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My thought for this week, because again, I’m taking these calls in a little bit different direction based on some feedback we’ve gotten.  I want to make them structured, I want to make each one a comprehensive thing, that you’re just like, wow, that 90 minutes meaningfully changed my life and provided me with information and action steps that I cannot get anywhere else.  And actually, for what it’s worth, this is my favorite part of the week.  I’m bringing stuff to you that has never been shared before.  I hope it’s helpful.  But part of that is, I might need your help to clarify some of it because this is hot off the presses.   So, if anything I say doesn’t make sense, changes are it’s not your fault, it’s probably my fault.  So, if anything I say doesn’t seem to make sense, it’s not that you misunderstood it, it’s probably that it doesn’t make sense.  So feel free to ask follow-up questions.  That’s the whole point of these calls, to give you that cutting edge info.

What I want to talk about this week is to start with a story.  It’s going to relate beautifully to a question Cici just asked, which is, “How often should we measure ourselves?”  Just the concept of measuring ourselves, that’s interesting.  If you don’t have a pen or paper, please get one, because it’s good to take notes, especially tactilely, not typing, but writing it is very important.  It actually imprints in your brain differently.  The concept of measuring one’s self when it comes to eating and exercise – very interesting.  Thank you for asking that question, Cici.  It actually ties in to a story.  

We actually have a member of our team here in the SANE family who is getting ready to do a fitness competition.  If you’re not familiar with fitness competitions – you’ve probably seen, obviously, body builders.  Big, massive individuals.  But there is another category – maybe you’ve heard of Crossfit, which is people who are professionally it.  But then there is a group of people – it’s more popular among females – where you don’t get big and bulky, but for a female, for example, it’s the goal of getting down to an extremely low body fat percentage.  And then you get on stage – there is some sort of sequence, bathing suit outfit, and then you are evaluated against competitors.  It’s a fitness competition.

This individual was feeling really bad, she was feeling really down.  Her mind was foggy.  She was like, “Oh, my goodness, it’s four weeks until my fitness competition.  What’s going on here, Jonathan, I’m doing more than I’ve ever done in my life in terms of my eating, in terms of my exercise, and I feel terrible.  How can I do this?  I started doing this to be healthy, but I’m feeling worse than I ever have.  What ensued was this hour-long conversation about the big difference between fitness aesthetics, or visual appearance, and health, and how those three things are oftentimes used synonymously, and used interchangeably, and they are absolutely not.  

Where is my pencil and piece of paper?  I’m going to try to draw backwards.  Where is he going with this?  I promise you, it’s going to make sense.  It’s going to be meaningful at the end.  If it doesn’t, I’ll give you a bonus session.  How about that?  The way most people think these three words work – how you look, aesthetics – fitness and health – the way most people think this works is like this.  You have a circle – health.  Cool?  And then fitness.  And then I’ll just put AS, without another S.  AS for fitness, health and aesthetics.  They’re all the same, right?  That’s what a lot of people would say.  The more aesthetically pleasing someone is to look at, the fitter they are and the healthier they are.  Or the healthier someone is, then the more of their abs you are going to see.  That’s the way we’re often taught to think about this.  

That is incorrect.  That is scientifically and demonstrably false.  Here is how it actually works.  It’s more like this.  This is called a Venn  diagram, which I’m sure you’re probably pretty familiar with.  Let’s call this one H for health, let’s call this one F for fitness, and let’s call this one A for aesthetics.  Hopefully you can see that, not too shabby there.  This is an area where what you are doing is helping you with your health, but it is has nothing to do with your fitness.  This is an area where it’s helping you with your fitness but it has nothing to do with anything else.  They overlap.  There are things that you can do to help your health that help your appearance.  There are things you can do that involve your fitness and also help your health.  And there are things that do all three.

But it’s important to understand, this middle category here, the things that make you fitter, healthier, and look better – there are a bunch of other categories.  This is an extremely important difference, because what I ended up talking about this individual, and what you’ve probably faced in your own life is confusion and conflicting misinformation where you’ve heard one thing, and then you hear the complete opposite.  And you think, how can this possibly be true?

Part of the reason that this is confusing is that people are conflating these three goals, because they are three different goals.  There are things you can do that are good for your aesthetics, there are things you can do that are good for your health, and there are things you can do that are good for your fitness.  There are things you can do that are good for your health and your fitness, and there are things you can do that are good for your fitness and your appearance, or your aesthetics.  And there are things that you can do that are good for your health, your appearance, and your fitness.  And this is probably the most awesome looking diagram ever right now.  

So let’s talk about this because it matters a lot and it will eliminate a huge amount of confusion if I didn’t just add a whole bunch to your life right then.  Let me give you some examples of stuff in each category.  Please pay attention because this distinction has never been talked about, at least to my knowledge, before, ever.  And it’s hugely, hugely important, and we’re probably going to do more stuff with it in the future.  

An example of something that is good for your health, but will not impact how your stomach looks – aesthetics – or improve your fitness.  Loving, supportive relationships will objectively improve your health.  You can literally measure a beneficial hormonal and neurological impact when you have higher levels of love in your life – period.  There is no question.  

Another example of things that benefit just your health.  What do I mean?  They do not increase the amount of weight you can lift, or how fast you can run – that’s fitness.  And they don’t necessarily influence how much of your abs you can see or how toned your arms are.  

Another example is a deep spiritual sense – any kind.  No necessarily religion, just a sense of purpose and connection to something bigger than yourself.  That will objectively and measurably improve your health.

Another example is meditation.  Meditation will not make you bigger, stronger, faster.  It’s not going to make your stomach more defined.  It’s not going to remove cellulite.  It’s not going to make our muscles more toned.  But meditation will objectively improve our health.  

So those are some examples.

Fitness.  Running a marathon will make you fitter.  It will increase what is called your VO2 max and it will make you fitter.  There are quite a few people – I am one of them – who don’t necessarily think that a marathoning body structure is the most aesthetically pleasing body structure.  I know there are a lot of different opinions about what is attractive and what is not attractive.  Let’s use gigantic body builders as an example.  There are things that will make you gigantic and muscular and, AKA, fitter, but once you get to a certain level of musculature, some people actually think that is counter-productive.  The people who have 3% body fat and weigh 300 pounds and look like giant, enormous cartoons almost – they are “fit,” they are very strong, but it’s actually having a negative impact on their aesthetics.

Things that improve you aesthetically, and example would be – this is going to sound silly, but smoking cigarettes.  We’re here to talk about science, right?  Smoking cigarettes – we don’t know why, but the peer-reviewed research is quite clear that smoking cigarettes has a tendency to lower the set point weight in our brains.  This is why, often, when people quit smoking they gain weight.  

There are other things, for example, taking cocaine.  Taking cocaine does not help your fitness.  It is obviously horrible for your health, but it will make you thinner, which some people think improves your aesthetic appearance.  Steroid, for example, will improve your fitness and your aesthetics, but they will harm your health.  You can see that, again, these don’t all overlap.  

So why does this matter?  This matters because we need to prioritize these.  There are things that influence all of these positively and that’s one of the beautiful things about SANE.  What you will find is that, for example, eating foods that are highly satisfying rather than foods that are less satisfying – that’s the S in SANE – eating foods that are hormonally helpful rather than hormonally harmful – that’s the A, or aggression, in SANE – eating more nutrient-dense foods rather than less nutrient-dense foods – that’s the N in SANE – and eating foods that are less efficiently stored as fat – those are going to all help health, fitness and aesthetics.  

So, eating more green, leafy vegetables will improve your health, it will improve your fitness, and it will improve the way you look.  That’s why it’s awesome.  Eating more nutrient-dense protein will help your health, it will help your fitness, and it will help you with the way you look, which is awesome.  

Eating more whole-food fats in place of starches and sugars will improve your health, could improve your aesthetics, and could improve your fitness, depending on how you are measuring those things.  For example, if you are a sprinter athlete, eating high-glycemic carbs right before you compete will actually improve your fitness more than eating mono-unsaturated fats would, but mono-unsaturated fats will improve your health, always, radically more than eating simple sugars.  For example, if you on the Internet and you look at a Crossfit website, they’re like sweet potatoes, they’re so great!  Sweet potatoes are fantastic if you’re a crossfitter.  If you’re eating sweet potatoes instead of eating spinach, or instead of eating vegetables, that’s not the right trade-off if our trade-off is for health.  It’s also not the right trade-off if what we’re trying to do is burn body fat and we’ve yo-yo dieted five plus times and we’ve struggled with our weight for decades.  

So this distinction – health, fitness, aesthetics – is hugely important because we have to ask ourselves – if I had to stack-rank these – and I want you to do this right now, this is an interactive exercise.  We have health, we have fitness, we have aesthetics.  Let’s just say looks, because I can’t spell aesthetics.  Let’s define these.  Health – this is defined as you’re likelihood of getting diseases.  Your life expectancy, your sexual function is tied to this, your energy level is very  much tied to this, your mood is very much tied to this.  Your mental performance is very much tied to this.  Fitness – this is very much how much weight – your muscles are strong, your muscles are fast, you can run long distances and not get out of breath, things along those lines.  Looks – we know what looks are.  

I need you right now to do something like this.  I’ll do it, and I’ll share it with you.  I’m going to put a number one next to one of these, a number two next to another one, and a number three.  And that’s going to represent my stack rank.  I don’t want to bias you, so I’m not going to show it to you yet, but everyone, I need you to stack-rank these.   It’s just three simple things.  Hopefully it didn’t take too long.  I’m going to show you mine.  I’m going to explain it, and I’m going to show you how this may relate to you and your life.

Here’s mine.  Or me, personally, health is my number one goal.  How I look is my second goal, which may surprise some people, but we’re a family here so I’m going to be honest.  Fitness, or how fast I can run, how far I can run, how much weight I can lift – number three for me.  I don’t really care about that so much.  Ideally, I want to improve all of these, but I my mental performance, my mood, my likelihood of getting diseases – for me, that’s my number one priority.  I will sacrifice how much weight I can lift and how long I can run, to improve my health.  And I will do things that improve my appearance, even if they sort of harm how well I exercise because that’s the trade-off here.  And I will do things that improve my health even if they’re not optimal for my looks.  

What we have to do is, we each have to figure out where these three things line up for us, because that will answer a lot of questions.  For example, if fitness is your number one goal, you will absolutely eat differently than if health is your number one goal.  Let me give you a very concrete example.  There was a study done with Olympic athletes.  They asked the Olympic athletes if we could give you a pill that would guarantee you a gold medal and would guarantee that you would die in five years, would you take it?  Again, let’s talk about Olympic athletes, who, if we had to evaluate, if we had to guess what an Olympic athlete would do, it would probably be – I don’t know where they would put health and looks, but I would bet that fitness would be number one, because their entire identify is tied to how they perform at the Olympic games.  

And the study bore this out.  About 80% of Olympic athletes who were asked, if we could guarantee you a gold medal with a pill that was legal, but it would kill you in five years, 80% of Olympic athletes said they would take it.  Which I know sounds surprising, but when you look at some of the things we’ve been told to do to ourselves, if maybe not to make us bigger, stronger, faster, but to make us lose weight fast – will they make us lose weight fast?  Will certain injectable substances and crazy, unregulated pills make us lose weight fast?  Absolutely.  Are they good for our health?  Absolutely not.  Absolutely not.  However, if our goal is, “I don’t care if something takes 20 years off my life, I don’t care if I feel like garbage all day, I just want to see my abs,” none of us here in the SANE family are going to judge that, at all.

So this fitness competitor that I was talking with, I asked her what her priorities are.  She said, “My priorities are one, two three.”  Health was last on her list.  I then said that’s fine, but they’re not the same thing, and we have to be really, really clear about that because here at SANE, in the SANE family, what you are going to find is that we’ll never judge you or tell you that your prioritization is wrong, but what I will tell you is that what we’re going to focus on is this.  What I’m going to show you here is not right, it is not correct, it’s just what we specialize in here.  

This is definitely number one.  The thing that is interesting about fitness and looks – I would just say it’s one and then two.  Maybe I’m cheating a little bit, but all the things that we’re going to tell you to do in terms of exercise, those exercise recommendations are the best forms of exercise to improve your health, and the best forms of exercise to help you metabolize fat faster.  They won’t necessarily  make you a better athlete.  Everything you are going to hear in terms of eating, exercise and emotions is about making you healthier first – period.  Your improved health will translate into a lower body fat percentage and more lean muscle tissue – absolutely, period, no questions asked.  The thing that is beautiful about attacking your health first, or improving your health first, is that proper health, optimal health, will lead to the longest-lasting benefits for looks, because a healthy body is going to pursue a naturally health look.

Naturally health is very important.  A 65-year-old woman seeing abdominal definition is not natural.  That’s unnatural.  That’s actually not healthy.  That’s too low of a body fat percentage for health.  But we’re going to get you to a point where the reason you’re exercising the way you’re exercising – it’s for your health first, then for your looks.  But if you want to run a marathon or be an awesome crossfitter, and you can see, there are not so many conversations in your support group and there’s not so much content in your Ignite program talking about how to make you a great athlete.  It’s talking about how to make you feel your best, act your best in life, treat other people their best because you are your best you, from a healthy perspective.  

And that is going to, then, translate into fantastic looks, and that is, fantastically natural looks over time.  But we’re always after this first.  That’s why we don’t encourage cutting calories, because cutting calories can absolutely improve this, but at the expense of that.  Hopefully that was a somewhat decent exercise.  Hopefully that was helpful for you.  It was certainly helpful for me.  I never thought about it that way.  

But hearing this, I want to open up the floor for some questions, because I think some of this is somewhat obvious in the sense that, why do we say only exercise twice per week doing eccentric exercise and doing Smarter interval training, if I want to run a marathon, don’t I have to do more than that?  Absolutely.  That’s the right way to exercise if health is your first priority, if looks are your second priority and fitness is your third priority.  

Also, is there anything good about sweet potatoes?  Absolutely.  In fact, sweet potatoes are great if your primary goal is fitness, it’s going to help fuel your fitness fantastically.  But if your goal is health, if you’re eating sweet potatoes – sweet potatoes are going to crowd out nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein and whole-food fats, which unquestionably have more of what you need to thrive than sweet potatoes do.  

So you can see, this is why us talking about and establishing our goals is so important because we have to prioritize.  It’s not better or worse, it’s just prioritizing, and saying, is my goal to lose as much weight as possible, as fast as possible?  If so, I can tell you exactly how to do that, but it will kill you – literally.  It will lower your life expectancy.  But we’ll get you ripped up real fast.  And that’s what fitness competitors do.  I had this conversation with this fitness competitor.  I was in the fitness competitor world for a while.  If you look at professional athletes, boxers are very fit people.  But taking repeated shots to the head is not good for your health.  

You can start to see, again, your goals are so, so, so important.  Our goal here is not to show you how to lose as much weight as possible while destroying your health so that you can run a marathon.  That’s actually backwards of what we’re going to focus on in the SANE family.  What we’re going to focus on here is, using the metaphor we introduced a couple of weeks back of a metabolic clog, or a metabolic flu, we now understand there is dysregulation amongst our hormones, there is dysregulation in our gut bacteria, there are imbalances in our hormones, our brain is inflamed.  It’s like we have the metabolic flu.  How do we heal that?  How do we overcome that?  Obesity and metabolic dysfunction is a disease, just like hypertension, just like diabetes.  How do we overcome that?  

And then, the act of overcoming that, of achieving our optimal health, then trickles down, and we start to look better because we’re feeling better, and our body starts to become what is called fat-adapted, which means it starts to burn fat rather than just crave more and more energy and store it as fat.  And then of course our fitness improves because if we’re no longer carrying around 100 pounds of surplus fat you’d better believe that we’re going to be able to move a lot better.  But telling someone who weighs 350 pounds when they’re ideal body weight is probably more like 170 that they need to exercise more is counterproductive.  Because telling someone who weighs 350 pounds to jog is harmful to their body.  You should not be jogging if you’re carrying that much surplus weight around.  You should focus on your health.  The health is going to translate into becoming fat-adapted.  Once you start burning fat, it will then be much easier to become fit.  Hopefully that was helpful.

Questions are coming in and I want to answer some of them.  But we have the key distinction between health, fitness, and aesthetics.  They’re not the same thing.  Ideally, we probably want to focus on things that benefit all of them, but there are a lot of things that don’t benefit all of them, and at least, we have to pick how we want to prioritize.  Okay, that’s a summary.  Let me see what kind of questions we have here.

Anise says, “Where does flexibility fit in fitness, or joint health?”  Flexibility is going to be part of fitness.  When I say health, I mean your cholesterol levels, your hormone levels, things that are directly related to diseases.  Being not flexible, obviously maintaining one’s joint health – we can call it health, we can call it fitness – it’s somewhere in the middle there, but it’s extremely important.  Being inflexible will not increase your likelihood of getting diabetes.  It will not lower your life expectancy, to my knowledge.  At least, I haven’t seen any research that suggests that.  So I would personally put it a little bit more in the fitness category.  Again, this isn’t to say that fitness doesn’t make you feel good.  That’s not at all what we’re saying.  But I think it’s pretty clear, we’ve all experienced this, that there are plenty of things that we can do for our fitness, such as waking up three hours early and going on a long jog that doesn’t make us feel better, actually makes us feel worse in a lot of cases.  

Cici says, “How often do we measure?  I’m so confused?”  Cici, could you let me know what you mean by measuring?  Measuring what?  And I’ll be happy to answer that question.  What are we measuring?  Are we measuring results?  Are we measuring body fat?  Are we measuring serving sizes of food?  What are you looking toward?

Lelani says, “Isn’t measuring yourself like weighing yourself?”  Yes, measuring yourself is kind of like weighing yourself except if we’re talking about tape measuring now – this is a great way to talk about this, relative to this.  The problem with weighing yourself is, you can be successful in dropping the scale while radically harming your health and radically harming your fitness.  How is that possible?   If we just stop eating, which I know is crazy talk, but if you look at the actual studies that have been done on starvation in humans – we can’t do them anymore because they are inhumane and scientific regulatory bodies won’t let them happen.  The last one that was done, a starvation diet, was a 1600-calories diet.  When you look at most calorie-counting programs, or if you look at what this fitness competitor was being told to eat, 1200 calories is more like it, that’s starvation.  

So weighing ourselves, if you just stop eating, or if you cut your calories down to 1200 or 800 calories per day, if you measure your success on the scale, it will say you’re doing well, because you’re losing weight.  You are crushing your health.  You are absolutely, literally, slowing dying.  If that seems hyperbolic, or it doesn’t really make sense, I think we can all agree that food is essential for life.  That’s why we say we have essential vitamins, essential minerals, essential fatty acids, essential amino acids.  If we’re just saying less food, we’re saying less of those essential substances.  

And the absence of an essential substance equals disease.  So starvation is like having a sick person sneeze in your face.  It’s just saying, “I am literally going to expose my body to a toxic environment where I’m not giving it all the energy and abundance and love and support that it needs.  But the scale is going to say you’re doing fantastic, because you’re burning off muscle tissue, you’re burning off fat tissue, you’re losing water weight.  So the scale is going to say you’re doing well.  Your fitness is also going to suffer horribly.  There is no way you can exercise effectively, your endurance is going to plummet, you’re going to feel anxious, you’re going to feel depressed, you’re energy levels are going to fall.  

So starving yourself, and then weighing yourself, the scale says you’re doing well, your health is being compromised, and your fitness is being compromised.  Personally, I think your looks are being compromised, as well, because what research shows that human beings find most attractive is health, is vibrancy, and someone who is starving is gaunt, tired, gray.  Think about someone who is sick.  Sickness, illness, is not attractive.  

How is measuring one’s self with a measuring tape different?  If you measure your waist circumference, and you measure various elements on your body, it is going to give you a much more accurate representation of burning fat and maintaining lean muscle tissue.  Waist circumference, for example, is an independent indicator of all-cause mortality.  So abdominal fat is bad for our health.  It is not helpful for our health.   Starving ourselves does not necessarily help with abdominal fat because it burns everything.  

If you’re familiar with what you learned in your step-by-step program, you’re burning off muscle tissue rapidly because your body is starving.  It’s saying, I don’t have enough energy, muscle tissue burns a lot of energy, so if I’m starving, I feel like I don’t have enough energy, what am I going to burn off first?  You can’t burn off your brain, which burns a lot of energy.  You can’t burn off your liver, which burns a lot of energy.  But you can burn off your muscle tissue.  Dropping muscle tissue is horrible for our health, it’s horrible for our fitness.  

But if we measure ourselves with a measuring tape, which again, hopefully you’re not hearing anywhere in your Ignite program that I want you measuring yourself with a measuring tape, or that any of your SANE certified coaches want you measuring yourself with a measuring tape daily.  Never.  Never, never, never.  A measuring tape is superior to a scale because if you are measuring, for example, at most, once a month, and at the same time of month, and at the same time of day, especially if you’re a female, it has to take in the menstrual cycle, and so on.

I would prefer if you measure once every three months, because the body needs time to heal and we’re not here to equate our worth as human beings and as people with numbers on the scale or numbers on a measuring tape.  But a measuring tape is superior to a scale because a measuring tape, and for example, how your clothes fit, makes it harder to do unhealthy things.  In fact, the best way to make your scale unhappy is to do unhealthy things.  That is the best, most effective way to make your scale happy, to do unhealthy things.  

The most effective way to make a measuring tape happy is to do SANE things.  You want to build and develop calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue and heal your body and simultaneously burn fat.  That is going to help you shed abdominal fat.  That’s going to help you to feel and look great and fit into your clothes better.  So it’s not that we should all use a measuring tape.  Personally, I would much rather the only measurement you do at all be process goals rather than results goals, which we have talked about a couple of times, but it’s worth bringing back up.  If you want to measure, please, measure the number of vegetables you are eating per day, measure the servings of nutrient-dense protein you’re eating per day, and measure the servings of whole-food fats you’re eating per day.  

Then measure five things that you’re grateful for that day.  That’s what your gratitude journal is for in the support group.  Measure the amount of time that you spend helping other people in the coaching and support group, with their goals and teaching, because as you start to teach and help others, the greatest way in the world to learn anything is to help others.  Becoming a teacher makes you the best student ever.  If you want to measure, measure how much time you spend just moving your body, not exercising in an unhealthy and unnatural way, but how much time did I spend standing versus sitting?  How much time did I spend walking?  That’s a great thing to measure.  

And then let’s look at it from a spiritual, love perspective?  How much time did I spend meditating today?  How much time did I spend sleeping?  There is no shortage of things to measure that really drive your long-term results.  Measure how much sleep, measure how much support, measure how many vegetables, measure how much protein, measure how much fat, measure how much time you’re spending helping others, measure how much time you’re spending moving your body.  Because those are the things which, if you get them right, you have to achieve SANE success.  I can’t guarantee how fast it’s going to happen, but I can guarantee that it’s going to happen, just like we can guarantee that if you stop eating food completely, you will lose weight.  I also guarantee that you will gain more weight back than you lost, and that it will permanently harm your health, and that’s why I guarantee that nobody that is ever involved in SANE will ever advise you to do that because it’s toxic and it’s terrible for you.

But at some point, if your body has no energy it’s just going to start to burn off all your tissue, and I can guarantee that you’re going to lose weight.  However, if your goal is long-term health, and fitness, and aesthetics, that is maintainable and enjoyable, I can guarantee you, it can’t not work that if you flood your body with pure, unadulterated nutrition, to the point where you have no room for inSANE toxic and addictive nonsense, and if you give your body the time it needs to rest and recover with proper sleep, and you give yourself the emotional support you need, and you move your body in a healthful way, you can’t not get better.  Eating more nutrition has to make you healthier.

Now, of course, we need to talk about making sure that our timeframe is reasonable.  For example, if we got diagnosed with diabetes, and our goal was to, through lifestyle change, eventually have our doctor take us off our diabetes medication, we would not ever say, “Oh my gosh, it’s been a week and my doctor is not yet taking me off my diabetes medication.” I’m a failure.”  We know that if we’re treating a severe medical condition, if we want to do that in a healthy, sustainable way, it’s going to take some time.  

So, if you want to measure, please measure process goals rather than results goals, because the results will happen – period.  And if you focus on the process, you can control that.  We can’t control the results.  If I eat a certain way and you eat that exact say way we’re going to get different results because have different genetics, we have different dieting histories, we could be on different medications, we could have different levels of stress in our lives.  So measuring results is always going to leave us frustrated because we’re going to hold ourselves relative to other people, and we can’t fully control them.  

But we can fully control our processes, the steps we take every day.  “I have a goal and I’m going to measure how many steps in the step-by-step program I complete per week.  I’m going to measure that and I’m going to try to hit five steps per week.  I’m going to measure whether or not I post something and I support someone and I show love in the same coaching and support group every day.  I’m going to measure my servings of vegetables, whether it is on the website, whether it is in the app, or whether it’s using a paper tracker.  I’m going to measure how many green smoothies I’m drinking.”  

Those are the process goals.  Those key processes – what is beautiful about those processes is, those are going to improve your health, then your looks, then your fitness, in that order.  And it is going to benefit all three of those.  And it’s going to do it in a way that is synergistic and complementary, rather than other techniques which may boost you up the fitness scale, but it’s going to crush both other areas, or your abs sure look good, but now you’ve got diabetes.  We don’t want that.  So please, if you’re going to measure, let’s focus.  If you want to measure results, please don’t use a scale.  You can use a measuring tape, it’s better than a scale.  

But if you want to measure results, the only thing I would recommend is going to your primary care physician and asking them for the most thorough blood workup they can give you.  Everything.  The works.  Not calculated cholesterol numbers, actual cholesterol numbers.  Everything. Hormone levels, A1C levels.  “I want the works, Doc.”  Ask her to test every possible thing she can.  And then I want you to focus on SANEity, focus on process, focus on practically done versus theoretically perfect, which is what we talked about last week, and then go back in six months.  And it is a fact that if we focus on SANE eating, Smarter exercise, rest and recovery, AKA proper sleep, and love and emotional support, all of those numbers will improve – period.  They have to.  It’s just biochemistry.  

If we’re eating toxic and addictive substances, that’s going to do something to our insulin levels, and if we’re not eating those toxic and addictive substances, it won’t.  Every single time you eat a slice of whole grain bread your blood sugar will spike more than if you ate a Snickers bars – period.  It can’t not do that.  Just like when you take two molecules of hydrogen and add them to one molecule of oxygen, on this planet you will always get water – H2O.  Always.  That’s just chemistry.

When you take nonstarchy vegetables and you combine them with a human being, you’re going to get a healthier human being.  Always.  You can’t not.  That’s just how human biology works.  So let’s focus on those core things and then if we want to measure results, let’s get our primary care physician’s help to do that, and let’s do it no more frequently than once every six months.  You might be saying, Jonathan, I want results faster, and that’s fine.  Track results that you can control.  If you want results, the results you’ll get is, “My goal is to eat one more serving of nonstarchy vegetables this week each day than I did last week.”  The result ism “I did that.”  And if you did that, you got great results.  If you didn’t do that, you’re going to try it again next week.  That’s the results you are going to judge.  

The results you are going to judge is, did you follow, and did you do the things you can control?  Because then you’re going to let your body do the rest.  Imagine if you broke your arm and every single day you tried to measure how quickly your arm was healing.  It would be so much better and so much more beneficial for us to focus on creating an environment in which our arm would heal – put a cast on it, don’t keep hitting with stuff, eat nutrient-dense food, make sure we’re getting enough calcium.  That is going to be so much more advantageous, because at the end of the day our body controls how quickly that arm is going to heal.  

We can control what we do with our body but we can’t control what our body does with our arm.  So, doesn’t it just make more sense for us to focus on the things we can control, and then to trust our body to do what it was made to do, which is to be healthy?  Our bodies don’t want to be sick – period.  Everything about our DNA is for survival and thriving.  There is a reason we have an immune system.  Our body does not want us to have viral invaders coming into us so we have an immune system to fight that off.  

And we have a homeostatic system in our body that regulates our weight because our body doesn’t want to be over-fat or underweight, anymore than it wants cancer.  Both of them are not good for us, so our body is going to try to fight against them.  But we’ve been so bombarded as a society with toxic substances and toxic environments that dysregulate those systems that once we heal those systems our body will fight the good fight for us.  But what we need to do is measure what we’re putting into our body and what we’re doing with our body and then let our body heal us, because at the end of the day that’s the only way we heal, is when the body heals itself.  Hopefully that makes sense.  

Let me see, we had some other questions that were a little bit unrelated to what I’ve been talking about so far.  Let me see if I can answer those real quick.  Michelle asks, “Would increasing intake of probiotics, i.e., drinking kefir, be a beneficial daily practice?”  I don’t know what brand of kefir you’re talking about, Michelle, but as a general rule of thumb, increasing probiotics is absolutely fantastic.  Yes, probiotics are a good things.  Also, prebiotics – fantastic.   So yes, very critical to gut health, very critical to healing.  What we were talking about earlier, healing the overall system so that the body then manifests the results that we’re so excited to get.  Healing our gut, our hormones and our brain – those are the three critical components.  Probiotics and prebiotics are a big part of that, for sure.  

Missy asks, “How long does it take to become fat-adapted?”  Missy, it depends on how – stick with me for a second here – if someone told you, “Missy, I just got injured.  How long is it going to take me to feel better?”  You would, of course, ask them, “What happened?  Did you sprain your ankle, did you break your neck?”  Because it varies a lot.  For some of us, for example, if we are an adolescent who is slightly overweight, and has never weight-cycled, and has never had children, and is on no form of medication, it’s going to be much faster for that individual to regain fat adapted.  We’re born fat-adapted.  Mother’s milk is, by and large, fat.  We are fat-adapted by default because our body stores surplus energy as fat because fat is our preferred fuel source.  That’s why we don’t store sugar.  If we have an excess amount of sugar we turn it into fat.  We store fat because fat is what our body wants to burn.  

If you have yo-yo dieted, I cannot give you a specific timeframe.  I can tell you that the timeframe is inversely related, so as we become older it’s going to take a little bit longer.  A broken metabolism works just like a broken bone.  The more severely the bone is broken, how many times we’ve broken the bone before, the amount of stress we’re under while we try to heal the bone.  How old we are, for example, these all influence how long it’s going to take for that bone to heal.  I can promise you the bone won’t heal in a day.  I can also promise you that it’s not going to take five years for the bone to heal.  

When it comes to broken parts of our body, we usually measure healing in months.  So at a minimum, let’s say three months.  At a maximum, let’s say a year.  I’m trying to think the worst case scenario possible.  In the worst case scenario possible, if you give yourself the attention and the love you deserve, with SANE eating, even in the worst possible case, one year from today your brain, your digestive system and your hormones can be literally brand now.  Literally, our body has the capability to regenerate itself to reverse damage at a cellular level.  

In fact, you will see that research in your step-by-step program with a type of resistance training we advocate within your SANE program has actually been shown to reverse aging at a cellular and genetic level.  You have these little things called telomeres which you can judge how old someone really is by the amount of damage on their telomeres, and when you exercise Smarter we can actually observe that damage reversing itself, which them means that your real age has dropped.  So the least amount of time, let’s say three months.  The maximum amount of time, one year.  And that, of course, is perfectly correlated with the amount of attention we’re paying to the abundant SANE nutrition we need, Smart physical movement, rest and recovery, and of course, giving ourselves the emotional support that we need.  

Okay, what else do we have?  Sandy asks, “What about the studies that show that a reduction in calories promotes longevity?”  100%, Sandy.  Longevity is not the same as health.  Two things that are really important to keep in mind.  One, when we say eat Smarter, I’m not advocating eat 6000 calories, by any means.  We’re saying eat more food, but Smarter.  Caloric restriction has been shown in certain animal models, not in human models, to increase life expectancy.  The reason for that is, if you restrict calories your body runs slower.  Everything runs slower.  Cellular replication, everything runs slower.  It’s almost like if you froze yourself, cryogenic freezing.  When you starve yourself you run slower, and just like if you drive your car at 20 miles per hour it will last longer than if you drive your car at 50 miles per hour.  That’s what’s going on there.

Personally, I think what we want to do is find a balance.  We want to add life to our years while simultaneously adding years to our life.  It is 100% true that if you eat 1000 calories per day versus eating 6000 calories per day you will live longer, probably, on those 1000 calories.  But then, of course, it also depends on where those 1000 calories are coming from.  1000 calories per day of sugar is going to be worse for you, without question, than 4000 calories per day of healthy and SANE food.  

Of course, you could never eat 4000 calories per day of SANE food because it would make your stomach explode because your body just can’t hold that much SANE food, but the key thing here is not to eat too many calories or too few calories, it is to give our body the nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein and whole-food fats such that we automatically eat the appropriate number of calories because we’re taking in an abundant amount of nutrition, we’re taking in an abundant amount of nutrients, if we’re storing surplus fat on our body, let’s keep in mind that it is not an exact number but for every pound of surplus fat we have on our body, we’ve already got 3500 calories of energy.  

So when we become fat-adapted, like the previous question said, we want to flood our body with nutrition, but what we will find is, we experience what is called in scientific circles, a spontaneous reduction of caloric intake, which means that we become fuller faster and stay fuller longer because our body starts to burn fat as fuel.  So right now, today, if we’re not fat-adapted, our body is like, “Look, until I get more sugar I’m going to make you feel hungry and tired because I’m used to burning sugar and I don’t have the hormonal capabilities to burn fat.”  

We eat some food for breakfast.  That is primarily sugar, or historically was primarily sugar, because that’s what we were told to do.  Even if it’s whole-grain cereal with milk, that whole-grain cereal, unfortunately, leaves our stomach as sugar, so it’s really a bowl of sugar with some milk in it, unfortunately.  We were lied to and that’s really frustrating.  But now we can do better because we have correct information.  We’re here, we’re together, and we’re SANE.  Historically, we would eat that sugar, our body would say, “I’ve burned off that sugar, now I need more energy, but there is no more sugar around, so I’m going to make you hungry for more sugar.  Sugar, hunger, sugar, hunger – up, down, up down – energy crash – diabetes.  Not good.  

When you’re fat-adapted, you would eat a SANE breakfast, which quite honestly would probably fill you up in fewer calories than that in SANE breakfast because we know SANE foods are more satiating – that’s the S – meaning that calorie for calorie they fill you up faster.  And you will see those studies in your step-by-step program where, for example, researchers will give one group of people a certain breakdown of macro-nutrients to eat – this much protein, this much fat, this much carbohydrate – say eat as much as you want until you’re full, and then another group a different breakdown.  You will see, spontaneously, people eat different amounts, because it takes different amounts of sugar to fill you up than it takes protein, without question.  

That’s why, for example, you can eat 400 calories of Pringles and be hungrier, whereas if you ate 400 calories of salmon and sautéed veggies you’re going to feel full and satisfied.  It’s still 400 calories.  So when you become fat-adapted you’re going to eat more food because vegetables are big.  Nutrient-dense protein is big.  You’re going to eat a bigger breakfast.  But then when your body burns through that energy, it’s going to say, “Hey, I need more energy, and look, I’ve got all this energy.”  So, it’s just going to start burning that energy.  So what we’ve actually seen in research is that when you become fat-adapted and healthy you will experience pure satiety, you will feel totally satisfied, you will feel totally full and you will feel energized and you will accidentally eat anywhere between 600 and 100 fewer calories per day.

Please let that sink in.  You will accidentally eat 600-1000 fewer calories per day because you’re flooding your body with nutrition.  You’re not eating less food.  I can guarantee you are eating more food.  You’re going to be eating a couple of pounds of vegetables per day.  That’s more food.  But you’ll get fuller on fewer calories because although you’re not taking calories in through your lips, it’s okay because your body can supplement that with calories that may be stored on your hips, or on your belly, or anywhere else.  

That’s where you start to see that improvement in health then translate into an improvement in looks and aesthetics, but the improvement in health has to come first unless we actually want to harm our health.  We can make the aesthetics and the looks better first, but that will actually harm our health, and that leads to yo-yo dieting and a bunch of other stuff.  So hopefully that’s helpful.  Absolutely, you can extend your life.  You can add years to your life by starving yourself, but it won’t add life to your years.  And if you’re starving yourself the wrong way, if you just eat very few calories of toxic food, that will radically shorten your life.  So you just want to be careful about that, as well.  

Lorraine says, “Does one green smoothie day a week equal starvation that day?”  Lorraine, can you clarify that a little bit?  If all you’re eating is one green smoothie a day, that’s starvation, for sure.  If you could, just let me know a little bit more information.  

Sandy asks, “What about intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting?  I did that for several months and found it to be effective, hard to sustain over the long-term, though.”  Sandy, I think that’s a brilliant statement and you answered your own question.  Intermittent fasting is a different word for starvation.  It’s a euphemism.  I just want to be very honest.  We have to be very careful with the way that these things are presented to us because if someone were to say, just eat 1000 calories per day, people would say, “That’s starvation, that’s bad.”  But if they say, “Eat 2000 calories one day and zero calories the next day,” they call it intermittent fasting and they sell a million books.   It’s starvation.  

Your long-term health is not achieved by fearing food.  Food is health.  Food is life  There is no world – ever – where eating no vegetables in a day is the way to achieve long-term health.  Whether you are starving yourself every day down to 1000 calories, or whether you’re starving yourself every other day, the mindset of, “Food is the enemy,” is, unfortunately, backward, and that’s why we’ve gotten backward results.  If we look at the past 40 years, we’ve tried harder and harder and harder to be healthy and fit, and where has that gotten us?  That has gotten us heavy and sick, and that’s inSANE.  

So what we’re trying to do now is take a SANEr approach, where we don’t see paradoxical intention, where the harder we try to achieve something, the worse the results that we get.  For example, if you’ve ever been unable to sleep and you lay there, the more you try to sleep, the more awake you become.  Or if you’re very nervous to speak in a public setting and you say, “Don’t be nervous, don’t be nervous,” the harder we try to not be nervous, the more nervous we get.  The harder we try to trick our bodies or to starve our bodies, it’s hard to maintain over the long term because our bodies are like, “Look, unfortunately, what we’re trying to do is, I’m going to not go to the bathroom for one day.”  Sure, you’re toilet will be cleaner, no question.  But unfortunately, it’s not sustainable and it’s not healthy.  And it’s not needed.

We didn’t avoid an obesity epidemic prior to the 1980s because people didn’t eat every other day.  We did avoid an obesity epidemic prior to the 1980s because people at real, whole food.  And they moved their bodies.  And they slept two hours longer per night.  And they spent time developing loving, supportive relationships.  And there was way less exposure to toxic media elements and to toxins in the environment.  We can’t make the toxins in the environment go away, but you know what we can do?  We can eat an abundance of vegetables that super charges our body’s ability to get rid of those toxins.  

So the key thing is, there are all sorts of stuff that we can do in the short term to lose weight, but until we give ourselves permission to really understand this and really internalize this, we need to feed our bodies with the fuel it needs to heal itself.  If we take on a mindset of healing and abundance versus shame and starvation – that’s one way to think about intermittent fasting.  “Man, I just have to not eat.  There is no other way.  I’m just going to not eat for a day.”  That is very, “Food is the enemy, I’m ashamed and I’m just going to stop eating,” versus the mindset of, “ I’m going to flood my body with so much therapeutic nutrition.”  Not saying, “I’m going to flood my body with calories.”  

If our goal was to flood our body with calories, we would take oil and sugar and mix it together and drink it.  That would be what I would be telling you to do.  But you notice, oil and sugar are actually way on the other end of the spectrum toward inSANEity, because we want to eat whole, nutrient-dense foods, and by doing that, you will give your body the raw materials it needs to heal itself – period.  There is no other way.  And it is so beautifully simple, but unfortunately, it’s the opposite of what we’ve been told over the past 40 years, because honestly, people who are sick and sad are a lot more profitable than people who are healthy and fit because all these people that are trying to sell us all these magic pills, if you notice, there are very few medications that heal anything.  They allow us to live with the symptoms.  

Why?  Because if you heal a disease, you stop buying the medication.  Food is real medicine.  Food can literally reverse disease.  Why?  Because disease is usually caused by a deficiency, or an abnormal state in the body.  We can restore normalcy through not just eating, but through physical movement, through restoration, through emotional support, and by restoring that environment, the body will heal itself.  That is the key, and it is so encouraging, it is so empowering.  I know it’s hard because everything else we’ve heard is the opposite of that, but it makes sense because look at where that other mindset has gotten us.  If you live in the states, it’s ridiculous.  Literally, in all key measures.  

Sleep.  We’re sleeping less in the United States than we ever have before – period.  The average adult is getting between one and two fewer hours of sleep per night than we were a couple of generations ago.  If we look at the types of foods we’re eating, we’re eating 40-60% of our calories from packaged, processed foods.  That has never existed before in the history of the planet.  If we look at the amount of social connections we have, they’re lower than they’ve ever been.  Environmental toxins – all of these things – the common approach has yielded such devastating results that what we’re talking about here, in some ways doing the opposite of what we’ve been told kind of makes sense because honestly, aren’t we after the opposite results?  

I guarantee you that every single person on this call has lost weight before.  That’s not the issue.  I know it might sound funny, but if you have lost weight before, raise your hand.  So weight loss isn’t the issue.  The issue is how do we actually have a healthy body that naturally pursues a healthy weight, long term, without making us feel sick and sad and ashamed and terrible.  That’s the secret.  And you lose weight in the short term through starvation.  You heal yourself and live your best life possible through flooding your body with an abundance of objectively good nutrition, flooding it with an abundance of emotional support, giving it the rest and recovery it needs, and moving it intelligently.  That’s the difference.  

And the secret is, you just have to do it, and you just have to give it time.  And we live in a microwave culture.  We live in a quick fix culture.  But if we want different results, doesn’t it make sense that we’re going to take a different approach?  Look at what this other approach has gotten us.  If it worked, we would not have the problems that we have in our culture.  So if we want different results, doesn’t it make sense to take a different approach?  Especially when it’s backed by so much common sense, so much science, and it’s historically true.  When has there ever been a culture that has had strong social support and connections, that has gotten optimal amounts of sleep, and that has eaten a consistent diet of real, whole foods, and hasn’t had radically better health and performance and lives than what we’re experiencing today?  

You can observe the opposite all around the world.  Any traditional culture that then adopts a Western lifestyle sees the exact same increases in obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, that we see here.  So please, I know there are billions of dollars being invested in making starvation and shame seems sexy, and that was actually some pretty cool alliterations I didn’t mean to do.  Starvation and shame seem sexy, but they’re not.  And they don’t work long term.  They can’t.  What does work long term is love and healing and patience.  And that’s what we’re going to do here.  And that’s why we prioritize that way.  Hopefully that helps.

Lelani asks, “What is the importance of the timing of meals of fat-burning efficiency?”  Very low.  The importance is very low.  I would strongly recommend that you focus 100% of your efforts on what is contained in those meals, and making each one a complete SANE meal.  What I mean by a complete SANE meal is, it’s not just protein, or it’s not just fat, or it’s not just vegetables.  When you eat, whenever possible, you’re going to eat between three and six servings of nonstarchy vegetables, which I know you’re thinking, “Six servings of nonstarchy vegetables!”  But some vegetables, you would be shocked, I think it’s like three Brussels sprouts is a serving.  You just look on the package . “Really, three?  Really?  Three Brussels sprouts is a serving?”  So you eat nine Brussels sprouts and right there you have tree servings.  It’s awesome.  

So you want three to six servings of nonstarchy vegetables.  Usually a serving, if you’re very active, it could be two of a nutrient-dense protein, and then it totally depends on where you are.  If you’re an athlete who is very lean, you could have up to three, four, five servings of whole-food fats in a meal.  You need those calories because you’re active and you’re lean.  If you already have fat stored on your body, you might only need a serving of whole-food fat per meal because you already have fat in your body, but we do need to take in some of those fats.  Or if the protein you’re eating contains fat, such as if it’s a fattier kind of meat, or something like salmon, you’ve got your veggies, you have your proteins, you have your fats.  Those work together synergistically.  

The alkalinity of the veggies helps to offset the acidity of the proteins.  Some of the nutrients in the vegetables are fat-soluble, so you’ve got the fats in there.  It works together like a beautiful symphony.  So I would focus 100% of your efforts on making sure that when  you eat you’re eating complete SANE meals, rather than when you are eating them.  Eat them when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and make them complete.  That’s the way I would recommend focusing.

Michelle asks, “Is it a problem to finish up getting all veggies, protein intake for the day by drinking a smoothie before bed if I’m short for the day?”  It’s not a problem.  If you are not hungry at all, and you are just doing it to meet serving intake goals, the only time I would say that you definitely – I’m trying to think of the best way to say this.   If it was just a veggie shake – if you were just doing a pure – hopefully you’ve seen this in some of the smoothie information where you take basically pure veggies, maybe some apple cider vinegar, some lemon, some cinnamon.  If it was basically just veggies – absolutely.  

It’s all about veggies.  Green, leafy vegetables.  Eat so many green, leafy vegetables.  You will see amazing results.  Your results are directly correlated to the amount of green, leafy vegetables you eat.  I cannot stress any more importantly, how important eating green, leafy vegetables is.  So with that said, if you’ve only eaten six servings of vegetables, and right before you go to bed, you can drink a green smoothie, that is going to get you an additional six, and that gets you to double digits, please, absolutely do that.   Now, if you’ve eaten two servings of protein throughout the day and you’re totally full, must you force yourself to eat a third serving of protein?  No.  I don’t think you need to force yourself to eat a third serving of protein.  

I am hesitant to say, force yourself to eat vegetables, but I kind of want you to.  They’re literally medicine.  I don’t agree with Mary Poppins that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but that mindset of, “You have to take your medicine.  It’s medicine.  Take it.  It will heal you.  It will benefit you so much.”  That mindset, like veggies are medicine, if you haven’t hit your veggies goals, I would absolutely recommend drinking a veggie shake before you go to bed, or just eating a big bowlful of veggies before you go to bed to hit that.  If you’ve eaten no protein, zero servings, then yes, you definitely need at least one, probably definitely at least two.  

So if you’ve only eaten one, I want you to get that second one in, otherwise you’re going to burn off muscle tissue, and that’s counter-productive.  But if you’ve gotten two in and you’re not hungry, don’t force yourself to eat.  The only time I really want you to go out of your way to make sure you are flooding your body with nutrition is with vegetables.  So yes, and no, to your question.  Is it a problem to finish up getting all your veggies and protein intake for the day by drinking a smoothie before bed?  Veggies, absolutely  not.  Protein, it depends on how short you are.  If you haven’t eaten any protein, you definitely want to take it in.  If you’ve only eaten one serving of protein, you definitely want to get up to two.  You’re totally full and satisfied, you have already eaten two servings of nutrient-dense protein, I wouldn’t force yourself to eat a third.  Hopefully that helps.  

Lelani asks, “Sometimes I have trouble eating the quantity of food in a SANE meal at the same time.  I find that the Garden In My Glass powder upsets my digestion, even is small quantities.  What would you suggest?”  First, if Garden In My Glass is upsetting your digestion, then definitely eat less of it.  I don’t want it to upset your digestions, it’s just powdered vegetables, so I don’t know why it would be doing that.  You might try to use maybe a beet root powder or just pure spirulina or chlorella or some of the maybe isolated – I don’t know if you have maybe an intolerance to one of the forms of mushrooms in there.  But I’m sorry about that, so definitely maybe scale it back.  Maybe you need some time to adapt to it.  

But I think the real question here is, sometimes I have trouble eating the quantity of food at a SANE time.  Again, one, I want to acknowledge how awesome it is that the challenge we’re facing is, “I can’t eat all this food.”  That’s the kind of mindset we need to have.  “I am overwhelmed with delicious good food.”  That’s an awesome problem to have, so yay for good problems.  I need you to make sure that you are eating at least nine servings of vegetables per day, and I’d really like you to eat three servings of nutrient-dense protein per day.  Try to do that.  

If you’re having a hard time getting nine servings of vegetables and three servings of protein, that is a totally different scenario.  And if you’re trying to do 16 servings of vegetables, five servings of protein and five servings of whole food fats and I can’t handle that, unless you’re an athlete you don’t need to be doing that.  You need to be eating maximum nonstarchy vegetables.  You need to be eating at least two to three, ideally more like three, servings of nutrient-dense protein.  And then again, depending on where you are as an individual, someone who has 100 extra pounds of fat on their body already, if you’re eating salmon, salmon has fat in it.  It is very difficult to eat nutrient-sense protein without taking in fat, and the types of nutrient-dense protein, seafood, grass-fed meats, things like that, have the healthiest form of fat on the planet.  

So, if you’re too full, please don’t compromise the amount of vegetables you are eating, please don’t compromise the amount of protein you are eating.  Rather, focus on your vegetables and your protein, please try to get those together.  And then, you can leave the whole food fats off to the side because you’re still eating fat.  There is fat in the protein, and if you have more fat on your body than you would like, there is already fat in your body to help with mission-critical functions.  And by eating seafood, there are essential fats that your body can’t manufacture, so you don’t have omega 3’s already in your body.  You’re not storing excess omega 3’s on your hips, at all.  So that’s why we need to make sure we’re eating seafood, we’re eating good, healthy sources of those essential fats because they’re essential.  Essential means our body can’t produce them, we’ve got to take them in.  Hopefully that helps.

Michelle asks, “Thank you for your comments on the use of medications.  I’m in the health care field and would love for people to stop looking for a pill to fix them.” Thank you, Michelle.  Yes, it’s very, very important that, so often, medications, while they can be life-saving, oftentimes they are treating symptoms rather than curing the underlying problem.  And I think we all very much understand this, if you think of a pain medication.  Any time you think of almost any medication, I would encourage you to think about it as analogous to pain medicine, whether it’s oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet, if you take your hand and jam it onto a stove burner, and you take a bunch of pain medicine, you’ll feel better.  But if you don’t do something about your hand, it’s going to get infected, and it’s going to get worse.  

But so often, like with diabetes medication, we’re think, “It’s okay if we have diabetes because we can just take diabetes medication.”  The diabetes medication will save your life.  It’s not about not going on diabetes medication.  It’s about then, while you’re on the diabetes medications, figuring out what caused that in the first place and then reversing it, and saying, I’m never going to put my hand on the stove again, I’m going to take my hand off the stove and I’m going to protect it, I’m going to keep it clean, I’m going to let it heal.  And that’s what we’re doing with our body.  And then I might even add some things to boost the healing process.  I’m going to use so many analogies.  Our metabolism has gotten burned.  We’ve gotten burned with bad information.  

And now we need to remove our body from the burner.  We don’t want it to get burned anymore.  We don’t want those toxic starches and sugars and processed food.  But it’s not enough to just take that away, we have to do something now to facilitate healing.  That’s why we need to eat all those vegetables, because it’s burned.  We’ve got to heal it.  We need more – it’s not just enough to take it off the stove, we now need – Emergency!  Emergency! We need to heal this.  We need the raw materials.  Bring in the infantry.  Bring in the National Guard.  We’ve got to heal the metabolism.  That’s extremely, extremely important, not just to treat symptoms, but rather to solve the underlying cause.  It’s critically, critically important.

Debra asks, “You stress green, leafy vegetables, but how about things like broccoli, asparagus squash?”  Debra, they’re fantastic.  I just say green, leafy vegetables because it’s an easy way to describe a big category of some of the best vegetables.  But things like broccoli, asparagus – fantastic.  Fantastic for you.  There are different kinds of squashes, but as a general rule of thumb, green vegetables are uniquely awesome for you.  Of course, the deeper, red cabbage – fantastic.  Deep colored vegetables – wonderful.  Cauliflower is also very good for you.  It’s not deeply colored.  I just say green, leafy vegetables because one, they are the least consumed, and if you look at the ratio of how many of them most people eat, and how good they are for you, it’s the biggest area for improvement.  

And they blend really well and a lot of people are never going to eat 12 servings of vegetables by chewing them.  So the easiest way to do it is to take green, leafy vegetables, pop them in your blender, blend up a green smoothie.  At the same time, broccoli, asparagus, anything listed in your SANE Ignite program – brilliant for you.  Absolutely brilliant for you.  100%.

My goodness.  I just remembered, first of all, thank you, this has been awesome questions, and I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to get to but we’ll get to it in the next session, so that’s all good.  You know what I didn’t do?  We started doing the new tradition where we do a quote.  But I forgot my quote.  So I’ll actually share with you, because I like to close these calls, as you know we got some good feedback on this so I want to try to keep up the tradition of closing these calls on a very important and very meaningful quote.  

I think the quote I want to share with you this week is – it’s very short, unlike some of our previous quotes.  It’s one that my brother shared with me a very long time ago.  It ties back to some of the stuff we’ve talked about this week in terms of what we’re doing is so different from what is common.  But again, what is common is terrible.  If we just look at what is common in terms of health, or any of these things, what is typical is the opposite of that.  It’s kind of like, look at what everyone else is doing and don’t do that.  Look at what is typical in the Western world and that’s what not to do.  That’s the general rule of thumb.  But that can be super, super hard.

There is a wonderful Emerson quote that I can’t think of right now, but there is another quote that is related to that – very short, worth writing down, something that I definitely want you to look at each and every week.  Here is your homework, in terms of results.  Typically we think of results – what are we measuring?  Measuring came up – measuring ourselves on the scale.  Hopefully we know – not that.  Not the scale.  Not even the measuring tape.  I would love for you, as your homework, to post in the coaching and support group – please don’t try to do this alone.  

Just like I can sit here and tell you that the science is proven that the more vegetables you eat, the better results you’re going to get, I can tell you that if you try to do this on your own you are going to have less success than if you let this loving community, that is, the SANE Ignite family, help you – period.  It’s a fact.  We’re here for you, we love you, we will support you.  Let’s do this together.  So please do this in the support group.  

Your homework this week is to say that the measurement that I am going to use to evaluate myself this week – I want you to measure something that has to do with either the number of vegetables you are eating, or the amount of sleep you are getting.  Those are the two things you are going to measure.  How much sleep am I getting?  Set a goal.  How close am I coming to it?  And how many vegetables do I want to eat per day?  And am I hitting it or not?  

Sleep can be much more challenging because there are a lot of things that come into play whether or not we can sleep.  But if you’ve already mastered nonstarchy vegetables, I want to give you something else to work on.  Can I go to bed 15 minutes earlier?  Can I stop using my electronics sooner before I go to bed to make sure that I can actually fall asleep?  But if you’re still not at where you want to be with your vegetables, that is the place to focus, and I want you to, this week, what do I measure?  

What I am measuring is the number of servings of vegetables I ate daily.  And I’m just going to go in the support group and I’m going to say, in my journal, I ate this many servings of vegetables.  This is my goal.  Was it seven out of nine?  I ate seven out of nine servings.  That’s my goal.  I’m not weighing myself.  I’m not using a measuring tape.  I’m literally saying, I’m going to focus 100% of my efforts on that which I can control, and that which I know is one of the biggest dietary leverage points I have, and it’s something that, honestly, people can tell you, “Hey, just sleep more.”  

But you and I both know that you can’t just sleep more.  There is a bunch of other stuff that goes into, “I can’t fall asleep.”  So you can’t just be like, “Sleep more.”  We can just eat more vegetables.  You can do that.  You can be like, “All right, I’m going  to eat some more vegetables.  I can do that.”  But Jonathan says, “Sleep for two more hours.”  You’re like, “Well, I have to go to work, and I have kids, and I’m stressed out right now.”  And I can get that.  But we can eat more vegetables, and it’s so meaningful.  

So that’s the homework.  It’s not about the weight, it’s not about the measuring tape even.  It’s about what is your per-day veggie goal?  Post in the support group for one week.  How close can you get to that goal consistently?  And why are we doing all this goodness?  

Anise has a quote suggestion here, which I love.  She says, “Do what they think you can’t do.”  I love that, Anise, and that actually relates to the quote that I wanted to share, as well, which is, “Those who hear not the music, think the dancer mad.”  The reason I low that quote is because, what are we doing here?  With this SANE knowledge that we’re getting in our step-by-step program and in our coaching and support group.  We’re starting to hear some music.  Those notes are biology and chemistry and psychology.  We’re starting to hear some music that other people just don’t hear.  And it’s going to help us to dance, to live life in a totally different way.  And a life that is focused on abundant health and healing and long-term success.  And you know what?  Some people are going to think we’re mad.  Double-digit servings of vegetables per day?  That’s crazy.  You’re right.  It isn’t what anyone else is doing, and if they don’t hear the music, they’re going to think you’re crazy.  But you know what?  You’re dancing, and that’s awesome.  And the science is clear, that if you keep on dancing, you keep on rocking and rolling, they can think you’re as mad as they want, but you’re just going to keep on dancing because you’ve got science on your side, you’ve got all the love and support in the world on your side and if you just keep it up, I promise, when you look at it at six-month intervals – we’re not talking about the next 20 days, we’re not talking about the next 20 minutes, we’re talking about the next 20 years and beyond, and it’s going to be awesome.  

So please, remember, those who hear not the music, think the dancer mad.  I want you to play that music as loud as you can.  I want you in that step-by-step program.  I want you to immerse yourself in SANEity.  I want you in the support group.  I want you flooding your body with that proper nutrition, because we’re going to blast that music, we’re going to dance, and it’s going to be fabulous.  Thank you so much for sharing.  

I hope this was helpful for you.  It’s been an absolute pleasure.  Myself, and your entire SANE family thank you, as always, for your trust and your support and your courage for taking this road less traveled because we promise, it is going to make all the difference.  It’s just science.  It has to.  Thank you so much.  Much love and SANEity, and I will see you in our next call.  Thank you so much.  See you later.