The first question comes from Kristin. She asks, how can we incorporate cardio exercise most effectively to target cardiovascular health, burn off stress, and boost endorphins? Additional ideas would be great. I love the stationary bike video, and it is good, but I also need some more variety. Examples: Stair-stepper, gym use, hills. Can I do the arc trainer, high-intensity hills?”
Fantastic question. I’m going to give you a quick disclaimer. If you’re a new member of the family I’m about to throw all sorts of science at you. And it’s okay, remember, you’ve got all this, all these steps. And if you’re on these calls chances are you have lifetime access. You’re here for life in the Ignite family, so we’ve got time. So please don’t let this intimidate you. Hopefully, it will inspire you and maybe you’ll smile along the way. I hope so. But we’re about to jump into some science about exercise.
Kristin says, how can we incorporate cardio exercise most effectively to target cardiovascular health? First and foremost, there are a couple of things, Kristin, that I love about this question. I’m going to take this question and I’m going to turn it into a whole big overview on the Smarter research-based approach to exercise that has been taking place over the past 40 years. I hope that is helpful, and if anything doesn’t make sense, please, please, do post a question, or if you just want me to clarify something.
First and foremost, the very beginning of this question says, “How can we incorporate cardio exercise most effectively?” I want to take a step back and actually define cardio exercise. You may have heard people say, “I’m going to go do cardio,” and you may have heard people say, “I’m going to go lift weights,” or “I’m going to go and do yoga,” or “I’m going to go and play sports.” Those are all very much thought of as different things, and for good reasons, because they are.
Just like the quality of our food is very different. We have high-quality foods, we have low-quality foods. We measure the quality of our food using the SANE criteria: Satiety, Aggression, Nutrition, and Efficiency. A lot more about that in your step-by-step program. The quality of your food, as you know, determines the quality of your health, because it’s the quality of your calories that determines what is going on in your brain, your hormones and your gut. Certainly, eating too many calories can cause a problem if they’re coming from the wrong sources, but if we get the quality of our calories right, one, it’s impossible to overeat them, and two, our body will automatically regulate the quantity of calories we’re eating.
For example, eating the right quality of foods, automatically regulates our blood pressure, automatically regulates our blood sugar. It’s called homeostasis. Every biological organism on the planet does it. If you try to hold your breath your body will automatically take in more oxygen. If you sleep less one night your body will try to make up for it in the future. Your body always tries to maintain balance.
The way we can go in and actually change the way our body works is not about changing the quantity of fuel we put in, or the quantity of fuel we pull out. It’s about changing the quality of fuel we put in. Much like your car, you don’t change the way your car runs by increasing or decreasing the amount of fuel you put in it, but if you change the quality of fuel you put in it – say you put some kerosene in your car’s gas tank, that is certainly going to change the way your car is running.
Why am I talking about quality of food for an exercise question? Quality matters just as much when it comes to the exercise part of the puzzle. The way we evaluate the quality of the exercise is a bit different than the way we do with food because exercise is quite a bit different from food, but there are two big factors we have to look at when we’re looking at exercise to determine the quality of it. One is intensity. When we talk about intensity in the context of exercise what we mean is the amount of force and the amount of effort your muscles are being required to generate, and the amount of muscle that is being recruited.
For example, if you take your finger, and you go like this, you are exercising, in the broadest sense of the word. There are muscles in your finger that are causing this to happen, and you are moving your muscles. But your finger does not have very large muscles in it and the act of doing this, or moving air, does not require those small muscles to generate much force at all.
But contrast that, maybe, if you’ve ever ridden a bicycle up a hill and you notice that your big leg muscles have to push down with a lot of force on those pedals, now you’re talking about instead of having little muscles performing a little bit of resistance, you have your big leg muscles pushing down with a lot of resistance on the pedals of that bicycle. So intensity has a lot to do with the amount of muscle fiber that is being recruited to actually perform the activity.
That is a positive form of stress that we put on our muscles that helps our muscles to get stronger, but there is a negative form of stress that can also go on our muscles and onto our joints and onto our bones, and that is when you hear people talk about high-impact exercise. For example, if you were to jog on pavement, you can imagine that your leg hitting concrete over and over and over again is going to be treated by your body much differently than if your leg was pedaling on a bicycle, because it’s not slamming against concrete over and over and over again. When we’re thinking about exercise, we want to think about intensity and we want to think about impact, the two I’s of exercise.
Let’s circle all the way back to cardio. You’ll notice I’ll do this. It will seem like I’m going off on a tangent, but I will try to bring it back, and if I don’t, please post a question and I will try to bring it back. When we talk about cardio, most of the time what people are referring to is exercise that is done with very low intensity. Even though it might seem like it is high-intensity – “This is hard, I’m sweating” – it is very low-intensity in actuality because when we say cardio we’re usually referring to doing exercise for 30, 40, 50, 60 minutes. People go to the gym and there is a cardio theater where there are movies playing because it’s so boring to get on a treadmill for an hour that you have to have all these distractions going on. You watch a movie while you exercise.
Oftentimes, when people talk about cardio, in some ways it could be considered a euphemism for low-intensity, long-duration exercise. We get into the science way more in your step-by-step program, but by definition, if you can do something for a very long period of time, while it might seem intense, it’s not that intense, because anything that we can do for 60 minutes, or even 30 minutes, even 20 minutes, can’t be that intense.
For example, think about sprinting. If a tiger jumped out of the bushes and you had to sprint away, no matter how scared you were, you could only sprint as hard as could for maybe a couple of minutes at most, because that is a very high-intensity exercise, it is going to activate all of your muscle fibers, and you are going to run out of energy within those muscle fibers, so it’s going to force you to stop. Cardio exercise, often, by definition, is exercise that is not very intense, and unfortunately, can be exercise that has a lot of negative impact on your bones and joints. The most common form of cardio exercise is jogging, and jogging is, again, low intensity for a long duration, but it’s going to put a lot of impact on your joints.
Of course, the question then comes up, what about cardiovascular health? This is what Kristin is asking about. That’s why it’s a great question. “Jonathan, you just kind of made it sound like cardio is a bad idea. What do we do for cardiovascular health? What do we do to burn off stress, and what do we do to boost our endorphins if we can’t do that cardio exercise?”
I just want to pause here real quick. If you’re in a place where doing cardio is totally out of the question for you, I promise this is still going to be helpful for you when you understand the underlying science, so please stick with me here for a second. I know doing long bouts of cardio may not be applicable for a lot of us, but I promise the underlying science you are about to learn will be helpful no matter where you are on your journey to optimal wellness.
The question is, more generally, if we don’t want to be doing cardio because it’s not the Smartest form of exercise, how do we boost our cardiovascular health? Taking a step back, the term cardio didn’t actually come into the mainstream until the late 1960s. There was a gentleman by the name of Dr. Kenneth Cooper who introduced the idea of cardio. He noticed that when you do things like jogging it caused your heart to pump more blood, and your heart is a muscle, so it could strengthen the muscle that is your heart. When we talk about cardiovascular health we generally talk about the ability of your heart muscle, your blood, and your respiratory system to really fuel your body and use energy efficiently.
But one of the things that we’ve discovered recently, in the past 20 years, but it’s only making it into the mainstream just now, is that this idea of needing to do low-intensity, but high-duration, exercise to improve cardiovascular health can improve cardiovascular health, but we can improve cardiovascular health even more by doing shorter bursts of higher-intensity exercise, and that higher intensity does not have to mean higher impact. In fact, if you have a chance to go through your step-by-step program you are going to see a whole lot of clinical science that actually proves this.
When we look at things like objective measures, such as what is called a VO2 max, you can actually increase these objective measures of cardiovascular health in proportion to the intensity of your exercise, not in proportion to the quantity or duration of your exercise. The amount of cardiovascular health that you derive from exercise is more a function of the quality, or intensity of your exercise, than the quantity. It’s similar to eating, where our focus needs to be on the quality of what we’re doing, not necessarily the quantity.
To answer the question of what do we do to get that cardiovascular health benefit, do we need to do traditional cardio? We don’t. We absolutely do not. We can get even more cardiovascular benefit by doing these Smarter-type higher intensity, but minimal impact exercises that we talk about and show in your step-by-step program. It’s great if we’re burning off all this fat, but if we’re not taking care of our cardiovascular health are we doing ourselves a disservice? The good news is, no, we’re actually going to be helping our cardiovascular health in the most effective way possible.
The second question is, what about stress? It is totally reasonable to come back and say, “Jonathan, I get it that from a scientific perspective, just like with eating, exercise is all about increasing the quality, rather than worrying about quantity. But jogging, or just spending 20 minutes on the elliptical, man, that helps me to just burn off stress. Are you telling me not to do this? Are you telling me not to burn off stress?” I’m absolutely not telling you not to burn off stress.
A couple of suggestions. First and foremost, if you haven’t yet tried Smarter interval trainings where, for example, you get on a stationary bike, the type that looks like a regular bike, not the type that looks like a recliner, and you get warmed up, and then you increase the resistance as high as you can, as if you’re pedaling up a hill, so that you have to stand up on the bike, and you’re pushing down hard. You’re not moving quickly, but you’re moving those pedals, you’re pushing on those pedals are hard as you can. You’ll notice that in about 30 seconds you’re completely out of breath and you have to take a break for two minutes. And you do that again.
When you finish that, that only takes about five minutes, I promise you, your stress levels are going to be burnt off. The stress-clearing effects of higher-intensity, but low-impact exercise are equal to, if not greater than – definitely greater than from a per-minute perspective. So with five minutes of Smarter, high-intensity, but low-impact exercise, you can definitely get more stress reduction benefits than you could from just five minutes of jogging.
Linda posts an excellent question here which says, “I have Parkinson’s and exercise as much as I can, mostly in the pool since my balance is not good some days.” Linda is bringing up the point that some of these things may not be available to us, doing these higher-intensity forms of exercise. The good news is, if we think about exercise intensity and impact as a spectrum, on one end of the spectrum, imagine that we have what we call Smarter exercise – super slow, safe, eccentric resistance training, or Smarter interval training that we talked about. Very low impact, but very high-intensity, very safe activity, over on this end of the spectrum. We have another end of the spectrum that is going to be the opposite, very low intensity. And then jogging, the traditional cardio, is in the middle.
What is really neat is that when we look at this from a scientific perspective, from a stress reduction perspective, if we go all the way to the other end of the spectrum and we think about what I call restorative exercise, or restorative activity, or things like yoga, or Tai Chi, or Pilates, or walling in nature, what is beautiful is that using these as a stress-reduction technique is literally almost unbelievable.
What I mean by that is, for example, one of my dear friends in the research community, Dr. John Ratey, at the Harvard Medical School, who is a wonderful contributor to the program that you’re in right now, your Ignite program, has done some pioneering research where things like this low-intensity restorative exercise, in clinical studies where they would actually test the impacts of doing some of this form of exercise, or even the other forms of Smarter exercise, against certain anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications, these Smarter exercises would actually provide equal to, if not greater than, psychological benefits.
For instance, walking in nature, doing yoga, even doing yogic breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, things like that, especially in the United States, I think are really under-appreciated, because the science is so clear, and we can do them no matter where we are. It doesn’t require any expensive equipment. It doesn’t require us to be a 22-year-old athlete. And we can do it for the rest of our lives. You can start doing this today and you can continue doing it for the rest of your days, because you can do it anywhere, and you can do it at any level of fitness.
Just because you can’t do the Smarter exercise that is over here on this end of the intensity spectrum, you can totally get a vast amount of stress reduction effects by going with the Smarter exercise on the other end of the spectrum, restorative, low-impact, or no-impact exercise. I would just encourage you to try to stay out of the middle as much you can, because in a lot of cases, it can actually increase stress levels. I know that sounds a little bit strange, but it can trigger literal stress hormones, it can elevate what is called cortisol levels, doing that traditional cardio exercise.
This is going to sound a little bit funny, but stick with me here. Think about it like this. You fell off a boat and now you’re in a raft in the middle of the ocean, so you have salt water all around you, and you’re incredibly thirsty, and you see all this water. And you say, “Oh, my goodness, I’m going to drink some of this salt water.” And imagine salt water didn’t taste terrible. This analogy may not work, but I’m doing this live, so stick with me here. You’re surrounded by water, you want to drink it, and in the moment it feels like, “Oh, I’m not parched anymore.” But drinking salt water is really not going to help get you where you want to be if you’re on that life raft.
Similarly, if you’re stranded on an island of stress, going for a jog can seem like it’s reducing your stress levels, but if you do that too much, it can actually increase your stress levels. It can increase your cortisol hormone levels to a negative level, especially in women, it can suppress certain thyroid hormones. It can cause cravings. It can actually cause you to crave sugars and starches and it is way easier to eat sugar and starch than it is to “burn them off by jogging.” If it’s something that makes you feel great and you love it and you’ve done it your whole life and you’re happy with your results doing that “in the middle” cardio, in that case, stick with it. If you’re doing something and you love it and it’s working for you and it’s giving you great results, that is the key thing. The key thing is that you’re getting great results and that you’re loving it.
However, if you’re not getting great results and you’re not loving it, you’re in the middle! Take it out to either end of the spectrum because the stress reduction benefits – there are no side effects. You’re not going to be spiking your cortisol levels, and you’re not going to be suppressing certain thyroid hormones by doing yoga. You’re just not. And it’s going to radically improve your life and your performance, and decrease your stress levels.
Let me see if I have any questions coming in here. We do. We have some unrelated questions, so I’m going to get to those in a second, but I’m going to finish out on the exercise one. It’s all good. Please pose questions as you have them, even if they’re not about what I’m talking about because I will get to them next. But I’m going to keep going here and hopefully this is helpful.
We talked about reducing stress. We also talked about boosting endorphins. How do we get that endorphin boost? Very similar to how we reduce stress, but I also want to talk about a couple of other ways that we can boost our endorphins. I don’t mean to belabor the point, but I think we’ve all had the following experience. Let’s say it’s the weekend, and let’s say that you’ve got the big honey-do list. That’s what my mother always called it. She would always make a honey-do list for my dad. It would be, “Honey, these are the things you need to do this weekend.” And as much as my dad was not such a fan of those lists, he would always tell me, and I’m sure you may have had a similar experience, when you got that list and you’re checking things off it, every time you check something off that list it gives you a little endorphin rush in your brain, “Hey, I got that done.”
So, there are other ways that we can check stuff off our list. One of the things that I would love for you to try this week, and every week after, is getting a little bit more strategic and deliberate about the way you’re approaching your SANEity, and the way you’re approaching your Ignite program. I’ll give you one example: Your step-by-step program. You might join up in the Ignite family, do a couple of lessons, check out the support group, come to a couple of these calls, and then something happens, and then you come back in three weeks maybe. But what I would encourage you to do in the spirit of checking things off your list and making those endorphins fire, maybe once a week, maybe Sunday nights, whenever works for you, set some very achievable, what are called process goals.
When we talk about wellness, and especially when we talk about fat loss, we focus a lot on results goals, meaning, “I want to lose this much weight,” or “I want to jog for this many minutes.” These are results goals. One of the challenges with results goals is that sometimes we can’t control the results. We can have a goal, all day and twice on Sundays, to make a 30% return in the stock market, but there is not much we can actually do to control the results. There are a lot of other things going on that influence our results. So when it comes to almost everything in life, but I’m only going to talk about eating and exercise here, focusing on process goals is so much more empowering because you have complete control.
For example, if you set yourself the process goal of, “I am going to go into my Ignite program, I’m going to click on Start Here, I’m going to go into that very first course, I’m going to find this checklist, I’m going to print it out,” and that’s one really long item on your list, but as soon as this comes out of your printer, you check it off – endorphins happen. And then within this, you have all these little checkboxes. So you also say this week, “I’m going to check off three of these checkboxes.” That’s three more endorphin rushes. And maybe you make another goal on Sunday night which is, “I’m going to do that gratitude journal thing that Jonathan has talked about in the support group.”
What you will notice is that you’ll post something up into the coaching and support group and you’ll get a little endorphin rush, because you did something. You read someone else’s posts in the coaching and support group and you say, “Hey, Mary, I had a similar experience with that, and here’s what I did.” And then you get a little endorphin rush, because you just connected with and helped another person. So let’s think about other ways, maybe outside of the box, or inside the box, in the context of checkboxes, that we could cause those little endorphin rushes.
My strong recommendation to you is that you formalize your SANEity a little bit. Pick one day a week and set yourself, let’s say, five to seven process goals. Those could have to do with eating a certain number of vegetables, but they could also just be, “I’m going to go through the step-by-step program.” I know going through the step-by-step program or posting in the support group might not seem like you’re doing enough. “Oh, but I want to change everything about my diet, and I want to make all these radical changes immediately.”
I love that enthusiasm, I love that passion, but what we need to be successful and happy long-term is that long-term mindset, it is that education and empowerment mindset first. I’m willing to bet, and please correct me if I’m wrong, because I do not want to put words in your mouth or inappropriate thoughts in your brain, but I bet you’ve had other examples where you’ve said, “Oh, man, this new thing, I’m going to change.” I’ve done this. I do this too much. I still do it. “I’m going to make all these changes right now. It’s all going to happen right now.” And then I’m excited for a week, but then life happens, and it kind of falls off.
If we could just take that passion and channel it to be focused and consistent, and targeted on things like educating ourselves and building those close, supportive relationships in our Ignite community, I know it might be like, “How can that work? I don’t get it. There has to be some pill that I need to take.” I know that’s what we’ve been told for the past 40 years, but if we can think about it, if we want different results, we have to take a different approach. If you’re in Columbus, Ohio, where I grew up, and you want to drive to California, and you’re turned east, it doesn’t matter how fast you go or how hard you try, you’re just pointed in the wrong direction.
If we want to change the results we’re getting, we need to change our approach. We need to change the direction we’re headed in. And I promise you, one of the big changes, and if you make it you’re going to see a long-term change in your life, is taking a step back from the meal plan, exact, do this, just tell me what to do mindset, that I know all these gurus and charlatans have been telling you for 40 years.
Understand that you have done so much in your life already. You have overcome so many challenges. You have done so much. The reason that matters is because this is not an effort issue. The issue is that you have not had the proper information. If you’ve ever had a job, or you’ve ever had a family, or you’ve ever had a relationship, or you’ve ever raised children, I promise you, you have more than enough willpower and mental ability to rock whatever you want. But you have to be pointed in the right direction, and you have to have the proper information.
That is what doing things like getting in your support and coaching group and going through your step-by-step program will give you. That will give you the knowledge, and that is the difference. That is the thing that you haven’t had for the past 40 years. And that is why it feels like there is so much conflicting and confusing information out there, because if you don’t have those true scientific – and we’re not talking about getting a Ph.D. here, we’re talking about having some fun. We’re having some fun here. We’re putting a little bit of time into taking care of our brain so that our brain can then take care of our body.
That was a total rant, but the direction I’m going here is that there are ways to release endorphins that may not be thinking about. A great way to release endorphins, generally, is to set and reach goals, and there are goals that we can control, and there are goals that we can’t control. Goals that we can control are process-related, like “I am going to blend and drink one smoothie per day, at least five days per week.” A great process goal. You can control that. “I am going to complete three steps in my step program this week.” “I am going to post at least four posts and comment on someone else’s contributions in the support group at least five times this week.”
You have total control over those things, whereas you do not have control over how your body will react, for example, to eating more vegetables. For example, of you got injured and you put your leg in a cast, you can take care of that, but then there is not so much you can do once you’ve done that. So we want to focus on things we can do. We want to make sure we have the right information to know we are pointed in the right direction, and then we’re going to let our body and brain do the rest.
That’s a very long answer to how we do stuff with our endorphins, but hopefully that is helpful, because I think when we change the way we approach things, and we say, “Look, at the end of the day, endorphins, or the lack of endorphins, is often a function of our expectations. If we go to a restaurant and we say, “I’ve heard this restaurant is horrible, just terrible, but I’m going to go because the people I’m with really want to go.” Let’s say the meal at the restaurant is average. You walk out of the restaurant and you say, “All right, some endorphins. That meal was better than I expected. It wasn’t a particularly good meal, but it was better than I expected.”
The amount of endorphins in your brain is a function of whether or not your expectations were met. Another word for expectations in certain contexts is goals. So if our goal is, “I want to lose 50 pounds in 15 minutes,” our endorphin level is going to be really low because that’s never going to happen. And if it did, holy moly, that is very unhealthy. So hopefully, your endorphin levels will be lower for many other reasons if that ever happened.
But what we want to do is take back control of our endorphin levels. The way was can do that is, we can set goals, every week, intentionally. And we set those goals focused on processes that we have control over, not results that we do not necessarily have control over.
The question is, “Jonathan, I’m thinking of this goal I want to do. How do I know if it’s a process goal or if it’s a result goal?” Here’s the question to ask yourself. This might be worth writing down. “Do I have complete control over this?” Now look, if the power goes out in your house and your blender doesn’t work, you don’t have control. I know you don’t have control. Our power goes out, seemingly, at least once every other month. I don’t know why. You would think in the Seattle area we would have our power grid taken care of, but apparently not.
I mean things that you have most control over. Do you have control over, at the end of the day, whether or not your body burns fat at a certain rate? That is a metabolic function that you can influence, but you do not ultimately control it. Do you control whether or not you log in and attend this call? Yes. For all intents and purposes, you do. So, get those process goals locked down, get those endorphins rockin’, and get into the support group and the step-by-step coaching program because those are great things you can always control, and they will transform your life.
Look at that. We’re talking about exercise. We’re taking it in so many different directions, so hopefully, that is going to provide some variety, some ways to reduce stress, some ways for you to know that you are improving your cardiovascular health. And if that doesn’t boost your endorphins enough, you have other ways to boost your endorphins that we’ve talked about.
Let me go ahead and check the questions queue here. What do we have here? We have Linda letting me know we have good things here, so I appreciate that, Linda.
Mel says, Jonathan, because of medical conditions I cannot ingest, any whey protein, egg protein or hemp protein. What do you recommend for me and my sensitive nature? Excellent question, Mel., and welcome. I don’t know if I said hello yet, so thank you for coming in today. So you can’t do whey, you can’t do egg, and you can’t do hemp. Mel, I have good news for you. And I have good news for everyone else that’s here. The best form of protein in the world, from a SANEity perspective, is seafood. Holy moly, SANE seafood is the way to go. Fish, shrimp, mollusks, oysters, clams. Boom! That is the most optimal source of protein in the world, so please, enjoy your seafood.
Also, I noticed on your list there was nothing about meat. Hopefully, you can enjoy, ideally, grass-fed meat, and if not grass-fed meat, then just get lean cuts, for sure. And as always, as we’ve talked about, you want to focus on the SANEst forms of meat, and you also want to, if possible, try to focus on cooking the meat on lower temperatures rather than high temperatures. That is going to help to reduce what is called advanced glycation end products, and it is just going to ensure that the meat is maximally healthy for you. Hopefully, that is helpful.
And yes, Reyna [sp? 48:07] says clams. Clams, and what are called mollusks, are the optimal source of protein, and what is actually cool is you can use them just like chicken. What do I mean by that? Check it out. The SANEst forms of protein in the world are a class of seafood known as mollusks. These are things like clams and oysters. You may have heard of oysters because of their aphrodisiac properties, and yes, oysters are extremely nutrient-dense. They are high in certain vitamins and minerals that are hard to get in other places, such as zinc. And as you may imagine, when you get abundant nutrition and your body starts firing on all levels, it starts firing on all levels, if you know what I’m talking about. So the fact that oysters have an impact on one’s libido is also just a function of the fact that they are nutrient-rich, and any time we provide our body with abundant nutrition, our body behaves abundantly, let’s just say.
What can be a challenge about this class of protein, mollusks, people say, “First of all, where do I buy mollusks? Do I go to mollusk mart? I don’t know. What do I do? Do I make mollusk parmesan? Do I barbecue my mollusks?” No, no, no. What I would recommend in the spirit of convenience and also cost effectiveness is, get your mollusks canned. You can actually get oysters and clams canned, usually either at a Costco or a Sam’s Club, you can buy canned clams, canned oysters. You can buy all sorts of other canned fish like canned wild-caught salmon, canned tuna, canned albacore, canned sardines, which are also fantastic for you.
But let’s just focus on our mollusks here for a second, our clams and our oysters. You can also get them on Amazon.com. I get my clams at Costco. But I get my oysters on Amazon.com. I actually get a lot of canned food on Amazon.com because they have a handy-dandy subscribe and save option where you can actually get free shipping and you can save 15%, which is a great deal. But I don’t want to turn this into a sales pitch for Amazon, com.
So you can get oysters and clams canned. Cool. Very inexpensive, very convenient. But now what the heck do you do with them? Do you just Popeye them? Do you say, “Here’s my cups of clams, my can of clams,” and just rock it? No, no, no. Think of them, to begin with, a little bit just like you would think about chicken. So what do you do with chicken? Chicken tastes like nothing, so you do whatever want with it, because it just adds goodness to whatever you put it in. Chicken with marinara, whatever you want to do with it.
Clams, especially, are a great chicken substitute. It sounds a little bit silly. I don’t know if you could have a clam sandwich, but the clams can be used in sauces. For example, if you’re doing a marinara sauce, instead of using ground beef you could use clams. The clams have no taste so they’re just going to take on the taste of what you put them in, like a chicken would, so a similar thing. That’s maybe something fun to experiment with. You can expand your cooking repertoire and say, “What recipes am I making this week where I’m using chicken, or where I’m using a dish which I could just pop in some clams?”
I know it sounds a little but funny, but when you give it a chance, one, your health is going to be radically better, and two, you’re going to get to experience a whole new food group that is going to unlock a bunch of options for you, and it’s extremely healthy. So give that a chance if you get a shot. And remember, seafood is the optimal source of SANE protein, so even if you’re lactose-intolerant, or you don’t like to eat meat, for example, you still have your seafood. You actually still have the best option available to you. So that is very encouraging and fun. Excellent question, Mel, I appreciate that.
The next question that we had come in has to do with listening to hunger cues, specifically, if you already ate recommended amounts and you’re still hungry, yet vegetables don’t sound appealing, what do you do? Should you just force yourself to eat? What do we do with hunger cues? Oh my goodness, this is another fantastic question, and it is a question that is great to cover in these calls because there isn’t a black and white answer, and I think that is sometimes a big challenge sometimes when it comes to wellness, or even life in general. People want to say things like, “Is X good or bad?” Those are really hard questions to answer because it depends on the context. Is a winter jacket good or bad? Well, right now, it would be terrible for me because it is really warm. But if it was zero degrees outside a winter jacket would be very good. So the same thing can be good or bad depending on the context.
The same thing applies to eating and exercise and most things in life, and the same thing can actually apply to hunger cues. Let me give you a specific example. Often, even in your Ignite program, we talk about listening to your body, and that is a very important thing to do. But there is an important caveat and it is something we should talk about here. I’m going to give an extreme example, so please bear with me because this is an extreme example just to make a point. Please forgive the extreme example, but I’m going to make it make sense, I promise. So stick with me here. Let’s say we have someone who is addicted to cigarettes. They have a cigarette addition. They have a nicotine addiction. If they listen to their body, their body is telling them to smoke more cigarettes.
Should that person listen to their body? We would say no, but again, it kind of depends. If they feel terrible, and they listen to their body and the smoke a cigarette, they will feel better. So if their goal is to feel better in that instance, then listening to their body and smoking a cigarette would actually make them feel better. But if their goal is to be around to see their grandkids get married, then listening to their body in that context wouldn’t be the best idea.
“Why are you giving these extreme examples, Jonathan?” Well, unfortunately, it’s actually not that extreme of an example when you look at similarities between the toxic quantity of things like sugar and all of its close cousins that we’ve been told to eat and have had infused into our food supply over the past 40 years. There is no shortage of research around sugar addition. Literally sugar addiction, and that is not hyperbole, when you look at the diagnostic manual that psychologists and psychiatrists use to diagnose addiction, there is a set of criteria,. We actually go through the criteria in your step-by-step program, and if you answer yes to a certain number of these criteria, you’re addicted.
I promise you that if you identify and go through these criteria in your step-by-step program, again, we talk about this way more in your coaching and support group, a lot of us are going to find that we do have some level of sugar addiction. So we say, do we listen to our body, do we listen to hunger cues? Well, it depends. If we’re in a state where we’ve been bombarded with inSANEity for decades, what our body is telling us to do might be analogous to what a smoker’s body is telling them to do. Now, that doesn’t mean your body is bad, it means that we’ve got to heal your body.
One thing that is really cool is what you’re going to see as you start to go SANE is what your body is telling you will change. It will change dramatically. One of the most compelling ways we see this is in how your tastes change. First, your sensitivity to sugar will dramatically change. You will be way more sensitive to sugar. Just imagine taking a bowl of sugar and dumping it into your mouth. No matter how much sugar you are used to eating, taking a bowl of sugar and dumping it into your mouth – well, I guess that is a Pixie stick – but it’s not particularly appealing. Things like Coca-Cola, things like certain conventional desserts will start to taste like that. They just won’t taste good.
And then you will start to see things like, you’ll bite into an orange, or even a baby carrot, or even sugar snap peas, and you’ll say, holy moly, this is really sweet. That’s because what your body is telling you is that your underlying biochemistry, your neurobiology and your taste buds are actually changing. They’re changing at the cellular level, they are regenerating themselves because of all this nutritional therapy that we’re applying.
So what do I do about hunger cues? Well, it depends on where you are in your SANE journey. If you’re just getting started with your SANE journey and you’ve really struggled a long time, especially with cravings for sweets, you want to really defer to the science, at least for a couple of weeks. And the good news is the science, when we boil it down, is really simple, and it’s really noncontroversial. We’re talking about eating an abundant amount of vegetables. A lot of vegetables. No one is going to say, “Wait, the person said to eat vegetables? Get out of here!” That’s the least sexy advice you could ever give someone, right? Eat your veggies. Grandma’s been saying that for years.
And we’re talking about eating a bunch of nutrient-dense proteins, we’re talking about making sure that we give our body its building blocks. We’re built out of protein, so we want to get clean sources of that as we talk about healing and changing our body, that our body has enough raw material to do that. And then of course, making sure that we’re taking in enough whole food fats, because again, that’s a structural component. Our hormones are synthesized out of fat, our brain is primarily fat, our cells have fat in them in their cellular walls. So we need to eat that and we need to make sure that we can actually absorb the vitamins and minerals that we’re eating, and a lot of them are called fat-soluble vitamins.
If we don’t eat fat, the right kinds of high-quality whole-food fats, we can’t even absorb the vitamins and minerals we’re taking in, so we want to make sure that we’re doing that. You really want to follow that SANE template, especially as you’re getting started, because what your body is telling you to do when you’re in the beginning stage of SANEity is going to be very different – and this is really cool – than what your body will be telling you to do in the later stages of SANEity.
What I mean by that is, when you go SANE, when you flood your body with this abundant nutrition, you will still have cravings, but you can have cravings, and I know this might sound a little bit ridiculous, but people in your coaching and support group, your friends in the Ignite family, will confirm it, your cravings will start to change. You will, for example, start to crave green smoothies. I can’t tell you how many people tell me, “Jonathan, I had to go on vacation and I couldn’t have my green smoothies, and I’m craving green smoothies! I used to say, I’m craving my Hershey’s bar, and now I’m saying I’m craving my bag of spinach.”
That’s crazy. Can you think about how much simpler living your optimal life would be if instead of craving inSANE foods, your brain literally craved SANE foods? That can happen. It’s happening for people who are on this call with you right now. Your tastes will change and in fact, we’re actually working on, as you may or may not know, we’ve got the SANE vanilla/almond meal bars, and also the SANE cravings killer options, and what we’ve found is that for people who are just getting started with SANEity, they try these whole-food bars and they say, “Jonathan, I’m not really liking the taste.” I’m being totally transparent with you here, right? We’re in this together. These individuals may be used to eating things like Luna bars or Kind bars, or these “healthy bars” that are super high in sugar, so when they try a SANE bar, they say, “This does not taste very good.”
Here’s the crazy thing. If you ask someone who has been SANE for a while, “What do you think about these?” They say, “It’s delicious!” And you say to yourself, “How can this be true?” Here is another example. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but if you haven’t, I bet you know someone who has. It’s fairly funny. The first time someone drinks alcohol, especially beer, oftentimes they think, “This is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted.” Especially with beer, they take a sip of beer and think, “How could anybody ever drink this?” While everyone else in the room is thinking, “Yes, I will pay $9.00 for this beer at the restaurant.” How is it that one human beings can say, “This is disgusting,” and another human being can say, “This is delicious,” and in fact, the same human being that says it’s disgusting, once they drink it for a while, can actually say, “This is delicious.”
Imagine that’s what can happen with vegetables, for example, if you give it a shot. “Oh, this beer is bitter. Pewy! Bitter! Disgusting!” “Oh, pewy, this broccoli is bitter and disgusting!” Budweiser is doing just fine. I wish Budweiser would start selling broccoli, we’d get rid of this obesity epidemic overnight, right? That’s what we need to do, instead of Budweiser, the King of Beer, we’d say, Budweiser, the King of Brocolli. I don’t know what would happen to their stock price, but it certainly would help our health, that’s for sure.
So what do you do with your hunger cues? It’s very dependent on where you are in your SANE program, and what you will start to see, and why SANE has to work, it’s just science, if you stick to it, calmly and gradually and patiently. Let’s take a second and talk about hunger cues, let’s talk about what our body is telling us, and let’s contrast starvation-based dieting, for example, a program like Weight Watcher’s which is just encouraging you, and I understand that they have made changes and there are good things about it. I’m not trying to throw them under the bus, but at the end of the say, it’s just like, eat 1400 calories. And if you look at their marketing, their spokesperson gets on television and says, “Look, I eat bread and I’ve lost 20 pounds.”
My response to that is, there are all kinds of things you can do to lose weight that will eventually kill you. You can talk to, for example, some people who have been disqualified from the Olympics. They have taken things into their bodies that have helped their performance radically, but it does not improve their health. When you look at what your body is telling you when you’re starving yourself, the longer you starve yourself, the more your body is saying, “What are you doing?!” Right? You start up on a starvation diet and calorie-counting program and the first day you say, “Rock and roll, 1400 calories. All right.” The second day, “Oh, I’m starting to get cold, tired and sleepy. This doesn’t feel very good.” By week two, “Oh my goodness, my brain is foggy, I’m cold, I can’t sleep, I’m crabby, I’m shivering all the time. I feel depressed.”
Everything about your body is telling you, “Starving yourself isn’t healthy!” Because starving yourself isn’t healthy, it will actually kill you if you don’t stop. As crazy as that sounds, hash tag, starvation isn’t healthy. So the longer you try to starve yourself, the harder it becomes, and that is why starvation-based dieting cannot work long term. Sure, if you starve yourself you’ll lost weight, as long as you can starve yourself, but you’re hurting yourself, and you can’t starve yourself forever, so then you’re going to yo-yo diet and that is worse than doing nothing.
Now, let’s contrast that to the cues from your body while you’re going SANE. When you go SANE what you’re doing is, you’re literally replacing the inSANE, toxic nonsense. You’re flooding it, you’re crowding it out with so much SANE food. What that is going to do is change the way your brain works, the way your taste buds actually work, the way your hormones and your digestive system works. And what is going to happen is, “Oh, these vegetables, I’m not a huge fan of them right at the very beginning, and oh man, I’m really missing those starches.” What you will find is that the longer you go SANE, and this is so important, unlike starvation dieting which gets harder the longer you do it, your body cues to stop doing it get stronger over time. The more consistently and gradually and calmly you go SANE, the easier it becomes.
That might sound like it’s too good to be true. How can that work? Let me give you another example of how your body reacts in this way. Just think about exercise. Even if you’re not a big resistance training fan, you’re probably familiar with, if you did go and do some resistance training, and today you were to take five pounds and do some biceps curls with it, the next time you went into the gym, maybe 2-4 days later, that five pounds would be easier. it wouldn’t be harder. If you starve yourself on Monday, it’s harder to starve yourself on Tuesday. If you lift five pounds on Monday, on Tuesday, illustratively, it’s easier to lift five pounds.
Nobody is born with strong muscles. What happens is, as you work your muscles they get stronger, the over-adapt, they change, and it actually becomes easier to do the same thing over time. The same thing can happen with food from a SANE perspective.
Circling back to the question at hand, what do we do with hunger cues? One, it depends on where we are in our SANEity. And two, if your hunger cues are telling you to do something other than to eat SANEly, I would take a step back and say, “What else is going on in my life that is causing the inSANE stress that may be causing these cravings?” Having the ability to take a step back and identify that something is causing these cravings, other than maybe hunger. This happens to me all the time. The level of sweet that I desire is absolutely a function of the amount of stress in my life. Period. If you could track my stress with a heart rate variability monitor, and then you could track how much sugar or sweetness I want to eat, you would see a direct correlation between those two lines.
The reason that is important is what we might see as a hunger cue, or our body is trying to give us meaningful information, may actually be more like a fight or flight type response, where your body is just saying, “I’m stressed, and I know that sugar releases dopamine in my brain, so eat some more sugar.” When you think about it that really ties back to the very beginning, when if you smoke cigarettes and you’re really stressed, your body says, “I’m really stressed. I need a release of dopamine. Go smoke some cigarettes.”
Just by having that distinction, it doesn’t mean your body is wrong. It doesn’t mean you’re doing anything bad. It doesn’t mean you should feel bad or guilty. What it means is, you could interrupt that pattern. It’s called meta-cognition. You think about your thinking. You can start to say, “Is this a real hunger cue, or am I stressed? Or am I thirsty?” That’s very common. You might get a hunger cue and then you drink a big old 16-ounce glass of water and you find that you’re not hungry anymore, so what you may have interpreted as a hunger cue might be, “I need to take ten deep breaths because I’m really stressed out.” Or, “I need to remove myself from this situation. I need to go take a little quick walk outside.” Or, “I need to drink a big glass of water because I’m actually thirsty.” Just having the ability to pop out and meta-cognate, or think about your thinking, can also be very helpful.
So yes, if vegetables don’t sound appealing, or let’s take this in the other direction of this is where your body is telling you to eat inSANE foods, what if your body is just saying, “I don’t want to eat any more SANE foods. I’m full.” That’s okay. When we look at a SANE lifestyle, we need to tease apart the essential components from the awesome components. That’s a really important distinction. Essential means the healing isn’t going to happen unless you do this. The awesome components are, these will help the healing, but it’s going to happen even if you don’t do them. If you want the healing to keep going at some point you’re definitely going to need to do them, but they might be okay to fudge from the very beginning.
So what is essential, from an eating perspective, when going SANE? Double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables is essential. It is absolutely essential. No questions asked. So if you hunger cue is telling you, “Stop eating vegetables,” my strong recommendation would be to drink green smoothies, because green smoothies make it very easy to ensure you’re getting double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables. There are hundreds of recipes in the Ignite program, and actually, we’re working on a brand new smoothie resource which I’m going to announce here, everybody on this call is going to get for free. So it’s like we’re on the Oprah show. Look under your seats.
We’re actually filming next week. I’ve just finished up a new e-book which I think you’re really going to like, and it’s really going to take your smoothie habits to the next level. It’s going to be very helpful. So eating a lot of vegetables is essential, because of that, a whole new smoothie thing is coming, and you get it for free. Look under your seats, everybody. Yay! So do make sure you’re getting those double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables.
And then from a protein perspective, it is essential to get at least three servings of 20-40 grams of protein, depending on your body size. If you’re a very, very small, inactive person, 20 grams of protein may be sufficient to trigger muscle protein synthesis. If you don’t know what muscle protein synthesis is, you will know very soon as you start going through your step-by-step program. If you are a very large person and you are very active you might need to go more toward the 40-gram end of the spectrum. And you want to make sure you do that at least three times a day, evenly spaced out, because it’s really hard for your body to heal unless it has the raw material it needs to do that.
A plant cannot grow unless it has sunlight, water and nutrients. It just can’t. It needs the raw material. Your vegetables are your vitamins and minerals, from a high-level perspective, and your nutrient-dense proteins are providing a bunch more vitamins and minerals. They are also providing a decent amount of essential fats. And they are mostly providing you with the protein that you need to build, literally from the inside-out, the optimized version of you.
And then when it comes to whole-food fats, you’re going to get fat from your nutrient-dense protein. Period. It is good to eat whole-food fats. No question. They are a critical component of a SANE lifestyle. They are awesome for you. If for some reason you are just so full you can’t eat vegetables, I would strongly recommend, eat your vegetables, eat your proteins, and then eat your whole-food fats until you’re full.
What you wouldn’t want to do is, for example, eat a dozen eggs for breakfast, for many reasons, but let’s say you ate a dozen eggs for breakfast. Eggs are a brilliant whole-food fat, and they’re great for you, but because you ate a dozen eggs for breakfast, you’re thinking, “Well, I’m listening to my body and my body is telling me that I’m full and I don’t need to eat anything else for the rest of the day.” That’s true, you don’t from a caloric perspective, probably need to eat much else for the rest of the day if you ate a dozen eggs for breakfast. But we need to back up and we need to say, maybe eating a dozen eggs for breakfast is not the ideal breakfast.
We want to make sure we’re eating our non-starchy vegetables first, then our nutrient-dense protein, then our whole-food fats, because if we don’t eat in that order our hunger cues may be saying, “Hey, I’m full,” but you’re full of calories, even if they’re high-quality calories, but you’re not taking in the other forms of high-quality calories you need to eat, AKA, your non-starchy vegetables.
I think it is just really helpful to follow that template, in order of volume: Non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole-food fats. It is essential to get as close to, and then exceed, those double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables as possible. I do need you, to maximize your healing, to get at least three servings of nutrient-dense protein in that 20-40 grams range from high-quality sources, to really get that healing started. And then if you are just too full for your whole-food fats, that’s okay, because you are going to get fat in your nutrient-dense protein. But if you’re not totally full, that’s fine, then you’re going to get the rest of your calories from your whole-food fats. I do hope that is helpful and answers the question because it is a great question.
So let me know if you have more questions. We’re kind of cranking on stuff here, we’re going deep, so let me know if I’m going too deep, or if I’m going too fast, and let’s keep cranking here.
The next question here has to do with time-saving tips. This is a big one because I know in our modern lives things like cooking, grocery shopping, chopping vegetables, can take quite a bit of time, so what can we do in terms of time-saving tips so that we can stay SANE for the long-term? The first thing that is really important, and I think really helpful, is to think about the time we spend on our wellness in the broadest sense possible. What I mean by that is, driving to the gym to take a one-hour Zumba class, after which you need to shower and do your hair, and then drive back home, and of course you have to talk to people because you don’t want to be rude – actually, you have to get your stuff ready at the house, you have to get in the car, you have to drive there, there could be traffic, you have to go to the class, you have to talk to people, you have to shower, you have to drive home. Before you know it, that’s three-and-a-half hours out of your day.
Now, imagine, if we could take that same three-and-a-half hours, pop over to the grocery store, buy a bunch of vegetables, put on some headphones, listen to these calls on your Smartphone, listen to one of the step-by-step courses, listen to something uplifting, listen to an audio book. Chop all your vegetables for the week, wash all your vegetables for the week, chop up and cook your proteins for the week, put it in a Tupperware container. If you’re not going to use it in the next three days put it in the freezer. And when you eat one Tupperware container, take another one out of the freezer to replace it.
The point here is that sometimes, especially with exercise, especially in America, when we think about it, showering, hair, makeup, talking to people, driving, commuting, spending ten to 15 hours per week on exercise is not rare. Now, what if we could shrink that down to an hour or two of Smarter exercise and then we could just get focused on going to the grocery store once per week, getting our green, leafy vegetables for our smoothies, getting those SANE staples that we know we’re going to be eating, our nutrient-dense proteins, our whole-food fats, our non-starchy vegetables?
Think about it a little bit like paint-by-numbers. My shopping cart should be three-quarters non-starchy vegetables. I’ve got my good proteins in there, I’ve got my whole-food fats, and prep those up. Batch cook. The amount of Tupperware containers – I’ve got to tell you, the Tupperware corporation has just got to love SANE eating, because the amount of Tupperware containers that you will acquire over time as you go SANE, we’re talking, you have stuff in Tupperware containers in your frig, your freezer looks like a Jenga cube stacked up.
The number one time-saving tip I could recommend is, please, protect yourself from the following conversation: “Hey, what’s for dinner tonight?” “I don’t know. We could probably go to the store and get things.” That makes SANE eating almost impossible, whereas maybe that same Sunday where you do your process goals, Sunday or Sateurday, whatever day is good for you, “I’m going to go to the store, I’m going to think about what I’m going to eat this week.” If you’re a fan of eggs for breakfast, “How many eggs am I going to eat? Just plan it out a little bit. Grab those eggs. Grab the vegetables you’re going to need for breakfast. Go to the store. Make a plan. Rock the plan. Batch cook.
If you’re going to cook, a lot of the recipes and everything we put in the meal plans is intentionally formulated to be cooked in bulk because if you’re going to take the time to chop vegetables and to cook your meats, please don’t just cook one meal. Cook a bunch. If you have the space, you can buy a stand-alone freezer. A stand-alone freezer, I think, is an excellent investment. I actually did not invest in one until about two to three years ago, and I’ve got to tell you, it has transformed my personal SANEity, because now something goes on sale at the grocery store and I say, “I will take all of those, thank you very much,” and I save myself 40%.
Try to make a 40% stock return, good luck. You can save 40% at the grocery store every single week. You buy it in bulk, you freeze it, you cook it in bulk, you freeze it when you’re done cooking. That right there, literally, bulk shopping and bulk cooking – I’m not talking about you have to make your meals for the week necessarily, just chop the vegetables up. Just cook the chicken. Have it cooked and ready so then you can just throw it in the pan with some marinara and maybe some spaghetti squash. Boom! Your spaghetti squash was already prepped, your chicken was already cooked. You have some all-natural pasta sauce, you throw some oregano on the top, and you have your SANE spaghetti. Or if you’re an over-achiever, you have your clams in there because you tried clams instead of chicken.
That would be my number one time-saving tip. There are entire videos and lessons dedicated to this in your step-by-step program. Really think about that. If you’re going to take time to prepare food, or to prepare a meal, prepare more. Just batch it up, baby. That is my number one time-saving tip, and hopefully that helps. And as you’re doing that, post it in the support group. Tell us what you’re doing. What are the tips and tricks that are working for you, personally? Because that is so helpful. It’s so helpful for us to learn from one another. So you make a recipe, and you say, “I made the SANE lasagna, I used eggplant instead of noodles, and holy moly, it was delicious, and it freezes great!”
For example, I am Polish. My last name is originally not Bailor. Bailor is a made up last name. I’m fourth generation, so my grandfather’s grandfather came here, on both sides of the family, from Poland, and my name on my father’s side of the family was Bielkofski [sp? 01:20:50], and they had to change it to Bailor, because the neighborhood they lived in were not super fans of Polish people, so they had to change it to sound less Polish. So they made it Bailor. That’s why it’s Bailor, rather than Baylor, which is the very common spelling, because it is a made up name. So now you know something about me that not a lot of people know.
Anyway, the reason I’m saying that is, there is a Polish dish called, golumpkies [sp? 01:21:15], which I’m probably mispronouncing because I’m fourth-generation Polish. Some people call them cabbage rolls. My wonderful mother, whose maiden name is Kaslowski [sp? 01:21:24], and as you know, if it says “ski” on the end it’s probably a Polish person. So we’ve got Bielkovski [sp? 01:21:29] and Kaslowski [sp? 01:21:31] have come together and now it’s just Bailor. Anyway, my mom makes cabbage rolls. That’s the American name for the dish.
What we’ve found is that cabbage rolls, and you can make them SANEly for sure, because even though you usually put rice in cabbage rolls, no, no no, you make cauliflower rice, and put it in the cabbage roll. Go Mom, she is going SANE, which I love. Cabbage rolls actually taste better, we’ve found, after they’ve been refrigerated and frozen, because the juices soak in and it marinades in its own goodness, so sometimes freezing actually works better.
And you can even freeze smoothies. I know that might sound a little bit whacky, but for example, with spinach, when spinach is on sale buy a bunch of it. Blend it up. Just blended spinach. Take your blended spinach and put it in old Greek yogurt containers. That’s what I do. Yes, I do have some Tupperware but I’ve got a lot more cottage cheese and Greek yogurt containers with the lids. So when spinach is on sale I blend a bunch of it up, I take the blended spinach, I put it in my old cottage cheese or Greek yogurt containers, put a sticky note on it, I write Blended Spinach, pop it in the freezer.
Now, I’ve got my blended spinach, so if I’m going to make smoothies in the future I can just take that out of the freezer three days before I want to have my smoothies, let it thaw out. Or the day that I want to make smoothies, in that morning set it on the counter, let it thaw out. Boom! I’ve got my blended spinach all ready, so I can just throw my blended spinach in there, take some frozen strawberries.
And that’s endorphins! Check that off the list. You do that, look how cool that is. How many people do you know that do that? Not a lot of people. So hopefully, when you do that, when you start to think of creative things, think about this like a game, it’s not this, “Oh, starve myself. Oh, healthy eating is terrible, I’m hungry!” No, this is like a game, batch cooking, and you’re figuring out these cool little tricks that you can do to make it easy and fun.
This is a funny science story. We have so many cottage cheese containers that we use between my wife and I that do not contain cottage cheese. One day, I actually had a cottage cheese container in the frig which contained cottage cheese. I don’t know if this is going to be that funny to you, it’s funny to us, but we literally had a dozen cottage cheese containers in our frig. None of them contained cottage cheese. Most of them contained pre-made green smoothies, or leftovers from when we cook in bulk.
My wife was looking for her green smoothies because we have slightly different green smoothies, which is a whole separate conversation. She had a long day at work. She comes home, and she takes a cottage cheese container out of the frig, she gets her glass out, she opens the lid, and just has this utter look of shock on her face. She looks up, and I say, “What’s wrong?” She says, “There’s cottage cheese in this cottage cheese container.” And we both just started cracking up because for us, cottage cheese being in a cottage cheese container is the last thing we would expect. We would expect some sort of green thing, good green thing, in the cottage cheese container. Anyway, you can see that you go a little bit bonkers once you’ve been SANE for so long, so you are upper case SANE, plus you are lower case insane in other ways, but you’re happy, so it’s all good.
So that is my number one time-saving tip. There are a lot more details there. Step-by-step program. Support group. Coaching group. Jonathan talked about this. Let’s get specific, let’s set some goals around it. We’ve got eight minutes left. I want that to be the homework assignment for this week. Please, I’m going to give you two challenges, but one of the challenges is going to be the same challenge every week. So there are three challenges. The first is, if you’re not in the coaching and support group, please, please, it’s just science. I promise you, literally, there is a direct scientifically proven correlation between the amount of time you spend supporting other people – I know that sounds funny, but think about it like teaching. If you want to learn something, if you teach it to someone, you will learn it phenomenally well. The greatest way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. To the extent that you are active and loving and caring and participating daily and consistently in the support group, you’re success will follow. Period. Science.
Step-by-step program. In order to be maximally supported in the support group and in the coaching group, knowing the science of SANEity, both from an eating, and from an exercise, and from an emotional perspective, is extremely helpful. The number one way to develop that is to just go through your step-by-step program, I promise. There are videos, there are audios, there are interactive quizzes. We have spent so much time and money and effort in making that for you, and it is so comprehensive, if one year from now you have completed that program, it will do – put it this way. It takes four years to get a college degree, and I’ve heard from a lot of people, I’m not really sure how much that necessarily will benefit you, especially in the modern economy. It doesn’t mean don’t go to college, it just means four years, cost benefit, you finish your step-by-step program in a year, every other year for the rest of your life, period, with be transformatively better, no questions asked.
So support group, step-by-step program. And now the thing that is going to be different every week, the unique challenge, which I’m hoping you will commit to in your coaching and support group, post about and update us on in the coaching and support group, is what type of batch cooking tricks and tips have you found, even if it’s just a little thing? Like, if my mom was in the coaching and support group, which at one point she was, but we actually had to say, “Mom, I’m sorry, but you can’t be in there because people are going to think that what you say represents me and they’re going to start asking you questions,” and my mom is a fantastic person but that was a role that she did not want to take on, understandably so.
But she is doing all kinds of other fun stuff behind the scenes because she is awesome. She is actually an English professor, and I do a lot of writing, as you know, and she is very instrumental in that. So, yay Mom Kaslowski [sp? 01:28:11]! What my mom would probably post if she was in the support group is, she would say, “Hey, when I make cabbage rolls, first of all, here’s how I’ve SANEitized them, and second, I always make cabbage rolls, I make 24 at a time, and I usually serve them twice in a week, but if I serve them more than that, the family is like, stop serving us these cabbage rolls, so then I freeze them. And here’s how I freeze them, I put them in ziplock baggies because I’ve found that it keeps them fresh.”
I feel a little bit like, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. What can we do together to build up our repertoire here of batch cooking tips and tricks where we can support each other? So my challenge to you, if you’re willing to accept it, if you don’t mind, because in giving, I find that oftentimes we can get so much in return, right? Give us the gift of, this week, in the support group, if you would be so kind, because I will be very curious to see this, personally, so when I’m on the airplane I’m going to try to get my wi-fi going, and I’m going to try to check this out. Give us the gift of what is one batch, either recipe, or technique, that you’ve found that you personally love, and that you think other members of the SANE community can benefit from.
And here’s mine: Mine is batch prep smoothies. Period. Never make one smoothie at a time. If you’re going to take the time to put vegetables in a blender, put as many as you can in the blender, and make two, three, or four smoothies. And if you’re not going to drink the smoothie for longer than a week – I make all my smoothies on Saturdays and Sunday – done for the whole week. I’ll sometimes freeze for the latter half of the week, so I’ll have three or four days’ worth of smoothies in the frig. And then when I drink a smoothie, I take another smoothie out of the freezer. So smoothie out, smoothie in. That is my recommendation.
Not only do you drink green smoothies, but to make it simpler, “Oh, I have to go to work. Oh, everyone’s crazy, I don’t have a lot of time, I’ve got to make a green smoothie.” No, you’ve got your headphones on, you’re listening to something uplifting, you’re making your green smoothies in bulk, you’re freezing them, and you let them thaw for one day. Or here’s what’s cool. If you’re on the go, you can just take your smoothie, put it in your cup-holder, and then if it’s warm outside, your smoothie will actually be thawed by noon when you want to drink it, so boom! And you can actually use it as an ice pack in your lunch, so double win.
So that is the challenge for this week, is please share with us. Please accept this challenge and give us the gift of time-saving tips. Let’s crowd-source this. Let’s figure out awesome time-saving tips, and that will get you also to have much love and much fun in the support group and community. And I will be so excited to see those contributions.
And wow, I want to thank you, also, for the wonderful questions that came in this week. This has been a rocking, rocking session. I know there are quite a few questions that I didn’t get to, but as always, please see this as a starting point, not an ending point. We’re here to celebrate, we’re here to have a lot of fun, and we’re here to kick-start what is going to be a lifetime of getting empowering information and developing empowering relationships, because this is not about the next 21 days. This is about the next 21 years. We’ve all been up and down enough times to know that it’s not about that anymore. It’s not about this anymore. It’s about this. That gradual, calm increase in SANEity.
So thank you, again, for another wonderful week in the coaching and support group. Thank you so much for sharing 90 minutes of your time with me here tonight. There is, unfortunately, not going to be a group coaching call next week. I’m sorry, I’m going to be traveling, but for good things, things that are going to help all of our SANEity and the SANE mission, in general. But I will be back the next week.
And of course, your SANE-certified coaches, Reyna [sp? 01:32:20], Laurie, Wednesday and Rebecca aren’t going anywhere. And in fact, you might be meeting some new SANE coaches here pretty soon. We have a lot of cool stuff in the works ready for you. I will be back the week after next. I cannot wait to see all of your SANE time-saving tips.
I hope this session was as much fun for you. Again, I will send an email out in the next 24 hours with a link to this. It will be posted online in the next 24-48 hours, but your previous coaching recordings can always be found in the footer of your Ignite program, just click on coaching.
And thank you again, I cannot wait to see your time-saving tips. Have a wonderful SANE rest of this week, a SANE next week, jump into the support group, step-by-step program, and I will see you the week after next. Thank you, again.