Joel Greene – Why The Immunity Code Will Change Everything You Know About The Body

Content by: Joel Greene

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

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Joel Greene to the podcast. Joel is the creator of the VEEP Nutrition System, the world’s first commercially available program based upon targeting gut communities to affect biomarkers. He’s a featured author, speaker, and guest across multiple top tier publications, and his latest book, The Immunity Code, will change everything you think you know about your body. In this episode, we discuss food timing, exercise hacks, and why we need to learn how to eat again. Over to Joel.

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downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions asked during our conversation:

  • You talk about the need to ‘learn how to eat’, please explain.
  • Tell us about the VEEP nutrition system.
  • How do you recommend we exercise with long-lasting health as our goal?

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Full Transcript

Stu

00:03 Hey. This is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of the health sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve long-lasting health. Now, I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have. I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website. That is 180nutrition.com.au, and take a look. Okay. Back to the show.

This week, I’m excited to welcome Joel Greene to the podcast. Joel is the creator of the VEEP Nutrition System, the world’s first commercially available program based upon targeting gut communities to affect biomarkers. He’s a featured author, speaker, and guest across multiple top tier publications, and his latest book, the Immunity Code, will change everything you think you know about your body. In this episode, we discuss food timing, exercise hacks, and why we need to learn how to eat again. Over to Joel.

Hey, guys. This is Stu from 180 Nutrition and I am delighted to welcome Joel Greene to the podcast. Joel, thank you so much for sharing some of your time. How are you today?

Joel

01:28 I’m actually fantastic. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it.

Stu

01:34 No, certainly the honor is all mine, but first up, for all of our listeners that may be new to you, unfamiliar with you, and your work, and your message, I’d love it if you could just tell our listeners a little bit about yourself.

Joel

01:50 Yeah. So, the question I get a lot is, “Are you a doctor or where’d you get all this stuff?” And my answer is pretty much, I really think of myself as just a consumer. I mean, that’s all that I’ve ever really thought of myself as. I’m just a consumer who, if you go down a certain rabbit hole, and the meta rabbit hole would be that thing we call fitness and body consciousness. If you go down that rabbit hole and listen to people, and then you continue down that rabbit hole, I’m just what you get at the end of 30, 40 years of that, which is at the midpoint, very disillusioned, then where I’m at now, which is just really after what really works in the real world over time for the vast majority of people. What got me to that was, I had done the whole fitness thing starting really in 1970 with Jack LaLanne.

I’m very, very old, so a billion years ago when there was just three channels, Jack LaLanne was like the only thing on, and I would just get up every morning and I would go. I had a onesie that had Tigger on it and Jack had a onesie so, as a kid, I thought that was kind of cool. He’s got a onesie too. So, I would just go and I would just mimic whatever he did, and it kind of just became this thing that I got into and did my entire life. So, what happened was, I just was fortunate to grow up around a lot of Olympic athletes. I lived in San Jose, California, and at the time, you had Bruce Jenner, now Caitlin, and you had Mac Wilkins and you had Millard Hampton and Ben Plucknett and all these Olympic gold and silver medalists that were training there.

So, I was around that and I just got bitten by the athletic bug really early. So, in fifth grade, I was going and doing interval sprints at school, trying to get faster. In ninth grade, we had all these Olympic athletes that would train at my high school because my high school coach was an Olympic vaulting coach and he actually coached Jenner. So, I just was doing what they were doing, and they were doing clean and jerks and Olympic lifts. I was so skinny. I’m six, three, and I was 160 pounds, and I was humiliated when people saw my arms. I was doing everything I could do to just not be so skinny. So, I kind of got bitten by the bodybuilding bug when I was very young, 12, 13 years old. I kind of followed that path throughout going into my twenties, and I was never paid to be fit. I was never a fitness person. I was just a regular person, and I would just take whatever was new as soon as it came out and I would just wholeheartedly just digest it and do it militantly. So, in the late eighties, a company came out, Champion Nutrition, and they had a product called Metabolol II, and it was what was called a metabolic optimizer. The label said, “MCTs, the fatless fat.” This was the era where fat was evil, and every product out there had a no fat, no fat on the label. So, here’s this company saying on the label these fats can’t be stored as fat. I was blown away by that. I was like, “Wow. How’s this work?” So, I started really studying everything I could find on MCTs and nutrition.

About that time, 2000 or 91, 92, I think, Vince McMahon got into bodybuilding and put everybody on the keto diet. So, this was more of this fat thing. I started looking at this and how can it be that fats can make you lean. That was impossible back then. That led into when Met-Rx first came out in the early nineties. I was like one of the first hundred customers for that. They had it in two cans and it was amazing stuff. Like I got pealed. I was probably 5% body fat for a number of years on that stuff.

Stu

06:06 Wow.

Joel

06:07 But what happened to me, and a lot of this is kind of why I did what I did afterwards, was I was basically doing what you would call time-restricted feeding. So, Jeff Everson was an early promoter of Met-Rx. He came out with an article that said he was just eating once a day in the evenings. So, I’m like, “Okay, well, I’ll do that.” Then if I was hungry, I would have a Met-Rx. So, I did that for about four or five years and what happened was we didn’t know about leptin at the time and about year number five, I started eating uncontrollably and I couldn’t stop. I had never had issues with food intake. That sent me off on this path to really figure out what I’d done because it took me a number of years to fix it.

I was really just on this quest to figure out what happened. So, in the early … I kind of did everything. So, I had my phase of just eat everything raw, clean, whole, organic. I had that phase. Then, I had my metered macro phase. Just get the macros nailed down. I literally went through all these phases. Every phase was the same. I would get super lean, and then a few years later I would have more issues. I was kind of on that path. What happened to me in 2003 was I went to work for a technology company. I wound up becoming the CEO, and basically, our revenue chart went like that, and my weight went like that. It was like a one to one. Here was revenue, here was weight, and then just parallel.

What happened to me is what happens to most people over time. And when you study most people over time, and I don’t mean a couple of years. I don’t mean the get in shape selfie. I mean, expand the window 10, 15, 20 years, what happens this. You see these kinds of ups and downs, but overall what you’re seeing is an upward curve.

Stu

08:01 Okay.

Joel

08:01 Okay. So, it was about 2006 for me. I went into that job and I was 212 pounds, 5% body fat, and by the time I left it, I was 260 in fat. I was always fat. Basically, long story short is I had gotten to the end of the fitness thing. I’d kind of come to the end of that road where it didn’t work for me in the real world and the reason it didn’t work was because I wasn’t getting paid to be fit.

Stu

08:33 Yeah. Yeah.

Joel

08:35 That sent me on this journey where I was doing really well, and I just really wanted to say the truth because, about that time, a bunch of SEO gurus had really bubbled up on the web and they didn’t know anything about fitness, and I devoted my whole life to it, so I just started writing articles. I made this website. I became number two in Google for weight loss when you searched for it. I was just really interested in the truth and good articles. I found out after about six months, nobody cared. All anybody wanted was to lose 5 pounds.

Stu

09:10 Yeah. Yeah. True.

Joel

09:11 So, I made this software, and right about that time, it was 2007. There was a very interesting article I’d written on April 2007 and it was on some research the year before on the gut biome and how it controls fat loss. So, basically from that, I created a little protocol to kind of test it out and what happened was I went from 229 to 212 in seven days, and I measured myself in water. I was 6.7% body fat. I didn’t exercise. It was just purely retuning and recolonizing the gut. We’ll get into the reasons why that’s true, but I knew I was onto something.

So, I made this software program called VEEP, the Visual Eating Exercise Program. I was going to at first just make it a consumer product, and what happened really fast was I didn’t really want to be another gimmicky diet product, so we wound up selling to hospitals. So, I sold a major hospital chain and what happened was all of their … they had doctors, nurses, physiologists that went on the program and I didn’t know this at the time, but there’s a real weight problem when you get into hospitals because the shifts are very challenging, very stressful. They work long hours. So, we had these incredible results and what made it really interesting was we never took the measurements.

They had a wellness center where they brought all the employees in, and they measure them with their own system there, so we were able to track it over a year and the results were just fantastic. Then, that led into a bunch of corporate wellness engagements. Mostly, I was just really stupid through most of those. Basically, long story short, I never understood weight loss. I was just in the camp of like, “Why don’t you workout? I don’t really understand. What’s the problem?” Then, we started doing these corporate wellness engagements with cities, big cities like the city of Phoenix, city of Houston, and we would get a thousand people in the room at once. Suddenly, I understood weight loss. I was like, “Oh, I get it.”

Because it was all like parks and recreation, cops, city administrators, and everybody just had really big weight issues and really didn’t have the time to work out or couldn’t work out for physical reasons. It kind of woke me up like, “Oh, wow. I really understand now why you need to use food to solve the problem of the body.” So, it led into a bunch of things. My system wound up on Dr. Phil and then I wound up consulting for Quest, Quest bars, Quest Nutrition. The founder of Quest, Ron Penna, and I had peripherally known of each other in our previous entities in technology, and then he went off and did Quest and I went off and did my nutrition thing. We didn’t know about each other. And we wound up in a room one day and next thing you know, all this bio babble is spilling out of my mouth, and we struck up this sort of interesting relationship.

Over a number of years, I wound up actually going to Quest to consult on just different projects and that was a really fascinating time. A lot of brilliant people there. Just a wonderful time to be around. There’s nothing like being around tons of smart people and learning and growing, so it was a really great time for that. Right about that time, all of the Ph.D. types at Quest would ask me questions about body fat and fat loss, and my answers were kind of always rather involved on like, “No, you really shouldn’t do that and here’s why.” “No, you can’t do that because of this.” And I thought, “Okay, I’ve just given my last 20-minute oration on this. I’m going to write a book.”

Stu

12:48 Right.

Joel

12:49 So, I started writing this book, and then that led to where I’m at today. All of it was really just geared at one thing and it was when you track what happens over time with people, and I don’t mean short term, I mean like five, 10, 15, 20, 30 years, you find some very interesting commonalities and it doesn’t matter whether you’re fit or not. Typically, you find health issues even if you’re very fit. You see things like cancer, or you see an ability to lose body fat over time. Very common. People who were once very lean and in shape and did fitness, they get in their late forties, early fifties, and they can’t lose weight anymore. Body will not drop weight. You see a lot of commonalities. Really, I just put all this under one umbrella, which is the problem of the body. It doesn’t matter what niche you want to put it into. It could be, “Well, it’s a body fat problem.” Or, “Well, it’s a cancer problem.” Ultimately, the problem is this. It’s that you can’t get your body to do the things you want it to do. So, we’re in this state of decline that you really don’t have power over, and making something work over time in the real world, the real trick becomes it has to work when time goes to zero. That’s the real trick, and no one’s really tackled that problem. So, that’s kind of my milieu, my universe, my thing that I really bumbled into. That’d be the best way to put it.

Stu

14:12 Right. I’m pretty sure there’d be a couple of billion people that want to sit down with you and talk one on one about their personal problems because, I think as a nation, we just don’t know what to eat. We’re definitely trending downwards on a scale where our health is concerned. We’ve got children now who are experiencing auto-immunity and childhood obesity. Diabetes is going through the roof, yet we’ve got so much information at our fingertips and we have never had so many potential dietary interventions. We came on board 12 years ago, pre paleo, and pre any of these messages that appeared today, and now we’ve got everything under the sun.

15:00 But microbiome, which was a woo-woo topic now is almost the pinnacle of health. But we just don’t know what to do. Paleo keto, carnivore, low carb, high carb, intermittent, water fasting. But you’re talking more about learning how to eat. So I’m really keen to understand how we could learn to eat and whether all of these diets that are advertising themselves to us daily should even be considered.

Joel

15:33 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I mean, we could spend three hours on this question.

Stu

15:38 Yeah, I have no doubt.

Joel

15:41 Good. Because I’m going to kind of lay out the high level of this and then we’ll kind of unpack it. So the high level is this. The real problems, first of all, if you want to solve a problem, you never solve that problem until you break it into specifics. Okay? Like you have to enumerate the specific things that are in your way. I use the example in my book of getting into orbit. You can want to get into orbit, you can build a rocket, you can do all that. But until you establish that you must break 25,300 and something miles an hour. And until you know for a fact that your rocket will do that, you’re wasting your time.

You’re never going to solve that problem because you have not enumerated the specific barriers you must solve. So the specific barriers the average person has to solve over time have never been enumerated ever, ever. I’m fairly sure and I don’t mean this in any kind of like, “Ah, I figured it all out kind of thing,” but someone had to kind of draw the line. And that was really something that I attempted to do in my book was enumerate the specific barriers you have to cross.

So the first thing to understand is the real barriers that are in front of most people haven’t even been talked about yet. So no wonder we haven’t solved anything. You’re never going to solve anything until you solve. And briefly what they are is you have to solve the problem of the fat loss paradox. And the fat loss paradox is the notion that the act, the physical act of shrinking fat cells promotes weight gain, promotes weight gain. The act of shrinking a fat cell, which we’ve all been hard baked to think, “Well, that solves the problem.”

That actually launches the problem. So until you create an inventory of things to counter that, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. Your diet doesn’t matter. Because you haven’t enumerated the problem nor do you have a solution. The next problem you have is that we have to deal with how humans actually eat. We’ve never, ever, ever inventoried how humans actually eat. And when we look at how humans actually eat, there’s one constant, it’s called ad libitum eating. Every science paper ever done has a control group that eats ad libitum. And the reason is because that’s how mammals eat.

Humans are mammals and all parents know that their kids will eat anything and everything unless you stop them physically from doing it. And that’s true of all mammals. So the real truth of how mammals, humans included eat is that the natural inborn base level eating behavior is to eat whatever whenever it’s available. And so until you recognize that problem and begin to overcome it, you’re never going to get anywhere. And every diet you can think of is based on exactly not doing that.

Stu

18:34 Right. Yeah.

Joel

18:35 The idea of a diet is that you don’t do that. So that’s another problem. And the third and probably most important barrier that we’re up against is that we have gotten completely away, completely away from what is actually true about the body and what happens over time. And if you’re pursuing a course of action for the body, you have to deal with what’s true about the body and what’s going to really happen over time. And when I say what’s true about the body, so the reason people are confused is you have a bunch of very smart people advocating hyper-polarized strategies.

It’s like a Kung Fu movie, okay? It’s like these are the coming through guys. These are the karate guys. These are the jujitsu guys. And they all say they’re all better. Okay? But the one thing that they all have in common is it’s all about fighting. And when you’re in a fight, the fight can go anywhere. Okay? So what we have here today is a very interesting thing. You have kind of the carnivores school that as you know, “Well, no meat is good. Plants are bad.”

You have the vegan school. “No, no plants are good. Meat is bad.” And then you have kind of the keto school. “No, no, no, no, no. Fats are good. Okay? And you guys have it all wrong. Okay?” And then you have kind of the intermittent fasting school, the time-restricted feeding school, which is like, “Oh no, eating around the clock is bad. Time-restricted eating is good.” The thing that they all have in common is they are all advocating.

It’s very, very interesting when you get into this and it’s going to be kind of the crux of if you get nothing else out of this, our time together as an audience, just to get this one thing, okay? Because this is the truest thing you’re ever going to hear about the body and you can beat it up, kick it around. It’s still going to be a 100% true. It is the foundational truth of the body that will never, ever be untrue is that health is balance and imbalances promote disease. You can look up any disease you can think of, it doesn’t matter and you’re going to see the words loss of homeostasis that describe the disease. It just means imbalance. That’s all it means.

So when you look at loss of homeostasis, just insert balance, and then let’s go think of some diseases. Cancer. What’s that? Oh, that’s an imbalance of growth. Right? Okay. Yeah. Cardiovascular issues like what’s that? Oh, well you have an imbalance of the aldosterone system or a minimum carotid balance. Everything you can think of when you’re talking about disease usually relates to some kind of an imbalance.

So that brings us to like the question and it’s really this. And it’s something that if you’re listening, think about it. Really, really give this some thought because this is what all of these hyper-polarized schools are asking you to accept. They’re asking you to accept the proposition that by pursuit of imbalance, you will obtain health. So the question you have to ask is you have to ask this question, will imbalances even healthy ones in the diet, will they produce health or will they produce disease? What’s the answer?

We have to think about this. And the answer is I can name a disease for every imbalance in the diet you can think of. So you want to say like, “Oh, I’m going to imbalance meat in my diet.” Great. You’ll get [inaudible 00:21:41] cellulitis. That’s an autoimmune disease. Okay? “Oh, I didn’t know that.” Yeah. “I’m going to imbalance plants in my diet.” Oh okay, well you can injure the gut or you can get all sorts of vitamin B deficiencies that affect you later. “Oh, I didn’t know that.” Yes.

You can imbalance fats. Really? You can cause mitochondrial damage from that. So we gotten away from what is most true. What is most true is that the body requires balance and that even healthy things when imbalanced can cause issues. We all know this is true like in the case of water. If you drink too much water, you can imbalance or you can die from that. And it’s true on down the line. If you have too much of anything like too much protein, what can happen? All kinds of issues. Yeah. So this is the elephant in the room. All of these different schools of thought are promoting imbalances of things.

And now here’s the real issue. We’ve lost is we have so focused on the what of a thing, we’ve lost the when and the how. So the what of a thing is meat. It’s good. Oh okay. Though the real truth is it can be extremely health-promoting. It can also have issues. No plants, plants are good. That’s true. But they can also cause a lot of issues. Fats are good. Yes, that’s true. But they can also cause a lot of issues.

So typically whenever you see anything administered, you’re going to see an immediate sort of plus that you can map out. But if you just follow it over time, whatever that thing is, usually over the long-term that plus dips down. And so we’re just not tracking things long enough. And so that’s what you have today. We have different schools of thought that just haven’t been tracked long enough. I can tell you what I deal with. Every day, I deal with people that come to me and they want me to do coaching for them. And I have some fairly high-end people that come to me looking for that kind of thing. And I can tell you what I see. I see people coming to me who they’ve been doing a keto diet for three, four years, and now their gut’s blown out. They have all kinds of gut issues. Then maybe they switched to a carnivore diet and they were on that for a couple of years. And now they have autoimmune issues. I see this kind of stuff every single day. And it’s because something that was beneficial in the short-term over the long-term started to develop issues. And so the highest truth of health is balance. So yeah.

Stu: 24:04 Absolutely fascinating. Boy, I’ve got so many questions then to ask you. People have always said for generations, everything in moderation, but of course we’ve become very fearful of ingredients like gluten, dairy and sugar. So we’ve gravitated to a supposedly corrective diet or intervention, whether it be keto, paleo, carnivore, vegan, vegetarian. Subsequently perhaps, now our guts are ravaged. And so we think, “Oh, maybe keto isn’t right for me, I will go back to eating more of the foods that I used to eat.” But of course with a ravaged gut, then you start to experience all of the issues and bloating and sensitivities and everything under the sun.

So how do we correct this? Because I love what you’re saying and it makes perfect, perfect sense. And when I look back at my grandparents who did eat … It wasn’t everything in moderation. It’s very simple, meat, vegetables, it was dairy, whatever. Didn’t have a lot of the environmental stresses that we have today. They had their own stresses, but it just seemed to work for them. And it isn’t working now. So where do we go if we are in a position where we’re stressed about the way that we eat, we’re stressed about the foods that eat?

I think it’s orthorexia, isn’t it? It’s like a fear of not eating anything other than healthy foods. We’ve got GI issues. We’ve got skin, we’re bloating, we’re bad sleep. We’ve tried keto, carnivore, we’ve tried everything under the sun. And now we just don’t know where to go. I had texts this morning from a friend of mine. And he said, “Well, when are you going to speak to Joel? Because I’ve just finished the Immunity Code. I can’t believe it.” It’s life-shattering? What would we do because we’re still confused?

Joel

25:59 So a couple of things, number one, realize that tribalism has crept up on us and taken over our brains. And we have abdicated really thinking about things. I’ll give you an example. Is darkness caused by an absence of light or is an absence of light caused by darkness?

Stu

26:30 Right. Okay.

Joel

26:32 We have to think about it for a second, right? There’s an answer. Right? But the point is here, it’d be very easily to polarize into tribes on that. We could have the darkness tribe and we could have a lightness tribe and each one is like, “Light’s better. No, dark’s better …” The thing with tribalism is it gets you nowhere. It gets you nowhere. People can think around the world. People use their heads around the world.

So if we think about this dairy gluten thing and we’ve assumed position, which is the foods are bad, the foods cause the problem, but I could pose the opposite question. I could say, is it the foods or is it the lack of the right bacteria in the gut causing issues with the foods? And actually if you want the answer, that’s really the answer. It’s not the foods. It’s the lack of bacteria in the gut, but that’s just sort of a meta framework to begin to come into the light, to come into truth.

Okay? Because we’ve gotten away from truth and really it’s this. The first thing is we have to begin to time map everything. We’ve got to begin to get away from the totem that meat is magic or our plants are special. We got to get out of that and begin to look at a thing over time. And once you begin to look at anything over time, you begin to see when to apply the gas and when to back off. Okay? So what I usually begin people with to correct things back to the center so their bodies work the way they’re supposed to work is we usually start with an order of operations.

Your body works a certain way. And so just like the engine in your car, you have to do things in a certain way, the gut and the gums come first. So this is the primary interface with the outside world is you bring the outside world into your body and it never becomes part of your body. It just stays in there. And you have an interface that translates things and does a lot of immune work. And it’s the same with the gums. So we begin with the gut, but the thing to understand is that you can draw a very good analogy that the systems of your body, things like insulin, things like the gut lining are muscles. And when you stop using those muscles, they atrophy.

When you want to begin to use them again, it’s like being a powerlifter who decides to take up marathoning. Not a good idea to run a marathon on the first day. It’s not a good idea to run a mile on the first day. It’s a horrible idea. Walk around the block, let’s start with that. And so that’s the foundation of beginning to correct things is what you’ll typically see is someone’s been doing a keto diet for a while and then they hear something good about carbs like, “Well, then I’ll try carbs.”

And they do way too much and there’s always benefits, and there’s always sort of like the issues to a thing. If you do too much too fast, the benefit or the issues are going to way outweigh the benefits. But if you do just a baby step of something, you get a little benefit and you get a little issue. And the issues are going to outweigh things at first, but then what’s going to happen as you baby step your way into something, that begins to happen.

So to come back to center, there’s a series of steps. And the most important thing to understand is that they have to be very small, very incremental steps, because if you’ve been on a keto diet for a long time, your insulin sensitivity is probably gone. The gut biome’s probably blown out. And it’s going to take a while for you to begin

Joel

30:00 Begin to introduce things back. So you’re introducing them back in baby steps, very small amounts, same with carnivores, same with plants, same with anything.

Stu

30:08 Yeah, it makes perfect sense. And I guess we’re very reactive, we might be following any one type of diet and think, “You know what? I kind of miss what I used to eat. I am going to have a pizza on Friday night.” And then of course, you introduce this huge pizza when you’ve been following this beautifully clean diet prior to that, and of course everything reacts. So would it be true then when you’re talking about introduction, if you were to reintroduce and start to adopt some of the foods that you used to be eating? Just to try them in very small amounts and then just work up to to full reintroduction?

30:45 Yeah, so mechanistically here’s what’s going to happen, when you begin to change the diet up, if you’ve ever gone to a foreign country and you ate the food there and you felt nauseated and you felt sick, it’s because the gut biome can change dramatically meal to meal. And I like to use the example of salmonella or bacteria in meat. If you have a steak and it’s got bacteria in it, it’s bad, literally, you’re going to feel it within hours, okay?

Stu

30:45 Right.

Joel

31:15 So meal to meal, the gut biome can shift. And what’s happens is, when you do things too much, too fast, what happens is you got a battle that goes on. You have the team A and team B, they go at it and wherever the greatest substrate is, is what’s going to win. So if we have, let’s say a bunch of healthy things that you put into the body, then team B, the bad guys are going to lose, but as they lose their guts breakup, and they spill lipopolysaccharide into the gut, penetrates the gut lining and you get nauseated. And then, because it’s in there, the body wants to flush it out, it’s going to give you diarrhea. So that’s normal, it’s a normal thing when the guts getting retuned, you get a little nauseated, you get a little bit diarrhea, kind of normal, and it’s to be expected. But then after that, what happens is, as the new team starts to dominate and proliferate all the benefits start kicking in. So it’s just to lower the symptomology of a thing, go a little bit slower. It’s a little bit easier, that’s the answer to that.

Stu

32:14 And so in order to adopt that and learn more and start this corrective path, where would we start? Would we look at the VEEP Nutrition System and jump on board of that? Is that something that’s readily available for general public or would it be better to embrace the immunity code?

Joel

32:35 I would say the book is the best place to start. Let me tell you what the book is, and what it isn’t. What it is, is it’s meant to be a foundation that was missing, so when you track over time and you look at periods of, getting overweight and I really got in shape, I’m awesome, yay. And then, “Oh, no, I had to change jobs.” And, “Oh, no, wife’s pregnant.” And “Oh, no, stress, gaining weight, ah.” When you start to track what really happens over time with people, there’s all these variables that impinge upon us, and they all have accumulative cost as we’re going down the path of life. And it just nuts out for most people in this pattern over 30, 40, 50 years.

Stu

33:22 Yeah.

Joel

33:22 So what’s really the immunity code is, is it’s an immune centric approach to the problem of keeping the body young in the real world. And what’s in the book essentially, are a lot of things that are like the analogy is fighting. So you learn how to punch. You learn to punch, you just practice that punch, or you learn how to kick and you practice that one kick, and then you learn how to choke and you just practice that one choke and you get really good at it. And then when trouble finds you, you happen to know a kick and a punch and a choke and long behold, you got away, you come out okay. So that’s what the book is, it’s a foundation. And then above and beyond that, there is the whole, “Okay, it’s bikini season and I’m making this mad push here for three weeks, and I’m going to get to my best shape ever.” So for that, there’s other things, there’s things like VEEP, and I have a new course coming out called, immune centric fat loss. And those are for that kind of thing. But the book is really the foundation. The book is what I would say the average person needs to really take this over time, and turn it into this. So, yes I would-

Stu

34:37 Okay. Yeah, well it makes perfect sense. I have a copy on the way, unfortunately, I didn’t receive it, didn’t get to read it. I’m just looking down because, I had a conversation, I was speaking to you about a friend of mine today, who is all over the book and is fastidious in your knowledge. And he had a question about fiber and I think many of us do. And he said, “Look, you say that you need fiber to create butyrate and it’s different from how keto diets create butyrate. And then you’ve gotten the carnival community that argue that fiber isn’t essential at all for a healthy gut and removing fiber can aid people with GI issues. So again, super confused, but I’d love to hear your take on that.

Joel

35:33 Yeah, so the answer is, the long and the short of it is this, the upper gut, the intestines need animal foods and we’ll get into why. The lower gut, the colon needs fiber, and we’ll get into why, that’s the answer. So you need both, and here’s why. So when you look at the colon and you look at the colonocytes, the cells in the colon, and you look at what’s their preferred fuel source, it’s butyrate. And when you look at making butyrate from different sources and what you get, when you look at making butyrate from fiber, you get exactly the right amounts of butyrate in the right proportions of the short chain fatty acids. When you look at making butyrate from proteins primarily, then what you get, is you get these different ratios of propionate and acetate, and you can also make a similar case when you look at a high fat diet. And so well, net of things that happens, is you get a bunch of different things happening.

Number one, when protein ferments in the gut, you’re going to get compounds that by themselves are very oncogenic in nature. One of those is [inaudible 00:06:37], I talk about that one. You also get alkylated carbonyls in the colon. It’s kind of interesting, there was, I forget who it was, but someone was making a case that the acidity of meat is not bad, it’s actually more alkaline, that’s a good thing. And I had to point out, “No, that’s a bad thing.” You don’t want alkalinity in the colon. What happens when you have too much meat, it takes the pH in the colon from under seven, pushes it above seven. And then what you get are, essentially you get these DNA adducts that are cancer promoting. And what happens is, if you add a little bit of fiber to that, it pushes the pH back below seven, and then those adducts don’t form.

Now, when you look at the upper gut, and look at the intestines, what you see is something very interesting. You see the essentiality of amino acids. So what you see is that aminos are endemic to the formation of immunity in the gut, you absolutely have to have glutamine. Glutamine is a primary fuel for the parasites, but above and beyond that, glutamine does something very interesting. When glutamine is in the gut, it has the unique characteristic of pushing antigens in the gut lumen towards the wall, towards the lining of the gut. And then what happens there is, there are specialized cells that grab those, bring them in, wrap them up in dendritic cells, take those antigens pick them up, go and present them to T cells, and then pushes IgA back out into the lumen. So you get this nice mix of immunity, but you find other aminos are also essential.

So when you look at tryptophan, tryptophan is essential to the formation in the gut of all these things that we need to have happen for the sake of immunity. So tryptophan in the gut, it’s going to bind in the wall, to the 5-HTP receptor. And then from there, you’re going to make serotonin from that, but it also has very pronounced effect on the gut lining. And then when you look at things like arginine, arginine works in concert with glutamine in the gut. So you can’t really make a case for just glutamine, you need glutamine and arginine together and then you need glycine. Glycine is a very important part in the gut. So when you look at the upper gut, and you look in the intestines, you quickly come to the realization that the gut needs aminos and the animal foods are your best source of these things.

And so to put this to rest forever, the answer is that the gut needs both. And the answer is that the gut will do best on both. And that too much of either one is not good. If you get too much meat in the gut, then you can… Everybody knows that meat sitting out ferments, if you leave meat out it ferments, and it’s not good.

Stu

39:20 Yeah.

Joel

39:21 Well, imagine what happens when meat ferments in the gut, you get oncogenic compounds, you get DNA adducts, you get things that aren’t so great, cancer causing compounds. When you mix fiber in, experiments have shown those compounds don’t form. The fiber acts like detergent and you ferment butyrate instead, when you look at the ratios of propionate, acetate and the short chain fatty acids, you don’t get the same ratios. You get a little bit more propionate when you’re fermenting with meat, where with fibers you get just the right ratios that it takes to feed the colon.

And so really when we look at the structure function and get away from narrative, and that’s the problem is we’ve been sucked into stories. We love stories, our brains love stories, I use them, ancestral narratives are great, they’re useful but they’re not facts. In order to understand how things work, we have to look at the structure function. And when we look at the structure function of the gut, what we see readily is that “Mhh, gosh, there’s a place for both here.” We really need animal foods in the gut. And you hear this phrase, meat heals, because it’s true, aminos in the gut are incredibly healing in the gut, incredibly healing. One of the protocols I put people on when they come to me is, we give them a mix of aminos and we give it at the right time. And then we give them a mix of things that actually promote the [inaudible 00:40:38] bacteria in the gut to get cross reactions, to make butyrate. And so when people do that, they feel amazing. So, long and short of it really is that we need both. That’s the answer.

Stu

40:52 Fantastic. And when you do that, when you’re talking about helping the people get back to homeostasis, do you do that via food or food and supplements as well?

Joel

41:05 Well, so I use both food and supplements, but the thing to keep in mind is that… And this is something that I hope everybody in their life has a chance to actually see. There is a power in food found nowhere else, not even in drugs, and I have seen it work many times. I’ve seen it work on my brother who has down syndrome, I’ve seen him go from full blown Parkinson’s to no symptoms in seven days using food. And I have seen on the Dr. Phil show, some storylines, we had a woman that was 322 pounds and 22 meds all at once. And she couldn’t work out, she was just on food and they blood tested her at month four and she came back 100% normal. The doctors didn’t believe it, they sent her out again, she got another blood test, completely normal. They took her off all the meds at four months. There’s no drug that could do that. No drug in the world would be capable of that, okay? And she was on everything. She was on statins, she was on everything you can think of.

Stu

42:11 Yeah.

Joel

42:11 So that is the power of food when food is used functionally, and by functionally I mean that you’re using combinations in the right way, in the right timing, the right sequencing. It’s like a lock, when you get the combination right, there’s a power there that I’ve never seen. I’ve experienced it myself, I have gone from 229 to 212 without exercise. And I personally have seen the power of food has, so food is the foundation. I will always put the forth.

Stu

42:41 Amazing. Absolutely amazing. And I have 101 questions, but I’m just going to direct people to the book, I think just to sit down and do their own research and address their own curiosity. So I’m keen to understanding, based upon everything that you have gleaned over the years, how do you eat personally? And certainly the caveat will be, how you eat will be very different to how I eat and how the next person would eat. But what do you do from the moment you get up to the time that you go to bed? What do you eat?

Joel

43:19 So the answer is, there’s a pattern in the book I call, the two day core pattern, and I’m always on it. I’m never not on it. Always. The only difference is what I would call the modularity or the strictness of it. So example, normally Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, I’m following, in the book what is the fruit and fiber pattern. And the purpose of that is to spin up butyrate production time to about two to four in the morning when all of the body’s natural life extending pathways, like the MK pathway and sirtuins, all that stuff’s firing. So through microbiome mitochondrial crosstalk, we want to amplify those signals. Now on top of that, I also eat ad libitum, whenever I choose, example is, I’m in this text group with Mark Bell and Ron Penna and Carl Lanore and some other guys and question was out the other day, “Do you guys ever cheat?” And it was a Sunday and I had three bowls of cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast. And then I had a pizza for dinner. And I actually measured my body fat and my weight prior. And then I just did the two day pattern and the only exercise I did was 30 minutes on the bike on Monday. And then at the end of it, the morning of the third day, my body fat and my weight was exactly the same, 100% the same.

So in the way that I eat is that pattern, but then there’s also ad libitum meaning, I eat freely when I want to. And that’s an essential… I would argue that you can never, for most people, they will never be able

45:00 … to get control of their weight over time until they can eat freely and offset it. It’s so critical to learn how to offset when you do those things. But generally speaking, I eat super healthy. My diet is pretty varied, so what you would see in it would be things like raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, walnuts, avocado, salmon, cabbage, garbanzo beans, steaks, rib-eyes, chicken, eggs. Just a really rich, varied diet. People ask me like, “What’s your secret?” I’m like, “Yeah, it’s called a balanced diet.”

Stu

45:00 Yeah.

Joel

45:00 A healthy diet.

Stu

45:43 Yeah.

Joel

45:43 That’s really it. But there is a unique power in a balanced diet that is unique to it. When you have all these sort of super foods in your diet, there’s a power there that’s not found in anything else. That’s not found in [inaudible 00:00:55], it’s not found in keto diets, it’s not found in vegan diets. There’s a power that only that has, and it’s just because foods are functional and when your diet has a rich variety of functional foods it’s incredibly health promoting so.

Stu

46:11 Fantastic. No, that’s awesome. And I’m guessing if you’re doing that 80% of the time, then sure it doesn’t matter if you have some French toast or a few chips and dips every now and again. It’s just part of the system and your body can learn to heal with it because it seems really bizarre to me that we follow this fill in the blanks diet to give us the robustness of health and vitality, yet the body collapses when we ingest a piece of gluten. You know?

Joel

46:44 Yeah. Yeah. Well, so here’s the core difference,. use the analogy of fighting again because it’s very useful. think of it this way, knowing how to fight is useful.

Stu

46:57 Yes.

Joel

46:58 There’s a good chance in today’s world trouble is going to find you eventually. Okay? And the thing about fights is that the plan never survives the first punch. They’re completely chaotic and they’re just moment to moment. And your brain, moment to moment, is pulling from its inventory of things it knows to do, to do something. Okay? Well, the exact same analogy is true with food. So the truth of food is that the meal plan never survives the first meal.

Stu

47:26 Right.

Joel

47:27 And the reason is that most people on average are getting into 35 to 40 fights a week with food and they’re losing every single one of them.

Stu

47:35 Yeah.

Joel

47:35 And the reason is because they don’t know how to eat, they don’t know how to use food functionally. Like example, a lot of people struggle with a lack of hunger in the morning.

Stu

47:47 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Joel

47:48 They wake up, they’re not hungry. And what you’ll find is that people that tend to wake up hungry tend to be lean, people that don’t wake up hungry tend to be heavier. So once we understand how to use food, we can induce hunger, we can just make you wake up hungry. It’s really easy, but I can do it in a meal. I’ll give you an example. So if we took black beans and cooled them down, the starch in the black beans is going to congeal and you’re going to get long starch chains that form from that. So it’s going to go from being like a simple sugary thing to resistant starch. Okay?

Stu

48:18 Yes.

Joel

48:19 So the thing with that now is you have quite a bit of bulk and really very little energy in there. And whenever the gut registers a lot of bulk but not very much energy, it wants to raise GlucaGen because it’s not getting anything out of that. Okay? Now, if you took that and you combined it with avocado, avocado has a sugar called mannoheptulose. Mannoheptulose will push down insulin output and so you get a magnified effect from that, because now the body’s going, “Wait a second. Wait, wait, we need sugar.” And then if you add into that a little bit of broccoli that’s raw and then a very lean protein source like tuna. Now what you’ve got is the gut has a bunch of bulk and there’s really nothing to work with in there. And everything that’s in there in one way or another is forcing the body to get very sensitive with insulin. And it’s pushing the opposite hormone, it’s pushing GlucaGen up and it’s taking the helper hormones, the incretins GIP, GLP-1, pushing them into play. And so what you have is a series of foods that, although there’s a lot of bulk, you’re going to wake up starving, you’re going to wake up absolutely starving. And just one meal induced it.

Stu

49:25 Fascinating.

Joel

49:25 Just by having that at dinner.

Stu

49:26 Fascinating. I wake up ravenous every morning, ravenous. Literally start the day and all I’m thinking about, I’m dreaming about my breakfast. And I’m genetically lean. I’ve really struggled to put on any weight. Boy oh boy. There’s, yeah, so much science behind that. I could speak to you all day, but I’m super mindful of time. So just got a couple of questions-

Joel

49:53 Yeah, yeah.

Stu

49:54 … that I’d love to cover. And one is, so stepping outside of the nutritional space into the exercise space, because I guess the two are kind of similar in the fact that there are so many fraternities of exercise now that are proponents of the nirvana. This is the one thing that you need to do, whether it be F45, CrossFit, endurance running, spin.

Joel

50:18 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Stu

50:22 But exercise is a very important component, or at least movement, is an important component in longevity and health. Where do you sit in that camp? Do you reach for the running shoes or the kettlebell?

Joel

50:37 So something to think about here, when you look… I’ve just looked at the leanest, longest lived, healthiest people in the world and look for commonalities.

Stu

50:47 Yes.

Joel

50:48 A great place to look as field workers.

Stu

50:50 Okay.

Joel

50:50 When you look at field workers, you find something very interesting. You find people in their 80’s and 90’s working every day.

Stu

50:56 Wow. That’s wow.

Joel

50:57 And they’re very robust, and they’re very energetic, and they’re very healthy. You go all around the world and you can find this is true. You’ll see people in their 80’s and 90’s working, hard work every day that would break the backs of most young people now.

Stu

51:08 Yeah.

Joel

51:09 And so you see this thing and the commonality is daily exertion. And daily exertion is not a workout.

Stu

51:16 No.

Joel

51:16 Daily exertion is carrying water from the river, or having to skin an animal, which is tremendously tiring, or having to pull rice, it’s tremendously hiring. So when you look at the body throughout history, what you find is something very interesting. And that’s that when the body is exerted every day, even if it’s the same thing, it doesn’t matter. This whole concept of recovery goes away. The body just gets incredibly strong, very fast. And so what we have lost in our modern era, as we introduced this idea called working out that never really existed, never really had much of an analog in history. And so most people, the problem over time that someone not in the fitness ecosystem, what they’ll run into the problem with going to the gym is going-

Stu

52:02 Yes.

Joel

52:02 … to the gym. That’s the problem, getting there. And now with COVID just even getting access to a gym is a problem. But if you want to do one thing that will absolutely completely change your entire life going forward it’s to begin to introduce into your day 20 second intervals of exertion with no warmup, with no getting ready, no changing clothes. And just pick one movement, whatever it is, maybe it’s a wall squat, maybe it’s a plank, maybe it’s a hand- Pick something. When I first started this I started with pull-ups, and I thought I was kind of strong and I was just a complete wuss. I did like three or four the first time, but in about 15 days, I was doing 15 to 20-

Stu

52:02 Wow.

Joel

52:43 … two to three times a day. And you begin to notice your body changing rapidly from doing that. And so in terms of exercise, what will make the most profound difference over time for the average person is integrating daily exertion in the form of these 20 second intervals into your day and never missing it. Just like brushing… You never miss your teeth, you always wash your teeth.

Stu

52:43 Yeah.

Joel

53:06 You take two minutes, if you took the same two minutes every day that you put in to your teeth and you just broke it up into six intervals of 20 seconds, you’d be a freak within like six months.

Stu

53:17 Yeah, interesting.

Joel

53:19 That will change your life more than anything, if you really over time want to beat this thing. But for me, in terms of like workout workouts that I like to do, I still love your classic gym rat workout, and just taking a Saturday and doing that and working the beach muscles and stuff.

Stu

53:35 Yeah.

Joel

53:37 I do a lot of sprinting.

Stu

53:39 Oh, you do? Okay.

Joel

53:41 Yeah.

Stu

53:41 Short interval burst type?

Joel

53:45 Yeah. My daily interval is just going out and sprinting.

Stu

53:48 Okay.

Joel

53:48 So I’ll get up and work, and I’ll just run a couple 150 meters and I’ll go back to work.

Stu

53:54 Brilliant. Brilliant. Cannot wait to share this. So I’ve got a wrap up question and I’m intrigued about you personally, again. So your non-negotiables, things that you would do, things that you have to do that are part of your code that you do each and every day to ensure that you crush that day, what might they be?

Joel

54:20 So this is not just inclusive of exercise or it’s [crosstalk 00:54:25]

Stu

54:25 No. Yeah, it could be anything, it could be journaling in the morning, yoga or meditation in the evening, things like that.

Joel

54:34 Well, I always start the day kind of in prayer and just thankfulness and just really inventorying my life and being thankful for everything in my life. And I was a poor kid growing up, so it’s good to remember, and it’s good to think about how fortunate one is. I have a brother with down syndrome so I try and think about that every day, because we’re mirror images except he’s four foot ten and he needs help going to the bathrooms.

Stu

55:06 Yeah, yep.

Joel

55:06 So I try to think about these things and realize that I’ve been given things he doesn’t have and I have to make the most of it. That’s a big thing for me. And then physically it’s really mobility and flexibility everyday, I never miss that.

Stu

55:06 Okay.

Joel

55:20 So no matter what, every day there’s a couple yoga flows, there’s getting my palms on the ground. There’s just really working on mobility and flexibility, that’s what gets you with age-

Stu

55:31 Yeah.

Joel

55:31 … when mobility and flexibility go.

Stu

55:33 Brilliant. Fantastic. So what’s next for Joel Greene? What have you got in the pipeline?

Joel

55:40 Well, I’ll tell you what, it has been insane for me this last month. And I’ve got kind of this course, the immune center fat loss, it’s kind of the culmination of all of these. It’s a 20 day step through-

Stu

55:55 Right.

Joel

55:56 … of like this hour, this hour, this hour, and at the end of it it solves the problem of the shrinking fat cells. So getting that out and pushed out kind of is the companion piece to the book. And it’s kind of the thing I’ve been working for for about 15 years. So I’m just getting that out the door and then putting in systems in place so people can more readily put all this stuff into place because I’ve had so many people come to me and they have just tons of questions and they want to create communities and I’m there. I’m just getting my ass kicked basically. So I want to try to-

Stu

56:31 Yeah, no doubt. Fantastic, boy oh boy. Well, no doubt there’ll be a massive wealth of information there. And yeah I can only imagine people just want to sit down and pick your brains, myself included for the entire day, day after day. But for everybody that wants to find out more about you, intrigued about the veep system, download and read or order the immunity code, or just follow you online, best place for me to send them?

Joel

56:59 Yeah. Follow me, Instagram real Joel Greene, follow me there. I’d love to… And I do my best to answer as many questions as I get every day.

Stu

57:08 Okay.

Joel

57:10 I try really hard to get back to people. And then veepnutrition.com, you can pick up there the audio book and the digital book, and then for Australian customers go to Amazon to get the hard copy.

Stu

57:26 Right.

Joel

57:27 If you get the digital book and the audio book, you’ll get goodies that you won’t get from Amazon, which is we’re launching a staging area for the book. And basically it’s on Kajabi and you have all these resources and just a bunch of things that we’re adding to just kind of really round out the experience. So and that’s just because we can contact you and keep giving you stuff and all that.

Stu

57:48 Yeah.

Joel

57:49 And so, yeah, and then the hard copy you can get on Amazon so.

Stu

57:53 Fantastic, brilliant. Well look, we’ll put all of the links and everything that we’ve spoken about today in the show notes, but thank you so much, Joel, this has been fantastic. I know our audience, our listeners are going to get something out of this for sure. They are so confused, but I think that you have answered a lot of their questions and I’m looking forward to the next time we speak. Thanks again.

Joel

58:15 Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much for having me on Stewart, I sincerely appreciate it and I love Australia. I love the people and I’m just like [inaudible 00:58:23].

Stu

58:26 Fantastic. Well look, we’ll speak soon. Thanks again.

Joel

58:29 All right, thank you. Thank you for having me on.

 

Joel Greene

This podcast features Joel Greene. He is the creator of the VEEP Nutrition System, the world's first commercially available program based on targeting gut communities to effect biomarkers. He is a featured author, speaker, and guest in top tier publications like Muscle and Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness Digital Magazine, CBS... Read More
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