Bonus: Ben Greenfield – A Bit of Biohacking


Jonathan: Hey everyone, Jonathan Bailor here with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim podcast. I’m very, very happy to have today’s guest on the show, a man who always has a special place in my heart, because he is a prolific podcaster. He was actually the very first podcast I was ever, ever, ever on, and this was even before the Smarter Science of Slim came out, like almost a year before the Smarter Science of Slim came out.

Ben: Well, this is back when they had buggies and horses and stuff.

Jonathan: Exactly. We actually had tin cans with a line of string, and we recorded. I’m just kidding but, he is none other than the man, the myth, the legend, Ben Greenfield. If you’re not familiar with Ben, please familiarize yourself with his work. It’s wonderful. You can find out more at bengreenfieldfitness.com.

He also has a wonderful podcast which you should subscribe to called, Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, and he is also the host of the Get Fit Guy Show up there on iTunes. So, certainly while you’re up there getting your Smarter Sciences of Slim fixed, check out Ben’s work; and Ben, welcome to the show!

Ben: Hey, thanks. I even upgraded to a stainless steel cup since our tin cup days, so I should sound way better for audio quality now.

Jonathan: Excellent, excellent. Well, Ben, I want us to get started. Ben, you do a lot of stuff in this arena, and I wanted to really just rewind the clock back a little bit and talk about Little Ben and how you got into all this and just what motivates you. Tell us your story.

Ben: Oh gosh. I was born in a small town in North Idaho and grew up in a little hick town called Lewiston, Idaho. I just offended any listeners who live in Lewiston, but it’s true. The town is run off a pulp mill. There’s a lot of hunters and fishermen and kind of a typical North West town, not quite as progressive as your area over there in Seattle, Jonathan; but, early on, I took on an interest in sports, just playing sports.

I was a typical soccer, baseball… eventually I took up tennis and got into that and kind of did some weightlifting and conditioning on the side to keep myself in shape so I could get better at sports. `When I got to college, I decided that I wanted to study kinesiology, which is the glorified term for PE. It is, really. So, I studied for four years. I really kind of started after I got a couple of years of partying under my belt, started to get more serious and began to really take an interest in a lot of the science, the anatomy, the physiology.

I was the TA for anatomy, physiology, and I worked in the Bio-Chem lab in the summer and did an internship over at Duke University in Sports Medicine and the Sports Performance Departments. I even took a bunch of pre-med classes, and just total propeller… had it out on the whole exercise physiology and also the whole nutrition side of things. I took a lot of pharmaceutical and dietary and nutrition classes and just soaked up as much knowledge as I could. This whole time I was also working as a personal trainer.

Actually, it’s kind of funny, because I was working at a fancy French bakery that sold croissants and doughnuts and stuff, which was across the street from the personal training gym. I’d sell people doughnuts in the morning basically, and then go personal train across the street after school in the afternoon. Funny how I’d see some of the same people going through the door of the gym, that were buying chocolate croissants earlier that day, but anyways, yeah, I worked as a personal trainer all during that time, so I was able to take all this knowledge and teach it to folks.

I also, eventually went on and got a Master’s Degree in Physiology and Biomechanics and managed the University of Idaho Wellness Programme while I was doing that, and never went on to attend medical school; but instead, out of school, I did a quick stint in knee and hip surgical sales. I didn’t like that at all and got right back into fitness almost immediately.

I started managing a local gym in Spokane, Washington, which is where I wound up after graduating from Idaho, and popped up a few extra studios, one over in Coeur d’alene, Idaho and another one down by Gonzaga University, famed right now for its basketball team. I just did tons of personal training morning to evening, all day long. I saw hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of clients for fat loss and sports performance and for muscle gain and for body building and for just looking good in a swimsuit. You name it. When my kids were born five years ago almost to this day… actually it was their birthday couple of days ago. When my twin boys were born, I started to move more stuff kind of onto the internet, so I could stay home a little bit more with my kids and my family. I started doing books and doing podcasts and doing more blogs and stuff like that, and that’s really the majority of what I do now. I give people fat loss and performance and nutrition advice via my blog over at bengreenfieldfitness.com and via like the podcast that you mentioned.

I’m always working on a book here and there, too. I’m writing a book right now on How To Compete In A Triathlon Without Doing Lasting Damage to Your Body. How to basically be good at endurance sports without sacrificing your health. Yeah, so that’s what I do in my spare time. I’m, right now, training for Iron Man Canada up in Whistler. That’s what I do.

Jonathan: That’s cool, Ben. What’s driven you towards me? You’ve done a lot of things in athletics and just physical capacity. What drove your recent push towards the triathlons, and these sort of ultra endurance efforts?

Ben: Well, when I was attending the University of Idaho, I actually joined the triathlon club down there. My wife ran cross country for University of Idaho. She ran the 1500 5k, and she sort of got me into endurance sports, because I had to go running with her and try and not look bad in getting beat by a girl which she consistently did.

I would get involved with the University of Idaho triathlon club, kind of teaching them lectures on physiology, exercise physiology, nutrition, stuff like that and just taking all of my geeked-out knowledge from my classes and teaching triathletes how to get better; because triathlon and endurance sports are really a sport of attrition, meaning that they’re a sport where your fuelling really matters and where your physiology in terms of like knowing the proper intensities at which to exercise really matters.

It was a perfect place to apply knowledge of exercise physiology. I did my first sprint triathlon back in the day at University of Idaho, and ever since then, I’ve done at least half a dozen, sometimes more than a dozen triathlons every year since then. Now I compete just as an amateur triathlete, did my first Iron Man five years ago, six years ago. It’s just my way to both get outdoors and experience nature, but also to take all these new concepts that I’m always delving into with exercise and try them out in sports. Case in point, I actually just wrote an article on my website about how I’m experimenting with the use of asymmetric exercise for your leg.

Sit up against the wall for five minutes in the squat position and also using over speed exercise, which is where you pedal a bike really, really fast, faster than your legs feel like ever going. I’m also even experimenting a little bit with electro stimulation, which are these little electrodes you attach to muscles to make them fire; so, when I’m on a car trip, I can train my quadriceps, for example, with electrodes to get them stronger for biking or for running. It’s really kind of my sport that I use to also apply some of these concepts. I want to guinea pig on myself.

Jonathan: I love that Ben! What have you… what are some of the worst or least effective or, let’s say, most detrimental experiments and also some of the more positive ones?

Ben: Detrimental experiments? Let’s see. Gosh, there are a few out there. One would be, you put me on the spot here, but I’ve found that high-fiber supplements are really bad like Psyllium Husk and Metamucil, and a lot of these supplements that people perceive to be safe for fat loss or perceive to be good for reducing appetite or cleansing the body. They actually do long-term damage to your digestive tract, and I used some of these high-fiber supplements for a couple of years thinking they were going to keep me lean. They, in fact, caused inflammation in my intestine and kind of messed me up a little bit from a gut standpoint.

That’s one thing that I learned was that high-fiber supplements are not necessarily all they’re made out to be, and it’s better to just get your fiber from real food and not take a bunch of extra. Another thing that I found out was that this whole infatuation with fasting that a lot of people seem to have these days, this whole intermittent fasting thing, I’ve found that that can really mess you up paranormally if you’re not careful, especially when you combine intermittent fasting, meaning spending all night long from the time you eat dinner all the way up until mid-morning without eating, like a 10-16 hour fast, and then throwing an exercise on top of that and doing that a lot can do things like decrease your testosterone and increase your Cortisol and even give you this kind of like Cortisol waistline, where you get a little bit of fat built up around the waistline. It’s ironic that fasting would make you get fat. That’s another thing I’ve found that you’ve really got to be careful with, especially when you’re combining it with exercise.

Probably one other thing that I’ve found is that the long workouts really are not that effective when it comes to increasing your speed or increasing your fitness or increasing your cardiovascular capacity efficiently and quickly. If you have a ton of time on your hands, sure you could go out and do an easy five-hour bike ride, and you can get into shape; but, I can get into just as quick a shape by going out and doing 30 minutes of bicycling intervals on the hill behind my house, for example. Those are some of the things that I’ve found just in experimenting with what works and what doesn’t.

Jonathan: I love that, Ben, and what would you say are some of the things, the key, you kind of got to one there at the end which has to do with the quality of exercise versus quantity; but what would you say are some of the key, the experiments that resulted in something most positive?

Ben: Some of the things that I’ve found to be really effective, and obviously it’s kind of tough to paint with a really broad brush; and I know that a lot of your listeners, Jonathan, they’re not like necessarily hardcore Iron Man triathletes and maybe they’re just looking to feel good and look better, maybe get a six pack or look good in a pair of fitted jeans or something like that. The nice thing is that a lot of the stuff that I’ve experimented with to become a better triathlete has a lot of cross over into fat loss.

For example, one thing that I’ve found to work really, really well is, surprisingly, this whole concept of cold thermogenesis and hot/cold contrast. This was actually something that came up during a recent live event that I put on in Spokane here where a NASA materials engineer named Ray Cronise came and spoke, and he showed how some of his clients are achieving in the range of 20-30 pounds of fat loss every month simply by implementing a hot/cold contrast showers where for ten minutes a couple of times a day you go into a shower and you alternate twenty seconds of cold water with ten seconds of hot water. I personally use cold water and cold showers to help my muscles heal faster after a hard workout but also to keep my metabolism elevated. That’s one thing I’ve found to work really well. Another thing, and I would imagine this is something you may have mentioned on your show before, Jonathan, is the fact that fats are pretty dang impressive in their ability to keep your appetite satiated and keep your hormones elevated.

I frequently do bio-marker testing, blood testing for all sorts of different things like my cholesterol and my cholesterol particle size and my vitamin D, my minerals, my electrolytes, my liver, my kidney; and one thing that I’ve found, is that when I’m eating lots of avocados and walnuts and sardines and pumpkin seeds and dipping all my vegetables in olive oil, I eat a lot of olive oil, actually. I find that my vitamin D levels respond very favorably, a value called my omega-3 index, which is basically how many helpful anti-inflammatory omega-3s I have in my body that respond quite favorably.

My testosterone goes up. My inflammation goes down, and I’ve been able to quantify that that eating, compared to the traditional lots of whole grains, lots of starches and lots of stuff like whey protein and lean proteins, which I found actually messes me up metabolically compared to just eating lots of healthy fats and kind of taking like a Mediterranean approach.

Jonathan: That’s fascinating, Ben. What have you found… you said more of a Mediterranean approach. That’s historically a Mediterranean approach is complemented with the mono-unsaturated fats, but then it does have the whole grains. It sounds like you’re doing a Mediterranean sans the whole grains even more mono-unsaturated fats or more saturated fats, or how’s that?

Ben: Well, not to get too complicated here, but I will eat grains. For example, we ferment and prepare sourdough bread, and I will occasionally eat like a kamut or an einkorn grain from a more ancient wheat source that hasn’t been bred for high-yield crop and doesn’t have lots of gluten and this damaging protein called gliadin in it. I will do quinoa if it’s been soaked, and even better yet, if it’s been sprouted; and I’ll do legumes like chick peas and lentils if they’ve been soaked preferably in an acidic medium or with some vinegar or something like that. I’ll include a lot of these components in my diet that you would find in a Mediterranean diet with the exception being that I’m not going to the grocery store and grabbing whole wheat bread to dip in my olive oil. I’m dipping homemade sourdough bread in my olive oil. That’s my perspective on the whole Mediterranean thing is, you’ve just got to be careful of the source of the grains and how they’ve been prepared because plants in general are resistant to digestion.

They want to be pooped out, and they want their seeds to get deposited somewhere else. If a plant can pass through your digestive system, then it really helps out that plant from an evolutionary perspective or the ability for it to be able to grow and flourish, but that’s not all that hot for your digestive tract. So you’ve got to be smarter than a plant and figure out how to ferment it and soak it and basically neutralize a lot of these digestive inhibitors, and then it makes it a lot healthier to eat. Those are the kind of things that I include in my diet from the whole Mediterranean grains and the legumes perspective.

Jonathan: How much of that is influenced, if at all, with your athletic endeavors because certainly you’re training for a triathlon, this is a state that many of us will never ever… a feat, let’s say rather that many of us will never be able to achieve. In terms of what you’re doing, how would that compare to what you would say to an individual who may be more sedentary would be doing?

Ben: Well, I used to get a lot of gas and bloating and indigestion. Even I had a short stint as a body builder, which is kind of like the polar opposite of training for a triathlon, but back in college, I did some body building. I did the whole kind of low-fat, high-protein diet, lots of whey protein, lots of chicken, lots of tuna and I just wasn’t happy. Not only are you not happy when you got a little bit of bloating and indigestion or constipation going on from a subpar diet, but your body makes a very, very large number of its neurotransmitters in your gut.

If you’re eating foods that might inflame your gut, or say I mentioned like a plant that might be resistant to digestion. Say you’re eating some quinoa, because you heard quinoa is healthy; so you grab some quinoa from Costco or something like that, and you’re just kind of making that quinoa according to the instructions on the back of the package. Well, it doesn’t say on the back of the package that quinoa naturally is covered in saponins, which you can make soap out of and that’s a pretty potent digestive irritant that allows that quinoa to pass through your body. People start eating quinoa, and they won’t feel all that great, from a digestive perspective, and then from a neurotransmitter perspective. If you’ve got soap in your stomach causing digestive inflammation, you might not be able to make the neurotransmitters that are responsible for giving you better sleep or helping you to feel happy and have a better mood like dopamine and serotonin.

This stuff has implications that go way above and beyond just riding a bicycle fast because your stomach is performing well. It’s about sleeping better. It’s about being happier and feeling better. It’s about processing your food a little bit more efficiently so maybe you don’t get tummy aches or bloating, which a lot of people actually have. The other important thing is that when you’re taking care of your liver and your kidney by eating clean food or food that doesn’t have a lot of preservatives and stuff like that, you’re also allowing your body to be able to turn over and produce hormones efficiently.

That’s another kind of benefit that you get from eating clean. It goes above and beyond performance. You take a toll. A lot of women tend to get fat as they get older, and a big reason for that is something called oestrogen dominance, which means that you’re getting lots of oestrogen from plastics in the environment or maybe from beef and milk and stuff like that that you’re eating.

It turns out that the liver is one of the places where your body actually processes oestrogen, so if you’ve got a liver that’s inflamed from eating lots of foods or eating a high amount of fructose and sugars or using lots of stuff that your body has to detox, overworking your liver. A lot of times, that affects your hormones as well. It’s a long answer to your question, but we’re talking about way more than performance. We’re talking about sleep, mood, hormones, your waistline and stuff like that.

Jonathan: Absolutely. Speaking of performance, and obviously a lot of other things we would do to enhance athletic performance, enhance every day performance, do you have recommendations like… so, right now you’re training for triathlons. If you were training for more of a burst based, like a CrossFit-type of activity or Olympic-style training, or anything more explosive, football, something like that, how would you eat differently? Would you eat differently?

Ben: Yes, I would certainly do a few things differently. For example, there are certain supplements that I don’t really use just because you can only take so many supplements before it can start to affect you; because, let’s face it, a lot of pills and capsules are packaged with stuff like magnesium stirate and other compounds that are kind of the nature of the beast when it comes to packaging something up in a capsule. If I were training for football or CrossFit or trying to put on a bunch of strength or power or muscle, I would, for example, be using Creatine.

I’d be using another supplement called L-carnitine. I’d be taking some kind of nitric oxide precursor which gives your muscles a little bit more oxygen and more glucose delivery. I like beta Strilene or something of that nature. I would be eating a slightly higher-protein, lower-fat diet than I eat right now, not a high-protein, low-fat diet but a higher-protein, lower-fat diet just because you tear up your body a little bit more. You tear up your muscle fiber a little bit more with a sport like that, and from an overall food choice perspective, I would probably do a little bit more grass-fed beef than I do right now.

Right now, I do a lot of cold water fish and sardines and stuff like that, but if you want to get big and strong and powerful, sometimes you do need to eat big and strong and powerful animals. I would do a little bit more grass-fed beef. I would probably step up my egg consumption a little bit, just little tweaks here and there, things that may seem subtle but that can turn you in the direction of more of the endurance profile to more of the power/strength athlete profile. I work with some bodybuilders and some strength athletes. I certainly treat them differently than I treat myself when it comes to diet and when it comes to the specific supplement profile that I’d choose for someone like that.

Jonathan: Ben, how much are you seeing, speaking of body builders and the slight tweaks I have noticed, just I’m not as plugged into the natural body building community as I used to be when I was at university; and before that, I was very, very into it, but I am happy to see that a bit more sanity, I was going to say, but that has a double meaning. It is true, both of the words fit there, but a little bit more of you don’t have to eat just bread and meat. There can be a role for a lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat, a more natural whole foods role even if your goal is more of a body-building type pure physique pursuit. Have you also seen a shift in that way?

Ben: Yes, certainly. There are a lot of body builders, and I apologize, I can’t pull any names off the top of my head right now just because I am not as immersed in the body building industry as I used to be, but who are following more of the higher-fat, lower-carb approach than the higher-protein lower-carb approach. Not only can muscles store a great deal of intramuscular fat so it can help out a little bit with muscle, but when it comes to hormones and your hormone profile, one of the things that I remember distinctly was when I was at three percent body fat, right around 210 pounds of muscle, boy, I looked good, but I just was like a piece of muscle lying on the couch.

I had no sex drive. My hormones were really low. No competitive drive, and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would certainly eat more cholesterol. I would eat more fat. I would really focus on things like vitamin D and Vitamin A. I’d be doing lots of cod liver oil and fish oil, not focusing on the lean cuts of meat but rather focusing on the fatty, marbly cuts of beef. Yes, I would definitely do things differently if I could go back and do it over again, and I think that’s a healthier way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think body building is a healthy sport. In fact, I don’t really think triathlon in many cases is a very healthy sport, but there are certainly healthy ways to do it.

Jonathan: Absolutely. One other thing I wanted to dig into, because I really, I appreciate that you talk about this because I personally feel that it is one of the most underrepresented components of, let’s call it a very healthy and wonderful diet and that is the consumption of fish, the wild cod, the salmons, the sardines. It seems like there is so much attention paid to meat, and I personally think there are the vegans and the vegetarians out there that are saying, “You’re killing animals,” so individuals want to come back with as much energy, but it’s like the fish, the salmon and the sardines — they are so wondrous for you, and no one is wearing T-shirts promoting the consumption of those things.

There are plenty of pescatarians in the world where you may not like eating a cow, but you feel less bad eating a piece of salmon. You and I know these foods are just phenomenally good for you, not only from a nutritional density perspective, but they’re delicious, they’re satisfying, they’re hormonally healthful, they help with inflammation. I know you show love for the fish, why don’t we see more fish love?

Ben: I don’t know, and I suspect that maybe it is partially tied to the old school body building Jack Lalane, weight training, the old school kind of approach of ‘eat your beef, eat your meat, eat your hamburgers,’ that kind of stuff, just because that is kind of like the traditional muscle gain diet; but yes, fish are really, really healthy. I actually think that a lot of vegans and vegetarians should look into this whole concept of bivalve veganism or something along those lines.

It has a word like that, but basically, it is a concept of eating shellfish or bivalves like oysters and clams and mussels; because those have really high levels of iron and B12 and zinc and selenium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A and a lot of things that vegans and vegetarians don’t get, frankly, that a lot of people in general don’t get. Those particular living organisms don’t actually have a central nervous system, so, for vegans and vegetarians who avoid animal products for ethical reasons, that’s definitely something that I think you may be able to include with good conscience.

I think that a lot of people neglect those. They neglect, as you mentioned, the cold water fish and the salmon. I honestly don’t know why, Jonathan, because they are very easily digested. They’re chock full of DHA and EPA. Sure, you have to be careful where you get your salmon or whatever. Wild is better than farmed, but I think that it is underplayed, especially in the fitness community. I don’t know why, but I’m guessing it is just kind of like the old school approach thing.

Jonathan: The thing I also like too about seafood personally is the ease of preparation. I take a nice piece of salmon, you throw it in a skillet with some coconut oil, do for two minutes, three minutes on a side, flip it over, two or three minutes on a side, throw your preferred spice on it, and you have a delicious main dish. It’s not like you’re just short-changed, like searing a piece of fish literally takes minutes, and you throw some seasoning on it, and it’s spectacular.

Ben: We do a lot of fish. We do a lot of sardines out of the can like the sardines in the olive oil. We do usually about once every couple of weeks or so some kind of a shellfish, but you are pretty blessed over there in Seattle with really, really good seafood. We still have to get it shipped in over here on the East side of Washington, but I absolutely agree that a lot of people could benefit by including more fish in their diet. If, for some reason, you can’t go out of your way to get fish, just include more seaweed and algae sources in your diet because it also is really rich in minerals.

If you take something like spirulina or chlorella, and you can get this type of stuff in a supplement form, it’s pretty high in DHA and EPA and a lot of those things that you eat fish to get, really good brain building fatty acids. Pretty much, if it comes from the ocean, especially if it comes from a clean section of the ocean, it is usually going to be pretty good for you and your body and your brain.

Jonathan: I think it’s very rare to find global truths like that unless you come from a heavily polluted area, and this is total speculation, but if we rolled back, way back to our ancestral history, and there was a period of time when the climate on our planet was very hot, and homosapiens actually almost went extinct. I believe the estimate was, we were down to the low 10,000’s, and the only reason we survived was because there were individuals who were on the coasts.

Those were the individuals who could essentially acquire food readily, so, for a period of time in our evolutionary history, there was a great, only, well, not only, the vast majority of homosapiens who survived were those who had access to seafood. I don’t know if that played any role in it, but that thought always holds a place in my heart; because I do think we tend to live on the land. I think we tend to over-index on things that exist on land and under-index on things that live in the water, because really, like you said, if it lives in water and it hasn’t been horribly contaminated, it’s good to go.

I think if we looked at the average, even “healthy” eaters diet, even the guidance we get that is like “try to eat seafood once a week.” `Why not once a day? If you say eat seafood once a week, then you’re saying eat everything else more than seafood. Why not give love to the fish?

Ben: I hear you, and I think some people might be kind of scared about the heavy metals and stuff like that but you can mitigate some of that. For example, getting enough selenium in your diet. You know fish itself has decent amounts of selenium, but selenium is one thing that can bind metals. When I’m eating shellfish and stuff, sometimes I’ll even use a supplement called activated charcoal that you can use at the same time to make sure that you’re not getting lots of toxins from the fish and that type of thing getting absorbed. Charcoal is one way to try to clean up your bloodstream. I personally, one time a year, I’ll do a heavy metal detox where I have this specific formula that I use like the sublingual spray once a day for one month that detoxes my body of metals that may have built up over the rest of the year.

There are things that you can do and ways that you can battle some of the stuff that you might find in fish, but ultimately, you try and choose wild stuff, clean sources, and you’re going to be pretty good to go, but I still do recommend that you pay attention a little bit to the health side of things. I’m also guessing that the population who was on the verge of extinction not getting enough food probably didn’t have the fresh fish truck that showed up in the Yoke’s parking lot like I do. They must not have had that back then I guess.

Jonathan: Absolutely, to your point about the heavy metals, this is one thing we’re certainly an individual, obviously we should be careful of that, but I sometimes feel that, and again, I have no affiliation with any seafood company here. I just think it’s an interesting subject. Certainly, seafood is not the only food source that can be tainted in some way. We have GMO crops, we have pesticides on crops. We have hormones in meat. We have hormones in dairy.

If we were to take a cynical look at really any of the food groups, we could say, well, we can’t eat that because of this, and we can’t eat that because and frankly, Ben, we can’t even drink water because who knows what’s in our water and our air is polluted. I don’t know what the hell we’re actually going to do, so, the point of that is not to say that people shouldn’t look out for stuff, but rather look out for everything and don’t hate on the fish because there can be problems with everything.

Ben: We can’t live in a bubble. I actually talked about this recently in my podcast. We made a bunch of jokes about how we could make this special Ben Greenfield Bubble with a head air filter, get a little heavy metal detox sprayed in there at the end of each day and just roll around in your bubble and eat Soylent or something; but, you’re right. You do have to enjoy life a bit. When I’m cruising down the side of the road on my bicycle and a semi-truck goes by blowing gas out its backside, I don’t give a second thought to it just because sometimes you just got to shove that stuff aside. If you worry too much, that’s bad for you, too.

Jonathan: If you can’t enjoy your 150-year long life because you’re so healthy, what’s the point of having 150-year long life?

Ben: Exactly. What’s the point in fasting to extend your life? You hear about that. People fast to extend their lives, but who’d want to fast to extend their lives? If you’re not going to enjoy those extra three years of life that you’re getting because you never, ever in your life ate ice cream or coconut ice cream I should say.

Jonathan: We’re saying granted, this may extend your life 20 years, but understand that now you’re going to live… you get 20 years of life starting at 90 years old, so you get the lifestyle of a 90-year-old for 20 more years, while compromising the lifestyle. It’s not like you get 20 more years during your honeymoon. It’s at the tail end. That’s not to say certainly we shouldn’t do things that maximize our health, but certainly, let’s be sane about it.

Ben: Yeah, exactly. I mentioned that earlier that I am not necessarily convinced that triathlon is the healthiest sport for me to be in, but, you know what? If your iron man triathlon maybe is going to take a few hours off my life or something like that, I’m willing to put up with that just because it’s a heck of a lot of fun. It’s a nice little challenge for me, and I enjoy it immensely.

Jonathan: I love that. Ben, speaking of fun, you’re always up to such cool stuff. What fun stuff do you have coming up next?

Ben: I’m going down to the Paleo FX Conference here at the time of this recording in about a week or so, and then I’ll turn around from there and go do my first triathlon of the season over in Vietnam. I love to travel to race just because it lets me see the world and stay fit, and when I go to a new place, I get to see the countryside from the back of a bicycle. I will be doing that and going to race in Vietnam and then go to race in Japan after that, so that should be fun. Aside from that, just working, I am always trying to get some good information out there for folks. I just recently did something with another fellow podcaster, Abel James, the fat-burning man. He and I follow each other around with video cameras and shoot a lot of the little tips and tricks that we use every day to do what we call ‘living a lean lifestyle.’ We put that up over at leanlifestyleinsider.com. That’s my new product so to speak.

Aside from that, I’ll just spend this year trying to deliver as much value as possible to people through my podcasts and through my blog. My big project is my new book I’m working on about the distinct balance between health and performance, specifically for athletes, how you can exercise and where exercise becomes too much where your health and longevity should kind of be important; so, basically, how to do stuff like Ironman triathlon without destroying your body too much in the process. So, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, Jonathan.

Jonathan: Oh, I love it, Ben. That sounds really good, folks, and if you have not been over to bengreenfieldfitness.com, please do so. Ben’s been at this for a long time, and there has got to be, if you are ever short on stuff to read. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for stuff to listen to and stuff to watch. Ben will give you a multimedia experience.

You’re going to figure out a way to throw smell in there, because you have already got the sound. You’ve got things to look at. You’ve got everything, Ben, and you’ve got a lot of it; and it’s all good stuff. So, please, folks, check out Ben Greenfield’s fitness.com. Check out Ben’s show, Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast, and then also he is the Get Fit Guy. You can’t go wrong with that.

Ben: That’s right, the get fit guy. What are you waiting for it? Go get fit, that’s what I always end the podcasts by saying.

Jonathan: Ben, thank you so much for sharing your time with us.

This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Ben Greenfield. Ben is the one of the kings of health and fitness social media, host of myriad wonderful podcasts, the get fit guy on iTunes, the proprietor of BenGreenFieldFitness.com, and is here to teach us some tips on what to do to optimize our performance–whatever our goal may be.

Get-Fit Guy’s Guide to Achieving Your Ideal Body: A Workout Plan for Your Unique Shape (Quick & Dirty Tips)