Just hearing this and just interacting on these calls is going to raise your level of eating and exercise consciousness and really help you to adopt a SANE mindset which is what’s going to allow you to be successful long term. Let the call wash over you. Work through your step-by-step program, which we’re going to talk about a little bit here. Then you can always come back to the call and watch it again because we are going to go a little bit deep. Please don’t let that scare you. It’s nothing but good stuff.
We’ve got a lot of fun things to cover but, before we get into that, we’ve got to celebrate a few things because there have been some wonderful developments taking place. If you’re not in the SANE Coaching and Support Group, please, please, please, this is a critical component of your Ignite Program. Most people don’t know this but, just like we know scientifically that what we put into our body influences the way we look and the way we feel and the way we perform, our social relationships, both the quality and the quantity, but more so—just like everything else, the quality of our social relationships is so important to our long term SANEity and sanity.
If you are not in the Coaching and Support Group, please, please, please, right after this call ends, hop over, log in to your program, and then just click on the word ‘Coaching’. It’s all over the place. It’s in the header. If you’re on an iPad, you’ve got to click the little button in the upper right-hand corner to expand the menu, then you click ‘Coaching’ or you can scroll down and click ‘Coaching’. That’s going to take you into your Coaching and Support Group where you are going to meet some amazing, amazing individuals. For example, such as Stephanie Wieslinger – whose name I mispronounce every week. It’s a little bit of a tradition so we have to keep the tradition going.
What you will also notice in the SANE Coaching and Support Group is you’ve got your wonderful SANE-certified coaches—again, some announcements there—and you’re also going to see a bunch of fun gamification. We try to make it a fun, rewarding experience. We’ve got badges and points that make it really cool.
To those ends, I want to give some shout-outs to our top contributors for the past week because it’s been a busy week in the SANE Coaching and Support Group. Special, special thanks to everyone. I want to call out a few folks individually. Please forgive me if I mispronounce your name. It’s just what I do. I’m not good at baseball. I’m not good at drawing. I’m very poor at singing and name pronunciation. I’m also poor at directions. Without a GPS, I am lost. If you want me to drive you somewhere while pronouncing your name and/or drawing, we’re in bad shape. Eating and exercise—that’s some things that I know fairly well.
Anyway, Linda Bayer, thank you so much. Lorraine Mercera, thank you very much for your wonderful contributions. Stephanie Rieslinger, Linda Hayes, Leanney Springer, Gaynor Helior—Gaynor, I’m so sorry about that, and Rebecca King, thank you so much for your wonderful contributions. Much, much, much appreciated.
As you may have noticed in the SANE Coaching and Support Group, we have two big things to celebrate. As you know, you’ve got your SANE-certified coach, Raina and Laurie and Wednesday and Rebecca, but also we’ve got to welcome two new SANE-certified coach interns—and that’s Andrea as well as Josh. I believe we’ve got Josh on the call. Josh, rock n’ roll, new SANE-certified coach intern, as well as Andrea. You’re going to be seeing and hearing more from them in your Coaching and Support Group so if you’re not there, please pop over there. This week’s challenge will involve your Coaching and Support Group as well so all the more reason to pop in there.
Speaking of challenges—if you were on last week’s call, you remember this print-out. I actually had to buy a new ink cartridge just to print this because it’s quite long. This is the checklist that you can find in your step-by-step program. Please remember there is obviously a lot in your Ignite Program but the good news is that we’re here for the long term. We’re here for life because we want to live the best of our lives for the rest of our lives. This isn’t about twenty-one days; this is about twenty-one years or more.
We’ve taken everything in your Ignite Program and we’ve laid it out in a nice step-by-step fashion which, if you give yourself time, it is quite long but, again, so is life. So it works out well. We don’t want to run out of stuff to do, right? Please, if you’re not in your step-by-step program, after you go into the Coaching Group—I’m giving you so much stuff to do, holy moly. Please get a pen and paper.
First thing you’re writing down is, “Click on Coaching.”
Second thing you’re writing down is, “Click on Step-By-Step.”
If you haven’t printed this out, print this out. It’s in the very first course called “Overview”. There’s a guided tour in there. If you don’t know what to do, click the little button that says, “See how this works” and it will show you how it works, as you might expect from a button that says, “See how this works.” Print this out and please make the commitment. Hopefully, you did this last week and hopefully you’re going to do it again this week—three to six step-by-step steps.
Three to six steps per week. The steps take anywhere from five minutes to twenty-five minutes apiece so they’re fun, they’re engaging, and honestly, that is really going to make a huge difference in your long term success because, as you know, there’s three big differences—at least three big differences—you’re experiencing here in your SANE Ignite Family that has not been the case in any other wellness program you’ve ever attempted in your life.
The first is really just the underlying science. That’s really awesome. We’ve got the new science of SANE eating. We’ve got some patented technology supporting you. Then of course, you’ve got your wonderful coaching and support which is so important. Then also, you have the underlying belief that we have to understand and learn how our body works and how our mind works so that we can navigate life in real life for the rest of our life.
It’s not about memorizing food lists or having little calorie-counting books we’ve got to flip pages in. In fact, we’re going to talk about in detail why that can’t work this week. Not getting a Ph.D.; we’re not here to get Ph.Ds. This is much less expensive than getting a Ph.D. actually. We’re here to have the empowering understanding that we need so that no matter what context we’re in, no matter who we’re with, no matter what challenges life throws at us, we can make the eating and exercise decisions that are going to take us to our unique goals.
Of course, we’re also going to focus on the emotional aspect of things because our unique goals is really important; not someone else’s goals, not what society tells us we need to do, but our unique goals. None of that is possible if we don’t know what we’re doing.
I like to use the analogy of trying to drive. If you try to get on the road and you don’t know how a car works basically or the basic laws of traffic, it’s pretty difficult to get where you want to go and it’s really easy to get in a wreck. Well, I want it to be easy for you and get where you want to go, from an eating and exercise perspective. I don’t want you to get wrecked so I need you to promise me that you’re going to give yourself permission to go through three to six – or more – steps per week so that you get that underlying understanding of why what you’ve been taught to date is incorrect and the modern science and how empowering that is because it’s really—I promise you, it’s going to make a huge difference. Please do that. If you didn’t do that last week, do it this week. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just pop in your step-by-step program, check out the Overview Course, print this out, check it off, and rock n’ roll.
Oh my goodness. I’ve got a question here from Stephanie. “JB, please pronounce my name Ry-sler.” That’s it? Stephanie, your name is pronounced Ry-sler? That’s so much easier than what I was thinking. Please let me know if I got that correct because if it is, that’s a huge win. My self esteem just went up like fifteen points if there was a quantifiable scale for self esteem. Ry-sler. That’s it. Stephanie Ry-sler. What’s going on, Stephanie Ry-sler? Nice to meet you finally.
All right, so what else do we’ve got? We’ve got coaches. We’ve got step-by-step programs. Oh my goodness. And we’ve got some amazing smoothie stuff coming really soon. We’ve been heads down over here, working on some SANE smoothie stuff. You know I love SANE smoothies. Hopefully you love SANE smoothies. Hopefully, you’re really going to love it.
It’s going to be like “Oprah Next Week” or maybe the week after—look under your chair. Everyone—every member of the Ignite Family—is going to get this brand new smoothie product that we’ve created, a hundred percent free of charge. I think you’re going to love it. We’ve filmed it over the past couple of weeks in my kitchen. It’s a lot of fun. I hope you enjoy it. That’s coming soon and it’s yours free of charge, which is great.
Oh my goodness. Okay, well, I think that’s enough. Stephanie, I got it right. Okay, cool. That’s great. I got your name right. Sweet. I love it, I love it, I love it. This is a big win. This call has been a success, if nothing else happens.
All right, so here we go. Let’s get started. In this week’s call, what I wanted to do is, we got some great feedback in the last couple of calls that your SANE-certified coaches and your—so here’s what’s happening. Here’s what’s happened. I want to give you the inside scoop. All right, the inside scoop is that your SANE-certified coaches are awesome. I think you know that already but they’ve told me that we need to make sure that we’ve got individuals jumping in the step-by-step program and we’ve got to make sure we’ve got individuals jumping in your Coaching and Support Group.
What’s happened is, you’re awesome. You’ve been doing that. So we’ve seen a huge uptake in the number of people who are actually going through the step-by-step program, which is great, and we’ve seen a huge uptake in the amount of people who are rocking and rolling in the SANE Coaching and Support Group. Now, because of that, a huge number of questions have already been answered. So if you check out the calls from six months ago, eight months ago, we used to get some pretty similar questions over and over again. But now, because people are rocking the step-by-step program and your SANE-certified coaches and you are rocking it in the coaching group, we’re getting a lot of those questions answered.
Now what we’re doing with these calls is we’re taking these calls to the next level. We’re going to get deep in some stuff. We’re going to go—like, if you remember from last week, we went really, really deep in a few things. Even the week before that, we went really, really deep. We’re going to continue on that path. What I have done is, I have actually prepared a little bit more information than I normally. I’m really excited about what we’re going to cover this week.
This is going to be a little bit like Sesame Street. I don’t know if you remember Sesame Street but I certainly do. They would always say, “Sesame Street is brought to you this week by the number seven and the letter A.” Well, this isn’t Sesame Street; we could call it SANE Street or something along those lines. This week’s episode is going to be brought to you by—we’re going to get pretty deep in—a couple of things—why the nutrition information you’ve been given to date is incorrect.
It’s not about blame; it’s really more about lifting the curtain a little bit and giving you an inside scoop on some stuff that’s happened behind the scenes that I’ve never talked about publicly ever before. Then also, taking that and applying it to a very specific case, which is calorie counting, and how, once we understand how nutrition information gets out there, then we can start to see—we’re going to do a case study on calorie counting and we’re going to examine why it literally can’t work and why the long term self-love-filled healing SANE approach is honestly the only thing that can work. I’ll show you exactly why.
It looks like my lighting just changed completely but for the better so now you can see my face but you can’t see anything else so hopefully that’s not too distracting. If that sounds okay with anybody—
Wait, hold on. There’s another question here. It’s about someone’s name. “Jonathan, can you pronounce my name like the words lee-nun-e? Take your time and stress the “nun.” Leenunny. What’s up, Leanney? If I’m getting that wrong, I apologize. Give me some feedback if I got it right. We’re going to jump into this week’s big topic so if you’re ready, please, pencil and a piece of paper. What you should have so far is, three to six steps per week as well as jumping in the Coaching and Support Group. Now, let’s jump into it.
All right, let’s get started by taking a step back. We’re going to get a little meta here. Again, that’s why we’re here together. This is a deep conversation—stuff that can’t be covered in any other context.
When most people think about eating and exercise, they think about nutrition. I know that’s what I thought about fifteen, twenty years ago when I was a personal trainer. That sounds obvious. Yes, we’re talking about nutrition, but what does nutrition actually mean? What is the study of nutrition? Please, if this is one of your first calls, I’m going to make everything make sense. I’m going to bring it back home so if it seems like I’m going off on a tangent, I promise, one thing I can do—I’m not good at drawing, I’m not good at driving directions—but I am fairly good at seemingly going off on a tangent but then somehow tying it back at the beginning. So trust me, I’ll bring it back home.
What is nutrition? What is the study of nutrition? On a basic level, when you think of nutrients and the components of food, studying nutrition is studying what is in food. What are the components of food? Self evident, right? You look on the nutrition facts on a food label and what is that telling you? That’s telling you what is in this food. Makes sense so far? Let me know if it doesn’t. Nutrition is the study of what’s in food, from a very high level.
Now, here’s a really interesting question. It’s wonderful to know the nutrients that are in food. If you think about it, that’s really only one half of an important equation because when we’re thinking about nutrition and we’re talking about changing the way our bodies and our minds work, it’s not just about the nutrients that are found in food but we also need to understand how the thing the food goes into works. It’s not enough to know that there are this many calories in a piece of food; we’ve got to know what do those calories do when they enter the body?
Now, the reason this gets very exciting and the reason this can start to explain why maybe some of the things you’re learning in your SANE Program, while one hundred percent backed by science, are completely in conflict with, for example, what the government’s been telling us for thirty years—again, that’s the United States Department of Agriculture; that has nothing to do with nutrition and has even less to do with how your body works—but this is going to start to explain, for example, how, if you were to read a neurobiology text book and you were to open up a chapter on how the brain regulates appetite, there is nothing in that chapter about nutrition; there’s nothing in that chapter about what is a good source of vitamin C but there are oodles—there are thousands of pages of peer-reviewed research out there on how neurobiology—or how your brain works—how that impacts what you eat and how much you eat—why you have emotional cravings for certain foods, how your brain tells you you’re hungry, how your brain tells you you’re full.
Let me give you a very important example of why this distinction is important. First and foremost, getting a degree in nutrition does not require you to study neurobiology. Similarly, getting a degree in neurobiology doesn’t require you to study nutrition. There’s an anecdote, which is not really an anecdote; it’s a fact. But maybe a fact is an anecdote. Who knows? The saying goes like this, “How many nutrition classes do you need to take to become a medical doctor in the United States?”
In the United States, if you’re a medical doctor, you have a degree called an M.D. (abbreviated as M.D.). How many nutrition courses do you need to take to get an M.D. in the United States? The answer is zero. That’s not bad. That’s not a criticism. It just means that nutrition is a very specific field and when people study nutrition, they study very specific things. They don’t study neurobiology. They don’t study how your brain reacts to certain chemicals. They don’t study, for example, gastroenterology or how your digestive system, the second brain, your gut bacteria, how that reacts to the nutrients found in food.
For example, if a nutritionist sat down with a neurobiologist, the nutritionist might tell the neurobiologist, “Hey, here’s the various amounts of calories and nutrients found in food.” Then the neurobiologist could say back to the nutritionist—this sounds kind of like a joke; a neurobiologist and a nutritionist walk into a bar… —then the neurobiologist would say back to the nutritionist, “Okay, cool. Here’s what ascorbic acid or vitamin C has been shown to do in the brain in certain doses. Here are the areas in the brain that it impacts, so on and so forth.”
Similarly, if the nutritionist spoke with a gastroenterologist, the gastroenterologist might say, “Oh, that’s fantastic that carbohydrates contain four calories per gram but let’s talk about the different forms of carbohydrate and how they actually feed different bacteria within your gut and how those bacteria then impact which calories you actually assimilate into your blood stream. Holy moly, there’s a lot to cover there.”
Then an endocrinologist walks in. An endocrinologist is someone who studies your hormones. They can have a totally separate conversation with the nutritionist where the nutritionist can say, “Okay, make sure you eat your healthy whole grains.” Then the endocrinologist will say, “Okay, that’s fine. Let’s take someone. Let’s put him in the lab. Let’s feed him whole grains. Let’s feed him a
Snickers bar. Let’s see what the impact on the hormone insulin is.” Wow, actually that whole wheat bread spiked insulin higher than a Snickers bar. Interesting.
While the nutritionist might be able to tell you the nutrition facts found within whole grain bread and the nutrition facts found within a Snickers bar, they may not necessarily be super well-versed in the hormonal impact of those calories and of those nutrients. Here’s the macro-uber point. Hopefully, the key distinction so far is that nutrition is very important. It’s one thing. It’s understanding the nutrients from a high level found in food. Then there are other arenas—neurobiology—how your brain reacts to stimulus including stimulus that comes in through your mouth first; gastroenterology—how your second brain or your gut reacts to things that you eat and the way you move your body; and then endocrinology—how your hormones react to all of those things.
There’s a level on top of all of that. There is a level on top of all of that. That is the distinction between doing research and applying the research. This is a really important distinction because this is why I feel so blessed to be a part of the SANE family, to be sharing this information with you. It’s a little bit about my story and it’s also a little bit of why some of the research you’re hearing, if not most of the research you’re hearing about in your SANE Ignite Program, especially your step-by-step course. This is where we’re going to break down the science for you in a fun interactive way, so please do this. It’s why you haven’t heard about it before.
There are individuals that do research. You’re probably pretty familiar with this. There are people who are researchers. They’re professional researchers. What they do is they do research and they publish papers, period. That’s it. That’s all they do. It’s amazing. But if nobody then takes that research and does something with it, the research amounts to be sitting in a pile of papers. Let me give you a concrete example of what we’re talking about here.
For instance, if you’ve had any interactions at various universities, you might know that there are research universities and there are teaching universities, at least in the United States. There are universities that really pride themselves on being top research institutions and then there are other universities where the professors are not so much researchers and may not actually do much research at all but rather are teachers, so they spend their time teaching the research that researchers do. It’s really important to make that distinction because you have people who do research, you have people that teach other people’s research, and then you have people that actually go out and apply and do something with the research.
Why does this matter? Katherine’s here and she says, “I’m an M.D. and I’m correct about not having to take a nutrition class.” Again, it’s in no way, shape, or form, as Katherine has hopefully seen here—that’s not a criticism, it’s just a fact; just like we wouldn’t expect an M.D.—we wouldn’t go to an M.D. an say, “Ma’am, my taxes are due. Can you help me? Because you’re a medical doctor; you’re really smart.” Yes, that’s true. You’re a medical doctor; you are really smart. But becoming a medical doctor doesn’t require studying accounting so we can’t expect a primary care physician to be responsible for our taxes but a lot of us do expect our primary care physician to be responsible for things like nutrition and our metabolic health. That just might be an unfair expectation we’re putting on our physician. What I’m trying to do here is really empower you to figure out where we can get that proper information. Thank you so much, Katherine. I appreciate that very much.
We’re talking about the distinction between researchers. We’re talking about the distinction then between people who then teach that research and people who apply that research. It’s really important to break down those three categories because, let’s look at one end of the spectrum—people who apply that research. I will use a personal example here. My background—way back—is, I was a personal trainer, way back. I actually became a personal trainer when I was seventeen, I think, and that’s the way I paid my way through college.
As a personal trainer, you are taught; you never interact with researchers directly. You’re usually getting certifications by reading books that were written by someone who learned from someone who learned from someone who ultimately there was a researcher. As you can imagine, there can be a little bit of a telephone game there. There can also be a little bit of a delay in when research happens and when teachers or professors hear about it and then when people are taught it and then when they actually apply it. In fact, even in the technological space, there is estimated to be about a twenty-year gap between when researchers discover a technology. For example, one of the reasons—
I have a laptop sitting here. One of the reasons that laptops are small and thin and have higher battery life is because there’s something called a steady state hard drive. We’re getting way out there now but this is important. Hard drives used to be a thing that spins—they physically move. To physically move a piece of a computer drains your battery really fast. Well, there was a research development called a steady state hard drive, which the hard drive doesn’t have to move. That’s why things like mobile phones and tablets and laptops can be smaller and have much longer battery life.
Now the question is, there was a huge gap. There was a huge delay between when researchers discovered that technology and when it actually ended up being in your phone or being in your tablet or being in your computer. There is a similar delay in all areas of science. That’s not just in technology. There will be developments that take place in the neurobiological space or in the arena of gastroenterology or endocrinology. From the day that those findings are published in research journals till they make it into the hands of practitioners, here’s the unfortunate thing. That might not be ten years; that might not be twenty years; it might be never. This is what I found personally.
When I was a trainer and I was trying to tell people my story in brief was that I was working to become a bodybuilder, to become a professional athlete, and to play football in college. I was trying to get big. I was eating six thousand calories per day; I couldn’t gain weight. I just got sick. I used the bathroom a lot, a lot, a lot. That’s six thousand calories per day. I was training people and I was telling them to do what I was taught, which was to eat about twelve hundred calories per day, and they weren’t getting slimmer; they were getting cold, they were getting tired, they were getting crabby.
I knew it wasn’t a willpower issue. I knew it wasn’t because they weren’t doing it because I saw their journals, I saw their logs. I had to sit there and come to terms with the fact that I am a human being; they are human beings; I’m eating six thousand calories per day and I’m not more active than they are; in fact, I’m less active than they are because I know how much I was having them exercise and I know that I wasn’t exercising that much. I’m eating five times more calories than they are; I can’t get bigger; they can’t get slimmer. What’s going on here?
Both of my parents are college professors. I then talked to them about it. They said, “Jonathan, where are you getting your information from?” They encouraged me to go back to the actual research, the actual researchers. This wasn’t even nutrition. This was going back to neurobiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology to try to see research explaining why there are naturally thin people, people who can eat whatever they want and don’t gain weight and don’t seem to have their weight change much at all, and then there are some people who smell a cheesecake and they seem to gain five pounds.
Also, for example, why is it that when we get aged, it’s not because we’re getting lazier as we get older but it does seem, especially at certain inflection points, like thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, our weight changes, what’s going on there? What are those underlying differences? Because nutrition didn’t help me answer those questions. Knowing how much vitamin C is in an orange tells me nothing about why I could eat six thousand calories per day and someone else could eat twelve hundred calories per day and I didn’t gain weight and they didn’t lose weight. Knowing the amount of calories in a Big Mac and how much saturated fat it contains tells us nothing about what was going on in my body to cause it to burn six thousand calories per day, not through additional exercise, and what was causing other individuals who are less, let’s call it, genetically gifted, to gain weight on a fifth of those calories.
Understanding vitamins and minerals does not tell me that. But what I quickly got to see—and this is why I consider myself so fortunate—is there are oodles, there are thousands of researchers that, all they’re doing is they’re looking at how our brain processes the chemical signals that happen when we eat food. There are thousands of researchers who do the same thing for our digestive system. There are thousands of researchers who do the same thing for our hormones. The unfortunate thing is, all of their research—
When it comes to technology, there’s a huge financial incentive. To make laptops and to make phones and to make tablets have longer battery life—you can sell that really, really easily. Because of that, there’s an incentive for practitioners to see what researchers are doing and then to go put that into practice. Here’s the challenge. Here’s the challenge. We live in a culture where we’ve got a 1.7 trillion dollar food industry. We’ve got an enormous fitness industry—fitness gyms, things along those lines. Not that gyms are bad, it’s just a huge industry.
Those industries are doing quite well and there’s not really an incentive for those industries to understand the new research developments when it comes to how your brain works, how your gut works, and how your hormones work. You could say, “Well, yes there is, Jonathan. Don’t those weight loss programs want to be more effective?” Well, do they? Because if you can sell someone something and convince them that the reason it’s not working is that, they aren’t trying hard enough and that they just need to try harder and buy more, well then, you don’t really have an incentive.
If you’ve ever been part of a starvation-based weight regulation program, what you usually hear is just, well, you need to try harder because we’re counting your calories and we’re tracking the macro and micro nutrients that you’re eating. We’re looking at nutrition and, according to our simplistic metabolic math calculations, you should be losing weight. You’re not. So you’re at fault, period.” How familiar does that sound?
Let’s unpack that a little bit. Everything that just happened in that fictional conversation was well, you’re eating this many calories; you’re taking in this many nutrients; and the result that the other person expected isn’t happening; the problem is you. But there’s a big myth—there’s a huge gigantic missing piece of that equation. That is, there’s been no sensitivity played to you, to the system those calories are going into.
Maybe you’re not doing anything wrong. Maybe there are fundamental differences in the way that human beings’ brain—neurobiology; hormones—endocrinology; and digestive system—gastroenterology process nutrition. Yes, it is the same. An orange has the same amount of calories and the same amount of vitamin C for every human being that eats it. But isn’t it possible that there could be something different amongst the people who are eating it? If that sounds odd, we already know this is true.
For instance, a peanut has the same number of calories in it for everyone who eats it; it’s got the same amount of protein in it for everyone who eats it; but for some people, it can kill them and for other people, it’s delicious. If you have a peanut allergy and you eat peanuts, a.k.a., if your body is different, eating peanuts can do something radically different than an individual who doesn’t have a peanut allergy. The nutrition of the peanut did not change. Yes, a hundred calories of a peanut is a hundred calories of a peanut. But what those hundred peanut calories do in your body can be fundamentally different than what they do in another person’s body.
We would never say to someone who ate peanuts and then went into anaphylactic shock, “Try harder. Try harder not to go into anaphylactic shock. Can’t you just not be so lazy and try harder to not have a peanut allergy?” That sounds ridiculous but that’s what we’re told. What we need to understand—because it’s not our fault—no one’s been telling us this but it is a fact. It is a fact that I experienced firsthand and that you’re going to be experiencing now as you continue to go SANE.
What actual researchers, not people who are on television, not people who write for magazines, not that there’s anything wrong with those people but let’s talk about researchers—let’s talk about people who spend their lives in laboratories doing research. They’re so busy doing research that often, ninety-nine percent of the time, they do not have time to apply that research or to teach that research. They are so busy. I can tell you that it’s a full-time job and it requires a massive team and fifteen years’ worth of research just to read and understand and to talk with those brilliant minds because it’s not enough to just understand nutrition; you’ve got to understand neurobiology; you’ve got to understand the research around gastroenterology; you’ve got to understand the research around endocrinology.
You can never expect one person to do all that research. What we can do is we can look at what has been proven in those arenas and we can bring them together to start to say, “Look, nutrition is really important but nutrition, nutrients, only talks about the component that we’re putting into our body. It tells us nothing about the behavior of the body that those nutrients are going into.” The behavior of the body can be broken down—it’s way more complicated than this but we’ve only got ninety minutes so we can break it down into three arenas—the way your brain reacts, the way your hormones react, and the way your gut reacts or the way your gut bacteria reacts. One way to think about how those components inter-relate is, one of the ways—
So your brain is a major control center for your body. One way to think about your brain is your brain takes in input from the external world and helps you do things with it—how your brain processes vision, processes smell—things like that. It also takes in other signals such as the food you eat. Now, your digestive system—your gut—is very similar. It’s why it’s called your second brain. Your digestive system also helps you to interact with the external world. Just like your brain takes in visual input and processes it, your digestive system literally takes in food and beverages and processes it. So it helps you to interact with the external world as well.
Now your hormones—your hormones are best thought about as the language that these different components of your body speak to communicate with one another. Right now, we’re speaking in English. The reason we can understand each other is because I’m speaking English and you can understand English. So if your brain wants to get some information to your muscles or to your fat cells or to your digestive system or vice versa, a lot of that communication takes place via hormones. You can think of your hormones as the way the various aspects of your body communicate with one another or the language the various aspects of your body speak to one another.
What does all that mean? What that means is, when—how did I start this soapbox? I’m standing on my soap box. I wanted to try to explain why what you have been taught to date hasn’t worked. Because once you know—part of the challenge—correct me if I’m wrong. Please correct me if I’m wrong. You feel like you’ve tried a lot of different things. You’ve tried a lot of different things to change the way you feel. You’ve tried a lot of different things to change your weight. But if you take a step back, I bet that a lot of those things—if not all of them—involved eating fewer calories. It could be called, for instance, intermittent fasting.
Another word for intermittent fasting is eating less. It’s just, instead of eating less at every meal, you’re just eating meals only during a short period of time. Or maybe you eat whatever you want five days per week or whatever the 5/2 diet—I don’t know what that is—or you do explicit calorie counting—which, at the end of the day, it’s just, eat less, exercise more. It’s a very nutrition focused approach to changing your body.
Change the quantity of what you’re putting in or change the quantity of what you’re burning off. What all of those approaches have in common, other than they’re starvation-based, is that they’re not focused on the system. They’re not focused on your body. They’re focused solely on nutrition. They’re focused on saying either “don’t eat carbs” or “only eat things that our Paleolithic ancestors could eat” or “eat whatever you want; just don’t eat more than fourteen hundred calories and, in fact, you could eat twenty pounds while eating bread,” as someone recently announced on television in a commercial, which is true. You could lose twenty pounds while doing all sorts of things. It doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
What all of those classic calorie-counting approaches have in common is they pay no respect to the brilliant biology that is within you. They say nothing about what could be going on in your brain that has led to this chronic weight gain and this chronic struggle with losing weight. What could be different about your gut flora that could be doing this? What could be out of balance in your hormones? Those are much different questions. If, at the end of the day, a disruption in the type of bacteria that you have in your gut is the underlying cause or one of the underlying causes of your weight gain, then why is eating less even on the table?
If what you have is a disruption in gut bacteria or a hormonal imbalance or neurological inflammation, that’s a little bit like going back to someone who has allergies—pollen allergies—and just saying, “Well, breathe less.” What? Why don’t we examine the beautiful intricacies of our brains and of our hormones and of our digestive systems to see what the underlying causes are of why the same nutrition, whether it’s me back when I was eighteen, eating six thousand calories per day, or I bet if you ate six thousand calories per day, you’d get a much different reaction, or even—let give you a study example. Then I’ve got some wonderful questions coming in. Let me answer those and then we’re actually going to apply this.
Let’s summarize and then we’re going to do a quick study. Summarizing so far, nutrition is just studying the component parts of what we put into our body. Neurobiology is studying how our brain reacts to that and other things. Endocrinology is how our hormones react to that and other things. Gastroenterology is how our gut and digestive system reacts to that as well as other things.
Then there are people who do research in all of those arenas. Nutrition research is a little bit nuanced but, for example, if you’ve heard of Walter Willet. Walter Willet is the chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School. He’s been very kind. I’ve had some wonderful conversations with him and he is the second most highly sighted nutrition researcher in the history of the world. That’s what he does.
And then you have people who are neurobiologists. For example, Dr. Michael Schwartz, over at the Obesity and Research Lab at the University of Washington, in my backyard. What he studies is the neurobiology of weight and weight regulation. Then you have endocrinologists and you of course have gastroendocrinologists. Gerry Mullin, I believe, over at the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic—I had some wonderful conversations with him and that’s what he does.
You have researchers; then you have people that teach that research; then you have people that practice that research. Chances are that you may have interacted with people who are practitioners but if their experience as pure practitioners is anything like mine when I was a trainer, if you ask them, like my parents asked me, “Where did you get your information?”, even if you could say, “Well, I got it from this book,” “Well, where did that book get its information?”, “Well, that book got its information from this book and that book got its information from this book and that book actually doesn’t have any sources supporting it so, wait, how did we come to think that cholesterol was bad for us in the first place?”
And there’s been entire books written about that. There’s been entire books and actually the United States government recently just acknowledged that this fat phobia, this cholesterol phobia has never—it was just like, “Whoops, Emperor’s New Clothes. There was never any research supporting that. We thought there was and everyone just kind of believed everybody else but then brilliant journalists actually exposed that and there wasn’t anything there.
So you’ve got research; you’ve got teachers and professors; then you have practitioners. What we need to make sure is that what we’re doing as individuals, what we’re doing as people, is actually in line with research; not with just what people tell us. What people tell us is not necessarily current; it’s not necessarily proven. We have to make sure it’s in line with the research. The challenge we face is that researchers aren’t out there on the front lines practicing this stuff. As you start to see, as you start to uncover, like, “Oh, man. I’ve been doing this for forty—“I’m not talking as myself—but “I’ve been dieting, I’ve been trying to starve myself for forty years. I’m tired. I’m tired. I feel like I’ve tried everything. Nothing works. There must be something wrong with me.”
I want to give you facts to free yourself from that thinking because, first—and this is super helpful—you haven’t tried everything because you haven’t tried going SANE for a year yet. If you go SANE for a year and you actually follow the step-by-step program and you educate yourself and you give yourself the permission to understand what’s going on in your body, it will change your life. When you also understand why—it’s not as if people are necessarily trying to deceive you or trying to lie to you, they’re just not informed. There were plenty of wonderful doctors back in the day before we understood the importance of the viral theory of infection, who didn’t wash their hands before delivering babies and there was a terrible mortality rate and they didn’t mean to cause mortality in mothers but they did accidentally.
Then new information came into play. Oh my goodness, we have so much new information. Just think about it. We talked about computers earlier. This guy—this thing—could not have existed forty years ago, period. Something one-one-hundredth as powerful as it would’ve been the size of the house or the building you’re sitting in right now forty years ago. Think about nutrition. You are told the same things from a nutrition perspective outside of the SANE family that you’ve been told for forty years. That’s ridiculous.
There’s been forty years of research taking place in neurobiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology that can explain, in part, the major differences about how we all process nutrition; how our brains, our hormones, and our gut bacteria differ; and then, what we can do to make them better. Also, the types of results that we can expect—that’s really, really important.
What I want to do next is, I know we’ve got some questions that came in here, and if you have questions, now would be a really good time to ask them because I’m going to pause from this tirade a little bit. The point of it—again, the summary of it—is that there is an entire—an ocean—an ocean of opportunity for you. That makes me so excited because—think about it as almost a tool set that you have to repair and optimize yourself. To date, you may only have been exposed to calorie counting. Calorie counting isn’t even nutrition because it ignores macronutrients; it ignores micronutrients.
There’s entire other sets of tools—neurobiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology. When you understand these tools and can start to use these tools, can you imagine trying to repair your car if all you had was a hammer? That would really limit your ability to repair your car. Maybe you tried a small hammer and a big hammer and this different kind of hammer because all you thought was or all you were ever told was that hammers were the only thing that exists so you think you’ve tried everything. But in reality, you’ve only tried many different types of one tool. There are entire different types of tools out there.
Of course, with SANE, what we try to do is simplify that. We try to take the underlying discoveries of endocrinology, gastroenterology, neurobiology as well as nutrition. We summarize them in SANEity—satiety, aggression, nutrition, and efficiency—because there’s a lot of information there so we want to make it simple. Just understanding this—just understanding this—gives us hope. It gives us hope that there is an ocean of additional information out there that, once we learn, we can actually change.
We don’t have to worry about counting calories and diddling with nutrition so much. We’re going to focus on whole foods and we’re going to focus on the whole foods that actually change the way our brain, our hormones, and our gut bacteria work and thrive. We’re actually going to change the system that the nutrition goes into.
Changing that system, or unclogging the sink, if you’ve gone through the step-by-step program—that’s what enables our brain and our body to balance and count calories for us and allows us to maintain a healthy set-point weight automatically without having to spend all of our lives and willpower focused on eating and exercise because I know that you have so much more important stuff to spend your time on than diddling with calorie counting and spending endless hours on the treadmill.
You’ve got people that love you; you’ve got people that depend on you; you’ve got important work to do and I want you to have the tools you need to achieve what we in the SANE family like to call nutritional serenity, which is that this is fun for you and you’re eating and you’re enjoying food and you’re not counting. What you’re eating and how you’re moving your body and how you’re thinking and the people you interact with, they make you thrive; they make you feel better. It’s not a source of shame and guilt. I’m going to take all this and I’m going to apply it to calorie counting here in a second.
So we’re going to apply this but I want to ask a quick question, which is—or I’m going to answer some quick questions here, if they apply to what I’ve talked about so far, or if they don’t apply, I might answer them really quick and then I’m going to move on to calorie counting and bring it all together here for you.
Oh goodness, this individual told me how to pronounce their name and now I’m going to mispronounce it so I have to scroll through here. Leanney asks, “Is the supplement industry like the prescriptions medication industry?” That’s a great question and it has a long answer. The answer is kind of no in the sense that the prescription industry is very highly regulated. There’s many different ways to answer this question but here’s the one I can think of right now.
It takes about eight billion dollars, plus or minus a billion dollars, to bring a new prescription drug to market. In the United States, if you want to, you could take flour—no, you won’t have flour—you could take coconut flour out of your cupboard, you could put it in a gel capsule, you could put the gel capsules in a bottle, and you could sell it as “Leanney’s Magic Weight Loss Formula” and you could sell it on the Internet. As long as you didn’t make certain claims, you could actually sell it on the Internet and you’d be totally fine. You could sell it as a nutritional supplement.
Most people don’t realize that but the supplement industry is not regulated at all. There is immense regulation on prescriptions—immense, immense, immense. That’s why you don’t see these little small cottage prescription companies; they’re huge companies. Whereas, type in “supplements” and you’ll find Tom Smith’s Magic Snake Oil, which hasn’t changed since the 1400s. It’s not regulated. In that way, the supplement industry and the prescription drug industry are very, very different. One is extremely highly regulated. Even the food industry—the FDA very highly regulates food. However, supplements—not regulated at all. In some ways, it’s very, very different.
Let’s see here. Stephanie asks, “Is eating SANE the best way to optimize one’s gut bacteria?” It is. It is. As you would hope to hear, it absolutely is. The thing that’s beautiful about what we’re covering here is, it’s possible to hear this and to say, “Oh my gosh, this is so complicated and overwhelming.” That is one totally reasonable way to hear this. But I’m going to get—
Here’s an example. Think of a recipe that you make that you really like. It’s delicious. Maybe it was passed down to you through the generations. Have that in your mind. Now, do you know the chemical reactions that take place on your stove or in your oven? Do you know the technical cause—the chemistry—that’s taking place when you combine those ingredients? Then, do you know why those ingredients combined in that way and cooked at that temperature caused this taste to happen? No. Nor do you need to. You don’t need to know those underlying mechanisms and causes and the science of taste to be able to taste and prepare a delicious recipe.
What you do need is a recipe that works and that’s proven to work. You don’t need to understand necessarily all the nuances of why the recipe works. It is good to have a baseline understanding of different flavors and how they combine. If someone were to say, for example, bake this for twelve hours at 1200 degrees, you would say, “That’s crazy talk” and you wouldn’t even try it. But when someone says, “Eat 1200 calories for twelve days and you’ll lose twelve pounds,” we’re all like, “Well, maybe that would work.” Right? We have to understand at a baseline level but we don’t have to understand all the nuance.
Here’s the wonderful part. When it comes to eating, we live in an intelligent system. We didn’t just appear yesterday as a species. As a species, we live in an ecosystem where we have food that has existed for hundreds of thousands—I don’t want to get into certain topics here because I don’t want to offend anybody—but we live in an ecosystem that’s existed for a really long time and we’ve not been obese and we’ve not been diabetic for a really long time. At the end of the day, when we cut away all the nonsense—all the nonsense—and we say, for example, “Hey, vegetables are good for you.” “That’s true. You know what? Eating vegetables absolutely helps to reduce neurological inflammation. It absolutely helps keep your brain healthy.”
The same things that keep your brain healthy, interestingly enough, help your digestive system. Those same things—vegetables—man, they’re really good for your hormones as well. When we think about it, that kind of makes sense because if we had to consciously know, “Oh, well, if I eat this, it’s going to screw up my neurobiology but it will heal my gut but it might throw off my hormones,” we wouldn’t have survived as a species at all. We just ate vegetables and we ate nuts and seeds and we ate berries and some fruits and we ate meat and fish and we ate some eggs and that’s how we got by for the entirety of human history up until recently. What’s cool is that those whole foods—those foods we find in nature—those are SANE foods.
Of course, with SANE, we take it to the next level because it’s one thing to say, “Hey, I’m part of a tribe and all we do is we eat sweet potatoes.” There are certain tribes, for example, that take ninety percent of their calories in from carbohydrates. There are other tribes that take ninety percent of their calories from fat. They do that from birth and they live a much different lifestyle than we live. In terms of macronutrients, there’s a wide array of macronutrients that the human body can thrive on, if that’s what the human body is fed from birth.
But the situation we’re dealing with, in this country and as individuals, is, many of us have been given such bad information for forty years, that the question isn’t, “Can we just eat things that are found in nature and be good?”; the question is, “Can we just eat things that are found in nature and be good, given the toxic nonsense that we’ve been fed for the past forty years and given that the things that we find in nature today are actually very different than how they were found in nature forty years ago?” A.k.a., wheat, for example, or apples or many fruits or even meat—very different today than they were forty years ago, fifty years ago, even four hundred years ago.
What we need to say is, “What are the common principles we can find across all the foods?” For example, foods that fill us up and keep us full for a long time—satiety. Foods that don’t cause a crazy hormonal swing in our body—aggression. Foods that provide us with abundant nutrition that we know we need without providing us with a bunch of things that are addictive and toxic—that’s the N in SANEity; that’s nutrition. Also, which foods are not so easy or efficient for our body to store as body fat—that’s efficiency.
What we see, amazingly, is, whether it’s—let’s look at all four things. Let’s look at nutrition. Let’s look at healing our brain. Let’s look at healing our gut bacteria. Let’s look at healing our hormones. Non-starchy vegetables are number one. Number one therapeutic device across all of those arenas—nobody disagrees with that; none—I don’t care if you’re Paleo; I don’t care if you’re low-carb; I don’t care if you’re vegan; I don’t care if you’re a professional bodybuilder—non-starchy vegetables—gold medal all the way. Everyone agrees with that.
Next on the list—we look, we say, nutrient-dense protein—protein is a required part of our cellular makeup. We are made of protein. In addition to that, we here in the SANE Ignite Family, we’re trying to heal a metabolic breakdown and we know that protein is extremely important as we’re trying to change our body composition, both because we’re going to be doing eccentric exercise and also because protein is just so satisfying. It’s so satisfying, calorie per calorie. It’s going to satisfy us more per calorie than fat or carbohydrate ever could.
Also, like non-starchy vegetables, nutritious proteins—this is not some crazy thing. People eat vegetables and protein for a really long time and it seemed to work pretty well for them. That’s probably because that is how we evolved or were designed to thrive, depending on whatever your belief system is. If you believe in an intelligent designer, it makes a whole lot of sense for an intelligent designer to design us to eat things that we can find in nature. If you’re a fan of evolution, it makes perfect sense for us to have evolved to thrive on the things that existed in nature through the entirety of our evolution.
We’ve got non-starchy vegetables; we’ve got nutritious protein; then we say whole food fats. The reason whole food fats are so important is because, again, we’re partially made of fat. Sugar is a fuel source; protein is a structural component; and fat can be used as a fuel source but it’s also just an extremely important component of our brain; it’s an extremely important component of our tissues; and it is our body’s preferred source, period. There’s a reason that we store fat on our body. It’s because our body can cleanly burn fat.
We don’t need to secrete excessive hormones in order to store fat or to burn fat. We do need to secrete quite a bit of the hormone, insulin, to utilize sugar and we can’t store sugar so if we eat a lot of sugar and we become conditioned to eating sugar and then we run out of fuel, we’re going to crave more sugar; whereas if we’re used to getting most of our energy from fat and we run out of fat that we’ve been eating, our body can just say, “Well, hey, I want more fuel. There’s fat stored on my hips so I’m going to burn that off.” That’s called being fat adaptive and it’s extremely important.
Non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, and low-sugar fruits. The good news is, like I said, you don’t need to say, “Oh, I’m going to go on the gut bacteria diet” or “I’m going to go on the high nutrient-density diet” or “I’m going to go on the hormone healing diet” or “I’m going to go on the brain boosting diet.” Those components—everything we just talked about—those are the SANEst foods in the world. That means, they’re going to address all of those issues. They are the fuel. They are the constituent parts that take the beautiful bounty that nature has provided for us and finds the elements that are best for us within what nature has provided because that’s important too.
Nature has also provided us with tobacco—not the best thing to put into our body. Mushrooms can be delicious but you eat the wrong mushroom, you’re not doing too good. We have to take that from nature starting point and then we need to refine it using modern research. Then we also need to think about it in the context of where we’re coming from. We’re coming from a society where we’ve been lied to and we’ve been shamed, unfortunately, for forty years. The question is not, “What’s the way that someone can eat from when they’re born?”; the question is, “What’s a way that we need to eat to administer a therapeutic dose of nutrition and healing to us so that the brain, our hormones, and our gut bacteria can be healed?” That’s exactly what SANE eating does. It tries to distil down all of this information into a protocol for eating that is less focused on monitoring the nutrients you are taking in and thinking more about foods that heal the system in which those nutrients are processed. Hopefully, that makes sense.
Laura asks, “How can one check their gut balance?” Laura, there’s no easy way to do it. It is an emerging field. The good news is, you don’t really need to. What I mean by that—I mean, you can. You can certainly go to a gastroenterologist; they can take a stool sample; they can analyze it; that will tell you a lot about your gut bacteria, your gut flora, your microbiome. However, the recommendations that a practitioner—a researcher might do that; but what a practitioner will tell you is to eat non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, and low-sugar fruits. So the conclusion—reduce negative stress, develop strong social relationships, exercise intelligently, eat SANEly—those prescriptions are going to cure what ails you whatever it is.
There is no medical condition that gets worsened by eating a nutrient-dense natural diet. That is the way we were intended to eat and it will help anxiety, it will help heart disease, it will help cancer. A disease is the breakdown of the body’s natural function. When we restore an optimal fuel source to the body, that doesn’t just fix heart disease; it fixes a constellation of breakdowns in our body that just allows us to thrive. That’s one challenge of the prescription industry, even the supplement industry, is we’ve been taught to think in terms of “This pill solves this problem”, “This food is good in this nutrient.” It’s much more holistic than that. For example, statins—you talk about side effects. It lowers your total cholesterol but there are these side effects.
There’s no such thing as side effects; there’s just effects. We call the effects we don’t like “side effects” but they’re just effects. You take Propecia to help your hair grow and it can make it harder for other male functions to take place. It’s not a side effect; that’s just an effect. The same mechanism that can suppress or not suppress hair growth can cause other things to happen. It’s not a side effect that taking statins inappropriately can increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease; that’s just an effect. It suppresses cholesterol production. Cholesterol production, the right kind, is critical for neurological function. There is no “This is the diet you eat to solve this problem” just like there’s not—
This is going to be kind of a stretch from an analogy perspective but it’s not “this is the way you treat this group of people to make them happy.” To make people happy, you are loving to them; you are honest with them; you’re genuine. That’s what you do. It’s not “You take this pill to solve this problem”; it’s through these underlying core principles. Eat foods that fill you up and keep you full for a long time. Can anyone disagree with that? Is there any guru on the Internet who’s going to be like “Actually, if you can, if you have to choose between 400 calories that are going to fill you up for a long time and keep you full or 400 calories that are going to make you hungrier, you’re going to want to eat the 400 calories that make you hungrier. Eat those Pringles because once you pop, you can’t stop.” The only people who are going to tell you that are people who sell you Pringles.
Similarly, is anyone really going to say, “Actually, you know, calories that cause major swings in hormones, peaks and valleys, that’s good stuff”? No, no, no. No one’s going to say that. And no one’s going to say that a nutrient-poor diet is better for you than nutrient-dense diet. No one’s going to tell you that if what you’re trying to do is burn body fat that eating an abundance of calories that are really easily stored as body fat is the best way to go.
You see how we can take all this complexity and we can boil it down because, while science is amazing and I love it and it’s what I dedicate my life to, we also have to understand that we’re people and we’re people that live in a world where we got by without all this science for a really long time. This only seems complicated because we’ve been given misinformation. If we think we need to count calories and we need to consciously monitor all these nutrients and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, it becomes really complicated.
But that even falls down. Do you have any idea how many milligrams of vitamin C you took in today and urinated out? Nope. I bet you’re not going to get—what is that? Scurvy or rickets—one of those two things that’s caused by a deficiency in vitamin C. You don’t consciously count vitamin C in and vitamin C out, yet somehow it seems to work out if you just eat food. The same thing here, but in our case, we need to go beyond just eating food to making sure we’re eating SANE foods because we need to restore and provide that additional therapy to our bodies. Hopefully, that makes sense.
All right. Cece asks, “Can we discuss the benefit of thyroid boosting powder? Does it heal the metabolism? Does it increase the metabolism?” Cece, excellent question. The thyroid powder you’re referring to has to do with a lot of the systems—the underlying systems—we’re talking about here today. It is kelp. Kelp is a sea vegetable that is extremely high in iodine. As you may imagine, it is not super easy to eat iodine. Name a good source of iodine. Not super easy. You can take synthetic iodine but synthetic iodine—synthetic anything—is not processed the same way by your body as that same thing provided in its natural context and the context of a whole food.
Most of us don’t eat sea vegetables at all. In the United States, the average consumption of sea vegetables per day is zero. The average consumption of green vegetables per day is zero; let alone, sea vegetables. The thyroid-boosting powder that you find in The SANE Store is kelp. It’s a specific form of kelp that is extremely nutrient-dense; it’s extremely high in iodine, and because of that, it can help to improve and help heal your thyroid as iodine and the other constituent parts of whole foods are very important to the proper function of that system in your body. It’s just possibly correcting some nutrient deficiencies and also providing that within the context of the whole food that our body is optimized to handle. Hopefully, that helps.
Lorraine asks, “If a sixty-plus-year-old person needs to lose sixty-plus pounds, what are the most important to eat and still be able to build muscle and look good?” Lorraine, hopefully I’ve answered your question. Non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, and the only distinction—the only thing I would recommend for someone who is over sixty and needs to lose sixty pounds, is you’re going to really want to focus on the non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and whole food fats. The older you are, the more fat you need to lose; and the less active you are, the more I would strongly encourage you to be on the—
I mean, non-starchy vegetables are on the non-negotiable. They’ve got to be the key component. Nutrient-dense proteins, again, non-negotiable. Then sometimes, it’s like, Do you want to go higher on the carbohydrates or do you want to go higher with the healthy whole food fats? I would strongly recommend healthy whole food fats. There is, as we’ve talked about, if the sixty-year-old woman gets strep throat and if a six-year-old boy gets strep throat, of course there’s going to be a subtle difference in the way the doctor treats that but the end of the day, penicillin is going to help.
We’re kind of marketed—think about razor blades. What is Jonathan talking about? It’ll make sense in a second. There’s razor blades for females and razor blades for males. Now, call me crazy but razor blades—that seems like a little bit of marketing there, especially nowadays with men who, for example, shave their arms.
The distinction between male and female razor blades—that might be a little bit like if you went to the optometrist and you said, “My vision is blurry,” and the optometrist—or you called the optometrist or you sent an email to the optometrist and your name is Pat so the optometrist doesn’t know your gender. So you sent an email to an optometrist, you say, “My vision is blurry,” and the optometrist says, “Well, I need to know if you have female eyes or male eyes in order to do a proper eye test.” Of course, our eyes are different. My prescription is going to be different from your prescription but, at the end of the day, the fundamental biology of the human eye is the same. While my glasses will be a different prescription than your glasses, the reason my glasses work and the reason your glasses work are for the same reasons.
Eating a high-satiety, low-aggression, high nutrition, and low-efficiency lifestyle—non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats—we’re going to have to tweak that based on our tastes and our preferences but that is the template. That is the underlying prescription. That’s the underlying science that will help us see metabolically properly. Again, that simplifies things. That simplifies things so much. I promise you, please protect yourself from some of this marketing that says, “Oh well, you’re sixty-seven and your name begins with an L and you live in Tennessee so because of that, kale isn’t good for you.” Eat more kale. Just do that. Just love it. Just love the simplicity and focus.
Sometimes if these things seem too complicated, that can scare us off and that can make us say, “Oh my goodness, this is just too complicated” like there’s some magic secret I don’t know and I’m going to constantly be on the lookout and this magazine tells me I need to do this and this magazine tells me I need to do this. Eat more vegetables, period. I promise you. I promise you, the challenge for this week, is hit the double-digit servings of non-starchy vegetables per week. I’m going to help you with this because soon I’m going to give you the SANE smoothie product where we’re creating a step-by-step kit that’s going to help with SANE smoothies because SANE smoothies are the easiest way to eat more vegetables. Just eat more vegetables, period. Done.
You’ve tried calorie counting. You’ve probably tried various pills. You’ve probably tried various exercise routines. I swear, I swear, that if you eat ten-plus servings of non-starchy vegetables per day, if you just do that, don’t worry about anything else—just do that—I would prefer if you did other things too but let’s say you just did that for a year—you would experience a transformation that you cannot even believe. That’s it. Like, Kermit the Frog is over here saying it’s not easy to be green. I’m telling you, that may or may not be true. I’m going to make it easier with the SANE smoothie stuff that I’m going to give you soon but we’ve got to make it easier to be green. If you just do that, it’s going to do everything. It’s going to provide you with abundant nutrition. It’s going to help heal your brain. It’s going to help heal your hormones. It’s going to help heal your gut, period, done. Next, you could focus much more on every other aspect of your life. It’s brilliant. It’s beautiful. It’s fun. Hopefully, that helps.
Let’s see. We’ve got Leanney here asking, “I would love to get all my nutrients from the food I eat. Can I do that eating SANE?” Leanney, absolutely. Maybe you could post a follow-up question. I would love to get all my nutrients from the food I eat. Can I do that eating SANE? One hundred percent. If anything in the SANE program has led you to believe that you cannot do that, please let me know. That is absolutely the way to go. “If maybe it’s The SANE Store, do I have to spend a bunch of money there?” Look, The SANE Store, all we’re doing is selling food that is hard—I can’t find spirulina at my grocery store. They don’t sell it there so we take the water out of it, we powder it, and it makes it really easy to travel with and it makes it very convenient.
So all we’re doing is selling food with the water taken out that makes it convenient and makes it not spoil. Also, things like acai berries or noni berries or goji berries; they just don’t sell that at my grocery store so sometimes those can be very helpful for people. Again, we provide them in powdered forms. Absolutely, whole foods—SANE whole foods—are the way to go one hundred percent. Please let me know if that doesn’t answer your question.
Deborah asks, “Can you expand on being fat adapted?” Deborah, I can. I’m going to give you the short version here. Let me know—post in the Support Group if you want this in more detail and I’ll cover it in more detail next week but the short version is this. Your body can basically, basically run on either sugar or fat, period. At any point in time, it’s usually running on a blendish of the two. When people say they’re in ketosis, that means they’re running on pure fat, period. Those are people who are on very low carbohydrate diets.
For example, when you wake up in the morning and you haven’t eaten for six, eight, ten hours, depending on how much sleep you get, you’re almost certainly running purely on fat at that point because you haven’t eaten sugar. At any point in time, there’s about a teaspoon or so—there’s about thirty grams of glucose, plus or minus, circulating in your bloodstream. That’s very little. That’s not a lot. So, very little glucose circulating in your bloodstream at any point in time; very little glucose can be stored in your muscles so there’s just not a lot of glucose or sugar in your body at any point in time. There can be a huge amount of fat in our bodies as we know. Unfortunately, your body can store quite a bit of fat—an unlimited amount of fat actually. However, there are genetic components that can determine how much fat you do or don’t store. We can talk about that more later, if we have time.
Being fat adapted essentially means that your brain and your hormones will allow you to burn fat readily when you don’t have enough exogenous calories. “Exogenous” just means coming from outside of the body; whereas “endogenous” means inside of the body. Fat that is stored on your hips is endogenous fat or endogenous energy. If you were to take butter and put it in your mouth, that would be exogenous fat coming into your body. If, for example, you are insulin resistant or you have hormone levels that are out of whack or you have leptin resistance in your brain or other various conditions, you could be out of exogenous energy.
You could, for instance, only eat 800 calories but your body would not permit fat to be released from your fat cells to be burnt as fuel. This is called internal starvation and it happens, for example, if you have an abundance of insulin circulating in your bloodstream. When insulin is circulating in your bloodstream, your brain and your cells will not allow fat to escape. They just won’t, period. That’s why, for example, low carbohydrate diets can be effective because what they do is, they help, not by themselves—vegetables are very important to heal your brain—but when you’re fat adapted, what’s basically happening is certain hormones like leptin and insulin and ghrelin and cholecystokinin and super complicated stuff that we don’t have time to get into here, your brain is communicating with your cells and communicating with your gut and saying, “Hey, I burnt off breakfast. I’ve used that energy. I need some more energy right now so just burn fat.”
That communication doesn’t happen when we have neurological inflammation, when we have a clogged metabolism, as we refer to in the SANE program. That communication just doesn’t happen, period. We can’t get into all the science here. It’s covered in detail in your step-by-step program. For instance, in people who are chronically overweight, what you’ll see is there is a hormone called leptin which is very important in telling your brain how much fat is stored and whether or not you should be burning fat, storing fat, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
We’ve seen studies where individuals will have twenty-five times the normal level of leptin circulating in their bloodstream because their body is trying to tell their brain, “Holy moly, we’ve got too much fat. Please don’t make me hungry. There’s no reason for me to be hungry right now. I have a hundred pounds of food sitting in my body, stored as fat. Why are you making me hungry?” So leptin is like, “Stop it, stop it.” I mean, think about that. If someone has 100 pounds of surplus fat on their body, why is the brain making them ravenously hungry? They have 100 pounds of food in their body already. Don’t ask a nutritionist that question because they’re just going to say—not all nutritionists; some nutritionists will say, “That’s a good question. I never thought about that.” Because that’s not nutrition; that’s neurobiology and endocrinology together.
Becoming fat adapted just means your gut, your hormones, your brain can have the conversation they need such that your body can readily store fat and burn fat and store fat and burn fat and you’re hungry and you’re full and you’re hungry and you’re full and your weight is not going up 100 pounds and then crash-dieting back down. That set point range of ten to fifteen pounds stays basically steady because you don’t have wild swings in appetite because your body is normalizing your appetite levels by supplementing the exogenous energy you take in with endogenous energy stored in your body within your fat cells.
So when you’re fat adapted, that just means that your body can readily burn stored fat when the need takes place. If you’re not fat adapted and you create the need to burn fat, if you just starve yourself, your body won’t burn fat; it will burn off muscle, it will make you cold, it will make you tired. If you create a 600 calorie deficit and you’re not fat adapted, your body will just burn 600 fewer calories per day. It’ll slow down, it’ll make you cold, it’ll drop your sex drive, it’ll make your muscles way more efficient at moving and not burning as many calories when they move. When you’re fat adapted, that doesn’t happen. Your body would then burn off that fat. That’s a short version of a very complicated scenario there.
Katherine says, “Scurvy’s a lack of vitamin C.” Thank you so much. Yes, scurvy. Rickets is vitamin D. Thank you, Katherine. Appreciate that.
Leanney—now I can say it perfectly; look at that. I love it—Leanney asks, “I have been having a hard time reckoning the new information of the SANE dietary information and SANE eccentric exercise information when doing eccentric is my main point to exercise to fatigue but not pain.” Two separate questions. Well, you should never feel pain. That’s an important distinction. We’ve got six minutes here. I’m not going to get to everyone’s questions. I’m so sorry but I will copy and paste them.
I’ve got a question from Katherine, I’ve got two from Gaye, and I’ve got one from Deborah. I am going to carry those over into our next session, which will be next week, probably on Wednesday. The whole second half—I got a whole other continuation of this. We didn’t do the calorie counting part. We’re going to talk about why calorie counting can’t work; why it doesn’t work; why you didn’t fail; how the approach just fundamentally failed you. Stay tuned because next week, we’ve got smoothie stuff; we’re going to continue this conversation; and let me just thank you because I hope this is as helpful for you as it is enjoyable for me because this—
Man, this is the SANE difference right here. We’re going to get deep. We’re going to do things we haven’t done before and we’re going to get different results than we’ve ever gotten before because, hopefully, you can see this is different. We’re not saying, “Here’s a food list. I’m going to eat only a half slice of cake.” That’s like telling someone who has lung cancer, “Just smoke shorter cigarettes.” The problem is, your lungs are broken; we need to heal them, not starve them. It’s exciting.
Leanney asks the difference between pain and fatigue. Man, this is a tough one. If you’ve never done eccentric exercise before, here’s what I’ll say, Leanney, because this is complicated. Pain—I don’t want to give you bad information and I don’t want you to hurt yourself. Safety is priority number one. What I’d recommend is, if you’re new to weight training, go to your local gym, if possible. Almost every personal trainer will give you one free session. Just have the personal trainer help you feel what it’s like to do an exercise with proper form to muscular failure because you do want to go to complete failure. Hopefully, find a trainer that—
Even better than a trainer is if you can go to a physical therapist. Just pay for one session with a physical therapist who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and ask them to show you safely a way to do a movement. Pick any movement that you want—squat, whatever, blah, blah, blah—and do it to complete concentric failure and then ask them to take you to complete eccentric failure, just so you could get that feeling because it does not feel good at all.
Just like if you finish running a marathon. It probably doesn’t feel good but it doesn’t hurt like getting smashed in the head with a hammer hurts. So there’s a big difference between that bad pain and good productive pain. It’s very difficult for me to describe that here on a call. Definitely ask a follow-up question next session and certainly follow up in the Coaching and Support Group but maybe see a physical therapist and just ask them to help take you through that process so you can get that feeling because you do want that deep good fatigue but not pain, like somebody is hurting you actively. Hopefully, that makes sense.
Katherine asks, “Can you get enough vitamin D eating SANE or do we need to supplement in the winter at least?” Katherine, if you’re not getting sunshine, I would strongly recommend supplementing, if possible. I would, even in the winter, if you can get sunshine—I live in Seattle; I try to get at least ten minutes of sunshine every time I can. Absolutely, it’s fine to supplement. I’m not against supplementation. I just think supplementation can be a little bit like—
I mean, only recently did we discover that we needed to possibly supplement vitamin D. What else don’t we know yet that sunlight allows our body to do naturally? Vitamin D supplementation—it’s a good idea. If vitamin D supplementation causes you to think, “I don’t really need to go walk outside for fifteen minutes today,” then I would strongly recommend against it because I think walking outside for fifteen minutes, even if you could only do it a couple of times per week because you live in Seattle and it’s rainy all the time, can be very helpful. You could also experiment with things like blue lights, things along those lines.
Gaye asks, “To follow up on Leanney’s question, do we need supplements when eating SANE?” Let’s talk about supplements in the next session, if that’s cool, because it’s its own topic. The short answer is no, period. Here’s the evidence. You want the evidence? The rates of diabetes were a hundred thousand percent lower prior to the supplement industry existing. If supplements were required for not becoming diabetic, how did we have lower rates of obesity before supplements existed?
Same thing with obesity. If supplementation was necessary to avoid obesity, then how is it that obesity was so radically lower prior to us having all these supplements. It doesn’t mean supplements are bad. It doesn’t mean supplements can’t be helpful. It doesn’t mean supplements can’t speed things along. It just means that if your goal is to do this purely with whole foods that are SANE, the good news is you can do it absolutely.
Deborah asks, “Vegetables are basically carbohydrates so how does eating ten plus servings going to lower your set point weight?” Deborah, I’m not sure if I one hundred percent understand your question but carbohydrate isn’t bad for you; just like protein isn’t bad for you or fat isn’t bad for you. We just want to make sure we’re getting the SANEst forms of those macronutrients. Carbs aren’t bad; fat isn’t bad; protein isn’t bad.
InSANE sources of fat; inSANE sources of protein; and inSANE sources of carbs are bad. You’re exactly right. A SANE lifestyle is not a low-carb diet; it’s not a low-fat diet; it’s also not a low-protein diet; it’s a natural and balanced diet. Generally, if you follow the framework, it’s going to provide you usually with about twenty to thirty percent max of your calories from nutrient-dense protein; about twenty to thirty percent-ish from carbohydrates; and the rest is going to come from whole food fats generally.
Leanney asks, “I’m not fat but I would like to reduce my body fat percentage and increase my muscle. How do I do that SANEly without internally starving myself?” Leanney, that is a great question and we’re out of time so I am going to save Leanney’s question; I’m going to save the supplement question for next session, if that’s okay. It’s going to fit perfectly in. Please, if you tuned in this week, be sure to tune in next week because this is going to be a two-part series – a special two-part episode, where we’re going to take Leanney’s question as well as the supplement question from Gaye as well and we are going to talk about why calorie counting doesn’t work – can’t work – and we’re going to expound upon what we learned here today.
Your challenge—because we’re at ninety-one minutes—holy moly, we’re at ninety-one minutes. Remember, if this piqued your interest at all, if this piqued your interest at all, please jump in the step-by-step program, complete your three to six steps per week, post in the Support Group every time you complete a step, if you want extra credit, say, “Hey, I just completed” —if you do this, this would be epic—every time you complete a step, just post, “I just did SANE 201 Lesson 3 and here’s what I learned and here are the questions that I have.” Look at that. That right there—
Instead of calorie counting, that dialogue that you’re going to have with your SANE-certified coaches—Raina, Laurie, Wednesday, Rebecca, new SANE-certified coach intern, Josh and Andrea—that’s going to be rock n’ roll. Please do that. The challenge for this week is the non-starchy veggies because, get ready because we’ve got the SANE smoothies coming soon. Ten plus servings of non-starchy vegetables per day.
Please, please, please accept the challenge because it is going to transform your life. You have tried so many different things but if you haven’t tried that and you haven’t gotten thirty days under your belt of ten plus servings of green leafy vegetables, do it for thirty days and then continue it for another thirty because it’s way easier the second thirty days because you’re used to it, your taste buds change; that will transform your life more than any calorie counting ever could, period. That’s the challenge for this week. Please do come back next week. Come back next week because we’re going to continue this because this has been awesome. I appreciate the questions. We’re going to just keep going.
I’m going to pronounce Stephanie—hold on, Stephanie, I’m going to scroll down to the bottom—we’re going to close with this big win here. Oh, Ry-sler. Stephanie Reislinger—she’s in the Coaching and Support Group—and Leanney and everyone, thank you for your wonderful questions. Ten plus servings of green leafy vegetables every day this week. I’m going to make it easier for you next week because I’m going to give you a bunch of free smoothie stuff, which is cool.
Step-by-step program—rock it. Then finally, and in closing, if you’re going to take one thing away—one thing away—besides eating ten plus servings of non-starchy vegetables per day every day for the next seven days because that’s the challenge for this week and jumping in the step-by-step program, you too could be this crazy—is just write on your piece of paper and please circle it four times, “I have an ocean of hope. I have an ocean of hope.” As you are seeing here, there is so much uncharted water.
I swear to you, I did not plan this analogy beforehand. Thank you for allowing this because the analogy actually works pretty cool. There is an ocean of hope in front of you and there is so much uncharted water in terms of understanding the beautiful biological brilliance within you and how we can optimize that and heal that. When we do, it’s less about these calories and these nutrients and more about that beautiful system is operating as it was intended to and the results—they’re not going to happen overnight but they will last for a lifetime if you give them time to happen.
Thank you for the opportunity to spend this time with you. It’s been an awesome ninety-seven minutes. I look forward to seeing you next week. Jump in the Support Group. Jump in the step-by-step Program. Eat your vegetables. In closing, grandma, eat your vegetables. I’ll see you next week.