We’re live, two minutes early. What’s going on? We’ve got Lorraine; we’ve got Sandy. We’ve got Gay in the house; we’ve got Hillary in the house. We’ve got Anise in the house — we have lots of people in the house. We’ve got people coming in the house because the house technically isn’t even open for another two minutes so we can’t do too much in the house because Kathy is in the house, Raina is in the house, Josh our new SANE coach is in the house. Debbie is in the house. So many people are coming into the house right now. Oh my goodness, I’m getting trampled in the house! Oh! All right. Turn this off. Get us out of here.
Jane! Jane is in the house. Aviva is in the house. Yes, Aviva, I’m going to send that link to you here real quick and as always please be super careful with it because it’s the master administrator link and it might broadcast your face if you’re not careful so please be careful. I’m going to post that right now. No one click on that. That’s the do not click on this link link.
If you do want to click on another link, you can click on this link. This is the YouTube backup link to — if for any reason … “backup link”. The reason you can’t see or hear anything — click on that link and I’m going to send you another link later which is going to be awesome.
Marcia, and Sandy and holy moly, Jane, Deborah, whew! We’ve got a lot of folks in the house live and we are one minute out from officially starting so I’m just going to keep on vamping here. Little dance, little dance time. What’s going on, everybody? It is one minute away from our official start time. I’m going to go ahead and minimize some screens here so that I’m fully dialed in to our sweet SANE Live session.
All right here we go! We are official! [00:05:49]
We have officially begun so brace yourself if you haven’t been braced! We are officially rocking n’ rolling. It is 5 p.m. here in sunny believe it or not — sunny Seattle. We are live in the house, another wonderful SANE Ignite Family Live Group Coaching Session.
We’ve got Delores in the house. We have got so many wonderful Ignite Family members here. We have a bunch of new Ignite Family members here. So that said, I want to give a quick shout out and say hey, if you see all this chat that’s going on and you want to participate, it is very easy to do so and we’d certainly appreciate it if you did.
But if you are shy, you don’t have to post anything. But if you do, here’s how you do it. Look in the lower right hand corner of your screen and you’ll see a little chat box down there. If you type something in there and then you hit ENTER or some button that looks like a button you would click in that scenario, you will post a chat just like you’ve seen has happened already.
However there is a catch. There’s the catch, right? If it sounds too good to be true, there’s got to be a catch. The catch is I can’t see all the chats. In fact, I’m going to get so into some amazing stuff we have planned for today I can’t keep track of the chats.
What I want is I love your questions live — put me on the spot, ask me anything you want — and if you want to get my attention for a question, please post it as a question. As you can see, your wonderful SANE Certified Coach Raina just did. The way you do that is down in the lower right hand corner of your screen where the aforementioned chat box is you can click the little comment bubble there and you can toggle it into a Question/Answer mode. When you do that, it will post as a question.
So if you have a question for me specifically then please post it as a question because I want to make sure I see it and I answer it, because those are some of my favorite parts of these calls. Speaking of these calls, let’s chat about what we’re going to do in these calls because I love them. They are my favorite part of the week.
They are unique in the sense that nothing is off limits with one exception. You can ask me anything you want. The only thing you can’t do in these calls is provide medical advice because that’s actually illegal to do on the Internet. If anyone tries to give you Medical advice over the Internet run the other direction because that is against the law. But everything else we can totally rock n’ roll in these calls and I want to make sure that these calls are uniquely valuable for you.
What I mean specifically by that — specifically and uniquely valuable — is that I want us to cover stuff in these calls that can only be covered in these calls, meaning they are not already covered in detail in your Ignite Program. A lot of stuff is covered in your Ignite Program, especially in your Step by Step Program which we’re going to talk about today.
Also you’ve got your incredible SANE Certified coaches available 24/7, 365 in your Coaching and Support Group within the Ignite Program. We’ve just seen so much activity in there. If you’re not in there, please hop over there immediately after this call. Just click on the word COACHING or any coaching link or any Coaching button in your Ignite Program, and your SANE Certified coaches will take care of you with much love and sanity and support. What’s cool is because the Ignite Program is so comprehensive and because your SANE Certified Coaches are so dialed-in on all — not all but close to all — eating, exercise and emotional issues you could ever imagine.
What we can cover in these calls is some really cutting-edge, deep and advanced stuff that is really difficult to communicate any other way than a live interactive session like this. Because of this, if you are new please don’t let anything we cover in these calls intimidate you because we are going to go fast and we are going to get pretty deep. I promise you that the point of these calls is to provide you with information you can’t get anywhere else, cutting edge, deep stuff.
Also your Ignite Program is also packed, specifically your Step by Step Program, with a very incremental… Right here we’re going to jump into the deep end. We’re going to jump in the deep end and we’re going to go super deep. Let it wash over you. If it doesn’t all make sense right now that’s fine. This is recorded. It is also going to be transcribed so you can watch it back as many times as you’d like. You’re definitely going to want to put this under “Repeat” and just let it play in the background.
Right? But in the meantime, please pop into your Step by Step Program. This is the backbone of your Ignite Program. We’ve literally spent over ten years putting together the Step by Step Program. It is super comprehensive and it is wonderfully incremental. The ask for this week and every week is that you pop into your Step by Step Program. This is a printable Check List that you can go through. It is right there in the very first module called “Overview” or something like that. You’ll see SANE 101, SANE 102…. It is just like a course you would take at University or High School. It is going to gradually take you through SANEity.
If anything doesn’t make sense in this call, I promise as you start going through your Step by Step Program it is all going to start to make sense, so please do that if you haven’t already. Bonus points, super bonus points if, after you complete each lesson or each step hop over into your coaching support group and talk about what you learned. Talk about any questions you have.
Like “Hey, I just completed Step Three in the SANE 201 course. I have these questions.” Oh my goodness. That is a perfect scenario to use your Coaching and Support Group for and it is awesome and I’m telling you this is going to transform your life if you jump through it.
If you were here last week — if you weren’t here last week please, definitely click on the Coaching Calls Link in your Ignite Program in the footer. Watch last week’s session because we are going to build off last week’s session. We went super deep in last week’s session. We are going to continue to go deep in this week’s session and I’m going to recap last week’s session and I’m going to keep saying the word “session” over and over and over again.
Before we do any of that stuff I have some wonderful questions that have been sent in. I want to cover some questions from last week that I didn’t get to. And then I want to cover — but again, please see this as a starting point, not an ending point. Let’s have some fun together. Give me your questions. Let’s have a dialogue and let me get started with some shout outs like I always like to do.
Again, Coaching and Support Group and the Step by Step Program — you’re going to hear me say it over and over again, these things are important to your long term success. Step by Step — giving yourself that knowledge, freeing yourself from all this misinformation that we have been given over the past 40 years — and then getting support you need 24/7, 365 per year from your other Ignite Family members as well as your SANE Certified Coaches in the Coaching and Support Group.
Speaking of this week’s Top Contributors everyone has been doing an amazing job in the Coaching and Support Group. As you know we have a wonderful gameification layer where you get badges and points and promotions. It’s fun. This week’s Top Contributors — our thank you to everyone who has been participating — Stephanie Reisler, thank you so much for your wonderful contributions in this support group this week. Josh, Wednesday, Raina , Rebecca, Lori, Andrea, all your SANE Certified Coaches, always doing an amazing job. CiCi, thank you so much for all your wonderful kind words and contributions.
Kirstie I-don’t-know-how-to-say-your-last-name but it’s awesome — Kirstie K. thank you so much. Megan Williams, always awesome. Leannie Springer, Linda Baier, Annice Sambulla. Annice, I believe you ordered a SANE shirt so I hope you like that SANE shirt. I saw that come through. I’m actually rocking one of the SANE shirts right now. Then Amanda Ehrlich. Thank you again to everybody and special thank you to those wonderful family members. Please jump in there.
Let’s get started, shall we? All right. Oh, by the way, before we get started, before we jump into it, I have two surprises this week that I wanted to share with you. We’re going to start out on two high notes. Let me just make sure we didn’t have any questions that are pertinent before I move on.
Dr. Oz… This is great. Okay, we’ll rock these questions. I got some questions. There is a little monkey that shows up in your Ignite Program if you’ve gone through. If you haven’t, please do this. You’ll see little red buttons throughout the program that say something like “How does this work?” These are amazing interactive guided tours. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen anything like these before because we actually had custom software built. They give you guided interactive tours of how to use your program so please check them out.
You may see a dancing monkey every once in a while. You may even see a monkey on the invite to this. My wife and the CFO of SANE, Angela, we have an inside joke about monkeys and Monkey has become our little mascot. This is the monkey, this is our little friend. We just call him Monkey and he is the official SANE monkey mascot and I just wanted to share that with you because you might be wondering why does Jonathan have this little monkey. I just think it is monkey business; it’s just fun; let’s have a good time. Let’s have some fun. We’ve got Monkey in the house and I love it.
All right, let’s get started with our questions.– No, no! I almost forgot! Last week, if you remember, I announced a pseudo-Oprah Event meaning it was like “Everyone look under your chairs. You’re going to see a Smoothie Quick Start Kit.” As you know, as a member of the SANE Ignite Family, we are here together for life, for the long term because we want you to reach your goals and lead the best life possible for the rest of your life.
By joining us here, putting your trust in us in the Ignite Family, we want to make sure you have everything you need for the rest of your life. Because of that, any time we come up with something new — new information, new programs, things like that, we’re going to do everything we can to get that to you 100% free of charge to say thank you for joining us and putting your trust in us.
I have a wonderful example of that. We have been hard at work on a new Step by Step Smoothie Program, a “Smoothie Quick Start”. It is a wonderful new e-book guide as well as some wonderful videos that we shot in my kitchen. We’re going to continuously improve it. The good news is you get it for free this week and I’ll send you the link right now. Please keep this a secret; this is just for you.
Let me go ahead and post this up here. Copy and paste this somewhere safe. I’m going to put it here. Here’s that link. We’re going to also get that posted in the Support Group and ideally also send it out over email. Get that link, copy and paste it now. I’ll definitely be following up in email in the Support Group to make sure you get it.
That’s going to be helpful for your SANE Smoothies. Your SANE Smoothies are such an easy way. What’s the trick? What’s the secret? Honestly the secret is smoothies. There is no easier way in the world to get your non starchy vegetable intake up. There’s no easier way in the world to eat super nutrient dense foods that you would otherwise not eat.
I don’t know if you’re going to just have a giant bowl of spirulina — no. Mm, this bowl of spirulina is just fantastic. How do I incorporate more spirulina into my lifestyle? Tough, unless you have SANE smoothies. Just dump it in your smoothie and you can rock n’ roll very easily. Hopefully that new ‘Slimming Smoothie Kit’ will be very very helpful for you. I look forward to hearing your feedback in the Support Group. That is Version 1.0. We’re always looking to make it better so please do shoot over your feedback.
All right. Let’s get started with some questions that I didn’t get to from last week, questions that have already been posted here live, and then I’m going to recap some of the deep stuff we covered last week and then take it to the next level if that’s okay.
We’ve got a question here from Gay from last week, which was actually a follow-up from last week. “Do we need supplements when eating SANE?”
I wanted to save this question for when we had a little bit more time. By the way yes, we’ve got about 90 minutes here today so we will be here together for a while but it’s great because we’re going to keep it action-packed throughout because this is a very, very important topic for us to cover. The question is again, do we need supplements when going SANE.
This is super, super, super important. If you don’t have a pencil and paper, please, please get one. We’re going to go deep now. That’s why you’re here: for something different. We’re going to go deep; we’re going to go scientific.
First key point here is we know — or hopefully you will learn very soon as you go through your Step by Step Program — that chronic weight gain, a.k.a. obesity is a metabolic disease just like heart disease or cardiovascular disease or diabetes or hypertension.
Disease is defined, in part, by a set of consistent characteristics we see across a population which then result in an undesirable outcome. Arterial plaque for example is a common denominator leading to cardiovascular disease; inflammation in the brain; dysregulation among your hormones and a disturbance in your gut bacteria — all common indicators of something that ends up being metabolic dysregulation which then causes chronic obesity.
Not to be upset, it’s good news. Obesity is a disease and it is not a moral failing. It is not a moral issue. It is a disease just like heart disease is a disease and just like diabetes is a disease. Once we acknowledge — and awesomely, once the American Medical Association acknowledges — this fact, we can now start tackling this as a scientific and medical problem rather than just having people tell us, “Just use your willpower.”
Nobody who goes to see a doctor when they are suffering from diabetes or heart disease hears their doctor say, “Well, if you had more willpower maybe you could make your heart disease go away.” No. We know it’s a medical condition. We need to treat it medically and we need to treat it scientifically. The same thing applies with chronic weight gain and obesity. We talked about some of the causes of that last week. Please watch the recording for sure.
Why am I bringing this up in the context of supplements? When we know that obesity is a disease, which it is — it’s not a willpower issue, not a character flaw but a medical condition — then we need to treat it with respect and compassion and love and science just like we would any other medical condition.
What causes a disease?
A disease is often caused by one of two things. One is the absence of something that is essential. The reason we call certain vitamins and minerals and amino acids and fatty acids essential is that the body can’t create them on its own. If the body can’t create it on its own and if you don’t eat it then you don’t have it and the body breaks down. We talk about things like scurvy and rickets which are deficiencies in Vitamin C, Vitamin D, so on and so forth. These are diseases that are manifest when you are missing certain essential vitamins and minerals.
A similar thing happens with Vitamin B-12. If you don’t take in enough Vitamin B-12 your spinal cord starts to deteriorate. That’s not good so we want to make sure we avoid that. No deteriorating spinal cords for us! A disease can be caused in part by missing an essential substance.
You can think about this maybe like you would think about your car, for instance. Your car will break down if it is missing an essential substance. I am no expert at car mechanics but I know for example that I need to get oil in my car. I need to get my oil changed every 3000 to 6000 miles and if I don’t get that essential substance added to my car, my car breaks down. We could be missing an essential substance that leads to a breakdown and in human beings we call that breakdown a diseased state.
The second thing is we could have something introduced into our system that doesn’t belong in there. In the context of a car, if you were to take lighter fluid and pour it into the car’s gas tank, chances are something bad would happen with the car because the car is not intended to have lighter fluid put inside it.
It is intended to have gasoline put inside it and if anything other than gasoline goes in the gas tank, something bad is going to happen. It might not happen right away, it might not happen next week, but even if a little bit of lighter fluid goes in the car’s gas tank, over time that would be two years down the road, the car just starts acting up and acting all funny. We might say “Oh my car! What caused this? What happened recently that caused my car to break down?” The answer is nothing happened recently. There was a chronic, low-dose of a substance that the car was not designed to handle introduced into it and over time that caused a build up of damage and then an eventual breakdown in the car.
Something similar can happen to our bodies. Certainly when we are children and we are fresh and we have no contaminants or toxins in our bodies — we may be able to see this today — we see young people being able to eat certain things and it seems like it doesn’t affect them. It is affecting them and what happens when we get older is not necessarily that because we’re older we’re bad. It is because when we have been on this earth for 40, 50 or 60 years…
When you’ve been on this earth for ten years (aka a ten year old) and we’ve only had let’s say, soda put into that body for three years, it might now show anything. Just like if you have a little bit of the wrong stuff put into your sink it might not clog it immediately, but you keep putting a little paper towel in your sinks for 30 years, it’s not that in the 30 or 50 year your sink just got lazy and tired. It is that your sink is saying I’ve got a little bit of paper towel put in me for 35 years. Eventually it’s just going to build up and a clog is going to build up. As we’ve been on this earth for 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 years the same things that didn’t really bug us when we only had three years of exposure to them can start manifesting problems.
That was a long-winded way of saying that disease — which obesity again is a disease so we’re writing it down. “Obesity is not a willpower problem, not a character flaw but a disease just like diabetes, just like heart disease. It is caused from a high level, just like any disease, by a deficiency in an essential substance or the presence of a toxic or inappropriate substance.
A good example again with the body is the disease lung cancer. The likelihood of that is highly increased when we take in a toxic, inappropriate substance that our body was not designed to handle such as cigarette smoke. A similar thing can happen with diabetes. We take in a bunch of processed and refined sugars that our body was designed to handle and over time our pancreas breaks down, our cells are no longer able to do what they are designed to do and then a disease manifests itself, called diabetes.
Okay. Supplements. The promise of supplements in many ways is similar to the promise of medication in that you take. Often, or sometimes, the way supplements are presented to us is “You take this pill and a disease state will go away in your body” or “it will help.” We need to be very careful with this sort of thinking.
Let’s put it this way. Very few diseases have a very specific pinpoint-able cause. Yes, smoking greatly increases our likelihood of getting lung cancer, but there are countless numbers of individuals who get lung cancer every year that have never smoked cigarettes and there are even more people every year who do smoke cigarettes and don’t get lung cancer. Diseases in general are multifactorial. There are many things that contribute to a diseased state.
Supplements are the very opposite of multifactorial. Multifactorial is a long word for “many different factors”. People say “Hey, here is some supplementary Vitamin C. I’m just going to give you a bunch of Vitamin C and I’m going to give you ascorbic acid.” I’m going to give you the isolated Vitamin C and usually in a dose that is not found in nature. I’m going to give you 1000% of your daily recommended value of ascorbic acid out of the context of a whole food.
Nobody today has a disease of any sort because they have a deficiency in supplements. They may have a disease because they have a deficiency in essential vitamins and essential minerals. That’s very, very common. Vitamin /mineral deficiencies are extremely common and those do lead to diseased states, but none of those diseases are caused by a supplement deficiency
You know what? None of these supplements existed prior to us having these chronic levels of these diseases so they cannot be required to fix them! That’s a really important point. I didn’t say they can’t help. I said they can’t be required. They can’t be an essential component to not having these diseases. Why? Because we know, history tells us, the answer. If we didn’t have these diseases prior to these supplements existing, then these supplements cannot be required or essential for us to not have these diseases in the first place.
For instance we don’t have nationwide in America and now worldwide — we do not have an obesity epidemic because we are suffering from a rampant raspberry ketone deficiency! I know that might sound a little bit silly, but if you watch television and read magazines it might seem like “the problem is I’m not taking enough $90 bottles of pills called Raspberry Ketones. I’m suffering from a Raspberry Ketone deficiency and because of that, I can’t lose weight.” That’s what these marketers will lead us to believe.
I’m not saying there is no evidence showing that Raspberry Ketones can aid in weight loss. There is some evidence suggesting that it may aid in weight loss but the absence of it is not the cause of your struggles and therefore the presence of it is not the solution to your struggles. Here is what is the cause of our struggles and if we reintroduce it into our diets it will be the solution to our struggles.
In some ways we could define obesity and diabetes as a manifestation of a rampant vegetable deficiency, nutrients and protein deficiency and whole food fat deficiency because that is what we ate prior to us having all these chronic diseases, all this inflammation, all this needless suffering. If we want to supplement our lifestyle with substances that are proven — like if we take them away we get sick…
We can look at any culture in the world that eats a traditional, whole foods, nutrient dense, unprocessed diet. It has vastly lower rates of all major diseases than we are experiencing in Western Culture. As soon as we introduce processed, starches, sweets and processed unnatural fats into that culture, disease rates skyrocket. What’s happening? Those diseases are caused by the introduction of a toxic substance simultaneously accompanied by a decrease in essential substances.
So can supplements help? They can help. Personally I would strongly recommend not spending — this is just my personal recommendation — I would not spend a penny, I would not spend a single cent on any supplement until I was taking in so much nutrient-dense food. That means double digit servings of nonstarchy vegetables, three to six servings of nutrient-dense protein — and getting the balance of my calories from whole food fats and not from sugar and starch.
Until I had that dialed in, until I had my sleep dialed in and I was participating in the Coaching and Support Group and developing loving and supporting relationships, until I was moving my body regularly — all of those things I would not spend money on supplements. The absence of physical activity causes disease. It does. The absence of sleep causes disease. The absence of vegetables causes disease. These are the things we need. These are the things that are essential. These are the things that should be our primary focus when we have our long term wellness in mind.
That is a long-winded answer but it is the answer you deserve because you’ve been cheated for 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years with sound bytes and your wellness is worth more than sound bytes. We need the science, we need the whole picture. So do we need supplements? Gay asks, “Do we need supplements when eating SANE?” Do we need them? No. If we have exhausted everything from an eating perspective, from a movement perspective, from a sleep perspective, from a self love and support perspective — once we’ve gotten a 10 out of 10 out of all of those categories, then supplements may be useful but then and only then are supplements useful.
I want to answer the follow up question I know I’m going to get which is “So what’s the deal with the stuff that SANE sells?”
We sell things in the SANE store. What are those? You’ll notice they are not supplements, they are food. They are food that is extremely nutrient dense. They are nonstarchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein and whole food fats. We take the water out of them and we make them super convenient and for people like myself, I don’t know about you but I can’t get acai berries at my local grocery store.
They are super good for your health and for your wellbeing and your mental performance, so what we decided to do is to get them, take the water out, take the powder, put it in a bag and now if you want you can take that powder and put it into your smoothie. Your smoothie’s already got a bunch of whole foods in it like kale and romaine lettuce and spinach and hopefully some low fructose fruits. Now you can turbo charge your sanity.
For me it is all about whole foods. It is about using the natural dose of nutrients found in whole foods — and not just any whole foods. I’m talking about the most nutrient-dense whole foods in the world and that is why I do get excited about super foods like thin cell wall chlorella. I don’t expect everyone to know what thin cell wall chlorella is, but put it this way. It is a sea vegetable that is profoundly beneficial to your health. I promise they don’t sell it at your grocery store. It is not a supplement, it is a food. I want to find a way to get that to you if that is something that you are interested in.
Supplements? I don’t think you need them. I think they can be helpful. I think maybe you can spend $10,000 a year on supplements but if you would spend $1000 a year on whole unprocessed foods you would get radically better results. There is plenty of research to support that. So do you need supplements? Absolutely not. Can they be useful? When you’ve dialed everything else in, maybe. Are they worth their cost? Is there a good chance that they’ll do more harm than good? Absolutely. It is a non regulated industry, completely.
I can tell you this as an insider — I can tell you that people have asked us “Why don’t you sell supplements?” If you sell supplements you can do whatever you want, but if you sell food you have to be very, very careful about what you say and about what you claim because food is regulated. Supplements aren’t so that’s another thing to think of.
The food industry is a highly policed, highly regulated. But in all honesty, if you wanted to you could take dirt from your yard, put it in a gel capsule, put those gel capsules into a bottle, start a WordPress blog and sell them tomorrow and call them a supplement and no one could stop you. That’s a long-winded answer to “Do we need supplements while going SANE?”
The answer is no. We need an abundance of whole foods. We need an abundance of love and support and we need an abundance of high quality sleep. We need to move our bodies as much as we can and we need to do a little bit of high quality exercise. As you can see, I feel pretty passionate about that one.
Let me take a quick look and see if there are any follow up questions about supplements. Okay. A good question here from Valerie related to this.
What about our soil being depleted of nutrients because of over-farming?
Fantastic question, Valerie. Some people suggest that supplementation is necessary because whole foods don’t contain all the nutrients they used to contain. That is true; whole foods do not contain the same amount of nutrients they used to contain 100%. That is why I want us to focus on high quality foods that do contain an abundant amount of nutrients.
I also want us to give ourselves a little bit of buffer. Some people might say that trying to eat 12 servings of non starchy vegetables per day is a little ambitious. But you know what? I have ambitious goals for you and I hope that you have ambitious goals for yourself. So yes, our soil has absolutely been depleted and that is why it is so important to eat not just any vegetables. I want to see us eat nonstarchy vegetables. I want to see deep green leafy vegetables. I want us to eat not just any seafood. I want us to try to eat the highest quality sources of seafood possible so I talk about mollusks a lot. We can only do what we have available to us, but that is why I want us to focus so much on an abundance of the highest quality food available.
Then here is what I do personally. As a buffer, if you want to take multivitamin that’s totally fine, but every study that has ever been conducted on vitamins and minerals shows that vitamins taken out of the context of a whole food are treated completely differently by the body than vitamins taken in the context of a whole food.
We know this. Nobody needs a PhD in Chemistry. This is high school chemistry. If you take baking soda and you put it in a beaker with water that does one thing. If you take baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and you put them together in a beaker with water, something totally different happens. Right? The same baking soda is there; it is just the addition of hydrogen peroxide causes that foamy volcano you may have experienced in high school chemistry class.
The point is that when substances are combined together, something different happens than when they are consumed separately. That’s why whole foods are so profoundly beneficial. It is a fact that isolated ascorbic acid in the same dose that you would get in an orange is going to have different and less beneficial impacts on your health than the ascorbic acid found in the context of an orange.
It makes sense that that would be the case because we have been around for a really long time and our bodies adapt to our environment and our bodies are not used to and have not been intended, designed, involved or whatever word you want to use depending on your belief structure to take in high doses of isolated vitamins and minerals.
Does that mean that is bad? I don’t know and actually nobody knows because it hasn’t been studied. But what I can tell you with 100% certainty is eating as much of the nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and whole-food fats has the longest track record of success in history. It’s got the most science backing it. Then if you want to take it to the next level, if you want to spend money supplementing whole foods, buy more whole foods that are super foods, that are powdered spirulina, chlorella, Garden in My Glass, whey protein, acai berries, goji, noni — I think there are 90 some of them on the SANE Store.
This isn’t a sales pitch; I’m just saying look, if you’re going to choose between buying Crazy Pill X on the Internet, please don’t do that. Instead just buy some sea vegetables that have been powdered, because how else are we going to eat sea vegetables? I don’t know about you, but last time I tried to go down to the Pacific Ocean because I live in Seattle which is pretty close and just eat some sea vegetables, it didn’t work out too well. That might be a little bit helpful.
I don’t think we have any other questions about supplements. Actually Anise had a question about soy protein which is a little bit about supplements so let me answer that one real quickly.
Annice asks, “Will soy protein powder clog my hormonal system? I have a lot of it prior to joining the SANE and I don’t want to throw it out.”
No, Annice, it will not clog your hormonal system. And when you say “clog your hormonal system,” we can be very clear about that. That is not just Jonathan’s made up term. It’s a simplification of a term called metabolic dysregulation.
What we can say is have we seen any research that says that eating soy protein in low dose for a temporary period of time — which sounds like what you’re going to be doing — does that cause high irreversible levels of neurological inflammation? Does it cause massive irreversible dysregulations of your hormones? Is it going to going to disrupt your gut bacteria in any irreversible way? The answer is no.
Do I recommend soy protein? I do not. However, soy legume is in the middle of the SANE spectrum so if you’ve got a bunch of it and you don’t want to throw it away I think it’s all good to eat it. Make sure it doesn’t have a bunch of other toxic nonsense in it.
A lot of protein powders and supplements out there in general — they’ve got a bunch of toxic nonsense in them, toxic nonsense, especially with powders. The way these things are marketed to us is “Just add water,” and usually if you’re just going to add water to something and if a company wants to stay in business they have to make it taste good, usually what they do to make it taste good is they add a bunch of junk to it.
Of course our approach is — we actually just sell food, which to be quite honest with you spirulina tastes terrible. If you’ve ever eaten Garden in My Glass — I’m going to be very straightforward with you, Garden in My Glass is disgusting but it’s not intended to be eaten on its own. It’s not intended to be eaten with just water. It is intended to be added in the context of a smoothie so we fortunately have dodged the need to add a bunch of toxic nonsense into things to make them taste good because we recommend that you eat them in the context of a smoothie so the smoothie will mask that flavor.
Soy protein — would I recommend buying more of it? Absolutely not. If you’ve got some of it and if it doesn’t have a bunch of other toxic added fillers in it, can you enjoy it? Yes. Will it cause a bunch of problems? No. Hopefully that is helpful. Please let me know if there are more questions about supplements.
I am actually going to the next question. I didn’t get to one of Leinani’s questions from the last session. I wanted to make sure that I got to it here so I’m going to tackle that one next if you don’t mind. She asks, “Though I’m not fat I would like to reduce my body fat percentage and increase my muscle percentage. How do I do it SANEly without internally starving myself?”
Leinani is awesomely referencing a term that we brought up last week which is covered in detail in the Step by Step Program.
The reducing your body fat, increasing lean muscle — the way people are generally told to do this is using starvation, calorie cutting base diet which can then lead to internal starvation so on and so forth. To reduce body fat and increase muscle percentage, the good news is…
This goes back to something I said earlier which is diseases and supplements and in some ways Western Medicine have tried to make the way our bodies work into “Do this and exactly this will happen.” Like take a statin and your cholesterol will go down. Period, like that’s all that happens.
Then in the commercial they say “Oh and you may go blind and you may faint and you may develop heart disease and it may give you dementia” but they say that really fast at the end. There is no such thing as I put this one substance into my body and it does one thing. It does all sorts of things; it is a cascade of things. Your body is a dynamic, interactive living system. More than one thing happens.
If we want to reduce our body fat percentage and increase our muscle percentage, even if we’re 100 pounds overweight or if we’re zero pounds overweight, the way we do that is a SANE lifestyle. It is to flood our body with an abundance of nutrition and the way we do that is with nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein and whole food fats in that order.
Then we need to provide stimulus for our body to start burning fat and to start building muscle. The way we do that is with smarter resistance training. If you want to build muscle for example, that’s another reason you would not want to do chronic cardio. Chronic Cardio or what I would say is the opposite of smarter exercise, that is, conventional exercise, actually suppresses the hormones needed to develop calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue. It can suppress thyroid function in females. It causes cravings. It is very difficult on your joints.
If your goal is to reduce body fat percentage, increase lean muscle tissue, increase the health and balance of our blood lipids, all these things — nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, and whole food fats. That will cure what ails you. Period. What that is saying is — and this sounds a little bit silly but let’s go back to the car example.
Let’s say for instance that we just lived in a culture — and this is going to be kind of a weird analogy but let’s say we live in a culture where people kept telling us to put stuff other than gasoline in our car. This person saying put lighter fluid in your car and this person saying put kerosene in your car and this person was like put canola oil in your gas tank. No! And all of those things would probably cause different problems in our car. All of them go away when we give our car the fuel that it is intended to run on.
Now if for example, Leinani if you were like “I want to build as much muscle as fast as possible and it is very difficult for me to gain body fat,” then we would say all right, let’s make sure you are taking in more protein than we would normally recommend. We would want to maybe supplement pre and post workout with some of the more nutrient-dense starches like sweet potatoes.
But really it is not nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats work for some people and not for others and they help certain things but not other things. There is no aspect of your life, period, that will not be vastly improved by getting your food from, in order, nonstarchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein and whole food fats.
When it comes to building muscle, really the key thing there is going to be taking that framework I just talked about and making sure that you are doing the right things with your exercise. If you are really interested in building muscle you will need to join the gym because that is really the only way to maximize the resistance you’ll need to trigger the hormonal response that’s going to maximize that lean muscle tissue development.
Let’s keep in mind it is not going to make you bulky. It can’t and here’s the science. There are definitely a lot of people out there who are totally reasonable in their concern that if they lift weights or they do resistance training that they are going to get big and bulky. Here is why you can free yourself from that worry forever. Here is the science. Two things by and large that determine how big your muscles can get. One is hormones; the other is certain genetic markers. Let’s talk about each one here briefly.
Hormones. This one we all know. For example, testosterone. Imagine you have a ten year old boy and he starts lifting weights. No matter how hard he works at lifting weights, a ten year old boy is never going to look like Dwayne Johnson or the Rock or Arnold Schwarzenegger or pick your big bulky man. There is nothing a ten year old boy can do because a ten year old boy does not have the level of testosterone necessary to look that way.
Why that matters is because if you look at the average female, the average female has about the same amount of testosterone in her body as a ten year old boy. For the average female, she just can’t. This does not mean she shouldn’t resistance train. She should, because what is going to happen is she is going to become strong from the inside out. Confidence is going to develop.
You are going to trigger what’s called an anabolic cascade in your body which is going to dramatically increase your ability to burn fat. You are also going to burn more fat 24/7/365 because muscle tissue burns a heck of a lot of calories. We want to definitely resistance train and do that intelligently as described in your Step by Step Program. If you are not already, it has profoundly beneficial impacts.
If you don’t already — there are some people who are just bulkier built. If you are bulkier built, if you just have muscle without trying, you might get a little bit bulky but I promise you it’s not going to happen overnight and if it starts to happen you can scale back a little bit. You are not going to wake up one day and have 40 additional pounds of muscle on your body. I promise.
If it was that easy there are a bunch of crazy people in the supplement industry out there trying to help people build muscle. Not an easy thing to do. Your hormones are our big player in that and if you are a female, you really don’t have to worry because you have about the same amount of testosterone, key muscle building hormone, as a ten year old boy and none of us are going to be worried about a ten year old boy getting too gigantic and massive.
There is also another reason. Another reason is your genetic makeup. Your genetic makeup has a big impact on the amount of muscle tissue you can develop. Specifically there is a gene called GDF 8, Growth and Differentiation Factor 8. This controls the level of a substance called myostatin in your body. This limits how big your muscles can grow. Unless you start taking growth hormone and steroids and all kinds of crazy stuff, at some point your muscles just cannot get bigger. There is a cap, a ceiling on how big they can get.
Which makes sense, right? Because if your muscles actually got too big, you couldn’t move. If you have seen certain body builders, they actually can’t move because they have taken drugs that have caused them to get too big and they can’t function.
Your body is smart. Your body will not allow a muscle to get so big that the muscle — muscles are intended to allow us to move, so if a muscle gets so big that we can actually move less, that s the opposite of what the muscle wants to do. Your body will protect against that.
Different parameters in the levels in your myostatin and the way this gene GDF 8 works determines there are some people who can build muscle very easily and they can build a lot of it and there are other people who can weight train and weight train and weight train and just don’t build any muscle. These genes have a lot to do with it. No matter what you can’t just build past your genetic makeup.
I’ve been strength training very rigorously for 20 years and for the last 15 of those years I haven’t gained additional muscle. I’ve maintained it, I enjoy it and it’s very important for my health, but it peaks and then you just stay there — which is cool because then you can be older and look like you are younger and it is very nice, but it is going to cap out.
The same thing you are going to do if you are 100 pounds over weight or you are right at your ideal body composition, to maximize your lean muscle tissue to protect your health, to make you feel strong and robust for the rest of your life while simultaneously dropping body fat levels, it is the same. If you are already lean, you are probably going to take in more whole food fats. You might even be able to take in more low-fructose fruits, and if you are exercising a lot you might need to take in some more of the nutrient-dense starches but that is really the only difference.
The reason we’ve talked about this in previous calls is that if you are already lean, your body doesn’t have any energy already in it. From previous calls, if you remember it doesn’t have any endogenous energy. It doesn’t have any energy in it. Endogenous. It has to take in exogenous energy. You have to eat more.
If an individual has 100 pounds of excess fat on their body, if we assume that a pound of fat has 3500 calories in it as we’ve heard, that individual has 350,000 calories already in them. That individual is probably not going to need to go out of their way, once they are hormonally healed, to get enough energy because once they reset their hormones, which will heal their neurological inflammation, once they heal their gut, their body is going to say “Wait a minute. I don’t need to be hungry. I don’t need to take in that many calories through my lips because I already have 350,000 calories stored on my hips and already stored inside me.”
Now if we’re already at our ideal body composition, our body is not going to say that. Our body is actually going to say, “Hey, I don’t want to burn off this fat because this is essential fat. This is the fat that I need to function. I’m just going to be hungrier.” This is why an individual who is an athlete or an individual who is already lean has to eat more whole-food fats simply because they need the energy because they don’t have that fat already stored inside them. Hopefully that answers your question.
It is good news because we don’t all have to come up with different “Do I need to eat these vegetables?” No! Nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and whole food fats — there is so much wonderful diversity and areas for us to improve and have fun with within that so there is no shortage of areas for us to progress for us to progress and to delight ourselves by focusing on those big things. In fact, that focus on what matters most can oftentimes be the difference maker.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I bet that part of the challenge that you’ve experienced with wellness up to this point — I’ve seen it time and time again and I’ve experienced it myself — is that you have all these different things you’ve been told you need to worry about. “There is this toxic thing in this.” “I can’t drink out of these water bottles and do I need to take this supplement?” Then I need to do this magical thing and then there are these three pills that I need to take and then they said butter is good for me but now butter is bad for me and do I eat…? Hey, what’s happening?”
We want a different result so let’s take a different approach. Erase the nonsense. Get that out of here. Let’s focus on the big things. Nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats; getting rock star, high quality sleep; moving our bodies in a safe way as much as we can; doing a little bit of high quality exercise and developing loving and supporting relationships especially in the Coaching and Support Group because that is so important.
It is not immediately obvious but there is a direct, statistical correlation proven in the research between how much we develop strong supportive relationships around our wellness goals and our likelihood of achieving them. That’s why I’m going to keep saying “Please, please, please jump in with your other SANE Ignite Family members and your SANE Certified coaches in the support group because it is super important.
Suzanne asks, “Have you heard about ‘Dr. Oz – the Regimen?’ It sounds a lot like the SANE website. Did he steal the idea from you?”
I have not heard about that. I will look it up as soon as we finish here today. But I don’t know. I don’t think he stole the idea from me and I want to give credit where credit is due. Please, the key thing about SANITY is that this is not Jonathan’s Magic Diet at all. If you don’t know my back story I’ll give you the quick version right now. You can see more about it on the website, but I just 15 years of my life working with actual experts, top doctors and researchers at the Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and so forth.
We analyzed over 1300 research studies across all sorts of disciplines; nutrition is just one. Neurobiology — how your brain works and how it interacts with your body. Gastroenterology — how your digestive system. Endocrinology, your hormones; physiology, exercise physiology. We took all that research and put it together into a comprehensive program.
The only value — it’s a lot of value I think — that the SANE team has added is we’ve taken that proven research and we’ve applied it into a system, into a program that makes it easy to use. For example eating nonstarchy vegetables being good for you — I think that’s true but it actually doesn’t matter at all what I think.
I think — what does it matter what I think? I think that cocoa powder mixed with peppermint oil and water tastes good, but that doesn’t matter. That is just what I think. When it comes to biology, when it comes to physiology this is a matter of science. These are matters of fact. I am happy to share my opinions with you, but the good news is that nothing you are seeing here, nothing — there is nothing up my sleeves. Nothing you are hearing is my opinion. If I ever state an opinion I’ll say “This is my opinion.”
What you are seeing in the SANE Program, what makes it different and makes it endorsed by top Doctors at the Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, blah blah blah blah blah, is that it is no ones opinion. It is not my program. It is the culmination of thousands of researchers spending hundreds of thousands of hours over the past 40 years actually uncovering the way our bodies work.
It’s not just people saying “Just eat fewer calories and work more calories out”, which is so ludicrous, that is so missing the point entirely and it’s treating us like math equations and we’re not math equations I promise you. We are so much more beautiful and so much more complicated than math equations.
The chances are if Dr. Oz is smart and I think he is… He’s a practicing surgeon. In fact some of his research prior to him becoming famous — I read his primary research. I actually corresponded with him before he was famous. I actually have an email from Mehmet Oz before he was big, and he said, “Jonathan, I’m sorry I can’t talk. We’re actually getting ready for a new TV show.” So yeah, he’s a smart dude. I bet that his research and what he’s sharing is…
Put it this way, the science is incredibly clear: Nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, low fructose fruits, that’s what fills you up the most — SATIETY.
That is what causes the fewest hormonal problems — that’s AGGRESSION. That’s what provides you with the most of that which is essential and helpful and the least of which is addictive and toxic. That’s N — that’s NUTRITION. And those are the things that are least likely to be stored as fat, that is EFFICIENCY. Anyone who is promoting that type of lifestyle I support and they are in line with the science and because they are in line with the science it is probably going to work. So I don’t know what the “Regimen” is but I’m going to look it up.
Cici asks, “What are the harmful effects of artificial sweeteners like Splenda and NutraSweet? Are they hormone clogging?”
They are not technically hormone clogging because — I mean they can trigger a slight insulin response. The primary problem with them is with the brain. They are neurotoxins. That’s actually what they are. Again, I don’t want people to go “Oh my goodness, if I eat any aspartame I’m going to die immediately!” Alcohol is a poison. There is a reason that it makes us feel the way we do. When we drink alcohol, our liver says “Ah, this is a poison, I need to filter it out of the body.”
Artificial sweeteners are neurotoxins. That is why some of them are banned. However poison is in the dose. Right? You can die from taking in too much water. It happens more frequently than you would imagine. The problem with artificial sweeteners is that they cause neurological problems. It is unclear how many neurological problems they cause.
For example there is plenty of debate on the Internet. If you look at any of the clinical research on artificial sweeteners, it is take mice and feed them their body weight in NutraSweet and problems happen. To be fair, if you took a mouse and you fed it its body weight in Vitamin C, bad things would probably happen, too, because you probably shouldn’t need your body weight in any isolated substance like that.
I do not recommend eating artificial sweeteners. They are not going to benefit you. I do think that if you have a choice between drinking Pepsi, which is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sugar depending on where you are in the world, and Diet Pepsi, I would strongly recommend that you drink Diet Pepsi and then transition off Diet Pepsi. So I’m not saying Diet Pepsi is good for you; I’m saying that based on what I have seen, the research that I have reviewed is that eating a boatload of sugar is worse for you than eating a little bit of artificial sweeteners.
Neither is good; I am not recommending either at all, especially when things like xylitol and erythritol exist which are natural, non-hormonally damaging sweeteners at all… Just kick those artificial sweeteners to the curb. Kick that sugar and high fructose corn syrup and agave and all that nonsense to the curb. If you want to sweeten something, throw a little bit of fruit in it or throw a little bit of erythritol or xylitol. Or if you are a bit more advanced, throw a little bit of Stevia or throw a little bit of luohanguo. Those are both herbs which have a sweet taste and would hopefully be helpful. I hope that is helpful, CiCi.
Stephanie Reisler asks, “Is bone broth worth making? Is it a nutritional value?”
Yes. Bone broth is a great source of nutrients. It is good for you. I would strongly recommend make the bone broth, chill it in your fridge and then take the fat out. SANE is not the Paleo Diet. Here is a great example of how SANE is not the Paleo Diet. What the Paleo Diet would recommend, based on what I have seen, is you make the bone broth and the thing is just pure fat, pure fat; fat not in the context of whole food. I’m just talking the fat. It is like you take a steak and you cut the fat off and you just eat the fat. I don’t think anyone would ever recommend that. Right? That’s just pure fat. There is no reason to eat just that.
When you make bone broth, if you make the bone broth and then you chill it you will notice that the fat congeals and you can strain it off. Please do that. Please, please, please. If you are going to make bone broth, it is a great idea and it is good for you. However don’t just make it and then drink it or eat it or make whatever you want to make, popsicles, out of it. Make it. Put it in the fridge overnight. Let the fat congeal. Use a strainer and get the fat out of there and then enjoy the bone broth. It is good for you but you do not need all of that fat outside the context of whole food.
Noreen asks, “Jon, do you know anything about this blue-green algae known as AFA, in algae found in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon? Would you recommend taking it as a whole food?”
I don’t. I know about algae; I don’t know about that specific type. As a general rule of thumb, sea vegetables, and algae — spirulina for example is a blue green algae, fantastically good for you — I don’t know about this one in particular but the algae that I am familiar with are phenomenally good for you.
There is promise, Noreen. I cannot speak to this specifically but I can tell you that in my experience the algae that I am familiar with are super nutrient dense. Not only are they nutrient dense but they are rich in nutrients that are very difficult to find any other way. It is definitely something to look more into or maybe post in the support group about so we can look it up for you and get you an official and SANE Certified answer.
Deborah asks, “Can it be useful to take your BMR and/or a Dexa Scan or is it just a waste of money?
Excellent question, Deborah. The answer is no and yes. No to the BMR. No sorry. Did you mean BMR or BMI? Please clarify. BMR — base metabolic rate. BMI — body mass index. So many acronyms. I’ll wait till you post a follow up to that, Deborah.
Dexa Scan is fantastic. You totally know your body composition. I’d love if everyone who joins the SANE Ignite Family would do do three things before they get started. Not everyone can do this but it would be fantastic.
Item Number 1 – Physically destroy your scale. Non-negotiable. I can’t come over to your house but I tell you, if I came over to your house and I saw a scale there I would give you a big hug and I would say, “Come on! Get rid of that rid of that scale. Why do you have this scale? I know it is hard. I know it’s been 40, 50 or 60 years but you’ve got to get rid of the scale.”
The second thing would be measuring the relevant things. In fact, the scale will give you bad data. The scale will tell you you are doing good when you are starving yourself and you are actually hurting yourself. We don’t want to use a tool that is going to tell us we’re doing good when we are harming ourselves.
There are two tools that will not tell us we are doing good when we are harming ourselves. The most important one? Get a full blood workup from your primary care physician. Tell them “I’m going to eat more vegetables and nutritious sources of protein and whole food fats” and they will say “that sounds good.” It would be impossible not to say that sounds good. “Is it a good idea, doctor, to eat more nutritious food so that I’m too full for less nutritious food?” Yes! That is a good idea.
Go to your doctor, tell him what you are doing and then have her give you a full blood work up. I don’t want calculated cholesterol numbers; I want actual measured cholesterol numbers. Tell her, “I want the works.” Get those numbers and then go back every six months and get those numbers taken again, because SANE heals you literally from the inside out. If you have diabetes and you are working with your doctor on managing your diabetes, they are going to measure your internals to see how you’re doing, your A1C levels and various other things.
I need you to measure those internals because those are the things that we are going to heal. Here is the key. When you heal those, you will lose excess body fat and you will keep it off but it happens in that order. It can’t not happen but you have to heal first. Most people think “I’m tired right now. I’m not feeling super great. If I lose some weight then I’m going to feel better.” No. We’ve got that reversed. That’s science, I promise you. Here is what happens.
First of all if you try to pursue weight loss directly you are going to starve yourself and you’re going to feel worse. You’ll feel like crap. Raise your hand if starving yourself makes you have more energy and makes you feel better and makes you love life and makes you want to jump out of the bed and increases your sex drive and makes your thinking clearer. Everyone’s hands go down. Starving yourself does not heal you; it hurts you.
What we need to do is focus on healing ourselves first and healing happens on the inside. We measure what’s going on the inside with our primary care physician. She gives us those numbers back. We heal from the inside. As our body heals, the symptoms of the disease go away.
Guess what one of the symptoms is? Excess weight. That is a symptom just like for example problems with our skin can be a symptom of an autoimmune disorder. If we take care of the autoimmune disorder we don’t need to put a bunch of cosmetics on. The body heals from the inside and the symptom goes away.
Obesity is a symptom of a metabolic disease. We heal the disease and the obesity goes away. It is not going to go away in 14 days, it is not going to go away in 14 minutes but it will go away if we heal ourselves. Once we heal ourselves, as long as we’re healthy, it will stay away. Your body does not want to be obese anymore than it wants to have cancer. It’s not like as we get older our bodies say, “Aw get out of here!” No! As long as we give our body what it needs to be healthy it will maintain a healthy weight and it will defend a healthy weight as assertively as it may be defending an elevated weight right now. It is because you body weight set point — guess where you can learn more about it: your Step by Step Program.
We will get our full blood panel done. Then we’ll get it done six months later. We will see, to the extent to which we have healed ourselves, the symptom of excess weight will go away gradually and as long as we stay healthy it will stay away we won’t be hungry and we won’t be tired and we won’t have cravings and it will be awesome.
We can also get a Dexa Scan. That’s the third thing. The first thing was throw away the scale. The second thing was get a full blood workup from your doctor, and then if you want to get a Dexa Scan that is cool, too, because remember, the SANE lifestyle is not just involving eating. It is involving eating an abundance of nutrient dense SANE foods and then exercising smarter.
This is why I have to have you throw away the scale. Please don’t hang up when I make this next statement. Exercising smarter will make you gain weight temporarily. Right? If you develop calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue which, if you are not exercising smartly right now… We can make a huge amount of progress. There have been studies done on seniors, individuals above the age of 65, that have shown that in less than in 12 weeks, in some instances in five weeks, we can double your strength. Double. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be a 400 animal but it does mean that walking up the stairs is going to be twice as easy. It does mean that everything you do in life — picking up groceries, picking up your kids, picking up your grandkids…
For instance there is a huge distance between losing 20 pounds where 15 pounds of that is coming from lean muscle tissue and water and 5 pounds is coming from fat. That is what will happen if you starve yourself. Always. That is science. Now if you were to gain 10 pounds of calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue and lose ten pounds of body fat and not dehydrate yourself, your weight would not change at all but your life would change dramatically, as with the results of your Dexa Scan.
The Dexa Scan is going to tell you your ratio of muscle to fat and that is what matters. That is what matters for your health and that is absolutely what matters for your appearance. Even if you are like “I don’t care about my health, all I care about is my appearance,” the number one way to improve your appearance is not only to lose weight.
Nobody leaves a war-torn country that is plagued with famine looking great. Starvation is bad for us. That may sound silly but that is starvation. Starvation isn’t healthy. The last starvation study that was allowed to be done on people was done around World War II. Guess what they considered a starvation diet? They fed men 1600 calories per day. That was considered a starvation diet. Raise your hand if you’ve been on a calorie counting program and 1600 calories would actually be pretty… “You’re not trying very hard.” Right? That was a starvation condition in the last study that physicians were allowed to do, starving people. Today we consider that “not trying hard enough.”
Starvation is not healthy. Starvation will drop your muscle tissue, suppress it even more than dropping fat tissue. A Dexa Scan will prevent you — a Dexa Scan will tell you you are not doing well. Dexa Scan will tell you that you are not doing well. I won’t say bad; it’s just not good. Dexa Scan will tell you if you are moving in the right direction, dropping fat and increasing the muscle tissue. The Dexa Scan is good; scale is bad. Blood panel is good.
Then Deborah let me know if you meant BMR or BMI. I will answer them both. BMR, base metabolic rate. If you can know your base metabolic rate, yes that would be fantastic to know. If you have ever starved yourself in the past, your base metabolic rate would fall, which means that you would have to eat fewer and fewer calories over time to avoid gaining weight. It is not just that starvation dieting is bad. It is that starvation dieting can only be maintained if you starve yourself more over time.
You might be able to lose a little bit of weight eating 1600 calories per day but if you were to maintain that weight loss you would need to maintain 1600 calories per day because you are going to burn off a bunch of muscle tissue and drop your base metabolic rate. If you look at yourself before the starvation happened, your base metabolic rate would be here. You would eat 1600 calories per day and your base metabolic rate would drop to here. Then you would need to eat fewer calories per day because your base metabolic rate fell.
With SANEity the opposite happens. You will see an increase in your base metabolic rate. Eating an abundance of protein will increase your base metabolic rate. We’ve talked about muscle protein in previous sessions. It will also increase your base metabolic rate by changing the types of fat you are eating.
For example the reason we love coconut so much is that not only is it delicious but because it contains a type of fat called medium chains triglyceride which has been shown in clinical studies to increase base metabolic rate when it is used in place of other forms of fat. Eating more coconut and eating less of some other not-as-useful forms of fat will increase your base metabolic rate. And of course getting sleep and smarter exercise are radically going to increase your base metabolic rate.
Body mass index or BMI — I’d throw that out the window because again body mass index is just going to look at your weight relative to your height. It is just like the scale. It is not going to help you. The body mass index — I am obese by my body mass index. The more muscle you develop the higher your body mass index which is going to say you are overweight or obese based on your height. If you have a healthy, fit, strong body, your BMI, body mass index will say you are overweight. It will think you have too much muscle so I would throw away the BMI. Not good.
Stephanie Reisler: “Jonathan, have you heard yesterday’s news reveal that the science behind the bogus fat makes you fat: low fat diets were actually brought on by the sugar industry?”
Oh, Stephanie you’re spot on. I don’t know if this is still happening but Gary Taubes, the guy who wrote Good Calories Bad Calories, his next book was supposed to be all about how big sugar did very similar things to what big tobacco did in terms of hiding the science and intentionally covering it up.
If you want to go way back, this too is in your Step by Step Program. Back in the fifties and sixties there were two, Ancel Keys and who was the other guy? He wrote Sugar Blues. Anyway Ancel Keys was like “Fat is evil.” Then the other researcher was like “No, it is sugar.” The sugar guy lost. Ancel Keys was really good at Public Relations. It turns out we should have listened to the other guy because yeah, sugar not so good, fat… But let’s be very clear. What a lot of people do is they hear that information about fat not being bad for you and then they say, “For breakfast I am going to eat bacon. Just a whole lot of bacon.”
As you know, in a SANE lifestyle that is not what we are going to do. It is not that fat is good or bad for you. It is not that carbs are good or bad for you. It is not that protein is good or bad for you. We need all of them but what we need is to live the highest quality life possible. We need the highest quality fuel possible, so we need the highest quality proteins, the highest quality fats and we need the highest quality carbohydrates. Highest quality carbohydrates in the world are nonstarchy vegetables; the highest quality proteins in the world are nutrient-dense proteins, and the highest quality fats in the world are the whole food fats that we recommend in the program such as eggs, nuts and seeds. So it is awesome to see science coming around.
In fact I think one of the biggest things was recently the United States Government, which is super slow moving, announced publicly that you really don’t need to worry about the amount of cholesterol you are eating, that it has very little impact on your actual cholesterol levels and, even if it does, total cholesterol — which we’ve known in the research literature for decades — has nothing to do with heart health. Heart health is predicted by the type of cholesterol you have and the ratio of your cholesterol levels. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol are more predictive of positive heart health than low levels of LDL are. So technically a higher total cholesterol may very well be way better for you if it is made up of more HDL. Then we can get into the size of LDL particle size. The Step by Step Program has a lot of information on cholesterol in there. So yeah, I was very, very happy to see that.
Noreen says, “I am struggling with sugar addiction. How do I get rid of it. Do you recommend going cold turkey?”
Noreen, whether or not to go cold turkey, there is no good answer because it depends. There are some people who do well with going cold turkey. There are other people who that — that is not a right answer. That is a per person thing.
There are some people, for example my grandmother, who is a heavy smoker. At some point or so the story goes, she smoked for 40 or 50 years, or 60 years because she grew up in the generation where smoking was — just like many of us grew up in with sugar and starch. The generation before that it was cigarettes, fine for you. Oops. Unfortunately then we pay the consequences. But fortunately now we have the truth on our side.
For my grandmother, at some point her doctor said, “Toni, if you keep smoking don’t come back.” Basically I will not be your physician anymore if you continue to smoke. Toni said, “I’m never going to smoke.” So after 40 years of smoking, that day she stopped. Cold. That’s the kind of woman she was, man. My mom, same way.
I come from a generation of strong women so I’m all about the strength training. I’m about strong women on all levels. So for some people like my grandma, cold turkey is the way to go. For you, what I would strongly recommend is a two part approach.
A couple of calls back we covered sugar addiction in detail. Also just type in addiction, sugar on the search box in your Ignite Program because there are a huge amount of resources in there about sugar addiction and how to detox from it. It is two parts. One is we’ve got to get you eating more nonstarchy vegetables. We have to fill you with so much good stuff that you don’t have as many cravings for the bad stuff.
Then we need to make SANE substitutions. To be clear, it is not that “sweet” is bad. Sweet is not bad. If being SANE meant that we could never eat sweet again, I’d close down shop. I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t eat sweets. We can just practice what I call safe sweeteners. Practice safe sweetening — xylitol, erythritol, Stevia and luohanguo. Go into your support group, go into the coaching group, and go into the recipes. Find recipes that were just — we’ve got dozens of them where you can make delicious, sweet treats but you are sweetening them with — you are using whole food fats to get the creamy delicious texture and you are using safe, natural sweeteners like xylitol or erythritol to make them sweet.
I’m going to be very clear with you. Cooking with coconut flour and xylitol is not the same as cooking with bleached wheat flour and confectioner’s sugar. It is going to take some trial and error. But I promise, play with it a little bit — it depends on your oven; it depends on the altitude you’re cooking at — but when you find it, it is transformative.
Also — this is not a sales pitch, it is what I do. We formulated something called Cravings Killer Chocolate Truffles. Some people try them and they say “These don’t taste very good.” They are not designed to taste like a candy bar because when we eat candy bars you know what that does? It makes us crave more candy bars.
However there is a huge amount of science that has taken place on what causes sugar cravings — various amino acid deficiencies, various receptors in the brain that we can stimulate to help produce the cravings. Craving Killer Chocolate Truffle bars, once you get used to them or once you get used to eating SANEly, they are a delicious. Fact. Anyone who has been SANE and eating sanely for over 28 days thinks they are delicious. They are not super sweet but once you have your taste buds re-sensitized to sweetness they have a natural level of sweetness which is delicious.
They are not what is called hyper-palatable. When we eat hyper-palatable foods like Snickers, eating some of it doesn’t satisfy us; it actually makes us hungrier. Pringles tell us once we pop we can’t stop. Those are hyper-palatable foods. We can eat sweet foods but we just need to eat sweets in the appropriate dose.
We specifically created the Cravings Killer Chocolate Truffles because they do have a natural sweetness and they do contain foods and amino acids that target the areas in your brain that cause cravings. It is not a sales pitch but I’m just telling you that is what I eat when I’ve got sweet cravings or I have shakes that I make where I’ll add a little bit of xylitol or erythritol in it to give me that sweetness I’ve got to have. Or I’ll make some of the SANE desserts from the website. I’m not giving up sweets and I hope you don’t give up sweets either. Please just do two things for me. Three things.
One is eat a lot of vegetables and protein because you’ve got to fill yourself up with those nutrients. Second is find ways to practice safe sweeteners. If you want to get stuff that is already packaged, Cravings Killers — natural whole food. Scientific formulation. I spent years on them. They work. They don’t taste like candy bars; they are not supposed to. They are supposed to train your brain not to crave sugar anymore and that is what they do. Then you can also find recipes on the site and enjoy sweeteners in a natural, non hyper-palatable context.
The third thing is — for me at least I know stress triggers sweet cravings for me. So if we eat more vegetables and protein, we find safe sweeteners and sweet substitutions — way more information on that in the Ignite Program and we can help you more in the support group — but then we need to find the triggers for our cravings.
A trigger for our cravings is stress. It is helpful for us to take a step back and say “Where is that stress coming from?” When I have a sugar craving, can I do something else? Can I interrupt that pattern? Can I say, “I’ve got a sugar craving?” Here is what I find for me personally, and the research supports it. You get this sugar craving. That sugar craving is going to eat at your brain for like five minutes, but if you can go outside, if you can get on your stationary bike, if you can do something — if you can go play with your kids or your dog or your cat — just do something that you love that is going to interrupt that pattern.
A stressful thing happens — sugar! Same thing with people who when that stressful thing happens “I need a drink.” When a stressful thing happens — “I need a cigarette.” That’s the brain saying “I feel bad. There are these dopamine receptors saying “I need…give me something! Give me something to make the pain stop. Make the pain go away.” For some people that is alcohol. For some people it is sex. For some people it is nicotine, for some it’s really bad stuff and for a lot of people it is sugar. It works in the same areas of the brain. It is like a low dose opiate. Opiate is the class of drugs with morphine and heroin. It is not pleasant stuff.
We can eat more vegetables, more protein and find SANE substitutions. But when that trigger happens, when those receptors in your brain say, “I’m not feeling good; something help me,” we can get that dopamine hit from something that doesn’t slowly hurt us. We can get that dopamine hit from — some people use exercise. Jump into the support group right now. Go through a lesson in your Step by Step Program. Watch a funny video on YouTube. Just do something physical! Move your body because I need you to change your mental state but I also need you to change your physical state.
I know this is going to sound silly but the next time you get a sugar craving ‑‑ write this down and try it. If it doesn’t do anything for you, post it in the support group but there is a lot of research supporting it. If you get a sugar craving, stop what you are doing, stand up, turn on some music and just dance around for a minute. Put on some happy music, dance around for a minute. And when that minute happens just chill out for four minutes, give it five minutes. What you will find is that the sugar craving, if it hasn’t gone away completely it will have greatly subsided. Chances are you may even be smiling. We’ve got to find a way to interrupt that pattern pleasantly. Hopefully that helps get you started.
Anise says she’s enjoying the SANE shirt. I appreciate that.
Julie asks “Is monk fruit as a sweetener a good choice?”
Julie I don’t know. Sorry. Can you post that in the coaching and support group? We’ll look up the nutritionals for you. As a general rule of thumb if it is not just sugar the one thing to watch out for is, for instance, food manufacturers will rename sugar creatively. For example “fruit juice concentrate” is just sugar. The body doesn’t care.
There are only three classes of sweeteners. There are natural caloric sweeteners like fruit juice concentrate or agave or honey or sugar. Then there are artificial non caloric sweeteners, things like aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, and then there are natural basically not caloric sweeteners. Your body can’t process the calories that are found in them. That is erythritol, xylitol, luohanguo and Stevia. If monk fruit is like an extract out of the monk fruit that is sweet it is probably fine because it’s an extract, that it’s not this sugary goop that is going to be added to food.
For instance Stevia. You are not actually eating a Stevia leaf. It is Stevia extract. That is a sweet substance that they are taking out of it. So if monk fruit is an extract where it is not sugar, it is not just another name for sugar…
You could take blueberries and you could just extract the sugar from them and then if some food manufacturer can be like “Pure blueberry sweetener.” It is just sugar from blueberries unfortunately. Your body doesn’t care it came from blueberries; your pancreas is still going to say “It’s a bunch of sugar and I’ve got to spike your insulin levels now” and now diabetes… Hopefully that helps a little bit.
Stephanie: Are we getting homework for this week?
Yes we do get homework for this week, and thank you everybody. This has been an action packed session. I didn’t even get to the stuff that I was going to talk about. So come back next week. Stay tuned. I’ve got some cool stuff planned for you.
But hold on. What do we have to do this week? A couple of things, as always. 3 to 6 Steps in your Step by Step Program as always. Pretty pretty please.
Pop over to the coaching support group if you haven’t already. And then, as suggested by your Certified Coaches — and I really like it…
We’ve been talking a little bit about supplements. Let’s use food as medicine, literally. Let us give ourselves a therapeutic dose of nutrition. Let’s focus on the big things — nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats — not caloric counting, not this complexity craziness.
One way to do that — and this is why, one of the reasons we built the app — in the app if you are using that you can take pictures of your food and you can tag food groups. You can also take pictures of food on your phone and then you can import them into the app and you can tag them and you can have your feed and share them on social media if you want. You don’t have to take a photo, but taking photos of your food is very useful. It is like food journaling 2.0 and food journaling has been shown to be very, very effective.
One of your fellow Ignite Family members, Andzrej Bacinski — we have family members from all over the world and I love that — Andrzej has been doing a fantastic job posting photos of his meals in the support group. I love that. I love photos of food. The research around photos of food is awesome. That is why the app supports it. Even if you are not a big app user or even if you are an app user, in addition to that the challenge for this week is I want you to focus on nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats and I want you to post that, if you are willing, as a photo in the support group.
It works just like email. There is a little “Attach” button there. Just get the photos on your computer, click attach, say “Here is what I ate.” What is cool about that is we can inspire each other. We can say, “Hey, this is what I put together in terms of nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats and low fructose fruits.
What is also cool is we may also be able to help each other in the sense of we might be thinking, hypothetically, “Hey I ate this meal and it has got these servings in it.” Maybe one of your SANE Certified coaches will see that photo and they’ll say, “Hey, just real quick, I tweaked those servings a little bit.” That’s another… The coaching and support group is so awesome. That’s the challenge for this week.
I always want you to jump into your Step by Step Program, always, because it is so important to get that education and to get that knowledge to empower yourself. But as you are in the support group, at least once — this is my challenge to you this week — post a photo of something that you are proud to have eaten. That’s important. Proud to have eaten.
How many lifestyle programs have you been in where the words “Proud to be eating” is even relevant? That is the opposite of shame based nonsense that has been forced upon us where the idea of eating is bad and you just need to eat less. That is shame based eating and that is toxic, counterproductive nonsense.
The challenge for this week is I want us to take action to be proud of what we are eating and to announce that in your coaching and support group. Take a picture of some amazing, nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats or a smoothie that you are proud to have made with your free smoothie kit that you got, which is awesome. Post that in to the support group because you should be proud.
The easiest, safest, most long term sustainable way that we can live radically better lives is by giving ourselves a therapeutic dose of nutrition and to be proud and to be proud to be taking the road less traveled Mark Twain [Robert Frost] inspired, and to be eating more but smarter.
I want you to be proud of that and I want you to share that visually in the support group if that is okay with you. We have free smoothie access. We’ve got some stuff planned for next week which is going to be awesome because we didn’t get into it this week. We’ve been rocking n’ rolling for 97 minutes so thank you for sticking with me this whole time. It’s been absolutely awesome. Thank you again. As always, much blessings and much thanks and I will see you again soon. Thanks so much.