silk bag that I place the corner of my laptop messenger bag, namely: a sleep mask, earplugs, noise blocking headphone, lavender essential oil, noise-blocking headphones, a small portable “Flexpulse” PEMF device and typically some type of CBD, such as a CBD vape pen or CBD oil.

Just like a child can stay content and happy when traveling with their lucky teddy bear or precious sleep blankie, I’ve found that these type of specific tools, rituals and habits that I use when I travel keep me sane, well rested and productive.


Summary & Sample Day

Whew! You made it through.

Before closing, I’d like to make three final resource recommendation to you. One is a very quick read that I discovered this weekend entitled “Goals vs. Habits”, in which you discover why implementing small habits in your life may indeed be even more important than setting big goals. A place where you can hunt down the routines of many famous folks is the blog Daily Routines. Another place where you can find the routines of some interesting, famous and successful folks is the excellent book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work“.

And finally, remember: this exhaustive list of habits may seem – well – exhausting! Or intimidating. Or excessive. But frankly, after making these routines and habits subconscious and automatic rituals, I barely even think about them, and I simply flow with ease through the day. You’ll discover that the same thing happens to you once you make a commitment to one month of establishing a morning, afternoon and evening routine. You don’t need to do everything at once but can gradually begin to incorporate into your own life in your own way each of the tactics I’ve described.

When you do, you’ll sleep amazingly your productivity will go through the roof, your exercise will become easy, your body and brain will start working the way they’re supposed to, and you’ll live in an upgraded fashion, unlike 99% of the world’s population, with performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep and hormone optimization. Enjoy the feeling.

In the meantime, from this article, identify one (yes, just one!) morning habit, afternoon habit and evening habit you can incorporate into your life beginning today. Gratitude journaling? A morning walk in the sunshine? A big-ass salad? A post-lunch nap? Drinking wine before instead of after dinner? Lavender on your pillow? You get the idea. Start small, but start with something to begin to gain momentum today.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about my daily routine? Leave your comments below and I will reply!

 

 

Affiliate Disclosure

 

Welcome to Part 2 of 2 of my top 10 steps to biohack longevity. If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here. In this two-part series, I’m outlining in nitty-gritty detail some of my top tactics, hacks, strategies, systems and habits for ensuring that each of my days are completely conducive to optimizing not just physical performance, but also long-term health and longevity.

Before jumping into the seven habits I didn’t have a chance to address in Part 1, let’s begin with something highly relevant to longevity that just happened yesterday and that I’d be remiss to leave out of this article…

…I recently posted the following to my Instagram page:

So what exactly was I alluding to?

If you listened to the podcast episode “Telomere Testing: Everything You Need To Know About A Cutting-Edge New Longevity Test That Tells You Your Cellular Age.“, then you may already know about the company “TeloYears“, which I’ve been using for the past couple years to measure the efficacy of my anti-aging “biohacks”.

In short, inside every cell in your body are telomeres, the changing protective caps on the ends of your DNA strands that get shorter with age at a rate that can increase or decrease with lifestyle factors either positive or negative. Decades of research published in scientific journals has shown that shorter telomeres are associated with accelerated aging and aging-related conditions. When you are born, your telomeres are generally at their longest. However, throughout your life, every time your cells divide, the telomeres shorten. At a certain point, your chromosomes will reach a critical length and can no longer be replicated. When this occurs, a cell enters into a state of growth arrest known as “cellular senescence,” which is the cellular equivalent of aging.

TeloYears is a is a telomere health tracking program that uses your DNA to help you measure and improve your telomere. They specifically measure the length of your telomeres, then provide a results report that shows the age of your cells. This is important, since the rate of change of your telomere length is very individual and can be affected, both positively and negatively, by many contributing factors – including genetics, lifestyle, stress and environment. In fact, the rate of change is not constant even within the same person’s lifetime. You may be able to slow the rate at which your telomeres shorten with lifestyle interventions. For example, telomeres can shorten more rapidly during periods of stress such as serious illness or infection. Likewise, during periods of good health, the telomeric rate of shortening can slow significantly. Proper diet, exercise and stress management have all been shown to even increase telomere length.

Get The Low Carb Athlete – 100% Free!Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Sign up now for instant access to the book!

 

In the Telomere Diagnostics lab at TeloYears, they measure the average telomere length (ATL) found in the DNA using a procedure called qPCR (quantified polymerase chain reaction), which is apparently a pretty accurate method of measuring telomere length and by far the most referenced in scientific literature. ATL is the mean length of all telomeres in a given blood sample that you provide via a single drop of blood from your finger that you mail into TeloYears.

So why am I telling you all this?

As I alluded to above, I was pretty shocked when I received the results of my latest TeloYears analysis. Check it out:

In short, compared to my first TeloYears test, in which I tested at a chronological age of 34 and a biological age of 37, and my second test, in which I tested at a chronological age of 35 and a biological age of 36, I’m now at a chronological age of 36 and a biological age of…

…20!

That’s right: what you are about to read here in Part 2 and what you already discovered in Part 1 actually freaking’ works. And as I briefly alluded to in Part 1, this isn’t all about grasping at straws and an endless pursuit of trying to live longer simply for the sake of living longer or desperately “running from death”.

Instead, this is about looking, feeling and performing like a million bucks – being able to leap out of bed in the morning, jump and click your heels together, and tackle the day; being able to not just see your grandkids hit a home run but actually be out on the baseball field throwing the ball around with them; being able to have sex, climb mountains, do triathlons, lift weights and experience life’s adventures in your 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and beyond.

In other words, it’s not just about quantity of years, but also the quality of those years. That’s what I’m trying to teach you with posts like this. So, that being said, let’s dive into Part 2, shall we? 


Step 4: Eat A Big Ass Smoothie (Or Some Kind Of Biohacked Cocktail)

In the past, I’ve recorded some very interesting podcasts with folks such as Darin Olien and Shawn Stevenson, in which we discuss specific foods and compounds that can increase one’s own stem cell health and support endogenous production or proliferation of stem cells. 

Since I’m a big fan of the shotgun approach (AKA, take everything that’s been proven to be good for something and simply shoving it all into my gaping maw at once), I dump quite a few such nutrients into my morning smoothie, including:

Pau D’ Arco bark tea blended with turmeric and sunflower lecithin as a smoothie “base” (read details here)

Colostrum, consumed in capsule form or broken open and dumped into a smoothie

Curcumin, found in both my morning multivitamin and also added to the bark tea mentioned above

Marine phytoplankton, added as a whole dropperful into the smoothie

100% aloe vera juice, added as a shot to the smoothie

Coffeeberry fruit extract, added as a whole dropperful into the smoothie

Moringa, added as a heaping tablespoon to the smoothie

Typically, I’ll blend the concoction above with about 20g of a good, clean protein powder along with a big Theodore Roosevelt sized mug of ice and a dropperful of organic stevia, and then, once blended, I top with crunchy goodies such as organic unsweetened coconut flakesspirulina or chlorella tabletscacao nibs or organic frozen blueberries – all of which (except the coconut flakes perhaps) also confer good longevity-enhancing properties.

Finally, it should be noted that although my morning smoothies are hefty, voluminous, and push 800+ calories, I’m only consuming them after having fasted for the previous 12-16 hours (e.g. if I finish dinner at 8pm, the approximate time I’d eat breakfast would be about 10am), and during that fasted window, I’m typically performing some kind of easy morning workout, along with a cold soak or a cold shower. Once I drink this smoothie, I don’t eat anything at all again for the next 4-6 hours.


Step 5: Don’t Work Like A Normal Person

I’m often asked how I get anything productive done when I’m “biohacking” all day long. After all, how can one churn out an article like the one you’re reading when they’re splayed out on the cold bathroom floor with a coffee enema up their butt?

In reality, the majority of the self-improvement techniques I use are simply things I’m incorporating passively while I work. Allow me to paint a picture for you to show you what I mean. As I type this article…

…my desktop essential oil diffuser is diffusing rosemary essential oil for cognition and memory…

…behind me is an infrared JOOVV light panel for promoting collagen and skin health, along with testosterone and nitric oxide production…

…on my head is a Vielight photobiomodulation device for enhancing alpha brain wave production and increasing mitochondrial activity in neural tissue…

…I’m sitting on a Salli saddle chair to keep my pelvic bones in alignment, but I’ll switch frequently through the workday (about every 20 minutes) to a FluidStance balance board, a Topo Mat, a TruForm treadmill and a Mogo stool

…I’m blasting the air I’m breathing with a NanoVi Eng3, which enhances DNA repair and good reactive oxygen species production…

…my overhead lights during the day blast me with blue light via the Lighting Science Awake & Alert Bulbs, and then switch to a RubyLux red bulb for the evening work…

…I have a Flexpulse PEMF device that I move around my body throughout the day as I’m working to hit any sore spots or injured areas…

…I’m sipping throughout the day on mushroom tea blendsgreen tea polyphenolsexogenous ketones and essential amino acids – all calorie-free ways to mimic calorie restriction, increase muscle repair and protein synthesis, and increase cognition…

…and most importantly, none of what you’ve just read takes me any additional workday time to implement. I walk into my office, hit a few switches, and jump into 4-5 hours of deep work with all this stuff working on my body while all I do is simply focus on working.

In other words, figure out how to hack your environment to sustain movement and “making your body better” throughout the workday, but figure out how to do it in a way that still allows you to be a productive member of society. You’ve just discovered how I do just that.


Step 6: Eat A Big Ass Salad

I’m a firm believer that about the maximum amount of deep, focused work that one can do on a daily basis is about 4-6 hours (read Cal Newport’s book “Deep Work” to learn more about this idea). Based on this, after I’ve finished my morning smoothie around 9:30 or 10 am, I often don’t emerge from my office to eat lunch until 2 or 3 pm.

My entire lunch – and frankly, every meal I eat each day – is highly focused on the concept of…

…”glycemic variability.”

In a nutshell, as you can see in the article, “Glycemic Variability: How Do We Measure It and Why Is It Important?“,glycemic variability (also known as “GV”) refers to blood glucose oscillations that occur throughout the day, including hypoglycemic periods and postprandial (after a meal) increases, as well as blood glucose fluctuations that occur at the same time on different days. According to the article I referred to above “the broad definition of GV considers the intraday glycemic excursions, including episodes of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia”.

Now, if you find white lab coats sexy, science makes you salivate, and you know your biochemistry cycles back-and-forth, you may want to get into the nitty-gritty science of glycemic variability in this fantastic podcast by my friends from NourishBalanceThrive.

But in plain speak, glycemic variability basically refers to how much your blood sugar bounces around at any given point in your life. And when it comes to your health, it is, in my opinion, a more important variable to consider than cholesterol, vitamin D, minerals, telomere length, cortisol, testosterone or just about any biomarker one could ever measure (except, perhaps, inflammation, which I would rank right up there with glycemic variability).

This is why, in a food presentation I gave last month in New York City, entitled “A Biohacking Adventure: 7 Culinary Tactics For Enhancing Health & Longevity“, I began by tackling the concept of glycemic variability, and discussing a host of tactics to keeping blood sugar fluctuations at bay, including chewing your food 25-40 times, carb backloading, the pre-meal use of digestifs and bitters, two teaspoons of ceylon cinnamon each day, bitter melon extract , organic apple cider vinegar shots, fish oil, pre and/or post-meal physical activity and much more.

Based on this concept of glycemic variability, and also based on the concept that to reduce decision making fatigue and to reduce dietary variation (e.g. not knowing how many damn calories you’re eating because your meals fluctuate so much) my lunch is just about the same thing every day, this is what my midday meal looks like:

I add a handful of wild plants or organic produce, such as arugula, nettle, spinach, thyme, cilantro, parsley, etc. to a large bowl. Over the plants, I put Japanese shirataki noodles (they’re zero calories and zero carbohydrates) that I have sauteed – along with one can of sardines – in fennel seeds, olive oilsea salt, black pepper, cayenne and turmeric. I then top with a handful of walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, almonds or any other “healthy” nut and a squeeze of half a lemon. I then eat the entire salad wrapped like a burrito in a nori seaweed wrap. The size of my salad typically necessitates two seaweed wraps, and thus my lunch is basically two big-ass salad-sardine burritos. And that’s lunch, folks. I can make it in 10 minutes flat, it tastes amazing, and if you haven’t yet tried this salad method, you are, in my opinion, missing out on a crucial component of your culinary existence.


Step 7: Nap Like A Princess

Lunch now gently settled in my stomach and my blood glucose well-stabilized, it is now time for my daily nap. Not only do I sleep 7-8 hours each night, but nearly every day of the week, I inject my body with an enormous “second surge” of energy by passing out in bed for an afternoon 20-45 minute siesta.

But – and you probably saw this coming – in the same way that I do not work like a normal person or eat like a normal person, I do not nap like a normal person. Here is my patented 3-step napping sequence, which allows me to blast my body with infrared rays, negative ions, artificial intelligence relaxation sounds and pulsated compression therapy, all while asleep.

Step 1: turn on Biomat. This bad boy produces deep-penetrating, far infrared rays along with negative ions that act on the cell membranes to restore a proper electrochemical gradient. It’s basically like snuggling up with a warm, highly scientific teddy bear.

Step 2: slip into Normatec boots. Designed by a NASA engineer, these boots use pulsated compression to pump blood from my toes all the way up to my heart, making my legs feel light as a feather when I get up from my nap.

Step 3: turn on my Brain.FM app with Sony noise-blocking headphones. This app, which has settings for creativity, focus, and relaxation, uses a sequenced series of sounds to lull my body out of work mode and into sleep mode, and has settings for a 15, 30 or 45 minute power nap.

And that’s it. Yes, I will admit: that is one damn spendy nap. But it is oh-so-glorious to wake up with a head as clear as a bell – ready to conquer my workout and crush the rest of the day, instead of spending the latter half of my day tired and demotivated with a slight haze of brain fog.


Step 8: Do A Weird Workout

Based on your built-in chronobiology, it’s in the afternoon when your body temperature peaks, your post-workout protein synthesis peaks, your reaction time peaks and your ability to handle a difficult workout session peaks – making the latter half of the day a perfect time to throw down a difficult workout. This is far superior to working out hard in the morning, when your body already has produced a natural surge of cortisol and when you’re far more likely to engage in post-workout compensatory eating and justifying sitting on your ass during the workday because you crushed a 5 am WOD.

So what do I mean by “weird workout”?

While I can often be found running through the outside forest, climbing ropes, hauling sandbags, carrying rocks and flipping tires, if my time is limited or I’m in an intensive season of writing, working or building Kion, I will definitely use specific biohacks to enhance the efficiency of my workout and squeeze a huge amount of fitness-building into a very short period of time.

For example, a typical afternoon workout for me would involve:

-15 minutes of hypoxic/hyperoxic training on my bicycle, which is set up next to a LiveO2 unit that allows me to switch between hypoxia (low oxygen) and hyperoxia (high oxygen) as I work through a series of short, explosive sprints. This exposes my body to the mitochondrial building equivalent of spending an entire 24 hours in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber or going on a 3-hour bike ride, but squeezes it all into a brief 15 minute window.

-15 minutes “single-set-to-failure” training. I’ll then move on to perform 60-90 seconds of an isometric contraction to complete failure by using a special force plate called a “PeakFitPro“, which pairs to my phone and allows me to completely exhaust a muscle group during one single, difficult set. A typical workout would include benchpress, pulldown, overhead press, deadlift and squat. Doug McGuff’s book Body By Science does a good job explaining how this approach develops both cardiovascular fitness and strength simultaneously, while resulting in a very large surge of post-workout growth hormone (which is enhanced even more by the fact that I do not eat anything for 2-3 hours following my afternoon workout). 

-15 minutes infrared sauna. To boost red blood cell production and nitric oxide production, and to further enhance cardiovascular adaptations to the workout above, I’ll finish things off with a sweat and several ELDOA and Core Foundation moves in a full spectrum infrared sauna

You do the math. That’s 45 minutes total. If you complete a workout like this 2-3x/week, you are using better living through science and fun, cool tools to gain big breakthroughs in fitness in a relatively short period of time. When combined with an active workday in which I take frequent breaks for movements such as kettlebell swings, hex bar deadlifts, burpees and jumping jacks, I can keep myself in very, very good shape with just 3-4 hours per week of formal training using the scenario I’ve just described.

Of course, I understand that a LiveO2 system, a PeakFitPro and a Clearlight infrared sauna cost a chunk of change. But look at it this way: if you’re biohacking on a budget, you can simulate these type of workouts with less expensive equipment. For example, try 10 rounds of a 30-second sprint with a TrainingMask on, followed by a 30-second recovery with the mask off. Then move on to a super slow 60 seconds up, 60 seconds down repeat of pushup, pullup, overhead press, deadlift and squat. Finish up with an extremely hot soak in a hot tub, a dry sauna or a steam room at the gym. Voila!


Step 9: Be With People & Learn Stuff

I’ve always taught my twin boys that love is the greatest emotion you can have in your life. Heck, love is the greatest emotion in the universe. In the book “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest“, you can read about how love in relationships, love in families, being loved, feeling love and giving love is one of the biggest keys to happiness and longevity.

On the flipside, the mortality risk for people who find themselves socially isolated is just about equal to that caused by obesity and physical inactivity. Having close relationships actually increases your lifespan at a rate equal to that of quitting smoking (a Dr. James House at the University of Michigan has discovered the chance of dying over a period of 10 years increases by 10% for people who live alone or have only a few friends compared to people surrounded by friends and family). Dr. John Cacioppo from the University of Chicago and Dr. Steve Cole from UCLA have also  researched the effects of loneliness on health, and shown that people who are socially isolated possess weaker immune systems and have  higher rates of cancer, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes than people with more social connections, along with increased levels of inflammation, higher blood pressure, and higher heart rate.

This is why, as evening approaches, we place such an enormous value on hanging out as a family, eating dinner together, sharing our gratitude journals, gathering with friends, playing music, singing, sitting in the sauna and hot tub and (my personal favorite) playing Exploding Kittens and Bears vs. Babies.

The evening is also a time I often reserve to learn new stuff and “make smoke come out my ears”. Why? It’s just another longevity tactic. See, for a long time, it was believed that as we age, the connections in our brain become fixed. But research has since shown that the brain never stops changing through learning. Neuroplasticity is the name given to this capacity of the brain to change with learning, literally by forming new neuronal connections and altering the internal structure of the existing synapses in the brain.

Take London taxi drivers, for example. They possess a larger posterior hippocampus than London bus drivers. This is because this specific region of the brain specializes in acquiring and using complex spatial information in order to navigate efficiently. Taxi drivers have to navigate around London while bus drivers follow a limited set of routes. No…I’m not cruising a taxi around town at night with my family. Instead, I’m a fan of relaxing but challenging activities that have been proven to induce neuroplasticity such as delving into a new language, reading a challenging book, or playing guitar and ukulele.

I’d be remiss not to mention the fact that the evening is also the time when – after restricting carbohydrates the entire day – I eat carbohydrates ad libitum (that means “as much as I feel like” for those of you who don’t fancy Latin) from healthy starches and sirtuin-rich foods that promote longevity. This means that I typically eat about 100-200g of carbs from sources such as sweet potato, yam, taro, slow-fermented sourdough bread, berries, soaked and rinsed quinoa, amaranth, millet, etc. – along with a touch of dark chocolate and red wine. This is always preceded by a couple capsules of Kion Lean to shove that glucose into muscle and liver tissue more easily. If you really want to wrap your head better around why I do these carb evening “refeeds”, then check out the carb backloading program by my friend John Kiefer.

As for the wine? I do indeed have a specific timing sequence for any alcohol I drink at night. Here’s a separate article I wrote that spells it out.


Step 10: Sleep Like A Ninja

My sleep is amazing. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but after years of struggling with insomnia and poor sleep cycles or lack of deep sleep, I really have cracked the code on getting a good night’s rest. My friend and Kion Certified Coach Alex Fergus has written an excellent post at “How To Improve Sleep: 25+ Experts Share Their Helpful Tips” that is jam-packed with plenty of amazing sleep hacks, but currently, my biggest wins are as follows:

Sleepstream app to play relaxing sounds and binaural beats while I sleep. I prefer to set it on the white noise-ish setting of “Sleepstream Noise” and use the “deep sleep” setting for the binaural beats. 

Chilipad. I set mine at 55 degrees to keep my core temperature low during the evening.

Lavender essential oil. Similar to how I diffuse rosemary, peppermint or cinnamon in my office to keep me awake and alert, I diffuse lavender (or occasionally chamomile, rose or bergamot) at the bedside to enhance relaxation.

Wraparound sleep mask. You need something luxurious that will block out all light – not the free, crappy sleep mask you received on your last international airline flight.

Blue light blocking glasses. A must for any evening screen-viewing activities, and for a bonus, pair this with Iris installed on your computer and this nifty phone red light trick.

-Low blue lights in the bedroom. I prefer the “biological LED” sleepytime bulbs created by the company “Lighting Science”.

-PEMF via the FlexpulseDeltaSleeper and/or Earthpulse. I have a few different Pulsed Electromagnetic Field devices and each acts somewhat similarly by simulating the natural electromagnetic frequencies the planet earth produces to enhance deep sleep. 

CBD. I take about 40mg before bed.

Sleep remedy. I take one packet before bed (with the CBD) then another packet if I wake up during the night.

CBD vape pen. I take a few puffs on this if I wake up during the night.

Similar to my office setup, this isn’t as laborious or time-consuming as it appears at first glance. Within 5 minutes I can have all these sleep hacks set up and ready to rumble for a solid night of rest and recovery.


Summary

So that’s it!

You can click here to go check out Part 1 if you missed it.

You can click here to get your own telomeres analyzed with Teloyears.

You can click here to see 10 of the other best ways to see how fast you’re aging and what you can do about it.

And sure…I know things can get confusing because as a self-experimenting immersive journalist and author I certainly try new supplements, tools, gear, technology and biohacks for many of the health and longevity enhancing goals you’ve just finished reading about. So yes, this means my “routine” two years from now may be markedly different than what you’ve just discovered, but my promise to you is that I will continue to keep you informed of all the new tactics I discover, implement and find success with so that I can tell you what works best, what doesn’t work at all, and what simply gives you explosive diarrhea, a pounding headache, strange smelling sweat and odd skin growths. Fair enough?

And finally, if you have questions, thoughts or feedback for me about any of the ten steps you’ve just discovered, simply leave your comments below and I will reply! Thanks for reading.

 

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

37 THOUGHTS ON “PART 2 OF 2: MY TOP 10 STEPS TO BIOHACK LONGEVITY (& HOW TO GET MANY, MANY WEIRD LOOKS FROM YOUR NEIGHBORS)”

  1. Trisha says:

    Do you still recommend honey (with coconut oil and sea salt) before bed to promote sleep? Would that interrupt the fast that began when you finished dinner? Does having a tiny shot of glucose help your brain “clean house” while you are asleep?

    1. Yes, it would break your fast, but it can still be helpful for sleep… Simply start your fast after consuming your “treat”, and probably best to do so a couple hours before sleep.

      1. Trisha says:

        Thank you for replying so quickly! I have tried what you suggested for the last month or so, and I’m not sure the honey/oil/salt mix is as effective when consumed a few hours before sleep. I’ve read that some people keep this sort of salty sweet fat “treat” mixed up in a jar by their bed to take immediately before sleep, because it is meant to fuel your brain during sleep, not to be burned off by your body by activity in the hours before sleep (not exercise, just movement and tasks). So you have an opinion on this?

  2. My associate just said – Ben is a better version of you! (currently working at my desk with a blue light filter on the computer and kneeling on an air disc). Great post, keep it up

  3. CSue says:

    I did a teloyears in May 2017 and was 4% older than my chronological age. I re-tested in Sept 2018 and was 29% younger than my chronological age! I am now 54 and am 37 in teloyears

    I live a healthy lifestyle, had been taking supplements and exercising, using a sauna, intermittent fasting, eating lchf, always trying to optimize sleep. What I changed between the 2 tests was:

    – started extended fasting (42-120 hours)

    – took NAD+ (nicotinimide riboside) the last 7 months

    – took DHEA the last 7 months

    – started bio-identical estrogen and progesterone around the time of the first test

    – started lifting weights regularly and built muscle

    – used Oura to track sleep (although haven’t really made any progress on improvement)

    1. CSue says:

      I forgot, I also started taking iodine during this time. This has improved my thyroid function and improved my fluoride toxicity.

  4. Attila says:

    Hi Ben. Is there a possibility to have teloyears measurement in Europe?
    Thanks,
    Attila

  5. RangerUp13 says:

    Ben, regarding glycemic variability, what blood glucose range should a healthy, fit, non-diabetic in their 20’s shoot for? Thanks.

  6. Drew Fairman says:

    Hi Ben! Do you have a “in the bathroom” routine of which cosmetic (toothpaste, cleansers, body wash, etc ) that you do? Do you always dry brush ? Do you always do a facial cleanser ? How many times a week do you shampoo and what do you use ? I’m intrigued because everything else that you suggested that I have tried has worked ! Thanks !

  7. Ian Cruz says:

    I was wondering how running a marathon would affect your telomere testing? I ran the LA Marathon on Sunday so I sent Teloyears a quick email asking if it would make sense to wait before testing.

    They said to wait a MONTH! In a month I’ll be almost ready for my next marathon on April 28th! So while it won’t be a few days after a marathon, I’ll still be in heavy training possibly having run a 20+ miler close to the testing date.

    When would be the optimal time to test and how much does a marathon affect the testing?

    1. I would listen to them, they’re the experts.

  8. Lee says:

    Hey Ben, do you have any suggestions on becoming a health/wellness “coach” or consultant. Education for it. Ways to get there.

  9. Lee says:

    Hey Ben,

    Do you have anything on alcohol use and the human body. Such as avoid it completely? The major effects aside from just liver? How to detox it from your body, etc.

    Thanks!

    1. Just do a search on my site. All the info I have on alcohol is there. I use it sparingly.

  10. Lee says:

    What do you recommend for someone new to this as myself. Diet was off, excercise not routine, bad sleep patterns, etc. I want to dive in to this lifestyle instead of feeling sluggish and fatigued all the time. Just unsure how/where to start. I’m 36 as well. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge!

    1. This is a good place to start: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/anti-agi… Also, you should definitely join the Kion Community. It’s an online community I built of like-minded people who both have advice and are seeking advice! Facebook.com/groups/getkion/

  11. Jason says:

    Where did you get the idea Kiefer is a Dr?

    1. I’m not sure, because he’s not. It’s been edited, thank you for bringing this to my attention!

  12. Peter says:

    Hey Ben, for your morning smoothie, do you add the ingredients you mention above to the greens/coconut milk etc. smoothie you describe here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/article/nutritio…
    Or have you switched to not using any greens at all? Thanks, you’re a great inspiration!

  13. Riker says:

    Hi Ben do you still include leafy greens and half an avocado with the new smoothy ingredients or are you currently just using what you listed in this article? Thanks!

    1. I vary, but currently it’s exactly as I described in this article.

  14. Jake says:

    Hi Ben – would the x3 Bar be a good tool for doing the single sets to failure workout at home?

    1. Yes it works very well for that.

  15. Matt Lane says:

    I love all the details of these posts! I wonder, is it possible to distill this down using the 80/20 rule? What are the few things that might be affordable to the masses (subjective I know) that would give the most bang for the buck? Thanks for all the great content!

    1. Cold showers, a morning routine, staying active at work, optimizing sleep and having family time at end of day.

  16. Carol says:

    Question: Any advice on an aloe vera drink that is primarily gel without the latex portion of the leaves (“juice”)?

  17. Scott Chaverri says:

    Ben – this is a great article – thanks for sharing.

    Curious why specifically you use Pau D’ Arco bark tea – ie what benefits are you hoping to realize by consuming it?

    1. Scott Chaverri says:

      Also, on the telomere improvement – how much time passed between the 2 measurements? And, you are a pretty healthy guy to begin with – do you have any thoughts as to why your first measurement was not better?

      1. A little over a year, it’s all in the article. As far as my original numbers, I spent a decade of my life destroying my body by racing Ironmans, competing as a bodybuilder, etc. A lot of these things can shorten telomeres or take years off of your life.

        1. Mihai says:

          Hello, I found out things that made me wonder when you said the telomers got smaller by attending IronMans and bodybuilding … Then what about physical activity? Is it good or not to exercise, sports? Or does the intensity / complexity of exercise matter?

          1. Exercise is obviously a positive activity, but there’s an upper limit as with all things… The intensity and rigors of something like an ironman over time can have implications on hormone levels, recovery, etc. That’s why I’ve become so fascinated with the idea of “minimum effective dose”

    2. It’s in the article. Stem cell health!

  18. Mark says:

    Hi Ben do you still recommend epithalon for longevity?

    1. It’s a pretty good one, yes. Just have to make sure you get it from a good source. Go read my posts on bpc-157 and tb-500 or search for “peptides” here on my site.

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The Habits Guide: How to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones

Before we get into the guide, I want to recommend the most comprehensive guide on how to change your habits and get 1% better every day: My new book Atomic Habits

Packed with evidence-based self-improvement strategies, Atomic Habits will teach you how to make the small changes that will transform your habits and deliver remarkable results.

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits—whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, and achieve success that lasts.

Want to get Chapter 1 of Atomic Habits for free? Just enter your email address below.


Let’s get to the habits guide…

What Are Habits?

Let’s define habits. Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day. 

Your life today is essentially the sum of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits.

What you repeatedly do (i.e. what you spend time thinking about and doing each day) ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality that you portray. Everything I write about – from procrastination and productivity to strength and nutrition – starts with better habits. When you learn to transform your habits, you can transform your life.

This page includes recommended resources on forming better habits and breaking bad ones in any area of life, but if you’d like to explore information on specific types of habits, check out these articles:

3 Ways to Form Better Habits

  1. How to Build a New Habit: This is Your Strategy Guide: Read this guide right now to learn 5 easy, powerful strategies for changing habits.
  2. The 3 R’s of Habit Change: How To Start New Habits That Actually Stick:  Every habit you have — good or bad — follows the same 3–step pattern: Reminder (the trigger that initiates the behavior), routine (the behavior itself; the action you take), and reward (the benefit you gain from doing the behavior). This helpful framework can make it easier to stick to new habits so that you can improve your health, your work, and your life in general.
  3. Identity-Based Habits: How to Actually Stick to Your Goals This Year: Most of the time we set our goals in the wrong way. Read this article to learn how identity-based habits can help you achieve your goals more easily.

3 Ways to Break Bad Habits

  1. How to Break a Bad Habit and Replace It With a Good One: Want to learn how to break a bad habit? Read this article to discover the science of breaking bad habits and practical suggestions for making it happen.
  2. How Vietnam War Veterans Broke Their Heroin Addictions: By simply removing yourself from an environment that triggers all of your old habits, you can make it easier to break bad habits and build new ones.
  3. How to Declutter Your Mind and Unleash Your Willpower by Using “Bright-Line” Rules:  A bright-line rule refers to a clearly defined rule or standard. It is a rule with clear interpretation and very little wiggle room. It establishes a bright line for what the rule is saying and what it is not saying. Most of us could benefit from setting brighter lines in our personal and professional lives.

How to Make a Habit Stick

How to Build Habits That Last and Design Life as You Want It

Want to learn everything you need to build better habits and break bad ones? I recommend the Habits Academy.

The Habits Academy is the world’s most comprehensive course on habits and the science of human behavior. More than 5,000 students have taken the course. Over 40 video lessons are available to Habits Academy students.

Learn more about The Habits Academy.

 Best Habits Books

Want more great books on psychology and self-help? Browse my full list of the best psychology books and best self-help books.

All Habits Articles

This is a complete list of articles I have written on habits. Enjoy!

Best Articles on Topics Related to Habits

Or, browse my best articles.