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Ruth Horrell: Food Diaries & Philosophies of an Elite CrossFit Athlete


The above video is 3:15 minutes long.

WATCH the full interview below or LISTEN to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Guy: Whether you are an elite athlete, weekend warrior or even a coach potato, there’s much wisdom to be had here when it comes to fuelling your body daily for optimum performance. With so much conflicting advice out there when it comes to nutrition, who better person to ask than someone who walks their talk. Elite CrossFit athlete, Ruth Anderson Horrell shares her insights around nutrition daily and also during competition time. No matter what your goals are, it’s certainly worth a few minutes of your time… Enjoy.

Ruth Anderson Horrell
 

“Never say, ‘can’t’… The word just makes me cringe and it is such a negative thought to ever think that you can’t do something. You may not be able to yet, or whatever it is, but if you decide you can’t, it’s like you’re already there.”― Ruth Anderson Horrell, Elite Crossfit Athlete

 
Ruth Anderson Horrell is a New Zealand representative CrossFit Athlete. She has represented the Australasia region at the World Reebok CrossFit Games in 2011, 2012 and 2013! Ruth competes for NZ as an Olympic Weightlifter. In 2012 she competed at the Oceania and Trans Tasman Champs. Ruth is a successful co-owner and coach at CrossFit Wild South and works as a Locum small animal veterinarian when she has time :)Currently she is training towards being Australia’s best female CrossFit athlete. She trains in Los Angeles under the instruction of Dusty Hyland for parts of the year.

Ruth Anderson Horrell Full Interview:

In This Episode:

Listen to Stitcher

  • Itunes logoHow she walks the fine-line between optimum training and overtraining
  • Her recovery strategies
  • Her own exercise routines
  • What CrossFit Regional Games looked like 8 years ago!
  • The advice she would give her 20 year old self when starting CrossFit
  • Her supplement regime
  • The changes she’s made to become a better athlete
  • And much much more…

Get More Of Ruth Anderson Horrell:

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Full Transcript

Guy:Hey this Guy Lawrence from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to today’s health session. You’ll have to forgive me, it’s nearly 40 degrees Celsius in this room; it is hot. That’s okay, lets push on with the intro. Today’s guest is Ruth Anderson Horrel. She is an incredible athlete, as far as I’m concerned. She’s a Crossfit athlete, if you’re not familiar with her, and she’s been to the Crossfit world games three times. I can assure you now, that is a hell of an achievement. She has a wealth of experience when it comes to exercise, nutrition, and recovery, and I think the one intention was today, whether you’re into Crossfit or not, we really wanted to tap into Ruth’s experience, and wisdom, and hopefully get a few gems across to pick up for everyone, ’cause I think there’s certainly a theme that’s coming across in the podcast, and the way people approach their diet, whether they’re at the elite end of athleticism, or not. 

Whether you just move daily and just trying to drop a bit of weight, there’s always some fantastic lessons to be learned from some of the best people that we can get hold of, that’s for sure. The other thing I’d encourage to do as well, is actually follow Ruth on Instagram, and then you’ll start to see what I mean by what her athletic abilities are, and what she is capable of.

Now, I haven’t asked for a review for a while, but I will. We had a fantastic review on iTunes come in the other day. I always ask for them because they obviously help with the rankings, but other people read them as well, and it’ll encourage them to listen to the podcast, so if you’re getting great befits from listening to my podcast every week when we push them out, then it takes two minutes if you could leave a review. The one we had just the other day says, “my favorite podcast by far,” with 5 stars, that was very generous, by [chinlo 00:01:47]. “Thank you, Guy and Stu for hours of learning. My favorite thing to do is listen to your podcast while going for a nice, long walk. I’ve listened to most of them twice or more. I never tire of your fantastic hosting, A-grade guests, [00:02:00] and the wonderful insights your podcasts bring.” I thought that was absolutely wonderful, so thank you for that, and hence why I gave you a shout out.

We read them all. Tell us how you listen to our podcast. I’d be fascinated to hear because we’re in, I think over 50 countries now, getting downloaded anyway, which is really cool. All right. I’m going to stop blabbering. Let’s go over to Ruth Anderson Horrel. Enjoy.

Hi, this is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart [Cooke 00:02:27]. Hi, Stu.

Stu:Hello, mate.

Guy:Good to see you. You’re looking well, mate.

Stu:As always.

Guy:Our lovely guest today is Ruth Anderson Horrel. Welcome, Ruth. 

Ruth:Hi, Guy.

Guy:I just realized, did I pronounce your last name correct?

Ruth:Yeah, that’s good. Yeah.

Guy:Okay. I always get confused slightly on that. You’re not the first guest, either. I have no doubt they’ll be two parties listening in on this podcast today. That’s going to be one that’s going to know [inaudible 00:02:55] is, and who you are and Crossfit fanatics, and then I think a big portion of our listeners, as well. They will have heard of Crossfit, but are not going to have any idea. I think hopefully we can, between us all, please both parties today. That’s our intention, anyway, and tap into some of your experience over the years, which we’re excited about.

Just to start and get the ball rolling, as always on our podcasts, can you just mind sharing a little bit about what you do, including Crossfit and outside of Crossfit as well? I know there’s a lot more to you than just going to Crossfit every day and training your heart out, really, isn’t it?

Ruth:Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s a big part of it. It’s a pretty big goal for the last few years has been competing at the Crossfit games and doing well there. In the meantime, on the Crossfit journey, I ended up opening a Crossfit gym about 5 years ago also. That’s been steadily growing and keeping us busy. That’s been a whole new experience for me, just learning how to run [00:04:00] that business. I also run a website, ruthless.co.nz, where we sell Crossfit equipment and accessories and things. That’s normally a few hours of my day, as well. Then I’m a small animal veterinarian and I’ve been doing that for 2 days a week for the last … I’ve been fairly part time, actually with it, probably for the last 3-4 years, so that I can focus on my training. Yeah.

Guy:Many balls in the air.

Stu:Busy. Crikey.

Guy:Can you share with the listeners where you are, as well? It’s a part of the world that I really want to go to.

Ruth:Yeah, yeah. It would be a bit of a temperature drop for you guys. I’m in Invercargill, which is right on the south coast of the South Island in New Zealand. We were the southern-most affiliate. I haven’t actually done a check lately, but we’re pretty south as far as Crossfit gyms and population, generally, I guess.

Guy:Yeah, yeah, yeah. What’s the weather like there now. Is it all right? Not too cold?

Ruth:Well yeah, it’s our summer, but we’re sitting early 20s today. At most over the summer, we’ll hit 30 degrees probably only a few times. It’s not a huge variation. 

Stu:Comfortable. That’s what I like, cool and comfortable, doesn’t keep you awake at nights like last night.

Ruth:No, definitely not. No, no. No trouble sleeping. The room’s always fairly cool.

Stu:Good. Good on you. For our audience that are not Crossfit savvy, and for anybody else who really doesn’t entirely understand what Crossfit is, I wondered if you could just explain? Give us your elevator pitch. What is Crossfit?

Ruth:As Greg Glassman always says, [00:06:00] “I’ll show you. Come and have a go.”

Stu:Yes.

Guy:I’ve never been there, but you’ve explained it.

Ruth:It is a really tough question. It’s actually funny. We were sitting around at the Queenstown Crossfit Tour and there was a bunch of all these elite athletes at a table. The waiter came around and said, “So what is Crossfit?” Everyone looked at each other. It was like, “Who’s going to answer it?” You’ve got people that have literally based their life around it and still have trouble explaining well how it works.

It’s a strengthening conditioning program. It’s constantly varied, so people that train Crossfit style, every day they go into the gym, they’ll be able to try new things that there will be either a variation of movement, variation of weights, variation of complexity, and a variation of time that they’re going to work out. A huge range of energy systems get used because it scopes literally from workouts that can take seconds to workouts that can take probably around an hour or so. There’s a few that go a bit longer. 

For me, it’s a sport. For most people, it’s a way of just maintaining health and fitness. For me, it’s become a sport and it creates a slightly different level, I guess, a different level of complexity in terms of movements and weights and everything else.

Stu:Great.

Guy:Good answer. That’s good, yeah. It’s constantly varied.

Ruth:It’s different. The movements are very much preparing people for everyday life. That’s probably the thing I love most about it. I’m training an older lady at the moment who’s preparing to walk one of the big, there’s [00:08:00] lots of beautiful walks in New Zealand, and she’s 65 and she’s preparing to walk a trek that’s about 60 kilometers with a pick. We know that we can get her ready for that.

Stu:Fantastic.

Guy:What is the diversity of people that you train, then? I think with Crossfit, if you’re on the outside looking in, it’s very easy to say, “Oh, that’s an elitist thing,” because the guys are generally pro videos, the guys that are really good at it. You don’t see the other side of it.

Ruth:Yeah, for sure. In our gym, the oldest person is actually my dad and he’s about to turn 70, but there would be no reason we couldn’t have older people. That’s just as old as we currently go. In terms of the youngest, well, we’ve got Crossfit kids and teens at our gym, so those kids are learning body weight movements and things from age 6. There’s a pretty huge range there, and then of course you get that huge range in how much sport people have previously done and also just what they do in their everyday life. We have people that have relatively sedentary jobs and in our box we also have a lot of people that are laborers or mechanics, builders, gardeners, that do a lot of physical work. It’s important for them to either reverse some of those effects of some of the quite repetitive movements that they’re doing and address some of the mobility problems and things that may come from that, and also just so they can be stronger and reduce the chance of getting injured while they’re lifting heavy objects and things they do at work.

Guy:Yeah. I’d imagine you’ve seen quite a few transformations all the time, as well, with people coming in [00:10:00] and following the protocol all the way through and seeing how that impacts their lives.

Ruth:Yeah. It’s really cool when people that they haven’t done a lot of exercise before, they’re the most scared. They’re the most apprehensive at walking in the door, but in many ways, they’re the most exciting people to train because you’ve got a little bit of a blank canvas and you know you can really make a difference by coaching these people in movement and having a better way of life.

Guy:I’d just say anyone listening to this who hasn’t tried Crossfit, they should put it on their bucket list and at least walk into a box and try it once and see what all the fuss is about. I recommend you.

Ruth:Yeah, absolutely. I think …

Stu:I’m thinking about just common issues, Ruth, as well. If I’m new to Crossfit, I’m going in, what do you typically see from people that walk into your box, because we’ve experienced it ourselves, Guy and myself, and we were voracious when we started. We probably hit it a little bit too hard, personally. What are commonalities that you see with the newbies?

Ruth:Yeah, I guess that wanting to have the more advanced movements before having the basic elements.

Stu:Yeah.

Ruth:That’s cool. You’ve got to have a goal and a dream. I know when I first discovered Crossfit, there was much less on the internet about it than there is now, but I remember seeing videos of people doing … Girls were the biggest thing, not guys, of seeing women do things like muscle ups and lift weights over their heads and things like that. That was what inspired me to get started with it. I didn’t have a box to walk in the door of, but [00:12:00] that’s what inspired me to get started. You know that people need to have those dreams, but just not paying attention to the basic movements first before, “But can I get up and just hit it a go? I just want to jump in those rings and I just want to do this and that and swing around.” They’re just not quite grasping some of the complexity and the amount of elements that needs to be tied in. 

That’s just the learning process. A lot of that is our job as coaches, to help people see, “Well, okay. Well, there’s some deficiencies here and here, and if we work on those parts, then we’re going to get this mastered.” Then I guess just not paying any attention to their own recovery or mobility. I’d probably put those 2 together. Just trying to get in the gym right when class starts and get straight into the workout and just not paying any attention to some of the things that they need to do to get their body well-prepped. We coach people into generally trying to come 15-20 minutes before class. We still run a warm-up, but we want people to work on their own specific things that they need to address. 

I know for myself, I took way too long to start addressing my problems with my thoracic mobility, and basically because I just didn’t know any better and I didn’t have anyone to tell me any more than that. It ended up that I ended up having an injury when I was competing. I had slipped a disc at T-5, which is quite an unusual injury. That forced me to address it, but that’s neither something that you would want to happen to an athlete that’s coming into, for a strengthening conditioning program. They need to be aware of where those deficiencies are [00:14:00] and what they need to do to resolve them.

Guy:Yeah.

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Stu:Great. One of the take homes for me, from being a Crossfitter for a couple of years, was just the importance of my mobility and flexibility. That’s something that I do every day as well now. Just the realization that we really do need to get moving and stretch these muscles and open up the joints … Every day from sitting at a desk, I go over and I’ll go into a squat and just sit there for 5 minutes, roll my shoulders and just get, open myself up and just try and get in a few positions that ordinarily, most people would just never even conceive of wanting to try. It makes me feel so much more alive and open. Great lessons in there.

Ruth:I think range of motion has a huge impact just on our quality of life and when you see older people that just haven’t been able to maintain activity, just how quickly range of motion gets lost, and then strength goes with it. Yeah, that’s definitely … I’m still learning about range of motion and how things can be improved, really.

Guy:How long have you been involved in Crossfit, just out of curiosity, Ruth?

Ruth:I think about 8-1/2 years.

Guy:Right, and you’ve been in Invercargill that whole time? What made me think, is because you opened a box there 5 years ago. What were you doing before the box came?

Ruth:Yeah, we just started out. My brother-in-law was living down here at the time and he had been living in Melbourne. Someone had just showed it to him. I’m not even sure if he’d done a workout with these people. Some people just showed him the Crossfit.com website and he came back. He was taking me through some personal training. We were just doing some strengthening so I could [00:16:00] compete at a triathlon that I wanted to do. Yeah, we just decided to start following some workouts on Crossfit.com and things got wild pretty quickly. Within 4 months, I went out to the first-ever regionals, which was in … 

Guy:Cronulla?

Ruth:Yeah. Yeah. Is that eight years?

Guy:It’d be a while back, because I had a friend that competed in it. 

Ruth:Yeah.

Guy:Long time ago.

Ruth:Yeah, I went out to CFX there and that was just when you could roll up to regionals.

Stu:Wow.

Ruth:[crosstalk 00:16:57] since you had no idea what. We didn’t even really know what all the movements of Crossfit were at that stage. I was like, “Oh, okay. Clean and jerk. All right.” The judge is out back with each person, showing them all the movements that they’re going to need to do, a bit like a level 1.

Guy:That’s amazing.

Stu:That’s a radical change from any training that you would have been doing at the time, as a triathlete, as well, to then suddenly go into these wild and wacky Olympic lifts and technical movements. Wow. How did that work out?

Ruth:I did miss one of the workouts at the competition because I couldn’t do a ring dip, but I think I had captain pull ups by then, had no idea what a butterfly pull up was at that stage. We actually had a sand dune run, so I did really well on that and I think there was another workout I did quite well in. It was okay, but I know I did miss on 1 of the workouts, not being able to do a ring dip. I just couldn’t believe that there were girls there that could do ring dips. I was like, “Oh, my goodness.” The rings was totally, was not even something that I had, wasn’t a piece of equipment that we even had. We were playing. We didn’t even have a kettlebell, actually. We were swinging a dumbbell.

Guy:[00:18:00] Right.

Ruth:We did okay, probably as you would expect, but it really was an inspiring moment for me to realize the level that some of the athletes were at and that in some ways, I could see that I could be there.

Guy:That’s amazing, because Crossfit’s come such a long way. Like, when you look at the caliber of athlete today that you compete against, if anyone seemed again to walk into a regional games, it’s well and gone in Australia. Go and check it out for an hour. It’s phenomenal, the standard of athlete today. How many were competing at the time back then? Was it … 

Ruth:I’m going to say there might have been about 30-40 women, and probably the same for the men.

Guy:Okay.

Ruth:Yeah, so I imagine it was just advertised on the Crossfit.com website. Just clicked the link and registered, and all the sudden, I flew to Sydney and had a go.

Stu:Wow.

Guy:That’s awesome.

Ruth:I’ve been really fortunate, to be able to grow with the sport, I guess.

Guy:You have, yeah, fully. Absolutely. Move on to the next question, when you’ve talked, because we’re still on the topic of training, how do you, I’m always curious to ask athletes this, walk the fine line between optimum training and over-training?

Ruth:Yeah. I’ve definitely crossed the line before, so I know what that feels like. I’ve had to be aware of how to modify. I had quite a big hand surgery this time last year and I have had a few injuries along the way, so I’ve had to be aware of how to be patient with those and modify things as needed. I know my body. Generally, if I’m over-doing [00:20:00] it, I generally wake up very early in the morning. I never have too much trouble getting to sleep, but I have a little bit of trouble staying asleep. That’s normally the warning sign for me, if I’m not able to maintain my regular sleep pattern. There’s normally something amiss, because generally that won’t happen. As soon as something like that, if I become aware of that, then I’ll normally start throwing in some more rest days, beyond what my regular rest days are.

Guy:Right, yeah.

Ruth:I guess it’s a difficult thing. I feel like you probably need to cross the line to know exactly where it is, in some ways. You probably need to make a couple of errors to work it out.

Guy:Along the way, you learn from it. Yeah. You intuitively get in-tuned in. Maybe you should explain to everyone listening to this, as well, what a typical day of training might look like for you. We know coming into the season of Crossfit … You’ll be competing for the regionals, Auckland regionals this year, Ruth?

Ruth:Yeah.

Guy:Yeah. Some of the listeners might not know, you picked up an injury last year leading into the, was it the open or the regionals itself?

Ruth:Yeah, yeah, we were about 3 weeks out from the start of the open and my tendon on my thumb snapped. It was a little bit of, “Maybe I just don’t have the surgery and have a floppy thumb,” and then I decided I needed to get it done. That was a tricky decision because I’d obviously worked my butt off to come back and give it to Carson and go back to the Crossfit games and have a good shot. I felt like everything was falling well into place, so it was one of those stumbling blocks.

Guy:[00:22:00] Yeah, but a year comes around quickly. Here it is again, right?

Ruth:Yeah, yeah. Sorry, what was your question again?

Guy:We were talking about the fine line of over-training and recovery.

Ruth:Yeah.

Guy:Now we get into the season, just to give listeners an idea, what would your typical training day or week look like?

Ruth:At the moment, I’m generally doing 3 days on, 1 off. That varies a little bit throughout the year, but that’s currently what I’m sticking with. Today, for example, I’ve been in the gym and I’ve done a couple of hours of gymnastics training, working position, a very small amount of what I would consider conditioning, but for the most part, just working position and some of the movements that I find more challenging. I quite like to start my day with more technical elements like that, but I have a little bit of variation. Sometimes I will lift in the morning. Generally, I’ll try and get in at least an hour. It will depend on my coaching schedule, but at least an hour, possibly 2 before lunch and then in the afternoon, I will generally start an afternoon session with a good 90 minutes or so of lifting and then I’ll have a little break and then I’ll start having my conditioning.

[inaudible 00:23:25], so what people would commonly get if they go in for a class, and then I often end a session with some interval-style training. Yeah, that’s about it. It’s a bit broken up into little blocks, 60-90 minutes at a time, and give myself a bit of a break. The break might include getting in a personal training session with someone or getting some of my other business work done and then coming back to [00:24:00] training. I find it pretty hard to just hit a 3-hour block or something, of training. There has been times I’ve had to do it because of my schedule.

Guy:It’s a huge commitment, isn’t it?

Ruth:Yeah, yeah.

Stu:3 days on, 1 day off, so that 1 day that is going to be really, really important for you to rest and recover. I’m interested in the strategies. Are there any? What does a Crossfit champ do on the recovery day to absolutely maximize that day for everything?

Ruth:I need to do a lot of mobility work, so I try and get in, it will be an hour, and I try and do more if I can. Some of that, for me, it needs to include a bit of activation-type work as well, just to get my shoulders moving as best as they can and glute activation and making sure my hips are as mobile as possible. For me, that’s been important. Number 1, I’ll be 32 this year. I guess in the life of Crossfit athletes, it’s creeping up there at the end of staying at world-level competition. It’s just something I just have to make sure I’m really on top of the mobility side.

I used to do a bit more of things like having a jog, like doing a long run in the bush and things like that. I don’t do that every … I consider that more of a workout now. I try and have my rest days as being a bit more rest days. It will depend on my state of mind, I guess, as to whether I want to throw in some skill work at the same time, as well. If there’s something that is just technically challenging and not going to be over-fatiguing, [00:26:00] I might do that, as well. If I just feel like I’ve been at the gym so much over those last few days and would prefer to have a break, then I won’t.

Guy:How many hours sleep do you get a night, Ruth, normally?

Ruth:My target’s 9. 

Guy:There you are. Okay. Yeah. A good night’s sleep, right? I like it.

Ruth:Yeah, yeah. I probably hit 8 most of the time and try to get another 30 minutes in the afternoon. I love getting an afternoon nap. It just makes training in the afternoon go better and just feel so good. That’s my favorite thing, but just, life doesn’t always allow it.

Guy:Yeah.

Stu:That recovery day is wildly different to anything that I thought you were going to say. I imagined that you were going to say, “I’m going to sleep in, have a coffee, go down to the local video store, get my favorite movie, sit back on the lounge with my dog, and just veg out.” I didn’t expect to hear that …

Ruth:I wish. I wish, but no, I’ve got to run the businesses and do all those other things, so I probably have a bit more catch-up and try to get on top of the world as much as I can, emails and all that kind of stuff, have a real tidy-up so that it allows me more time on the training days.

Stu:Okay, okay.

Ruth:Yeah, yeah. I don’t … I’m not big on lying around too much. I like to get out of the house, mow my lawns, and I like to keep moving. Yeah. As you see, get in squat position and stuff while I’m weeding my garden.

Stu:I’ll write you a recovery program, Ruth, and see how that goes down for you: lots of movies and stuff like that. Guy touched on sleep there, as well, which obviously is critical for everybody, even more critical when you’re an elite athlete. Have you got any tips or tricks that have worked for you? Do you do anything in particular to get that solid sleep working for you?

Ruth:[00:28:00] Yeah. I don’t like bright light. I know I’ve stayed at some other people’s homes and I’ve found if their living rooms and things are really lit up, I find that quite buzzy. I just think they interfere.

Stu:Yeah.

Ruth:I try not to spend too much time watching TV or anything late at night. My room is really dark. I live right at the end of the street and there’s no street lights that affect my room. I’ve got proper blackout curtains and things. I typically don’t have any trouble. It’s cool, I should mention, but that’s just, that’s without air conditioning. It’s just the temperature is cool.

Stu:I could have done with that last night.

Ruth:It’s pretty good. I always take magnesium in the night time, and the amount will depend on if I’ve had a massive training day or have some with my dinner and some again just before I go to bed.

Stu:Any particular type of magnesium that works for you?

Ruth:I think it’s called diglycinate?

Stu:Yeah.

Ruth:Yeah. Is that right? It’s a powder drink that I make up. I find that fantastic.

Stu:Right. Got it.

Ruth:I just notice it, if I’ve missed it for a few days. I just feel like I’m missing it. It’s been a supplement I’ve taken for a long time.

Stu:Okay.

Guy:I’m interested, as well. You’re going to be pretty switched on with the nutrition. I know we’re going to get into that topic a bit later, but in terms of recovery, have you ever deviated from the way you eat, and how did that go on and affected your recovery? Have there been any kind of correlations that you’ve seen at that end?

Ruth:Yeah. I’ve had things like I’ve trained, a workout’s taken way longer than I expected. [00:30:00] I’ve literally got 10 minutes and I need to run a class, so I’m having a shower and then starting class. I totally skip having any post-workout nutrition. I’ve generally been more sore for that the next day. 

Guy:Right.

Stu:Right.

Ruth:I know that I need to get some carbohydrate and protein in after I train, and it does seem to be quite a difference if I haven’t got it in within 30 minutes of training. The next day’s always going to be tougher. Definitely just, life’s got in the way and I haven’t done things as I would have liked. I’ve known the difference for that.

Guy:Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, fantastic. Excellent. Now, do you have … I’m assuming you have coaches, as well, guiding you to the games. I’ve also noticed that you’ve gone to America for the last few times that you’ve competed prior to the games, as well. 

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Ruth:Yeah.

Guy:Why do you go to America, first of all? Yeah, beforehand.

Ruth:In our town, there wasn’t Crossfit. My first introduction to some high-class, quality coaches was when I met Dusty Holland at the gymnastics [cert 00:31:19] at the [Schwartz 00:31:23] Gym in Melbourne, about 4 years ago, I think. Met him and we became really good friends and I traveled out to him. I think I’ve had 6 trips out now to the states to spend good blocks of time with him. They also gave me an opportunity to train with some amazing athletes like [Sam Bricks 00:31:48] and Lindsay [Vellanzuella 00:31:51], [Tina Lee Brixton 00:31:52], some really, really amazing athletes out there. Initially, my gymnastics was my largest weakness [00:32:00] in my range of movements, so it seems like the perfect match. Dusty’s continued to program for me for a number of years now. We don’t chat as much as we would like to at the moment because we’re both really busy people, but he definitely helps guide me to making sure I’m working on some of the new movements that are coming into the sport and just continuing to develop my virtuosity in the more basic elements, as well.

I’ve also had a weightlifting coach here in Invercargill for a number of years, which has been fantastic, Joe [Stinsy 00:32:43]. He’s actually one of the New Zealand coaches now, as well. We traveled to Papua New Guinea and competed at the Oceaneas last year, did there as well.

Guy:Yeah, because I was going to ask, it requires so much discipline, what you’re doing leading up into the open and competing, so do you have a coach at every training session with you, or is a lot of it self disciplined, that you’re just literally just turning up and training, because it’s hard to ask. Some people, it’s hard to do a bit of exercising in a day, just to motivate themselves, let alone at that end.

Ruth:Yeah, yeah. I have some days where it is totally no one else at the gym, so they’re probably the more challenging days. I find even just having someone else there, whoever it might be, is just useful. In recent months, I’ve actually been grabbing some of the guys and saying, “Hey, I’ve got to do these 6Ks or row sprints. Do you want to join me on it,” things like that and just fun.

Guy:Do you get any takers?

Stu:Yeah.

Ruth:Yeah, I do. Yeah. I choose things that I like, totally, and they will help. They’re like, “Yeah, yeah. Okay. Take you on at that.” I’ve also had a bit of [00:34:00] the athletes partnering up and taking me on at a workout. They’re doing it as a partner would, thing like that. We try and find ways, but for the most part, no, I don’t have a coach hanging with me in the gym each day. That definitely has its down sides, but some part of me likes being at the bottom of the earth and away from too much hype. Probably one of the harder things of training at Dog Town with Dusty was, cameras would be showing up every second day and different people wanting to take videos and pictures and just a lot more people, just a lot more going on. 

In some ways, it gives me a little bit more focus. I do a lot of, what’s the word, visualizing, so even in my sessions this morning, which probably weren’t the type of things you would expect to see at a competition that were quite skill-based things, before the clock starts, I still am imagining I’m either on the games floor or I’m standing up there at regionals. I try and put myself in that mental space.

Stu:Do you use your visualization for stuff outside of Crossfit, as well, everyday life? I know that I always visualize the rock star car parking space when I’m out and about and I need to pull in somewhere, and 9 out of 10 times, I get it. It’s true.

Ruth:I have to think about that. I don’t know if I do as much.

Guy:You should try it. Stu recommends it. I do well at it because I’ve got a motorbike.

Ruth:I’m really good at parking anyway. No, I don’t know. I’ll have to think about that. I might subconsciously do it.

Stu:I reckon [00:36:00] that there’s merit in that stuff. I do, just all of that stuff. I’m just really into, “I’m thinking it, I’m seeing it, and I’m going to make it happen.

Guy:Yeah. It’s interesting what you said, Ruth. It made me think of a podcast I listen to with [Dorian Yates 00:36:18]. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dorian Yates, but he was the bodybuilding world champion in the 90s. I think he won 7 titles and incredible. They used to call him The Shadow because he always used to stay out of the glitz and glamour of LA and the limelight. He had a little gym in Birmingham and nobody knew what he was up to. He said he used to use it to his advantage, so he would train, he would visualize going to all these great competitions where everyone else was seeing actually what they were doing and competing and judging themselves. He just stayed away from the whole thing and then would turn up when it was time for Mr. Universe and just blow them out of the water, you know?

Ruth:Sometimes, if you’re competing against another athlete and you’re actually, if you’re beating them by a lot, or say if you’re training with them and you’re beating them by a lot, you can think that you’re doing quite well and back off. Whereas if you’re visualizing someone that’s better than you or just beating you, then that’s, I see that as an advantage. I’m not going to lie. There’s definitely days when you’re all alone in the gym and you just think, “Gosh, this is a tough ask.”

Guy:Yeah, yeah.

Stu:It is tricky. I know that training on your own versus training with a crowd versus training with a crowd of elites, there is that impetus to absolutely excel and put on your best show. There are days when I go down and lift a few weights in the gym and I think, “Well, I’ve had enough. Nobody’s around. Nobody knows.”

Ruth:[00:38:00] I have probably ruined myself a little bit, training against some other athletes. I had a bit of a shoulder niggle, but I was still trying to do the workouts, because the other athletes were doing those, and they weren’t things I should have been doing, if I was just sticking to what was going to be good for me. I probably wouldn’t have done them. That’s probably one of the disadvantages, that you get a little bit hyped up in the moment and you want to do exactly what everyone else is doing, and that’s not always the right thing to do.

Stu:Yeah. Completely. Next time you’re in Sydney, you come train with me and I guarantee that won’t happen.

Ruth:I’d like to see that.

Stu:You’re wandering down the street in Invercargill and you bump into a 20-year-old version of yourself. Obviously, you’ve got 10 years of experience, all this wonderful knowledge that you’ve gleaned from everything that you’ve done. What advice would you give the 20-year-old version of yourself, if that person had just started Crossfit and wanted to be the best?

Ruth:This might just be the 20-year-old version of me, and not every other 20-year-old, but for me it would be spending more time mastering body weight movements with a fantastic coach that knows exactly how to do it, having a coach that was really well-versed in gymnastic movements. I think in gymnastics, there’s much more understanding, or in gymnastics coaching, there’s so much more understanding of the importance of getting correct range of motion. In my first year of Crossfit, I went down to the … We have a great gymnastics gym in this little [00:40:00] town. I went down there and this guy was … I wanted to do muscle ups and he was showing me how to walk across the parallel bars. I was just like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can do that.” I would quickly do it to be like, “Yeah, I can do that. I want to do this,” and just not understanding just exactly the movements that my body needed to be doing to do those elements well and the importance of them.

Because I didn’t have those correct, one of the regionals I went to, it was 2010, I came back with a bad sprain in my shoulder, which was probably from doing muscle ups, which was probably from not moving correctly. For me, in the sport, it would definitely be mastering some of those elements and also playing. Do other sport, as well. I probably stopped doing other team sports and things by the time I was 20, I think, and I think playing some other sports is really good for you.

Guy:Yeah.

Stu:It’s solid advice, and it works for you, as well, Guy. I know that Guy has really embraced Zumba, and that’s 1 of those things. He’s quit good at table tennis, too.

Guy:Yeah, I mastered it. Mastered it.

Stu:Follow the advice, Guy. Follow the advice. We’re not getting any younger.

Guy:I actually had a profound question and then you’ve just taken this right out of my head.

Stu:My mum told me once that, if you forget it, it’s either it’s a lie, or it’s not worth asking.

Guy:It’s not worth it, yeah. Is Crossfit season on for you now, Ruth?

Ruth:Like, do I have an off-season?

Guy:Yeah?

Ruth:[00:42:00] I guess my off-season this year was 3 months in a cast, so yes. No, I do a little bit. My program’s a little bit period-ized, I guess. The conditioning goes right down. I do more strength-based and technical-based movement and then I bring it back up. That works quite well because it’s not nice to get out and run in the middle of winter here. It probably just gives me a little bit of a mental break from doing lots of high-intensity stuff. I have that little bit. I think probably after the Crossfit games this year, I would probably look to take 1-2 months off, but yeah. This last year was a bit of a … It was a little bit different.

Stu:All over the place.

Ruth:Yeah.

Guy:Just out of curiosity, how long is it until the open starts? Is that far away?

Ruth:It starts February 28.

Guy:Okay. 4-5 weeks?

Ruth:Yeah.

Stu:yeah, about 5 weeks away.

Ruth:Coming up.

Stu:I’d really like to delve in a little bit now, Ruth, just on nutrition.

Ruth:Yeah.

Stu:Again, a big part of who you are. Without it, I don’t think you’d be able to do half of what you do, if you’re not eating the right way. What right now does your typical daily diet look like? 

Ruth:I describe my diet as paleo. I guess the things that would be different from what people would consider paleo is that I’m okay with a bit of rice and I use a bit of Greek yogurt or kefir. For the most part, there’s a lot of vegetables and a good amount [00:44:00] of, I’m a big fan of lamb. We have awesome lamb in this country and seafoods, so plenty of that. I also am pretty in charge of my macro nutrients. I actually had a really great mentor, Brad Stark, who’s at Stark Training, which is out in Orange County. I’ve been working with him for a couple of years and he has just made the world of difference to the way that my body performs. He’s helped me work out, just in brief, is that I prefer to have quite a lot of fats with some proteins for the first part of the day and then we really delve into more carbohydrates with the protein towards the end of the day. It’s a little bit more calculated than that, but that’s probably for the most part, how it works.

If I have too much carbohydrate in the morning, I tend to crash out. I don’t do very well with fruit at all, so I don’t tend to eat it. I have a little bit of berries in smoothies and that’s as far as my fruit intake goes. I’m just not a real big fruit eater. It just doesn’t do well for me. I would literally, if I hit some fruit and then an hour later did a workout, I would be, my head would be spinning and I would just have this real crashing thing going on. Yeah, we played around a bit with that. 

Guy:Can I add to that?

Ruth:I love fresh vegetables.

Guy:Yeah. Just for our listeners, what carbs would you generally eat, and what carbs would you generally avoid?

Ruth:Yeah. My carbohydrate is mostly [00:46:00] rice or sweet potato.

Guy:Yeah.

Stu:Yeah.

Ruth:I have a little bit of white [inaudible 00:46:04] every now and then. I’m not too worried about that. I have worked out that gluten is horrible for me. I’ll occasionally have some gluten-free wraps and some other grain-based products that aren’t full of gluten. I’m okay with those, but I actually still, I never feel like it would get the same good muscle recovery that I get from having sweet potato post-workout. I’m okay with them for a treat, but I don’t treat them as great post-workout carb.

Guy:Yeah. Have you ever counted the amount of grams of carbohydrate you eat in a day, just out of curiosity, or not?

Ruth:It’s only about 180.

Guy:That’s a good number.

Stu:Yeah, that is a good number.

Guy:Yeah, no. I only ask because obviously, your workload is massive, right?

Ruth:Yeah.

Guy:A lot of people would be eating twice that amount of carbohydrates with 1/10 the amount of work you’re doing on a manageable, on a daily basis.

Ruth:Yeah. I know I’ve had some different nutritionists and things have a look at what I’m eating, and say, “No, that’s wrong. You need more carbohydrate.” I’ve just been there. We’ve tried it. It just doesn’t work.

Stu:That’s right. You’re your best judge, I think, of that just by how you feel and perform, based upon your feeling.

Guy:I remember when we, we actually showed you, a post of yours, Ruth. I don’t know if you remember a couple of years back, a dietitian came in there and just said, “You shouldn’t be pushing this content out to people because it’s just so wrong.”

Ruth:Yeah.

Guy:There’s a great thread of conversation going on there and [00:48:00] it’s like, the proof’s in the pudding. You walk and you talk.

Ruth:That’s interesting. Things that people say, or that, “you’re not getting enough fiber.” I’m eating 7 cups of vegetables a day. I’ve never had a problem and felt like I needed more fiber. Just unusual things that you just realize, it’s almost textbook stuff, and it’s like, what’s the point in having this textbook knowledge? You’ve got to actually have a go at … You eat the paleo diet and see if you don’t have enough fiber, because I just, I’ve never had anyone that I’ve coached in my gym get on the paleo diet and come back and say, “Man, no. My body just hated me because it was not enough fiber in my diet.”

Stu:Yeah.

Ruth:Just not something that happens.

Guy:Another question, because we did a talk the other week, a workshop in Wollongong, and the biggest hurdle we felt from talking to them is preparation. People love the idea of changing their diet, becoming more tuned-in, and being able to do it, but the reality is, more from what we see, is that people don’t prepare. Then they get caught up and they get all sorted and they don’t change their eating habits. Any tips? How do you do it?

Ruth:I’m a little bit of a, when I cook meat, I generally get the crockpot out. If I know I’m going to be home late, I’ll often have something already cooked in terms of the meat department, or I’ll cook a lot of bigger cuts of meat like roasts and things like that. There’s always some form of protein ready to go in the fridge. 

Guy:Right.

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Ruth:Then, I eat quite a lot of [00:50:00] salads like cabbage and kale and vegetables that don’t take very much to prepare. If I know I’m going to be, if I’m just crazy busy or grabbing something on the run, I’ll even buy just the pre-cut vegetables, the stuff that’s already sliced up and put in bags. I try not to do that. I try and just avoid plastic generally, but I think you’re better to do that than skipping the veggies all together. What else do I do?

Probably lunch is the time or mid-afternoon, where people fall down because they haven’t been prepared with lunch. I’m pretty fortunate because most of the time, I live a few blocks from the gym, so most of the days I come home and quickly prepare something. When I haven’t been enjoying that, I’ll either when I cook dinner, I will put enough aside for heat up leftovers the next day, or I will, as I’m preparing my breakfast, I will quickly prepare some lunch at the same time. I feel like, if you’ve got some kind of protein that works for you, whether it’s boiled eggs or whatever it might be, if it’s ready to go and you’ve always got a steady supply of just something ready in the fridge, then I think it just takes away your temptation. I don’t really get those temptations, but I’m just thinking about the athletes that I coach.

Stu:Yeah, it’s just easier, isn’t it?

Ruth:The temptation of … Yeah, it’s got to be easy. What you’re trying to do, you need to make it easier than going through the McDonald’s drive-through or whatever is your temptation.

Stu:Yes. Definitely. Does your nutrition change at all during competition, or is you just ramp it up even a bit more? Do you do anything any differently?

Ruth:[00:52:00] I do probably a bit more shakes then. If there’s a lot of workouts throughout the day, it’s hard for me to have as much vegetables as I would like, because I just can’t digest that quickly. I’ll just do more shakes.

Stu:Right. Okay.

Ruth:Yeah, that’s generally the main difference. Probably it works out, a bit more calories because there’s a few more post-workout meals.

Guy:Yeah, yeah.

Stu:Sure.

Guy:We might be biased, but we love encouraging the shakes and things.

Stu:We do.

Guy:It’s true, though. It’s true.

Stu:From a supplemental perspective, then, what supplements do you use? What and why? Obviously, you’re putting your body through heavy load, day after day after day. What are your favorites?

Ruth:Fish oil’s been here for a long time. I always take some of that. The turmeric capsules, I’ve been on. I’ve been on for a shorter while, been on those, just to help with my healing of my wrist surgery. I have a few amino acids that I take, and that’s based on the supplement protocol that Stark Training has guided me …

Guy:That’s individualize for you?

Ruth:Yeah. yeah, so it’s things like glycine and tuarine, things that are quite good to calm me down after I’ve trained and try and bring everything back to normal as quickly as possible.

Stu:Right.

Guy:Interesting, yeah. Magnesium as well, you were saying earlier.

Ruth:Magnesium, yeah. That’s about it. I haven’t got a cabinet full of supplements. I’m pretty big on vegetables as the answer.

Stu:That’s [00:54:00] right. Real food. Yeah.

Ruth:[crosstalk 00:54:07] The vegan protein, at the moment.

Guy:Okay, yeah. It’s interesting. We have conversations with people and they may never have heard of 180 before, and they’re like, “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t take supplements.” I’m like, “Well, you’re our perfect customer, then.”

Stu:That’s right.

Guy:We don’t look at it as a supplement at all.

Ruth:Yeah, it’s totally how I feel. I just consider it another form of real food.

Guy:Yeah, fantastic. That’s great advice. What foods do you go out of your way to avoid?

Ruth:Anything with gluten. Cheese is bad; it just work well with me at all. Generally, a little bit of dairy, I seem to cope with, but I definitely wouldn’t go and buy a milkshake or have a large amount. As I said, yogurt seems to be okay. When I’m getting a bit more savvy with things like … I used to be like, If I order the chicken salad, for example, you think you’re going to get chicken and salad, but then you get this big sticky, weird oily sauce that they put on it and it’s really sweet or whatever. I’m getting a bit more savvy with just asking whether there’s a dressing and if there is, either having it left to the side so I can decide whether it’s safe enough to eat. If it’s going to be an olive oil dressing, that’s probably okay with me. Probably the biggest thing is keeping it gluten free because I had some pretty wild reactions to … I went to a wedding and had a cake a few months back and just had a terrible reaction to that. Just becoming a [00:56:00] bit more aware of …

Stu:That’s it. That’s really the main thing, as well, just being aware of that kind of stuff just switches on a light bulb when you are out and about, like you said. If you’re going to order a salad, I would guess there’s going to be a dressing there. Who knows what’s in that dressing. It may suit some people. It may not, but just be aware of it. We chatted, too, with [Chad McKay 00:56:28] a while back and talking to him about nutrition and stuff like that. He told us that after the regionals were over and he’d done the best that he could do, he has this cheat meal. I think it was a whole pizza and a whole tub of ice cream, something like that. That’s just my off switch. I’m done, I’m dusted, smash this meal down and get on. Do you have anything like that? Do you go nuts to zone out of everything with a cheat meal, or are you just clean all year round?

Ruth:I get this question a lot, and I always feel like I’m a little bit boring. I’m not really big on big desserts and things. I know after the Crossfit games, I’ve done some big donuts and things. I probably did it more for the novelty of it than the pure enjoyment. It literally felt like I was just eating solid sugar. I just found it a bit too much. Do you know cassava crisps?

Stu:Yes.

Ruth:yeah, I put those in my mouth and it’s like they dissolve on my tongue and then I have to have another one. They’re probably something that … If someone had some of those, I’m like, “Oh, no, don’t bring those near me,” because it’s literally like I have one and then just [00:58:00] immediately want to have another one. That’s probably the one food I can think of that I know is not good for me, but my body still wants to eat it.

Stu:It’s funny. It’s hardwired somewhere in there, isn’t it. I don’t get to New Zealand very often, but I used to live there. We lived there for 5 years and I stumbled upon … This was pre-my healthy days and pre-180, and stuff like that. I stumbled upon this chocolate chip cookie by a brand called Cookie Time, and they were huge. They’re huge. Every now and again, when I do end up in the country, I’ll head over to a New World and I just head for the Cookie Time aisle. [crosstalk 00:58:52] these things, and it’s like something is programming. Something is guiding me around. I’m on automatic pilot and I get this Cookie Time thing. I only need the one.

Guy:I need to get that shot in Instagram for everyone.

Stu:Cookie Time, it’s like the biggest chocolate chip cookie you could ever have.

Ruth:Yeah, they’re like this big.

Guy:Oh, really?

Stu:Oh, they’re huge.

Ruth:At least. People are like, you buy them. You can get them heated and stuff, as well, so all the chocolate’s all gooey and things, as well.

Stu:Yeah, I had a friend who used to put them in the microwave for 10 seconds.

Ruth:Yeah, yeah. Now, to me, probably I know that having the gluten and the sugar and stuff, that within a very short time, I’m going to feel very unwell from having it, so I just don’t have the same urge for it. If you showed up to my gym and you had some gluten free, very similar paleo-style cookies, I’d probably be pretty tempted because I know that I wasn’t going to be …

Stu:Got it. We’ll work on something for our recipe section on [01:00:00] the website. I reckon we’ve got a good base there already. We’ll see what we can do for you.

Ruth:Okay, sounds good.

Guy:That’s going to be awesome. Now, Ruth, I see the time’s getting on. We have a couple of wrap-up questions. We’ve actually asked one, which is “What did you eat?” Yeah, we’ve asked that.

Stu:We have.

Guy:What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Ruth:My dad always says to me, “Never say, ‘can’t.’” Whenever I have someone in my gym now that tells me that they can’t, it makes me cringe. The word just makes me cringe and it is such a negative thought to ever think that you can’t do something. You may not be able to yet, or whatever it is, but if you decide you can’t, it’s like …

Guy:You’re already there.

Ruth:You’re already there.

Stu:That’s right. You’ve already switched off. No, that’s good advice. Wise words.

Guy:Fantastic.

Stu:That’s what we could say.

Guy:For anyone listening to this, if they want to get a bit more of Ruth Anderson Horrell, where is the best place to go? 

Ruth:I’m pretty consistent on Instagram, ruthlessnz, and I have a Facebook page, Ruth Anderson Horrell. That’s pretty much it.

Guy:You’ve got a website, too?

Ruth:Yeah, they can pop onto the website, ruthless.co.nz.

Guy:Awesome. We’ll link to the show notes, anyway, when this goes out and that was awesome. I have no doubt everyone listening to this today, Ruth, thoroughly enjoyed that. Ruth, thanks for coming on and thanks for your time. I really appreciate it.

Ruth:Thank you so much, Guy. It’s been fun.

Stu:Thanks, Ruth.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Post Workout Recovery for CrossFit Here

Desk bound All Day? Why a Standing Desk Might Not Be the Answer. Try This Instead…

The above video is 3:49 minutes long.

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

Guy: Make no mistake, most of us have mastered the art of sitting! With today’s working lifestyle it’s very hard to get away from. So the big question is, are standing desks really the answer?

So who better to ask than movement specialist Keegan Smith. If you find yourself chained to a desk daily then this interview is for you!

Keegan Smith

“… If you don’t have time to move, it’s like not having time to eat, it’s like not having time to breathe; Movement is being human. Walking is being human. That’s who we are, that’s what we’re here for. If we don’t have time for that, what do we have time for?…” 
― Keegan Smith, The Real Movement Project

Keegan Smith is the founder of the Real MOVEMENT Project, which was born of a decade of research into what it takes to reach the highest levels of performance.

In Keegan’s own words; ‘Higher performance is contagious. As you attain new levels of performance and success you change the world around you. You become a coach for your family members, friends, team-mates and everyone who sees the standards you’re living to’.

His impressive resume includes; Strength & Conditioning coach for rugby league teams The Sydney Roosters and The London Broncos. He’s also coached world cup winning New Zealand all black Sonny Bill Williams and Australian Ironman champion Alastair Day.

Keegan Smith Full Interview: Building Your Best Body & Mind with Real Movement


In This Episode:

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  • How and why we need to move daily, and simply hitting the gym 3 times a week is not the answer
  • Why much of your own success lies within the company you keep
  • His own exercise routines
  • His journey from suffering chronic fatigue to greater health
  • Key things he did to help overcome chronic fatigue
  • Using limitations as a guide for actions
  • The future of performance – holistic -> mind, diet, community, self-respect, non-mechanical stress

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Full Transcript

Guy:Hey, this is Guy Lawrence from 180 Nutrition and welcome to today’s health session. Our first guest for 2016 is Keegan Smith. I [inaudible 00:00:12] thoroughly enjoy this podcast today. I don’t like talking up the guest too much; I like to leave the actual podcast interview to do the talking for us. I must say, Keegan has been a bit of an inspiration in my life recently and I’m sure long may that continue.

He is the founder of the Real MOVEMENT Project, which was born of a decade of research into what it takes to reach the highest levels of performance. He’s got a very impressive resume. He was the strength and conditioning coach at the Sydney Roosters, London Broncos. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re rugby league teams in the NRL. He’s worked with some amazing athletes including [Sonny Bill Williams 00:00:49], whose now gone on and become a world cup New Zealand all black legend, pretty much. He’s a big rugby league star, too. He recently worked with [Ali Day 00:00:58], whose an Ironman, Australian Ironman champion. 

Keegan’s own personal journey is phenomenal. He talks about the days of him when he was suffering from chronic fatigue and what he looked upon to make amends to that and how it’s led now into what is not the Real MOVEMENT Project, which we go into in depths but, essentially is becoming almost the best version of yourself. Using exercise movement, and food, and building a community around that, and hanging out with like-minded people to then take inspiration and draw that from everyday so, you can apply it in your life. 

As I’ve gotten to know Keegan like I said, he’s certainly made me think about the way I move daily. It’s inspired me to take on new challenges, literally as we speak. I genuinely think there’s something in this podcast for everyone. Whether you’re a fitness trainer and your fully into strength and conditioning, or not. You might go to the gym once a week but, it’ll certainly make you look at the way we approach our lives on the daily [00:02:00] basis. I got a lot out today and I’m sure you’re going to thoroughly enjoy. 

I will mention as well, we’ve got the clean eating video series, that’s coming up. They’re 3 videos that we’ve made available for free for you guys. You just need to go back to 180nutrition.com.au/clean. These videos are going to be available for 1 week only. It’s pretty much putting my [inaudible 00:02:26] sorts and philosophies, what we’ve learned from all this podcasting and working in the industry for the last 6 years into 3 bite size videos so, you can take action and make 2016 the best year as well. Why are we only making them available for 1 week? We want to create scarcity around it so you guys will take action, and sit down, and actually watch them, and then apply it. Anyway … They’re to recommend to family and friends, as well. That’s 180nutrition.com.au/clean. They will be available in the USA as well. Awesome. Let’s go over to Keegan Smith. 

Guy:Hi, this is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart Cooke, as always. Hey, Stu.

Stu:Hello, mate.

Guy:Our awesome guest today is Keegan Smith. Keegan welcome to the show.

Keegan:Good day guys. Thanks for having me on.

Guy:Yeah, mate. It’s been a long time coming, I reckon. I just wanted to start out as well, I’ve been following you on Instagram for quite a while now. Everyday, I see you juggling, doing backward flips, throwing a lot of weight round, walking the tightrope but, doing something that looks a lot of fun. I reckon it’s clear that you love what you do and you enjoy doing it as well.

Keegan:Yeah, definitely. It’s such an important part of the success that you have is, that you love what you’re doing. I can see with you guys and the amount that you’ve grown. It’s always inspiring to see what you’re doing and your podcast growth is extending your reach and your impact. I love seeing people who are passionate about what they do; get what they want. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

Guy:It’s awesome [00:04:00] and I know we were having this conversation yesterday as well, about … It’d be easy to assume that you were always been this way and doing what you do because you make it look so easy and effortless for when it comes to movement, strength conditioning, and the whole shebang. Pretty keen to get in and tell us a little bit about your own journey and what’s brought you to this point today, really. Also, your impressive resume along the way, as well. Start wherever you want, mate.

Keegan:Appreciate your kind words but, yeah it’s definitely not effortless. The art is to do stuff that’s really hard and keep yourself calm as you do it and under control. I think that changes the psychological response during your training will affect your physiological response. It’s actually a really important part of what we do is, trying to look calm and keep things under control as you train. It’s definitely been a journey and it’s been [inaudible 00:04:57]. 

I had that background of sports growing up. My father’s an NRL coach of 30 years so, I was always around rugby players and the sporting environment. Mum was an elite athlete as well but, I guess there was a time there where I turned by back on all that and decided to look for something deeper and went backpacking quite a while. That led to a physical deterioration. Even though though I was still trying to eat relatively healthy and get some training done, it did definitely slip. At the end of that time, I basically got to the stage of chronic fatigue where I just had no energy to train. If I trained, I’d just have a headache, and I’d go home straight to bed, and I’d stay in the dark room for the rest of the day, kind of thing. It was … They were dark times in a lot of ways but, I knew was on my way to something important. That was probably why I changed and gradually things have got better from that point up until now. 

I wouldn’t say … I talk about canaries and cockroaches. The canaries are the fragile ones [00:06:00] and the cockroaches are the ones that are hard to kill no matter what you do. I was definitely very much on the canary side of the spectrum, I was very sensitive to anything; electromagnetic radiation, or foods, or training, all these kind of challenge and stimulus. I’ve come a long way since then but, if I get things wrong, I can still slip back. It’s been exciting to learn all the things that can build myself to that … To be able to do a bit more than I used to be able to do-

Guy:How many years out did you take, Keegan?

Keegan:Sorry?

Guy:How many years out did you take when you … ?

Keegan:Basically, I left home at 21. I quit [uni 00:06:43] halfway through my 4th year, which meant I didn’t graduate from the degree that I was enrolled in but, I could graduate from a … just a straight exercise science degree. Moved to England, worked with the London Broncos but, that was really the awakening. I spent a little bit of time in Prague with a friend and realized, “Hey, there’s a whole other world out here. There’s people who speak other languages, there’s all these different experiences.” my little box of Australia and England … I’d lived in England a few time before, been to America; I’d only experienced that kind of Anglo world and, yes spending time over there opened things up for me. 

I started to learn Spanish while I was in London. Going out an partying in London, you met people from all over the world and I was like, “Definitely learning 1 language after 20 or … 15 years of formal education, I can only speak 1 language. This is not how it’s meant to be.” I started learning Spanish, I was reading a lot of Che Guevara, and exploring ideas of how the world could potentially be different. Pretty much between 21 and 28, that was the journey. Living different lives and learning more. Spent a lot of time in Latin America and the Outback in Australia. It was all about trying to understand the way the world works and how I could … What role I was going play in it. That’s probably what the 20s are about. [00:08:00] for a lot of people. 

Guy:I actually heard … I don’t know if this is true, mate, that you speak 3 languages now.

Keegan:Yeah, French and Spanish are pretty comfortable, bits of … decent understanding of German and Polish now because my wife is German-Polish, and then bits of [inaudible 00:08:17], which is an indigenous Australian language, and [inaudible 00:08:21], which is a Mayan descendant language. I’ve spent a fair bit of time watching Portuguese stuff, and music. I really enjoy that now. I guess once you get one and you get that experience of it … I worked in France for 2 years so, I was forced to learn that. I guess it just builds that belief and … You start to know that you’re adaptable and that you can pick up another language [crosstalk 00:08:45]

Guy:Yeah because Stu reckons I haven’t got English down quite yet, let alone any other language.

Stu:Well I was just going to say [crosstalk 00:08:50]

Keegan:-definitely different.

Stu:Yeah, I’m similar to you Keegan, I speak fluent Scottish, Irish, American, and of course English, as well. We’re on your-

Keegan:It’s a good mix, yeah. 

Stu:Yeah, Guy’s still struggling with English but, we’ll get there. We’ll get there. That’s why we transcribe this.

Keegan:Yeah, very useful. Very useful.

Stu:Absolutely right. I’m really interested in the chronic fatigue side of stuff. I want to delve into that a little bit later.

Keegan:Okay.

Stu:First up, from a strength and conditioning perspective because you’re the man now in that zone; I was interested, and for our listeners, too. Strength and conditioning versus regular gym stuff, what’s the big difference?

Keegan:Firstly, I don’t really feel like I’m the man. I’m a lifelong student and I’ve been passionately studying this stuff for the past 15 years so, if anything good has come of that, it’s a result of all those people that I’ve learned from over that time. I don’t really like that guru type thing that … Some guys when they get a little bit ahead [00:10:00] and then they feel like, “Well it’s all mine now and I’m going to forget about where it’s all come from” … I appreciate your kind words but, I think that’s what it’s about. If people out there do want to become acknowledged and leaders in their fields then, trying to be a real student, a life-long student, is probably going to be much more useful for them than trying to be the … Put themselves already on that pedestal, which I see people trying to do too early and it limits progress. I’ve been there as well so, this is what I’m trying to do right now.

Guy:Fantastic. They say the more you learn, the more you don’t know.

Keegan:Yeah, exactly.

Stu:We’ll use the term, pioneer, mate because I think that’s we’ll fitted. 

Keegan:All right, all right. Cool. 

Stu:[crosstalk 00:10:47] Strength and condition versus regular [globo 00:10:51] gym stuff.

Keegan:I think once you’ve … I started a lot with the globo gym type training. I think when I first when to [inaudible 00:10:59] gym to train, it was bench press into dumbbell bench press into incline bench press into flys. I don’t think I did the pec [deck 00:11:08] too much but, I did those kind of body builder-esque workouts. I bought muscle magazines and saw the guys full of steroids and just massive humans with 3% body fat. That was what was the dominant paradigm in that time. Crossfit was just barely being born, and there was no real gymnastics for adults, and that sort of thing. That was what I was exposed to and through university there was no weightlifting. You basically had to get a PhD to think that you could attempt to snatch. It was this off-limits thing that no one should do unless they’re going to become a professional weightlifter and dedicate their life to it. Almost like becoming a monk or something. 

All those barriers have come down now so, now when people experience strength and conditioning it’s a learning experience. I’m so passionate about learning and when people are learning and going beyond physical-mental limitations in the gym, they [00:12:00] just experience another level of themselves. You can’t change the mind without changing the body. When you change the body, you change the mind and vice-versa. That’s what I really love seeing. People doing a handstand fro the first time … I was talking … I did a interview last night with Witness the Fitness coach, [Ben Murphy 00:12:17], who’s one of the guys who I mentor in the Real MOVEMENT crew. He’s got 60 year olds doing handstands and it’s not just the physical factor of shoulder integrity, body awareness, being able to hold everything together but, the mental strength that comes with that, and the feeling of, “Well yeah, I’m 60 but, I’m getting better and I’m learning.” That’s the amazing thing. 

The great thing with strength and conditioning and this kind of training that we’re doing, we try … Called, performance development, is really that if you … even if you stop … If you do a handstands for 2 years and then you stop, you’ll still be able to go back and do a handstand; whereas, when you train for body composition, you’re only ever a month of bad eating away from losing everything that you had because you don’t really … You might build a base of strength but, it really deteriorates quite quickly; whereas, when you’re developing skill and mobility, you will find that you can go back to those things. We’re really empowering people with life-long skills and that’s much more exciting for me. You’re changing the body but, you’re changing the perception of self, and at the same time, you’re giving people tools for life.

Stu:Got it. Got it. I was intrigued as well, when you said the 60 year old doing a handstand. Common perception is, strength and conditioning, and gym, and handstand, and snatches, and Olympic moves are for the younger crowd but, obviously we don’t want to use it and lose it. We don’t want to get old, and frail, and fragile, we want to be strong throughout our lives. You’re fully into that transition all the way through life, are you? With your conditioning programs?

Keegan:Definitely. I think I’m getting younger and I feel like there’s so much possibility for a majority of the people out there, to be younger biologically through [00:14:00] improving their nutrition mindset and getting this training done. If you can do things that a 20 year old can’t do; physically you have more endurance, and more strength, you have more skill, who’s younger? Maybe we’re not … we are going to extend life a little it but, it’s more about … It’s not about not dying, it’s about fully living. That’s the opportunity that you get when you’re living at your best and you’re pushing for to become a better version of yourself everyday. I feel like that’s the most exciting way to live. There’s certainly opportunity for old people to become a lot younger if they take on the challenge.

Guy:There’s been a definitely interesting shift because I was working in the fitness industry probably 7, 8, 9, 10 years ago and you wouldn’t see anyone rolling out in the gymnasium let alone, to what it’s come today. Strength and conditioning probably thanks to Crossfit really, you can see there’s more and more people catching on and starting to do it, as well. 

Keegan:Crossfit is the most effective training system to exist so far in terms of, its penetration into the population. It’s made a huge difference and opened up … Everyone who runs a strength and conditioning gym who hates on Crossfit is really shooting themselves in the foot. There were no opportunities for strength and conditioning gyms, especially in Australia. There were hiring ones in the US, dealing with college athletes about to go to the NFL and [combines 00:15:25] but, your everyday Joe was not going to a strength and conditioning gym. Now, that opportunity is there. 

Real MOVEMENT has learned a lot from Crossfit. I’ve learned a lot from Crossfit. I’ve worked with [inaudible 00:15:37], and [inaudible 00:15:37], and [inaudible 00:15:38]. Top guys in Australian Crossfit have taught me a lot and inspired me a lot. While I don’t do Crossfit, I have learned a lot from it. I think there’s so much to learn and be thankful for with it. It’s opened up a whole new world of gymnastics. All those parts of Crossfit, gymnastics can be done a lot better than the way it’s done in Crossfit, in my opinion. Weightlifting has [00:16:00] been pushed ahead massively by Crossfit in terms of, the general population. Whether it affects the elite end, we’ll probably know in another decade or so when some of these kids who were 10, and 12, and 15, who were doing Crossfit … I think some of those kids are going to go to the Olympics for weightlifting, potentially. Time will tell.

Guy:Springing in mind with Crossfit, I’m interested to know about your recovery protocols, as well and stuff. What I’ve noticed even with Crossfit with myself, and Stu will probably speak for this, it’s very easy to get in there and actually get caught up in the emotions of what’s going on with everyone else and maybe lift beyond what we’re doing or pushing ourselves every single day. It’s so addictive.

Stu:A lot of people embrace it and it just becomes this bug. Personally, being mindful about the amount of times that you go, and your recovery time in-between, and strategies and protocols just to recovery before you go and smash yourself again. 

Guy:What would your recovery protocols look like, Keegan?

Keegan:Firstly, I think you hit the nail with the emotion part of it. If your training is very emotional consistently, you’re gone. It’s not going to work for you. You can train 3 times a day if you build your tolerance to that point but, if you’re training with emotion 3 times a day, you will over-train within a week. There’s no way of doing that. If you look at [inaudible 00:17:23], if you look at [inaudible 00:17:24]; if you look at these guys, the calmness that the have even when they’re in front of a massive crowd actually competing, how do their facial expressions look compared to the guy who’s smashing himself up at the local box. You can see that there’s a very different experience going on on the inside. 

That emotional side of it is massively underrated and under-recognized. In terms of recovery, that is probably one of the biggest things that the less emotion you put into your training, the more likely you’re going to be able to repeat regularly. It means the emotion comes in once every month, once every couple of months, or one [00:18:00] set, or one rep within a session but, not every set, every rep; 10, 15, 20 minutes at a time feeling high, high stress. Especially, on the strength loads. That’s definitely what’s going to make the biggest difference.

Stu:How could you perhaps become more aware and manage that? I get exactly what you’re saying because stress hormones can make everything go wrong as well as, everything go right. What do you do to-

Keegan:You guys are going to be the world leaders in this. You keep having the neuroscientists on and … You guys are going to … You already have so much information about that and so much knowledge. I recommend if people want to answer that question, check out all the other podcasts because there’s a ton of stuff there about how to control your physiology and psychology. [inaudible 00:18:49] [Spencer 00:18:49] been doing … Joe Spencer’s work and [inaudible 00:18:52] work, religiously lately … Guy who really sparked me back into that. I’m massively thankful for him putting me on that train again. The crew of coaches, gym owners around Australia, and around the world that I work with are also exploring more of that stuff. Really thankful for that and really exciting where it’s going to go. 

I do believe that [inaudible 00:19:12] is a really, really powerful way to start getting emotional control and deeper physiological control. The training itself, if you treat it as that, it’s going to teach you as well. If you say, “Yeah, I’m just going to train until the point where it feels as though I’m starting to lose control a little bit and then, ill back off from there.” At that point, it’ll continue to shift upwards. You’ve got your comfort zone and that comfort zone becomes very small when we don’t … when we never stress ourselves and when we don’t challenge ourselves so , we need stress. It’s a big misconception to avoid stress. If you’re trying to avoid stress, you’re probably going to end up in chronic fatigue and feeling really bad. We need the stress but, we need to gradually increase our tolerance to that stress, and our bodies ability to adapt to it, and our minds ability to adapt to it, to tolerate it. With that, we can definitely push a lot further. 

Guy:Definitely. I think one of the common things [00:20:00] that I used to see a lot as well, would be the person that hadn’t stressed their body for 6 months plus because of work, and commitments, and everything. The moment they walk through the doors of the gym, they’re acting like they’re 21, and then you wouldn’t see them again for weeks on end because they’ve just overcooked themselves. 

Stu:With that emotional side, and that mental side now, becoming more prevalent with all these great guys coming out with all these strategies, techniques for us to be able to manage that; the future then, of performance and movement … Because I’m seeing Crossfit is just it’s rolled through Australia like a steam train and people have just embraced it so much. Now, I’m seeing a shift with [F45 00:20:52] for instance, another twist on that kind of stuff. Where do you think it’s going to go bearing in mind that there is all this kind of psychological stuff that we really do need to embrace?

Keegan:I feel like Real MOVEMENT is the future. It is going to take things to a place that it hasn’t … that a lot of the world hasn’t been. We have over 30 facilities, 30 guys have gone into new facilities over the last 12 months and we’re sneaking along with some nice growth. We’ve got some good plans in place and I do see it as my responsibility. You’ve got to change the things that you don’t like about the world. “Be the change that you want to see in the world”, as Gandhi said. That’s really what I’m trying to do. 

I want to influence back a lot into the NRL. I know we did things a lot different at the [inaudible 00:21:39] and we had some different results because of it. I’m excited about changing the way physical preparation is done in the NRL over the next few years and taking that into commercial facilities is part of what we’re working towards. We’re starting to have a good network in Europe as well, we’re definitely expanding. Hopefully, I’m going to present it by range during [00:22:00] the year in China. I think that we do have a big responsibility and possibility for doing things better so that’s why we have to keep learning and presenting things better and making-

Stu:Got it.

Keegan:-a difference.

Stu:So for … Sorry, mate … For our listeners, your Real MOVEMENT Project, what is it? In a nutshell?

Keegan:Real MOVEMENT is a thing that came around, kind of a Marxist movement in the 50s and 60s, if you search for it on Wikipedia. It was a political movement and an attempt to shift stuff. I’m not a Marxist but, I have explore a lot into alternative economies and I do think that there needs to be a shift in our economic model for us to be able to give everyone the best life possible. I think that the model that we have is going to serve that very well. The Joe [Rogan 00:22:50] YouTube video, that he’s just put up … Have you guys seen that one? I think it just came out last couple days.

Guy:I haven’t, no. I follow his work but, I haven’t seen it.

Keegan:It’s 5 minutes and it’s bang like, nail on the head. Things about the way the world needs to change and the opportunity that we have to change it, and the unlimited potential of individuals, and how we’re wasting a lot of that potential, and stuff. Really, really interesting. I’m just about to put up a blog post with some thoughts about exactly what he said. That’s something that I believe [00:23:22]. There is potential for things to be done a lot better and to be done differently, and that’s why I went backpacking and living with the Mayans, living with the indigenous Australians; looking at how things can be done better and trying to learn about that. 

Bringing it into movement, it’s not actually about how we have the authentic movement and everyone else’s movement is bullshit. It’s not … That’s not what Real MOVEMENT means. Real MOVEMENT is about a real change change towards a better world and that’s the foundation of it. I guess [inaudible 00:23:57] and [inaudible 00:23:57] is really popularized the word, movement. [00:24:00] I really think it’s been valuable for the whole world of fitness, strength and conditioning, performance, and that’s filtering out all over the place. It’s not about just building muscles, it’s about building real connections, quality of movement, and taking it to a whole other level. I’ve done a lot of work with him and that’s really exciting as well. [crosstalk 00:24:25]

Guy:You structure workshops around that, right? For at the moment, if anyone is listening to this and they go …

Keegan:That’s kind of the philosophy. What we actually do … The biggest part is mentoring gym owners, and people who want to own gyms, or people who want to coach, or lead sports teams. I’ve got guys working with a number of AFL, NRL, super-league teams and they network with each other so, they’re all getting better at a faster rate than they would if they were doing things on their own; the gyms and the coaches working with the teams. 

I have a 12 month program there that’s really making a shift and that came from doing 2 day workshops and 3 hour workshops in gymnastics or on the whole Real MOVEMENT system. I have the Real MOVEMENT level 1 coming up around different sports. That 2 day gets people excited and gives them an experience but, generally I feel that it’s too much of a shift for people to follow it up so, the people I get work with over 12 months … The change that we’re seeing in some of those people and now it’s been 2 years and I’m still working with some of the first guys. The changes that they’ve had physically, mentally, and spiritually, and economically … They’re making money, they’re making a difference. It’s just super exciting so, that’s what Real MOVEMENT is really about. We want to put a performance center into [inaudible 00:25:42] and Fiji this year. We’re looking to-

Guy:Fiji, Stu. Did you hear that?

Stu:Oh Fiji. I’m coming, mate.

Keegan:Sounds like I’ve got a-

Guy:We’ll be there, yeah. 

Keegan:These are really hubs for rugby players and areas that are under-served and probably have been [00:26:00] … probably exploited by Australia in terms of, dominance in the area politically. I think that they’re starting to experience a lot of the behavior-related diseases that we brought from European culture, European mentality. To have an impact on that is, something that really excites me. It’s part of where we’re going in the next little while.

Guy:Fantastic. I have to say, the power of community is immense. I’ve seen it firsthand even within your Real MOVEMENT Facebook page. The amount of support that’s going on in there with each other is fantastic.

Keegan:Different wavelength and it was great to have you speak to some of the elite guys at my place in [inaudible 00:26:46]. I know you impacted a lot of guys and there are a lot of them that are taking on [inaudible 00:26:50] and looking into … [inaudible 00:26:52], I think a bit of a gateway into the spiritual …

Guy:Yeah, yeah, yeah. Definitely, no it’s interesting stuff. While we’re still on the topic of movement, I heard you say as well, “You can’t nourish a cell without movement.” I thought that was fantastic. Can you elaborate on that for us?

Keegan:Yeah. It comes from Moves Your DNA, by Katy Bowman. It’s a fantastic book, one of the best books on training movement; understanding the body, that I’ve read. Definitely top 5. She talks about how, yeah you can put great food into the system but, what good is it while it’s sitting in the digestive track? What good is it while it’s sitting in the arteries? It has to go to the capillaries. The capillaries are all within a couple of hairs width of the cells and they are really where nutrition actually gets delivered. 

When we’re sitting, when the blood is pooling then, cells are actually being starved. It doesn’t matter what’s going in, you could be sitting down, chowing down on organic, amazing, high-quality, perfect, macro-nutrient balanced food but, if you don’t circulate that, and get the other stuff out then, you’re not going to have amazing nutrition. I think that is such a key [00:28:00] part of the picture for health that is underestimated by those who are trying to be in good health.

Stu:It does make perfect sense and I read a Chinese saying … I think it was in a [inaudible 00:28:17], might have been in a 4 hour body or something along those lines. It was, “Take 100 steps after every meal for better health.”

Guy:That was in [inaudible 00:28:24], yeah. 

Stu:1000 steps, right. I’ll stick with 100 for now. I guess it makes sense. You’re really trying to utilize what you’ve just put in rather than, it’s just a vessel for in and out.

Keegan:Our ancestors knew a lot of this and they had to do it anyway just to get water and to get their food and all that. [crosstalk 00:28:46] The new thing that we can not move for a day or 2. 

Guy:Yeah, it’s amazing. The lifestyle that most people lead and not … Half the time they’ll follow your own, if we get caught up and it’s pretty sedentary. 

Keegan:Easy for me to do it, as well. I have an online business. I like blogging, I like writing. You have experienced this too so, you really have to discipline yourself and build it into your day if you want to … It’s not enough to train 3 times a week. Training 3 times a week is just a ridiculous concept if you’re thinking about movement for longevity. Sure, you can build muscle mass and be lean but, doing training now doesn’t mean that you’re … You would decrease your chances of a lot of the behavioral diseases that we see now but, you see guys like Lance Armstrong and there’s elite athletes, elite rugby league players getting diagnosed with cancer and stuff like … Just moving doesn’t guarantee that your going to be healthy now. We have to go beyond that. That’s what we’re trying to do.

Stu:It may have been yo that said this as well but, the number 1 movement these days is sitting. 

Keegan:Best the human race has ever been. [crosstalk 00:29:58] I can guarantee that. There’s no way. [00:30:00]

Stu:It really irks me because we know that we shouldn’t be doing it. 85% of us are desk bound, we’re desk jockeys. There’s no way out of it because …

Keegan:Oh come on. There’s no way out of it? That’s taking things a little bit too far.

Stu:Hear me out. Hear me out.

Keegan:It’s easy to fall into it but … [crosstalk 00:30:19]

Stu:It is. If we’re in a job and we’re in a cubicle or booth, and we’re not going to get a … Our boss isn’t going to give us a standing desk or a [inaudible 00:30:33]. We’re really zoned in and we’ve got to pay the bills, I get that you might be able to get off the bus early and walk to work, and work back from work, and go out at lunch time but, the bulk of our day, we’re trapped.

Keegan:If you’re trapped, you’re trapped. If you’re not trapped, you’re not trapped. The mentality of that is the key part here. If you’re at a chair, is someone going to actually imprison you, or fire you, whatever, if you stand up every 5 minutes, push your hips forward, sit down in a squat, and once an hour you walk to the bathroom, you do a back bridge, and you go back to your desk. Are you going to get fired for that? Maybe. The other side of the coin is, quit the job, find something you’re passionate about, find an environment that you can lead in [crosstalk 00:31:18] people need, that you can be passionate about.

Stu:Tell us a bit … You said, “Get out the chair” so, you do … roll your shoulders. I always … Whenever we get guys who are specialist in their area, we always like to pick … Just give me these little gems. If I am desk bound, what do I need to be doing?

Keegan:First thing is, change the mentality around it. You’re not chained to the sea unless, you’re a prisoner of war or something. You need to take responsibility for where you put your body. You can … Standing desks are really easy to make with a couple of boxes. Even if you can’t do that, there are other options. If you do get to work at home like you guys do a bit; learning to work lying down, to work [00:32:00] sitting crossed legged onto a chair, find different postures to use your keyboard from. Get a keyboard off your laptop so you can get that line of sight and those sorts of things like, work on the ergonomics but then, vary your positions. You need to be using lots of different positions. If you over-use 1 position, your body will become extremely adapted to that position and you’ll suffer as a result.

Guy:The thing I wanted to add to that is … I haven’t looked into this but, I do wonder if you have a standing desk, that you could over-stand on the spot all day because it’s not encompassing movement. 

Keegan:I believe you can. I believe you can and a lot of people aren’t prepared to stand for a long period of time. You stand … Now, I’m standing at the moment. My tolerance to standing is much better than it used to be. If I used to stand for a long period of time … Really it’s all lower back … Go to concerts and stuff and it was a pain to stand for a long time, standing on the one spot. We’re meant to walk. We should work in a squat for a little while, work sitting down, work laying down; varying the postures is really the key. Standing isn’t really the whole solution either. There’s the treadmill desks now, those things are interesting but, we’re meant to have a variety of-

Guy:Did you say a treadmill desk?

Keegan:-variation of movement diet. is the way that Katy Bowman talks about it. I really like that. We talk about diet in terms of vegetables, different nutrients … The movement needs to be the same. Don’t just settle on standing and say, “Oh that’s my solution. I’m just going to stand now.” That’s not the solution. We need that variety of the movement diet.

Guy:What would be some simple movement tests you could do? If somebody listening to this, go, “Well we’ll see if you can do this, and if you can’t you know you need to improve your range of motion …”

Keegan:We have a standard battery of simple mobility tests that we use with anybody that starts training in Real MOVEMENT facilities or … They’re going to be on the new app as well so, you can show people through that. Basically, being able to rest in a squat position is really valuable. If you go pretty much anywhere in the world, you’ll see that, outside of Anglo culture, you’ll see [00:34:00] that people rest in a squat position. In China, in Africa, all through Asia, Africa, middle-aged, you’re going to see that people are comfortable resting in squat position just because we stopped doing it generally from 5 years old. We have toilets rather than hole in the ground type toilets. We lose that position. 

It’s quite as valuable but, it’s actually a really shortened hip flexor, psoas  iliacus … The muscles around the pelvis at the front are actually really shortened in that squat position so, just getting good at that could actually cause problems as well. We want to be able to rest all the way down in that squat position but, then we need to go the opposite direction, is the biggest one. Really opening the hips. There’s 2 ways to do that. We can do it off a single leg, which is more of a lunge and a lean back or we can do it off a double leg, which is standing and balancing back. You think of it a little bit like [crosstalk 00:34:54]

Guy:That’s interesting you say that because I always wonder about the psaoas, the muscles coming from the pelvis. If I’m doing … practicing an overhead squat, I’m going off a little bit tangent with a broomstick, which I just like to see with my mobility. My body is always forward and I’m always like, “How can I open that up and bring it back?” You suggest leaning back would be one to open? Is there anything else we could do?

Keegan:I have a whole series of movements because when you do a mobility drill … anyone can find mobility drills now so, look for a mobility drill, try it, if you see that there’s a difference within about 30 seconds then, you should stick with that drill and keep using it. If you don’t feel like there’s an immediate change then, it’s probably not going to work for you and you should probably just move on to the next drill. One of the ones … Resting in that squat position … Are you comfortable resting in the bottom of a squat?

Guy:Yeah.

Keegan:Being in that position and then-

Stu:I was going to say, I don’t think you can get him to a squat, mate so, I don’t know how comfortable he is.

Keegan:I think he can, he’s very deceptive big guy. He’s doing his [inaudible 00:35:55] and he’s doing his work-

Guy:-heels flat, I can sit down no problem. 

Keegan:Yeah.

Guy:Easy. [00:36:00]

Keegan:Don’t underestimate him. 

Stu:I never do. I never do.

Guy:The problem is, he’s been working with me too long. He starts [palming 00:36:08] off anything that I say or do. You see a massive change when he moves up this way. He’ll be “My god.” You won’t recognize me.

Keegan:You’re a good couple, you 2. You’re doing amazing work so, that’s good to see continued. The back … Working towards the back bridge or what they call a wheel in yoga, I think is-

Stu:What is a back bridge, Keegan?

Keegan:Basically, it’s being able to go back on your hands and feet with your hips up. 

Stu:Is that like a … Because my daughters do it. Is that like a crab walk, that kind of thing? Is that …

Guy:Yes.

Keegan:Without the walking, right?

Guy:Yes.

Stu:Yeah.

Keegan:Crab walk can also be called … the crab walk is … Yeah, no it’s over the top so it’s … your body makes a big arch-

Stu:Yes.

Keegan:-between hands and feet.

Guy:If you did yoga Stu, it’s called the wheel.

Keegan:Yeah.

Stu:I don’t-

Keegan:In gymnastics, it’s back bridge. 

Stu:I don’t have the-

Keegan:That is extremely challenging and most people aren’t going to be able to do it initially. I would say working towards that, working with a coach or finding a way to get to that level of being able to do a back bridge and a lot of the postural deficiencies, deficits will be undone. It requires big amount of thoracic extension, it requires the shoulders, and range of flexion so, a lot of people have difficult getting the arms overhead because we don’t live with the arms overhead, we live with the arms in front of the body now. That’s the position on the phone, driving the car, at the keyboard, so having arms overhead becomes something that’s very difficult for people that haven’t used that. 

When their arms overhead, it’s going to be looking something like this. There’s an arch forward, you want to be able to open that up, and have that … Be able to see … You’re going to have to be able to do that to do the wheel. You’re going to have to be able to get some thoracic extension, you’re going to have to get the hips up and extended, and that’s going to fire you’re glutes really hard, [00:38:00] which we generally get inactive glutes from sitting on them all day, and not walking enough, and all that stuff. It’s a really good litmus test which 99% of person trainers will fail, let alone average Joe, general population. We have to increase … We have to change the standards of movement within society if we’re going to get somewhere. That’s a minimum standard that we like everyone to be able to achieve.

Guy:That’s great, mate. Mate, I’m going to make the wheel my number 1 mission because I can’t get near it. 

Keegan:It’s a good battle. For a lot of people it could be 2 years, it could be 5 years but, 2 or 5 years is going to pass, what are you going to have to show for it? You want to be able to … It doesn’t matter how long it takes, just get to where you need to be. 

Guy:Absolutely. 

Keegan:We’ll be able to do some work on it as well, enough to get a session done up here.

Guy:100%. No, I’m keen as def- … yeah, for sure. The next thing I wanted to look- Stu you’re going to ask a question or can I jump in? Are you good?

Stu:Please, after you, my friend.

Guy:I know it … What does your exercise routine look like for yourself, personally? Are you constantly setting goals or are you training to maintain or … ? I know listeners are going to be of all varying abilities as well but, I’m sure there’d be some wisdom in there from the way you approach everything, for yourself personally on a weekly basis.

Keegan:I do see my training as being one of the key components to the success that I have as a coach. I do set goals for myself and what I’ve been able to do since I turned 30, everything has changed a lot. I’m a lot better physically than at any stage in my 20s or teens. The reason why … As soon as I improve, I always see the people around me improve in any case. I see it as a responsibility for me within the community I work with but, also [00:40:00] tens of thousands of people checking stuff out on social media. There’s a responsibility for you to show people that what they think they’re capable of is a lot lower than what they’re really capable of. Hopefully that’s the message I get across. I don’t post stuff to show, “I’m way better than you.” I’m a nearly 33 year old guy who … I consider myself to be quite average genetically, physically. I don’t consider myself to be massively gifted beyond what everyone else is. I think everybody is gifted and we all have the chance to learn and develop. It’s been great to do that. 

In terms of my training at the moment then, well, I’ve just been on a fast so I haven’t done much training in the last few days. I’ve done some balance work and some juggling but, has not been around a little bit more than what I thought it would. The week before that, I was doing a high frequency squat and dead lift program. It’s based on a guy who had a world record in the knee to thigh lift, a partial dead lift, called, Steve [inaudible 00:41:08]. That program is 3 reps, 3 single repetitions of a dead lift on a Monday and then, 5 single repetitions on a Tuesday, 7 on a Wednesday, gradually increasing by 2 reps just throughout the week. Basically, that’s at 70% so, it’s really built around that concept of expanding your comfort zone. It kind of breaks away from some of the traditional strength and conditioning but, I have had great results with that program in the past. I had PB on my dead lift at 211 kilos just in the end of the last year.

Guy:Sorry, how much?

Keegan:211 kilos.

Guy:I just wanted you to repeat that. Jesus Christ. 

Keegan:It’s nowhere near where I want it to be but it’s better than what it has been.

Guy:How heavy are you, Keegan?

Keegan:How heavy?

Guy:How heavy?

Keegan:About 80 kilos. 80 to 82. I want to get to triple body weight. [00:42:00] Triple body weight is a leap in power lifting. That would be about 240. That’s the target.

Guy:Wow. 

Keegan:Yeah, if I can maintain … People think because you’re training mobility and stuff then, you can’t be strong or because you’re strong, you can be mobile. My mission is just to use my body as a tool and to show people that limitation and that limiting belief that you have is a false belief and that needs to be changed. Seeing is believing for a lot of people. I’m the other way around, believing is seeing. I’m trying to be that way. I know that I’m capable of doing this so, it’s going to happen. I know for a lot of people they’re going to want to watch it before they go, “Yeah, I probably can do that. I’m 22 and healthy. Why don’t I go and …?”

Guy:I reckon, not to be … There could be people listening going, “Oh that’s easy for you, Keegan because you got a gym out the back, and you can wander in and do what you want.” For somebody that wants to improve, how much time a day would they … could you get away with to doing something in a busy lifestyle?

Keegan:It depends where you’re at. The more athletic you are, the less potential for improvement there will be in that area. For the majority of people, just 2 minutes a day of anything will improve them massively. Just doing 1 set of chin ups and 1 set of push ups will transform the body. We work a lot in 5 minute blocks to deal with that barrier. The system that we use, real strength system’s 5 minute blocks. It makes it manageable. If you only get 1 block done, that’s fine. 

I could say you don’t actually have to get to the gym. Have a doorway chin up bar and do some chin ups and push ups in your house, or do shin ups and squats, have a kettle bell; it’s not actually … The barrier is almost always mental, Guy. Who doesn’t really have 5 minutes a day? The other side of the coin is that Joe Rogan video, change your life. If you don’t have time to move, [00:44:00] it’s like not having time to eat, it’s like not having time to breathe; what are you doing? Movement is being human. Walking is being human. That’s who we are, that’s what we’re here for. If we don’t have time for that, what do we have time for? What’s more important than … 

Guy:It’s normally the catalyst. The catalyst when they start … They normally can see the improvements, get addicted, and then just very easy to find the time around that.

Keegan:That’s why we’re building the most addictive system where you constantly see improvements. I get ahold of people for a couple of hours at the [Thrive 00:44:31] convention where we met, where we first met face to face, I managed to get a few people addicted on juggling and handstands in a short period of time. That’s something that they’ll then take on for the rest of your life. Body composition training, you just can’t do that. You’re not going to change somebody’s body composition in an hour and a half educational lecture. 

Guy:Yeah, no. 

Stu:I picked up that you mentioned the word fasting just previously. I was interested in your philosophies in nutrition based upon the fact that Real MOVEMENT being holistic, I guess that would be a cool component of what you do, too. What do you do where the food and drink is concerned?

Guy:I’m a big believer in whole foods and I’m a big believer in ancient wisdom. That’s pretty much the litmus test for when I look at a nutrition program or someone’s diet. How much whole food is it compared to processed food? Does it fit within something that your ancestors could have eaten? Whenever you go beyond that, you really should proceed with caution. I’ve had periods of taking lots of supplements. Lately, I haven’t been using supplements but, if you’re adding things that are outside of nature’s rules then, you should be really careful, and cautious, and intelligent with it. A lot of what we add from outside of nature’s rules like, the processed [00:46:00] foods, the majority of stuff in the aisles at the supermarket, trying to go around the outsides, down the aisles there’s not much stuff that is going to … Is full of life, energy … That part of it … That’s kind of how it works. 

The other thing is looking at food is looking at information. Looking at it as just the macro and nutrient level. That’s a big stake that I think … You can get great body composition from just looking at calories and macro-nutrients but, are you healthy? I want people to thrive long, to live long, I want them to have great mental energy; you can get the macros right and be lame, and be unhealthy on the inside, and not feel, and not be on track for anything great in life. That’s why local foods are really important. It is food as information. That food … The intelligence of plants is massively underestimated. The Secret Life Of Plants, is a good book to check out around that, or Primary Perception from [Cleve Backster 00:46:55], a CIA guy who studied plants for a number of years. He was a like detector guy, figured out that plants have consciousness and it’s the stuff that yogis would talk about but, now it’s actually been proven in science but, it still hasn’t really penetrated mainstream thinking.

If a plant grows in your environment, it how knows how to solve problems in your environment and it’s going to give you more useful information in your environment than stuff that comes from the other side of the world that grew up in a completely different situation. This is getting to the high end but, basically getting that whole foods approach and looking at things from an ancestral context. Some people need more carbs, some people less carbs, some people more raw food, some people more protein; it’s not cut and dry but, whole foods is definitely the [inaudible 00:47:44].

Guy:The moment you start cutting them, processed, inflammatory foods out, you start becoming more in tune with your body and then you can start to figure out, “Am I eating too many carbs or not? Do I need to put a bit more fat in my diet?” Your body is much more receptive to everything you eat on a daily basis. 

Keegan:Can’t change your body without changing your mind. [00:48:00] You bring an extra level of awareness in. It was great to see that with the Roosters guys. Typical rugby league team, players will eat a lot of takeaway food, they’ll drink a lot of alcohol-

Guy:This is the high end?

Keegan:I heard a story yesterday, it was actually on NRL.com, I believe. NRL [inaudible 00:48:19] I won’t embarrass them but, you can check it out if you want, said that he’s eating McDonald’s everyday for the last 22 years and he’s 24. This guy just signed a big money contract and he’s played with professional clubs and that’s still the level that he’s been at. Not to say that someone hasn’t done that undercover that I’ve worked with. There have been a couple players that you feel like you’re not really getting to and everyone is on their journey. You got to invite them into something better if they can see that you’re living it and that it’s working for you. If they can see that it’s working for those around them, the community side of things then, they’re more likely to step into it but, you’re not going to win them all. I don’t know if I would have changed him. I’d like to think I would have earlier, I think he’s changing now. 

Those guys when they start to eat whole foods … We fed them really high quality organic food a few times a week and we showed them what we would love them to be consuming and they definitely changed. I think that is part of the higher level of consciousness that led them to the decision to not to binge drink on alcohol … Didn’t drink alcohol at all because they don’t … a lot of them don’t know how to not binge if they have won. Did that for the last 3 months of the NRL regular season, and then all the way to the playoffs, all the way to winning the premiership-

Guy:They won the premiership that year?

Keegan:It’s never been done in rugby league. It’s that kind of group sacrifice and group conscious decision. The food definitely changes the mind and makes all the other stuff more …

Guy:That amazes me thats going on in the NRL. We must be living in a podcast bubble or something because elite end athletes can pay a lot of money. The protocols should be [00:50:00] in place. You’d think so anyway. 

Keegan:The members of society, they don’t stand separate from society. Until society changes, our lead athletes are still going to be a reflection of it. Holding our elite athletes to a higher standards than we hold society as a whole, too, it’s a reflection on [inaudible 00:50:17]. If society, “If this is what’s going on with these guys, they’re getting in trouble and doing things like … Where are the values of where they’ve grown up? What environment did they grow up in? What was the school like? What was the suburb like? What were the values of all the coaches and strength and conditioning coaches they’ve worked with?” 

A lot of strength and conditioning coaches have had very different experiences of life to me. They haven’t spent time in the mountains of Mexico, or haven’t had chronic fatigue, or whatever. They’ve got no reason to think that eating a diet, which has tons of Gatorade, tons of pasta, lollies before and after training, isn’t the best way forward for all their athletes because that’s all they’ve known. There’s textbooks and smart people who say that’s the way forward. I know there are still NRL clubs … That’s what the nutritionist is prescribing and players are trying their best to stick to that and be diligent with it. No wonder their psyches are going to be off if they’re doing that sort of stuff. If you’ve had that experience and you’re not a guy who’s really tolerant to those carbohydrates … [crosstalk 00:51:11]

Guy:Good answer, yeah. Absolutely. 

Keegan:-broken system.

Guy:It’s easy to be judgmental if they’re in the press a lot, messing it up in all the rest of it.

Keegan:A lot of good guys then … A lot of good guys who are doing really great community work and stuff. I was really blown away by how great a lot of them are as humans, and how tolerant they are, and how much giving … how giving of their time they are. You don’t see that stuff. That stuff doesn’t really make the press but, it’s absolutely phenomenal. You walk along with Sonny Bill Williams and the patience he has to sign autographs, take photographs, I never saw him frustrated, I never saw him saying no to anyone-

Guy:Sonny Bill-

Keegan:In that sort of pressure everyone wants the money, and the body, and whatever but, do you want someone asking you for your autograph everywhere you go? Watching what you do everywhere you go? Judging your every action? It’s a hard standard to live by.

Guy:I saw [00:52:00] in the rugby world cup, he gave his winning medal away to a kid that’d been rugby tackled on the field by one of the security guards because he ran on. That’s incredible.

Keegan:He’s just been to Lebanon and has been to the Middle East, and he actually saw a lot of what’s going on there with refugee camps, and people fleeing, and all that sort of stuff. He went there with UNICEF and he actually posted a picture of some dead children, talking about, “What have they done to deserve this and what are we doing about it?” As a bit of a challenge, it was a bit of a controversial one. He’s definitely one of the more conscious athletes that I’ve come across and carries a higher purpose to what he does. I think when you have that higher purpose then, the higher performance can come with it,

Guy:I know he’s done … I know Stu doesn’t follow the league union much but, he’s done what most athletes only dream about switching codes like that and becoming a key.

Keegan:In boxing as well, just not giving a shit and doing what you want to do and how you want to do it. You make the rules and that’s what he’s done. He’s backed it up with an ethic to continue to succeed in it, and to do a great job for everyone he’s had the opportunity to interact with in those experiences.

Guy:Before we wrap up, I really want to touch on the chronic fatigue and Stu mentioned he wanted to go into. The reason why is that we had a very earlier on podcast, a guy that had chronic fatigue. It became very popular and there definitely seems to be a need for that information to get out there as well. I know you wasn’t physically diagnosed with it but, I know you went through a lot and you made some changes. Could you give us a few points of a little bit of that journey and the changes you made? So that other people can-

Keegan:I wasn’t diagnosed with it but, I had hormone testing done that showed that things were flat lining. I had immune blood testing that showed things were flat lining. All the symptoms when you go through the symptoms of it, it is a great diagnosis anyway. I have a scar on my face here [00:54:00] from an infection that wouldn’t heal; 6 months, just didn’t want to get better. I just didn’t have the energy in my body or the something, the will to be at my best. That pushed a lot of exploration. I worked with a few … People come to me now and I worked with Ali Day, who won the Ironman series last year and he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue. Bouncing from doctor to doctor, not really getting better, not really getting any answers. We started working together and the next year he actually won the series which was amazing. A massive … I’m not taking credit for that but, I know the things that we worked on definitely played a part-

Stu:What sort of things did you do?

Keegan:I think the first thing is the purpose. You have to have a reason to get better. People can get really stuck with, “Okay, I’ve been diagnosed with chronic fatigue, this is who I am. I’m putting this hat on. I’m putting these clothes on. Everyday I show people my chronic fatigue.” That is a state that cannot be recovered from. I don’t care what you do nutritionally, I don’t care what you do in terms of anything. You have to change the belief that that’s something permanent, that that’s who you are, that can’t be your identity. That is very deep and very important. People say, “Yeah, that’s airy fairy stuff. Give me the details.” No, that is the biggest thing. Have a big reason why you need to be better and who you’re going to serve by being better and that will be a huge step. Just making that step can be enough for some people to just walk out of bed and be okay. 

For me, that decision was about serving the rugby league teams and on the mission to what has become Real MOVEMENT Project. That was why I got better. That forced me to look for the knowledge. Digestive function is just huge. If digestive function is low, you’re going to have less neural transmitters, you’re going to be bringing less nutrients into the body. We get nutrient manufacture in the intestines and gut as well; the stomach is not going to work properly. If those things are not working well … “Death begins in the gut” was a quote by Elie Metchnikoff, he was a Nobel peace prize [00:56:00] winner and he was right. It was a long time ago but, he was right.

Stu:How would you know that your digestive system isn’t functioning?

Keegan:You generally get some pretty strong symptoms around flatulence, pain, bloating. You’ll have signs of nutrient deficiencies. There’s lots of signs and symptoms that … The health of your hair, and your nails, and those sorts of things, your recovery from training. Generally, people will have a pretty good idea. If you get down to the details [crosstalk 00:56:29] you go to the toilet … What’s the consistency of the stool like? All those details are really important and they will tell you a lot. 

Once you’ve identified that there’s an issue there, there are some really good protocols for improving that. Fasting, I think is very valuable. GAPS diet is a really good one. It’s built around sort of broth, and then building into whole foods from there, and eliminating a lot of the highly allergenic stuff. I’m a big believer in gelatin and collagen. They’re an easier way. People say broth, “I’m going to be making that stuff all the time, and filtering it, and putting it in the fridge.” It’s not that hard but, I understand. Gelatin and collagen, and that sort of stuff is the easy way to get that done. That will not only help to rebuild the gut lining but, it’s also cleansing, it’s healing for the cells. There’s a lot of medical research going on into gelatin in the 30s and 40s but, then we had to shift to a pharmaceutical model. All that kind of medical thinking got squashed. 

Stu:Absolutely. I agree with that. That’s one of the things that’s one my menu twice a day. I’ll have a … I’ll make sure that I have a couple of nourishing … I think this is the stuff I’ve got right now. Boom.

Keegan:[crosstalk 00:57:48] Great Lakes is a quality brand. There’s another one, Gelatin something Australia, they have really good stuff as well.

Stu:That right. I think we’re … We love our muscle [00:58:00] meat as well. We do discard all the other meats that have all these beautiful, nourishing qualities about it. Mentioned organ meat to somebody and they just … their eyes roll back. We used to-

Keegan:The most valuable part.

Stu:Absolutely. We used to favor all of the good stuff with all of these amazing, nourishing, nutrients. Of course, it’s lean cuts and … Nowhere near as nourishing or beneficial for the body.

Keegan:I live in indigenous community in the Outback and we went hunting for kangaroo, we cooked him up in the traditional way. When the [roo 00:58:38] was ready, I open it up, the kids were in there with a cup scooping out the blood, which had been almost a stew of the organ nutrients, drinking that and loving it. Pulling out bits of spleen, bits of heart, bits of liver; I got a little bit of spleen gifted to me and it was like they were giving me gold. At the end, I was left with this brontosaurus leg of kangaroo. I thought, “They really like me” but, later I realized that the spleen was the gift and that big chunk of meat was “blegh”.

Stu:That stuff should be given to the dogs. It’s not favored at all.

Guy:That’s amazing. How long were you in the indigenous community for?

Keegan:7 months. 8 months, I think. [inaudible 00:59:24], it’s like 4 hours from Alice Springs. It’s a community of about 150 to 300 population and some transient movement in that. I worked as a youth worker there.

Guy:Had they been influenced by western society, at all?

Keegan:Sure, sure. The community was actually built when the railroad was going from Adelaide to Darwin. It was actually fenced off and the indigenous people weren’t allowed to go inside the facility so, it was built as a little town. A lot of [Afrikani 00:59:50] workers were [inaudible 00:59:48] with their camels to build that railroad so there’s actually a mix of some Afrikani blood with indigenous Outback, which is really interesting when you see [01:00:00] the different features of guys and girls. 

They lived in that community and it was tough. It was tough to see the conditions that they live in. It is definitely 3rd world in a lot of way but, most are on that purpose side of things and the mental side of things. Everything that they live for has shifted. There were people there who had seen white man there for the first time in the 20s but, they definitely had a lot of influence by that time. I went there, they had Tvs, and phones, and cars, and all that stuff. It relatively recent, they still do their men’s business. The men will have their front tooth knocked out to show that they’re men, to show that they’ve been through initiation. Those practices are still alive but they’re … They can also go into Alice Springs and be told that they have to get a job, or go o a nightclub, or … They’re in this between worlds that’s really complicated to say what the solution is but, things aren’t ideal there.

Guy:I always think of that movie. That sugar film that came out recently about the indigenous tribes. I don’t know if you’ve seen the film but, the-

Keegan:I did.

Guy:Yeah, because he did spend time there previously making a different movie and the western society and really influenced the diet. It was the highest selling village of Coca-Cola in Australia or something like that. The tragedy that went around it. 

Keegan:The shop was really limited. To get food from somewhere else from [inaudible 01:01:34] was a 3-4 hour trip It wasn’t an option for them. There was limited whole foods there. It was not uncommon to have chips and coke for 3 meals a day. The metal function at that … When you’re doing that, physical development is going to suffer. There were amazing athletes as well. It was really interesting from the athletic point of view. There’s [inaudible 01:01:56] selective pressure and behavioral towards coming extremely [01:02:00] [endurant 01:02:01], and powerful, and fast, and that’s sort of stuff was cool to see as well. 

Guy:That must have been an amazing chapter in your life, man. That’d be wonderful.

Stu:Just … I just want to jump back a little bit. We were talking about the gelatin and stuff like that …

Keegan:We did the digestive stuff, we did the mindset …

Stu:Yes, Anything else? Any other intervention strategies, protocols … Whole food, etc.?

Keegan:The movement and the breathing are the other 2 things. I guess breath is movement but, I believe that this [inaudible 01:02:30] method will really change a lot of people’s lives with doing this stuff. I have had some experience around cold exposure being life regenerating for people experiencing low levels of vitality. I don’t like the labels of chronic fatigue and whatnot. It’s a bunch of symptoms that we try to put a name on but, that’s pretty much all modern diseases. It’s like, “There’s disease, there’s dysfunction, there’s something that’s not right and we need to go back to right.”

There’s a continuum of all that stuff. If you’ve got certain blood sugar level, that’s not diabetes, and then at one point higher, “Okay you’ve got diabetes now.” It’s all on a continuum in a sliding scale. We just want you to slide back to where you are towards where your best day is, and then have your best day more often, and then shift that again. Many steps is a big thing. If people can say, “Do you sometimes I feel okay?” “Yeah sometimes I feel quite good.” “Well cool. We know that you can feel okay then, let’s just do that more often.”

The breathing .. The breathing and cold, I think is really valuable and, movement. Bringing some mobility in … I know people with chronic fatigue feel like they have no energy but, walking is so valuable. At whatever level you’re able to do. If you’re in water where there is no gravity, and being in that environment, and just moving; that circulation is going to be extremely valuable. You get that nutritious diet, you get the food coming into the system, you have the will to heal yourself and to be better, and then you circulate that and you do what humans have always done, you will [01:04:00] improve. I’ve seen it consistently and often. 

I have a lot of confidence that there’s always change. The body is always changing. There’s always possibility for us to reinvent ourselves. We reinvent ourselves every single day. We reinvent the whole system that we live in every single day. If we did everything differently then, their system would change overnight. That, knowledge of the ability to change as an individual, as a community, as a global community, I think that is something that we need to attach to and be empowered by. Empowering people that have whatever it is, chronic fatigue or other labels [inaudible 01:04:39]. Most common things that so many people are experiencing; dysfunction that shouldn’t be there. 

I believe that it can be undone but, it starts with empowerment. Basically the same steps, the same steps are going to be what gets you out of chronic fatigue but, they’re also going to be the things that take you to a lead performance. It’s mind, diet, movement, and then some recovery stuff. They’re the 4 pillars of what we do and the 5th thing is community. You can’t be successful, you can’t be high achieving, you can’t be super healthy without community. Social isolation is the biggest [inaudible 01:05:10] for disease. We have huge amounts of social isolation in the modern system so, getting around people who are doing great things and who have energy is going to be … That’s who you are. 

The Jim Rohn quote, “You’re the product of the 5 people you spend most time with.” It’s true but, people don’t take it literally enough. You are who you spend time with. If you want to get stronger, just spend time with strong people. Spend all day with them; I guarantee you you’re going to get stronger. You go and train in the gym where people are breaking world records, you may not break world record but, you’re going to be ridiculously ahead of the guy who’s training at a globo gym.

Stu:That’s right, yeah.

Keegan:Decide who you want to be and then go spend time with those guys.

Guy:It’s massive.

Stu:It’s proximity, isn’t it?

Guy:We’ve often spoke about that, haven’t we? From when we started 180, it’s like, “We  got to be around people that are going to inspire us and make us raise our bar over the years.” [01:06:00]

Keegan:Now the podcast has given you the chance to link up with so many great people and I’m really happy to join your list of guys. I love hanging out with you guys because you are these people. You’re the people who are doing something to make a difference in the world, you’ve got a business, you’re trying to fill in all the pieces of the puzzle; spiritually, physically … Great. Getting a great product out there. That’s who I want to be so, spending time with you is success for me. That’s progress, that’s what I want to be.

Guy:I appreciate it, Keegan.

Stu:That’s awesome. 

Guy:Mate, we have certain questions we ask everyone on the show before we wrap up. The first one you kind of answered, which was what did you eat yesterday? Which was …

Stu:It was nothing, was it?

Keegan:I had some charcoal, I had some clay, I had some tea. Tea is still in there for me.

Stu:What sort of tea did you have?

Keegan:-some level.

Stu:Green tea?

Keegan:I haven’t been having … I have had green [mate 01:06:53] tea twice. I like mate as well, [yerba mate 01:06:57] from Argentina but, yeah other ones as well, like ginger.

Guy: Can you explain the reason behind the charcoal? That’s just for people listening, just in case.

Keegan:Charcoal, activated charcoal draws out toxins. It had been used down the ages and it’s … It has an extremely high surface area to weight ratio, it’s a size ratio so, it’s gots lots of spaces for stuff to stick into. People with body odor and things like that will notice a difference with using charcoal. It’s used for flatulence, digestive issues but, when you’re detoxifying the cells are actually purging a lot of stuff that they want to get rid of. When you’re not bringing in protein, your cells will recycle any of the damaged proteins and get rid of them. I’ve also been having a sauna for half an hour. 40 to 50 degree heat to pull some more stuff out. Usually, you get headaches with that but using some things like the charcoal and the clay … I haven’t had headaches. Vitamin C and some antioxidant stuff.

Guy:How long you fasting for? [01:08:00]

Keegan:It’s been 3 and a half days now. I actually had a tea with a little bit of [inaudible 01:08:07] and a little bit of collagen just before I jumped on because I wanted to be at my best for this opportunity and I was really excited about it. It did seem to make me feel better. I was pretty weak and I think I’d have to go a bit longer to feel the buzz of fasting. It has felt good on and off but, just walking, walking around the block and walking up the stairs has been like, “Whoa, I’m pretty tired. I’m not doing it that well.” I think this is … My celebration from this will be having another tea like that. I’ll have some fat and protein over the next couple days. I did my ketogenic testing and I’m in the high range for ketones so, I think ‘ll stay in ketosis for a few more days.

Guy:Then introduce the foods back.

Stu:How do you test for ketones, Keegan? What method do you use?

Keegan:Ketonics device. If you go to Low Carb Down Under, they sell them on there. The breath one, there are urine and blood ones but, they’re very fiddly. They’re about 25 bucks so, not super cheap but-

Guy:Are they pretty accurate?

Keegan:The research is pretty good on them. That seems to be what a lot of the guys who love ketogenic life so …

Stu:[Jimmy More 01:09:20] is a big advocate for that one.

Keegan:Exactly. [crosstalk 01:09:25]

Guy:Okay. One other question. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Or to give?

Keegan:You are what you think about … You are what you think about. That’s the strongest thing. It’s all through the Bible, it’s all through the [inaudible 01:09:41], it’s all through … Every holy text you’re going to see, the Quran, you’re going to see it from Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Tony Robbins, and all these guys; modern, ancient, they’re all saying … Make a decision, concentrate on what you want. Don’t concentrate on what you don’t want. [01:10:00] Interesting quote from [Bob Proctor 01:10:01] is that, “It’s between prayers that counts”, “Most people do their praying between prayers”, something like that.  You may pray, you may have that time of thinking, “I’m grateful and life’s good”, but in-between that is what’s going to be important as well. 

You need to be concentrating and doing the things that feed your mind, feed your spirit all through the day, and when you do that, when you set a focus, you can’t go wrong. If you look back at your life, I’m sure the things that you’ve focused on have happened. Almost everybody you talk about their day experience and you’re like, “What were you thinking about that time? What were you concentrating on?” When you have a bad breakup and whatnot, you just get stuck in that thought and you just stay on that though train and run it over, and over again and that becomes who you are for that period of time. Be careful what you wish for … That’s where we start. Think about what your best case scenario is, if you don’t have a best case scenario, where are you going to get to?

Guy:You’re kind of free-falling, right? Then, you don’t know where it’s going to go.

Keegan:People get jealous that I have a gym and that I have the resources to study under the world’s best people in whatever field I want to study; it’s a decision that I made. I wrote it down and I focused on it, and I’ve done steps towards it everyday for a number of years. If you haven’t done that then, don’t be jealous. Another great quote is, “Envy is ignorance” from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Don’t be envious, just go and get it done. Put your own drink down, don’t follow someone else’s dream but, make a decision and from there it’s going to be a better life. 

Guy:Great answer, mate. Perfect.

Stu:Wise words.

Guy:Yeah. I’m a huge believer in that. What’s the future hold, mate? Got anything exciting coming up over the next year, 2016?

Keegan:All the stuff I’m doing is really exciting for me. I’m going to present in Spain, an island in France later in the year. [01:12:00] By [inaudible 01:12:01] so, I’m really excited about doing things again. I went over there last year but, bigger and better this year. I’m bringing over {Mitch Bike 01:12:07], who’s one of the coaches who I’ve been working with for almost 2 years, a year and a half. He’s going to come over and present with me, which is another step in the chapter; having guys who are ready to have an impact, and who I really like learning from. That’s really exciting for me. Going towards [inaudible 01:12:26] and Fiji, having a facility in Australia to invite people into to experience the things that we do. That’s really what I’m excited about in 2016. Who knows what else is in store for me but, I know where I’m going to so, things are going to keep opening up to make that happen. 

Guy:Yeah, mate thats amazing, that’s exciting. Last question, Keegan Smith, where do they go to find you? You’ve got a couple websites?

Keegan:Yeah, realmovementproject.com is the best one. I used to work out of coachkeegan.com and it’s still got some stuff on there but I don’t use it too much anymore. Realmovementproject.com, Real MOVEMENT Project on Facebook, or coach Keegan on Facebook. Real MOVEMENT on [Insta 01:13:14].

Guy:Instagram I was going to say. If they want to see what I’m seeing everyday with you doing all these great feats of gymnastic abilities, that’s be on the Real MOVEMENT Instagram?

Keegan:There’s Real MOVEMENT [inaudible 01:13:25] and Keegan Smith is the one that I’ve had initially, that one’s almost up to 20,000 so, still keep [inaudible 01:13:31] that one along. Real MOVEMENT is catching up though, and that’s good to see as well. We have a summary of what I believe in because people say, “How can I start?” Not necessarily ready  to come an do an internship or whatever. I’ve written down 10 key principles that have been the things that have helped me change my life and helped me go from unhappy, unhealthy and having poor performance to somewhere close to the opposite of that. [01:14:00] 

I Choose Movement is a campaign that we’re running. It’s 10 key principles. Movement is part of that but a lot of it’s around other principles like, simplifying life and be careful of what information you bring into your mind, and how you’re exposing yourself, too. It’s the holistic thing, it’s what I think of being the most valuable for me to improve the quality of my life so, pillars of what I teach. That would be a great place if someone feels excited about some of the things they’ve heard today. That would be a good next step to build some momentum and really become who they want to become. 

Guy:Mate, that was amazing. We’ll link to all the show notes anyway on our 180 website so, they’ll be there is people are listening to them … come from there. Mate, thanks so much for your time, Keegan. That was phenomenal.

Keegan:Great speech. Really appreciate it.

Stu:Really excited about showing this because there’s some absolute gems of information there and I would people to connect with you because you’ve got a wealth of knowledge. Thank you again.

Keegan:Awesome thank you guys.

Guy: Thanks, Keegan.

 

 

 

 

5 Unusual Things I do Everyday to Improve My Health

unusual health tips

Stu: When asked about my line of work I’m always prepared for the questions that typically follow. Much like the personal trainer who’s routinely interrogated on the magic formula to achieve the illusive six pack, questions directed at me are usually focused around food and more specifically what to eat (or avoid) to achieve first-rate health.

If you didn’t already know, I have the fortune of discussing these topics with some of the brightest brains on the planet each week through our podcast series. Want to know why we get fat? no problem… let me ask a metabolic scientist, a geneticist, longevity specialist or how about a best selling author, the list goes on.

So back to my original point, what do I say to those interested in becoming the best versions of themselves? I’ve outlined a short list of tips and ticks below that have taken me in the right direction to better health. Some of them may be a bit left field but surely you didn’t think that I was going to tell you to eat less takeaway and lace up your running shoes each morning?

The 5 Unusual Things I do Everyday to Improve My Health:

  • 1) Eat Dinner For Breakfast
    I’m a big fan of the ‘cook once – eat twice’ principal so I always prepare a little more food in the evening. This works in my favour at breakfast time as I can feast on a meal loaded with nutrients in under 5 minutes (even less if eaten cold – yes, I do this sometimes). Typical breakfast options resemble party foods with sugary juices, processed breads and cereals not to mention the vast array of muffins, pastries and assorted dairy delights. Think you’re on the right track with your tropical low-fat yogurt drizzled over honey-roasted granola? If this sounds like you then perhaps you’re on the sugar train. Try this tip to overcome your sugar cravings and embrace dinner for breakfast – cold pizza excluded!
  • 2) Reduce My Exercise Plan to 6 Minutes
    I love exercise but used to get fixated on working all major body parts in the gym before finishing with a rigorous cardio blast. This didn’t give me the results I was expecting, it increased my cortisol levels (stress hormones) and ruined my sleep. I’m now an advocate of quality over quantity and have seen great benefits in radically reducing my exercise into super short, high intensity workouts. One of my favourites includes 1 minute of overhead kettlebell swings followed immediately by 1 minute of burpees x 3 rounds, 6 minutes in total. Still think that you don’t have time to exercise? This plan doesn’t replace incidental exercise, like walking to the supermarket or admiring my newly buffed body in the shop windows but does give me more time to focus on the other unusual things that I do each day, like…
  • 3) Hack My Carbohydrates
    I’m super-lean, have a fast metabolism and find it impossible to gain weight. Lucky perhaps, but recent genetic testing revealed that I carry an increased risk for diabetes if not addressed by diet and lifestyle. The big-brains in the medical world have now demonstrated that carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood sugar levels and eating them alone can send blood sugars rising, so it makes sense to minimise this. I’ll work towards this every time I eat by adding fat and protein to my carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes (a personal favourite) will always be mashed with avocado and/or coconut oil, starchy vegetables drizzled with olive oil or butter and my favourite chocolate smoothie is upgraded with avocado, coconut cream and cinnamon – yes cinnamon is a BIG hitter in lowering blood sugar. I’ve recently put this strategy to the test by using a personal blood glucose monitor (full blog post coming soon) and the results speak for themselves with dramatically lower blood sugar readings. Still can’t get over toast in the morning? Upgrade it with nut butter and cinnamon or mashed avocado and smoked salmon :)
  • 4) Carry My iPhone in a Sock
    I live by the mantra ‘Prevention is the Cure’ and I carry this rule over to my beloved iPhone. I’ve always questioned whether we’ll look back in twenty years at the pursuits we’re enjoying right now in bemusement (wasn’t smoking initially advocated by doctors?). After spending time with an Electro Magnetic expert I decided to take a few precautions with my mobile usage given the fact that it follows me everywhere. These two strategies give me peace of mind as I’m not going to revert back my mobile-less days or wrap tin foil around my head for added protection:

    • Always – did I say always – use my earphones when talking on the phone
    • Place the phone in a Bloc Sock to shield the absorption of Electro Magnetic Radiation into my soft body (which actually isn’t that soft any more given my 6 minute exercise plan)

Call me alarmist, perhaps, but I won’t be able to hear you anyway as I’ve got my earplugs in listening to a podcast!

  • 5) Wear Builders Glasses Before Bed
    No I don’t like dressing up as the construction worker from the Village People in the evening but I do favour quality sleep. I’ve written about this in a sleep post recently and the glasses in mention are orange (blue blocking) which filter out the blue light from the vast array of electrical devices that most of use before bed. We really don’t want to inhibit the production of melatonin, our sleep hormone which the blue light from our TV’s, computers and phone actually does. I’ll happily trade in my pride if it means a better night’s sleep and always put the glasses on at around 7:30 before I listen to my favourite YMCA album on iTunes.

So that’s it, an unconventional list of tips and tricks that really work for me. Would love to hear some of your strategies below in the comments box below – Cheers.

How I Lost Over 100kg Without Dieting

The above video is 3:49 minutes long.

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

Do diets really work long-term? With every weight loss plan, diet calorie counting and exercise regimes out there all claiming small miracles, it can be challenging to figure out what we should really be doing! So who better to ask than a man who lost over 100kg’s without dieting.

jon gabrielAnd from the words of Ray Martin (A Current Affair TV Program) “He lost more than 100 kilos (220 lbs) without diets or surgery, now meet the man who says we can all melt fat using the power of our minds”

Yes, this week our special guest is Jon Gabriel, which I honestly believe is one of the most inspiring transformational journeys I have ever heard! Jon’s story has been featured on A Current Affair and Today/Tonight in Australia. His success in helping others lose weight has also been discussed on many popular talk shows in the U.S., including The Jane Pauley Show, Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight.

Full Interview with John Gabriel: How I lost Over 100kg Without Dieting Using These Techniques


downloaditunesListen to Stitcher
In this episode we talk about:

  • Why diets never work long term
  • How the body fat just ‘melted’ off him when he applied certain techniques
  • The best place to start if you are always struggling to lose weight
  • The best approach to meditation for beginners
  • His daily routines
  • And much much more…

CLICK HERE for all Episodes of 180TV

Get More of Jon Gabriel Here:

Free Health Pack

 

Full Transcript

Guy Lawrence: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of the Health Sessions. Today I’m standing at Coogee Beach and that building right behind me is Coogee Surf Club. And believe it or not, that’s where it all began for 180 Nutrition now over five years ago with me and Stu.

And I thought I’d bring the introduction here today, because when we started I had no idea where 180 was going to lead to and what was to follow. And it’s quite a special moment for us, because we’re literally about to launch into the USA. And I never in a million years thought that was going to happen when we started a conversation just over five years ago.

So, from probably about the second week of August, you’ll be able to head to 180nutrition.com for you to listen to this in America and our superfoods are going to be available in America. So, that’s really exciting and a really big deal for us.

So, if you’re over there, check it out.

Anyway, on to today’s guest.

Today’s guest is Jon Gabriel and I reckon this is probably the most transformational story I’ve ever heard and one maybe the internet has ever seen. The guy was weighing in at 186 kilos at one stage in his life and he said he had tried every diet under the sun. It wasn’t that he was lazy, he was just struggling; he even went and saw Dr. Atkins at one point and he feared for his health. And if you see him today, ten years on, the guy’s got a six-pack and looks fantastic. I mean it’s incredible.

And what made Jon’s story even more exceptionable was that, basically, fate intervened with him one day and he should have been on the flight from Newark to San Francisco back on September 11, 2001, yes the terrorist attacks, and he missed the flight and he should have been on it and he said everything changed from then because he realized he’d been gifted a second chance in life. And he moved himself and his family to Australia. And then the weight just started to fall off. And a big part of that was using visualization techniques and meditation and, I guess, letting go of a lot of self-beliefs.

But I guarantee from listening to this episode today, you will be inspired to meditate. You know, if it’s something; like, for me, it’s always been a bit of a task, but I’m fully embracing it at the moment and loving it, only because I’m starting to “get it.” And from this episode, you know, you’re going to be sitting there, getting up an extra hour early in the morning, I promise you.

And last, but not least, before we get on to Jon a big thank you for everyone that’s leaving reviews on iTunes. Please let us know if you’re getting something out of this podcast, leave us a review. Tell us a little bit about your story. It’s awesome to hear them. We know these podcasts are making a big difference in people’s lives. And it’s just wonderful to hear it and know that we’re getting our message out to as many people as possible.

So, if you get the chance leave us a review.

Anyway, let’s go over to Jon Gabriel. This one’s awesome.

[text on screen]: 180 Nutrition

Guy Lawrence: Hi, this is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined with Stuart Cooke as always. Hi, Stuie.

Stuart Cooke: Hello mate.

Guy Lawrence: And our fantastic guest today is Jon Gabriel. Jon, welcome to the show, mate. Really appreciate your coming on.

Jon Gabriel: Great to be here, Guy. Thanks.

Guy Lawrence: We actually had James Colquhoun on our podcast recently and for anyone listening to this, he’s the man behind Food Matters and Hungry for Change, the awesome documentaries. And we asked him actually, “Of all the people that you’ve met and interviewed, who’s been some of your most inspiring? And he instantly said, “Jon Gabriel.”

Jon Gabriel: Wow.

Guy Lawrence: So, we’re very honored to …

Jon Gabriel: That’s a huge compliment.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. So, we’re very honored to have you here, mate.

Jon Gabriel: Awesome.

Guy Lawrence: So, could you, just to kick start the show, I guess, yeah, share a little bit about your amazing story. Your journey from where you started, what you used to do, too.

Jon Gabriel: Yeah. Sure. So, I used to be over 400 pounds or 180-some-odd kilos and I was working on Wall Street. I was stressed out. I felt like I was killing myself. I felt like I was on a treadmill that was just going too fast.

And I got off of that treadmill and over a two-and-a-half-year period I lost a hundred kilos, or 220 pounds, without restrictive dieting. That is: without forcing myself to eat less or forcefully denying myself and without killing myself with exercise. It was almost as if the weight had just totally melted off of me.

And because of the way the weight melted off of me, I knew I had a really powerful message for the world. And I wrote about how I did it in a book called, “The Gabriel Method.” And “The Gabriel Method” touched a chord with a lot of people that had been trying to lose weight by dieting and have not been successful. And the book went on to get translated into 16 languages and is in 60 countries and a bestseller in several languages.

And we went on to create this whole process of losing weight by what we call getting the body to want to be thin rather than forcing. And even today, there’s; a lot of the information that we put out is similar to what other people are putting out, at least from a nutritional standpoint. There’s like a convergence going on in terms of: You need to take care of your digestion and you need to nourish your body properly and how healthy fats. . . And all this kind of stuff.

But nobody, even today, and this is now ten years down the road, we published The Gabriel Method in 2007, but I lost the weight in 2004. So, it’s been; I’ve been out there now over ten years.

I still don’t hear anybody talking about losing weight by getting your body to want to be thin. I hear people talk about speeding up your metabolism and cutting carbs and healing your digestion and reducing stress, but I never, ever, ever, hear anybody talk about getting your body to want to be thin.

So, our whole focus is the science and study of getting your body to want to be thin, because as in my case and now thousand of people all over the world, when you get your body to actually want to be thin, you’re not at war anymore. You don’t have to; you don’t need to know how many calories you should have in a day. You don’t need to know whether or not you should eat in the morning or in the afternoon or whether you should intermittent fasting or eat every two hours.

You don’t need those rules anymore. Your body does the accounting by itself, because you become, in essence, a naturally thin person. So, that’s what we’re trying to do, is turn people into naturally thin people.

Stuart Cooke: How did you arrive at that solution, Jon? Like where was the light bulb moment?

Jon Gabriel: Right. So, it was; basically it was through my life experience. So, what happened was I was sort of a naturally thin person back in like 1990. I was about the same weight as I am now. I was athletic and I ate a healthy diet. But I didn’t have to ever make an effort to keep maintaining my weight. I was like most people or many people that we know.

And I moved to New York. I started working on Wall Street. Really high-stress job. Working my butt off. Try to make ends meet. Blah, blah, blah.

And as soon as I moved I started gaining weight. And I gained maybe five or ten pounds the first year, five or ten pounds the second year, and I didn’t think too much about it. But then by the third or fourth year I was looking at, you know, I was 220, 250 pounds. A hundred kilos.

And so, that’s the first time I decided that I’m going to do something about it. And I did what everybody does, which was go on a diet. Because this is what we’re taught, right? It’s calories in, calories out, just cut your calories. So, I went on a diet and I lost a little bit of weight and then I’m fighting cravings left and right and I gain it back.

And then I went on this process over an 11-year period, where I went on every diet I could find. And every diet I went on followed the same approach. I would lose five or ten pounds through sheer brute force restriction willpower over a one-month period and then I’d come to this place where I couldn’t take it any more and have a huge binge. I’d gain that ten pounds back, literally, Guy and Stu. And when I say I gained that ten pounds back in a day, two days max. I am not exaggerating, I mean …

Stuart Cooke: Wow.

Jon Gabriel: Boom! It would come back and then a week later I’d be five pounds heavier than when I even started that diet.

So, I went on this process where I lost ten pounds, gained fifteen pounds, lost ten pounds, gained fifteen pounds over a ten-year period till I was over 400 pounds.

Stuart Cooke: Wow.

Jon Gabriel: And when I say I did everything, I met with Dr. Atkins, face-to-face for a month. He’s not alive anymore, obviously. But he was living in New York and so was I, and I met with him every Monday morning at 7 o’clock and I spent three or four thousand dollars with him. And in the end, I’m sitting in his office and he’s reading all my test scores. I’m borderline Type 2 diabetic and insulin resistant, metabolic syndrome, cholesterol through the roof, high blood pressure like you wouldn’t believe, all this stuff. And he just looks at me and he goes, “What are you doing? You’re killing yourself.”

Stuart Cooke: Wow.

Jon Gabriel: And I’m thinking to myself: Is that really the best that you can do, Dr. Atkins? You know, you’ve written this book called The Atkins Diet; 30 million people are on the Atkins Diet. I’m going to you face-to-face and the best that you can do is yell at me? Like, I’m going to lose weight because you’re ashamed of me or like you’re shaming me into losing weight? Like I don’t have enough motivation? I had fitness trainers at six in the morning. I would wake up with fitness trainers.

The important message with me is that I was a disciplined, hardworking person and I think that’s true of most people that gain weight. We have this stereotype, you know, where people are weak and lazy.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: But that’s not the case. What happens, I discovered, is there’s like this switch that goes off in your body where there’s the feedback regulating mechanisms that naturally regulate your body weight get completely out of whack and you have this unregulated mechanism where you just keep gaining and gaining and you’re hungry all the time.

And so, yeah, I would go on these diets, but at 11 o’clock at night if I didn’t have my carbs, you know, donuts, pizzas, whatever, I couldn’t sleep. So, then I’d have to eat that.

So, you know, this thing goes on and it’s not about being weak or lazy or undisciplined or trying hard or any of these things. And you go to the doctor and he goes, “Well, you should just eat less.”

And I remember walking into so many different doctors’ offices and they’d just look at me and they’d just give me this look, like, you know, “Oh, this guy doesn’t care about himself.”

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, as if you don’t care, yeah.

Jon Gabriel: Yeah. “Oh, well, you should just eat less.” And that’s what doctors are saying.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: It is kindergarten medicine. It flies in the face of hormonal molecular biology as we understand it today; it flies in the face of it. There is switch that goes off. I lived through it.

So, when I recognized, and the turning point for me was in 2001 I realized that for whatever reason, my body wanted to be fat and as long as it wanted to be fat there was nothing I could do to stop it. And I stopped dieting. I stopped this whole craziness and I just started researching everything I could about the hormones and the biology of weight. And I had a solid foundation in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania because I’d gone to the Wharton School of Business, but I wanted to be a doctor too, so I took all the pre-med courses of organic chemistry, molecular biology and all these.

So, I had enough of a foundation to read the researchers’ reports and make sense of it. And I studied and studied and I realized there were a lot of components to it. The biggest thing I studied was stress and the hormonal biology and the biochemistry of stress and what I discovered is that stress sometimes causes the exact same chemistry as a famine.

So, if you were in a famine you would have certain changes in your chemistry. So, your triglycerides would elevate and your cortisol levels would elevate. Certain proinflammatory cytokines would elevate and all these things are the exact same things that happen when you’re in a famine and you’re chronically hungry all the time. And what it is, is a signal to your brain that you’re in a famine.

So, what happens is your brain gets tricked by other stresses into activating the famine mechanism and it becomes this unregulated thing. Because if you were, if you were in a famine in real life you’d have all these stresses. Your brain would go, “Oh, we’re in a famine and we need to eat and eat and eat.” Then you’d eat and you wouldn’t be in a famine anymore. You wouldn’t have the stress anymore and you wouldn’t be signaled anymore.

But if the stress is coming from something other than a famine, but it’s causing the same biology as the famine …

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right.

Jon Gabriel: It’s like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Like, I once saw this National Geography thing with these sharks and this shark had had its belly cut open and its intestines were coming out, but it was a feeding frenzy, and the shark was eating its own intestines. So, it’s like, you know like, one side doesn’t …

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: You know, it’s like one part of your brain doesn’t know what the other part is doing, you know. And this is what people are living through. They’re living through this situation where one part of the brain is not responding properly to outside stresses.

So, what I started to do was look at all the different stresses that can cause this trigger to go off. And so, it turns out there’s a number of stresses and that’s what we published in The Gabriel Method. And some of them are physical and some of them are emotional.

So, if you’re in chronic emotional stress all the time, you’re pumping out proinflammatory cytokine cortisol, the same way you were in a famine in certain instances, not for everybody and we can talk about that, but for certain people it’s the same.

If your digestion is off and you’ve got leaky gut, you’re pumping out proinflamm; you’re pumping out toxins into your bloodstream, which is activating your immune system and causing a low-grade chronic inflammatory XXtechnical glitchXX [:12:40.0] it’s the same as famine. If your triglycerides are elevated because of certain processed foods you’re eating, it’s the same as famine.

So, the key is to change your biology so that your brain is not whacked out anymore and getting miscommunication. And then what happens (and this is what happen for me and this is what happens with the people we work with) it’s like imagine this scenario: You’ve got 200 pounds of excess weight on you. Your brain, because it’s whacked out because of the chemistry, thinks you have zero fat, right? So, you’re eating and eating and eating. And this is what’s going on with people. And then all of a sudden one day imagine you wake up and your brain is getting an accurate assessment of how much weight you have on you and your brain says, “Oh my God, we’ve got 200 pounds of excess weight. This is crazy!” And then what happens is you just start losing weight like crazy. So, I just stopped being hungry.

What I did is, I moved to western Australia. I started growing my own food. I started meditating. I started visualizing. I started taking lots of probiotics and digestive enzymes. Taking super greens with protein powers and smoothies and all this kind of stuff. And all of the stresses that were causing this went away and the weight started to melt off me and I wasn’t even trying to lose weight at that point. I just couldn’t; I just had given up on life kind of.

In my job, I couldn’t work anymore. I was just totally at a breaking point and I just wanted to take care of myself for a little while.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: But the weight started to melt off of me. Melt off of me. And this is; and then it just totally melted off of me, all of it, and I’ve been the same weight now for ten years and I never, ever diet. It’s just that I know how to take care of the communication mechanism that causes your brain to listen properly to the amount of fat that you have. And that’s what I do when I work with people.

And the most overriding comment that I get from people when I work with them and these are people that have been serial dieting for 30 years and might have 50 or 100 kilos or 200 pounds to lose, they say; they go, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m just not that hungry anymore. You know, you tell me to eat a good breakfast. I can’t eat a good breakfast and I’m not hungry after lunch. Should I still eat every two hours?” No! You have changed. You’ve got it. Your chemistry has changed. Let your body lose weight. Let your body do the accounting now. Your body is your own best friend right now. Let it lose weight.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: Get your body to want to be thin; you lose weight sustainably.

Stuart Cooke: Fascinating.

Guy Lawrence: Did you have to reach a finite tipping point? Like a breaking point? Because we find that with many people that it’s almost like something has to become unbearable and then they snap.

Jon Gabriel: It’s like a perfect storm. It was like a perfect storm for me.

So, I was at 400 pounds. I was working three jobs on Wall Street, you know, I was running three companies on Wall Street and so I was working around the clock. So, one of them was a; just a brokerage company that had 16 brokers working for me. Another one was a startup online company and another one was an online overnight trading company. So, I was getting up every two hours to check the markets.

So, this was what I was doing. I was just racing and racing and racing, but at the same time carrying 200 extra pounds on me.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: So, I felt like I couldn’t go any further. Then I was almost on one of the planes that crashed in XX2011 – misspoke. Edit? 0:15:34.000XX and I just said, “I’m on borrowed time right now. I almost died. Life’s giving me a second chance and here I am killing myself. I’m just going to take a step back.”

And I sold my business. I moved to western Australia. I bought a piece of land. On 12 acres I started growing my own food and I just started living day-to-day. I figured; okay, it didn’t cost me much to buy the property, because currency was real strong for the U.S. dollar back then; this was some time ago. And property prices were really, really cheap in western Australia back then. So, it cost me; it cost me almost; it cost me $75,000, something like that, to buy this property.

You know, it was like; and I just; I said, “Okay. I have a place to live and I have some food, because it’s growing outside. So, today’s taken care of.” And I started living just one day at a time, saying, “Okay. I have a place to stay.” And as I was saying; I used to say to myself, “Okay. Air is free. I have a place to stay.”

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: “And I have food and water. So, today is taken care of.” And that was how I lived my life. And as I was doing that, it just; I didn’t; I wasn’t even trying. I still had; like I still would buy chocolate, eat pizza and all things that you can’t eat because they’ve got fructose and they’ve got; they’re insulin resisting. You know, all the things, but I still ate them and I was losing weight. And then eventually I lost my cravings for them entirely, because my body just kept going healthier and healthier. But it came from a very organic place.

So, when I tell people I lost weight without dieting, they’re like, “Oh, I bet if you measured your calories…” I’m, like, I didn’t measure my calories. I started; my body wanted to let go of weight, I started being less hungry and started craving healthier foods. Eventually I started having enough energy to exercise and so I started riding my bike.

You know, it just all happened from a very organic place by taking care of the chemistry that communicates your brain to your body.

Guy Lawrence: Wow. So, another question that popped in. So, for anyone listening to this who is struggling to lose weight and, “I’ve tried everything,” you know. Where would be the best place to start for them?

Jon Gabriel: So, the first thing you have to understand is that there’s reasons, there’s certain reasons why your body wants to hold on to weight. It comes from a confusion of survive; it comes from your body accidently activating a survival program. So, holding onto weight is a survival program. It protects us against famines when we’re living outdoors. And our body has a switch that activates that survival program. The stresses in your life can trip that switch.

So, the first place to look when you’re trying to lose weight isn’t necessarily how many cupcakes you’re having or any of these other things or how often you’re exercising; those things come into play, but the first thing to do is look and say, “What is the stresses (stress or stresses or stressors) that are tricking my body into activating this fat program?” That’s the first place you have to look.

So, it could be your digestion. And the way that; the clues to that are: “When did I start gaining weight?” So, sometimes people tell me, and I deal with people that have had serious, serious weight issues, lifetime weight issues. They tell me it all started when, for example, God forbid, they were abused as a kid, right? And that’s a trauma that causes stress. It causes chemistry.

Now, if you don’t relieve that trauma and make your body feel like you’re in a safe place, then dieting isn’t going to work. Because as soon as you lose a little bit of weight your body’s going to be like, “Well, no, we need that weight.” It’s a protection, you know, so you have to deal with that.

It could have been when you had a nasal infection. You started taking antibiotics. And then if you look at that and so you took antibiotics for a month or whatever, your friendly bacteria is destroyed. So, if your friendly bacteria is destroyed, that causes an inflammatory stress in your body. So, now we have to heal your digestion.

It could be that you just have too many toxins in your body and you need to detoxify. It could be you’re not sleeping well; you have sleep apnea. That’s a really big one.

You know, one thing we think; you know, you take a guy who’s three, four hundred pounds, work him real hard and he’s trying to exercise; he’s exhausted, he’s trying to eat well and you’re trying; and he goes to a fitness trainer or doctor or whatever and then they say, “Well, you need to exercise more. You need to exercise seven days a week.”

Well, really what he needs to do is sleep. And he’s not sleeping because he has sleep apnea. Because the weight of his neck is choking off his, you know, his windpipe, so he’s not getting into a deep sleep.

Guy Lawrence: Wow.

Stuart Cooke: Right.

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Jon Gabriel: That’s causing a chronic low-grade stress. It’s activating his inflammatory hormones and also his cortisol levels and that’s activating this fat program. He needs to get a CPAP machine to learn how to sleep.

If you’re chronically stressed all the time, he needs to learn how to meditate. If you’ve been emotionally abused you need to work through that emotional abuse.

So, you need to focus on the root issue. And the key to finding the root issue is always going back to finding the trigger of “when I started gaining weight?”

So, when you go back there, it’s the first thing I always ask people, “When did you start gaining weight?” and we talk about that. I don’t talk about what they’re eating. I don’t care what they’re eating.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: I want to find out when they started gaining weight. “When I started having kids. When I was in a divorce. When I got married. When my parents separated. When I started working on Wall Street.” Whatever the thing is, we need to go to there. We need to work through that.

So, the first place you always have to look is: what is the trigger, because there’s always a trigger, that’s causing this miscommunication with your body.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah that’s fantastic advice, mate. It’s so difficult to get our message through. Like, you know I worked as a fitness trainer for ten years and that’s why we started 180. Because, you know, I wanted to try and put out the beliefs out there. What I truly felt to be doing including, like, these podcasts and stuff. But when you’ve got; when you’re getting bombarded by the calorie in/calorie out, the diet message like you’re saying “flogging yourself” harder and harder at the gym and sleep comes into the problem. It’s really hard to cut through all that nonsense.

Jon Gabriel: When I work with my coaching people, I’ll work with people that have had a lifetime of weight issues and they feel like they’re failures. They feel like they’re sabotaging. But it’s not any of those things. The approach has failed them. The irresponsible way that we’ve looked at the data that’s out there and analyzed it and our lack of ability to respond to the current; to the new information, is what’s failing them. Not themselves.

So, I will talk; there are people that I have worked with, where I say, “I do not want to talk about food or exercise.” For months, we’ll go three months and then I’ll say, “Okay, now let’s talk about food.” And then we’ll do that for a couple of months and then I’ll say, “Okay, now let’s talk about exercise.” And we’ll do that for a couple of months and then I’ll say, “Okay, now you’re in a situation where you can expect to lose weight.” And they go: Poof! 80 pounds gone within two months. Boom! And stays off. Stays off!

Guy Lawrence: Incredible.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. It’s amazing.

Jon Gabriel: It’s the exact opposite of the diet. So, a diet, you lose weight real quick; 20 pounds in 20 days. And then your metabolism slows. You further activate that famine response, which was already activated for some other stress, right? So, you further activate that. You go to war with your body. You’re fighting cravings all the time. And boom! You gain it back.

This, maybe you’ll do this groundwork, you know. I call it; you pay it forward. You do this groundwork to get to reverse the insulin resistance, the leptin resistance, the inflammation, the cortisol, the mindset, the nutrition. You do all these things in reverse and then you just go, poof! And the weight starts falling off.

And for me, too, when I lost the weight and kept it off; I didn’t lose weight quickly in the beginning, I lost weight really slowly and then it started to speed up and at the end I was losing weight like crazy, because my body became very efficient at burning fat. All the issues were gone. The weight wanted to let go. I had so much energy to exercise and it just; it was like this accelerated thing and that’s what happens with the people that we work with, it’s the exact opposite.

There’s this transition period, where you’ve got to do the work and then poof! The weight falls off.

Stuart Cooke: It’s amazing, because I think the majority of people immediately would assume that, “Well, I have to eat less.”

Jon Gabriel: Right.

Stuart Cooke: And then given what you’ve been telling us that would put enough stress on your body. Just the sheer worry about not knowing …

Jon Gabriel: It’s not just the worry. Think about this for a second. So, remember I said that sometimes the stresses in your life trick your brain into activating the famine response, right?

So, picture this scenario. You’re worried about making ends meet or your digestion is messed up, you’re not getting sleep; whatever it is. But you’ve got stress hormones that are communicating to your brain, your survival brain, not your conscious brain, but your survival brain, which is what’s in charge, that you’re in a famine, right?

So, your brain thinks you’re in a famine and then you go on a diet. What happens? You’re already; your brain already thinks you’re in famine and now you’re in a real famine …

Stuart Cooke: That’s right. Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: … and then you go to war with your body. And that’s why diets don’t work. There’s an inherent conflict of interest, because you’re not working with your body.

So, I’ll give you a perfect example of eating less with someone I just talked to just yesterday. So, we’d been working together for a few months and she says to me, “You know, I’m just not hungry. After lunch, I’m just not hungry anymore and I’m losing weight.” Is what she says and for a long time and she goes, “And something weird is happening. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. But if I do eat at night, I know I’m not that hungry, but if I do eat a certain amount or whatever, I start getting really hot and I sweat and I don’t know what’s wrong.” And I said, “Your body doesn’t want weight right now, which is why you’re not hungry.”

So, yeah, you have to eat less but you’ve got to want your body to want that so your body’s not hungry. Your body wants to lose weight, so you’re not hungry. And if you do eat, your metabolism speeds up so that you burn that food before you go to sleep. That’s what’s happening.

Stuart Cooke: Unbelievable.

Jon Gabriel: Your body just doesn’t want the weight anymore. That’s the way you lose weight sustainably. Get your body to not want the weight anymore.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: Brilliant. Fantastic. Tell us a little bit about meditation, because you touched on it earlier. Is that like an integral part of stress management?

Jon Gabriel: Yeah. So, meditation and also what I call “visualization,” which to me is targeted meditation, is really, really important and so incredibly useful, because it rewires your brain chemistry so that you’re not pumping out stress hormones all the time.

So, if you look at the way brain chemistry works, the more you do something, the more it reinforces the signal so you’re going to do it more. That’s how habits are created. But thoughts are the same.

So, if you’re thinking fearful thoughts all day, what’s happening is there’s a signal going to the limbic part of your brain, activating a part of your brain called the amygdala, which is the seed of aggression and fear, which then pumps out inflammatory hormones and stress hormones. And so, what’s happening is the more you do that the more it gets reinforced.

So, you’ve got this unregulated feedback thing that’s pumping out stress, causing stressful thoughts. Pumping out stress, causing stressful thoughts. And if you were to actually trace the chemistry of that part of your brain, it becomes a stress-producing factory or a stress hormone-producing factory, which basically is like taking a weight loss drug all day. It’s like, if you were inter. . . Or a weight gain drug.

So, if you were intravenously tied to a weight hormone that causes you to gain weight and it’s pumping into you all day, you’re just going to get heavier and heavier. This is what’s happening with people.

So, how do you break that?

Well, when you meditate, even though if you’re only mediating only for like ten minutes a day, you start activating, creating inroads to activating areas that make you feel safe and relaxed and connected. And it’s not just for those ten minutes. It’s for the whole; it’s for the rest of the day and then evidently over time, it becomes all the time.

So, it’s just like the same as if you were to work out 20 minutes, three times a week, you’d be stronger all the time. Not just when you’re working out. If you meditate every morning for 10, 20 minutes, you then change your chemistry all day so that you’re not producing those stress hormones.

Guy Lawrence: Okay.

Jon Gabriel: So, that’s really, really powerful. And then when you use visualization, you actually get your mind and body to communicate. So, anything you imagine doing; if you imagine the weight melting off your body, if you imagine yourself craving healthy live fruit or going to the gym or doing well at business or any of these things. When you’re in that meditative state, your mind is very powerful and you become much more able to achieve your goals.

And by achieving your goals, not just weight loss goals, but other goals, sometimes it helps with weight loss too, because if you’re worried about finances, for example, and you’re able to use visualization to help improve your business and to have a good meeting and be successful, then you’re not worried anymore. There’s less stress and the weight comes off.

If you imagine yourself eating healthy foods, then you’re more likely to eat them. If you imagine yourself going to the gym, you’re more likely to do it. Many studies have shown that when you practice, rehearse mentally something, especially when you’re in a meditative state; you’re going to do it. It’s how you create habits.

So, we’ve incorporated meditation and visualization. That’s like the framework to get your mind and body to work together.

Guy Lawrence: So, just for people to visualize it …

Jon Gabriel: Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: …you know, I’m thinking meditation is almost like a pressure cooker scenario, where you’re releasing the lid off it and allowing pressure to come.

Jon Gabriel: That’s one way to look at it. I would also look at it as it’s also creating a different connection so that you never even go into that pressure cooker.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: So, on the one hand you’re letting off the pressure, but you’re also connecting in another way so that you’re never even creating the pressure.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, perfect.

Jon Gabriel: So, like, you’re waiting in a bank line, right? And you’re late for work and you get to this; you’re pumping out stress hormones. But what you find, if you do meditate on a regular basis, is you’re not doing that anymore. You’re late for work or whatever, you recognize, “Look, I’m in a line. I’m going to be to work. I’m going to explain this to my boss. There’s nothing I can do about it now.” You don’t have that pressure any more. You give into the outside world, maybe doing whatever it’s doing.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah and you’re in the moment. So, with meditation, Jon, it’s a word that I hear get flung around a lot, and visualization and it’s something that I’ve always grappled with, as well. There’s things I grasp and just run with, you know, in areas of my life and I probably speak for Stu as well. So, for people listening to this, and I know a lot of people that fall in and out of meditation constantly, you know, as in they’ll do it for a week and then they don’t do it for six months. And then all of a sudden it builds up, you know. What would be; like if you could give three tips, like, what would be the simplest way for …

Jon Gabriel: So, I’ll tell you how I started and I get every…

Guy Lawrence: Okay, perfect.

Jon Gabriel: You want; the key is you want to become addicted to it. But there’s a lot, there’s a long road to get there, right? So, what I did was I listened to a meditation every day. It was a 20-minute meditation. I listened to it every day for about two years. Eventually, I would get; when I started doing the meditation I would just get this incredible bliss and relaxation, like, you’re sitting there and you’re not fidgeting anymore, And you’re not trying; like most people; that’s the other thing, it’s very paradoxical in the sense that if you try to concentrate you actually take yourself out of the meditation. Do you see what I’m saying?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: So, its like, you know, it’s like they teach you in martial arts, if you’re tense and you’re using muscle, you’re not going to be as effective as if you’re relaxed and you have sensitivity and you can move fast and you can think clearly. It’s the exact; as soon as you start trying you get discouraged, you get out of the meditation, and then you give up.

So, what I tell people, I’ve created seven- to ten-minute visualizations. It couldn’t be easier. They’re seven to ten minutes long. I say you have it all set up in your room. You do it as soon as you wake up.

So, you wake up. You don’t check Facebook and then do the meditation. You wake up. You press the button. You close your eyes. And the most important thing is, you let your mind wander. You don’t try to get; so if I say, “Imagine the weight melting off. Imagine yourself.” You don’t try. You just let your mind wander and you just sit there for the ten minutes or seven minutes.

Because what happen eventually; number one: you don’t give up, because you’re not getting discouraged. You’re not thinking, “It’s not working, my mind’s wandering.”

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: You’re not trying. You’re not taking yourself out of the meditation. But something takes over where all of a sudden you’re, you know, your mind’s going “mee-mee-mee-mee-mee,” then all of a sudden you go “meep” and you are there. And it feels; it’s just like, you know, if you think about it all the best experiences you can have are experiences when you’re just there; your mind isn’t doing it.

So, if you’re getting the best message in the world, you might start out, your message therapist is saying, “How’s your day? Blah, blah, blah.” “Oh, yeah, blah, blah, blah.” Then all of a sudden, you know, 20 minutes into it, she’s working on your back and your shoulders, and you’re just like “ah…”, right? Your mind’s not wandering.

You know, if you’re making love and it’s amazing, “ah…” Your mind’s not wandering. Like if you’re having; like if you’re sky diving or skiing or snowboarding …

Guy Lawrence: Surfing. I think of surfing.

Jon Gabriel: …surfing, your mind’s not wandering, right? You’re watching the best sports event, you know, it’s 30 seconds left; your mind’s not wandering. You’re just right there.

So, every great experience that you have across the board has one thing in common. You are just right there. And what happens, you can’t create it with meditation, but it creates you. It takes you over.

You don’t ever know when it’s going to happen and I’ve been mediating for years now and I never know when it’s going to happen. I’m always surprised every time. It’s like “mee mee mee mee mee and tomorrow I’ve got to call this guy” and all of a sudden I go. . .

Stuart Cooke: Boom.

Jon Gabriel: And you’re like; it’s like you’re plugged in.

Do you remember Star Wars; the first Star Wars episode?

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: And C3PO? I don’t know if remember, like in the video he goes, …

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: “If you don’t mind sir, I’ll just turn off.” And he just goes …

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: That’s what it is. It’s like you go “whoop.” And you just; it’s almost like, you feel like you’re being plugged into a source of energy. Where you’re just energized and focused and you feel it and then it permeates your day where you feel this bliss, you know, all throughout the day. And then you’re hooked.

Stuart Cooke: I hope I can work at that. I’ll have to work at that. For me, I liken it to looking at a TV shop with 20 different TVs and they’re all playing different stations. And I’m looking here and here and here. All these conservations coming in, so I need to …

Jon Gabriel: Yeah. All right. But listen to your languaging. You say, “I have to work at that.” And even that is going to take you out of meditation. So, rather than say, “I have to work at that.” just say, “I’m going to listen to that every morning.”

Stuart Cooke: Right.

Jon Gabriel: Just press the button every morning.

So, I take; when I work with people, I take that feeling of that activity out of it. So, all you have to do is press the button every morning. Even if you’re just lying in bed, it’s best if you’re sitting up, but you just press the button every morning until once you become hooked you’re; that’s it. You never have to worry again, because you’re going to do it.

Like I don’t have to go, “Ah…” Like, if with yoga, for example, I have to go, “Ah, I’ve got to do yoga.” You know.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: But there’s some people that are hooked on yoga. You know, they’re going to do their two hours in the morning, because they love it and I’ve never getting that. I will never get to that place. I hate it, hate it, hate it and it’s just that it.

But you can get to that place with meditation. Where, like, for me, I’m hooked. I don’t have to think, “Ah, I have to meditate today.” I sit up and it just comes in and then you’re just; you have this ability to focus and imagine how your day’s going to work out. And you find this correlation between what you imagine happening and what happens in real life. It’s just uncanny.

When you’re, like, a business meeting, you want to do really well. You imagine it and all this light coming out and people just spellbound and it happens. It’s just a cause and effect relationship that’s unreal.

So, it’s like this mechanism. You imagine the weight melting off your body and it happens.

And you know for me I imagined myself, when I was 400 pounds. If you’ve ever seen my before and after pictures, I imagined myself with tight skin and stomach muscles. And everybody thinks those pictures are PhotoShopped. I even; I went back to the lady that took them, just recently we created another video, where we videoed me getting pictures again and had her swear that they weren’t Photo. . . They’re not PhotoShopped.

Like, there’s probably a lot of reasons why that happened, but one of them was, I imagine; really, really, really focused and just tight, healthy and it just, it happened. You know, and I just, I don’t know how much of that is in the mind, but I don’t want to discount the mind either. Because I think the mind is so much powerful than we can even imagine.

We can even, you know, there’s studies with the mind right now, where they did this placebo study with cancer patients, right? Where they wanted to test a form of chemotherapy. So, one group got the real chemotherapy and one group didn’t get chemotherapy, but they thought they got chemotherapy. The group that didn’t get chemotherapy, but thought they got chemotherapy, 30 percent of them lost their hair.

Stuart Cooke: Oh boy, oh boy.

Guy Lawrence: Wow!

Jon Gabriel: 30 percent! We didn’t, we have no idea how powerful our minds are.

Stuart Cooke: It’s hugely powerful, isn’t it. It’s unbelievable.

Jon Gabriel: And everybody’s, nobody’s looking at that. And I’m like why are we not looking at this? But when you apply it the other way, rather than getting you, tricking you into losing your hair, you can apply it the other way into getting you to be thin and fit and successful. And so, that’s what we do with our meditations and our visualizations, is we apply that power in the right direction.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Jon, listening to you just makes me want to do it. You know, like it’s phenomenal.

So, again for anyone listening to this and going, “Well, I’m going to have a crack at this.” and they’ve not done it before. What would be a good amount of time to start with to make it a habit? So, I remember you saying to once, “make it a habit first,” right?

Jon Gabriel: Five to seven minutes. So, but you need; I suggest you need to; you listen to something. Like, we have, we have lots of visualizations that are seven minutes long. Just keep listening to it until you become addicted to it until you can feel the energy, because you feel the vibration, because you feel the calmness and you can feel why it’s working. And that can take six months to a year and then you’re like, “Oh, I get this. I really, really get this. I see why I can’t wait to do this again.”

When you’re there, you do it on your own. But until then, press the button. Don’t work at it. Don’t try. But just press the button every day. Make a commitment to pressing the button first and just sitting there for seven minutes every single day until you become addicted.

And believe me, it’s easier than becoming addicted to yoga, because you don’t have to do anything but sit. You just sit instead of feeling that intense pain that you …

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Well, what we can do, like, if you’ve got visualization techniques for people that we can link to the show notes for this so when they listen to this they can come and check it out.

Jon Gabriel: We have some free visualizations, you know, on our site and we have; we’ve got a support group with 40 visualizations in there …

Guy Lawrence: Wow.

Jon Gabriel: … that, you know, I keep making new ones and that you can join and have a; you can join for free for 30 days. So you can literally, you can join this support group for free and download all 40 visualizations and then cancel the next day.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: You know, like, we want to give these out. I want the world to; I want people; I feel like it’s a blessing to, for me and I wouldn’t be able to do what I did unless I, this happened to me where I became addicted to this; to mediating and visualizing in it. I just want that for the rest of the world you know.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Brilliant.

Stuart Cooke: I had a question now to shift this over to about parents and children.

Jon Gabriel: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Because I’m a dad myself and I take my girls to school every day and I have noticed that there are kids now that are carrying a lot of weight and parents are looking frazzled as well. You know, they’re plugged into the grind.

Jon Gabriel: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Any particular strategies for the parent perhaps who are struggling?

Jon Gabriel: Well, you know we wrote a book. I wrote a book with a pediatrician, named Patricia Riba, named “Fit Kids”. Specifically, I’m the Gabriel Method to kids.

But it’s the same thing. You’ve got to look at causing the chronic low-grade inflammatory stress that’s causing them to gain weight.

So, let’s talk about some of the things. Kids have stresses in school. They have bullying in school. There’s abuse that goes on. There’s nutritional depletion. So, the foods that we’re eating are so full of; so devoid of nutrition that they’re getting nutritionally deplete. And of course, all the chemical changes that take place when you eat all the junk food, that’s a big deal.

The toxins. There’s so many toxins in our food.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: And toxins can cause you to gain weight; then all the toxins of the medications. We’re living in this culture where it’s just expected that we medicate our kids and there’s something like; there’s something like 70 more vaccinations that we give our kids than we had when we were growing up.

Stuart Cooke: Right

Jon Gabriel: So, including a vaccination for hepatitis the second a kid is born. Why you have to get a vaccination for hepatitis the second someone’s born is beyond my imagination. But if you think about what a vaccination is designed to do; it’s designed to cause you to evoke an inflammatory response.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: That’s what it’s designed to do. Which is fine every once in a while. We did it. We had vaccinations. We had our vaccination schedule for our measles and our whatever. But now you’ve got vaccination schedules for itchy knees, I mean, for anything. You know, 200; some statistic by the time you’re three you’ve had like 70 or 100 vaccinations.

So, if you’re constantly injecting substances into your kid all day long and if you look at the childhood obesity; if you look at a graph of how childhood obesity has grown over, since 1990 when we started accelerating the vaccination schedule, it’s pretty much the same exponential curve as the rate of which vaccinations have grown.

So, I don’t want to just dis vaccinations. That’s a heated discussion. But you need to look at the inflammatory consciences from a weight perspective and you need to balance how that’s going; how frequently you have them and do you need every single one of them always.

Is everything life-threatening, that you have to do that? And what are the consequences? And so, that’s one thing.

Another is just other medications. Antidepressants can cause you to gain weight. And maybe; and sometimes the answer when you have depression is you don’t have the right gut flora. There’s a lot of studies to show that.

So, we’re not taking care of the gut flora of our kids. We’re pumping them with medications that cause inflammation. We’re giving them food that has no nutrition. They’re in stressful environments. They’re emotionally abused, you know, we all suffer; that’s there too.

So, you need to look at all those different things with the kid and you need to approach it that way. Because if you don’t approach it that way and just say, “Okay, eat less cupcakes.”

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: You get into this situation where the kid feels shame. The kids; it’s a futile effort that’s destined for failure and then it makes the kid feel like a failure.

Stuart Cooke: That’s right.

Jon Gabriel: You’ve got to give the kid a fighting chance by reducing the chemistry that’s causing them to want to eat chronically. You’ve got to nourish them. You’ve got to heal their digestion. Help detoxify their bodies. Help reduce stress.

We do a lot of visualizations for kids that are really good. There’s one called “The Dreaming Tree.” Another one called, “The Magic Carpet Ride.” “The Ride of the Blue Clan.” Cave Clan I think it’s called, something like that. We just have all these different stories that we tell the kids to reduce those things. And you’ve got to look at the medications that you’re putting in you kids and the frequency. And you’ve got to make an informed decision about which ones are the most important and when to do it. You have to be active and proactive with your kids.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Perfect.

Guy Lawrence: Go on, Stu.

Stuart Cooke: What sounds like the key word is “stress.” Whether it be from toxins, you know, the environment. Whether it’s from our gut. You know, everything.

Jon Gabriel: And that’s not what we’re doing. We’re just saying, “Okay, how may calories?” I remember the lady that we wrote this book with, Patricia Riba. She talks about this 4-year-old kid that carries a cup wherever she goes. And it turns out that she does that because the nutritionist said, “Only eat this much food.” So, she has this cup wherever she goes and she’s just this, you know, poor little 4-year-old kid.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: And whose fault is that; that she’s in a situation, we’re putting it on her. Like that she’s eating too much.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: And you, you know, you have to live through it too. So, like, when I was living this thing, where I was hungry, hungry, hungry all the time and now I’m not. You know that you’ve got to get to that place.

You don’t just take a kid who’s hungry all the time and deficient in so many nutrients and so much; and their gut flora is so messed up, and they’re so insulin resistant or leptin resistant that they’re hungry all the time. You don’t take a kid like that and say, “just eat this much food” and shame them all the time. You’ve got to address the real issues. So irresponsible, because if you look at the research that’s out there; so irresponsible not to be doing that.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, such a huge topic. I mean, do you hold hope for the future, Jon, in the whole?

Jon Gabriel: Yeah, I do, because I see like a convergence of information. I see people, I see people; parents are getting educated.

I mean if I look at my support group, we’ve got a private forum where people may ask stuff and I’ll be; it’s like a Facebook forum. So, I’ll see it on my feed and I’ll think, “Oh, I’ve got to get back to that man to answer that question.” I go back two hours later and there are better answers than I could give. More informed answers.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Jon Gabriel: I thought, okay. These are parents. These are people that had weight issues. These people are very into it. You give people a direction to heal themselves and it starts to work for them. And they’re like, “Screw this, I want to know” and they’re taking their health in their own hands.

So, there’s a convergence and a spreading of people that are taking their health in their own hands and sharing information. And that is hope for the future. That’s real hope.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Fantastic, fantastic.

Mate, we have a few questions we ask everyone on the podcast as we go towards the end and I’m going to bring in one more as well, ask three. But do you; what is your daily routine, like non-negotiable practices that you’ve kind of brought in over the years now?

Jon Gabriel: So, I don’t have many non-negotiable. I meditate every morning; that’s non-negotiable. I won’t start my day without mediating. I do this meditation and as soon as I know I’m ready, I ask for guidance. I ask my higher self to guide me throughout the day and work through me. Once I know I’ve made that connection, because that’s one of the things meditation I feel does is it helps you connect with your higher power. So, that’s non-negotiable. I’m not going to start my day.

So, like if I’ve got to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning to catch a flight, I’m going to wake at 3 o’clock and meditate. I remember, I remember I was, I was with my video editor somewhere and I had to pick him up at 6 o’clock in the morning and I was looking for him and getting lost. So, it was like 6:10, 6:20 and the guy who’s with him said, “You think Jon didn’t wake up? He fell asleep?” He said, “No man. Jon’s been up for three hours. He’s been mediating for three hours”

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: And it was true. I had meditated; I had gotten up hours before and meditated. That’s non-negotiable for me. I love it.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

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Jon Gabriel: I have to do it that. The other thing is I nourish my body. I don’t focus too much on; I don’t have a rhythm of I have to eat breakfast at a certain time or lunch at a certain time or don’t eat this, don’t eat that. But I will have super greens. I will have smoothies. I will have green juices. I’ll have salads. I’ll have sprouts. I’ll have fermented foods. I will eat lots of really nutritious foods and I’ll focus on the adding of those things.

And the other things you can’t eat after a while. You know, when your body gets really, really healthy you cannot eat junk food. And that’s a beautiful place to be, because it’s very different than fighting junk food.

So, those are probably the two non-negotiables. I’m going to do my meditation every day and I’m going to nourish my body really well every day. Those are non-negotiables.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: And what about, we always say, “motion equals emotion” and we love to get off our seats.

Jon Gabriel: Yeah, yeah. So, we didn’t talk about exercise. So, let’s talk about exercise for a moment.

Guy Lawrence: Sure. Go for it.

Jon Gabriel: From the perspective of survival. So, how fat or thin your body wants to be and remember how we talked about how you’ve got this sort of survival program in you to force you to gain weight if you’re in a famine, right? You’ve got another survival program in you that forces you to get thin if your body thinks that you need to be thin in order to be safe. I call it the “get thinner, get eaten” adaptation. And so, let’s imagine, so when you get the theory of it then exercise, how to apply it to exercise, is automatic. It just makes sense.

So, the theory is that if you were; if you want to get; if you were living thousands of years ago in an island, where let’s say where you had all the food in the world. It’s all healthy and real live fruit. You can eat all you want. So, you’re not having a famine, right? So, you don’t have that famine stress saying, “Hey, we need to hold to the weight.” And it’s warm; so you don’t need weight for, to hold on to, you know, protect you from the elements. So, you don’t have those stresses that would make your body want to be fat.

And let’s imagine that you lived outdoors, in the jungle, 10,000 years ago and every couple of times a week tigers would run out and they would chase you. And if you weren’t lightning fast, you were dead, right?

Now, that’s a different stress. It is a stress too, but it’s not a chronic low-grade inflammatory stress. It’s a 30-second life or death stress. That 30-second life or death stress changes your body’s chemistry. It makes you very sensitive to the hormone leptin and you start melting fat, because your body says, “Hang on. Forget about everything. If we’re not thin, we’re dead.”

And so, you can replicate that with exercise. And the way to replicate that with exercise isn’t the traditional 40-minute power walk, seven times a week. Because if you were living outdoors and chased by a bear all of sudden, you wouldn’t got for a 40-minute power walk, right?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: You would run for 10 to 20, 30-second maximum, and you would either be eaten or you were dead.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Yeah.

Jon Gabriel: Now, so, if you apply that to exercise, what works really, really well is, let’s say you’re gone for a 20-minute walk or whatever, walk leisurely and enjoy it. But every once in a while, for just ten seconds, move as fast as humanly possible and imagine you’re being chased by something. It’s life or death. Because your brain doesn’t know, the survival brain doesn’t know there’s been a real or imagined experience. You imagine that, the weight just melts off of you.

And you don’t have to do this. It’s not about calories in/calories out. It’s about getting your body to want to be thin. So, that actual 30 seconds, you’re not burning much calories in that 30 seconds, but the hormonal changes that take place are forever, because your body goes, “Stop everything. If we’re not thin, we’re dead.”

So, that’s the way to apply it and you, and so when I work with people, I say, “Do this a couple of times a week. Two times, three times max. Exercise for a maximum of 10, 20 minutes, but within that period you need the ten seconds all out.”

And so, when you look at also the high intensity types of workouts that they have, they measure the on and the off, so 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off or a minute sprint, minute rest. I don’t care how long you rest. I don’t care about keeping your heart at a minimum heart rate or a fat burning range, I don’t care any of that. I don’t care about fat burning during the exercise. I just care that when you do that ten-second sprint or 20 second, you are life or death. You are all out, because that’s what’s going to create this specific stress that’s going to make your body say, “We need to be thin.” And it’s all about getting your body to want to be thin.

Stuart Cooke: Excellent.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: Perfect.

Guy Lawrence: Mate, we have one more question that we ask everyone on this show. And what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Jon Gabriel: To follow your heart. Because I think there’s a part of us that knows why we’re here and knows our life’s purpose. Knows the future. Knows all of that. It’s communicated through our heart.

And a lot of times we don’t want to listen now, we want to listen to this and it says, “No, no, no. We don’t have time for that. We got other things we’ve got to worry about. Blah, blah, blah.” It’s got all those voices, “I’m going to take care of you, blah, blah, blah.”

But this other voice is going to always push you in the right place at the time. And so I say, whenever you can listen to that voice.

Guy Lawrence: Now, that’s perfect advice and that’s something I can relate to, mate. I think, yeah, fantastic.

Jon Gabriel: Awesome.

Guy Lawrence: Jon thanks so much for it all. So one last thing.

Jon Gabriel: Oh, yeah.

Guy Lawrence: Where can people get more of Jon Gabriel.

Jon Gabriel: Yeah. You just go to TheGabrielMethod.com. So: TheGabrielMethod.com. There’s hundreds of pages of free information and we’re always doing, like, we’re doing a meditation for weight loss challenge coming up and we’ve got all kinds of visualizations you can listen to and podcast information. So, it’s a good place to check out.

Guy Lawrence: Awesome. We’ll link on the show notes as well.

Jon, thank you so much for coming on the show …

Jon Gabriel: My pleasure.

Stuart Cooke: Yes, thank you. A wealth of information and I just cannot wait to share it. Thank you so much.

Jon Gabriel: Excellent.

Guy Lawrence: Good luck to you Jon. Thank you very much.

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How I Prepare for the CrossFit Open: Chad Mackay, the Newbie & the Veteran

CrossFit Open Tips

Guy: With the CrossFit Open underway, we asked three varied competitors perspectives on preparation, recovery and diet over the next 5 weeks. Whether you are CrossFit Regionals competitor or a complete beginner, there’s some great tips here for everyone.

Over to the ‘Unit’, the newbie and the veteran…

Chad Mackay CrossFitThe Unit: Chad Mackay – Crossfit Active

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?

Training and recovery, believe it or not, same deal. I train most days with Patrick Fitzsimmon and he is a good training partner for me as we have different strengths and weaknesses. I tend to do well in the strength/heavy workouts and Pat does well in anything bodyweight related. I think this is a great tip for anyone looking for a training partner, don’t just go looking for someone of the similar body shape / strengths as you – find someone that will challenge you. If I change anything during the Open different to day-to-day training its recovery. If the Open WOD is something overly taxing on the body i’ll spend some extra time recovering, even if the WOD isn’t heavy or even a heap of reps, the exertion that you put your body through in competition is at another level and that sometimes means an extra session for massage, chiro or yoga.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open?

To be honest I try not to change anything all year round. I’ll give myself a treat post Games season with some pizza and ice cream but I feel better when eating clean and tend to keep to that all year round. My diet doesn’t change much day-to-day, read my food diary here it is very similar to what I’ll do most days.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?

Same with my supplements, I stick to my 180 nutrition as my post WOD protein and occasional use for meal replacement if I’m on the run, my PurePharma Fish Oil and I’ve been trying Cell Charge for the past few months which I’m finding to have good results. Just like the diet, I won’t change this through the Open and wouldn’t encourage any athletes to change what they do in training especially for competition. Your body is used to what it goes through during your training, changing something in competition is likely to have adverse affects.

Renee Lynch CrossFit BondiThe Newbie: Renee Lynch - Crossfit Bondi

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?
I’m no professional so I treat the Open workouts like any other workout that pops up throughout the week. You never know what they are going to throw at you, that’s the (exciting?) part. Like any other day if I am sore I will rest the next day or work on my mobility pre and post WOD. A swim in the ocean after training also does the trick.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open?
My diet remains the same all the time. You could label it low-carb high-fat, paleo-ish, sugar-free but for me what it’s really about is eating real food. I make everything from scratch and never go hungry. I have three solid meals a day and don’t really snack. I won’t be changing this during the Open.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?
I generally take magnesium, fish oil and vitamin D. I go through stages of taking Curcumin (turmeric) tablets. You could say it’s a fairly anti-inflammatory concoction I take which is great for when those muscles get sore. I also have two canisters of gelatin, one which mixes straight into a glass of water or a smoothie and one that makes me delicious berry jellies. Gelatin (as I’m sure everyone knows), is so good for joint health and recovery, sleep quality, great source of dietary collagen and helps aid digestion.

Ewan Seaford CrossFit BondiThe Veteran: Ewan Seaford – Crossfit Bare

How do you structure your training & recovery leading up to the open?
I started my specific ‘open’ training towards the end of January, I’ve stopped doing the super heavy sessions and swapped them for more metabolic conditioning and skill sessions. I’ve also moved from 3 on 1 off 2 on 1 off, to 3 on 1 off. My percentage strength gains each year are small, realistically I’m not going to add anything to my max back squat over the next few weeks, whereas by focusing on a weakness I’ll hopefully be able to improve my efficiency of that movement.

Describe your diet, leading up and during the open.
Inspired by some of the 180 podcasts you have broadcasted recently, I’ve seriously upped my fat intake. I’m feeling fantastic for it. Other than that the diet is mainly primal. Lots of vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and some dairy.

What supplements do you use to support you through the open and why?
I won’t be doing anything differently for the open. Now isn’t the time to try something new. The supplements I take are 180 nutrition. The PurePharma range of fish oil and minerals and glutamine. All the supplements in the world won’t help a bad diet. I’ll be paying extra attention to the back of any label to make sure it isn’t supplemented with any nasties.

Guy – Ewan covers more of his lifestyle and training regime here.

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The 3 Biggest Weight Loss Strategy Mistakes

weight loss fad diets

Guy: After working in the health and fitness industry for ten years I can safely say there are a lot of skewed ideas when it comes to what it takes for long-lasting weight loss. Sadly there’s a lot of hype and slick marketing at play that relies on glossy magazine style imagery and quick fixes.

It’s not exactly headline catching titles when the real message is to simply ‘eat real food’ for long lasting health, and then the weight loss will follow. Sadly it’s usually a celebrity endorsed product that promotes a quick sale with cheap products followed by the bog-standard count your calories lark.

So after observing this time and time again I thought I’d write my top 3 worst weight loss strategies that really don’t factor in the most important part; our long term health! So even if this seems common knowledge to you, maybe it’s worth sharing with a friend, as it really could help them if they are doing any of the following…

1. Follow a Low Fat Diet

food myths low fatThis theory sits quite comfortably within the weight loss world. Fats are packed with energy and too much of it will make you fat. You’ll also be in danger of high cholesterol and heart disease… Really? This is so simplistic and quite outdated. We’ve interviewed numerous health leaders around the world and they all say the same thing; Inflammation causes high cholesterol, along with weight gain issues stemming from dysregulated hormonal and digestive systems. I seriously avoid low fat foods as they are usually high in sugar/carbs and will be doing us no favours. Our body truly needs fats. Even our brain is made up of 70% saturated fat, so yes, it needs saturated fat!

I include good quality fats with each meal and have done for years. The last thing I’m worried about these days is weight gain or heart disease. I avoid the man-made fats like vegetable oils and margarines… yes the ones that claim to be ‘healthy’. My suggestion is to do your homework on this topic as it’s super important. Remember, no one is going to look after your health more than yourself. You can start your homework here with these videos. So if you are following a low fat diet to lose weight, maybe it’s time to think again.

2. Eat a Low Calorie Diet

low calorie dietIf you see low calorie claims on a label, beware! Just like the low fat myth, low calorie fits well within the ‘diet’ industry. The amount of people I hear wanting to go on a diet to lose weight is astounding. What they should be saying is ‘I really need to change the food that goes in my mouth’ because restricting the amount of food you eat isn’t the answer. Eating quality healthy whole foods is (including LOTS of good fats with every meal).

Many so called ‘diet’ foods and low calorie claims come packed with crazy ingredients and e-numbers galore. From weight loss shakes to low calorie breakfast bars, it’s a minefield! Do you think this will actually benefit your long-term health? Personally I don’t. From what I’ve witnessed over the years, most people who restrict calories and diet, generally pile the weight back on when they stop. This isn’t sustainable and is also seriously disheartening. Also, many people that use weighing scales don’t factor in muscle mass/loss and also fluid loss/retention. Generally, fad diets work in the short term because the body is measured inaccurately and only tells part of the story. This does not in anyway help with long-term health. If you want to learn why counting calories doesn’t work, click here.

3. Follow a Punishing Exercise Regime

exercise myths running weightlossThanks to TV shows like the Biggest Loser, there is a common belief that you have to follow punishing exercise regimes to lose weight. Whilst I’m a big advocate of daily exercise, the last thing I would do with my clients who wanted to lose weight was push them to the point of breaking. Here’s a few things to consider if you think it’s necessary to be punishing yourself at the bootcamp or in the gym to lose weight.

The more you exercise, the more your appetite increases and the more you eat. So people generally eat more of the bad foods that hinder their weight loss. Increased appetite does not mean a license to eat more bad foods. In fact it’s the opposite. The harder you train, the more you have to look after your body and eat healthy nutritious foods. Exercise is a form of stress and the body must be fed accordingly to enjoy full recovery. Also, over-exercising can cause a stress hormone response including hormones cortisol and epinephrine. This can effect the metabolic system which means yes, weight retention. Also, if your daily diet is wrong, you could be creating an insulin response after every meal. If the body is producing insulin, guess what, you can’t burn body fat, so all those punishing workouts are actually counter productive.

Like I said, I’m all for exercise… and if you want to go hard in your workout… great! But as a standalone weight loss strategy? I’d be looking at the bigger picture.

So the moral of the story? If you truly want great health for life, and lose weight in the process, clean up your diet first. If you are not sure where you should start first, start here and download our free info packed eBook.

Can you think of any others I’ve missed? Do you agree with this? Do you know anyone who is always on a ‘diet’ but struggles with their weight? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below… Guy

 

 

Is Your Brand of Fish Oil Healthy?

After recently chatting to the Baker Boys (full interview below) it appears that some brands of fish oil shine over others. Learn how to put your brand to the test above in this short video clip.

Brothers Michael & Christian Baker are nutritional advisors & professional speakers. They have also collected a massive amount of experience over the years within the supplement industry. They were one of the first guys to setup a major supplement store franchise from the USA here in Australia. Strap yourself in for this one as we dig deep into the world of supplements. Join us and find out what actually goes on in one of the most confusing industries out there!


Full Interview: Insider Knowledge & Truths About the Supplement Industry

downloaditunesIn this episode we talk about:-

  • If supplements actually make you healthy
  • The biggest mistake people make when choosing supplements
  • How to know if your fish oil is any good
  • Why some supplements are simply expensive urine
  • The damaging effects of artificial sweeteners (yes they are in many so called ‘health foods’ & protein powders)
  • The best post exercise supplements to take
  • And much more…

CLICK HERE for all Episodes of 180TV

Learn about the Baker Boys HERE


Truths about supplements transcript

Guy Lawrence: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. Today you’re in for a treat as we dig deep into the truths, or what we feel to be the truths, about the supplement world.
Our special guests today are the Baker Boy Brothers, Michael and Christian Baker. These guys were the first franchisees in Australia of probably one of the largest companies in the world, supplement companies, and they’ve been in the industry a long time. They certainly know their stuff.
They’re in the firing line, if you like, of the end consumer, and, you know, they’ve seen a lot of things. Well, as you can imagine, we had so many burning questions, from supplements to “Do we need them?” to the quality and grade of them, you know, “How effective are they? What ones should we be looking for? What ingredients are in them? Is there anything we should be concerned about?” And what to check when looking for them in general, you know?
There are so many gems of information in here. It’s not funny. I certainly learned a lot from this episode, and I’m sure you will, too. So sit back and enjoy it. You’re in for a treat.

Also, if you are listening to this through iTunes, we’d really appreciate the review. That just helps our rankings and helps us get the word out there as we spread the good message about food and health and what we believe. So, yeah, enjoy!
Guy Lawrence: So, hey, this Guy Lawrence, and I am joined today, as always, with Mr. Stuart Cooke. Hey, Stu.
Stuart Cooke: Hello!
Guy Lawrence: And our special guests today are the Baker Boy Brothers, Michael and Christian Baker. Welcome, lads!
Christian Baker: Thanks for having us.
Guy Lawrence: So, we are on all four corners of Australia: Coogee, Maroubra, Bondi Junction, and Newcastle.
Michael Baker: Yes, nice.
Stuart Cooke: Excellent.
Guy Lawrence: First of all, I wanted to just say, you know, you guys are at the firing line, if you like, of the end consumer in retail and working in the supplement industry a long time. It’s going to be fantastic to get your insights on that today. We’re excited to have you.
Michael Baker: We’re glad to be sharing.
Guy Lawrence: We’ll start with you, Mick. Tell us how long have you been in the industry and how’d it all begin for you lads?
Michael Baker: Sure, well, being the older brother it is appropriate, I guess, that I start. I’m probably about six to eight inches shorter than Christian, but it’s okay. I usually get, when people come into the store, and we’re side-by-side, they usually call Christian the older guy and then I’m his younger brother, but it’s not the case.
I’m the one with the beard here.
Yeah, basically, as far as my memory can go back, I used to come home from school, from high school, year 11 and 12, and see Christian on the lounge playing video games. I was like, “Christian, I just come from the gym. I feel amazing. I’m starting to get muscles and, you know, I really enjoy this. You’ve got to get off your lazy bum and come join me one time.”
And, being the stubborn young brother he is, he would always pretend like he wasn’t even listening, just totally ignored me. And I think after about two years or so of drilling him with this, “You’ve got to get to the gym. You’ve got to get to the gym,” he finally, one day, just joined at the gym and literally went, I think, every single day for a whole year straight. He became obsessed with it.
And that’s pretty much what got us into health and fitness. We then went and did our personal training qualification and dabbled into, you know, nutrition a little bit, but we didn’t really know that much, and then, to the point where we are now, which is being in the industry, the supplement industry, heavily for five years.
It’s been some interesting insights and learnings.
Stuart Cooke: Fantastic.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I can imagine. Did you have any, you know, you’ve been doing it a while now. Obviously, we know you guys well and know the industry pretty well. Did you have any preconceived ideas before starting? Christian?
Christian Baker: Yeah, obviously, being more of a gym background than a nutrition background, at least in the beginning, I didn’t really know what to expect from the supplement side of things other than what I’d seen in magazines, and I had all these ideas of supplements being magic and all this good stuff, so, yeah, I think going into the industry, in terms of the nutritional supplement side, I had really high expectations and a lot of them weren’t met.
I realized certain corners were being cut, certain claims that were being made, a lot of things, yeah, weren’t quite what they seemed.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I know. It’s intriguing, because, obviously, I started out as a fitness trainer ten years ago and, from the outside looking in, is a very different perceived…perception to when you start getting amongst it.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s certainly a big world out there. Say someone ate a balanced diet, okay, so a reasonably healthy, balanced diet. Would they get much benefit from taking supplements?
Michael Baker: I think, absolutely. I guess most people’s idea of a balanced diet, even a healthy person could be shopping at Woolworths or Coles, you know, big name grocery stores, and if you’re buying, whether it be chicken, steak, fish, usually it’s always grain-fed or, you know, soy-fed, or just corn-fed, again, something terrible, which show up inside the animal. They’re also going to pump it with hormones. You guys know this already. It’s shocking what they actually feed the produce.
And then the vegetable side of things, I mean, it’s one thing to eat vegetables, but if they’re not organic, you’re not really going to get much from them, so I think supplements can really fit in well. A probiotic can really come in handy, especially to anyone on hormones. It can help put the good bacteria back into your gut just so you can actually digest these proteins and foods properly.
Stuart Cooke: It’s a good point. I mean, we also say we are what we eat, but we are kind of what our animals eat, as well, and all of that is completely unknown to us.
Christian Baker: If they’re feeding our animals junk food, so, you know, these leftover grains instead of the fresh produce that they’re designed to eat, then what are we eating? We’re eating junk chicken and junk beef.
But, hey, if someone came to me and they had a diet that was spot-on with huge amounts of green veggies, colored veggies, nuts, fruits, grass-fed meats, and all that stuff, in most cases they wouldn’t really need much else, but you find me a person who does that in all of Australia and then you’re not going to find many.
I think everyone can do with a top up of a few extra things on top of what they eat.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, but, you know, from what I’ve seen, and I’m sure you’d be able to highlight this more, there are a lot of people out there that think, you know, no regard indiscriminate to what they eat, if they take a vitamin pill every day or supplement, say, then they’ve given themselves insurance.
Christian Baker: Yeah, exactly. A lot of people like to use it as an excuse to eat crap, because they are using the vitamins for damage control. Which, you could use that strategy if it’s a holiday or something like that, but as a daily strategy, you just can’t, you know, you can’t do that.
And you’ve got to think about that, as well. How many new micronutrients and, on a deeper level, phytonutrients, they’re the tiniest little things, are becoming revealed over these last few years? If you say, “Cool. I’m taking a vitamin instead of eating a bunch of veggies and then we find out there’s something in veggies that we haven’t been putting in the vitamins, then you haven’t been getting that either. So you really don’t know what you’re not getting if you’re not having enough veggies and fruits in real food.
Michael Baker: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, good point.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, from your experience with people walking into the stores every day, you must have seen, like thousands of thousands of thousands of people now. What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when choosing supplements if they, you know, are not under any guidance?
Michael Baker: Personally, I think, and Christian would probably agree, it’s like most things in life, people want things fast. They want fast results and when you say fast, people want to lose weight fast, and it’s…it’s just…we want to pull our hair out sometimes. They come in drinking a juice from a well-known juice company, full of sugar, and we look in their shopping trolley, maybe they’ve got some chips and some white bread in there, and they’re like, “Hey, do you have a fat-burner? I’ve got a wedding coming up in two weeks. What’s the best thing you can get for me?” And, like, they need to lose weight really fast.
We feel like honestly saying to them, but you can’t really say it like this, “Look, you’ve been putting crap in your body for ten years, and you’ve got ten years of damage, and now you want to heal it, you know, fix it within two weeks. It just doesn’t work like that.”
Most people want short-term results. They’re not willing to actually make the proper changes that may happen a lot slower, but they’re going to live a lot longer and benefit from it.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Right. Marketing play, I mean, you know obviously we all work in the industry, marketing plays a lot in that, as well, I think.
Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. well, every supplement claims to be the best out there, and if I went into a store, I could find, you know, a whole range of supplements that do exactly the same thing, but do they vary in grade or quality, or even effectiveness?
Christian Baker: Oh, god, so much. Australia’s got really good laws for protecting consumers when it comes to making sure that we’re having, you know, decent ingredients, safe ingredients.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Christian Baker: But what we don’t regulate, and what I think we really should, is the grade and the quality of ingredients. So, for example, if you get something like zinc, lots of people taking it, there’s about ten, twenty, or thirty forms of zinc. You can take what’s called a zinc chelate or you can take what’s called a zinc gluconate, they’re two different things both providing you with zinc at the end of the day.
Your body can absorb one of them almost entirely, which is the gluconate, but the other one your body can barely absorb at all, and that’s unfortunately more commonly used, because it’s cheaper. If you check the same man taking, you know, a zinc supplement every night, he thinks he’s taking the same amount, but he’s not actually keeping the same amount. His body can’t absorb it.
So, that’s a big concern with where we’re heading in terms of quality of supplements. They’re becoming more varieties out there, but we just don’t have the facts for the quality.
Stuart Cooke: Would it be safe to say that the more I pay the better quality of product I would be getting?
Christian Baker: In most cases, yeah, but…
Guy Lawrence: Not all?
Michael Baker: Depending on the brands. I mean, just, back on that in terms of quality, there’s a lot of products that they’ll have all these claims and everything and then you check the label and there’s what’s called proprietary blend on the back, and it’s so commonly used in the supplement industry, and it’s mainly used in the U.S. where you’ll have this product that’s perfectly branded, has some amazing claims, contains some awesome ingredients, right? XXdistortedXX [0:11:33] The actual doses of the good ingredients versus the lesser ingredients…you have no idea.
Yeah, people are just so used to seeing it, they don’t even question it. Why? Because, it’s like, “We will give you five good ingredients with 20 terrible ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup.”
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right.
Guy Lawrence: What about fish oil? Because fish oil, you know, you see in absolutely every single chemist, stacked mountains of it, you know? What are your thoughts on the grading of fish oil?
Christian Baker: Well, fish oil, for starters, is one of my favorite things. I think it’s somewhat of a controversial topic. Everyone’s got their opinion, but I think, if people are taking fish oil…but, yeah, not all fish oil is created equal. Some people take the extra step of processing it an extra step to keep its freshness. Other people just do the minimum required by the government and that does have an impact.
And even when you open the container and smell it, you can tell. A friend of mine, actually, what she does every time she buys a batch of fish oil is pricks one of the capsules with a pin and, if it’s good quality, it’ll smell a bit fishy. No worries.
But, if it’s bad quality, it’ll smell rancid, and it’ll smell terrible, and you should throw the whole container out, and, unfortunately, most…I’ll save you buying fish oil from a supermarket. You should reconsider that. It’s better to go to a health food store or somewhere that is specializing in fish oil rather than just storing a generic brand on the shelf.
Stuart Cooke: That’s awesome take. You do realize that everybody now is going to be rushing to the kitchen and pricking their little tablets of fish oil. Me included.
Christian Baker: Please do it over the sink and get ready to wash your hands, because…XXdistortedXX [0:13:20]
Michael Baker: It stinks.
Stuart Cooke: That’s good to know. Thank you.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. That’s excellent. If there’s one thing that I’ll spend money on, it’s fish oil. I’ll never, personally, buy from, straight from the shelves like that.
Michael Baker: Which one do you take, Guy?
Guy Lawrence: Hmm?
Michael Baker: Which one do you take? I remember you saying a really high quality one you’re taking once.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I buy, actually, Metagenics fish oil.
Michael Baker: Yeah.
Christian Baker: Good brand.
Guy Lawrence: Moving forward, what’s the biggest misconception then? Like, claims that won’t die, you know, people must be coming in with a perceived idea.
Michael Baker: Really? That’s so tough. I mean, we could talk about carbohydrates. We could talk about getting big quick. I mean, there’s so…
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Big quick’s a good one. I had to deal with that all the time as a personal trainer.
Michael Baker: Yeah.
Christian Baker: You guys would get that all the time with your product.
Stuart Cooke: Yes.
Christian Baker: I think, yeah, there’s so many misconceptions and also things that won’t die, like, such as, don’t take vitamins because it’s expensive year-round, or vitamins don’t work, blah, blah, blah, blah, but the one that’s the most relevant at the moment, just because the fastest growing market of people purchasing protein is not body-builders and fitness freaks, it’s typically normal people who just want to be a little bit healthier and maybe want to lose a little bit of weight and are starting to realize that protein powder is just food. It’s just like chicken or beef. It’s nothing magical, but when they tell their friend to get it, or their friend’s friend or whatever, straight away if they’re a woman or even, a lot of time, with guys, they’ll go, “Oh, my god, I don’t want to take protein, because I’ll get too big.”
I’m like, “Well, I tried to get big for a long time.” So, you know…XXdistortedXX [0:15:08]
Michael Baker: When was the last time you ate chicken? You’re not huge.
Christian Baker: Yeah, exactly. So, like, protein, you don’t see when you go to the supermarket and go to buy a chicken breast, there’s not some big muscley dude on the front, even though chicken breast is the most commonly eaten food by bodybuilders. It’s just protein, and protein powder’s the same.
And I think, over time, it’ll probably get better, but, we got to clear the misconception that protein is for making you huge. Protein is just protein.
Stuart Cooke: Got it.
Michael Baker: You’ve got to get your calories from proteins, carbs, or fat, so, if you want to eat carbs all day and eat plenty of processed carbs and sugars like most people do, you’re going to get fat. You want to eat protein, you’re actually going to probably lose weight, but to try to explain this to the average consumer sometimes takes a good half-an-hour just to do it.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s, I don’t think it’s, it’s certainly not an easy topic to broach, especially when you’re in your shop.
Michael Baker: People have feelings, too, you don’t want break that. If for the last 20 years their great-grandmother taught them to do this, and they’ve got all these ways of eating and living and now, you know, you break their heart. You tell them they can’t have fruit for, you know, fruit for dessert with yogurt before bed, you know, you want to have a lean protein shake instead, they’re like, “What do you mean? Fruit’s good for you. Low calories.”
Stuart Cooke: That’s right, yeah. Nature’s dessert. That’s what we like to call fruit. You mentioned sugars, as well, Mick. Now that brings me on to artificial sweeteners.
Michael Baker: Yeah.
Stuart Cooke: These are to, you know, the general public could be seen as a very good thing, because they reduce the amount of sugar in there which is a great thing, too. You know, are they a good thing, or are they a cause for concern?
Michael Baker: Both Christian and I, fortunately and unfortunately, have asthma, and I mean we’re, I’m 30 now, and I’ve still got asthma. It just hasn’t gone away, but I know, I basically know how to control it. So, for me, it’s mainly environmental and what I’m putting in my body, and you know, from dust and some pet hair, but mainly from putting bad foods in my body.
Like, if I have, right now, if I had a diet Coke and then, maybe, even a protein shake with artificial sweeteners, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. I literally wouldn’t be able take part in this podcast, because my lungs lock up and it’s game over for me.
Like, for many years when Christian and I first went into the industry, we’re like so keen to try everything, so we’re pre-workouts, during workouts, post-workout, bedtime, and like a million different shakes, and we’re taking all the top brand names, but yet, we used to finished a workout, we’d have massive anxiety and we’re like, “Oh my god, why can’t we breathe right now?”
Like, we’re really struggling with our breath, and it was funny enough because of the shakes we were taking. They’re fluff, you know, something called Ace-K, sucralose, sometimes aspartame, all of these hidden nasties that reduce the calories but just really don’t do good to you.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, because, from my understanding, there are still a lot of companies suing them, I mean…
Christian Baker: They’re pathetic.
Michael Baker: A majority.
Christian Baker: Sweeteners, god, they’re such a controversial thing. I think, especially going back to what I said before about the growing market with people trying to be a little bit healthier. You know, a lot of people don’t realize that health and fitness are, in fact, two very different things. You know, you get them both right they’ll complement each other, but if you’re only pursuing one and you’re forgetting about the other, you know, you can get off-track.
Case in point, most people start going to the gym, might even take a protein supplement. They might start eating more chicken and stuff like that, but they won’t back themselves up with extra veggies. They won’t take a greens powder with vitamins in it to offset the protein they’re having, and they wonder why they get sick.
Or maybe they’ll look good, but then their skin won’t look so good, or they’ll have bad breath and all these other things, and they have no idea, because there are so many artificial things, you know, getting put into food and supplements, to reduce calories and to make you in better shape, but not with your health in mind.
One thing I wanted to say about sweeteners is from a vanity point of view, which is probably the best way to get it across to most people, is if you look up any study they’ve done with mainstream sweeteners, especially aspartame sweetener e951 that’s used in diet Coke and diet soft drinks and all those things, in nearly every single study, unanimous across the board, people who drink diet soft drinks eat more calories with their next meal, and usually eat more calories across the board through the whole day.
And it’s like the diet soft drink paradox, because your brain is hardwired to get excited and expect some calories when you give it something sweet. It’s a survival mechanism. And, if you’re having these sweet things, these artificial sweeteners, your brains like, “Okay, cool. Where’s the calories at?” And then it’s waiting, waiting…
“Still no calories? Something’s wrong. We need more calories.” And it keeps telling you to get hungrier and get hungrier until you satisfy that craving, but it’s just all messed up. You can’t trick your brain, and artificial sweeteners, they just mess with the way we work, and there’s so many other bad side effects we could talk about, but that’s one of my main concerns.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and interestingly enough, as well, if somebody is actually having a diet Coke I wonder how conscious they are about their actual, you know, the foods they’re putting in their body, and then the calories that they’re eating more of later are going to be, actually, probably of poor quality, I’d imagine.
Christian Baker: Yeah. Absolutely right.
Guy Lawrence: Escalating the problem. I mean, that’s why 180 started, you know, because, you know, working as a trainer, especially with the people with chronic disease, we couldn’t find a protein supplement without these sort of things in it.
Michael Baker: That’s why we love your protein, because it’s, you take it, you feel awesome after it. Like, you feel like you’ve just had all the nutrients you need. You can go for a run straight after it, whereas the other stuff we used to take, we’d have to like lie down and do deep breaths, like, recover.
Guy Lawrence: And that’s not healthy. I’m just touching on what Christian said, you know, like even from my experience you see a lot of people focusing on their physical appearance and fitness and can look great, but I’d question how healthy they actually really are underneath all that.
Michael Baker: Yeah, Christian and I went to a bodybuilding, a really big bodybuilding event. Last year’s Arnold Classic over in the U.S.
Guy Lawrence: Oh, yeah, that’s right, yeah.
Michael Baker: Yeah, and it was a really great experience, but we could not believe how unhealthy the people were there. Like, it’s meant to be the health and nutrition…
Christian Baker: Industry…
Michael Baker: …industry, but there were people that were in their early 30s, women, that were losing hair, because of who-knows-what they’re putting in their body. You know, just, acne, redness under the eyes, pimples on the back of their delts and their triceps and it was just, stretch marks, yeah, it’s because they were loading up only supplements and then probably some other stuff in the backroom that you don’t know about. They’re not actually eating food. They’re not eating any real food.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, wow. While we’re on the topic of supplements, what are your personal staples? You know, your nutritional supplement routines that you do?
Michael Baker: Christian, you go first. He used to take four to five times as many supplements as me.


Christian Baker: Yeah, how much time do we have?
Guy Lawrence: Cause I know, obviously, quite a few people that work in the industry, and generally the people that work around supplements take more.
Stuart Cooke: That’s right. We can always offer your list, as well, Christian, as a PDF download, if it’s too lengthy.
Christian Baker: Yeah, if it’s a small enough file for download. I used to take a lot of things, and I still like to introduce different things at certain times. I’m very much a human guinea pig, but at the moment I’ve cut myself right down to what I think are, you know, the essentials in terms of my lifestyle, so I take a greens formula, so like powdered vegetables with superfoods antioxidants, all those things, wheat grass, barley grass. I do eat a lot of green veggies and a lot of colored veggies, but I take as well just as backup because I do a lot of exercise.
A multivitamin, as well, even though I’m taking already greens, I will take the vitamin as well. I take fish oil, of course, to help with my joints, but also it does help with skin and also help with fat loss, as well. Protein, but only natural protein, I don’t take any sweeteners, so I take 180. I also take two other different ones, as well, which are natural.
I’ll take branch chain amino acids, which are really good for training and recovery and increasing your strength, but also minimizing any kind of muscle loss, if you’re dieting down, which, at the moment, I’m losing weight, so they’re good, but I do them unflavored which tastes terrible, but, also, because I’m avoiding sweeteners, and that’s the gist of it, but then I add other things for small periods of time.
Like, at the moment, I’m taking zinc, just for a good six weeks or so because we are going into winter, and it does help me with the…
Michael Baker: He just got a girlfriend, as well. He wants to increase his testosterone.
Christian Baker: Yeah, zinc does help with testosterone. In a few days, when you take zinc, so, if you’re a guy, definitely take a zinc.
Guy Lawrence: That is a good tip. What about you, Mick?
Michael Baker: I’m pretty similar to Christian. I do all my daily supplement regime is first thing in the morning it’s the greens powder, then usually about an hour to an hour-and-a-half, I usually go for a big hour walk in the morning. I have a nice shot of double espresso, which is not a supplement, but it’s caffeine in its purest form, and, yeah, with my two main meals I have a multivitamin.
At the moment, I’m taking a bit of olive leaf. It’s olive leaf extract for immune system, because I work quite a bit and I just can’t really afford to get rundown. Training-wise, pretraining I take an unflavored XX?XX [0:25:17] . I take arginine, which is,hands down, the worst tasting supplement on the planet.
Christian Baker: It’s fantastic.
Michael Baker: For pumps and vascularity, but it’s, it tastes like chlorinated pool water with tuna mixed into it.
Stuart Cooke: Nice.
Christian Baker: With a seaweed aftertaste.
Michael Baker: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, so I take XX?XX [0:25:39] and arginine before training. After training, I’ll have coconut water with either 180 or just an unflavored protein that I have, and I’ve got a massive sweet tooth, so I usually have one to two XX?XX [0:25:52] bars a day. Even though, it’s my justification, like, the nice little hit of cacao and all that stuff makes it, makes me feel like I don’t want to go for chocolate bars, so it does the job.
Stuart Cooke: Fantastic. And you guys essentially follow quite a clean diet, as well, don’t you? Devoid of most processed foods?
Christian Baker: Yeah, I think, I don’t get too caught up in exact protocols, like I’ve tried many diets to the letter for a time, just so I can experience it and just kind of take what I want and get rid of what I don’t want.
But, if you had to sum up my diet, it’s pretty much just eating real food, like most of it is real food, real veggies, real fruits, lots of nuts, lots of lean meat. Plenty of fat, too, from good sources, like grass-fed meats, nuts, avocadoes, fish, eggs.
Michael Baker: Are you eating bread these days?
Christian Baker: On the weekend, I’ll have bread, and if I am going to have bread, I’ll have sourdough, because it digests a lot better. Maybe one day a week I’ll have some bread with breakfast or lunch or something like that, because I do like bread, I just don’t want to eat it.
Guy Lawrence: I don’t think I’ve met a person that doesn’t like bread.
Christian Baker: Whoever made bread is a smart man and awesome. Yeah, if you had to match my diet up to an actual diet, I think the closest diet that I eat to would be the Wahls Protocol. Remember Dr. Terry Wahls who you guys interviewed? I’m a massive fan of her, and because her diet works from a fitness point of view as in it helps me train, but it’s centered around health.
Her diet is all about cellular health and giving the body what it needs to regenerate, and I’m a massive fan of that. Even though it takes a lot of effort and a lot of plates of red cabbage…
Christian Baker: The first day that we saw Christian do that, oh, my god, myself and our friend Jeremy was sitting there, all having a steak together, and but Christian had this massive salad bowl full of red cabbage and all this colorful stuff, and we’d finished our steak. We’re pretty much about to just clean and start doing the washing up. Christian hadn’t even started the steak. He’s still eating cabbage.
Christian Baker: I was committed.
Stuart Cooke: Color. Yeah, that’s it. Get some color on your plate. That’s an awesome tip.
Guy Lawrence: What supplements would you recommend, guys, for those that exercise regular? Because I know there have been quite a few, you know…
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, we’re talking, you know, male, female, Joe Public.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, because we get a lot of Cross Fitters, as well, obviously.
Michael Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, your protein just flies out the door, especially Cross Fitters. They are just obsessed with it. I guess it gives them the perfect blend of healthy fats, some nice quality carbohydrates, really good quality protein, no sweeteners, no fillers or anything. So, I mean, that’s, yeah, your 180 protein is like the perfect protein.
Even for women that come in for weight loss. I still recommend it to them, because I’m like, “Look, you’re not going to have cravings. You’re going to get some healthy fats. Yes, fats are good for you. Slow release carbs. A good quality protein. Instead of having your…”
You know, actually, I won’t say the full title, it’s called Celebrity something, I mean, you get it from my words, and I was, I just said, “Okay, do you actually understand what’s in there? You’ve got vegetable oil. You’ve got soy protein, and you’ve got first ingredient skim milk powder, and you, just so many terrible ingredients, and it’s 100 percent sugar, as well.
So then I, you know, switched her over to the 180. Showed her that it’s actually whole foods and not fillers, and, yeah, so, she’s going to be loving it.
Stuart Cooke: Will you recommend like a general multivitamin, as well, to accompany, you know, to accompany their daily lives, as well?
Christian Baker: Yeah, I think, for Joe Public, the average person who wants to be a little bit healthier and who is eating a reasonably good diet, if you follow good diet protocols from Australia which involves a lot of grains, then I would recommend you choose at least either a greens powder, so powder with fruits and veggies and wheat grass, or a strong multivitamin, or you could do both, which is even better, but at least if you start with one of them that’s a good start.
However, unfortunately, with vitamins there’s a huge variance, so please don’t buy any of the ones you see on TV. They seem to put more money into their marketing than they do their research and development. And, if you’re using cheap forms of vitamins like that, you can take the tablets, but your body won’t absorb much of it at all…
[talking over each other]
Christian Baker: Sorry?
Michael Baker: That’s expensive urine right there.
Christian Baker: That’s where the saying comes from. And then, so, yeah, greens or a multivitamin and fish oil, I think that’s a good start for anyone, and if they do that, given that they drink enough water, as well, at least two or three liters a day, like, really, most people don’t do that, that alone is enough to make most people feel significantly healthier.
And most people just don’t buy into that, but literally a few days of doing that consistently, you feel dramatically different, if you haven’t taken those things for a while.
Michael Baker: Getting protein first thing in the morning, if you can do it within a half-hour of waking up, protein as your first meal instead of sugary cereal with some milk, it’s going to help with the blood sugar, their energy, their body fat, metabolism, everything. So, it’s 180 protein first thing in the morning, don’t need to add anything to it. There’s nothing. It’s got everything you need, pretty much for everyone.
Stuart Cooke: Breakfast like a king, I think. That’s the term, isn’t it?
Michael Baker: That’s it.
Stuart Cooke: Mick, you touched on weight-loss shakes, as well. This is a huge can of worms in itself, but what are your thoughts on weight loss shakes, you know, and he marketing that they use out in the High Street?
Michael Baker: Yeah, it’s, first of all, the marketing works, and that’s scary. It does work. Like people like to see labels that say, “Lose weight fast,” or something with “slim” or something…
Christian Baker: If the word toned is on it, women are for it.
Michael Baker: I know. There’s no real definition to “toned.” You can’t go to the gym and get toned. Yeah, it’s, I mean, everyone’s own personal perception, but, yeah, I mean, weight loss shakes, what I would tell to everyone is do your own research to how you can lose weight and then find your own ingredients to make a perfect shake, or go for a 180 shake or something that has got proper whole foods in it.
Like, a typical weight loss shake is not going to make you lose weight. Maybe, you know, for two weeks you might lose weight, because you’re not having calories from other food, but long term, as Christian said before, a lot of them have got the sweeteners in there, so therefore, you’re tricking yourself into not eating other foods and then you’re going to actually going to eat more in the long run.
And then you’re going to put on weight. You’re body’s bacteria, like good bacteria, is not going to be happening. Your gut health is not good. Your liver’s not going to be good. Everything’s going to slowly deteriorate, but the problem is short-term they usually do work, and that’s why people do want them for the quick fix, but it’s just slowly screwing your insides.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it never fails to amaze me the amount of artificial sweeteners in weight loss products that will have a direct link to your gut health or deterioration of gut bacteria, which is the one thing that you really need to regulate your hormones and weight control, as well, so it’s just a…
Christian Baker: Absolutely.
Stuart Cooke: It’s just, it’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s a vicious cycle.
Christian Baker: And, actually, on that point sweetener 950, sorry, sweetener 955, sucralose, was invented by accident when they were all trying to make a pesticide. So, it was originally designed to kill bacteria in microorganisms, so when you take it into your own gut it starts killing the microorganisms, the bacteria, whether they’re good or bad. It doesn’t discriminate.
So, a lot of people experience bloating, poor digestion, and things like that when they’re taking a lot of sweeteners, and that’s often why, because they’re destroying the environment down there.


Guy Lawrence: The reality is of that, as well, if you have been down that path for years and then one day go, “Oh my god, I’ve been doing this to me,” some things you just can’t fix overnight.
Michael Baker: That’s it. Unfortunately not. Yeah, I mean, back on the weight loss shakes sort of things, the best thing you can do, I guess, is grab the product, turn it around, look at the label, try to see that there are no numbers. If you don’t know what the number is, look up the number, and if you don’t understand the ingredients, run, like, do not, do not go for it.
Another ingredient that’s a killer, which is not really related to sports supplements but it’s called MSG, monosodium glutamate, and that, for me, it’s my kryptonite. It just destroys me, because I’ve got and MSG allergy, which is in all Asian food, flavored chips, but it’s in so many different things, and now they hide it under yeast extract, as well.
Guy Lawrence: Is that right?
Michael Baker: Yeah, it’s another hidden thing that’s in so many different ingredients in the supermarket, gravies and soups and…
Stuart Cooke: Flavor enhancer is another generic term for MSG. It really is funny, but I think the great thing about the society that we live in today is that we do have, or most of us have, smartphones, and most of us have access to, you know, so much information, so when we’re out and about we can make these checks instantly.
Michael Baker: Yeah, totally.
Christian Baker: Yeah, and if you Google a lot of ingredients that you don’t understand, it just comes up, and it gives you two or three different alternate names for them and often times, like Mick said with the whole yeast extract thing, it’s, yeah, it’s something that’s a common irritant or problem for a lot of people but it’s disguised under different names.
Like, a lot of people are terrified of trans fat and for good reason, because there’s no justifiable reason to ever eat it, except that it makes the texture of food really good, but that can be called vegetable shortening, so it’s got the word vegetable in it, so you’re like, “Vegetable. Cool.” But shortening is just another long word for fat, and vegetable fat, you know, if you look at, say, olive oil or vegetable oil, it’s always runny and it’s always a liquid, because it’s an unsaturated fat.
If it’s solid, and it’s not a saturated fat, because they’re solid at room temperature, like butter and stuff, but somehow it’s solid, you know it’s been modified, which is what trans fat is. It’s been messed up and hydrogenated.
Guy Lawrence: Hydrogenated, yeah.
Stuart Cooke: I avoid it.
Guy Lawrence: If, for people listening to this, if you were to say what would just like a really simple breakdown, what would you list to say, “Look, just check these in the ingredients. You need to avoid these.” Vegetable oil would definitely be on there for me.
Christian Baker: Yeah, do you mean when looking for supplements or just in food in general?
Guy Lawrence: Probably both. Let’s do supplements first.
Christian Baker: Okay. Well, yeah, I would say, if you can, avoid, well, we’ll go back to Mick’s point with the whole celebrity kind of shakes and weight loss shakes and those things, the ones that are in supermarkets and on TV.
I think, before you even look at those, you should, kind of, make some rules for yourself, which is what we’re going onto now, you know, what to avoid. You should look for certain things that you want and, also, look for things to avoid, and I think the number one things to avoid would be vegetable oil, because there are so many better ways to get healthier fats. Vegetable oil is notorious for inflammation and causing problems.
I would also avoid skim milk powder, because then you know straight away that the brand is using cheap ingredients. You want a protein powder; you don’t want a milk powder. You can milk powder from anywhere and it’s cheap.
Avoid soy protein, because a lot of people can get away with a small amount of soy in their diet, but in its concentrated form soy protein can wreak havoc on both the male and female bodies. It’ll throw estrogen levels really high, cause you to gain fat instead of lose it, and it can, also, cause other hormonal craziness problems, too.
So, yeah, they’re my top three, and then I would say, also, trans fat, of course, which is less common to find in these shakes, but definitely avoid trans fat, which is written either as hydrogenated something, could be palm oil, any kind of oil, or vegetable shortening.
Guy Lawrence: Like the low fat margarine that you see in so many people’s fridge.
Christian Baker: Yeah, if you’re doing margarine, throw that stuff in the bin, please, like seriously.
Michael Baker: Eat butter.
Guy Lawrence: Cholesterol lowered margarine, too. That’s what on the label.
Christian Baker: Margarine is like spreadable plastic. It’s one molecule away from being actual plastic. It’s crazy. It was only invented because there was short supply of butter during the war or something like that, so I don’t know how it even survived after that, but…
Michael Baker: Anything that says fat free or reduced fat is always a worry, because XXtraffic noise drowned his wordsXX [0:39:40] to be safe, but the majority of the time it’s just a no go, because the only way to reduce the fat or to avoid the fat is to put in sugar or sweeteners or something to replace it. So, it’s just, stay clear form that. Full fat is good.
Stuart Cooke: That’s good advice.
Guy Lawrence: Cool. I was just, sorry, I thought he was going to just throw in some in there, Stu. Alright, guys, look, moving on. We kind of covered your diet. Do you have cheat meals, by the way?
Christian Baker: Absolutely.
Michael Baker: You’re kidding. Cheat meals? You’re talking to Christian. Could I please tell them about one of your cheat meals?
Christian Baker: Please do.
Michael Baker: And it may be a few details off.
Christian Baker: Yeah.
Michael Baker: I remember there was a day, not too long ago, Christian had some, I think he made French toast out of croissants…
Christian Baker: Yep.
Michael Baker: As if croissants don’t have enough butter and goodness already. French toast croissants. after he demolished them, probably covered in Nutella and maybe jam and peanut butter, he then proceeded to buy, I think it was the 24-pack of chocolate chip cookies, and a full liter of, it might have been, full cream milk or Cleopatra milk. He poured the milk into a big mixing bowl, poured the 24 cookies into the bowl, crushed them up, and sat there eating them.
Christian Baker: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: How did you feel after that?
Michael Baker: It was like punishment.
Christian Baker: I felt high, like I felt euphoric.
Michael Baker: Were you watching Cross Fit videos while you were doing this?
Christian Baker: Yeah, I was like, “I need the calories.” But, no, it’s, I think cheat meals are very beneficial if you’re doing them right. Like, if you are on a, especially if you’re on a weight loss diet, you’re most likely, if it’s working, then it means you’re eating the kind of calories where your body is losing weight from week to week, and because your body is smart and it doesn’t want to starve to death, it’s eventually going to catch on to the idea that you’re trying to lose weight, and it’s going to try to stop you losing weight, because it doesn’t want to lose weight, because that’s not a good thing from a survival point of view.
So it’s starts to rev your metabolism down, down, down until even the same low-calorie diet won’t burn any more calories, but if you spike your metabolism again, and you give it a whole bunch of food, you go, “Hey, guess what? We’re not starving. There’s lots of food around. You can burn more energy again.” Your metabolism goes up and you’ll burn more fat the next week.
Also, I think it’s a good psychological release, if you feel like, “Oh my god, I can never eat a cookie again, or I can never eat Nutella again,” which Nutella, by the way, is like my favorite thing in the world, if you haven’t noticed. So then it’s a psychological benefit, too, but absolutely it can be abused.
Like, if I did the kind of meal that Mick described, if I did that that every Saturday when I do my cheat meal, I’d probably be really fat. That was, you know, sometimes they’re big like that, sometimes they’re smaller. I’ll go eat, like, smaller for me, so I’ll eat, like, a pizza, and then a Max Brenner dessert, which, for me, that’s a lot for most people, but I can easily do that, like, no worries.
Guy Lawrence: Give it ten years, mate. You’ll a…
Christian Baker: I’m the youngest in this group. I know. But then the next day I’ll be fasting half the day and then I’ll be doing a heavy workout like squats or something, so I burn it off.
Michael Baker: A lot of the time when we do a cheat meal we’ll do it post-workout, so you know we’ve opened up our glycogen, like our muscle receptors are going to put all our glycogen into our muscle. Glycogen being sugar, and other crap, into our muscles, so off putting a lot of the damage.
Guy Lawrence: That’s a really important point, isn’t it?
Christian Baker: Timing is super important. Timing is extremely important.
Michael Baker: Sometimes we’ll take some alpha lipoic acid, as well, to help balance the blood sugar, and we might even have a shot of espresso after to help with gastric empty, to, you know, get all Tim Ferriss style to, you know, make sure you don’t absorb all that food.
Christian Baker: If anyone wants, like, the ultimate way to do cheat meals and minimize the damage and not get as, you know, try not to store much fat from it, or any, check out The 4-hour Body by Tim Ferriss. It’s one of the greatest books ever written on health and fitness, and it’s also hilarious and really fun to read.
Guy Lawrence: Awesome read. Yeah.
Christian Baker: But just one final note on cheat meals, I think it’s not for everyone, like, if from a psychological point of view, I really like doing things in extremes, so I’d rather be super strict and then super crazy, but I’ve got friends who just aren’t into that. They like to, they’re the kind of people who can go to the gym, come home, eat a few cookies with their protein shake, and they use those cookies for good calories, like it goes to their muscles, and then straight away get back on the bandwagon, eat a salad for dinner with chicken. I won’t do that.
If I start with one cookie, it’s going to result in 24 cookies. So I’ll do none, and I’ll do them all on Saturday.
Stuart Cooke: …and then all.
Christian Baker: But, yes, think about your personality and then that’ll kind of help tell you if you are…
Guy Lawrence: Absolutely, and I think body type has a lot to do with it, as well, because I know Stu could have a cheat meal every single meal and not gain an ounce of body fat.
Stuart Cooke: Come on. We put that to the test in Fiji, didn’t we, and it didn’t, and it absolutely worked to treat. I ate 6,000 calories a day for two weeks and lost a kilo-and-a-half.
Michael Baker: What?
Christian Baker: Oh my god. What? You were doing, you were doing, what’s that guy? That awesome guy who’s friends with…
Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Nate Green.
Christian Baker: Nate Green. You were doing his kind of stuff. He’s super ripped.
Michael Baker: That is insane.
Christian Baker: The calories he eats on some of his programs are amazing, and he’s still super lean, so, yeah. Stu is the Aussie Nate Green.
Stuart Cooke: I’m the skinny version of Nate Green. That’s the problem. But, yeah, I think DNA and certainly our genes have a lot to play in the way that our body responds to food, for sure.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. All right. I was just looking at the time, guys. I’ve got a wrap up question, as well, we always ask every week. This has been awesome.
So, I’ll start with you, Mick. What’s the single bet piece of advice you’ve ever been given? And that can be outside of the nutritional world, as well. Anything.
Michael Baker: Oh, put on the spot, okay, off my gut, it’s, I’m going to have to go with my granddad, or our granddad, he’d always say in his broken German accent…He’d always be lecturing us and…
Christian Baker: Do the accent.
Michael Baker: …telling us war stories, and he’d be like, “Michael, whatever someone can do, you can always do better. Never settle for average, you know. If you see someone, you can do it better.”
That was probably, eh, I mean it’s always stuck with me. It’s very basic. You can interpret it how you want, but it’s just like, go learn from the best and do better.
Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. There’s truth in that.
Guy Lawrence: 100 percent. Christian?
Christian Baker: Yeah, no, he’s a great man, and he’s a good immigrant success story, as well. The guy came out from Germany after the war and built himself up in Australia, so we love that guy.
Stuart Cooke: He certainly did it better.
Christian Baker: Yeah, no, he did a great job, and he’s still around. One, my favorite piece of advice is one that Mick and I both love a lot. It’s from one of our favorite business mentors, a gentleman named Fergus, and he said, he passed on something to us that his dad told him growing up, and it’s in the context of business, but I think you can put it into any area of your life, and that is, “Top line vanity; bottom line sanity.” So he’s talking about, if a business is making millions of dollars but not keeping anything, well then it’s stupid. You think you’re cool because you may have lots of money coming in, but you’re not keeping anything.
And I think the same thing can be done with health and nutrition. On the surface, you’ve got this awesome program you’re doing six days of training a week. You’re turning up for all your sessions. You’re doing that morning cardio and that afternoon weight-training. You’re hitting all this perfectly written down routine, but then you’re falling short on your nutrition, and you’re not eating enough veggies, and you think you can get away with cutting corners, and eventually it catches up to you until you look at the bottom line, what the actual results are.
You’re not in good shape. Your immune system sucks. You’re not as energetic as you should be. Your skin’s no good, and you’re falling to pieces, and I think that’s what’s happening to a lot of people.
Michael Baker: Adrenal fatigue.
Guy Lawrence: Massively, yeah.
Christian Baker: People burning the candles on both ends, thinking they’re invincible.
Guy Lawrence: It’s interesting with human nature. You tend to gravitate what you love most and enjoy and go, but you can neglect other areas, and…
Stuart Cooke: That’s right.
Christian Baker: Yeah. It’s hard to control that.
Guy Lawrence: You know, it can fall apart a bit, you know, but I think we’ve all done that at some stage in our lives, as well, you know, and you learn the lessons. Yeah, that’s great, tips-wise. So, where can we get more of the Baker Boys? If anyone who listens to this wants to check out a little bit more?
Michael Baker: At the moment, the best place to get us is bakerboysblog.com.
Guy Lawrence: Right, we’ll have the link up anyway. It’ll be there, so we can support that.
Michael Baker: What about you guys? Just a quick one back on you, I’d be interested to know, like, what’s, well, in terms of nutrition and activity-wise, like, what’s your daily ritual? What’s one thing you do every day? Starting from when you wake.
Guy Lawrence: Starting from when I wake. I’ll go first. What I generally do, because I’m fortunate enough to live right by the beach, I get up, it’s normally by ten past 6:00 a.m. I’m outside. I’ll have a long black and I’ll sit on the beach and then I will dive in the ocean. So that’s how I start the day.
And then, I do that pretty much every day, and if I know me and Stewey are getting into the surfing thing, so if there’s waves and there not too big and scary, I’ll actually start the day with a surf.
Michael Baker: Awesome.
Guy Lawrence: That’s been probably the most addictive thing I’ve got into in a long time, just to be in the ocean and doing that. It’s amazing. And then I come back and I’ll generally have a 180 shake, and then I’ll have a shower and stuff like that and then I’ll tend to have a breakfast a few hours later, so like a late morning breakfast, but I know Stewey’s eaten half his cupboards by 7:30 a.m. If I’m not mistaken, mate.
Stuart Cooke: No, no, I do have a bit of a ritual. So, I start the day every single morning with a big steaming hot water with lemon and ginger. So fresh lemon and ginger. That’s the first that I’ll have, and then I’ll take a multivitamin, some fish oil, and then I’ll get as much color into my breakfast as possible. So I might use breakfast, kind of, making salads, and I’ll just have everything under the sun, and I’ll alternate that perhaps one day with a mega-salad and the other breakfasts I’ll have just a mega-bowl of steamed veggies, and I’ll just drizzle that with oil. I’ll put sardines on the top. I have a 180, you know, a 180 shake is generally my midmorning snack.
Guy Lawrence: And I will add, as well, this is a guy who has to get three kids ready for work, as well, so anyone who’s saying they haven’t got time for breakfast…
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: …needs to rethink their strategy.
Stuart Cooke: Our house can get crazy in the morning. We’ve got three girls and getting them ready for school and getting them on the good breakfast, as well, yeah, we just kind of start that way, and I’ll get as much color into my meals every single day as I can.
Christian Baker: All about that color. Just quickly on your, when you have lemon in the morning, because I’ve been doing that for years, as well, do you ever find it makes your teeth enamel feel a bit funny? Sensitive?
Stuart Cooke: A little. A little. You know, strangely enough, I was finding that more with peppermint tea, which is really strange, because I wouldn’t have thought I should’ve felt that at all, because the acidity levels, but, yeah, every now and again, but I just feel so almost cleansed when I do that. That I think it, yeah, it really works for me, yeah, just getting that in there.
Michael Baker: Nice.
Stuart Cooke: How about that? So, a few tips there for you boys.
Michael Baker: It’s great. I’m taking notes.
Guy Lawrence: it’s the first time anyone has asked us questions.
Stuart Cooke: That’s right, but seriously if you’re interested in what we eat, jump on to Instagram and we photograph most things.
Christian Baker: We always follow that.
Stuart Cooke: Just to guide people…
Christian Baker: Breakfast out and about in Coogee and Bondi. It’s always avocado, eggs, everything’s very colorful.
Stuart Cooke: Exactly. Exactly.
Guy Lawrence: Keeps us honest when you go public. It’s like I can’t put, oh…
Stuart Cooke: That’s exactly right. Guy does his, Guy addresses his treat meals indoors, I think.
Christian Baker: I’ll never be seen outside of my house eating in public unless it’s like a carrot or an apple or something. Ever. Ever.
Michael Baker: He eats those cookies when the lights are off, and he’s like…
Christian Baker: Yeah, yeah, when the doors are closed, I’ll have cookies, but never, never in front…
Guy Lawrence: Just check if anyone’s looking.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, no, that’s right. That’s awesome. Boys, thank you so much, guys, for your time. Your insights have been invaluable and, as ever, it’s been a blast.
Guy Lawrence: That was awesome.
Michael Baker: Love your work. Love your learnings.
Guy Lawrence: This will go down XX?XX [0:52:52] this podcast. That was fantastic.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, awesome.
Christian Baker: It’s an honor to be part of it. I love your show. I listen to it all the time.
Guy Lawrence: Thanks, fellas.
Michael Baker: Thanks, guys. Cheers.

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.

Ruth Anderson Horrell: Food diary of a CrossFit athlete

Ruth-Anderson-Horrell

By Guy Lawrence

Guy: Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, there are great clues here to what one should and shouldn’t be eating to feel awesome and be at your best fighting weight!

We asked 180 Ambassador and Crossfit athlete Ruth Anderson Horrell what a typical day of eating looks like and to take some pics (there are a few questions in there that I was curious about too). You won’t find any wheat, gluten, processed sugar or packaged food here. But do note how much good fats she eats! Over to Ruth… More

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.