Wild Dieting, Fat Fasting, Scary Rice, The Worst Thing To Do When You Get Sick & How To Drop 25 Pounds In A Month.


Abel James, AKA “The Fat Burning Man”, joins me today to share some juicy gems from his new book “The Wild Diet: Get Back to Your Roots, Burn Fat, and Drop Up to 20 Pounds in 40 Days“.

Abel is a speaker, entertainer, and consultant, and he has presented keynotes for the Federal Government, lectured at Ivy League universities, and advised Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Danaher, and Lockheed Martin. Also a musician and songwriter, Abel studied at the Royal College of Music and has toured internationally, jammed with country superstars, and won several awards for vocal performance.

As you can probably guess by the title, we go all over the place on this one, and you’ll discover:

-How “fat-fasting” works…

-The best piece of fitness advice Abel has ever gotten…

-Most people think rice is a pretty safe starch, but Abel disagrees and explains why…

-What you can learn from Pottenger’s cats…

-One trick to drop 25lbs in a month…

-How the wild diet for pets work (and the shocking ingredients in “healthy” pet food)…

-The absolute worst thing to do when you get sick…

-The mysterious contents of Abel’s Adventure Pack…

Resources we discuss in this episode:

Eat That Frog book

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about The Wild Diet and the variety of topics we chat about on today’s show? Leave your thoughts below!

How To Find A Doctor Wherever You Are.


Although for the past decade I’ve used a health savings account (HSA) combined with managing my own high deductible health insurance, the passage of Obamacare Affordable Health Care Act ironically tripled my private health insurance costs and left me forced to find a new plan. So this year, I went through the process of applying for health insurance through Washington Health Plan Finder. After dozens of hours of website crashes, tech support nightmares and nerve-wracking lapses in my health insurance coverage, I finally secured coverage.

So health insurance is something fresh on my mind.

And how about finding a physician? In the past, I’ve interviewed my own physicians here in the local Spokane, Washington area, including Dr. Todd Schlapfer and Dr. Toby Hallowitz, and I used the same two-step process to find these doctors as I typically recommend to most folks:

1) Ask around in your local community of like-minded folks about which doctor they recommend;

2) Use these directories that can help you find a good functional medicine or naturopathic practitioner in your area:

But now, it appears that there is a new website and app for finding a doctor wherever you are. It’s called “BetterDoctor“, and in today’s interview, I speak with Ari Tulla, creator of BetterDoctor, about what BetterDoctor actually is, and how it may help you find a medical practitioner appropriate for your needs, find health insurance or find a specific procedure.

Click here to go premium and listen now. You’ll discover:

-Which specific algorithms go into how a doctor is rated…

-How to know which cities where big pharma pays doctors the most… 

-How you can differentiate between alternative medical practitioners such as naturopathic vs. Western allopathic medicine…

-How to locate a list of doctors who has done the highest number of the specific medical procedures that you need…

-How to know which health insurance plan is going to allow you access to the best doctors in your area….

-How to know whether you or your insurance are getting overcharged for specific medical procedures…

Do you have questions about where to find a doctor wherever you are? Your own doctor directory that you recommend? Leave your thoughts and comments below.

Are You Fit, Not Healthy? The Shocking Story Of What Happens When You Exercise Too Much, And What You Can Do About It.


Exercise is supposed to be good for you. But for some people, exercise can become a deadly obsession.

My guest in this podcast episode is Vanessa Alford, author of the new book “Fit, Not Healthy“, which is a warning to all high achievers driven to extremes to excel.

As a young girl growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Alford loved sports: she began gymnastics at age six, netball at seven, and tennis at age ten. She was, in her words, “born to compete”, and both her gymnastics and netball teams won the state championships in her age group. During her early years of sports, she ran to train and to keep fit, but describes it as an obligation, not a pleasure.

After graduating college, Alford began to run regularly: she would set the alarm for 6am, jog for 8k (around an hour) along the beach and be home by 7am, which gave her time to eat breakfast before cycling 15k to work. But soon, her 8k runs became 10k runs, and 12k runs on the weekends.

Soon, both the runs and the ride became mandatory morning rituals, “just like a shot of coffee or booze”, that left her euphoric, floating for the rest of the day on dopamine and adrenaline. “This feeling of elation would sweep over me,” she says, “I just couldn’t get enough of it.”

Within months, she had dropped over 10 pounds and a dress size, and then she started running marathons. Nike and PowerBar sponsored her. Her runs became longer and more grueling, and were soon accompanied by a strict dietary protocol in which she counted every calorie, and monitored every morsel that entered her mouth.

Soon she was running up to 160k a week while surviving on a diet low in fat and low in carbohydrates too. Her body began wasting away, slowly cannibalizing itself, and shutting down non-essential physiological systems. She was exercising herself to death. People warned her, they told her to stop, and her boyfriend told her she had lost her mind. But she couldn’t stop.

Then finally, Vanessa’s body stopped for her, as she collapsed in the middle of a race after losing sensation in her legs.

In today’s podcast interview, you’re going to find out exactly what happened, how exercise addiction occurs, how you can recover from adrenal fatigue, how you can test your body to see if you’re exercising too much, and much more, including:

-The difference between exercise addiction and a runner’s high…

-What’s going on psychologically that makes some people feel like they need to go do things like triathlons, marathons or adventure races…

-Why you often need more and more exercise to achieve the same “high”… 

-What happens chemically that is making you feel so down, so lazy, or so depressed if you stop exercising at the same volume or frequency that you were at before…

-Why will rats run until they drop dead on an exercise wheel…

-And much more!

This episode is brought to you by EXOProtein, where you can use code “ben” for a 10% discount! Today, 80% of the world still eats over 1,600 species of insects, and insects are one of the solutions to humanity’s protein dilemma. Insects are actually as natural to eat as fruits and vegetables and are a more complete form of protein than many livestock alternatives. And even though they have just as much protein as other forms of meat, crickets are 20x more efficient to raise for protein than cattle, and produce 100x less greenhouse gases! Crickets are high in protein, contain all essential amino acids, over twice the iron of spinach, and plenty of B-vitamins, and the Exo bars made from cricket protein are all natural, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, soy-free and paleo friendly. Exo bars are crafted by Kyle Connaughton, formerly the Head of R&D at The Fat Duck, the former #1 restaurant in the world. They’re absolutely delicious, and include flavors like Cacao Nut, Blueberry Vanilla, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Apple Cinnamon. Click here to try EXOProtein Cricket bars today, and use code “ben” for a 10% discount.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about Vanessa’s story, or being “fit not healthy”? Leave your thoughts below, and be sure to check out Vanessa’s book “Fit Not Healthy“.

Cracking The Code On Nature’s Best Kept Secret: Medicinal Mushrooms.


Before I recorded today’s podcast, I skipped my usual morning dark, black cup of aero-pressed coffee, and instead opted for something called “mushroom coffee”, which is a powdered blend of arabica coffee, chaga mushroom and cordyceps extract. 

So could drinking a tea made out of a specific mushroom lower your stress levels? Or even choosing to top your risotto with champions help prevent you from cancer? Out of the 150,000 known species of fungi about 300 have shown a wide variety of medicinal properties. Some “‘shrooms” have a hormonal balancing effect and some enhance the immune system, just to give a few examples.

So today, with Tero Isokauppila, the Co-Founder and President of Four Sigma Foods, we take a deep dive into these type of medicinal mushroom extracts, and you’ll discover…

-The story behind Four Sigma Foods and how Tero got so interested in mushrooms…

-The important difference between a medicinal mushroom and a regular mushroom…

-How big pharmaceutical companies use mushrooms (and the mistake they make)…

-The best mushroom extract to use for stress…

-The best mushroom extract to use for immune system…

-The best mushroom extract to use for balancing blood sugar…

-The best mushroom extract to use for liver detox…

-The crazy story of where cordyceps mushroom extract actually comes from…

-Why most mushroom products are ineffective because they are grown on grain or rice and are simply full of starch rather than the beneficial bioactive compounds…

-Whether you should take mushroom extracts on an empty stomach or take with a meal…

-If adaptogens and mushrooms are safe for kids…

-The process via which a mushroom is harvested and then turned into something like a powdered extract or a tea…

-Whether you need to heat mushroom extract, or if you can simply add it to cold water…

Tero Isokauppila is the Co-Founder and President of Four Sigma Foods. Four Sigma Foods is a startup dedicated to democratizing the healing powers of mushrooms by making them accessible to everyone. The company currently sells superfood teas, mushroom-infused coffees and mushroom chocolates, and you can use discount code “ben-greenfield” to get 15% off anything from Four Sigma Foods.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about medicinal mushrooms, Four Sigma Foods extract, or any of the other topics that Tero and I discuss? Leave your thoughts below!

Performance Nutrition, Sweat Sodium And The Secret Hydration Formula Of The World’s Top Endurance Athletes.

Allen Lim Ben Greenfield

In my article The Real Truth About What To Eat Before, During And After Your Workouts & Races, I mentioned a guy named Dr. Allen Lim, and I specifically gave a shout-out to the recipes he invented when Lim was director of sport science for Garmin and RadioShack cycling teams. 

In that article, I talked about recipes like Chocolate & Sea Salt Sticky Bites, Blueberry & Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes and Crispy Rice Omelets. You can’t argue that those don’t sound tasty (and yes, when you eat them with coconut oil you can still be in ketosis, you high-fat zealot, you).

Anyways, the photo above was taken a few weeks ago at my Team Timex triathlon camp, during which Lim conducted a cutting-edge sweat sodium analysis on me (which we discuss along with many other nerdy nutrition topics in this podcast episode).

Lim is a sports physiologist, cycling coach, and a founder of Skratch Labs, a manufacturer of performance hydration mixes and the world’s first active nourishment company. Beginning his coaching career with Jonathan Vaughters’ TIAA-CREF cycling development team, Lim developed a method of testing for biological markers of performance enhancing drugs that ultimately led to cycling’s Biological Passport.

Lim was director of sport science for Garmin and RadioShack cycling teams and is the only American scientist to have worked and cooked for teams at the Tour de France. He has not only worked with dozens of top American cyclists to improve their performance and nutrition, but has also worked with guys like Lance Armstrong and George Bush .

Along with Chef Biju Thomas, Lim is also the author of The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

-Why popular sports drinks are mixed in the wrong concentrations, and how this leads to something called “gut rot”…

-Why you may need to add sushi rice to your race day or long workout protocol…

-The physiological reason why “cane sugar” is absorbed so well during exercise…

-Why Allen isn’t a fan of stevia…

-How MCT oil and coconut oil could actually speed up gastric emptying (and why that may not be good!)…

-Allen’s thoughts on Jeff Volek’s research on fat utilization during exercise and the apparent need for fewer carbs in fat-adapted athletes…

-Allen’s thoughts on Tim Noakes’ idea that based on our electrolyte stores and the fact that sodium loss drives sodium extortion that electrolyte intake is useless during exercise…

-How to create a customized sodium and hydration replacement scenario based on your unique sweat sodium loss…

Resources we discuss in this episode:

The infamous “egg-hydration” video

The Feed Zone Cookbook

Feed Zone Portables

Skratch Labs

Stryd power meter for running

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about Allen Lim, Skratch labs, sweat sodium, sports nutrition or anything else we talk about in this episode? Leave your thoughts below!

7 Essential Kitchen Items You’ve Never Heard Of But Need To Have.


Meet Flavia Del Monte (pictured above).

She kinda has the perfect name for a book about flavorful cooking, eh?

I didn’t just randomly decide to interview Flavia. Nearly a decade ago, I actually met Flavia’s husband Vince Del Monte. Vince is well known in the fitness world as a go-to expert for skinny guys to build muscle (I believe when I met him he was going by the name “Skinny Guy’s Savior”), and he’s a guy who taught me a lot about how to do things like start a fitness website and write e-books.

So when I saw that his wife Flavia had written a cookbook, I figured I’d check it out, and it’s actually not your stereotypical cut-the-calories, fat-phobic, mumbo-jumbo. Instead, it’s actually jam-packed with some really delicious recipes and outside-the-box thinking. So in this episode, I interview Flavia about her book – which is entitled Flavalicious Cooking – and you’ll discover…

-How Flavia broke out of the stereotypical fitness model diet of salt and peppered tilapia, steamed broccoli and raw nuts…

-The versatility and benefits of coconut sugar as an alternative to regular sugar and artificial sweeteners…

-The difference between coconut butter and coconut oil…

-How you can use coconut aminos as an alternative to soy sauce…

-How you can make sauces and soups thicker without using corn starch…

-How to use a microplane and why you should use one…

-How you can use your freezer to preserve your herbs…

-Flavia’s 3-3-3-3 recipe to cook a perfect steak…

Resources we discuss in this episode:

Coconut sugar

Coconut butter (AKA coconut manna)

Coconut aminos

Bob’s Red Mill potato starch


Do you have questions, comments or feedback about these essential kitchen items, Flavia’s book Flavalicious Cooking, or anything else we talk about in this episode? Leave your thoughts below!

The Zen Of Rich Roll: Veganism, Yoga, Meditation, Travel, Kids & More.


Plant-powered ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll is no stranger to the show.

Previous episodes with Rich have included:

Ben Greenfield interviews Rich Roll on “How To Be Extremely Active And Eat A Plant-Based Diet Without Destroying Your Body”

Ben Greenfield interviews Rich Roll on “Some Of The Craziest Superfoods You’ve Never Heard Of”

Rich Roll Podcast #11 with Ben Greenfield: “Exercise Nutrition Geekfest“…

Rich Roll Podcast #59 with Ben Greenfield: “Nutrition, Fitness, Online Entrepeneurism, Homeschooling And High Fat Diets“…

Ben Greenfield, Rich Roll & Vinnie Tortorich Diet Debate Video

In this episode, Rich Roll returns, along with his new book entitled “The Plant Power Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family“, and in this episode, you’ll discover:

-The unique process of creating a photo rich, cookbook style manual instead of a print based book…

-The one food Rich would take with him to a desert island…

-Rich’s exact morning routine (and his biggest barriers when it comes to squeezing in that routine)…

-How Rich meditates…

-The crazy story of how Rich’s wife healed a golf-ball sized cyst with Ayurvedic medicine…

-How Rich gets his kids to eat things like adzuki bean edamame fettuccine or hash browns made with portobello mushrooms…

-How Rich and his wife manage homeschooling their kids…

-Rich’s take on kids and ultra-endurance…

Resources we discuss in this episode:

Headspace App

The Artist’s Way

The Plant Power Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family

Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing: A Practical Guide

Ayurveda: A Life of Balance: The Complete Guide to Ayurvedic Nutrition & Body Types with Recipes

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Rich or I about this episode? Then leave your thoughts below, and be sure to check out Rich’s new book “The Plant Power Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family“.

The Future Of Wearable Sensors.


In today’s premium podcast episode, I interview Pierre-Jean, the co-founder of Echo Labs. Echo Labs has developed a wearable sensor that can measure what’s in your blood using spectrometry (which means that this wearable can measure actual molecules in your bloodstream), along with heart rate, blood pressure, hydration, heart rate variability, sleep and more. 

You’ll find out:

-New technology that allows you to get an accurate heart rate and heart rate variability score without using a chest strap…

-How the molecules in your blood can tell you whether you are burning fats vs. carbohydrates…

-How a wearable can detect your level of hydration…

-Which markers are most important to detect if you want to measure your rest and recovery…

-How an accurate heart rate variability could potentially be calculated without a heart rate monitor…

-How a wearable can measure aerobic performance…

-And much more!

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about the future of wearable sensors? Leave your thoughts below, and click here to go Premium and listen in!

How To Use Unconventional Fitness Gear Like Kettlebells, Battleropes, Maces, Clubs And More!


Let’s face it: while all you need to get hella strong is a heavy barbell, it can sometimes be nice to beat the boredom, to challenge your brain and body in new ways and to be able to branch out and diversify your training with unconventional and slightly weird fitness gear.

So in today’s show, I interview John Wolf, the Director of Fitness Education for the Onnit Academy, and a guy who trains people with kettlebells, clubs, maces, sandbags, suspension training tools or with no equipment at all. In this podcast, we fill you in on everything you need to know about how to use unconventional fitness gear:

-Why the Onnit kettlebells have monkey and zombie faces on them…

-How to use a battlerope for both cardio and strength building exercises…

-The origin of the mace as a conditioning tool, and how you can use a mace…

-Why something called a steelbell may work better for you than a sandbag…

-How you can use clubs to increase shoulder mobility, strength and cognitive performance…

-The craziest full body workout you can do with unconventional equipment, including the Viking Warrior Mace Flow

If you want to get any of this weird fitness gear for yourself, then click here to visit Onnit and use code ‘bengreenfield10′ for a 10% discount on any order of gear, food or supplements – and leave any comments, thoughts and questions below!

This show was brought to you by JackThreads. You get a 15% off by visiting and using Promo code “bgf”. JackThreads was started because the founders were sick and tired of wading through an endless ocean of crap to find the stuff that they’d actually be proud to own. They believe that looking great and feeling better shouldn’t be a chore, and that a standout suit for your 9-5 shouldn’t force you to get a second job from 5-9. So everyday they feature a broad range of products that they can really stand behind. Daily drops of new curated collections from the brands you love, a seemingly never-ending feed of limited-run collaborations from mega brands and up-and-coming designers alike, and a growing stable of private label product Jackthreads is building from the ground up that you can’t find anywhere else.

315: Fitness Fabrics & Fashion, Can Radiation Be Good For You, How To Do Isokinetic Training & More!


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Apr 8, 2015 Podcast: Fitness Fabrics & Fashion: Exercise Clothing 101, Can Radiation Be Good For You (And Natural Remedies For Radiation), How To Do Isokinetic Training, and What To Do About Sweaty Hands.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


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The BenGreenfieldFitness Quarterly box has officially launched! When you sign-up, you’ll get a Quarterly handpicked box jam-packed with Ben’s favorite fitness gear, supplements, nutrients and research-proven biohacks

April 13-16, 2015: Ben is speaking at New Media Expo, where the world’s top bloggers, podcasters and content creators teach you how to make money by creating content online, and how to enhance your blog, your podcast, your videos and any other media you create online. Better yet, you can come and attend the conference, then join Ben at Spartan Vegas on April 17! Click here to register for New Media Expo and use code “bgreenfield20″ to get 20% off the current pricing.

April 24-26th, 2015: Come hear Ben and Jessa speak at PaleoFX 2015. The can’t-miss conference that is the Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including best-selling authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientists, professional athletes, trainers, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, and more (including Jessa’s “Whipped Up Homemade Heavy Body and Face Lotion.” and Ben’s potentially offensive Pecha Kucha presentation).

May 1-3, 2015: Ben is speaking at Ari Meisel’s Less Doing Conference, the year’s top conference for learning about things like how to manage your email inbox, hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, learn how to use the latest and greatest phone apps and productivity software, free up as much time as possible, and much more! Click here to get more details and to book a free productivity call with Ari.

May 22-26, 2015: Custom Father-Son Wilderness Program with Ben Greenfield. Imagine taking five days with your son(s), and connecting deeply with nature and your boy(s) through ancestral wilderness survival skills, all within a small “tribe” of other fathers & sons that are like minded with similar values. Since the dawn of time, fathers and sons have bonded deeply in and with the wilderness. Ancestral wilderness skills have an innate ability to deepen the Father-Son connection like nothing else. During this custom Father-Son Wilderness Program, we’ll make fire by friction, build and sleep in natural shelters, learn traditional hunting and gathering techniques, and track wild animals. Primitive wilderness survival isn’t a “Man vs. Wild” scenario, it is an opportunity to build a deep relationship with the Earth. As you and your son do so, you’ll find that your relationship with your son deepens in powerful ways. Click here for all details and to register.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Fitness Fabrics & Fashion: Exercise Clothing 101

Alicia says: How should she choose what kind of training gear to wear? She usually wears smartwool in the winter (or the free race shirts) and just a sport bra top in the summer. Is there anything to all the new space-age fabric that is out there for run clothing. Can you let us know about those fabrics? Does she need to be concerned about whether or not fabrics are organic, etc? Especially since they are going to be pressed up against her sweaty body.

In my response, I recommend:
-The article “5 Tips To Choose The Right Exercise Clothing“.
Castelli for cycling/triathlon gear
Hylete (use code BEN50 to save 50%)
Kryptek (use code BEN to save 15%)
-Jackthreads Daily drops of new curated collections from the brands you love, a seemingly never-ending feed of limited-run collaborations from mega brands and up-and-coming designers alike, and a growing stable of private label product Jackthreads is building from the ground up that you can’t find anywhere else.

Can Radiation Be Good For You (And Natural Remedies For Radiation)?

Todd says: He just discovered that his home has high levels of radon gas. He has gone through the mitigation process of insulating and venting but is wondering if there is something else he can do to lessen the long term damage it may have done to his family (including his 22 month old twins). Perhaps something he can add to his diet?

How To Do Isokinetic Training

Joe says: He wants to know more about isokinetic training for strength and power. He has noticed that the Exer-Genie is still on the market and would like to know what you think of that.

In my response, I recommend:
Vasa Swim Ergometer

What To Do About Sweaty Hands

George says: He would like to know of ways to keep his hands warm and dry. Lately he has been getting clammy hands even when he doesn’t feel nervous or anxious. He would like to tone it down on the fist bumps and get back to the man gripping. Any idea what might cause this and what he can do about it?


Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!


Ask Your Question

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Episode #315 – Full Transcript

Podcast #315 from 


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Fitness Fabrics and Fashion, Can Radiation Be Good For You, And Natural Remedies For Too Much Radiation, How To Do Isokinetic Training, What To Do About Sweaty Hands and much more!

Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from

Brock:               I enjoy your alliteration in the title for this podcast.

Ben:                   Do you like how I read off those titles so alliterate like…  I have a high amount of literacy.  By the way, today is the Fitness, Fabrics & Fashion episode in which we talk all about the latest and the greatest fitness fashion and what kind of clothing that you can wear to make your workout amazing.  As a matter of fact…

Brock:               That’s exactly – that’s what I was eluding to when I said the alliteration; the fitness, fashion and fabrics.

Ben:                   Yeah, as most people know, if you get your fitness fashion down your fitness fabrics down, then working out hard really becomes meaningless.  It’s just about looking good.  Speaking which, what are you wearing today, Brock?

Brock:               Yeah, I have an outfit that I wear when I’m working – while I work from home every day – but when I actually feel like I need to put on something other than just my boxer shorts, my sweat pants, I have this comfy old jeans that feel just like sweat pants ‘cause they’re so old.  And a t-shirt that’s so stained, it’s actually embarrassing.

Ben:                   Got a little comfort jeans, they kinda like comfort food.

Brock:               Yeah! And this way, if somebody comes to the door, I don’t feel super embarrassed.

Ben:                   Right.

Brock:               Just a little embarrassed.

Ben:                   Right, exactly.  Probably less embarrassed than me.  I’m wearing my tinie-tiny track shorts, my old Ironman ones from the – gosh, these things are like the early 2000s – way dated.  And…

Brock:               So the elastic is totally shut like diapers.

Ben:                   That’s right and yeah, that’s about it.  So when it comes to…

Brock:               So we’re looking good.

Ben:                   …fitness fashion, we’re looking good and minimalist today.

News Flashes:

Brock:               Head on down to

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:               For all your news flash needs.

Ben:                   Unless you want to get totally freaked out about food labels because that was one of the first things that I tweeted this week was food labels and what your food label really means.  Now this was really interesting, the title of this article was in The Guardian and as with anything that we talk about on the show, we’ll link to it over at for today’s episode.  But this one was called “Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat” and it was especially targeted towards people who think that they’re only eating healthy unprocessed foods and the author delved into everything from fruit salad to coconut milk to show you that indeed the food industry puts things into food that you may not even be aware of if you think you’re eating healthy.  Now the article…

Brock:               You mean, the on the bugs that we talked about last week that sort of sneak in to your food?

Ben:                   Beyond the insects – yes, exactly.  The etymology, I believe it was called.  But anyways, even though the article itself is pretty long, I wanted to go into a few of the things, kinda towards the end of the article that are relatively shocking.  For example, when you look at the natural colorings that you find in food, the only difference between these and artificial ones is that they start with pigments that naturally occur in nature.  I don’t know if that’s redundant to say ‘naturally occurring in nature’.

Brock:               Yeah, sure.

Ben:                   But the – otherwise they made using the same highly chemical industrial processes including extraction using harsh solvents and chemicals even though it says, natural colorings.  The enzymes that are used to for example make bread stays soft longer and that are injected to livestock before slaughtered to tenderize their meat and even used in fruit juice processing to create a cloudier, more natural appearance are just more chemicals that are injected into food that can still be advertised as healthy, unprocessed food.  For example, the – 


what are few others that are kinda interesting – the washed, ready-to-eat salads, those are actually cleaned by sloshing them around in tap water that’s dosed with chlorine, often with a powdered or liquid fruit acids to inhibit bacterial growth.  And though usually used the same tank of treated water for up to eight hours at a time to chlorinate your washed and ready to eat salads and even when the natural flavorings, when you see natural flavorings on a label, there really isn’t much difference in the chemical composition of a natural versus an artificial flavor.  So what this really comes down to is that you should probably go buy some composting dirt and some chickens and just start to take care of your own food because there’s a lot of nasty stuff out there in food manufacturing.

Brock:               I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I wish I was an earthworm and I could just pass the dirt through my digestive tract and just be completely unaware.

Ben:                   That’s right or at least follow the old school recommendations and anyhow this isn’t totally bulletproof but at least it’s halfway there – bulletproof not TM to Dave Asprey – but more bulletproof just using this tradition…

Brock:               Not able to be penetrated by bullets.

Ben:                   And shoplift it from the grocery store.  I mean you always freaking skip half this stuff so that was interesting.  And another kinda interesting article that came out this week was about ancient Anglo-Saxon remedy that has been found to kill the hospital super bug MRSA.  This one caught my attention simply because a couple of years ago, I myself had MRSA infection that tried to eat off half my leg and that was…

Brock:               And that’s how Ben lost his leg. “I lost my leg.”  I’m working to develop the strange limping accent.

Ben:                   It wasn’t well, it was MRSA.  Anyways though, you know, I’ve written about MRSA before in the website now it can be controlled using things like essential oils for example, but what these – I guess they would have been, what do you call people who go out and find old stuff?  Archeologists?  Yeah.

Brock:               Archeologists and Anthropologists.

Ben:                   Yeah, so anyways, what they found was this old English medical compendium and it’s called Bald’s Leechbook which sounds like a fantastic title for a medical compendium.  And what the ancient, authentic ingredients were that our ancestors used to fight MRSA, was a combination of a variety of things but specifically, copper and a brass vessel that had leeks and garlic and a few other herbs added to it.  In this blend that researchers this week tried and found that killed 90% of the superbug MRSA and the Staphylococcus.  So it turns out that there may actually be something to shocker, herbal remedies as an alternative to or an adjunct to antibiotics.  So it was really interesting and I think the article itself is actually to be noted that you know, the ancient use of herbs and essential oils and things along those lines seems to – seems have something to it when it comes to actually having some effect against – against things like MRSA.

Brock:               As long as it’s served in the golden chalice.

Ben:                   That’s right.

Brock:               Or the copper chalice.

Ben:                   with mead.

Brock:               Red Knight, red knight rules!

Ben:                   Okay.  And then our friend Alex Hutchinson over at Runners World published an article that I actually got a few questions on this week because everybody knows I’m a fan of the whole ice baths called thermogenesis thing, and this was about a newer study that they did that may have found the ice baths are completely ineffective…

Brock:               Oh yeah, I saw this one.

Ben:                   May in affect be deleterious and at first glance, when you look at this study, it appears to…

Brock:               The results were shocking.

Ben:                   …significantly indicate that ice baths may not be all they’re chalked up to be.  What they did, was they took a group of subjects and they had them exercise, and half of them cooled themselves in an ice bath post-exercise for about 20 mins about a 50 degree Fahrenheit, 10 degree Celsius ice bath and the other group – the non-cooled group of course did not.  And what they found was that were better adaptations in blood supply to the trained muscles.  There was a better increase in muscular endurance and there was a significant increase in the strength response in the people who – drumroll please.


Brock:               *drumroll sounds*

Ben:                   did not do the ice bath.

Brock:               What?

Ben:                   And they didn’t find the significant difference in the markers of inflammation in the non-cool versus the cool group.  Now here is the kicker, all they were testing was wrist flexion and wrist extension, and the actual cooling of the wrist in an ice bath.  They did not submerged these folks in an ice bath, they did not engage in any activity that were have resulted in significant core heating because most people don’t really get that hot and bothered by doing wrist flexion and extension.

Brock:               Well that depends on how vigorous.

Ben:                   When you look at previous studies that have indicated some difference in people who are doing more hard core exercise like elite cyclists, and people who were doing full body weight training as far as the potential decrease in soreness or at least precedes soreness.  This study I think is one that I personally would kinda toss out in terms of it really not being applicable to the general population and in addition to that, all these studies that look into ice baths, they don’t really look at some of the other reasons that for example, I personally do things like ice baths and cold showers.  Like for example, better ability to be able to deal with mammalian diver reflex right, that sharp intake of breath that you take when cold water hits your face that, if you can control it, and not take that sharp intake of breath and gets yourself into the point where you can submerge yourself in cold water without actually being stressed out by it, makes you more resilient to stress and gives you a little bit better ability to consciously control the activation of your sympathetic nervous system: your fight or  flight response in response to stress.  The studies also don’t look at some of the fat-burning hormones that are stimulated by excessive – not really excessive – but significant exposure to cold, right? Like cold that makes you shiver such as adiponectin – the hormone that can help you mobilize energy out of fat tissue or leptin, or even insulin sensitivity.  There’s a lot of things that go above and beyond what researchers study when they look at some of these ice bath research.  And you know that’s – those are my thoughts on this recent ice bath one that is now once again spreading the rumor that ice baths don’t work.

Brock:               Yeah, well I think it’s kinda like the research that surrounds using carbohydrate for fuel when you’re exercising like yeah, it works and it’s really good and all that but there is another side to things and it’s not just about going fast all the time.

Ben:                   Right.  Exactly.  And I think that sometimes you know, the folks in the lab coats look at one element or like performance…

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   …or inflammation and don’t look at other things like say fat-loss, or heart rate variability, or nervous system health, or things like that.  So kinda interesting and of course I’ve tweeted out a lot more this week, you can follow that all on and we’ll put a link to some of this articles over at whether you wanna heal MRSA, whether you wanna soak your wrist after a nice bout of typing or you whether you wanna get freaked out about the chemicals in your food.

Special Announcements:

Ben:                   Well Brock, today’s podcast is actually brought to you by Audible.

Brock:               I love Audible.

Ben:                   And you can actually get a free audio book at Audible, you’ll get at, you get a 3-day trial membership and a free book.  And I’ve actually got an interesting book this week that I’ve been reading but that is also available on audible as an audio book it’s called ‘Resilience: Hard One Wisdom For Living A Better Life’.  And it’s these series of letters that a – that a navy seal wrote to his comrade – this brother in arms that he hadn’t seen in over a decade and this guy came back from the war and he was plagued with like post traumatic stress disorder and he was masking his pain with heavy drinking.  And his friend, his other navy seal, sat down and began to pen his thoughts on what it actually takes to go resilience in life.  And some of the letters are actually really good, I mean, whether or not you wanna be a navy seal or you’re dealing with post traumatic stresses or heavy drinking, or whether you just wanna kinda learn a little bit more about some of the things that they talk about in this book, about how to build purpose and confront pain, and practice compassion and develop a vocation, and find a mentor and create happiness – it’s a really good book.  And it is available as an audio book it’s called ‘Resilience: Hard One Wisdom for Living a Better Life’ over at, I think it’s a worth to read.  So, or listen in this case.


Brock:               Or listen, yes.

Ben:                   So a few other – a few other things to note: first of all the Ben Greenfield Fitness Quarterly launched so this is where you can…

Brock:               What the heck is the ‘Quarterly’?

Ben:                   You got a mystery box from me every quarter and I hand-pick a bunch of things you know, little bio-hacks and health gear, and supplements and nutrients, and fitness stuff; and pretty much everything that we can shelve into a box.  And we send it to you every quarter and it’s kinda cool.  ‘Quarterly’ is this website that actually takes this curators, you know, people like I guess you know, I think Tim Ferriss has one…. I’m blanking out…

Brock:               I believe Dave Asprey’s got one.

Ben:                   Yeah.  I believe Dave Asprey may have like a bio-hacking one.  Mine is kinda of a combination of health and fitness and bio-hacks and nutrition and just a whole range of things.  But our first Quarterly ships in May, basically about fifteen days or so from the time this podcast comes out, we’re gonna be shipping, so if you wanna get in on the very first – a maiden voyage of the Quarterly box, then you just go to the and you get in on all the goodness.  It’s like, it’s about a 100 bucks or so to get in on the Quarterly because Quarterly negotiates with a lot of the people who are getting us the stuff to put on these boxes and negotiate like higher volume orders of the stuff.  You’re actually getting a lot of cases in a box like a hundred and fifty to hundred bucks worth of stuff, so it’s a pretty good deal plus it’s like Christmas coming every quarter.

Brock:               Hmm.  So we’ve had a few questions.  I’m gonna take this opportunity to ask you the questions that are quickly coming in now they are more regularly.  Can people get it outside of the US?

Ben:                   I don’t know.

Brock:               Alright.  Good answer.

Ben:                   I have no clue, I guess you go to and look.  And I seen the result that they do something like Canada, but maybe it’s a little bit extra shipping to Canada.  And yeah, I’m not really sure.  I mean it’s a great question but I don’t know.  All I do is I pick the stuff, I write a letter with each Quarterly that comes with it that shows you how to use the stuff that’s coming in your box, why I picked it, what’s interesting about it, how you can use it – but I don’t have any dang clue whether or not someone in say, Serbia can get my Quarterly.

Brock:               Okay, second question: Is the stuff that’s going to be in the Quarterly, the kinda thing that people would’ve already picked up if they’re fan of yours?  Or is this gonna be like new shocking crazy stuff?

Ben:                   New shocking crazy stuff.  I don’t like to be redundant so I’m gonna pick stuff that will blow your mind that when you opened the box, and hopefully nobody has any heart attacks when they open it up.  There won’t be any exploding snakes or you know, flying peanuts or anything like that, but it would be quite interesting.

Brock:               Alright.  Final question: Did you mean to send out a broken link yesterday morning so you’d have the opportunity to send out a second email?

Ben:                   No.  That usually happens when I write an email before I’ve had my cup of coffee and so when you get two emails from me, it just means that I messed up.  There is no marketing ploy involved with broken links and all that jazz.  It’s just…

Brock:               I don’t understand how people think that’s a marketing ploy when we send out…

Ben:                   Well, well, because it is.  Because that’s actually a known internet email marketing technique, is for people to send you a link or a wrong link and then resend a follow up email with the correct link to somehow get your attention.  I don’t understand it, I think it’s kinda black hat so to speak like unethical, but for me it’s just pure stupidity when that happens.  It’s me typing things in wrong because yes, I still write all my own emails that you get and that means that – well let’s put it this way, typing in URL is not my strongest sweet.

Brock:               Alright, that’s it for my questions.  You’re okay.

Ben:                   Great. Thanks.  Okay, well, a couple other things: first of all, the Memorial Day weekend Custom Father-Son Wilderness Survival Program that we’re doing is almost full.  I believe that there is a spot yet still for two more sets of fathers with their son or sons, and this is gonna be where we all trips into the wilderness out here by an hour from my house and we’ll be making fire by friction and building and sleeping in natural shelters and learning traditional hunting and gathering techniques, tracking wild ani – wild edibles?

Brock:               Will you say animals?  Yikes!

Ben:                   Tracking wild animals and eating wild edibles.  So it’s gonna be a really cool bonding experience.  Not a lot of emails, not a lot of phones, not a lot of computers, not a lot of distractions, not new women – just men and boys.

Brock:               Now that’s why I’m not coming.


Brock:               Father and sons.  So if you want to again on this wilderness experience, I have no financial affiliation or anything like that with organization that’s putting it on, I just really wanted to do this with my boys and I thought, “Well, what the heck?  It could be kinda cool?” rather than doing it with a bunch of complete strangers for you know, some of us kinda Ben Greenfield Fitness folks that just all get together and do it.  So there’s a couple of spots left and there’s a link in the show notes over at  I’m sorry ladies, perhaps in the future, we’ll have a customed whatever, Mother-Daughter Wilderness Program but for now, there’s this upcoming May 22nd thru May 26th one is the Custom Father-Son Wilderness Program.  And then finally, the last conference that is coming out that you still have time to get into is my friend Ari Meisel’s Less Doing Conference in New York which is gonna be all about managing your email inbox, and hacking productivity and enhancing cognitive performance, and learning how to use the wide and often confusing world of phone apps and productivity software, and smart home things and pretty much everything that has to do with doing less.  So you can get in on that over at and it’s in New York, May 1st thru the 3rd.  New York City, the Big Apple, baby.

Brock:               The Big Apple.  Delicious.

Voiceover:        Did you know that Ben Greenfield personally mentors trainers, coaches, physicians, and nutritionists from around the globe? From business building tips to advanced team and performance and health concepts.  It’s all part of a product mastermind called The Superhuman Coach Network.  When you join, you get instant access to monthly workshops with Ben, a Q&A forum, over 40 hours of cutting-edge audio and video education and much more.  Check it out today and become one of the world’s leading health and fitness experts at

Listener Q & A:

Todd:                 Hi Ben and Brock.  I recently discovered my home has high levels of radon gas, and while I’ve gone through the mitigation process with installation of a vent pipe system and fan.  I’m still concerned about the potential long term effects in minimum exposure, especially on my 22 month old twins.  Now, is there anything I can still do to reduce exposure to protect my family, such as my diet or anything addition you can think of?  Thanks, love the podcast.

Brock:               So radon gas.

Ben:                   Holy-moly.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   Yeah, I think I mentioned this on the show before because we talked a little bit about radiation in the past and I actually studied a couple of years ago this whole idea of like the whole medic effect of radiation, in the concept that small doses of radiation may actually be good for you.  And because of that…

Brock:               Just look at the Hulk!

Ben:                   Yeah! Look at the Incredible Hulk!  He’s huge!  It’s a lot done.  Anyways though, I actually have – don’t laugh – I have a radiated rock that the author of a book on the hormetic effects of radiation actually had a – hooked me up with.  And it is just like it releases these small micro-doses of radiation throughout the day and night.  And it just kinda sits on the bed stand you know, the same amount of radiation that a lot of natural geological formations actually released.  So it’s kinda interesting when you look into this, I mean there’s no doubt that exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation is extremely bad for human health.  I mean when you look at the acute radiation sickness that you know, scientists used to study radioactive elements got back in the day or by survivors of atomic bomb blast, you see a lot of issues.  I mean, even the long term complications of adult survivors of cancer who were treated with a lot of especially the earlier radiation therapy technology, I mean it’s – it can definitely mess you up.  I’m not arguing that that high doses of ionizing radiation are dangerous, but this whole concept of low dosed radiation.  In effect that low dose radiation may actually help with things like genetic repair and preventing tissue damage, and a lot of other benefits – it’s really, really interesting.  So the idea behind this, in this idea that a low dose of a bad thing can have good effects is called hormesis, and we’ve talked about a little bit on the show before I mean, we’re talking about cold, right?  And cold is a form of stress that in high amounts will kill you, were at least severely inhibit your physiological potential and your ability to talk and have natural biological function exercise.


We all know that you can get over-training, you can exercise too much, and you can create heart issues and adrenal fatigue, and all that jazz.  Fasting, that’s another one that in small doses can be good for you, but in large doses can be bad for you, and most hormetic stressors work by kind of slightly over-activating your body’s repair machinery, right?  So, you generally get net positive results when you induce things like cellular apoptosis right, like the – when you fast and your body kinda cleans itself up by actually killing cells and turning over some of your old cells, and most traumatic effects acts on this same or in the same manner right?  By upregulating your repair function or your ability to be resilient, speaking of resilience.  So when you look at radiation hormesis, I’m pretty surprised at the amount of informations out there, I mean, I’ll link to it in the show notes.  But even just the Wikipedia page on radiation hormesis is pretty massive in terms of the number of studies out there that have looked into this stuff, and you know there’s even studies that are published before the 1940’s that found evidence of radiation hormesis across, like plants and fungi, and protozoans, and algae, and insects and even radon, has been looked into a little bit and that specifically in the case of Alzheimer’s and small doses of radon helping out with function of patients who had Alzheimer’s.  But when you look at more recent studies on radiation hormesis – there’s been a lot of studies in mice that are found that exposure to low dose radiation protects against the effects of subsequent exposure to mid-lethal doses of x-rays and you get less DNA damage and less mortality, when low dose radiation is used in terms of the ability of mice to be able to withstand x-rays.  When you look at for example, low dose radiation in diabetes, they’ve done studies and found that diabetic rats show faster wound healing when dose with low levels of radiation and they’ve also found that radiation at low doses can prevent kidney damage which is one of the most common long term complications of diabetes.

Brock:               Hmm.

Ben:                   So the idea behind why this is occurring is theoretically because you upregulate the cellular enzyme systems that are responsible for repairing damaged membranes and that are responsible for repairing mutated DNA.  And so if for example you got exposed to let’s say, low dosed radiation from the sun and you had mudder amounts of sun exposure between let’s say 10a.m. and 2p.m. every day, then you compare to someone who wasn’t getting that low dosed level of radiation from the sun who was maybe slaughtering themselves in sunscreen every time they step out in the sun, you might actually be able to be a little bit more resilient against the effects of say – a sunburn right?  Like if you were out on the beach too long compared to that person who hadn’t been exposing himself to that low dosed radiation from the sun.

Brock:               Is it what they called the base tan?

Ben:                   That’s what they called base tan, exactly.  That’s what I’ve been going after for past ten minutes this entire thing has led up to the fact that you really should get a base tan.  No, and I actually have done that, I’ve used tanning beds before when I know that in the middle of the winter, I’m off to do a triathlon where I’ll be exposed for 10 hours you know, in the heat, in the sun to you know, large amounts of sun throughout the little skin protection or clothing protection.  I’ve used tanning beds to get like low dosed radiation leading up to that, and also just so I don’t have tan lines which can be embarrassing and unsightly.  So anyways though, low dosed radiation.  But when it comes to radons specifically, you know in most cases when you look at domestic exposure to high concentrations of radon, there isn’t much evidence out there for a hormetic effect.  And even the studies that have shown there to be any type of benefits to radons such as that study that I mentioned on Alzheimer’s.  There was another study on arthritis that shows that radon may induce beneficial long term effects to arthritis and even this like a radioactive water baths that you’ll find in – they’ve got a lot of them over in Russia, there’s some in Germany.  You know a lot of these countries you expect to be bathing in radiation right? Like our – anyways though, radons spas are people sit for minutes or hours and this high radon atmosphere and these like radioactive water baths – these actually exist, but the fact is the amount of radon that people are getting exposed to with these hormetic doses…


                           is far less than what you would see when you’re looking at domestic radon leakages such as you might experience in a home you know where you get this radioactive colorless, odorless gas that basically can get emitted into the homes from you know, I guess it would be in this case, for example, a poor ventilation probably the number one cause of radon issues in the domestic case like this.  So in that situation I would not say, “Well you know, your kids are gonna be resilient and you know tiny Incredible Hulks or Spider Man or whatever.”

Brock:               Godzilla.

Ben:                   Yeah, Godzilla.  Exactly.  I would say that I would actually consider using some of the natural remedies that can help out with higher dose radiation exposition.  There’s a lot of them out there but you know, I always like to look at what science says when it comes to helping to now reduce the effects of radiation exposure.  And so there’s a guy out there named Dr. Mark Sircus, and we actually had a premium podcast episode with him last year, we talked a lot about all the different compounds out there that can help you to mitigate some of the effects of radiation or to protect yourself against radiation.  And we delve into a lot of detail in that episode but some of the things that have come up since then – just based on research has been done since the Japan: the Fukushima fallout right?  And the things that I’ve looked into for myself are definitely some things that I would – I can’t say I can recommend specific dosages and things like that and may have want to play or medical…

Brock:               Oooh… or disclaimer.

Ben:                   Or disclaimer, right, before I go into this possibly, if you want to inject that, Brock.  It could possibly be good idea since we’re talking about children.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   It’s very sensitive topic.

Disclaimer:      Ben is not a doctor and the content provided on this podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical or healthcare advice.

Ben:                   Alright, so let’s jump in into some of the things that can help out with radiation.  One is Nascent Iodine, and when I go do my traveling in Asia, I actually have a little bottle of Nascent Iodine.  The reason is that radiation affects your thyroid gland and can inhibit the ability to create iodine which helps out with things like DNA integrity and immune function, and metabolic and endocrine balance, and when you use Nascent Iodine, it helps to counteract some of the effects of radioactive iodine essentially kind of taking up some of the space in the cells that radioactive iodine normally would.  And Nascent Iodine is just a little dropper bottle, it’s a little brown bottle that has iodine in it and it specifically called Nascent Iodine because it actually has the ability to take up some of those spaces that radioactive iodine would – that’s one thing that I would look into.  Another one would be calcium and magnesium; and both of those minerals can decontaminate nuclear waste in the form of strontium-90 which is kind of a common one you’ll see with radiation leakage from nuclear…

Brock:               Nuclear.

Ben:                   Nuclear – from nuclear plants to – I believe that’s the George Bush definition.

Brock:               Or Homer Simpson.

Ben:                   Or Homer Simpson.

Brock:               Either, or…

Ben:                   Right.  So calcium and magnesium, not much evidence out there when it comes to radon, but definitely some evidence when it comes to strontium, you can use transdermal magnesium, you can use oral magnesium or even like CalMag type of supplements to help out with something like that.  There’s something called DMSO, that’s a really potent sulfur-based anti-oxidant, and there’s several studies out there that show that DMSO can not only protect the body from the effects of harmful radiation but it can detoxify the body from the effects of harmful radiation after the body has been exposed.  So, what it does is it neutralizes the specific radio-isotopes that can build up in your body after exposure to nuclear radiation.  So, the interesting thing about DMSO is it’ very similar to something else called MSM – so DMSO is a liquid, MSM is a powder and both are really, really potent sulfur-based anti-oxidants that you need to be careful in use in very small dosages.  But there’s some evidence out there that in the case of severe head injury, that MSM can help to counteract some of the intense acute inflammation that can occur, that can cause like brain damage, loss of memory, death of neurons, etc.  So actually in both of my cars in the glove box, I have a little bag of MSM, to be able to take about a teaspoon of that should I ever get into a situation where I’ve, you know, gone in a pretty big accident…


and then actually have the ability or the you know, the consciousness to actually get something like MSM into my system is something that I have in my car, just in case something like that happens you know, for severe injuries specifically head injury.  But DMSO is the liquid version of that that has actually been – that they’ve done studies on and found it to be helpful for radiation.  Zeolite – zeolite clay and zeolite liquid, that’s another mineral kinda similar to magnesium, and what zeolites do is they actually attach themselves to and remove nuclear waste from the cellular level.  And they had one study over in Europe that found that zeolite clay was an effective decontaminate for animals that were affected by the nuclear waste disaster in Chernobyl.  And it can also be taken internally for detoxing radiation.  So, it appears to be most effective for strontium and cesium.  So zeolite may be something more along the line that something you’d use for exposure to – you know, again, if you’re travelling to Asia and concerned about nuclear fallout from the Fukushima issue, you know, or perhaps a nuclear factory exploded in your backyard – whatever the case may be – zeolite seems to be effective for that, but zeolite is often found in the clay form and there are many other types of clays that bonds to waste, and nuclear waste in the body.  So you can find like red clay, and bentonite clay, and green clay and there’s a lot of different types of edible clay that can have a detoxification effect and specifically help out with radioactive waste.  So, actually the same place where I get the Nascent Iodine, it’s a company called Magnetic Clay – that was why they’re called Magnetic Clay – it’s like one of their very first compounds or you know, health foods that they sold was this edible clay, they actually eat as a detoxificant.  So…

Brock:               Have you tried it?

Ben:                   I have.  Yeah, I’ve got some downstairs.

Brock:               What does it taste like?

Ben:                   It taste like clay, it does like there’s earthy flavor.  It’s not necessarily pleasant but it’s you know, according to my wife, it’s not much worse than my kale’s smoothie.  So anyways, this company Magnetic Clay solves the fight to iodine, magnesium, clay, like a lot of their stuff are – it’s a good place to kinda like shop for the type of things that can help out with nuclear radiation radon exposures and stuff like that.  There’s a few others: activated charcoal is one that similar to clay, has the ability to neutralize radiation, and in studies that have been done in charcoal, it’s a pretty high amount – about 10 grams of activated charcoal which is a lot of capsules of charcoal, but it’s something that may help out.

Brock:               How do you open black for a week?

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly, exactly.  Proteolytic enzymes and by the way, that’s the thing with like charcoal, clay, any of that stuff, like any other supplements, food, nutrients, etc. that you take a long with that, those are likely going to get bound up and passed through your digestive tract as well.  So you need to be aware that if you’re taking some expensive multivitamins or something like that, it’s not a good idea to take charcoal and clay simultaneously just because you’re gonna be making expensive poo.  So, bee pollen is another one and then there’s some studies that suggest that bee pollen may significantly lower the negative side effects of radiation exposure and the studies that they’ve done on bee pollen, studies on – were for radium.  Just actually a little bit similar to radium in terms of its molecular make-up, x-rays and then cobalt 60.  So, bee pollen actually specifically helps with white blood cell and red blood cell, and antibody effects when it comes to lowering some of the deleterious effects of radiation.  So bee pollen will be another.  Interestingly, some studies have showed that beets kinda similar to bee pollen can help your body to rebuild specific cells and in this case beets can help the body to rebuild hemoglobin in response to radiation and animal labs studies have shown that rats are having a diet heavy in beets could effectively reduce the effects of radio-active cesium compared to rats who didn’t eat the beets.  And the beet-eating rats actually absorbed and detoxify up to a 100% more radio-active cesium compared to the controlled-group animals.  So, that’s another one that has been studied.

Brock:               Another reason to love beets.

Ben:                   That’s right.  There’s a few others – brewer’s yeast.  There’s some studies that have shown that brewer’s yeast may help to prevent against radiation exposure as well as to help the body repair after exposure.


And that’s something that would definitely be safe for kids along with beets, that would be another one.  You know, once you start looking at giving things kids like clay, and activated charcoal, I can’t comment on studies showing safetier studies that actually been done on those on children although you know, my kids were exposed raid-on radiation etc.  I’d probably go the route of getting ‘em some magnesium, some clay, some charcoal, beets, beep-on, that type of thing, but I can’t say that there’s been a lot of studies that I’ve seen on some of those more like binding detoxicans like clay, and charcoal.  So, you kinda have to do your research on that and again, I’m not gonna recommend specific dosages because I’m kinda careful doin’ that kind of stuff especially when it comes to kids.  And there’s a final one called germanium – organic germanium.  And that’s a really powerful free-radical scavenging organic compound.  When you get exposed to radiation, the rays from radiation exposure release a lot of free radicals that can really do some damage specifically the hemoglobin, which is why beets come in handy but what germanium has been shown to do is to block some of these radio-active rays and basically what they do, is they move freely inside the nuclear structure of the germanium instead of entering your cells and your bloodstream.  And so, you can get germanium in like a supplemental form and studies have shown that when cells get exposed to cesium and the gamma rays, two things that you’re gonna get a lot of especially with like a nuclear waste from a nuclear fall-out, like a nuclear factory, like the Fukushima disaster again that would be a prudent one to include.  So those are some of the biggies when it comes to radiation exposure.  I know it’s a lot of stuff, and we’ll…

Brock:               Yeah, I was a biggie.

Ben:                   …we’ll of course put links and stuff in the show notes but it’s kind of a saw science because I haven’t seen any research that have shown – okay, so what happens if you do something like get exposed to radiation and use brewer’s yeast, use some beet juice, some organic germanium, throw in some charcoal, or some clay, and start using iodine or like I don’t see a lot of studies out there that looked at cocktails of these different radiation mitigating compounds but I would – you know, if I were exposed to radiation, to a significant amounts that go above and beyond the little rock that I keep on my bed stand or the x-ray that I walked through the airport or you know, this and that sunshine here and there, I would certainly try any or all of these.

Joe:                    Hi Ben!  Hi Brock!  I wanted to ask you two questions. The first one is about isokinetic training.  I want to use it to increase my strength, and to increase my power.  I’ve noticed that the Exer-Genie is still on the market and I wanted to know your thoughts about it.  The other question is about how meditation can raise the input of beneficial hormones.  Thank you.  I’m Joe.

Brock:               I’ve never heard of the Exer-Genie.  Have you?

Ben:                   You haven’t heard of the Exer-Genie, Brock?

Brock:               No!  No, I have to look it up and still a little confused.

Ben:                   Well, the Exer-Genie is – it’s like this series of very complex, kinda like cables with handles on them and the idea behind the type of cables that are used in the Exer-Genie is it like this woven nylon training line that kinda pulls against you just as hard as you pull against it, or resist you just as hard as you move against it.  That means – the best example I can give of an isokinetic muscular contraction is any resistance that you’re moving against that is going to resist you harder the more that you push and pull against it, and water is a perfect example, right?  Like the harder and the faster you move your hands through water, the faster water pushes back against you which is why swimming can be hard or swimming can be easy.  There are certainly some machines out there that provides you with a little bit of an isokinetic experience.  That would be as opposed to like an isometric contraction.  So an isometric contraction would be where you’re contracting and your muscles are firing but the muscles aren’t changing in length, right.  That would be like a wall-sit or you know, hanging from a pool of bar and just holding that position or holding a lunge position.  And there certainly a lot of lactic acid that builds up in an isometric muscular contraction, and a lot of muscular endurance that’s built from something like that, and it’s a good way to kinda rehab or build strength in an area without putting a lot of stress in the joint because a joint isn’t moving through a range of motion.


Isotonic contraction is what most of us experienced when we are lifting weights or we’re moving against some form of resistance, and isotonic contraction is simply where the muscle contracts and shortens against movement, and that’s just about every form of weight training or resistance training that’s out there, it’s isotonic contraction.  So, the advantages of an isokinetic contraction is that you’re muscle is gonna gain strength evenly through the entire range of movement and it is a really good way to effectively gain strength because the harder you push against something, the harder it pushes against you.  And if you wanna look at like a very advanced form of isokinetic training, go back and listen to the podcast that I recently did with Keith Norris.

Brock:               Oh, that’s what it was all about.  I was thinking somebody just talked about this on the podcast.

Ben:                   We talked about how in an ideal situation, you would have some kind of a mechanism to perfectly match your body’s strength curve, right.  So the harder that you’re trying to lift something, the harder it’s gonna lift back against you.  And kind of like an early rough form this was when a lot folks were using chains and still do, for example in the weight room where you drape chains over a bar for example if you’re doing a squat, or a bench press, and as the bar gets elevated, and the links of the chain come off the floor, that actually increases the load, so as you’re moving through the range of motion, you’re having to push or pull harder to kinda keep the bar moving.  So, when you’re doing that, you’re presenting your body with more resistance with the entire range of motion, whereas with like the isotonic contraction, technically a squat or a bench press, kinda it’s easier as you get up towards the top of the movement just because you’re getting into a more efficient range of motion for your joints.  And the idea behind isokinetic training is that as you reach that more efficient range of motion for your joints, things don’t get easier.  They stay just as hard throughout the entire range of motion.  So if you do want to build a lot of strength, and you’re willing to put up with really the teeth-grittingly difficult and often kinda awkward feeling of an isokinetic contraction, then something like this could come in handy.  Now the Exer-Genie – the Exer-Genie I would say is kind of like a ropy elastic version of something like the ARXfit machine.  And I’ve never used one but I mean, – they use a lot of the same – the same vernacular as like the ARXfit website, relic efficient exercise and efficiency in exercise, in this case it’s this tiny compact kit that fits into just like a little bag and you can attach it to different things, and when you’re pulling or pushing against this nylon rope that is attach to a special crank, it’s getting harder or easier, depending on how hard or easy you move against it.  Truly interesting!  And you know, just like most of this stuff – will it work?  Yeah!  Most likely.  Well, it would be a different way to challenge your body, yeah!  Most likely.  Is it like the ARXfit something that it is potentially going to keep you inside on a machine, exercising as efficiently as possible but not necessarily experiencing like the great outdoors, running through the trees, lifting rocks, throwing logs around, that type of stuff.  Yeah.  And that’s why I personally, you know, I don’t get too enamored with a lot of these machines and gadgets and devices simply because I like to go out on the forest and do some pull-up from the tree branch, and lift some heavy rocks, and you know, run around, do some bear crawls, that type of thing.  But if your time is limited and you’re one of those people who wants to get the most bang for your workout buck, then yeah, isokinetic training is really, really good for building strength.  It’s also very hard though, and I warn you that, you know, right when you expect things to get easy through a range of motion, they don’t get easy, it can be kinda tough.  So it takes a little bit of…

Brock:               Instead of going… Hiyaaa, you go Uhhhhhhh!

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly when we look at…

Brock:               Would you like that?  That was my… very descriptive noise making.

Ben:                   Yeah!  That was nice.  You didn’t poo in your jean.

Brock:               Make a mess?  No, I’m okay.

Ben:                   Okay, so, the Exer-Genie, the ARXfit machine, you know, I even have like this vasa trainer in my basement, right, which is a swim machine, a swim ergometer, and it – like water, you know, it allows me to land in my stomach and swim.  And the harder I pull against the cables on this thing, the harder they pull back against me.  Now, that’s not a very high amount of resistance compared to something like the ARXfit relic like swimming on the swim machine is the sub-maximal contraction.


                           But it is tough, you know, and it is definitely a different feel if you’re not used to isokinetic training, it will throw you for a loop, but it’s a good way to get fit.  You know, it’s just that in most cases you need special machines that can get a little complicated but ultimately, I mean, if I had one of these Exer-Genie, I’d say – yeah, I’d probably use it here and there, I’d probably travel with it or something like that despite its incredibly cheesy name, but yes, that’s the deal with Exer-Genie and isokinetic training.  It works and it’s kinda worth throwing a little bit of isokinetic training into your training protocol.  It’s not the only thing that I do but it can definitely give you some bang for your workout buck.

George:             Hey Ben and Brock, this is George from Los Angeles, big fan of the show.  I was wondering if you guys know of ways I can keep my hands warm and dry.  Lately I’ve been getting clammy hands even when I don’t really feel nervous or anxious.  I’d like to tone it down on the fist bump and get back to my usual man gripping.  Any ideas what could this be from and what I can do about it?  Keep up the great work, guys.  Thank you.

Ben:                   Sweaty hands.

Brock:               So George has a handshake that feels like a chicken breast.

Ben:                   The only thing worse that sweaty hands are sweaty balls. You’ve seen this…

Brock:               I have. I love that!  Alec Baldwin is hilarious.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So anyways, there’s actually a term for sweaty hands – it’s palmar hyperhidrosis, and we’ve done episodes before on hyperhidrosis, and all…

Brock:               It’s just sweating in general.

Ben:                   Yeah exactly.  If you go to, I’ll put a link to our previous episode on hyperhidrosis.  And really, the ultimate take-away from that was, that one of the biggest contributors to excessive sweating was food intolerances, and issues in the diet that cause a hyper-active immune system and this hyperhidrosis.  And my number one recommendation in that episode if you’re call was – to use something like an autoimmune diet in which you begin into eliminate things like wheat, dairy, soy, and some of the common foods that can trigger a hyper-active immune system.  When you look at palmar hyperhidrosis specifically however, it’s kinda interesting what they do in medicine for things like this.  Like for example, iontophoresis and iontophoresis is this medical device that actually conducts this mild electrical current across your skin surface and somehow the electrical current and the mineral particles in the water that is penned out by this device somehow thickens the outer layer of your skin, and that can block the flow of sweat to the skin surface.  And so, once that sweat output gets blocked or interrupted, sweat production on places like the palms of your hand or the soles of your feet get’s turned off.  And it’s supposedly very effective for sweaty hands and sweaty feet –  Iontophoresis.  So, that’s something that would traditionally be done by a dermatologist and I can’t find a lot that indicates that there’s a lot that can go wrong in your body with something like iontophoresis.  It appears to be relatively safe but there are other treatments.  For example, a botox is another one where they’ll inject…

Brock:               In your hands?  Crazy.

Ben:                   Yeah, they inject botox into your palms to dramatically reduce sweating.  The problem with that is I’m still a little bit uncomfortable injecting a known toxin into my hand, but apparently that also is very effective at dramatically reducing sweating.  There’s a another one called a thoracic sympathectomy, and that’s also given the abbreviation ETS and that is – by my understanding, an actual surgical adjustment of the nervous self, and may actually result in what’s called the compensatory sweating which irreversible.  Excessive sweating on large areas of the body once you have gotten this endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy to reduce sweating in specific areas.  It appears that it just simply shift all that sweat somewhere else in the body and it well up somewhere else.  Yeah, so – and of course you know, a common recommendation you’ll also gonna find are anti-perspirants you know, just literally using like a deodorant stick and you could even use if you wanna go with something that has less aluminum in it like a homemade, baking soda based anti-perspirant remedy or like one of these Ham and Hammer baking soda based anti-deodorants that you could put on your hand and I suppose you could keep baking soda in your pocket, and just stick your hands in your pockets to…


Brock:               Hey!  That’s not a bad idea.

Ben:                   We should trace mark that.  Baking Soda Pocket.

Brock:               And because there’s little chock that you have in your rock climbing.

Ben:                   Exactly, exactly.  I would imagine that your hands might still be a little bit white and powdery when you take them up out of your pockets.  And then of course, there’s the issue of perhaps you go to a cocktail party and you forget your pants that have the baking soda in them, and so, you know, then you’re screwed.  And perhaps you’re sweating even more because you’re nervous that you forgot your baking soda or your antiperspirant.  So you know, I would say that of the medical remedies that are out there, iontophoresis seems to be the most promising for kinda more permanently reducing some of the issues with palmar hyperhidrosis or sweaty hands, but there’s a lot of natural remedies that you’re gonna find floating around out there as well.  For example, green tea.  Green tea is recommended in helping to remove excess oils and moisture from the skin and preventing sweat from escaping into the skin surface.  And they say the same thing about sage tea, and I really don’t quite understand how this happens but you supposedly soak your hands in sage time or green tea, and it helps to dry excess oils and keep your hands from sweating.  I personally have yet to make myself a nice cup of tea and soak my hands in it, but it’s something that I see recommended.  There’s one that seems a little bit more practical and potentially efficacious to me, and that’ll be alcohol wipes to control sweatiness of the palms and to kinda give a drying effect to the palms, and you could for example, venture out to your next party or networking event and make sure you have some alcohol wipes in your bay and just before you go into the event, get yourself a few wipes of alcohol there, just to keep the area dry.  And you may walk in smelling of booze and you know, get a strong scotch right before you came in but the social lubricant is only on your hands.  So, there’s that… alcohol.  Another one in addition to like the baking soda, the talcum powder, the corn starch, all these kinda like dusting remedies that can help to soak up moisture is powdered lemon or orange peels.  And the recommendation is to actually take orange and lemon peels and dry them in the sun, and then what you can do is you can use them as almost like a – like something that – the dried lemon, orange peel, you would rub them around on your hands and apparently you can combine with baking soda and the essence or the oils from lemon or the orange peels can help to dry up or keep excessive sweating from occurring on your hands.  That’s one I haven’t tried but it seems like an interesting solution.  And then another one is vinegar.  Vinegar is recommended as something to control sweaty hands.  You dub vinegar on your palms 2 to 3 times a day to prevent excessive sweating and to keep your hands dry from sweat.  So you can smell like alcohol, you can smell like vinegar, you can smell like orange and lemon peels, or like tea.  You can kinda…  there you go.  So, the last one is tea bags which apparently have – due to tannic acids in them, the ability to shrink pores and reduce the chances of sweat from sipping through the pores.  And when you do this is you would take moist tea bags and hold them inside your palms for a few minutes every few hours.  So, that’s another thing that you can have in your pockets, along with your deodorant, and your lemon and orange peels.  Fortunately, a lot of these remedies for sweaty palms might also be things that would allow you to survive just a few extra days if you’re stranded on a desert island.  You have your lemon and your orange peels, your alcohol, a little bit of tea, perhaps some baking soda.  Who knows how long you could survive.

Alicia:                Hey Ben and Brock, this is Alicia.  First off, I just wanna say I love the show, you guys are hilarious and informative, and shredded.  Just a great combo.  My question is a “what to wear” question.  I usually run in smart wool in the winter and just race t-shirts – the free ones or my sports bra in the summer but I’ve been seeing a lot of really fancy space-age looking options around for like run clothing, and I’m wondering if you can let us know a little bit about that stuff.  I usually like to keep things sort of natural and organic especially if they’re gonna be stuck up against my sweaty body, but I’m curious about what some of these advantages of these space-age fabric and gear might be.  Any thoughts you have would be awesome.  Thanks!

Brock:               Finally!  We got to talk about the fashion aspects of exercise.

Ben:                   Yes!  Fashion!

Brock:               Finally!

Ben:                   I’m looking forward to this.


                           Uhh so, yeah, it’s kinda interesting, you know, we don’t really talk about exercise clothing a lot but it – I don’t remember, I think we may have mention this recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research a couple of weeks ago and it was entitled “Synthetic garment enhance comfort, thermoregulatory response, and athletic performance compared with traditional cotton garments.”  And in that study they had folks do a fitness test on two different occasions and ones were wearing cotton clothing and then a different time where they are wearing some of these special exercise specific polyester clothing that does things like transfer moisture, and enhance cooling, and kinda has a wicking effect.  And compared to the cotton clothing, the people, both men and women, who were doing this fitness test, they had better performance and they had enhance cooling, and better comfort.  So, there’s definitely to… or something to the idea of maybe, you know, not necessarily putting on the cotton hoodie and then the cotton shorts but using some of these modern synthetic garments to actually allow you to do things like wick sweat, have better comfort, have better flexibility, etc.  As far as what to look for, I’ll link to an article that I recently wrote for Men’s Health about choosing the right exercise clothing.  I’ll put a link to that article for you in the show notes, and in this case, you know, complete transparency here and the disclaimer is that for that article, Eddie Bauer had sent me a bunch of clothing to actually try and they sent me things like this shirt that has this moisture activated polymers that are in strategic sweat zones in your body that open airflow channels and help your body to cool and help sweat to evaporate more quickly.  And I did a few workouts in for example in this case it was a shirt, and it definitely felt cool granted I wasn’t exercising in an extremely hot environment but it was very comfortable.  Right now I felt much more cool and less sweaty, right, less kinda clammy in those areas where your body that tends to produce a lot of moisture when I was wearing something like this vs. a traditional cotton shirt.  So, that’s one thing to look for is this moisture wicking effect.  In my opinion, one of the most important thing to look for, and nylon and polyester fabrics worked really well for this whereas cotton absorbs more, sure it can become really uncomfortable, really fast.  That would be the first thing I would look for would be some type of a wicking material.  And the way that that works is, you know, this wicking material actually allows moisture to just come off your skin a little bit more easily and kinda pass through the shirt or else there’s special airflow that allows you to be more cool, and keep a lot of the sweating from taking place.  The other cool part about polyester, spandex nylon, etc. just the stretchiness of it, which I really like so.  The other things to kinda consider that I consider when it comes to clothing, is protection.  A lot of times especially these days, I’m doing a lot more of like obstacle training out where there’s trees, barbwire, bushes, sticks, stuff like that, and a lot of these modern fitness gear, it’s made with things like ballistic nylon and it’s called a ripstop fabric, basically resistant to ripping, to tearing, stuff like that.  So more durable material, that’s more rip resistant than cotton for example.  That can be really useful if you’re mountain biking, if you’re in contact sports, or roller blading or doing obstacle training, or something like that.  So that’s another thing to take into consideration.  I think that some of these alternative fabric sources like hemp and bamboo are also something to look into as well because when you look at conventional cotton that’s grown in the US, there’s about over 12 million acres of conventional cotton that’s grown in the US and a lot of pesticides get sprayed on those acreage.  So like 55 million pounds of pesticides on 12.8 million acres.  So, cotton is third in terms of its ranking of pesticide exposure.  Third behind corn, and soy beans for pesticides.  And actually a lot of wool, kinda depends on the company but wool does require a high level of insecticides and antibiotics to protect the animals use for the wool from pests and disease and a lot of those pesticides can have some pretty significant health effects and they can cause things like neurological disorders, and asthma, nausea and headaches and so especially if you’re someone whose sensitive to those type of things, that’s something else to look into when it comes to fitness fabrics for your fitness fashion.


                           So I would look into things that wick, things that are flexible, things that provide you with adequate protection.  And then also if you are gonna wear cotton, look into where that cotton has actually come from.  So as far as what I personally use, I get a lot of questions like this, so I’m just gonna – I’ll fill you in on what I go to because I try and stay relatively minimalist with my clothing in terms of the sources from which I get my clothing.  So…

Brock:               And in terms of how much clothing you wear.

Ben:                   And in terms of how much clothing I wear, period.  Actually, I have a pretty big wardrobe like – we have a walk-in closet and I’m one of those guys who have like hundreds of t-shirts and shorts, and my wife is always making me throw out stuff.  And a lot of it is just because you – when you go race events and things like that, you always get t-shirts and gear, and it’s just kinda part of a – part of being an athlete is you build up a large amount of gear.  But one of the things that I use is for triathlon, cycling, stuff like that.  I know we have a lot of triathlons and cyclist and folks listening to this show, I like Castelli for my triathlon gear, and my cycling shorts, and stuff like that.  They’ve got some pretty cool technology, like they use what’s called power lycra which actually gives you this body-hugging feel, it’s got this abrasion resistant outer surface, it’s got some really good durability, and so that’s one of their fabrics.  They’ve got another fabric called Nanoflex and that’s this nano filament conning that prevents water droplets from soaking through fabric.  They’ve got some other interesting fabrics too, like they’ve got one called prosecco ice which is a light weight fabric that actually allows you to cool when sweat actually hits the fabric.  Kinda similar to like this some of these companies that are putting like xylitol in a fabric to help it cool the body when it gets wet.  This is very similar to this ice fabric that Castelli uses.  A lot of their shammies like the cushions that go inside the actual shorts themselves for cycling or triathlon.  They’re far more flexible and far less abrasive than what I found in a lot of other kinda cycling/triathlon gear.  So Castelli – it’s slightly expensive but it’s really durable so you don’t have to buy that much of it and that’s the brand that I like for like kinda when I need to be walking around in spandex is I go with Castelli.  And so, that’s one.  Another company that I like and that I use a lot of their stuff, and actually I’m one of their athletes.  So again, just wanna be completely transparent with folks, and that’s Hylete… h-y-l-e-t-e. The cool thing is, ‘cause I’m one of their athletes, they give me a 50% discount that I can share with folks.  It’s a BEN50 that you can use at the Hylete website but the hylete stuff, I think it just – you see a lot of like cross fitters wearing these stuff, you see a lot of obstacle racers using hylete.  They are now sponsoring the National Pro-grid Lead team, the NPGL which is basically just like a bunch of cross fitters running around in the arena, but ultimately the hylete stuff, they make shorts, t-shirts, pants, coats, stuff that isn’t quite cocktail party wear but that is kinda like stuff that makes you look cool at the gym, just feel like weight training, cross fitting, stuff like that.  So, it’s not quite a spandexy as the Castelli stuff but it’s a little bit more casual/gym gear.  So, hylete is what I use for that and then I also do a lot of outdoor stuff.  And the company that I use for that is called Kryptek and kryptek originally worked with the US military to develop specific camouflage patterns that would allow people who were hunting or fighting to be, you know, as close as possible to invisible.  They come up with some really cool camouflage technology but they’ve also because they’ve got a lot of contacts with the military, with the combat forces, with tactical training and with hunters, a lot of their stuff is very, very well tested in terms of being tested in the trunches, everything from the patterns to where the pockets are placed to the durability, to the flexibility.  You’ll find a lot of like camouflage winter gear,etc.  Isn’t that flexible, it’s kinda bulky and difficult to move in.  This stuff is actually really comfortable and excellent for camel but then also really, really good in terms of its ability to both keep you warm or keep you cool but also have a good amount of flexibility.


So, those are the main, like if you go in to my closet, most of my stuff is Hylete, Kryptek, or Castelli.  And then the other company that I’ll use just to go out and get like cool clothing from big name brands or stuff that I’ll use when I’m goin’ on parties or I’m not working out, or I’m not kinda in geeky exercise mood is Jackthreads.  So Jackthreads is this website where you can just get like cool designs, most of it really inexpensive.  I’m all about just going to one website to shop for more fashionable clothing, and Jackthreads has like, you know, sunglasses, the belts, the shorts, the jeans, just like the typical stuff that I’d wear probably about 2% of the time when I’m actually I’m having to go out in public and works something that looks halfway cool, so Jackthreads is what I use for that.  So, those are some of my biggies for fitness fashion: Catelli, Hylete, Kryptek, shop at Jackthreads, and then I also look for stuff that kinda goes above and beyond cotton, and it doesn’t make a difference in terms of the way that you feel during exercise,  and like I mentioned, if you look good, you actually don’t really need to exercise.  All you need to do is just make sure that you’re wearing clothing that’s color coordinated, that makes you look cool and there’s no need to actually work hard, right?

Brock:               Exactly!  And one of the best ways to do that is to go to

Ben:                   That’s right!  And if you go to, we’ll send you one of our moisture wicking polyester infused Ben Greenfield fitness t-shirts and we actually send a beanie, a shirt, and a water bottle to anyone whose review we wind-up reading on the podcast.  And it looks like today’s review comes from SpasticSpunk, who says two accents, one podcast.  And if you wanna leave a review, just go to iTunes.  We’ll put a link in the show notes over at but Brock, what do you think?  You wanna take this one away?

Brock:               Sure!  Although I’m a little terrified after finally open the name of the person.  It goes like this: “Like the sexy intro lady says, you’re gonna get some serious knowledge bombs about health and fitness, and even more, right here.”  I don’t think she says that.

Ben:                   Ah, I don’t remember what the intro lady says.

Brock:               I don’t think she says that.

Ben:                   I’m just drinking my Peligreno, as you… my bubbly water.  Proceed.  Proceed.

Brock:               Continue.  “Ben and Brock do their research, wrestle with the reality of how studies pertain to everyday life and presented all on the podcast and in the show notes.  Now, these guys aren’t what you might call normal.”

Ben:                   Oh thanks!

Brock:               Uhmm, I’ll take that.  “Brock is a self-admitted Canadian.”  What, am I suppose to be ashamed to that?  “With some extra funny bones in his body,” that’s right, I had them added.

Ben:                   Yeah!

Brock:               Yeah.  “And Ben has an accent all his own.  I’m not sure if Ben had a sadistic phonics teacher growing up or he’s being sly by mispronouncing technical words on purpose to make sure I’m paying attention.  For example, butyric.”  How do you say it?  Byew-tee-ric?

Ben:                   Byew-tie-ric?

Brock:               You said – byew-tie-ric?

Ben:                   They’re saying it’s byew-tee-ric.

Brock:               Yeah, it say byew-tee-ric.

Ben:                   Yeah, byew-tee-ric.  I don’t know, I just have an Idaho accent, that’s where I was born, it was Idaho.  That’s it.

Brock:               That’s upsetting enough.  Why my name isn’t in Idaho?  Anyway, it goes on to say, “Nonetheless, don’t get tripped out on the bouts of sarcasm and unfamiliar pronunciations, these guys like to keep listeners on their toes as well as outside in the woods doing yoga in their underwear.  Go on, it’s good for you.  Strap on your propeller hat, hit subscribe, and get out there.”

Ben:                   I like it! I like it…

Brock:               It’s our new slogan.

Ben:                   That’s right.  What’s the – the strap on your propeller hat or yoga in your underwear?  In the woods.

Brock:               Well, actually…

Ben:                   All of the above.

Brock:               Either, sure!

Ben:                   Yeah.  Just make sure your clothing is not cotton but that it’s space-age polyester.  Well cool, SpasticSpunk.  You heard your review read, I’m assuming if you’re still listening in so you can email [email protected] and we’ll send you a handy-dandy gear package.  And if all the rest of you would like to support the show by getting a gear pack, you can just go to and you can get one of those – what else?  Well, of course like I mentioned all the show notes are at like the quarterly, the custom father-son wilderness program, everything else that we’ve talked about.  Plenty of links, plenty of discounts.  We like to jeep our show notes fun and happy then, so be sure that you make those a part of your listening experience and after you listen in or while you’re listening in, hit up the show notes.  Anything else, Brock?

Brock:               Yeah!  I think we’ve got a little testimonial from our buddy Austin.

Ben:                   Oh cool!  We’ll play that for you guys.  We’ll play out with Austin, thanks for listening in and stay tuned this weekend for a special podcast and I believe this weekend’s podcast is actually about how to use weird fitness gear like kettle bells and maces, and stuff like that.  Kinda interesting interviews.  So, stay tuned for that, and until next time, have a healthy week!

Austin:              Hey!  What’s going on, this is Austin from Bloomington, Indiana.  I’m a college student down there, I’m a health fitness specialist.  I love to listen to your podcast.  Curriculum sometimes fall a little bit short for Indiana University because that’s the way exercise physiology, in nutritional like those in my classes but really love the podcast and what you guys bring to the table and just add in additional education to my somewhat lacking undergraduate degree that I’m getting.  Keep up the good work, Ben and Brock, and thanks for the advice in how to be a healthier cross fitter, healthier college student, healthier diabetic.  So, thanks guys!

                           Visit for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:17:20.7]      END               






How To Rewire Your Brain To Learn Anything As Fast As Possible.


I first met today’s premium podcast guest when I was speaking at an event in Toronto, and was immediately struck by his passion for the business of fitness and the art of learning. His name is Jonathan Goodman, and he is the creator of the Personal Trainer Development Center (the PTDC) and Viralnomics and has been featured in Men’s Health,, Muscle & Fitness, and Forbes magazine. Jon is also the author of multiple business books for the fitness industry, including “Ignite the Fire: The Secrets to Building a Successful Personal Training Career“, “Personal Trainer Pocketbook: A Handy Reference for All Your Daily Questions“, and “The Online Personal Trainer Blueprint: Have More Freedom, Make More Money, Help More People“.

Jon was a personal trainer for 9 years, and at 23 years old was making as much as he could make conventionally as a trainer in addition to earning a salary hiring and training other trainers and making commissions from referring his overload of clientele off. He then decided to write a book. He started thePTDC. Then things got dark. He wasn’t prepared for the entrepreneurial journey and became what he describes as “an asshole to everybody I knew”.

He became selfish.

He ran away to Hawaii for 6 months.

He ended up shutting down 5 companies.

And then he finally took back control and decided to build things up on his own agenda.

In today’s podcast, you’re going to discover Jonathan’s method for getting things done, including techniques to “trigger” certain activities ranging from writing a book to setting a PR on a heavy squat.

In this episode, Jon and I go pretty deep into the physiology of myelination, providing actionable strategies both for trainees and coaches to learn new movements better, the research behind the concept of the brain’s associative connections and why this matters for you to learn new variations of exercises.

You’ll learn about…

-Why I use olive oil as a potent neural aid…

-How to use a personal token, song, signal, or breathing technique before a specific activity to help to zone out of the outside world and focus in on the activity you’re learning…

-Jon’s trick for achieving a flow state during exercise as often as possible…

-How Ben is using the strategies described to learn the Napoleon Dynamite dance moves…

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about learning, rewiring your brain, or anything else we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below, and click here to go Premium and listen now!

Meat 101: Everything You Need To Know About Choosing Healthy Meat, Grass Fed vs. Grain Fed, DIY Meat Curing & More!


Have you ever wandered into the meat section of the grocery store, a butcher shop or even a fancy charcuterie-style restaurant and been just slightly perplexed about which cuts to get, how to know if the meat is safe and healthy, the difference between words like natural, grass-fed, grain-fed, hormone-free, feedlot/CAFO free, or humanely raised?

In this podcast, we delve into the mystery of meat with Jacob Dickson of Dickson’s Farmstand Meats. Dickson’s is a”candy shop for carnivores”, one of the most sought after purveyors of fine quality meats in the city of New York, and offers things like artisanal meats and house-made charcuterie made from animals raised without added hormones, prophylactic antibiotics, or animal by-products – whatever those are.

-How Jacob came into the food industry originally from corporate marketing…

-Which animal is the most efficient animal to eat from nose-to-tail…

-What you should you look for when you walk into the meat section (or a butcher’s shop) to know that the meat you’re getting is actually healthy…

-Why some grass-fed meat is not actually healthy grass-fed meat…

-What it really means for an animal to be humanely-raised and how you can know it’s really true…

-Why the word “natural” on a label means pretty much nothing…

-A big misconception about antibiotics, and why they’re actually used…

-Whether the mold and fungus that forms on meat in the curing process is really bad for you..

-How you can cure your own meat at home…

-The ultimate way to cook the tastiest steak…

Resources we discuss in this episode:

Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Joel Salatin’s book

Beyond Bacon book

Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing 

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about choosing healthy meat, grass fed vs. grain fed, DIY meat curing or other meat-related topics? Leave your thoughts below!

#314: Is Eating Insects Healthy, Should Kids Run Long Distances, How To Get Fit With A Sauna & Much More.


Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Apr 2, 2015 Podcast: What Does It Mean When Joints Pop, Is Eating Insects Healthy, Why You Get Cold Hands And Cold Feet, Should Kids Run Long Distances, and Natural Remedies for Osgood Schlatter’s.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.


News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on, and Google+.


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This show is brought to you by Harrys. Just visit and use promo code “BEN” to save $5 off any order of their deluxe shaving equipment!

April 13-16, 2015: Ben is speaking at New Media Expo, where the world’s top bloggers, podcasters and content creators teach you how to make money by creating content online, and how to enhance your blog, your podcast, your videos and any other media you create online. Better yet, you can come and attend the conference, then join Ben at Spartan Vegas on April 17! Click here to register for New Media Expo and use code “bgreenfield20″ to get 20% off the current pricing.

April 24-26th, 2015: Come hear Ben and Jessa speak at PaleoFX 2015. The can’t-miss conference that is the Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including best-selling authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientists, professional athletes, trainers, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, and more (including Jessa’s “Whipped Up Homemade Heavy Body and Face Lotion.” and Ben’s potentially offensive Pecha Kucha presentation).

May 1-3, 2015: Ben is speaking at Ari Meisel’s Less Doing Conference, the year’s top conference for learning about things like how to manage your email inbox, hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, learn how to use the latest and greatest phone apps and productivity software, free up as much time as possible, and much more! Click here to get more details and to book a free productivity call with Ari.

May 22-26, 2015: Custom Father-Son Wilderness Program with Ben Greenfield. Imagine taking five days with your son(s), and connecting deeply with nature and your boy(s) through ancestral wilderness survival skills, all within a small “tribe” of other fathers & sons that are like minded with similar values. Since the dawn of time, fathers and sons have bonded deeply in and with the wilderness. Ancestral wilderness skills have an innate ability to deepen the Father-Son connection like nothing else. During this custom Father-Son Wilderness Program, we’ll make fire by friction, build and sleep in natural shelters, learn traditional hunting and gathering techniques, and track wild animals. Primitive wilderness survival isn’t a “Man vs. Wild” scenario, it is an opportunity to build a deep relationship with the Earth. As you and your son do so, you’ll find that your relationship with your son deepens in powerful ways. Click here for all details and to register.

Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.

And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

What Does It Mean When Joints Pop?

Lizzie says: She wants to know about popping your back, hips and knees. What causes it? Why is it sometimes a pop and other times a grinding sound? Is it bad that her knees and hips pop after a long run/ride and that it is also very easy to pop her back?

Is Eating Insects Healthy?

Daniel says: He and his family are interested in farming insects/crickets for eating. What is your experience with them? In your opinion what are the psychological barriers to eating them and how would you go about incorporating them into our western diet?

Why You Get Cold Hands And Cold Feet

Sam says: As he has grown older he has noticed that his hands and feet get cold very easily. This didn’t used to happen back in the days when he played hockey (couple years ago) but now whenever he goes barefoot or even in socks he gets cold feet right away. Same thing with his hands. Is there anything he can do?

Should Kids Run Long Distances?

Sarah says: She recently read an article in Trail Running magazine about Kids and Ultra Running. She is a mom and her kids run and hike 5 and 10k distances (and more) to get them away from electronics. What do you think about this article? Should kids run long distances? Is there a benefit to it beyond getting them away from being plugged in, off the couch and into nature?

Natural Remedies for Osgood Schlatter’s

Paul says: He has Osgood Schlatter’s disease. He has had this since he was 14 (he is now 47). He still has problems with his knees in relation to the disease. Do you have any ideas around the pain or the prevention of this?


Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!


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Episode #314 – Full Transcript

Podcast #314 from


Introduction:    In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Is Eating Insects Healthy, What Does It Mean When Joints Pop, Why You Get Cold Hands And Feet, Should Kids Run long Distances, Natural Remedies for Osgood Schlatters, How To Get Fit With A Sauna and much more!

Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization. So whether you’re an Ironman tri athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from

Brock:                Mmm, you smell beautiful!

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:                You smell very outdoorsy.

Ben:                   Piney.  Woodsy.

Brock:                I am piney.

Ben:                   Then not to be confused with gamy.

Brock:                Yes.  The opposite.

Ben:                   I actually do – not only do I smell like a pine tree, but my entire office smells like a pine tree because I am cold-aired defusing evergreen essential oil into my office.  I understand that evergreen essential oil can actually decrease your cortisol probably in the same way – remember when I interviewed Evan Brand?

Brock:                Uhmm.

Ben:                   A few weeks ago we talked about forest bathing?

Brock:                Yeah.

Ben:                   And how this concept of forest bathing, there’s even a fancy Japanese named for the…called – I believe it is Shinrin-yoku.

Brock:                Uh-hmm.

Ben:                   Do – was my accent good?

Brock:                I think so.  I’m very heavily immersed in the Japanese culture…

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:                I believe you pronounced that perfectly.

Ben:                   Well, it’s possible that perhaps some of the same compounds that you’re exposed to when forest bathing to decrease cortisol, may also be getting defused into the air when you are defusing essential oils like evergreens.  So those are two new things I’ve been trying out for stress: defusing evergreen essential oil and then also rubbing another type of wood oil called syprus oil into the bottom of my feet.  So I’m just going…

Brock:                Syprus or cyprus?

Ben:                   …wild with my essential oils over here.  I don’t know if it’s syprus or cyprus, actually.

Brock:                But the Cyprus, is a type of tree. Syrpus is – I don’t know.

Ben:                   A name.  A Persian name.

Brock:                Oh, probably.  Perhaps.  Well I – I find it odd, like I live in downtown.  I’m surrounded by tall buildings and I’m surrounded by people and surrounded by everything, so I can’t get to the forest very easily but isn’t the forest like right outside your door?  Can’t you just go in forest field for free?

Ben:                   Yes, I probably could just go rub my nose up and down the trees ten feet outside my door and I’d be good, but I think it’s much more biohacky to colder defuse evergreen essential oils into my office.

Brock:                Fair enough.

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:                I did go out on balcony this morning even though I’m surrounded by tall buildings and with only my sweat pants on and did some cold yoga.  It’s finally warming up here in Toronto that I was able to go outside without my parka, without my winter boots, without mitts and stuff and actually enjoy being outside.

Ben:                   Were you wearing…

Brock:                So it’s cool!

Ben:                   anything?

Brock:                I was wearing sweat pants.  That’s all.

Ben:                   Okay, got it.  Because I did actually tweet earlier this week about how one of my key workouts was I did some – some cold thermogenesis called ‘soaking’ in the nude in my little cold pool out in the forest and then I wandered through the forest air-drying myself so that I would maintain a little bit of coldness so…

Brock:                And the squirrels were all interested in you, ensuring their nuts.

Ben:                   I’m wandering nude about the forest, yes.  Let’s go ahead and get into today’s podcast before this thing…

Brock:                No more.

Ben:                   …just really takes downslide.

News Flashes:

Brock:                While you’re protecting you’re nuts from the forest creatures, you were also busy on  Putting out some pretty – pretty interesting news flashes this week and nothing…

Ben:                   That’s right.

Brock:                …nothing really stirred up the aire of too many of our followers.

Ben:                   No, and of course I can always tweet even when wandering nude through the forest.

Brock:                Uhmm-hmm.

Ben:                   So I did find some interesting things this week.  For example, I don’t know if you heard about this, Brock.  But there was a new study on saunas and what they reported in the news was that saunas could have the same effect as EPO also known as blood doping which is, the last time I checked, more illegal in most sports than sitting in a sauna is.

Brock:                Yes.

Ben:                   So what the study showed was that, by visiting a sauna after a workout, 


by actually sitting in a dry sauna for about 30 minutes after the main workout of the day, these endurance athletes were able to build a higher number of red blood cells and had an increase in their plasma that was very similar to what they would get if they were blood doping.  And the really interesting thing about this one is that they – they did things like they tested their 5k times and found they were actually faster – and it was quite interesting.  So of course the trick here is that they were sitting in a sauna after their workout.

Brock:                Hmm, okay.

Ben:                   Which is…

Brock:                So you workout really hard, go sit in a sauna for what was it?  Thirty minutes, I think?

Ben:                   Yeah and if – if anyone has ever tried going into a sauna for 30 minutes like a really good, dry sauna after your workout – you’re way, way hotter than you would normally be.

Brock:                Yeah.  We have another chance to actually bring your core temperature back down so you’re just compounding your core temperature being raised with – what is this, I think it was like 9 degrees Celsius was the core temperature that was resulted?

Ben:                   Yeah, and so it’s basically like subjecting yourself to like a native American sweat lodge right after your workout.

Brock:                So you start seeing your vision animal, your courage animal.

Ben:                   A squirrel.

Brock:                Does Johnny Cash has a fox?

Ben:                   And actually, Mark’s Daily Apple this week had a really good article about a lot of the – the benefits of sauna and what actually happens in terms of oxidative stress and increased anti-oxidant capacity, improved insulin sensitivity, increased growth hormone, increased protein synthesis which helps with muscle growth and a lot of really cool things so, we’ll link to that article as well.  But of course, the other interesting part of that is the detox effect through the sweat or the potential detox effect.  So two interesting articles on saunas this week.

Brock:                I thought it was interesting that Mark Sisson pointed out that if you can actually get some toxins out through your tears…

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:                I think I’m gonna start just like, instead of going saunas and just gonna make myself cry for like a half hour every day to get my – get my toxins out of my body.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.

Brock:                Sound like fun?

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:                Doesn’t sound like fun?  Screw you, Greenfield!  It sounds like fun!

Ben:                   So, those of you listening carefully may have noticed that my sanity seem to be dropping just little bit there of what to you, the listener, might seem like just a minute ago.  But was in fact, one day ago.

Brock:                And in 27 hours ago.

Ben:                   You may also noticed that this podcast number, what is this?  314?

Brock:                314.

Ben:                   Yeah, was getting released a day late and there’s actually a very good reason for that.  You may want even hit rewind and go back and listen after you hear me tell you about what actually happened.  So, this Monday, if you’re listening to this podcast at the time that it comes out – this Monday, we are releasing on a really well researched article that I co-penned with a PhD on the effects of marijuana on exercise performance.  And as a part of that article, we delved into the type of edible recipes that a lot of like MMA fighters and Ironman triathletes and folks are using these days to actually enhance performance.  And you know, the article goes into a lot of the science and really delves more deeply into the dosage and things like that, but the ultimate take away is it – it comes out to somewhere between about depending on your size, five to fifteen, maximum of twenty milligrams of what’s called THC of the more slightly psychoactive component of marijuana to actually induce a potential performance enhancing effect even though you need to read the article coming this Monday to learn about some of the pros and some of the cons; some of the sporting situations in it which would be appropriate and some of which it wouldn’t be appropriate.  But ultimately…

Brock:                Yeah and of course it’s only appropriate in the States and in the countries that this is legal, we’re not…

Ben:                   Of course.

Brock:                …by any means saying that you should go out and break the law to try this.

Ben:                   Yeah and there’s you know – there’s water and you saw the restrictions, in NCAA restrictions on using all sorts of considerations, but anyways, as part of immersive journalism, I did indeed make one of the exact recipes that you’ll find in that article.  But as I am prone to do as a human being, I messed up a little bit on the actual dosage concentration of…

Brock:                This is the same guy who put 2 tablespoons of bicarbonate soda into his water when it’s supposed to be a teaspoon.


Ben:                   Yes.  So basically about an hour prior to what you were listening to about five minutes ago, I took what was equal to 250 milligrams of THC.

Brock:                So more than ten times what you were supposed to take?

Ben:                   Yes, the upper legal limit in any edible solvent for example, the state of Colorado is 100 milligrams, the approximate level needed for any type of performance enhancing effect is 10 to 15 milligrams like I mentioned.  So basically you know, again about 5 minutes ago at the time you the listener will listening in and I was beginning to sway and to get pretty close to losing consciousness and I transported myself into the bedroom where I remain until about midnight last night, mostly just working and getting things done and trying to be productive while I was knocked extremely hard on my ass.   And interestingly, I was telling Brock about this.  I’ll put a report on this soon as well.  I was at least conscious enough to strap a heart rate monitor on myself and to start up my heart rate variability app.  So I’ve got full sympathetic and parasympathetic and heart rate variability and heart rate and respiration data…

Brock:                That’s awesome.

Ben:                   …from about a – you know, a multi-hour very bad THC induced trip.  So…

Brock:                I’m super curious to see that because you had that conversation with Evan on the podcast a few weeks ago where you guys actually dove into the idea that THC – even though it relaxes you, it actually raises cortisol.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.  Yeah.

Brock:                So I’d be really curious to see what it’s doing to your parasympathetic nervous system as well.

Ben:                   Yeah, in a nutshell I can tell you it destroy – I’ll already gave you the file, destroyed my heart rate variability.  I had almost had no – no nervous system feedback to the pacemakers cells of my heart which is why a lot of times people who do what I did, if they are prone to heart attacks, will have a heart attack during that time because you lose a lot of you, even your subconscious electrical control of the heart so.

Brock:                So not only was it not fun and not productive, it was very dangerous.

Ben:                   Yeah, but it was interesting and again like you know, with this show, with all of my endeavors to find out what works and what doesn’t for people, you know I’m totally transparent and yeah.  I mean, I’ll admit that I messed up and interestingly you actually got to hear the beginnings of that mess up you know, as they materialize live on the show.  So there you go, you can press the rewind button and realized that for about the first 10 minutes or whatever of the show, I was high as a freaking kite and…

Brock:                Slow-ly sliding down then…

Ben:                   Yeah, and sliding into dangerous territory, really.  Okay.  So ultimately, let’s go ahead and climb out of that “red a hole” and jump into the second news flash of the day.  And this one is about…

Brock:                All right.  Back on track.

Ben:                   – is about sleep.  That’s right, back on track.  How people sleep when they’re not surrounded by electronics?  This was an article on Medium that I thought was very interesting because they go into a sleepy village over Brazil where they actually aren’t surrounded by electronics.  And what they found was that residence tend to naturally sleep and rise with the setting of the sun.  They tend to fall asleep around 9:20 or so and wake up around 6:30 compared with say like the average in the hyper-connected city of London, where they go to bed close to midnight and then wake up around 8:30am – that’s on average.  So what they found was that there was a very strong link with what the researchers in the study called the ‘solar rhythm’ when you don’t have access to a multitude of electronic devices at night.  And anyone who’s been camping kinda knows this intuitively, right?  Any anyone who’s worn blue light blocking sunglasses at night or installed flux on their computer or their smart phone to decrease blue light exposure, also notices that you fall asleep more easily and you know, my case may wife gets mad at me sometimes ‘cause I’ll put on my glasses before watch a movie at night and I fall asleep halfway through the movie.  You know, ultimately I think that this is interesting, but my conundrum here is that it’s very difficult to step away from a world that kind of continuous to roll along on after the hours of sunset and you know, our social lives, our electronic lives, our work lives, in many cases now, they simply don’t shut down as they would if we were like living in a middle of sleepy village in rural Brazil.  So even though I think the study is interesting, I think the practical aspects of this would not necessarily be to you know, move to a place where you can live with ideal circadian rhythms set by the star and the sun and the moon, but to instead at least hack your environment as much as possible you know.  Install the flux in a smartphone and buy the blue light blocking glasses, and do some of these things that can mitigate some of these effects.

Brock:                That’s why the hacks are cool and important.

Ben:                   That’s right.  That’s a great summary, Brock.


Brock:                Thanks, yeah.  I worked on that the whole time you were talking.

Ben:                   Something a little bit more light-hearted.  You thought carefully about that one, huh?

Brock:                Mmm-hmm.

Ben:                   Something a little bit more light-hearted for all of you low-carbers out there who have maybe been avoiding the chocolate.  They actually did a study that found that chocolate with high cocoa content, in this case 81% plus acted as a weight loss accelerator.  And get this, they actually took a group of people eating a low carb diet and they had one group eat chocolate as part of their low carb diet – specifically 42 grams a day which is not a small amount of chocolate.  And, then they has another group eat no chocolate but also continue on a low carb diet.  What they found was that the chocolate intervention group and you would of course…

Brock:                The chocolate intervention…

Ben:                   …be tapping your heel together if you happen to be the first person in the study who got to be part of the chocolate intervention group.  They had the easiest and the most successful weight-loss and even though the researchers noted that there was a slight delay in how long it took them to start losing weight, they appeared to have longer term weight-loss that based off of their surveys of these folks was easier and more successful when chocolate was added to the low-carb diet versus the non-chocolate low-carb dieters.  And when we look at at low-carb right, like in 42 grams of chocolate, not all of the 42 gram portion chocolate is carbohydrates, right?

Brock:                Yeah.

Ben:                   So typically you’re looking anywhere from 30 to 50% of that being comprised of carbohydrates or sugars and so, when you consider the fact that most low-carb diets, you get the benefits of low-carb by kinda being in that anywhere depending on your physical activity levels 50 to a 150 grams of carbohydrates per day.  You know that bar of chocolate is kind of a drop-in-a-bucket you know, especially if you time it in like a post-workout scenario when you’re really going to be insulin sensitive anyways.  And it turns out based on the study, which we’ll link to a show notes ‘cause that’s actually pretty interesting, a chocolate can be your weight-loss friend.

Brock:                Nice!  I calculated that roughly in my head that’ll be a six – a sixth of my carbs for the day.

Ben:                   Yes, 1/6th of your carbs for the day can be chocolate, the rest can be a wine and marijuana-infused smoothies. 

Special Announcements:

Ben:                   Brock, can you hear me stroking my chin right now?

Brock:                I can’t.

Ben:                   That’s right.

Brock:                It sounds smooth… as a baby’s butt.

Ben:                   It’s smooth as a baby’s butt and the reason for that is because, I have been shaving with our sponsor for today’s show a shaving equipment – Harrys.

Brock:                Harrys.

Ben:                   And you wanna know something interesting before I let you know about Harrys, I actually – when I quit, I think I mentioned this a couple weeks ago, maybe on this podcast or another podcast – but once I quit, hard and heavy Ironman training and I started: A. eating more carbohydrates meaning not doing so much of like the strict ketosis thing, and then, B. doing essentially more lifting, more high intensity intervals, and less chronic cardio, I found I had to start shaving more.

Brock:                Hmm!

Ben:                   And I believe that’s also because and I have the blood results from this.  My testosterone went up by about 300 points…

Brock:                Nice.

Ben:                   …once I stopped hard and heavy training for Ironman.  And then I went to my Teen Timex Camp, I guess it was almost three weeks ago now, and did quite a bit of endurance training there and almost kinda got like thrust back on the endurance training bandwagon like I’ve been running, like I actually ran a lot last week.  I did almost a 50 mile week last week which for me is a decent amount of running, and have just been doing more cardio.  It’s just – it’s just something I’ve been doing.  I have been doing as much of the weights and I’ve noticed suddenly and I haven’t got a blood testosterone measurement this time around, but I’ve had the shave a lot less and I think that there is definitely some kind of a link between the rate at which facial hair grows and your testosterone levels or the rate that which facial hair grows and how much of a potentially over-trained or over-reached state of training that you’re in.  Just a personal hypothesis.

Brock:                Hmm, that explains why I can actually braid my beard at this point.

Ben:                   Yes, exactly.  It’s got testosterone coming out of your eyeballs.  There are birds growing in your beard – bird nests in your beard.

Brock:                In search, I thought I got another.

Ben:                   Yeah. Anyways though, Harrys – Harrys is this company that bought a blade factory in Germany and they’ve been crafting some of the world’s highest quality blades in that factory for nearly a century and now Harrys took it over…


…and they cut out the middleman, they gave you this amazing shave in a fraction price of what drugstore brands give you and so you can either: A. get the cheapo, blue, plastic, disposable shaving blade from Walgreens or CVS or wherever else you shop for blades or you can go to and get something that looks like a freaking conversation piece that you’d put on your coffee table, but the same price.  If you use code BEN, you save even more, you save 5 bucks.  So…

Brock:                I’d say if you keep razor on the coffee table, I’m not coming over for coffee, ever.  That’s kinda gross.

Ben:                   It’s just hair, it’s just hair – facial hair that.  So and use five dollar code BEN.  What else do we have for you in these special announcements? Well here is something cool, that I haven’t mentioned before on the show, this is Memorial Day weekend and this is really cool.  It’s a custom father-son wilderness survival program.  So this is a chance for you, if you’re listening in with your son or supposed with your father, depending on your age to come out to the mountains near my home.  But now I’m away from my home.  We’re gonna do with myself and my two sons and there’s also open to five other father-son pairs – this is one of the first place I’ve actually announced this for a total wilderness survival camp in which we’re gonna learn everything from like making natural fire, to building bows and arrows, to sleeping in a natural shelters, to traditional hunting and gathering techniques; we’re gonna track wild animals, we’re gonna learn about how to use the sun and the moon and the stars to navigate, we’re gonna be playing like full on like day-long games of capture the flag where we’ll learn how to track and scout and stock and sprint and it’s gonna be really cool.  So it’s May 26th thru May – no, May 22nd thru May 26th and I know it can be hard to get away for that period of time, but when you consider the intense bonding experience that this is gonna be, I think that this is gonna be really cool camp.  I’m signed up for with my two kids and I just think it’s gonna be really cool so.

Brock:                I was gonna come with my dad but I think his rascal would scare all the wilderness away.

Ben:                   (chuckles)  His rascal?

Brock:                Yeah.  You know those little motorized scooter things?

Ben:                   Oh, does he?  Oh, he…

Brock:                Yeah.

Ben:                   Right.

Brock:                My dad’s a big guy.

Ben:                   Yeah, okay.  And well there are certainly a few other special announcements, if you go to one that I wanted to point out to you listening in because it’s relatively timely, is that this is probably about the last week that you’ll be able to get into the New Media Expo in Vegas – that’s where they’re doing the Podcast Awards Shows.  It culminates, I actually don’t even know if anyone involved with the New Media Expo knows this or is talking about it – except me of course, it culminates with the Vegas Race down there in Spartan.  So you can go and come to this expo design for you to learn how to become a better blogger, podcaster, video content creator like if you do anything content based online, this is like the place to be.  But then also you get to race a Spartan too.  So you can go to this as in New Media Expo, go to and you can use the code: bgreenfield20 to get 20% off that expo.  Come see me, come hang-out in Vegas, everybody knows that not only do I love the forest and the trees, but I also love walking around the strip watching everyone drinking giant alcoholic drinks out of their 24-ounce super colorful glasses with the curly straws, so you had another reason to come to Vegas.

Brock:                Do people really do that?

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm.

Brock:                Oh man.

Ben:                   Dressed up like storm troopers.

Listener Q & A:

Lizzie:                Hi Ben and Brock! My name is Lizzie, I’m from North Carolina and a huge fan of the podcast.  I have a question about popping your back and knees, I guess.  I was wondering I guess, first off, what causes the popping sound?  Sometimes it’s more of a crunching kinda grinding sound then other times it’s like just a release, I guess.  And is it normal that my knees and hips pop a lot after a long run and especially a long bike ride? I feel like I’m very easily able to pop my back and I was wondering if that was normal.  Would love to know your thoughts on popping knees and backs, thanks!

Brock:                As I get older, more and more things pop and click and grind and crack and pop.

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm, yeah.  You like the cereal.  What’s the cereal?

Brock & Ben:    ‘Snap, Crackle and Pop’.


Ben:                   With the little rice things.  Yeah. I just don’t remember when I was a kid.  I used to pour that and I would always put my ear down to it and see if it snapped, crackled and popped.  And I found that the generic store bought brand that my parents would get sometimes just to save money versus buying like the Rice Krispies brand, it always gave a less than satisfactory snap, crackle and pop.  I just remembered that being pissed that we could not get the real stuff and we had the “Greenfields had to eat the generic stuff that didn’t quite snap, crackle and pop like the other”.

Brock:                This is what Ben talks to his therapist about every Wednesday.

Ben:                   Okay.  So as far as the Snap, Crackle and Pop, it’s pretty straightforward, really.  So first we’ve got the snap and you’ll generally hear about this with something like the snapping hips syndrome or the hip joint.  And typically, what you’re hearing is your tendon snapping across your hipbones.  And sometimes it can hurt and sometimes not, right? Sometimes that can actually create friction and irritation and a lot of times that can be accompanied by pain.  The number one reason that I found that hips tend to snap is because of a lack of joint mobility in the hip, particularly two issues: tight hip flexors and a locked sacroiliac joint.  So the tight hip flexors, that’s an easy move, you can go use doctor Google and look up ‘hip openers’ you know, and start to work in like yoga-based hip openers so that your hip flexors are not immobile to the point where those tendons are – are snapping across those big hip bones.  And then as far as the sacroiliac joint goes, it’s something that’s kinda hard to self-adjust.  There are some YouTube videos – you go YouTube and you type in ‘self adjust SI joint’, there are some folks doing it – I’ve tried it myself in occasion will get a pop and sometimes not.  But a chiropractic doc who knows what they’re doing cannot only analyze your SI joints and look at things like leg-length discrepancies and lack of mobility that that could be causing but can also adjust that pretty easily.  And then the trick for you, once you’ve adjusted your SI joint, is to make sure that it doesn’t slip back into a maladjusted state and the number one reason I’ve had some pretty big conversations about this with one of the better local chiropractic sports physicians here: one of the number one reasons for that is that you’re gluts get turned off.  Once your gluts get turned off it’s very easy for your SI joint to come to slip back into that locked state and so not only do you wanna get the SI joint adjusted but you wanna make sure that you’re doing things like not keeping your butt turned off by sitting for long periods of time, doing exercises like deadlifts and single leg deadlifts and kick outs, some things that – that stimulate the butt.  Or I suppose even, you could try this for keeping your butt turned on, I wonder if anyone’s tried this: electrodes – you can use like an electro steam machine and test your butt cheeks to keep your butt turned on even if you had to be sitting during the day.  You could still…

Brock:                So when I ripped my hamstring, they put electrodes on my butt.

Ben:                   Uhm, yeah, yeah, yeah! And people wouldn’t even need to know, you could be sitting in that meeting, sitting in a traditional chair or just like everyone else with their butts turned off but your butt would be…

Brock:                Turned on!

Ben:                   That’s right.  So we got the snap, we also got the crackle – the crackling like sensation, that one’s never fun, you get that a lot of times like in a back of the knee, you get it in a shoulder blades sometimes.

Brock:                Yeah, I’ve seen my shoulders do that.

Ben:                   Yeah and it’s when – in the shoulders it’s when you get this fibers muscle tissue between your chest bone or your shoulder blade and it turns the smooth glide that should normally be there into a little bit more of a bumpy sensation and that’s often just simply because of one cartilage that’s no longer smooth and the medical term for that is Crepitus.  Crepitus.

Brock:                Crepitus.

Ben:                   Yes.  Great name for an old man and in a horror flick.  Crepitus.

Brock:                I was saying as good heavy metal band.

Ben:                   Possibly a sexually transmitted disease – Crepitus.  But anyways, if you get Crepitus, sometimes that can mean you’ve actually worn down the joint, but sometimes it can mean that immobility is for example in the case of the knee, right? Pulling the knee cap back into some are those articular surfaces on the femur and the tibia in causing a Crepitus-like sensation when in fact it’s not because you’ve completely worn out the life of your knee joints, it’s because in that case really, really tight hamstrings accompanied by really, really weak quads can cause that issue.  And so in many cases, Crepitus is simply muscular imbalances it’s not a sign that you gonna get something replaced you know, especially once the case of one bone getting pulled into one articulating surface because of immobile or excessively tight, or excessively weak muscle areas.  And so, I know that’s painting with the really broad brush I mean we could delve into any number of different joints and talk about the specific imbalances in those joints.  But ultimately what you should know is that the first thing you should look at if you’re getting the crackle or the crackling-like sensation is your actual mobility in that specific area.


                           And that’s where you get at a book like you know, “Becoming a Supple Leopard” by Kelly Starett is a really good one.  You take that area that’s crackling, you flip to the section of that book which is like a cook book for mobility, and you do the exercise in that section of that book and if you’re Crepitus begins to go away, then there’s your answer.

Brock:                Nice.

Ben:                   And if not, you can call the surgeon.  So the final noise that you’ll hear is the pop and the pop is something that you know, that’s of course the stereotypical knuckled-joint popping but you’ll also get like the spine joints which are also known as your facet joints – those will pop sometimes as the bones along your spine slightly adjust their positions.  And of course your chiropractic doc will do that a lot of the times but, you can do it yourself you know, with inversion tables or with this neck traction devices like I’ve got a neck traction device hanging up in my dining room that you can just basically hang from it, elongates the neck and you get all these popping along the neck and the cervical spine.  So the popping is apparently created from within the joint capsule which is this little balloon-like area of space that surrounds your joint and you get pressure changes in the joint fluid.  And what specifically happens is that these fluid pressure changes cause gases to release from the joint capsule and that creates a pop.  So you could simulate the same thing for example, balloon right?  You could fill up a balloon with water, you could shake it around you know, bunch of sounds as the fluid inside the balloon sloshes around and if you release air from the balloon, you’ll hear a pop, and that pop is the fluid pressure change and it’s exactly what’s happening in your joints.  And so that’s completely natural for fluid pressure changes to occur and you don’t have to worry necessarily if you – you know, consistently get like a pop in your back that’s something’s wrong with you and you have to go you know, see a chiropractor 14 to 16 times.  It simply can mean that there are just normal fluid pressure changes when you wake up at the bed in the morning and things are popping, great; once these fluid pressure changes are normalized, you’re good to go.  So those are some of the reasons for the snapping, the crackling and the popping that might be present in your life even if you only have the generic brand of the Rice Krispies.

Daniel:               Ben, recently our family has become interested in beginning to farm insects especially crickets.  Can you tell me what your experience is with eating bugs, the psychological barriers and how they will apply as a protein and nutrition source especially as an addition to our western diet?

Brock:                So when I think about farming insects, the first that comes to mind is keeping a whole bunch of piles of dang around.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:                It’s just me?

Ben:                   Yeah, you mean to actually grow the insects in.

Brock:                Yeah, well to attract them, I suppose.

Ben:                   Yeah.  The first thing that comes to mind for me are some of those old men in black films you know, where…

Brock:                Oh, yeah.

Ben:                   Not only were people insects but they were also eating insects.  Ah, so don’t watch that one before you head out to, you know, make something out of a tub of cricket protein powder.  But yeah, I mean this is been around for a while and of course a big part that got popularized when the dude who’s selling that cricket protein powder, I believe he was on shark tank and I think…

Brock:                Aaah.

Ben:                   He actually got an investment and I’ve run into these things you know, for example at Paleo FX now they have the EXO Cricket Bars which are actually pretty tasty, I would have to say that I actually recommend the peanut butter and jelly flavor and have yet to find the legs or antenna in there and it doesn’t taste that bad.  But this whole idea behind insects there’s this really good book out, it’s called “Edible: An Adventure into the World of Easting Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet”.  Really interesting book about the sustainability of eating insects, I’ll link to that book over in the show notes at  But it’s actually got a name, it’s called entomophagy and that’s the idea behind eating the eggs, the larvae, the pupae and the adults of specific insect species.  And when you look at the actual protein density of a lot of these species, it turns out that there’s a huge energy input to protein output ratio.  So what that means, if you look at livestock, like normal-raised livestock, the ratio of energy input to protein output is about 54:1.  When you look at insects, it’s about 4:1, so in other words, a hugely sustainable source of protein energy, calories in general and you know, people are out there doing things like eating crickets, eating grasshoppers, eating June bugs.  We actually when I was growing up, we used to have these giant grasshopper almost like you know, from the Old Testament of the scriptures right?


Like these plagues that came down upon our house you know, like locust – full on locust that would cover the entire house and that would like eat the wooden siding on our home and they eat up our whole garden, and us boys would go outside and we actually figured out that you could fry these things, you could take off their legs, you could pop them in your mouth and they actually didn’t taste half bad.  Now, if I had to go back and you know, eat insects again I was really be paying quite a bit of attention to things like you know, herbicides and pesticides in local environment and all those types of things that insects actually get exposed to but…

Brock:                And whether or not they were the army of Yahweh.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly.  Whether or not the actual army of Yahweh attacking the house.

Brock:                You may not want to eat those.

Ben:                   Maybe eating your way out of that situation when have been quite as good as like fleeing for the hills with our shotguns.  Anyways though, there are quite a few non-profits out there kinda researching the – the use of insect foods just like therapeutic foods for folks who can’t get their hands on more expensive cuts of beef for example.  And there are a lot of environmental benefits as well, potentially to relying upon insects for fuel, like if you look at the production of grasshopper meat, that requires very little water you know, cattle requires thousands and thousands of liters of water to produce the same amount of protein that you can get out of grasshoppers without almost no water at all.  And when you look at the actual biomass of insects, you need about ten times more plant nutrients to produce a kilogram of meat compared to what you need to produce just one kilogram of edible insect biomass.  So there’s environmental friendliness component as well.  And of course, I don’t know how much this stuff costs over once we start to look into the cost of rocket fuel and packaging materials and mark up and all that – that you would need for something like one of this sexy new, you know, cricket protein bars or some other you know, food stuff, popular food stuff like cricket protein powder.  But ultimately, just when you look at the raw insects themselves, they’re quite sustainable in terms of a source of food and a lot of people do things like eat you know, June bugs, crickets, grasshoppers, etc.  So ultimately, that book is really interesting and I know that you know, in some cultures, insects can be taboo and I guess what I would say to folks in the U.S. who have this taboo gig like reflex to the thought of eating insects, please understand that most of the smoothies that you’re getting from places like Wendy’s and McDonalds actually contain food dyes and fibers made from ground up insects, beetles, etc., so you are already eating them anyways.  The other interesting thing is that if you look at the maximum permissible level of insect contamination in food products for humans, it’s pretty shocking like wheat flour, for example, in wheat flour they allow an average of about a 150 or more insect fragments per 100 grams of wheat flour.  Or in chocolate, which we were just talking about, you get an average of about 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams.  So I think we’re all eating a lot more insects than we’re aware of anyways and probably canned sweet corn is the most disgusting.  In canned sweet corn, you are allowed to have in there as long as you don’t exceed about 12 millimeters and 24 pounds, you can have 2 or 3 millimeter or longer larvae cast skin, larval or cast skin fragments, insects, or insects parts in canned sweet corn.  So…

Brock:                There you go.

Ben:                   Just think about that the next time you’re at the barbecue shelving that stuff down into gaping molar.

Brock:                I actually found a ladybug in my spinach yesterday.

Ben:                   Hmm.

Brock:                It was delicious.

Sam:                  Hi Ben, my name is Sam and I’m listening to your Get Fit Guy podcast.  Really awesome podcast.  Thanks for all of the great tips you’ve been dishing out for the last couple years and I have to phone in question.  I am starting where I have the problem of losing my temperatures, body temperature –my hand and my feet and it never used to be a problem back in the days when I was still playing hockey.  Now that I stopped, a couple years back I think, I’m starting to get cold hand and cold feet and I was wondering if there’s anything I can do.  So, if I walked around barefoot or woof socks that I don’t start getting cold feet right away and is also the same for my hand if I’m outside in the spring and the fall.  I don’t really get fast cold hands so I’m looking forward for any answers or any help you can give us or me.  Thanks a lot.  Bye.

Brock:                Sounds like Raynaud’s.


Ben:                   Uhmm, could be Raynaud’s.  We’ve talked about Raynaud’s on the podcast before, that’s when you’ve got this disorder in which the blood vessels in your hands or your feet overact the cold temperature or stressful situations.  My wife gets a little bit of this, she’ll come back from a run and literally have like blue/pale ghostly white hands and feet, even though it can often not even be that cold out.  What happens with Raynaud’s is you get this arteries in your fingers or toes that vasospasm or get extreme blood vessel narrowing and constriction that limits the blood supply to those extremities and overtime, like over a lifetime, those arteries thicken and thicken more and that further limits blood flow and so we can get worse as you age.  So if you didn’t notice that much when you were younger, you can start to have even more cold exposure sensitivity as you get older.

Brock:                And peripheral neuropathy?

Ben:                   Well Raynaud’s can be caused by things too, like Raynaud’s can be cause by autoimmune diseases like lupus for example, that can cause shrinking blood vessels in the hands and the feet, and basically ‘cause Raynaud’s you know, secondary Raynaud’s rheumatoid arthritis can also cause it.  So there are certain things that will aggravate it, there are certain things that can cause very similar effects like smoking for example.  Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict so if you’re a chronic smoker, you can find that your hands and your feet are constantly cold or Raynaud’s that you never had to deal with, all of a sudden you have to start dealing with.  If you got something like a beta-blocker or some other blood pressure medication that you’ve been on that can also contribute to cold hands and feet.  And like I mentioned with autoimmunity, you know a lot of this autoimmune disorders like the eventual distraction of the intestinal villi from too much stress like work stress, emotional stress, relationship stress.  Eventually, once you’re unable to digest foods properly and you’ve got undigested protein fragments, crossing into the blood stream that can cause a variety of issues that you never had to deal with before.  It’s like, “Oh I was never allergic to say like, Edamame and all of a sudden I can’t eat soy without just feeling like crap and getting eczema on my skin”.  Well, you also get a vasospasm of the arteries.  I mean, these autoimmune conditions and so sometimes there can be a direct link between the whole stress in the gut-brain connection and getting cold hands and feet.  So if you’ve been through a period of intense stress, that also can potentially cause these issues, but there are other things, too.  You know, for example of course diabetes you know, we all know that the diabetes can cause both nerve, inflammation as well as blood vessel inflammation and that can cause cold hands and feet.  So and again, Type 2 diabetes is something that can happen later on in life you know, when you’ve never had to do with cold hands and feet before all of a sudden you wanna go in for like a post-prandial glucose test – an insulin test and you know, you look at your pancreatic enzyme production and delve into whether or not diabetes might be an issue for you.  Anemia, iron-deficiencies specifically is something else that can cause that and so you know, for looking at testing and measuring that be certainly something else to look for.  Usually if it’s anemia, it’s accompanied by things like really pale skin and weakness and inability to really throw down hard and especially cardio-vascular workouts, but iron-deficiencies can cause this too so if you test iron and it’s slow that’s another thing to look at.  And then of course, the one that you’ll see a lot of people talking about is of course the thyroid and this kind of like autoimmune issues you know, hypothyroidism is something that can set on later on in life, depending on you know, like consistent exposure to high amounts of concentrated wheat germ gluten.  Such as you might find in like commercial wheat sources that can eventually do a number on your thyroid even though you live for a very long time and your thyroid is just fine and you gradually get a lot of destruction of thyroid tissue that can eventually start to manifest itself in like you know, sub-clinical hypothyroidism or consistently cold hands and feet and a lot of times, that’s the case.  It’s not just your hands and feet like you just kinds get cold right?  Like your core is kinda cold and then you start to shiver in situations that you normally wouldn’t shiver in.  And of course, hypothyroidism can also be caused by inadequate intake of carbohydrate right? Like the inability of having enough glucose to convert inactive to active thyroid hormone.  It can be caused by hyper-cortisolism which can basically keep thyroid hormone from attaching properly to its receptor for it to be actually active.  And there’s some other things than can cause hypothyroidism above and beyond just like food allergies, but that’s another thing to look into.  And then the last thing would be any be type of peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage – and nerve damage can be a vitamin deficiency or like vitamin B12 would be a biggie, magnesium would be another; nerve damage can also be brought on by diseases like you know,


MS for example you know, and a lot of times if you’re getting numbness or tingling and burning sensation in your extremities along with this cold you know, you would wanna kinda dive down this peripheral neuropathy route and look in the nerve damage and things of that nature.  So you know, like you’re probably realizing this whole cold hands and cold feet issue can be multi-factorial.  And then of course there’s just the phrase itself ‘getting cold feet’, right?  That’s what you usually say when the bride gets cold feet before her wedding day.

Brock:                Isn’t it the groom, I think.

Ben:                   Is it the groom?  I don’t know but either way, I have always wondered where that came.  Like, where the whole analogy of getting cold feet actually comes from.

Brock:                I think it’s the anxiety reaction you often get kinda clammy and sweaty and then chilly in your extremities.

Ben:                   Hmm, there you go.  I thought maybe it was – it had some interesting story and there were some fascinating playwright lore behind it, but you’re…

Brock:                I thought there might be.

Ben:                   …extremely stripped down psychological explanation is not quite as fun but make sense.

Brock:                Sorry.

Sarah:                Hey Ben, this is Sarah Hamilton from Houston, Texas.  And I recently came across an article in Trail Running magazine about Kids and Ultra Running.  And as mom, my kids haven’t been running Ultras, but we have been hiking and running 5 and 10k distances and more just trying to get away from all of the electronics and all of the other things that are frankly, in my opinion, making kids fat and unhealthy.  What do you think about this article?  Do you really think that getting our kids away from being plugged in is going to make a huge difference?  And do you really think that getting kids out in to nature affects their over-all well being?  Have a great day, thanks!

Brock:                I wish we had some sort of pedometer or something on us and your kids, ‘cause I’d love to see how far I actually went on like our regular Saturday in the summer.

Ben:                   From the remote control to the Warner Bros. old school cartoon.

Brock:                No man, I grew up in the 70’s.  My mom actually yelled at me if we came home…

Ben:                   To the kitchen for cereal? Yeah, I heard…

Brock:                It was like, first thing in the morning, get out of the house, if you came back before lunch, you’re yelled at.  You basically like ate your food and got back outside, it was – I’m sure I ran an Ultra Marathon at least once a week.

Ben:                   I grew up on six acres but the entire landscape around me was almost void of any residentially zoned areas anyway, so we just climbed on the barbed wire fence and hike on cattle land for the day.  But there is a difference between hiking, stopping, bending on in a creek, chasing a snake…

Brock:                Oh yeah.

Ben:                   …climbing up a boulder or stopping, sitting, eating your little sandwich that you packed in your backpack, walking some more, playing game of chase…

Brock:                Getting on the bike.

Ben:                   …versus counting the pavement for hours on, and or running on a trail for hours on and in the same chronic repetitive motion activity, with the accompanying stress of knowing that you’re actually racing you know,  /running from a lion whichever way that you’d want to phrase it.  I think that there is a distinct difference between that mileage that is discussed in this article versus the mileage that you get just playing.  And so, I don’t really agree with this article, we’ll link to it in the show notes but it’s called “Ultra Running Kids are greater than Ultra Sedentary Kids – Dispelling myths on why kids shouldn’t run ultra-marathons.”  So for example, one of the things that the author says is “the most common reason I hear for excluding kids from Ultras is that it is not good for them.” And what he says, and then he says a few things about how this is propagated by medical professionals, blah, blah, blah.  But then he says “as a general rule, running is generally better than not running.  And running more through a gradual build up, is generally better than running last or running at all.  The risk of muscular skeletal cardiac or pulmonary stress are no worse for those running ultra-distances at young ages than the far more common practice of ultra-sedentary lives of ultra-gaming.”  I completely disagree with that.  The research that is out there on children and endurance sports has come to pretty conclusive findings.  For example, when you look at children’s bones and the areas of children’s bones that are vulnerable to injury in their formed of years, their prepubescent years, they do not have the same susceptibility to be able to withstand their repetitive stress of marathon running or marathon training or long chronic repetitive motion training.  


And generally what you’ll find is once you get passed – and this makes sense once you start to think about it, once you get passed a running length in which a child’s glycogen stores would naturally be depleted, okay? So if a kid can store say like, a thousand calories of glycogen on their whole bodies and their burning 500 calories now or running, after about two hours, they’re going to begin to experience some of those deleterious minerals stripping, bone degrading, catabolic type of activities that leave a child’s young body potentially as susceptible to hormonal deficits and through growth plate compression which would mean a retardation of growth and also stress fractures.  And then you know, you can look at the other things, for example: kids run with different mechanics, they’ve got shorter legs in relation to their body size and that means they’ve got a diminished ability to be able to absorb impact.  And so, that is probably one reason that when you look at young gymnast, right?  And I know that’s totally different than trail running but these are still kids who are getting thrown around a lot when they’re kids.  Like a lot of other like chronic repetitive impact, they found a lot of growth plate separation in response to that repeated impact and trauma that young gymnast go through.  So, you know it’s – and I’ve talked about this in detail before, in talks that I’ve given, etc.  Not only do the review articles that out there look at kids running in sports find that training to run a marathon is an inappropriate activity for children when it comes to putting them at increase risk for repetitive stress injuries, but you can say some more things for weight training.  Once you draw below right around the weight that you would be able to comfortably lift for about ten repetitions, the amount of compression placed on the growth plate of a child is potentially leaving them prone to growth retardation and compression of the growth plates that’s going to cause a – you know – down the road, some pretty serious biochemical issues.  So, I really would have to say that I disagree with this author when it comes to any risks of kids running ultra-distances at young ages being less than say like, having an ultra-sedentary life, so I think neither is good, right?  Like I think both are on both ends of the unhealthy spectrum and I’d rather have a kid who gets home from school you know, maybe over the course of playing tag and exploring the forest and running around covers a good 2 to 3 miles and yeah, maybe later on the day, there are inside – whatever playing Angry Birds or StarCraft or whatever stuff kids are playing these days.

Brock:                Minecraft. Crazy kids!

Ben:                   Anyways, I’m a fan of balance and I think that in many cases, you don’t get a lot of balance in ultra-runners.  I mean, and I respect the hard-driven personality, the stick-to-itiveness, the perseverance of many in ultra-runner, but at the same time to expose the body to what ultra-runners do in early age is not necessarily healthy.  Like you take Michael, forget his name, he might have been listening to the podcast ‘cause you know he listens to some of them.  He was on the Spartan cruise, and he did the Spartan in the morning, he raced the Elite male wave – really fast guy, like really fast ultra-runner.  And then we were sitting around, our kids were playing on the beach afterwards and I sort of “What you’re doing this afternoon, he’s like, “Well, I think I’m going to – I wanna get running, so I’m gonna try and break the 50k indoor record on the  treadmill on the cruise ship.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me?”  So,  seven p.m. that night when everybody else is at the awards ceremony, he pounds the treadmill for 3 plus hours and goes for the 50k indoor treadmill record.  He misses it by a minute, he wakes up the next morning after having slept like two hours, he misses it for a minute so I’m like, “What are you gonna do still Michael?”  and he’s like “I’m gonna try and break it again.”  And so he’s like back and this was like 3 a.m. the next morning.  And you know, that was in addition to you know, running at three other times during that like 48-hour period again like, huge amount of perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, competitive mentality and grit.  But at the same time you know, I think that is dangerous especially if the body is still developing to have that mentality of just like run, run, run almost like rat-on-a-wheel type of running.  I just think that for kids, the cons out way the pros.

Paul:                  Hi Ben. I have a question on Osgood Schlatters disease.  I’ve had this since I was a teenager, first started around age 14 and I’m now 47.


I still have problems with my knees regarding Osgood Shlatters, and I was just wondering if you had any ideas for the pain or prevention of this?  Thanks a lot.

Ben:                   Brock, did you purposefully plant these two questions so close together?

Brock:                Ah, yeah…I do.  I wish I had.

Ben:                   Osgood Shlatters? ‘Cause Osgood Schlatters is that – that pain right in front of the knee, that a lot of times kids get in relation to activity.  And a lot of like crack athlete kids to the ______ [0:55:36.0] of their parents, they all of a sudden can’t do, they can’t jump and they can’t leap and they can’t run and they can’t perform with the level that they were earlier.  Like when they were ten or eleven or twelve and a lot of times, it’ll set in when boys and girls are anywhere from like 10 to 16 years old usually as they’re going through that – that growth spurt early in life.  And what happens is they’ll start to get pain in the front lower part of their knee.  It’s actually where you’re patella ligament, right? Which kinda passes from your knee cap attaches into your tibia where was called your tibial tuberosity, that’s the area on the front of your leg that’s kinda raised.  And it’s really interesting how bone in any area that is stressed, has the ability to lay down new boney tissue and that’s why you have what’s called this tube rosier – this bump if you reached down to the front of your leg where you feel your knee cap, we all have this little bump, alright?  Where we have patella ligament kinda pulls on that bone, we got a little bit of extra bone forming.  But the problem is that with this Osgood Schlatters, you get inflammation of the patella ligament right where that tibial tuberosity is.  A lot of times in kids who are really super-duper active, that tibial tuberosity almost grows at a faster race due to the bone getting laid down and the patella tendons is able to actually deal with and so you get even more inflammation as the patella tendon rubs a little bit on that bone and also, is also subjected to the overuse that a lot of young athletes can experience, right? If they’re playing soccer and volleyball and basketball or maybe doing you know, ultra-running or whatever else.  So the problem I think is that a lot of parents and I learn of the parents who do this: they pull their kids out of sports, right? Because their kids have the Osgood Schlatters, and that or worse yet, they go for like the surgery like you can get a surgical excision where you actually – you get rid of lot of are called the ossicles that are produced in the bone that create a lot of that patella tendonitis.  And the problem with doing that is, I found that in most cases, these type of issues especially when it comes to patella tendon, are created by a combination of two factors that I actually mentioned earlier: we were talking about the crackling in the knee cap, tight hamstrings and weak quadriceps in kids.  The tight hamstrings developed as a kid as just like sitting all day long, the weak quadriceps are compounded by that situation and then also you know, kids who aren’t doing things like mobility exercises for the hamstrings, or aren’t doing things that engage the quadriceps you know.  Like for example, you know, a dead lift or squatting with good formers, single leg squatter you know, some other type of strength training that supports the quad musculature and also stretches the hamstring musculature.  They dig themselves into this hole and then they just walk away from the sport because the knee pain rather than actually going after the biochemical imbalances that caused it in the first place.  So, I like a combination of rest hamstring flexibility mobility work that includes like a foam rollers as well as static and dynamic stretching and then also quadcriceps strength work for this.  And then just like you can with tennis elbow, IT band friction syndrome, any of these tendon’s issues, you can use a strap to limit the motion of any of these tendons like a new or thought like what’s called the patellar strap.  Even a knee sleeve can help to decrease what’s called the traction that’s placed on the patella and prevent a lot of that painful tibia contact while restricting some unnecessary movement along that patellar tendon.  And if you are combining that, with some work for the quadriceps and some mobility work for the hamstrings, a lot of times that’s all it takes to nip this stuff in the bud – if you’re a kid.  Now if you’re an adult, and if you’ve had Osgood Schlatters since you’re fourteen and Paul’s says he’s now forty-seven.   He may have enough like ossicle like bone formations over that tibial tuberosity that he needs to do something even more proactive than that.  But even before I go in for surgery, to do something like get some of those ossicles removed.  I tried some the other things that can help out especially with boney issues you know, one the one’s I’ve talked about before and actually talked about recently in the article at is pulsed electromagnetic frequency or PEMF that’s shown some really good activity against things like bone spurs.


                           When you use it a few times a day and may help to break down some of these ossicles.  You just take like the North Pole magnet and have a PEMF device, and you do a few fifteen to twenty minute treatments throughout the day, I mean, it’s not gonna hurt you and it’s worth trying versus going straight in for surgery you know, of course like I mentioned: it’ll be strengthening the hamstrings or strengthening the quadriceps, stretching the hamstrings using the bracing during that time until you’re pain free but you need to break up the PEMF too.  You know most kids, that’s not necessary just compared to the freaking making-sure-you’re-taking-care-of-the-kids total bio-mechanics rather than just you know, running ‘em silly.  So, there you go!  There you have it!

Brock:                There-you-go!

Ben:                   We managed over the course of the past 30 hours or so to record a podcast.

Brock:                I hope so.  I hope I can piece this together.

Ben:                   I’ve been to cannabinoid hell in back and I know we had some recording hiccups along the way, but Brock, you have your work cut out for you on this one.

Brock:                Yeah, this may not come out for another week.

Ben:                   Yeah, so but we do nonetheless, have a review and we’ll read a review.  And if you’re listening to the show, and you wanna leave your review, it always helps the show out, helps to spread the word, helps to put a few nickels in our hat and you do that over an iTunes.  If you hear your review read on the show and you e-mail us, you just e-mail gear@greenfieldfitnesssystems and gear is the name of the thin tiny elf who puts gear into a box and send it to you, after you fill out your review.  So e-mail [email protected] and we have a review from – how’s this for a name, Brock?  Reptar342432342.  Looks like they left to serve you entitled “Entertainment that also makes me feel productive.”  Take it away, Brock.

Brock:                You think his mom really named him that?

Ben:                   No, I think that’s his screen name.  Actually that’s his, as they would say in Napoleon Dynamite, “it’s my chatroom name, yeah. Peace out.”

Brock:                Okay, I’ll read the review now in my best reading voice.

Ben:                   When you’re studying a chat, are you doin’ it?

Brock:                “I’m a college student studying…”

Brock:                Okay.  “Studying Bio-engineering so I have no time to learn things outside my textbooks.  Listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast however, is my one connection to the outside world.”

Ben:                   Hmm.  That’s sad.  Yeah.

Brock:                It’s terrible.

Ben:                   I’m checking hot girls.

Brock:                “While I’m no marathon runner or triathlete, I don’t have the expendable income to purchase any of the items recommended on this podcast.”  Aaaw, nuts.  Sad, sad.

Ben:                   Can I give you a little strap for your knee?

Brock:                Not even a part of one.  “I still enjoy listening to the informative and silly band featuring these two guys.”

Ben:                   Some true, sometimes high.

Brock:                That’s why it’s so silly.  “Unfortunately, fitness and nutrition research are finicky areas and therefore I always take the results of the studies mentioned with many grains of salt.”

Ben:                   So you can afford salt?

Brock:                Yeah, apparently.  Probably cheap, crappy salt.

Ben:                   Yeah, refined salt.

Brock:                Yeah.  “At the end of the day however, I appreciate learning about these sometimes contradicting articles Ben finds because they teach me to always keep an open mind.  Something useful for me as I progress into the research field and honestly useful for everyone.”

Ben:                   A good lesson for everyone.

Brock:                That is.  I hope everybody takes that home.  “Keep up the good work, guys.  You always make me laugh out loud on the treadmill scaring everyone around me at my university gym.”

Ben:                   Hmmm.

Brock:                “Yes, a visit to my university would be amazing!”  Exclamation point.

Ben:                   I’ll bet it would.  We could run on the treadmill together, laughing.  Laughing wildly.  Haha!

Brock:                You insulted everybody.

Ben:                   Reptar342432342 see you in the chatrooms.  That’s an awesome review, actually.

Brock:                Is that the brother? Is that Napoleon’s brother?

Ben:                   Ahhh, Kipp is Napoleon – I believe it’s Kipp – is Napoleon Dynamite’s brother.  He’s the guy who meets Lafanda in the chatrooms.

Brock:                Oh, okay.

Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:                ‘Cause I haven’t seen that movie in too long, I might have to watch that tonight.

Ben:                   I see.  Sleep off unto the bus in a romantic interlude.  It’s a funny movie.  Okay, anyways though, so all of the resources for what we  talked about from the cricket protein bars, to the studies, to everything is at  If you are still fascinated with what happened on today’s podcast, with regards to THC, you will not want to miss the upcoming controversial article that we’re releasing on Monday over at  If you’re always nervous about getting those and finding when it will come out just go there and subscribe to the freaking newsletter.


                           I will not only spend the hell out of you but I will also send you links to interesting articles and you get to dig through and figure out which you actually want.  No, I’m just – I don’t do a lot of spamming.  So, I’m gonna chat now and meet me in the chatroom.

                           Visit, for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.

[1:06:01.7]     END


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


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 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!

Episode #313 – Full Transcript

Podcast #313 from


Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Vegan Bone Broth and Vegan Bulletproof Coffee, Can Your Heart Rate Variability Be Too High, Natural Remedies For Menstrual Cramps, Do Tesla Cars Have High EMF, How To Choose The Sex Of Your Baby and much more!

Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness podcast.  We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization.  So whether you’re an ironman tri athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from

Brock:               So you made it back from Teen Timex Camp alive and well, I take it?

Ben:                   Barely alive and kicking.  You know I actually have to admit that I was using my trip down to Tucson, Arizona to for the annual pilgrimage to my Teen Timex Camp to reinvigorate my passion for triathlon and multi-sports.

Brock:               Yeah, I was really surprised to see that you were doing something triathlon-related.  I was – I was just kinda forgotten that you ever did triathlon.

Ben:                   Yeah, well you know for our listeners who may know that I did Ironman Hawaii in October, and just kind of quit triathlon for a little while after that and have been doing things like…

Brock:               Well, you need some kneading after that.  It was sort of pretty sparse as well like that total entire season last year.  What you’d do like three triathlons, maybe?

Ben:                   Yeah, I did a handful but you know, so that people know – you know, I’m not out of that sport.  As a matter of fact, I’m gonna be travelling around the world doing a few – a human interest pieces, shall we say.  For Lava Magazine and possibly a couple of other magazines in the triathlon industry so you may see me at races like a Norseman which is a crazy triathlon where you jump off a ferry order of a boat into a ferry order like 4:30a.m and do this ungodly cold swim, and a long bike, and a run up some craggy mountain.  And possibly – possibly the Yelp West, there are few other races, one in Spain.  I may pop up in Thailand again this year.

Brock:               Nice.

Ben:                   We’ll see… so.  So, yeah I survived Teen Timex Camp and did have a few rough sessions in particular, about a 5.5k swim after I really haven’t been swimming too much, that was interesting.  But actually the most interesting part of that camp and something that I’m going to be recording a podcast on soon was a meeting with Allen Lim.

Brock:               Ah, cool!

Ben:                   The physiologist and nutritionist who works with the teams like the professional cycling team ‘Team RadioShack’ and who is involved with this Skratch Labs electrolyte drink.

Brock:               Yeah, that’s how I think he is best known.

Ben:                   Yeah, very smart guy and we actually did an interesting test down there in which – I actually podcasted this so I won’t get into too much detail ‘cause we’re gonna really geek out on it in the future podcast.  But specific patch that was able to induce a hyper sweating I guess, you would say hyperhidrosis in the specific area of the arm.  And then from that sweat, measure a sweat sodium.  It was a very elegant in simple way to measure the amount of sodium loss and…

Brock:               Ah!  So you didn’t have to jump on a treadmill like weigh yourself, with your clothes on, and start on jump on a treadmill, run for a bunch of time and weigh yourself, and wring the clothes out into a vat and all that kind of stuff – it was just a patch?

Ben:                   Sounds to me like you have some experience with this.

Brock:               Well, back in the old days, that’s how we used to do it.

Ben:                   The way that I used to do sweat sodium analysis actually when I hadn’t an exercise phys lab was we would cut about eight different maxi pads into specific standardize sizes, and you ride on a bike for an hour in a hot room, collect the sweat into those maxi pads, we’d centrifuge each pad, collect the sodium and then using an equation – an approximated sodium loss based off of the loss on those specific body parts going into the maxi pad, we’d be able to get a rough approximation – ‘rough’ being the key word there, of sodium loss.  And this seem to be a much more simple way to do things what we did down there.  So…

Brock:               And there you go folks, you just got the history of sodium analysis for physiology.

Ben:                   Yeah, so stay tuned for a really interesting podcast on that, and that being said, I suppose we should jump into this week’s nerdiness.

Brock:               Shall we go forth!

News Flashes:


Ben:                   While you were taping things to various parts of your body and inducing sweat, you are also tweeting little snippets of brilliance all over the internet at

Ben:                   Yes, the twitter bird was flying heavily.  And of course, everything we talked about here, we link to over in the show notes at, or you can follow some of the articles we’re about to talk about as well as everything else we discussed on the show.  And there’s an interesting article I guess I’d like to start off with, that I tweeted about over at the website in which they analyze the food that is served at various obesity conferences.

Brock:               Oh, I saw this article.  It was shocking!

Ben:                   And it started off actually…

Brock:               The stupidity is shocking!

Ben:                   Pretty promising.  The Low Carb, High Fat Conference in South Africa which I suppose might qualify as an obesity conference was certain things like: wild caught salmon and red onion and red pepper salsa with an organic cottage cheese, and it appears to be some type of a squash dish or a pumpkin roast with pumpkin seeds and you know, pretty healthy variety of food.  And it all kinda went downhill from there.  For example, at the world’s biggest obesity conference, the International Conference on Obesity in Stockholm, the lunch appeared to be sugar-filled dannon-style mini yoghurts and chocolate bars.

Brock:               And chocolate bars, yeah!

Ben:                   Yeah, chocolate bar and then lunch was a sandwich with an apple and another chocolate bar.

Brock:               A nice white bread sandwich by the looks of things too.

Ben:                   Yeah, the world’s biggest diabetes conference was a brown bag served with a banana, a bag of potato chips, a Twix and a sandwich.

Brock:               It’s like a ten-year olds birthday party.  It’s ridiculous!

Ben:                   Yeah, you can go to the website, we’ll link to it in the show notes for you to see more of the apparent hypocrity.  Hypocrity? Hypocrisy.

Brock:               Hypocrisy.

Ben:                   That appears at these obesity and diabetes conference.

Brock:               Actually I’d call it idiocracy, maybe.

Ben:                   Idiocracy.  It’s relatively shocking, so check that out.

Brock:               I don’t know if you’ve notice I was really happy to see that our buddies Jimmy Moore and Tim Noakes were both at the conference in South Africa where they serve the salmon and the delightful cottage cheese and salsa and stuff, so.

Ben:                   Stuffing their gaping molars with pumpkin seeds.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   I supposed which is better than potato chips and Twix.  Quite ironic.  Anyways though, another interesting article that I tweeted was over at the website that I follow – there’s a few different blogs that I follow just for kind of cool articles and I was following which is kind of a good website to check out interesting articles on farming, emergency preparedness, healthy holistic living and etc.  This article was about 5 Science-based Reasons to Plan for a Natural Childbirth’ and a natural childbirth can be everything from having like doulas and midwives in your home to doing the whole water birthing and basically avoiding the needles and tubes and the beeping machines – that going to much of the modern birthing process not that I think that those are completely needless all the time and my children are born in a hospital – but this was interesting, this article.  And a few other reasons that they gave in the article to perhaps consider natural childbirth: one was to avoid what they call the “Cascade of Interventions” such as the…

Brock:               Cascade of interventions, that’s sounds – dangerous.

Ben:                   For example, some of the things they talked about was that an epidural increases the length of labor.  It makes fetal distress more likely and none of us want fetal distress.

Brock:               I’ve had that and it’s not good.

Ben:                   Especially, a baby.  And can lead to the use of other drugs like Pitocin which decreases the ability to push effectively and then leads to the need for getting more help in getting the baby out such us forceps or episiotomy.  Episiotomy?

Brock:               Hmm, I have no idea.

Ben:                   I’m not even sure if that’s how that’s pronounced.  Or surgery and kinda like that classic slippery slope where a woman winds up feeling really not in control at all – the labor and the delivery and it turns out to you know, basically create a like I said a slippery slope.  So that was interesting and also of interest was the fact that when you go into a hospital, you have of course a much, much higher propensity – get a C-section.  We’ve talked about before in the show how even though a C-section is definitely necessary in many cases, there is a higher risk for infection, for bowel obstruction, for organ damage, for blood clots and then of course, the fact that your child doesn’t get pre-populated with all the healthy bacteria they would normally get when they pass down the birth canal.


Brock:               It’s a very gentle way of saying it.

 Ben:                   Yes.

Brock:               The pre-populated rather than jam full of acid squeezes through a tiny little opening.

Ben:                   Yes, rather than swallowing mom’s poo and bacteria.  So another thing that they talked about was the freedom and awareness during labor.  And that babies can experience drug hang-overs or loss of coordination after medicated birth.

Brock:               That makes sense.

Ben:                   That was something that I wasn’t aware of but certainly something to consider and that mother saying ‘yes’ to an epidural may not actually anticipate the discomfort of urinary catheter insertion or the constant tether of the spinal tube or the reduced mobility at a time when walking and freedom of movement can be a tremendous relief.  So…

Brock:               Wait, so if you get an epidural, you’re actually tethered to something?

Ben:                   Yes! Yes…

Brock:               The entire time?

Ben:                   Oh, I don’t think you’re tethered the entire time but apparently, a spinal tube is tethered for significant period of time.

Brock:               Crazy, I had no idea.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Breastfeeding – a strong start with breastfeeding is of course something that a lot of people are aware of.  It’s something that helps with the – you know, a baby getting I suppose to things like colostrum to help seal up the lining of their guts, and to help with bacteria and a really good protein fat carbohydrate macronutrient ratio in breastfeeding but often, you don’t get quite as much of a breastfeeding relationship initiated when you’re in the hospital and as a matter of fact, when my children are in the hospital, even though we insist upon on breastfeeding, babies were often taken away from us.  River and Terran would just disappear and I’d find them in a nurse’s station being fed soy formula even though I distinctly said that I did not want that to happen – it just happened.  So, that’s another kinda issue and I know that – that many people who are working and like perhaps in neonatal units or people who work in hospitals and nurses who perhaps work in very responsible good hospitals are cringing right now and perhaps I’m painting with a broad brush, but these are things to consider.  And then they get into the fact that you know, a lot of the immune boosting microbes and the good bacteria that a baby is exposed to in the vagina and when the baby is snuggling with mom as its first born, they lose a little bit of that with some of the modern hospital person and especially with like I mentioned – the C-section.  And the list goes on and – in the article but I actually do think it’s interesting and in full disclosure, you know, when we had our twins, we started off with a home birth and a water birth and after ten hours of labor and the eventual realization that my wife’s hips are so small, that back in the wild, wild west day she probably would’ve been the woman who died during childbirth.  We did wind up going to the hospital and having a hospital birth and it was not that much fun and I much would have rather done it at home.  But this article is certainly something to read if you’re expecting or if you know someone who’s expecting, it’s – it’s good.  It presents a pretty fair view of things in my opinion and it doesn’t completely shove hospitals under the bus but it does make some good points.  So read that one, we’ll link to in the show notes.

Brock:               I think this is another one of issues that doesn’t have to one way or the other, it’s not black or white.  It’s not one is evil and one is – one is better or perfect or anything.  It’s just a matter of – they both have their place.

Ben:                   Hmm, and being educated on your options.  And speaking about childbirth, one…

Brock:               Do I need to get the sensor beep ready?

Ben:                   It was a study on swearing!  And this study was brought to my attention and even though it is a little bit old, I became aware of it just this week.  And it is entitled “Swearing as a Response to Pain” and was published in the journal of Neuroreport.  And…

Brock:               I think it was in response to *curse word* pain. That was the name of the study, really.  It was done by a doctor Samuel L. Jackson.

Ben:                   Well, what this study investigate was whether swearing affects pain tolerance.  And in this case the ability to withstand immersion of a hand in icy water along with pain perception and heart rate.  And what they found was that swearing did in fact increase pain tolerance, increase heart rate, and decrease perceived pain compared with not swearing.  So it turns out that if you want to shut down the pain response it may be good to let out a little *curse word* here or *curse word* there or a *curse word*, *curse word* – I don’t know.  What are other swear words?  I don’t even *curse word* that much so I’m not even too familiar with the *curse word* that you tend to see so often among the kids these days.

Brock:               Yeah, the kids really know how to *curse word* put down these days.  I *curse word* but – I think we can let the audience use their imaginations.


Ben:                   Yes and one interesting thing about this study, one interesting take away was that swearing did actually not increase pain tolerance in folks who had a tendency to catastrophize.

Brock:               Yes, I like that word.

Ben:                   So, I suppose that if you were the type of person who thinks that the world is ending every time cold water touches your body that even if you swear, it’s not going to help you out.  You may have bigger problems that you need to *curse word* address.

Brock:               I’m glad I had the sensor beep handy… at this section.

Special Announcements:

Brock:               I’ve been daydreaming about the Tex-Mex that I’m going to have when we’re done at Paleo FX.

Ben:                   Yes, down in Austin, Texas.

Brock:               I’ve never been to Texas.  I hear the food is awesome.

Ben:                   If you’re listening in the word on the street is that Paleo FX 2015 which is kinda like the can’t miss conference, the Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement with world-class speakers and authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientist and also hacks like myself.  It’s going to fill up this week and so if you wanna get in, head over to our special link to Paleo FX so you put a few nickels on our hat when you register.  It’s over at  That’s Paleo… the letter F, the letter X, 15.

Brock:               And it’s true that Ben and I actually share a hat, so.

Ben:                   Yes, we do share a hat.

Brock:               Our hat.

Ben:                   It’s a fedora and a violin case.  Anyways though, when you register, you will be ready to take a part on what I consider to be one of the more fun conferences of the earth, jam-packed with parties and fun people, and great food, and even if you’re not paleo and even if you are one of those people who walks around sneaking out baguette into your backpack in the sessions – you can still have a good time.  Even if you do eat bread and drink milk.

Brock:               And Twinkies or not Twinkies, Twix and a – and a bag of chips.

Ben:                   Twix and a bag of potato chips, so check that out.  We’ll also link to it in the show notes, it’s April 24th thru 26th, 2015 and directly after Paleo FX, I’ll be jetting over to Ari Meisel’s “Less Doing Conference” which is where you can learn about how you could do things like manage your e-mail inbox and hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, and learn how to install lots of shiny penny apps on to your phone that you may or may not use but at least you’ll learn how to use them.  So check all that out, we’ll put a link to that over in the – over in the show notes but that’s called the Less Doing Conference that’s one in New York.  And then finally, this is coming up right around the corner – April 13th thru the 16th, the New Media Expo.  So check that out over at  And if you’re a content creator, if you have a blog, if you wanna learn how to podcast, you’re a podcaster who wants to learn how to do it better – Lord knows we need to learn how to do that, so I’m glad I’m going.  So I can – perhaps I’ll buy a spendy microphone and a boom and maybe even a mixer and I don’t know.  Whatever else that I get, I get attracted to over there.  Maybe an entire like a – what are those things like those photo booths that you can purchase for weddings and things like that where you can climb into, and kinda take a photo of yourself?  Maybe I’ll get a podcasting booth that I can just put in my backyard.

Brock:               That’ll be great that – that would not have to edit out your children playing in the background all the time.

Ben:                   Gotta sit on my booth out in the woods and podcast.  Anyways though, you – we’ve got a code that you can use to get 20% off the New Media Expo, if you too want to learn how to sit in a booth in the woods and podcast.  The code is “bgreenfield20” – it’s a creative one, “bgreenfield20” to get 20% off the New Media Expo, and of course if you like sticking around an extra day, the Spartan Vegas is the day after that conference.  If you wanna stick around and throw a spears and stuff and flip heavy tires.  So check that out, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes as well over at

                           Get the inside edge from Ben Greenfield Fitness delivered straight to your phone.  Just text the word ‘fitness’ to 411247 and you’ll instantly get exclusive VIP discounts and insider tips that no one else will ever see except you.  Do it now.  Text the word ‘fitness’ to 411247 and you’ll be in Ben’s VIP Text Club for free.

Listener Q & A:

Ben:                   So Brock, before we jump into this week’s Q & A, can I say something about the last week’s Q & A?

Brock:               Uh-oh, am I in trouble?

Ben:                   I think at one point, I believe it was either during the Q & A or during the Special Announcements.  We were talking about what exactly this whole certified paleo thing that’s…

Brock:               Oh, yeah.


Ben:                   We’re talking about a supplement it was at – actually it was the Natural Force supplements we’re talking about certified paleo.  And I received an e-mail after that show from Karen Pendergrass.  And Karen Pendergrass is the mastermind behind the Paleo Foundation, and apparently the Paleo Foundation actually helps to certify things like farms and ranches and a lot of these people kinda running around the paleo community, you know, hawking their wares and ensures that some of the ingredients that are actually going into these compounds are indeed paleo-ish.

Brock:               Hmm.

Ben:                   So, it actually is a legit certification, and I happen to know Karen and she’s a very intelligent and smart person who is committed to – I know a high amount of quality and making sure that the paleo doesn’t turn into a total *curse word* show.  So, anyways, Karen Pendergrass wrote to me and inform me that it actually is legit.  So there you go if something says is certified paleo on it, they’re not just making stuff up.

Michael:           Hey Ben and Brock, this is Michael.  I have a question: is it possible for someone to have too much Heart Rate Variability? I measure my HRV almost every morning with a SweetBeat app and I tend to score above the maximum value of 100.  I even scored 107 once.  I am nowhere near a professional athlete but I do train a lot.  I sprint, run, do obstacle racing and heavy lifting and I’m wondering if I have some weird, unknown medical condition or I’m just really good at doing the test? I’ll send you some of my scores to take a look at, I hope to hear from you.  Thanks.

Brock:               I am lucky if I make it into the 80s these days, I – it baffles my mind the people can get into the 90s and the 100s?  Come on!

Ben:                   I’m actually reading if someone just facebooked me because I – what I do on my facebook and often on twitter as well, I will publish my morning heart rate variability readings because…

Brock:               Yeah and I always go, “Come on!”

Ben:                   My heart rate variability is good, I won’t lie.  I have very high – what are called frequency scores, meaning that the feedback of my sympathetic and my parasympathetic nervous system is quite robust to my vagus nerve is sending feedback from my nervous system to my heart’s pacemaker cells and I measure that every morning, and it’s very high and I get high scores.  And someone actually just emailed me and they said, “That extremely high HRV with a very low heart rate Ben, this could indicate severe adrenal fatigue.  Have you checked your cortisol and your DHA?” Well, I should know then I haven’t written back to this person that an extremely high heart rate variability with a very low heart rate can also indicate that you’re just a freaking beast.  And so, the very low heart rate is of course indicative of a high stroke volume in being fit.  The high heart rate variability as long as you’re frequency numbers are high, like your high frequency and your low frequency numbers – that’s a good sign of a robust nervous system.  So whoever wrote me, I’ll write you back at some point.  Sometimes high HRV is in fact good.  I know it sounds like I’m bragging but I’m honestly just trying to use myself as an example of what, you know, a high heart rate variability can indicate.  But a high heart rate variability can actually be bad as well.  So, I’ll go into why that is in a second, but let me explain something about heart rate variability to you.  And by the way, if you’re listening in and you completely don’t understand heart rate variability, this may go slightly over your head.  I would recommend that you go back and listen to any of the previous podcast episodes that we’ve done on heart rate variability because we’ve really spent probably I would say good four hours into getting folks about it and going into it.  The idea between heart rate variability is it’s analysis of what’s called the RR interval which is just basically one point in the wave you know, when you’re watching say like a – you know, a medical show on television and seeing that the little beep, beep, beep of the heart rate and seeing that wave.  There are certain points in that wave that are identified as the R party interval and that what is happening when you’re measuring heart rate variability is you’re measuring the time spent from – from one point in the R interval to the next occurrence of that R interval.  And when you’re analyzing those intervals, they have to be analyzed using a statistical analysis actually – statistical and a geometrical analysis.


And there are a few different ways that these are analyzed but one of the more popular ways is what’s called the square root of the mean squared difference between those intervals.  Now stick with me here – that’s abbreviated R-M-S-S-D, R-M-S-S-D.  And that RMSSD is basically used as an index of the vagus nerve mediated cardiac control of what’s called sinus arrhythmia or the actual electrical innervation of the heart by the nervous system.  And so for example when you inhale, your heart rate slightly speeds up, and when you exhale, your heart rate slightly slows down and RMSSD is basically smoothing out these slight variabilities and allowing them to be given a numerical value.  And that numerical value can indeed actually go above 100, and there are some heart rate variability analysis tools out there that actually rely upon that RMSSD value.  And in something that does that you can often get values like 110 and 120, and those values would in a normal heart rate variability app expresses like 80 or 90 and the reason for that is that most of the apps out there, like the Nature Beat app that you know, the Greenfield Nature Beat app that is actually you know, my app for measuring heart rate variability or the BioForce app or the Ithlete app or the SweetBeat app or many of these – they’re modified RMSSD values.  They’ve actually transformed the RMSSD value to allow it to figure on a 100 point scale.  So scores above 100 are possible but – but pretty uncommon, you usually see them in highly fit individuals but for the most part unless a heart rate app and here’s where I’m getting at: unless a heart rate app is measuring using an RMSSD interval without that interval being modified to allow it to be on a zero to one hundred scale, there’s usually something else going on.  If your heart rate variability is consistently measuring above 100.  And here’s what it could be that is going on and this is what has actually been looked at in research: when you have what are called periventricular contractions or heart rhythm abnormalities or what are called ectopic beats – any type of basically hiccup in the pacemaker cells of your heart.  It can cause that abnormal heart rate variability pattern and often a heart rate variability that is above 100 and this, in this case is not a sign of superior fitness but rather a sign that you have an electrical abnormality in your heart that needs to be checked out.

Brock:               So perhaps an arrhythmia?

Ben:                   An arrhythmia, exactly.  So this would be a case in which you know, it would be prudent to actually pay a visit to a cardiac physician and do an EKG stress test in which you have electrode to test your heart, you exercise at an easy pace all the way up to a hard pace and you check to see if you’re displaying PVCs and in particular, displaying those PVCs or periventricular contractions or like electrical rhythm abnormalities of the heart at lower intensities.  Because frankly, and this is something I actually talked about in my book ‘Beyond Training’, I published some secret hidden chapters they come along with that book.  And if you’re reading the book as you get towards the end of the book you’ll – you’ll get access to this website where I’ve published about ten hidden chapters and one of those chapters goes into my journey of finding out whether extreme endurance had hurt my heart.  And I detailed my process of going and visiting a cardiac physician and getting all these measurements done and what I discovered during that process was that most athletes, in general, actually do display electrical abnormalities of the heart once they’re approaching their VO2 max at a maximum pace.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   And that’s not necessarily a – a sign that something is wrong with your heart, it’s just a sign that you’re you know, you’re working a hell out of your body.

Brock:               And it hurts and so it’s freaking out!

Ben:                   Yeah, but if it’s happening when you’re walking, or when you’re jogging that’s another matter altogether.  And so, that’s what I would do if I were you.  Is I would actually consider getting a cardiac analysis you know, a cardiac stress test, an EKG-based stress test of the heart – that would be prudently as if you’re consistently testing and your heart rate variability is way above 100 and you’re not using – let me put this way: most apps out there, they’re not using this RMSSD scale.  They’re using a log-based version of that scale that allows HRV to typically be between zero and one hundred.


                           So if you’re typically way above hundred, that’s – that’s a sign that’s something else could be going on and so I’d recommend getting checked out.

Ellie:                  Hey Ben, this is Ellie here.  I’m just wondering if there’s a vegan equivalent to bone broth.  I don’t mean like vegetable stock or anything, I kind of mean the nutritional benefits to bone broth brings.  Another – I guess the second question would be: is there a Bulletproof Coffee for vegans?  If I add up some Earth Balance to my coffee would that be kind of like the fatty coffee that you guys drink?  I’m guessing not, but I figured I would throw it out there.  Have a good day.  Bye, loved the podcast.

Brock:               Vegan Bulletproof Coffee?

Ben:                   Mmm-hmm-hmm.  And vegan bone broth – that’s interesting.  Which should we tackle first?

Brock:               I don’t know, I’ve looked at that Earth Balance fake butter stuff and it scares me.

Ben:                   You know what?  That’s perfect.  Let’s start with that.

Brock:               Okay.

Ben:                   First of all, whether it’s bone broth, or whether it’s Bulletproof Coffee – don’t add Earth Balance.  So Earth Balance is kinda like the hippie version of ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter…

Brock:               Exactly, yeah.

Ben:                   So if you look at the ingredients, you know the first ingredients in there: canola oil, a soybean oil, I’m sure there’s some flax and olive oil in there as well, but ultimately, these are oxidized vegetable oils that can down the road create some cardiovascular issues, a high intake of omega 6 fatty acids which are not bad in small amounts but can create inflammation when they’re imbalanced relative to omega 3 fatty acids.  And ultimately, even though Earth Balance probably isn’t as bad as deprived Twinkies, it’s definitely not high up there…

Brock:               Perhaps to expire in a bag of chips.

Ben:                   In most of the things you should prioritize if you care about your heart health in particular.

Brock:               Ellie is a smart girl, we’ve know her and she – I’m sure she’s not pounding that stuff.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Brock:               Do not apply that she’s doing that.

Ben:                   But let me tell you this, Ellie.  You know the reason – I know, I know what your thought pattern is: you’re thinking maybe use this Earth Balance as a substitute for the dairy-based butter if you are vegan.  The reason that butter is added to something like say, Bulletproof Coffee would be for the butyric acid, because butyric acid has a lot of cool effects: they can suppress inflammation in the gut and in other tissues and as a matter of fact, butyrate and a lot of other short-chain fatty acids that are produced by your gut bacteria.  You got a lot good, healthy gut bacteria that has a really remarkable effect in your intestinal permeability.  And in both tissue cultures and in rats, a high intake of butyric acid can show a really big decrease in intestinal permeability so essential what that means is that it can cause a decrease in leaky gut and it can heal you know, the lining of the gut.  And it can also get absorbed into the circulation and in human blood immune cells butyrate is very anti-inflammatory.  Butyric acid has been shown to increase resistance to metabolic and physical stress, it can reduce the harmful effects of Type 1 diabetes, it can, in my – it’s been shown to increase the function and the survival of mice who have neurodegenerative diseases so it can help out with the brain and with neuroma health as well.  And there’s some other interesting things to – for example, the body’s immune system becomes altered when you’ve got a high amount of butyrate in the digestive track and there’s a hypothesis out there that butyrate is used as a signaling mechanism between bacteria in the gut allowing them to operate much better when it comes to immunity.  So, you know, basically if you’re not getting some form of butyrate or butyric acid in your diet, you are really shortening yourself in terms of your gut health and your immunity and anti-inflammatory potential, in particular.  However, there are ways to get butyric acid that they go above and beyond just butter.

Brock:               Yey!

Ben:                   Just simply walking around with you know, whatever the –this stereotypical you know, Kerrygold unsalted butter in your back pack at all times just in case you should walk into a Starbucks and need to – shocker, get a cup of black coffee.  So, for example, if you have a high amount of fiber in your diet, clinical trials have shown that increasing dietary fibers significantly increases butyrate production.  And when you consider that a lot of the vegan and plant-based dieters are getting – in most cases, more fiber than the general population.  They’re also by nature, probably getting more butyrate as well so you know, sweet potatoes and beans and vegetables and fruits and nuts, all of those can get you butyrate, another short-chain fatty acids too.  In addition to of course, butter.


Now cod liver oil and butter would be the – the main non-vegan ways to get you butyric acid but if you’re getting fiber from other sources eating lots of you know, salad and sweet potatoes and all that good stuff, you’ve got other sources of butyrate in your diet that would make it so you don’t necessarily need to be dumping butter into your cup of Vegan Bulletproof Coffee.  Now this leaves some of the other things that would normally get added to Bulletproof Coffee.  And normally you would, for Bulletproof Coffee, you’d blend up butter and you’d add some MCT oil and typically, you know, you could add some other things like cinnamon or stevia or some like organic cacao or vanilla powder, vanilla extract or something like that.  And last time I checked, everything that I just mentioned was a – was vegan.  So you can pretty much make Bulletproof Coffee without the butter and it is – is vegan and as a matter of fact, if you were to search for a Bulletproof Coffee vegan recipes on the internet, you pretty much going to find that was is recommended is to take coffee and to blend it with some extra-virgin coconut oil or MCT oil and add some vanilla, some stevia and potentially some raw cacao.  So it’s pretty much Bulletproof Coffee without the butter and you do get – you do get some recommendations by the way, out there to add things like almond milk or rice milk or soy milk or coconut milk for example to that Bulletproof Coffee, and one thing you should be aware of is that once you begin to add any type of milks that have no sugars in them, if you are consuming Bulletproof Coffee for the fat-burning effect or you’re consuming it – well let’s put it this way: if you’re consuming it in general, you’ll gonna be increased in cholesterol and you don’t necessarily want to be spiking blood sugars at the same time that you’re doing that.  You also don’t wanna be spiking blood sugars if you’re trying to engage in all the benefits of increasing your fat oxidation or kinda keeping yourself in a fat-burning state so I’d actually leave the milk out.

Brock:               That’s why I stopped putting almond butter in my Buletproof Coffee too.

Ben:                   Yeah, exactly, if you wanna do the vegan Bulletproof Coffee thing, just have Bulletproof Coffee and do the coffee and coconut oil and maybe some vanilla and some stevia, some cinnamon or some cacao if you wanna add some party to your coffee – leave out the milk, leave out the butter and you know, have a sweet potato in a salad later on the day and I don’t think you’re gonna be experience any butyric acid deficiencies.

Brock:               You don’t put stevia in your coffee, do you?

Ben:                   I will, occasionally.  I’ve got a little bottle of a liquid chocolate stevia and even though I’m usually a one-cup-of-coffee-a-day person.  On some days where I need a little bit of energy in the afternoon, I’ll make a cup of iced coffee and in that iced coffee, I’ll put a few drops of this chocolate stevia and it’s a nice little beverage so, I do that sometimes as a matter of fact.

Brock:               You know the old blues song by Howlin Wolf, “sugar and my coffee makes me mean”?

Ben:                   Mmm, no!

Brock:               That’s how I feel.

Ben:                   It must have been before my time.

Brock:               It was before my time, too.  Let me just put that down.

Ben:                   Okay, so let’s move on to – to bone broth.

Brock:               Bone broth! – without the bone!

Ben:                   Yeah, and you know one of the primary benefits of bone broth which we’ve talked about before on the show quite a bit, and we’ve done stories on it and everything so we don’t need to get deep, deep in the bone broth on this, but gelatin is one of the things that you’re gonna find in bone broth especially if you’re not skimming all the fat of the bone broth which you shouldn’t do.  And gelatin has a few benefits, first of all, it helps to balance out meat intake and we mentioned this in the news flashes a few months ago on a show how mussel meat and eggs – they’re high in methionine and methionine is an amino acid that raises homocysteine levels in the blood.  And this is one of the reasons that people all say like red meat causes heart disease, is because it can elevate those homocysteine levels if that red meat is not balanced out with glycine.  If you have – basically more methionine that you do glycine, more methionine amino acid than you do glycine amino acid, you can have excess inflammation, high homocysteine.  And the way that you can get the added glycine is from a source of gelatin.  And so this is why gelatin is rich foods and bone broth and things like that should ideally be included if you are a meat eater.  And of course if you’re trying to make vegan bone broth, you should ideally have some source of gelatin in there, even though you’re not getting methionine in your diet from red meat obviously for vegan or vegetarian.  The reason for that is that there’s some other benefits to gelatin as well for example, it helps improve your gut integrity and your digestive strength that helps out with gastric acid secretion, it helps to restore healthy mucosal lining in the stomach – it has some of those same benefits such as the butyric acid does, so it can help out with that.


                           It’s a well-known promoter of skin health so it helps to make your skin healthy and beautiful because gelatin gives you glycine and also gives you proline, and those are two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen.  And so a diet rich in gelatin can help you kinda have a little bit of anti-aging effect and help you be protected against sunlight and wrinkles, and all sorts of things.  Gelatin is good for protecting the joints, obviously because like I mentioned it helps with the production of collagen and they even had done research today to show that athletes take hydrolyzed collagen which is very similar to gelatin.  They experienced less pain in their joints and so you know, if you exercise you would definitely wanna include gelatin and then finally, gelatin has been shown about 3 grams of glycine as a matter of fact before bed time was shown to help with sleep quality and so having enough glycine in your diet can help you sleep as well and it has a little bit of calming effect.  So as far as how you can get gelatin and do like a vegan bone broth, well, one of the first thing you gotta have on hand is gelatin and you know, this kinda depends on how vegan you are, like how plant-based you are.  If you don’t wanna use any animal sources at all period in your diet, it’s gonna be tough because most gelatin comes from you know, for example the one that I like is Great Lakes Gelatin that comes from grass-fed animals.  You can get it in its hydrolyzed collagen form, you can get it in its whole form and that’s a great thing to have around but again, like it starts with an animal but you know, so does most vitamin D.  So that’s one thing to know, is that if you get a gelatin powder or a collagen powder, most of the time it’s still gonna start from an animal source.  However, one of the ways that you can get around that is, like I mentioned, you know for example: glycine, proline, glutamine, a lot of these compounds are the bioactive compounds of gelatin and you can actually purchase amino acids in their isolated form or you can even get like the whole amino acids supplement like an amino powder or amino capsule.  And those don’t start with animals as their initial source, those are just basically you know, they were all laboratory produced amino acids and no, they’re not – they’re not frankin foods, they’re not chemical you know, cocktails but they’re amino acids that didn’t necessarily start with like a – I don’t know, I think possibly a lot of vegans has just imagined cows getting shoved into a blender when they think about eating certain foods. Moooooooo!

Brock:               I’d love picturing that.

Ben:                   Will they?  Anyways though, you can just get amino acids and you can include those in some of these recipes, even in a vegan bone broth recipe if you didn’t want to use gelatin and you can get some of those effects of gelatin that you’re not gonna get from just like making a vegan bone broth.  If you wanted to make something like bone broth that is going to help out with collagen production, there are some things that you can do.  So for example…

Brock:               Boil rocks.

Ben:                   There are foods out there that can help you with promoting collagen like seaweed is one, celery is another, kale, beets, spinach, olive oil – all of these are not only very alkaline substances that can help keep minerals from leeching from your bones but they can also assist with collagen production with healthy hair, skin, nails and joints in a similar way that bone broth – the animal based you know, gelatin bone broth can.  So for example, you know, there’s one recipe for vegan bone broth where you can take olive oil – I think about 4 tablespoons of olive oil and then you just mix a bunch of chopped vegetables right?  Like chopped celery and chopped beets and some chopped spinach and kale and then you would technically wanna put some seaweed in there.  Wakame, w-a-k-a-m-e is really nice in soup such as source of seaweed for soup, it’s much better like nori or – or kelp or dulse it’s called wakame – w-a-k-a-m-e.  You put some of that in there, you can put a soy sauce or if you didn’t wanna use a soy sauce, you could use coconut aminos which are very similar in terms of taste to soy sauce but don’t have the actual soy in them.  You can add some miso paste and any herbs that you want like parsley or cilantro and then you add your water.  And you can just basically you know, large stock pots, simmer all of that over medium to low heat and that’s kind of like a vegan-based bone broth, so you’re just wanting to make sure you add seaweed, you add some of these collagen supporting foods, you add a little bit of miso, some herbs and – so you can still get a lot of the benefits of bone broth and then technically,


if you’re the sack-that-down  and maybe using amino acid later on in the day or in the morning, you’d be getting some of that you know, some of the same glycine and proline and glutamine that you’ll be getting from the gelatin.  So you know, you can kinda skirt your way around for in bone broth but…

Brock:               Well, you don’t need to cook that for like 12 or 24 hours or anything like you do with bone broth either, it’s just a soup you could whip up.

Ben:                   Yeah, traditional bone broth you’d simmer for you know, around 24 to 48 hours and something like this with vegetables, I mean 45 – 60 minutes and you’re good to go.  So yeah.

Brock:               That’s way better than what I was gonna stress which was did it just like throw rocks in a pot of water and cook those for like 48 hours.

Ben:                   Hmmm, yes, rocks.  Yeah, good idea, Brock.  I’m glad we have you on the show to balance things out.

Brock:               Mmm-hmmm.

Jasmine:           Hi Ben! My name is Jasmine.  I have two questions relating to periods or menstrual cycles.  What do you recommend for pain?  I get incredible cramps that leave me sometimes just in bed.  I’m like so seriously can’t get up and go throughout my day and so I have to reach for over the counter pain medication and I really hate doing that.  Do you have any suggestions for me?  And the second, due to – related to menstrual cycles is that I actually get incredibly fatigued.  Sometimes I’ll be at my standing desk which again, thank you for – to you for teaching me about standing desk but I’ll be in my standing desk and all of a sudden, I’ll literally just have to lay down on the floor where I’m at, ‘cause like fatigue has hit me and I’ll just knocked out for like half-an-hour in some random area and it becomes incredibly difficult to get up.  So do you have any recommendations for fatigue and tiredness due to menstruation and also do you think this is kind of normal or what is your opinion on that?  Thanks for the great podcast.  Bye.

Brock:               And I’ve known a lot of women who get the bad cramps but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody complain about actually like having to lay down on the floor.

Ben:                   Mmm, I have.

Brock:               Have you?

Ben:                   I’ve talked to someone just like it paralyze by the menstrual cramps.

Brock:               Ahh, that sucks.

Ben:                   Yeah, it does, it does.  It’s so awesome being a dude.

Brock:               I’m so happy sometimes.

Ben:                   I’m so happy I’m a guy.  Yeah.  Yeah, the whole lot, just like, yeah.  We’ve already talked about like babies and vaginas and all about that jazz.  They’re just… you know woman is so freaking complex.  Geez.  Alright, well, Jasmine first of all you know, I obviously empathize with you even though I’m also making fun of women at the same time.  I’m not a complete *curse word* because I will give you some recommendations here for menstrual cramps so just when we dig into this and look at the physiology of what causes PMS and menstrual cramps.  You know, it’s largely just hormones that we’re talking about and when you have your monthly fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone and what are called FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone and LH or luteinizing hormone.  These hormones can interact with brain chemicals and neurotransmitters and create some pretty significant issues when you’re – when you’re going through menstrual cycle in particular.  And there are some things you can do to control it.  So for example, one of the things that can happen is when we look at dietary factors, and in particular dietary fats.  There are some oils that can get incorporated into cells in your reproductive tissue and can cause problems such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome and also a lot of kind of like excess bleeding and excess cramping that you might experience during a menstrual cycle and the type of oils that would cause an issue like this would be: oils that are high in omega 6 fatty acids, you’re a lot of your polyunsaturated fats.  These would be things that you would want to avoid during that time of the month in particular, now I’m a fan of being pretty careful with this in general but we’re talking about Earth Balance butter, for example – but vegetable oil, peanut oil, soy bean oil, canola oil, margarine, a lot of these snacks that tend to be coded a lot of times you know, even “healthy snacks” with canola oil, those bastards, they sneak into everything and you just want – it’s not like you need to be fat-free.  You just need to choose fats like coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil and you know, you can do animal fats even you know, like ghee and tallow and lard but you’d just wanna be careful with omega 3 fatty acids.  So eat your tub of lard, but avoid any type of oxidized oils or vegetable oils.  Another thing that can contribute to this issue and cause an imbalance between estrogen and progestogen will just be phytoestrogens and particularly chemicals that mimic hormones,


and one of the things that drives me nuts is when women complain about menstrual cramps and about issues with – with PMS in their cycle and then you open up the bathroom covered or you look at what’s sitting on the shelf in the shower and it’s a bunch of parabens and phthalates and hormone-disrupting chemicals.  You know, everything from plastic containers that you’re storing your food in, to household chemicals that you know, anything that has pesticides like you’re using non-organic produce.  All of that can create some estrogen dominance that can contribute to this issue because one of the things that – that can really affect PMS would be progestogen deficiencies and by nature, estrogen dominance is going to contribute to progestogen deficiency, so that’s something else to be very careful with.   Another thing that can potentially create a lot of inflammation that will exacerbate the symptoms of  PMS would be common inflammatory foods like grains, processed sugar, commercial dairy, vegetable oils – I know that for our listeners in many cases I’m preaching to the choir, but at the same…

Brock:               You know other people are voting those anyway.

Ben:                   Yeah, but you know I would consider you know, even – especially during that time of the month just go completely as hard it is, as hard as it can be, go completely grain-free and dairy-free.  And you know, these are just simple things that you can do that will you know, make a pretty good change when it comes to abdominal cramping and heavy bleeding that can occur during menses.  These are things that that definitely influence that.  Now of course, there’s really not any population on the face of the planet that doesn’t use things like herbs, oils, plant extracts, medicinal compounds, etc. to control certain symptoms and we certainly have access to all of those too, that we can add in.  I know a lot of what I just talked about was omission but you can also engage in commission and includes in things that will help you out.  So I’ll put links to some of my favorite versions of some of the things I’m about to talk about in the show notes over at  But one thing would be adaptogenic herbs you know, things like maca, ashwagandha, eleuthero.  Maca in particular is actually a tuber, it’s in a radish family and you can get it in powdered form and it can boost hormone production and libido but it can also help control a lot of the symptoms of PMS.  Many adaptogenic herb compounds can do the same thing, my wife takes something called Inner Peace – when she’s experiencing the symptoms of PMS, it’s great, I just give her about ten capsules of Inner Peace and then I run away fast.  That’s my strategy: run into the forest and let her swallow the capsules and then come back two hours later and all is good with the world.  But Inner Peace or Maca, they would be kind of redundant, I wouldn’t say take both but choose one or the other like a Maca Powder, this Inner Peace capsules –that’s one thing I would include.  Another one would be magnesium and magnesium can definitely help with hormonal balance, it can also just help to relax you and it has another thing that traditionally has been shown to and has helped with digestive tract issues and also PMS symptoms and menstrual cramping.  I’m a fan of a transdermal form for this, the Transdermal Magnesium lotion.  Don’t get a spray, I found that the spray leaves a residue on the skin – I’m not a big fan of the magnesium oil sprays but the lotion, it’s very soothing, it’s very calming.  You can rub it into the back of your neck, you can rub it into your temples, you can rub it into your legs, and the Transdermal Magnesium is certainly something to include as well.  That’s something also that my wife uses, she’ll use that if she feels like a headache or a migraine coming on which will happen to her sometimes during that time of the month, then she’ll rub it into her neck and her temples.  And she also will take about 2 to 3 capsules of that Inner Peace so.  Another thing to consider is any type of fat-soluble vitamins that will support hormone function.  A lot of people immediately think of vitamin D when they hear about fat-soluble vitamins, but remember you don’t want to take vitamin D in the absence of vitamin K, I used to make the mistake of recommending like these liquid vitamin D supplements you know, like – what was one that I would recommend, Carlson’s for example, like Carlson’s Liquid Vitamin D.  The problem is it’s completely absent of vitamin K and you don’t want to create a vitamin D – vitamin K imbalance because you’re gonna get low absorption of vitamin D and potential for vitamin D toxicity.  So combine vitamin D with vitamin K.  EXOS makes a really good one that’s a blend of vitamin D, vitamin K, and MCT oil.  So that’s what I’ll go with, that’s one that’s used to be the Thorne FX Vitamin D, but all the Thorne FX stuff is now called EXOS, e-x-o-s.  


So that’s another one to get and that’s just like a liquid vitamin D.  I know that sounds like a lot of stuff, but this is just – these are things you don’t take every day, these are things – that you break out of that time of the month when you know that you’re gonna need you know, some adaptogenic herbs, some magnesium, a little bit extra vitamin D and mix with vitamin K.  That’s another thing I’d go with.  We already talked about gelatin and how gelatin can support digestive health and help to sooth inflammation, but it can also support hormone production, and as long as you’re not vegan which I already touched on, you can use gelatin.  If you are vegan, you could always turn to amino acids but I’m a bigger fan of using gelatin and this is something that you can mix into glass of water and drink, you can also just put it into for example, put it in smoothies – it’s great in smoothies.  You can just stir it into a smoothie, you can blend it but the blending could potentially harm the – harm the gelatin.  So I’m a bigger fan of just stirring it in.  And then one that I’d recommend there is this compound – I think we’ve talked about this on the show before and warned against men using this unless they wanna lower testosterone, but that’s Vitex also known as chaste tree.  And that can help the length of what’s called the luteal phase and raise progesterone and like I mentioned, progesterone deficiencies or estrogen dominance can be an issue when it comes to PMS and Vitex or chaste tree berry can help out with this, so that’ll be another one to look into would be this Vitex.  So those would be, those would be some of the basic recommendations you know, of course you know, sleep and distressing and containing to move as much as you can and as far as exercise is concern, you know and especially relaxing exercises like walking and swimming, a lot like running and you know, cross fit and high intensity cardio but movement is definitely going to help you as well.  So those are some of the things that I would do when it comes to natural remedies for PMS, I know those are – those are certainly why I’ll tell you once that my wife does, she does vitamin D, she does magnesium, she does the Inner Peace – I mentioned the omega 6 fatty acids and how to be careful with those.  You could also probably benefit from just balancing things out when it comes to omega 6 fatty acids by using a fish oil like an omega 3 fatty acids source that may help you out a little bit as well, and that could be something to include, it typically goes well with something like a vitamin D and a vitamin K as far as taking it all at the same time to help out with absorption and it also – a fish oil is gonna provide some of the same building blocks for hormone production that those fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin K are gonna provide so.

Brock:               Couldn’t you just take, what’s it called, the cod liver oil… instead?

Ben:                   Cod liver oil, as well, yeah.  Cod liver oil is fish.

Brock:               Because it has the D, the K, the fish or the trees.

Ben:                   Cod liver oil has a higher amounts of fat-soluble vitamins, yeah? And cod liver oil has the A, D and K in it so yeah, you could do that as well – its freaking expensive stuff but…

Brock:               And it’s kinda gross, but…

Ben:                   I think it’s actually… if you’re looking at things from expense standpoint, it’s cheaper to use like a liquid vitamin D, like that vitamin D/vitamin K blend that I talked about and then take a fish oil at the same time, I think you’re still gonna come out ahead of things from a financial standpoint which is using cod liver oil.  But you know, it’s kinda up to you.

Brock:               I’ve got to look at my credit bills.

Ben:                   I know all of our listeners are loaded so they don’t care anyways.

Brock:               So you mean, they’re drunk?

Ben:                   Isn’t – doesn’t load mean ‘wealthy’? Maybe it means ‘drunk’ too.  Maybe they’re ‘drunk’ and ‘wealthy’.

Brock:               Yeah.  That’s the best way to be, really.

Ben:                   Drunk, wealthy and menstrually cramping.

Brock:               Woooh!

Maria:               Hi, this is Maria from Minnesota.  Thanks for the great show, I listen to you guys a lot as I drive for work.  I am considering getting a Tesla car and I am concerned about the EMFs, so I just wonder what are your thoughts are on this?  I do have two young kids that will be sometimes riding with me in the backseat.  So I have some concerns if it’s worth never came for gas again in exchange for maybe some exposure to EMFs.  Thanks again for the great show, and looking forward to hearing your answer.

Brock:               Ben, the questions are – our audience is not taking it easy on you today.

Ben:                   Uhmmm-mm.  These are tough questions.

Brock:               Geez, I’ve got left and the right and the –need of the balls and the…yeah.

Ben:                   Well you know, they actually – it was several years ago that Consumer Report’s website actually looked at this idea circulating that hybrid vehicles or electrical vehicles are gonna produce higher amounts of EMF than just regular old cars the rest of us non-hippies drive.  And when they run a test, what they did was they actually did – they used a – what’s called the 3 axis magnetic field meter.  Now this is you know, something like a gauss meter which you can purchase on Amazon but it gives you readings and milligauss units which is the commonly accepted measure for magnetic fields and is also abbreviated MG.  And they measured the EMF levels on thirteen different vehicles all under the same conditions.


                           So they took measurements of the right foot of the driver, the knee, the waist, and the head, both went idling and when driving around assimilated stop and go city driving course, and then also accelerating from 0 to 60 miles per hour.  And they tested everything from the Chevy Cobalt which is a conventional non-hybrid, non-electric cars, just a small Sedan and they tested some of these like hybrids, like they tested the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid and Toyota Prius and a couple different miles of the Prius.  They tested the Nissan Ultima Hybrid and they also tested of course, a several non-hybrid vehicles.  Now, they found some interesting things: first of all, they found out that for every vehicle that they tested, the EMF readings where highest in the foot and second highest in the waist and relatively low higher up, like near the head and in the brain which is actually where I personally most concerned about EMF.  And so, it turns out that the majority of your body exposed to EMF when you’re driving around in any car, is not that high in the areas that are gonna be potentially more susceptible to the deleterious effects of EMF.  It’s kinda like the difference between having a Fitbit on your wrist you know, and the Bluetooth signal emitted from that Fitbit might not be as deleterious as like a Bluetooth headset constantly sitting on your ear next to your brain, right?

Brock:               Yeah, or even a cell phone pressed up to your temple.

Ben:                   Right, exactly.  Now, some of the hybrid cars had readings pretty similar to conventional cars you know, for example the Mini Cooper showed the reading of 2 milligauss in the Toyota Prius Hybrid, also had a reading of 2 milligauss.  And the thirteen vehicles tested – out of those thirteen vehicles as a matter of fact, the hybrids did not have the highest peak readings of EMF.  The Chevy Cobalt actually had a 30 milligauss at the feet and 16 milligauss at the knee you know, whereas when you’re looking a lot of these hybrids they were down around like 2 to 3 milligauss.

Brock:               Wow!

Ben:                   So, the hybrids actually had a lower amount of EMF and in many of these cases.  Now If you wanna look at that in context relative to other things that you’re around, other than cars, if you’re looking at a computer, usually that’s gonna range from 2 up to about 20 milligauss so, pretty similar to a car and in many cases higher than a car when you’re just working on your computer, a hairdryer is like 10 up to 70 milligauss.  So a hairdryer, churns out EMF that’s way higher than most cars, power lines or like above 200 milligauss in many cases, so you’re like hanging around under a power line, you’ve got a bigger fish to fry than the car that you’re driving around and…

Brock:               I can see five of them out of my office window here.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  Exactly.  So you know, ultimately it’s not as big of an issue as we might think when it comes to EMF readings in hybrids.  Now when you look at your car, first of all, I would recommend if you wanna test this yourself and look at milligauss readings you know, the generally accepted safe exposure levels for people who just wanna avoid EMF in general, you should try and keep most the things that you’re hanging around spending a lot of time and blow 1 milligauss.  One milligauss is a pretty good number to shoot for to kinda avoid, especially up around your head, or places where like your head and your heart and your brain are gonna be by.  And so you can get a gauss meter and you can walk around, oh I use one of these devices called the Lapca device, that plugs in my cellphone and I actually interviewed them in the podcast.  If you go to the and do a search for Lapca, or just go to show notes at  I’ll link to that interview.  But there’s a variety of ways that you can test this, but when you looking at right around 1.0mg as a relatively safe number when you’re around like electrically operated equipment you know, like a car or you know, a hairdryer, you know, good luck with the hairdryers, those things churns out a lot.  Tesla is an interesting company, because Tesla, if you’ve got the 50 to 100 grand to spend for a good electrical car, Tesla actually purposely shield against magnetic fields.


                           They have equipped their vehicles with special shielding devices inside the vehicles and most Teslas’ are gonna be at 1 milligauss or less when you’re driving around you know, compared to a lot of cars are gonna be like 3 to 10 like I mentioned, that Cobalt can get a size 30.  But Tesla of all the hybrids would be actually the safest to get for, so it’s very interesting.  They’ve actually considered that fact that Tesla, and they’ve lowered EMF when it comes to Tesla.

Brock:               Cool!

Ben:                   So, yeah.  Ultimately you know, there are modifications you can make.  I know some people are super-duper aware I can – they’re putting like shut-off switches in the engine compartments or somebody electrical components that can turn on and basically drive a car around with a lower amounts of magnetic fields, I have no clue how to do any of that stuff and that’s kind of a pretty significantly D-I-Y project and I would think you need to almost be a car mechanical or electrical engineer to pull that off.  But ultimately, if you’re gonna buy a car and you want the lowest EMF car that you can get, not only you should get a hybrid, but you should get a Tesla.  So, there y0u go! Go grab alone and slap down 50 to a 100 grand and get on the wait list for a Tesla.

Brock:               You know what the coolest thing is about getting one of those gauss meter things?

Ben:                   Being able to look for ghosts?

Brock:               Exactly.  You can track paranormal activities.

Ben:                   As soon as I checked-in the hotels, first thing I do, is I analyze the ghost factor.

Paul:                  Hello Ben and Brock.  Just to say I’m Paul Nikel from the UK and I just wanna say thanks for the entertaining help you guys give so often.  And me and my wife would just have third baby girl and I love her to bits, actually she’s an absolute angel.  There is a time too much estrogen in my family now.  So I was just wondering that if me and my wife were to get on this road again which I would like to do.  If we’ve come across anything in your research, the tip of balance to getting a little baby boy this time as I do fancy you know, bringing up a son as well and doing all those crazy-boy things that you can do, ‘cause playing with dolls just thank God not right at the moment.  Again, thanks a lot for any help you can give.  It’s much appreciated.  Take care. – Paul

Brock:               That’s a hard question.  They’re not taking it easy on you.

Ben:                   Man, where have we go from Tesla and EMFs to have to choose the sex of your baby?

Brock:               That’s, that’s the kind of show this is.

Ben:                   This is gonna be a pretty, pretty fun question actually because…

Brock:               Is it?

Ben:                   Yeah!  I think it’s interesting.  I’ve actually thought about, in the past, like I’ve got twin boys, right?  And my wife and I have talked before about potentially having a little girl you know, introducing a little pink dress clad girl into the Greenfield household to make me into a softer man, and to kinda round things out with all the – all the sausages that are running around the Greenfield house.  And at the same time though when you’ve had multiples, your chance of having multiples again goes up by 30%, so we could try for a little girl and we can wind up with what?  Three more little boys!  So this is the topic that’s near and dear to my heart.  So it’s interesting stuff.  I looked into this before just because, don’t tell my wife, I hope she doesn’t listen to this and even know that I’m considering it because then, well, yeah well, you know.

Brock:               Anyways, yeah.

Ben:                   So…

Brock:               Everybody, don’t tell Jessa.

Ben:                   Don’t tell Jessa.  So you have about a 50/50 chance of conceiving a boy or a girl through just like plain old, old fashioned intercourse, and a lot of people have looked into finding ways to stack the odds in their favor you know, like I mentioned for myself, you may want like a whatever, a daughter to balance out their families or a son to balance out their families and so, this is really something that has been talked about quite a bit.  And I would say that the most well-known and advertised strategy out there for choosing the sex of your child is the book “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby” which was written by this guy named Shettles and I believe he’s a doctor and…

Brock:               So he just googled “how do you choose the sex of your baby” and then you just take the first hit, right?

Ben:                   No. “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby” is a book.

Brock:               Yeah, that’s what I mean.  That’s – might be there in first Google you’ve tried you’d do.

Ben:                   You probably would be.  Yeah.


                           And what Shettles argues, he says that the male sperm, the Y sperm is smaller and it’s faster, but it’s more short-lived than the female sperm or the X sperm.  And so if you wanted a boy, for example, you would have sex closest to the time when the mom’s egg is released or closest to ovulation and so that would mean that the speedy male sperm could get to the egg sooner than the slower, but more hardy female sperm.  So, the other thing that happens is that Y chromosome – that boy chromosome might also get discharged as close as possible to the opening of the cervix and so, in order for that Y chromosome to get discharged as close as possible to the opening of the cervix, he argues that rear entry intercourse or what we like to call on the Ben Greenfield Fitness show, doggy style – would be the best way to go if you were wanting a boy.

Brock:               I was thinking more of like reversed cowgirl with myself.

Ben:                   Or reversed cowgirl, there you go. So the other…

Brock:               Just keeping it classy, keeping it classy.

Ben:                   The other consideration here would be of course, the opposite.  If you wanted a girl and according to the Shettle’s method, you would be wanting to have sex in the missionary position, much more traditional and conservative position.  And for those of you who don’t know what the missionary position is, that’s face to face, man on top so just that include that up.  And that would be about 2 to 4 days before ovulation, so that by the time the egg come, you’ve only got the hardier, the more resilient X sperm, the female sperm hanging around and waiting in the mom’s reproductive tract.  And you know, the thing is that when you look at the Shettle’s method, there’s no actual evidence and there’s no studies that show that it works.  And there’s actually a pediatrician in Texas named Jay Martin Young who’s done a medical literature review on sex determination and found that the Shettle’s method fared worse than just plain old random sex with a 39% success rate in choosing the sex of a child which if you look at 50/50 chances of just a normal intercourse is 11% lower chance of having the child that you want you know, when you look at just regular old sex compared to the Shettle’s method.

Brock:               Yeah.

Ben:                   So it’s kind of interesting, and the guy who runs that test has also written a book to just introduce even more bias into this.  He wrote a book called “How to have a Boy” and also a book called “How to have a Girl” and in that book he has a strategy that completely opposes Shettle’s strategy.  He says if you wanna have a female, if you wanna have a little girl you’d have intercourse as close as possible to the time of ovulation, and if you want to have a male, you’d have intercourse a number of days before.  And he claims that the chances are about 67% of successfully choosing the sex of your child with this particular method.  And I believe he’s just going on the data from the folks who he has helped choose the sex of their children and there is no third party verification of that claim.  So I know that muddies the waters a little bit.  Now you’re completely scratching your head because there’s two different doctors saying two different things.  Never heard of that before, huh?

Brock:               Never.

Ben:                   So, but then we’ve got these more advanced things like there’s one method or one technology called MicroSort.  And MicroSort is an actual laboratory method that’s separates the male sperm from the female sperm once you submit your sperm to this MicroSort’s place and that’s like…

Brock:               Is that a _______ [1:14:12.7] thing to as Bill Gates?

Ben:                   I don’t know.

Brock:               I was kidding.  It’s Microsoft.

Ben:                   Oh, Microsoft.

Brock:               Don’t trust Windows to sort your sperm.

Ben:                   Bill Gates is in the in vitro fertilization biz.

Brock:               You never know!

Ben:                   And you know, it’s licensed by the genetic and the IVF institute and it’s going through FDA clinical trials.  It involves separating X and Y various sperm using laser light and dye and this machine called the flow cytometer and once they are divided, you just simply insert it back in the sex of the sperm that matches what you would want and it actually has a very high success rate: 91% success rate among couples wanting girls and about 75% for those wanting boys.  And of course the only drawback to IVF is that it is ex-pens-ive you know, you’re looking at – the cost of a vehicle basically you know, not as much as a Tesla…


                           Yeah, to choose the sex of your child.  So the sperm cells…

Brock:               But it does involve lasers.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah lasers.  So I think it’s about 15 to 20,000 dollars to do something like that.  So that’s really expensive and there were some other technologies out there like for example, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and that’s a process in which they collect eggs from the mom, they fertilize the Y sperm from the dad, they incubate the embryos for a few days, they grow a few cells and they analyze the cell, and they basically choose the embryo that is most like the sex that the parents would want and that’s like about – I think it’s right around 3,000 to 5,000 dollars but once you figured out everything, as far as the doctor’s office and everything else, you’d probably be close to the sperm sorting method and of course, the difference between the two is that for people who believe that life begins at conception, that could potentially be considered as an abortion to do a pre-implantation genetic diagnosis because you’re sensually tossing the embryos that you don’t want.  So there are ethical implications with that particular technique.  There’s another technique called the Erickson Technique and that’s used to separate the Y chromosomes, the fastest from the Y chromosome boy sperm from the slow-moving girl sperm and in that, they separate the sperm by pouring a sperm sample into a test tube that has glue layer of fluid and all of the sperms swim down towards the bottom of the test tube and of then course the one’s that get there faster are the boys, they isolate those and then reinsert them using artificial insemination.  And that’s actually not that expensive, it’s almost under a thousand dollars, I believe at this point to do that particular technique even though it’s apparently not quite as accurate or doesn’t give you quite as high as the chance as that MicroSort’s sperm sorting method.  And then finally, this Dr. Shettle’s actually has the sex selection kits and those are like ovulation predictor test sticks and herbal extracts and  thermometers that will allow you to tract your time of ovulation.   And if you agree with his theory that the – since the boys swim faster you would actually, if you wanted a boy, you would want to have sex as close as possible to the time of ovulation.  And if a girl you know, 2 to 4 days prior to ovulation then, you could use that method but again, apparently, it may have a low rate of success.  What I get a kick out of are all the other things that are out there on the internet, when it comes to proposed methods for affecting the sex of your child.  So for example, here we go, you ready for this, Brock?

Brock:               I’ve been waiting for this.  This is a good stuff.

Ben:                   If you wanna have a girl, make sure you’re only eating acidic foods because the Y chromosome boy sperm is very delicate and cannot survive in acidic places mainly the vagina where the sperm goes into meet the eggs.  Those delicate little boy sperm, they sure are fast but they are not very resilient.  So if you want to have a boy, you would just eat a super crappy diet, full of acidic foods and if you wanna have a girl, you’d eat very, very alkalinic foods you know, you would avoid like your caffeines and your red meats and your dairy and you’d be you know, like a high amounts of vegetables and fruits and lemons and baking soda and all these alkalinic compounds.  There are you know, you can get a test strips to measure your pH levels so you wanna give a really alkaline environment and if you want to give the Y chromosome boy sperm a better chance of living and fertilizing the egg so that’s a one method that’s out there.  Here are some other proposed methods out there: if you want to conceive a – well these are things are already mentioned you know, girl would be missionary position and boy would be rear-end position or standing position.  And by the way, when I say a rear-end position, do not take that the wrong way, I do mean that you do need to actually do things the normal way just from…

Brock:               What could you possibly mean?  (laughter)

Ben:                   Here’s another one, if you wanna have a baby boy, enjoy sex at night during a quarter moon.

Brock:               Oh, of course!

Ben:                   But if you want to have a baby girl, enjoy sex in the afternoon during a full moon.  My problem, if it’s the afternoon and I’m about to have sex, I’m usually not in the state of mind where I’ll remember whether or not there’s supposed to be a full moon.  Here’s a good one: for baby boy, have sex on odd days and on even days have sex for a baby girl.  So they all goes downhill from there like for a girl, you should a pink ribbon under your pillow and for a boy, a wooden spoon under…

Brock:               A wooden spoon?!


Ben:                   Or no, no.  What it is is for girl, put a pink ribbon under your pillow and a wooden spoon under your bed.  And for a boy, the men should wear his socks during sex.

Brock:               That’s a given.  You can get cold feet while you’re doing it.

Ben:                   So yeah, I mean ultimately the – what would make the most sense to me I guess if I were gonna do this would be the sperm sorting method.  I mean if you really wanted to just like, you know – hey, you’re gonna be growing up with whatever choice you make for the next eighteen years or so, so you might as well you know, put aside a little money, skip Starbucks for five years and go with the sperm sorting method I’d say that it has about the most promise when it comes to doing things, the most technologically accurate way.  And I think that – that’s probably what I would go for if I absolutely wanted close to a 100% chance of getting the gender that I wanted with the baby.  So…

Brock:               If I’m gonna spend that kind of money, I’d better involve lasers.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Otherwise, you could just you know, go out, get drunk, have hot, crazy, wild sex and keep your fingers crossed that…

Brock:               Roll the dice!

Ben:                   What happens, happens and if not, hey, que sera sera.  So, there you go.

Brock:               Yeah, well speaking of que sera sera, should we – na, it doesn’t transition at all, should we give away some gear?

Ben:                   That was a pretty crappy sejway – segue.

Brock:               It was a terrible sejway.

Ben:                   Sorry, I’ll just talk about genders and sex and doggy styles, I got my tongue tied.  Yeah! Let’s go ahead and jump into this week’s review and by the way, if you leave a review over at iTunes and you give us some good stars and you hear your review right on the show, all gotta do is email [email protected] and when you email [email protected], we will mail you a cool beanie, a tech t-shirt and a BPA-free water bottle, and if you wanna just support the show and you don’t give a crap about leaving a review, you can buy that same gear over at, so there’s another way to do it.

Brock:               Actually there’s one more way to do it is to go down by the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. under the bridge.  I threw my beanie off during the marathon last weekend so…

Ben:                   Oh, nice!

Brock:               If you go down there, you’ve probably find it, wash it, you got yourself a beanie!

Ben:                   Just the cost of the homeless man who’s wearing a Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie…

Brock:               He’s probably got it by now, yeah.

Ben:                   You too can score.  Ah, so what’s this week’s review?

Brock:               Alright this comes from jimnewell73, and it’s called ‘Shower Curtain’.  It goes like this: “So there I was, hanging a shower curtain, I felt slightly uncomfortable, so what should I do?  What should I do?  I thought.  Without much debate, I switched side so that I would balance out each side. Don’t wanna throw out a muscle groups.  Gotta keep things in sync.  Thanks Ben and Brock.  I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I do appreciate the perspective.”

Ben:                   We get some – this weird listeners.

Brock:               I’d like how it is very story-like and sort of had a sense of urgency. “So there I was, hanging a shower curtain.”

Ben:                   It did.  It was a little bit mysterious and then it was suspenseful and then it had a resolution.

Brock:               It did.

Ben:                   So he told a good story.  Yeah, a totally good story even though it’s still – I’m still trying to wrap my head around this.  So he basically wanted to hang his shower curtain using both sides of his muscles so he was able to achieve muscular balance?

Brock:               I guess.  I don’t know how long it was taking to hang his shower curtain though.

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s freaking weird.  Yeah, I don’t know.  I have a shower door so I’m not – I don’t even really know.  But you what?  I do actually have to squeegee the water off of the glass shower door after taking a shower, and I switch hands when I’m squeegeeing to use balance.  So I kinda sort of do that actually.  Dude, I’m turning into one of these people…

Brock:               So there Ben was, squeegeeing his shower, feeling uncomfortable.

Ben:                   Switching hands.

Brock:               What should he do?

Ben:                   Muscle balance.  Alright, we better end this thing before we go completely off a ______ [1:24.05.7] because we obviously haven’t done that yet, talking about high EMF and Tesla cars and the proper sex position to have the correct gender of your child and of course, Vegan Bulletproof Coffee and vegan bone broth.  We’ll put the links to everything we talked about on the show notes in case you wanna pursue even more goodness and those are at  Hey, thanks for listening in folks and what do we have coming up this weekend?  If you wanna look forward to this weekend, well let me tell you as soon as I get the – our little editorial calendar pulled up in front of me.  This is gonna be a good one, this is called the ‘Behind the Scenes of How a Supplement Is Made” an insider interview to talk about suspense, stacked on top of suspense.

Brock:               Hmm-mmm. So there I was, touring a supplement-making factory.  What should I do?  I thought.

Ben:                   Alright.  Later, folks!

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[1:25:47.2]     END