Just to kick us off here, I wanted to tell you first and foremost that we have got some exciting stuff coming around the corner so we so appreciate the feedback. Feedback is super helpful. A big piece of feedback we’ve gotten is that we need to get the mobile application — so the ability to log food — we need to get that on Windows devices and ideally we need to get it on Kindle devices and ideally we actually make it possible on the website for you to actually log meals on the website. Good news — I actually had a meeting with Microsoft last week and we do have a Windows 10 application in development and this, according to Windows, should allow anyone who has a Windows 10 operating system or a device that runs Windows 10 — which is a lot of things because Windows 10 is free — to use the mobile application. That’s cool.
Also for certain Kindle devices — the color ones with cameras on them — you’ll actually be able to — as of right now, it’s not all Kindle devices because there’s many different types — but the SANE solution app is now available on many Kindle devices. That’s really exciting. And we are actively working on the Ignite program website, right at the top where you see your stats. You’re going to be able to log meals there very, very soon and also change fitness goals and we’re going to make the fitness goals a little bit more granular which is going to be cool. So lots of good stuff coming and I thank you so much for the feedback because that’s been rocking and rolling so that’s really, really exciting. Thank you very much.
And if no one has any questions or comments on that, let’s go ahead and jump into the questions that were written in. Please, like I had said, please post questions and please feel free to chat right there in the box. Without further ado, let us jump into the questions that were written in. And if that doesn’t seem to make sense, I always send mails out before these calls to get times and dates that work well for everybody and in those mails, there’s a place where you could submit questions. Please feel free to do that. That’s awesome. It’s super helpful to see the questions beforehand and it’s also neat because if you can’t always make these calls, what you can do is submit questions via that survey and then I can answer them here and then you could watch the recording back and then it’s like you can be here virtually, which is really, really nice.
The first question, which is welcomed — you can ask me anything you want. This is your time and we are family and this is the highlight of my week. Personally, I really like questions like these. This question is, “Jonathan, where did you grow up?” The point of these calls is really a sense of community and love so you can ask me anything you want. Really, we are all family here. I say this every call and I mean it. I so deeply appreciate you being here, you sharing your time, your resources and your courage with myself and the entire SANE team. It is only because of you that we exist and that we can continue to exist so thank you very much.
I’m happy to share whatever you want to hear. Where did I grow up? I grew up in Columbus, Ohio in the Midwest and I went to school in a small liberal arts school in Greencastle, Indiana which is called the University of DePauw which I absolutely loved. That’s DePauw with a ‘W’; not DePaul with an ‘L’, in Chicago. Funny story — and then I promise we’ll cover some actual SANE stuff. It was actually the very last college I applied to. Back at that time, I was really into college football and I was going to play college football, blah-blah-blah. They had reached out in terms of football and I thought it was DePaul University — with an ‘L’ — so I actually submitted an application to DePaul University, with an ‘L’, and I meant to apply to DePauw University with a ‘W’ and they got back to me and said, “We haven’t gotten your application.” I was like, “This does not speak well for me getting accepted to this university — the fact that I applied to the wrong one.” But it did all work out at the end.
I grew up in Columbus, Ohio and I went to school in Indiana and then I moved out to Seattle a long time ago. Actually, my wife and I just realized we’re celebrating our ten-year anniversary here coming up pretty soon so that’s exciting. Time goes fast. I moved out here when I started working with Microsoft, the Nike+ Connect trading, and the Xbox Fitness stuff, and I also spent some time in the Microsoft Word team, and now I am still in Seattle. It’s a beautiful place to live.
Laura, 20 bonus points for using the question feature. I love it. It says, “Is there a way to ask a question after I do the time survey?” Yes, Laura, I think you can maybe submit more than once. I don’t know. If you can’t submit more than once, you can always post in the support group or — that might be a really good idea for us to do, moving forward — post in the support group. Yeah, let’s do that. Maybe just post in the support group, “Hey, during the next coaching call, Jonathan, please answer ___” and we’ll get that answer for you. Awesome question. And that prompted a new thing we’re going to do. You can always post questions in the support group. Just put in the title, “Please cover in next group coaching session” and we’ll put it up there.
Fran is here. Fran, we used your suggestion. Laura used it. See, Fran? Good job. Yes, Laura, great question. And Fran, great suggestion. The next question that was written in, which is a great one, is mind stuff — what different foods says to our brain or why we crave what we crave. “Yesterday’s info about sweets was fantastic to hear.” Excellent question. It has to do with cravings and why our brain is doing what it does. There are a couple of different things in terms of different types of cravings. I mean, actually there could be cravings for anything, right? I know a lot of individuals, especially when they are going through pregnancy, will experience cravings for things you would never think you would crave, for example.
The most common cravings are for the flavors that we identify. Umami, which is sort of a meaty craving — and I think most of us have often times, you have a sense for something like rich and meaty like a steak or eggs or just something that’s got that meaty hearty flavor; of course salty and of course sweet; and then textural cravings such as crunchy is very common and something that we’re going to be helping with in the coming months in terms of providing some SANE super foods there. Stay tuned to get USDA approvals. That is in the works, which is awesome.
Why our brain craves these things and what we can do about them. There are many, many different triggers for cravings in the last session, which we haven’t watched; I’d highly recommend watching. We got some deep metaphysical stuff covered there in terms of emotional eating and the emotional aspects of things so I won’t go too deep into that in this session. Cravings can be caused by, from a scientific perspective, nutrient deficiencies. Often times, when an individual is pregnant, will experience some type of cravings because the body is craving certain types of nutrients. There’s also cravings for sometimes people who have gone on extreme – sometimes — this is not a criticism; this is just something that people experience sometimes on vegan-type diets — people experience severe cravings for things like meat or protein-rich foods simply because the body is seeking out those nutrients.
While the body doesn’t know meat has protein in it, we have certain tastes buds for a reason. The reason sweet tastes good to us is because over many, many years, our taste buds and our brain and our hormones have said, “Hey, things that are sweet are generally not toxic and they generally provide a lot of energy.” So human beings who liked sweet things had a higher likelihood of having babies which meant that there was more and more human beings that liked sweet things. Whereas, for example, things that taste rancid, taste rancid for a reason. You’re never going to crave something that tastes rancid.
There are cravings because of nutrient deficiencies. There are cravings simply because – like, we crave sweet things because sweet things used to be very scarce and if we found sweet things in a world where famine was common and where we were hunting and gathering, it was in our best interest to just eat as many of them as we possibly could and to really like sweet things because certainly if we didn’t we would have had no incentive to eat those energy-rich sweet things. Same thing with fatty; same thing with salty — is that foods with these intense flavors used to be very, very scarce. The reason we crave them now is actually the same reason we craved them then. The more we crave something, the more likely we are to do it or to engage in it when we were in a food scarcity environment that was beneficial.
Of course, the challenge we face today is we have the exact opposite problem. We have corporations that are engineering food, which is an oxymoron. When you think about it, you can’t engineer food. Anything that’s engineered isn’t food; it is a food-like product. They’ve tapped into those cravings and they’ve created what’s called hyper-palatability, which is a level of sweetness, a level of saltiness, a level of the umami flavor. Umami is again the meaty flavor. The synthetic form of the umami flavor is MSG, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. There’s also things like natural flavorings which just triggers certain receptors in our brain and over-stimulates them.
The challenge with this is, these food-like products are so stimulating that they do three things. One is, they’re just toxic in general so that’s bad. The other two things that are involving cravings which are very troublesome is, first and foremost, they desensitize our brain and our taste buds to these flavors. By way of example, just like someone who drinks a lot of alcohol will need to drink more alcohol to get the same effect because they are literally desensitizing their body to the effects of alcohol, when we eat things that are hyper-palatable or unnaturally sweet, for example, soda or, for example, candy or any refined confectionary product that contains refined sugar, this desensitizes us to the taste of sweet.
While it’s natural to have sweet cravings in the normal natural state of the human mind and the human body, we would crave sweet but we would crave sweet and then we would fulfill that need for sweet with natural nutrient-dense sources of the taste of sweet such as berries or other SANE citrus fruits or even non-genetically modified crazy apples — which are totally different and that’s a separate issue we can talk about how things like bread and apples that we eat today are fundamentally different in terms of their nutrient breakdown and nutrient density than they were even two generations ago, for example. They’ve been hybridized and such. We will have a craving for sweet but then we will often be given things that are hyper-sweet which cause us to only be able to fulfil that craving with things that are even sweeter.
Alcohol’s actually a good example. If alcohol is used in excess, there’s this downward spiral where if we keep turning to alcohol, we can need more and more and more until it destroys our liver and can have a very negative impact on our life. The same thing can apply for cravings of sweet or salty or fatty. There’s nothing wrong with sweet or salty or fatty. There’s a reason that we crave those things. Fatty foods, as you know, are not bad for us. There are very healthy fatty foods. What’s bad for us are synthetic foods that have been engineered to hijack those tastes and to desensitize us to those tastes.
We talked about obviously these craving compounding foods are unnatural and synthetic, which is bad in and of itself. Two, they desensitize those taste buds so that we need more and more of a substance. I think for a lot of people in the Ignite family, you may already be experiencing this where, as you detox from some of those things, real food that maybe didn’t taste sweet in the past starts to taste sweet. I think the most common example of this people talk about is baby carrots where things like baby carrots or even citrus fruit, as you detox from unnatural sugar, natural sources of sugar start to taste much sweeter and much more delicious in that sense. So the sweetness becomes desensitized.
The last very negative thing — again, the original question was, Why do we crave what we crave? We crave what we crave because traditionally things that we crave were scarce and they aren’t bad for us when consumed in their natural form in natural quantities; but they’ve been engineered to go crazy nowadays. The third thing is that these hyper-palatable foods that take these flavors and desires which are natural and healthy and takes them to the nth degree, they cause such a — when you naturally crave sweets and fatty foods and salty foods and you consume them from natural sources, as we talked about last week in detail so I’m not going to go too deep into it, you do have dopamine, serotonin, other types of receptors in your brain, those are satisfied in a way and you say, “Hey that was good and I feel satisfied and full.”
I often make the distinction between feeling full and feeling satisfied. I think we’ve all experienced that. You can feel physically full but not feel satisfied. I know I feel that way because I have a sweet tooth. I can be full but not satisfied until I have something sweet and that’s why I love SANE sweets. Instead of just having that feeling of satiety and feeling satisfied, what these hyper-palatable substances do is they make our brain go into overdrive. I hate to bring up things like alcohol and drugs but, in a lot of ways, the foods that we are given nowadays are more similar to drugs than they are to food. If you think that sounds a little bit silly, please just look at the nutrition facts. Look at the ingredients. Read them. They sound more like a collection of pharmaceuticals than they do food. It’s like crazy cyclohexylmethanol. You’re like, “What in the heck am I putting into my body?”
If you think of a pharmaceutical or a drug such as Ecstasy or MDMA, what they do is just cause the natural sense of euphoria or joy that is natural and healthy to feel in our brain to just such a crazy high level, which again just sort of pushes that ceiling up where now our brain is going to say, “Oh my gosh, that was so good. I mean, it was too good.” We are then going to compound those cravings even further because our brain wants to experience that again and that’s when these addictions can form because our brain wants to get back to that hyper-normal state and that’s of course not healthy.
In summary, why do we crave things? We crave things because, in their natural form, things like salty, sweet, umami, fatty are good and if we didn’t crave them, we wouldn’t eat them; if we didn’t eat them, our ancestors would not have lived. So that’s why we crave them. We also crave them because they do trigger a reaction in our brain which, for example, if you feel anxious or depressed or angry, the chemicals that they release in our brain can help to appease those. The challenge we face is that the food stuffs that we’re served today desensitize us so it takes more and more of these flavors to resolve our cravings. Further, they sort of increase our expectation for what sweet tastes like so you can only get a sweet or salty or savory fix from these unnatural substances.
The good news is, just like any other desensitization or addiction, we can take control back. These are not permanent states. Unfortunately, with things like food, unlike drugs or alcohol, these are things which we really can take control back of in just a matter of weeks. It’s not easy always; but things like sugar and starch which — like wheat, for example, has highly — well, I’m sure you’ve experienced it for yourself — if you’ve tried to give up things like bread, it’s like — it’s interesting that bread is much harder to give up than if I were to just say, “Hey, don’t eat chicken anymore.” You wouldn’t be like, “I have to eat chicken.” The reason for that is, chicken has no addictive properties in it. It’s delicious. It can be delicious but it has no addictive properties. Whereas, for example, bread — I mean, bread is only one of many sources of carbohydrate but, as Oprah has recently said on television, it can be a very difficult thing for people to give up. Why? Well, because it’s causing certain reactions in the brain. We just want to make sure that we control those reactions and that we enjoy them and we need to have them.
Food is enjoyable and it’s delicious and it’s wonderful when it’s in its natural state but, for example, bread is not found directly in nature and in fact, the bread that was eaten by our ancestors was just compositionally different than the bread we’re eating today. Dr. William Davis has gone in depth in this in his works so I’ll just give a short overview. The short version is, for example, like in biblical times, what they were eating was a thing called Einkorn wheat, which was totally different. We’re talking, it had thirteen chromosomes at a genetic level; whereas today’s mutant hybridized dwarf wheat has something like forty-two chromosomes. It’s a different plant. To oversimplify, the bread that is referred to in scripture and in ancient texts is not the same food as Wonder Bread. It’s as different from Wonder Bread at a molecular level as a pear is to chicken. I mean, they’re just not at all the same things.
That’s a really long answer but hopefully it’s helpful into why we crave what we crave. That’s why we’re here — is to get some deep scientific stuff. Hopefully that was helpful. If there’s any follow-up questions, if I didn’t bore everybody completely with that answer, please feel free to post them up. Hopefully, that was helpful.
Just so you know, we do — for example, in the craving killers, there are things we can do such as coco, such as leucine. There are certain ingredients that help to naturally quell these sensations in our brains. For example, chocolate is the single most craved food in the world. There’s a reason for that. Chocolate has hundreds of neurologically active compounds in it. It has theobromine in it, which is very calming. It has a large — for a food — dopamine response in the brain. It has low levels of caffeine in it, which has an impact on the brain.
What we find is that cravings for chocolate are often just cravings for the neurological sensation that coco causes. That’s why we have mood-boosting cocoa powder and that’s why we have our cravings killers because we’re able to get — it’s often not that what we crave is a Hershey’s Bar; it’s that what we crave is the feeling we have after we eat a Hershey’s Bar. Isn’t it neat that we can use modern science and whole foods to achieve that same neurological state without all the toxic nonsense?
If that sounds too good to be true, just — I don’t know if this analogy is going to make sense. For example, we might think, “Hey, the only way to have the feeling that I have after I eat a candy bar is to eat a candy bar.” Think of a candy bar as an artificial way to create a state in your brain. Clearly there’s other ways to create that state in your brain. If you hear some great news from someone you love, someone you love has something wonderful happen to them, you’ll feel great. Just that natural good news has created a mental state in your brain. A candy bar may create a similar mental state.
The question is, how can we get to that mental state in a way that is helpful rather than a way that’s harmful? That’s why the “eating more SANE” philosophy is so helpful because we say, “Hey, there’s nothing wrong with those states. We’re going to have those states. We want to have those states. Eating should be pleasurable. Just do it in a way that helps us rather than hurts us.” Hopefully, that is helpful. Please, again, feel free to post questions or if you’re shy that’s okay. I’ll just move on to the next question we have written in here and I’m just going to read this one. It’s a little bit long.
It says, “How long after a smoothie is blended –” this is a great question “– is it good for?” This individual went to a nutrition workshop a few years ago with a raw food person who said that it’s only good just as it’s blended and we do lose a lot of nutrients of blended greens if it’s not consumed right away. For example, if blended before going to the gym, I drink it after my workout or on my way to work two to three hours later, that would be — wow. Apparently the raw food person said that’s saying, “You might as well go to McDonald’s at the same time.” This individual was wondering if that was a bit sensational or whether there was any scientific validity to what the raw foods advocate was saying.
I have not ever seen any peer-reviewed scientific literature that says that eating something immediately after it’s been blended is meaningfully better for you than waiting. I answer that very, very intentionally where I said “meaningfully”. We covered this a little bit in previous sessions but it’s worth talking about here. The question is never just, Is drinking a smoothie immediately after it’s blended better than waiting? What I do is, I blend all my smoothies on the weekend and I drink them throughout the week. I do all my cooking on the weekends and I freeze stuff and I don’t cook during the week. I batch cook everything.
The question is not — and this is actually really helpful. This is a core part of the SANE mindset and it’s super empowering and helpful. Let me know if this doesn’t make sense. The question is not, Is there any disadvantage –? Sorry. Let me rephrase it more intentionally. The question is not, “Does a smoothie lose any nutritional value if you wait to drink it?” I think what we have to ask ourselves is, “Is the badness, if any, that happens from not drinking a smoothie immediately worse than the goodness that we are afforded by not having to drink our smoothie immediately?” That was a really confusing way of saying something which I can explain better with a concrete example.
I’ll sort of give you a peek into how my crazy mind works. Let’s say hypothetically — and again, I have seen no peer-reviewed research that supports this but I can kind of understand why someone would say this. Let’s say that a smoothie, immediately when it’s blended, has 100% of its nutritional value. Let’s say that for every day that you don’t drink it, it loses 1% of its nutritional value. There’s a couple of things that are assumed there. First of all, that more nutrients are always better, which is actually not true and that’s one of the things we have to be careful when we take supplements versus eating natural foods. It’s not the case that more vitamin C is better at all, any more than it’s the case that more penicillin is better or like more ibuprofen is better. That’s not true at all. The way our body works is not more is better, it’s the proper dose is optimal.
So twenty servings of spinach isn’t healthy; it’s very unhealthy. There’s a sweet spot where spinach goes from being healthy to being unhealthy when it’s overconsumed. The same thing applies to nutrients. Implicit in the assumption that, “Hey, we should drink a smoothie right away,” is that this smoothie is your only source of nutrition and if you don’t get 100% of the nutrition the smoothie has to offer, you will have a nutritional deficiency and that would be a problem.
Personally, sort of a SANE way to answer this question even before we answer it is, if you’re the type of awesome person who blends green smoothies, chances are this isn’t going to be the only green smoothie you drink all week and that green smoothie is going to be so packed with nutritional goodness that even if it loses 2% of its nutritional validity, one, it’s unclear whether or not that will even happen; two, it’s unclear whether or not that even matters because that smoothie may have so much nutrition that 2% of it going away doesn’t matter. Most importantly, if the smoothie loses 2% of its nutrition, even if that’s true, and if you really did need that 2% of nutrition, what’s better long term?
One, having the mindset that unless I can drink a smoothie right after I blend it, I might as well go to McDonald’s — if I can’t do that, which is what this raw food person was advocating, which is such a great example of how we need to give ourselves permission to have a SANE mindset and progress versus perfection. What this raw food advocate was saying is literally, according to this question, unless you drink a green smoothie right after you blend it, you might as well go to McDonald’s. What does that make us think? That makes us think that unless I can do this perfectly, I might as well just go to McDonald’s. That’s insane. What we should say to ourselves is, or what I would encourage us to say to ourselves is, drinking a green smoothie, as long as it’s not rancid, is better than not drinking a green smoothie.
What this raw food advocate is encouraging is, they’re saying unless you can do what they believe is perfect, you shouldn’t do anything which is — I mean, if you think about applying that mindset to any other area of your life, I think we would go crazy. Unless this person is perfect, they can’t be my friend. We’re going to be lonely as heck if that is our mindset. Unless this book is perfect, I’m not going to read it. Unless this movie is perfect, I’m not going to watch this. Unless this smoothie is perfect, you might as well go to McDonald’s. I’m so happy you’re here so that you’re freeing yourself from that kind of misinformation.
No. The real question we need to ask ourselves is, For me to create a sustainable enjoyable lifestyle that is packed with non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein and whole-food fats, in that order, how can I incorporate smoothies into my lifestyle? You know what? Even if a smoothie loses 75% of its nutritional value, which it doesn’t, if you drink it five days after you blend it, it would still be better to drink a smoothie, a green smoothie five days after you blend it consistently for the rest of your life than to never drink a green smoothie because someone told you that because you didn’t do it perfectly, you shouldn’t do it at all.
The short answer to your question is, I’ve never seen any research that says delaying drinking a green smoothie is meaningfully bad. Even if it’s slightly not optimal, who cares? That’s a level of precision which comes from the calorie counting world where we’re told that “if you eat seven fewer calories per day, over time you’ll lose seven pounds” which never actually happens because the brain balances this out. The short answer is no. I think there’s anything wrong with delaying smoothie preparation. I think the number one thing we need to do is we need to eat a lot of healthy food in an enjoyable, sustainable fashion. That is more important than almost anything else from a nutrition perspective. I don’t know anybody personally who, if they’re going to be drinking smoothies consistently, which we should — it’s a great way to get vegetables. If the only way they could do that was to drink them right after they blend them, they wouldn’t.
Our goal again is to find something that works for us, to not let perfect stand in the way of progress. I so appreciate you for asking this question because it allowed me to go on a little bit of a rant, which I hope was helpful. No, I don’t think that drinking smoothies delayed after you blend them causes a meaningful degradation in nutrients. Again, meaningful is important. There is pollution in the air. There is. Is there a meaningful level of pollution such that we should all walk around with gas masks on? I guess it depends on where you live but most of us would say no. The question is never, Is it bad? The question is, Is it bad enough to matter? In this case, Is it bad? I don’t know. It’s definitely not bad enough to matter and it’s definitely not bad enough to distract you from drinking a green smoothie however you can make it work for you. I hope that was helpful.
Laura said I got that. Good answer. Thank you very much, Laura. Thank you, thank you. The next question here — and please free again to post questions in the chat box if you have them. I know some folks are shy but I do love the real time questions so feel free to [inaudible 00:37:50] if you like. Just, again, try to use the little Q&A button there, if you don’t mind. All right. The next question has to do with exercise. SANE exercise basics — why should we do it? What does it accomplish? What about all the other exercise programs we’ve been doing? Oh my goodness, this is a big question. I’ll try to answer it in a quick, efficient fashion and then hopefully we can follow up with some questions here in the chat.
Why should we do it? The reason we should do SANE exercise, from a very high level, is that SANE exercise or eccentric exercise will trigger a type of muscle fiber that most of us have never worked in our entire life. By doing that, we will trigger a hormonal response that is impossible to trigger via any other form of exercise and that hormonal response will cause a cascade of changes in your brain and in your body that actually lowers your set point and helps your body to work more like the body of a naturally thin person. Hey, how’s that for an answer? That’s a pretty good answer. Let me unpack that a little bit.
The first part I said was, it works an entirely different type of muscle fiber. I’m going to do this pretty quickly because this is covered in the online program as well as in the book but it’s worth hearing since it’s super, super important. Just like we have different muscles in our bodies, like you have your bicep muscles to move your arms and your quadriceps muscles to move your legs, we have different types of fibers within our muscles which do different things. For example, some types of muscle fibers allow our muscles to generate a little bit of force for a long period of time. This is why, for example, we can type for a really long time. That’s a different type of muscle fiber that’s allowing that versus the type of muscle fibers that allow us to lift very heavy objects but for a very short period of time. Those are what’s called your type 1A muscle fibers, your type 2A muscle fibers, your type 2X, and your type 2B muscle fibers. As you go from 1A to 2B, they generate more force but for a shorter period of time. Again, think of maybe your type 1A muscle fibers kind of like your biceps; it’s just different. And your type 2B muscle fibers are kind of like your quadriceps or your leg muscles, they just do different things. We have four types of muscles fibers within all of our muscle groups.
Just like we do different types of exercises to work different muscles groups — for example, you would do bicep curls to work your biceps and you would do squats to work your quadriceps — the way we do bicep curls and the way we do squats determines which of the muscle fibers within our muscles that we work. When we do heavier resistance but for shorter periods of time, what that allows us to do is to work all of our muscle fibers and especially these type 2B muscle fibers. If all we ever did was what we have been told to do which are things like jogging and light weightlifting possibly — often times, it’s just jog and just do aerobics — you will never, ever activate your type 2X or type 2B muscle fibers.
The research around those muscle fibers is incredibly compelling. Since they’re only activated when our body has to generate a lot of force, it’s almost like when they get activated, they trigger what’s called a hormonal cascade in our bodies. It’s almost like our body’s emergency broadcast system. These muscle fibers – again, they enable you to generate a lot of force for a short period of time. Historically, when would these muscle fibers get triggered? Historically — I mean like, many, many, many, many, many generations ago. If you saw a tiger, you’d be like, “Ah!” — a lot of force, really fast, you’d sprint away. That’s our leg muscles generating a lot of force for a short period of time. Or, “Oh my gosh, a boulder is rolling and it’s going to crush one of my family members. I better stop it. I have to hold this boulder up for a short period of time while they run away and then I let the boulder go down.”
Historically, we would only have to generate a lot of force in a time of emergency. What happens literally when we work these muscle fibers is, there are hormones like adrenalin and epinephrine and norepinephrine and blah-blah-blah which actually can mobilize our body’s ability to burn fat and to use energy in a way that is — just like working your biceps is totally different than working your leg muscles, working your type 2B and type 2X muscle fibers is totally different than working your type 1A muscle fibers, and triggers a hormonal cascade that is hugely metabolically beneficial.
Just one example of how amazing that is, there’s actually been studies done — and I’m not endorsing them; I’m just reporting them — on rodents where they would genetically engineer the rodents to contain more of these type 2B muscle fibers. Then they would take the rodents, who were genetically engineered to have all these type 2B muscle fibers, and other rodents, that don’t have the type 2B muscle fibers, and they would feed them both an inSANE diet. The rodents with the type 2B muscle fibers did not become rodent diabetic; they did not become rodent obese. It was almost as if the type 2B muscle fibers immunized them against these conditions.
That is just clinical research. The doctor is [inaudible 43:35] out of a university in Boston. It’s just incredibly powerful research. That’s one of the reasons we should do it. Again, it doesn’t make you a better athlete; it’s not particularly fun. That’s not the goal of it. The goal of it is to cause this therapeutic hormonal response, which is impossible via other forms of exercise, and that hormonal response does exactly what we’re after, which is to lower our set point, to change our hormonal levels, to heal our brain, to flush excess glucose out of our muscles so that our body can work to burn fat rather than to store fat.
What about all the other exercise programs we’ve been doing? It’s not that they are bad; it’s just that they have different goals. Zumba is fun. I’ve never done Zumba but it looks way more fun than eccentric exercise. Eccentric exercise is done for a short period of time. It’s not meant to be fun; it’s meant to be effective. I personally think results are really fun. For example, achieving our fat loss and health goals, I think is really fun so that’s its goal. If the other exercises are fun, do them. If they’re a great way to socialize, do them for that. If it’s a great way to spend time with your family, do them for that. Just like we would not — trying to give a good example here. We would not put on a — I can’t think of a good example. I can usually come up with analogies pretty fast but not right now.
Just understand that exercise is goal-specific. So the goal of eccentric exercise is to achieve that neurological and hormonal change that is at the core of managing, preventing diabetes, syndrome X, the underlying neurological and hormonal conditions of obesity. It is therapeutic in those cases and it also increases strength and anesthetic beauty so it’s good for those things as well. Hopefully, that’s really helpful. Please let me know if you’ve got follow-up questions.
Cathy, look at that. She’s got a question and she used the question feature. Look at that, Fran. Oh, yeah. All right, Cathy. Cathy’s got a question here that says, “I know why we exercise eccentrically. However, I’m having a hard time motivating myself to do the exercises and aerobic exercise. What are some ways to change my thinking or to get motivated? Evidently needing to lose weight is not enough. Does that make sense? I need help.” Yeah, absolutely. You don’t need to do aerobic exercise. Please post follow-up questions but aerobic exercise was — if you like doing aerobic exercise because it’s fun, then you can do it. But the research is incredibly clear that you might say, “Oh my gosh, I don’t have to do aerobic exercise because it’s good for my heart.”
Your heart is a muscle and the cardiorespiratory benefits of exercise — and this is not ambiguous in the literature at all — the cardiorespiratory benefits of exercise are proportionate to the intensity of the stress that is placed on the muscles. It’s not about the duration of the exercise; it’s about the intensity of the exercise. Let me give you an example. People have a heart attack when in a moment a huge amount of stress is placed on the heart muscle, more stress than the heart muscle can handle, and there you have a heart attack.
What we accomplish when we do smarter exercise which is safe, more intense exercise is we get the cardiorespiratory benefits of longer duration exercise and we get all these other benefits which is glorious. Even endurance athletes are starting to see this. We’re seeing, for example, VO2 max which is a measure of how well your body is able to utilize oxygen. When people do burst-based training or interval training for shorter periods of time — they go more intense for shorter periods of time — their VO2 max is radically increased even though they’ve exercised for shorter periods of time than people who do something more extended. Again, if you’re training for a marathon, that’s a totally different thing and just like training for a marathon is different than training to heal your hormones but the cardio respiratory — like the medical benefits of exercise are maximized through higher quality exercise, not a higher quantity of exercise.
Exercise from a long-term health and wellbeing perspective — not talking about athletic performance — is the same as food. It’s about quality not quantity. That research is incredibly exciting and that’s why strength training is just so important. I mean, from a health perspective, it does what aerobics do and more, which is phenomenal. The term for that in the research is called global metabolic conditioning, which is just to make sure your body globally, more metabolically efficient and better to handle all the things that we need to do in life.
This is why I really advocate when it comes to exercise. If you like to exercise, rock and roll. Do what you’re doing. If you get good results, keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re not a huge fan of exercise, you can focus on a little bit of really high-quality exercise because if it’s really high-quality, you actually can’t do a lot of it. If you can do a lot of it, then you know it’s really not high-quality exercise because that would be like somebody saying, “Hey, just go sprint for 10 minutes.” You can’t sprint for 10 minutes. It’s impossible. If something’s really high-quality, you can’t do a lot of it because you just use up your energy really quickly and then spend the rest of your time on things which I personally wouldn’t call exercise; I would just call them natural movement like standing, walking, taking the stairs, playing with your kids, being with your family, restorative things like Tai Chi and Yoga and Pilates — flexibility.
Think about that like either end of the spectrum. You’ve got short bursts of this really safe, intense exercise; then you have restorative activity on the other end of the spectrum. You stay out of the middle. That would be my recommendation and that’s also what the research now shows very clearly. The only reason really why we haven’t been told about that is the research around aerobics was just done earlier and it was 1968. It was a publication of a book called “Aerobics” by Dr. Kenneth Cooper and that’s what was taught for thirty years. Just like computers used to be the size of a house forty years ago and now they’re the size of a human cell, we’ve come a long way with our exercise research as well. It’s not that aerobics are bad for you, it’s just that you can do a lot more with a lot less now knowing what we know. Hopefully that is helpful and cool. Let me go ahead. I’m seeing chats come in but Fran has guided me and she has said, “Jonathan, don’t let the chats distract you.” Fran, you are spot on. I love these questions that come in as specific questions so let me know if they are follow-up questions around the exercise stuff. I’m going to jump in to some other questions here.
This wonderful individual here says, “I’m not in far to the program to have the right questions but I am interested in how to combat weight gain after menopause and the hormone crazies and the mental struggle that slaps me around every day.” That’s a fantastic question and I’ve got some deeper stuff I’d like to get to at the end that’s going to help with some of that. How to combat weight gain after menopause — the biggest thing like menopause or for men and it’s as real, it’s called andropause — and that’s why a lot of men, even men that are fit, they start to notice that they get this kind of almost like a beer belly even if they’re like, “What’s happening? I’m not overweight but my stomach is starting to stick out.” Females can experience something similar but it often happens to be more of a pear shape, where it comes in the hips and in the lower abdominal region.
What’s happening there is, it’s all hormones. We know this, right? Why do we call it andropause in men? It’s because androgens — androgenic aka testosterone levels — fall. In women, menopause — things like estrogen, progesterone — these things change and the changes in those hormones causes a change in body composition. The simple answer is that we need to change our hormone levels. The way we do that is — I’ll give the simple answer and then we can dig into the mechanisms more specifically — the way you change your hormones to be more like they were pre-menopause and more like they were pre-andropause, for women and men respectively, you’ve got three ways you can do that — more than three.
You’ve got a couple of lifestyle ways to do that. Let’s talk about the lifestyle ways. The less sleep you get, the more your hormones get out of whack. The more stress you’re under, the more your hormones get out of whack. So we know about stress and sleep but when it comes to eating and exercise, the excessive cardiovascular exercise suppresses testosterone production in men and suppresses sex hormone production in women. It actually can be fattening, especially at the later stages of our lives. Strength training and smarter resistance training — it is literally dose dependent.
What I mean when I say dose dependent is the more intense and safe our exercise is, the more of the hormones that we’re talking about here — the desired sex hormones and things like IGF-1, Insulin like Growth Factor; the things that trigger fat burning and calorie hungry lean muscle tissue development and maintenance — these are achieved by activating those Type 2 muscle fibers by doing intense resistance exercise in a very safe fashion and also by consuming foods that are rich in protein, foods that are rich in fiber, and foods that are low in things like sugar and starch.
By way of an example, think about the term “beer belly”. There’s a reason that beer belly’s called beer belly. The hops and the other starches in beer as well as the calories from alcohol in and of themselves, they cause in men — they throw sex hormones out of whack and men can actually develop literally a beer belly. The reason for that beer belly is again their hormones have changed and their sex hormones have gone down. Same thing happens to women.
The reason weight gain after menopause is hard, and after andropause is hard, is our body has literally stopped producing and down-regulated the hormones we need to burn fat and to maintain lean muscle tissue. The great news is that when we eat enough essential nutrients, when we eat protein in the right doses and from the right quality of sources, and we do the right quality of exercise, we’re never going to look like we’re 25 when we’re 75 nor should we. We’ve all seen 75-year-olds that try to look like they’re 25 and, with respect, I don’t think that goes very well. I think when we look 75, that’s beautiful and awesome and we should look like a beautiful and awesome 75-year-old. That’s my personal opinion. I won’t get into that but by going as SANE as we can or getting as eccentric as we can, we can achieve a level of health and wellness and beauty that is appropriate and optimal for our age.
The reason it just changes as we get older is, just like when we were 8 years old, it would be hard to build big muscles in men, for example, because again, men are just going to have low levels of testosterone when they’re 8 years old. They can’t do it. When a woman or man is 80 years old, they’re going to have different levels of different hormones which can make it harder to burn fat. Again, doesn’t mean that we can’t burn fat; it just means that maybe when we’re 22, it’s reasonable to say, “I want to have a level of body fat where I can wear a bikini.” if I’m a woman, and a Speedo maybe, if I’m a man. I don’t know. It depends where you are — and be like, “Hey, check me out. I’m 22 and you can see my abs.”
I think most of us don’t have that goal as we get older and we get more experienced and we’re not children anymore. The good news is that we can’t have that healthy, beautiful natural weight. I mean, honestly, it’s not healthy for an adult. If you’re 65 and you can see your abs, that’s a problem. That’s not healthy. That’s not natural. Hopefully, that’s somewhat helpful.
The hormone crazies — again, I don’t mean to be like “just eat SANE and exercise eccentrically.” But at the end of the day, this is all about hormonal dysregulation. The way we solve hormonal dysregulation is by not eating the foods that cause it and replacing those foods by the therapeutic foods that heal it, which are SANE foods, and swapping out inSANE foods.
From an exercise perspective, it’s like it’s totally different. From an exercise perspective, we’re told to do the types of exercise that can actually make this worse. Like, excessive cardiovascular exercise can suppress sex hormone levels; it can suppress thyroid production in women a lot; it can lead to injury which causes total inactivity; and it can cause us to crave the exact foods which further cause hormonal dysregulation. A lot of people experience – like, maybe they go for a long jog — “Then I need to drink a bunch of sugary beverages and carbo load.” That is not a good idea. If our goal is metabolic health, it might be fine if we’re running a marathon; but that’s again, a totally different goal. Hopefully, that is somewhat helpful. Let me know if it’s not particularly helpful.
Next question here that I do have some advanced cool stuff that I wanted to share at the end because I’ve got some feedback that everyone really likes when I share some sort of secret cut ting-edge stuff. This is a great question which says, “I travel fifty percent of the time in blocks of one or two weeks straight. During that time, I usually work sixteen hours a day and have only access to fast food — no car, no way to the store — to cook or prepare food at hotel rooms. What are your best suggestions for a SANE lifestyle, given these constraints?”
My suggestion would be two-fold. One is, I just posted something in the SANE support group about how to eat veggies away from your home. Please check that out. I think it’s a great resource, if I do say so myself. No, but it actually points to a bunch of other great resources, super in-depth. In your step-by-step program in the SANE 101 lesson, we just added some videos there. There’s a specific video. It’s like four minutes long but it’s awesome. It goes through the various types of fast-food restaurants and the most SANE choices to make there. I think that’s a great resource. The key thing again is that fast food may not be ideal but non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, whole-food fats.
If I’m at an Asian fast food restaurant, what am I doing? I’m not getting a super sweet sauce. I’m going to get my protein and I’m going to get a lot of vegetables stir-fried and I’m just going to eat a lot more vegetables instead of the rice. I’m going to do the same thing if I go to a Thai restaurant. If I go to an American restaurant, I’m going to get a salad, no matter what. I’m not going to put toxic synthetic dressing on it. Maybe I’ll put some olive oil and vinegar on it. If I’m going to have a hamburger, I’m not going to eat the bun; I’m just going to have the hamburger. Ideally, maybe I’d have like chicken breast or something like that.
If I have access to a Chipotle or a place like that, that’s awesome because it’s super easy to be SANE there because you’re just going to get it served as a salad rather than a wrap. You can certainly enjoy some guacamole. You can enjoy the sauces. You can even enjoy a base of beans in addition to the vegetables because legumes are right in the middle there so you don’t want to go out of your way to eat eight servings of legumes but they can be a fine part of a SANE lifestyle. If you have access to a grocery store — not that you can go in there and buy groceries — but grocery stores are like the new awesome place to get prepared food that’s SANE so it doesn’t have to be a Whole Foods. Whole Foods is nice but it’s very expensive.
Any grocery store that has prepared foods is going to have a salad bar. That’s awesome. I mean, that is the go-to place. Even if it doesn’t have a salad bar, if you go to the produce section, they’re going to have some type of a packaged thing. If you can grab a rotisserie chicken, that’s super helpful. Again, let’s be clear. It’s not as easy to be SANE when you don’t have access to any of these resources but, you know, when I travel, I’m able to do a pretty good job with the resources I just mentioned. I do have my SANE meal bars with me. I do have my SANE craving killers with me. I do keep raw nuts with me. I do take Garden In My Glass, up to five pounds of it at a time, with me. I do pack chia seeds. I mean, there are a lot of these things that I can’t take on the go — and then also canned sea food.
I know it’s not like, “A can of tuna is so delicious,” but it is a great portable, non-needing-to-be-cooked way of having protein. There are things like sardines. There are things like canned tuna, canned chicken. These travel very well. Again, they’re not going to be very delicious but I’m just trying to throw out those options to you. Hopefully that’s helpful. And of course, there’s a whole lot of resources on the side that can help with travel. Hopefully that is helpful. Travel can definitely be a challenge but I think that’s why a lot of the reason the SANE store exists. I know even if we’re not travelling, we don’t always have access to fresh vegetables right now but that’s why we’ve got things like the Garden In My Glass; we’ve got things like the meal bars where when the fresh whole food isn’t available, it’s sort of dehydrated; but still whole food options are great alternatives.
Lots more questions here but we’re down to the last half hour. I had some special things that I wanted to cover and got some feedback that folks like this so I wanted to try to make sure we have time but, as always, if I don’t get to your question I will put them to the front of the queue for the next session and of course the support group is always a great place for questions 24/7/365. That’s been a wonderful place recently and I’ve really, really enjoyed all the awesomeness that’s been going on there. Thank you.
This was actually inspired by a wonderful post today that Janet made in the support group. Shout out to Janet if she is listening or watching this or watching the recording. She posted about a sort of supplement that a different program had her on. The supplement’s primary ingredient was guar gum. I wanted to talk about this for a second because it’s much more advanced and it’s useful. Guar gum is a prebiotic fiber that’s derived from legumes which is frequently used in SANE recipes as an emulsifier but it also has therapeutic properties. There’s actually been studies done where they tried to manipulate in a good way, the inflammation in the brain that causes our appetites to get out of whack.
There’s a part of your brain called the lateral and ventral medial hypothalamus which controls your appetite. A lot of times when we are super, super hungry or when we are overly hungry it’s because there’s inflammation in that part of the brain for fiber and specifically SANE types of fiber and also prebiotic fiber. We intentionally use prebiotic fiber in our SANE meal bars and cravings killers because it is therapeutic. It actually has what’s called a dose-dependent impact on certain aspects of your brain in a healthy way where it drops the inflammation in your brain and it also heals your gut bacteria. In addition to that, it’s incredibly filling.
Things like guar gum is something you can get on Amazon. There’s like Bob’s Red Mill, a very common brand. You can get it in most grocery stores. It’s not something that you’re going to eat tablespoons of — that would be a terrible idea; please don’t do that — but if you put it in your smoothies, for example, it is going to make the smoothies — one, it’s going to improve their consistency. It’s going to make them thicker and more substantive. It’s almost like gelatin, something like Xanthan gum, but it’s like any kind of gum that you would use in baking.
Things like guar gum is a wonderful thing to add to SANE smoothies and other stuff. It is great at regulating appetite; it is therapeutic; it is incredibly filling; it helps with gut bacteria and gut flora. May be a wonderful action item to write down and to try this week. I love smoothies. I just love them because they’re like a test bed. If you’re going to make a chicken dish, there’s not much you can eat. You don’t want to mess with the chicken dish, just make the chicken dish. But with smoothies, it’s like, “I’m going to throw some acai berry in here and then let’s try some ginger in this.” It’s like a fun game. What we can do with our smoothies, try to experiment, put a little guar gum there. A little bit of Guar gum goes a long way but it’s incredibly filling and gelatin can be used similarly.
You can buy unflavored gelatin. Knox is a very popular brand. I get all the stuff on Amazon because I find it to be the least expensive and the same kind of thing. Unflavored gelatin is almost pure protein, doesn’t have flavor, and it adds a lot of body to things. If, for example, in the evening, you’re like me and it’s hard to get full — for some reason, when 8:00 o’clock hits, it’s like my stomach triples in size and I just can’t ever get full. I can’t get that feeling of fullness and that sensational fullness in between meals or when cravings are intense. There are things like cocoa which are incredibly helpful to appease those cravings but there’re also things like guar gum and unflavored gelatin which, if added to other things, will make those things way more filling and they’re good for you. They’re great options. Guar gum is used in small amounts. So you get a little bag of it — it’s like $5 — and it will last you for a long time. It’s healthy and it’s wonderful.
Great question here from Penny. Penny mentioned lifestyle changes from menopause. What were the other ways to say with my husband to increase testosterone? Penny, the simplest answer — there’s two things. We want to not suppress testosterone. That’s actually kind of the biggest one. Most of the problem is not that we need to do things to increase testosterone production; it’s that we need to stop doing things that are blocking testosterone production, if that makes sense. Beer crushes testosterone production; starch and sugar hurt testosterone production; stress hurts testosterone production. Things that we all kind of know are unhealthy drop testosterone production.
Weight training increases testosterone production. In women, it does in a positive way, in a proportional way. It’s never going to make a woman look like a man. A woman at her most testosterony — that’s a medical term; you can look that up — a female at her most testosterony has about the same amount of testosterone as like a 10-year-old boy, so not going to look like a big bulky man. No need to worry about that but things that suppress testosterone — stress, lack of sleep, inSANE foods and cardiovascular exercise in excess — suppresses testosterone. Whereas strenuous weight training, protein nutrient-dense foods, getting enough sleep and of course healthy, safe sex life helps with hormones. Let’s not disregard that. Believe it or not, sex helps with sex hormone production; crazy as it sounds. It’s controversial but hopefully that’s helpful, Penny. Great question.
Fran, do you have to eat it right away if you use guar gum? No. The whole eat it right away thing — I have never seen any research that says unless you eat something right away you — no. In fact, with unflavored gelatin, you should let it sit for a while so that it gelatinizes. With guar gum, which you’ll notice — it’s actually pretty neat. If you’re blending it in a blender, the blender will go as if you didn’t do anything. Then after thirty seconds, it will be like [brrr] because the guar gum — cooking is chemistry.
There are chemical changes happening that you apply heat, it’s changing. So to answer your question, guar gum – no, you definitely don’t have to eat it right away. I mean, it might taste better if you eat it right away. If you let things sit, they may not be delicious but as long as you keep it refrigerated, as long as they don’t spoil, totally fine. Again, cooking in bulk, doing things in a way that makes it easier for you, doing it in a way that is sustainable and enjoyable is more important than anything else. That is the uber — what you have to do is figure out a way to do whatever you’re going to do in an enjoyable, sustainable way. That is more important than anything else.
You definitely don’t have to do it right away and in fact I’m not sure if there’s anything that you have to do right away in terms of eating it. If you want to have a hot cup of coffee, drinking it soon after it’s boiling is going to be better because otherwise it will cool down. Those are the only kind of comments on such things. Fran actually made a good point here. She says, “I thought the recipes say that.” Awesome, Fran. This is another example of why we have to — it’s all about goals. I’m sorry, I sound like a broken record sometimes. That’s why we’re here. Some of these SANE mindset things are so critical.
The goal of a recipe — I know this is going to sound a little silly — the goal of a recipe is to make something that tastes good. From the goal of “it tastes better when you eat it right away,” yes. If the goal is taste, eat it right away. Absolutely. I know my mom makes some — I’m Polish and she makes some ethnic dishes which taste better the day after because they have a chance to marinate but if the goal is taste, eating it right away, yeah, totally different thing. If the goal is nutritional therapy, when you do it doesn’t matter as much. That’s why there’s goals. Man, that’s such a great example. Fran, thanks for bringing that up.
You’ve got one person there arguing, “You’ve got to do it right away.” What they’re thinking is taste and the other person is like, “What are you talking about? That’s crazy.” What they’re thinking about is metabolic healing. They’re both right. They’re just talking about two different things and that’s why getting us aligned on those goals is so important. When Jillian Michaels was on the Biggest Loser and she’s like, “Eat less and exercise more,” if the goal is to lose weight as quickly as possible without any regard for people’s health or long-term wellbeing, yes. Giving them caffeine pills and starving them is correct for that goal but that isn’t our goal so that’s why these goals are so important.
Laura, I love these red question marks here. Speaking of recipes, What’s my personal go-to chocolate SANE recipe? It’s a good question, Laura. What I’ve done — this is a little secret. What I do in the morning — and this isn’t because I’m against coffee by any means; it’s just because coffee’s like, boom, for me it’s too much. I wake up usually around five o’clock in the morning because I am on Pacific Standard Time. A lot of the SANE team is on Eastern Standard Time so I usually keep Eastern Standard Time hours. So I’m like, “It’s 9 o’clock, time for bed; 5 o’clock, time to wake up.”
I take in my Vitamix. It’s not necessary though, for this especially. I take the mood-boosting cocoa powder. I take peppermint oil, cinnamon, and a little bit of vanilla. I mix that up and I add boiling water to that and then the cocoa powder because it has some caffeine in it. It also has a substance called theobromine which helps to make the caffeine a little gradual versus coffee which is like caffeine, boom, right in there. I drink a lot of that in the morning and it’s also extremely healthy so that actually takes care of my chocolate cravings. Then, for me, the cravings killers — part of why we developed them is because I really like them and then they really help me.
I use the recipe for the SANE all-purpose baking mix that you’ll find on the site, which actually is a great application of both guar gum and unflavored gelatin. I take that and I use it for puddings and I add cocoa to it. I’m less picky about flavor. I’ve done some whacky things in my life in terms of health and fitness and experimentation so that, which to me is tasty, would probably — I’ve been doing this for 15 years so I’ll take some all-purpose SANE baking mix and a little bit of mood-boosting cocoa powder and some xylitol and some peppermint and be like, “That’s pretty good but I bet if I add a little bit more of this –” That’s what I do. It’s pretty organic. But something quick — the craving killers are my biggest thing. Actually, one of the reasons I invented them was because I used to use other types of protein bars but what I found is the protein bars were so sweet that they would actually make me crave more. It’s a great example. I think a lot of people experience that with Quest bars where Quest bars are delicious but they’re too delicious because you eat one Quest bar and you’re like, “I want to eat eight Quest bars.” Hopefully that’s helpful.
All right, some other things. Fifteen minutes left. Some of these other stuff is going to get saved to the next session. Stay tuned. There’s a lot of great stuff coming. This is advanced but it’s awesome. We talked in previous sessions about, there’s various food groups. We know there’s non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, whole food fats. Within those food groups, there are optimal choices. For example, carrots are a non-starchy vegetable but they’re not nearly as nutrient-dense and not nearly rich in phytochemicals as something, say, Swiss shard. Same thing with, for example, difference between strawberries, which are great — they are SANE fruit — but acai berries — a couple of sessions, we talked about kicking some acai. There’s a reason acai berries are called the super food they are. They’re super good for you and there’s a lot of other things like that – Noni fruit. Blueberries are very, very good for you.
Within the nutrient-dense protein category, we’ve talked about mollusks — so oysters and clams — things like that — super nutrient-dense. Then when it comes to meats, that’s where it can get really challenging because organ meats are actually the most nutrient-dense meats in the world. For example, liver. Liver is like a vitamin pill. If you look at the nutritional breakdown of a liver — and we talked actually about testosterone and hormones and energy earlier — the B vitamins. If you look at something like a five-hour energy or you go to certain types of naturopathic physicians, they’ll give you like vitamin B12 shots — which I’m not going to talk about.
B vitamins are obviously very important for energy; they’re very important for performance; they are very important for lots of things. Liver and oysters are two of the richest sources in the world of them. Eating liver is not easy. It’s not even easy to buy liver. What you can do — and this is going to sound a little strange but it’s super helpful — and people, say, “Jonathan, should I take a multivitamin?” I would say, “I hear there are ways to make whole foods like multivitamins but better.”
There’s something called — stick with me — desiccated beef liver. “What’s for dinner tonight, Mom and Dad?” “Desiccated beef liver.” No, I’m just kidding. A desiccant is something that dries stuff out so if you open a container and you see a little packet in there that says, “Don’t eat,” that’s the desiccant. It’s keeping moisture out of the bottle. Desiccated beef liver is liver that has been dried out like the super foods you’ve seen in the SANE store and then usually it’s compressed into a pill. It’s dried out, concentrated beef liver. Good, dried out, concentrated beef liver. Remember difference between taste and efficacy.
If we think about this as nutritional therapy, what do you do? What I would recommend, there’s no SANE version of this but the SANEst version of it is a company called Beverly International. If you go in the SANE store and you go to Amazon, on the left navigation it’s like Amazon Recommended Items, there’s a section in there that talks about athletic performance. You can find these there. It’s like a little tablet. They’re probably not that little and each little tablet is 2 grams of protein. It’s like a protein tablet. What it is, it’s just pure grass-fed Argentinian beef liver. Now, I know this doesn’t sound delicious. I’m trying to share some advanced stuff. They’re called Ultra 40 and it’s not a supplement. It’s not some magic pill. It’s desiccated beef liver.
It’s beef liver from the most pure Argentinian grass-fed sources in the world. I don’t make it. I don’t make any money off of it. It’s just super healthy; it’s super nutritious; and I think it’s something you might want to check out. The product is called Ultra 40, U-L-T-R-A 40. If you go to the SANE store, you click on Amazon, there’s recourse for it there. It’s supper affordable — 500 tablets is like 40 bucks. You’re going to take maybe four a day, maybe. And the other thing that’s really nice with these is they’re 2 grams of protein each. If you’re trying to get to that 30 gram dose of protein and you’re like, “Hey, I’m going to drink this cup of Greek yoghurt and some berries” and that’s only 24 grams of protein. What do I do?” Well, I’ll just be like, “I’m going to have some desiccated beef liver.” You can be like, “One, two, three grams” or “Two, four, six grams.”
I would recommend the Beverly brand. The other brands — the pills are even bigger and they’re not from grass-fed sources. It’s also great for travel. Just again, to augment the protein intake. Fran, great question. You do not chew it. Do not. Disgusting. It’s a swallow kind of thing. The pills are quite large so you might need to split them in half. We’re moving into the advanced stuff here so this is not like me getting on Good Morning America and being like, “Hey America, you know what’s the sexy awesome way to lose weight? Desiccated beef liver tablets.”
No. This is just advanced. In fact, desiccated beef liver was super popular in body building and athletic communities forty, fifty years ago because it just yielded phenomenal results. Also, if you don’t really care for red meat but you know there are healthy things about red meat, this is a great way to get everything that’s good about pure red meat without any of the things that are found in non-humanely raised, corn-fed beef. That’s something to try out. Another thing to try out is branched chain amino acids, specifically Luceine. Sort of the reasons we want to go for the 30-gram dose of protein is that it gets certain amino acids to certain levels in our bloodstream. You can buy branched chain amino acids. You can buy isolated amino acids. It’s not easy to do but this is super advanced.
Step one is desiccated beef liver because it’s going to provide you with a huge amount of nutrients. If you’re looking for more advanced things, branch chained amino acids, specifically the amino acid Luceine, when combined with a whole foods meal, can be helpful but I would definitely do the desiccated beef liver first before I did that other thing.
The last thing I want us to talk about — or I think we’ll have time to talk about — is a commercial that I’ve heard about but only saw recently and wanted to talk about for a moment. That is Oprah’s recent commercial about Weight Watchers which apparently she now owns like ten percent of, which is Oprah getting on there and she says, “I eat bread. I love bread. I can eat bread every day and that’s why I love this program.” I just wanted to talk about this really quick because I actually use Oprah as an example in my book because Oprah is amazing. If you look at where she started from in terms of the adversity she faced in her life and how she’s become one of the most successful and generous people in the world, I think Oprah is the example of an amazing person who has been so victimized by misinformation that despite the fact that she has exceeded — she is 11 out of 10 in every possible area of her life; except for her entire life, she has had this demon on her back which is her weight and sadly, some day it’s going to be her health, especially now that she is saying things like, “I can eat bread and I can eat bread every day.”
The thing that breaks my heart about this commercial is three things. One, of course you can eat bread and lose weight. Of course you can. You can drink soda and lose weight if you don’t eat anything else. If you starve yourself, if you eat a thousand calories of nothing but bread, I guarantee you’ll lose weight — guarantee it. You will also die because you will have vitamin mineral deficiencies. No one would ever eat a pure 1000 calorie bread diet but if they did, it would kill you eventually because you would have vitamin and mineral deficiencies and it would not be healthy.
There’s no question, “Can I eat bread every day and lose weight?” or I think what she says in the commercial, “I eat bread every day and I’ve lost 26 pounds.” Awesome. We’ve all lost 26 pounds. I think Oprah’s probably lost 26 pounds twenty times in her life. What breaks my heart is that we know here, you can eat bread every day and you don’t have to starve yourself and you can heal yourself. Just make the bread with coconut flour or almond flour or use SANE all-purpose baking mix. I literally have prayed and put my intention on. I hope someday Oprah will give herself permission because the issue isn’t bread. There’s recipes. If there isn’t, there will be very soon. We’re working on them right now. There is SANE all-purpose baking mix.
The issue isn’t bread; the issue is what the bread is made out of. If you make bread out of coconut flour and like milk chia seeds or flax meal or almond meal, it’s whole food fats. It’s brilliant for you but like gluten is toxic. MLO pectin A which is found in mutant hybrid wheat is toxic. Of course, you can eat conventional bread and lose weight. You could smoke cigarettes and they’ll actually help you lose weight. That doesn’t mean they’re good for you at all. How awesome is it and let’s all put out intention on this or pray on this or however you chose to live your life, that maybe someday we can have the opportunity to show Oprah and to show other people in our lives who are in a similar position.
She believes that for her to achieve her goals she has to choose between eating foods that she loves and having a level of vibrancy and energy and health that she loves and loving how she looks in the mirror. Let’s be honest, we all would like to be happy with what we see in the mirror, let’s just call a spade a spade but that’s a false dichotomy. We know you can eat bread, you eat chocolate cookies if you want just make them with SANE ingredients, that’s it. You can have your cake and eat it too, literally. You can literally have your cake and eat it too, just make it with coconut flour and xylitol and you know what the first time you eat it, it might not taste as good as the cake that is packed with gluten and high fructose corn syrup but how amazing is it that you can have 80% of the goodness of bread and then within 21 days, 100% goodness of bread because we all get used to what we eat, over time you get used to it.
Very few people like beer the very first time they drink it but you know what, no shortage of people that like beer. It’s because our taste buds change. How transformative would it be for Oprah or for anybody else that has been taught that they either need to be hungry or healthy and so what they do is they say, “Okay, I’m just not going to eat anything. I can eat bread.” To say look, just change what you’re making it with. Just change the quality of the bread you’re eating and you could change the quality of your life, the quality of your health, the quality of your mindset. The quality of your appearance simultaneously and you don’t have to give it up.
I don’t know, maybe we should come out with an answer commercial that says, “You know what, I eat bread too every single day and I just make it with coconut flour and rock and roll.” Now we can eat bread every day and we can be SANE and we can burn fat and boost our health. Anyway, hopefully that is helpful. My mum just brings us Oprah every single week and she’s like, “Jonathan, you need to talk to Oprah.” I’m like, “Mom, I want to talk to Oprah but she owns Weight Watchers now so they has a vested interest in not listening to what we’re saying,” but who knows.
Actually just had a wonderful conversation with Dr. Mark Hyman who’s now the director over the Cleveland clinic. He’s a dear friend. His name and blog is on the front of the book and we might have some cool stuff going on when maybe we do get a chance to work with her someday, who knows. Anyway, let’s put our intention on that one and let’s remember that again it’s not about deprivation at all. I agree with Oprah on that sense. It’s not about deprivation, anything that relies on deprivation, not going to work long term. The irony is that in the Weight Watcher’s calorie counter model, it is about deprivation. In order for her to eat bread, she just has not to eat anything else on some level.
In the SANE model, what makes me so excited, it makes me feel so fortunate to be here with you is it’s just about substitution and like let’s be transparent. The first time you make SANE bread, it’s not going to taste like wonder bread because it’s not wonder bread but after you eat if for 21 days it will be as good if not better because you will become used to it. We don’t deprive ourselves on any level. It’s not the choice between depriving ourselves of feeling full and depriving ourselves off bread. It’s a choice of smart substitutions. I think that’s awesome and incredibly encouraging. Hopefully that’s helpful. I want to talk about it.
Hopefully it was helpful for you. It was helpful for me to get that off my chest because I have been thinking about it for a long time and I actually have some cools tuff to share in our next session so I hope you can join us. If you can’t join us please do tune in to the recording, please do submit your questions, please keep up the awesomeness in the support group, oh my goodness. There’s been so much love in there recently it’s really cool. If you get a chance, explore in there a little bit because there’s like a point system and you win like badges. I think the more people experience in there the more it becomes a really cool self-reinforcing thing. It almost becomes like a game so that’s really, really neat.
Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your evening with me, it’s 6:30 my time. It might be 9:30 or whatever time your time is. It’s time for us to sign off but thank you so much for being here. Hopefully this was as enjoyable for you as it was for me and we’re going to have another SANE ignite session next week and I will send out scheduling survey here shortly and with much love and thanks. Thank you and stay SANE, we’ll chat next week. Thank you everybody