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Professor Grant Schofield: Why Counting Calories Does Not Work

The video above is 03:07 long. Use your time wisely ;)

Unless you’ve had your head under a rock recently, you probably know that Saturated Fat has been getting a lot of good press.

If you want to learn why eating saturated fat is good for you, the best foods for exercise and why The Heart Foundation is not the way forward, then this episode is for you.


Full Interview: Fat, Calories, Exercise & The Heart Foundation

This is the full interview with Professor Grant Schofield. Professor of Public Health (Auckland University of Technology) and director of the university’s Human Potential Centre (HPC) located at the Millennium Campus in Auckland, New Zealand.

downloaditunesIn this episode we talk about:-

  • Clearing up the confusion regarding saturated fat [003:05]
  • The South Pacific Islands study. Why one got sick & one remained healthy[006:25]
  • Why the Australian Heart Foundation have got it wrong [010:30]
  • What fats should we be really eat [016:17]
  • What we should really be eating for sport & exercise [023:10]
  • and much more…

Follow Grant Schofield on his: 

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Recommended reading:

Buck Up: The Real Bloke’s Guide to Getting Healthy and Living Longer by Wayne Shelford & Grant Schofield

Did you enjoy the interview with Professor Grant Schofield? Do you eat saturated fat? Do you exercise with a fat adapted diet? Would love to hear your thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy


Grant Schofield Transcripit

Welcome to the 180 Nutrition Health Sessions podcast. In each episode, we cut to the chase as we hang out with real people with real results.

Stuart Cooke: You’re not missing much, mate.

Grant Schofield: It’s kind of like a football with a bum underneath.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. That describes my face quite well. OK.

Guy Lawrence: All right. Let’s start. I’m Guy Lawrence. I’m with Stuart Cooke, of course. And out special guest today is no other than Grant Schofield. Grant thanks for joining us, mate. We really appreciate it.

Grant Schofield: Likewise.

Guy Lawrence: I don’t know if you knew, but you’re actually our first New Zealander to come on the podcast show as well.

Grant Schofield: I’m honored.

Guy Lawrence: It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing.

Grant Schofield: You should be saying “kia ora,” Guy. Kia ora.

Guy Lawrence: I was looking at your blog just now, Grant, and on the About You section as well, and I figured there was a lot for me to remember there, so I thought the best person to explain a little bit about yourself would be you. If you could just tell the audience a little bit about yourself and why we’re excited to have you on the show.

Grant Schofield: Well, I find myself, now, talking about nutrition, but I never had any intention of getting into the field of nutrition, or, as a matter of fact, to keep your eye on what foods. But I originally trained, actually, as a psychologist. I’m pretty much XXleaguedXX well with psychologists, and that’s sort of a compilation of marginal intelligence and XXunknownXX that will generate XXunknownXX I read two-thirds of the XXunknownXX combination.

But I ended up in public health in the end, around obesity and especially exercise, and a lot of my recent work I’ve based it around; I’ve really spent my whole career around the conventional wisdom of it’s energy-in, energy-out. And if I can just get these moving more, it would be great.

Now, exercise and moving is good for people. But, as a solution to weight, it fundamentally misunderstands the metabolics of it all. And so, more recently, I think I’ve made some mistakes. I’m quoting Albert Einstein, if I understand this early Albert Einstein quote, which was: “Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler.” And I think in obesity, research and chronic disease research especially, the nutrition side, we are kind of simplified to the point of doing half. And we need to rethink that.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Fair enough. And it’s amazing, because, like, especially with saturated fat is now the hot topic in the news at the moment. The ABC Catalyst have just screened two shows about it, along with statin as well, and obviously there’s a lot of people out there that are a bit confused, a bit miffed, as well, with the whole message and what to do.

I mean, is that something you’ve always believed, like saturated fat isn’t healthful, or is that something you’ve been led…

Grant Schofield: Well, no, I looked at it in my early days as a professional triathlete, I would say I wasn’t an especially good professional triathlete. I went into being a professor and ended up better.

But part of what, for me, made me as fast as I could was I could never understand why I was; I was about 87 kilos, which for the professional athlete is hopeless. And I was training up to 30 hours a week and I just couldn’t keep my weight down. I was eating exactly; I had a dietician, I was eating exactly what I was told to, a sort of high-carbohydrate, mainly heart-healthy diet. Keep away from the fat, especially the saturated fat. I was telling people that myself.

And, I’d start to go, and I think most people in the nutrition that exists outside of the ivory towers now understands that it’s true, and there seems to be a parallel universe going on in nutrition where the public and most of the people in practice have figured it out, and the powers that be are in some sort of denial about what’s going on. So, saturated fat, I think, completely vilified.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. Because the one thing I want to especially raise as well, because, you know, with yourself being a professor and your background of knowledge as well, it must be hard for even just the average person to think any differently, because that’s what we’ve been taught our whole lives, you know.

And the message out there is so confusing at the moment. And, you know, it’s the same for myself. Until I lived and breathed it and actually started investigating deeper and deeper, then you don’t; you know, what would be your message to someone that is sitting on the fence about this.

Grant Schofield: That you just, I think if you’re sitting on the fence and you’re trying to decide about this same thing, there’s plenty of resources out there and this “n equals 1.” We hear a lot about this n equals 1. It’s self-experimentation. But that’s exactly how I got into this. That’s how I’ve managed to coax everyone I know into this way of doing things is just try it for a few weeks and see what happens. And if it doesn’t turn out, well, that’s short-term. You’re not gonna keel over. You can re-evaluate after that and when people do that, of course they see that the science was wrong. It had to be. Because you do the opposite of what everyone recommends and the exact opposite of what they said happens happens, so it’s sort of “Opposite Day,” really.

Guy Lawrence: It’s still; it’s incredible that it’s come to this. Like, it blows me away.

Stuart Cooke: It is crazy. I had also read a little bit about a study in the South Pacific as well. I was reading about that. I wondered if you could elaborate on that for us?

Grant Schofield: That’s just, we’d been doing this diabetes prevention work in the South Pacific islands and, you know, there’s a lot of South Pacific island countries, and there’s quite a lot of them. And if you wanted to; the Pacific, the South Pacific islands have probably suffered some of the worst obesity and chronic disease of anywhere around the world, but it’s not uniform across those islands. And I think it’s interesting.

You go to the best of them, which would be something like Southern Vanuatu, and these are islands; I mean, what actually happened in the end is an air force pilot called John Frum from the States turned up in World War II and started one of these cargo cults around the islands, sort of the beginning of a religion, and it’s interesting. They noticed that he did no actual work or anything that was XXunknownXX. He marched around and raised American flags and eventually got upon a funny box and stuff arrived and, “Hey, that sounds good.”

But he had one religious message which I think actually pans out to be a good one, which was something like: “Look, white guys are gonna turn up here. Don’t trust them.” And so what you’ve seen in these islands is really XXall-outXX development. So, there’s still a traditional subsistence living, and, really, a complete absence of chronic disease. So, there’s big, strong, healthy men and women and vibrant kids.

And the thing is, you look at the food supply and, you know, it’s eating whole plants and animals, but it’s very high in saturated fat from the coconut products. So, it’s probably about 60 percent of calories by saturated fat, with no chronic disease.

If you go to the other end, the worst of the Pacific are these countries like XXKiribatiXX and Tuvalu, which are all quite small coral atolls that; XXKiribatiXX, the main island is Tarawa, it’s only a metre by sea level, except for the large piles of rubbish which sort of go beyond that. And irregardless of this, the kids are all malnourished. And so, on a calories-in, calories-out, we think Mum and Dad must be eating all the food. Which isn’t the case. The kids aren’t getting the fat and protein. They’re malnourished. The adults are metabolically disregulated and diabetic.

We tested the; I was just showing the diabetes team how to test for fasting blood glucose, and 10 out of 10 had a fasting blood glucose above 10 millimoles, which is; five is acceptable. That’s the prevention team is completely uncontrolled diabetes, and it’s running about 70 percent in the population.

And you try and, you walk around there with your XXmanual guideXX, “Look, if you could just move a bit more,” that’s not relevant. “And just eat a bit less and cut down your saturated fat,” you know. It’s so ridiculous that you wouldn’t even; it would come out of your mouth when you see the food supply, which is instant noodles, rice, sugar, and flour.

So, it becomes very obvious that there’s a metabolic problem with these simple carbohydrates. We’ve done XXit with thisXX, so.

Guy Lawrence: That’s amazing. And that’s what the Heart Foundation, they’ve got the tick of approval on half the products that you just mentioned.

Grant Schofield: That’s right. It really becomes obvious at that point that, at least in that situation, that’s not the problem. Fat’s not the problem, at least.

Stuart Cooke: It’s interesting. I’m just going to mix a few of these questions around a little bit, Guy.

Guy Lawrence: Knock yourself out, man.

Stuart Cooke: So, over here, you know, obviously, the Australian Heart Foundation recommends a low fat, high-carb diet. And how similar is it over in NZed?

Grant Schofield: Yeah, well, I just think it’s; what actually happened this week was sort of a perfect storm, really, of the British Medical Journal paper on saturated fat, the ABC shoes in Australia attracting a lot of attention in New Zealand, and we had a two-page feature article on low-carb, high-fat in the national newspaper, all within two days of each other. So it was a perfect storm as far as I was concerned.

It did a few things. First of all, it attracted a media release from some of the big, old professors of nutrition here undersigned by the head of virtually every health agency in the country about the dangers that this posed, and, sort of, meant to calm the masses.

It was all sort of ridiculous. But also, the Heart Foundation was about to release its new food XXpictures that weekXX, so they’ve put a hold on that until the masses control themselves.

But I think I have moved to more of a Mediterranean-style diet. I started to move away from the whole grains. And I think sometimes the reasons you go to the heart foundations and diabetes and feel like you’re not moving, there’s a lot of forces there that push them around. There’s food and food companies. There’s government. There’s scientists from all walks.

They are moving. They haven’t got to the saturated fat thing. So, you know, I think rather than turning into a fight, you know, when you become enemies it’s hard to have a productive and fruitful conversation.

So, we’re trying. … So, I’m happy now. Just keep moving.

Guy Lawrence: Hey, I hear the Swedish government recently turned their laws around with saturated fat. Have you heard anything about that?

Grant Schofield: Yeah, well, that’s; they did quite a big review because there’s; Sweden is relatively progressive. They’ve also had a longer history of that complaint around the delivery of low-carb, high-fat medicine, which was upheld, thankfully. So, I think they have probably moved ahead.

Look, I think the evidence says that eating a diet that’s low of dietary carbohydrates and higher in fat, as long it’s not all processed food, it’s likely to be highly healthy. XXThere’s random controls. It’s fine on all of them; carrying the metabolic ??? went wellXX.

People then seemed to object to the idea that there’s not long-term health data when we’ve had people on these diets for 50 years. It’s true we haven’t done those studies, but, equally, there’s; we are talking about the sort of foods that humans have eaten for 99 percent of the time they’ve been on the planet.

And, you know, humans, contrary to popular belief, didn’t die at age 30. The XXnormal age of death was probably somewhere near the 70sXX. So, on the basis of pure scientific common sense, I’ve begun with this approach to start with.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, you only have to look at the overweight statistics, you know, here in Australia, and the same with chronic disease as well. It’s not getting better.

Stuart Cooke: Something’s going wrong.

Grant Schofield: I guess the other approach, way of approaching it, is to go, well, in public health we talk about these health inequalities, that different things affect people differentially, and we get really concerned about that. But we don’t make the healthy get healthier and the sick get sicker. And why take on that as well, you know, a high-carbohydrate, low-fat, whole-food diet can work for some people. There’s evidence of that. But I think it works for the most insulin-sensitive of us, the people least prone to chronic disease.

And, for the people who are least insulin-sensitive, most easily metabolically disregulated. And they tend to also be our poorest in this country XX??? PacificXX people. It may do harm. And that’s another thing to consider.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely. Do you think the Heart Foundation will ever change their minds about this? You know, will they accept it or…

Grant Schofield: You know, and I think people come in and say, “Hey, you were right. Let’s change their minds.” I think they move more slowly than that. I think; people can ask me about government guidelines and Heart Foundation guidelines. Look, if this changed overnight, would it change the world? I don’t think it would. I think what will change the world is the fact that the world has changed electronically, that things like this, these podcast and the intelligent blogger and the open access of science, I think that the people will change this through pure experimentation and common sense.

I already see that the movement for low-carbohydrate and healthy, whole-food eating will come from the people, not from the government or the Heart Foundation. So, that will take time as well. But the world’s different.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good point. I’d like to clear up a bit of confusion as well around the topic of fats, because with this message getting out there, I know some people who think they’ll be able to look at potato chips and go, “Oh, there’s fat content in it; it’s quite high,” then it’s gonna be OK to eat that? You know?

And I see this, you know, and I’m, like, “Jesus.”

Grant Schofield: It has consequences.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Yeah. So, I’d love if you could just sort of, you know, what fats should people be eating, what fats should people be avoiding, how can they simplify it?

Grant Schofield: Well, I think there’s two levels of that. The first is that you’ve made a good point: that you eat a diet low in fat, or high in fat and low in dietary carbohydrates, that’s fine, and I think as long as the fats are fats that have come from foods that have existed naturally on the planet: animal saturated fats, those in plants, avocados, nuts, seeds, those sorts of things.

As soon as you start to muck with them and turn them into these industry seed-type oils, these Omega-6 and transfats, then I’d just be avoiding those altogether. In our house, we have butter, we have coconut oil, and we have olive oil. That’s what we have as added fats. And then it’s the XXcuringXX of some sort of plant or animal. That’s what I’d go with.

I guess the second point that you’ve made, which is probably more important, is if you combine fat with processed carbohydrates, then you’re on the standard industrial food diet and, as we, know, that’s got a really nasty ending.

And so they have been including high-protein, high this, high that, but I really think you can classify diets into three categories in terms of macronutrients. A low-fat diet, which, by definition will be high-carbohydrate, even if you over-consume protein, that will be turned into glucose anyway through the liver. At the other end, you’ve got a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. And in the middle you’ve got the standard industrial diet, which is high in both. So, that’s the choice. So, I think we should be going for the one lowest in carbohydrates.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. It’s interesting. I guess I hope that when people realize that they need to make the shift to a diet higher in fats, then they don’t presume that all of the bottles of sunflower oils on the shelves with the Healthy Heart Foundation tick is the go-to fat. Because they’ve got beautiful pictures of, you know, smiling people and healthy hearts on there.

Grant Schofield: Yeah, I mean, it’s sort of; forget the glycemic index, the GI factor, and go for the HI, the Human Interference factor. If you can tell it was alive very recently, eat it.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, no, it’s a good point. Do you think this dietary approach is recommended for everybody, or perhaps more specific to those seeking weight loss?

Grant Schofield: Ah, well, I mean, it can be effective for weight loss, but I think, you know, weight loss is usually a symptom of metabolic dysfunction. If you’re insulin-resistant, if you’re lethargic, if you’re low on energy, getting afternoon crashes, I think this is a fantastic way to go.

I mean, frankly, I don’t have a weight problem but one of the main reasons I keep on a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is the cumulative and energy benefits, and I think anyone who does this sort of thing will attest to that. You’re not falling off a glucose cliff every three hours, so you’ve just got this constant energy, you can miss meals, you can have a flexibility in choosing your eating, and all of sudden you can deal with this much better.

XXI hear all that stuff about ????; it’s just not ???XX Metabolics drive behind it.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, it’s huge. Because once you’re metabolically changing, you’re fat-adapted. Because I eat a high-fat diet. If I eat carbs, it knocks me out. It’s as simple as that. I don’t feel great. I mean, I have some, but I’ve very conscious of what ones I eat, but my appetite is; my energy, mood, appetite is just fantastic.

And the other thing that I notice as well is that I don’t crave the other foods, the sweet stuff and everything else, you know, Once I adapted to this way of eating, I kind of look through them foods, you know? And it’s almost like I want people to just eat like this for a couple of weeks just to understand that feeling, you know? Because some people, if they’ve been on sugar all their lives, they’re not even gonna know what it feels like.

Grant Schofield: Well, I’d like to get the academics who criticize us or the practitioners who criticize us, just to try this as an approach. For goodness sake, just try things and example the physiology on yourself. Like, it’s not; it’s like being in the personal training business and telling people how to do pushups. Or, say, “Go do pushups,” and you’ve never done one. I mean, it would be laughable. You’d be laughed at XXat the gym? Like a chump?XX

Stuart Cooke: Guy mentioned fat-adapted. How far do we need to go to actually reap the benefits of a high-fat diet? Do we need to go as far as ketosis?

Grant Schofield: You know, that’s something I think we still need to do more research on. I don’t know the answer to that. I’ve experimented with myself and others that are getting into their fat-adapted state by doing it on a gradual basis and just gradually reducing their carbohydrates. The trouble with that method is, you can end up in a bit of a gray zone of actually not fully adapting. And your brain’s still dependent mostly on glucose, but you haven’t got it quite good enough, and it can be a nasty little state to be in. But I, my personal opinion, there’s not much science on this, is that if you’re going to get fat-adapted, get very strict and drop your carbohydrates right down to the ketosis, 50 grams a day, top level, for a few weeks, get fully fat-adapted, and just see how you feel while introducing carbs again after that.

My view is that you really need to force that real XXfrustation?XX of substrate, especially ketones and b-hydroxybutyrate, to run the brain and other organs, modern humans don’t do that. So that can be difficult. But that’s my view. I don’t know what you guys’ view on it is.

Stuart Cooke: Well, I guess it’s a tricky one. And everybody, you know, we’re all built in a very different way, you know, metabolically as well. Some people are more attuned to just straight into ketosis, whereas others, you know, can take much longer.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Like, I’m 25 kilos heavier than Stu, right? And he eats twice as much food as me, easily. And, you know, his metabolism doesn’t turn off at all, ever. It’s incredible.

Stuart Cooke: Actually, I’ve got to eat now, Guy.

Yeah, no, it’s good.

I just thought we’d move into exercise now. And I know Guy’s got a question for you about…

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I’m keen on this because, again, with exercise, you know, I think a lot of people can get confused with what they should be eating, especially around intensive exercise and endurance exercise. And I know you yourself have worked with a triathlete and an Iron Man. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the science, a little bit, behind all that.

Grant Schofield: Yeah, I think it’s very interesting. I mean, I’ve of course spent an entire career telling my people to supplement with carbohydrates and use those as they exercise all the time. We’ve done some work on a group of triathletes, mainly, actually.

I’ll just give you a case study as a nice example of the one elite Iron Man competitor that we’ve worked with. So, he was, first of all, he was 85 or so kilos. He was a bit shorter than me. And that was a limiting factor in his Iron Man performance. So, we put him on a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for 12 weeks leading into Iron Man New Zealand last year.

First of all, he ripped down to 78 with no problems, 78 kilos, and was in the best shape of his life. But I think much more interestingly was how his fuel utilization changed across some different power outputs.

So, we were, probably, the easiest way to describe the way we measured his performance using breath-by-breath gas analysis, is we were calling this the metabolic efficiency point. What power could you produce when you were using 50 per cent of your fuel as carbs and 50 per cent of the fuel as fat, you know, just from your body. And we think that mix is about what you need to complete an Iron Man triathlon at the best possible speed. And you can go slower for an Iron Man and use more fat, or you can go faster but you won’t get there because you haven’t got enough carbohydrate on board or you XXunknownXX. So, about 50’s probably about right.

So, when we brought him into the 12-week phase, he was already pretty fit and he was a high-ish carbohydrate diet. He was at 50 per cent fat, 50 per cent carbohydrate utilization. He could push 130 watts, which will get you on the Iron Man very, very slowly. And, after 12 weeks, he switched that metabolic efficiency point to 330 watts, which will get you around, in this case, first place in the age group race that he was in.

Guy Lawrence: That’s over double.

Grant Schofield: What’s that?

Guy Lawrence: That’s over double.

Grant Schofield: More than double. Triple.

Guy Lawrence: Almost triple, yeah.

Grant Schofield: So, his maximal output hasn’t changed, but the point where he could, which he could sustain for a long time, using a lot of fat, had massively increased. So, that sort of change in fuel utilization is massive.

Now, unfortunately, what happened in that race, because everybody goes, “How did he do in the end?” well, he was first off the bike. He didn’t actually complete the race, not because he ran out of fuel, but he hit a XXnoise interferenceXX I’d been telling him XXnoise interferenceXX phase. I’m telling him, look, as you’re ditching the carbs, you must et more salt, especially if you’re feeling lightheaded, your kidney will be XXdealing sodium or potassiumXX. And what he needed was a couple of teaspoons a day.

And I hadn’t realized this, but in the month leading up to the race, I mean, he’s getting cramps every time he didn’t a flip-turn on the XXpoleXX. So, he really had a sodium problem that we never got on top of. He subsequently got on top of it and is doing very well.

But, you know, that’s just, I think, a good example. He got his weight down. Didn’t restrict his food intake. Trained and felt good. Felt he recovered better in the sense that he’s producing much less glycolysis, XXto offset the burdenXX carbs does to your body. And was a happy camper, really.

Stuart Cooke: What would he be eating during the event?

Grant Schofield: Well, that’s XXanother thingXX. We don’t give him “no carbs” during the event. These XXcreteXX cycle that burns carbohydrates reasonably fast, so we probably have the amount of carbohydrate. He had a gel an hour. He probably was doing two or three when he was carb-dependent, which acted XXas a kickstop, quite a lot of salty cashewsXX. And, yeah, that was better. So, you know…

And, you know, bacon and eggs for breakfast. Didn’t do anything else.

Guy Lawrence: And he wouldn’t have been carb-loading before the race.

Grant Schofield: No, no, no.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.

Stuart Cooke: So, what about the weekend warriors out there?

Grant Schofield: XXIt’s man-hours as well andXX I think a lot about that and do quite a lot of reading and thinking and research in that area. And I really think that you need to consider the difference between high performance and the health costs of that, and why you’re doing the event. So, my view is if you stop to think about easy movement and training that was mostly fueled by fat-burning, and then a middle zone that’s mostly fueled by; that’s hard-ish training that’s mostly fueled by carbohydrate, and then a very, very hard zone, which you could maintain sort of a XXminuteXX of, then I’ve really spend most of my time in that middle cardio zone. And I really agree with the Mark Sisson approach, which is it’s a chronic cardio type thing.

But the science is really, like, you’ve been in glycogen. You’re glycating tissues and creating glycating end products, you’re creating oxygen stress, XXunknownXX oxygen spaces. That has an immune cost and an inflammatory cost and an XXunknown systemsXX cost. And I don’t think that’s worth it. I don’t think you need to do that. The trouble with XXexcluding all that stuff inXX training, it’s actually quite good for your overall speed. So, you don’t get those threshold-type workouts. So, I would spend most of my time in an easier training zone burning fat. You get 99 per cent of the aerobic benefits, and the final 1 per cent you need to be really fast without any of the oxygen stress. And then I’ve spent a little bit of time with this very hard, sort of, sprinting. And, for me, I might do, say, 10 times one minute on the track running, one-minute rest. The rest of it 20-minute workouts.

Guy Lawrence: So, if you were a test subject who was not influenced by any beliefs or anything, and he said he wanted the ultimate optimum health exercise program. So, you know, I’m assuming most people exercise to feel good in their health, right? And then you’ve got the high-end athletes, of course, that are wanting achievement. What would the typical week look like? What would you include?

Grant Schofield: Well, I think it should be a mix of easy and hard exercise, but I also think that the demands of that exercise should change quite a lot. And that sort of falls under the theory of hormesis, which means that we should suffer stress and then that the stress should be mild enough that we can adapt to it, but not too mild. And I think when you start to just do something like one sport, like running and swimming or cycling or, you know, you don’t; then you get into a stage where you’re not providing stress to a whole lot of the body but providing too much stress to another part. So, you know, that’s the opposite; that promotes fragility and not resilience.

So, you know, my week now is I’ll start, return from work, I would; I’d walk the dog, I might run the dog, I might sprint the dog. He always beats me but it’s always fun.

Stuart Cooke: Just change your food. Change his food. It will be fine.

Grant Schofield: Yeah, exactly. I might run up some steps. I might go to the gym. You know? I’ll never be there more than 20 minutes and then my whole body sort of exercises. I might do that on a tree down at the beach. Whatever. XXI’m a terrible thinkerXX. But I’ll even, I’ve sort of copied one of those Australian guys. I’ve been watching this sort of XXzooXX stuff where, you know, it’s a very short exercise. Are you familiar with that?

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, good natural movement; that kind of stuff.

Grant Schofield: Yeah. I mean, we’ll be on the XX??XX, transition into a sprinting back-and-forth and people are sort of looking at you like you’re crazy, but who cares?

Stuart Cooke: Now, that’s right. What are your thoughts on CrossFit? How does that fall into the lifestyle?

Grant Schofield: I’ve done CrossFit. I quite like it. I don’t think it’s particularly safe, at least the ones I’ve been to. I mean, you tend to go so hard that it’s very hard to keep a form that isn’t gonna do some damage. Or at least that’s what I’ve found, because I’m like, “I’m gonna beat that guy.” And if you’re a little less competitive maybe. It doesn’t really work for me, at least.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. I think it all comes down to the trainers in the actual gym themselves, if they’re onto it, it’s a pretty safe place to be. But if they’re not, then, yeah, absolutely.

Grant Schofield: XXI’ve only been to one spot.XX

Guy Lawrence: OK. I’d love to touch on as well, calorie counting. Because you mentioned it earlier. Especially with exercise as well, and weight loss. Everyone seems obsessed with counting calories. What are your thoughts on that? I’d love to hear a professor’s thoughts on counting calories.

Grant Schofield: Well, I mean, at one level, you can’t defeat the law of thermodynamics, that if more energy goes in than out, or vice-versa, then something will happen to that system.

But the behavioural aspects of that are hormonally regulated, and the partitioning of those calories are hormonally regulated. So, really, it becomes stupid to be thinking about the calories.

My view is sort of three-fold. One is that under metabolically well-regulated conditions, humans will self-regulate both energy in and energy out. When they become metabolically disregulated, through any of the mechanisms that make you insulin-resistant, be it high sugar, high trans Omega-6 fats, a lack of sleep, too much stress, too much exercise, too little of exercise, smoking, XXpollution?XX, whatever it is, then all bets are off. You won’t behaviourally control your nutritional calories.

Stuart Cooke: I heard a great analogy of the kitchen sink, when the, you know, the tubes and the pipes are clean, you can fill up; you just keep the tap running and it will just flow. But the moment the pipes become blocked, that’s when you start to get issues.

Grant Schofield: Yeah, that’s what Jonathan Baylor and those guys are saying, XXeating stuff differentlyXX, and I really like that. I think it’s dead right.

And the compelling thing is also this study last year in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Ebbeling and Ludwig and Co. And it’s just massively convincing. When they get a whole bunch of people to lose weight using the same strategy, once they’ve lost, basically, between 10 and 15 percent of their body weight, they randomize them to different types of isocaloric diets.

And this was a hugely expensive, massive study. It’s a metabolic XXwork?XX study. People come and stay there. They get measured very carefully in terms of their energy expenditure and they eat exactly what they’re supposed to and you just notice that on different diets, even with the same amount of calories, energy in and energy out aren’t the same. So, when you feed people a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, they down-regulate their energy out. When you feed them a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, then they up-regulate their energy up. So, the difference is really 300 calories, which is XX????XX

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s interesting, because last year I did a little self-experiment when we were with family at holiday, and I ate around 6,000 calories at day for two weeks. Yeah. It was a real affair of it. I struggled to move for about an hour after each meal. And, just to see what would happen. And at the end of the holiday, I’d lost a kilo and a half.

Grant Schofield: So, you were eating a high-fat, carbohydrate-restricted diet?

Stuart Cooke: I was eating pretty clean. Lots and lots of meat and veggies. You know, carbs were few and far between. But, boy, I was piling it in. And it just didn’t work for me. I thought I’d beat the system, but it beat me.

Probably, people go online and Google Sam Feltham, the UK, he says 5,000 calories high-fat and 5,000 calories high-carb.

Grant Schofield: I can imagine the outcome.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s not pleasant on the high-carb.

Grant Schofield: No, absolutely not. But it’s good to do these things. I would imagine, because we’re talking about the fact that everyone’s different, and, you know, we metabolise things in a different way, I wonder what would happen if you did that, Guy, and put yourself on a…

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely.

Guy Lawrence: I’ve done a high-fat, high-calorie diet. And I continue to; my weight remained stable the whole time. I did it for four weeks. Going back a couple of years ago now, but I was drinking gallons of coconut cream, coconut fats, eggs, and absolutely cranking it up. But the one thing I did was keep my carb intake under a hundred grams a day. And I was cycling probably 20Ks a day at the time and lifting weights, because I was working as a personal trainer in the city. And my strength continued to increase and my body fat remained stable.

Grant Schofield: It really refutes the whole notion, doesn’t it, of calories-in, calories-out.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely. I, personally, I think if somebody wants to count something, count the carbs, not the calories. And actually make the food count that goes in your mouth. You know, eat nutrient-dense food, not deprive yourself of it.

Grant Schofield: In a lot of criticisms, people say to me, “You’re talking about a diet, asking people to stick to it.” It’s not very hard. I mean, you can eat as much as you want. The food’s really yummy. And I’m not seeing the downside to this.

Stuart Cooke: No. That’s right. There is no downside.

Guy Lawrence: If we decided to undertake this change tomorrow, for our own health, and, I guess, general awareness, what kind of testing would you recommend that we underwent, thinking along the lines of things like glucose and cholesterol, et cetera?

Grant Schofield: Yeah, I mean, the things you can get from your local doctor, your lipid profile and HbA1c for glucose are all interesting. I mean, the problem is, of course, the typical general practitioner looks at him and goes, “Oh, no, your total cholesterol has gone up,” which it probably will. And so people need to go over the research about that, and I think, you know, as long as the HDL and triglyceride XXratio??XX holds up, triglycerides will probably go down. And the HbA1c, which is this long-term measure of your control of glucose in the blood will almost certainly go down.

I think those are good indicators. Blood XXglucose?XX as well is, of course, interesting. I would much rather do more complex tests, and I think the two that are most interesting to people that we haven’t got sorted yet, but I’d love to see more widely available, is there’s a way of; I mean, you can measure blood glucose through a finger prick. I’d love to be able to measure serum insulin using the same technique. Because I think it’s a really dynamic insulin response that matters. And it’s fabulous to track that.

And the second thing which we have available, and it just costs a lot of money, but I can’t see why someone can’t invent a portable unit that can plug into your iPhone or something is this breath-by-breath gas analysis. Because it really XXproxies?XX; insulin controls your ability to burn fat or carbohydrate as a fuel. When insulin’s raised, you won’t burn fat. You’ll only store it. When insulin is reduced, you’ll burn fat as your primary food source.

And it’s very easy to measure that through the expired contents of your breath. It would be fabulous if it was available. And that’s what we’re trying to do more with.

Stuart Cooke: That’s interesting. Yeah. I would certainly welcome that. It sounds like something for the future, for sure.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, it’s hard for people to get their mindset anywhere else, especially when, if they go to doctors and they get the conventional wisdom, like the whole system sort of funnels you in a certain direction and it’s very hard to step outside of that.

Grant Schofield: I look at my mother’s totals, she’s on a low-carb, high-fat diet, of course, at age 70, and her total cholesterol is too high and doctors told her to do the following: “Look, eat more whole grains for the next month, and if that doesn’t improve, we’ll put you on a lipid-lowering medication.”

Stuart Cooke: Oh, crikey.

Grant Schofield: We moved her in the end. It’s ridiculous.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, well, that’s right. I wonder if he asked her how she felt. “How do you feel?” “Well, I feel great!” Wonderful.

Grant Schofield: It was beyond… But, you know, the other thing sort of in that same thing as the Heart Foundation thing, I think it’s especially so in the U.S., but it certainly applies in Australia and New Zealand as well, is these guidelines that these guys are put under. “This is what you do for this.” You know, it’s literally malpractice not to prescribe a statin medication for high cholesterol. So, you do feel for these guys.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, no, absolutely. They’re just following the circuit, I think.

Guy Lawrence: I’m just going to ask what you eat every day. What is your typical daily diet?

Grant Schofield: So, what I had this morning, I just whipped up a sort of four-egg omelet fried in coconut oil made with whipping cream and I had some cheese on top. I would have actually preferred to put some more vegetables in there, but there weren’t any around this morning.

Last night for dinner we had pork ribs with a bit of a salad with XXoil in itXX. I was sort of picking through all the bones from the kids and stuff, because they only eat all the meat off the ribs so I sort of go through all the leftovers.

I was actually still a little bit hungry, so I ended up with some berries. Berries are pretty nutrient-dense, with some whipped cream and a bit of some almonds.

Guy Lawrence: Very nice.

Grant Schofield: And lunch I had sort of one of those high-fat salads, you know, put as many bits of vegetables as I could find lying around and then just added some cheese and nuts and meat.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Grant Schofield: It’s nice. I’m not hungry. I feel full of energy and I’m at a stable weight.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Lots of nutrients.

Guy Lawrence: Real food.

Grant Schofield: I just want to say, you can ask anyone who actually finds this controversial who’s watching it, especially in the science community, just kind of try this. See how you feel and make your own mind up. Don’t criticize people and go, “Well, I’m not sure about the long-term randomized control trials.” I mean, the basic physiology supports this way of eating and people feel great and operate well. So, you know, their well-being is better.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Fortunately for us, because we do what we do, we get to speak to many people like yourself, Grant, and, you know, there are so many great people out there speaking and living and breathing and doing this, you know. And it’s, like you say, just try it for a little period of time and see how you feel.

Grant Schofield: And if they feel like rubbish, they can document that and if they want, they can go back and everyone’s happy.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely. You mentioned berries. What would; I love asking this question: What are your thoughts on fruit?

Grant Schofield: I mean, I’ll eat fruit in smallish quantities. If you try and do a low-ish, a fairly low carbohydrate diet, it’s hard to have that much fruit and not take your carbs that high. But if you want to have grapes, go for it, I mean. I think it’s probably a good way to supplement, especially in some more intense exercise before or after that session.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, that’s when I generally do it. After training. Yeah, David Gillespie, we had him on the show a few weeks back, and he said treat it as nature’s dessert. And I thought that was…

Grant Schofield: Yeah, that’s probably it. He’s got a good point there. It’s fine. The other thing about fruit, of course, I mean, you know, just think about the history of humans. There have been fruit lying around to gather. It’s not essential for human survival, but it’s nice and it’s there and it’s; go for it.

Guy Lawrence: And I guess prior, you know, it was always seasonal, so you’d get what the season provided, but now, of course, we’ve got every season under the sun on offer.

Grant Schofield: Yeah. Well, I think that’s a very good point is probably one that I’ve been thinking more and more about scientifically and experimenting with is, and people do this sort of a week where they might have a pattern that actually changes quite a bit, so there will be generally quite low-carbohydrate and might have some periods of fasting. You know, go through some periods of actually eating a meal or two quite high in carbohydrate.

And I think there might be some merit in that in the sense that there’s two conditions there, which I think are both essential to human health. One’s the anabolic, which is rebuilding and growing cells. You know, that’s an inflammatory state and temporarily, that’s good. So, you do need that anabolic state, and I think insulin through dietary carbohydrates can provide that.

Equally, you also want that catabolic state where there isn’t any food, and the human cells don’t divide and they start to scavenge and repair and we get this production of the XXtrehalose???XX and these sorts of enzymes that start to clean up XXthe DNA endsXX and that sort of thing. So, I’ve been thinking a lot about, not so much a low-carb, high-fat way of eating the whole time, but perhaps cycling more in and out of what is more of a human condition. And, I mean, you don’t have to go by week or anything, but I think there might be some merit in that.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. No, that’s right. Almost like a periodic system reboot.

Grant Schofield: Yeah. And I think the dangers, if you’re going low-carb all the time, that you start to down, I think there’s some evidence that you start to down-regulate some things, especially lectin, and it’s probably worth a bit of a reboot.

Guy Lawrence: That’s interesting. I’ve never thought about that.

Grant Schofield: XXThere’s not been a lot of science on thatXX, by the way. And probably won’t be for a long time because no one wants to fund this sort of stuff, but that’s another story.

Stuart Cooke: Of course.

Guy Lawrence: Any special requirements for children? I mean, many people think, “Well, children need their carbs because they’re so active.”

Grant Schofield: Right. I mean, my kids are, I’ve got three boys, they’re on a low-carb, high-fat diet, but they don’t know they are. They grew up with that and seem to be functioning all right. But the thing is, they’re not metabolically disregulated. They are fine. They eat carbs and they get dealt with. They come and go. And that’s fine. Then they have the occasional junk food party or something and I’m comfortable with that.

What I’m not comfortable with is, I saw a boy yesterday in a practice-type situation, and he’s 11, obese, and he is metabolically disregulated. He’s highly insulin-resistant. And he’s saying to me, “Well, I eat the same amount as my mates. I do the same XXliving regime?XX, and they’re skinny and I’m not.” And so he can’t deal with the dietary carbs in the same way and we have to rethink that.

And that’s an interesting thing. He’s been to a bunch of specialists who have sent him away, told him to eat less and move more. When nothing’s happened, they’ve told him that he must be stealing food and he must be too lazy. And he can’t help but get to tears. It’s disgusting.

And, to put that in context, these kids get bullied. I asked this young man, I said, “Look. Do you think about your weight?” And he’s, like, “Oh, I do.” “Much?” “Yeah, quite a bit. About 99.9 percent of the time.” And, you know, a tear comes to you. This 11-year-old boy. So, some kids will need to do something about their carbs. But the metabolically healthy ones, there’s more flexibility.

Stuart Cooke: That’s right. Yeah. Just get away with it, I guess.

Guy Lawrence: Very good. All right. I was just looking at the time. We’ve got a wrap-up question, Grant, that we ask everyone every time we’re on the air and it doesn’t have to be nutrition-related at all. But what’s the best single piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Grant Schofield: Well, it’s no so much advice as an insight. Look, I just clearly remember a day in my life where something clicked for me and I don’t know if people have had the same experience when they’re students at school, but I remember the teacher going, “Ah, yes, he’s very bright” (not referring to me, of course) “but he just doesn’t try.” And I remember that point going, that fundamentally misses the point, because achieving in life is nothing to do with being bright or smart. It’s to do with knowing how to try. And the myth that you don’t know how to try means that you’re stupid by definition.

So, I just remember the teacher saying that and me thinking, “That just doesn’t make any sense.” So, you know, my advice to, I had to speak to a high school XXclass?XX the other day, and what I’d like to see in my kids, it may not turn out this way, is that; I don’t know what the world’s gonna look like, I don’t know what job you’re gonna do, but whatever you do, you’d better be good at it. The only way to be good at it is to follow what you’re passionate about, work to your strengths, and know how to try.

If you don’t know how to try, good luck. It’s not gonna turn out well. But if you can, it will all work out.

Stuart Cooke: Just try. Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: Give it a go. Absolutely.

And us Aussies, if we want to know anymore about you, where’s the best place to go, Grant?

Grant Schofield: OK, so, my best place is my blog, which is ProfGrant.com.

Guy Lawrence: I’ll share that link anyway. I’ll get it out on the blog as well. And, yeah, I was checking it out today. There’s some cool stuff. How long have you been blogging for?

Grant Schofield: I’ve only been blogging for about six months. I just sort of thought I should; I was talking a lot and not putting it anywhere. I found it a thoroughly fulfilling experience, the interaction with people and the ability to actually get your thoughts down coherently. It’s a great deal of fun.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Grant Schofield: And of course it gets hundreds of thousands of hits, which also surprises me.

Stuart Cooke: You’ll have to sell a range of t-shirts.

Grant Schofield: “All you’ve got to do is try.”

Guy Lawrence: Awesome, Grant. Well, look, we really appreciate your time today, and I’m sure a lot of people will get a lot out of this. That was fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely.

Guy Lawrence: That was really cool.

Grant Schofield: Thanks, guys. I appreciate it. I love talking about it.

Guy Lawrence: No worries. You’re welcome, mate. Thank you.

Supreme health is only ONE CHANGE away! 2 Minutes with Dave Asprey


By Guy Lawrence

We ask Dave Asprey (aka The Bullet Proof Executive), what would be the one single piece of advice you would give someone for optimum health/wellness. This is a must as it’s not what you think it’s going to be!

You can watch the full Dave Asprey: The Bullet Proof Executive interview here.

 

Did you enjoy this? Do you agree with Dave Asprey or have any stories to share? Love to hear your thoughts below… Guy

Tania Flack: Why Food Intolerances Are Holding Your Health Hostage


Have you ever wondered if food intolerances are actually preventing you from reaching your true health/fitness potential?

Learn how getting rid of the foods that disagree with you can shed the kilos, reclaim your youth, energy, sleep, exercise recovery and watch your body transform for the better!

This is the full interview with Naturopath Tania Flack. Tania Flack is a leading Naturopath and Nutritionist, with a special interest in hormonal, reproductive health and cancer support; she believes in an integrated approach to healthcare, including the use of evidence based natural medicine.

downloaditunesIn this weeks episode:-

  • What’s the difference between food intolerances & allergies [002:20]
  • How you can become intolerant to food [006:20]
  • How we can get tested, & if we can’t what we should we do [007:15]
  • Why you may be intolerant to eggs [009:53]
  • Why food intolerances could be effecting your weight loss plans [018:40]
  • How it can be effecting your exercise recovery [021:10]
  • and much more…

You can follow Tania Flack on: 

CLICK HERE for all Episodes of 180TV

Did you enjoy the interview with Tania Flack? Do you have any stories to share? Would love to hear you thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy


 

Food Intolerance’s: The transcript

Guy Lawrence: Hey this is Guy Lawrence with 180 Nutrition and welcome to Podcast #17. In today’s episode we welcome back naturopath Tania Flack and we are pretty much covering the topics of food intolerances and it’s a fascinating topic and these are the things that could be certainly holding you back from some of the results you want; whether it be weight loss, exercise recovery, even how it affects our mood and sleep. And I want you to know what things you need to eliminate from your diet. It can have a massive effect on your wellbeing altogether and, so, super-interesting shows. Lots, lots to learn from in this and, yeah, if you enjoy it, please share us on Facebook and if you’re listening to this through iTunes, a review in the review section would be awesome. Until the next time, enjoy. Cheers.

:01:24.1

Guy Lawrence: This is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with no other than Mr. Stuart Cooke, as always, and our lovely guest today is Tania Flack. Welcome back Tania. Thank you for having us.

Tania Flack: Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me.

Guy Lawrence: So, just in case anybody hasn’t seen our old episode on the DNA, could you give us a quick rundown on who you are and what you do?

Tania Flack: Sure, sure. I’m a naturopath and nutritionist and I practice in Sydney. I’ve got a special interest in hormone health, metabolic health and particularly DNA, which is the DNA testing and personalized health care programs, which is a new area for me and today I think we’re talking about food intolerances.

Guy Lawrence: We are, yes. So….

Stuart Cooke: That’s right.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. We certainly been harassing you along the DNA and then we’ve moved over to food allergies and intolerances. So, and we thought the best place to start, because it’s something I was learning as well is: Can you tell us if there’s a difference between a food allergy, a food intolerance and food sensitivities?

Tania Flack: Yeah. There’s a very big difference between a proper food allergy and a food intolerance. With food allergies it’s, they’re really not as common as we think they are, although we see a lot more these days, the prevalence of a proper food allergy in children with an allergic; being allergic to things like peanuts and ground nuts, shellfish, it’s becoming more and more common. But ultimately it’s about 2.5 percent of the population will have a proper food allergy.

And intensive food intolerances, they’re much more common and people are less likely to realize that they’ve got a food intolerance, really, and this, the difference between the two is with a food allergy it’s a different part of the immune system and the reactions that they have are fairly immediate and they’re very severe inflammatory reactions based on histamine release and we see people with a sudden swelling, redness, swelling, hives; that type of thing and it can be quite life-threatening.

What we’ve seen in intolerances, it’s a slower reaction and people are less likely to pin down the symptoms they’re having to the food that they’ve eaten because it can happen over a longer period of time. So, if you ate something yesterday, you might be feeling unwell the day after, it can literally be that time delay.

Guy Lawrence: So, the testing that we did to Stuart, turned up eggs?

Tania Flack: Yes. Sorry Stu.

Stuart Cooke: I used to love eggs.

Guy Lawrence: So, that’s a food intolerance, right? Not a food allergy.

Tania Flack: No. That’s right. The testing that we do in Clinic; we’re lucky to have access to this testing, we can just do a blood sample from the end of the finger in Clinic and then we go through a certain process and mix that with different reagents, and that’s an IGG; food intolerance test. So, it’s very, very different to food allergy testing, which is something that would be done entirely separately to these.

Guy Lawrence: So, somebody listening to this and they might be suspicious that they have an intolerance to food, what would be the classic symptoms?

Tania Flack: The thing with the food intolerances is everybody is a little bit different and the symptoms can be quite broad. I mean, some people typically have IBS-type symptoms. That’s things like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, feeling unwell. Fatigue is a big part of food intolerance; skin problems, migraines, asthma, the list goes on. Everybody has their own particular manifestation of food intolerance.

But, ultimately it can lead to people feeling very unwell and because those symptoms are delayed, I think that’s just the way they are, they can’t quite work out why they’re feeling so poorly and flat and having these types of symptoms and it can really just be due to the foods that they’re eating.

Guy Lawrence: You mentioned before about nuts and shellfish. What would be the most common trigger foods be perhaps outside of those two that people might not aware that they are sensitive to?

Tania Flack: Yeah. Nuts, the ground nuts and the shellfish are two of the most common triggers for a proper allergic reaction, an allergy reaction. In terms of food intolerance, there’s any number of foods that people can react to, really, and we’re looking at the proteins in foods that people react to.

So, the tests that we do, test for 59 foods and it covers things like: eggs, fish, dairy, different fruits and vegetables people can be reacting to, so it’s a broader range of foods that people can react to with food intolerance.

Guy Lawrence: How do you become intolerant of food? Is it; can you do it by eating too much of the same thing?

Tania Flack: That’s a really good question. Generally there’s a leaky gut aspect in there somewhere and a dysbiosis which basically means an overgrowth or an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. And what that can cause is an opening of the gut membranes and as we eat these foods our bodies, more likely our immune system is more likely to react to those because we’re absorbing food that’s not broken down properly because our gut membranes are a little bit more open, if that makes sense.

Guy Lawrence: Right, yeah, cause I’m just looking here, we have a question on leaky gut and … So, essentially if you have a leaky gut, then the chance of food intolerance is going to greatly increase.

Tania Flack: Yes. Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: Okay. Okay, Regarding testing, there’s another one, cause obviously we went in with you and tested; is this something most Naturopaths would be able to test accurately? And if we can’t test, then what can we do?

Tania Flack: Most Naturopaths, we all have access to either pathology testing, which is involves you having blood test and then we have a wait for your results, but they’re very accurate. Or we can do a test that we do in Clinic, and that tests for 59 foods and we get results back from in 40 minutes and that’s very accurate as well. If that were to ….

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I guess, and if somebody has an access to be able to test….

Tania Flack: Yeah. If you’re not able to go in and see someone and have these things tested, you can do an elimination diet. An elimination diet is cutting out a majority of the foods that people are intolerant to and over a period of time having a good break from those foods and over a period of time reintroducing foods that you think might be your trigger foods and observing your symptoms over a few days and if you have no symptoms after you reintroduce that food, then you move on to the next food. So, look at, it’s quite a lengthily process and realistically it can take around six months of being very disciplined with your diet to do this. So, this is why we prefer to use the testing methods, because they can give people information on the spot. Now if they, like Stu, prove to be intolerant to certain foods, then we cut those foods out of the diet completely for three months and we make sure that we address any dysbiosis or leaky gut during that time, let the immune system settle right down, heal the gut and then we slowly and carefully reintroduce and retest those foods.

Guy Lawrence: So, you’re using Stuart as an example and he could end up eating eggs again, but just not at the moment.

Tania Flack: Yeah, not at the moment. I would imagine that …..

Guy Lawrence: I enjoy raising that every time.

Tania Flack: It’s not as strong reaction with Stu. We might need to give him a longer period of time before we attempt to re-introduce those.

But hopefully we can make a good impact and some people they’re best to just continue to avoid those foods. And this the beauty of being able to pinpoint exactly what it is, because then we can do that trial and error later on down the track when things settle down to see if you can tolerate them.

Stuart Cooke: Sure, and I guess for everybody at home who thinks, “Oh boy, he can’t eat eggs.” I never used to have a problem with eggs until they because much more of a staple of my daily diet and I was consuming a minimum of three eggs a day and they were organic and they were free-range so they were pretty much as good as I can get. But then I just found out that I was, yeah, my sleep was declining, I was bloating, my skin was starting to break out and then, yeah, I got the really dark blue dot on the eggs, of which we’ll overlay this graphic as well, so at least we could see what we were talking about. So, yeah I guess it is too much of a good thing.

Tania Flack: Yeah, look at, it’s a bit devastating, really. I was very sad to see that I cannot cook eggs for you, because to me they’re the perfect protein. However, it could have been that you had other food intolerances, which we’re fairly sure of, and then you had this potential for a dysbiosis or a little bit of leaky gut in there because we hadn’t done that before with you. So, you got this going on in the background and then all of a sudden you increased your intake of eggs and now they’re a constant for you. So, I’m assuming over time that this intolerance is just developed for you.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah and I guess the one thing I have found as well is, you know, once you sort of go on this journey and you want to eliminate sugar, and gluten, and grains and whatever that may be, you almost, I mean I’ve certainly found, especially in the beginning, I was eating the same bloody foods every day, because I was in this place where I was like, “Oh well, I don’t want to eat that ’cause I know that’s something to have with that.” So then obviously the foods increase. So when I went in for the gut test; not the gut test, the tolerance test, I was bracing myself expecting to be same as Stewie with the eggs, but fortunately I wasn’t, so I’m still eating them.

Stuart Cooke: Thank you, Guy.

Tania Flack: And I think this is a very important point. Some people that, you know, I see people in clinic and they have got a big history of significant health issues and really significant digestive issues and they’ve been put on an eliminating diet or they’ve been put on a very restricted diet and to the point of where they ultimately, they don’t know what to eat. It can be can be overwhelming because they’re on a very limited diet and some people actually end up with nutritional deficiencies because it’s not being pinpointed within the specific foods that they are intolerant to.


So, it’s the beauty of knowing exactly, because otherwise people on long-term elimination diets, they can ultimately end with nutritional deficiencies, because they’ve cut out huge range of foods from their diet that they are not actually reacting to and so this is why I always prefer to have that information in front of me, so then you can really work with people, so they get a broad range of foods, there’s always a broad range of foods, even if you’ve got multiple intolerances there’s lots of things we can choose from and it’s just educating people about how to eat well while they’re cutting those things out of their diet.

So, if for example, Stu, I know eggs have been such a big part of your diet, that you’ve managed to come up with all this fabulous creative breakfasts that are really different to what you were having, so yeah exactly and it’s not like your life is over because you can’t have eggs. You know it’s all a matter of having that background in nutrition that you can make those good choices. But some people they just aren’t certain, so they narrow it down to nothing and then this can cause problems in and of itself.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Well, we’ve been doing featured blog posts of food diaries of certain different people. Like we did Angeline’s, she’s a sports model, what she eats. We’re just about to do Ruth, a CrossFit athlete. We need to do Stu; you know a day in the life of what Stu eats. Because it is absolutely with so much precision it blows me away.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. I’ve created a seven-day plan that alternates all the different food groups and mixes it up and I’ve looked at the healing foods, especially for gut and I’ve made sure that I’ve got “X” amount of these throughout the day and I’m lovin’ it. I’m embracing sardines too.

Tania Flack: I know. I think that’s fabulous. Sardines are wonderful. You know it just goes to show that you should never get to a point where there’s nothing you can eat.

Stuart Cooke: No.

Tania Flack: You just have to really open up your dietary choices a little bit more and in that way you’re actually getting really good variety, which is perfect.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I think so and I really, I love to look at food as information, you know. Some people say, “Well, food’s all calories,” and I look at as information and what information is it going to provide my body with. Will it store fat? Will it burn fat? Will it assist healing? Will it help me sleep? Mental focus. Energy. All of these different things and it’s not until you really look into what these food groups are comprised of that you think, “Wow, I can put all of these things in my daily diet,” and it makes a huge difference. I’ve up my grains and veg intake radically and oily fish and I feel much better for it.; so much better for it

Tania Flack: Yeah. It’s wonderful, isn’t it. So, the alkaline and anti-inflammatory diet that you have.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I’ll pass it on to you Guy.

Guy Lawrence: I can’t wait to follow your food plan ….

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, that’s right. Mr. Omelet over there. I’ve got a question about moderation and we often hear the term “every thing in moderation.” Is this good advice for allergy and intolerances? Do we have to completely omit the particular trigger food or can we have just a little, every now and again?

Tania Flack: Well, in terms of allergies, yes. There is no choice. People with a proper allergic reaction they must avoid those foods. There’s no getting around that. That answers that. But, in terms of intolerance, the system that we use is when, for example, you’ve shown up to be intolerant to eggs, so you avoid those for three months and during that time yes, it’s important to avoid those as much as possible. Because we want to let your immune system settle down, we want to give your gut a chance to heal and everything to settle down and then we have a more controlled approach to a challenge period with those, after three to six months.

So, yeah, I think for those with really strong reactions that have shown up in your test, then yes it’s important to avoid those. However, if after that period of time, we’ve done all that work and we do that challenge period and things are a lot less or minimal, then I would say, we’ll have a period where you reintroduce that food, with a long break in between and just see how you go with that.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, just testing.

Tania Flack: Absolutes shouldn’t mean that you can never eat another egg, but means it means that you have to respect it for the time being and let everything settle down and do that appropriate wait before you start get back into your own omelets.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. I’m on the hunt for ostrich eggs, so I’ll see how it goes for me. I’ll make the mother of all omelets and I guess, on a serious note we probably should be mindful of other foods that do contain that trigger food. For instance, mayonnaise, dressings, things like that.

Tania Flack: Absolutely. You really have to watch out for all of those things though, particularly something like eggs, it’s used in so many pre-prepared foods, which we know you don’t have a lot of, and you know my policy is to eat fresh wherever you can. So, it you can chop it up and cook it from its natural state then at least you know what you’re eating. But, when you have a diet high in processed food there will be eggs in a lot of that.

Guy Lawrence: Okay. So, if you have a high intolerance to something like eggs, like Stu, and then you’re out and you’ve order a salad and it’s got a little bit of mayonnaise in it and you think, “ah that’ll be all right, it’s just a couple of teaspoons,” was that enough to really affect you?

Tania Flack: Well, I think it certainly has some kind of return of those symptoms that you had been having. Yeah. If it was anywhere in the next 3 months it would probably just reconfirm for you that, “yes, they’re not good for me right now.”

Guy Lawrence: Do food intolerances affect weight gain and/or weight loss? So, people that when they get to their fighting weight and need to drop a few pounds and it’s an intolerance of food that they’re eating and could that be prevented regardless of what they do?

Tania Flack: Yeah. Absolutely. Look, I think there’s quite a few aspects involved in that and I think with food intolerance you’ve got to understand that it’s an activation of the immune system and even though that’s a low-grade activation of the immune system, but it’s still there. So, in and of itself it is an inflammatory condition and I think that can really hamper metabolism. Often it’s related to dysbiosis and leaky gut and we know dysbiosis or an overgrowth bacteria in the gut interferes with insulin signaling and there’s some really fantastic evidence that’s coming out and has for the last couple of years that shows that this virus is directly linked to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, that type of thing. So I think, in terms of food intolerance, often they go hand-in-hand.

Guy Lawrence: Right. It always keeps coming back to the gut doesn’t it almost?

Tania Flack: Yeah. Absolutely. So much of it is about how it’s based around the gut. Because if you think about it, we’ve got this enormous long tube and around that digestive system is our immune system and they’re like standing on guard, like border patrol, waiting for things to get through that shouldn’t be there and dealing with those. And so it’s an amazing machine, the digestive system, but when we react with the digestive system because it’s such an important organ in the body it can have so many bigger effects across the system it affects.

Guy Lawrence: So, with food intolerances it also then affects sleep and mood.

Tania Flack: Yeah. Absolutely.


Guy Lawrence: It must affect mood because Stewie has lightened up lately, he’s just been great the last couple of weeks.

Stuart Cooke: I’ve lightened up because you’re leaving the country at the weekend. It had nothing to do with food.

Tania Flack: It definitely does affect mood. I mean; I think Stu can attest to these, because once you’ve removed a food that your intolerant to, your energy levels leaped, you feel fresher and brighter, you have a bit better mental clarity, you just feel a lot fresher, so I think that counts for a lot.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and another question, while we’re on this sort of area, is of course, exercise recovery and food intolerances. Will it hamper recovery and slow it up?

Tania Flack: Absolutely and again that all goes down to this activation of the immune system and low-grade inflammation. Low-grade inflammation hampers exercise recovery. It absolutely hampers exercise recovery, because your body’s, it’s dealing with this low-grade inflammation and it’s returning fluid, so you’re having a imbalance there. If you’ve got this perpetual irritation of the immune system through food intolerances, so by clearing that you’ll feel that your energy levels will improve and that exercise recovery will certainly improve.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right.

Stuart Cooke: A little bit of a kind of crazy question, but irrespective to allergies, are there any foods that you’d recommend that we absolutely do not eat?

Tania Flack: Well, all processed foods. I mean, in a perfect world, again it comes back to if you can chop it up from its natural state and cook it and eat it, then that’s the ideal for me. So, processed foods in general, if you can avoid them, because we just don’t know. We eat things in our processed foods that we would never willing choose to eat otherwise. But apart from processed foods, things that I think people should avoid in general; gluten, I think ultimately that’s a really; wheat can be really irritating grain. It’s a prime inflammatory gain. It doesn’t suit a lot of people. So, I would minimize it in the diet and I tell my patients, even if they’re in good health, to try and minimize that. I think our western diets are far too skewed towards that type of food in the diet and grains.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Strangely addictive, too, and you almost don’t realize that wheat, in all of its forms, has a hold over you until you eliminate it.

Tania Flack: There’s a theory around that foods that I read you can cause a little bit of an endorphin release as your body tries to deal with those, so you can start to become really reliant on that. Like, sometimes you can be attracted to the foods that suit you least.

Stuart Cooke: Okay. That’s interesting and I guess probably ….

Guy Lawrence: Like chocolate.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Tania Flack: That’s entirely different.

Stuart Cooke: A shift, also perhaps to pasture-fed and raised animals as well. Because I guess if you try to eliminate grains and you’re eating a lot of grain-fed steak, then it’s going to come through that way as well, isn’t it? Or, if you try to eliminate corn and you’ve got corn-fed animals.

Tania Flack: Yeah and not to forget too and that’s a fairly unnatural food source for those animals. So, yeah. Absolutely.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. It’s kind of we are what we eat. We’re also what our animals have eaten as well.

Tania Flack: Yeah. It’s all part of the food chain, isn’t it?

Stuart Cooke: It is. It will end up somewhere.

Guy Lawrence: So, what foods would you recommend that we eat to the help heal the gut during the phase of trying to rebuild ourselves?

Tania Flack: If you been trying to have a dysbiosis or leaky gut, along with food intolerances and generally it all goes hand in hand and we test for that in Clinic. Looking at foods that, you know, depending on the level of that, we try to aim for slow-cooked foods and foods in their most natural source so your body can utilize those nutrients as easily as possible. Foods that are high in zinc. We also use supplementation things like: Aloe Vera, glutamine, zinc, that type of thing. The healing and calming for the gut.

Stuart Cooke: Right. Okay and you spoke before about process or at least a time before you can reintroduce and that’s around the three-month mark.

Tania Flack: Yes. Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Okay.

Guy Lawrence: There you go. So, yeah, I was just looking at the supplementation to assist, speed up the healing process, but I guess we kind of covered that a little bit which they kind of go in hand. A great topic and I threw it out on Facebook and I haven’t checked since. What are your thoughts on soy? Especially where weight, hormones and skin are involved.

Tania Flack: Well, you know it’s interesting, of the traditional use of soy, nutritionists saying a lot of the Asian cultures, is it would be included in small amounts in the diet and that diet would be really well balanced with other nutrients and it would be an appropriate source of fiber estrogen, so those. Lots of benefits of soy taken in a diet like that. So, as a whole, however, unfortunately in the west we tend to do this, we’ve taken that concept and completely blown it out of all proportion and the soy that we use these days, it’s genetically modified, which I’m absolutely against. I think we can’t know what’s going to happen with that in years to come, so to avoid all genetically modified foods is a really good thing too, it’s a good policy to adopt.

So, a lot of our soy is that type of soy and unfortunately people think that they’re adding soy to the diet, which is things like soy milk; now soy milk is a highly processed food, there is no way that you can make a soy bean taste like soy milk without putting it through the ringer in terms of chemical intervention. So, people think that soy is healthy for you and in that traditional Asian well balanced diet; it does have its benefits. However, the way we look at it in the West, and we take this food and we tamper with it to the point that it’s unrecognizable and then it’s genetically modified as well, and then we have a lot of it and its not balanced with all the other good foods in a diet, I think ultimately soy like that is a bad idea. And then because people might be drinking gallons and gallons of soy milk, then it can cause problems in terms of its affect on hormones. So, ultimately soy in that way, I absolutely think it’s best to avoid it.

Guy Lawrence: So, that’s what they also add, sweeteners to the soy milk as well just to make it taste ….

Tania Flack: This is right. This is right and then they also add thickeners and colors and that type of thing as well and some of the thickeners that they add, you both know my particular bug bearer is, carrageenan, as a thickener in these milk substitutes. You know ultimately that’s been linked to inflammatory bowel disease and even though it’s natural, it’s not something you’d want to be having a lot of either. So, I just think any of those foods that are highly processed, you just; there’re things in there that you wouldn’t choose yourself if you knew. So, I think those need to be avoided, if you can. And certainly I think foods like that can contribute to an unhealthy gut.

Stuart Cooke: Okay. Getting back to wheat and people trying to eliminate wheat and of course the big one is bread; are gluten-free products, bread for example; gluten-free bread, are they a healthily alternative?

Tania Flack: Well, generally speaking for most and often I have said to people we have to eliminate gluten from their diet and people just about burst into tears. They are, “what will I have for breakfast? If I can’t have my Weet-Bix or my toast, then I will starve to death.” So for people like that I guess a gluten-free bread is a softer alternative, however, ultimately they can be quite processed as well. So, I’m not saying don’t eat any bread ever, gluten-free bread is your better option. But ultimately, again, it’s a processed food, so in a perfect world we would eliminate a majority of the intake of that type of food. So, gluten-free is a better alternative, but ultimately . . .

Guy Lawrence: You could almost use it as a stepping stone to get off the bread all together, couldn’t you?

Tania Flack: That’s right and I think that once people realize that there is not over and they can have toast and Vegemite or whatever it is, then they start to get a little more creative and then they realize when they cut a lot of that out of their diet, they actually feel a little bit better and then it’s a slow journey for some people, but it’s really worthwhile.

Stuart Cook: Okay. Excellent.

Guy Lawrence: Good question.

Stuart Cook: Elimination of diary. Okay, so, lots of people are reactive. If we strip the dairy out of our diet, how worried would we be about lack of calcium, brittle bones and everything else that accompanies that?

Tania Flack: Yeah. That’s actually a question I get a lot in clinic and it’s a valid question and it’s interesting because we think that dairy is the only source of calcium and ultimately if somebody’s coming in, they’ve come to see a nutritionist or naturopath, and they’ve been shown to be intolerant to dairy, we would never say, “cut that out” and let them walk the door without information on how adequately address their calcium needs in their diet.

And you can get calcium from a lot of sources and you’ve got to remember that there’s a lot of cultures that they really don’t have dairy. So, they probably have a better bone density then we do. And the other thing to think about with that is that if we got a highly acidic diet, which is what a typical western diet is, then we have a greater requirement for minerals like calcium, because they alkalize everything and we have a very narrow window of pH that we can operate in.

So, in a typical western diet, we have a greater need for calcium because we’ve got all of these low-grade acidic type foods in the diet. So, if you alkalize the diet and if you have a really good quality sources, board sources, that give us our mineral such as calcium, then there shouldn’t be a problem if it’s managed well.

Guy Lawrence: What would be a couple of good alternatives if you couldn’t have dairy? What could bring in for instance?

Tania Flack: Things like nuts and seeds. I mean, Stu’s got the perfect, perfect calcium source there; it’s sardines with bones in it. You just can’t get a better calcium source, green leafy vegetables. We’d probably find if we did an analysis of Stu’s diet that his calcium sources are perfect, so, without having diary in it. So, there’s definitely ways that you can get around that.

Guy Lawrence: So like you said, you have to eliminate the stresses from the body as well and at the same time bring in the foods, outside of dairy, to do that.

Tania Flack: Yeah. Absolutely.

Guy Lawrence: Well, while we’ve got time we’ve got a couple of questions for you that we always ask everyone. If you could offer one single piece of advice for optimum health and wellness, what would it be?

Tania Flack: I’d have to say that the one thing that I think makes huge difference to everybody is just to eat fresh. Just handle foods as close to the natural state as you can. Cut them up and cook them and eat that. Try to stick with what your grandparents ate. Try to avoid processed foods and eat as close to the natural source as you can. I think that stands people in really good stead if they can continue doing that throughout their lives.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Fantastic.

Guy Lawrence: Which it seems hard at first, but it’s actually not that hard once you ….

Tania Flack: No, it takes just a little bit of change of mindset and I think it’s a slow process for some people, but ultimately your health is your most precious commodity. So, it takes a little bit of effort and if that effort is shopping for fresh food and chopping it up and cooking and eating that; if that’s the main effort that you’ve got to do, I think that’s a low price to pay for something so precious.

Stuart Cooke: That’s right. I think it’s just a little bit of a kind of shift in the way that you do things and if you need an extra five minutes to prepare breakfast, then just make that happen and the dividends will pay off for sure.

Guy Lawrence: Nicely put.

Tania Flack: Yeah and it’s also giving people the confidence to be able to do that. Just making good food choices and once people have got that, then they generally are on a good path.

Stuart Cooke: Excellent.

Guy Lawrence: And if people want to find out more about food intolerances, just contact you through the website, Tania?

Tania Flack: Absolutely. Contact me through the website. I’m happy to give people advice and as I’ve said, we’ve got that test available now; we can give good results within 40 minutes. So, we can give them a really clear plan within an hours’ appointment and that gives them somewhere to go and it can make big differences to how they feel.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic and for anyone outside of Sydney, is there something that you can get done by mail? Post off? Or is it something you search ….

Tania Flack: We can do the blood test by post; so I can send them out a pathology request form just to have the blood test done by post.

Guy Lawrence: Okay.

Tania Flack: So they can take it into their local collection center and we can discuss the results on line. So, yes, everybody should be able to have access to it.

Guy Lawrence: Excellent. Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: That was awesome.

Stuart Cooke: Excellent. Yeah, no look that’s great. Just super-interested to spread the word because once you realize what these little triggers are, that are kind of niggling at you sleep and your energy levels and your skin and gut health, you just feel so much better; so fantastic.

Tania Flack: And I’m also glad, I’ve got to thank you for bringing this issue up Stu, because I know that you’ve been wondering about that for a while and it’s great to get the word out there because it can make a big difference and it can just be something as simple as cutting out 1 or 2 foods and having a slight change in diet can make you feel so much better. Thank you for bringing it out.

Stuart Cooke: You’re welcome.

Guy Lawrence: That’s great.

Stuart Cooke: All right, thanks for your time and yeah, we’ll get this up on the blog as soon as we can.

Tania Flack: Fantastic. All right, thanks guys.

Guy Lawrence: Thank you.

Stuart Cooke: Okay, thanks. Bye, bye.

David Gillespie: Sweet Poison

By Guy Lawrence

This is the full interview with Sweet Poison Author David Gillespie. He is s a recovering corporate lawyer and has deciphered the latest medical findings on diet and weight gain. In his own words he says that what he found was chilling.

You can watch a 2 minute gem from the interview here: Should we be eating fruit?

In this weeks episode:-

  • What inspired David to quit the sugar [003:00]
  • The effects fructose has on ones health [006:58]
  • Why sugar used to be a rare commodity called white gold [008:40]
  • The best place to start when quitting sugar [012:50]
  • Should we be eating fruit? [016:22]
  • Why does the sugar message fire up so many emotions? (eg. Previous Sarah Wilson Interview) [018:37]
  • What to put in your kids lunch boxes [028:05]
  • and much more…

You can follow David Gillespie on: 

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Recommended reading:

David Gillespie: Sweet Poison

Sarah Wilson’s eBook: I Quit Sugar

Did you enjoy the interview with David Gillespie? Has it made you think differently regarding sugar or fructose? Would love to hear you thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy

David Gillespie: The transcript

Guy Lawrence: I’m Guy Lawrence. This is Stuart Cooke. And our special guest today is no other than David Gillespie.

David Gillespie: G’Day.

Guy Lawrence: Thanks for joining us David. Really appreciate it.

Now, I thought the best place to start would be from the beginning, and I know for any of our viewers that don’t know who you are, could you just sort of tell a bit about yourself; your story and how you came to writing about sugar in the first place; I’d love to know that.

David Gillespie: OK. So, I guess I should start out by saying I’m not a nutritionist or doctor or a biochemist or any of that sort of stuff. So, I’m phenomenally unqualified to talk to anybody about any of that stuff, but because I’m a lawyer it’s not gonna stop me.

I came to this because I spent most of my life getting fat, not intentionally, but every year I was a kilo or two heavier and, you know, I guess about almost 10 years ago now, I weighed in at 130-odd kilos, which put me well and truly into obese category.

And I thought when my wife rather inconsiderably announced that our fifth child was going to be our fifth and sixth children, that it was time to do something about it because I wasn’t coping with the four we had, who were all under the age of 9, let alone adding twin babies to that. And so, I thought, you know what, I need to understand how the human body works. I can’t believe that we don’t know how it works. It’s just obviously the case that I’m misunderstanding something.

So; and there was just the logical part to it as well which I didn’t get, which is you look around the planet, you see every other animal on the planet controls its weight the same way it controls its height, on auto-pilot, and there’s no gyms for monkeys, there’s no tigers on Jenny Craig, you know, they all work without willpower, on auto-pilot and the only exception to that seems to be us and any animal unfortunate enough to be fed by us.

So, I thought: I must be misunderstanding something. So, I went looking for the evidence and what I found was that there was very little evidence for what we are normally told to do about weight; that is: Stop being fat and exercise more.

But, there was an entirely different stream of evidence concerning sugar and in particular a part of sugar called fructose, which is one half of table sugar, which appeared to have significant dire metabolic effects, not just making us fat but lots of other stuff that we’re gonna talk about probably today.

What I thought was, well, you know, if that’s right, all I’ve gotta do to fix my weight problem is stop eating sugar. And, well, I can do that. It sounded a lot easier than it ended up being but I thought I can do that and I did and I dropped 40 kilos, got to this weight, which is in the mid 80s, and have stayed eating for the last 10 years without being on a diet. Which to me is pretty incredible since before this, you know, I just had look at a packet of Tim Tams and I’d be putting on weight.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: When you decided to lose the weight and make a change, was sugar the first thing you looked at or did you sort of. . .?

David Gillespie: Oh no. No, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t know where to start. The only relevant training I have is gathering evidence and so where I started was to look at what the official line was. So, I went to the National Health and Medical Research Council, which are the people who determine the Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines, and I looked at what they say you should do to lose weight. And I thought: I’m not gonna go to a diet company or anything like that; I’ll just go to the people whose job this is. And I went looking at what they said and I thought: I can see what they say sounds very similar to what diet companies tell you to do. But I thought maybe there’s something missing that I’m not getting in the details. So, using the only relevant skill I had, which is to gather evidence, I then started looking at the evidence behind the statements.

So, what was the evidence behind the statement that fat makes you fat? What was the evidence behind the statement that exercise would make you thin? And I kept looking at evidence which referred to early evidence, which referred to early evidence, which referred to earlier evidence, and all the way back to evidence in the 1950s which essentially amounted to a great big guess.

I wasn’t at all satisfied with that, but in reading through that stuff I came across other evidence which hadn’t been referred to, but which was just as good a pedigree and this is from the London School of Nutrition, a fellow by the name of John Yudkin did some work on sugars in the 1950s and because of some political fighting it turned out his message got drowned out by a different message from the United States about fats.

Guy Lawrence: Interesting, because the first time I heard about really starting to look at sugar, from my own personal health, would have been about five years ago and I was involved with a small group of people that were helping people with chronic disease and a lot of them had cancer and by that time they had been established about seven years and they were saying that they probably had over a thousand people go through their doors and they were using nutrition and weight training, of all things, to help them.

But the first thing they eliminated from their diet was sugar and that was the sort of first time I sort of heard of anything like that. I only raised this because it made me start to think about, you know, sugar, what I’m eating, and things like that. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on, I guess, you know, on the defects of sugar, fructose and overall health, as well as what you sort of learned from your journey for our listeners.

David Gillespie: Well, I started out on it just through sheer vanity and wanting to not be apathetic. I thought that if I lost the weight I’d be more able to cope with young kids and probably be healthier. But now what I found since that, and I mean that’s where I started but I kept reading and I kept looking and I just kept finding more and more things linked back to this really unusual molecule in our diet, fructose.

Now it might even sound really weird to say that fructose is an unusual molecule in our diet. It is, after all, in fruit. So it’s; people say: “Oh, it’s natural, you know, can’t possibly be anything wrong with it.” It is natural but it’s not natural in the kind of quantities we’re consuming it and we’re not getting it from fruit. We’re getting it from sugar. And that’s the bit that a lot of people don’t connect that it is one-half of sugar.

And this molecule was very, very rare in the human diet until around about 1820. You might ask yourself: What happened in 1820? Something that people have been trying to do for a good half a century happened in 1820, which was that we finally cracked the problem of producing sugar, the stuff we have on the table, in commercial quantities. And the search for “white gold” and that was what it was literally called, “white gold,” had been on for half a century.

It is an extraordinary difficult thing to do and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to make sugar. It isn’t simply a case of squeezing out a bit of sugar cane. It’s an extremely complicated process and involves a lot of steps and a lot of chemicals and every single step can go very, very wrong. But they managed to finally nail the process in the 1820s and then sugar went from being an extremely rare thing that only really the rich could afford to something that everybody could afford and that was added to more and more foods on a continuous basis.

Now, when I talk about sugar, people think I’m talking about chocolates and soft drinks and so on. I am; they obviously contain sugar, but much more dangerous is the sugar embedded in foods which you wouldn’t even think about containing sugar. You know, things with Heart Foundation ticks that are 30 percent sugar or 70 percent sugar, things that are being sold to us as health food that have loads of sugar in them. Why do they have loads of sugar? Because that “white gold” makes products with it in sell better than products without. So, this molecule we are spectacularly uninvolved to deal with; are you guys both still there?

Guy Lawrence & Stuart Cooke: Yeah, yeah we’re still here. I’m recording your . . . Your picture’s frozen but we’re still here.

David Gillespie: OK. Anyway, so this molecule; we have no real evolutionary background for it because the only sugar that we’ve really evolved to deal with in insufficient quantities, is our primary source of fuel, which is glucose. Everything we eat ultimately ends up in our body as glucose. Glucose is our fuel. Every single cell in our body can use it. It is the primary and only fuel for our brain, which consumes 25 percent of our energy.

So, it is a very, very important molecule in the human body and in any mammal. But fructose has no purpose whatsoever. It turns out, we just shovel it straight to the liver, none of our cells can deal with it at all and the liver just converts it immediately to fat. And that isn’t, it turns out, why we’re fat because of eating fructose; it’s just the start of a process which actually got quite interesting when I dived into the evidence; which is that that fat ends up wrapped around the liver, ultimately giving us something called “fatty liver disease” which now affects 1 in 3 of us, up from almost none of us 40 years ago. It now affects 1 in 10 teenage children. This is a chronic disease that can ultimately lead to cirrhosis of the liver and cancer of the liver.

And that fat wrapped around the liver affects our insulin sensitivity. In doing so it affects our appetite control and that’s how it makes us fat. It isn’t that the fructose is converted to fat, which that in itself makes us fat, it’s that it is converted to fat which becomes visceral fat wrapped around our internal organs, which increases our degree of insulin resistance. Ultimately that cascades through to Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, heart disease, and the list goes on and on and on.

So, you know why getting fat on this stuff is a very, very fortunate thing because it gives us some visible warning that it’s happening.

Guy Lawrence: How; given that it’s everywhere and in so many foods that we’re unaware of; how would you recommend cutting it out? What should we do?

David Gillespie: Well, the first thing is: Listen to your taste. You can taste it. It’s not; if a food tastes sweet, then it contains fructose. You can be absolutely certain of that. And so you can taste it. And that’s the really good news is if you pay attention and listen for the taste that’s sweet, if you like, you can detect it.

The other is, start to get use to where it’s likely to be. So, be suspicious of all processed foods; have a look at processed food, look at the ingredient list; if sugar’s in there put it back on the shelf. It’s as simple as that. If it’s something you really, really must have then find the variant of whatever product it is that has the lowest amount of sugar and preferably aim for less than 3 grams to 100 of added sugar.

Do that and you’ll be fine. And people initially say, when they start this process, they say: “Wow, I just did what you said, and, you know what? There’s nothing in my supermarket that satisfies those criteria. That’s disturbing in itself, is there’s nothing in the supermarket that doesn’t have less than 3 percent added sugar. But there are things. In every food category there are things. And I’ve prepared lists and so on and some of them are in some of my books that go through that and rank them and show you which brands have the lower amounts of sugar. But the easiest way to do it is just to eat whole food.

I’m only talking about sugar added to food. So, eat whole fruit. Eat whole vegetables. Eat milk; dairy, eggs: whole food. Some will be required. And if you do want to eat processed food, then that’s when you need to get careful.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, OK, even when you cook your own meals, at least you start to know what’s going in them. I mean. . .

David Gillespie: I mean, if you add sugar, you’ll be aware of it. You know, you can’t accidentally pour sugar into a meal.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, absolutely. What’s your thoughts on people that say, you know, you need sugar for energy?

David Gillespie: We do. You need glucose for energy. So, remember that sugar is half glucose and half fructose. And you do need glucose for energy. As I said before, your brain runs on nothing else. And if you don’t eat something that can be converted to glucose, it will convert protein to glucose.

So, you do need glucose. You are a machine that runs on fuel. The fuel glucose. But that’s not the same as table sugar. Table sugar is only half glucose. The other half is this fructose stuff.

And some people say, yeah, but don’t I need the glucose half of it? No. Because everything you eat, ultimately, gets converted to glucose. And so you don’t need to eat sugar to get the glucose.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and I think that’s where a lot of the confusion can lie.

Stuart Cooke: I think especially in energy and sports drinks and gels as well where people think that they need that added burst of sugar, which if I, just thinking back to my childhood day, I used to drink Lucozade, and I think that is one of the only drinks at the time that is glucose-based, right?

David Gillespie: That’s right. It’s only glucose-based. And it’s used for glucose tolerance tests even today in hospitals, because it’s the only drink you can use that is sweetened only with glucose. And so it’s a great sports drink because it’s only sweetened with glucose.

Stuart Cooke: Right. Perfect.

Stuart Cooke: So, your comments on fruit. So, I guess number one: Is fruit the enemy? Should be eating it? How much should we be eating?

David Gillespie: There’s no need to eat it. If you want to eat it, then treat it like what it is, which is nature’s dessert. So, you know, rare. You could have up to two whole pieces of fruit a day if you wanted to. Personally, I don’t eat any unless it’s offered to me. I don’t go out of my way to consume it. There’s nothing you can get in fruit that you can’t get in an equivalent vegetable without a whole lot less fructose.

But that being said, if you really like fruit, there’s no reason to not eat it. And if you’re going to eat fruit, then I’d veer toward things that are higher in fiber and lower in fructose such as all of the berries: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries. They’re all great choices and I’d steer away from things which are high in fructose and low in fiber like the three most popular fruits on sale in Australia today, which are: apples, bananas, and grapes.

So, those are the ones that I would be tending toward. But even there, have them. If you’re going to eat them as whole fruit, then go for it. If that’s your only source of fructose in a day, you’re not doing yourself any harm.

Stuart Cooke: OK. It’s amazing how your palate changes over time as well when you do eliminate sugar, because I used to devour bananas and now I can barely stomach them because they are so sweet.

David Gillespie: And that’s exactly right. I used to think bananas were the most boring fruit in the world. Completely tasteless, powdery fruit, why would anyone eat them? And now, you’re right, I have one and it’s like dessert to me. It is massively sweet. And so that palate changes is really an important part of knowing when you’re off sugar.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, absolutely. And I look at it exactly the same, you know. I like to think I’m on top of my nutrition and my food and I have a piece of fruit and I thoroughly enjoy it. But I generally don’t have 10 apples and a fruit juice in the morning.

David Gillespie: And if you did sit down and eat 10 apples, you wouldn’t be eating much else. You really wouldn’t. That’s a lot of fruit. But you could drink the juice of 10 apples very easily and still have a meal.

Guy Lawrence: That’s right. Absolutely. Yeah.

David Gillespie: So it’s only when we juice it; all juicing is really just extracting the sugar and throwing away everything else. There’s no reason to ever consume juice. It’s just soft drink.

Stuart Cooke: Another question I wanted to raise, because, you know, I follow Sarah Wilson’s blog as well, and saw an interview with you on there awhile back. I think it was an audio podcast. And there was just a stream of heated discussions afterwards with different people coming in, and arguments.

So I just wanted to raise, you know, where do the arguments lie, and why is there the critics out there that are against, basically, the whole fructose thing?

David Gillespie: This is very threatening to some very lucrative XXrulers of gold?XX. It’s a very threatening message. It is not called “white gold” for nothing. Processed food companies add sugar to food because they know it sells more with it. They don’t want to have to remove it. That’s why it’s not part of the accreditation for the Heart Foundation tick. It’s not even a criteria. They don’t even pay any attention to it at all. Because if they did, almost nothing would receive a tick.

So, the thing about sugar is that it moves a lot of product and there are a lot of people whose money depends on continuing to move that product. And those companies have put a lot of effort into muddying the water, into putting confusing science out there, to mounting clandestine lobbying.

And the process is almost identical to what the tobacco lobby undertook in the ’60s and ’70s. Almost identical. Sponsoring dubious science, having scientists on the payroll to do weird studies that if you design it just the right way it will come out showing that smoking’s all right. Recruiting; well, with smoking it was recruiting doctors. Now it’s more recruiting dieticians. But it’s the same basic plan.

Guy Lawrence: Well, certainly speaking for myself, you know, the moment I stopped putting sugar in my body I definitely noticed the difference. Even allergies went over time and things like that that I had before.

David Gillespie: Yeah. You’ll find most people report a whole series of things that are seemingly unrelated to sugar. And the interesting thing is, a lot of them can be traced back through sound biochemical processes to an explanation from fructose.

Some can’t. I still can’t explain why a lot of people report massive improvements in eczema. I don’t know why that is. But when people quite sugar, their eczema goes, even if they’ve had chronic eczema their entire life. It goes. And I don’t know what that is. I’ve looked and looked and looked. But, you know, that’s one that I can’t explain.

But a lot of them you can trace back biochemically to why they found it different.

Stuart Cooke: I got a question from Susie Lee, via our Facebook channel as well, and I think it relates a little bit to probably ourselves as well, or especially Guy and myself. Susie was wondering if you ever felt pressured into eating sugar. How do you avoid the awkward family gatherings where sugar is everywhere? Because I know the way that Guy and I, myself, present ourselves, sometimes we feel ostracized in the way that we behave in social gatherings.

David Gillespie: You know what? At the start, that was a problem. Now, obviously, the best way to fix that is write a book about it and then no one offers you sugar ever again. In fact, people tend not to eat sugar in your presence.

But, at the start, absolutely. And I found the easiest way to get around the awkwardness of it is to not make a fuss about. Just, you know, if there’s something you can eat, eat it. If there isn’t, don’t eat. Wait till you get home and find something to eat. Don’t make a big fuss about: “Oh, have you go something that hasn’t got sugar in it?” You know? Just pay attention and pretty quickly you just fit right in.

The people who find it most difficult, and this was me right at the start, is people who say, “I really wouldn’t mind; have you got a version of that without sugar?” And then people think you are a real pain.

Stuart Cooke: The awkward moments come, though. You can be at a birthday party or something and the cake comes ’round and I’m thinking, “If I eat this, I’m gonna have a stinkin’ headache later.” You know?

David Gillespie: You know, my strategy for that is: Find someone who’s still eating sugar and chop a bit off their piece of cake and have it just so that you can be part of it. You make a wish for the person and so on. And you’re not gonna eat the rest.

Stuart Cooke: Fair enough. We got another Facebook question that came in as well. It was: “I’d like to know what is worse: sugar or sweeteners and the use of macrosweeteners like honey, agave, dates, etcetera in cooking.” Are they OK or are they just heightening our tastes for more sugar?

David Gillespie: OK. So, honey and agave and, what was the other one? Dates? All of those sorts of things are just expensive ways to white sugar. So, you’re not changing anything by switching from sugar to honey. Honey is still half fructose. In fact, when sugar was first discovered, it was called “honey without bees.” Because the only kind of sugar we had before that was honey.

So, it’s; you’re not changing anything by switching to agave. Agave, dates, etcetera are about 60 to 70 percent fructose. So, those are not substitutes for sugar. They are sugar.

Other things, artificial sweeteners and such, are better-known for high-intensity sweeteners and you get into the whole artificial-natural debate. High-intensity sweeteners like stevia, sucralose, aspartame, things like Splenda and so on; those things are referred to as methadone for sugar addicts. So, they are great to get you off the addiction.

I developed quite a serious habit with artificially sweetened soft drinks while I was going through the withdrawal phase, which can last two to four weeks, or, in some people’s cases, even months.

And the interesting thing, though, is, as you were saying before, Stuart, about the palate change is that as you start to go though the withdrawal, those things become less and less appealing. And the reason for that is they start to taste less and less like sugar. At the start, they taste just like sugar. A barely detectable difference.

By the end of withdrawal, they start to taste very much like a chemical. And you find yourself really not enjoying it much at all. And I got to the point, probably around the three- or four-week mark, where I was having these things and thinking, “You know what? I think I’d rather just have a fizzy water than this stuff, because it’s just not tasting very nice.”

And so it’s not like I read the science and decided to not consume them. Because the science is a bit iffy either way. There’s plenty of science that says they’re perfectly safe. There’s plenty of science that says they’re not, depending on who’s paid for the study. If the sugar industry paid for it or the people making the substance paid for it.

But I prefer to take the view, you know, using it during withdrawal is not gonna kill you. And it does help you get through withdrawal.

Guy Lawrence: If someone walked up to you on the street and said, you know, I was a big sugar eater; should I go cold turkey or should I wean off it? What would you say to them?

David Gillespie: Look, I think weaning off is just pure torture. I think you’d have to have extraordinary reserves of willpower to be doing that. And what that would require is correctly identifying every bit of sugar in your diet and then systematically removing a percentage of it every day. Five percent, 10 percent, whatever, and ensuring that you stick to that.

To me, that would be torture. But that’s just me. Some people tell me that that’s exactly what they need and it worked great for them. Most people who are successful at this, though, tell me that the way they do it is they go cold turkey. And they just have a great big bin of all their favorite foods and then the next morning, they’re off. And they don’t go near it again until they no longer have the cravings.

And believe me, it is a withdrawal. It is very much like withdrawal from smoking. I have never smoked, so I can’t tell you from personal experience, but people who have given up smoking and given up sugar tell me the experience is almost identical. You can an intense period of cravings, you get the mood swings, you get the depression, you get the headaches. Except that with sugar, the cravings feel like hunger so that you are constantly hungry, or at least you think you are. But the reality is that you’re not. That’s just how your body knows to get you to eat sugar.

Stuart Cooke: And another question popped in regarding the sweetness. Coconut sugar. Have you done anything. . .

David Gillespie: It’s just sugar. Another way to spend a lot of money on sugar.

Stuart Cooke: Because I see that flying around a lot at the moment, coconut sugar, you know.

David Gillespie: Coconut everything. I mean, the only thing out of a coconut that is good is oil. And that’s an entirely different topic for another day.

Stuart Cooke: We won’t broach that right now.

We’d like to steer it over a little bit into children. Obviously, you’ve got a big clan. I’ve got three children too. So, I’m very interested in steering them on the right track. Do you have any recommendations, perhaps, for lunch boxes? Because lots of people struggle with this because of all of the kiddie snacks out there, I guess, with yoghurts, obviously fruit, raisins; little boxes of raisins, and sandwiches and the like. What would you recommend for a really simple child’s lunchbox?

David Gillespie: The first thing is that you are going to be almost; it’s almost impossible to buy pre-packaged anything for children that isn’t full of sugar. So, right away you’ve got a difficulty in that whatever you put in their lunchbox, you’re gonna be making. And the only choice for you is how much effort do you want to put into making it.

Now, I put out a recipe book earlier this year. And a lot of people said, “Why do you even need a recipe book if you’re off sugar? Surely you don’t even want cakes and stuff.” One of the big motivations for it is for kids’ lunchboxes. Kids still need stuff in their lunchboxes and so we created recipes just using dextrose, which is the glucose half of sugar. So, just glucose as the sweetener. And these are recipes for things like cake and biscuits and the things kids have in their lunchboxes.

And what Lizzie does, my wife, is make those; cook up a big batch of that sort of stuff on the weekends, cling-wrap portions of it, and freeze it. And then, when it comes to dealing out lunchboxes, she just reaches into the freezer and plunks it in.

And that’s the way to deal with. There really is no other efficient way to do it. The other thing you can do is just get really good at making sandwiches, putting whole fruit in there has obviously not changed. Put a banana in if you want. Just don’t put dried fruit, juices, or packaged processed food. And anything else goes.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right. Because the thing is with kids is you’ve got same problem with adults with the parties and they’re gonna go to these things and sugar’s everywhere.

David Gillespie: Look, and there’s nothing you can do about that and nor should you try. I have a rule in this house which is: “Party food is for parties.” So, it’s not for every minute of every hour of every day. It’s for parties. And our kids go to parties with kids in their class and they’ll eat sugar and that’s just the way it is. But their exposure to sugar is infinitesimally small compared to all of their peers.

And the interesting thing is that if they do eat sugar, pig out at a party, they often come home with a hangover. And this really surprised me. And I’m not joking when I call it a hangover. It is like an adult with an alcohol hangover. They have headaches. They start saying things like, “Never again.” You know? Are really genuinely meaning it. Until the next time.

And it’s really interesting to watch. And also their capacity to eat it is also limited by the fact that they don’t eat it all the time.

Stuart Cooke: That is a good point. . . . I’ve got a little trick. I’ve got three girls and I give them a nice bowl of porridge before they go out the door so they’re not. . .

David Gillespie: That’s a good trick. I wish I’d thought of that. That is a good trick. Fill them up before they get there.

Stuart Cooke: Exactly right. Yeah. It does help.

I’ve got a few kind of miscellaneous questions as well. And I might jump into the top one, Guy, if you don’t mind.

Guy Lawrence: Go for it.

Stuart Cooke: Your thoughts on bread- and wheat-based products, given the high glycemic load.

David Gillespie: I don’t pay a lot of attention to glycemic index or glycemic load. I think they’re nonsense terms. I don’t think they’re helpful at all for anyone who’s not diabetic. And even for people who are diabetic, I’m not entirely certain they’re very helpful.

The way our body deals with carbohydrate is with a glycemic response. That is, we release insulin to use the glucose that’s in our blood. Now, the efficiency of that response is measured by the degree to which we’ve impaired our insulin response by consuming fructose.

So, yes, someone who has spent their entire life, like me, consuming fructose, has probably seriously damaged their glycemic response. And it may take a long time to repair that damage. And so you might want to be cautious about carbohydrates.

The interesting thing that I have found is, once you give up the sugar, carbohydrates are a far less enticing thing. You don’t find yourself craving carbs anywhere near as much as you did before. And that’s probably because there’s a lot of sugar addiction involved in the process.

I am working on research on the degree to which we should be worried about carbs, and even proteins like gluten that you find in bread, and fibers. And, ultimately, that will turn into a book, I suspect.

But for the moment, I would say: Do what most people do, which is break the addiction first. Break the addiction. Then you can start to make seriously sensible choices about what you choose to put in your mouth. Because one thing people who do break the addiction find is they fill up quickly. So, once they have a functioning appetite control system, they find themselves not able to eat anywhere near as much as they used to be able to get through. And I used to; I found that, too. You’d sit down to a meal that you previously would have knocked back, no worries at all, and you start getting a half or two-thirds of the way through and thinking, “Oh, I really can’t finish this. I’m really full.”

And that’s just your hormones working; your appetite control system working. And when that starts happening, people start saying, you know, with that happening, I’ve got to be really choosy about what I put in my mouth, because I know my appetite control system’s not gonna let me put that much of anything in my mouth. So, if I have this big slice of dextrose cake for afternoon tea or this big bit of cheesecake for afternoon tea, I know that I’m not gonna fit my dinner in. And then it’s a balance between what’s for dinner and do I really like it or do I prefer it over this piece of cake.

So, people find themselves starting to make choices about what they put in their mouth. And a lot of people start doing things like saying, “You know what? I just don’t get that much out of carbs anymore. And I find when I’m not eating them, I feel better. So I won’t eat them that much.”

Stuart Cooke: Would it be possible for our audience who may be a little confused just to kind of loosely run through what you might perhaps eat in a day.

David Gillespie: Sure. So, let’s talk about today. I started today, my 12-year-old boy very helpfully cooked me some bacon and eggs this morning. That was a nice bit of meal: bacon with all the fat still on and an egg. And then I’ve just had lunch, which was I some leftover mince on toast, basically. And the toast was sourdough bread that my wife made a day or two ago. Now, the reason she’s making bread is just to avoid the seed oils, which is a topic for another day. But it also helps you avoid sugar.

And for dinner; what will dinner be? Well, tonight it’s likely going to be some sort of pasta and meat sauce, I suspect.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right, OK.

David Gillespie: That’s not our typical; that’s just because of Friday night. Normally it’s some sort of meat and veg kind of fare.

Stuart Cooke: Got it. OK.

Guy Lawrence: I have another question that popped in there and we haven’t got it down, only because I CrossFit. You know, I love my exercise. But from reading your books as well, you discuss the topic of weight loss and exercise and the relationship there.

I’d love you just to share your views on that, because, you know, from what I find, when I train more, my appetite goes up and I generally et more food and if I’m not careful I can eat the wrong foods, you know, and that’s what I’ve seen from my experience over the years, especially working as a fitness trainer. But I’d just love you to share that with us a little bit for people.

David Gillespie: Well, when you expend more calories doing anything, if you spend Saturday out in the yard working, whereas you normally sit at a desk, you’ll eat more on Saturday. Your body is a complex machine that measures the amount of energy you burn and the amount that you consume and make sure it stays in balance.

And the same goes for exercise. It doesn’t matter if you’re out mowing the lawn or doing exercise in a gym. If you burn more energy, your body will ask you to eat more food. In other words, it will increase your appetite. And that’s not a bad thing at all. That’s a perfectly good thing and perfectly normal thing.

The problem is when the appetite control system is broken, and that’s what fructose does. It messes with the hormones that control how much we eat. And it just knocks your system up, just a fraction, not much, just a tiny little bit, maybe a quarter of a Monte Carlo biscuit’s worth.

But you do that every day for years, end-on-end cumulatively, and you start to get the kind of weight gain that you are seeing in the Australian population.

Guy Lawrence: And so for anyone listening to this that’s thinking of putting their runners on tomorrow and going for a run, that eat sugar and fructose as well, they should be given the fructose up first. Which sounds. . .

David Gillespie: The thing about exercise, people think that I’ve got something against exercise. And I have nothing against exercise. Do it if you feel like it. And the reality is that since I’ve lost the weight, I feel like doing it a lot more than I did before. And a lot of people report that, which is after they lose the weight they exercise more than they ever did before. Not because of the weight; just because they feel like doing it more.

And so if you feel like doing it, if you really enjoy it, then keep doing it. If you’re doing it because you think you’ll lose weight doing it, don’t bother.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, that’s fair enough. It’s funny because I train constantly. Most days. But I do it because I mentally feel fantastic after it, you know? That’s what drives me to do it.

David Gillespie: My 16-year-old boy, he’s a rower. He trains 40 hours a week. OK? He is an exercise nutbag. He does it because he loves it. Not because he wants to lose weight.

Guy Lawrence: That’s a good point.

Stuart Cooke: That’s right, and that’s kind of what we tell lots of people, too. There are so many benefits from cardiovascular. Feel good. It’s your own time as well. You’re there and you can process thoughts and get through anything that might be on your mind. But as a tool for weight loss, I do struggle to see the connection as well. But see what happens.

I’m just wondering about the future for David Gillespie at the moment. What does the future hold? You mentioned the possibility of another book? What’s in the pipeline?

David Gillespie: Well, one of the things that I’m doing at the moment is I’m really focusing on is, I put a book out earlier this year called Toxic Oil, which is about the dangers of vegetable oils. And by “dangers” I mean they are even more insidiously dangerous than the sugar. At least you can taste sugar. You can’t taste these oils, and they’re added to every food on the supermarket shelf.

And there’s clear evidence that they double the rate of cancer in humans. And when we’re seeing the phenomenal increase in rates of cancer that we’re currently seeing, it scares me. I know a lot of people now who have cancer, who are suffering from it. And I really want that message to get out there loud and clear.

So, I am focusing on that and I will focus on that in the immediate future.

Next year I have a book coming out on a completely unrelated topic, which I’ll reveal more about towards the end of the year. It’s nothing to do with nutrition. And we’ll see where go from there.

But as I said to you before, one of my areas of focus at the moment is the whole, I guess the “bread cortex,” if you want; the gluten, fiber, carb question. Are any of these things bad, good, indifferent for us?

Stuart Cooke: Definitely. I’ve just read a very interesting book about that, so I’d love for you to put your spin in the way that you write as well and research and resource. I’d be very interested.

David Gillespie: It is interesting.

Stuart Cooke: Oh, it is. It will stir up our household as well because I’ve been though Sweet Poison two or three times and Toxic Oil and our cupboard seems to be changing from month to month, and it’s a topic of discussion.

David Gillespie: Well, it’s probably going backwards in time. If you follow what I say in Toxic Oil, you’ll find yourself making most of what you eat and, really, your cupboard starting to consist of mostly raw ingredients.

Guy Lawrence: Exactly. You know, the one thing I wanted to add as well, because, you know, I’m single. I live by myself. And it’s very easy for me to, if I do shop, I can just get whatever. But once families are involved, you know, it’s amazing. And I’m sure that day will come for me and it’s gonna be a whole new challenge.

David Gillespie: You need a partner that’s going to help. People tell me it’s very, very difficult to go it alone on this, you know? Very difficult for you to just decide, “Well, I’m gonna do this,” and the rest of the family will just keep eating a normal, modern diet. That’s very difficult to do. So you need to have everybody working on the same page.

But, look, the good news is you’re not going to do yourself any harm at all by doing this, and you learn an amazing set of new skills. If you’d said to me, two years ago, “You are going to be cooking the only bread you eat,” I would have laughed at you. Because that sounded like way too much effort. But the reality is that that’s what we’re doing now. And the end result is we eat a lot less bread because if you’ve got to cook it yourself, you’re not gonna eat that much of it.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. We’re almost reconnecting with skills that have been lost along the way and we’re actually learning how to eat again.

David Gillespie: We’re also learning that it isn’t that hard. A lot of these things sound daunting if you’ve never done it. But once you have done it, you find it’s actually just not that hard.

Guy Lawrence: Any other questions?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I’m just gonna ask a little bit of a wrap-up question, really, and we ask all of our guests this and I’m guessing that I probably know the answer. But if you can offer a single piece of advice for optimum health and wellness, what would it be?

David Gillespie: Don’t eat sugar. But, look, if you really want to be super duper well and avoid just about every chronic disease in modern society, then don’t eat sugar or vegetable oil.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right. OK. Perfect.

Guy Lawrence: Perfect answer.

Stuart Cooke: And for anybody that would like to get hold of your books or find more about the resource, where can they connect with you?

David Gillespie: Well, look, if they want my books, they go to a bookstore. My books will be available just about anyplace that sells books. If they want the books signed by me, they can buy them from my website, but they’re a lot more expensive that way. If you don’t care, then your average bookstore or supermarket is a good place.

If you want to connect with a community of people who are like-minded, then the very best place is the Facebook page Sweet Poison, which I think has 49,000 people on it. And they are all gung-ho. Get on there with any question; they’ll answer it, and if they can’t, I will.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, fantastic. I went through the forums the other day and I was surprised at the amount of engagement in there. The numbers are voluminous, and it’s a really community as well. Fantastic.

David Gillespie: And very knowledgeable. I mean, these people know their stuff. You know, people put stuff up on Facebook. . . I check it every day to see if there’s anything getting missed or where people are not getting the answers that they need and that almost never happens. Everyone else is already well and truly there and giving them everything they need to know.

Stuart Cooke: Fantastic. You’re making a lot of people aware of what they should be putting in their mouth, David, which is a great thing.

Guy Lawrence: OK. All right. Well, look, thank you so much for sharing your time and also writing these great books as well. And we hope to have you back on the show in the not-too-distant future talking about the oils.

Stuart Cooke: We’ll talk about oil.

David Gillespie: That’s right.

It was a pleasure. Good to see you guys.

 

Professor Tim Noakes: The Exercise & Carbohydrate Myth

Free Health Pack

By Guy Lawrence

This is the full interview with South African running legend Professor Tim Noakes. He is a health professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

You can watch a 2 minute gem from the interview here: Is Running Effective for Fat Burning? 

downloaditunesIn this weeks episode:-

  • Why Tim famously changed his views on carb’ loading for running [005:01]
  • Is running effective for weight loss? [013:09]
  • What Tim eats before & after exercise [016:28]
  • His thoughts on CrossFit & if low carb’ applies? [021:45]
  • Tim’s thoughts on endurance exercise/running reducing life expectancy [027:38]
  • Swimming one mile at the north Pole in 1.8 degrees water temp’ [039:45]
  • and much more…

You can follow Professor Tim Noakes: 

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Did you enjoy the interview with Professor Tim Noakes? Would love to hear you thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy


Professor Tim Noakes: The transcript

Guy

I’ll quickly do the introduction. I’m Guy Lawrence. This is Stuart Cooke. And our special guest today is Professor Tim Noakes. And, Tim, honestly, thank you for joining us. It’s awesome to have you.

Tim

My pleasure. Thanks, Guy and Stuart.

Guy

It’s funny. We actually mentioned to a couple of friends of ours that we’d be interviewing you today, and there was a lot of excitement. We; a very good friend of ours actually studied his medical degree in South Africa and he said that you taught him in one of the semesters there, back in 1984, ’85, I think it was. So, he was very impressed that we were speaking to you today and said to say hello.

Tim

Great. I hope I knew something.

Guy

And also, another friend of ours, a really good friend of yours, Stu, is it Gavin, is it?

Stuart

Gavin, yeah, he’s a crazy bush runner, and he was very excited when he found out that we were going to be talking to you. So, we’ve got a few questions a little later on that he’s scripted for us and he’d love to know, so we’ll get to those in 10 minutes or so.

Guy

Yeah, so the first thing, anyway, Tim, for anyone that doesn’t know who you are, would you mind just telling us a little bit about yourself for the people that would be listening to this?

Tim

Sure. Well, I’m pretty advanced in age now. I’m 64 years old, so I’ve been in medicine since 1969, I started my medical training. And during my medical training I became much more interested in sports medicine and health promotion and disease prevention.

And I realized, also, I was really interested in science rather more than the practice of medicine.

So, after doing my internship in the hospital, I went immediately into research and I’ve been there ever since. I first did my Ph.D. in medicine and I graduated in 1981 and then immediately started teaching sports science at the University of Capetown. So, it was the first sports science degree in South Africa.

And it has kind of evolved into sports medicine and a few other things, and I have built up the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, which is a research organization and a teaching organization. And we started that in about ’95, so it’s gone about 15 or 16 years now.

And my interests, as you know, are: how does the body function as a totality. Because when I started in the sciences, we were taught that when you’re exercising, muscles get tired and then you stop. And we now know it’s much more complex. And so we developed the theory of the central governor model, which is that the brain regulates exercise and performance to make sure that you get to the finish of an event safely.

So, that’s been my one contribution. The other contribution, which brought me into conflict with PepsiCo and Gatorade, was how much you should drink during exercise.

Guy

Hot topic.

Tim

And the big one that I want to finish up on is: what we should be eating, and is it healthful for our bodies.

Guy

Yeah, that a massive topic, isn’t it?

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Stuart

So, we noticed that a few years ago, your views on diet, particular carbohydrates, changed dramatically. And I wondered if you could just elaborate on that a little bit, please.

Tim

Sure. Well, I reached that age of 61 and, in fact, it happened the night I finished writing Waterlogged, which is the story about Gatorade and the sports industry and so on and how that income impacts over-drink.

So, at the time I was incredibly sensitive about how industry manipulates science and scientists for its own needs and good. And so anyway, I went out and ran the next morning and I had a terrible run and I thought, “Well, Tim Noakes, you’ve got to do something about your running. It’s awful. You’ve got to do something about it.”

So, fortunately, I came home, I went to my emails, and there in my in box was an advert for a book called The New Atkins for the New You. And I said, of course, Atkins has been XXunintelligibleXX and so on. And it said: “Lose 6 kilograms in six weeks without anger.” And I said: That’s rubbish. You can’t lose that without hunger. You’ve got to go and train hard and it’s a sacrifice and so on.

So, anyway, then I noticed it was written by some friends of mine, Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney, who are two really good scientists. So I said, “Well, they wouldn’t say this if it was nonsense.”

So I went and read the book. I read it, and by lunchtime I decided: That’s it. No more carbohydrates.

And I suddenly just lost buckets of weight. And my running came back. I mean, it was astonishing. Now, you must understand I was running really slowly but I dropped 40 minutes in my half-marathon and 20 minutes off my 10K time. So, I went from running seven minutes a K to XXaudio problemXX.

And, you know, that’s astonishing. Because I thought that I was old, and that’s why I had to run at seven minutes a K and suddenly I could run at 5 minutes a K. And it was absolutely astonishing.

So, my every health parameter has dramatically improved. I mean, you know, my blood pressure, from the day one of medical school, was 140/90 or higher. It’s now 120/70 at its highest.

And all I’ve done is changed my diet. So I’m now back to the weight I was as a youngster. And my running is not as fast as it was, but for a 64-year-old, I think I’m doing pretty well.

So, then I studied eating and I just saw that is bogus: the idea that we must cut fat from the diet is based on complete bogus nonsense. And, again, it was industry and commerce that drove us to start eating lots of carbohydrates and sugar and so on.

And so, again, I just started to see exactly the same thing that had happened in the sports drink industry has happened with the industry that promotes carbohydrates.

And, fortunately or unfortunately, my father was diabetic. I’m profoundly carbohydrate intolerant. And if you’re carbohydrate intolerant, you just must not eat carbohydrates. So, I’m the type of person who’s gonna benefit hugely from this advice.

And a final point I’d make is that we’re not that, you know? We are not told that if you’re carbohydrate intolerant, you shouldn’t be eating carbohydrates

Stuart

Yeah, that’s interesting. Funny enough, Tim, we had DNA testing done about two months ago and it came up that I was susceptible to diabetes and I was carbohydrate intolerant and if I ate carbs, I would become a diabetic, basically.

And it just sort of reinforced what I was naturally doing anyway.

Tim

That’s amazing. And you know, I have debated this with the experts in South Africa and they tell me that condition of carbohydrate intolerance or insulin resistance does not exist. That’s what they honestly told me.

Stuart

Insane.

Guy

What was the initial reaction like that you had when you first came out and said, you know, we should be eating fat, not carbohydrates?

Tim

Well, it took me about five months to knock off the carbs. But, all I did was I wrote an article saying, “I’m dropped the cereals and grains.” I didn’t even talk about fat. And there was a complete outcry from the scientists and dieticians. It was astonishing and it continues to this day.

I mean, I’m absolutely persona non grata. And they will do anything they possibly can to discredit me and discredit these ideas. Instead of saying, “Hold on. Let’s look at the evidence and let’s see what the truth is,” because what I teach in science is that there’s always two sides to arguments and you must present both. But they refused to present the opposite argument.

Stuart

Why would you think that is?

Tim

Well, the story I’m getting back is that the dieticians in South Africa have been told that they may not discuss this theory because it completely undermines; it completely undermines the entire; the teaching in their discipline.

Stuart

Right.

Tim

So, rather than address the entire discipline, they’re just gonna ignore it. But the tragedy is; my opinion is that the social media and what we are doing here today is the future. And people will learn what the truth is.

So, people are gonna to listen to this and they’ll say, “Gee, you know, I’m like Tim Noakes. I’m 60. I’m fat. I can’t run. Maybe I should stop eating carbohydrates.” And then a few weeks later, they’re running much better and they’ve lost the weight. They say, “Well, Tim Noakes was right and the dieticians were wrong.”

And then they go and tell another hundred people.

Stuart

Do you think; so, talking about fat adaption and people consuming carbohydrates, is it a kind of clean-cut case, or are there people that simply can’t fat-adapt; perhaps people that need carbohydrates?

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Tim

I don’t think there are anyone who can’t fat-adapt. I mean, I just don’t XXthink that’s a conditionXX Except if, there is one condition where you’re metabolically deranged and you haven’t got the enzymes to break down fat. But, I mean, that’s a described metabolic disorder.

But, you know, it took me 61 years to learn that carbohydrate is entirely unessential to humans, because you can live without them. You can live without eating even one gram of carbohydrate. No one ever told me that.

Guy

That shocks a lot of people when they hear that for the first time.

Tim

It does. And certainly if you’ve read my book, Lore of Running, you get the opposite impression.

So, to answer your question, what I do find is that if you’re carbohydrate-intolerant, you benefit hugely from fat adaptation. I mean, one of the people I helped dropped his 56 kilometer time by three hours.

Stuart

What?

Tim

In one year. He ran 6:57 and the next year ran 3:59. Now, this particular 56K race in Capetown, it’s a difficult race. To break 4 is a really good run because you have to run three hours for the marathon and they you have to run 14 kilometers in which you had better run it four minutes a K as well. Up hills. And he dropped three hours. And he was a good runner, obviously, but that was the effect of carbohydrates on him.

Stuart

That’s insane.

Tim

It is insane. And he only lost; he lost 16 kilograms ultimately, but the pictures of him before he did the dietary change, he was; his BMI was actually only 26. He wasn’t grossly overweight at all. He would look normal for an African ultra-marathon runner finishing at the end of the races. And then now he looks like a world-class, well, not world-class, but he looks like a fantastic athlete.

tim_noakesAnd all the difference was that he had been eating carbohydrates, and he couldn’t tolerate them, and as soon as he cut them, his body responded as it should be.

As I say, which is the healthier one? Is it the one on the carbs or the one eating the fat? Which is gonna kill him tomorrow? Is he healthier?

I say, why is it that 50 percent of the people running ultra-marathons in South Africa, and that’s a lot of people, there’s probably 8,000 ultra-marathon runners, why are they all fat? And the answer is because they are doing lots of exercise but they’re eating the wrong diet.

Once they aren’t, the weight just drops off and they start to run better.

Stuart

So, your thoughts on running for weight loss while following a conventional diet?

Guy

Is not the way forward.

Stuart

Probably not the way forward. We’ve got lots of friends that run. You know, we’ve got bush runners, road runners, soft sand, treadmill. They do it for very different reasons. Many of them do it to lose weight.

But without these thoughts or knowledge or info on the diet, is it pointless as a tool for weight loss?

Tim

Yeah, Stuart, that’s a great question. The answer is, if you’re running to regulate your weight, your diet is wrong. You cannot regulate your weight with running.

To use as an example, this Jeff Simon we were chatting about, when he entered the diet, within about 12 weeks he’d lost his 12 kilograms and he was hardly running. Then he was training really hard and he got up to 100, 120 K’s a week and his weight stayed exactly the same. It didn’t change.

You said “recently,” which I think is a very important point, is that you run to burn carbohydrates, not to burn calories. And the reason it works in some people is you burn off the excess carbohydrate that your body normally can’t burn. But the instant you stop running, your weight jumps up again because you stop burning that excess carbohydrate. And if you can’t burn the excess carbohydrate, it has to be stored as fat. That’s the only that people, again, and I didn’t understand that either.

So, you have to have a carbohydrate balance.

Guy

How many grams of carbohydrate would he have been eating a day, just out of curiosity?

Tim

I would say probably 300 or 400 grams. And now he’s probably down to about 75 to 100. Something in that range. That’s; he’s not grossly intolerant like I am. I’m down to 25 to 50 grams a day. And my weight remains absolutely stable. It doesn’t matter whether I run 10 K’s a day or rest. My weight is stable.

Stuart

When you talk about how many carbs that you eat a day, where do you get; where do you source those carbs from?

Tim

Mainly from veg. Leafy veg. Those are about the only two veg; those are the only two carbohydrate sources that I now eat. I’m actually diabetic. I do treat myself with Glucophage. So, I have to; that’s why I limit to 25. I mean, glucose in my system, it just causes chaos.

And what I’ve also learned is that if you are on the verge, like myself, and you are diabetic, any carbohydrate messes you up for days. It’s astonishing how long it takes to get back to control if you eat much carbohydrate. But even an extra apple is enough to upset my carbohydrate balance the next day.

Stuart

Wow.

Tim

And so that’s how on the edge we are, once you reach the stage I’m in.

Guy

What would you eat, typically, then before and after a race or, you know, just generally as well?

Tim

Fantastic. What I do is I would not eat anything before. I’m just XXunintelligibleXX. I’d have a big meal the night before. I might have some extra protein the night before. Because I can generate glucose from nothing. I mean, if I have a big protein meal, my glucose shoots up. If I run, my glucose shoots up.

So, one of the problems in diabetes, and this is not recognized, but some of us have a liver that can produce so much carbohydrates, so much glucose, it’s utterly impossible for me to get my glucose down running. I mean, I could run for hours without any carbohydrate and I’m sure my glucose would still be up.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but my point is, I run marathons; half-marathons and my glucose is high at the finish. Even the fact that I haven’t eaten for 12 hours before the race or during the race.

So, I’ve got this massive capacity to produce glucose from the liver, and I think that that is a very common phenomenon in diabetes. And so XXit controls glucose productionXX in the liver, and so adding extra carbohydrate just floods the system and makes it even worse.

Stuart

That was certainly a shocker for you people, I think. Running a half-marathon with nothing inside of you on that particular day. Because I know that it’s certainly a big gel community at the moment and people are squeezing gels and goos into their mouth every second. And it’s XXunintelligibleXX I think, isn’t it?

Tim

If I could just answer that question. What I discovered is that when we change people to high-fat diets, they take XXaudio problemXX during exercise. And if they do, even if it’s an adventure race and they’re out for eight hours a day or whatever, or exercise for eight hours a day, they just eat what they normally would eat.

So, they eat lunch and then dinner and so on. And they’ll eat the same high-fat, high-carb. . . I’m sorry; high-fat, high-protein foods that they normally eat. And they’ll tell you they’re much less hungry, but the people who are competing with them who are carbohydrate-dependent are looking for carbohydrates every half hour, constantly looking for them. That’s the difference.

Once you adapt to fat, you just use the fat that’s in your body and you don’t need the carbohydrates at all.

Guy

So, that would be one of the advantages for any athlete listening to this then, Tim, I’m guessing that the fact you don’t need to keep refueling yourself when you’re running all the time.

Tim

Absolutely. And so your choice of foods is so much simpler. We had some experts out here recently and one of them had done the Badwater 140-mile race, which has to be the toughest race in the world, under impossible conditions, and they cross over three mountain ranges.

And he said when they started, they used to take on all sorts of foods, lots of carbohydrates, but they also used to put in protein and fat. And he said after a few years, they suddenly realized that they didn’t eat the carbohydrates. They were eating the other things.

So, on their race, their bodies actually said to them, “Give me the fat and the protein.” And so, with time, they adapted and now they don’t take any carbohydrate with them whatsoever, which I found really interesting. If you listen carefully, your body will tell you what you really need.

But I just have to reemphasize that the carbohydrates are so addictive and they do give you immediate lifts, so a lot of those people will need them for the lift, the artificial lift that they give them. Not for the metabolic effects, but for the brain effects that they XXare given toXX.

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Stuart

Just that facet. So, during the period of adaptation, how long do you think that, you know, those cravings would generally last?

Tim

Yeah, that’s a great question. I found it took me about six weeks. My running suddenly improved after six weeks, just dramatically. Within a period of a week, I suddenly started running much better.

But the cravings for sugar took about 14 months. And so I would finish those runs and I would still take a little bit of sugar in my drinks and I would still add sugar to tea and coffee. But all that was much reduced. It took a long time. So, now I find water as refreshing as any drink I’ve ever had. And, in fact, the water tastes sweet to me now. But that took two or three years.

Guy

So, if you’re an athlete and you’re fat-adapted and let’s say you went on a load of carbohydrates and knocked yourself out of ketosis. Does it take a long time to get back into being fat-adapted? Are we talking hours, days, weeks?

Tim

Well, that I can’t say I did personally, but reading what Jeff Volek had said, he said you’re out for about three days. That you’re not quite as good as you were for the previous few, so it takes about three days to get back.

And I mean, I think that’s the point in biology. It doesn’t matter what you do to the body. If you add a lot of salt to the body, it takes you about three days to get back into balance. So, I would think the same applies for most things.

It’s not acute. We don’t adapt acutely. It takes times for the system to get back, because the system is so incredibly complex that it needs time to get everything back into good shape again.

Guy

Yeah, fair enough. What, Tim, what’s your thoughts on short bouts of intense exercise and being low-carb? Because it’s obviously; you’re using a different system there, I’m assuming. Because I do CrossFit and long-distance running you’re constantly at one pace, but something like CrossFit is very dynamic, heavy weights, and some things last 10 minutes.

Tim

Yeah. You know, I’m not the expert on that yet and I haven’t really tried it myself. I haven’t started doing interval training again, properly. I do feel a bit sluggish when I try to do intervals, and I think that’s what people generally tell you.

And it’s really interesting, because it’s difficult to understand why you should be sluggish simply because you haven’t got lots of carbohydrates in you. Because, in fact, diabetics store carbohydrates poorly anyway. And so adding lots of carbohydrate doesn’t necessarily make insulin-resistant people fill up their muscles with carbohydrates.

So, if you’re intolerant like myself, and most of us who are on this diet, you shouldn’t have been able to store carbohydrate very well anyway when you’re eating a high-carbohydrate diet. And it doesn’t completely make sense to me why we struggle a bit when we do high-intensity training. And maybe it’s because we need to do more of it. I don’t know, but the clinical trials that they’ve done, in XXgymnasts?XX, for example, they show no effect that XXgymnasts?XX are just as strong in a high-fat diet as they are on a high-carbohydrate diet.

However, you know, most people will tell you that they can’t exercise as well. But let me give you one example. I had one guy who was a world-class athlete and he chose to drop from 400 grams a day down to 25 and he said it was a disaster. He didn’t even want to get up in the morning, he felt so terrible.

He then went up to a hundred grams and he said on a hundred grams a day, he’s training better and he’s performing better than he ever did at 400 grams. And so that’s my point. There’s the cut-off value.

And I do not believe that any human being needs more than 200 grams a day. So, even if you’re an Iron Man triathlete, training hard every day, that 200 grams will be enough to provide you all the energy you need during the exercise bouts. Because that will cover it. You know, you can burn lots of fat.

We have done some preliminary experiments on people who have fat-adapted and normally adapted. And what we find is that the fat-adapted still burn quite a lot of carbohydrate during exercise, but what they do is they just don’t burn carbohydrate during the races. They burn fat. Whereas the carbohydrate-adapted person burns carbohydrate all day because he’s got to get back into carbohydrate balance.

So, I would guess that 60, 70 percent of that huge carbohydrate load that people are eating is actually what they’re gonna burn during the rest of the day. Which they don’t need to, because you can burn fat during the rest of the day. And that’s the, sort of, balance that you need to get to, that maybe 200 grams will give you all the carbohydrates you need to train maximally if you’re doing speed work. And then the rest of the day you spend burning fat.

But burning 400 grams or eating 400 or 500 grams a day, you’re just gonna burn most of that during the rest of the day when you don’t need it.

Stuart

Yeah. Of course.

Guy

You see so many people doing that.

Tim

Exactly. And, I mean, I wouldn’t have known that until it became so obvious when you’re doing XXunintelligibleXX and that’s what you see.

So, people who are eating lots of carbohydrates are actually fueling; they’re burning the carbohydrates when they’re not exercising. So, that’s important.

Stuart

And outside of, you know, weight loss and performance, what other benefits have you experienced on a high-fat diet?

Tim

My health has just improved dramatically. I mean, I just don’t get ill anymore. That’s what’s remarkable.

I used to get repeated bronchitis, which was quite severe and I needed mediation, steroids, to treat it. I haven’t had an attack like that for three years. And I’ve just; I had a whole bunch of other symptoms but that was the one that used to really worry me.

Because every three months or so, I’d get a rhinitis; a runny nose. And it would go straight into my lungs and I’d get this allergic response, which I always thought was the infection, and then I realized that’s actually an allergic response. And now what I know is it’s simply related to cereals and grains in my diet.

I also had the irritable bowel syndrome. That disappeared. I had dyspepsia. That disappeared. I used to get headaches once a week. I haven’t taken a medication for headache for three years. I used to take it once a week.

So I know it’s the gliadin in the wheat that is the problem causing repeated headaches.

So, I’m just two different people. I mean, I now have got so much energy and it’s just been amazing. I feel like I’m back to 25 or 30.

Guy

That’s awesome.

Tim

Whereas before, I was a tired 60-year-old who almost stopped running. I was tiring.

Guy

I’ll tell you, I haven’t eaten grains for a couple of years, and every time I’ll have a grain, on the odd occasion, I always feel terrible after it. And the best thing I ever did was get rid of the grains for myself, personally. You know? It’s amazing.

Tim

That’s probably the most important adaptation is getting rid of the cereals and grains. And which is, I said, because, you know we’re all told that they are the cornerstone for our health. And it’s just not the case at all.

Stuart

Yeah, absolutely. That magical food pyramid that has lied to us for so many years.

I’m going to steal one of your questions and throw a little bit of a curve ball your way as well, Tim. So, on endurance exercise, particularly running, and life expectancy. And I’m raising that because of cortisol issues, which, for our audience, is the stress hormone.

What are your thoughts on that?

Tim

You know, I think there is some evidence accumulating that for some individuals keeping up high-intensity running, running marathons all your life, probably isn’t such a good idea.

The problem is, they haven’t controls for nutrition. That’s an issue that we haven’t looked at. So, if you’re carbohydrate-intolerant, and you’re eating a high-carbohydrate diet and you’re exercising, I can see that that’s gonna be a problem.

My own view is that I’ve stopped running marathons many years ago, but I would have continued if I’d been on this diet. Because I stopped running because I became so slow. And I now know I became slow because of my carbohydrate intolerance and eating lots of carbohydrates. And that if I’d eaten a high-fat diet all my life, I believe I would have continued running marathons for much longer and not had those consequences.

So, I think that there is evidence for some people for doing lots of vigorous exercise is not good. But I would not like to generalize that to the general public.

We’ve known for years that the Tour de France scientists, generally the winners have a very short life expectancy. But there were drugs involved and many other things that we couldn’t be certain that it’s just the exercise.

But you’ve just got to be cautious, and the one thing you don’t want is atrial fibrillation. And clearly that’s linked to vigorous exercise and it’s hit one of the guys who brought me into running, and one’s an early winner of the Comrades marathon, that’s the 90 kilometer race in South Africa, has got atrial fibrillation. And, you know, that was so clearly related to all his running.

So, one just has to be cautious. And I think if you’ve got signs that things are not good, if you start to pick up abnormal heart rhythms, I think it’s time to look very cautiously and consider, A, are you doing too much, and, B, is it your diet? Is that a factor?

Stuart

Yeah. Absolutely. And I guess it’s another scenario where one size certainly doesn’t fit all. We’re all so very, very different.

Tim

And I’m getting messages back from other guys now, in their 60s, older than me, in their 70s, changing to this diet and suddenly finding their performance going up again, and being able to run much better.

So, again, the question is, is it the exercise or is it the nutrition? And Jeff Volek is doing some wonderful stuff looking at inflammation markers in people who run marathons and ultra-marathons, and if they’re eating a high-carbohydrate diet.

So, the argument is that the combination of lots of marathon-running and high carbohydrates produce inflammatory response. And that, repeated every few months for years, naturally you’re likely to cause problems.

So, I think we have to look at our running and make sure you’re just not getting inflamed all the time and try to do things that will stop the inflammation.

Guy

Yeah, right.

Stuart

That’s good advice.

Guy

It sounds like the diet, again, is very suspicious there.

Tim

It think it’s controllable, and look at dietary very carefully.

Guy

OK. Another question while we’re on running, then. And we wanted to raise this because we got the famous City2Surf coming up. And, are you aware of that race, Tim?

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Tim

Yes, I do. And you know why I know? Because John Sutton, famous Australian physiologist, that’s sports medicine doctor, was one of the first doctors to be involved in that race and he described all the cases of heatstroke that occurred.

And I remember him writing one article saying something like, you know, heatstroke in a 10K or 12K fun run shouldn’t be happening.

And I think he got it all wrong, because he was all, “Oh, you’ve got to drink lots of fluids.” And so on. And I don’t agree with that. I think heatstroke is a multifactorial disease and you’ve got to have individual susceptibility for it to start.

And then you’ve got to have a couple of other things wrong with you on the day. But you’d probably have an infection; a latent infection. And maybe other things that happen on the day. Maybe taking medications or drugs which are factors.

And when you put them all together, then you get the scenario. But the reality is that you’ve probably got 50,000 runners in the race and yet you only have one or two guys get into real trouble. But why didn’t all 50,000, if it was the environment? It’s not the environment. It’s something else that’s involved.

Guy

So, if somebody was listening to this a week before they were doing the City2Surf run and they’ve eaten a lot of carbs and drinking a lot of Gatorade ready to get ready for the race and they hear this a week before, and they go, “Oh, my God. Should I change everything?” What should they do?

Tim

They absolutely shouldn’t change now. But I think what you need to know is that every time you put carbohydrates; refined carbohydrates like those sports drinks into your mouth, you get a huge insulin response and we think that that repeated insulin response, the high glucose, is damaging to the health in the long-term.

Some people are OK because they’re hugely carbohydrate-tolerant. But if you’re intolerant, every time you take a sports drink, you’re actually damaging your health.

So you have to appreciate that. So, we have this paradox in South Africa that our big races are funded by the soft drink industry and if we had a race in Capetown which had 10,000 runners running 56 kilometers and they managed to consume three tons of sugar during the race. I’m not saying that consumed it, but there were three tons of sugar available on the race for those runners.

Now that’s, when you start to think about that, you realize: Here you are running, trying to get healthy, but you’re killing yourself by taking all of that sugar during the race.

Stuart

Would you add anything to your drink when you’re running; would you anything? Salt or anything like that?

Tim

No. You certainly don’t need salt, because your body will provide all the salt you need. So, you definitely need water. And if you’re fat-adapted, you just need fat and protein.

And I would try milk, you know. Or coconut oil. I’ve used both in half-marathons and it’s the most wonderful drink. You have to come to Northern Europe to be fully adapted to milk. Otherwise, you’ve probably got a milk intolerance.

So, many XXSouth Africans?XX come from Europe, as I do, and so we’re tolerant for milk.

But the point being that once you’re fat-adapted, you just really don’t need much carbohydrate, if any, during exercise.

Stuart

I have a question now from my good friend Gavin, who is a bush runner. And he’s interested from a beginner’s perspective. He wants to know what would be the most effective training method to get him up to a level of fitness in the fastest time period without injury, where they’re able to keep up with other club runners and not feel left behind. If you have any tips.

Tim

Yeah. Well, I can only tell you what I did. I was a rower when I started running and what we used to do, we used to race two miles. That was epic. So, if we raced two miles. That was where most people come from, I think. If you’re fit for another sport, you can probably race a mile or two and go flat-out and you’re OK. But once you have to run 5Ks or 10Ks, it’s a real problem.

And I was taken by some real experts and they XXaudio problemsXX controversy. Because you have to learn the pacing strategies. That’s the key. And that’s it is. And after three months, I had the pacing strategies worked out. And then we would start running half an hour, hour, hour and a half, two hours.

So, I think that if you take people who are physically active and healthy and then go through about three months of regular running before you can start properly running 10, 15, 20 kilometers.

So, my focus has always been; so, that’s the one scenario. If you’ve got well-trained, if you’ve got physically fit people, they still need to run half an hour a day, five days a week, and it’s gonna take them three months to get going.

If you’ve got people who are completely sedentary and not physically strong, I started walking and in Lore of Running I describe a walking program where we would get them to walk for the first three months, because otherwise they’re going to get injuries, bone injuries, particularly stress fractures.

So, I think that’s the key. If you have been physically active before, like in Australian Rules or rugby or whatever. Football. That’s fine. But it still takes you time to learn how to pace yourself.

The thing that I learned was, just go slowly.

Stuart

You’ve got it. It’s certainly not an instant thing.

Tim

And add your speed work in. Go for distance first. That’s the key.

And even today, I still make the error of trying to run short distances too fast and not doing the long-distance work. It’s the long-distance work that really makes you a runner.

Guy

Yeah, right.

Stuart

Just another thought that popped into my mind as well. When training for longer events, would it just be running that you do? Just get out there and run on the road? Or would you hit the gym and start working other muscles?

Tim

Yes, I think so. I think you need; it depends. The longer your races, the more your whole body needs to be in good shape. So, I’m impressed by CrossFit. And this not an advert, but I was watching last night the CrossFit World Championships and I was utterly astonished at the women; what they can do. Ten or 15 years ago, we would have said that’s utterly impossible for a man to do, let along a woman.

So, I think, yes, there is good evidence that if you’ve got stronger legs from biometric training and so on, you will run better. So, there is a strength component to running. XXaudio problemXX and they are incredibly XXaudio problemXX. That’s a point that we don’t make.

For a highly-trained athlete to run fast, the 10K; a fast 10K, his foot is never on the ground. That’s what defines a great runner. They’re always in the air; their haven’t broken ground. And the answer is that his foot is on the ground for such a short time, then it explodes and throws; catapults his body forward two or three meters.

Now, OK, he’s only 56 kilograms, but still, the time being that his foot is on the ground is so short that he has an enormous amount of power. So, power is a key component, and it’s something that we forget.

And I certainly know of people who have trained for ultra-marathons by doing lots of weight training in the gym on their legs, and they’ve done relatively little running. So, if you can get your mind ’round it, you don’t have to do as much running.

But I actually agree. In generally, I think that weight training like CrossFit, that’s the best way to try and XXaudio problemXX. OK, maybe there’s more emphasis on weight training in CrossFit than in running, but I think that for many people, all weight training is gonna be beneficial.

Guy

Yeah. That’s really a good way of looking at it. I never thought of it like that.

And, Tim, there’s a question I’ve got, I’ve been itching to ask you for ages, and I’m quite aware of time so I’m going to jump to it to make sure we fit it in. And that simply is regarding the ocean swimming. Because me and Stu are big fans. We generally get in there a couple of times a week. And at the moment, the water temp, what was it today? 16.1?

Stuart

Just over 16, yeah.

Guy

Really? Well, this is cold. You’ve talked about training. Is it Lewis?

Tim

Lewis Pugh.

Guy

Yeah. And he swam one mile in, I think, our reference says 1.8 degrees.
Tim Noakes: That’s right. It was actually about 2 to 3. He did the mile swim. He usually swam a kilometer, but he did swim a kilometer in minus 1.8 degrees centigrade.

Guy

Now, just to make it clear, there’s no wetsuit. This is just him in his Speedos, right?

Tim

That’s right.

Guy

How did he do that?

Tim

Well, what he discovered was that, provided he was out of the water within 25 minutes he was fine. So, he could cope. And what he did was, as all humans do, is they cool their legs and their arms, they become incredibly cold, so after the long swim at Deception Island, where he swam a mile at 3 degrees centigrade, his muscle temperature was 32 degrees compared to a normal of 37, 38.

And it was 32 an hour and a half later, after he had been in a hot shower for an hour and a half. His muscles were still as cold as they were when he came out.

His core body temperature had risen to 37, so he was normal, his brain was normal again, but his legs were still messed up.

So, what he did was he stored all the cold in his legs. But he reached the absolute limit of his tolerance after 30 minutes. But when he swam it in 20 minutes at minus 1.8, he didn’t drop his core temperature below 36, so he was relatively fine.

So, again, if you just store the cold in your body and you’re fine for 20 minutes, but by 30 minutes you’re absolutely at the limit, and I think that anyone swimming at a temperature below 5 degrees centigrade, they’ve got half an hour before they freeze and drown.

And I think that’s what that work added, which is we now know the limits. And he could get to the mark, because he’s a fast swimmer, and he didn’t slow down much. He slowed down substantially, but not really too seriously.

The danger was is that if your body cools down and your brain is still warm enough. . . Sorry; if your brain cools down too quickly, you lose consciousness and you drown. And I know that had he swam for another five minutes in there at the temperature, he would have gone unconscious.

So, he was close. It was 35 minutes and he was gone.

Guy

Wow. That’s amazing. That’s just freaks me out. Because we get in the water, I’m contemplating how cold it is now, you know. . .

Tim

Yeah, but you’re both so lean, and you can only swim at about 26, 27. That’s the temperature at which you’ll be able to swim any length of time. But once it drops below 27, and of course the colder it is the worse it is.

I had the privilege recently of meeting a Capetown guy who, in Australian water, was lost at sea for 28 hours. You probably remember the story.

Stuart

Yes, I do.

Tim

The Coast Guard got him or whatever. And he came in here and he spoke to me and said, “I should be dead.” And he gave me the whole story about the 28 hours. I asked what was the water temperature and he said it was 27. I said, “That’s what saved you.” If it had been 25, he wouldn’t have made it.

It’s absolutely critical, the water temperature. And he wasn’t as lean as you guys, so he also had just a little bit of extra fat. But at your weights, you’re in real trouble when the temperature goes below 20 degrees.

Stuart

Yeah, absolutely. That’s why I’ve just ordered a nice, new wetsuit. I’ll be fine over the winter.

Tim

That’s definitely what you need.

Stuart

That’s awesome.

Guy

So, look, I’m just very aware of the time and one last question, Tim, before we wrap ’er up. And I know it’s a topic you’ve covered well. But, how much does the mind determine the outcome of an event?

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Tim

Yeah. That’s a great question. I was watching the British Open the other day and Tony Jacklin, who won the Open and one of the major American opens, he said it’s 90 percent psychological and 10 percent mental.

And I think it’s true, you know, when you get to that level, the skill is exactly the same for the top hundred players, and it’s only the ones who control their minds one the day that win.

In running, it’s both a hundred percent physical and it’s a hundred percent mental. In other words, that you have to have the physical capacity. I couldn’t run a four-minute mile ever, because I don’t have the physical capacity. But within my range of performances, then it becomes very mental; it becomes very important. And it becomes the hundred percent.

So, I think at Olympic level, we recognize biologically that it’s pretty much the same and one guy wins the race by six centimetres. That’s purely mental, and I honestly, honestly believe that the person who comes second actively chooses to come second.

It’s obviously at a subconscious level. But then you have to make the choice, because it’s simple. The person who finishes 6 centimetres behind the winner didn’t die. So, he could have run faster. So, why didn’t he run faster? And it’s not biological.

Because the controls that stop you running faster are all, they’re not conscious, they’re subsconscious control. But they’re open to conscious control, in my view. Or conscious modification.

I just; that’s my belief. So the mental is absolutely important. But at a simple level, if I go into a marathon and I’m not sure that I’ll finish, what happens, as you all know, that you’re two-thirds of the race through, and XXaudio problemXX and you say, “Oh, I’ve got 12 kilometers to go,” and your brain says, “Well, you’re not gonna make it.”

And if it says that to you, you’ve got to be able to say, “Absolute nonsense. This is going to be easy.”

And I think that those are the decisions you make before the start of the race. If you have any doubt in your mind, it’s not going to do it.

Stuart

No, that’s right.

I was only saying to Guy the other day, and, you know, a little similar, when we train CrossFit, if we have, for instance, have to do 20 pull-ups on the bar, in my mind I’ll be going for 30.

Tim

Yeah, exactly.

Stuart

And I’ll always get the 20.

Guy

I’ll always go for 10 and usually get my 10 and then stop and then do another 10.

Tim

The mind is terribly, terribly important.

And, certainly, I work quite a lot with teams; young teams of athletes. And there’s no question that the belief systems of teams, if you can improve their belief system, that team will outperform itself and do much better than it should.

Conversely, you can take a good team without self-belief and they don’t do well.

So, I have absolute belief now that what you think is what will happen. What you really believe will be the outcome. And that’s the difference between the winners and the guys that come second.

Stuart

Yeah. One hundred percent.

Guy

Well, Tim, if you could offer one single piece of advice for optimum health or wellness, for anyone listening to this, what would it be?

Tim

Well, I think you know what it’s gonna be. It’s look to your diet.

Stuart

Excellent.

Tim

I did it. I thought I was doing what doing what I meant to do, but I ate the wrong diet. And only when I got my diet right did I get the energy back again to be able to run again and train properly and look forward to my running. And now my health is infinitesimally better and I just love each day.

And when my diet was wrong, it was the opposite. I was hanging in. It’s terribly sad. So, find the best diet for you and we all know what that diet is.

Guy

Yeah, absolutely.

Tim, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate you coming on and joining us for 45 minutes. It’s been awesome. I’ve learned a lot.

Tim

Thanks, Guy, and thanks, Stuart. It’s been a great privilege to be with both of you guys.

Stuart

Thank you so much. Take care.

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Dr Terry Wahls: Reversing chronic disease through diet


Watch the full interview above or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher

In this weeks episode:-

  • Internet fame with her famous Ted Talks: Minding my Mitochondria Over 1.3 million views on youtube & counting!
  • From relying on a wheelchair to being able to bike ride 18 miles! The steps Dr Terry Wahls takes to help overcome her battle with MS (multiple sclerosis)  [03:12]
  • What is mitochondria & why it’s so important [06:10]
  • What she was eating before MS & how much her diet has changed [07:30]
  • Why Dr Terry Wahls decided to seek alternative means to conventional medicine [09:10]
  • Her thoughts on being a vegetarian [16:20]
  • Why inactivity is deadly [19:15]
  • This is a must: Dr Wahls’ single piece of advice for optimum health/wellness [28:30]
  • and much more…

Dr Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine. In addition to being a doctor, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000.

By 2003 it had transitioned to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. She underwent chemotherapy in an attempt to slow the disease and began using a wheelchair because of weakness in her back muscles. In her own words she says it was clear: eventually she would become bedridden by her disease.

To cut a very long story short, she ended up redesigning her diet for her condition so that she was getting those important nutrients not from supplements but from the foods she ate & created a new food plan.

The results stunned her physician, her family, and herself: within a year, she was able to walk through the hospital without a cane and even complete an 18-mile bicycle tour.

If you would like to learn more about Dr Terry Wahls, click here.

Over 1.3 million views on youtube & counting! You can watch the Ted Talks Minding my Mitochondria here.

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Did you enjoy the interview with Dr Terry Wahls? Would love to hear you thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy
 
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Dr Terry Wahls: The transcript

[intro]

Guy Lawrence: Brought to you by 180nutrition.com.au. Welcome to the Health Sessions podcast. In each episode, we cut to the chase as we hang out with real people with real results.

Hey, this is Guy Lawrence with 180- Nutrition and welcome to another episode of the Health Sessions. Our special guest today is Dr. Terry Wahls. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s a clinical professor of medicine. In addition to being a doctor, she was actually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000.

By 2003, the transition into secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, get my words out, she underwent chemotherapy in an attempt to slow the disease and began using a wheelchair because, simply, the weakness, and her back muscles had just disintegrated.

And, in her own words, she says it was clear eventually she would become bedridden by her disease. To cut a very long story short, she ended up redesigning her diet for her condition so that she was getting, simply, important nutrients not from supplements but from the very foods she ate and created a new food plan around this.

Over a period of time, the results stunned her physician, her family, and herself, she said. Within a year, she was able to walk through the hospital without a cane and even completed an 18-mile bicycle tour.

Dr Terry WahlsAnd, I just think that the story is fantastic, you know, and whether you have MS or not or chronic disease or you’re, you know, in the best shape of your life, I think the overall message within this conversation is fantastic and it’ll definitely make you think twice about what you have for breakfast tomorrow morning.

As always, you know, if you’ve got any questions just drop us a line to HYPERLINK “mailto:info@180nutrition.com.au” info@180nutrition.com.au and, yeah, any shares or reviews are greatly appreciated. Until the next time, enjoy the show. Thank you.

Awesome. Awesome. Well, I’ll start with the introduction. This is Guy Lawrence and, of course, we’re joined by Stuart Cooke and our lovely guest today is Dr. Terry Wahls. Thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes.

Guy Lawrence: I have to say, I was just checking your YouTube TED talks video just now and I didn’t realize, but you have reached over 1.25 million people now with that…

Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes.

Guy Lawrence: …that talk, that’s a lot of people you’ve touched. Did you expect it to go as viral as it has when you did that?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, I wasn’t expecting a million. I was hoping, you know, I’d get a 100,000 or so, yet, when I last looked it was about 1.3 million. So, I’m very pleased.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. That’s amazing. Normally, it’s a double rainbow or something like that that tends to go viral and finally it’s something with a stronger message, so that’s awesome. So, what we’d thought we’d do just to start, Dr. Wahls, was…

Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes?

Guy Lawrence: …you know, we want to expose you to an audience over here in Australia, so could you basically share with us your story? Because we think it’s just incredible.

Dr. Terry Wahls: So, I’m a clinical professor of medicine here at the University of Iowa. In 2000, I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. That was on the basis of a problem with foot drop and stumbling and abnormal MRI with lesions in my spinal cord, a history of optic neuritis ten years earlier, and oligo bands in the spinal fluid.

I went to the Cleveland Clinic, an international MS center, for a second opinion. They agreed that I had multiple sclerosis. At that time it was called relapsing-remitting, which meant that you have intermittent episodes that are acutely worse.

They advised me to take disease-modifying drugs and so I took a daily injection of Copaxone. Over the next three years, I had just one episode of worsening or one relapse, so I’d be considered a success, but the problem was I was gradually deteriorating and it was becoming difficult to have, to sit up in my office chair, my desk chair, because of back fatigue.

My physicians suggested that I get a XX?XX [0:04:39] inclined wheelchair because of the worsening back fatigue and that I take medication known as Novantrone and they told me that my disease had transitioned to secondary progressive MS.

And so I did that and, at that time, that’s when I realized that I wanted to do my own reading, my own research, to try to figure out what else I could do, and so I began searching pubmed.gov, reading the latest research, and I retaught myself a bunch of brain biology, immunology, and gradually began to add some vitamins and supplements to help my mitochondria, because I decided that mitochondria were key into my progressive brain disorders happen.

And the vitamins and supplements maybe slowed down the steepness of my decline, but they didn’t stop my decline. By the summer of 2007, I could walk short distances, two canes. I could not sit up in a standard chair. I had to be in a recliner or in bed, and that’s when I discovered the Institute for Functional Medicine, which is an organization which is committed to using the latest basic science to treat chronic diseases.

I can hear you. Can you hear me?

Guy Lawrence: Yes, I can. Well, it’s okay. Let’s proceed with the audio like this. I think this will be fine.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Absolutely.

Guy Lawrence: So, I was interested, Dr. Wahls, in, I guess, mitochondria. So, for our audience, I wondered if you could just explain that, please. What is mitochondria?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes. So, mitochondria are, about 1.5 billion years ago, large bacteria swallowed up little bacteria that were capable of creating energy using oxygen, and that increased the efficiency of those bigger bacteria so that they were able to become multicellular which then eventually became animals and then became mammal and then became primate and then us, of course.

All of our cells rely on these little mitochondria to generate energy more efficiently to run the chemistry of those cells. So our brains are critically dependent on mitochondria. All of our other organs, you know, our muscles, hearts, glands are also dependent on the mitochondria.

Guy Lawrence: Right. Got it. So, essentially, like a battery for our cells.

Dr. Terry Wahls: A battery for the cells.

Guy Lawrence: Yep. All right. The next question I have here would be what you’re eating prior to being diagnosed with MS to what you’re eating now, and how much has that varied?

Dr. Terry Wahls: For years, maybe a decade, I’d been a vegetarian. I was eating lots of vegetables, some rice, and legumes. Then I began eating some fish, still a lot of vegetables, a lot of grain and legumes. I did not have a lot of junk food, just not a lot of processed foods. I was eating most of my meals at home.

When I was diagnosed with MS, I continued to be mostly vegetarian, although I did eat some fish. Then in 2002, I began a paleo diet after reading Loren Cordain’s book and began eating meat. I was eating, you know, vegetables, fruit, meat, but I continued my decline.

2003, I hit the wheelchair, you know, and continued to decline. In 2007, I had a long list of nutrients that were critical for my brain and reorganized my dietary choices to maximize the nutrients for my brain.

And when I created that structure, that’s when there was a dramatic improvement in my function and health.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Right. The other thing that fascinated me as well was the fact that many people don’t look to seek alternative means to improve their condition, like, and just accept, I guess, “This is how it is. This is all we can do for you.”

So, my question would be what made you decide to really seek alternative matters to overcoming MS? Especially through the food you ate?

Dr. Terry Wahls: So, the first seven years I took straight conventional medicine, latest drugs from the top researchers in the country, but when I got into my wheelchair in 2004, that’s when I decided that it was clear that I was likely going to become bedridden by my disease, and at that time I began reading the science myself, slowly piecing together the fact that maybe some vitamins and supplements might be helpful, that maybe mitochondria were very important to the disease and no one was yet talking about that in the MS research community.

And then when I discovered functional medicine, that just deepened my understanding of what the latest science was saying about autoimmune types of diseases and XXthat I was launched and on my wayXX [0:10:18]

Guy Lawrence: How many vegetables do you eat a day now? Do you eat to get the quantities in, because you mention a lot of…

Dr. Terry Wahls: So I would say nine to twelve cups of vegetables a day.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. That’s a lot, and do you juice any of that?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Wow, that’s a lot, but these are XXaudio breaks upXX [0:10:38] So, I will have smoothies where I put my vegetables and some fruit in this high-powered blender I call a Vitamix. It blends everything, all the fiber is still in the juice, and so I’ll drink that smoothie, you know, 18 to 24 ounces of all of that.

I’ll have huge salads, maybe six cups of salad greens every day, and a lot of non-starchy vegetables with that.

Guy Lawrence: Are there any other dietary considerations to take in, you know, I’m just thinking for anybody listening to this with MS. I mean, because obviously, we’ve got chocolate, coffee, alcohol, all these little crazy things like that.

Dr. Terry Wahls: So I’m going to step back a bit. The structure that I teach is three cups of green leaves, three cups of sulphur-rich vegetables that I get out of the cabbage family, onions, XX?XX [0:11:39] mushrooms, three cups of bright colors, and the easiest way to determine that is the vegetable or plant colored all the way through? Eat protein, high-quality protein, preferably animal protein as much as desired, have some seaweed on a regular basis.

If you’re going to have coffee or tea, a couple of cups are fine. You can have herbal teas as desired. A glass of wine every day would be fine. I would specifically avoid gluten grains, dairy, and eggs.

That also means avoiding beer.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right, and why seaweed?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Seaweed for the iodine, selenium, and other trace minerals.

Guy Lawrence: Okay. Okay. And the next question I have for you was the diet you prescribe, would that, sort of, help anyone, even if they didn’t have MS but had other chronic diseases? I mean…

Dr. Terry Wahls: You know, in the hundreds of people I’ve seen in my clinics and the hundreds of followers that I have, I see people being helped with traumatic brain injury, psychological problems like depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, and then we see diabetes, heart disease, obesity being helped, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, eczema, allergies, asthma.

So, I’d say, in general, if you have a chronic disease, feeding your mitochondria and feeding your cells will have the effect of reducing your symptoms, improving your function and your quality of life.

Guy Lawrence: Okay, and for anyone that is actually just, you know, is healthy and is happy with their health as well, I’m sure, eating like this would benefit them as well. I’m assuming.

Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes. I’ve had a couple of athletes contact me and tell me that their athletic performance has improved markedly.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, okay. That’s interesting. Yeah. IN your view then, as well, a question I was really was keen to ask, how much of the diet is contributing to chronic disease in the first place do you think? And even with your own condition, from MS, do you think that food is a big player in that?

Dr. Terry Wahls: I think food is a huge player. The chronic diseases that we have are a reflection of how your unique and my unique DNA interacts with my choices around food, the toxins to which I’ve been exposed, my exercise level, and my social/spiritual life, but the vast majority of all of this will be the food choices that we make.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right, and why do you think the fact that most people don’t turn to food initially, like, it just baffles me, personally, you know? I think…

Dr. Terry Wahls: We’re addicted. We are very much addicted to white flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, that when you take that food in it stimulates the dopamine receptors, you release more dopamine in your brain, it enhances your pleasure.

We are addicted to those XXsphereXX [0:15:15] spikes. It becomes very difficult for them to select vegetables, berries, meats, other foods that are health promoting, and instead we do what rats do. They will starve themselves eating the sugar and white flour and kill themselves from the micronutrient starvation. We are absolutely doing that as well.

Guy Lawrence: You know, if somebody wanted to change their diet, should they just go cold turkey and start cutting out the things you mentioned, you know, the sugar, the grains, the gluten, or should they…

Dr. Terry Wahls: If you go cold turkey, you’re going to be going through withdrawal, and that’s going to feel very uncomfortable. If you wind down the bad food as you wind up the good food, that’s less uncomfortable, and, in general, I counsel people that this is a family decision. You’re going to be much more successful if you negotiate the pace of these changes with the whole family.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough. Then you mentioned, as well, the fact that you were a vegetarian at one point, as well, and I’m always interested in this topic in particular because I know one of the arguments is about the fact that you don’t get your essential fatty acids from animal sources.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on…what your thoughts are about, you know, fat in the diet.

Dr. Terry Wahls: My brain and your brain is 60 to 70 percent fat, and without cholesterol you have a hard time making healthy cell membranes, you have a hard time making hormones. We need cholesterol. We need to manufacture cholesterol. We need a lot of fats in the omega-3 variety, the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in order to make the XXmylanXX [0:17:16] structures in the brain.

We need a lot of fat to make all those things happen, and, unfortunately, fat has been so demonized that many, many people are relatively starved for these very essential brain nutrients with negative health consequences.

Guy Lawrence: And what would a vegetarian do then to get those essential fatty acids in?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, they’ll have to take in a tremendous amount of ALA, alpha-Linolenic acid. That’s in flax, walnuts, but the body will have to convert that to DHA, which is what your brain needs. That is a complicated step and we can make about five to seven percent of the vegetarian omega-3 into the form that we use in our brain.

And you could also project that those of us with a chronic brain problem probably have enzymes that are even less efficient than those conversions, and so I think it’s very concerning for people with a brain problem or a heart problem. Are they getting enough of these health-promoting omega-3s?

And particularly the animal form? That’s the form that your brain and your heart need.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, absolutely, and what about things like ghee and coconut oil?

Dr. Terry Wahls: So, that, ghee is a butter that has been clarified so the milk proteins are out of it. It’s a saturated fat. Coconut oil is a saturated fat. And both of those fats, I think, can be quite health-promoting. You certainly want to have organic sources for both of those fats.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fair enough, fair enough. The next topic I wanted to cover with you, Dr. Wahls, was exercise. The first question, I guess, does exercise help MS and even people with chronic disease?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Tremendous number of studies that show that strength-training and aerobic-training, either, or, and both, are very helpful for multiple sclerosis, helpful for fibromyalgia, heart disease, depression, basically any chronic health problem.

Our brain expects us to move. In prehistoric times, men would move six to nine miles a day and women two to three. So inactivity is deadly.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I think it’s deadly to the mind as well as the body.

Dr. Terry Wahls: Absolutely.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, yeah, which is so important, you know, especially when you’re suffering with some sort of chronic disease, if it isn’t enough just trying to deal with that as well and then if you’re not moving, I’m sure the mind can, you can manifest all sorts of problems through your thoughts.

Were you exercising before? Before you were diagnosed with MS?

Dr. Terry Wahls: So, before I went to medical school, I was big in tae kwon do. I competed nationally and was very much an athlete. During medical school, I still did tae kwon do. I ran. I did biking, cross-country skiing. When I was diagnosed with MS, I knew that exercise would be critical to maintain function as long as possible, so I worked out every day doing strength and aerobic training.

As I got more and more disabled, I could do less and less. In 2007, I could do about ten minutes of exercise. If I did more than that, I was flat out exhausted for four or five hours, but I exercised every day, and I still exercise every day.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and you do resistance-training in amongst that as well?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Yes. So, right now I’m doing pilates, biking, swimming, and I lift free weights.

Guy Lawrence: That’s fantastic. That’s amazing, and did you ever expect to be getting to this point when you, you know, were in a wheelchair?

Dr. Terry Wahls: You know, when I tell the story of how I got my bike down and decided to try for my first bike ride, my family came out, and we had this pow wow, would they helped me bike ride? And they decided that, yes, they would, and my kids, one ran on the right; one ran on the left, and my spouse biked behind me.

And I still get tears in my eyes talking about that because I had fully accepted that I would never have that come back in my life, but instead, you know, I’m biking. I’ve been able to do 18-mile bicycle rides. I’m lifting weights.

You know, I’m still not normal. My gait, in the morning, looks normal, but by the afternoon you can probably tell that it’s not normal. Standing for a lecture, I can do that for an hour. I cannot do that for two hours. I can walk a mile. I can’t walk longer than that. So I still have a ways to go to be normal, but I’m getting my life back, where, if I hadn’t made these interventions, I would be bedridden by now. Absolutely, I would be bedridden.

Guy Lawrence: But not only that, you’ve not only, you know, changed, turned your life around, you know, you’re touching so many people now with your story, which is a credit to what you’re doing, so, I just think that’s awesome. That really is.

Dr. Terry Wahls: I’m very grateful to have my life back.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I can imagine. I can imagine. With all this information, what do you think the future holds for medicine itself?

Dr. Terry Wahls: I think if physicians don’t get on board with realizing drugs are not the solution, it’s teaching people that lifestyle is how we create health, that teaching people how to eat a nutrient-dense diet, moving their bodies, meditating, creating spiritual and social harmony in their lives…If physicians won’t get on board, realizing that that is how you treat chronic disease, we will be replaced by another profession that understands that.

And so I’m encouraged that there are more and more young physicians and more medical schools embracing functional medicine, thinking that lifestyle interventions are going to be key, but that is the future. I’m not sure which profession is going to be at the cutting edge of that, however.

Guy Lawrence: yeah, fair enough, and do you think drug companies inhibit this message?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, there’s a lot of money to be made with drugs, procedures, quick fixes. That’s what’s funding the research. It’s very difficult to get research that looks at medicine from a systems standpoint.

I mean, you and I, we are incredibly complicated biochemical systems, and, when we’re chronically ill, multiple parts of that system are screwed up, wrong, not working well, so, if you want to restore health, you try to correct as many systems as possible.

That’s a very messy research design. That’s not what’s being funded by our basic science institutes in any of our countries. So the type of research that I’m doing, which is a much more complex systems approach, it’s very hard to get funding for it. It is outside the mainstream paradigm, but that is the future. We have to do systems biology. We have to do systematic repair of these broken thought systems.

Guy Lawrence: If, for people that are listening to this now, obviously outside of the States and they have MS, where would be, what would be the best thing for them to start, the best place to start for them?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, I’d tell them to go to my website, terrywahls.com, and I have a lot of information there. I have books. I have lectures. I have stuff that you can download and see virtually, so you can still get it even there in Australia. We have newsletters. I have my current book. We’ll have a new book coming out next spring, The Wahls Protocol.

So I’m working very hard at putting this information out to the public. At the same time, I’m doing these scientific studies testing my intervention, showing that it’s safe and effective, and we’re getting ready to launch the next study.

So I try to do things in parallel, create tools for the public, and create the science for my medical colleagues.

Guy Lawrence: That’s fantastic. Did you have a video? I notice you had a video series on there as well, so I’m guessing people can, you know, get there and start watching these things and take actions right away.

Dr. Terry Wahls: Absolutely, I think it’s very helpful.

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.

Dr. Terry Wahls: People need to understand the why. Why it makes sense to give up food that you love. Why it makes sense to do the work of exercising in order to stay motivated to sustain these very uncomfortable changes.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I think it’s very important, as well, to have some kind of support network behind you when doing this, as well. You know, get support of the family and then make the decision to actually say, “I’m going to do this and not deviate and, sort of, try not to get distracted with many other things.”

Because there’s so much information out there, as well, and it can pull you in all sorts of directions without actually, I guess, it confuses the matter, you know? We tend to have a habit of doing that, human beings, for some reason.

Have you got anything in the pipeline for the future?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Well, we have the book, The Wahls Protocol. I’m working on that. That will be released March 3rd, so that’s coming up really fairly soon. I will be going to the Ancestral Health Symposium in August, presenting some of our research there. We’ll actually talk about two of our studies there. That will be a lot of fun.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Dr. Terry Wahls: And we are writing up and submitting our research findings, so, again, making good progress there.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic, and I’ve got one last question for you, Dr. Wahls, and it’s a question we ask everyone that comes on our podcast, and that would be, if you could offer a single piece of advice for optimum health and wellness, what would that be?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Eat a lot more vegetables. Ditch the junk food.

Guy Lawrence: Eat a lot more vegetables. Ditch the junk food. Absolutely. Absolutely. I actually had a nice big salad for breakfast this morning with a little bit of grass-fed steak on it, so I’m quite proud of myself.

Dr. Terry Wahls: Perfect.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. For sure.

Dr. Terry Wahls: That’s my perfect breakfast as well.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I’ve been doing that a lot recently and I definitely feel good about it. Just to mention your website as well, so the URL is?

Dr. Terry Wahls: Terry. T. E. R. R. Y. Wahls. W. A. H. L. S. dot com. When people go there, do sign up for the newsletter, which goes out every, once or twice a month. We have a lot of videos and there’s a lot of educational material right there.

Guy Lawrence: Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. I’ll put the appropriate links on our website, too, and when we send that out.

Dr. Terry Wahls: Thank you much.

Guy Lawrence: Thank you for your time. Apologies for the technical errors. I have no idea what happened there. it, yeah, that’s the first time that it’s done that for us, so we’ll look into it.

Dr. Terry Wahls: All right. Thank you much.

Guy Lawrence: You’re welcome. Thank you.

Dr. Terry Wahls: Bye, bye.

Guy Lawrence: Bye, bye.

Thanks for listening to our show The Health Sessions. If you would like more information on anything health from our blog, free eBook, or podcasts, simply visit 180nutrition.com.au. Also, if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to see cover in future episodes, we would really love to hear from you. Simply drop us an email to info@180nutrition.com.au. And if you’re listening to us on iTunes and enjoyed the show, we’d really appreciate a review in the review section. Until the next time, wherever you are in the world, have a fantastic week.

Dave Asprey: The Bulletproof Executive


You can listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

downloaditunesIn this weeks episode:-

  • Dave reveals his personal health journey & how he lost 100lbs [04:15]
  • What Dave eat’s in a day & why he doesn’t eat all morning sometimes [14:45]
  • The Bulletproof Diet. Why bulletproof coffee & intermittent fasting is so effective for health & longevity [20:10]
  • The fine line between CrossFit, exercise & overtraining [39:40]
  • Why he wrote the Better Baby Book [47:15]
  • This is a must: Dave’s single piece of advice for optimum health/wellness [55:10]
  • and much more…

dave_aspreyDave Asprey aka The Bullet Proof Executive is one exceptionally smart man. On top of that he’s a really great guy too! He shares with us his journey from being 297lbs (134kg) in weight to then hacking his health for the fastest & most effective results possible.

He’s also single handily changed the way I drink my coffee (& many others) in the morning. If you haven’t heard of the bulletproof coffee with MCT oil and grass-fed butter (yes you read that right), then it’s only a matter of time before you do! Guy

If you would like to learn more about Dave Asprey and the bullet proof diet, click here.

You can buy bullet proof coffee in Australia here.

Further reading: Better Baby Book

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Did you enjoy the interview with Dave Asprey? Would love to hear you thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy

 Dave Asprey: The bulletproof executive transcript

Guy Lawrence: I’m Guy Lawrence. This is Stuart Cooke. And our very special guest today is Mr. Dave Asprey. Mate, thanks for joining us. I really appreciate the time.

Dave Asprey: You’ve got it. I’m really glad to be here. I’m a huge fan of Australia. Love visiting.

Guy Lawrence: We’re in heaven over here. We both live near the ocean and we feel blessed, that’s for sure. Definitely.

Stuart Cooke: We certainly do. We make the most of it.

We’ve immersed ourselves in all things Bulletproof over the last month or so, because we knew that we’d be chatting to you. And I had a little bit of a question and a realization that you know a lot of stuff. A lot of stuff. And I think that if Google were a person, I think that person would be Dave Asprey. Have you figured out a way to connect to Google from your mind to kind of pull in this information? It’s insane.

Dave Asprey: Yeah, it’s actually this thing right here, see? It’s got a little Google USB port for the head and you just do that and. . . no. This is actually the upgraded focus Brain Trainer. It teaches you to move blood to the front of your head. But I haven’t got the Google direct connect, but I’ve often wished for just a docking station for whatever my PDA at the time is. It used to be a Palm Pilot. Now it’s an iPad or whatever. Samsung NX, I guess.

Stuart Cooke: I’m sure in the future it will all be very Matrix-style and we’ll dock ourselves into something. But let’s see what happens.

Guy Lawrence: Well, me and Stewie sat down the other day and we thought, Dave’s coming on the show, and what should we ask him? We had so many questions for you and so we’re gonna try to condense it and obviously for our listeners as well. And I thought we could start from the beginning, because I was listening to your Joe Rogan show, I think it was the first one, literally last week, and . . . listening to the Joe Rogan show and you mentioned that you were nearly 300 pounds overweight, which I didn’t realize.

Dave Asprey: I wasn’t 300 pounds overweight. I was 300 pounds in total; only a hundred pounds overweight. If I was 300 pounds overweight there’d be, like, stretch marks on my forehead.

Guy Lawrence: Fair enough.

Dave Asprey: I only have stretch marks around my midsection and, like, here. I do have a lot of stretch marks, but I got them when I was 16. It was no good.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, so I guess the question; the first question would be: Can you tell us about that journey from being overweight to where you are today, so people get to know a little bit about Dave if they’re not sure who you are.

Dave Asprey: Sure. It’s kind of funny, but I was just fat as a kid. And I never knew why. In fact, I always figured it was because I was too lazy or I ate too much; I didn’t have enough willpower or something like that.

And it got really bad. By the time I was done with my first four years of university, I was 297 pounds. I’d had three knee surgeries. I had arthritis in my knees when I was 14. And I was on antibiotics about once a month for 15 years straight for chronic sinusitis and strep throat and things like that.

I had nosebleeds five, 10 times a day, was pretty common. And I bruised easily and I still had played soccer for 13 years. I used to be a kind of competitive cyclist. But I was always fat. And it was kind of like, “Whatever. What can you do about it?”

And it was in my mid-20s I got really serious. Like: “This is enough.” And I started working out like six days a week, an hour and a half a day, 45 minutes of cardio, 45 minutes of weights. And the cardio was with a backpack full of bricks on a 15-degree incline, going up, not running but walking, enough that you’re panting like crazy.

And I never lost the weight. Got strong. Didn’t lose the weight. And I kept having the same problems. You know: bad skin, zits, body odor, just the whole nine yards. “What’s going on here?”

So I decided that I was gonna be a biohacker. I also noticed along the way here that my brain was failing. And this, maybe, is what really put a nail in that decision.

I was working at a company called 3Com in Silicon Valley. This was one of the pioneers in the networking business. It was 3Com or Cisco was gonna win and, well, Cisco won. But at the time, those were the two dominant players.

I would sit in meetings, and after the meeting, I would think, “I don’t really know what happened in there. I’m a zombie.” I’m sure I was there; people didn’t tell me I fell asleep but I’m pretty sure I was asleep. So, whatever.

And I got so concerned about this that I took out disability insurance at 26. Because I was scared: Like, how am I gonna make ends meet if I can’t work? I’m young. I should be in my prime and I think something’s wrong, but maybe it’s just me.
So I started measuring my performance on this simple solitaire game you can play on your computer called Freestyle. And I would plot it. And some days, the data showed I was a zombie. And it’s really liberating to have zombie data, because when you get that data it tells you that it’s not all in your head, so you can actually have a view of yourself.

That’s what we call self-awareness, really, but it was data-driven self-awareness. And what that did for me was it let me say, “All right. Now I need to attack a problem.” And being a computer hacker by trade, you know, I helped to create modern cloud computing; not like Al Gore created the Internet but, you know, I was at the company that created cloud computing called Exodus Communications and played a key role there.
So, given this whole: “How do you hack it? How do you get around it? How do you engineer a solution to a new problem?” I said, “All right. My brain is dead, so I’m gonna start taking smart drugs.” And it worked! I actually got my brain back enough that I could start upgrading the rest of my body.

And we go 15 years later, I’ve spent the last 10 years as president, chairman, or board member of an anti-aging research and non-profit group called Silicon Valley Health Institute. I’ve had a chance to talk to more than a hundred anti-aging doctors and researchers and physicians, and, kind of, people leading their field to understand what’s going on in the human body, what’s going on in the mind, how does the nervous system work, how does biochemistry work, how does the cell membrane affect things, what are neurotransmitters.

Not from a medical perspective. I’m married to a doctor and she knows more about the tibia, fibula, and the neck bone’s connected to the ankle bone stuff than I ever will, to be perfectly honest. But when it comes to hacking these systems to get the outcome you want, without knowing every intermediate step, which we don’t know in the human body. . . And, by the way, when you’re troubleshooting a complex cloud computing system, you don’t know every step in the middle either. You have to hypothesize and test.

So, that’s what I started doing with an N equals 1 experiment on myself way before Quantified Self was cool.

Guy Lawrence: That’s awesome. So, I guess, in a nutshell, that’s biohacking? Self-experimentation, to a degree?

Dave Asprey: There is two parts of it. There’s the Quantified Self angle, which isn’t really biohacking. This is kind of common. You get devices like this. This is a watch, although the battery’s dead, and it monitors your heart rate without a chest strap. And I’m actually; I’m a CTO of this company. It’s called Basis. And I usually only just wear it for show and it’s not that useful as a daily-wear watch. It’s not waterproof, for one thing. A slight problem. But it’s a cool gadget.

So, there’s also those scales where you weigh yourself every day. They upload to the web. And sleep monitors. I’m looking at; this is prototype one from a company called BEdit, which I’m super-excited about; I’m starting to work with those guys.
So, there’s all these devices that can tell you what’s going on in your body. Because, honestly, unless you’re a very unusual person, you probably suck at knowing what’s going on inside your biology.

You can teach yourself what’s going on. So, there’s this whole cognitive feedback loop where you’re, like, “OK, if I, at the end of the day or the week or the month, I look at what I did, I can learn more, and I can make a decision to do something different.”

The thing I discovered after doing that for a long time is that my intent and my decision would be: I’m gonna do acts to improve my health. Let’s say I’m not gonna eat bagels this week. Well, then, you’re in a meeting, halfway through the week, and you’re kinda tired and you’re kinda hungry and somehow you convince yourself that it’s a great idea to take a bite of that bagel. And then you go, “Damn it! I ate a bagel! I’m a failure. I’m a bad person.”

What’s going on there is a core part of biohacking. It’s that there’s parts of your nervous system way faster than your conscious thinking. And if you don’t manage those parts of your nervous system, they’ll convince you to eat the bagel. But it’s not actually you eating the bagel. It’s an avatar in your head eating the bagel. Right?

So, that’s what’s going on. And you can train that part of the body. It’s just like you train an animal. And the liberation that comes from understanding that when crazy thoughts pop into your head, or behaviours that are really not the behaviours that you intended, happen, that it’s a part of your automated defense systems of your body that are driving those behaviours, not your conscious decisions. And it’s also a sign, if you’re doing those things, that you need to learn how to manage the unconscious parts of your body, because that’s where all the trouble happens.

And the three kinds of trouble are really, really obvious. You’ll see these in any dog. Number one is: “Oh, look! Food! I’ll eat it. It doesn’t matter if it’s cat poop. It might be food. I’m gonna eat that, too.” Right?

Then you go, “All right. What else does a dog do? “Oh, look! A stick!” And distractibility; you’re all over the place.

And the final one, which is maybe my favorite, is, “Oh, look! A leg! I’ll go hump it.”

Those are the behaviours that get most people in trouble most of the time, and they’re all unconscious, high-speed behaviours that happen way faster than you can think about it and go: “Actually, come to think of it, I don’t want to hump that leg.” Your body’s already like, “Yeah, do it!” And it’s convincing you that you should do it. Well, that’s your body misbehaving. You’ve got to tell the body to behave itself.

Stuart Cooke: How would you; you have a lot of stuff going on in your life, I’m guessing. You know: with work and commitments and Bulletproof. Family. You know, a lot of stuff going on. How do you disconnect from that to rest and calm yourself, in the nighttime, you know, just to sleep.

Dave Asprey: Well, if you’re watching the video, let’s see. See that device back there? I connect my head up to it. OK. Not the one with all the dials and gauges. But the laptop, underneath them. That’s a neuro-feedback system. So I actually will play my brainwaves back to myself. You get the brainwaves from the head, and then you actually turn it into sounds and you play the sounds back to you.

So, my brain, even though it’s pretty darn highly trained; I’ve done this 40 years, the “Zen in 7 Days”-type thing and I have 40YearsOfZen.com. And things like that. So, I’m more aware than the average guy, but I’m sure there’s people that are more aware than I am. I just cheated. I didn’t spend an hour a day mediating for 40 years to get there. I spent a week hooked up to expensive computers.

But this is kind of a junior version of that, and what I’m doing there is I’m laying down on the floor, sitting in a chair, and just listening. And I hear music. And then the music kind of has static. And the static is happening when my brain is flopping from one state to another.

And the brain doesn’t like static very much. So, it’s says, “Oh, wait. I was flopping.” And it stops flopping around and it calms down. That’s one thing I might do to disconnect.

The other thing is, I have a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old and my computer would, like, break half the stuff from my office if I told it out of all this stuff it’s stuck to. But if I turned it around, you’d be seeing my office, my biohacking lab here, there’s a deck overlooking a little pond, and a forest surrounds me. So, I go out, I have lunch with my kids. I work from home. I work really hard. I work long hours. I’m up late at night. I’m talking with people. This is my fourth podcast today.

Guy Lawrence: Really? Wow.

Dave Asprey: Oh, yeah. And you can see my energy level. I’m doing pretty good, right?

Guy Lawrence: Absolutely.
Dave Asprey: This is a guy who used to have chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme Disease, small intestine bacteria overgrowth, mercury toxicity, obesity, pre-diabetes, really thick blood and high risk for a stroke and heart attack. Right?

If I can do this, imagine what you guys can do, because you’re nowhere near as screwed up as I used to be.

Guy Lawrence: Your days are packed, right? And everyone complains about short of time, they make bad food choices, there’s a million things of why they can’t look after their health. If you’re so busy, what do you eat through the day as well? How do you stay on top of that?

Dave Asprey: Number one, snacking is for people who are starving. You don’t need to snack if your body is well-fed. So, for breakfast this morning I had Bulletproof coffee made with upgraded coffee beans, which, by the way, you can buy in Australia. We actually have them stocked there now. And it’s OptimOZ is the name of the company.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, we know Leon.

Dave Asprey: He’s totally Bulletproof. He’s an awesome dude.
So, definitely check out OptimOZ. You get the beans there. And does it really matter, the beans? Actually, it does. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t make the darn things. Like, I’m not interested, and certainly not in the business of making stuff that’s, like, “Oh, yeah, everyone else has that but I have it, too.” I try to find things that are unique and that work really effectively. And most of the world. . . Actually, that’s not true. Europe and Asia have certain standards for coffee that other countries don’t have. So, while we’re getting poor-quality coffee that affects your brain thought.

So, you start Bulletproof coffee, the beans, grass-fed butter, and, by the way, there’s awesome grass-fed butter available in Australia. When I was there, I found three or four different brands when I looked around. I thought that was kind of cool. And it was really good, too.

And then, from there, I added Upgraded Collagen, which is a protein supplement that I make. I don’t always put that in in the morning. Usually I just do Bulletproof intermittent fasting, which is just the coffee, MCT oil, upgraded MCT, upgraded coffee, and butter.

Some days, because I worked out two days ago, I’ve gotta have a little extra protein. I’ll do that.

Lunch, I had a salad with a ton of guacamole. Slide a little salad dressing on it, made from scratch, relatively easy to make. Immersion blender, sliced-up cucumbers, and some cold salmon left over from either last night or this morning. So, basically, it’s salmon salad.

And that was around 1:30. And then I haven’t had any snacks. That would be completely like; I don’t even want to have a snack. I’d get tired if I had a snack.
So, I will get again. . . Let’s see. It’s 5:30 my time. I’ll have dinner around 6:30 and it will probably be like a steak or a hamburger, a bunch of vegetables prepared from the Upgraded Chef book, which is basically a soup. I’ll put a bunch of steamed vegetables, a bunch of butter, MCT, blend it with some spices, and maybe some other vegetables or some other side dish. I’m not sure. I’m not gonna be cooking that dinner.

If I was cooking it, I could have it on the table within 20 minutes of starting to cook, and that would be the biggest meal of the day. Lunch was a five-minute meal. Breakfast was a five-minute meal.

Stuart Cooke: Pretty quick. So, starches, grains at all?

Dave Asprey: Probably not today. If I was gonna have any kind of starch, it would be at the evening meal. And, grains, the only grain I would touch would be white rice. The rest of the grains, honestly, if you can afford it, don’t eat them. They are not gonna make you live longer. They are not good for your health.

Stuart Cooke: And even these new “wonder grains,” the, like quinoa, I guess, that they are saying is kind of this fantastic health-giving grain?

Dave Asprey: Are those the same people that said soy was a fantastic, health-giving food?

Stuart Cooke: Could be. Could well be.

Dave Asprey: Here’s the thing. It doesn’t have strict gluten in it, but if you were a seed, let’s say, who evolved as a seed. Your function is to not be food for animals because then you don’t get to sprout. Your function is to sprout. Your function is not to spoil, because there’s a lot of bacterial and fungal pressure on carbohydrate sources.

So, basically, everyone wants to get what’s in you. So, do you just sit there and die and then not evolve as a species and become extinct, or do you develop natural pesticides and coat yourself in them, which make animal sick if they eat too much of you and repel other invaders?

Well, that would be what we call “whole grains.” So, grains have phytic acid and they have a whole bunch of other defense systems, mostly lectin-based, which is a kind of protein that sticks; a kind of sugar that sticks to. . . I’m sorry; I have it backwards. It’s a kind of protein that sticks to a sugar that lines your cells. And it’s a problem.

So, if you were to eat a legume or a grain, what you’d want to do is you want to soak it for a long time and then you want to sprout it a little bit to deactivate most of the defense systems.

But, honestly, even if you do that, you’re still getting a lot of starch. It’s gonna raise your insulin. It’s gonna raise your blood glucose levels higher than you want. So, why don’t you just eat white rice, which is the least toxic of all of the grains? Don’t eat it all the time. Not for breakfast. Eat it a couple of times a week on a Bulletproof diet once a week. Like, have a day where you eat a lot of starch to refuel so you don’t get adrenal stress from being always in fat-burning mode.

But you want to be in fat-burning mode a couple of days a week, at minimum.

Guy Lawrence: I’ve got a question for you, Dave, and I’m sort of jumping forward a bit, but with the Bulletproof coffee, because I’ve been doing that now probably for a month. I’ve been putting the MCT on in and the grass-fed butter in the morning and I put it up on Facebook and the first thing, question, was, you know, “Why?” And they were, like, “Why MCT oil? Why intermittent fasting?” So, I thought I’d ask you that question so you could explain it, because you’ll explain it a lot better than I would.

Dave Asprey: All right. First, intermittent fasting is well-established to change your genetic expression in such a way that it replicates long-lived animals. So, basically, if you want to live a long time, you at least want to make an animal live a long time, you cut back on the number of calories they eat, and they live longer.

That’s true for humans, too, and there’s a group of people, some of whom are my friends, who have gone on those radical, low-calorie diets and they walk around looking like sticks and they’re super-thin. And I don’t actually advocate that in the slightest. But it is an anti-aging sort of proposed technique.

You can get most of the same benefits of doing that by just not eating for 18 hours a day.

Now, if you’re like I was in my; when I was 25 or 28, the idea of not eating for 18 hours was repellant and offensive, because it would disable me. I used to, like, stop meetings at 11:45. “Sorry, guys. I know that the meeting goes till lunch, but if I don’t have lunch right now, I’m gonna kill one of you and eat your arm.”

And, literally, I would just stand up and walk out. And people were, like, “Are we gonna finish the meeting?” And I was, like, “Sorry. I don’t really care because I’m not here.”

Guy Lawrence: “I have to eat.”

Dave Asprey: Yeah. And now I’m like, 18 hours, whatever. I can go 24, 36. It’s really not a big deal. At 36 hours I’m gonna be kind of hungry, a little tired, but it’s not gonna kill me.

And what’s going on there, with intermittent fasting, is that you’re telling your body, “OK, there’s no food here, so you might as well take all this stuff you’re ready to digest food and use it to clean yourself out.” It’s a processed called autophagy. And it turns on.

So, you get some real benefits, including weight loss, that come just from intermittent fasting. The down side is that people who live a high-intensity life like I do, or even just people who have kids and a job, OK, you’re gonna end your 18 hours right at about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. So, the time when you’re coldest and tiredest is right in the middle of your workday. And you’re gonna be cranky. So, people can’t stick with it.

What I did with Bulletproof intermittent fasting is I said, well, let’s look at what fasting really does. It turns off the protein digestion and the sugar digestion cycles. But if you eat only pure fat, which, in this case, with coffee, what happens is that your body thinks you’re still fasting but you get all the energy from the fat. So, you get this laser focus; this amazing energy.

And why grass-fed butter and MCT oil? Let’s talk first about inflammation. Inflammation is a major issue in human performance. If you’re inflamed, you’re less likely to perform well and you’re more likely to get sick. In fact, you might just be sick, which itself can be a cause of inflammation.
So, when you eat butter from grass-fed cows, you’re getting a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid. It’s shown in publicly available studies to decrease brain inflammation. When you have a decrease in brain inflammation, your brain can actually conduct the electricity faster. You think faster.

Butyric acid also is one of the things that cures your gut. So, this is just a normal thing butter does, but short-chain fatty acids help to keep the gut lining intact. So, people who practice this Bulletproof intermittent fasting and put grass-fed butter in their coffee are getting the benefits of the grass-fed butter.

And then we have the benefits of coffee oils themselves. You need to brew your coffee using the upgraded beans without a paper filter. This means a French press, a gold filter in your coffee maker or espresso. Coffee oils themselves are anti-inflammatory for two different inflammation pathways in the brain. So, you’re using coffee as like a performance-enhancing kind of herbal thing.

And you do that and, to cap it all off, you add upgraded MCT oil. Upgraded MCT oil does something kind of magic. It’s six times stronger than coconut oil in terms of this one effect. And the effect is that normally we burn sugar all the time. And it takes 26 steps to turn sugar in your diet into ATP or the fuel in your cells. It takes three steps to turn the MCT oil into ATP energy in your cells. MCT goes to BHB and then it goes to co-enzyme A and then it goes straight to ATP.

What this means is, think about, like, a hybrid car. You have an electric motor and a gas motor. And you’re the same way. You can run on fat and you can run on sugar. Well, if you want to be most powerful, you should metabolically be flexible to work either one when your body needs it, or even, better yet, to burn both at the same time.

So, when you’re drinking this cup of coffee, you’re seriously hacking your brain. You’re turning off inflammation. You’re giving it an addition energy source it didn’t have before. And you’re telling your body and your brain, including your stomach, like: “Hey, it’s time to take a break here.”

So, it’s having the benefits of intermittent fasting without paying the price. In this case, you can have your butter and eat it, too.

Stuart Cooke: Wow. That’s insane. Now, I have to confess, and I don’t know how this is gonna go down, but I have never had a cup of coffee in my life, ever.

Dave Asprey: Why’d you let him on the podcast?

Guy Lawrence: I’ve been putting cups of coffee in front of him: “Mate, you’ve gotta try this. This changed the way I drink coffee forever.” And he. . .

Stuart Cooke: And another confession, Guy, I’ve been sneaking some of your MCT oil into my smoothie that I’ve been making ‘round at your place.

Dave Asprey: I do that all the time. MCT in smoothies is awesome. And if you want to, like, rock your world, make guacamole. Just mash up avocados and squirt MCT in it and mash it up some more. It changes the mouth feel of foods without changing the flavor. It’s phenomenal. I put it in everything. I pour it on my vegetables. I don’t like going without it.

Stuart Cooke: We do that. I had a whole avocado coconut oil smoothie just before we came on here. But I am intrigued to want to try a cup of your Bulletproof coffee now that you’ve explained exactly what’s happening with it.

Dave Asprey: There are, I would say, I know probably a hundred people who didn’t drink coffee who decided to try coffee as a nutritional supplement, essentially. Where they were saying, OK, green tea has certain known effects. Well, coffee does, too.

And what no one talks about is that coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in most of the Western world. It blows wine out of the water. If you’re going around having a glass of red, nice Australian wine thinking it’s for the antioxidants, like, seriously, have two espresso shots and you’ll have, like, 17 cups of wine worth of antioxidants. It’s that big of a difference.
Guy Lawrence: Is that right?

Dave Asprey: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: How does that stack up against green tea as an antioxidant?

Dave Asprey: It dominates green tea. Green tea’s number two but coffee wins.

Guy Lawrence: There you go. OK.

Stuart Cooke: All right. You know what you’re going to be doing tomorrow, Guy. You’re going to be making two cups of coffee and I think I’ll record myself drinking my very first cup of coffee and we’ll put it out across Facebook.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Dave Asprey: That’s gonna be cool. I really want, not just to have you drink it, I want a recording of you 30 seconds to an hour after you drink it going, “Whoa!” And here’s warning: Well, actually, you already take MCT oil. You’ll be fine. There are a group of people who have to start out with just a teaspoon of MCT oil until they get used to it, because their body is turned off metabolically that if you turn everything on all at once, they get, like, they feel sweaty and hot and it’s a little bit uncomfortable.

Stuart Cooke: Oh, OK. OK. And I hear that loose bowels as well, if you’re not used to this kind of stuff? I mean, it will clean you out that way?

Dave Asprey: We call it “Disaster Pants.”

Stuart Cooke: Right. OK.

Stuart Cooke: If you take too much of it and you’ve never had it before, it’s bad. In fact, there’s a reporter from Yahoo! News, really awesome woman, super into Bulletproof, and I’m not gonna name her because, well, I said “Yahoo! News”; maybe it’s too late. But she ignored the warning, being kind of a Bulletproof mindset, said, I’m, like, “Start slowly!” And she took like a half a cup of MCT oil in her first coffee. Which is a big dose. I think that would affect me and I kind of take the stuff all the time. And she said, “Ah, I felt kind of strange afterward.” And at the end of her story she kind of reported that.

But, yeah, that’s what happens if you take too much. So, it’s a really powerful thing. It’s like the octane booster stuff you can put in your car. You can buy it at the automotive store and you put it in the tank and it raises. . . Well, if you only put that in your gas tank, well, you’re gonna start your car up and it will shoot out the back. It’s the same idea.

Stuart Cooke: I’m going to shop for a man nappy this afternoon. And then I’ll come round, I’ll be very prepared at Guy’s place.

Guy Lawrence: I like that you’re trying it at my place, not yours.

Stuart Cooke: I’ve got kids here. I don’t want to mess the toilet.

Dave Asprey: You already put it in your smoothies. You’ll be fine.

Guy Lawrence: We should give that a go.

Stuart Cooke: We are; Guy and myself, we’re very focused on nutrition and we’re gonna hit you with the million dollar question of cause. Which is kind of crazy. But in a nutshell, why are getting fatter?

Dave Asprey: There’s a lot going on there.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Dave Asprey: The short answer is, we could blame Apple; the computers. They seem responsible for lots of environmental ills. So. . .

Stuart Cooke: OK. Let’s blame them.

Dave Asprey: I’m only saying that in jest. There’s many different factors involved. But one of them actually is your electronic devices. And it has to do with circadian rhythm and how you go to sleep and how well you sleep and your melatonin levels.

Stuart Cooke: Very interesting. We’ve done a bit of research into EMR and EMF as well, and being aware that we’re living in an environment now where we are exposed to wifi and stuff like that and how that can mess up with your natural rhythms of your body. So, I can certainly understand where you’re coming from there.

Dave Asprey: That’s a part of it. I don’t think EMF is necessarily the top thing that makes us fat. It increases myological stress. And stress does cause weight gain.

But it’s actually the light that comes off these devices. One of the things I do with my Bulletproof coaching clients, and part of what I do is I set aside time every week and I have a set of coaching clients around the globe and I just do it over Skype, but we talk about, like, hedge fund managers and entrepreneurs and CEOs and people who are really into high performance and occasionally like a pro athlete or someone.

But it’s usually people who are really, like, “How do I have the energy and the focus to just go all day long and to manage all these stresses in life?” And it’s always sleep that’s a problem when we start our sessions. And then we hack that first.

So, staring at a bright light, including your iPhone screen, including your computer, at night, after the sun goes down, really jacks up your biological systems. You don’t make melatonin for four hours after you look at a bright light, even if you get up in the middle of the night, you flip on the lights to go the to bathroom, flip ‘em off, you’re done. You’re not making melatonin again that night. And that’s a problem.

So, in our house, we have a light in our bathroom, and this is something I carry on the website, but it’s a light that doesn’t emit any blue spectrum. It’s like a yellow bulb. And when you turn that on, you don’t hurt your melatonin.

When I’m here in my office at night, I have software that turns down the intensity and changes the color spectrum. But it’s not enough. Either I wear orange glasses or I do this.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah! Right. OK.

I’ve seen the orange glasses, and I’m aware of the blue light, and. . . Yeah, insane. So, where would we get the glasses from and how would we wear them?

Dave Asprey: The cheapest glasses are laser protection goggles made by Uvex on Amazon. I have a pair right by my bed so I’m not gonna, like, disconnect from the headphones and grab them. Normally they’re on my desk.

And you just wear them after the sun goes down. You don’t have to wear them every night. But you really will sleep better.

And the other thing is, turn off the LEDs in your room. Every single LED, whatever color, but especially blue and green. Put black tape over them. The curtains, if there’s light coming around, get another curtain to put over the top of that. You should be able to open your eyes at night and not see anything. When you do that, you will sleep profoundly.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. That’s insane. Sleep has been a big topic, I think, especially for us. Me in particularly because I have; my sleep has been shot for the last five years. But I think I’ve been through a journey where we’ve looked at magnesium. We’ve looked at melatonin supplementation as well. We’ve looked at EMF; moving the bed, you know, outside of heavy fields.

But it was only the other night that I thought, you know, I reckon it might be down to my sinuses. Because I was a mouth-breather at night. And I thought, wow, that’s really insane. And I have quite a clear nose, and when I lay down, my nose gets quite stuffy and I breathe through my mouth. So, I did a little experiment last night and bought a nasal decongestant and blast it up each nostril. Super clear. Went down and had a great night’s sleep. Which is insane.

Dave Asprey: You need to do an allergy, like a blood allergy panel. If this is happening when you lie down but not the rest of the time. . . What’s your comforter made out of? How old is it? Do you have a dust mite cover on your bed? And maybe you have an allergy to dust mites. But environmental allergies will decimate your sleep. And so will food allergies. You could have a dairy intolerance or something. And if you’re eating dairy protein and you shouldn’t be, that would cause your sinuses to be more congested.

But I see this all the time. In fact, even for me this was a problem about 18 months ago. My wife is from Sweden and they sleep with these ridiculously thick, like, sheet things but they’re; I grew up in a desert. I sleep with, like, a sheet and a blanket like a civilized person. But these Vikings, I tell ya, featherduster things. Whatever. So, I noticed she fluffed it. I was, like, “Bleh! What is that?” She said, “Oh, these don’t ever go bad. These feather things are good forever.” Like, it’s 20 years old, get it out of here and let’s try it without. And my sleep quality improved, too.

So, check out your mattress. And they have these, like, closed-cell, hypoallergenic covers. Totally get one of those. Put an air filter in your room. And see what happens. You might be amazed.

But that’s not why we’re all fat. It’s only a part of it.

You’ve got to read my sleep-hacking post. There’s a bunch more stuff like that.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I’ve been through them and we’re gonna be pushing it out to our readers. Because I know that sleep is a huge thing.

Guy Lawrence: But would it be fair to say, than, that if your sleep falls apart then that’s the base of; that’s gonna cause all the other problems as well. Because if you’re not sleeping well and you’re tired, you’re gonna start making wrong decisions as well, aren’t you?

Dave Asprey: Well, not necessarily. I did two years where I ate 4,000 calories a day. I didn’t exercise at all. And I slept five hours or less per night every night. In fact, sometimes only two hours.

And I actually grew a six-pack during that time. And I don’t think I made bad decisions.

You can train yourself to, as you go through stress conditioning, to make great decisions while you’re tired. And one of the things that’s really strange is that a lot of what happens when you’re operating in a tired state is that that dog in your body that I was referencing earlier; it’s worried. It’s like, “Oh, my God! I’m tired. I’m gonna die.” And it has this little: “Go to sleep! Aaa!”

So, there’s a lot of, like, nervous energy that comes from being tired that’s unnecessary. It’s when you train that part of your nervous system to basically accept the fact that you’re tired and you’re not gonna die, you’re still gonna do what needs doing and you’re gonna to go to sleep, that’s what happens in boot camp in the military. That’s one of the reasons that they torture you like that, so you realize, yeah, you can function at the level you need to function, even if you’re really tired. And when you realize that, the stress of being tired, not the stress of not getting enough sleep, but actually just the worry about the state, goes away and suddenly your performance goes up dramatically. And I’ve certainly done that.

Stuart Cooke: So, how many hours a night would you get of quality sleep?

Dave Asprey: I get about five hours a night, usually. Lately, in the last six months, I’m doing an experiment. I’m like, OK, maybe I really do need more. So, I’ve gotten my average up to five hours and 57 minutes over the past six months. I have a little monitoring device.

Stuart Cooke: I was gonna say, can you be a little bit more precise in that timing?

Guy Lawrence: Would you increase that sleep if people are exercising a lot?

Dave Asprey: Oh, absolutely. One of the reasons that I’m a huge fan of the exercise protocols on the Bulletproof Executive, which are based largely on Body By Science by Doug McGuff is, well, I don’t really have a lot of recovery time. So, I’m going to, after this, after we’re done here, I’m gonna go up and have dinner with the kids, play with the kids, spend some quality time with my wife, and around 9 p.m. I’m gonna come back here and I have another three hours of stuff scheduled. And then I’m probably gonna write something and I’ll go to bed around 2 and I’ll wake up around 7:30 or 8.

And I do this over and over and over and over. So, what was your original question? I forget.

Guy Lawrence: Increasing sleep with exercise.

Dave Asprey: So, basically, if I work out, I’m gonna have to add at least an hour to that. So what I’ll do today is I’ll probably stand on my whole-body vibration platform (I have an Ultra Vibe) and that’s gonna get my lymphatic circulation going, it’s gonna get all the muscles firing, more so than a walk for an hour would, really. Because 30 times a second, my body’s doing this.

And while I’m doing that, I can relax, I can close my eyes, or, heck, I can watch something on TV if I want to, like it’s totally free time.

But I’m only gonna lift weights once this week.

Stuart Cooke: So, for those of us that don’t have access to a system like you just explained, is there anything that we can do that will simulate the effects?

Dave Asprey: Well, the rebounder, the old little trampoline that you jump on? It’s a really good detoxing thing. It’s good strengthening. It keeps your bones strong. The problem is, you’re gonna do one a second. I’m doing 30 a second. So, you might want to rebound for a half-hour or something.

Guy Lawrence: Three days.

Stuart Cooke: That’s awesome. Guy, I think why don’t we go into the overtraining as well.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, sure, absolutely. Because that was another question. You know, I CrossFit a fair bit. I see guys that do a lot of training. A lot. And I’m always conscious of where’s that line between exercise for, you know, athleticism, and then also overtraining, and, you know, doing yourself more harm than good long-term. What would your take on that be?

Dave Asprey: I love the intensity of CrossFit. I don’t like the frequency of CrossFit.

And it’s so easy to make a daily habit, and so I totally understand why you’d want to do that. And when I used to exercise six days a week, that made it really easy because you just do it every day. It’s much harder to stick with something you do once or twice a week. It requires a calendar and scheduling and an amount of self-discipline a lot of people don’t have.

So, with CrossFit, I see this very often in my clients. In fact, one of them who lives in Australia was getting ready to compete in the CrossFit Games and just, like, lost his mojo. Like, his passion for life was going down. And he’s a pretty high-performance guy. And I said, “Look. Your sleep quality is disrupted.” One of things that comes from overtraining is completely useless sleep and not very much of it.

And I said, “Why don’t you just get a cortisol panel? Like, get a blood test. And let’s see. I can predict what’s gonna happen here.” And he got it and his cortisol was sky-high. So he backed off on his number of workouts and his zest for life returned very quickly. It helps, too; he had made a mistake some people make on the Bulletproof Diet. They go low-carb and they feel so amazing when they’re eating just the meat, vegetables, and 60 percent fat, maybe, from the healthy kinds of fat. You just have just this Bulletproof state. It feels so amazing when you get there.

The problem is, you stay in it. He wasn’t doing the carbohydrate refueling that I recommend for guys at least once a week. If you’re lifting heavy during CrossFit, you probably need to do that twice a week. And there’s some people who try to stay in ketosis all the time and do CrossFit and your adrenals are not gonna like that eventually.

So, it’s a dangerous thing to be overtrained. It’s no different to overtrain than it is to starve yourself by not eating enough of the right food or to be under, like, huge amounts of emotional stress. Even, like, a divorce or, you know, your house burning down or something like that. The level of stress your body goes under, it doesn’t matter if it comes from exercise or nutrition or factors emotionally around you. You have a bucket of stress you can handle every day, and we measure that in adrenal reserve.
So, if you’re gonna kind of beat the crap out of your body by overtraining at that level, you need to support your adrenals first and foremost. Number one recommendation: a teaspoon, maybe half a teaspoon, of salt in the morning. Sea salt in a glass of water, right as soon as you wake up.

And that sounds a little weird, but when you wake up, here’s what happens in your body. This is not what happens up here. This is what happens in a mammal; the dog inside you. So, your eyes open and it says: “I’m gonna have to get out of bed. If I stand up real quick, there might not be enough blood pressure, so there won’t be blood in the brain. If that happens, I’ll fall down and hit my head on a rock and a tiger will eat me. Then I would die. That would suck.” So, it’s an emergency situation.

So, immediately the adrenals turn on. They create cortisol and adrenaline and the cortisol is working really hard to raise potassium like it does in the morning to lower potassium, which happens in morning. Well, if you give it the sodium that it’s trying to do, it stops freaking out and at that point you’ve saved that adrenal reserve for later in the day to handle other stressors in life.

And this is a really powerful technique. And it’s something they use for people who have dysfunctional adrenal glands. But you can use it even if you have functioning adrenal glands to give yourself more kick later in the day.

The down side? If you have too much salt in the morning, it’s gonna give you Disaster Pants. So, start with half. . .

Guy Lawrence: So, if you up the salt and up the MCT if you haven’t done it before, then you’re in for a treat.

Dave Asprey: Pretty much the worst of all is if you do salts; a ton of salts, a ton of MCT, maybe some extra magnesium, and then stand on the whole-body vibration platform.

Stuart Cooke: That is fascinating. So, you take the salt before you get out of bed, so you’d have it by your bedside table?

Dave Asprey: That is the most ideal way to do it but then you have to think ahead. I just kind of wake up in the morning and I pop a handful of amino acids and stuff like that. I throw some salt in the hand and swallow it.

Guy Lawrence: Bang. Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: So, you’re talking about popping salt and amino acids. Supplementation. I hear on the grapevine that you supplement quite well, and in the past you have taken quite a lot of supplements. What do you currently take?

Dave Asprey: It’s kind of a long list, still. At the height at my, kind of, anti-aging and also recovery regimen, recovering from years of my body not working very, I took 187 capsules a day.

Guy Lawrence: Wow.

Dave Asprey: Yeah. So, I think I had Ray Kurzweil by two capsules or something. This famous inventor who also has an anti-aging program and all.

And that requires a certain amount of organization and planning, and it also is kind of expensive. But what I do now is I have kind of three groupings a day. There’s one in the morning, because there’s things that work best on an empty stomach or things where it doesn’t matter. So, I take those when I first wake up.

Then there’s a group of things that you take with a meal. And if I’m on the road, I’ll take them usually with dinner. If I’m at home, I’ll usually take them with lunch. It doesn’t really matter.

And those are things that are gonna upset your stomach if you take them on an empty stomach, or things that require fat in order to be absorbed. And then the final thing is right before bed I take another small handful of pills. And these are things that enhance sleep and recovery. So, kind of in reverse order. At night, I would take GABA, theanine, magnesium, vitamin C, and glutathione; the liposomal form, in fact, that I was squirting in before the show. The stuff; upgraded glutathione.

Guy Lawrence: I’ve got that. Yeah, I take that, yeah.

Dave Asprey: Yeah, and it doesn’t taste great. I’m working on making it taste better.

Guy Lawrence: It’s interesting taste. The first time I had a shot of that under my tongue, I was, like, “Whoa! That’s pretty. . .”

Stuart Cooke: Well, the smell is pretty extreme. It smells powerful.

Dave Asprey: It’s a sulfur-bearing molecule. It is made out of sulfur and it is not pleasant-tasting, but I don’t know if either of you felt really strong effects from it. A lot of people really notice it. And I even know a nationally renowned author who’s a shaman and writes about shamanic experiences in Peru and things like that who uses glutathione regularly because he can get into those really advanced meditation states better for it.

So, I have no doubt in my mind that glutathione enhances cognitive function and there’s lots of studies about that. So, it also works for detox reasons. And we live in a world full of chemicals that cavemen didn’t deal with, so the idea that I’m gonna get my vitamins from my foods, great, just get your toxins from Mother Nature and you’ll be perfectly balanced. Not gonna happen.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, well, cognitive function I guess, Guy, try a couple of sprays tomorrow. See what happens. See how that works for us.

We had a question regarding a book that you’ve written as well. And kind of moving forward a little bit. It’s a babies book. Now, I’ve got three kids who have got lots of friends with books. There it is.

Dave Asprey: I don’t know if you can see it.

Stuart Cooke: I can see it.

Dave Asprey: There we go. No, that’s not my wife, by the way. Stock photos. Wiley, my publisher, was evil about that. They’re like, “No.” I’m like, “You haven’t even seen the photos!” They said, “We don’t care. We always use stock photos.”

Stuart Cooke: I wondered if you could just briefly explain what the book is about, as well, for our audience.

Dave Asprey: Sure. The Better Baby Book (by the way, BetterBabyBook.com would be the place to go to learn more) is what my wife and I did to reverse her infertility. When she was 35, she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome and told she wouldn’t be able to have kids. We had our first child at 39 and our second at 42 without any fertility treatments other than what’s in the book.

And what’s in the book is how do you use food and the environment to change the way your body reacts and to change even the genetic expression of your children.
We learned, about 15 years ago, that the environment changes your genetic expression and those changes are inheritable. We learned then and then no one ever said what to do with that information. So, I went out and, as a biohacker, we compiled 1300 references to all sorts of things you could do to decrease inappropriate inflammation, to reduce the chances of autoimmune problems, and to increase pregnancy health.

And our midwife, who has delivered 700 kids, said of Lana; she said, “You have the healthiest maternal tissues of any woman of any age I’ve ever worked with.” This is to a 42-year-old woman. Which is pretty amazing, because she’s delivered babies from 24-year-olds quite frequently.
So, to be able to have that healthy of a pregnancy blew our midwife away and she convinced us to write the book about all the things we had done to give our kids every advantage that was already theirs. We just wanted to maximize the chances of what was already them, just giving them the opportunity to express it.

The results have been really profound and there’s lots of women now who visit my wife for her coaching practice over Skype. She helps women with fertility and with pregnancy know what to eat and know what to do and look at their progesterone and estrogen levels and things like that.

And I wrote this book because my goal is for there to be 10,000 less children with autism as a result of the program in the book. And I wrote it before The Bulletproof Executive, which is the book I’ve been itching to write. But I wrote this because, honestly, you have the most leverage. The younger you are when you start biohacking or optimizing systems and looking at how the environment affects you, the more leverage you have. So, preventing problems in the womb has the highest leverage. Trying to take a 90-year-old person and make them young again is a lot more work, a lot more pain, a lot more money, and a lot harder to do than taking a baby and just helping them form properly in the first place. That’s why I put so much energy and about four years into writing this book.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, fantastic. We saw the little video, I can’t remember, you were talking on a microphone and you mentioned the book and it’s just fascinating stuff. And one thing that intrigued me as well is what you feed your kids as well. Because I think so many parents struggle with that. And what we see, isn’t it, Stu, you know obviously you see it a lot more as well with. . . It’s amazing.

Dave Asprey: It depends when you start. So, my wife, I mentioned she’s Swedish, so sardines are a treat or chicken liver. So, when you eat things; at least when the mother eats things, the baby gets a taste for them later in life. And when you feed them to children when they’re very young, they get used to it.

So, my kids, they eat meat, they eat lamb, and they eat beef, and they love avocados. And vegetables are something you eat raw or cooked; it doesn’t really matter. I don’t get away with cutting any vegetable we eat without them walking into the kitchen and saying, “Can I have some of that?”

So, cauliflower’s good, broccoli’s good, all of that, because it’s just food. There’s no discussion about it.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right.

Dave Asprey: And if they say, “I don’t like that,” at the table, then: “OK, that’s fine. But it’s what we’re having for dinner. You don’t have to eat it.” “I want something else!” “Well, actually, that’s not what we’re having for dinner.”

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, that’s how it is.

Dave Asprey: They’ve never left the table; they’ve never left the table hungry. They think about it, they decide what to do, and there was one time, my 3-year-old, he’s a boy, so he’s a bit more strong-willed. And he said, you know, like, “OK, fine. I’m going.” And an hour later: “I’m hungry!” “You’re gonna be hungry till morning.” That was the last time he ever did that.
So, honestly, your kids, if they eat normal foods; normal on a Western diet, they’re starving inside. Literally, they have food cravings all the time caused by the foods they’re eating. So, they have a desperate need to eat. And of course they want to eat things that are gonna give them the most glucose and the most fat, because that’s what the liver uses to remove toxins from the body. You want to oxidize something, you need the fuel, and those are the two fuel sources. Protein’s crappy fuel. It makes more toxins in the liver than it takes out.

So, when you get to that perspective and you realize how hungry your kids are like that, number one, give them fat. They’ll calm down and stop misbehaving so much. Butter? Yes. MCT oil? Absolutely, my kids get MCT oil. And they go to school and all their friends are eating snacks and my kids are like, “I guess we’ll have a snack.” But they don’t snack at home. They don’t need snacks. And that’s amazing.

But when they’re properly fed, they behave really well and they focus and when you’re a parent, it doesn’t matter if your kids misbehave a little while. If you’re on path to making them have the biochemistry so they can focus and behave, then deal with it. When they say, “I don’t like it,” say, “Great! We’ll take it away and you’ll be hungry.” They’ll learn to like it pretty fast.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. We’re on a campaign to completely eradicate wheat. It’s time. It has to happen. I watched a podcast of yours a few weeks ago with the chap who wrote Wheat Belly and it was just. . .

Dave Asprey: Dr. Davis! He’s a great guy.

Stuart Cooke: Fascinating.

Dave Asprey: Yeah, and look at his credentials. I mean, Track Your Plaque. That guy’s a leading cardiologist. He’s not messing around in that book. And he’s right. It’s not just about getting fat or getting autoimmunity. It’s about your brain. Wheat makes you stupid.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. And it’s a tricky one, so we’re gonna be tackling that over the course of the next month or so. But when we’ve nailed that one, and we’re not too far away, I think we’ll be well on the way to good times.

Dave Asprey: It helps. Just watch out. It’s not something to take out gradually. It’s crack. It’s an opiate substance, the way it’s digested. So, it turns into something called a gluteomorphin and when you have wheat one day, even just one bite, “Oh, it’s Saturday. We’ll celebrate. We’re just gonna have a little pizza. Just one slice.” Right? The next day, the little Labrador in your head’s gonna say, “You know what? I’m starving because I need more wheat and I’m addicted to the stuff. I think it would be a good idea to have just one more piece.”

And you’ll convince yourself, because of that input, that it’s time to have just one more piece, and you’ll be just like someone who’s shooting heroin in their arm. “Oh, yeah, I’m giving it up this time. I’m sure I’m done.” And then later they end up with this. It’s because of that same process. So, go cold turkey, take lots of L-glutamine; the amino acid. That’ll help you to deal with the food cravings you’re gonna get for three days. And then you’re done detoxing and then wheat is not food after that anymore.

Stuart Cooke: Perfect tip. Fantastic.

Guy Lawrence: How are we doing for time?

Stuart Cooke: We’re absolutely mindful of your time, so I guess, Guy, if you’ve got. . .

Guy Lawrence: We’ll do a wrap-up question; a question we’re gonna ask on every podcast: If you could offer a single piece of advice for optimum health wellness, what would that be? For everyone listening to this.

Dave Asprey: Learn forgiveness.

Guy Lawrence: Learn forgiveness.

Dave Asprey: Yep. It is a very difficult skill to master. It’s easy to say, “I forgive you.” It’s very hard to actually do the biological activity of forgiveness and to neurologically forgive someone and to really let go. But when you learn to do that, and you practice it, which is how you learn or, better yet, if you do some neurofeedback that teaches you forgiveness, but this kind of thing lets you stop carrying a stress burden for all sorts of stuff that you don’t even know you’re carrying.

So, if you had an invisible backpack full of stones on, you would never know you had it, because it’s invisible to you. And the grudges you hold and the ill will towards others that you hold; it holds you back. It keeps you from performing at the level you can be. And it takes quality of life away from you, but it’s invisible.
So, when you learn how to do this, suddenly you’re, like, “Oh, my God. I’m not carrying whatever that heavy thing was anymore.” And certainly I’ve spent an enormous amount of time working on that myself. And one of the reasons, you were asking: How can I perform like this and still see my kids and do the things I do? It’s because I’ve done a lot of forgiveness work.

So, Bulletproof Diet, yes, Bulletproof coffee, lifesaving, lifechanging, all those things. But at the end of the day, before any of that, practice forgiveness.

Stuart Cooke: That’s perfect.

Guy Lawrence: Perfect answer, mate.

Stuart Cooke: So, Guy, you need to forgive me as I steal half of your MCT oil tomorrow for our experiment.

Dave Asprey: There’s a way to make this forgiveness easier. When he’s not looking, put four times extra in his coffee and see what happens.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Exactly.

Dave, thanks so much for your time. If anyone wants to learn more about what you do, where’s the best place for them to go, mate?

Dave Asprey: Check out BulletproofExec.com. All the info on the site’s free. It’s there. A quarter-million words. It’s there as a public service. You know, I’m grateful for all the cool stuff that’s happened in my life and I’d like to help other people do it, too.

Also, I’m hoping to make a trip out to Australia sometime in the next six months or so, so when I know that’s coming together I’ll let you guys know.

Guy Lawrence: Please do. Please do. Fantastic.

Thanks for your time.

Dave Asprey: Have a great day.

Stuart Cooke: Thank you, Dave. Speak to you soon.

 

Top Protein Powders for Optimum Health

top protein powders

By 180 Nutrition

Protein powders are a great way to add extra protein to your diet. They’re ideal for bodybuilders, athletes and people who just want to optimise their health.

Because they’re pure concentrated protein, these convenient powders make it easy to get additional protein without eating an enormous amount of extra food. Here are some of the top protein powders and how they can benefit you.

Egg Protein

This protein powder is isolated from egg whites to provide you with the food’s most valuable essence. Many people even consider egg protein powders to be the best available. This is because eggs are the most complete form of protein available, providing all of the essential amino acids. Egg protein is fat free and contains numerous vitamins and minerals.

Rice Protein

Rice protein is one of the few protein powders suitable for vegans (pea protein is an alternative). Although it’s not a complete protein, it provide almost all of the essential amino acids. In addition, it’s an excellent source of B vitamins, which help sustain energy, support a healthy metabolism and maintain the nervous system. Their mild flavor makes them ideal for adding to protein shakes and homemade meal replacement bars.

Soy Protein

Soy protein powders are very popular among vegans and people who believe in the health benefits of soy. Like rice protein, soy is not a complete protein, but it is still highly nutritious. It contains no fat, few carbohydrates and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, many people find its flavor, which is reminiscent of raw beans, to be overbearing. This makes it more suitable for use in things that are heavily-flavored.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is easily the most popular protein powder on the market. It’s suitable for ovo-lacto vegetarians, is a complete protein and provides an abundance of nutrition. Because whey is a by-product of dairy processing and is produced in large quantities, these protein powders are very affordable. Furthermore, whey’s chemical structure makes it very easy to digest. Many people find that whey protein has the most favorable taste out of all the available protein powders. Use it in shakes, meal replacement bars, or even in meals and desserts. Whey protein isolate (WPI) is the purest form of Whey protein as it contains little to no fat, lactose, carbohydrates or cholesterol. At 180 Nutrition we use Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate as we believe that it is by far the top protein powder for optimum health.

Try a starter pack today and feel the difference!

Why the food pyramid sucks

180 Nutrition Food Pyramid

By Guy Lawrence

“…an 8 oz /230g serving of hamburger daily, is technically permitted under the pyramid.” - Harvard nutritionist Dr. Walter Willett

Have you ever had one of those moments… Someone asks you a question which seems to be really simple, yet you know if you answer it, it opens up for a 100 more questions?

After explaining to my friend about my feelings on why counting calories doesn’t work (you can read my thoughts on calorie counting here), I think he was having a little bit of a paradigm shift regarding his health, nutrition and weight loss. I had just created a monster and I knew more questions would come flying at me!

The penny had dropped and all was not as it seemed in the world of weight loss and marketing. He began to understand that nutrient dense food was of the upmost importance when it came to weight loss, not counting calories. He also began to realise that most of his daily diet consisted of food that was not nutrient dense. It was loaded with refined grains, white flour and starch like breads, pastas, rice etc.

So here came the next question… What about the food pyramid? He was actually eating in no greater quantity than what is recommended by the somewhat vague prescription advocated by the food pyramid. Yet he wasn’t losing weight.

This was my answer to why I thought the food pyramid sucked. Here’s why… More

Nora Gedgaudas Book Review: Primal Mind Primal Body, Beyond the Paleo Diet


By Guy Lawrence

We’ve got 3 of Nora Gedgaudas’ books to give away to celebrate her Sydney talk here in May 2013. For a chance to win click here. http://on.fb.me/YXkGdH

I have placed some relevant links at the bottom of the page which I would recommend checking out when you have 5 minutes to spare. From meeting Kelli 4 years ago at the small organisation I mention in the video, to Nourishing Australia (Organisers of Nora’s tour in Australia), to a couple of podcasts with Nora talking in depth. So check them out, and if you have experienced Nora live or have read her book, would love to hear your comments. You can also buy Nora’s book here Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life

Nora GedgaudasHey, this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition and I just wanted to share with you the great experience I just had over the last weekend. I was very privileged to meet Nora Gedgaudas in person and listen to her speak for the day.

Now you maybe wondering who Nora Gedgaudas is and why this has any relevance to you.

Well Nora is the author of the book – Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life She is also a certified Nutritional Therapist and a Neurofeedback Specialist.

And all that’s great yeah,… but why THIS book? Why Nora?

I can only speak from my own experiences over the years working as a Fitness Trainer, so bear with me as I backpeddle slightly.

About 4 years ago I stumbled upon a small organisation that were doing things a little differently in the way they were supporting people who where faced with major health issues, mainly cancer. What got me really interested, was the fact that they were helping these people through a very different approach to the regular channels. The main points of difference were 1. what these people ate and  2. they also moved them into progressive resistance training programmes, whether it be from home or at their gym.

So why is this relevant?

To cut a very long story short, the thing that fascinated me the most was WHAT they were encouraging these people to eat. In a nutshell, it was the elimination of modern day processed foods, along with a natural high fat diet, with good protein and vegetables but also the elimination of carbs from their diet as much as possible.

Combined with resistance training the results that they were getting was nothing short of amazing. It was one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had and it certainly made me appreciate my health a lot more. But it also helped me looked at what’s going on within the health and fitness industry, and set me on a path to find out what really is optimum health and what we can do to achieve this… as I’m sure you will agree… there’s a lot of noise out there.

Nora_gedgaudasIn the 4 years up until now, I’ve met some great people and read some great books, but Nora has managed to put an extremely confusing topic into an easy to understand informational packed resource. If you are wanting to take the right steps forward regarding your health and nutrition, I can assure you, Nora is the real deal! This book is a must read.

Whether you’re an athlete, weekend warrior or suffering from poor health, I would encourage everyone to check out Nora Gedgaudas: Beyond the Paleo Diet, because she makes total sense to me, and this book really delivers…

There’s also still time left to catch her speak here in Australia too. She is speaking at the Gold Coast on the weekend, so if you get the chance, GO…  there’s nothing better than the live experience where you get to meet many like minded people.

And that’s it… Go check her out.

Kelli’s Story

Nora Gedgaudas Book: Primal Body, Primal Mind

Nourishing Australia

Sarah Wilson’s & Nora Gedgaudas on Paleo eating

Tele-Seminar with Grahame Rees & Nora Gedgaudas