SANE 404 / Lesson 3

Lunch 2.0


JONATHAN: Hey everybody. Jonathan Baylor and Carrie Brown, back with another Sane show. And we are going to keep you on your toes, because we’re trying some new things in this show.

We have a different mic set up, we’re trying to leave you with action items, I’m going to try to pick out one specific topic for us to talk about and then we’re going to take it in all sorts of weird directions.

So give us feedback: like it, don’t like it. Either way, we’ll be happier if you like it (laughter). Carrie, how are you doing?

CARRIE: I should also mention, since we’re doing things differently, that we are delirious today, because it is, I swear, at least 119 degrees in the studio and I’m melting.

JONATHAN: To be fair — to be fair — it was about 72° in the studio before Carrie came in. But ever since her extreme sanity — she was already a radiant element;for all the long-time podcast listeners out there, you already know that Carrie has long been a Radeon element.

But now that she’s an extremely Sane fireball of radiant element, 30 degrees getting tacked onto a room when she enters it is normal.

CARRIE: (Laughter). Oh, stop.

JONATHAN: So Carrie, we got some wonderful feedback, based on the last show about breakfast. So, thank you very much,to the listeners. And they said, “Hey, don’t stop with breakfast. I want to know about lunch and I want to know about dinner.”

So, much like Sesame Street tells us that certain episodes were brought to us by the letter A and the number 7, I wanted today’s Sane show to not — the letter A and number 7, not that we have anything against those letters and numbers — but rather, today’s show is brought to you by the meal, lunch.

So Carrie, lunch: what you think about lunch? Sane lunches?

CARRIE: I have a confession to make.

JONATHAN: What’s that?

CARRIE: Actually, two.

JONATHAN: Uh oh.

CARRIE: I have never seen one episode of Sesame Street.

JONATHAN: Do they have Sesame Street in the United Kingdom?

CARRIE: I have no idea.

JONATHAN: Is it called — I couldn’t think of anything funny to say, there, but —

CARRIE: I don’t know. Anyways, so that’s one thing. And the second thing is, I kind of struggle with lunch, because I eat a good breakfast.And then, I often find that, when 12 o’clock rolls around and my little alarm goes off on my phone, telling me that it’s lunchtime, I’m not really ready to eat, yet.

JONATHAN: Okay, we closed the last show with a challenge and opportunity to our listeners to challenge rules that have no basis in anything except convention, which is — whatever.

We’re going to have a separate, solo, Jonathan, 90-minute podcast recording session where I just rant about that (laughter).

CARRIE: No dogma, no dogma. Down with dogma [overlap].

JONATHAN: Down with dogma. So here’s another dogmatic thing: lunch happens at noon. Really? That is just — what? I mean, but how many people just eat at noon? So first of all, it makes eating at noon impossible, because if you try to go to any restaurant, by noon, it’s rush-hour nonsense.

So, if I ever have a lunch meeting — in quotations — you better believe it’s either getting scheduled for 11 o’clock in the morning or 1:30 in the afternoon.

CARRIE: I pack my own lunch.

JONATHAN: And you pack your own lunch, exactly — well, no, I do, too.

CARRIE: That’s why noon [overlap].

JONATHAN: So noon, whatever. For me, personally, I eat when I’m hungry, in the morning, for me, this means right when I wake up, because I’m all about lean muscle tissue maintenance and development for where I am personally, in my life.

I’m not hungry at all in the morning, but I take this concoction — which we are going to talk about, at some point — which ensures that I maintain my muscle and continue to develop muscle. But it’s very easy to consume, so it’s not really like breakfast.

I personally, for me, get quite hungry around 10 or 11. Usually, to be clear, I keep — I live in Seattle, but most of the people on the Sane team are not in Pacific Standard Time. So I work on Eastern Time, so I am up by five and working by 5:30 in the morning because that’s only 8:30 in the morning in New York and places like that. Anyway, so, aboutfive hours after I wake up, I —

CARRIE: So you have food lag, not jet lag. You have food lag.

JONATHAN: Exactly. So I personally, if you want to say that I don’t eat breakfast, in the sense that I do not eat food — real food — when I wake up, because I’m not hungry at all, I do do something else, which we can talk about in a later episode.

But then, about five hours after that, I’m quite hungry. And I eat something, which, again, is not breakfast-y; I usually have a shake of some sort or an egg dish of some sort. And then my lu — Meal #2, right? Let’s just number the meals.

CARRIE: There you go [overlap].

JONATHAN: Meal #2, for me, I find happens about four hours after Meal #1, because that’s when I’m hungry. So I end up eating lunch at around two o’clock. But that’s one of the macro principles I want to talk about on this show; there’s no such thing as lunch.

There’s only such thing as lunch, as there is — in a marriage, the woman is supposed to do this and the husband is supposed to do that. These things are artificial constructs, which, we live in a time period where we don’t need to be constrained by those things anymore.

So first and foremost, let’s talk about Meal #2, because I think most people eat midday. And if you eat approximately midday, when you get hungry, midday — Meal #2 — what are some go-to options? What are some go to options for you, Carrie?

CARRIE: During the week — because I like to do things differently on the weekend — during the week, it is a salad and a protein. So for me, that’s normally smoked salmon or chicken breast or hard-boiled eggs, because I love eggs. And then, a variety of raw veggies: lettuce, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots — I mean, whatever.

JONATHAN: And this sort of thing is a great option for —

CARRIE: And I pack it to work myself.

JONATHAN: Yeah, for people that pack stuff to work. When I used to pack lunches — I work primarily out of my home office — now, when I used to pack lunches, back when I was at Microsoft, I would always — same kind of formula as Carrie. They were burger things, burger-type things that they sold at Costco. They still do.

I still eat the salmon ones; they are wild-caught Alaskan salmon burgers, fabulous. They also had turkey burgers. So I would usually just grill a bunch of those up on a Foreman grill — or on the skillet or you could actually put them in the oven — make the protein in bulk and then, bring some vegetables and then bring some nuts.

It’s really, almost like a cook by — like you have to paint by numbers? It’s almost like a cook by numbers type thing. For lunch, if you want convenience, you’re looking at: prepare some bulk protein, prepare some bulk veggies and bring some delicious raw nuts and you’re good to go.

Like this ideathat — like sandwiches — the formula used to be; an if-you-want diabetes formula — is: take a slice of bread, put stuff below it. And then, take a slice of bread and put stuff above it.

CARRIE: That the kind of lunch that you eat, where two o’clock comes around and your face is hitting the desk.

JONATHAN: Absolutely. And the same kind of formula applies, though. People would — if you go to, for example, corporate cafeterias, there is this “take starch and put stuff in-between it” or “take starch and put stuff on top of it”. Example would be pasta and rice.

So there is this chain called PASTA ya GOTCHA, which is basically like, we’ere going to put a bunch of sugar on your plate — which is what pasta is; it’s one step away from sugar — and then, you can put all sorts of fun sauces on it.

Please don’t do that to yourself. Please don’t do that — the “gotcha” in PASTA ya GOTCHA is, “Ha, we just give you diabetes (laughter).”

CARRIE: Except, it’s not funny [overlap].

JONATHAN: “Gotcha. You don’t really need to have a foot or vision.” The only reason I mention that is because diabetes is the leading cause of both blindness and amputations in our country, so definitely not a laughing matter.

But anyway, the old formula was: starch on top, starch on bottom, stuff in the middle, sandwich. Or starch on the bottom, other stuff on top. Rice or pasta usually fits that role.No more. Non-starchy vegetables on the bottom. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy, for example, Asian or Indian places, which are quite popular, especially out here, in Seattle.

Lunchtime, hit up an Indian buffet — fantastic — or an Afghan buffet. I mentioned that in the last show. You can still have the wonderful dish; just instead of putting it on top of rice, you put it on top of veggies.

CARRIE: Right.

JONATHAN: So the formula is still, you’re going to have to have some sort of meat protein, but you’re going to combine that with the veggies and whole foods fat, rather than combining that with starch. Simple. And really, Carrie, that unlocks a bunch of stuff though, because — so, “Oh, my God, what if the only option is McDonald’s?” Well, that’s unfortunate, right?

Try not to put yourself in that situation, because it’s kind of hard to go and stand at McDonald’s — but McDonald’s offers salads and McDonald’s offers grilled chicken sandwiches. So you can go get a chicken salad — excuse me, sandwich– or you get the chicken salad.

I haven’t been to McDonald’s for five years, 10 years. I don’t know when the last time I went to McDonald’s was.

CARRIE: Slacker.

JONATHAN: But there is always vegetable, protein, vegetable, protein. So you go to McDonald’s — vegetable: salad, protein: chicken. They have them both, put them together. You want to go —

CARRIE: Throw the bun out.

JONATHAN: — throw the bun out. What about Mexican? So, Chipotle, my favorite fast food restaurant in the whole world — love Chipotle. I would rather go to Chipotle than many fancy restaurants; I think it’s fabulous.

Chipotle, back in the day when I was in Ohio, 12 years ago, Chipotle first came out; all they offered was burritos. And we started ordering burritos without the —

CARRIE: Wrap.

JONATHAN: There you go. Now,Chipotle has heard from the customers who are starting to go Sane; they offer salads. So you just get: bowl, lettuce, and then, everything else on top. Easy, breezy, simple. You go to an Asian restaurant: get whatever you want — just don’t put it on top of rice. You go to an Indian restaurant: get whatever you want, just don’t put it on top of rice and skip the naan.

Thai restaurant, same thing. So it’s not like any of this stuff is off-limits; you just use a new formula. Does that make sense?

CARRIE: Yep.

JONATHAN: So if covered, sort of quick, convenient options when you’re in the office, but Carrie, I want to also talk about — a lot of times, lunch can be a social event, so you’re eating out with people, you’re getting together for lunch.We live in a culture where, you know, Carrie, if you and I went out. And let’s say that I smoked; I’m a smoker.

And I said,“Carrie, would you like a cigarette?” And you said, “Jonathan, I don’t smoke,” I wouldn’t be offended.And no one would think you were being rude. But that doesn’t hold for food, in our culture. So if you go out with friends to lunch and you go to a buffet, let’s say — because lunch buffets are quite popular — and you don’t get rice, some folks might say something to you. What you do in those situations?

CARRIE: A couple of things. One, you are talking to a complete social hermit (laughter).

JONATHAN: Excellent, “Did not plan this beforehand.”

CARRIE: Two, when I do go out, I find that my friends know — they know what I do. And so, I have never had any — and this is honest — I have never had anyone say anything, make a comment, make a joke.

In fact, if I ever just decide to go off the ranch, like I did on Friday — my brother and his wife were in town and I went and met them downtown.We went to a seafood restaurant, because this is Seattle; you eat fish. So I went.

And there was all sorts of Sane stuff on that menu. I could have totally done the Sane thing, but I’m like, “You know what? I can’t remember the last time I had fish and chips.” When I did choose something insane, that was when I got the, “Uh, hang on a minute.” So for me, it honestly has not been a problem.

JONATHAN: Okay, okay. That is actually a good sign, because one of the first tips I was going to start with was a Dr. Seuss quote, or an approximation of a Dr. Seuss quote, which is, “Those who mind, don’t matter.And those who matter, don’t mind,” which to me, is to say again– because it has really helped me in my life.

And I think it can help you to listeners — and that’s, “Those who mind, don’t matter.And those who matter, don’t mind,” meaning that, people in your life, who are actually people you want to have in your life, will not ever criticize you for doing something that will benefit you.

If someone is, ostensibly, someone who cares about you and you do something which is unquestionably good for you and they ridicule you for that, that’s questionable. An individual who is someone you want to have in your life is someone who is going to see that and is either going to: a) say nothing; that’s actually a sign of a big person.

There is this wonderful book called “Talking The Winner’s Way”, I think, which is, this communications expert just talks about these tips and tricks for being a top level communicator and helping people feel most comfortable in social situations.

And she gives an example of just what top-tier people do, when something awkward happens, socially. So let’s say, you’re out to a meal and someone spills a glass of wine on the table. What a top-notch person will do is maintain eye contact with the person who spilled the wine and just take their napkin up off their lap and just start dabbing it up off the table.

Like, as if,“Oh, that wine” — like, I mean, imagine you were with someone and you made a mistake.And they literally — it’s like, they just maintained eye contact with you; with their hand, they just took care of it.It’s like it never happened.

Imagine how you would feel, imagine how rare that is in, again, a culture where you spilled something and it’s like, “Oh, my God.You spilled it,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? No. So those who mind, don’t matter.And those who matter, don’t mind.

Now, if you are with people who don’t matter because they mind, I would urge you to do one of — so definitely, do one thing, which is, don’t argue with them. These types of people will — goodness will never come from challenging them, ever. Ever.

You will never challenge them and they will never be like, “Oh, you know what? I never thought of it that way. Thanks.” They will always just throw stuff back at you and it’s like teasing a ravenous dog; it’s just not going to make the situation better.

So my father used always tell me — my father is an addictions counselor and when someone is heavily engaged in addictive behaviors and they are counseling their families, they have this term that they use, called DNE — Do Not Engage. Just do not engage the person.

If someone is in and heroin-induced, psychopathic rage, you’re not going to have a rational conversation with that person.So you have to just do not engage. So, of course, this is not to that level of severity, but if someone is going to poke fun at you for being Sane, one: understand that they mind, so they do not matter; and two: don’t engage.

So maybe just smile, maybe just say, “Thank you,” agree with them. “Yeah, I know, I’m always silly”, “I’m always doing something strange” — just like judo. Think about it like judo; they are throwing a punch at you, you’re going to catch it and move with it.

And then, the last thing you could do is — this is a little bit riskier; this is a little bit riskier, but it works in situations where, say for example, you are ordering something at lunch and you are trying to make it more Sane. So you say, “Hey, can you hold the starch and double the vegetables?” and the server is not compliant — which is very rare — you can say, “I am diabetic.”

If you say you are diabetic, haters will disappear, because now, they can’t mock you. They can’t say, “Oh”– I mean, of course, if they know you and they know you’re not diabetic, this is not going to work.

But if a server, for example, is like, “Well, no, we can’tmake those substitutions,” just say, “I am diabetic,” and you will be pretty amazed athow quickly starch and sugar aversion becomes just fine.

CARRIE: For me, I find — I mean, I’m very confident. If I have ever — but I can’t even think of an example.But if someone ever made a comment to me about it: “You don’t want rice?” or, “You don’t want pizza?” or whatever, I just say, “No, thank you. I would rather eat salad, or” —

And I actually had a situation last month, where I was at a restaurant with a group of colleagues from work. Andit was actually in the evening. I’m aware that people take note of what I do, because they know about my connection with Sane.

And so, I ordered. And I ordered it with, like you say, “Hold the starch and double the veggies,” had a chat with the server. And when the server got round to one of my colleagues on the other side of the table, he said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

JONATHAN: Hm mmm, hm mmm.

CARRIE: And so, it was actually — I made it easier for the others to be weird, by saying — you know? But actually, it was — if you’re confident, you can actually use that to influence other people positively, without actually saying anything.

JONATHAN: Carrie, I’m glad you use the word “confident”, because I think this is a really helpful distinction for our listeners, because confidence is often conflated with cockiness, and they are not the same thing. And cockiness is what turns people off; confidence is one of the most attractive characteristics a human being can have.

So let me give you an example of confidence: Ghandi was confident. Martin Luther King, Jr. was confident. When Barack Obama was running for president, when he was talking about hope and changes, he was confident. That was — and you will notice that when people are truly confident, they’re calm and they are the opposite of defensive.

This is not — so someone who is not confident is someone who is like, “I’m not going to eat that, and you shouldn’t, either.” That is the opposite of confidence. That is cockiness; that is condescending-ness. What we’re talking about here is confidence.

So you are offered — you’re at a lunch event at your job, or at a social event, and you are offered a piece of pizza. And you say, “No, thank you, I am not hungry.” And you make solid eye contact with the person and it is not defensive, it’s just a non-event. It’s like, they spilled the wine and you dabbed it up. “Would you like a piece of pizza?”“Oh no, I’m not hungry.Thank you.” Smile.

CARRIE: There is amazing power in confidently looking someone in the eye and saying, “No, thank you.” And if you need to follow it up with, “I prefer not to eat rice” or, “I prefer not to eat starches”, whatever it is, I have never had a backlash from, “No, thank you.” People don’t challenge, if you just confidently state your place.

JONATHAN: And I would — if you need to practice this — because I know it sounds a little bit silly, but get a mirror and — because you want to smile when you do it. I mean, imagine these great leaders and think of like, a Margaret Thatcher, or just these amazing people that have lived throughout history.

And when they say something, it’s not like they’re angry or — it’s just that it’s a non-event. It’s just a, acceptance. It’s like, “Oh, you offered me pizza; that’s a very kind gesture of you. Thank you.” Like, “I appreciate that you offer that to me, but I’m good. Thank you. Thank you, though.” So it’s, no offense. No offense taken.

A basic principle of human interaction is that, if you — so for example,let’s say, you’re watching ice-skating, or any kind of performance. So we have all probably either — theater or something; you’re watching someone perform something and they make a mistake.

If they just act like they didn’t make the mistake, don’t you feel better? What makes you feel really awkward is if you’re watching someone perform, they screw up and then, they get uncomfortable.

CARRIE: They are embarrassed, or you feel bad for them.

JONATHAN: Exactly [overlap]. Because we are naturally empathetic people. So if the person you’re with or watching in the performance example, if they become nervous and embarrassed and feel awkward, you become nervous and embarrassed and feel awkward. And the same thing happens in any form of human interaction.

So just imagine you’re watching a performer and they tripped.And they just continued going on, you would be like, “Oh, thank God, because I almost felt awkward.”

Imagine you’re in a social interaction and it’s only — and I’m going to put the responsibility on us, as Sane leaders, because frankly, if we are not responsible, what else can we do about it? It’s all responsibility not to make that situation uncomfortable.

And the good news is, that’s very easy to do: just don’t make it uncomfortable. Just be very friendly, smile, everything is always positive: “Thank you, I’ll pass.” If they pressure you on it, agree with them: “Yeah, I know, I’m silly. Who knows if I can keep this up? You’re right.”And eventually, they’ll just drop it.

In another example: if that seems — “Oh, this person, they’re not going to act that way.” Imagine if you were in a social interaction with the person and their shirt was torn. You see the person, their shirt is torn. In the back of your mind, throughout your interaction with that person, everything that they say, you’re just going to be like, “Your shirt’s torn. Your shirt’s torn. Hey, your shirt’s torn.”

I don’t know what it is; I’m sure one of our listeners who has a PhD in psychology can explain — there’s a name for this. But if that person were to say — so let’s say, Carrie, that we are recording here and my shirt’s torn. I’m like, “Hey, Carrie, how’s it going today? Hey, I tore my shirt this morning.

It was so embarrassing, but you know, I don’t have a spare shirt.So please bear with me with my torn shirt.”It’s like, you would say, “Oh, he acknowledged that he has a torn shirt. So now, I’m okay with it, too.”

CARRIE: That was a bad example, though, because if you had a torn shirt, I (inaudible–22:38). I’d care.Really, I’m sure the listeners can fill in the blanks, there.

JONATHAN: (Laughter). But hopefully, this is making some sense.

CARRIE: Your saying that would not take my mind off your torn shirt [overlap].

JONATHAN: (Laughter) Bad example. Let’s say a coffee stain or a green tea stain on my shirt. But listeners, hopefully, you can take away from that, that if you do not want these situations to be awkward, you have the power to make them not be awkward by not making them awkward.

The only way a situation can become awkward is if both parties make it awkward. You can’t have an argument with one person.

CARRIE: Be firm, be friendly.

JONATHAN: Perfect. Be confident, be friendly, don’t be cocky, don’t ever try to impose sanity on anyone else. That’s an insane tactic, because you’re never going to impose anything on anything else, effectively. So again, if they mind, they don’t matter. If they matter they won’t mind.

Be friendly, smile, thank them. I know this sounds a little bit silly, but if you can’t think of what to say, say, “Thank you.” It might not make any sense, but I promise you that, in a social interaction, it will more than likely work.

“Hey, would you like a cupcake?”“Thank you, I’ll pass.” I mean, just start with “Thank you”, because it sort of disarms people. And I think, from there, you’ll find a way to make it work. I think it’s pretty good, Carrie.

CARRIE: We totally went off track, there.

JONATHAN: But I mean, I think that’s —

CARRIE: Kind of.

JONATHAN: But that’s what we have to do, because lunch — so much of lunch and food, in general, is — right here, it’s what you eat. It’s simple. It’s the same, always: vegetables, protein, whole food fats, low-sugar fruits. In the lunch context, let’s give some concrete examples.

So you go to various different restaurants.We talked about Asian-inspired restaurants, South American-typerestaurants, Mexican restaurants, we talked about American restaurants — how you apply that. But the basic formula stays the same.

But there is a whole other level of this, and it’s social interaction. It’s the insane society we live in. And I feel like, if people — just like with food, man; we’re talking about abundance, we’re talking about positivity, we’re talking about sustainable, simple approaches.

I forget who it was; I think it was Laura Dolson — and Laura, please forgive me if I mispronounced your name; she is the low-carb editor for About.com — and she was on the show. And we talked about — I think that was the first time we coined the term “nutritional serenity”.

And I think that is what we’re after. I just want to urge all of our listeners, if you’re like, “Oh, my God, is this a serving of that?” or a serving of this, or “What do I do here?” like, this sense of panic and urgency and complexity, that is poison. And that is going to derail you from everything in life.
It’s simple, it’s calm, it’s abundance, it’s happiness. Apply that to lunch. An abundance of Sane food, apply that to social interaction: “Thank you.” Laugh, smile — confidence. Easy, breezy, sane.

CARRIE: Yes.

JONATHAN: Excellent. And I’m going to go tear my shirt.

CARRIE: I — (laughter).

JONATHAN: I’m not — no (laughter).

CARRIE: Please don’t do that. If you want me to stay, focused, please don’t do that. See, already now, I have forgotten what I was going to say.

JONATHAN: Carrie does have a salmon-colored sweater on. And her face now matches it. So on that note, we will bid you adieu, listeners. And your assignment or your action item for this week is going to be to assemble a lunch in the format we have described.

So if you frequently go out to lunch, just instead of doing the starch plus protein formula, do the protein plus non-starchy vegetable formula that we talked about. If you’re eating in the office, pre-prepare non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein and take some raw nuts — simple as 123.

And of course, some low-fructose fruit — berries or citrus are super easy, super portable. So that’s your physical eating assignment. Your mental assignment is, maybe you’reundoubtedly going to be in some sort of awkward social situation; try to take a step back and try to come at it with some truly calm, friendly confidence: “Thank you.”

Agree with the person, do not argue with them. Judo it. Think about these great leaders throughout history.Embody confidence, not cockiness, embody serenity and smile and just make it happen. And be Sane.

CARRIE: Yeah. Just say, “No,” but do it with a smile.

JONATHAN: I love it. I love it. Well, Carrie, this has been brilliant. Listeners, I hope you enjoyed this conversation, as much as we have. And please remember, this week and every week after: stay sane.

CARRIE: See ya.