We are going to go fast, we’re going to go deep in these calls, but it’s all good because they are recorded so you can watch it as many times as you want, and they are going to be transcribed, as well, so you can read them if we go too fast. And if not, everything makes sense right away, please, please, please, that is all good. It is all good. You’re jumping into the deep end here. You know from your SANE step-by-step course we go SANE, the 100-level course, the 200-level course, the 300-level course – this is like your senior thesis, Ph.D., master seminar session.
The best way to leverage these calls is to let them wash over you. I promise you that just by being here and just by hearing this information, even if it doesn’t all click immediately, hearing it is going to start to rewire your brain. This is just science. It’s called neuroplasticity, and we now know that we can, actually, no matter how old we are – you know that old saying – an old dog can’t learn new tricks is now demonstrably, scientifically, been proven to be false. We’re actually going to change our brains, not only through what we’re eating and how we’re moving our bodies, but also the information we’re exposing ourselves to.
What you’re going to experience just by hearing these calls is consciousness-raising. We’re going to actually raise your consciousness, raise your level of awareness, so if the science doesn’t all make sense immediately, let it wash over you, come back, watch the call again, and as always, and I bring this up every week, as you go through your step-by-step program, if you’re thinking, “What is Jonathan talking about?” All good. Log into your Ignite program. On the header in the middle of the page you’re going to see step-by-step. This is the cornerstone of your Ignite program.
So please, please, please, every single week all you have to do – I promise, without a shadow of a doubt, that if every week for the next year you complete three to seven steps in your step-by-step course, a year from today you will be at a place that you can easily and effortlessly maintain for the rest of your life and enjoy for the rest of your life. I know a year seems like a long time, but if we were to say a year from today, if I could wave a magic wand and say that a year from today you will be in a place psychologically and physically that you can’t imagine right now, I’ll bet we would wave that magic wand all day long.
I wish it could happen tomorrow, but the magic wand can’t do that. The magic wand has to say, “I need a year.” That magic wand is your step-by-step program because each and every person here, if you are here, if you are a member of the Ignite family, which you are, because you are here, you have done amazing things in your life. You are a super capable person, you are a brilliant person, you have overcome so much adversity and so much challenge.
But the thing that has been missing, when it comes to our metabolic health, as well as our nutritional health, is simply information. We’ve been given incorrect information. Period. It’s not because there is any problem with you. It’s not because you haven’t tried hard enough. It’s not because you haven’t tried enough different things. It’s that everything you’ve tried, all those different things you’ve tried, have all been different variations on this calorie-counting, starvation, eat less, exercise more, theory that metabolism works like math, which is just wrong. It’s just flat wrong. Period.
If you’re in Chicago and you’re trying to get to Columbus, Ohio – well, let’s do a different example because maybe not everyone knows where those things are because we have people from many countries here. If you’re in California – I think everyone knows where California is, and you’re trying to go to New York, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that people know where those are – and you have a map of Canada and you follow that map, you’re not going to get anywhere. You’re not going to get any closer to New York. If you do, it’s by accident and you won’t be able to get there consistently. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, it doesn’t matter how many different times you try, it doesn’t matter how much money you pay people to help you try, if the map is wrong, if the information is wrong, you’re never going to get to where you want to go.
The key, the difference, the thing that makes all the difference, the road less traveled, is the correct information. Once you have that correct information, once you’ve downloaded that correct map of how your brain and your hormones and your gut biology work together to determine your long-term weight and well-being, you’re going to be an unstoppable force, even more than you already are today. But the key to that, that cannot happen unless you go through and get that information one step at a time in your step-by-step program. Please follow it one step at a time because it is cumulative.
So as you go through that, everything you hear here is going to make way more sense, and I promise you, 80-90% of your questions are going to be answered, because we’ve had the wonderful opportunity here at SANE to be doing this for many, many – 15+ years. And because of that, we know a lot of the most common questions, and they are addressed in detail in your step-by-step program. But of course we always want to supplement that with loving and caring support in your support group. So if you haven’t gone over there, please pop over there immediately after this call. And then, of course, taking it to the next level, with the depth and cutting edge, hopefully fun time that we’re going to have in these calls.
With all that said, that was a long way of me giving some disclaimers, but please, have a good time, ask your questions. And speaking of questions, if you have a question for me, down in that chat box go ahead and change – there is a little bubble there, you will see – if you click on that bubble it’s going to change it from a chat to a question. And that’s super important, because I can’t keep up with the chats. The chat is more for you and for you guys to have fun and to talk with one another.
If you want to get my attention, please post something as a question, which I think, hopefully, someone will do. If you’re not new here, please post a question just as an example so other people can see, you can post any kind of question you want. That is how you’ll get my attention, and that’s a lot of fun. The other thing that I want to make sure that we do is, I have some wonderful questions that were sent in from the support group that you can always do beforehand. We’ve got some amazing topics to cover.
And as always, there we go – Wednesday, SANE coach is in the house, and she says, “What color is the rainbow?” And that is a trick question because the rainbow is – boom – multiple colors, not a single color. Valerie is on top of things. Katherine is on top of things. I love it. So if you have a question for me, or if you just want to get my attention, to throw me off, or to just see if Jonathan can handle lots of different questions, we’ll probably do a hot seat session at some point, just rapid-fire, how many questions can I answer? But I do like to go deep, so thank you.
If you have a question, just like Jeffrey said, “Is supplementation going to be covered.” Jeffrey, yes, I don’t have a specific area of supplementation that I had planned on covering today, but if you do have specific questions about supplementation please go ahead and post them and I will give you my two cents. I will tell you that the coaching call from last week, I do think we covered supplementation in detail, from a macro perspective, what is the SANE thought on supplements? So, there are some great resources there.
So before we get into it, and before we get into the questions, you know you have your step-by-step program, so please, please, please, jump into your step-by-step program if you haven’t already. It’s the most important part of your Ignite program and it will guarantee your long-term success, but the only catch is that you’ve actually got to do it. But hey, that’s why you’re here is to do it. So that’s all good. And I promise you that it’s way more fun and way less time-consuming than spending endless hours on the treadmill, so none of that.
And please pop into your support group. There has been an amazing amount of amazing, amazing love and Q&A going on in your coaching and support group from your SANE certified coaches. Wednesday, Lori, Rayna, Rebecca, Josh, Andrea, and we’ve even got some new folks who may be jumping into the mix. It’s awesome. The family is growing, it’s a super-dynamic place and honestly, I think we all know this, but when I say we have to have the right information, that’s not completely true. Not only do we need to have the right information, but we’ve got to have the right motivation, and we have to have a supporting, loving community behind us, and that’s not just me saying that, that is science. We have actually seen myriad studies showing that there is a direct relationship between our long-term success making any lifestyle change and the amount of support that we have. So we want to provide that to you, no questions asked, 24/7/365.
So please, please, please, every time you click on step-by-step, do a step in your step-by-step program, and then click on coaching, pop over to your coaching, have them open in two different windows or two different tabs, talk about what you just learned, ask questions, do your gratitude journal. It’s beautiful, and I promise you it’s going to help turbo-charge your success. And, you’re going to experience what is called “gamification.” So we’ve built in a bunch of fun stuff in your support group which gives badges and awards and prizes and all kinds of other fun stuff, and I’m going to celebrate this week’s top contributors.
Everyone has been doing a great job, but I want to give a special shout-out to our wonderful family members, Cici in the house. Cici has been just crushing it, and thank you so much for sharing your wonderful SANE success story. That is beautiful. Of course, Stephanie Reisler, always a pleasure. Linda Bayer, Gaynor Hellier, Amanda Elrich. Oh my goodness, I’m about to mispronounce your name and I’m so sorry – Julina, or Miss Tims, let’s say. Miss Tims, thank you so much. Kate Bozco and Sandra Griffith. Thank you so much for your exceptional contributions this week. I so deeply appreciate it. I see a bunch of questions coming in, which is fantastic. I’m going to go ahead and cover those. And then we’ve got some questions in here, so let’s do it. Are we ready? All right, I think we’re ready. Let’s see what we’ve got here.
Cici says: “Does the 7.5 hours of sleep need to be all at once, or can you take a nap later if you don’t get enough?” Cici, the research that I’ve seen suggests that sleep, much like everything else in life – not all sleep was created equal. Just like not all calories are the same, just like not all sources of protein or fat or carbohydrates are the same, not all exercise is the same, not all sleep is the same. You may be familiar with things like REM cycles, different stages of sleep, so chunks of sleep – I believe different people’s sleep cycles vary, but they’re usually in the ballpark of 90 minutes to two hours, and there is a threshold where, for example, if you broke your sleep into ten-minute intervals you would never get to the depth of sleep that is truly restorative.
And it is interesting because it actually works a lot like your muscle physiology, and we’re going to get into science, but again, if this doesn’t make sense, it will after you’ve gone through your step-by-step program. As we’ve talked about and as you’ve learned in your step-by-step program, or you will learn, you know that the way your muscle fibers work is that you have different types of muscle fibers. You have four different types. And you recruit them progressively. So if you do something that requires very little resistance, you only recruit your type 1-A muscle fibers. But then if you do something that requires a little bit more resistance, you recruit your type 1-B muscle fibers. And then you recruit your type 2-X, and then type 2-B muscle fibers.
So there is an orderly recruitment there, so it’s type 1-A, type 2-A, type 2-X, and type 2-B. As we get progressively deeper there we get greater and greater metabolic benefits. That’s why we always want to do safe, but high resistance, slow exercise because that ensures that we hit all of our muscle fibers, especially what we call the deep ones, the type 2-B muscle fibers. We can get more into that later, but it is covered in depth in your step-by-step program.
I never thought about this, but the same concept applies to sleep. We throw around the term, deep sleep, but that’s actually very, very true. You go into different stages of sleep and we do want to make sure we get that deep sleep. So if you needed to, for example, break up your sleep, it’s not the end of the world. Just please understand that the longer, or the chunkier, you can make your sleep, the better, so you get complete sleep cycles. That’s quite important. Some is better than none, but do understand that just like walking is not a bad form of exercise, but it’s a low resistance form of exercise, there is no amount of low resistance exercise like walking — it’s not like the more walking you can do you can eventually recruit your type 2-B muscle fibers. Your body doesn’t work that way.
Just like it’s not as if the more biceps curls you do, eventually, your leg muscles will get exercised. It doesn’t work that way. No matter how many times you curl your arm, your leg muscle doesn’t get activated. And no matter how many steps you take, your type 2-B muscle fibers won’t be activated. And no matter how many 20-minute power naps we take, we’ll never hit that deep level of sleep. So it’s not bad to nap, but we do want to make sure we’re not depriving ourselves of those 90-minute to two-hour chunks of sleep, and the more of those we can string together, the better, from an optimal perspective. Hopefully that is helpful.
Gay asks, “I’ve started eating more smoothies. How do I stop them repeating on me? They don’t taste so good the second time.” Gay, have you tried different recipes? I apologize, I don’t 100% understand the question, but what I generally do with my smoothies is, I vary the types of fruits that I use. I personally actually don’t use that much fruit nowadays because my tastes have changed and I just get by on my veggies. But I would recommend — there is, I think, over 100 different recipes for smoothies available within the Ignite program so maybe you could check those out.
And then if you vary — there was the smoothie guide provided a few weeks back which you can post about in your support group. We’ll get you the link. It’s a new product we came out with which was given free of charge to all of our wonderful Ignite family members. What you will find in there is a cheat sheet that provides myriad different vegetable options, as well as low-fructose fruit options. And if you like variations you can swap out your greens. You might try spinach one week, you might try romaine the next week, you might try arugula the next week, you might try swiss chard the next week. You might try oranges as your fruit, you might try strawberries as your fruit the next week, you might try raspberries as your fruit the next week, you might try peaches.
There is a set of low-fructose fruits. Think about it like paint-by-numbers. Pick a leafy green vegetable, pick a fruit, add a little bit of SANE sweetener if you’d like, and just mix those up. How many different combinations can you make? That’s a fun approach for a lot of people to keep that variation there, for sure.
All right, we’ve got a question here which is, “Hello, everybody. Total newbie here. I have a farmer some 20 miles from my house that offers raw goat milk. I’m willing to drive there weekly or every other week to switch to goat milk, which I have read is better for me because it is more similar to human milk than cow milk. Also, I have made my own yogurt. I am not lacto, but can I make nonfat Greek-style homemade yogurt from milk? It would be much easier to stick to store bought yogurt.”
Oh my goodness, that is a good question. A couple of things there. First and foremost, if you want to drink milk, I would strongly recommend that you drink coconut milk. Coconut milk is going to provide you with a specific form of fat called medium-chain triglyceride which is extremely difficult — this is not totally true, but for all intents and purposes it is true — there are certain nutrients, you might notice, that are very, very hard to find from food. For example, vitamin D. There is a reason that vitamin D is added to everything, and people are talking about getting a lot of sunshine, and you’ll see that toxic cereals have vitamin D added to them, because it is very, very difficult to get naturally occurring vitamin D from food.
You’ve also probably heard of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are just not found in a lot of foods. Contrast that to omega 6 fatty acids found in a lot of foods. So there are certain nutrients which are just very difficult to find in foods, or another way to say the same thing, they only exist in very few foods. There is a specific type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides, which for all intents and purposes is only found in coconuts. And what is beautiful about this form of fat is that it has two uniquely powerful characteristics that have been highly studied, so this is not theory at this point, this is peer-reviewed clinical research.
Medium-chain triglyceride, which is one of the primary fats in coconut, which is nearly impossible to get anywhere else, is known as a fat-burning fat, meaning that in iso-caloric studies — an iso-caloric study is a real clinical hard core nutrition study where they take one group of people and they feed them a certain abount of calories, let’s say 2000 calories, and they take another group of people and they feed them the same amount of calories, 2000 calories. Iso-caloric, meaning, “I am not going to change the number of calories that are consumed.” But what they might do is, in the first group of 2000 calories, they will say, “You’re going to get 10% of your calories from a certain kind of fat,” and the other group they’re going to say, “You’re going to take that same number of calories and get it from a different type of fat.”
So in studies they’ve said, “We’re going to take some more common forms of fat, like maybe omega 6 fats or other forms of saturated fat, and we’re going to replace those with medium-chain triglycerides.” Medium-chain triglycerides are processed fundamentally differently by your body. They actually can boost your metabolism, provide you with sustained energy, and really enhance brain function. So, calorie-for-calorie, if you swap medium-chain triglyceride, or one of the key fats in coconut, in for other fats, your metabolism will be boosted. It’s fantastic. It’s a natural way to boost your metabolism and to provide steady, consistent energy. That’s the first unique benefit to medium-chain triglyceride.s
The second unique benefit to medium-chain triglycerides is, there are long-chain fats, medium-chain fats, and short-chain fats. As we get shorter, for lack of a better term, these become more and more therapeutic to our gut. They help to feed our gut bacteria and boost our gut health, which is so important, and we’re learning more and more about this — antibiotic courses, toxins in the environment. One of the reasons these things can be harmful to our long-term weight is they disrupt the bacteria in our gut and that changes the way our body processes food. So anything that we can do to restore that gut flora is extremely beneficial for our long-term health and well-being and weight, and medium-chain triglycerides, and coconut in general, because coconut also has a lot of wonderful fiber in it, is great for that.
So, whether or not you should drink goat milk instead of cow’s milk, unfortunately I haven’t read any peer-reviewed research on that and I want to try to keep this as purely clinically scientific as possible. If that is easier for you, or if you enjoy it more, cow’s milk is actually not particularly SANE. You’ll notice that on the SANE spectrum we talk about non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole-food fats and low-fructose fruit. Most dairy is actually in the middle section. If you think green light, yellow light, red light, it’s in the yellow light section. It’s quite high in sugar, and it doesn’t have as many nutrients as other things we could be eating.
So if we’re going to drink milk, and again I’m not a huge, huge fan personally, and if you look at the research, drinking calories, or drinking food other than smoothies that you make, a smoothie is totally different because with a smoothie you’re taking a whole food and you’re blending it up, so you’re essentially just pre-chewing a whole food. So in some ways, yes, it is liquid calories, but it’s a whole food that has been turned into a liquid, whereas things like milk or a juice are pure liquid calories and liquid calories don’t have the same satiating effect that solid calories are going to have on us.
So personally, I’m not a huge fan of dairy milk in general for any number of reasons. If you do need to drink milk for whatever reason, if you just love it, then that’s an important part of your life, so of course, be happy and enjoy it. I would recommend light coconut milk or full-fat coconut milk depending on your goals and where you are. Second in line would almond milk. Hopefully that is helpful.
Ekaterin asks: “Any advice for people who work the night shift with very few sleep hours?” Ekaterin, I would love if you could provide a little bit more information for me around, just working the night shift versus just working the day shift. I haven’t seen any research that suggests that is going to cause problems for us. Sleep deprivation is going to cause problems for us, period, regardless of when you work. We know that the amount of sleep we’re getting is as important, if not more important, as the quality of food that we’re eating, the type of support we’re getting and the type of physical movement that we’re doing.
So whether or not you work during the day, or you work at night, I would urge you to figure out as best you can, a way to focus your time on ensuring you’re getting at least six hours of sleep, hopefully working your way up to eight. The reason for that, and I know you’ve heard that before, but people probably haven’t told you why that matters so much, and one of the big differences we want to provide here in your SANE family is to provide the actual science justifying what we’re saying, because a lot of people say a lot of stuff and there is no science to back it. So it’s really important. We’ve been misinformed for about 40 years. People would just say things like, “Fat make you fat,” which is not true, and in retrospect is like saying, “Green vegetables make you green.” It sounds kind of reasonable, but it’s just not true at all.
You’ve probably heard you need to get sleep. One of the reasons that sleep is so important is, we now know that chronic obesity is a metabolic disease just like diabetes, for example. It’s not a willpower problem, it’s not an effort problem, it’s not as if there is some character flaw that you have. It really upsets me when the media pretends that this is true because we just know it’s not. The American Medical Association, which is one of the most slow-moving organizations in the world, has acknowledged publicly that obesity is a metabolic disease much like diabetes is.
When we think about disease, when we think about sickness, first of all, that allows us to give ourselves the self-love and the care that we deserve when we’re sick. Right now, it’s kind of like we’ve got the flu. Our metabolism has the flu right now. We’ve got inflammation going on in our brain, we’ve got inflammation going on in our digestive system, we’ve got dysregulation amongst our hormones. So it’s like our metabolism has the flu. If you have the flu and you want to get better, and you get two hours of sleep per night, we all know that our body isn’t going to be able to heal itself.
Why? Because we know that in order for the body to be able to heal itself it’s got to be able to rest. Part of the reason for the body breaking down is, it has been over-extended, or over-stressed in certain ways. When I say stress, I don’t mean we’ve been busy, necessarily. For example, antibiotics will put a heavy load of stress on your gut bacteria. Giving birth provides a lot of stress onto your body. Not getting enough sleep. Constantly hearing bad information on the news. These are all stressors. Stress isn’t bad. In fact, we need stress. If we never had stress bad things would happen. Stress allows our body to adapt and develop.
But in order for our body to adapt and develop the stress can’t be constant. We have to have stress followed by a time for, not only recovery, but for our body to build back stronger than it was before. That’s one of the coolest things about our body. Our body is what is called supra-adaptive. This is what you see when you strength train. You go in, you lift some weights, you do some strength training, and your body gets weaker for a moment in time. You’re sore. You’re not able to do as much the day after as you did the day you exercised. However, in a couple of days you’re not sore and your body gets back to normal.
But then it’s not done. It supra-adapts. It makes you stronger. It develops stronger muscle fibers, it develops more new lean compact muscle fibers. It allows your brain to fire more muscle fibers. So what initially broke you down and made you weaker, your body then made you stronger as a result. But again, that doesn’t even happen if we don’t rest and we don’t sleep. So once we understand and we give ourselves permission to say, “Hey, look, I’m not weak, I’m not lacking willpower. I’ve been given really just objectively wrong information for the past 40 years, and that has caused me to become sick.
This sounds crazy, but it’s not because it’s the way the world works. About 100 years ago we were told by experts that smoking wasn’t bad, and in some cases that it was good for our T-zone. You can look up old cigarette ads on the Internet and you will see it’s good for your T-zone. Is it our fault if then 40 years later we got lung cancer? No, it’s absolutely not our fault because we were told it’s not bad for us and in some cases we were told it’s good for us. But if we have lung cancer, if we have a disease, we’re going to treat ourselves with a sense of self-love and a sense of healing that is very, very important — not a sense of shame, not a sense of let’s beat ourselves up in the gym because we did something wrong, or bad.
I say all this to really elevate the need for sleep because once we understand that we’ve been given bad information and that has caused us to become sick, if you need to remember a metaphor, think metabolic flu. “I have the metabolic flu. My metabolism has the flu.” Write that down: My metabolism has the flu. And if you have the flu, what do you need? You need some sleep. You need to give your body time, and the resources, and the ability to heal itself because that’s the only way our body ever gets better, right?
If you break your arm, the cast doesn’t heal you. The cast ensures that you don’t disrupt your body from healing itself. This is kind of a crazy analogy, I’ve never thought about this before, but laying in your bed and falling asleep is a little bit like putting yourself, your whole body, in a mini cast. Just like if you broke your arm and you put a cast on for five minutes it’s not going to do any good, because you need to put yourself in a state where your body can heal itself for a given period of time, for it to heal.
What we’ve see is that with sleep, think about it like a mini cast — mini, warm, relaxing cast — and you need to put your body in that cast for six to eight hours per night in order for it to get better. It doesn’t matter if you work during the day, it doesn’t matter if you work during the night, if you want your body to heal itself, you’ve got to protect it, you have to give it the opportunity to heal itself. You’ve got to fuel it with the right raw material — that’s eating. We need to give it the right hormonal stimulation — that’s exercise.
We need to feel that we’re feeling good emotionally and psychologically — and that’s our support. And then we just need to make sure that our body has the opportunity to take all that goodness and repair ourselves, and that happens during sleep. So if we don’t get the sleep we’re never giving our body the opportunity to do that healing. So hopefully that helps. I appreciate the question, it’s a great one.
Debra asks: “What are your thoughts on coconut water?” I’m, again, not a huge, huge, huge fan of — let me take a step back. I think it’s really, really important for us to drink a lot of water and a lot of tea, specifically, green tea or white tea, or to some extent, black tea or oolong tea. These are phenomenally good for us. I think that we have seen in the past 40 years a huge market — and it actually isn’t over the past 40 years, let’s take it back to the past 80 years.
The idea of drinking water, especially amongst children, has become almost blasphemy. It’s like, “Wait! What I’m drinking has no taste. I have to have taste. Every time I put something in my mouth it has to have some taste.” That’s not a bad thing. But I do think it can become a bad thing if we’re not careful. It’s also very expensive. So if you have the choice between drinking green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea or just water, or coconut water, for example — is coconut water bad for you? No, it’s not bad for you. If you enjoy it and it gives you great pleasure, I would absolutely continue to enjoy it. I think it’s fine.
I think developing, or regaining, your enjoyment of just plain old water, filtered water, ideally, is hugely beneficial because so often we don’t drink enough fluids in general, and part of the reason we don’t do that is because we don’t drink water. And if you are trying to drink, for example, a gallon of water per day — forget about eight glasses – if you really want to maximize your results, remember progress rather than perfection, don’t feel like, “Oh, I didn’t drink a gallon of water yesterday, I’m a failure.” Not at all, it’s progress rather than perfection. But when we drink enough water we create what is called hypo-osmality in our body. We actually create a state where the balance in certain levels of certain chemicals within and outside of our cells actually makes it easier for our cells to burn off fat for fuel, so drinking a lot of water — we’ve heard these things like get a lot of sleep and drink a lot of water, but it’s never really been explained to us why.
Drinking a lot of water actually helps to boost your metabolism and it actually helps your body to be more effective at burning fat. The challenge is now, if we don’t like water, and I promise you that is not natural. We naturally love water. If human beings thought the taste of water was disgusting we would have died off as a species a long time ago because we never would have drank water. So if we’re not big fans of water right now it’s only because big food has trained us to drink things like soda, to drink things that have been sweetened, to drink things that have been flavored. I’m not suggesting that you just stop doing that, but maybe what we can do is start to gradually dilute those down. So right now, if you drink eight ounces of coconut water, which is not bad, by any means. I’m not saying stop doing that. But the reason we’re here is to continuously get better and better and better.
So you can help yourself to burn more fat, and you can save yourself money, because if you think, “Oh my goodness, Jonathan said I have to drink a gallon of liquid per day, that’s $25 of coconut water per day. I can’t do that.” So part of the reason I’m also encouraging us to drink water is that it can save us some cash so that we can spend our money on higher quality food, or maybe spend our money on hiring someone to mow our lawn so that we have more time to sleep at night because we’re not spending all of our time doing chores. So it’s always about where are we going to spend our money, where are we going to spend our time?
This can apply to milk, it can apply to any kind of beverage. Instead of drinking eight ounces of coconut water, maybe you fill the glass almost all the way up the top, and then you add a little bit of filtered water, so it’s 7/8th coconut water. Drink that for a week. You’re not going to be able to taste almost any difference by changing it from 100% coconut water to 90% coconut water with 10% water. The next week, just 10% more water. So it’s a little bit less, you pour in your coconut water first, or whatever first, and then you pour the rest of the water in, going down 10% each week. You do that for eight weeks, so over the course of two months, because I need you to do it slowly or else it’s going to be too dramatic a transition, your body is going to rebel against it. It’s going to feel like it’s using your willpower and it’s not going to be helpful. But if you do it slowly enough, pretty soon you’re going to be at 7/8th water with 1/8th coconut water. If you want to stay that forever, that’s totally fine.
That is the one thing that I do strongly recommend. People enjoy it. They want to flavor a beverage. Just take distilled water, put it in a blender with a strawberry, or a wedge of peeled lemon, or some mint, or some cucumber, or four blueberries, and make a natural vitamin water, so it’s just a lot of water with a little bit of something else. If you think about it, that’s what tea is, a lot of water with a little bit of therapeutic leaves and other sorts of things added to it. So maybe try that with coconut water, maybe try that with everything else, slowly work your way to just using the non-water substance to infuse a little bit of a flavor into the water. And that’s going to be super helpful, not only for your wellness and your fat loss, but also for your bank account, so it’s a triple win. So hopefully, that is helpful.
Gina says, “What is a short-chain triglyceride?” Gina, great question. That is a type of fat, and it’s actually very, very difficult to find in your diet. It is found in some forms of dairy. It is a form of fat that is most often produced by your body as a byproduct of when your gut bacteria start doing digestive things that they do, not to get too complicated and scientific here in this call. But it is a specific type of saturated fat that is very, very beneficial to gut bacteria and is actually created in many cases by your gut bacteria. For all intents and purposes, it’s not something that you need to think to yourself, “Do I need to be eating more of these?” For all intents and purposes you can’t, really, but you can say, “I’m going to optimize my fat intake, the optimal sources of fat.” There are fats that are terrible for us, just as there are forms of protein that are terrible for us, and there are forms of carbohydrate that are terrible for us. The forms of fat that are terrible for us are trans fats. These unnatural fats — no good.
As we move more toward the healthy end of the spectrum, over-eating omega 6 fats, or polyunsaturated fats, or heating them, can be bad. It’s not necessarily bad, it’s just that if you overeat them it can be bad. Then you have typical saturated fats in the middle, which are really neither good nor bad. They can be a useful source of calories for you, but they don’t really have therapeutic properties.
And then we start to get into therapeutic fats, or forms of fat that actually have therapeutic properties. They not only provide healthy calories to your body, but let’s take omega 3 fats, for example. These are therapeutic fats. You can actually get a prescription for them from a psychiatrist to help with things like anxiety, mood issues, cognitive function in general – memory, focus, and so on and so forth. Mono-unsaturated fats – these are the fats found in avocado, olives, macadamia nuts. Again, wonderfully therapeutic when it comes to your blood lipids, cholesterol levels, things like that. And then we also have the medium-chain triglycerides we talked about earlier.
These three fats, the omega 3 fats, the medium-chain triglycerides and mono-unsaturated fats, are super super therapeutic. That’s why you will see strong recommendations throughout your Ignite program. People will sometimes say, “What about bacon?” It’s not that bacon is bad for us, it’s just that bacon is a source of fat that is not going to provide as much of the optimal fats. And this actually applies to milk, full-fat milk, for example. Full-fat milk is firmly in the close to inSANE column because it’s got quite a bit of sugar in it. The fat in it is not the best kind of fat.
Going back to what we talked about, that your metabolism has the flu, we need therapeutic foods into our bodies. We need to heal ourselves. We’re not here to eat less, we’re not here to starve ourselves, we’re here to enjoy an abundance of food that has therapeutic healing properties. That is one of the big differences that the SANE lifestyle is going to help you with and is going to do what nothing else can really do because there are foods that are toxic and addictive. Transfats, for example – not good. Or processed sugar – that would be the bad end of carbohydrates. The bad end of fats.
And then, traditional calorie-counting or weight-watching, we just say eat less of those. But there is no therapeutic element there. We’re just saying eliminate the bad. There is no introduction of the good to help heal you.
What would normally happen, though, is in the mainstream you will hear something like, “Eat less sugar and white bread and instead eat whole grain breads.” Whole grain breads are less bad for you, kind of, than white bread, but everything that is in white bread is in whole grain bread. White bread is whole grain bread with stuff taken out of it, so if white bread is bad for you, everything that’s bad about white bread is still in whole grain bread, there is just some other stuff in whole grain bread, but as you would imagine, if a can of Coke is bad for you, and it is, adding something that is good for you, like adding an orange to it, putting a can of Coke and an orange in your blender and blending it up does not make the Coke good for you. All the bad stuff is still there.
So standard calorie-counting and diets focus on just eliminating everything. But what we’re going to do when we go SANE is, we’re going to say eat so much of these powerful, therapeutic foods that first, you’re too full for this addictive and toxic nonsense, and because those foods are therapeutic, you are literally going to see changes in your neurobiology. Your brain will literally change. If on day one of SANEity you go in and get an FMRI scan of your brain and then six months later, after being SANE, you go get another brain scan, your brain will be different. Your brain may even change faster than your waistline changes, depending on other things in your life such as medications that you are on.
So your brain will literally change. This will cause your taste buds to change. This will cause your palate to fundamentally change. Things like sweet, you will become hypersensitive to sweet so you will need way less sweetness to get the same effects. Tastes like bitter will become more tasty to you. A lot of people notice this naturally as they age. When we’re young, the only flavor we like is sweet, but as get older, we acquire a taste for more bitter substances. The most common example is beer and wine, which are very bitter, but quite a few adults enjoy them very much, so our palate changes with age. Our palate also changes as we go SANE.
We’ll also see changes in our hormonal balance. You get your blood drawn today and after six months of SANEity you get your blood drawn again, you’re going to see a totally different balance of hormones in six months that is way more conducive to fat burning rather than fat storage. And similarly, the same thing with your gut bacteria. If you were to get a stool sample taken today to get a sense of what is going on in your gut, and you were to get another one taken in six months, it would be different.
The reason that difference is happening is, we’re not just taking away the bad. That is not ever going to work. We have to eat. We can’t deprive ourselves. We can’t starve ourselves. And the psychology of that is just toxic anyway. Food is not our enemy. Food is our friend. Food is the number one tool we have to heal ourselves. So it’s not about just eating less food, at all. It’s about crowding out addictive and toxic non-food with therapeutic foods.
And to tie back to the original question, the most therapeutic fats in the world are going to be those omega 3 fats, those medium-chain triglycerides, as well as those omega 3 fats, medium-chain triglycerides, and mono-unsaturated fats. And some common sources for optimal fats – macadamia nuts, olives, shredded unsweetened coconut, raw undutched cocoa powder – fantastic for you. Eggs provide you with an abundance of fat, as well as nutrients. You can find a complete list in your step-by-step program. It’s right in the orientation part of your step-by-step program. It’s that Seven Days to SANE Jump-Start. You’re going to see a complete list of optimal fats there. That’s really going to help to heal your metabolism.
Jeffrey asks: “What do you think about alkaline water?” Jeffrey, I think alkaline water has some benefits to it. I am not 100% familiar with peer-reviewed research that has been done on alkaline water. My experience in the research that we have reviewed here as part of SANE over the past 15 years is that there are a lot of things out there which are probably good. Alkaline water is probably good. There is a very low chance of it being bad. The only question I would have is, if it’s expensive, if it takes money away, or if it takes time and mental energy, or even willpower – if you only have a certain amount of willpower, which is true, we only have a certain amount of willpower – if things like alkaline water distract you from eating more vegetables, or if they distract you from eating more nutrient-dense protein or from getting the balance of your calories from whole-food fats rather than from sugar and starch, then I would strongly recommend against thinking about it.
If spending more money on alkaline water causes you to not be able to buy higher-quality food, then I would recommend against it. We only have a fixed amount of willpower, we only have a fixed amount of time, and we only have a fixed amount of money. So with a lot of things when it comes to health and wellness, it’s not a question of, is it good? It’s a question of, is it better than everything else we could do? That’s actually a really important distinction in general, and may be worth writing down if you have a pen and a piece of paper in front of you. It’s not a question of if it’s good, it’s a question of is it better than everything else I could do?
Because if we make the choice to even think about getting a squatty-potty, which is a new form of toilet that is supposed to approximate the way we went to the bathroom for a long time – is it good, is it bad? I’m not sure how much peer-reviewed research has gone on. It’s doesn’t seem like it will hurt you, but it costs money, you’re going to have to think about it, and that means you’re going to not spend money and thought on eating veggies.
And I swear to you that if you eat double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables every day for six months, and you sleep, and you move your body intelligently, you’re going to automatically crowd out a bunch of inSANE nonsense from your diet, because those vegetables are going to crowd it out, they’re going to make you feel great. Just doing those four things – lots and lots of veggies, consistently, every single day, getting support and love for your new SANE journey, sleeping the proper quantity and quality, and moving your body with Smart exercise, you will achieve a level of wellness that is almost unimaginable right now.
I have found that one of the primary reasons we sometimes struggle meeting our wellness goals is because so many other things crop up, even good things, that crowd out those essential things. Maybe that’s one of the biggest distinctions we’re going to cover this week, is the difference between that which is essential to our success, and that which is good. If you promise me one thing, promise me that you will focus on getting the essentials – I want the essentials at a 10 out of 10, because I want your life to be a 10 out of 10, before you spend any time thinking about that other stuff.
I’m not saying be a 10 out of 10 tomorrow, by any means. I’m saying that you will get radically better results, and you will save a lot of money and a lot of time, and you will protect yourself from a lot of just snake oil junk out there if you dedicate all the resources that you have at your disposal, from a willpower perspective, from a psychological perspective, from a money perspective, from a time perspective, if you’ve only got a fixed amount of those things, and we all only have a fixed amount of things, 100%, focus them on way more non-starchy vegetables, more nutrient-dense protein, and the balance of your calories from whole-food fats, period, so you crowd out everything else.
And vegetables – number one, I go to conferences with other wellness people. They’re not even eating their vegetables. When Kermit the Frog said it’s not easy to be green, I think he was talking about the standard Western diet because the one thing we all know – I don’t care if you’re Paleo, Atkins, low-carb, South Beach, vegan, vegetarian – everybody – Grandma even told us – eat your vegetables. It’s the one thing that everyone agrees on.
If you look back on your life and you talk to other people and you ask them how many servings of green, leafy vegetables, on average, did you eat last week, if it’s the average American it’s zero. It’s zero.
So that is the key take-away. Alkaline water is probably good. I guarantee you it is not as good for you as non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole-food fats, in that order, getting six to, ideally, eight hours of high-quality sleep per night, getting love and support in a supportive community such as your SANE support group, and doing Smarter exercise.
If you’ve nailed all that stuff, and when I say nailed, I mean they are a habit so you don’t even need to think about it. This is usually people who have been SANE for one, two, three, four years and beyond. They just naturally eat this way. It’s just a habit. For example, think about someone who has been a vegetarian for ten years. It’s not as if they wake up in the morning and say, “How am I going to be a vegetarian today?” Or someone who is kosher, or someone who is hallal. They don’t wake up every day and think, “Oh my goodness, I have to use my willpower to be a vegetarian.” They don’t have to try to be a vegetarian. They’re just a vegetarian. It’s a little bit like Star Wars. There is no try, there is just do. When these things become a habit, we don’t need to try anymore.
So then, once they are a habit, if we want to try other stuff, that’s cool, because it’s not going to take away our focus from the things that have become habits, but getting those core, essential components of SANEity as a habit is going to pay you the most dividends, I 100% promise you. I was going to say that’s a non-answer to your question, but I don’t think I’m giving myself enough credit. I think that’s actually a pretty good answer to your question.
Linda says, “I have heard that drinking too much water can be bad for you.” Absolutely, Linda drinking too much of anything can be bad for you. There is an old saying that poison is in the dose. So for example, if you take in too much oxygen and you hyperventilate, that can be bad. If you eat too many vegetables, that can be bad for you. If you eat too much rat poison, that can be bad for you. But what are the differences in those examples? It takes very little rat poison to hurt us. Now, if you were to eat one atom worth of rat poison, it’s probably not going to do anything to you. But it’s going to take many fewer atoms of rat poison to harm us than it would take atoms of water to harm us.
So anything in the world can become toxic if it’s taken in harmful doses. The question is, how easy or hard is it to take in a toxic dose? Even sugar, let’s be very clear, romaine lettuce has sugar in it. And sugar at the dose that we will take in, in romaine lettuce – not bad, not bad at all, because the dose isn’t at a toxic level. And sugar, itself, while it’s been shown to be very addictive, is only addictive when we take it in certain doses and certain frequencies. We went into this in detail last week or the week before, I believe.
So the question is not, can something be bad for me? Everything, unfortunately, or fortunately, can be bad for us. The question is, how much of it, or how difficult or easy is it, for me to get exposed to a toxic or harmful load of it? It is very hard to drink too much water, let’s just put it that way. If you have a fixed amount of space in your mind to worry about something, I would strongly recommend to not worry about drinking too much water, and I would also strongly recommend never typing in to just the Internet search engine, “Is too much of X bad for me?” Because the Internet is a cesspool of fear and terror.
Let’s just keep in mind that too much of anything is bad for us. Too many vegetables are bad for us. Too much time with the person we love the most in the world can actually be bad for us because then we might get tired of being with that person. So too much of anything can be bad. I promise you that you will never accidentally eat too many vegetables. You will never accidentally drink too much water. There are people who have died from drinking too much water, but they were trying to do some sort of prank or some kind of crazy thing. We’re not going to do that. So no worries there. Enjoy an abundance of water. It’s going to help you burn fat.
Valerie asks, “My body retains water. Soap LTD 264 ounces liquid, even in food. Can water retention be changed?” Valerie, I don’t know. I’m sorry. This is going to be an area where I’m committed to only sharing with you what I have seen proven in peer-reviewed clinical research. That is my commitment to you and that’s why SANE works. Valerie, for something like this you might want to work with a specialist, because I’m not sure if there has been peer-reviewed research done on this where they would take one group of people and do something to look at water retention, and then look at another group of people, to do that. If that has been done, I’m not aware of it, and I don’t want to do you a disservice.
So I apologize, but I’m not sure, so maybe check with your primary care physician if they can recommend someone who may know. But it is an excellent question. And there certainly are natural diuretics out there. Green tea is a natural diuretic. Certain forms of vegetables are natural, healthy diuretics that help prevent water retention. Dandelion root is a natural herbal diuretic that can help with water retention. Another thing is, as you go SANE, you’re going to be taking in natural levels of sodium versus the toxic levels of sodium that are found in processed and packaged food. That can help, as well. Hopefully, that is somewhat helpful. I apologize that I couldn’t provide a more comprehensive answer there.
We actually have some other questions that came in here from our wonderful community member, Linda, who says, “I go to Curves three times a week and work out for 20-30 minutes. I water-walk five times a week, and am now doing eccentric and HIT once a week. I think that’s plenty of exercise and still my weight stays. I’m hoping something changes over the next six months and I can stop focusing on my weight. I’m tired of thinking, talking, and trying to change it. Enough already.” Linda, this is a brilliant comment and question. I really appreciate you sharing it with us.
The one thing we really have to keep in mind here is the old model of eat less, exercise more, is a recipe for yo-yo dieting, burning out our thyroid, spiking our cortisol levels, and actually leading to long-term weight gain. The thought that more exercise is better is false. The statement, more exercise is better, is false. The right form of exercise in the right dose is true. Exercise is extremely powerful. Just intuitively, we know more exercise isn’t better ad infinitum. Running 100 miles is not better for you than running five. It’s questionable whether or not five is even good for you. So more isn’t really better.
So going to Curves three times per week, water-walking five times per week, doing eccentrics and HIT once a week – let’s take a step back and look at why are we exercising? There are a couple of different goals for exercise. One goal is athletic performance. So Michael Phelps – well, maybe not anymore, but leading up to the Olympics he exercised to increase his performance. It wasn’t to increase his health. Training at that level is actually bad for your health. Ask an NFL football player if the level of physical conditioning they do is helpful for their health. The answer is no. It is actually harmful for your health. It’s too much. But that’s not their goal. They’re goal isn’t to improve their health, their goal is to improve their athletic performance. So one of the reasons people exercise is to increase athletic performance.
Another reason that people exercise is to just keep themselves mobile. So things like walking. This is why we need to walk, we need to take the stairs, we need to stand. If we don’t walk, if we don’t take the stairs, if we don’t stand, our bodies follow that use it or lose it principle. If we don’t walk we will lose the ability to walk. Our muscles will atrophy, our bones will deteriorate, literally. When that happens to your muscles it is called sarcopenia, and when it happens to your bones it is called osteoporosis. Our bones will deteriorate if we don’t require them to work and to move. So we can exercise to improve athletic performance, we can exercise to ensure that we can continue to function throughout our lives, we can exercise to improve our health.
There are things we can do to exercise that will improve our health that won’t, at all, necessarily help with our weight. This is why study after study after study has shown that, for example, this moderate intensity exercise that is so common, like cardio, people that are just pounding it on those treadmills constantly, and sweating, and not getting results, it’s because just like when we jog more, we sweat more. What happens when we sweat more? We get thirsty. And I promise you, it’s easier to drink water than it is to sweat if off. So if you sweat, and that makes you thirsty, you are almost always going to drink more water than you sweat off.
But you know what’s even easier to do? It’s even easier to eat more calories than we burn off. So when we do this moderate-intensity form of cardiovascular exercise, it does have positive health benefits. But then what happens is, it makes us hungry, and it makes us crave sugars and starches. And I’m sure you know from experience, that it is radically easier to eat 200 calories than it is to burn it off. So exercising at a moderate level of intensity, like jogging or cardio, can be good for our health, but it is often counter-productive for our weight because if we do too much of it, it can burn out our thyroid, it can spike cortisol levels, in men it can suppress testosterone levels and that doesn’t help with our muscle mass and it doesn’t help with our long-term ability to burn fat.
So are we exercising for athletic performance? Are we exercising to just stay functional? Are we exercising to improve our health? Are we exercising to help with anxiety or depression? There has been amazing clinical research done showing that exercise can radically help with our mood and with depression. There has been clinical research done that shows that certain forms of exercise, many of which are recommended in your program, actually have a more profound effect upon your mood and anxiety and depression levels than certain SSRIs, and with no negative side effects.
So that’s another different goal. Are we exercising to improve our mood? Are we exercising to have fun? Some people want to go do Zumba, or roller-blade, or play hockey, and that’s fun. Is hockey good for your health? I’m not sure if getting slammed up against the boards is particularly good for your health, but if it’s fun, and if that’s your goal to have fun, that’s cool, too.
Another goal for exercise could be to burn calories, and hopefully, if you’re here, you know that that is not a productive goal because that’s just another form of starving ourselves. Put it this way. Exercising to burn calories is just a very, very time-consuming way to starve yourself. And we know that just eating fewer calories doesn’t heal us. Stressing the heck out of our body through excessive exercise in an effort to burn more calories will not heal us. It’s a different form of starvation that also has negative consequences around its impact on hormones. So if our goal is long-term health and fat loss, it’s not about exercising more, as much as it’s not about eating less. It’s about doing the right forms of exercise and then possibly taking the time we were spending on all those different forms of exercise and maybe sleeping more.
Or maybe if we’re struggling with some psychological stress or anxiety, maybe we can spend that time and money meeting with someone who can help us with that so that maybe the types of medications we’re on can change. Or we can develop loving, supportive relationships. Or we can even spend more time cooking so we improve the quality of food that we’re eating. Or we can even take that time and learn more in our step-by-step program so that we can figure out all the different ways that we can help our health because the data is in and the facts are extremely clear that more exercise is not better for you, from a fat loss perspective.
Exercise is effective in helping you to burn fat — this is an over-simplification – to the extent that it does two things, period. I’m going to simplify this, but this is going to get you 90% of the way there, so please, if you’re not paying attention, really pay attention now because this is really important. The research is incredibly clear that if your goal is fat loss – not to have fun, not to become a better marathon runner, not to get better at crossfit – if your goal is fat loss, what your goal really is, is healing your metabolism. It’s to help develop lean muscle tissue, it’s to change your hormonal balance. Eccentric exercise, when done at the proper level of intensity, and if you do it at the proper level of intensity you cannot do a lot of it. You will be too sore. Just like if you ask someone to run one marathon a day every day for seven days, that’s very hard, if not impossible, to do. The body just can’t do that. It’s too much.
Eccentric exercises, when done properly, with the correct amount of resistance, is going to have a major impact on your body. And what that impact is going to do is cause what is called an anabolic cascade in your body. Things are going to happen in your body that no amount of time at Curves, no amount of time in a swimming pool, no amount of time jogging or jumping rope can possibly do. It’s a qualitatively different stimulus to your body. It’s activating an entirely different set of muscle fibers, and it is going to radically change your hormonal balance. Think about eccentric exercise and Smart interval training almost like taking a dose of a super powerful therapeutic medication. Let’s say we’re sick, and let’s say we go to a doctor and they put us on a life-saving medication. One pill a day – no, it’s even more powerful than that – one pill a week, and that’s it. We know, it’s not as if taking seven pills in a week will make us get results seven times faster. In fact, it will make us get worse results and we’ll get sick.
Exercise done properly – think about it in the same way. When you dose yourself with a little bit of extremely high-quality exercise it triggers what is called an anabolic cascade in your body, and then I promise you, your time would be better spent sleeping, your time would be better spent with people you love and who support you, either in person or online with your coaching and support group. Your time would be better spent fueling your mind with correct information, and your time would be spent better buying and preparing healthy whole foods, because that one powerful dose – it’s powerful – of high-potency exercise, then you need to give your body the ability to heal itself. This is going to be back to what we were talking about earlier with sleep.
I’m going to mix metaphors here, but hopefully, it can be helpful, because we’ve been given so much bad information around exercise. When you do eccentric exercise you’re causing a positive form of damage to your muscle tissue. You are actually tearing the muscle fibers, in a good way – in a good way. But now, I need you to stick with me on this analogy, because this analogy is going to seem a little bit weird, but it kind of works. You’re tearing muscle tissues in a healthy way, a way that your body can not only recover from, but it will recover from stronger, and in the act of recovery it triggers all these hormones which help to heal your metabolism, flush out excess sugar, make you insulin-sensitive. It’s brilliant. It has hugely therapeutic effects if you’re pre-diabetic, things along those lines, helping stabilize blood sugar. Good stuff. Sex hormones. Brilliant. Lots of good things happen.
So a positive form of damage happens to your muscle fiber, and then your body gets stronger because of it. The act of getting stronger causes a bunch of positive things to happen to your body. But for the purposes of an analogy, tissue in your body has been damaged. Let’s think of another way tissue can be damaged. This isn’t a healthy thing so this is where I need you to stick with me with this metaphor because it’s not perfect. Let’s imagine that you get a cut on your hand. Your skin is tissue, and it becomes damaged. So what could we say? “My skin is damaged, tissue has been damaged. My goal is to let that tissue heal.” It has already been damaged. The stimulus has already happened. At this point, we need to make sure we keep it clean, we need to make sure we don’t get any toxic nonsense in there. Maybe we add some antibiotic cream or something like that just to help to keep it clean. Maybe put a bandage on top of it. Either way, we don’t disturb it, and we give it time to heal.
Now, think about your body. Think about your muscle fibers. They get damaged. Our goal is to allow them to heal and then allow them to get stronger. So they don’t just heal, they also then need time to get stronger. So what do we need to do? We need to make sure we don’t disrupt them. So we’re not going to continue to aggravate them with additional exercise because they’re never going to heal, they’re never going to get stronger. In fact, it’s going to stress us out. It’s like having a super intense day at work and then you don’t get good sleep, and you have another super intense day and you don’t get good sleep. Eventually you just get burned out and you’re worse, not better. So we make sure we get great sleep so that the tissue can heal itself.
We make sure we fuel our body with an abundance of therapeutic food so that we have the raw material to allow that tissue to heal itself. And then once we have that supra-adaptation, once we’re stronger, then we go back and we do eccentric exercise or Smarter interval training, but again, with even more resistance because we’re stronger now. So you can see that that is a very different mindset. It’s a mindset that is focused on administering the right quality of exercise, and then focusing our time and effort on sleep, on recovery.
And again, let’s tie back to earlier in the conversation. If our metabolism has the flu, exercising six times per week is not the key. We have to allow our body to heal itself. We have to stimulate healing to happen, and eccentric exercise and high-quality Smarter interval training does that. It tells our body to trigger more testosterone if you’re a man, trigger more estrogen if you’re a woman, flush excess sugar out of your cells so that you regain insulin sensitivity, do wonderful things with your hormones and your muscle tissue. And then we let the body do its thing. We get out of its way. And spend our time on other areas of our lives.
Again, I know I can’t do this total justice. I think exercise we cover in detail in course 202 and 102. Don’t skip ahead to that. We have course 102 and 202 in your step-by-step program, and then a bunch of stuff beyond that, so we go in way more detail there. But Linda, the good news is that there is hope, and the hope is that science actually shows, for example if you’re doing all that exercise because you enjoy it and it makes you happy – cool. All good. But if you’re doing that exercise because you’re trying to burn more calories, you’ve been victimized by bad information. And if your goal in doing that exercise is to heal your metabolism, I’ve got good news for you. You can spend the vast majority of that time with people you love, in supportive communities that you love, eating high-quality food that you love, and getting more sleep, and you will get better results. And that’s awesome. So hopefully, that’s good news.
Rayna – SANE coach Rayna is in the house. What’s up, Rayna? By the way, I just want everyone to give a quick shout-out to Rayna. I just want to give Rayna some extra love now. We won’t say why, but Rayna is deserving of mad love right now, so I’d just like to take a moment, everybody. Rayna is with us and I know she needs a little bit of extra love right now, so let’s extend a SANE bit of love to her. I’m going to observe one second of silence while I drink some water. Rayna, thank you for joining us. If you don’t know Rayna, please get to know her in your coaching and support group. She’s a wonderful, wonderful person.
Lelani asks: “If you don’t eat a SANE meal all at the same time, does that make the SANE eating less effective?” Lelani, great question, and the answer is, yes. The simple answer is yes. It makes it less effective. Whenever possible. Progress rather than perfection. But I’m going to answer the question you asked me. Complete SANE meals are better for you than piecemeal SANE meals. A complete SANE meal is defined by a meal that has two to six servings of non-starchy vegetables, one to two servings of nutrient-dense protein and one to three servings of whole-food fats. If you have a lot of fat to lose, it’s going to be one serving of whole food fat. If you’re already lean, it’s going to be more servings of fat because you don’t have any fat on your body to burn so you need to eat more, otherwise you don’t have any energy. You need energy, it’s very important.
You will get better results if you combine vegetables, protein and fats together in one meal. I can get into detail as to why, but here are some of the reasons. Protein is acidic and vegetables are very alkaline, so when you eat those together it’s great because it buffers those two things. Fat, for example, helps with fat-soluble vitamins. It also helps to lower the glycemic load of the meal. Certain forms of protein can be higher glycemic, not enough to think, “Oh, I’m diabetic, I can’t eat protein.” Not like that at all.
But for example, whey protein does have an impact on blood sugar, and if you were to have whey protein, for example, in the context of a SANE meal bar which is made with a bunch of almonds, it’s going to help to really radically reduce the blood sugar impact. So there is a synergistic effect there, so please, complete SANE meals. Vegetables all the time, but if you can combine the vegetables with the proteins and fats in a single meal, that would be super. And if you are going to eat low-fructose fruits in the context of a SANE meal would be better because they do have some sugar in there, and in the context of a SANE meal it’s going to lower the impact on your blood sugar in general.
Lelani asks: “I have had a protein SANE smoothie, felt full, but not satiated. Why? Is there something more I should add to the smoothie to help feel satiated?” Lelani, great question. There is a huge difference between feeling full and feeling satiated, as you have correctly identified. Feeling full, for example, if you’ve ever eaten a big old salad, buy a three-pound bag of spinach, and just eat it, you will feel full because your stomach is full, but you won’t feel psychologically satisfied, so that’s the difference between feeling full and feeling satisfied. Vegetables are a wonderful thing to eat to help you feel full. Part of feeling full is that you actually fill up your digestive system, but to feel full and satiated, the satiated part has to do a lot more with hormone levels that are triggered when we eat certain foods, as well as signals sent to our brain by our digestive system. Protein and fat are what do that.
That is also another big benefit of coconut. If you’re familiar with the substance MSG, it’s terrible for you. It’s the synthetic form of umami which is one of the flavors of sweet, salty, bitter. Umami is like savory, fatty, so on and so forth. MSG is the synthetic form of that, which is terrible for you. Please don’t eat MSG. Bad. Terrible for you. There are natural sources of umami, though. Shitake mushrooms are very high in the substances that cause the umami flavor. Coconut – extremely high in the umami flavor. This is why, for example, things like curry, coconut milk – they’re super rich. Chocolate also has the same impact. It has this richness, this satiating feel to it. That will really help with satiety. So increase your intake of protein and fat in conjunction with your vegetables – protein first, and then fat. And then if you can focus on specific forms of fat, for example, coconut is extremely, extremely satisfying.
Also, there has been really interesting research done in terms of our sight and how we see what we eat, and how satisfied that makes us. Let me give you a quick example. I’ll just tell you about the study and then we’ll make it SANE. In the study one group of people was fed rolls that had butter baked into them – a roll, no butter on it, but butter in it. Let’s say the roll had 300 calories in it, so butter in it, not on it, 300 calories. Another group of people were given a roll, 300 calories, same exact roll, except they took some of the butter out of the recipe and put it on top of the roll so that they could see it. Same number of calories, same amount of everything else, except the butter, that which we think is rich and satiating, was visible. Across the board, people reported feeling fuller, sooner and longer, feeling more satiated, when they could see that which they perceived to be satiating.
For example, for me, personally, when I eat eggs, if I eat them hard-boiled, or if I eat them sunny side up, basically not scrambled, I’ve noticed, for example, three hard-boiled eggs will make me feel satiated. I will also eat my vegetables because it doesn’t fill me up but it makes me feel satiated, but if I scramble three eggs, they don’t make me feel satiated. And I notice that when I can taste the yoke separately, because the yoke tastes rich, when I can taste the yolk separately – way more satiating. And that goes back to what we talked about here.
So maybe another technique, in addition to protein and fat being a wonderful complement, from a satiety perspective, to the fullness that is provided to you by vegetables, think about ways that if there is something rich that you are going to eat, how can you make that stand out? Maybe if you were, for example, going to add coconut into a SANE cereal, instead of blending it up so that you didn’t see the coconut, maybe you put the coconut on top. I don’t know, I’m not a super expert on how to implement this specific strategy right now, except with eggs. I’ve found that hard-boiling eggs and eggs over easy where the yolk is separate really helps. But if you make SANE baked goods, maybe you can do a similar thing. You could put a little less coconut cream in the recipe, and spread it on the top or something like that. That can also help with satiety.
Suzanne asks: “Can xylitol give a person gas?” Suzanne, it absolutely can. It’s a sugar alcohol. So can erythritol. If it is giving you gas, I would recommend just taking in less of it and working your way up to it. It is something that you can develop a tolerance for. So if, for example, 10 grams of xylitol gives you horrible gas now and you used to eat zero grams, you will notice that if you eat maybe 3 grams this week, and 6 grams the next week, and 9 grams the following week, your body will become adapted to it. Also, if you eat it slower, that will reduce the amount of gas. That is actually true for everything, including vegetables. If we gradually increase our intake we are going to experience less gas and bloating than if we go from zero to a lot, quickly.
Someone asked me an awesome question here. Oh, this week’s challenge. Eviva, I will get to this week’s challenge, but I do have a little bit of time left, so I’m going to try to get to two more questions here really quick. Lelani asks: “After you do eccentric exercise, isn’t it important to stretch? When and how much?” Lelani, it is always important to stretch. You don’t necessarily have to do it after eccentric exercise. Stretching is good for you, in general. I would strongly recommend yoga, if you haven’t tried yoga. There are different kinds of yoga. Wednesday, your SANE-certified coach is an expert here, so I’m going to go ahead and defer to her.
Basically, the more stretching you can to, the better. Stretching is fantastic. It’s a SANE form of exercise. It is restorative. It is a wonderful balance to when you strength train you are contracting your muscles, and then when you stretch, you stretch them back out. Whether you do it before or after exercise, there is definitely some conflicting research there. It is a great idea to stretch. Things like Palates, things like yoga, things like Tai Chi – these are the types of exercise where if we want to exercise more, do all the stretching you want. I mean, too much of anything is bad, but stretching, in general – awesome. Nothing but goodness there, from a high level.
Eviva asks me: “What is this week’s challenge?” I so appreciate that because I was going to forget. This week’s challenge, or homework. Oh my goodness, I actually didn’t get to some of the things that I wanted to cover that had to do with the homework, so I’m going to think of one on my feet right now. Hopefully, this one works out well for. My challenge to you this week – and this one’s going to be a little bit tougher, because it’s going to require you to do a little bit of soul-searching, and to concretely and publicly change the way you are thinking about your SANE journey.
But I think it’s really important because it’s one of the common threads I’ve seen throughout our conversation here today, which is that the recognition of – I know it sounds weird, but the celebration of the fact that this isn’t an effort problem. This isn’t something that we need to try harder at, or that we have a character flaw. The bottom line is that we’ve been given misinformation, and if we’ve been following that misinformation for 40 years, it’s a little bit like if we’ve been eating a lot of sugar for 40 years. Diabetes is severe. It’s an issue. The beautiful thing is that we now have science that shows us how, in many cases, we can reverse it, almost entirely. We hear stories of this weekly, and it’s incredible. It’s life-saving, and it would have saved my grandpa’s life. If you don’t know that story, we can talk about it more later.
We need to understand and give ourselves permission to embrace the fact that we have the metabolic flu. I think that’s a really good analogy. And when you think about that, when you just take a step back – I want you to spend maybe 15 minutes sometime this week – my challenge to you is to think about that. And then to share – this is the stretch, but I need you to do this, because it matters. I don’t want you to do this alone. I don’t want you to do this by yourself. I need you to do this with us, because we’re in this together. You need the right science and you need the support. That’s just a fact. Having the correct science is essential, having the support is essential.
So, your writing prompt is: “I have the metabolic flu. I’m not lazy, I’m not dumb, I’m not missing some magic Hollywood cookie miracle diet. I have the metabolic flu. What does that change about the way I think about food? What does that change about the way I think about exercise? And what does that change in terms of the way I think about sleep and restoring myself?” Because I think that makes a big difference. We all know what it feels like to have the flu – the traditional flu. The reason the traditional flu stands out is, not everyone has the flu all the time. We would never really think that having the flu was normal.
But imagine if you had the flu for 40 years, and if 70% of Americans had the flu for 40 years, we would just think that’s the way we felt. If you have the metabolic flu you can feel so much better, and you might not know you have the metabolic flu because so many of us have the metabolic flu nowadays. It did not use to be the case that one out of every three Americans was on, or has been on, some form of powerful anti-psychotic medication. But the culture we live in creates an environment where that’s the new normal. So we have to understand that what is normal now is actually toxic.
We know this. That’s why we’re here. The toxic media environment, constant messages that we’re not good enough, or we’re not smart enough, or we don’t smell good enough and we need to buy all these different products – that’s toxic. That’s toxic nonsense. That’s why we’ve joined the SANE community because we need a SANE approach. We need to escape this inSANEity. So you’re not flawed, you’re not deficient in something. There isn’t some magic pill that you’re missing out on. You have been given bad information and that has caused you to develop the metabolic flu.
Your challenge for this week, maybe write this somewhere else first, because I want you to put some thought into it, but then I need you to post in the support group, “I have the metabolic flu and (maybe this is the subtitle of your post) here’s how that changes the way I think about food and eating, here’s how that changes the way I think about exercise or physical movement, and here’s the way that changes the way I think about sleep and the way I think about recovery.”
And maybe on our next call your SANE-certified coaches will see that, they will bring some of that information back to me and we can talk about it more here, but I honestly think that putting pen to paper and embracing the fact that you now have the opportunity to heal yourself, and the way you’re going to do that, through food, through exercise, and through rest and recovery, because you have the mindset of healing versus the mindset of starvation and a character flaw – I think that’s transformational.
Please, step-by-step program, always. If you’re not doing this, it’s just like not eating your vegetables. This is your Ignite program. This is 15 years of stuff put together step-by-step which, if you follow it, this is the map, follow it, and you will get to your destination. You have to, I promise.
But related to that challenge I just gave you, I want to share with you one of my favorite quotes. This is a quote which you have already seen if you’ve started your step-by-step program because you’ll see some congratulations videos from me in there, and I share in that video that this was actually read at my wedding because it’s one of the most influential quotes I’ve ever seen. I want to start sharing some of my favorite quotes and words of wisdom with you in these calls. I do want to close on this because I think it has to do with our challenge. It has to do with giving ourselves permission to heal ourselves.
Actually, Laura – so sorry, she made a suggestion about covering some of the super foods in the calls. I’m going to get to that next week. But everyone here, you’ve provide so many wonderful questions this week. I apologize for not getting to everything, but the good news is, we’re not going to have another call next week because I have some traveling that I have to do. I apologize for that, but I promise you it will work out well for all of us if the travels go well. They’re business travels, not for pleasure. The red-eye is not for please. Red-eye to New York from Seattle, not for pleasure. No, no, no. But we’re going to get some great stuff that we’ve got here next.
So, we have the metabolic flu, we have the tools at our disposal. How does that change the way we look at eating, exercise, and rest and recovery? And let’s embrace the fact that we are not the problem, we are not at fault. Starvation and shame isn’t going to get us to where we need to go, and that this is an inflection point in our lives.
The quote I want to share with you is by Maryanne Williamson. You may have heard of this, but if you haven’t, I’m going to read this directly. It’s a little bit long, but hopefully it impacts you as positively as it has impacted me.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. We were born to make manifest the glory that is within us. And it’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And when you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Hopefully you can see, it’s actually so wonderful and such a blessing how this all kind of came together at the end. By acknowledging where we’re starting from, that metabolic flu, and how that influences the way we see eating, exercise and movement – I feel like that is a first step to letting our own light shine, because we are all capable, beautiful, brilliant, wonderful people who have been victimized by bad information. We need to flip that in our mind and we need to take back control of our lives and our health. And I, and all your SANE-certified coaches, all your other SANE family members, and the myriad other folks that help make SANE possible, are so grateful that you have given us the opportunity to take that journey along with you.
So thank you. You are beautiful and wonderful and capable. And now that you have SANE support and wonderful science on your side, I’m so excited for the rest of our journey together. So thank you so much. Please accept that challenge. I can’t wait to see what everyone posts in the support group. With much SANEity and love, thank you again for sharing 92 minutes with me tonight. I won’t see you next week, but I look forward to seeing you the week after. Thank you so much, and remember to stay SANE. I’ll chat with you again soon. Bye-bye.