Of course, as always, I want to give a big shout-out to this week’s top participants in the SANE Coaching and Support Group, which — again, if you are not over there, please do so. I don’t want for this to come out wrong but social support is so, so critical. I would actually go so far as to say, as you know with SANE, it’s a spectrum. You can be as SANE as you want or not, depending on your goals.
But dare I say, it is a requirement for long-term success for you to have caring, loving, ongoing social support and accountability. The science is absolutely clear. The more people you have rooting you on, cheering you on, and the more you put yourself out there in front of loving, caring, qualified people –- Facebook sometimes doesn’t qualify because not everyone on Facebook is going to be sharing your same goals. But in your SANE Support Group, it is going to be there so please do participate. Take advantage of that. It’s hugely important and it’s gamified and fun.
Speaking of that, this week, Linda Bayer, Deborah Martins, Jennifer Rose, Megan Horton, Leslie Ann Savage, Sandy Grady, and of course, your SANE-certified coaches – Wednesday, Raina, Laurie, and Rebecca – have just done an exceptional job in the support group. Congratulations to all of those wonderful individuals. Thank you so much for your amazing contributions –- and for everyone else in the support group.
All right. So I’m going to exhale, if that’s okay, and we’re going to get rocking and rolling. Please raise your hand if you’re not here and we will go ahead and get started with Q and A. Shall we?
All right, hold on. Let’s turn this off. Denominator -– it’s live. All right, here we go. Question the first -– hold on, I missed some questions that came in earlier. Hold on, let me check this out here real quick. Raina has her sample question because she’s awesome.
Stephanie asks, “What is the meaning of life?” And then she said, okay, her question’s a joke. Stephanie, hey, we can talk about whatever you want during these sessions so if you want my opinion on that, please let me know. My father is actually a philosophy professor and addictions rehabilitation counsellor so that is a conversation that we discussed a lot while I was growing up. Actually, a funny anecdote.
SANE Coach Laurie’s in the house. What’s up, Laurie?
My friends would joke, growing up –- my parents are college professors, which is part of the reason I did all this research. My friends would come over when I was in high school and they were like, “Jonathan, your dinner conversations with your family are ridiculous because you have two college professor parents and they don’t follow sports or popular media or anything so we’d be sitting around the table talking about, “Emmanuel cons -– categorical imperative for morality” and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.
Anyway, let’s get started. The first question has to do with muscle protein synthesis. Someone wrote in and asked, “How important is it? What role does it play in resetting your weight set point or set point weight? Can it be activated with protein servings between twenty and thirty grams?” Yes. This is really, really important and I do want to go deep into it here because that is why we are here.
I’m going to be talking for a second here so if you have follow-up questions, please post them in here because this is one of the most powerful things I discovered in my research. Let’s take a step back. One of the reasons that exercise -– and especially strength training exercise –- is so therapeutic is, as we know, it helps to tone and protect and develop lean muscle tissue.
Hopefully — you may or may not know, but you will know right after I say what I’m about to say — that having more lean muscle tissue is one of the single strongest predictors of long-term health and wellbeing. There’s actually a condition which is like osteoporosis where your bones deteriorate but it’s called sarcopenia and it describes the gradual muscle deterioration that we will all face as we progress in age unless we strength-train or have a SANE approach to a protein or ideally both, which is what we’re going to talk about here.
So we want to avoid sarcopenia. It is not good. It is the gradual wasting away of muscle tissue and it is completely avoidable. Especially as we pass the thirty-year and forty-year and fifty-year marks, the amount of muscle on our body -– and I’m not talking body-builder; I’m talking the ability to carry in groceries, walk upstairs, pick up your kids and grandkids with ease -– that is going to go down unless we intervene so we should intervene.
Now, traditionally, the only way that we have been taught that we can intervene, that we can have strong muscles and that we can have lean muscle tissue so that we are fully functional strong people that have that toned, lean look, which is fabulous -– we want to look strong; we don’t want to look skinny, we want to look strong -– is to strength train. That is true. You definitely want to strength-train.
But what modern research has shown –- and this is really, really unbelievable here so believe it. It’s a little bit like “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.” It’s hard to believe but it is true. What researchers have discovered -– and actually the hub of this research was done at the University of Illinois. A gentleman by the name of Dr. Donald Layman -– if you love reading primary research, search under Donald Layman on Pub Med and you’ll find about 300 papers that he and Alvin Plantinga and a bunch of other individuals, who are the world’s foremost experts on protein, have found that if you eat protein in certain doses, what happens is, a certain amino acid called leucine and other co-factors reach a certain threshold level in your blood.
When this happens, you know, hopefully by going through your Ignite Program, that one of the most powerful things we can do with food is to change the hormonal conversation in our body and change the way our brains work. Well, protein and muscle protein synthesis is a perfect example of that because when we eat a sufficient quality and quantity of protein, a specific amino acid called leucine — which I’ll actually note that we add additional leucine into, for example, your SANE Meal Bars and your SANE Cravings Killers because it is such a powerful component -– it triggers what’s called the mTOR pathway in your brain.
I’m not going to geek out too much but there is a specific pathway in your brain and what that does is, it’s the same pathway that your brain uses to essentially tell your body, “Hey, it’s time to synthesize new muscle tissue” or “It’s time to strengthen, build, and develop lean tissue in your body.”
Let’s take a step back and talk about just how powerful this is. Let’s get way back. We’re stepping way back. We know that through strength training, we can develop and strengthen lean muscle tissue. The reason that strength training does that –- this is going to get a little metaphysical -– isn’t because strength training itself causes your muscle tissue to grow and develop. What strength training does is it causes tears –- good tears -– in your muscle and then your brain says, “Hey, muscle. Heal, synthesize new tissue, over-compensate.”
But what’s called hypertrophy or hyper-trophy, depending on where you are in the world and who you ask –- we’re going to say “hypertrophy” because I like saying it that way -– isn’t the only mechanism that can cause muscles to become stronger. By way of example, a small human -– a baby -– will grow muscles as they get bigger and no weight training is needed. So weight training is a stimulus that causes the brain to tell the body “Build muscle” but it is not the only stimulus. For example, a one-year-old, not strength training, however, growing a huge amount of new muscle in order to accommodate their growing body.
Another good example will be men when they hit puberty. Even if they don’t strength-train, they are going to build muscle because certain hormones are released in their body which are anabolic hormones. It’s where the term anabolic steroids come into play, which will trigger the development of lean muscle tissue on their body. Again, not going to turn them into body builders but just going to make them look more like men and less like boys.
Strength training is a way to stimulate muscle growth. The things like growth hormone and various anabolic hormones in your body can trigger the development of lean muscle tissue but also -– and this is not intuitive -– so in some ways, it’s very intuitive that strength training can cause this; that certain hormones that are associated with growth can cause this; but protein -– the actual consumption of protein and the activation of mTOR pathway in your brain will tell your brain to tell your body to synthesize new muscle tissue.
The reason this happens -– at least researchers hypothesize –- is because when we have this quality and quantity of protein, our body sees it as, “Hey, there’s an abundance of protein. There’s a surplus of protein. I’m in a time of abundance so let’s take this time to really repair and heal the body.”
That’s why this is so important -– because, as you know, a SANE lifestyle is about healing your metabolism; it’s the opposite of short-term weight loss. Short-term weight loss further destroys your metabolism in an effort to just rip pounds off your body ASAP. That’s why it does not work and that’s why 95.4 percent of people who try it end up heavier as a result and that’s why we’re probably all here -– because I bet every single person who is watching this now and who’s watching it in the future has successfully lost weight temporarily, only to gain more back; a.k.a. yo-yo dieting.
What we need to do is to actually heal our body and to heal our hormones, heal our gut, and heal our brain. Part of the way we do that is by providing our body with the raw materials it needs to literally synthesize new tissue. Think about how powerful that is. Simply by eating a certain quality and quantity of protein –-
This is why I generally recommend between twenty and thirty gram servings or doses of protein every time you eat from high-quality sources such as humanely-raised animal products that are pure, not a bunch of GMO hormones; wild-caught seafood; certain low-sugar forms of dairy; certain protein powders and protein bars –- and there are some more questions about those later. We can trigger that — we can tell our body to literally build a new “us.”
Let’s talk about how building a new “us” is so amazing. We know, by way of example, that small children or young people eat a lot. They need to eat a lot because they’re growing. So the act of growing new tissue in your body is very expensive from an energy perspective. Another example would be when an individual becomes pregnant.
We know that an individual who becomes pregnant needs to consume more food. Why? Because they’re building a new person. So either in the case of a five-year-old, who needs to grow into an adult, that five-year-old is building a new person themselves but also a thirty-year-old who is pregnant is building a new person -– their soon-to-be child -– and they need to eat more.
Everyone else can also be building a new person. We can be building a stronger, healthier, fitter, healed version of ourselves. Can you imagine how energetically intensive that is? We’re literally telling our body -– we’re almost putting it in the same state it was when we were growing as children and as teenagers -– we’re telling our body, “Hey, grow. Get stronger. Get more capable. Get more robust.”
Not only, for example, is protein highly satisfying; that’s the S in SANE. It’s highly satiating. Calorie for calorie, protein will fill you up and keep you fuller longer than either fat or carbohydrate. That is just proven science. In addition to that, it’s very inefficient. That’s the E in SANE -– S-A-N-E.
Meaning that, it’s very difficult to -– first of all, it’s very difficult to over-eat protein because it’s so satisfying. Even if you were, protein is very inefficiently used as energy by the body. It’s not an energy source; it’s a structural component that helps us to synthesize new muscle tissue so the protein you eat is going to be used for this rebuilding and healing purposes.
First of all, protein’s filling you up. Second of all, it’s not used for energy. In fact, it causes you to need to use more energy to build and repair that new healed version of you. I mean, that’s like the one-two-three punch. Think about how powerful that is.
There have literally been studies done where an individual will add calories to their diet. Obviously, calories are not our focus here but calories exist and they do matter. They’re just not the central focus where an individual will add calories to their diet from protein and at the end of the day, their caloric balance from eating more -– just more calories -– will actually be lower because the act of eating those protein calories from proper sources and in adequate doses causes their body to switch essentially into an anabolic or growth and development mode, which is so energy-intensive, much like growing another person inside of you or growing from a child into an adult. We can literally grow into a super version of ourselves.
Yes, that is a long answer to protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis is extremely important. It is extremely important for our health and it is extremely powerful from a metabolic healing and a fat loss perspective because it’s going to preserve our muscle tissue and help us to burn fat. That’s a key distinction.
That’s another reason we don’t want to always be focused on the scale because if we’re synthesizing new muscle tissue, we may gain a few pounds of healthy calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue but that’s going to help us burn fat long term but then in the short term, we may gain a little weight but that weight gain is lean muscle tissue which is helping us to burn fat, which is changing the metric that really matters when it comes to our visual appearance, which is our body fat percentage. So muscle goes up, fat goes down; our body fat percentage drops quickly and the way we look and feel transforms amazingly.
I do need to get a drink of water. I get excited when I talk about protein. Goodness. Hopefully, that was helpful. There’s some follow-up questions here, I think, so hold on one second. Let me see what we got here.
Good questions here. Gina has a question –- oh, Gina, yes, I can speak a little bit slower. Absolutely. We will transcribe these and they will be available up on the site. So if anything is missed, hopefully that will be helpful as well.
Stephanie -– “What are some good natural sources of leucine?” Excellent question. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the quality of a protein source or the biological availability, the more leucine, calorie for calorie, the protein source will contain. But one of the richest sources, natural sources, of leucine in the world is whey protein.
One of the reasons why protein is so popular –- whey protein has been popular in athletic circles for decades and no one really knew why. It was just, people who used whey protein saw great benefits so athletes and bodybuilders used whey protein. Only recently, researchers have discovered that whey protein, calorie for calorie, is one of the -– if not “the” richest sources of the amino acid, leucine, on the planet.
For decades, people have been using whey because it works. Only recently have we discovered that part of the reason it works in terms of metabolic healing and athletic performance and overall energy is because it is such a concentrated, rich source of highly biologically available leucine. Anything that has high-quality whey protein in it, that’s very important.
You have to be careful with a lot of these protein bars and protein supplements that may have “whey protein” but it may be an isolate; it may be a hydro isolate. We want to focus on whey protein concentrate. We’ll talk about why in a second because there are some other questions about that.
You also want to make sure that the source of whey protein is pure -– meaning, it doesn’t have a lot of sucralose in it; it doesn’t have a lot of aspartame in it; it doesn’t have a bunch of other nonsense in it -– which is the most common case for any protein powder. Yes, it has whey in it but then it has a bunch of other nonsense in it. We want to make sure we avoid that.
From a wholefood perspective, low-sugar sources of dairy -– the protein found in dairy is often about twenty percent whey and about eighty percent casein. For what it’s worth, the nursery rhyme or whatever –- I don’t know if it’s a nursery rhyme but –- “Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey.” The “whey” referred to there is the whey we’re talking about here.
There are primarily two sources of protein in dairy -– whey and casein. Casein is a little bit slower of a digesting protein. Whey is a little bit faster digesting protein. Those are the two protein sources in dairy. When you eat something like a whey protein concentrate, that is just a physical filtration process where they filter dairy –- milk; often, cow’s milk -– and they filter it such that the big whey molecules get left behind and you’re left with a powder which is whole food components of dairy which is just the concentrated whey.
When you get into things like a whey isolate, these are unnaturally refined. A lot of the helpful co-factors and immunoglobulins and other goodness that make whey good for you go away when we do further processing. As you move away, the whole food would be the, for example, a low-sugar Greek yogurt or a low-sugar or completely added sugar-free cottage cheese. That is a whole food.
The whey concentrate is still kind of a whole food. It’s just saying, “Take the whey out of that” and it’s also going to have less lactose. If you’re lactose-intolerant, a whey concentrate is much less likely to cause you issues because it has a lower level of lactose.
The more processing that takes place, there is a whey protein isolate; which just means it’s usually about ninety percent protein and some of the lactose is taken out but it can become highly acidic; yada-yada-yada. There are whey protein hydro isolates which are extremely expensive and they’re just not needed. Whey protein concentrate is the way to go, what I recommend, and it is what we make available. Our clean, SANE whey protein is one hundred percent pure, non-GMO, cold-pressed whey concentrate. All your SANE Meal Bars or SANE Cravings Killers are not using whey protein isolate; they are using pea protein. But your Meal Bars are a grass-fed whey protein concentrate.
Wholefood is dairy low sugar and close to whole food is going to be a whey protein concentrate. The difference between a whey protein concentrate and a whey protein isolate and a whey protein hydro isolate is the amount of processing that takes place. My strong recommendation is that you stick with a whey protein concentrate; simply because a lot of the benefits of a whey protein concentrate are removed through the processing necessary to which either a whey isolate or a whey hydro isolate. The only context in which a whey isolate or hydro isolate would be the best fit for you is likely if you have a severe lactose intolerance because a whey protein isolate –-
There’s a brand called Isopure, for example, or a hydro isolate has literally all the lactose taken out. It has some other good stuff taken out as well but if you have to choose between no whey and a whey isolate or a hydro isolate, those are going to be some good therapeutic foods for you but the concentrate is the best.
All right. So that is a question from Laura –- “If I am over fifty, is it true that I do not process protein as effectively as I did when I was younger? Can I still up my muscle building consuming SANE protein?” Excellent question, Laura. I have actually not seen any research that says that because you’re over fifty, you do not process protein as effectively as you did when you were younger. So I can neither confirm nor deny that.
Although I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty, that your second question, “Can I still up my muscle development through consuming SANE protein?” Absolutely. In fact, the older you get, the more important it is for us to eat a SANE quality and quantity of protein. Not only because it’s highly satiating but because it is –-
Specifically during pregnancy/after pregnancy, as we approach andropause, which is the male version of menopause, and menopause, which is the most talked about pause word out there. These are going to trigger hormonal changes which, unless we take a SANE quality and quantity of protein in, which again, the lower end of that would be 320-325 servings of protein per day. I would strongly recommend not falling below that. Those are going to be evenly spaced out throughout the day. The higher end of that spectrum is going to be –- and this is dependent on your age, your activity level, your size.
A seventy-five-year-old female who is sedentary and weighs a hundred and forty pounds is going to be on the lower end of the spectrum versus a twenty-two-year-old male who is a 6’5” football player is probably going to be consuming more like six servings of thirty to fifty grams of protein per day, which sounds like a lot. That individual will probably be eating about four thousand calories per day so the percent of their calories from protein will still be under thirty percent.
I would not recommend going above thirty or thirty-five percent of your calories from protein. That would be too much long term and of course, we do want to make sure that we’re eating our non-starchy vegetables. That is extremely important because every aspect -– wholefood fats, low-fructose fruits, non-starchy vegetables -– these are highly alkalizing foods. Protein is an acidic food. It is critical.
Part of the reason that sometimes you may hear magazines or popular media advise against “high-protein diets”. What we’re talking about here is not a high-protein diet; it is a natural and balanced amount of protein from healthy sources. The concern that these popular media outlets have is, if you are just taking the standard American diet, which we all know is nonsense and terrible for us, and you just stuff it with a bunch of protein, that’s going to be a very high acid load on your body.
If you’re taking in double-digit servings of vegetables and you’re eating so many vegetables and low-fructose fruits and wholefood fats and nutrient-dense protein that you’re too full for starches and sweets, which are highly, highly acidic, you will have a vastly net alkaline balance in your body because those alkalizing vegetables and the absence of the acidifying starches and sweets will more than cancel out -– way more than cancel out -– the acid load from your protein.
The older you are, the more important it is to eat a SANE quality and quantity of protein because there’s really no other incentive for your body to continue to heal and synthesize new tissue. When you’re ten years old, there is an incentive for your body to grow and develop. When we’re sixty-five, there is not an incentive biologically. As you may or may not know, our genes are programmed usually, without intervention, that between forty and fifty is kind of when our genes say, “I’m good.” As we get above fifty, we need to –-
If you’ve heard of the term “epigenetics”, that means we need to influence the way our genes express themselves. One of the ways that we can influence the way their genes express themselves and turn on anabolism, which is growth, versus catabolism -– it sounds a lot like cannibalism –- which is, again, it’s the decline. Muscle catabolism means the muscle is actually breaking down. That’s what happens when we starve ourselves so we need to intervene, especially in our fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth decades. Very, very, very important.
Let’s see if we’ve got any follow-up questions. Gina –- “Is the whey protein casein-free?” Yes. Gina, I don’t know if it’s a hundred percent casein-free. I can tell you the ingredient –- one ingredient. No sweeteners; no nonsense; no toxic additives; no nothing. It is one hundred percent pure, non-GMO, grass-fed whey protein concentrate; maybe trace amounts of casein. I’d love for you to ask a follow-up question around casein about why you may want to -– maybe you’re worried about casein. If you are, ask a question because I’d love to answer it because you may not need to be concerned.
Stephanie asks, “What happens when you have a high acid load from your protein without an alkalizing balance?” Great question, Stephanie. This happens often times with people in the fitness community. People in the fitness community –- bodybuilders, athletes –- who are eating a lot of whey protein isolate is very popular in those communities. Vegetables are not popular because these individuals are trying to take in a massive amount of calories to build literally big muscles and for athletic performance. Vegetables are so filling that it’s very difficult if you’re trying to –-
Put it this way. Michael Phelps, in his effort to eat ten thousand calories per day, he’s not eating double-digit servings of vegetables because if he was, he would not be able to eat that many calories because vegetables are so satisfying and filling. Many things happen. Your bone mass can deteriorate; you can develop kidney problems; a high amount of what’s called uric acid will develop in your body. It’s mostly going to be a negative impact on your bone and a negative impact on your kidneys but it’s not -– I mean, eat your vegetables. It’s critically important for a lot of reasons.
Eating protein without alkalizing through vegetables can cause problems with your bones. However, eating protein also triggers what’s called IGF1, or Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, which strengthens your bones. So here’s another reason to eat a SANE amount of protein. Not only does it help you build lean muscle tissue but it also helps to strengthen your bones. So there you go, there’s another good reason to eat it but, yes, those are some of the bad things that can happen if you don’t.
Protein -– let me know if anyone else has questions about protein because I love talking about protein. It’s so powerful and it’s so under-appreciated. Literally, those are the two biggest things about a SANE lifestyle. The first is, non-starchy vegetables. The second is nutrient-dense protein. If you nail those two things, it is literally impossible for SANE eating not to change your life long-term and we’re here for the long term. It is literally impossible.
What I’m about to say is going to sound weird but listen all the way to the end. If all you ate was 500 calories per day -– crazy calorie-restricted diet which is super unhealthy. If all you ate were 500 calories per day, it would be impossible for you not to lose weight. Impossible.
It would be thermodynamically impossible for you not to lose weight if all you ate was 500 calories. However, you should never do that because it will destroy your metabolism. You won’t be able to think; you won’t be able to function; it’ll predispose you to gaining weight long term; you’ll have nutrient deficiencies. I mean, 500 calories per day -– that’s starving to death.
It is a fact. It is impossible to not lose weight temporarily if you do that. That’s just -– it’s not possible to not lose weight if you eat that few of calories. Don’t do it. It will make you sick and sad long term similarly and healthfully and you can’t do it long term. No human being can survive on 500 calories per day so it’s just an illustrative point.
Now, the same kind of logic can apply but in reverse, in a healthy way, to eating a SANE amount of nutrient-dense protein and non-starchy vegetables. If you eat double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables and if you eat a SANE quantity and quality of protein consistently, one, it is physically impossible to eat a bunch of other nonsense. Protein is so satisfying and vegetables are so satisfying and it takes up so much space in your stomach that it is literally impossible to eat nonsense if you eat that many non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein. You can’t overeat.
Just eating more of those foods will prevent you from overeating and they’ll prevent you from having a bunch of cravings because you will be so full. Plus, since you’re full and you’re eating a lot of food, you can enjoy it long term. So if you get those two things right and all the alkalizing benefits, all the muscle protein synthesis, and you’re strengthening your bones, you’re satisfied. If you get those two things right consistently, it’s like everything else falls into place. They’re the two macro pillars of a SANE lifestyle and they’re hugely, hugely important.
Everyone wants to go on the Internet. It’s talking about eating fats. Eating fats for the vast majority of your calories is absolutely the right thing to do. We need to switch from becoming sugar-burners to becoming fat-burners. The majority of our calories are going to come from wholefood fats but vegetables definitely don’t get the attention they deserve and protein also does not get the attention it deserves. It is so important along with vegetables so please, please, please -– those are two of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal. Please use them to your advantage to have the greatest wellness victory of your life.
Deborah asks –- “Any way to alkalize protein other than veggies?” Yes. However, don’t. I mean, there is no reason — you are doing yourself a disservice if you are not maximizing your veggie intake. For example, low-fructose fruits are alkalizing but nowhere close to the level that vegetables are. There are alkalizing wholefood fats but, calorie for calorie, non-starchy vegetables are literally 10x.
I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that. They’re literally 10x other sources. Alkalizing lemons, for example, are highly alkalizing so lemons are not a non-starchy vegetable. They’re another good choice. Things like apple cider vinegar is also very alkalizing. Green tea –- also very alkalizing. Non-starchy vegetables are really the backbone of our alkalizing arsenal to use alliteration extensively.
Sabi -– “JB, I thought you said the study you read said you need thirty grams of protein at each meal.” Sabi, great, great question. Thirty grams is an estimate. The reason I use thirty grams almost every time I talk is because there are different qualities of protein. For example, we talked about whey having a very biologically-available -– it’s a very biologically-available form of protein. Meaning that, if you eat twenty grams of whey protein, your body will use and be able to leverage twenty grams of protein. Within that twenty grams of protein, a lot of it is leucine.
For example, if you’re eating whey, you might not need to take in thirty grams. Now, you’ll notice –- you’ll notice –- we want to be safe rather than sorry. You might, for example, take a look at your SANE Meal Bar and you might say, “What’s going on here? This thing only have twenty grams of protein –- ONLY twenty grams of protein -– and only eighteen grams of fiber from prebiotic sources -– which is awesome. You’ll also notice there’s a proprietary SANE blend in there which actually contains leucine. We actually add leucine just to make sure you’ve got enough there.
The reason I generally say thirty grams of protein is, for a lot of people, they’re going to get their protein from sources which -– I mean, whey is just one source of protein. Technically, it should not be the predominant source of protein in our diet. The predominant source of protein in our diet ideally is seafood because seafood is rich with a bunch of other vitamins and minerals. If you don’t want to get overly focused on just eat leucine -– no, no, no. leucine is extremely important but it’s extremely important within the tapestry of wholefoods.
So if you’re eating, for example, some fish and you’re eating some vegetables and the total amount of protein in that meal is thirty grams with some of that protein coming from your vegetables; some of that protein coming from your fish –- shooting for thirty grams is a safe -– if you eat thirty grams of protein from SANE sources, you’re going to trigger muscle protein synthesis. It’ll happen.
It might still happen if you eat lower doses, especially if you are a smaller person, but thirty grams is a safe bet. So that’s thirty grams or, in the case of a SANE Meal Bar, you’ve got twenty grams from a highly pure source that’s high in leucine, such as whey, plus we add leucine. So thirty grams is to be safe.
I want to make sure you’re taken care of because this is really important. Eating fifteen grams of protein at 9 am and then another fifteen grams at noon does not trigger muscle protein synthesis. It doesn’t because your body doesn’t have that dose it needs. Food is medicine. Exercise is medicine. As you know, if you’ve ever been prescribed medication, the dose matters. The dose here matters.
If you’re eating thirty grams, that’s a safe bet. If you’re very small and you’re eating from very pure sources, twenty might get the job done. I say thirty just for a safe bet. If you’re a large person, if you’re a member of the NBA Champion, Cleveland Cavaliers –- I’m from Columbus, Ohio so, yay, Ohio –- then you might need a larger dose since you have a larger body to handle the protein.
Deborah asks, “Is egg white protein powder an adequate source of protein for my smoothies?” Absolutely. Egg whites are historically more the gold standard for protein purity so egg white protein is a beautiful source of protein.
One of the reasons I really like egg white protein is you can get powdered egg whites –- and this might be what you’re talking about, Deborah -– that are not bodybuilder crazy “Put a bunch of sugar in this”. It’s more as an ingredient. I think like Honeywell, for example, a food supplier –- they sell powdered egg whites. That is a fantastic source of protein. It doesn’t have any flavoring in it. It doesn’t have any nonsense in it. It’s just a great way to put protein in your smoothies. Again, that’s a fabulous source.
Let’s be clear here. There is no best form of protein. There are, “This protein is highest in leucine.” There is the best form of protein to eat before or after your workout, which would be whey. Whey is a very fast metabolizing protein. So, for example, Deborah, your question is excellent because if you wanted a slower release of protein, which is kind of generally what we would want. We want it to be slower, less aggressive –- that’s the A in SANE.
If you’re just going to have something for breakfast, for example, whey is a fine option but egg whites might be a better option, depending on your goal, simply because they’re going to digest slower. Again, the goal is not here to be perfect; like, “Oh my gosh, I’m doing protein all wrong. I’ve got to do -–“ No, no, no, no. Please don’t. Please don’t hear that.
The takeaway here is that protein is extremely important. Getting protein from pure sources is important. Whey protein is a therapeutic food so if you’re going to do that, it’s a good idea. Make sure you get a form of concentrate that doesn’t have a lot of other nonsense in it. Egg whites are brilliant. Fish -– any sort of seafood is phenomenal.
Of course, grass-fed or humanely-raised meats. If you can’t go grass-fed, then you do need to go lean cuts of meat because the toxins and the hormones in, for example, conventional beef, are stored in the fat so we would want to have leaner cuts to avoid some of those toxins. Hopefully, that is helpful.
All right. If more questions about protein come in, I will definitely answer them. Please make sure you ask questions so I see them. I do want to move on to some of the other questions that were written in here so we could get some of those taken care of. Some of these will be real quick.
The next question is -– “Exercise on vibration plates -– pros or cons?” I would strongly recommend you do not exercise on vibration plates. Here’s why. Vibration plates –- having a strong core is fine; vibration plates may have some benefit. For me, for metabolic healing, for what we’re here to do, the number one goal of exercise is safety first.
If you get hurt, if you fall off the vibration plate and you twist your ankle or you sprain your back, that in and of itself has done more damage than the vibration plate will do good forever. Safety is priority number one.
Number two, as you know from stepping through your Ignite Program –- if you have not gone through your step-by-step program, please, please do so. That is the backbone of your Ignite Program. There is so much valuable goodness there.
I think around Course 201 is when you’re going to start getting into some of the exercise stuff. The real benefit of exercise is hormonal release and hormonal healing. That hormonal release and that hormonal healing comes most when we exercise with the most force possible.
If we’re exercising eccentrically or with the most force possible, to try to do that on a vibration plate is not a good idea because the vibration plate is going to distract you from simply doing the movement as safely and forcefully as possible.
Let me give you a concrete example. If you want to do bodyweight squats, for example -– just squatting down. Like, you’re going to sit on a chair, sit on the toilet, sit anywhere. That’s a squat. If you wanted to add weight and squat down, if your goal was to squat down as slow as possible with as much resistance as possible, that’s your focus — anything that would distract you from doing that would be doing more harm than good because now –-
For example, if someone tells you to stand on a vibration plate or to stand on one leg while squatting down, you’ve got to focus on balance plus keeping your squat form proper plus lowering slowly plus handling the most resistance possible. It’s a little bit –-
Think about it this way. Salmon -– delicious. Cocoa powder –- delicious. Salmon plus cocoa powder -– probably not super delicious. I probably could’ve thought of a better example. Salmon is delicious. Cocoa powder is delicious. Doing them together –- not so delicious. Balance, core stability –- that’s great. Balance and core stability while you’re trying to lift weights and lower weights –- not a good idea. We’re taking two good things that have two very different goals and we’re mixing them together and then we don’t do either well.
If you want to do core work, that’s fine. If you want to stand on a vibration plate, that’s fine. My strong recommendation is that the one or two thousand dollars you’d spend on a vibration plate could be much better served buying high quality food in your kitchen and then focusing on simple eccentric exercises to maximize hormonal healing through exercise. Hopefully, that does the trick for you.
Joanne asks here, “If the meat is grass-fed, does it matter what cut you eat?” Joanne, it’s very difficult to find low-quality grass-fed -– it’s the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished. Grass-finished is not the same as grass-fed. If it’s purely grass-fed, it’s going to be lean. When mammals eat a lot of vegetables, they don’t become over-fat. It’s literally impossible. Some people don’t like the taste of grass-fed meat because it is lean. The reason it’s lean is because the cows are eating non-starchy vegetables; grass. Conventional beef is fed corn or starch which makes it very fatty, very marbly.
Yes, if you’re eating grass-fed beef, the general rule of thumb is it doesn’t matter what cut you eat because the fat also in -– first of all, fattier cuts of grass-fed beef –- not grass-finished beef; grass-fed beef –- are still lean, relative to other forms of beef. The fat is of a different quality. It’s going to be high in CLA conjugated linoleic acid, which is great for fat loss. It’s going to be higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Yes, grass-fed beef -– good stuff.
Stephanie asks, “Sorry if this is in the program lessons. Do organ meats have SANE protein?” Stephanie, yes. They are an optimal source -– optimal source -– of protein. Organ meats are like vitamin pills. Organ meats are optimal. The best meat in the world are organ meats from a SANE perspective. The best seafood in the world, from a SANE perspective, are mollusks.
Mollusks -– they’re also the funnest SANE source of protein to say -– mollusks. Those are clams, oysters -– things like that. Heroes in a half shell –- turtle power -– for my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans out there. Then the SANEst forms of vegetables are the green leafy vegetables. Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely.
All right. “How is it that the good fats work in your program? Are there things that we can do to increase our overall health while using healthy fats to the positive? What are the wrong ways to use healthy fats? Like, how much is too much? How is fat assimilated and used in the body?” Okay, a bunch of good questions here about fats.
Good fats -– you will notice often I and your SANE coaches and your Ignite Program don’t say “good fats”; we say “wholefood fats”. That is a very important distinction because the fat in the context of a wholefood fat is great.
Wholefood, as a general rule of thumb, is great. But the hot thing that everyone wants to talk about on the Internet and in the media is like “Olive oil” or “coconut oil”. From an oil perspective, olive oil is a good oil; coconut oil is a good oil. You know what’s even better for you –- coconuts and olives because they are wholefoods, because they are more satisfying; they are more nutritious and they’re less efficient; they contain fiber; they contain other essential nutrients. Coconuts have prebiotics in there. Olives have a bunch of other good nutrients in them.
I’d rather us move away from thinking in terms -– and I’d advise you -– you’ll be healthier if you think less in terms of the common parlance of healthy fat versus unhealthy fat and simply think of the wholefood fat versus non-wholefood fat. Within wholefood fats, yes, your results, especially if you have struggled with your weight in the past, if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, if you’ve yo-yo dieted more than twice and the older you are and the less active you are, the more you should be getting your calories from wholefood fats instead of sugar and starch.
For example, a sixty-five-year-old woman who’s yo-yo dieted ten times and is fifty pounds overweight would be much better off eating fewer low-fructose fruits and more wholefood fats because really helping her body to become used to burning fat as a fuel source is going to be very helpful for her. That doesn’t mean low-fructose fruits are bad. It just means, for that individual in that context, we really want to retrain the body to use fat as its preferred fuel source because, after all, what do we want the body to do in that context.
We want the body to burn fat -– the fat that’s already stored on the body. So if you want to train your body to be better at burning fat, making the primary fuel source fat is a good idea. The optimal sources of wholefood fats are things like eggs, macadamia nuts, olives, coconut, cocoa, chia seeds, flax seeds. There are others but the reason that I mention those things specifically –-
First of all, eggs are super nutrient-dense. They also have a good amount of protein in them. The protein found in them is super pure so eggs are like the go-to. They are a wholefood. They are wonderful. When you think about it, an egg is a whole being before it fully comes into being so everything that’s needed to create a life is in that little white orb. I mean, talk about -– that’s a whole life right there so lots of good stuff is in there.
Then you have things like macadamia nuts which are extremely high in monounsaturated fats, which are therapeutic fats. These are the same fats that have given olive oil such a good reputation. Mono unsaturated fats are the Mediterranean diet’s claim to fame. Macadamia nuts are extremely high in mono unsaturated fats.
Any time we eat nuts, remember we want to eat them raw and we don’t want them to be honey-coated and all that stuff. We want to eat raw macadamia nuts. The least expensive way to find nuts ever –- for me, at least, that I’ve found –- is to go to Amazon.com and buy them in five-pound bags. There are companies -– I think it’s –- what is it? There are links to this in the SANE Store but it’s like “We’re Nuts” or “Go Nuts” or something like that and you can get bulk raw nuts on Amazon.com for a third of the price that you would pay at your grocery store and they’re raw, which is really important.
A quick tip for the nuts -– store them in your freezer. Store them in your freezer or your refrigerator; ideally, your freezer though because the nuts will oxidize and the fat will deteriorate in quality so keep them in your freezer or your refrigerator. You can eat them cold if you want. I keep all of my nuts in the freezer and it keeps them fresh and delicious. You might need to get used to eating cold nuts but, hey, we can get used to lots of stuff. Nuts are delicious.
Then there are coconuts. Coconut is a great source of short chain fats and prebiotic fiber. Coconut is an optimal source of fat. It also has medium chain triglycerides in it, which are a therapeutic form of fat. It helps to speed up your metabolism; it helps to heal your gut. Coconut, coconut flour, shredded coconut -– just make sure it’s unsweetened. Oh my gosh. Coconut -– boom. The more coconut, the better.
Cocoa, cocoa powder -– unDutched cocoa powder -– optimal wholefood source of fats. Fatty fish -– brilliant. Things like flax and chia are extremely, extremely high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are another therapeutic fat so that’s why those are so highly recommended. It’s less about healthy fats and unhealthy fats and more about wholefood fats and then optimizing the sources of those wholefood sources of fat. Hopefully, that is helpful.
And they’re delicious and they’re the primary ingredients in most of your SANE desserts so that’s also fun. A lot of people find that if you’ve eaten your vegetables and your nutrient-dense protein in the meal itself, the dessert is the wholefood fat, if that makes sense.
All right. The next question has to do with “What’s the difference between whey protein isolate and whey protein?” We already answered that one.
Next question has to do with -– sorry, it says, “Why do you think there are –-?“ Apparently, there are bloggers who have criticized me -– no surprise there; anyone who says anything generally gets criticized on the Internet. I don’t know –- I can just tell you this. One of the reasons that –-
I don’t know how much on the call everyone knows about how this all came to be. I won’t tell you the whole long story; it’s on the website, if you just go to SANE Story. I spent a long period of my life -– just because I’m a geeky guy; that’s what I do. I was an engineer at Microsoft for a decade; worked on the Nike+ Connect training and Xbox Fitness; and I was a trainer before that.
I just love fitness and nutrition. I was raised by two college professor parents so I love reading primary academic research. I also had the ability to do that. I ended up collaborating with top doctors and researchers in Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, The Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Stanford, blah-blah-blah-blah.
I never intended to write a book and I never intended for this all to happen. It was just something I did. Then, a while back, people said, “Jonathan, you should start writing this stuff down.” I did. I ended up just self-publishing a book called the Smarter Science of Slim — I think this was back in 2012 -– and the bibliography for that book was eighty-eight pages long with 8-point font so there was over 1,100 references in that book. These aren’t referencing other popular books; these are referencing scholarly articles, which I feel very blessed and fortunate to have access to because most of them, unless you have college professor parents, you can’t get access to them because they’re in academic libraries which are not publicly available. Also, the King County library system, where I live -– the Gates Foundation has provided huge funding so it’s also just a wonderful resource as well as the University of Washington.
Anyway, so when that book came out, it came out with the –- for example, Dr. JoAnn Manson, who is the Chief -– she is the Chief at the Brigham Women’s Hospital at the Harvard Medical School -– so she’s like, “I’m the boss at the premier women’s hospital in the world at the premier research institution in the world.” Then, for example, like Dr. John J. Ratey over at the Harvard Medical School, who’s pioneer in terms of exercise really in the peer-reviewed research; other individuals, for example, Dr. Theodoros Kelesidis over at UCLA, Harvard –- blah-blah-blah-blah.
Point is, is that when this book came out, it wasn’t like, “Hey, there’s this guy, Jonathan Bailor, and he has these theories”; it was, “Here is science.” The book has a Forward from the Mac Daddy of the real research world and it’s like, “Who is this guy? He’s an engineer at Microsoft and he’s writing a book.” So it’s not my random musing and theories. It’s just me being a mouthpiece for science and I said, “Oh my goodness, this needs to get out there. It’s so important.”
That’s why it actually worked because I went to these researchers and I was like, “Holy moly, I read your studies” — and you can imagine these researchers -– it’s not like if you try to reach out to Oprah -– everyone tries to reach out to Oprah so she’s like, “Agh, don’t talk to me.” But if you look at peer-reviewed research, the contact information for the researchers is right there. You can just reach out to them because nobody ever reaches out to them.
If you reach out to them and you’re like, “I read your papers. It’s phenomenal. I had some questions. Would you mind talking to me?” Develop phenomenal relationships with these individuals. So I’ve been told that a lot of people, for example, the Mayo Clinic hands out “The Calorie Myth” book, which was the follow-up book -– things like that. People at the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, so on and so forth, handing out the book to their patients. Maybe some people –-
Or if the research disagreed with what they wrote about on their blog, maybe the natural human reaction is to be like, “Ah, I need to come out against this hard.” I don’t know. I’m a people pleaser and I have a bad tendency of “everything should be perfect right now” so that’s why you’ll notice throughout the program, I’m like, “Please don’t do that because I know how crazy making it is.” I honestly cannot read those things because they will –- like, I started –-
At one point, I was reading them and it made me so sad so I don’t read them but what I’ve been told is that there’s an old saying which is, like, “Weak point, yell loud”; so if what they’re saying is true and self-evident, they kind of come at it with peace. When someone is really bombastic, sometimes it’s because they’re trying to cover up something. I don’t know but what I can tell you is that, if what you’re saying is crazy, no one will even acknowledge. They’ll just be like, “This is crazy.” If what you come out with is like, “Whoa, that’s a really good point and there’s research to back it up,” we need to panic and do something. I don’t know; maybe that’s why. I don’t know.
At the end of the day, what are we talking about here? We’re talking about eating more vegetables, the most nutrient-dense sources of protein on the planet, and wholefood fats so that we’re too full for starches and sweets. I don’t know about you but it seems like that is good. Even folks, for example, like T. Colin Campbell, who wrote the China study, who was one of the founders or creators of the documentary, “Forks Over Knives” –- very different views on nutrition than myself and a lot of other people.
He’s been on our podcast two or three times. We’ve had a great conversation. He was very kind. We agreed that the standard American diet is garbage and that food manufacturers are producing garbage. What he thinks you should eat more of and what I think you should eat more of and what the research shows you should eat more of. We all agree non-starchy vegetables are the way to go. By and large, we all agree on that. We all agree on low-fructose fruits. We all agree on wholefood fats. There’s some disagreement on meat but –-
I mean, like, a great example of this is Joel Fuhrman. Joel Fuhrman is the man. Joel Fuhrman is excellent. I love Joel Fuhrman. Joel Fuhrman -– there are some things obviously that he and I don’t agree on. Frankly, what I think doesn’t matter. What the research says is what matters. Joel does a really good job -– Joel’s not super popular on anyone’s blog because Joel doesn’t just say, “Be a vegan” or “Eat fat all the time.” Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s view is much more in the middle and it’s much more like, “Well, there are high-quality sources of protein and there’s low-quality sources of protein. Vegetables are really good for you.”
Vegans get mad at him because he’s not a vegan and then Paleo people think he’s crazy because he’s not Paleo enough. I mean, put it this way. SANE is SANE. It’s not super sexy. We try to make it a little bit more sexy but -– like, Paleo is really sexy and low carb is really sexy and veganism is really sexy and Oprah gets on television and she’s like, “Look, you can eat bread as long as you don’t eat anything else.” That’s really, really sexy but those people usually have really strong opinions so it’s like, “It’s low carb or nothing”; “It’s Paleo or nothing”; “It’s veganism or nothing.”
I think those people represent about one percent of the population. Especially if you look at most people, most people’s perception of nutrition -– our goal here in the SANE family –- and I hope you share this goal with us –- is, it’s not about being right; it’s not about arguing on the Internet; it’s not about convincing people that the SANE way of eating is the best way of eating; it’s about saving people’s lives.
If anyone has any research anywhere that shows that eating more vegetables, more nutrient-dense protein, and more wholefood fats so that you’re too full for processed starches and sweets and trans-fats will do more harm than good, that research will never exist. I feel very comfortable and I feel very proud to be part of a community that has the SANE approach and my apologies for not having a specific answer. I think that pursuing the positive rather than attacking the negative is the way to go so I don’t spend a lot of time on the negative, if that helps. Anyway, if there are follow-up questions, please let me know but that’s my long answer.
There’s a question here. Oh my goodness, this is a long question that has to do about a specific study. Holy moly. So the role of insulin -– this is a question about a specific study so I don’t know if I can answer this here because it’s very long.
Insulin is a hormone which is required by your body to store energy. If you produce too much insulin, that’s bad; you will get diabetes. If you don’t produce enough insulin, that’s bad too. In fact, type 1 diabetes is the complete absence of insulin. Without insulin, you will die. So insulin is neither good nor bad; just like estrogen is neither good nor bad; just like progesterone is neither good nor bad; just like noradrenaline is neither good nor bad.
Hormones aren’t good or bad. There are only good or bad amounts of those hormones. The key is not to say, “Insulin is evil.” That’s not true. Type 1 diabetics never have to worry about producing too much insulin but, unfortunately, they will die if they don’t take insulin injections because you need insulin. We don’t want to produce too much insulin.
We don’t want to produce too much of anything. If we eat a SANE lifestyle, we’ll keep our hormones in balance. Let me know if there’s a more specific question that is a little bit less specific than this specific study because I try not to prep for these calls because I want this to be unrehearsed — unfettered pure SANEity –- so let me know if I can help more with that.
Gina -– “What about butter on all those vegetables?” Gina, great suggestion. I think anything you can do with the exception of frying to make vegetables a delicious enjoyable part of your lifestyle, that’s the way to go. For example, people always ask me –-
You know what? Congratulations to Dave Asprey because he’s taken over the world. He’s a good dude and I know him personally and he lives close to me and the headquarters of his company is right around the corner from us. He’s got this butter in the coffee thing and I would much rather you put butter on your vegetables than in your coffee because anything you can do to eat more vegetables is good. If it’s bacon drippings, if it’s olive oil, if it’s butter –- anything you can do to make yourself enjoy vegetables and eat more of them, that is a brilliant use of butter. Absolutely.
Faye asks -– What’s up, Faye? How’re you doing? I don’t know if I said hi to you already. Faye asks, “Do you know a product called Isopure? This is what I use for protein. One bottle has forty grams of whey protein. I usually get two servings per bottle.” Isopure is whey protein isolate. It is a good form of whey protein isolate. It has, I believe, a bunch of nonsense flavorings in it — that’s why it comes ready to drink so I would -– I think; I don’t know –- I think it probably has artificial sweeteners in it.
If it has artificial sweeteners in it -– like, the protein in it is fine; it’s an isolate. I would recommend a concentrate. I would definitely not ever recommend taking an artificial sweetener. I would much rather you finish up your Isopure, grab a whey protein concentrate that’s unflavored, and then you flavor it by putting it in smoothies with non-starchy vegetables, low-fructose fruits, and maybe a SANE sweetener like erythritol or xylitol. Cool?
All right, next question’s here. What supplements do I recommend? Ooh, that’s a good one. The short answer is, the stuff we sell on the SANE Store. Hey, how’s about that for transparency? Yes, if I think something is good, SANE either produces the purest version of it imaginable or there are links to where to get stuff we don’t produce, on Amazon on the SANE Store. If you look on the left-hand side –- for example, we don’t produce cod liver oil because it’s not something that we can do. If we can’t do something in a healthier and SANEr way than everything else out there, we won’t do it because why would we? I’m not going to try the -– the iPad is pretty daggone good. I’m not going to spend my time trying to out-iPad the iPad.
There’s a lot of things like whey protein, protein bars that can be done a lot better. I’m not a huge fan of supplements; I’m a huge fan of super foods. There’s a big difference for me. For example, taking an omega-3 pill is a supplement; taking cod liver oil is a super food. Whey protein is a super food. Garden In My Glass, which is a combination of things like acai berry; thin cell wall -– chlorella; spirulina. These are wholefoods that you can’t buy at your grocery store. We just powder them down and put them into something you can add to your smoothies. That’s what I would strongly, strongly recommend.
If your goal is athletic performance, it’s a different question. If your goal is athletic performance, we could talk about all kinds of supplements because athletic performance is not health. You can be a super athlete and super unhealthy. They’re not the same things.
From a health perspective, from a metabolic healing perspective, I would focus on super foods. I think there are things like certain spices –- like, turmeric, curcumin, cinnamon -– you could call them a supplement. You’re going to take them at therapeutic doses so it’s not about sprinkling a little bit of cinnamon; it’s about taking a tablespoon of cinnamon in your smoothies -– things like that. That’s a therapeutic dose for blood sugar. Green tea -– it’s not a supplement but it’s going to do more for your health than any supplement out there. That’s my opinion and that’s -– sorry, I just said, “That’s my opinion.” Bad, Jonathan. I lose ten points. That’s what the research shows.
The research shows that wholefoods are extremely powerful and that when we try to extract active ingredients out of wholefoods, it often times does not work out the way we want it to. Super foods, I think, are the way to go. If the question has to do more with athletic performance, we can talk about that. There are things like Rhodiola and so on and so forth but it’s so easy to spend so much money and time on that stuff whereas I can guarantee you that if that money and time was spent on eating higher quality food and getting more sleep, I, one hundred percent, promise you that going from four hours of sleep to six to seven will do more for your health, athletic performance, and mood than any supplement ever could.
Personally, personally -– and I strongly advise this; if I could strongly advise anything -– until your sleep is optimal, until your eating is optimal, until your exercise is optimal, until your social support -– SANE coaching and support group and then also your in-person relationships -– until that’s optimal, until the way you spend your time -– like, having something that you feel very passionate about that you can spend your time on, until that’s optimal -– until those five or so areas of your life are optimal, any time and money that you can invest on those areas of your life –- bringing them up to optimal -– will do radically more -– radically more -– for your long term health, happiness, and wellbeing than any supplement ever could. I hope that helps.
“What are your thoughts on Kombucha and other fermented food?” My thoughts are SANE. As we’re working on our merch, I want to get a stamp or something like stickers that you could get and you could just go around your grocery store -– we probably shouldn’t use -– we’d get like inSANE stamps that are the orangeish-red, that we use on the site and in the app, and the green, and you could be like, SANE; inSANE. Then, like, if someone in your family is not cooperating, you can just get it on their forehead, inSANE. Then you can do SANE on yourself. [laughs]
Yes, fermented foods are fabulous. Just watch out. Fermented foods are becoming so popular and, unfortunately, this is what happens when things become popular, is that they start to get -– profiteers jump in and you start to get sugar added and a bunch of other nonsense. Just like anything else, just make sure it doesn’t have a bunch of nonsense added to it but fermented foods –- the research is clear — fantastic for your health, fantastic for your health.
Stephanie -– “Will you make a SANE bumper sticker?” Stephanie, we’ll make whatever you want; it just might take some time. If you have suggestions as to what to put on the SANE bumper sticker, like maybe if it’s just SANE -– where’s my hat? I think that might actually be pretty funny. You could put it on the back of your car so it’s just “SANE.”
That’s actually a really good idea. Raina or Laurie -– all the SANE-certified coaches, let’s talk about that in our next meeting. I love that -– SANE bumper stickers. I want to get that on my car. I’m going to wear this for the rest of the call because we only have fourteen minutes left, although it is getting warm in here. I turned off my air conditioner so that you could hear me.
All right. Faye says, “Jonathan, how can I stop slowing my metabolism during Ramadan? I always struggle every year during this time, which is why I haven’t been so active lately. It will be over on July 6th and then I will be jumping onto this program one thousand percent.” Faye is going to be doing it up. I like that. “Until then, what do I do?”
All right. So Faye, I do not know precisely what is and what is not allowed during Ramadan. I do know that there is an Afghan restaurant near my house which has a buffet that starts at 9 pm sundown during Ramadan, which is delicious. Although I personally am not affiliated religiously there, I do kind of celebrate Ramadan because it is a delicious source of an Afghan buffet two blocks away from where I live. Anyway, I digress.
I think -– correct me if I’m wrong -– there’s no eating from sun-up to sun-down. I don’t know if you could do amino acids supplementation. That’s one of the tricks in the fitness industry. When people are dieting down for contests, when you see someone like a man that has four percent body fat in a magazine or a woman who has eleven percent body fat -– these are the individuals where you see veins in their abs -– there’s no way to do that without eating 1,200 calories per day. But you’ll notice they’re ripped up so they’ve got lots of muscles.
The way they do that is, they’re down to about 1,200 calories per day but they’re doing things like leucine supplementation, amino acid supplementation, so they’re keeping their calorie count down but they’re keeping their muscle protein synthesis up. If possible, if you’re a bodybuilder or if it’s Ramadan, and you are okay to take a branch chain amino acid powder, that will help very much.
I don’t know if that’s -– I don’t want to break rules but that would help. I think, other than that, it’s not going to -– for one, I don’t know how long Ramadan is, I’m sorry. Let’s say it’s a month. That month, if you’re eating SANEly after sundown and before sun-up, you’re doing great.
I mean, the key thing you have to keep in mind here is that we have to maximize our SANEity. It’s not about perfect. There is no such thing as perfect. If you celebrate Ramadan or if you’re kosher or if you’re vegan or if you’re lactose-intolerant and can’t eat whey protein, that’s not bad; that’s not wrong. We all have different limitations.
For example, I’m going to be very transparent with you. If I eat certain foods, my digestive system goes a little bit bananas. Put it this way. I only eat those foods when I’m not going to be around a lot of people. That’s just an adjustment I need to make. It’s okay. There’s nothing that’s going to happen in that month.
To be quite honest with you, Faye, if you’re in a state of constant stress during Ramadan, like, “I’m not doing well. I’m not doing what I should be doing.” That stress is going to trigger the release of hormones in your body that are going to do more damage than would happen if you were like, “Hey, I am going to be as SANE as I possibly can be during Ramadan.” Or if you’re a vegan, “I’m going to be the SANEst vegan I can be.” Or if you’re pescatarian, “I’m going to be the SANEst pescatarian I could be.” “I’m going to be SANE kosher.” “I’m going to be SANE halal.” “I’m going to be SANE lacto-ovo-something.” That means no dairy or eggs, I think. Do the best you can.
Do the best you can; give yourself permission to be as SANE as you can when you can be; and if, in the specific case of Ramadan or when you need to fast, if you can do an amino acid supplement that doesn’t have a bunch of other nonsense in it, know it’s going to taste terrible because amino acids don’t taste good and you don’t –-
Here’s a tip. Amino acids are disgusting. That’s why we don’t just like eat bowls of amino acids. But think of it like medicine because if the amino acids taste good – the amino acids don’t taste good. If the supplement has a bunch of sugar and sucralose in it, yes, it tastes good but that’s bad for you. So just use it as medicine. Hopefully, that’s helpful.
Be careful that if you start to go the supplement amino acid route that you don’t fall victim to these marketing gimmicks where it’s like “amino acid supplement” and then you look at it and it’s just sugar with amino acids in it. Just be careful for that. Hopefully, that is helpful.
Faye, nothing means not even water. At this point, you’ve just got to go back to what we said before, which is, do the best you can. There is no trick. If you can’t eat, you can’t eat. That’s really important because where you are for your life, that’s a key requirement of your faith and your happiness. At the end of the day, that’s what matters –- your happiness and your long term viability.
Be as SANE as you can when you can be and celebrate that and love that and know that, for that month, maybe you’re not going to get your double digit servings of veggies but you are going to be eating within the SANE framework -– the vegetables, proteins, and fats; in that order –- when you can.
That gets back to the SANE mindset stuff, which we didn’t cover too much today but we’ve covered a lot in previous sessions and I love talking about it because it’s so important. The focus is just kind of be the SANEst you can be now and focus on progress rather than perfection. I know it’s easier to say that than it is to do it but I promise you, that is the secret. If you say, “What’s the secret, Jonathan?” the secret is, it’s not just SANEity.
I’m the worst at this. Consistent progress -– think about that. If you make consistent progress in every area of your life, you eventually have to achieve great success. I mean, you might not be the greatest piano player in the world but if today, you start playing the piano and you consistently get slightly better every week, in ten years, you will be a phenomenal piano player. You can’t not be.
The key is not perfection today; in fact, the pursuit of perfection today will cause long term failure; it will.
You need an example. Let’s say your goal was to run a marathon. Try to run a marathon perfectly today. From zero to marathon -– fail. You’ll hurt yourself, fail. Right? You will be successful in all things -– and I am going to write this down for myself and it’s going to be an affirmation that I tell myself because I need to work on it too -– to the extent that you can make consistent progress, you will be successful.
The fact that you’re on this call, the fact that you’re committed to being a thousand percent SANE when Ramadan ends is amazing progress; and the fact that you’re maximizing your SANEity now –- and I hope for everyone else who’s listening to this, this isn’t just about Ramadan; this is global. This is about anything that we feel stands in our way. Let’s make the most of that situation and let’s be committed to improving over time.
It’s that improvement over time -– not losing seven pounds in seven days; not going to a meeting and weighing in and being skinnier this week than you were last week -– it’s about being SANEr a year from now than you are today and SANEr a year from then and SANEr a year from then. We’ve all been up and down. We’ve all beaten ourselves up for not being perfect today. The one thing -– the one thing -– this is the secret.
At some point, I am going to write another book. The next one’s going to be about exercise probably. The one after that and the one I want to write right now is about the psychology because I need it as much as anyone else. Everyone wants to talk and go to seminars, magic techniques, and quick-fix this -– consistent progress. Consistency over time and getting better over time -– that’s all we’ve got to do. Please commit to that. Give yourself permission not to be perfect today but to focus on progress and you will be rocking and rolling.
Thank you so much for that question because it is extremely important and I know it’s something that we all struggle with, which is globally, like, “Hey, I travel a lot” or “I have a busy time” or “My work schedule is crazy. I can’t do this perfectly.” No one does it perfectly. There’s no such thing as perfect SANEity. All there is, is a template that you can apply for the rest of your life to enjoy the best of your life. As long as you commit –-
The one commitment I need you to make, is that you’re not telling yourself, “Hey, I’m going to try to eat vegetables and healthy food for twenty days and if I don’t lose fifteen pounds, I’m done.” I promise you, it might not happen as fast as you want but it is a biological fact -– it is a biological fact -– that if you eat more nutrient-dense foods, you eat more vegetables and nutrient-dense protein, wholefood fats -– it is impossible not to improve your emotional life, your physical life, your mental life, your sexual life, your visual appearance, over time and with no side effects and in a way that is maintainable –- with no side effects and in a way that is maintainable enjoyably. That is so critical and it’s so empowering.
The one thing I have to ask you for is consistency and patience because if you think about -– I would imagine previous attempts at changing anything -– patience may have been an issue and consistency may have been an issue, I promise you — now that you have the right information; now that you have the support; now that you have the tools; with consistent progress; with all that correct information; all those tools; six months from today, phenomenal; six months from then, phenomenal; six months from then until forever, phenomenal.
Anyway, I hope that’s helpful. Happy Ramadan. Happy June to everybody. That is going to do it for tonight’s session. We’ve got one minute left but that was a good close so I’ll close on that. Please remember to check your inbox because I will be sending out a link to the recording for this soon.
I will be back next week and your SANE coaches are here for you -– Laurie, Raina, Rebecca, Wednesday -– in the SANE Support Group. Please go over there right now. If nothing else, say, “I loved that call” or “That call was terrible. Jonathan, do a better job.” Just say something. Reach out there. Get a hug – a verbal hug –- in the support group. It is awesome. Your SANE-certified coaches are awesome. You are awesome.
I feel so honored and blessed that you have shared ninety minutes of your time with me tonight and that you’ve entrusted myself and the rest of the SANE family to walk with you long term for this journey. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Have a SANE rest of your week. We’ll chat next week. See you later.
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