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Behind The Scenes Of How A Supplement Is Made: An Insider Interview.

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A few weeks ago, I hopped in my car and drove for an hour over to Dover, Idaho, where the Thorne Research facilities are located. While there, I embarked on a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of a supplements factory, getting to witness first hand how a capsule is made – from the raw ingredients analysis to the mixing and the blending to the encapsulation process and much more.

My guide on that tour was Dr. Alan Miller, who is the executive director of medical education at Thorne, assist with the creation of EXOS supplements, and is a wealth of knowledge on exactly how supplements are made. In this podcast, I interview Alan about the entire supplement manufacturing process from start to finish, and you’ll discover:

-What a special machine that costs over a hundred thousand dollars actually does to a supplement…

-Why employees at a supplements factory have to wear special moon-suits so their skin doesn’t get eaten away…

-Clear warning signs that your supplement may be tainted or have the wrong stuff in it…

-Why some fish oil tastes horrible, and what you can do about it..

-The difference between arginine, L-carnitine and the other “ines”…

-Why some probiotics don’t even make it into your digestive tract at all…

-What you can do about iron making you constipated…

-How to absorb curcumin better…

-And much more!

Resources and links from this episode:

-My original quest to discover the ultimate multi-vitamin

-The new EXOS fuel supplement line

-The LabDoor website for researching supplements

-FDA.gov adverse event reporting system (FAERS)

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how a supplement is made, or the line of EXOS supplements? Leave your thoughts below!

The Crucial Do’s And Don’ts Of Heavy Metal Testing And Metal Detoxification.

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Heavy metals are no joke (and despite popular belief, they’re not invisible, woo-woo compounds that only biohackers worry about). In a recent Molecular, Clinical and Environmental Toxicology journal article Heavy Metals Toxicity and the Environment, the authors report that:

“Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements that have a high atomic weight and a density at least 5 times greater than that of water. Their multiple industrial, domestic, agricultural, medical and technological applications have led to their wide distribution in the environment; raising concerns over their potential effects on human health and the environment. Their toxicity depends on several factors including the dose, route of exposure, and chemical species, as well as the age, gender, genetics, and nutritional status of exposed individuals. Because of their high degree of toxicity, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury rank among the priority metals that are of public health significance. These metallic elements are considered systemic toxicants that are known to induce multiple organ damage, even at lower levels of exposure. They are also classified as human carcinogens (known or probable) according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This review provides an analysis of their environmental occurrence, production and use, potential for human exposure, and molecular mechanisms of toxicity, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity.”

Since it’s been a little while since we’ve visited the topic of heavy metals, and since I’ve personally found everything from high levels of bacterial iron to manganese in my own well water, I figured I’d bring on an expert doc when it comes to the topic of heavy metal testing and chelation.

My guest, Dr. Greg Mongeon is a wellness physician who has been providing healthcare services for more than a decade. He’s an Ironman triathlete, team doc for CompetitiveCyclist, and incredibly proficient at diagnosing the hidden root cause of numerous health challenges by utilizing cutting-edge diagnostic approaches with research-based laboratory analysis.

During our discussion, Dr. Greg and I talk about…

-The urine heavy metal test kit Dr. Greg sent me, and how I’m supposed to be using it..

-How you test for heavy metals, and the important difference between provoked and non-provoked testing…

-What chelation is and what products are used to chelate, including the warnings about DMSA…

-Who should be concerned about heavy metal toxicity…

-Why heavy metal testing is NOT for everyone…

-How long it takes to properly chelate heavy metals…

-Why IV Chelation can be dangerous…

-If it’s safe to chelate if you have silver fillings in your mouth…

-And much more!

Resources we discuss in this episode:

-If you want Dr. Greg to walk you through your own heavy metal testing, then visit DrMongeon.com. An initial evaluation is normally $395, but if you enter code “Ben100″, you will receive $100 off your evaluation.

-The heavy metal chelation spray called MetalFree.

-iaomt.org for biological dentistry.

-The NatureBeat heart rate variability (HRV) app.

-Here’s what a sample urine toxic metals report looks like:

Sample Report UT

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about heavy metal testing and heavy metal detoxification? Leave your thoughts below and Dr. Greg or I will reply!

An Easy Three Step, 42 Cent Way To Naturally Fix Constipation.

How To Naturally Fix Constipation

Constipation sucks.

Not only can walking around all day with fecal matter stuck up inside you put a scowl on your face from gas, bloating and that constant time-sucking nag to find a bathroom and “try to go” again, but long term constipation can create more serious complications such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapse, and fecal impaction. Google any of those if you are curious. Not fun.

And you can get constipated for a variety of reasons.

For example, you can get constipated because you have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

You can get constipated because you don’t produce enough digestive enzymes.

You can get constipated because you have yeast, fungus, or Candida overgrowth.

You can get constipated because you use sleeping pills, because those can decrease gastric motility.

You can get constipated because you ate too much fiber, or because you ate too little fiber.

You can get constipated simply because you didn’t drink enough water the day before.

You can get constipated from an improper pooping position.

You can get even get constipated because you have a parasite (more common than you’d think).

Other causes of constipation can include hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, heavy metal toxicity, or overanxiety. The tests and health detective work necessary to determine the reason for constipation go beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that constipation is the most common digestive complaint in both men and women, so I figured it would be useful to give you a cheap and easy fix to help you go when you need to go.

Although treatments for constipation include drastic dietary changes such as eliminating fermentable foods like FODMAPs, laxatives, enemas (even the infamous coffee enema), biofeedback, and in some serious situations surgery, I’d recommend you try this three-step 42 cent morning routine if you’re reading this and you want to get stuff moving ASAP.

Enjoy, and leave your questions and comments below the post.

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Step 1: Baking Soda + Lemon Juice

Step 1 is relatively simple. When you first awake, get yourself a giant glass, and put a heaping teaspoon-ish* of baking soda and the juice of half a lemon (or 5-6 drops of lemon essential oil) into about 16 ounces of water, then drink it down. It will taste like salty, non-sweet lemon juice. 

Regarding the amount of baking soda, please understand that results may vary. For some, a heaping teaspoon may induce liquid toilet explosions, while for others, a teaspoon may not be quite enough. But a teaspoon-ish amount is a good place to begin.

Why baking soda and lemon juice?

Baking soda, which I discussed in detail in podcast #311, has a variety of useful first aid and medical purposes. It can absorb and neutralize acids in the stomach and relieve intermittent and occasional heartburn and indigestion. It can be an effective odor reducer and natural deodorant because of its ability to neutralize acids and soak up moisture. And because it is a salt, it can also draw fluids into your digestive tract and increase intestinal peristalsis, tiny contractions of your gastrointestinal muscles that assist with movement of food higher up your intestinal tract and poo in the lower regions of your intestinal tract.

Lemon juice is well-known as a digestive aid and as a way to jumpstart digestive enzyme and hydrochloric acid consumption. Incidentally, the polyphenols in lemon can also increase fatty acid oxidation and a dose of lemon is also great for increasing alkalinity, a concept also discussed in podcast #311. Lemon essential oil is a bit different than lemon juice, and is a much more concentrated extract of lemon. It has an incredibly fragrant and aromatic scent, but it’s uses go far beyond a nose pleasing aroma, and it is widely considered in alternative medicine as one of the best essential oils for constipation. The bile production that lemon induces can also increase intestinal peristalsis.

And let’s face it: it’s pretty easy to find baking soda and lemon juice just about anywhere you go.

So where did I come up with 42 cents as a daily cost for the baking soda and lemon juice?

Look at it this way: a big bag of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda weighs in at about 8 cents per ounce on Amazon. Since there’s 0.2 ounces in a heaping teaspoon of baking soda, you’re looking at about 1/5 of that 8 cents per serving, which comes out to roughly 1.6 cents. Just in case you decide to get crazy with your soda serving, let’s round that up to 2 cents.

Next are the lemons. One dozen fresh organic lemons from Amazon come out to around $1.67 per lemon, and if you’re using half the juice of that lemon each morning, you’d be spending 83 cents each morning on your lemon habit. And let’s face it, I’d wager you could probably get a better deal on lemons at your local grocery store.

If you decide to go the fancy pants route and use essential oils rather than the lemon itself (which comes in handy when you’re traveling and can’t get your hands on a fresh lemon), you can get the Young Living lemon oil that I use and put 5-6 drops of that in with the baking soda. Lemon essential oil is about 12 bucks for a month’s supply, which is approximately 40 cents a day (amazingly, less than using actual lemons!).

So ultimately, unless you factor in the cost of the giant 16 ounce glass of water you’re going to put the lemon and baking soda into, you’re looking at about 42 cents a day (or if you opt to use fresh lemons, slightly more than that). Everything else you’re about to read in this article is…free.

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Step 2: Do These Seven Yoga Poses

OK, so you’ve had your giant glass of water with baking soda and lemon juice or lemon essential oil. The next step is to complete the following set of yoga poses, which are fantastic for relieving constipation and for improving digestion. Hold each pose for 3-5 deep, relaxed inhales and exhales. Do not rush through these and do not do shallow chest breathing.

knee to chestKnee-To-Chest: Lie down on your back on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you and your arms relaxed by your side. Bend your right knee and bring it up to your chest with both hands. Both of your hands should be placed just below your knee and on top of one another. Now pull your shin towards your stomach so that your shin pushes against your abdomen, allowing your shin to massage your stomach as you breathe. Hold for 3-5 deep breaths before slowly lowering the right leg and repeating on the other side.

garland poseDeep Squat: This is also known as “The Garland Pose”, but I like to call it the “dump-in-the-woods” pose.  Squat down with your feet about 1-2 feet apart, and slightly duck-footed (pointing outwards). Your heels should be on the floor and you can place a folded towel under your heels if you can’t get your heels down. Now separate your thighs so that they are slightly wider than your body, and then lean forward between your thighs. Next, put your elbows on the inside of your knees with your palms together (in a “prayer” position) and gently push against your knees. You’ll feel a stretch in your crotch and you’ll feel your low back elongate. The same time length, breathing and relaxation rules apply to this one.

cat cowCat Cow: Get on your hands and knees on the floor in a crawl position. Inhale, making sure your back is flat and your abs engaged. Exhale, drop your head and round up your spine so you look like a cat arching it’s back. On the inhale, arch your back, lifting your head and butt and looking forward for cow pose. Switch back and forth between the two poses, connecting your inhale with cow pose and exhale with the cat pose. Slowly repeat 5 times.

standing forward bendStanding Forward Bend:  Stand with your legs slightly apart, and bend forward from the waist. Keeping your back straight, place your hands on the floor or get them as close as you can to the floor. Every time you exhale, try to get your hands just a little but further towards your feet or the floor.

 

open triangle

Open Triangle: Stand and take a big step back with your right foot, turning it out to about a 45 degree angle. Spread out your arms. Keep your spine long as you hinge forward at the hip. Float your left hand down to the floor. Raise your right arm, keeping your arms spread out. Look up to your right hand. Take your 3-5 deep breaths. Then repeat on the other side.

spinal twistSpinal Twist: Lie down, hug your knees and inhale. As you exhale, drop your knees to the left, using your left hand to push them down gently. Then, turn your head and stretch your arm out to the right. Stay for 3-5 breaths. Inhale, and return your hands and knees to center. Then repeat on the other side.

inverted poseInverted Pose: Place two folded blankets about three inches from the wall and sit on them so your right hip and side touch the wall. Swivel your body around and raise your legs onto the wall. Keep your buttocks close to or against the wall. Lie down so your lower back and ribs remain on your support, your tailbone descends toward the floor, and your neck and shoulders rest on the floor. Settle deeper into the pose by allowing the arms to rest above the head, with elbows comfortably bent and open to the side, and open your chest. Rest in the pose with your eyes closed for 3 to 5 minutes.

Why do these poses work so well? Yoga has a strong ayurvedic medicine component and one state that your body can be in is referred to in ayurvedic medicine as “vata”. Ayurvedic medicine classifies constipation as a vatic disorder, because vata governs movement and elimination, and excess vata can cause spasms, especially in your colon and pelvis. Interestingly, very narrow stools or stools shaped like small pellets or balls signal the presence of a spasm in the smooth muscles that make up the wall of the colon.

If you suffer from chronic constipation, you need to learn to relax deeply enough so those muscles will let go, and these poses are a perfect way to do that. Every time you perform this yoga routine, your constipation can get just a little bit better. This is because habitual muscle tightness in the pelvic often stems from long-term chronic anxiety, stress, or trauma that takes regular practice to resolve, so this yoga routine both relaxes the muscles that tend to get tight, and helps you relax mentally too – relieving the anxiety that can often make morning bowel movements difficult.

The inverted pose above is especially useful if your constipation is due to anxiety, stress and tightness in the hips and pelvic muscles because vata excess disrupts the the downward energy that supports elimination, so when vata is out of balance, things go up instead of down. The solution is to turn yourself upside down, and an inverted pose (or if you want to bring out the big guns, an inversion table) can help settle the organs in your pelvis that may have been out of place or “stuck.”

Incidentally, I simply complete each of the yoga poses described above while my cup of coffee is brewing.

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Step 3: Move

This last step is simple. Once you finish your yoga, move for 1-2 minutes. Vibration, bouncing, or any type of impact-based movement work quite well.

Some people stand on a vibration platform. That’s an expensive option, in my opinion.

Other people bounce on a mini-trampoline.

Me? I just do jumping jacks. About 50-100 will suffice. If you want to be a true pooping ninja, do warrior breathing while you do the jumping jacks. That really gets stuff moving.

After a bit of hopping around, grab a cup of coffee and proceed to the toilet to take a squat, hit the john, listen to the call of nature, grow a tail, prairie dog it…you get the idea.

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Summary

Do I do this routine every day?

No.

But it comes in quite handy when I’m traveling (traveler’s constipation is quite common) or when I have a busy morning, I need to get my bathroom business over with quickly, and I’m willing to substitute the constipation yoga routine described above as a replacement for my normal morning yoga routine.

So that’s it! Leave your questions, comments, thoughts, or your own personal constipation fixes below.

Next, remember: even though the routine that you’ve just discovered will indeed get you a good poop ASAP, it would still be wise to figure out why you’re constipated in the first place. I’d be happy to help you via a personal, one-on-one consult, or to point you in the direction of the right blood test or poop test if you comment below.

Finally if you dig stuff like this, you’ll probably really like to read about my entire step-by-step morning routine (in teeth-grittingly specific detail).

Concussions: A Must-Listen Podcast If You Or A Loved One Have Ever Had A Head Injury.

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One of the worst injuries of my life was a mountain bike crash when I was 13 years old. One moment I was bombing down the driveway with a big smile on my face (but no helmet on my head) and three hours later I woke up at the hospital.

I’ve always wondered if I was tested the right way when I was at the hospital, and if everything was done that should have been done when it came to optimizing the healing of my head damage and shutting down brain inflammation as quickly as possible.

I’ve also always wondered whether kids who get concussions might be getting missed diagnoses, improper treatments or lasting cognitive damage, and if there are ways to keep kids and sporting adults from getting concussions in the first place…

So in today’s episode, I get Concussion Health Certified Provider, Certified Sports Chiropractic, ART Certified Provider
and ImPACT Certified Provider Dr. Kelly Ryder on the show, and we discuss:

-What a concussion really is…

-The different types of concussions, cerebral vs. vestibular cochlear concussions, and the kind of concussion that is often missed and not diagnosed…

-What the ImPACT test is…

-Why improper exams and the wrong imaging techniques are so often used in concussions…

-The one test you must ensure is done on you or your kids if you want to make sure you’re being treated properly…

-Which alternative treatments really work for concussion healing, from hyperbaric therapy to neurofeedback to balance therapy and eye therapy…

-How a diet should be set up to reduce brain inflammation…

-How to decrease your risk of getting a concussion in the first place…

Resources we discuss in this episode:

-Dr. Kelly Ryder’s website

-The Muse app for training the brain

-Amen Clinics for SPECT scans

-Glutathione for brain inflammation

-Fish oil for brain inflammation

-Jack Kruse’s article on concussion and inflammation

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how to heal from a concussion, and natural remedies for concussions? Leave your thoughts below!

Forest Bathing, Sleep Hacking, Cell Phones & Water: The Underground Guide To Lowering Cortisol When Nothing Else Seems To Be Working.

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The nefarious, notorious hormone cortisol is a molecule that is near and dear to my heart. Both myself and many of the athletes I’ve worked with have struggled with high blood and salivary cortisol levels no matter what we do to try and control it or lower it.

So in today’s podcast, myself and my guest Evan Brand – a Nutritional Therapist at Greenfield Fitness Systems – take a deep dive into underground, little-known methods to lower cortisol levels, including methods I’ve never talked about before on the podcast or in my books and articles.

In this discussion, you’ll learn about:

-The enormous cortisol bomb that exploded inside Evan’s body when he moved to Austin, Texas…

-The ratio of cortisol-to-DHEA that would be ideal…

-Why I rarely bring my kids on airplanes anymore…

-How you can use Shinrin-yoku, A.K.A. “forest bathing” to decrease stress and cortisol…

-The concept of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to lower cortisol…

-Evan’s crazy story of phenibut, and whether you should actually use phenibut…

-Where marijuana fits in…

-And much more!

Resources we discuss during this episode:

-Evan’s coaching page at GreenfieldFitnessSystems.com

-Onnit supplements

-The book “Dirty Electricity” by Sam Millham

-GreenWave Dirty Electricity Filters

-Digital Outlet Timer

-Evan’s REM Rehab sleep product

-Evan’s Stress Solution book

-Study: effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function

-The NASA Clean Air Plants project

-The Tapping Solution Book for EFT

-Skullcap

-California Poppy Tincture

-VaporBoost Sweet Dreams

-Upgraded Self GABAWave

-The Nutritional Therapy Association

-CBD Oil Documentary “The Science of Weed”

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about lowering cortisol or controlling stress? Leave your thoughts below.

The Underground Guide To Planning Your Exercise Around Your Menstruation Cycle.

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Last week, in the podcast episode “#310: The Menstrual Cycle And Athletic Performance, How To Get Kids To Grow Taller, Fueling For Soccer Matches & More!”, I answered many questions about the mysteries of the menstrual cycle and athletic performance.

But just in case you need more, or you want to read up on the nitty-gritty details of how exercise is affected by hormones (and vice versa), in today’s guest post, Austin Whisler – a coach in training at SuperhumanCoach.com – is going to dive in and enlighten you on every complexity you need for planning your exercise around your menstrual cycle.

Whether you’re a personal trainer or coach who works with female athletes, or you’re a woman who likes to exercise, consider this a crucial article to read if you want to plan your physical activity around your menstruation cycle…and leave any of your questions, comments or feedback below!

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Introduction

With adult women making up such a large percentage of people at the gym and out pounding the pavement, coaches and trainers (regardless of their sport) must educate themselves on the complexities of the menstrual cycle.

Ever heard of the pregnenolone steal?

That the luteal phase of menstruation lowers your insulin sensitivity while at the same time giving you an increase in metabolism?

Progesterone depletion?

You may not be familiar with all these terms, or how to use knowledge of them to your advantage or your clients’ advantage for exercise, so continue reading to figure out how you can help educate yourself or your clients on factors to track during menstruation.

And trust me, don’t stop reading if you’re a guy! Us men will benefit greatly from knowing how our partners, spouses, mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and clients can plan their exercise more intelligently. But before learning ways to plan training during menstruation, let’s dive into the basics of the menstrual cycle.

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The Start Of Menstruation

The menstruation cycle starts at Day 1 after the unfertilized egg causes the uterus lining to break down.  A menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days but can vary depending on many factors.  For simplicity, in this article I will use a 28 day cycle as the example to cover the phase variances. Body-wide fluctuations occur during this time, but we’ll pay extra attention to levels of estrogen, progesterone, and insulin sensitivity.

BG Fitness

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Follicular Phase

The follicular phase comes first (lasting roughly from Day 1 to Day 14) and occurs when the ovary releases an egg. At this point, estrogen increases, while progesterone and body temperature stays the same (See diagram below).  This first phase is a time where the female body is primed to hit intense workouts that are of an anaerobic nature.  Increased insulin sensitivity, along with an increase in pain tolerance, can explain this capability.

An article from The Globe and Mail by Alex Hutchinson stated that carbohydrate loading the day before an endurance competition is more important during this phase.  Later in the article, Hutchinson interviewed a scientist that stated that the metabolic effects during each phase can be negated with purposeful nutrition.  For example, if competition falls on this phase, carb loading during this phase is more important than other periods of the menstruation cycle. Hutchinson also found that performance during menstruation is highly variable. Supposedly, this whole carbohydrate need is due to the body’s ability to better dip into intense glycolytic efforts during the follicular phase, although it would be interesting to see if women who follow a high-fat diet have quite as high a need for carbohydrates during this phase. Regardless, you may want to try to adjust carb intake slightly up during your follicular phase, while at the same time planning your more intense, glycolytic workouts during this phase.

Some women perform unaffected, and others have phases that hinder performance if left unattended.  During training in the follicular phase, coupling intense workouts with refeed meals should be utilized, preferably including carbohydrate sources such as sweet potatoes, yams, rice, or starchy vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beets.

The American Journal of Nutrition stated that basal metabolic rate decreases at the beginning of menstruation and reaches the lowest point a week before ovulation.  Doing more intense workouts and including metabolism-boosting post-workout meals in the follicular phase will help counteract this slower metabolism, says Shannon Clark in this T-nation article.

BG Article

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Ovulation

Ovulation occurs around Day 14.  Estrogen has peaked and begins a decline, while progesterone surges.  It is normal during ovulation for a woman to feel warmer for the remainder of the cycle. Clark stated in her T-nation article cited earlier that metabolism will start to climb, while insulin sensitivity will begin to decline.

As progesterone surges, a slight decrease in serotonin can happen, and since carbs can boost serotonin, food cravings can often occur at this time. You can use some of these tips to avoid giving into the serotonin boosting carbohydrate gluttony. During ovulation, estrogen and overall strength is peaked, so heavier weight training can be appropriate during this phase (rather than the more difficult cardiovascular anaerobic efforts of the follicular phase) – however, the American Journal of Sports Medicine found that due to joint laxity and estrogen-induced changes in collagen structure, ACL tears are four to eight times more likely to happen during this phase.

Consider supplementing with a tablespoon of collagen in your morning smoothie, place more emphasis on your warm-up, include recovery sessions, and be aware of fatigue and proper form.  More applicable recommendations that you can use for yourself or female clients will be listed below, but let’s finish the details of the menstruation cycle, shall we?

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Luteal Phase

Next is the luteal phase, which begins on ovulation day, for which we will say is happening on approximately Day 14.  During this phase, your body is not primed to workout at very high intensities, the body will prefer fat as its primary fuel source instead of glycogen, and you might retain more water at this time due to PMS symptoms. This might cause discomfort during short burst exercise – plan for lack of motivation here, and stick to aerobic activities as your primary exercise.

Fat burning workouts should be emphasized during the luteal phase.  If you are doing a workout that is strength or glycolytic, note that the luteal phase is not ideal for these domains and you may not perform to your usual capabilities. This is the time of the phase to plan things like aerobic trail runs, flat bike rides, easy swims and other aerobic activities that are at a slightly conversational pace.

After the luteal phase, the transition back to he menstrual phase, will bring metabolism, insulin sensitivity, body temperature, and water retention back to a slightly more “normal” feeling.  For a graphic representation, you can reference the first picture posted under “The Start of Menstruation” above to better understand phases.

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Eight Recommendations For Planning Exercise Around Your Menstrual Cycle

So now that you have your head wrapped around the menstrual cycles, let’s jump into even more practical advice. What considerations should you take for programming for females? Here are some of my top tips.

1) Achieve Nervous System Balance.

Every week must include a slow, long distance workout of around an one hour of conversational paced work.  This will help women have smoother cycles because their body won’t feel as much stress in the sympathetic nervous system.  Not only will this help increase your heart stroke volume, stimulate parasympathetic nervous system growth, but it will also provide a nice active recovery for your body allowing your body to flush out lactic acid from muscle tissue. Going for an unplugged trek can be therapeutic and help build a more robust cardiovascular system.  Mothers and wives – this is also a good chance to bring your family along!

2) Know Where You’re At.

Begin tracking performance during each phase for your entire menstruation cycle.  Take notes on sleep, macronutrient consumption, and exercise intensity.  Communicate these notes with your coach. Try the “Flow” app to make tracking your cycle easier.

3) Moderate Stimulants.

Another important stressor to monitor includes avoiding dependence on caffeine as a stimulant. Allow your sensitization to caffeine to recover after drinking caffeinated coffee by following Ben Greenfield’s habit of alternating three weeks of caffeine with at least one week of decaf, including a variety of nourishing teas, guayausa, chinese adaptogenic herbs, etc.

4) Eliminate Soy.

Along with regulating caffeine intake, eliminating commercial soy sources such as tofu and soy milk can help some women avoid estrogen dominance, which can lead to menstrual cycle irregularities.

5) Use Supplements.

To reverse the effects of estrogen dominance, Beyond Training by Ben Greenfield asks you to consider drinking 2-3 cups of organic green tea powder, consuming more fiber, supplementing with a Vitamin B/antioxidant complex, and many more found in Chapter 14 of his book.

6) Keep Moving No Matter What.

Movement (not necessarily a daily Crossfit WOD!) will help relieve cramping and headaches.  The release of endorphins will help reduce crankiness.  Movement can also help put you to sleep and resist cravings, as long as macronutrient needs are met depending on exercise intensity and the given phase of menstruation. But if you have cramps, excessive flow, or have a poor reading on your HRV that morning, take that day off from structured exercise or hard workouts.  Now, this is not an excuse to sit on the couch all day, so don’t get too excited!  Instead, try techniques like ‘greasing the groove’*, using a standing desk, reading a book, working on your mobility (especially your lower body mobility), spending some time on a rumble roller, and ensure you have proper foods prepared for the next couple days.

*Popular movements to ‘grease the groove’ include: jumping jacks, band pull-aparts, strict pull-ups, bodyweight squats, lunges, or something as simple as going up and down the stairs a few times, refilling your water bottle, and holding a few stretches.  Movement throughout the day is very important for overall health because GLUT-4 will shuttle more glucose into the body and lipoprotein lipase will be produced by muscle tissue when leg muscles are being flexed.  A lack of lipoprotein lipase is associated with many heart problems, including heart disease, so please get an adjustable standing desk.

7) Know Your Fat Burning Zone.

Know your fat burning zone for that luteal phase! Superhuman-approved example fat burning workouts, most especially for the luteal phase of a cycle, are a great way to shred fat at a time where your body is primed to do just that.  For example, you can perform 8 sets of 5 minutes at 60-70% of your VO2 max of running, biking, swimming, rowing, hiking, brisk walking or elliptical, with 3 minutes of easy movement between each bout (as opposed to a follicular phase workout, which might be something like 20 sets of 1 minute bursts at the same pace with 30 seconds of recovery in between, or an ovulatory phase workout, which might be a 5×5 style weight training routine).

How do you find your fat burning zone? Many tests exist to approximate your VO2 max, but the one Superhuman Network coaches use is a 20-30 minute run at a maximum sustainable pace while wearing a heart rate monitor and taking the average heart rate that you had, then subtracting 20 beats for your fat burning zone (more details here). Even though these are easy, fat-burnign workouts, you should not perform these or any workouts without following up with proper post workout nutrition if you have a history of missing your period.

8) Go Beyond Training.

A few more lifestyle basic tips from Ben’s book would include: do not skip meals, consume a high protein breakfast on your harder workout days, eat a diet high in ancestral meats such as liver and bone broth, consume a high amount of healthy fats, get proper quantity and quality of sleep, and track your HRV. These are all small ways to enhance your performance and can also lead to a more consistent menstrual cycle, along with better exercise sessions and better recovery. Maintaining low energy movements throughout the day, eating enough carbohydrate to fuel workouts as well as support menstruation (e.g. timing your carbohydrates to happen in conjunction with your workouts – here are some good post workout nutrition ideas for endurance and strength athletes.),  consuming fat from healthy nut butters or MCT oil, and performing no more than three very intense workouts (like Crossfit wods, Tabata sets, longer track sessions, etc.) per week can also be helpful, especially if you tend to miss periods.

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Summary

If you’re reading this and you’re an exercising female, it’s possible that you simply are not regular. Your periods are on and off. You’re amenorrheic.

Spencer Nadolski from Precision Nutrition cites in Fitness & Menstrual Health: How to Stay Lean, Healthy, and Fit without Losing your Period states that women need to avoid excessively restricting calories, daily intense exercise causing an overstress on the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ nervous system, losing too much body fat, and other factors that lead women to miss a menstruation cycle called hypothalamic amenorrhea.  In short, your body responds to this state of deprivation and physiological stress by deeming your period as unnecessary and not vital for its own survival. Fertility goes out the window. As I’ve heard Ben Greenfield say in many a podcast, our ancestors didn’t run from a lion every day – and neither should we.

If you’ve dug yourself into this type of hole, research clearly has shown the fix: eat more and exercise less. It really is that simple. This is tough for many women to hear, but it simply works. This is also important for hormone balance and aesthetics. Women need to avoid excessive training and overall stress from everyday life. The hormone precursor, pregnenolone, can be shuttled into cortisol production instead of progesterone production.  This causes disruption of your body’s naturally-occurring anabolism and fat utilization for energy production. Excessive cortisol, pregnenolone steal and estrogen dominance are factors that coaches, personal trainers, and women need to understand not only due to their effect on performance, but also because they can indeed make women gain body fat.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that planning exercise around a 28 day menstrual cycle is still meticulously being researched, and exercising around and during your period is very individualized depending on your sport, symptoms, stress, and nutrition.  Micronutrient deficiencies, thyroid problems, and the mystery of how important carbohydrates are still being researched but the recommendations above and the insight gained from this article will be a great start for you.

If you want even more reading on this topic, one of the more comprehensive books out there is “Running For Women” by Jason Karp, the article “What Really Causes Irregular Menstrual Cycles In Female Athletes” and Ben’s recent podcast on the topic. Leave your questions, comments or feedback below!

4 Things Your Saliva Can Tell You About Your Hormones.

salivatest

If you want to know if you have a hormonal imbalance, test your hormones, or fix your hormones, you’ll definitely want to tune into this episode!

Let’s start here: I get tons of questions from listeners down under (that’s Australia for those of you who flunked geography) about where to get things like blood, gut and hormone testing done. So after a bunch of searching and talking to a some of my trusted Australian friends, I discovered Dr. Michael Smith from PlanetNaturopath.com.

Dr. Smith is a Naturopath and Kalish Method Functional Medicine Practitioner who specializes in hormonal disorders, adrenal, thyroid and digestive function. He works with clients from the chronically ill to athletes wanting to improve performance and does consultations face-to-face in Australia, and also via Skype or phone.

During our discussion, you’ll find out:

-What exactly a Kalish practitioner…

-The 4 different hormone imbalances in seemingly healthy people…

-Why having normal progesterone could not be enough if your cortisol is also high…

-Why you don’t have to be the stereotypical “fat” woman to have estrogen excess…

-How low estrogen can be just as big a problem as high estrogen, and what type of soy products you should be eating for low estrogen…

-Why you can have normal hormone levels for most hormones, but low DHEA…

-When high testosterone can be an problem…

Resources Michael and I discuss in this episode:

-KalishInstitute.com

-Michael’s website PlanetNaturopath.com – mention this podcast episode and you get $50 off a “Hormone Package”, which includes a one hour consult, an adrenal test and saliva sex hormone test.

-Progesterone drops for increasing progesterone.

-Mountain Rose Herbs – (look for Vitex or Chastetree for increasing progesterone).

-Calcium d-glucarate for estrogen excess.

-Curcumin, transdermal magnesium and adaptogenic herbs like TianChi.

-Peony, licorice and inositol for high testosterone.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about salivary hormone testing or the 4 hormonal balances that we discussed? Leave your thoughts below!

The Hidden Truth Behind Toxins, Detoxification & Detox Diets.

detox

Dr. Tim Jackson – a medical ninja when it comes to nutritional biochemistry, digestive health, methylation and genetic testing and functional endocrinology – is no stranger to BenGreenfieldFitness.com.

He penned the article that first appeared here entitled “Blame the Bugs: How Stealth Pathogens Are Making You Fat, Tired, and Brain Dead.“, and also “Broken Gut to Big Butt: How A Busted Digestive System Can Make You Hormonally Fat.

And now Dr. Tim is back with a vengeance. Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about detoxification and detox diets, Tim began dropping knowledge bombs like xenobiotics, depuration, miasm, emunctory, and even drainage (yuk!). I had to get him on the podcast to open your eyes about what’s really happening inside your body when you detox…or when you don’t.

So when it comes to detox, what you’re about to hear is like no other podcast I’ve ever done on the topic, so strap on your earphones and prepare to learn:

-Why the pH of your blood is just ONE part of proper acid/alkaline balance…

-Why detoxification can destroy you if you don’t do a few other important things first…

-The three different ways to truly test your body and see if you even need to detox…

-Which organs detox your body (it’s not just your liver and kidney!)…

-Where homeopathic medicine fits in…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

-Dr. Tim’s Website

-Dr. Tim’s Professional Facebook Page

-ZytoScan

-Asyra Testing

-EAV Screening

-Autonomic Response Testing

-Seroyal’s “UNDA” homeopathic remedies and supplements

-Seroyal’s Dr. Dixon Thom

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Tim or me? Leave your thoughts below.

What Happens To Your Body & Blood When You Race Back-To-Back Spartan Races?

spartan blood

Two years ago I did back-to-back triathlons at one of the most difficult triathlons in the world, and tested my blood before and after to see what happened. You can see the results at “What Kind Of Damage Happens To Your Body After You Do A Hard Workout, Triathlon or Marathon?

And now, the crazy blood-testing experiment is back, this time to see what happens inside your body when you do back-to-back Spartan races. Watch the video below to see what happens to everything from cholesterols to testosterone to Vitamin D and more, and leave your questions in the comments section.

Resources I discuss in video:

-Click here to download my WellnessFX lab results for yourself!

-Click here to check out the Estrogen Control supplement I talk about in the video.

-My recommended Vitamin D supplement.

-My recommended liver detox blend.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about the back-to-back Spartan bloodwork, or about WellnessFX? Just leave your thoughts below, and click here to get a 15% discount on your own before/after lab testing to see what your own crazy adventures are doing to do your internal biology. 

8 Natural Sweetener Alternatives That Won’t Take You Out Of Fat Burning Mode (And 4 That Will!)

8 Sweet Alternatives

When it comes to not packing on extra pounds this Valentine’s Day, what are some sweet hacks that will tickle you or your Valentine’s sweet tooth, yet not take you out of that fat burning mode (or ketosis) sweet spot?

Which sweeteners can be used to sweeten life without throwing you into a blood sugar level roller coaster ride?

Which sweeteners will spice up your sex life?

Which sweeteners can be used to minimize muscle cramps?

And since we’re not shy when it comes to talking about poop, which sweet fruit can relieve constipation naturally?

You’re about to find out all that and more in this guest post from Danielle Brooks, nutritional therapist, clinical herbalist, author of the new book “Good Decisions Most of the Time: Because life is too short not to eat chocolate“, and owner of Good Decisions Inc.!

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The 6 Sweet Spices That Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar

Discovering all the health benefits your spice cabinet may hold is quite fun and, in times of upset tummy, gas, or other uncomfortable health conditions, you can often find relief as close as your spice cabinet. Spicing up a dish with sweet spices adds distinct flavors and lessens your temptation to add sugar. These spices also have many health-giving properties as well.

1. Allspice

Allspice has a taste similar to a mix of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. You can use allspice when preparing ham, Swedish meatballs, baked goods, and desserts to add a nice touch of spicy sweetness. Medicinally, allspice has been used throughout history in the treatment of toothaches, muscle aches, and for its blood sugar-regulating effects.

So if you feel like reaching for a sweet fruit or special treat, and want to decrease the impact on your blood sugar levels, sprinkle it with cloves! Like many spices, allspice is a digestive aid, and consuming allspice with meals can result in stronger digestion, reduced gas and bloating, and decreased nausea. Not a bad spice to have in your back pocket for emergencies.

2. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a wonderful sweet flavor and can be used as a ground powder or dried stick. This spice can be used in just about anything. From sweet dishes to stews and curries, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that a small amount of cinnamon goes a long way. Two teaspoons of cinnamon can change a tart, tongue-puckering apple pie to a sweet one. It can replace brown sugar in any dish or be sprinkled on fruit to liven up a simple dessert.

One of cinnamon’s best attributes is its ability to lessen the impact of sugar on your blood sugar levels. Cinnamon also slows the rate at which your stomach empties after meals, which also reduces the rise in blood sugar after eating. This little spice packs a powerful punch and can be added to any dish or beverage as a substitute for, or in addition to sugar, to lessen sugar’s impact.

3. Cloves

Cloves have a sweet or bittersweet taste and can be used when ground or dried. Cloves are great when used to sweeten dishes or in curries and stews. And who can’t visualize a glorious clove-studded ham? Cloves go well with chicken, can spice up an otherwise plain piece of fruit. Clove oil can even be applied to a cavity in a decayed tooth, to relieve a toothache, making this spice very valuable if you can’t get in to see your dentist right away.

4. Mace and Nutmeg

Mace and nutmeg are two slightly different flavored spices, both originating from the fruit of the nutmeg tree. This “nutmeg apple” looks similar to an apricot. When the mature fruit splits open, the nutmeg (a seed surrounded by a red, slightly fleshy covering, or aril) is exposed. The dried aril alone is called mace. The nut is removed and dried to produce nutmeg. Both have a warm, sweet, spicy flavor and are best when freshly ground.

Studies have found that nutmeg may be useful in enhancing libido. But use caution since nutmeg can also be added to milk as a sleep aid, and the last thing you want when trying to enhance libido is to fall asleep!

5. Cardamom

Cardamom is used in Scandinavian bakeries, German and Russian pastries, and in the Middle East and India. This spice can be used instead of sugar when making baked goods and with creams to make cardamom-flavored ice cream, which is mouthwateringly delicious.

You can steep the seeds in milk, water, or almond milk for use as a digestive aid to relieve gas and bloating. “Really?” you say. If you feel gassy and bloated—absolutely!

6. Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans are more of a fruit than a spice; one inch of vanilla bean is roughly equal to one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Sweet and fragrant, vanilla is best when used from whole or dried beans. Vanilla is a great sugar substitute and can be added to breakfast grains, coffee, and desserts such as ice cream, pudding, and cake.

The active compound in vanilla is vanillin. Vanillin is a polyphenol with strong antioxidant activity. Some neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are associated with formation of a chemical called peroxynitrite, which causes damage to brain cells. Because vanillin has such strong antioxidant activity, it may offset some of this oxidative damage, keeping brain cells healthy and preventing the devastating effects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

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The 2 Sweet Herbs That Won’t Spike Your Blood Sugar 

You can also use the following sweet herbs to sweeten and add flavor to a dish.

Vegetables are especially good with these herbs added. If you’re trying to make vegetables taste better, you can reach for an herb or spice to take your mind off the fact that you’re eating vegetables.

1. Anise Seed

Anise seed smells like black licorice and can be used whole or ground. These delicious seeds are often used as a flavoring in some cookies, candies, pastries, and even in poultry dishes. Chewing on a teaspoon of anise seeds after a meal can relieve uncomfortable gas and bloating within minutes. Also, one teaspoon of the seeds can be steeped in one cup of boiling water as a delicious sweet tea for similar results.

2. Sweet Basil

This herb is somewhat pungent and sweet. It’s a bit odd to think of this herb for use as a sweetener, but you’ll be hooked after you try it. Use fresh basil to get the best results.

Add it to dishes at the last moment, as cooking quickly destroys the flavor. You can use sweet basil with eggplant, tomato dishes, pesto, Vietnamese and Thai dishes, and salads, as well as when cooking vegetables to make them more interesting. Corn, tomato, peppers, and eggplant are divine when served with a dusting of fresh basil. Scientific studies have established that compounds in basil oil have potent antioxidant, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties and potential for use in treating cancer.

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4 Natural Sweeteners That Are Healthier Than Sugar

If all this talk of sweet herbs and spices is leaving you longing for something sweeter that will stimulate your dopamine center, roll your eyes into the back of your head, and cause an euphoric moan of delight to escapes your lips, you are now in the right category. Please note that these natural sweeteners will take you out of fat burning mode or ketosis, but at least they’re more nutrient dense than sugar or high fructose corn syrup!

Natural unrefined sweeteners give food certain qualities, tangible qualities that ooze deliciousness, as if the food you are eating contains life within it that will enhance your own life. And it does. There’s nothing like enjoying a honey-roasted pear with a touch of cinnamon. It doesn’t just feed your craving for something sweet; it feeds the body as well as your senses.

1. Raw Unfiltered Honey

Honey is made when the nectar from a flower mixes with the saliva of a bee. (Sounds delicious, no?) Depending on the quality of honey, it contains anti-microbial, and antioxidant compounds, as well as probiotic bacteria. It also contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals. So, while you are moaning with delight, you can think of the nourishing properties of this sweetener as well.

Honey is usually sold over the counter in most grocery stores, and it is usually pasteurized, clarified, or filtered so it’s important to read the label and know what to look for. I recommend raw honey. This is honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling, or straining without adding heat (caution: some honey that has been “minimally processed” is often labeled as “raw honey”). Raw honey contains some pollen and may contain small particles of wax.

2. Grade B Maple Syrup

Maple syrup, made from the sap of black or red maple trees, is a good source of manganese and zinc and, to a lesser degree, potassium and calcium. I recommend Grade B maple syrup because it contains more nutrients than Grade A and has a thicker, richer flavor.

Manganese, known for its ability to maintain blood sugar levels, is the highlight of this sweetener. Manganese is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in muscle energy production and antioxidant defenses.

Maple syrup is low on the glycemic index and can be used to sweeten salad dressing, replace honey for a different taste, or be used instead of table sugar in some baking. Maple syrup contains zinc and potassium, with calcium, magnesium, and sodium chloride electrolytes occurring in their natural ratios, making this sweetener more valuable than any GU in your back pocket.

3. Dried Dates

Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree. They are raw and unprocessed (but read the ingredient list just to make sure), and they have lots of nutrients such as potassium, iron, and vitamin A. It’s easy to use dates to sweeten smoothies, baked goods, sauces, and more by making a paste with the dates. To make a paste, simply use dried dates and soak them in warm water overnight. Then blend the dates with some of the water used to soak them to a consistency similar to honey. (When I make my own almond milk, I add some dried dates to sweeten the batch.)

I was playing around with dates and developed the following recipe from which the featured image for this blog post was dervied. I had no idea it would turn out to be the snickers bar for the health conscious. A warning really should come with this recipe as it has the perfect combination of sweet, salt and fat, which can be a deliciously addictive combination.

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Coconut Pecan Stuffed Chocolate Covered Dates, Oh My!

Makes: 30 dates

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

For the Stuffed Dates:

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (plus extra for topping)

¼ cup toasted pecans

¼ teaspoon unrefined sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

30 large Medjool dates

For the Dipping Chocolate

2 (4oz) bars Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate

Directions

  1. Place the shredded coconut, pecans, salt, vanilla and cinnamon in a food processor. Process until mixtures begins to clump together, set aside.
  2.  Cut the dates in half lengthwise on one side and remove the pit. Stuff a small amount of coconut pecan mixture into each date and press to close. Place dates in the refrigerator.
  3.  In a small double boiler melt chocolate. Remove dates from the fridge and using two spoons, dip the cold dates in the chocolate. Roll each to cover completely and then lift out letting the excess chocolate drip off before placing on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top of each date. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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4. Fruit

If you need to sweeten a dish, fruit is another healthy option. Fruits, such as crushed pineapple, applesauce, strawberries, cherries, or blueberries can naturally sweeten almost any dish. You can even customize your diet by reaching for a fruit to provide your body with certain nutrients. For Instance:

  • If constipation is an issue, reach for the sweet apple. It contains sorbitol, a substance that attracts water. Apples also contain fiber and pectins, which increase the volume and viscosity of the stool. These substances make for one of the most enjoyable bowel movements ever!
  •  If you are looking for an antioxidant rich, heart healthy hit of sweet goodness reach for some sweet berries.
  • If younger skin is something you would like to nurture, cantaloupes can deliver some skin supporting nutrients and tickle your sweet fancy at the same time.

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Life Is Too Short

When we make what I call “Good Decisions” most of the time, our bodies are well equipped to handle the occasional indulgence and sweet treat. Life is too short not to have chocolate, but life is also too short to feel sick and tired all the time. Reaching for natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar, artificial sugar, or high fructose corn syrup will not only please the palate, but provide the body with nutrients as well, and are definitely very good decisions.

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Need even more blood sugar controlling solutions? Click here to check out the brand new Diabetes Summit. And leave your questions, comments or feedback for Danielle below!

DiabetesSummit_BlogBanner_600x150_Attend

The Obstacle Dominator Giveaway Just Went Live.

obstacle dominator giveaway

This is your chance to get the craziest, most amazing and challenging blend of workouts, fueling, and training and racing advice I’ve ever created…

…for FREE.

That’s right – we top Spartan athlete Hunter McIntyre and I are giving away three of our world-famous Obstacle Dominator Packages to anyone, anywhere in the world, and you can easily get in on the madness.

Even if you’ve never done an obstacle race before, you’ve now got the opportunity to tap into the fastest growing sport on the face of the planet with zero guesswork, and challenge your body and mind like never before while experiencing life on a completely new level – down and dirty (and yes, we are constantly updating this thing with new workouts, updates and when even planning how-to videos for new obstacles)!

Just click here to enter the contest, and then you’ll get a lucky URL sent straight to your email inbox. Every time you share your lucky URL on Twitter or Facebook, you get THREE extra entries into the contest*. Pretty cool, eh?

*And yes, we are only giving away 3 Obstacle Dominator Packages. So you’ll definitely want to share to increase your chances of winning. Leave any questions below.

The Shocking Truth About Vaccinations: Everything You Need To Know About Vaccines And Your Health.

vaccines

In Podcast #305, I broached the controversial topic of vaccines by discussing alternative vaccination schedules. That set off a firestorm of discussion on the Facebook page and my Twitter feed, so in today’s episode I’ve decided to revisit the topic, and you’re about to take a deep dive into the world of vaccines, learn the shocking truth about vaccinations, and get everything you need to know to make an educated choice about vaccines.

My guest on today’s show is Stephanie Seneff, who is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. For over three decades, her research interests have always been at the intersection of biology and computation: developing a computational model for the human auditory system, understanding human language so as to develop algorithms and systems for human computer interactions, as well as applying natural language processing (NLP) techniques to gene predictions.

But in recent years, Dr. Seneff has focused her research interests back towards biology. She is concentrating mainly on the relationship between nutrition and health. Since 2011, she has written over a dozen papers (7 as first author) in various medical and health-related journals on topics such as modern day diseases (e.g., Alzheimer, autism, cardiovascular diseases), analysis and search of databases of drug side effects using NLP techniques, and the impact of nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins on human health.

-How the history of vaccinations is much, much different than what we’ve been led to believe…

-Why kids actually need to get measles, mumps and rubella…

-How vaccines can cause a sulfate deficiency and why that’s a problem…

-The truth about the Andrew Wakefield, vaccines and autism scandal…

-Why mercury and aluminum aren’t really a problem when it comes to MMR vaccines, and what really is the problem…

-What you need to know about ingredients like thimerosal and formaldehyde…

-Alternatives to vaccines for yourself, for children and for babies…

Resources from this episode:

-Suzanne Humphries – Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and The Forgotten History (book)

-List of foods that contain glyphosate, including corn, soy, canola and sugar beets (article)

-VAERs database of adverse reactions to vaccinates (website)

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about vaccines? Leave your thoughts below, and either Stephanie or I will reply.

Everything You Need To Know About Hair Mineral Analysis.

Hair Mineral Analysis

I’m all about testing and quantifying what’s going on inside my body, so when Certified Holistic Health Coach Wendy Myers approached me at a biohacking conference and asked me if I wanted to have my hair tested with a hair mineral analysis test…

…I made a stop at my local barber…

…got a few strands snipped off…

…sent my hair off to Wendy’s lab…

…and was absolutely shocked at the results I got in my e-mail inbox a couple weeks later. In this episode, we talk about about the results of my hair mineral analysis, and you’ll also learn:

-Exactly what hair mineral analysis is and how it works…

-How you can discover things like adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and nutrient and mineral deficits from your hair…

-What to do about heavy metal toxicities, and why some heavy metal chelators can actually be dangerous…

-How to tell if you’re undereating or overeating carbohydrates…

-Where natural remedies like infrared saunas and coffee enemas fit in…

-Why even pristine well water can have some serious issues…

-And much more!

Resources:

-Click here to download the results of Ben Greenfield’s hair mineral analysis.

-Click here to download the results of Ben Greenfield’s hair mineral ratios.

-Want your own Hair Mineral Analysis? Click here to go to Wendy’s website and get started.

-Copper Dysregulation podcast

-Transdermal magnesium

-APSWater.com

-Infrared Biomat

-Trace Liquid Minerals

Do you have questions, comments or feedback or hair mineral analysis? Leave your thoughts below!

5 Must-Read Books For 5 Important Areas Of Your Life.

books

I’m writing this to you while I’m on a flight from LAX to Seattle.

See, while coming back from a series of Spartan races in Southern California (for which I’m working on a very interesting “before-after” blood testing experiment), I found out my tiny hometown airport in Spokane, Washington was immersed in freezing fog, which resulted in over 24 hours of flight delays for me, and some very spotty internet connections or writing opportunities.

But rather than skipping a post altogether, I still wanted to get you some helpful content in my usual Monday ramblings, and what better than to give you some fantastic book recommendations? Between audiobooks, my Kindle Fire and physical books, I typically read 2-5 books each week and without further ado, here are five that I consider to be “must-reads” for 5 important areas of your life: fitness, diet, money, happiness and business.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

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1. Fitness: 8 Weeks to SEALFIT: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness

I’ve been through some pretty harrowing crucibles with Mark Divine’s SEALFIT organization (just read about my hellish “Kokoro” experience to see what I mean). SEALFIT is a style of training developed by retired Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine for the unique and specialized needs of professionals seeking to reach their fullest potential. But this book’s physical and mental training isn’t just for the armed forces. Instead, I recommend that anyone who wants to get to extreme levels of brain and body toughness try the 8 week program in the book.

The workouts are massive and intimidating and they take 2-3 hours a pop. When I did this program, I split them into morning and evening routines to break up the time load, but they are still going to take up a great deal of your hours and your focus as you go through the program. You’re going to find yourself eating dinner at night while looking ahead and shuddering about the next day’s workout, which might involve 90 minutes of hardcore weightlifting, followed by a 1 mile running time trial and then a hike in the hills with a 50 pound weighted pack.

But if you want to carve yourself into a true warrior, and you’re willing to take 8 weeks of your life to do it, this book is a must-read, as long as you’re not just reading it for the pretty pictures, but also doing it.

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2. Diet: The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know that there are some nutritional nazis out there screaming that this book by Tim Ferriss leaves out all the important considerations of gut integrity, digestibility, nutrient density and true blah-blah geekery of diet science.

But I don’t care.

See, some people just need to learn to freaking cook before they start to examine whether the legume they’re eating have been properly soaked, fermented or sprouted. And that’s why I like 4 Hour Chef: it not only teaches you how to cook a handful of meals that you could pretty much rely on for the rest of your life to feed yourself or to impress friends at a dinner party, but it also leaves you feeling not afraid to learn pretty much anything else – from memorizing a deck of cards to hunting, skinning and butchering a deer.

Plus, this book is just fun to read, with colorful pictures, plenty of mind-bending activities, and things you never would have thought to do: like pulverizing steamed broccoli in a food processor, tossing in some cubed avocado, laying the entire mix over a bed of white rice, and then topping the tantalizing green layers with a broiled eel. That’s a 15 minute meal that fooled my kids into thinking I was some kind a culinary god.

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3. Money: Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity

The first time I read this book in 2009, it absolutely rocked my world. For most of my life, I had been under the impression that a well-balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds, a solid 401K, and shopping for the best prices on insurance were smart and savvy financial decisions. I was a total eTrade guy who was slowly building a portfolio and retirement fund online, and got most of my financial advice from the Wall Street Journal and Money magazine.

But sadly, our culture is riddled with destructive myths about money and prosperity, and in Killing Sacred Cows, Garrett Gunderson exposes the fallacies and misguided traditions in the world of personal finance, and gives a pretty revolutionary perspective on how to set up your finances in a way that minimizes your taxes and maximizes your ability to protect what you’ve worked so hard to earn.

Since reading the book, I’ve done things like set-up a family trust, insured myself to the absolute maximum, started investing in my own business and other passion projects rather than the stock market, and completely gotten rid of my retirement plan.

It’s nice knowing that if I die tomorrow, my family is completely taken care of, and it’s also nice to know that I’m building my own legacy, and not leaving it in the hands of a fickle stock market. I recommend you give this one a read and kill a few of your own sacred cows.

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4. Happiness: The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day

Until I stumbled across The Five Minute Journal, I was never a journal guy, and threw away most of the diaries and journals people gave me. But now I journal almost every day, and it’s simple because this book just walks me through the process of journaling by asking me a few easy questions, like “What are 3 things you’re grateful for this morning?” or “How could you have made today better?”.

Science has proven that being grateful and shifting your focus to the positive can dramatically improve your happiness. But the key is consistency, and with a positive quote every day and a daily structure that helps you focus on what’s good, The Five Minute Journal gives you just that.

This journal basically combines all the practical elements that can make the difference in your life, and spares you the hours and weeks of moving through dense academic jargon. It’s all here. And it’s been made easy. As a matter of fact, I hack my morning productivity by doing my journaling for 5 minutes every morning while I’m testing my heart rate variability and nervous system strength.

If you’re the kind of person who always wanted to write a journal, but life, excuses and checking your email, Twitter and Facebook every morning took precedence, then this one is for you. Kind of like the 8 Weeks To SEALFIT book, don’t just read this book – do it.

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5. Business: The BookStrapper Guide to Marketing Your Book

I’ll admit that this is kind of a weird one to throw into the mix, but I just finished reading this Bookstrapper Guide on my Kindle and it’s unique approach is fresh on my mind, so I couldn’t leave it out.

Here’s the deal: I’ve always loved to write, and if I’m sitting next to a stranger on an airplane and they ask what I do, I usually just tell them “I’m a health author” (vs. telling them I’m a consultant who uses a combination of biohacking, science and ancestral living to empower people to achieve peak levels of physical and mental performance and live life at as fast a pace as possible without destroying their bodies).

Writing gets me incredibly excited, and books about the writing process, the publishing industry and how to be a better author get me excited too. If that describes you, then by all means, keep reading. If not, stop now and go read one of the other books I recommended.

Anyways, the Bookstrapper Guide is to the writing world what Killing Sacred Cows is to the money world. It shatters book marketing paradigms and both clarifies and shows you how to take the confusing process of publishing into your own hands. It’s the book I wish I had read when I first started down the road to becoming an author, because it would have saved me a lot of time, a lot of heartache, and a lot of living on thin shreds of minuscule royalties from books I published through the traditional marketplace.

If you’ve always wanted to write a book, but you also need to pay the bills, this book is for you. You’ll learn how to take charge of your own marketing and sell thousands and thousands of books without having to navigate the traditional, slow-as-molasses publishing industry. Plus, it’s written by Tucker Max and Ryan Holiday, two intriguing guys to follow.

Incidentally, if you clicked on the book link above, you may have noticed that it’s a free download of this book. That’s because it’s not for sale anymore. Tucker had another side project take off (namely, a done-for-you book publishing service), and he shut everything else down to work on that. So free book for you, I guess.

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The overhead announcement just came. My flight is landing. So I gotta wrap up with this quick review:

Want to become a beast? Get 8 Weeks to SEALFIT.

Learn to cook anything? The 4-Hour Chef.

Crack the code on wealth? Killing Sacred Cows.

Get happier, instantly? The Five Minute Journal.

Write your own book and make money doing it? The BookStrapper Guide to Marketing Your Book.

One last thing before ending: I’m curious to know which three to five books you’ve read recently that you would recommend. Leave your comments below, along with any other questions on things like how I select books, speed-reading, where I get my books or anything else!

Is Bluetooth Radiation Dangerous?

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Do you use a wearable like a FitBit or Jawbone? How about a bluetooth headset? A bluetooth enabled appliance? A car that has bluetooth technology? Some other bluetooth-enabled self quantification device?

Then this episode is for you, because it’s important to know exactly how bluetooth technology is affecting your sleep, your circadian rhythms, your health, your gut barrier, your blood-brain barrier and your performance.

In Part 1 of this episode, I talk to Christian Johan Smith, who is founder at Phone Halo, which creates technology that helps you track devices that you might lose. In this discussion Christian and I talk frankly about what he knows as the CEO of a company that relies on Bluetooth technology, and what I know from my research in the health space.

Resources Christian and I discuss during Part 1 of this episode:

-Trackr app for iOs/iPhone

-Trackr bluetooth tracking apps on Amazon

-The research study that Ben cites relating bluetooth to the blood-brain barrier

-Good synopsis of health effects of EMF

-Bluetooth airtube headset

-The anti-radiation Pong case for iPhone

In Part 2, I talk with Dr. Jack Kruse, a respected neurosurgeon and CEO of Optimized Life, a health and wellness company dedicated to helping patients avoid the healthcare burdens we typically encounter as we age. He is currently in private practice in the Gulf South and his research has been published in respected dental and medical journals. Jack’s previous episodes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com include “Jack Kruse Tells You How To Live Like A Polar Bear And Eat Like A Great White Shark“, “How You Can Use Cold Thermogenesis To Perform Like Lance Armstrong And Michael Phelps”, and his “How To Beat Jet Lag Naturally“.

Resources Dr. Kruse and I discuss during Part 2 of this episode:

-The “Google Glasses cause headaches” CNet article

-“Bluetooth Radiation May Be More Harmful Than Cell Phone Radiation” article

-Pulsed microwave induced light, sound, and electrical discharge enhanced by a biopolymer study

-EMF and fertility study

-Proposed exposure levels of pulse-modulated electromagnetic fields study

-Microwave pulses health effect paper

-Blood brain permeability in rats from EMF paper

-EMF and cars article

-Radiofrequency, radiation and cancer paper from cancer.org

-Cross Currents: Perils of Electropollution book by Robert O Becker

-Electromagnetism and Life book by Andrew Marino

Questions, comments or feedback about whether bluetooth radiation is dangerous? Leave your thoughts for me, Christian or Jack below!

Update: after recording this two-part series, I contacted Timex about the MoveX20 activity and sleep that I’ve used. They were very helpful, and informed me that it is a “Class 3″ bluetooth device (listen to the podcast to see what that means), that it has a power of 1Mw (0 dBm) and that it transmits every 1 second. I’d encourage you to do the same research for any devices that you wear!

“What To Do With Your Money” – Part 3 of 67 Steps to Getting Anything You Want Out of Life Health, Wealth, Love, & Happiness with Tai Lopez

MeetTai

Welcome to Part 3 of this special podcast series, in which you get to sit in and listen to Tai Lopez coach me (and you!) using the strategies from Tai’s online video series “67 Steps to Getting Anything You Want Out of Life Health, Wealth, Love, & Happiness“.

In this premium subscriber episode, Tai and I discuss personal finances – particularly in the huge wake Tony Robbins is leaving with his new book “Money”, and how Tai feels we should protect and grow our wealth, and exactly what Tai’s personal investment philosophy is.

Want more of Tai?

You can listen to Part 1 of this series here, in which Tai and I talk about multi-tasking, reprogramming your genetics and checking your e-mail less.

You can listen to Part 2 here, in which Tai and I talk about how to know when you’re actually making enough money, and when you can stop focusing on income, start focusing more on life, love and happiness, and how to strike the ideal balance between being overambitious and underambitious.

Books and resources Tai and Ben discuss in this podcast:

-Tai’s retreats and public seminars in Hollywood, London and New York

-Tai’s Millionaire Mentor program

-Tai’s online video series: 67 Steps to Getting Anything You Want Out of Life Health, Wealth, Love, & Happiness

Do you have question, comments or feedback about what to do with your money? Leave your thoughts below.

The Ultimate DIY Guide To Growing Your Own Food And Living Green.

Alik Pelman

Last month, my wife and I traveled to Israel with Vibe Israel, an organization that brings international on- and offline opinion leaders in health and nutrition on a weeklong personalized experience of the burgeoning wellness scene in Israel.

I’ve already released three valuable lessons I learned on that Israel journey: “5 Things You Can Learn From The Burgeoning Health, Wellness And Nutrition Scene In Israel“, “Why You Get Cancer And What You Can Do About It“, and “The Problem With Paleo: Why It’s OK To Eat Bread, Grains, Legumes, Cheese & Milk.”.

Today, you get to listen in as I interview one of the most amazing individuals I met on the Israel trip – a man named Alik Pelman (pictured above with myself and others at his property, photo courtesy Or Kaplan). Alik completed his PhD in philosophy at the University of London and then took a break from academic life and went to learn how to grow food, becoming a professional organic farmer for two years.

Alik then set up his own self-sufficient home in the small village of Clil, in Western Galilee. I had the pleasure of visiting him in his small hut, built almost entirely from local, natural materials. This is where he grows virtually all of his food, and spends most of his working hours doing farm chores, reading, writing and hosting curious visitors like me.

In this show, you’ll discover:

-How to grow food on your roof…

-How to use sheep’s wool for insulation…

-How to make walls out of completely edible corn flour porridge…

-How to use natural oils to protect your floor and furniture…

-How to build an efficient, composting toilet that uses no water…

-How to easily rotate your garden crops for maximum yield…

-How to grow and make your own bread, from seed to loaf…

Resources from this episode:

-Alik’s video that documents all stages of growing your own bread – from seed to loaf

-Israel Homestead. pdf handout that walks you step-by-step through how he built his eco-friendly hut

-My How To Biohack Ultimate Healthy Home book

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about Alik, his life, his hut, and how to grown your own food? Leave your thoughts below!