Wine Myths, Dark & Dirty Secrets of the Wine Industry, Wine Biohacks & More!


A few months ago, I released the article “Dark & Dirty Secrets Of The Wine Industry, Four Ways To Make Wine Healthier, and What Kind Of Wine Fit People Should Drink.” 

In it, I detailed the serious issues with arsenic, overpricing, lack of sustainability, high levels of sulfites, amines and ochratoxins, boatloads of sugars, high pH levels (that increase the possibility of contamination by unwanted organisms), a less than stellar taste, plastic polyethylenes and many other problems plaguing the modern wine industry – and causing many people (including my wife) to get headaches or poor sleep from a nightly glass of wine.

At the end of that post, I highlight that I now drink a new kind of healthy wine called “FitVineWine”, and in today’s podcast, I interview Mark Warren, co-founder of FitVineWine, a national level black belt competitor in TaeKwonDo, a Crossfitter and of course, as a wine enthusiast and father of two boys, a man after my own heart.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Why there are shocking levels of additives and other fillers in most modern wines…

-How most wineries add sugar and grape concentrate to wines to adjust the pH (and why pH is so important)…

-Why many wines are filtered through wheat and contain gluten…

-Whether you need to be concerned about mold in wine…

-How you can concentrate the amount of antioxidants like resveratrol, polyphenols and proanthocyanidins in grapes…

-What it means for a wine to be “biodynamic” or “organically” farmed…

-Why many wines are over-irrigated and why wineries should use less water, not more…

-Why wine grapes should be grown at higher, cooler elevations…

-Why people really aren’t allergic to sulfites in wine, and why it’s something else altogether…

How FitVineWine compares to other popular “healthy” or “Paleo” wines out there…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode: (use 10% discount code BEN10)

California Winemakers Sued Over High Levels of Arsenic in Wines

Bad News for Those of You Who, Like Us, Drank Cheap Wine Each and Every Night of Your 20s

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for me or my guest Mark on anything we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply…and click here to get a bottle of red or a bottle of white at with 10% discount code BEN10 (assuming you’re 21 years of age or older).

Nicotine Gum, Alactic Training, Binaural Beats, Small-Scale Farming & More With Robb Wolf.

robb wolf podcast

If you don’t know who Robb Wolf is, you have probably been living either in a cave or at McDonald’s.

Robb is a former research biochemist and author of the New York Times Best Selling book “The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet“. Robb has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast, book and seminars.

He has functioned as a review editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, is co-founder of the nutrition and athletic training journal, The Performance Menu, co-owner of NorCal Strength & Conditioning, one of the Men’s Health “top 30 gyms in America” and he is a consultant for the Naval Special Warfare Resiliency program. He serves on the board of Directors/Advisors for Specialty Health Inc, Paleo FX, and Paleo Magazine.

Robb is a former California State Powerlifting Champion (565 lb. Squat, 345 lb. Bench, 565 lb. Dead Lift) and a 6-0 amateur kickboxer. He coaches athletes at the highest levels of competition and consults with Olympians and world champions in MMA, motocross, rowing and triathlon. He has provided seminars in nutrition and strength & conditioning to a number of entities including NASA, Naval Special Warfare, the Canadian Light Infantry and the United States Marine Corps.

In this episode, I dig into a day in the life of Robb, and reveal some the most important training, nutrition and biohacking tools he’s been implement lately. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-The details of Robb’s Lazy Lobo ranch…

-Robb’s”dream” legit permaculture small farm setting for a family…

-What Robb has found by experimenting with post-meal blood glucose monitoring and what he has found…

-How to get the most strength training bang for your buck out of something called “alactic” sets…

-Why Robb likes the “Versaclimber” so much… 

-How Robb has been using binaural beats…

-Robb’s smart drug of choice…

-Everything you need to know about using nicotine gum…

-A never-before-revealed secret about Robb’s new book he’s writing…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

FlowerChecker app for plant identification

My Training At 44

Brainwave app for binaural beats

Sleepstream app for binaural beats

My article on making your own smart drugs

GoodSense nicotine gum

WebMD piece on nicotine gum

“Healthy food” differ by individuality

Algorithm for genes that predict low-carb/high fat vs. high carb-low fat

Dexcom G5 blood glucose monitoring

PaleoFX 16

Primal Endurance book by Mark Sisson

The Vasper exercise device

The Versaclimber

Do you have questions, comments, or feedback for myself or Robb? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply.

How To 20x Yourself: Training & Anti-Aging Secrets Of One Of The Most Bad-Ass Navy SEAL Coaches On The Face Of The Planet.

lance podcast

This is a special bonus podcast episode with the guy you get to meet and hang out with if you come to the July 8, 9 and 10 SEALFit 20x event at my house!

Two years ago, I reported on my experience at the brutal SEALFit Kokoro camp, a 60+ hour crucible you can read more about at “26 Mile Night Hikes, Surf Swim Torture, 450 Pound Giant Logs And More: What To Expect at SEALFit Kokoro Camp And 9 Ways To Get More Tough.

In that article, I mention a guy named “Lance Cummings”. Coach Lance’s snarling face struck fear deep into the heart of every Kokoro participant in my class, and he is well known for being the man who dishes out extreme amounts of suffering and hardship for anybody brave enough to step into Kokoro.

But there’s much more to coach Lance Cummings than simply being a man who could kill you with his pinky finger.

Technically, Lance is director of training at SEALFit.

Before that, retired from Active Duty Navy Service with 30 years of combined Active and Reserve service. After graduating BUD/s Class 124 he deployed overseas in support of US Foreign Policy with six different SEAL teams on both the east and west coast. He served at the Naval Special Warfare Center as a Basic Underwater/SEAL (BUD/s) instructor where he earned his Master Training Specialist classification. He also worked several State Department Security Team contracts with private employers during his time in the Naval Reserves.

He left Active Duty in 1995 to pursue a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree, graduating in 2000 from Life Chiropractic College in Atlanta. While running a Chiropractic practice in Ga. and continuing to serve in the SEAL Reserves, he was recalled to Active Duty in January 2002 to deploy to the Middle East in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He made 7 subsequent Middle East deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq with three different SEAL Teams as well as contracting with Blackwater Security.

As the Training Officer at Naval Special Warfare Group 1, in charge of West Coast SEAL Team operational training and readiness, he helped establish the Human Performance Initiative, a tactical readiness assessment and evaluation testing system utilized by every SEAL team today.

Since retiring from the Navy in 2011, Lance has coached at SEALFIT Integrative Training, where he, Mark Divine, and numerous SEALs and selected civilian coaches conduct multi-day Academies, 20X, Kokoro Camps and custom team events, both locally and internationally.

His athletic accomplishments include hundreds of triathlons, multi-day adventure races (he once paddled from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal in 15 hours), endurance horse racing, and he has been a member of World Championship Teams in Military Pentathlon, Naval Pentathlon, Outrigger Canoe and Dragon Boat racing. He has won several Marksmanship awards in inter-service competition in both handgun and carbine categories, and also competes in Stand Up Paddle Board Racing, archery and mountain biking.

He continues his passion for Chiropractic, both with people and animal patients. He is certified in Cold Laser Therapy, Functional Mobility, Thermal Imaging, and is a registered Emergency Medical Technician.   His wife is a practicing Emergency Physician, and he also has nine year old twins.

His certifications and experiences include:

Honor Graduate, US Army Master Fitness Trainer Academy
SEAL Team Training Officer
Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician
NAUI Scuba Instructor
US Navy Master Training Specialist
Certified Veterinary Chiropractitioner
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Doctorate in Chiropractic, Life University, Marietta GA
BS Education, Southern Illinois University
American College of Sports Medicine Fitness Instructor
TRX Suspension Training Level 1, 2 and Sports Rehabilitation Trainer
Functional Movement Systems (FMS) Level II Certified
Structural Functional Movement Assessment Certified
US Military Pentathlon Athlete
US Navy Pentathlon Athlete
USA Mens Dragon Boat Team 2011, 2013, 2015 – Team physician and competitor
Outrigger Canoe USA/World Championship Teams

So the guy is a wealth of knowledge on not just survival and warfare, but also fitness, taking care of aging and injured bodies, pushing through pain and much more. During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What it feels like for Lance to be “the man” who strikes fear in the heart of all Kokoro participants…

-When Lance decided he wanted to be a SEAL…

-Whether Lance thinks he is simply “hardwired” differently from a genetics standpoint, or whether something happened during his childhood that made him a high achiever…

-Why Lance got into pentathlon (and this crazy Brazilian penthathlon video)…

-Lance’s story of paddling from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal in 15 hours…

-As one of the “fittest old dudes” I know, what Lance’s fitness program look like…

-How Lance pushes through pain…

-The top tools Lance uses as a chiropractor – tools people know little about, but should when it comes to enhancing recovery or managing injuries…

-What to expect at a SEALFit 20x event, and what can people expect at the Eastern Washington event at my house…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The SEALFit 20x physical standards

Erchonia laser practitioner directory

“The Mindful Athlete” book by George Mumford

The TRX Suspension trainer that Lance swears by

FMS Functional Movement Systems

My three part series on SEALFit Academy & Kokoro

The SEALFit events page

SEALFit Kokoro

The upcoming SEALFit 20X course at Ben Greenfield’s house

Do you have questions, comments, or feedback about anything that coach Lance Cummings and I discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply. And remember to click here if you want to get in on the upcoming SEALFit 20X course at Ben Greenfield’s house!

The Official Formula For A Perfect Day: How To Take Control & Own Your Life.

craig (1)

I get tons of questions about my daily routine. Do I meditate and if so, how? On which days do I do which workouts? How many cups of coffee are “acceptable”? When do I time alcohol intake? Do I have a special journaling routine? 

You get the idea. And I’ve already revealed all this and much more in previous articles…


My morning routine

My afternoon routine

My evening routine

But in today’s podcast, I interview Craig Ballantyne, author of the brand new book “The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life“. Why did I want to get Craig’s perspective? Because Craig is one accomplished dude…

Craig is a productivity and success transformation coach from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine since 2000, and his articles have also appeared in Women’s Health, Oxygen, GQ, Maxim, National Geographic, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness Hers, amongst many others. His articles have also been featured on,, and

In 2001, Craig created the popular home workout program, Turbulence Training, and in 2013 he created the Home Workout Revolution bodyweight exercise program. Over 100,000 men and women have used his 6 Minutes to Skinny weight loss system since 2014.

Craig is also the founder of the Certified Turbulence Training Program, certifying trainers from all corners of the globe. He holds an annual Turbulence Training Summit every year for fitness experts to become better trainers and get more clients so they make more money and live the Perfect Life.

Craig’s online success has led him to create books and a coaching program to show other gurus how to take their ideas and help thousands of people. He holds seminars around the world, and he teaches at the annual camp every summer in Lithuania.

Craig has had to overcome many obstacles on his journey to success, and his toughest battle was fighting crippling anxiety attacks. He finally discovered how to beat them with his 5 Pillars of Transformation, and today Craig shows men and women how to use the 5 Pillars to lose 10 to 75 pounds, get a raise and make more money, find the love of their life, and overcome any obstacle in the way of success.

On his website,, you’ll find his daily essays on success, productivity, time management, fitness, weight loss and self-improvement.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What it means to “control the morning”…

-What Craig thinks about the research that shows some people are better in the evening vs. the morning…

-How Craig meshes going to bed so early with social life…

-How Craig deals with travel potentially throwing him out of his routine…

-Why Craig avoids alcohol before bedtime and caffeine after 1pm…

-How Craig deals with e-mail, and the technique he uses to avoid e-mail until noon…

-Craig’s 10-2-3-1-0 formula for a perfect night of sleep…

-Why Craig calls the afternoon “chaotic”, and what you can do about it…

-Why a story of “the fisherman and the crabs” is important for you to know…

-The #1 action step you can take today to take control of your time and own your day…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life

Turbulence Training

My article on morning-evening peak productivity times

DeltaSleeper PEMF device

The Oura ring Ben uses (mention this podcast for free shipping)

The Boomerang app for email

idonethis app for managing teams/emails

Sunrise alarm clock

A secret page on Craig’s site that shows you how to get 75% less email

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for me or Craig about our “perfect day”? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Episode #351 – Full Transcript

Podcast #351 from

[0:00]                Introductions

[5:24]                Benefits of training in hot conditions

[8:53]                The greatest British sprinter

[16:03]              Effect of gluten on fat levels

[20:01]              Ben on Snapchat

[21:00]              Emulsified MCT Oil

[23:37]              C8 Form of MCT Oil

[24:35]              Chaga Mushroom

[26:07]              Harry’s Razor

[27:48]              Surprise Gift Boxes

[28:47]              Natural Grocers

[29:27]              Biohacker’s Summit in London

[31:00]              Paleo f(x) in Austin, Texas

[36:06]              PowerLung – resisted breathing device

[37:15]               Ben’s take on Captain Crush Hand Grip Strengthener

[40:22]              Compex and MarcPro – electrostimulation devices

[41:34]              “Deskbound” book by Kelly Starrett

[44:18]              “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans” book by Ben

[44:41]               Ben’s take on Germ Theory

[47:30]               Ben’s opinion about C-section

[48:20]              Probiotics are important for babies

[50:09]               Minimalist shoes or letting your kids go barefoot

[50:58]               What to do with electrical pollution to keep kids safe

[52:40]               Sleepy time bulbs for kid’s bedroom

[53:58]               Rough housing is good for the kids

[56:17]                The Healthy Baby Code Book and Better Baby Book

[59:30]               What Ben says about Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

[1:02:39]            Ben’s metabolic mobility routine

[1:04:35]            Supple Leopard Book

[1:04:55]            Voodoo flossing and traction

[1:06:11]             Kaatsu Training

[1:08:54]            Getting rid of RSI – food and supplement standpoint

[1:15:46]            5 things to avoid and 5 things to would eat before a workout

[1:26:52]           5-Star review on iTunes

[1:28:06]          Cold shower challenge

[1:30:45]           End of podcast

Introduction:  In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:  Secrets of the Fittest Old People, How to Stay Fit When You’re Sitting, My Top Healthy Baby Tips, How to Get Rid of Injuries Fast, What to Eat Before, During, and After Workouts, and much more!

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:                   Rachel, today is a very, very special day in the Greenfield household.

Rachel:              It is?  Why is that?

Ben:                   Uh, because today is the first day in the very long time that I’ve not been eating waffles.

Rachel:              (laughs) Waffles!

Ben:                   I have been, I’ve been…

Rachel:              Are so American.

Ben:                   … inundated with waffles.  My children, well, let me put this in the context.  My wife left for LA for about 4 days to go visit family, and so I was left with my 2 boys who are relatively obsessed and seemingly becoming more obsessed with the process of making various flavors and kinds of waffles.  Like our waffle iron is getting, getting used.

Rachel:              Really good use.  I saw, I saw some of the videos on social media.  They are epic! I can’t believe they can make those waffles themselves.

Ben:                   Well, yeah!  I woke up one morning and they had gotten out of bed before me, I mean, they must have been up at about 5:45, and I woke up to a giant stack of waffles next to my computer, and…

Rachel:              And, the video that they made completely without your help was incredible!

Ben:                   They did the waffle show, and then the night before mom got home, they wanted to have a waffle making contests, and this is where – if you’re listening in, things get interesting because I actually came up with what I would consider to be a pretty good waffle.  Uhm, you wanna hear what it is?

Rachel:              I would love to.  Here we go.

Ben:                   Okay.  So, here we go.  This is a protein-packed chocolate orange, gluten-free waffle, and it was very simple to make.  What I did was – and this was enough to make 2 waffles, so scale accordingly, you take a couple of scoops of protein powder, okay, I like to use chocolate because that gives the chocolate flavor.  If you don’t use chocolate, you could always just use like a little bit of dark chocolate stevia to make whatever protein powder that you choose more chocola-tey.  So, I used a couple of scoops of chocolate protein powder, in this case I used the hemp protein powder from Onnit, and then I used 1 egg beaten, I used a couple of tablespoons of coconut flour, as the flour of choice.  A little bit of olive oil added in so that the waffle didn’t actually stick to the pan.  One drop, just one drop of orange essential oil.  That’s where you get the orange flavor, and then just a little bit of salt, and of course a little bit of baking powder, and that’s it.  You stir it all up and you dump that into the waffle iron, and it makes this fantastic chocolate-orange protein gluten-free waffle.

Rachel:              That sounds delicious.

Ben:                   Which will post this by the way to Instagram, you can go to, and I’ll put a little photo up there, but there you have it.

Rachel:              Who won? Who won the contest?

Ben:                   We decided that it was, it was a tie.

Rachel:              (laughs)  How sweet River and Terran.

Ben:                   Yes!  One of them made gingerbread lemon, and one of them – I don’t – it was, it was so many ingredients that I believe we lost track of what exactly the title of the waffle was, but regardless they’re little chefs.  They will be, they will be by the way, for those of you who are gonna be at Paleo f(x), my kids are gonna be doing a cooking demo there, they’ve been working up a fantastic Japanese-Thai fusion recipe that I think is gonna blow peoples’ minds and so, we’ll talk about that perhaps a little bit later in this podcast but for now, let’s get on to the good stuff.  Shall we?

Special Announcements:

Ben:                   So, as it’s customary on the show, let’s start off with some of the latest science.  The latest cutting-edge science.  Here’s an interesting news study that found that for those of you out there who might happen to want to get some of the benefits of altitude training, right, like the increase in red blood cell production and hematocrit, and the increase in blood volume, or perhaps you’re training for like a race or competition at altitude.  They’ve recently published a new paper in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, and I’ll link to the full free text in the show notes.  So if you go to, for what they found is that when you train in the heat, right, when you train in a sauna or you do just training in hot weather, what happens is there is what’s called a cross acclimation effect.  So, what this means is that by training in hot conditions, you actually improve your performance at altitude.  And in this particular study what they did was they took a bunch of folks, and they had them do a series of cycling sessions and exercise sessions in the heat for 10 days. And what they found was that the group who exercised in the heat compared to a group that did traditional what would be called hypoxic training, right, where you hook yourself up to an air generator that removes the oxygen from the air to simulate altitude.  They found that the group that trained in the heat actually got results that were pretty similar to the group that did this hypoxic training, and they were able to have a good amount of performance at over 10,000 feet of elevation which is pretty significant.  And the proposed mechanism of action here was the production of these things called heat shock proteins.  So this is one of the reasons that I spend quite a bit of time in the sauna myself.  You know, I try and get into the sauna about 4 or 5 times a week for around 30 minutes or so, and these heat shock proteins, they defend yourselves from stress induced damage, and so if you repeated trigger this heat shock response, your body increases its level of heat shock proteins, and it appears that this heat shock proteins can somehow help you to perform better in conditions of hypoxia such as altitude.

Rachel:              Yeah.

Ben:                   So, it’s really, really cool adaptation or mechanism and if for example you live in a low elevation area but maybe you have a raise at high elevation or maybe you want to increase your blood cell production, maybe you live in Florida or something like that.  This research shows that you could just go out and train in the heat for a little while and be ready for the altitude.  So I thought that was kinda cool.

Rachel:              This cross acclimation mean that it works in a reserve as well if you train in altitude that you’d be more heated after?

Ben:                   Hmm, I like the way you’re thinking.  You know, I don’t know but I would imagine because altitude training can increase blood volume, and it may also increase the production of heat shock proteins that that could be true. It would be interesting to see the study in reverse though, wouldn’t it?  To see if folks who train in altitude could do better training or competing in the heat, so, yeah.  So I thought that was cool.  We’ll link to that study in the show notes.

                           Another really cool article that recently came out was in article in Esquire Magazine, or I’m sorry, it actually wasn’t in the Esquire Magazine, it was a Vice yeah, Vice.

Rachel:              Uhmm.

Ben:                   They talked about this guy who they described as the healthiest old person on the planet.  This guy’s name is Charles Eugster, and he’s a British sprinter.  So he’s got world records in the 200-meter and the 400-meter sprints as well as the British record in the 60-meter, the 100-meter, and the 200-meter, and the dude is 96 years old.

Rachel:              Uh-hmm.

Ben:                   Uhm, and he does a bunch of stuff, right.  He’s a body builder, he’s a rower, he’s a wake boarder, he’s got like a bunch of businesses, he’s even got his own clothing line that he’s designed, and the interview with him which I’ll link to in the show notes, it was really interesting, I thought there were a lot of cool takeaways from it, but one of the things that I thought was most interesting was when they ask him about his diet.  What he eats to stay in shape.  So, here’s what he says.  I’ll read this to you Rachel.  He says, “Variety is key.  I start everyday with a protein shake because as you get older, your protein synthesis no longer functions as well”, which by the way is true.  This is something I recommend to a lot of seniors that they take things like hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to allow them to get more amino acid absorption from their protein.  And he goes on, he says, “I avoid sugar and eat lots of meat especially fat.  Fat!  Piles of fat”.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   “Yet, I was in supermarket the other day and was perplexed to find yogurt with zero fat.  What on earth is that?  The idea of the nutrition pyramid where, at the top, is a little fat and meat, and at the bottom is a lot of carbohydrates, is excuse me, BS.  Humans are so unbelievably stupid that we have begun to tinker with food.”  He says, “Our theories of nutrition have resulted in a pandemic of obesity. Can you imagine a hunter-gatherer enjoying a low-fat diet? Let me tell you this, too: I read a report recently which said that a fatty diet increases your libido”.  So, really interesting and I love to study how old people who are fit and they happen just like amazing bodies, and are doing epic feats of endurance or even cognitive performance, how they do what they do, and I’m actually working on an article about this, and for those you listening in, you may or may not know this but every single week I published an article over on the website  And one of the articles that I’m working on right now is an article about some of these other folks who are fit, old people.  So there’s this guy, this is Charles Eugster, you know, we could say that perhaps one of his tips is to like, eat a lot of fatty foods, but you look at like Laird Hamilton, right, in my podcast interview with him one of the big takeaways from him was constantly learn new stuff.

Rachel:              Yeah.

Ben:                   What the dude’s garage is just full of skis and snowboards, jet skis and balance devices, and all these different tools to challenge his body and his brain, and develop new neuronal firing patterns because he’s constantly learning new stuff, and I think that, and you know, we have a short interview that we did with him on Facebook where that’s where he talks about is is he says that’s how he stays young and he’s just always experimenting and learning new stuff.

Rachel:              Can I tell you my favorite secret from this article?

Ben:                   Yeah.

Rachel:              He says…

Ben:                   You mean the article on Vice?

Rachel:              Yeah, the article on Vice.  This is really – this is the part that really stood out to me ‘cause it’s like so counter intuitive to me.  That he said that the reason why he started working out and getting healthy when he was 87 years old was because he was so vain.  And I said to myself, “Is vanity really the secret to a long life?”

Ben:                   Uhm, yeah.  I don’t know, it is interesting though that he didn’t start until he was 87.

Rachel:              Yeah!

Ben:                   This is why, you know why I, you know, I just started playing the ukulele, and like I would love to be just like an awesome at the ukulele by the time I’m 40, and you know things like this when I read about people who are 87 who just gets started give me quite a bit of motivation to know that it’s never too late to start something.

Rachel:              Definitely.

Ben:                   Uhm, yeah but there are other old guys like you look at Mark Sisson, right, and Mark Sisson’s philosophy is is you lift, move, and sprint, right.  His whole thing is every 7-10 days he does something that shoves his body into anaerobic mode, right, for him it’s ultimate Frisbee, but it could be a hard bike right uphill or treadmill high intensity but it’s not that often, it’s once every 7-10 days.  And then he does heavy weight lifting 1-3 times a week for just 7-30 minutes.  And then his last thing is he moves frequently at a slow pace, so he does like treadmill, work stations, and low level physical activity all day long.  So his whole day was lift, move, sprint, you know, Laird Hamilton is to learn new stuff.  There’s another guy named Don Wildman.  I don’t know if you’ve heard of this guy but Esquire Magazine did an article on him called the hardest workout in the world where he talks about this grueling, intense, multi-stage weight training routine that he does each week, and this guy also does mountain biking on this really hard trails in Hawaii, he does stand-up paddle boarding, he does big waves surfing, he does helicopter snowboarding, and now he’s about 80 years old, but one of my takeaways from this guy Don Wildman, is to pick something that’s kinda scares you right?  Pick something kinda epic, and this is something I live my life by right, like at least every quarter, at least 4 times a year, I try and pick something and put it in my calendar, something that scares me.

Rachel:              That’s awesome!

Ben:                   It makes me outside my comfort zone.  You know, like case and point this weekend I’ll be in Seattle and I’ll be doing this 12-hour hurricane heat where I show up at 10PM and it’s basically a Spartan race that goes until 10 AM, right?  I don’t really – like let’s put it this way, I would rather be at Pikes Market eating sushi and stayin’ in a nice hotel, but I know that when I go out of my comfort zone and I choose to do that epic, scary thing, it build this resilience that almost you know, kinda keeps you young.

Rachel:              Uhm, and you must almost get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

Ben:                   Uhm, you know what?  It’s hard when you’re doing it.  It really is.  It’s hard when you’re doing it, but when you finish and you feel like a god among men, or a goddess among women, it’s a cool feeling.  It’s a cool, cool feeling and it’s well worth the pain and the suffering that you go through, so.  We’ll link to this article in Vice, check it out and stay tuned for another article that I’m working on where I kind of like put together a lot of device from a lot of these old fit people.

Rachel:              I can’t wait for that one.  It sounds awesome.

Ben:                   Yeah.  And then finally, there was another really interesting study that looked into gluten.  And in particular the effect of gluten on fat levels.  So, obviously gluten-free diets have been pretty well researched for the removal of them being helpful for people who have autoimmune disease, or gluten intolerances or food allergies, but this particular study just wanted to look into whether even if you don’t have a food allergy or a food intolerance if gluten could cause weight gain.  And so what they took was uh, four groups of mice and they put one mice on just a standard diet.  One group of mice on a diet with about 4 and a half percent gluten intake.  One group of mice on a high fat diet, and then one group of mice on a high fat diet also with 4 and a half percent gluten intake.  And what they found was that gluten consumption caused increase weight and fat gain, and decrease metabolism regardless of the diet although the effects were more pronounced in the mice that were on a combination of a high fat diet that also included gluten.  And they also found that gluten consumption was associated with some changes in gene expression and inflammatory and metabolic markers in fat tissue.

Rachel:              So gluten doesn’t sound fun then.

Ben:                   Well, interestingly and we have to take in to account how much that they gave the mice but interestingly that the biggest thing that gluten seem to do was it shut down the activity of some of the lipases, and some of the enzymes responsible for mobilizing, and burning fatty acids even when a gluten tolerance or gluten allergy was not present.  Now, here’s one thing that we always have to look at when there is a study like this: a) it’s done in rodents and mice aren’t necessarily little people but it can give us clues, but b) a diet that is 4 and a half percent gluten, that doesn’t sound like much but that means that these mice were consuming the equivalent of 20 slices of whole wheat bread per day during the study, okay?  So you know, you always have to step back and look at the amount that that is being included in the diet, but this does you know, the takeaway from me is it does continue to motivate me to avoid some of these modern cultivated forms of wheat because the idea is that when you systematically cross breed wheat for higher yields, you concentrate the wheat-germa glutenin or the gluten content.  And so, this simply means that if you’re going to say eat bread or eat pasta, you would ideally choose what would be called ancient wheats, and you can find these kinda stuff online like uh, two examples would be einkorn wheat and emmer wheat.  Eincorn is spelled e-i-n-k-o-r-n, emmer is e-m-m-e-r, but these wheats have uh, because they haven’t been bread for high yield crop, they’re fewer chromosomes and they have a lower gluten content compared to basically modern wheat, bread wheat, commercial wheat which has more chromosomes and a higher concentration of gluten because it turns out that especially if you’re trying to you know, whatever, keep some 6-pack abs or keep ‘em up and top it bay that these study gives you a clue that gluten may not be your friend in that context even if you don’t have a food allergy or food intolerance to gluten.  So really interesting study. I’ll link to it in the show notes over at, but for those of you who are still doin’ wonder bread and subway sandwiches, you may wanna reconsider.

News Flashes:

Ben:                   So Rachel, this morning right before we started podcasting, I snap chatted.

Rachel:              You snap chatted?  You’re such a snap chatter now Ben.

Ben:                   I’m such a snap chatter.  That’s right.  I’m doin’ a lot of snap chatting. Like gym selfies, a lot of bathroom selfies, a lot of mirror selfies, a lot of abs selfies…

Rachel:              That hasn’t changed in like that… let’s be honest… (chuckles)

Ben:                   Yeah, you know, that’s from what I understand that’s how you make it big on snap chat is selfies.  So anyways, this morning I snap chatted my pre-podcast meal, and this morning I did – and it’s pretty rare that I actually do this.  Usually I have a big green smoothie, but I had a lot of food for dinner last night, right, so I wanted to eat a low calorie breakfast this morning.  So I just took some coffee, and some ice and just a little bit of chocolate powder, and a little bit of sea salt, and a little bit of dark chocolate stevia, and then the last ingredient that I put in was this new stuff called emulsified MCT oil.

Rachel:              Wooo!

Ben:                   So this emulsified MCT oil is a brand new stuff from one of the sponsors of today’s episode Onnit.  And the idea behind this emulsified MCT oil is it blends extremely thoroughly without you having to necessarily beat your coffee to hell with a latte frother or with a blender.  Now, it’s still just MCT oil, right, it’s coconut sourced MCT, bypasses digestion, gets burned extremely readily as a fuel, results in enhance production of ketones.  That’s the whole idea behind this MCT, but this stuff is really delicious, and it’s brand new.  They have a vanilla flavor, they have a coconut flavor, and they have a strawberry flavor, and it’s easy-peasy.  It’s just like in this little squeeze bottle and you squeeze it in to whatever you want to put it in like smoothie or yogurt, I mean, you could put it on toast or you could put on fruit or whatever, but it’s really tasty and everybody who’s listening in, you get 10% off this stuff.  Actually, you know what?  They’re having a sale right now.  So technically, it’s 20% off.

Rachel:              What?

Ben:                   But you go to, and I would recommend that you check this stuff out.  Just grab yourself a bottle and try it.  What I’ve been using is the creamy coconut flavor.  So the creamy coconut.

Rachel:              Uhm, hey Ben, question on that.  Quick one.  Why does MCT oil make me sick?

Ben:                   Uh, how much are you using?

Rachel:              Like a tablespoon or less.

Ben:                   Yeah, that’s interesting.  Some people, it can cause some stomach issues.

Rachel:              And nothing else in the world causes me stomach issues apart from MCT oil.  It’s bizarre.

Ben:                   So if you want the brain boosting benefits of medium-chained triglycerides without the gut distress, and you simply get gut distress when you consume MCT’s, you get 2 options: number 1 is prior to using anything that has medium-chain triglycerides in it, you use a digestive enzyme, and you want that digestive enzyme to have lipase in it, ‘cause lipase is gonna help you with the breakdown of some of those fats.  The other thing that can really help in a digestive enzyme if you have difficulty with breaking down fats is bile extract.  All right?

Rachel:              Ughh!

Ben:                   So there are certain… Yeah, I know it sounds nasty and by the way, speaking of Onnit, they sell a digestive enzyme called Digest Tech that have both of those things in a lipase and uh, and bile extract, and the other thing would be, use a specific form of MCT that is known for not producing digestive distress, and that would be what is called the C8 form of MCT.

Rachel:              Okay.

Ben:                   Example of this would be something called Brain Octane.  The Bulletproof Company, they make this stuff called brain octane, and people who don’t do well with other forms of MCT, actually do quite well with the brain octane stuff.  So that will be another option.

Rachel:              All right!  I’ll try that out.  Thank you!

Ben:                   There you go.  Uhm, I’ll just send you a bill, for consulting. (chuckles)

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   This podcast is also brought to you by Four Sigmatic Foods, and this is the company based out of Finland that makes this potent, dual-extract mushroom compounds.  So, the one that I probably use most frequently ‘cause I’m just like uh, I’m always nervous by getting sick.  I just don’t wanna get sick.

Rachel:              Yup, yup.

Ben:                   So there is this black gold mass that grows on birch trees.  It’s called chaga mushroom and it is just an antioxidant bomb.  It’s got the most powerful anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agents of any of the mushroom compounds that are out there, and what Four Sigmatic Foods does is they dual-extract it, so they alcohol before, they water extract it, so you’ll get all the different compounds from chaga that can fight infections and bacteria, and cold and virus, and what I do, it’s this little green packet.  I keep it in the pantry, and all I do is I open it up and I dump it into the coffee in the morning.  So you know, and I’ve talked on the podcast before and I’ll go back and forth from the coffee I just described to like Kimera Koffee, the regular coffee, whatever, but almost every morning I put just like 1 pack of this chaga in there and just as a little bit of insurance.  So the cool thing is it’s got minty in it too, so it’s got a little bit of a soothing effect on the stomach.  So you get 20% off this stuff if you go to 4, I’m sorry, 15%.  I lied.  Fifteen percent., that’s the word four, f-o-u-r, or you just go to the link we’ll put in the show notes.  And the coupon code is “Ben Greenfield”, so they’ve got all sorts of cool stuff, but I tried their chaga.  It’s pretty good.

Rachel:              Yum.

Ben:                   And then finally, let me tell you about this German factories.  So they’ve got this factories in Germany that grind high-grade steel into blades.  And the final sponsor of today’s show, harry’s, what they’ve done is they’ve sourced this blades and they’ve created this 5-blade razor that is a fraction of the cost of a drugstore razor and attached to this rubberized non-slip grip handle called The Truman Handle.  And it’s just like, you know, it’s like drivin’ a BMW on your face.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   That’s how I describe it.  And I probably didn’t sound very pleasant, but it’s German engineering on a razor.  I mean, it’s high quality, and it’s kinda cool, you’re reaching to your bathroom door, and just wrap your hands around this ergonomic handle and shave, and it’s like silky smooth blade running on your face.  They just work, and I wouldn’t be talkin’ about it if I didn’t personally use ‘em, and I love their stuff!  So, you get 5 bucks off.  They’ve got this Truman starter set which is the razor handle, moisturizing – paraben and phthalate free, shaving cream – it’s got like aloe vera and stuff in it, and then 3 of these German engineered razors.  And you just use promo code “Ben”, so go to and you use promo code “Ben” and you get a 5 bucks off the fine, fine harry’s razor, so.

                           Couple other things by the way before we jump into today’s Q and A, we have 3 surprise gift boxes left.  This is where I collect biohacking gear, nutrients, smart drugs, anything else that’s really cool that I wanna send you, and I put it in a box and I choose about 300 box worth of gear usually I sign a copy of my book, I put that in there, ton of stuff, and send it to your front doorstep.

Rachel:              Awesome!

Ben:                   So, you can grab one of those at, right now we have 3 in stock.  I know that doesn’t sound like much but these are just little special boxes that I put together each week.

Rachel:              Like Christmas in April.

Ben:                   It’s like Christmas in April, or whenever you happen to be listening to this episode.

Rachel:              (Chuckles)

Ben:                   Two other things I wanna tell you about: first of all, these are upcoming events.  Actually three, three.  I lied.  Keep lying.

Rachel:              Stop lying Ben.

Ben:                   So the first is, for those of you who live in or near Spokane.  There’s a brand new grocery store opening called Natural Grocers, and I’m gonna be speaking there on little known easy to find foods in the grocery store aisle that burn fat.  So that’s gonna be May 11th that I’ll be speaking there, and I’ll put a link in the show notes for you to get in.  I try and record it for those of you who aren’t lucky enough to live in Spokasikstan, but that’s natural grocers,  Check them out ‘cause they kinda like a uh mom and pop version of whole foods, you know, there’s little less corpory I guess but check ‘em out, natural grocers.  So, May 11th for those of you in Spokane, I’ll be speakin’ there.  Uhm, London, I’m gonna be speaking in London and a brand new movie, called Supercharged is going to premier there at the Biohacker’s Summit in London.  I am a star of that film.  It’s the first time I’ve been – actually, it’s not the first time I’ve been a movie star.  I was in a teen romance movie back in the day.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   It’s like a decade ago.

Rachel:              Fun facts about Ben.

Ben:                   It’s called Teenage Dirtbag.  You could finally find it on IMDB…

Rachel:              Oh my god, I will definitely gonna check it out.

Ben:                   A punch like hot and make out scenes and stuff.

Rachel:              Oh my god!  How we don’t know about this?

Ben:                   If you wanna see me in action, go look out ‘em with me. (chuckles)  Uhm, yeah this was back when I was a bodybuilder and they wanted like uh you know, a hunk or whatever to put scene in a movie, and so…

Rachel:              (laughs) Oh Ben, you are a hunk.

Ben:                   Anyways, if you wanna see me makin’ out in the big screen with a variety of women, go look up the movie, Teenage Dirtbag.  Anyways though, this movie is different, it’s called Supercharged.  You can go to, or you can go to the link in the show notes, you can get a discount on that ticket to Supercharged along with an opportunity to go and check out this awesome biohacking conference in London that I’m gonna be at, and bunch other folks who gonna be at: Jack Kruse and Dr. Rhonda Patrick, bunch of folks who’ll be speaking there.  So check out the Biohacker’s Summit in London.

Rachel:              It’s gonna be a massive weekend.

Ben:                   Yeah.  And then finally, Paleo f(x) like I mentioned, my kids are gonna be there, Rachel’s gonna be there, my wife is gonna be there, I’ll be there speaking.  It is in my opinion the best health and fitness event in America, in Austin, Texas.  Good barbeque, good partying, good fun.  You don’t have to be paleo, you can eat all the bread you want and still go, and still benefit, but it’s just a fantastic event.  You know, they’ve got fitness course, they’ve literally dozens and dozens of the best speakers on the face of the planet, and you can get in if you go to  That’s  There a bunch of other upcoming events, and we will link to all of them in the show notes at, if you want to take part in anything else coming up because there are bunch of other things from the ancestral health symposium to the Finland biohacking event, to the room we get away in Costa Rica to everything else that occurring over the place of the planet that I’m gonna be at, and that you should be at too or else you suck.  So, that being said, let’s jump in to the Q and A.

Listener Q & A:

Dougie:             Good day, Ben!  Dougie Boxall over here from Yarra Junction, Australia.  I’ve got a question pertaining to sedentary behavior this time.  Now, I’ve heard you talked and write a lot about how sitting, and not only sitting but also staying in the same position for an extended period of time could have deleterious effects on the human body.  Now, unfortunately due to where I live I’m forced to drive at about minimum of 60 minutes a day, usually everyday of the week usually 4-6 days a week but sometimes the whole week everyday.  So that means I’m sitting, and more importantly I’m staying in the same position for at least 60 minutes a day just a bit everyday.  Now, I really thought hard a bit but I can’t seem to decrease more sedentary behavior or sitting time, and I’d really like to ask you if you have any ideas on how to combat this.  Thanks for listening, and keep up the great work.

Rachel:              Dougie is an Aussie!  Like Dougie tweets you 10 tweets at once.  He’s that guy.

Ben:                   Do they name people… is that his handle or footer?

Rachel:              Dougie.

Ben:                   Dougie?

Rachel:              Uhmm, it’s Dougie Boxall, I think.

Ben:                   Dougie.

Rachel:              His name would be Douglas, but…

Ben:                   I like Dougie.

Rachel:              Yup.

Ben:                   That’s pretty cool.  If I – if I have athletic, like a pet or somethin’ like a nice dog, and then Dougie.  Doug, Dougie is a cool name.  It’s badass.

                           Uhm okay, so here’s the deal Doug, you can’t necessarily stand up, you gotta sit down, what do you do?  I’ve got some suggestions for ya’.  So first of all, different positions when you’re sitting or different contractions when you’re sitting.  So for example, some of the things that I will do whether I’m sitting on an airplane or I’m sitting in a car is that I will keep my hip flexors from being shortened, and the way that you do that is you place some kind of lumbar support behind your back whether it’s a pillow or rolled up blanket, or rolled up coat, or whatever you can use to keep your hips or your hips flexors from shortening.  You can also kinda arch your low back, squeeze your glutes, and push your hips forward and up, and you can do repeats of that, right, like almost like thrusting like air thrusting, right, air humping in your car.  Do the vehicle based air humping, whether you’re at your desk or in your car.  And that will keep those hip flexors that tend to get short from shortening, and being in that state that cause low back pain and a lot of other bio-mechanical issues when you’re driving.  So that’s one that I’ll do on an airplane…

Rachel:              You air thrust on an airplane?

Ben:                   …in a car, air humping… that’s one good one to do along with the lumbar support.  The next thing that I’ll do is, I’ll work on shoulder alignment and shoulder posture by doing steering wheel rows.  What this means is you hold on to the steering wheel at 10 and 2 as you learn in driving instruction class, you pull yourself in towards the steering wheel, nice and slow as your breathe in, and then you breathe out, and you push yourself away from the steering wheel.  It’s not dangerous.  It really it is.  It’s not that hard to do, but you can go through repeats of this, right, almost like a very slow, super slow contraction where you put yourself into the steering wheel and push yourself out focusing on your using your shoulder blades more than your biceps to pull and push on the steering wheel.  So that’s another one that works quite well for the upper body postural alignment.  The next thing would be your diaphragm and your inspiratory and expiratory muscles.  Now, this I like this thing called a PowerLung.  I keep one in the glove box of my car, and this is a resisted breathing device that resist both your expiration and your inspiration.  And so what I’ll do for this, and this is actually the program and recommended training session from the PowerLung website, is you do 10 repetitions of 3 seconds out, and 3 seconds in.  And then you’ll take a breather for a little while and do another 10 repetitions of 3 seconds out, 3 seconds in.  The PowerLung has the ability to increase the inspiratory resistance, and also the expiratory resistance so depending on how hard you feel it is, you know, you don’t wanna turn blue in the face and pass out when you’re driving unless you wanna windup on the front page of the newspaper for whatever town you happen to be driving through.  But the PowerLung works quite well, and will get you fewer funny looks than wearing a training mask while you drive.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   So that’s another one that I liked to use, so we’ve got the hip flexors that we’re working, we’ve got the shoulder muscles that we’re working, we’ve got the diaphragm like the inspiratory and the expiratory muscles that we’re working, another one that I’ll use when I’m driving is I have 2 different devices.  I have what’s called a Captain of Crush Hand Grip Strengthener along with what’s called a Hand Expander, and on Amazon they have a package where you can order a Captains of – they’re both been with the same company but the hand expander are little bands that you attached to your fingers, and you expand your hands against those bands, and then the grip strengthener device, the Captains of crush is just what it sounds like, like a device that you squeeze.  And when you do this, when you do the expand your hand bands along with the Captains of crush,  what you’ll find is that it’s not just your grip that you’re working, you’ll find that your entire body tends to tense a little, and one of the things that I’ll do is I squeeze the Captains of crush, or I’ll open my hands against this hand expander bands and at the same time I will do a kegel contraction.  So I’ll squeeze my sex organs, right like you’re stopping the flow of urine, and do that the same time that you’re squeezing the hand grip strength in the device for expanding the hands, and you’ll get this full body contraction.

Rachel:              Yeah.

Ben:                   And again a lot of these stuff sounds humorous but there are people, you know, there are trackers, there are frequent travelers, there are people like Doug who have to sit for a long periods of time, you would be surprise at how fit you can get your body even when you are relegated having to be in a seated position when you start to use some of these little tips.  And I’ll go on a road trip where or maybe I will land when I’m traveling somewhere and have a 2-hour drive, right, where I land in San Francisco and I got to drive up the coast to whatever triathlon or Spartan race or something like that.  And I’ll just sit in the car and you know, for 5 minutes I do the PowerLung for the next 5 minutes, I’ll do the Captains of crush with hand expander band for the next 5 minutes, I’ll pull myself into the steering wheel, and push myself away from the steering wheel.  I’ll do 10 air thrust with my hips and just do it like a circuit as you drive.  So, all of these things can really add up when it comes to combating the effects of sedentary time.

Rachel:              Uhmm.

Ben:                   Now, couple of other things.  You can always use something like electrostimulation device, and these are devices that have been proven not just to increase blood flow to an injured area but also to maintain muscular fitness when you attached this electrodes to specific body part, and you work that body part.  And so, I even done this before when driving for example to a race where you want to arrive at the race and have lots of blood flow in your muscles.  So you’ll attached like this electrodes to your quads, and run and sit on your quads, then your hamstrings and run and sit on your hamstrings, and they actually do work, uhm, obviously a little bit more of an expense compared to a hand grip strengthening device or an elastic band, but 2 examples would be the Compex or the MarcPro device and I know we get a discount on a Marcpro device.  I’ll put that in the show notes for you, but electrostimulation, if you spend a lot of time driving, it’s a very, very simple to use and you can attach them to like low back to quads to shoulders, to biceps and they can maintain fitness in those areas even when you are driving.  And I take them on airplanes, especially for international flights, I’ll nap with for example electro is attached to my right and my left calf when I’m on an airplane, and it keeps blood flowing up and down your calves and you could wear compression socks too.  And you can like you can pull the socks up and over these electrodes but it’s kinda cool.

Rachel:              That’s a brilliant idea.

Ben:                   Yeah, how much different you feel when you use something like this after you’ve been sedentary.  It’s just, my opinion better living through science, you take it out of your bag before it goes to the security scanner, you know through TSA or whatever, and usually nobody gives a fiddle about it as long as you take it out of your bag before you bring it through the scanner.

Rachel:              Right.  So you don’t try to hide anything.

Ben:                   Yes, it doesn’t look like this bag of tangled wires inside your carry-on which tends to raise some eyebrows.  The final tip that I would give you is there is a brand new book that I just finished reading.  It’s called Deskbound, and it’s written by Kelly Starrett who also wrote the book Becoming A Supple Leopard, and there are a variety of different tips in there for a sitting position like bracing yourself correctly as you are in a sitting position, a tips for standing work stations, tips for mobilizing with like golf balls and lacrosse balls, specific areas that tend to get tight when you’re sitting.  It’s just chockfull like every tip that you’d ever need to have proper ergonomics and biomechanics whether you’re sitting in a car, or whether you’re standing at a standing work station, and it’s just chockfull of photographs, right, it’s like the uh, Kamasutra for people who have to sit or stand for long periods of time, and different positions that you can be in, uhm really, really great book.  Kelly is a brilliant guy and I would highly recommend anybody who uses a desk or who sits on a car like Dougie does or sits in airplane.  You should own this book.  Very, very simple to read, I got through it in a couple of days, it’s called Deskbound by Kelly Starrett.  And just like his other book, it’s kinda like a cookbook really, like I’ve been sitting for a while and my calves bug me, and then he’ll show you what my because in the calf pain, how to get rid of it, how to adapt your work place, you know., uhm really good book, so that’s one called Deskbound, I’ll put a link to this along with the other things that I just talked about at, but Dougie, I hope that helps.

James:              Hi Ben, my name is James.  My wife and I just had our first child and I would like to know what are some of the things you did with your boys to make sure they’re flourishing and healthy?  Thanks very much.

Ben:                   Well, I admit I was actually a little bit scared about how my boys were gonna look when they came out.

Rachel:              You were?

Ben:                   Yeah.

Rachel:              ‘Cause they look like aliens?

Ben:                   So I did like my first Ironman triathlon, right? And after I did my first Ironman triathlon my wife and I thought, well okay, you know, I got that under my belt.  Something epic, maybe we should have babies now.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   Or a – a baby rather.  And so, the very first time that we tried, we conceived, and my concern was that maybe an Ironman really messes up your sperm and your DNA, and I’m gonna have little freaks.  You know, when they actually do come out.

Rachel:              Yeah, and then that you probably would anyway ‘cause…

Ben:                   Yeah, they turned out to be beautiful baby boys! Yeah! Nah, I’m not… they’re little adonises.  But yeah, we certainly did quite a few things to really give them a step-up in life, and I can tell you some of the things that we did.  You know, I wrote this little book called “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans”, and I talked about some of the steps in the book and there’s some other things that I wanna tell you about it as well.  Probably the number 1 tip I can give anyone out there whether you just had a baby or whether you have a child who’s just a few years old, is you really need to understand this concept of germ theory.  Germ theory meaning that we live in an era where there is an infatuation with healthy hygiene, and in many cases that can ruin or delay the strengthening of a child’s immune system which is incredibly important because a healthy intestinal environment, means that your kid is going to have a healthier brain, healthier neurotransmitter production, get sick less often, have better bacterial profile in terms of like their skin, and their gut microbiome, so I would say you know, if I could pick one thing to throw a dirt at as like the most important thing to do for a child, it would be that.  Now, some of the things that you can do, first of all to take care of that pre-natally, is they’ve done a little bit of research.  So one of the things, speaking of gluten is that they’ve done studies in rodent showing that a gluten-free diet actually increases the gut barrier function of the offspring.  And so, that would be one thing if you’re pre-natal would be you know, we’ve talked about gluten and again, I’m not a gluten freak, I’m not one of those guys who there’s like you know, freaks out of my kids have a cupcake or whatever, but if you’re pre-natal, avoiding gluten could be a good idea along with taking probiotics and eating fermented foods.  They found bacteria and things like amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood in the placenta and they do know that colonization of a fetus’s gut begins in the womb, and maternal probiotic usage directly affects the gut microbe of the fetus.  So, if you are a mom, you should be going out of your way to do things like sauerkraut, and kimchi and, yogurts and like a good therapeutic grade probiotic, and those type of things.  So, consider that during birth, my kids were born via C-section.  What they’ve shown is that when a child is born via C-section, it takes 7 years for their gut to develop as healthy a microbiome as a child who is born vaginally and is able to, as gross as this may seem, swallow a little bit of mom’s feces as they coming through and going out.  Like that’s how a child’s microbial colonization begins is that basically have a little bit of a fecal feeding.

Rachel:              I just learn something that I can never take back.  Thanks Ben.

Ben:                   Uhm, but I mean, there’s – I’ve got a gal comin’ on the podcast pretty soon, and we’re gonna talk all about all the most recently research on fecal transplants, and poop pills reversing irritable bowel syndrome and colitis, and how therapeutic it can be, but it turns out that if you were born vaginally, you probably don’t have much of a need for something like that.  So avoid unnecessary C-section, right? If you don’t need a C-section, don’t get one, ideally.  And in the event that you do have a C-section, give your child probiotics.  So we did this with our children.  You can actually use infant probiotics and you can also use smaller doses of just regular adult probiotics to colonize a child’s gut.  And of course, you don’t have to go out and buy pills and capsules, you know, one of the other things that we did quite a bit of with our children was we had access to raw cow’s milk and raw goat’ milk.  Two things that are very successful in terms of probiotics and in this case my wife was a member of what’s called The CSA where she took turns with 6 other women who would drive out to a local farm every week and bring back raw goat’s milk and a raw cow’s milk from a good lean farm.

Rachel:              Awesome!

Ben:                   And we would give that to our children, and of course, breast milk contains probiotics as well but once the breast feeding is done with, you can use goat’s milk and cow’s milk, is great sources of probiotics along with fermented foods.  There’s no reason that that you can’t include things like chocked out and blended sauerkrauts, and kimchi, and things like that in a child’s baby food.  And so, what my wife would do was she’d take fermented foods and she’d blend them with things like fresh, organic fruits and fresh vegetables, and she’d flash freeze these in little trays and keep ‘em in the freezer, and just pull them out when she wanted to thaw them and give the kids a little meal.

Rachel:              Hmm, brilliant!

Ben:                   So, yeah.  Probiotics are really important.  Few other things from a post-neo standpoint is you know, when we looked at this germ theory, a lot of these stuff is you know, kinda like “keep it simple, stupid”, right, let them play outdoors.  I’ve talked about this before but dirt, dirt is full of microbes and it’s really important that your kids make mud pies and play in the garden soil, and get out in the dirt, and get out in sandboxes, and play in the playground.  And they found that kids who do that actually have lower amounts of intestinal permeability, meaning that they have a healthier gut lining when they get out, and of course they’ll gonna get plenty of vitamin D as well.

Rachel:              Yeah!

Ben:                   Super important.  They’ve shown that kids who play with other kids who get exposed to farm animals, who like eat their own boogers, and who don’t get exposed to a lot of antibiotics and antibacterial hand soaps, these kids that get exposed to dirt, they’re healthier.  So, so let your kid get dirty like…

Rachel:              Let your kid eat their boogers.

Ben:                   Yeah.  This whole concept of germ theory that is the most important thing that I recommend.  So that’s the number 1 thing.

There were few other things that we did: first of all, they’ve shown that the loading patterns of a child’s foot early in life actually affects the shape of for example, their – the cavity that their lungs are in along with their hip biomechanics and their knee biomechanics later in life.  And so minimalist shoes or letting your kids be barefoot as much as possible, is actually something that is very important.  And so our kids were barefoot a lot, and we use a lot of kid’s based-minimalist shoes like companies like Vibram and Merrell, and Nike Free like they all do this thin-soled shoes, and I would highly encourage you to have your child barefoot as much as possible, and once they do start wearing shoes, have ‘em go with minimalist.

Rachel:              Uhmm.

Ben:                   What else do we do?  We’re very careful with electrical pollution, so when my kids were born I started using an electrical timer on the Wifi, meaning you can get this little digital wall timers off Amazon that you can program and it will automatically turn off whatever is plugged-in to that outlet at the time that you’ve chosen, and then turn it back on at the time that you’ve chosen.  Now, in my current house, I don’t have Wifi at all, right? Like I just have Ethernet cable, that’s it.  And because I have the privilege of having built this house, I just hard-wired all the rooms with Ethernet, so there is no Wifi, but when my kids were born we lived in this little home where I have a Wifi router, and so I had it automatically turn off at 10pm and turn it again at 6am so that my kids while they were sleeping weren’t getting exposed to these Wifi signals.  And in addition if I ever give them my phone to play with, whether they wanna like mess around with Snapchat ‘cause you can make funny things with Snapchat or they wanna play a little game, always in airplane mode, right?  And they still do that, I explain to them, you know, a child’s thinner skull rapidly dividing neurons, rapidly dividing cells, they’re going to be more susceptible to some of the damage of that Wifi and Bluetooth, and constant electrical radiation and pollution can cause.  And so, my kids know from the time they were young, I’d put the phone in airplane mode, and now when they’re using the phone, or playing around with the phone, and they don’t need a connection for what they’re doing, the phone’s always in airplane mode.  So, phone, Wifi, be careful with that stuff.

Few other things that we did: there’s a company called Lighting Science that makes special bulbs that don’t produce a lot of blue light wave spectrum, and they’re healthy baby bulbs and you can put them, I think they call them Sleepy Time Bulbs, you can put them in your child’s bedroom as the main source of light in the child’s bedroom.  So that’s Lighting Science that makes those.  What that does is just it’s easier on a child’s melatonin production, it enhances their sleep cycles, and so we use those in the kid’s bedroom rather than opting for regular light bulbs.  So we use a specific type of light bulb, and I’ll link to the one that we use in the show notes.  I have to remember the name of it.

Rachel;              I think it is Lighting Science.  You can get it at Amazon, right?

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  Sleepy Baby, Sleepy Baby Bulb, is what it’s called.  The Sleepy Baby Bulb is called the biological LED lamp.  And so, rather than using regular lights in the kids bedroom, you use this lighting science sleepy baby bulb.  So, I’m writing a note to myself to make sure that I’ll link to the correct one in the show notes for ‘ya.

Rachel:              And if I wanna be a sleepy baby I can just use that in my room.

Ben:                   You can use them in all bedrooms too, actually that’s my wife and I have.  You know, we have little lights next to our bed stand, and that’s what we use the sleepy baby bulbs, so.

Uhm, a few other things that we do with our kids: a ton of rough housing.  A lot of fighting, a lot of rough housing.  They’ve shown that kids who rough house a lot when they’re young tend to be less violent and more socially adapted.  You know, as ironic as that may seem as they aged, and so I wean out of my way from the time my children were young, your boys and girls would benefit from this.  You know, fighting, rough housing, wrestling, uhm, now my kids are in jiu jitsu, but basically giving children a chance to tussle and to wrestle, and not only do you get the ability for a child to be a little bit more open to physical touch, and a little bit better able to respond to whatever bullying, violence, etcetera, but you also get a big dump of ocytoxin, this feel good hormone when you’re touching your children.  And when my children are in diapers, touching their skin, wrestling, rolling around, just lots of movement, and they’ve got – if you’re not into jiu jitsu, fighting and stuff like that, they’ve got classes like baby yoga, you can workout like we use to swim, my wife and I would go to the pool and we’d swim.  We put our kids on our back when we swam, right.  We’ve laps back and forth and our kids would just be along for the ride.

Rachel:              That’s awesome.

Ben:                   And when we are traveling, my wife and I would always use our kids as weights.  So we would do walking lunges, and then we do pushups, and then we do body weight squats, and then we do V-ups on the floor but all these different moves with the kids.  So it’s like, the child is having a great time, right, ‘cause they’re almost getting like massage, and again they touch the parents, and you’re working out at the same time plus they’ve shown that the child who sees their parents working out tends to perceive themselves to be a fitter child.  They’ve done some really interesting studies on this that have shown that the more fit and physically active the child sees the parent being the more fit and physically active, the child will be.

Rachel:              Make sense!

Ben:                   So, those are few of the things that we did that I think were big wins.  And I will link to my little book, you know, it’s super-fast book.  It takes 45 minutes to read called “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans”.  I’ll put a link to that in the show notes.  There’s 2 other resources that I want to give to you that I would recommend you read: Dave Asprey wrote a book called “The Better Baby Book”.  Really good book when it comes to almost like biohacking your baby’s diet, and their bedroom, and a lot of little things that I  haven’t even have the chance to go into my response to James, so  I recommend that James, you check out that book.  And then another really good smart physician named Kris Kresser.  Kris Kresser has this program, it’s like an online program, it’s called the “Healthy Baby Code”, where he goes over the best micronutrients to make sure that you get your kids some super foods that help to boost fertility, and encourage a safe delivery for a baby.  The different types of solid foods to introduce and in which order, how to manage some of the stress and some of the potential health issues that could occur in the mom during pregnancy, a bunch of like breast feeding tips in there.  Just a really, really cool, it’s called “The Healthy Baby Code ‘cause that’s exactly what it is.  So he’s a super-duper smart dude, I like that program, and if I were gonna like push the rewind button and have a baby, those 2 resources didn’t exist when we had our  children but I certainly wish they had.  So that’s Kris Kresser’s, Healthy Baby Code and then Dave Asprey’s Better Baby Book, my book “Ten Ways to Grow Tiny Super Humans”.  I’ll link to all these stuff in the show notes for you but hopefully that helps when your child grows up to be president of the United States of America, you can send me a check or give me a fat tax refund.

Neale:                Hi Ben, it’s Neale from Calgary Alberta, Canada.  I’ve got – been having issues with one repetitive strain, pain in my shoulder, and also pain in my hip.  I had it scanned and it looks like I have a spurs started in my hip region.  Just wondering if you can give me any suggestions to get these 2 things sorted out either using supplementation or anything food related.  I’m currently doing a low-carb, high-fat diet swap over about a year, just over a year ago.  Seems to be going well, but I just want to get running again consistently and wonder if you can give me some suggestions to fix my issue.  Thanks Ben.  You’re doing a great job.  Love your show, love your podcast, got your book, awesome stuff.  Keep it up.  Thanks Man!

Ben:                   So you know what RSI is, Rachel?

Rachel:              Repetitive strain injury.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Repetitive strain injury.  Some people call it repetitive stress injury but yeah, it’s doing the same thing over and over again, right?  Like for example, case in point for me, I just started kneeling more at my work station rather than standing.  I just wanted to push things up, and all of a sudden after week of kneeling, guess what? I started to get like chronic butt pain in my right butt cheek, and I realized that I just like slightly rotate my right pelvis back when I’m kneeling, and it puts a little bit of strain on that right butt cheek and I’ve developed like a little bit of almost like tendonitis on my right butt cheek and that’s technically, you know, just from kneeling for a week a repetitive stress injury.  And you know, we see this especially in like chronic repetitive motion athletes, right, like cyclist developed piriformis syndrome where the front of their hip flexors tighten up, or runners get plantar fasciitis or achilles tendinitis or swimmers get shoulder pain, list goes on and on.  As far as my suggestions for how to get things sorted out, how to get rid of injuries fast, I’ve got a few techniques that I personally use.  I’ll give you some of them from a nutrition standpoint, and also from a movement standpoint.  So, the first thing that I’d recommend that you do: step number 1 is deep tissue work.  So, there is this idea of the cumulative injury recycle.  What that means is when you have friction and pressure and tension that arises primarily from cross adhesions, from cross linking in your fascia – the sheath that surrounds all the muscle fiber in your body.  What happens is you get decrease circulation, right? Like hypoxia and decrease blood flow to an area which actually tends to create even more pressure or tension.  And eventually what happens is that muscle becomes weak or tight from that lack of circulation and from that constant pressure or tension, and you get to a certain point where become so weak or tight that it develops little micro tears, okay.  These micro tears result in chronic inflammation, so they’ve got a combination of inflammation and decrease circulation and constant pressure and tension, and eventually your body begins to lay down scar tissue in that area.  And scar tissue is very immobile, and so you develop the scar tissue and that leads to even more tension because scar tissue is this immobile, and you get this vicious cycle that gets worse, and worse, and worse as it goes, so the trick is logically, right, you wanna decrease pressure and tension, you wanna decrease inflammation, and you want to increase circulation to an area so that you get rid of that cumulative injury cycle.  Now, one of the things that I personally do to avoid repetitive strain injuries is, every morning when I get up I do about 10-15 minutes of deep tissue work.  Now, I recently posted 2 Youtube – if you go to, what I call my metabolic mobility routine.  It’s me and my underwear doing a bunch of jumping jacks and burpees, and stuff like that in between hittin’ up the foam roller, like with the rigidstic amount of it, massage ball – I’ve got this little vibrating massage ball, what’s called a Battle Star, which is like a rolling polyurethane, super-duper hard type of roller that really digs in to muscle tissue, and then an arm aid which is this thing that you can use on like your triceps, and your biceps, and your wrist.  And I’ll do that once a week, okay?  And then that takes about 30-60 minutes depending how long ago.  I do about 10-15 minutes every morning, and then once a week I get a massage, okay? So, I’m getting deep tissue work for good probably 2-3 hours every single week.  I know some people, there are some really good crossfitters I know, some of the people who are some of the top rank guys and gals in the crossfit games, they will do multiple times a week up to 2 hours of massage as in soft tissue work.  I mean, and sometimes when you’re really beating up your body, that’s what it takes, but soft tissue work is incredibly important and typically what should precede any type of stretching, any type of traction, and I’ll explain what I mean by that in a second that you do.  So everything starts, number 1, with the soft tissue work because if you pull on a rope and that rope has a knot in it, what happens?

Rachel:              It tightens?

Ben:                   Right.  Not tightens, right?  So, what you wanna do is you wanna get rid of the knots, get rid of the adhesions, and then you work on the flexibility and the mobility.  So really train yourself in how to do your own deep tissue work and preferably work with a massage therapist as well.  Probably one of the best resources for this would be another book by Kelly Starrett called “Becoming a Supple Leopard”.  But just so you know, I mean, like I literally doing deep tissue work every- single- day, okay.

The next thing would be mobility and 2 of my favorite – or the next would be stretching.  And 2 of my favorite method of stretching would be a) this thing called Voodoo flossing.  So voodoo flossing is the way that you milk fluid like synovial fluid in and out of joints.  The way that you do this is you take an old bicycle tube, and what I do is I tie 2 bicycle tubes together, and you wrap the bicycle tube above the joint really tight and then below the joint really tight.  And then you extend and flex the joints, so you can do this with your knees, you can do this with your elbows, and what it does is it just causes a bunch of milking of fluid in and out of the joints.  So anywhere where you tend to have chronic pain, voodoo flossing can work incredibly well.  You don’t have, you don’t need an expensive equipment.  Just bicycle tubes, right.  You tie the joint above, you tie the joint below and that’s it.  The cool thing is that if you have this bicycle tube meaning it can also do what’s called Kaatsu Training.  It’s blood flow restricted training where for example, you want to do a set of squats and you want to increase the amount of lactic acid that builds up in your muscle during the squat, you can literally use that bicycle tube like a tourniquet and you’ll tie it on, you know, tie one bicycle tube on one leg, one on the other leg, do your set of squats, right, and then you rest for 30-60 seconds.  Then you do another set, and then you do another set called Kaatsu Training, k-a-a-t-s-u training.  A bunch of new research behind it.  It’s also called blood flow restricted training, and what it does is it vastly improves the hormonal response to a set, and also your ability to be able to buffer lactic acid.  So if you get your hands in this bicycle tubes, you get 2 uses for ‘em right?  You can do the voodoo flossing, but then you can also use it as like a tourniquet to restrict blood flow when you work certain areas.

The other thing that I really like for stretching in an area is traction, traction.  So this would mean you’ll gonna take a specific area, and you are going to pull on that joint.  So really simple example of traction would be like an inversion table, right, where you’re hanging upside down from an inversion table which, believe it or not, you can get pretty cheap online – Craigslist for example, there’s a lot of rich people that buy inversion table and don’t use them.  But you can hang upside down, and it stretches and give traction, right, to your vertebrae.  Pulls the vertebrae apart, pulls the hip flexors apart, pulls the knees apart.  I like the inversion table ‘cause you hit a lot of things all at once, and you just hang from that for 5-15 minutes.  A couple of times a week, and again preferably after you’ve done the soft tissue work.  So you’re not stretching the rope that has knots in it.  The other thing that I have is I have these bands, uhm, they’re just really thick elastic bands.  You can find them at sporting goods store, you can find them online, but you can attached these bands to your ankles, or to your wrist or to your elbows or to your knees, or even to your hips, and then you just back away as far as you can after you’ve attached that band to an immobile object like a bed stand or a pole or something like that, and you literally stretch almost like you know, in the old medieval days where they used to quarter and torture people and kill ‘em by you know, attaching the horse to each limb, and…

Rachel:              Oh my goodness!

Ben:                   So don’t use a horse, use an immobile object preferably but the idea is very similar like this voodoo flossing concept.  You’re pulling apart that joint capsule, and allowing for a bunch of like blood flow and lubrication to get restored to the area, so that’s called traction.  Traction.

Rachel:              Okay.

Ben:                   So, we’ve got deep tissue work, we’ve got voodoo flossing, we’ve got traction, and then one other tip that I’ll give to you even though there are a lot of other ways to kind of like get rid of injuries pretty quickly, and I will do everything that I just described.  Let’s say I hurt my elbow, right.  I will voodoo floss the elbow.  I’ll do deep tissue work on the elbow, and then I’ll do traction on the elbow.

The other thing would be, you know like uh, now when you ask about food, supplement related, some of the top things I’d recommend, number 1 would be bone broth.  Bone broth has a lot of really good joint healing compounds in it because you are, you’re sucking it all that marrow that’s coming straight out of a bone when you take a bunch of bones and you just put them in a crockpot for 24, 48 hours throwing some black peppers, some salt, some thyme or oregano, or whatever you want for spices, or maybe some carrots or onions, and make yourself some bone broth.  You know, I always have a pot in a fridge.  Super-duper easy to make.  I drink a cup here and there throughout the day, and really, really just chockfull of joint healing compounds.  That’s one.  Ginger would be another one.  I always have a root of ginger in the kitchen and if I’m ever injured, I’m having ginger tea every single day, multiple times a day, I’m grating ginger on salad.  Ginger is a very potent anti-inflammatory.  Fish or fish oil, again a lot of research behind that, and decreased osteoarthritis, decreased joint pain, decreased inflammation, and you can do everything from like can of sardines on a salad to 4-6 capsules of a good fish oil, and sometimes I’ll double up on fish oil if I’m injured, but that’s another really, really good one would be omega 3-fatty acids.  From a food standpoint?  That’ll probably my top three: bone broth, ginger, and either fish or fish oil.  From a supplement standpoint, there are a lot of different things out there but 2 that I really like would be: number 1, proteolytic enzymes.  So, you’ll see supplements that have things like trypsin and chymotrypsin, and papain and bromelain, and if you were to eat those with a meal, they’re gonna work on the meal.  If you’re gonna eat them with a steak, they’ll gonna digest all the proteins in the steak, but if you take them on an empty stomach, they breakdown what it’s called fibrinogen along with scar tissue and what are granulomas and tough cell codings and a lot of the things that cause joint pain, and lack of mobility.  And as a matter of fact for example like in Europe, in Japan, proteolytic enzymes are used pretty extensively to speed up healing from surgery.  Very easy to put your hands on, I like a local health food store, there is a supplement called Nature Flex that I designed that you can get at Greenfield Fitness Systems that’s just – it’s ginger, it’s proteolytic enzymes, it’s tart cherry, it’s turmeric, it’s like this cocktail of stuff that rapidly heals the body, and along with doubling up on fish oil, I’ll just like overdose on that stuff if I’m injured, and it speeds up healing dramatically.  And you can’t just pop pills, you got to do these other stuff like you know, the deep tissue working stuff but… The other thing in addition to proteolytic enzymes, I would say if I could choose one other supplement, it would be glucosamine chondroitin.  So, glucosamine is a sugar that they get from the exos skeleton of shell fish and stimulates cartilage production in the joints, and then chondroitin, that’s something that they get from cartilage, typically like chicken cartilage for example, and that attracts water to tissue which helps the cartilage to stay elastic.  So you can use that to keep injuries at bay.  You can also double up on it if you are injured, and that’s another thing that I found to be quite effective.

The final tip that I’ll give you is something that flies under the radar but it’s relatively kinda new in healing world.  Proceed at your own risk on this one, but there are – these things called peptides that you can inject into a joint.  So, for example, one is called BPC157, BPC157, and you can find it on like peptide website.  And you can literally use an insulin syringe and you can reconstitute this peptides with what’s called bacteriostatic water, and then you use the insulin syringe and you can inject a joint subcutaneously and this produces a healing effect very similar to people who are spending like tens of thousands of dollars on to go to Europe and do stem cell injections.  You can inject peptides into your body, in the comfort of your own home pretty safely and extremely effectively for like pennies on a dollar.  Really amazing, they’re legal, they’re not technically sold for human consumption or human use, but you can get them from chemical websites, and one of the most researched is called the BPC157.  And I’ve…

Rachel:              What are they sold for if they’re not sold for human use?

Ben:                   They’re sold for human use but they’re not allowed to say that they’re sold for human use basically.

Rachel:              Ohh-hhh!

Ben:                   So yeah.  So anyways though, I don’t know, rodent use, mice use.

Rachel:              Okay, uhmm,

Ben:                   Anyways though, I do consults with people privately or I walk them through the use of some of these more frenched type of healing methods.  So, I’m happy to help via consult as well, but most of these stuff you can find it at or in Kelly Starrett book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, and then like some of the more French stuff, you know, that’s what I get paid to do is walk people through these stuff that still flies under the radar.  So anyways, those are my recommendations, Neil and I hope that helps man.

Rachel:              Hi Ben and Rachel, it’s Rachel.  My question is, what you should be eating pre-work, and post-workout.  I’ve heard a lot of conflicting information on proteins, fats, and carbs, and when you should be eating them.  I would love to get your insight on this.  Thank you so much for all that you do.  Bye.

Ben:                   I’ve got one word for you, Rachel.  Gatorade.

Rachel:              Gatorade!

Ben:                   Gator, as we all know.  Gatorade.

Rachel:              I don’t believe you!

Ben:                   Scientifically formulated for every need in athlete, might ever, ever need.  Gatorade – purple, blue, green…

Rachel:              Looks like nature.

Ben:                   Red.

Rachel:              Drink it.

Ben:                   Looks like nature.  Drink it.  No actually, there are uh, not that many things that would be worse than Gatorade to consume.

Rachel:              Oh my goodness!

Ben:                   And I’ve got it in this on previous podcast on how the osmolality of the concentration of Gatorade actually creates stomach distress, you know, not to mention all the frank and fuels, and colors that are in it but anyways, I will give you… Rachel, obviously this is a question we could spend hours on and I’ve gotten – I’ve – I mean, if you get my book “Beyond Training”, I’ve got literally like 4 chapters in the book on this, but what I will give you, here real quick are 5 things that I would avoid, and 5 things that I would eat before a workout.  With the caveat being that I am a huge fan of, as I talked about with Mark Sisson on my recent podcast with him, if you’re not trying to gain muscle really not eating a lot before or after workout because of the decrease rate at which telomere shortened, the production of ketones, the increase release of growth hormone and testosterone, all the really interesting things that happened when you’re a little bit more Spartan-esque with your fueling out before and after workout.  I’m a big fan of doing things like exercising in intermittently fasted state or waiting for a few hours after you’ve worked out to actually give yourself a bunch of nutrients, and maybe stringing yourself along with just some amino acid or something like that.  But ultimately, 5 things that I would not go near prior to workout.  One would be fructose and maltodextrin.  Two of the things that you will see added to most sports nutrition compounds.  I have found that that combination especially when taken for hours in a row, for things like a triathlon or a marathon, flips your stomach because maltodextrin is basically a complex carbohydrate that can attract a lot of water and blood to the gut and away from the muscles, and then fructose can actually cause because it is a fructan that can ferment, it can create like gas, bloating, gut rot after the workout, a lot of these issues.  So look at whatever you’re eating try, and avoid the combination of fructose and maltodextrin.  Number 2, another thing that you’ll see in a lot of pre- workout compounds is very high amounts of caffeine.  Now, there are typically doses that exceed about a hundred milligrams of caffeine, and many of these gels and sports drink that are out there, but most of the evidence shows that you can get a benefit, a pre-workout boost, an ergogenic boost from as little as 50 to 100 ml of caffeine.  So, I’m a bigger fan of micro-dosing caffeine rather than using a high amount of caffeine.  And by the way, something will be talking about in next week, next Wednesday’s podcast episode as an alternative caffeine.  Believe it or not and don’t rush out to buy this ‘cause I’m gonna be talking about dosing and sourcing, and everything, is nicotine.  Nicotine, you can like chew on nicotine gum during workouts, get a similar effect of caffeine without as many central nervous system issues as caffeine but more on that later, but either way, avoid high amounts of caffeine.  Number 3, you’ll find that one common sweetener found in many sports nutrition supplements even healthy “Paleo” type of supplements these days are sugar alcohols like xylitol and erythritol, and stuff like that.  Those can actually similar to fructans create a lot of fermentation, and gut issues during exercise that make an exercise sessions less than pleasant.  So, that’s another one that I would avoid in addition being careful with fructose, maltodextrin, and high amounts of caffeine, would be sugar alcohols.  It should go without saying that like sucralose, and acesulfame potassium, and a lot of these other potential neurotoxins and gut damaging compounds should be avoided, but a lot of people don’t realize that xylitol and erythritol and stuff like that, can also cause a lot of stomach issues during exercise.  High, high amounts of fiber – that be another one to be careful with.  You know, 18 pears and 9 apples and 2 bananas and 8 bunches of kale all shove in to 1 tiny plastic bottle that you purchased from Whole Foods.

Rachel:              Yeah.

Ben:                   With the picture of the person running on the front of it.  Uhm, that’s stuff.  Not only ferments but it can also move through your system relatively quickly especially when you’re doing it before a workout.  So, I would be extremely careful with high, high amounts of fiber in some of these compounds that are sold as like pre-workout super foods.  And then finally, the last thing that I would be careful with are foods that have a lot of water volume to them prior to workout.  I found this to cause stomach distress in people to.  So like melons, apples, pears, things along those lines like really big sweet potatoes.  I’d actually be a little bit careful with that stuff, and again like the number one complain I get with people with their pre-workout nutrition is their gut, right?  Like my gut doesn’t fell right before workout, I would avoid a lot of things that I just mentioned.  High amounts of fiber, foods that are heavy in water, foods that are heavy in sugar alcohols, high amounts of caffeine, and fructose/maltodextrin, and this is also why I’ll typically really not eat much at all for 2-3 hours prior to workout, and if I need a quick hit of energy before the workout, I’ll do something like small cup of coffee, and I throw in some amino acids, right? Or a packet of adaptogenic herbs like Tianchi, or something like that.  So, those are the things to avoid.

                           Things that I would use, one, I actually I’m a fan of, if you’re going out for a big workout and you do find that you get tired during a workout and you need more nutrients, I like juicing.  I like – I have a masticating juicer and I’ll juice for example some carrots and some ginger, throw a little bit of olive oil, a little bit sea salt in there, and these juicing recipes that don’t include a lot of fructose, right, that are more like some super foods that aren’t fermentable, that don’t have a lot of sugars in them.  You know one of my favorites like I mentioned: turmeric, carrot, I throw a little bit of olive oil and sea salt in there, and uh, I’m trying to think if there’s anything else, sometimes like a scoop of aminos, like amino acid or scoop of electrolytes, but that can work really well if you have a juicer.  My wife actually likes to juice before she’ll do a trail run, beets are another really good one to juice.  So, having like a good what’s called a masticating juicer, that can be a really good option.  Small amounts of caffeine like I mentioned, 50 to 100 ml what you get out of say, a cup of coffee.  That would be another thing that I’m a big fan of for pre-workout.  You know, that or like I mentioned, nicotine gum which I’ll talk about later, but I like juicing, I like a little bit of caffeine, uhm, if you do have a pretty epic workout, something like an easy to digest carb, a little while before the workout can work pretty well.  When I say an easy to digest carb, what I mean is avoid fructose, avoid maltodextrin, but something like potato-based starch would be a perfect example of something that’s very easy to digest.  There’s a company called Exos that makes this stuff called Carb Fuel.  Very slow release potato-based starch, it doesn’t have a lot of water volume in it because it’s a powder, it’s not like eating a sweet potato or a white potato, doesn’t have a lot of the same fibers and skins, and stuff like that, but it’s just potato-based starch.  There’s another company called UCAN that makes a super starch, it’s again very similar like a slow release starch, and this would be for a longer workout where you actually need the carbohydrate, and you know that your body may not be able to rely on its own glycogen stores for long periods of time.  So that’ll be an example.  Easy to digest fats, we talked about MCTs earlier in the podcast, and I am a fan of very easy to digest fats.  Two perfect examples of that would be like a very easy to digest MCT oil, and again if you have stomach distress, use something like the C8 based MCT, like brain octane, and then they also sell now these exogenous ketones.  Ketone salts like beta hydroxybutyrate salts.  There are companies like KETO/OS, which is also known as Pruvit.  There…or uh, oh what’s another one?  I’ve got a whole article on ketone salts that are out there on the market now.  There’s a bunch of them.  Precision nutrition makes one, or not a precision nutrition – Prototype Nutrition makes a ketone, but basically these are exogenous ketones that allow your body to be able to burn a source of fuel that really preferentially used by your liver and your diaphragm and your heart and your brain without you actually having to rely on a lot of other sources of fuel.  I’m a fan of that! Like some form of ketones or MCTs, and then finally, easy to digest proteins rather than a steak or eggs or going with the rocky style blender, natural amino acids like Essential Amino Acids.  Huge fan of about 10 grams of essential amino acids prior to a workout for a huge boost, and one of the things that they do in addition to staving off your muscles from catabolizing during a workout is normally your body produces a lot of tryptophan during a big hard, long workout and that crosses the blood brain barrier, and it makes you a little bit sleepy while you’re working out, but what happens when you take amino acids is that they compete for tryptophan and so you stave off of this central nervous system fatigue because they bind to a lot of those receptors that tryptophan would normally bind to.

Rachel:              Uhm, interesting!

Ben:                   Science!

Rachel:              Science baby!

Ben:                   Magical science!  Uhm, sooo much more I could talk about like I mentioned.  Read my book “Beyond Training”, go to and do a search for what to eat before, during, and after workouts, do a search for ketosis, I’ve got tons of articles on there, you know, the list goes on and on, but anyways, hopefully that helps you Rachel, and everybody else.  I’ll put links to most of these things I talked about if you go to  It’s  Uhm, that being said, what do you think?  Should we – should we do a giveaway?

Rachel:              Let’s give away some free stuff.

Ben:                   Let’s give away some free stuff.  So here’s how this works.  If you hear the podcast, and you go and leave us a nice tidy 5-star review on iTunes, and you say something nice, we will send you a gear pack.  All you have to do is email [email protected], that’s [email protected].  If you hear your review read on the show, you let us know your t-shirt size and we’ll throw a water bottle, a beanie, and a t-shirt, all in the mail to you and it will arrive magically at your door anywhere in the world where you happen to be.  So today, we are gonna give something away to listener craterfrog, left uh, I love the name.  Left a 5-star review on iTunes called “New Human, Super Human”.  Rachel, you wanna take this one away?

Rachel:              Yes!  “This podcast has 100% changed my life.  Using tips and methods from the show, I’ve been able to lose 26 lbs. in 4 months while putting on muscle.  So who knows how much I lost in fat.  My biggest regret is not taking a “before” pic.  Total body rebuild.  I love being able to pass on knowledge that I’ve picked up here to my friends.  I’m not an Ironman/Tough Mudder/Spartan, or any crazy endurance athlete.  Just a civilian who wants to be in the best health possible, and this podcast has played a major role in getting me where I am.  Thank you Ben and Rachel!”

Ben:                   Uhm.  Kind of a slacker, not an Ironman, not a tough mudder…

Rachel:              Flash.

Ben:                   Not a Spartan.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   Slacker.

Rachel:              Oh! I’m a slacker.

Ben:                   Gotta get out there craterfrog.  Uhm nah, that’s awesome!  Congratulations!  26 lbs of 4 months.

Rachel:              That’s huge!

Ben:                   It’s nothin’ discovered.  I wonder if they did the cold shower challenge.

Rachel:              I think he, I think that might have helped.  I wonder that if he had cold showers in there, or she.

Ben:                   I love cold showers.  I’m tapering right now for this 12 hour super Spartan.  I’m gonna be doing this Friday night which is just 12 hours of complete suffering but I do a cold shower, five minute cold shower in the morning and five minute cold shower in the evening, and that keeps me from gaining weight when I’m not exercising as much as I usually do.  I like these cold showers.

Rachel:              Speaking of the cold shower challenge, tomorrow is the final day.  Twenty one days we had 75 people, take a 5 minute cold shower everyday, and the general feedback has been, that it’s incredible and they gonna keep going.

Ben:                   I do wanna leave folks with one last final tip.  Do a search like if you use social media like twitter or facebook or whatever, do a search for the #coldshowerchallenge.  There are some extremely entertaining photos of half-naked people competing in the Ben Greenfield fitness cold shower challenge.  So check that out – #coldshowerchallenge, and uh, that being said, what do you think, Rachel? Shall we call it a podcast?

Rachel:              Podcast is done.

Ben:                   Check out  Thanks for listenin’ everybody, and we’ll be back this weekend with a special episode with a very special guest.  Stay tuned along with the special episode next Wednesday on nicotine gum and oh so much more.  Rachel…

Rachel:              Benjamin…

Ben:                   Talk to you later.

                           You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to for even more cutting-edge fitness, and performance advice.


351: Secrets Of The Fittest Old People, Ben’s Top Healthy Baby Tips, How To Get Rid Of Injuries Fast & More!


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

April 20, 2016 Podcast: 351: Secrets Of The Fittest Old People, Ben’s Top Healthy Baby Tips, How To Get Rid Of Injuries Fast & More!

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, 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+.


Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by:

FourSigmatic foods – use code bengreenfield for 15% off anything, including the chaga elixir Ben throws into his coffee most mornings.

Harrys Shaving – get $5 off any order from Harrys at and use promo code “BEN”.

Onnit – Get 10% off the brand new emulsified MCT oil at

April 1-21: The Cold Shower Challenge – You take a 5 minute cold shower (no temperature rules, but as cold as your shower can truly go, scout’s honor…) each morning for 21 days from April 1st – 21st. Then you post a (clothed or towel clad, no nudies!) photo on any social media outlet you have (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as evidence. You *must* tag @BenGreenfield and you must use the following hashtag: #ColdShowerChallenge. The best part? All proceeds go towards The Brain Trauma Foundation, an organization that conducts innovative clinical research and develops evidence-based guidelines that improve the outcomes for millions of people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year. During this challenge you will learn everything you need to know about cold thermogenesis and cold showers, and even get access to a private Facebook community with all participants (including me), donate money to Brain Trauma Foundation, revitalize your life, body, brain and waistline to be ready for spring, and bask in the many cognitive and performance-enhancing benefits of cold thermogenesis! So…you in? Click here to join in now.

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine!

GreenfieldFitnessSystems “surprise gift box” – 50% discount on instant access to a box shipped to your front doorstep and full of the latest cutting-edge biohacking gear, nutrients, smart drugs and more, handpicked and curated by Ben. Only three left.

Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Aron Synder?. It was a must-listen – titled “Backpacking, Wilderness Survival, Combat Conditioning, Hunting Fitness & More With Aron Snyder”. Click here to listen now or download for later!

May 11, 2016: Ben is speaking at the brand new Natural Grocers in Spokane, WA on “Little Known, Easy-To-Find Foods That Burn Fat”. Click here for more details or to get in for free now.

May 21-22, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in London. The venue will be one of the most charming venues of London, BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, and features an Upgraded Dinner with wild forager Sami Tallberg and a great opportunity to bring together some fantastic UK based biohackers in the realms of digital health, wearables, supplements, biohacking, lifehacking, quantified self and much more. You’ll discover digital health & wellness providers, nutrition & supplement companies, wearables & mobile applications and smart home appliances from infrared saunas to smart sensors. Click here to register and use 10% code “ben”.

The “Supercharged” film will also premier at the London Biohackers Summit! Imagine, a mind quick as lightning, a body charged with energy. No, it’s not a fictional superhero. It’s you. SuperCharged. Ticket Includes a live Q&A panel with the stars of the movie: Ben Greenfied, Jack Kruse and Ruben Salinas. Panel moderated by the director Sarah Turner and producer Harry Massey. All conference tickets include the movie. A ticket for only the movie & panel is available at a price of £29, but you get an instant 10% off by clicking here.

May 26-29, 2016: Ben is speaking at PaleoFX 2016 in Austin, Texas. This is the The Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including New York Times bestselling authors, leading physicians, scientists, health entrepreneurs, professional athletes, fitness professionals, activists, bloggers, biohackers, and more. And you DON’T need to be Paleo to be able to get a ton of benefit and fun out of this one! Also, one day prior, on May 26 is Health Entrepreneurs f(x) – a full day of deep discussion on marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship for health and wellness people, featuring Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Melissa Hartwig, Sarah Ballantyne, Mike Bledsoe, Abel James, and a bunch of other speakers in small group coaching sessions.

July 8-10, 2016: Join SEALFit and Ben Greenfield for a SEALFit 20X event at Ben Greenfield’s home in Spokane, WA – combined with Obstacle Course training with Ben Greenfield and Hunter McIntyre. Get all details here and get in soon because this one will fill up fast!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now.

Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Dec 3-10, 2016: Runga in Costa Rica: 8 days, epic food, twice daily yoga, salt water pool and manual therapy and spa services galore, experts from around the world teaching running clinics, kettlebell seminars, lecturing on nutrition, etc. Also daily adventures ranging from zip lining to white water, along with a full digital detox. Code “BEN” gets you a free gift with your RUNGA registration valued at $75! Click here to get in now.

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 – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

How To Stay Fit When You’re Sitting

Dougie says: He’s seen you write a lot about sitting and sedentary behavior. He has to sit in the same position for the 60 mins/day every day when he drives. He can’t decrease his sedentary sitting time. Do you have any ideas for house to combat this?

Ben’s Top Healthy Baby Tips

James says: His wife just had their first child. What are some of things you did with your boys to make sure they were flourishing and healthy?

How To Get Rid Of Injuries Fast

Neale says: He’s been having issues with RSI in his shoulder and his hip. He’s wondering if you can give him any suggestions for how to get these things sorted out? Anything food/supplement related? He’s currently doing LCHF diet, for the past year and its going well. He wanted to get consistently running again, can you help him out?

What To Eat Before, During And After Workouts

Rachel says: Her question is, what should she be eating pre and post workouts? She’s heard a lot of conflicting information on protein, fat and carbs and when you should be eating them. She’d love to get your insight.

In my response, I recommend:


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

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Backpacking, Wilderness Survival, Combat Conditioning, Hunting Fitness & More With Aron Snyder.

aron podcast

Aron Snyder is a man of many hats and should be highly interesting to you if you are interested in the outdoors, weightlifting, backpacking, MMA or hunting.

As a former military man, search and rescue team member and MMA fighter, and the current knowledge guru at an outdoors gear company called “Kifaru” (use code “BGF15” for 15% off backpacks, rucks, sleeping bags and sleep systems, tents, stoves, sleds and anything else there – this code expires on Monday, May 25, 2016, but you can still mention this podcast for white-glove treatment from Kifaru!), he takes his physical training seriously and specializes in a real world approach that gets men and women prepared for everything from wilderness survival, to epic backpacking trips, to the most difficult hunts on the face of the planet.

He’s an outdoor photographer, freelance writer, and one extremely hardcore, tough guy who knows plenty about getting a heavy backpack to fit right, surviving in harsh conditions, taking epic nature pictures, hunting big animals, and much more.

When it comes to all things outdoors, Aron is one of the most entertaining, knowledgeable guys you’ll ever meet, and during our podcast discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Aron went from lifting big weights, taking steroids and being a gym rat to being a hunting guide and outdoors expert…

-The craziest situation Aron has ever found himself in during an outdoors expedition…

-How to get a heavy backpack to fit as comfortably as possible for as long a period of time…

-How Aron loaded his backpack to handle 180 pounds for 8 miles…

-How much of a backpack weight should be on the hip bones vs. the shoulders…

-Why some backpacks cost so much…

-What you would find in Aron’s ideal backpacking pack for a multi-day pack…

-How to start a fire in no time flat in the wilderness…

-Aron’s top water filtering and purification tactics…

-What kind of tarp and stove combination Aron carries…

-The most amazing photo Aron has ever taken…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

The Kifaru website (use code “BGF15” for 15% off backpacks, rucks, sleeping bags and sleep systems, tents, stoves, sleds and anything else there – this code expires on Monday, May 25, 2016, but you can still mention this podcast for white-glove treatment from Kifaru! !)

Study Ben mentions on testosterone

Trenbolone supplementation

The Rokslide website

Gritty Bowmen podcast


The Steripen

Aquimira water purification


Delorme Inreach

-Kifaru Supertarp/Megatarp

-Kifaru Ultralight stove

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Aron or I about backpacking, hunting, Kifaru or anything else we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply! At the Kifaru website you can use code “BGF15” for 15% off backpacks, rucks, sleeping bags and sleep systems, tents, stoves, sleds and anything else there– this code expires on Monday, May 25, 2016, but you can still mention this podcast for white-glove treatment from Kifaru!

Episode #350 – Full Transcript

Podcast #350 from


Introduction:  In this  episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show: Why You Should Cheat On Meals, When You Shouldn’t Get A Blood Test, Which Massage Oil Is Healthiest, My Bug-Out Bag, How Women Can Fix Metabolic Damage From Overtraining, and much more!

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s for natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:                   Rachel, I just finished an epic core workout.

Rachel:              Oh, you did?

Ben:                   Yeah.  I did.

Rachel:              What did it involve? 

Ben:                   Well, uh, it was actually an obstacle course workout.  Have you ever seen a log weave, also known as an over-under?

Rachel:              Yes. Yes, I’m familiar with the over-under.

Ben:                   Okay. Yes, and if, if, uh, you are listening in, you don’t know what a log weave is, Google it.  Uh, I have a log weave, it’s this new obstacle that I’ve got in my backyard, and what you do is you go over one log and under the other log.  They’re a bunch of horizontally placed logs and you’re kinda like gripping the logs between your thighs, holding them with your arms, then reaching to the next log, and what I did this morning, for my big workout, was I tried to stay on their for 20 minutes, right?  Just like weaving back and forth and I, I feel as though I’ve been wrestling/rolling with jiu-jitsu/making love to splintery logs.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   It was good though.

Rachel:              Sounds like a great way to start the day.

Ben:                   It was a, a fantastic way to start the day.

Rachel:              Do we have some epic evidence for Instagram?

Ben:                   Uh, I do have a few little scars on my arm that I can perhaps post on Instagram for folks.  Uhm, speaking of obstacles, also just this morning, at the same time that you and I were recording, uh, my friend Hunter McIntyre of TV fame, uh, and also the, uh, top ranked Spartan athlete on the face of the planet, he and I just recorded a podcast last night about a brand new obstacle course training event that we’re gonna host at my house in July.

Rachel:              Niiiiice!  That’s exciting!  I didn’t know about that!

Ben:                   Yeah.  We, we just, we partnered with Mark Divine, the guy who does like the SEALFit stuff down in Encinitas, California.  He runs like these Kokoro Challenges and these events called 20 X’s, which is 12 hours of just like pain and suffering and becoming a stronger person and he trains, you know, Navy SEALs and BUD candidates and, and crossfitters and fitness freaks, and, you know, anybody who just wants to really put themselves through the wringer.  So we’re gonna do a 20 X event at my house in Spokane, and then the next day Hunter and I are gonna teach an obstacle course racing event.

Rachel:              That is epic!

Ben:                   So, yeah.  Uh, there is, there’s a link, I’ll link it in the show notes if you go to, this is episode 350.  But, yeah, it’s gonna be pretty fun.

Rachel:              Sounds fun!

Ben:                   Yeah.  Also, I wanted to mention that, uh, the other thing I’ve been supercharging myself with, aside from crawling around on logs, uh, is insects.  Insects.

Rachel:              Mmmmm.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So I’m on this insect kick.  I actually just, I just, uh, sent a post over to Instagram, but I’ve been ordering, uh, organic roasted crickets and I’m gonna do a blog post about this, and sprinkling them on salads as an alternative to like nuts and seeds or meat.

Rachel:              Are they like the full-sized crickets or are they chopped up?

Ben:                   They’re like young crickets and they’re whole and they’re like, they’re, they’re chewy and they’re nutty and so I sauté them in olive oil, uh, with, with, typically I’ve been using, have you seen seaweed noodles before?  Like shirataki noodles or kelp noodles?

Rachel:              Mhmm.  Yep!

Ben:                   So, I like to use those ‘cause they, they give me a feeling like I’m eating pasta but it’s, they don’t have calories, these, these noodles.  And so I put those with crickets, uh, on my salads now at lunch.  So I’ve been doing crickets and the other thing I’ve been doing is black ant powder.  You heard of black ant powder before?


Rachel:              Nooo… (laughs)

Ben:                   You can actually, you can, you can order black ant powder and it’s uh…

Rachel:              Are they like the nasty ones?  Like give you the really bad bites?

Ben:                   No, I think that’s red ants, fire ants.  Black ants just have incredible amounts endurance, and I guess the idea behind this, kinda similar to the idea of consuming like hornet extracts, ‘cause there’s, there’s a company called Vespa that makes hornet extract and then there’s another one called, uh, Super Man Herbs that makes ant powder and supposedly gives you amazing levels of endurance.  So, in the afternoon, I’ve been adding a little bit of, of ant powder to a, a frozen latte smoothie.

Rachel:              That sounds delicious.  Admittedly though, half the world does eat insects, if you’ve been to Asia, they’re everywhere.

Ben:                   Yeah.  They’re very, they’re very sustainable.  They don’t produce a lot of greenhouse gases.  Apparently crickets don’t fart like cows do.

Rachel:              I’m not surprised.

Ben:                   Oh, and one other thing, by the way, before we get into this week’s news flashes.  Speaking of eating tasty things, I just returned from a spearfishing trip in Florida.

Rachel:              Cool!  That’s exciting!

Ben:                   For our listeners out there who have not yet tapped into spearfishing, now, I was, I was spearfishing on the boat with the, uh, the guy who owns Spearing Magazine, Jeremy Gamble, and also a guy who’s been on this podcast before, who has trained some of the top free divers on the face of the planet, Ted Hardy.  So Ted and Jeremy and I, we spearfish for two days down in the Gulf of Mexico.  If any of you have not yet tapped into that sport or looked into it, and it was one of the reasons why I got into free diving in the first place was that it’s basically like underwater bow hunting while holding your breath, and it’s amazing.  Like, even if you don’t get fish, and I actually spearfished several Sheep’s Head fish, which are very, very tasty, but even if you don’t spear a fish, you’re like down there swimming among the coral and holding your breath and there’s like little shipwrecks and tires and all sorts of things that you can swim around, and look underneath, you know, like pull yourself under ledges and look for big grouper, it’s an amazing, amazing sport.  I am now officially, I think, addicted to spearfishing, so stay tuned for more podcasts and blog posts about that, that wonderful sport.

News Flashes:

Ben:                   Well, speaking of spearfishing, uhm, my first news flash today is actually about the amazing physiology of free divers and I’ll link to this, as I do with, with all the news flashes over in the show notes at, uh, but Rachel, have you ever heard of the Ama in Japan?

Rachel:              These are the pearl divers?

Ben:                   Yeah.  They’re these female Japanese pearl divers, and what they do is they dive a 100 to a 150 times a day, they hold their breath for about two minutes at a time while they’re swimming and, they are pearl divers, so they collect pearls and they collect food, and it’s like this ancient profession that they’ve been doing for thousands of years in Japan, and they finally, at the University of Texas, in the American Journal of Physiology, they decided they wanted to study these women and see what their physiology actually looked like.  And so they did this study on what happens when you are, when you’re diving around in the ocean for long periods of time because, as we know, I did a podcast on this, on why, uhm, water can be so therapeutic and also beneficial for like physiology and for physical performance because when your body detects a combination of a lack of breathing, like holding your breath, and then also cold water on your face, what happens is blood vessels constrict and your blood pressure goes up and your heart rate drops, called the Mammalian Dive Reflex.  We talked about this in the podcast before, that actually trains your body to be more resilient to stress, and it also activates what’s called your parasympathetic nervous system, like your rest and digest nervous system.  It’s one of the same reasons that cold showers, once you get used to them, are so beneficial for your body because you get that constriction and you get that slight increase in blood pressure and then that’s followed by a bunch of cardiovascular benefits.  So what they, what they found in this study, I’ll link to it, they found a lot of really interesting things, but they didn’t really discover that these women have like massive VO2 Max, you know, or big maximum oxygen consumption.  What they did find was a huge decrease in what’s called arterial stiffness, arterial stiffness, and arterial stiffness is not a good thing.


That’s like a hardening or stiffening of the arteries.  That’s what arterial sclerosis means.  That’s when your arteries get hard.  So, uhm, the more stiff your arteries, the harder your heart has to work to pump blood through your body, and so what they found was that when you hold your breath and you spend lots of time underwater or in cold water, this arterial stiffness, and in particular these Japanese free divers, the arterial stiffness plummets and these women, compared to normal age-matched women who weren’t divers, right, so they compared them to women who weren’t down doing all this like diving and breath-holding in cold water, their arterial stiffness was just like rock bottom in terms of cardiovascular health.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   So if I didn’t already convince folks, in that little anecdote on spearfishing, to go find some water and diving, hopefully that inspires you to at least take a cold shower, if not, do a little underwater swimming.

Rachel:              I just think the concept of female Japanese pearl divers is pretty bad-a** as well.

Ben:                   It is pretty bad-a** and they’re actually, I, I discovered these women for the first time in, uh, in a book on free diving.  I forget the name of the book.  I interviewed the guy on the podcast.  It was one of the first things that got me interested in going free diving.  I’ll remember it eventually, but yeah, these Japanese women are called the Ama, A-M-A, should, uh, Google them or check out the article that we have in the show notes over at  So, uhm, another thing, for those of you who are extremely concerned about your children being at birthday parties, eating gluten-filled cupcakes, really good article on Mark’s Daily Apple about cheating on meals and how sometimes you actually should cheat and like go out of your way to cheat, and it was based on this study last week that found a new way to prevent food allergies in kids, and this new way is to actually feed them some of these bad foods when they’re infants or these, you know, “bad foods”, uhm, like peanuts are one, for example.  Like if you give your child micro doses of peanuts as they grow up, they’re less likely to develop a peanut allergy and, as a matter of fact, one of my kids had severe peanut allergies when he was born, and I remember freaking out one day because I had eaten peanut butter and my hands still had a little bit of that peanut oil on them and I picked him up, you know, like you pick up your child and your hands wrap around their little torso and he was in his diaper, and within 10 minutes he had these enormous red rashes right where my fingers had both touched him and put this peanut oil on him.  And so we, we found out that he was severely allergic to peanuts and rather than keeping him from peanuts, I started micro dosing him.  I would grind, grind up half a peanut each day and I eventually got up to about five that I would give him each day and he completely resolved his allergies.  He didn’t have a peanut allergy anymore and I could touch him with the peanut oil and everything, smear him in peanuts, let the dog lick ‘em off and, uh, nah.  I didn’t do that, but, uhm, the same concept has been shown to work for commonly allergenic foods like eggs and wheat and dairy like yogurt.  Things like that.  What they found in the study was infants who are regularly exposed to allergenic foods in their first year of life were less likely to be allergic to those foods later on in life, and the article goes on to talk about some really interesting things like milk and egg allergies.  For example, kids who, who were found to have allergies to eggs and milk, if they were given smaller doses of these over time, they actually develop the ability to be able to tolerate eggs and milk just fine.  Another thing that they found, for example, was that occasionally consuming oils that have had oxidative damage and inflammation, like occasionally eating, say, flax seeds, like ground heated flax seeds, or occasionally eating like, you know, even French fries that have been cooked in oil or heated in oil.  What happens is you actually have this pathway in the body that metabolizes the, the toxic byproduct of oxidized heated oils, and this particular toxic byproduct is called 4-HNE and what happens is that when you get low micro dosed concentrations of 4-HNE, you actually develop a big increase in your ability to produce what’s called glutathione, like your endogenous production of this anti-oxidant glutathione, and so if you occasionally have like a cheat meal where you’re eating like, you know, rancid oxidized oils or, you know, maybe like a burger from your favorite burger joint, it turns out that that can actually make your body a little less susceptible to that causing you a bunch of damage, so.


Rachel:              I feel like the, the obvious next question is how often is occasionally?

Ben:                   Well, that’s, the issue is research doesn’t really tell us how often occasionally is, but here’s the deal, like, I’ll often go on, I’ll travel to different countries where I might have, you know like in Japan, concentrated sources of gluten in some kind of a glutinous sweet rice cake or I might be over in Thailand where I’m consuming Pad Thai that’s been cooked in heated vegetable oil, and some people who are like orthorexic and completely, you know, eat a 100% healthy diet, like don’t follow the 80/20 rule, but instead just like never touch, never go near gluten, never go near an oxidized oil.  It turns out that that may make you a little more susceptible to this stuff really causing like gut issues to you not being able to fight off a lot of the oxidation from damaged foods when you do encounter them, uh, you know, another case in point would be like, you know, when I’ve gone off and done things like this Spartan Agoge or the Kokoro Camp, sometimes you’re eating MREs, right?  Like the most oxidized, nasty, nasty stuff on the face of the planet, uhm, and if you, if you eat 100% clean all the time, sometimes that stuff can really flip your stomach more than if you give yourself occasional, like, micro doses of gluten or vegetable oil or dairy.  So, it’s really, it’s a really compelling article.  I’ve only scratched the surface of it, but I’d recommend that you’d go read it.  The last thing I wanted to mention is that a lot of people avoid grains because of the phytates in grains and the phytic acid in grains that can, not only the gluten, but also some of these other things.  But it turns out that your gut flora, your gut bacteria can be trained if you give it exposure occasionally to these phytates that you’d find in grains.  It can be actually trained to turn that phytic acid into something called inositol, and inositol is this nutrient that’s involved in mood regulation and insulin sensitivity and the more phytate rich foods you eat, the better your gut bacteria get at breaking down the phytates and converting them into beneficial compounds.  So, truly interesting!

Rachel:              So, basically, you don’t need to feel guilty all the time about cheating on meals?

Ben:                   No, and you may even want to go out of the way occasionally to cheat.  So, really, really interesting perspective.  I’ll link to that article in the show notes, uhm, and I have more because it’s been a little while since we’ve had a Q&A, uh, I’m actually gonna, I’m gonna throw in a few extra little articles.  There was an interesting research study that came out and I kinda liked it because I start off every day with a giant ass cup of coffee and also, uh, when I first wake up, even before I get to that coffee, I have a big glass of warm water and I add a little bit of lemon juice and I add a little bit of baking soda to it, and what they found in this most recent study was that even though it’s already well-known that caffeine is an ergogenic aid and can assist with performance, like climbing around logs in the morning, uh, and it’s also known that sodium bicarbonate is a really good lactic acid buffer.  Baking soda is actually one of the best lactic acid buffers on the face of the planet if, as we’ve talked about in previous podcast, you don’t eat too much of it because it’ll blow out your backside.  You will paint the toilet brown if you have too much baking soda, but if you micro dose it, the way they figured out to do it in studies is you take just a little bit, right?  Like a half teaspoon of baking soda every 20 minutes for two hours leading up to some type of a big workout or event in which you’re gonna produce a ton of lactic acid, right, like a big crossfit workout or a sprint triathlon or a Spartan race or something like that, you can actually get the benefits of baking soda without blowing out your backside, and what they found is that the lactic acid buffering effects of baking soda are enhanced when you combine it with caffeine.   And I’ll link to this research article in the show notes, but what this means is that you could, for example, leading up to a really tough workout or any event in which you’re gonna produce a bunch of lactic acid, what you could do is you could have, it’s typically about 100 plus miligrams of coffee or caffeine that have been shown to actually allow you to get a lot of the ergogenic performance enhancing benefits of caffeine, but you could combine that caffeine with micro dosing of baking soda for the couple of hours leading up to this event where you’re gonna produce a bunch of lactic acid and the caffeine vastly enhances the effectiveness of the baking soda.


Rachel:              There you go.

Ben:                   Yeah.

Rachel:              Question! Question!  Is, uhm, bicarb soda, is it good if you don’t have any issues going to the bathroom and also in an athlete?

Ben:                   Yeah.  It’s alkalinizing and, granted if you don’t lead a really acidic lifestyle, right, if you’re not just, if you’re not consuming copious amounts of red meat and caffeine and alcohol and dairy and all of these foods that aren’t necessarily villainous but are indeed acidic compared to a lot of vegetables and fruits, baking soda can help to alkalinize the diet a little bit.  So let’s say, let’s say that, whatever.  I travel with baking soda.  I travel with a little Ziploc bag of it, but if I’m in Las Vegas, right, and I go out to a big steak dinner and I have two glasses of red wine and a big chunk of steak and it’s got dairy butter and stuff like that, that’s a friggin’ tasty meal, but it’s also an acidic meal, so that would be a situation in which you could mitigate some of the acidity with a little bit of baking soda for alkalinity.

Rachel:              And that would be the next morning?

Ben:                   Yeah, the next morning or, you know, that morning.  I just do it as a daily tonic.  The other one that works similarly for alkalinity, but that doesn’t buffer lactic acid, it’s not a sports performance aid, but it’s still very alkaline is apple cider vinegar.  That’s another tonic that some folks will start their day with.

Rachel:              Awesome!

Ben:                   So, either one.  Either one.  Or you could just be boring and have, I dunno, chamomile tea or something like that.

Rachel:              Just plain water?

Ben:                   Or water.  Who wants just plain water?  A couple other things, there was a really interesting study done just this month on light and, as we all know, when you get exposed to light exposure at night, you know, even Apple has realized with this with their new addition of the night time setting on the new iOS system for iPhones.  They’ve got a night time setting where it’ll diminish all the blue light from your iPhone when sunset arrives in whatever location of the world you happen to be in.  The reason they do that is because we know that television and iPads and Kindles, phones, etcetera, can decrease your ability to produce melatonin while you sleep and disrupt your sleep quality.  Well what they found in this study was that if you get exposed to natural sunlight or blue lights during the day, right, like, let’s say you get out in the sunshine multiple times or perhaps it’s gray where you live, like Seattle or something like that, so you use, maybe like any of the little biohacks we’ve talked about in other podcasts like blue light producing glasses, or a blue light box, or even these like in-ear blue light producing devices, when you get exposed to blue light during the day, it makes any screen time that you get exposed to at night less likely to disrupt melatonin production.  And so, well I don’t think you should do this as a crutch to blast your eyes with a, you know, movie every night before you go to bed or spend copious amounts of time lying in bed, you know, before sleep on your iPhone, it does turn out that if you’re gonna get screen time in the evening, and let’s face it, that’s just kinda part of life for a lot of us, right, like you get phone calls in the evening, sometimes you wanna watch something to unwind at the end of the day, if you get sunlight or some form of blue light during the day, all that stuff is gonna be less deleterious to sleep quality.

Rachel:              There you go.

Ben:                   Yeah.  It’s kinda cool.  Yet another excuse to get out in the sunshine.

Rachel:              Yet another excuse to move to a different country or state.

Ben:                   And, yes, exactly, to move from Seattle.  Oh!  And then one other thing that I wanted to mention, they have done a study in which they found that the lower your home temperature is, the lower your waist measurement is and, whereas we’ve known for a while that cold exposure will activate thermogenesis in what’s called brown fat, and remember brown fat is the fat that takes calories and converts those calories into heat.  It’s very metabolically active fat compared to like, you know, boring old white adipose tissue on your waistline.  What they found is that there’s a direct correlation between how cold you keep your home and the actual waist circumference, like your waist measurement, and they found that people who had homes with an indoor temperature of right around between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which is kind of cold, right, like that’s not comfortable, but maybe if, you know, you wear a hoodie and teach your body how to put up and, you know, deal with the cold, it’s not that bad, when they compared that with people whose homes were at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the people whose homes were colder had lower waist circumference.

Rachel:              That is the strangest study, but really fascinating.


Ben:                   It makes sense though.

Rachel:              It does!

Ben:                   And I keep my home cold all the time, like even right now while I’m talking to you, just so I don’t get distracted by being too cold, I’m wearing a hoodie, but my office is at about 54 degrees and it’s just, it’s just something you learn to deal with and, frankly, I think that sometimes we spend too much time not allowing our bodies, right, to adjust to extremes of heat or extremes of cold and this study shows that, you know, it may be a good idea, plus if you keep your home cold, you can eat more.  So there’s that.

Rachel:              There you go.

Special Announcements: 

Ben:                   Well, Rachel, first of all, this podcast is brought to you by one of the most woo-woo things on the face of the planet that you can put on your feet.

Rachel:              Oh!  I like it already!

Ben:                   It’s something that I actually wear.  So there’s this concept of grounding or earthing, right?  Like, basically, you can sync yourself up with the Earth’s circadian rhythm, the Earth’s 24 hour cycle by getting in touch with the planet, so, uhm, you know, I did a full podcast on this before, but there’s this, there’s this thing called the Schumann resonance?  Like the planet Earth actually emits a specific frequency that puts your body into what’s called an alpha brainwave state, and it can be very therapeutic.  There’s an excellent documentary on this called Grounding, about this concept of getting in touch with the planet, be it via grounding or earthing and there are even people who sell like grounding mats and earthing mats.  And the idea here is that when you never get in touch with the planet and you constantly wear like insulated, modern rubber shoes, you never connect with the Earth in the way that, perhaps, like your ancient ancestors would’ve or your hippie neighbor down the street does.

Rachel:              It’s barefoot everywhere.

Ben:                   Right.  Exactly.  So what they make now are specific pieces of footwear that have copper plugs in the bottom of them and these copper plugs allow you to have your feet protected, right, if you’re like out, trail running or you’re walking or you just don’t wanna look like a barefoot freak, but you wanna have something on your feet, but at the same time these copper plugs allow you to be grounded.  They actually enhance the ionic exchange between whatever surface of the Earth you’re on and your feet biology.

Rachel:              So it doesn’t matter if you’re like on a pavement or something like that?  It doesn’t have to be like actual dirt, earth?

Ben:                   The closer you are to dirt and earth, the better, but you still get some of that Schumann resonance, like, coming up to like concrete, right, or pavement.  So, yeah, if you were walking on the street, absolutely.  So there’s this company called Earth Runners and what Earth Runners does is they make these really cool like Tarahumara, Indian tribe-style running sandals or walking sandals, but they actually, actually, I call them Jesus sandals personally, but they have a silver-coated conductive thread up the entire length of the sandal, then they have these copper plugs in the bottom that keep you grounded.  So, they’re super cool.  I have a couple of pairs and you can get them at  Now, I have an apology and that is that I think on a previous podcast I said our discount was 30% off, it’s still significant, it’s 10% off, not 30% off, but you get a Ben10, or you go to and you use code Ben10, and code Ben10 gives you 10% off.

Rachel:              And do you know where you can also get a pair of Earth Runners?

Ben:                   My closet?

Rachel:              (laughs) No!  On Facebook!  They are actually giving away one pair a week for the next three weeks and the giveaway was put out on Monday, we have like 12 people that have entered so far.  So high chances if you go over to, find the post and comment on the post that you might yourself with a lovely new pair of Jesus sandals!

Ben:                   A pair of woo-woo Jesus sandals.  They actually, they, they are pretty cool sandals.  I dig ‘em.  This podcast is also brought to you by Harry’s, and one of the things that I wanted to mention is they just launched a new handle.  So for those of you that get super-duper excited about razors and shaving, you’re going to be drooling over this and the rest of you who just need to get more into razors ‘cause they are kinda cool.  So this Truman handle, they’ve got this rubberized, non-slip grip on the handle.  I’m getting into shaving by the way, it’s this whole experience.  I called my kids into the bathroom ‘cause my dad never taught me how to shave, so now what I do is when I shave, I’ll call my kids into the bathroom to like show ‘em little tricks like go with the grain, and I taught them how to use like a clay mask after you’ve done like your shaving to draw toxins out of your face.


                           And then, of course, we apply the brand new Greenfield Anti-Aging Skin Serum afterwards.

Rachel:              Just to top it all off.

Ben:                   Which I don’t think we even talked about on the podcast yet, but we did.

Rachel:              Which is crazy ‘cause it’s awesome!

Ben:                   I know.  We launched the brand new anti-aging serum that I spent the past year developing just last week.  We don’t have a lot of time to talk about it today ‘cause the special announcements are gonna drone on, but go to if you wanna check that out, or just do a search for Ben Greenfield Anti-Aging Serum.  Anyways though, so I teach my kids how to shave, and I show them some of my shaving equipment and the deal with this Harry’s stuff is they have this Truman handle where they have this rubberized, non-slip, ergonomic grip, but then it’s got five blades that are these German-engineered blades, and what they do is they ship it straight to your house.  So they cut out the middleman, you don’t have to go to the pharmacy to get your razor, and when they do that, I don’t really know how it works, but apparently it somehow decreases the cost of the razor, like significantly, and you don’t have to get the blades that are locked behind plexiglass cases at the drug store, you can just get everything at  So the way you do it is you go to, that’s H-A-R-R-Y-S dot com and you use code Ben and it knocks five Dollars off any of their stuff.  And I actually, what I use is the Truman handle, and it’s really cool.  It’s their brand new handle.

Rachel:              Awesooome!

Ben:                   Check that out, the Truman handle,  And then, finally, this podcast is brought to you by the best tasting green juice on the face of the planet, the stuff from Fit Life.  So this is the green juice that is about the only, I think it’s the only supplement that I have in the pantry that my wife actually uses cause she actually likes it.  She likes the way it tastes, she puts it in stuff, she puts it in like smoothies and, even though she typically does not go near pills or capsules or supplements or powders, I find her constantly dipping into my personal supply of Organifi Green Juice.  And it’s like turmeric, it’s ashwagandha, it’s coconut powder, and it, have you tasted it before, Rachel?

Rachel:              I actually got some and it’s delicious.  I actually had it just with water and it was still really good.

Ben:                   Yeah, and a lot of these powders, these green powders, they’re heat dried?  And this stuff isn’t heat dried, they use a different drying process that makes it, so the goodness doesn’t get oxidized.  So, yeah, that’s why you feel it when you use it.  So you get a 20% discount on this stuff if you go to, and you use discount code Ben.  That’ll get you 20% off this tasty, tasty green juice.  So, we have a fantastic line-up on the Q&A today, but I wanted to mention just a couple other things.  Do we have time?  Can I throw a few things in there?

Rachel:              I think we do.

Ben:                   Alright.  So a few quick things.  First of all, as usual, I’ve been assembling gift boxes for people, so this is where I personally like find like the best biohacking gear, supplements, books, nutrients, smart drugs, and I hand-picked them, and I ship them straight from my house to your front door.  I pick about $300 worth of gear, put it in a surprise gift box for you, and you get it for 50% off, and free shipping anywhere in the US.  So the way you can get that is, actually, just go to the show notes.  All this will be in the show notes,, and you can get yourself a surprise gift box right now while we have three.  We only have three.

Rachel:              Only three?

Ben:                   Only three ‘cause I’m literally, I’m personally putting these together, like in my kitchen.  So there you have it.  There’s also just a few events coming up soon right around the corner.  There’s a full list of events that we’re gonna put in the show notes, but in the meantime a few things you should know about is, first of all, the Biohacker Summit in London is coming up and these biohacker summits are amazing.  They had one in Finland last year.  The one in London is promising to be even better.  I’m gonna be speaking there.  They do like a combination of like foraging and natural foods along with like digital wearables and biohacking and lifehacks and quantified self.  It’s pretty cool, so you get 10% off.  Just go over to the show notes at, all the links there and everything, that I will be in London, I’ll be appearing in the London reel podcast, I’ll be doing a few events over there, and then the actual biohacker summit is May 21st and 22nd, so check that one out if you happen to be a pond hopper, to hop across the pond.


Rachel:              Sounds like an epic trip for you, Ben!

Ben:                   Epic.  And then a couple of other things, Paleo f(x), my kids are gonna be doing a cooking demonstration that is going to knock your socks off.  I’ve tasted what they’re gonna be cooking, super, secret recipe.  This is in Austin, Texas and I’m gonna be there, Rachel’s gonna be there, a bunch of folks from the Ben Greenfield Fitness Team are gonna be there, and I don’t say this about a lot of like health and fitness events, but if there’s one event in the US that I would recommend that you, as a listener, attend, it’s Paleo f(x) in Austin, and it’s coming up May 26th through the 29th.  We’ll put a link in the show notes for you to get in using our special link, but I highly recommend you be there, especially if you wanna party with Rachel and I.

Rachel:              Right?  It’s gonna be so much fun!  I can’t wait.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Just sayin’.  So all of that, and many more goodies, are over in the show notes in  We’ve only scratched the surface on the upcoming calendar of events, and we’re actually working on a calendar page because I, for about the next five months, I’m gonna be all over the globe and Rachel and I are working on a special page to where you can kinda see which events that you could come and compete with me in and where I’m speaking and, you know, all the fun goodness because we all know that wherever I go, the party closely follows.

Listener Q & A:

Phil:                  Hi, Ben!  My wife is 54 years old and has a long list of health issues, many of which develop later in life.  From food allergies and asthma to aching knees and swollen fingers in the morning, which she describes as Mickey Mouse hands.  All of her doctors just want to treat her symptoms, but I wanna help her get to the root causes.  Would you recommend a functional health test like Wellness FX, and, if so, which test should she choose?  Or something else?  Thanks!  I love the podcast and I think you’re absolutely brilliant.  Great job!  Keep it up!

Ben:                   You know, I can only imagine what Mickey Mouse hands are.

Rachel:              I know.  It sounds kinda cute, but it also sounds horrible.

Ben:                   It does sound horrible.  Doesn’t Mickey Mouse have giant white hands?

Rachel:              Yeah, but they’re like stumpy fingers, you know?

Ben:                   They’re huge.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Probably not a good look.  We should probably help Phil out with the Mickey Mouse thing.

Rachel:              Phil, we’re gonna help you out.  Phil’s wife.

Ben:                   Yeah, so here’s the deal, when you’re looking at something like this and trying to consider whether you should get a blood test or something else, you need to understand why some of these things happen to people, especially as they get older later on in life and you need to be familiar with this concept of autoimmune.  Are you kinda familiar with autoimmune, Rachel?

Rachel:              Kind of, but not everyone would be so go on.

Ben:                   It’s kind of a cover-all term, but it’s the, one of the top ten leading causes of death, especially in women who are under the age of 65 and something that affects, literally, millions and millions and millions of Americans.  Autoimmune diseases would include things like rheumatoid arthritis and type I diabetes and thyroid disease and lupus and weird patches on your skin and eczema and food allergies and multiple sclerosis.  All of these are forms of an autoimmune disease, and all that means is just like it sounds like, self-immune, autoimmune.  So, it’s an immune response in which your body creates systemic inflammation.  Your body is attacking itself, so you’re immune system has this sophisticated system for keeping you safe that works by identifying any foreign substance that enters your body or that you come into contact with, like something you might smear on your skin or something you might eat or something you might rub on your hair and if your immune system deems that to be dangerous, it produces anti-bodies, and autoimmune diseases occur and can even happen even if you weren’t born with them when your body is working really hard to defend itself against something that it deems potentially dangerous, like an allergen or a toxin or an infection or a food or even a metal.  There’s all sorts of things that cause this and it fails to differentiate between the intruder that it’s fighting off and other parts of your body, okay, so it will mistake others types of tissues for harmful substances.  An example of this would be like gluten, very, very high amounts of gluten are something that your body can mount an inflammatory reaction against, but gluten proteins closely resemble the same type of proteins that you find in, for example, thyroid tissue, and that’s why you’ll sometimes find people who have like full-blown gluten allergies also have the autoimmune disease hypothyroidism because they, they’ve wreaked havoc on their thyroid gland by mounting an inflammatory reaction against their own thyroid tissue along with the gluten.


Rachel:              A lot on that, in particular, would you, there would be other symptoms prior to it actually turning into a hypothyroidism?

Ben:                   Yeah.  Oh yeah, sure.  So a lot of the things that Phil is saying that his wife gets, you see with autoimmune.  So classic things that there’s something on your skin, right, you got some kind of recurring rash or hive or redness, a lot of times you have a joint pain or muscle pain and sometimes it can be in just one part of your body, right, like just your knees or just your elbow, and you know it’s not from like running or changing up like the type of squats that you were doing or something like that, but it’s just like this mysterious joint pain that seems to have arisen at some point in your life.  Feeling tired or fatigued is a biggie, cold intolerance, heat intolerance, weight gain, excessive weight loss.  A lot of times, you’ll see hair loss.  An interesting one that you’ll also see is like if you look at your fingernails, you’ll see a lot of little white patches on your fingernails and sometimes on other areas of your skin, you’ll see white patches.  Sometimes you’ll get numbness or tingling in your hands or your feet because the autoimmune disease is affecting your nerves.  So there’s a lot of, a lot of little symptoms, very similar to what Phil is describing that lead up to, or that are present during an autoimmune disease and typically what modern medicine will do is they’ll give you an immunosuppressant drug, or a steroid, right, so you’ll see like hydrocortisone, or there’s any number of different immunosuppressant drugs they’ll give you, but the problem is that if you simply shut down the immune system without addressing what is causing the issue in the first place, you get rid of the autoimmune issues, but you increase the risk of two things: a) severe infection, right, like you’re gonna be way more susceptible to stuff like MERSA and STAF and influenza when you shut down the immune system because you’re taking an immunosuppressant, and the other thing is cancer.  Immunosuppressant drugs can cause cancer, or increase your susceptibility to tumor growth.  So there other things that you should, you should consider doing if you have an autoimmune disease and this is where Phil’s question about testing fits in.

Rachel:              Right.

Ben:                   Because you can’t just say, “I’m gonna cut out dairy and I’m gonna cut out gluten and I’m gonna cut out soy and I’m gonna cut out eggs and I’m going to go move to a Himalayan mountaintop and live inside of a giant bubble.  Just because that’s, I mean that would theoretically work, but in the era that we live in where we can test this stuff, it’s about ready to test, and blood testing is useful for some stuff, right, like identifying, say, like cholesterol, you know, HDL versus LDL versus LDL particles, or identifying like your thyroid hormone production, or your vitamin D, but it’s not that great if you suspect that you might have an autoimmune disease and instead, there are some other things that I’d recommend that you have tested.  Now the very, very first thing that I should say is, insert disclaimer here, I’m not a doctor and this is not to be misconstrued as medical advice.  If I suspected that I had an autoimmune disease and I couldn’t figure it out, the number one place that I would go would be to find a functional medicine practitioner.  These are physicians who are well-versed in actually identifying the root cause, rather than, say, covering things up with an immunosuppressant drug.  So you go to, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, but there’s a practitioner search page on there, and that would be something prudent to do if you, if you didn’t wanna just take it all under your own hands and one of the lab tests I’m about to tell you about, actually the first lab test I’m gonna tell you about, you have to have a doctor order for you anyways, so you’re gonna have to hook up with a good functional medicine practitioner anyways.  That being said, the very first thing I would do is I would test for potential dietary, or other environmental triggers, that would be causing you to produce a bunch of anti-bodies.  Now the very best way to do that is via a specific lab called Cyrex, C-Y-R-E-X, and the reason is because if you go out and you get food allergy or food intolerance testing you and just do a standard, like, blood spot test, there’s one called an ALISA or an ALKAT that a lot of physicians will run.  The problem is that, for example, they will take your blood sample and they will subject that to a variety of different food proteins to see if you’re allergic to those specific food proteins, but they’ll take like, they’ll expose the sample to, say like, raw egg, or raw chicken, and then they’ll look at the white blood cell under a microscope and see what happens to it and the problem is that just about all of us will have kind of a deleterious response to, say, you know, freakin’ raw chicken, right?


So they’re not taking, like, a cooked and a raw form, they’re just taking the raw form.  They also don’t do a lot of like repeat tests to double-check and make sure there’s no false positives, and so what typically happens is they’ll do one of these tests and, you know, come back with like 300 foods you should never eat again, and they’re like every food that’s in your pantry.

Rachel:              (Chuckles) Hence a new level of depression.

Ben:                   Extremely frustrating, so you want something that’s a little bit more precise and a little bit more accurate.  Now there are these things called ARRAYs, A-R-R-A-Y, and that’s just the fancy name for all the different tests that Cyrex offers.  So, for example, they’ve got a chemical immune reactivity screen which will look at specific chemicals in your environment.  These would typically be things from like personal care products or household toxins, fungus, molds, stuff like that, that could be affecting your immune system.  That’s their ARRAY 11.  They’ve got another one that looks at, for example, what’s called your gluten cross-reactivity.  That’s ARRAY 4, that a very common one and that identifies any dietary proteins, including things like coffees and teas and eggs and everything that would cause your body to become hyper-sensitive to gluten.  They’ve got the best, most gold-standard wheat and gluten autoimmunity tests on the face of the planet to find out if your gluten insensitive.  They’ve got one called the intestinal antigenic permeability screen, which measures whether or not you have leaky gut, what’s called intestinal permeability to large molecules that can inflame the immune system.  So they’re a variety of different ARRAYs that they do and, for example, some of them you could just look at your symptoms and choose the right test.  Like they have one called a joint autoimmune reactivity screen which actually looks for the specific things that would cause, what are called connective tissue disorders.  So if your main issue is joint pain, you would wanna get that one.  That’s ARRAY 8.  If you just want to take your, you know, I dunno if you have a health savings account or flexible spending account or good health insurance, when you meet with this functional medicine doc, they would be able to advise you which to get, but I mean you can test all these.  You could test chemical immune reactivity, diet, bacteria, viruses, stress, all the different challenges to your immune system.  It costs you a few thousand dollars if you’re gonna do every ARRAY on there, but, you know, if it were me and I had a bunch of stuff going on, I would frankly, you know, just say “Hey, we’re not getting on vacation this year.” And run the ARRAYs.  I mean, and frankly, that just reality, but Cyrex labs, I’ll put a link in the show notes to Cyrex and also to the functional medicine practitioners website ‘cause you’ll need a doc to order these for you.  I wish that I, as a, you know, I’m a nutritionist and a personal trainer, but that does not qualify me, that does not certify me to be able to order these for people or else I’d have ‘em available at, but either way, you could go to the Cyrex website and get those done.  That would be number one.  The second thing that I would test for would be metals.  Like I mentioned metals can be associated, specifically things like mercury, you’ve had mercury fillings, if you’ve done, like a lot of like dental work, if you have worked in any type of industrial setting, or you live in a city a lot of times you can have some very specific autoimmune reactions to mercury.  And so, in that case, what you’d wanna do is heavy metal testing.  I will link to a podcast that I did, it’s about an hour long, about kinda like the crucial do’s and don’ts of heavy metal testing and metal detoxification, but if you have a bunch of symptoms like this that are complete head-scratchers for you, metal testing would be one to do as well.  The Cyrex lab testing doesn’t do a bunch for metals, they’re a little bit more and kinda like mold and fungi-related, so you’ll probably want to do a metal test as well.  And then the last thing would be a poop test.  So, this one’s pretty straightforward, looks at enzymatic production, bacteria, yeast, fungus, etcetera.  I’ll put a link to this one too in the show notes, but all it does is it tests to see if there is gut inflammation going on or if maybe you have bacterial dysbiosis, right, like an overgrowth of bad bacteria.  It’ll test for the presence of like H-Pylorae, parasites, amoebas, you know.  All sorts of fun stuff.

Rachel:              Where does that one come from?  The gut testing?

Ben:                   That one’s, you can do that through DirectLabs, in the comfort of your own home, you can poop in a tray.

Rachel:              So you poop in a tray and then you send it back to them in the mail?

Ben:                   Oh no.  You poop in the tray, then you take a little fork, and then you fork the poo from the tray into the tube, and then that goes in the refrigerator, and you repeat that for three days and then you take the little pre-paid FedEx bag that they send you, send that off, and just like magic, within a couple of weeks, you have a PDF that tells you everything that’s going on inside your poo.


It’s actually, it’s an interesting test.  I do that test once a year on myself, and my personal protocol is I tell everybody, you know, even if you don’t have an autoimmune issue, test your saliva once a year, or, I’m sorry, once in a lifetime.  So you have a DNA analysis, right?  So you just know your DNA.  Test your gut once a year, and then I personally test my blood four times a year, but that’s because I’m constantly self-experimenting, but I think once a year is reasonable, right, to test your blood.  So that’s kinda like the protocol,  but if you’re concerned about the autoimmune stuff, look into the Cyrex labs, look into heavy metal testing, look into gut testing, and then finally, as you’re going through all this testing, if you just freakin’ like wanna get rid of at least some of the symptoms, try something like the autoimmune diet.  There’s a full-on book.  The one that I like is called the Autoimmune Paleo Diet and it’s a, it’s like an eight week long protocol that just cuts out a lot of the major offenders, and still gives you a food list that doesn’t make you feel like you gotta eat like cardboard and sparkling water.

Rachel:              Yeah.

Ben:                   And it’s pretty decent.  There are stuff like, you know, bone broth and like, like, you know, para-sauces and fish and all sorts of stuff that you could still eat in there.  So that one, I’ll link to in the show notes.  It was written by a friend of mine who’s really cool and smart when it comes to immune diseases.  Her name is Mickey and she wrote this book called the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol.  So check that one out, even though I wouldn’t, you know, you shouldn’t just switch to that diet and say “I’m gonna be on that diet for the rest of my life.”  Instead, figure out what’s going on.

Rachel:              Right. Yeah.

Ben:                   Do some of those tests that I talked about, best of luck, keep us posted, if you have more questions and, of course, as with anything we’ve talked about, if you have questions, comments, feedback, you can leave ‘em in the show notes over at

Sherry:              Hey, Ben!  Hi, guys!  First of all, love your show.  Been listening to it now for the last six months.  Extremely informative and I have been hooked, going to a bunch of the conferences you’re speaking at this year, 2016, so very excited.  I’m a personal trainer, group instructor, and a massage therapist, so the question that I had for you Ben was, when you are using the massage oils with clients, do you have any idea on the absorption level of these oils into your body and could you tell me about the pros and cons for this?  I’m a little bit concerned about massaging five or six hours a day and absorbing all of this oil and my skin.  Would love some information on that, love you guys, you’re doing an awesome job, and can’t wait to hear the next podcast.  Bye-bye.

Ben:                   Well, your skin is a mouth and since your hands have skin, your hands are a mouth, right?

Rachel:              That is so weird! (laughs)

Ben:                   Your hands are a mouth.  Yes, skin absorption, it’s called dermal absorption, I wrote about this, I wrote a big article, I’ll link in the show notes, about this skin serum that I developed and, by the way, I don’t recommend it for massage therapy, a) because you’re gonna go through it pretty quickly is you use it for a massages, and b) it’s not, gotten a lot of questions about the skin serum from moisturizing standpoint, it’s not a moisturizer, like let’s say like avocado oil or coconut oil.  Frankly, both of those, those are decent natural moisturizers.  The skin serum is more something that is designed to remove wrinkles, to remove like oxidative damage on the skin, to improve glow, to feed the skin’s microbiome, but it’s not a moisturizer per se.  I personally, ‘cause I don’t have to deal with dry skin that much, I just use the skin serum after I shave and that’s it, but a lot of people have asked me, well, “Should I use a moisturizer too?”  I tell ‘em, yeah.  Rub in the skin serum and then, on top of that, just use a little avocado oil or olive oil or coconut oil as a moisturizer.  And the idea behind this is that chemicals, so a lot of people kind of like, they, they over magnify the issue with skin absorption, it’s not as though you’re walking around like as one, like bag covered in, you know, bag of bones and blood and organs covered in this tiny single-cell layer of skin.  Your skin’s pretty thick.  Like, to get absorbed through your skin, the chemical has to go through a few layers, your epidermis, and then your glands, and your hair follicles and there are several different layers of skin.  Your skin’s like a seven layer dip, really.  You’ve got, you know, like I said, it’s not just like a, you are some weak, defenseless blob of goo and bones covered by this tiny little layer of cellophane-like material.


Like there’s the epidermis and the dermis, in the epidermis, you’ve got the stradium, and the cornium, and the granular layer, and the spinus layer, and the basal layer, and the basal lamina, and so there’s all these different layers that a chemical has to go through in order for it to get absorbed.  Now, what happens is if a particular chemical is actually that fat soluble, it can pass through your outer skin layer pretty easily, and an oil, we’ll it’s an oil.  It’s a fat and fats are fat soluble.  Fats mixed with fats really well, and so what that means is that when you look at a lot of beauty products or skin cosmetics or massage oils, those are the kind of things you have to be concerned about because they have oils in them, and anything that has a fat soluble chemical, that’s the stuff that you have to worry about and that’s why when you look at like nicotine or birth control patches, like the epidermal delivery of these is far more efficacious and speedy than the oral delivery and that, you know, that’s why they’ll do medications through the skin a lot of times and it’s also why, you know, they’ve done tests where they’ve screened new born babies and they’ve found literally hundreds of toxins in the umbilical cord blood of new born babies and when they identified these toxins, half of them were the things the women were using in their makeup or their lotion or their moisturizer, and I’ll link to an article that I wrote about this, but the environment, the working group did a really interesting article on studies in which they found a ton of these different, like, birth defects and carcinogenic type of compounds in the umbilical cord blood of infants and it was all related to the personal care products used by the mom.

Rachel:              That is just so scary.

Ben:                   Yeah, so you do need to take into consideration even what your massage therapist is putting on your body.  And fortunately, most massage therapists are pretty woo-woo folks, and they already kind of tapped into the state, you know.  There’s not a lot of massage therapists using stuff like parabens and phthalates and, you know, masked carcinogens on your skin, but there are some specific massage oils that I would personally choose as some of the better ones to look into.  And so here are some of my top ones: almond oil.  Almond oil is really, really good.  It’s good for the skin, it’s a little bit oily, so it lets a massage therapist’s hands glide pretty easily over the skin, and it’s reasonably priced so you’re gonna go through a lot of it if you’re doing a lot of oil-based massage, but it doesn’t irritate the skin.  The only people who shouldn’t use that is people who have a nut allergy, but I’m a big fan of sweet almond oil.  That’s one that you could talk to your massage therapist about or if you’re a massage therapist listening in, that would be one that would be acceptable.  I would endorse it.  Apricot kernel oil is another, now it works very similarly in terms of texture and its usefulness for a massage compared to olive oil or, I’m sorry, almond oil, but it costs a little bit more.  It’s got a more vitamin E in it, it’s got a longer shelf life, but it also is one of those oils that’s really good for a massage but doesn’t leave you feeling greasy afterwards.  And it smells really nice too, I dunno if you’ve ever smelled apricot kernel oil.

Rachel:              I haven’t, no.

Ben:                   That’s another good one.  Interestingly, and not to get too explicit, I know we got some complaints on iTunes recently for our explicitness in episodes, we had a little, perhaps we did go a little crazy in the past few episodes from a sexual standpoint, but any of these oils, any of these oils I’m talking about, they’re great for the bedroom too.  So there’s that.  Jojoba oil, jojoba oil, and my wife always gives me a hard time cause I’ll often pronounce it jo-jo-ba, cause I think jo-jo-ba just sounds better than yo-yo-ba or yo-ho-ba, some people will say, but that’s a wax that’s extracted from the seed of the jojoba, yoyoba/jojoba plant, and it has really good antibacterial properties and it’s got what are called long-chain wax esters in them and these long-chain wax esters are very similar to your skin’s sebum, so it gets very well-absorbed, it’s a good carrier oil, it’s actually one of the things we have in the anti-aging skin serum.  It’s not irritating to the skin, and it’s very kind of silky.  It’s, it’s one of the more pricey oils, so a lot of times you’ll mix it with other oils, but that’s another really good one.  A couple more.  Coconut oil.  Do you use coconut oil much on your skin?

Rachel:              I do.  Yeah.  That’s kind of what I use to moisturize my face, actually, but it’s so thick.

Ben:                   Yeah, it could leave a little bit of a shimmery appearance, you know, that’s why I’m a little bit bigger fan for some of these other oils if it’s being used on the face, but coconut oil is specifically something for massage therapy that you’d wanna get in a form called fractionated coconut oil cause it only contains a fraction of the whole oil and it’s less pricey than like sweet almond oil or the jojoba oil, but the idea is that fractionated coconut oil isn’t quite as greasy and it also doesn’t stain sheets.


Rachel:              That’s helpful.

Ben:                   Again, helpful for both the bedroom as well as massage therapy.

Rachel:              I put it on my face before I go to bed, and then I lay on my pillow, and then suddenly my pillow cases are ruined. (laughs) How’s that for a first world problem?

Ben:                   Don’t get the thick, white solid oil.  Fractionated coconut is like a light, non-greasy, more of like a liquid.  And then the last one I look into is sunflower oil.  That’s also like a light, non-greasy oil that won’t leave the skin feeling oily.  It’s extracted from sunflower seeds, it’s got a lot of like essential fatty acids in it, like linoleic acid and palmitic acid and stearic acid, a lot of things that are actually components of healthy skin and the only issue with sunflower oil is, even though it is pretty good for a massage in terms of its texture, it does go rancid pretty easily so you’ll wanna keep it in like a dark, cool area.  That’s why you have to be careful with using it from a dietary standpoint, it’s just because of the potential for rancidity, so if you get that, just like fish oil, for example, keep it cool, keep it dark because it is prone to rancidity, but it’s another decent option for massage.  Those, those would be my top choices and the cool thing about any of those, especially the jojoba oil, is you can add essential oils to them like ginger or, you know, stinging nettle oil, or cinnamon oil, or peppermint, or any other things that you want to add aroma for, lavender, rose oil, there’s all sorts of different oils, you know.  Like I personally keep lavender essential oil and rose essential oil at the bedside for just basically sleeping a little bit better because those are both relaxants and I’ll dab a little bit on my upper lip.  I keep coconut oil and also THC-infused oil called Bond that I get from this company in Seattle and those are, those are for sexy time, and then I keep the, the skin serum and I actually keep that on my bedside.  I’ve been dabbing it on my face before I got to bed at night and then also a little bit in the morning.  Those are all the different oils, you’ll find all sorts of fun things in my bed stand, sometimes I should do, or sometime I should do a blog just about all the things in my, my little drawer next to my bed.  There’s all sorts of fun little things in there.

Rachel:              Are there any downsides to, as a masseuse, absorbing that much oil if you’re massaging like over a whole day?

Ben:                   No.  Not if you’re using anything I just talked about.

Rachel:              Okay. Good.

Ben:                   It’s only if you’re using the bad stuff.  That’s the skinny and we’ll put links to some of the stuff in the show notes for you.  So hopefully that’s helpful, Sherry, and now you owe me a massage.

Ryan:                 Ben Greenfield!  This is Ryan Walker, reaching out to you from Mobile, Alabama!  First and foremost, I freakin’ love your show, man.  It has changed my life, so thank you so much for all that you do and I’ve got a fun question for you.  I’m one of those whacko conspiracy theorist-type people who believes that the sustainability of our financial system will not remain for much longer, so with that being said, I was hoping maybe you could put together a list of 10 items, or more or less, of, not necessarily items, but foods, remedies, things like that that we can keep, we can start storing that will help us optimize or at least maintain our health in times of hardship, looking mostly for maybe the best essential oils to have, if you can pick like the top five, or really anything, anything that you, if you had to put together your own bug out bag kinda scenario, what would it consist of?  So again, thank you so much for everything, Ben.  Love the show.  Keep up the great work, and thank you Rachel, you’ve been awesome as well.  Hope to hear back from you soon.  Bye-bye.

Ben:                   Well, this is a topic near and dear to my heart right now, Rachel, because I’ve been having to put together a bag of my own.

Rachel:              You have?  For what?  The apocalypse?

Ben:                   Well, no.  I always had for the past two years, since I took a wilderness survival course, I’ve had what’s called a bug-out bag, and it’s the bag that you grab if, if crap hits the fan and you gotta run for the woods.  It just has everything in it that you need to survive for a while.  You know, like I’ve got my, my compass and my magnifying glass and my fire starter and my knife and my like water filter and, pretty much everything I need to survive in the wilderness.


Rachel:              I am definitely curious about when you say s*** hits the fan, what exactly you’re talking about that would require you run to the woods.

Ben:                   It would be, okay, so I am an, a, or have been accused of being a prepper, right.  I’ve got, I’ve got gold, silver, guns, a well, I’m adding solar and wind power to my home so I can get off the local power supply.  Yes, I have a social security number.  Yes, I live legally and lawfully, but I also, let’s put it this way, if the million-man Chinese army were to attack or the Iranians were to send a bunch of nuclear bombs over our way and just like, you know, stuff got really, really bad, or Donald Trump pissed off, you know, Putin or whatever.

Rachel:              That’s probably the most likely one I’ve heard so far.

Ben:                   Probably.  So I would be able to, to survive for a while here on my homestead.

Rachel:              How long is a while?

Ben:                   I think that, this point in my life, based off of the food we have stockpiled, gold, silver, ammo, farm, I think I could probably get by for years.

Rachel:              And what does, how does Jessa feel about the prepping?

Ben:                   She’s probably a bigger fan of it than I am.  I mean, she is responsible for the chickens, and the goats, and the garden, and, you know, she’s a total ranch girl and, you know, granted…

Rachel:              Is that prepping for an apocalypse or…?

Ben:                   Some of my stuff is more based around, like, you know, the stuff you’d expect guys to be more into, right, like weapons and ammo and gold and silver and that kinda stuff, but you know, ultimately, I’m into this whole, this whole idea of survival.  I subscribed to a magazine called American Survival Magazine and it’s just like every issue is chockfull of “Here’s what to do if there’s a solar flare that knocks out all the WiFi on the face of the planet.”

Rachel:              I feel like you’re really coming out right now, like I feel like this is actually coming out to the world.  You’re a legitimate prepper.

Ben:                   I’m a legitimate prepper, I think, and that’s why I like this question.

Rachel:              Hi, guys.  My name is Ben, and I’m a legitimate prepper.

Ben:                   But I actually, I’d rather hold there a little bit, ‘cause I was gonna say I’m putting together a bag right now for the hurricane heat in Seattle next week.  So I’m headed to the Seattle Super Spartan and I’m gonna do the hurricane heat, that means I show up at 10 PM and they just like put you through the wringer until 10 AM, and then I’m gonna do the race too the next day.

Rachel:              Wow.  That’s huge.

Ben:                   Oh yeah, I’ve got a full list.  Here, I’ll give you a quick list and then I’ll just into my healthy bug out bag, but the full list of the stuff I have to bring to the Seattle event is ruck, headlamp, chem lights, high visibility safety vest, compass, duct tape, black sharpie, a 100 feet of paracord, a multitool, MREs, 3 liters of hydration, 25 pound weight in my ruck pack, a sandbag, and then, for some reason, they said I need to bring a kickball.  I’ve not clue why, but what I have heard about these Spartan hurricane heats is, if you don’t bring to the tee everything they tell you, you tend to get punished with a copious amounts of burpess, so I’m just gonna bring all that stuff.  So I’m putting together that bag right now, but I like Ryan’s question.  So, Ryan, let’s go ahead and just forget all the stuff that we would expect to be crucial, the stuff I just went over, right, like your water filter and your compass and your magnifying glass and like a knife and some fire starter.  I like your question because what are some of the healthy things that will help you during times of hardship.  So, here we go.  First of all, my little favorite that I tend to wear when I’m travelling or when I’m in the forest when I’m out on a long hike, and this probably doesn’t fall under the category of something healthy or biohack-y, but it’s my survival bracelet.  Have you ever seen a survival bracelet?

Rachel:              What’s a survival bracelet?

Ben:                   So I’ll link to my survival bracelet in the show notes ‘cause you can get it off Amazon.

Rachel:              That looks awesome!

Ben:                   Okay.  So basically it’s a bracelet made out of paracord, so you can undo the paracord and have 12 feet of paracord that you could like suspend yourself off the edge of a cliff with, but then it’s got a kale hook for fishing, with liter of line, it’s got a little foam bobbers that are like roll-up foam bobber along with some egg sinkers you could just basically catch fish, fire starter rod, fire striker, dried grass tinder bundle, safety pins, compass, and those are the biggies, but it’s all built into this tiny little bracelet and you would never know, looking at it, that is has all this stuff in it.  It just looks like a normal little bracelet, but you can literally, if you find yourself in the wilderness, catch fish, find direction, hang off cliffs, start fire, etcetera.


Rachel:              And it’s only $20!

Ben:                   I know.

Rachel:              Oh my god!  That’s probably the best $20 I would spend!

Ben:                   So there’s that.  I know.  I don’t wear it all the time, cause it’s kind of a weird looking bracelet, but if I’m out just trucking around, I like my little survival bracelet.  So, have that.  The next thing that I would recommend is a good essential oil that’s gonna kill off anything like STAF, MERSA, I don’t want to tell you how many times I’ve used this stuff in the wilderness, or when I am like in a hotel room where I have second thoughts about the cleanliness of that hotel room or AirBnB and I have like, you know, an open wound I’ve gotten from a triathlon or a race or something like that.  I always travel with a little bottle of Thieves’ Essential Oil, and Thieves’ is a blend of clove, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cinnamon, so it was inspired by these old school French thieves who used to travel all over the world and they would like, they wouldn’t, the legend is they never got sick and this stuff works like that.  Like you could put a few drops in water if you feel that you’ve been exposed to something.  You can put it on wounds, I have a really gnarly open wound on my shin right now from sliding down a rope while doing rope climbing, I put some Thieves’ on that this morning…

Rachel:              Why don’t you use oregano?  Why do you use Thieves’ instead of oregano?

Ben:                   Oregano’s good, but Thieves’ is, it covers even more bacteria than oregano does.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of oregano.  Thieves’ is expensive too, right, so that’s no issue.  Oregano is a little less expensive, but you know a bottle of Thieves’ is like 50 bucks.  But I have one on hand.  So that’d be number two.  Number three would be cinnamon and the reason I like cinnamon is because it has been proven to be more effective than deet in warding off mosquitos and insects and you could just get a little bit of cinnamon essential oil, two or three drops will literally cover your arms and legs, and if you find yourself in a mosquito-infested situation, mosquitos just do not like cinnamon at all.  Those are the two oils that I’d have, that I have.  It’d be Thieves’ and cinnamon.  You can smell like a giant Cinnabon roll.  The next thing that I would have, and this is another one that flies on the radar, is sprouting seeds.  So, the idea behind this is that sprouting seeds are, they’re basically these little seeds, you can get ‘em off like Amazon, and you can store them in your bag along with like a paper towel, and when you’re ready to sprout the seeds, you get a little bit of water on the towel, and then you wrap up a handful of these seeds, and you wait just a couple of days and they sprout into these extremely nutrient-dense snack.  They’ve very, very portable and, again, all you need to do, and you can use these just for like your general cooking, and they’re great to add to smoothies or sprinkle on salads, but they’re sprouting seeds.  The ones that I get, you can find on Amazon, there’s a company called The Sprout House that sells ‘em and they’re clover, lentil, daikon radish, and fenugreek, and you literally just add water and they take a couple of days to sprout and they’re incredibly nutritious.  Really, really good blend and that’s a great addition, you know, rather than having a bunch of nasty MREs for a bug out bag.  Now I would also, of course, have another thing that I really, really like as a nutrient-dense, calorie, calorie rich source of fuel that gets rid of cravings and it gives you a little hit of energy, and that would be a really, really good dark chocolate.

Rachel:              Oooooh!  I think a lot of people are happy to hear that.

Ben:                   Yeah.  There’s a lot of different dark chocolates out there, I tend to go between a bunch of ‘em, like I’ve used the Eating Evolution Choc.  We did a whole podcast, Brock and I did, I think this was before you were, you were doing the podcast with me Rachel, but we did a whole podcast on like which of the chocolates out there are the healthiest.  The one I’ve been doing a lot of lately is the Bulletproof chocolate.  So Bulletproof, the company came out with this chocolate, they call their chocolate fuel bar, and it’s about 80% chocolate, but then they sweeten it with xylitol instead of sugar, and I believe they add some MCT oil or something like that to it that gives it kind of this unique energy blend.  It’s not MCT, it’s XCT oil, XCT oil, so that’s the stuff that gets readily burned by your liver for fuel so it’s a, it’s like a chocolate bar that doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels, basically.

Rachel:              Yum!  That’s a win!

Ben:                   It’s a sugar-free chocolate bar, but it’s still got a lot of fuel in it.  I like that one.  I like that one that they’ve got coffee infused into cause you get that coffee-chocolate combo.  So, I’d have that in there as well, dark chocolate.  The next thing that I would add would be something that I use for, and I know this might be offensive to some of our Hispanic listeners, Mexican showers, which, from what I understand is just this idea that you use a baby wipe to shower rather than taking an actual shower.


Rachel:              And, I’m sure, is kind of offensive.

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s kind of offensive, but I have these in my bug out bag and what they are is they’re called Action Wipes.  I use them like after a triathlon, I use them to wipe my arse when I’m taking a dump in the woods, you name it.  But they’re basically a wipe that is infused with frankincense, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil, so they smell really good, but they also kill bacteria if you happen, you know, kinda like Thieves’.  You can even use them as like a wrap-around wounds, but you can also use them to just like, whatever, clean funky armpits.  So these ones are called Action Wipes.  I’ve actually been using Action Wipes for almost a decade.  I discovered them at a triathlon down in California and, and yeah, just fell in love with them.  So I’m always ordering myself a pack full of Action Wipes.  They just, they work perfectly.  The only thing I can tell you is they’re not a flushable wipe, so don’t wipe ‘em down the toilet ‘cause they’re really strong and they’re durable and designed to be used multiple times, but they work really well.  They were originally, interesting story, I have a podcast that I do with the owner, they were originally developed for, for sexy time activities in the bedroom, and then she realized they worked well for sports.

Rachel:              We just keep going back there, don’t we?  Just can’t get away from it.

Ben:                   Well, no!  No, only twice, but no.  I mean, I don’t mind talking about that stuff.  That’s life.

Rachel:              Me neither.

Ben:                   But, anyways, the, the Action Wipes, I’d have those in there.  So a few other things, ‘cause I wanted to give Ryan 10 things, Ambronite.  I would forego MREs, any nasty, you know, oxidized, military-based ready-to-eat pouches.  Basically ambronite, I just did a podcast with them, you can listen to it at  I discovered in Finland, it was developed by a bunch of adventurers and montaineers, it’s this little green pouch, 500 calories a pouch, it’s got like 20 different superfoods in it.  You can literally, you don’t even need a cup.  You can just open up the pouch, add a little bit of water to the pouch, eat it right out of there.  It’s probably the most satiating meal replacement powder that I’ve ever used, and I would definitely have that in, in your bug out bag as well, would be some pouches of ambronite.  Yeah, so ambronite would be the, you know, and you can even break up the chunks of dark chocolate and put them in the ambronite.

Rachel:              Yummy!

Ben:                   Not that I’ve ever been known to do that, but that’s like liquid ambrosia.  Seriously.  You have to try it.  Have you tried that stuff yet, by the way?

Rachel:              I haven’t, no.  Actually, Jake had it last night for dinner though.

Ben:                   That’s really good.  I’ve had it for dinner.  It’s really good, especially when I gotta work during dinner and I just need to eat something with a spoon out of a cup while working.

Rachel:              It’s just functional eating.

Ben:                   Yeah, but it’s good.  Okay, so, kind of along those lines as far as a cleanse, we’ve all heard about activated charcoal before and how that can get rid of toxins in your gut if you’ve gotten food poisoning and that’s certainly something that’s in my bug out bag, but because I wanna be super unique with these ideas for Ryan, I would say that something that acts similarly to activated charcoal but also supplies you with amino acids, fatty acids, brain-building DHA, appetite satiation, etcetera, would be chlorella.  So chlorella will bind and remove toxins, that’s why one of the reasons why sushi is such a perfect food because it’s seaweed that is mixed with fish, and so the seaweed will bind a lot of the toxins in the fish, like the metals and stuff like that and help remove them from the fish and chlorella acts similarly in your body, so it helps when your liver has used your livers anti-oxidants to, to help to metabolized toxins and stuff like that, chlorella is one of those things that can help to remove those.  It’s basically what would be called a binder or a phase II detoxificant for the liver.  So you could put a bunch of like little chlorella tabs in there.  I’ll link to a whole article that I wrote about how to use chlorella tablets, but that would be another thing to add in.  Almost there.  Two more things to get us up to 10.  Next would be, again along the lines of something more supplement-ish that helps to decrease inflammation, decrease joint pain, decrease nerve pain, and that would be curcumin.  So curcumin is a really potent anti-oxidant you could have, you know, a Ziploc bag full of curcumin capsules in there and basically curcumin is not very well-absorbed.  There are only really two forms of curcumin that tend to get absorbed very well.  Number one would be if it’s in what’s called nanoparticle form.  There’s this whole emerging field of nanomedicine in which they take certain compounds, and they blend them into tiny, tiny little nanoparticles and those get absorbed much, much better than the bigger particles that you’ll tend to see in most supplements and medication.


And then the other way to make curcumin bioavailable is to blend it with a fat.  This is why like adding like turmeric to, to, you know, like my wife did this last night.  Turmeric juice, like juiced turmeric with a coconut oil as, because the fats act with the curcuminoids and the turmeric and they get them really well-absorbed.  But you can also just take curcumin in what’s called a phytosome form, you wanna look for curcumin phytosome.  So either a nanoparticle curcumin or curcumin phytosome, but either of those are extremely well-absorbed forms of something that works similarly to ibuprofen or Advil, without the gut damage.  Right.  So if you happen to get injured, this would be a good one.  And then finally, because we’ve already been woo-woo talking about the Earthing sandals, the other thing that I would look into is something that will help to make your water healthier after you’ve filtered it.  So there’s this idea that, of course when you filter water, you can get rid of chlorine and fluoride and, you know, amoebas, and E. coli and stuff like that, but the problem is water that’s been filtered is dead water.  So when you filter water, it loses all of its vibratory frequencies.  It’s just like if you put vegetables in the refrigerator for four weeks, they’re not as nutritious for you as, say, you just picked them out of a garden and ripped them up and made a fresh salad because they lose a lot of the vibrational energy that they get from like sunlight.  Water’s this same way.  Once water isn’t passing over rocks and underground streams and, you know, through pipes and stuff like that, and it’s just kind of stopped, it’s stagnant for a while, it is no longer what’s called resonating with the same frequencies.  There’s a scientist named Dr. Gerald Pollock at University of Washington who studies this idea that water that’s not vibrating at these frequencies doesn’t hydrate cells quite as well.  So you can get, so I have a whole house-structured water filter in my home that structures all the water because I get from a well, but then it passes through an iron filter because there’s iron in my well water, and it also passes through a manganese filter because there’s a manganese issue with my well water, but then, it’s dead water cause it’s been through all these filters, so the final thing I do is I pass it through what’s called a structured water filter and, typically, a structured water filter is, it’s like a vortex, a series of glass beads that the water travels through that restores that same frequency that would have had if it were like travelling through an underground spring, and you can get portable structured water filters that you can put in a bug out bag and then you can take water that you filtered and drink it through like, there’s one called, for example, a nanowell.  It’s a kinda cool one.  It’s a little, little portable water bottle you can take with you when you travel, you can take it in a, in a bug out bag, and it’s just a little mini structured water maker.  And there’s, there’s a bunch of others, I’ll link to ‘em on Amazon, but they’re also known as like ionizers, water ionizers, but they make water bottles that will just do all this for you.  They even make like little sticks that you can add to a bottle of water and then shake it up in the water, and it helps to restore some of the vibration into the water.  So those are all the things that I would add to a healthy bug out bag.  I’ll put a fill list in the show notes and, of course, a lot of this stuff is just good stuff to have on hand, even if you’re not a prepper like me, even if you don’t subscribe to Survival Magazine, even though I think everybody should subscribe just cause it’s just like, it’s prepper porn, basically.  It’s fun stuff to read, so check all that out, Ryan and everybody else who’s listening in who wants to survive when Donald Trump pisses off our overseas neighbors.

Jennifer:           Hi, Ben! This is Jennifer from Oceanside, California.  I have a question about increasing thyroid function once damage has been done from all the carb diet.   I had been playing around with nutrition and trying to get leaner and ended up depleting my thyroid function fairly significantly.  I have a doctor and nutrition who’s a homeopath that will be helping me as well as a new nutrition coach, but in the interim, if you have any advice on how to use carbs to help reset my metabolism and get me back on track and what types of carbs to use, I would really appreciate it.  I’ve been feeling really slow and not so good.  It’s not a fun feeling.  I know I can fix it in a month or two with help, but if there’s anything you can kind of guide me on between now and then, I would really appreciate it.  Thank you and Rachel, for all of your excellent advice and products and wonderful things.


I can’t tell you how much I benefit from it, I’m a physician myself and often pass a lot of your information to my patients, other physicians, and friends.  Keep it up!  Thanks!

Ben:                   Well this is a topic near and dear to my heart because my wife, Jessa, is a former cross-country runner and she, and a lot of her teammates, dealt with like stress fractures and amenorrhea and all of these issues related to, to training, getting really lean with like endurance training, and you’ll often see this to be not just an issue with endurance athletes, but also with active females in general.  And so, there is this, this concept of the female athlete triad, which is a combination of disordered eating and also, a lot of people don’t realize this, it can be either disordered eating like anorexia or just low energy availability, like not eating enough damn food.  And then that’s typically combined with amenorrhea and low bone density, like osteoporosis.  That’s kind of like the cluster that you tend to see, and a lot of times it goes hand in hand with some of the hormonal issues like the thyroid issues that Jennifer’s talking about.  Now, it’s, it can be pretty prevalent, especially among athletes and, in studies that they’ve done, generally, in like the active female population, it’s about somewhere between 12 and 18% of the total amount of the active female population, meaning like exercise enthusiasts, triathletes, crossfitters, etcetera, have hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, growth hormone deficits, or any of these other functions of the female athlete triad.  So it’s, it’s a pretty, pretty prevalent issue and when you think about 12 to 18% is, is a lot of women that deal with this and, there are some issues that, that tend to crop up over and over again when it comes to the long term effects of stuff like this.  So not only to you, of course, lose fertility when you’re menses starts to disappear, and you begin to increase your risk for fractures as your bone health begins to diminish, but they’ve also looked at, at women who are showing a lot of these overtraining signs and they’ve found decrease left ventricular mass and diminished thickness of cardiac walls and, basically as nasty as it is to think about it, your heart tissue begins to almost eat itself because you begin to break down your own cardiac tissue to rely upon for energy.  It’s not just your muscle tissue and, and bone demineralization, but also the heart.

Rachel:              That’s crazy.

Ben:                   Yeah, and the culprit it not necessarily as many people have been lead to believe, carbohydrate restriction, as much as it is overall energy deprivation and, as a matter of fact, what they found is that the hormonal imbalances that are caused by overtraining, in females especially, can be reversed with high amounts of energy availability and so what I mean by that is they’ve studied the ability to produce things like luteinizing hormone, which, which allows for the restoration of fertility.  They’ve looked at bone density.  They’ve looked at the ability to produce things like progesterone, you know, one of the things that women tend to lose that affects like sex drive during, during periods of caloric restriction or overtraining and they’ve found that almost all of this can be reversed by increasing energy availability.

Rachel:              What does that mean, increasing energy availability?

Ben:                   Okay, so what I tell my female clients who I’ve worked with and kind of walked through, you know, anywhere from 6 to 12 week programs for kinda getting their periods back or getting rid of thyroid issues or like the high TSH that Jennifer is talking about or, you know, the other issues that you see are like, again, low luteinizing hormone levels, low estrogen, low testosterone, low progesterone, usually whacked out circadian rhythms because there’s an absence of a cortisol spike in the morning, and then also really, really low insulin-like growth factor, which is one of the things that allows you to recover more quickly from exercise.  And then, of course, the decline of heart mass, organ mass, bone mass, muscle mass, even brain mass, oddly enough, they even found that to be an issue.  What I tell them is basically, it’s a process of allowing yourself to get fat and you put on some weight, and you decrease training because what’s going on is your body will tap into its energy stores in the form of body fat, muscle, and organ mass, as well as the insulating fat around nerves and neural tissue.


                           It will decrease metabolic activity, specifically by down regulating thyroid activity, and then it will shut down, non-vital, very energy-intensive parts of your system and the two most energy-intensive systems that that women have that get shut down are the immune system and the reproductive system.  So you get sick more, and you lose fertility.  Okay.  The thyroid activity decreases and then you start to see shrinkage of brain, heart, muscle, organ, etcetera, and women who ignore this and continue to just drive and train and not jump into a properly programmed training program, they, they eventually just waste away and you tend to see, I see this sometimes when you look at like, you know, 50 year old female ultra runners and they look like Yoda, basically.  It’s like, that’s not the way that, you know, that a woman is, is kinda supposed to look and, granted if you’re happy running up mountains and, you know, and that’s what you wanna do and you’re okay with the fact that you might, in your 80s, step off a curb and get a fracture, and, you know, you’re not gonna have a sex drive, ever.  You know, that type of thing.  You know, that’s fine if that floats your boat, but, for a lot of women, that’s not the way they wanna live.

Rachel:              Can you, can all of these things happen from undereating and not overtraining?

Ben:                   It’s very, very typical for these to be a combination of overtraining and undereating.  Not, not both, so you get overtraining and undereating, and what you get from that is basically, you know, low luteinizing hormone.  There are low levels of what is called leptin, which can help with the appetite regulation.  There are, you know, everything else that I just got done talking about.  Well, what you do, even if it’s only temporary, right, and a lot of times this can be as few as 8 to 12 weeks that you see this is you overeat and you undertrain.  That is essentially how you reverse this.  As simple and as stupid as that is, this is the thing that I have found to, and that research has shown, to reduce this issue in females and to get rid of this vicious cycle.  So it’s basically four different things: you provide adequate and continuous energy supply to your body, so this means breaking all the rules of ketosis and intermittent fasting, etcetera, and essentially, what you’re doing is you are, you’re controlling what are called your ghrelin levels, which help to, to mitigate a lot of, of the loss of leptin hormone, which is an appetite regulating hormone that occurs when you’re overtraining and undereating, and helps to stabilize blood sugar, so that will help to stabilize cortisol levels, get the cortisol spike a crank in the morning, and restore proper appetite hormone expression, and the way that you do that is by eating three square meals a day and then multiple snacks too.  So that’s, that’s number one.  Number two is you need to make sure that glucose levels are normalized and that will increase insulin levels and insulin-like growth factor levels and that can help out with the thyroid disregulation and the way that you do that is you ensure that each of the meals that you eat throughout the day, include some type of low glycemic index carbohydrate that’s gonna allow for a low bleed of energy as you do a lot of like grains and legumes and seeds and nuts and things like that.  So not a lot of like super-duper sugary foods, but instead foods that are gonna give you a slow release of carbohydrate, and, again, this is not for everybody, right, this is for women who are specifically finding themselves in this issue.  Number three, is a really balanced intake of every type of natural fat you can get your hands on and, again, I’m basing this off of studies that have looked into reversal of overtraining symptoms in women.  I’m not just pulling this stuff out my butt, and I’ll put links in the show notes, but what you want to look at when I say balanced intake of all types of natural fats is you would be going after things like fish oil, algae sources, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, so you wanna get a combination of polyunsaturated fatty acids, saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, because you have to rebuild things like cell membranes and hormones and steroidal precursors, and that takes a balanced intake of a good mix of natural fats.  And then, finally, you need a profound reduction in training volume to lower things like energy requirements, catecholamine requirements, cortisol requirements, vitamin D turnover into cortisol, etcetera, and that typically means doing a lot of like, kinda, you know, yoga, easy swims, foam rolling and mobility work, programming in far more recovery days, allowing for adequate rest between sets, lowering the number of sets or repetitions that you do, lowering training volume, etcetera.


                           And there’s actually a fantastic three part article series on a website called SuppVersity, that I’ll link it to, that are really goes into all of the different studies that investigate reversal of the female athlete triad, but ultimately what it comes down to is not just eating more carbohydrates or getting off a low carb diet, it comes down to everything that I just talked about, snacking frequency, avoidance of intermittent fasting, lowering of training volume, increase of all sorts of different types of natural fats, and those are some of the biggies, but I’ll link that full article for you in the show notes, but that is, that is where I would start and that is, you know, something that a lot of times you’ll see, not just women, but also men need to do because this can be an issue in men who overtrain as well.  So, yeah, that is where I would start, Jennifer.  I hope that helps.  Again, I should throw in a disclaimer here, I’m not a doctor.  This is not to be misconstrued as medical advice.

Rachel:              Well, it’s funny ‘cause she is a doctor. (laughs)

Ben:                   Oh!  Oh!  I thought, okay, so she’s, I thought she was saying she has a doctor, she is a doctor.

Rachel:              She’s also a physician, herself.

Ben:                   Well, there you go.  I’m just saying, if I wasn’t getting my period, that’s what I would do.  I know she didn’t talk a whole lot about amenorrhea, but you’ll tend to see this, you know, hand-in-hand with thyroid dysfunction, is this whole female athlete triad.  Anyways, there you have it.  So, that being said, we covered a lot in today’s show.

Rachel:              Huge podcast!

Ben:                   So, go to because we have tons of goodies in there for you.  Everything from the, the Earth runners, to all the studies that we talked about, to all the links to everything I’ll put in my bug out bag, to the new anti-aging serum, to all the different events from the Paleo f(x) to the biohacker summit, on and on.  You can get all the goodies from and the last thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna give something away.

Rachel:              Yay!

Ben:                   We have gotten a, a plethora of one-star reviews lately in iTunes.  Considering we work our ass off to produce this podcast and to try and get you valuable information, that just irks me when I log in.  And I know part of it is there have been a few episodes where we gotten, yeah, maybe a little bit too explicit for the kids in your mini-van, or , you know, maybe I’ve talked about something that seems woo-woo like trends in adult meditation, shocker, but ultimately, if you’re listening in and you do dig this podcast, you wanna give us a little good karma, here’s what you do: go to iTunes, iTunes is the place to do it, leave a five star review, say something nice, say something cool, and if we pick your review to read on the show, and then you e-mail, just e-mail your t-shirt size to [email protected] if you hear your review right on the show, we’ll send you a cool Ben Greenfield Fitness gear pack with a water bottle and a t-shirt.  Not just any t-shirt, but a tech t-shirt for exercising and a beanie, a really cool Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie.  So, we have a review, five star review, called “great freaking podcast!!” left by JoelD82 and, Rachel, wanna take this one away?

Rachel:              Yeah!  Let’s do it!  Alright! So, JoelD82 says “This is a terrific podcast.  It feels like health and fitness based on science instead of outdated info from the 50s.  This is the best podcast.  It’s always a good listen thanks to Ben’s humour, his cute sounding Australian co-host livens things up as well.”  Aww, isn’t that sweet.  What a nice pat on the head.

Ben:                   I like to think too that I am cute sounding.

Rachel:              I thought you were the cute one, Ben!  I was the smart one! (laughs)

Ben:                   Yeah.  Although I think you probably got a lot of new followers from you posting bikini shots of you doing the cold water shower challenge that we just got done doing, I think.

Rachel:              And then, like, come on now.  Rachel’s not an athlete.  She doesn’t have an athletic body.  It’s like not a big deal.

Ben:                   I’m just saying, I think folks dug that, but anyways, the 50s, the 1950s, outdated info from the 1950s.  I dunno what was going on in the 1950s, but I’m thinking like, wasn’t that when you would do like roller skating, drive-through, fast food.

Rachel:              Milkshakes.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Milkshakes and, what else, like, you know, old school Fords. I think television just came around in the 1950s and music, of course, from the 1950s.


We hit Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, right?  Those were big in the 50s, so there were all sorts of good stuff going on in the 50s dude, don’t slam the 50s.  I’m just staying, but we’re still gonna send you a gear pack.  So, just e-mail us, thanks for the awesome review and, again, you can leave your review, we’ll put a link in the show notes, just go to iTunes, do search for the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show and in the meantime, we have plenty of fantastic episodes planned for the future.  I’ve been recording my butt off with podcasts about everything from staying fit when you’re injured to the healthiest kinds of wine to, I’m doing one later on today about algae, all sorts of really cool podcasts coming up the pipelines, so stay tuned.  In the meantime, check out the show notes for everything at  Rachel.

Rachel:              Ben.

Ben:                   Later.

[1:42:07.4]     END

350: Why You Should “Cheat” On Meals, When You Shouldn’t Get A Blood Test, Which Massage Oil Is Healthiest & More!


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

April 13, 2016 Podcast: 350: Why You Should “Cheat” On Meals, When You Shouldn’t Get A Blood Test, Which Massage Oil Is Healthiest & More!

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, 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+.


Special Announcements:

Two quick corrections:

Earthrunners earthing sandals discount is 10%, not 30%. Our apologies!

Ambronite superfoods meal replacement discount is “BEN15”.

This podcast is brought to you by:

EarthRunners – use code BEN10 for 10% discount on these minimalist outdoor sandals that sync up with the earth’s circadian rhythm (24 hour cycle) by exposing your biology to planet’s natural frequencies via carbon lacing and carbon plugs built into the sandal.

Harrys Shaving – get $5 off any order from Harrys at and use promo code “BEN”.

FitLife – get 20% off the best tasting green juice powder on the face of the planet with discount code “BEN”.

April 1-21: The Cold Shower Challenge – You take a 5 minute cold shower (no temperature rules, but as cold as your shower can truly go, scout’s honor…) each morning for 21 days from April 1st – 21st. Then you post a (clothed or towel clad, no nudies!) photo on any social media outlet you have (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as evidence. You *must* tag @BenGreenfield and you must use the following hashtag: #ColdShowerChallenge. The best part? All proceeds go towards The Brain Trauma Foundation, an organization that conducts innovative clinical research and develops evidence-based guidelines that improve the outcomes for millions of people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year. During this challenge you will learn everything you need to know about cold thermogenesis and cold showers, and even get access to a private Facebook community with all participants (including me), donate money to Brain Trauma Foundation, revitalize your life, body, brain and waistline to be ready for spring, and bask in the many cognitive and performance-enhancing benefits of cold thermogenesis! So…you in? Click here to join in now.

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine!

GreenfieldFitnessSystems “surprise gift box” – 50% discount on instant access to a box shipped to your front doorstep and full of the latest cutting-edge biohacking gear, nutrients, smart drugs and more, handpicked and curated by Ben. Only three left.

Did you miss the weekend podcast episode on Transcendental Meditation. It was a must-listen – titled “TM – Cult, Quackery or Science”. Click here to listen now or download for later!

May 11, 2016: Ben is speaking at the brand new Natural Grocers in Spokane, WA on “Little Known, Easy-To-Find Foods That Burn Fat”. Click here for more details or to get in for free now.

May 21-22, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in London. The venue will be one of the most charming venues of London, Tabacco Dock, and features an Upgraded Dinner with wild forager Sami Tallberg and a great opportunity to bring together some fantastic UK based biohackers in the realms of digital health, wearables, supplements, biohacking, lifehacking, quantified self and much more. You’ll discover digital health & wellness providers, nutrition & supplement companies, wearables & mobile applications and smart home appliances from infrared saunas to smart sensors. Click here to register and use 10% code “ben”.

May 26-29, 2016: Ben is speaking at PaleoFX 2016 in Austin, Texas. This is the The Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including New York Times bestselling authors, leading physicians, scientists, health entrepreneurs, professional athletes, fitness professionals, activists, bloggers, biohackers, and more. And you DON’T need to be Paleo to be able to get a ton of benefit and fun out of this one! Also, one day prior, on May 26 is Health Entrepreneurs f(x) – a full day of deep discussion on marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship for health and wellness people, featuring Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Melissa Hartwig, Sarah Ballantyne, Mike Bledsoe, Abel James, and a bunch of other speakers in small group coaching sessions.

July 8-10, 2016: Join SEALFit and Ben Greenfield for a SEALFit 20X event at Ben Greenfield’s home in Spokane, WA – combined with Obstacle Course training with Ben Greenfield and Hunter McIntyre. Get all details here and get in soon because this one will fill up fast!

August 11-13, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) in Boulder, Colorado. AHS is a historic three-day event created to unite the ancestral health movement and to foster collaboration among scientists, health professionals, and laypersons who study and communicate about health from an evolutionary perspective to develop solutions to our health challenges. Click here to learn more or to register now. 

Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Dec 3-10, 2016: Runga in Costa Rica: 8 days, epic food, twice daily yoga, salt water pool and manual therapy and spa services galore, experts from around the world teaching running clinics, kettlebell seminars, lecturing on nutrition, etc. Also daily adventures ranging from zip lining to white water, along with a full digital detox. Code “BEN” gets you a free gift with your RUNGA registration valued at $75! Click here to get in now.

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 – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

When You Shouldn’t Get A Blood Test

Phil says: His wife is 54 and has a long list of health issues, many of which developed later in life. From food allergies and asthma to aching knees to swollen fingers in the morning, which she describes as Mickey Mouse hands. All of her doctors just want to treat her symptoms but he wants to treat the causes. Would you recommend a functional wellness test like WellnessFX and if so, which one would you choose? Or would you recommend something else?

Which Massage Oil Is Healthiest?

Sherry says: She loves the show, she’s been listening for the past 6 months and she hooked. She’s going to a bunch of the conferences you’re speaking at. She’s a personal trainer, group instructor and massage therapist. She’s wondering what the absorption level is of massage oil into your body. What are the pros and cons of of absorbing all that oil into the skin if she’s massaging 6 hours per day?

In my response, I recommend:
New Greenfield Anti-Aging Skin Serum

Ben’s Bug Out Bag

Ryan says: He’s from Mobile, Alabama, and he’s got a fun question. He’s one of those Waco conspiracy theorist type – people who believes the sustainability of our financial system won’t remain much longer. He was hoping you could put together a list of top 10 items, foods, remedies that he can keep and start storming that will help them optimize or maintain health during times of hardship.

How Women Can Fix Metabolic Damage From Overtraining

Jennifer says: She’s from Oceanside, California. She has a question about increasing thyroid function once damage had been done from a low carb diet. She’s was playing around with nutrition and trying to get leaner and depleted her thyroid function fairly significantly. She has a doctor of nutrition and nutrition coach helping her but in the interim, if you have any advice on how to use carbs to help reset her metabolism and get her back on track and what types of carbs to use, she’d appreciate it. She’s feeling really slow and not so good…it’s not a fun feeling. She knows she can fix it in a month of two with help but if there’s anything we can provide in the interim she’d appreciate it. She thanks you for your excellent advice, and products and other things, she benefits so much from it. She’s a physician herself and she often passes along information to her patients, other physicians and friends.

In my response, I recommend:
Suppversity article


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

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


A Healthy Alternative To Soylent (The Controversial, Space-Age Meal Replacement Powder).


Ever heard of Soylent?

Three years ago, it popped up on a blog post entitled “Why I Stopped Eating Food“, and in it, author Rob Rinehart introduced a special meal replacement powder he had formulated that he claimed, among other things, would allow you to be in peak mental and physical condition for less than $2/day, would not spoil for months, does not require refrigeration, and would allow a full spectrum of nutrients to get mainlined into your bloodstream without you even needing to poop.

Needless to say, my eyebrow was raised when I first heard about the stuff.

And sure enough, the crazy, space-age formulation was later revealed to have some serious issues, including huge amounts of maltodextrin sugar, oxidized vegetable oils, huge amounts of soy lecithin, sucralose artificial sweetener, rancid fish oil and much more.


But at the same time, as a global traveler and busy man, I’m still intrigued with the concept of having something that delivers all your nutrients in one shot, is easy to transport, costs less than five bucks a serving and is environmentally friendly. And that was why, when I reported on what I used to fuel my body during the recent, brutal Spartan Agoge crucible, I mentioned that I was experimenting with a fast, drinkable (or eatable) meal replacement called “Ambronite“.

Here are the ingredients in Ambronite:

-organic oats
-organic coconut
-organic lucuma
-organic chlorella
-wild bilberry
-wild sea-buckthorn
-organic brown rice protein
-organic stinging nettle
-organic rice bran
-nutritional yeast
-organic spinach
-organic spirulina
-organic almond
-organic flaxseed
-organic apple
-mineral salt
-organic brazil nut
-organic blackcurrant

Simo Suoheimo, is the co-founder of Ambronite, my guest on today’s podcast, and a guy I had plenty of time to hang out with when I was in Finland last year for the Biohackers Summit. He is an entrepreneur, foodie, crowdfunding jedi (Ambronite set a new crowdfunding world record for a food product IndieGoGo), and self-described “serial optimist”. He is an avid hiker, forager, speaker and avid global adventurer on a quest to unlimit life and help people exceed themselves.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Simo’s weekly practice of “ice swimming” and why he does it…

-Why you can pick edible, wild foods just about anywhere in Finland…

-The one berry that has dozens of times the nutrient density of a blueberry…

-How to turn a food into a powder without oxidizing it or exposing it to harsh heat…

-How to make a meal replacement powder that can sit on a shelf, without compromising nutritional integrity…

-The reason that the flavor of a meal replacement powder might change from batch to batch…

-A berry that, unlike most fruits, contains high amounts of vitamin K…

-How to use Ambronite for ketosis…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The Ambronite website (use this link and code BEN15 for 15% discount)

-The Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Chlorophyll research from Sayer Ji

My article on exogenous ketones and things you can mix with Ambronite to make it ketosis-friendly

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Simu or I about Ambronite or anything else we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply! Finally below are the Ambronite ingredient details…


Oats (Avena sativa) are a great source of complex carbohydrates which help to maintain normal blood sugar and sustained-release energy. They are rich in minerals such as manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus and magnesium as well as several B-group vitamins. Unlike many other plants oats contain soluble fibres called β-glucans that slow down energy release during digestion. Oats also contain essential polyunsaturated omega fatty acids. We use oats that have been flattened, pre-cooked, dried and milled into a fine powder to ensure cold-water solubility and the bioavailability of nutrients. Our oats are grown in Finland.


Almonds (Prunus amygdalus) are a good source of vitamin E and have a good fatty acid profile of mono- and polyunsaturated essential fats. They also contain over 20g of protein per 100g as well as significant amounts of micronutrients like magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and biotin. Besides almonds contain several non-vital but useful substances including polyphenols and phytosterols. Almonds are blanched before milling. The variety of almonds is Valencias and they come from organic producers in Spain.

Brown rice

Whole grain brown rice (Oryza sativa) is used as a source of protein. The protein is extracted from the bio-fermented and sprouted whole grain rice in low-temperatures using plant-based enzymes to sustain all natural micronutrients. Rice is grown on pure soil in Vietnam or Cambodia and the protein manufactured in modern facilities in China. Production is done using 100% natural processes without any nasty additives or pesticides. This brown rice protein has an excellent amino acid profile and up to 89% of protein. It contains eight out of nine essential amino acids and nine nonessential amino acids as well as a good amount of essential minerals such as iron.


Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is rich in minerals containing magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and calcium. It also has trace amounts of several B vitamins. Because of the fibre-richness and low glycemic index coconut provides stable energy without sugar-crash. Besides nutrition coconut brings natural sweetness and creaminess to the recipe. The coconut flour we use comes from organic farmers in Philippines which is the largest coconut producer in the world after Indonesia and India.

Flax seed

Flaxseed is a functional food, and a rich source of fiber-related compounds called lignans. Lignans are unique polyphenols that possess hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and powerful antioxidant properties. Flaxseeds are the number one source of omega-3 fatty acid, which is known to be important for human brain function. On average, 100 grams of flaxseed amount to 28 grams of fiber, 41 grams of fats and 20 grams of protein.


Lucuma (Pouteria lucuma) has significant amounts of B vitamins as well as iron, calcium and phosphorus. It also contains β-Carotene which is a pre-form of vitamin A. The low glycemic index makes lucuma a good source of stable energy from carbohydrates. Besides nutrition the fruit adds nice flavor the recipe. The fruit origins from the Peruvian andes and that also where we source our lucuma.

Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a particularly great source of calcium as well as many other micronutrients such as vitamins A, C and K. This rare herb is almost five times richer in calcium than regular milk. It also contains significant amount of chlorophyll which is a non-essential but beneficial phytonutrient also known as the green pigment found in plants. Nettle grows wild and takes very little to cultivate making it sustainable source of nutrition. It also adds mild herbal flavour to the recipe. We use nettle grown in Finland or Hungary depending on the availability.


Apple (Malus domestica) contains vitamin C and has high fiber content. Its peel is high in antioxidants, polyphenols and phytochemicals. We use an apple powder made from complete organic apples with peel, from US or Europe, depending on availability and quality. Being a minor compound in the recipe, its main role is taste, blending well to the oats with lucuma, adding a few grams of fructose to the carbohydrate profile.

Rice Bran

Rice bran solubles or tocotrienols are the nutritional powerhouse of the rice (Oryza sativa) grain containing significant amounts of vitamin E. Tocotrienols are also rich in protein, B-group vitamins, and selenium as well as many non-essential but beneficial substances like coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, flavonoids and glutathione peroxidase. The powder is produced by the fermentation of whole grain rice grain located between the shell and the bran, which contains nearly all the nutrients in rice. Besides nutrition rice bran solubles bring natural creaminess to the recipe. Our rice bran powder is produced in the USA.


Chlorella (Chlorella pyrenoidosa) is a single-celled freshwater algae that is full of essential nutrients. The plant contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K. In addition chlorella contains vitamin D and B12. It also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, iodine and other minerals as well as essential amino and fatty acids. Chlorella is richer in chlorophyll than any other plant and has been considered as a complete food by some nutritionists. We use special chlorella which cell walls have been cracked using a high-pressure jet spray to improve digestibility and nutrient bioavailability. Our chlorella is cultivated in the Inner-Mongolia border of China outside large cities. The area is known for its good water quality, sufficient sunlight, non-polluted air, and abundant natural alkaline resources. Chlorella is grown inside greenhouses in pools filled with pure water from the depths of 500 meter streaming from the surrounding mountains. These conditions enable cultivation of our high-quality chlorella containing only very low-amounts of heavy-metals and other toxins. To preserve precious micronutrients for your body, our chlorella is raw and dried in controlled temperatures to avoid exposure to heat above 45 °C (113 °F). It is certified organic by accredited Ecocert certification body.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is a great source of B-complex vitamins containing naturally seven out of eight essential B vitamins. It is also rich in essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. Nutritional yeast is made out the the same species of yeast used for brewing but it is carefully deactivated and dried to keep the nutritional richness and make it easily digestible for the body. Besides essential vitamins and minerals nutritional yeast contain glutamic acid which is a non-essential amino acid important for learning and memory. Nutritional yeast also adds gentle creamy-cheesy flavour to the recipe. Our nutritional yeast is produced in Finland or USA.

Mineral Salt

Mineral salt is a good source of potassium and iodine. It also contains healthy amount of sodium to maintain good mineral balance in the body. Potassium and sodium are electrolytes that maintain the fluid balance in the body and are important for the heart, muscles and brain to function properly. Besides the contribution of essential micronutrients salt underlines the natural flavour of other ingredients.

Brazil Nut

Brazil nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) are exceptionally rich in selenium and contains good amount of other nutrients like niacin (B3), vitamin E and magnesium as well as amino acids and multiple essential fatty acids. Besides essential nutrients they contain carotenoids, phytosterols and phytic acid which are known to be beneficial for health. Brazil nuts are native to South-American rainforest. Our Brazil nuts come from Bolivia which produces approximately half of the worlds harvest.


Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) are exceptionally nutritious super berries that grow wild in Northern Europe. They are rich in vitamins A and C and contain traces of several B-complex vitamins as well as multiple essential minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. In addition to essential nutrients bilberries are very rich in flavonoids and have two times the amount of antioxidants than blueberries and three times that of an apple measured ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) index. The antioxidants in wild berries have shown to be bioavailable for the human body. The bilberries we use have grown wild above Polar Circle in the northern Finland, hand-picked and carefully dried and powdered in low temperatures to preserve nutrients.


Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) contains high amounts of vitamins such as vitamin A, K and folate. It is also high in iron and calcium, but also non-essential substances such as antioxidants. Our spinach powder is made by drying and milling it in low temperatures. It is organic and raw and comes from organic farms in Germany.


Blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum) is an extremely good source of vitamin C containing up to four times more of it than oranges. It also contains traces of several B-group vitamins as well as minerals magnesium, manganese, iron and calcium. Like many berries blackcurrant also hold non-essential phytonutrient polyphenols and phytosterols. It is native to northern Europe and the berries grow in a shrub. Our blackcurrant berry powder is carefully manufactured in low temperatures in Finland.


Sea-buckthorns (Hippophae rhamnoides) are one of the richest plant based sources of vitamin C and can contains even five times more of it than oranges. These small orange superberries are also dense in potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamin K. Besides they contain non-essential but beneficial omega-7 fatty acids (palmitoleic acid) and carotenoids. Our sea-buckthorns come from Finland or Estonia.


Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) is a nutritional powerhouse full of essential nutrients. It contains up to 71g of protein per 100g including all nine essential amino acids as well as nine non-essential. Besides it is dense in micronutrients being a rich source of six B-complex vitamins, choline, and vitamins C, E and K as well as a number of essential trace minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc. It is also loaded with non-essential substances like chlorophyll and antioxidants. We have carefully selected the most qualified organic producer in China. The spirulina in Ambronite is cultivated in the Inner-Mongolia border of China outside large cities. The area is known for its good water quality, sufficient sunlight, non-polluted air, and abundant natural alkaline resources. Spirulina is grown inside greenhouses in pools filled with pure water from the depths of 500 meter streaming from the surrounding mountains. These conditions enable cultivation of our high-quality spirulina containing only very low-amounts of heavy-metals and other toxins. To preserve precious micronutrients for your body, our spirulina is raw and dried in controlled temperatures to avoid exposure to heat above 45 °C (113 °F). It is certified organic by accredited Ecocert certification body.

Transcendental Meditation: Cult, Quackery, Or Science?

land podcast

After being introduced to it by music mogul Rick Rubin, I’ve been practicing transcendental meditation (TM) for the past year.


More than 380 peer-reviewed research studies on the TM technique have been published in over 160 scientific journals. These studies were conducted at many US and international universities and research centers, including Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, Yale Medical School, and UCLA Medical School…and they have shown irrefutable evidence that TM reduces insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression, blood pressure, cholesterol, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis/stroke, free radicals, blood sugar, diabetes, pain, along with higher levels of brain functioning, longevity, sleep quality and much more.

The guy who taught me everything I know about TM is named Philip Land.

Philip has been practicing TM for the past 40 years.

But he’s no woo-woo, robe-clad, Eastern mysticist. I’d instead describe Philip as a bad-ass, hunting, redneck hippie family man.

But he’s taught TM all over the globe, worked with celebrities and high profile politicians, and also worked in medicine, computed tomography, radiation technology, craniosacral therapy, hunting instruction, shooting, wilderness survival, and much more.

So he is one very interesting man. And during our discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Philip, a “redneck hunting instructor” got involved in TM…

-A very easy-to-understand explanation of what TM is…

-Why folks like Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Katy Perry, and Russell Brand practice transcendental meditation (TM) daily…

-Whether you need to be religious to practice TM…

-What a TM mantra is…

-How I used TM during the Spartan Agoge…

-The surprising changes that occur in blood or bio markers in response to TM…

-The brain wave pattern and EEG response to TM…

-How TM can change sleep patterns and sleep cycles, and even allow you to get by on less sleep…

-The difference between TM and “biohacks” like PEMF, transcutaneous stimulation, meditation apps, etc…

-Whether you really have to do TM every day…

-The best way to learn TM…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

A host of TM research

This podcast is brought to you by:

Earth Runners – Minimalist Outdoor Sandals … Free your feet. Connect your sole. Go to and save 10% with discount code BEN10.
** Discount is actually 10%, not 30% as was mistakenly mentioned on the show **

Casper – An obsessively engineered mattress at a shockingly fair price. Go to and use discount code BEN for $50 off.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Phil or I about transcendental meditation or anything else we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

The Hidden Half Of Nature: Why Invisible Microbes Are The Key To Health & Life.

dig 2 grow (1)

This is a special Premium audio episode. Click here to activate a Premium subscription to the BenGreenfieldFitness show and access this and over 300 additional hidden audios, videos, pdf’s and more!

I read plenty of books about gut health, immune system, and alternative medicine, but one of the best books I discovered in the past several months is entitled “The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health“.

When authors David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead, barren dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them.

In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. Dave and Anne soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life’s master strategy for defense and health.

They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut. We are not what we eat. We are all―for better or worse―the product of what our microbes eat.

This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: by cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine―by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.

The book, in which they highlight this journey, is a riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves―and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health―for people and for plants―depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. You’re about to learn the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-What exactly a microbe is, and how it’s far more complex than you’d actually think…

-The strange “home-brew” Anne dumped into her garden to change the soil from dead to living…

-How microbes tie into the ancient art of making wine…

-How modern, conventional agriculture is completing changing how soil and microbes interact, and how this is affecting the quality of the food that we eat…

-The ideal scenario for growing food, from a soil standpoint…

-Why the colon so important when it comes to the immune system…

-What to eat if you want to increase the microbial diversity of the colon…

-The fascinating parallel between the root system of a plant and the gut of the human being… 

-And much more!

Be sure to check out Dave and Anne’s websites, including:

Twitter: https:[email protected]


Do you have questions, comments or feedback about microbes, Dave and Anne’s book, or anything else we discussed during this podcast episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply, and click here to grab this fascinating book now!

The Man Who Has Single-Handedly Tested Nearly Every Self-Quantification Device On The Face Of The Planet.

ray maker

Meet Ray Maker (pictured above).

Via his website “DC Rainmaker“, and his podcast by the same name, Ray single-handedly tests, reviews and reports on nearly every self-quantification device that hits the market, including the latest devices from established players like Garmin and Polar, along with new companies like Strava, Zwift, Stages Cycling, 4iiii, and other brands that attract the attention of both the tech world, the bike market, the triathlon industry and beyond – often testing prototypes months before a product is brought to market.

Ray often operates beneath the radar of the traditional, brick-and-mortar, ink-on-paper side of the bike world, but shockingly, his site, which he runs entirely by himself, is the sixth most popular bicycling website on the planet. He’s even been listed in Runner’s World as one of “The 50 Most Influential People In Running”.

Ray is an avid triathlete and runner, and despite operating DC Rainmaker still works full-time in the IT industry, in a position that requires him to travel the world constantly. He’s an American, but now lives in Paris, France, with his wife. His far-flung trips are part of the appeal of his website, as he reports not just on technology, but also on his adventures running, biking and swimming around the globe.

A true fitness geek, Ray puts the gadgets he tests through rigorous evaluations, reporting on the nitty gritty details, flaws, benefits, pros, cons, and even delivers the first-hand reports on the latest firmware updates for various devices. He does things like mount multiple power meters on his bike, or wears several heart monitors at once, and often delivers intricate multi-thousand word reports and reviews on every device he tests.

During our discussion, you’ll discover:

-Ray’s crazy story of testing the waterproof potential of an Apple watch

-How Ray makes money on his website by reviewing devices…

-The coolest piece of self-quantification technology Ray has ever used…

-Ray’s most recommended piece of technology…

-How much of racing and training technology is just the ‘same ol’, vs. truly groundbreaking technology…

-What a device must do to break the mold and fit into that ground-breaking category…

-How Ray keeps from being “biased” by products he receives and reviews…

-What Ray uses to track sleep…

-The effects of alcohol on training…

-Ray’s thoughts on the potential “biological danger” of bluetooth, wireless and wifi devices?

-Whether Ray just “unplugs” and go by feel…

-Ray’s #1 recommended vacation and must-see spot for active people or athletes…

-What Ray thinks is the next biggest trend in athlete quantification…

Resources from this episode:

The Airdog drone that follows you as you train

Garmin Forerunner technology

Suunto Ambit3 Peak GPS Watch

Mio Heart Rate Monitoring via Optical Sensor


Withings Aura sleep monitoring

EmFit for tracking sleep and HRV

Stryd power meter for running

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for DC Rainmaker or I? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Episode #349 – Full Transcript

Podcast #349 from


Introduction:   In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show: Why Athletes Get Sick, How to Biohack Survival, Box Breathing 101, How Often Do You Need To Work Out, Can You Eat A Kombucha SCOBY, and much more!

He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness.  His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance.  He is Ben Greenfield.  “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you’re working all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…”  All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.

Ben:                   Rachel, you ready to talk morning routines?

Rachel:              Let’s do it.  What have you got?

Ben:                   Alright.  Cool.  I got, I got a good one for you this morning.  Uhm, so I’ve been getting into this thing called Kundalini Yoga.

Rachel:              Hmmm.

Ben:                   Heard of Kundalini Yoga before?

Rachel:              I have!  Yeah!  How’s it going?  How do you like it?

Ben:                   Well, it very cool!  It’s this idea that you have all this energy kinda coiled up at the base of your spine and travelling through your body, almost like through your spinal cord, you know, up in to your head and out through your fingertips and by doing the right type of breathing and the right type of movements, you can actually activate this energy to start your day and you can also, uhm, in the same way like in acupuncture and stuff like that works in certain, uh, chakras of your body, you know, like your liver or your heart or your kidney, certain, certain movement patterns combined with certain breathing patterns in Kundalini allow you to pretty much just like open up every organ that you wanna open up to start your day.

Rachel:              Nice!  And how’s it going?

Ben:                   It’s really cool!

Rachel:              How’s it feeling?

Ben:                   So I discovered this when, when one of my friends taught it to me down in Kauai, Hawaii where I was at a couple weeks ago, you know you may recall that, you know, that, that was where I recorded the podcast with Larry Hamilton that we released a few weeks ago with, uh, with, uh, Larry and Gabby and that was where, uhm, you know, I met the guy who I’m getting on the podcast to talk about the use of medicinal mushrooms and cannabidiol.  Anyways though, his, uh, his, uh, girlfriend, uhm, basically is a Kundalini yoga expert, a Kundalini yoga guru and, and, it, uh, both he and she taught me some cool routines that I’ve been doing, so that, that is one of my favorite – twice a week now – go-to morning routines on, on Wednesdays, which happen to be the day we record this podcast, and Sundays, I’ve been doing Kundalini yoga.  So I do the whole Kundalini yoga and then, of course, just because I’m, I’m Mr. Greenfield, I finish, I finish up my Kundalini with 30 burpees and, and my, my quintessential five minute cold soak/cold shower.

Rachel:              I just love that you have to suffer.  You just have to make yourself suffer.

Ben:                   It’s, well, it’s not about suffering as much as it’s frankly, well, it’s two things: it is fitness, right?  It’s, it’s the fact that, you know, I’m still travelling around the globe doing these masochistic, you know, things, and by the way, for those of you listening in at the time this podcast comes out, I’m heading down to Miami tomorrow to do the South Beach triathlon, right.  I can’t just do Kundalini.  I gotta jump around, run, and stuff like that, and then the other thing, Rachel, uhm, and don’t laugh folks, if you’re listening in, but, uhm, I love to eat.  My wife makes delicious food and I’m a foodie and I love to cook and frankly I always have to throw in a little bit of extra calorie burning as well to keep up with, uhm, my palette, if you know what I mean.

Rachel:              Yes.  I do know.  It’s totally fair enough.  I love food too, and it’s worth every burpee.

Ben:                   Yeah!  Oh! Oh! And by the way, uhm, the Kundalini yoga routine that I do, it was custom designed for me.  So, what this, what this gal does is she has a 15 minute phone appointment with you and then custom designed a Kundalini yoga routine based on a.) the amount of time that you have available and b.) which kinda like chakras you wanna open up and how, invigorating versus relaxing you want the yoga to be.


So I’m actually, I’m creating a page, it, it should be up by the time this podcast gets released or shortly thereafter, but I’m creating a page at  That’s, and it’s a little page where you can, you can hook-up with her to create your own customized Kundalini yoga routine, if you so desire and if you wanna get all woo-woo like me, but you just have to promise that you’re going to, if you are a Ben Greenfield Fitness listener, do your 30 burpess and do your cold soak after.

News Flashes:

Ben:                   Oh Rachel, today’s news flashes start off with a really, really important note for all the sickos out there.

Rachel:              The sickos?  Oh no!

Ben:                   All the sickos, all the people who get sick a lot, athletes!  Athletes specifically!  They just came out with a study that looked at why athletes get sick.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   Yeah, and they actually, they, they, they went, they went all the way to the top.  They looked at Olympic medalists and uh in this case, elite Norwegian cross-country skiers, and so they looked at all these, these skiers, these elite athletes, and, and what kind of things influence them getting sick.  So are you ready to hear one of the main reasons that athletes get sick?

Rachel:              Yes!  Hit me!

Ben:                   Alright.  So number one, over and above everything else was air travel.

Rachel:              Oh wow!

Ben:                   Because of like the, the packed airplanes and the dry air, the stress of travel, the disruption of the circadian rhythm, etcetera.  That was number one, over and above everything.  And, so, takeaway message for that would be: if you are an athlete or anybody, right, who cares about not getting sick, who travels a lot, and you get sick, pay attention to, you know, the previous podcast that we’ve done on things you can do about jetlag.  You know, like some of the biggies are too, for example, uh, you know, uh, use a light therapy, right?  Like blue light therapy when you get to where you’re going and use, uhm, this concept of sulfur-based antioxidants which are the kind of antioxidants that work really well when you travel.  We’re talking about things like broccoli and cruciferous vegetables, and if you wanna even, you know, just, just mainline, you know, supplements like glutathione and acetylcysteine, but, you know, a lot of these,  these anti-jetlag strategies can work, work really well but that’s, that’s one thing that they found was air travel was a big one.

Rachel:              That’s crazy!

Ben:                   Another one that they found and we’ll link to the full article if you go to will link to, to this news flash and everything else that we talked about in the episode.  But another one that I thought really leapt out at me was the fact that the athletes who had a lower risk of illness had what they referred to as a high-training monotony.  What that means is that they had a lot of like consistency in terms of working out very similarly day after day, like having like these tried and true routines that they followed rather than, say, I hope you’re listening in all you crossfitters, uhm, throwing some, like, random crazy workout at your body every single day that just consistently throws your nervous system and potentially your immune system a curveball, uhm, you know, it looks like having some form of, of consistency or habitual, uhm, routines in your exercise regimen appears to be, uh, better for you if immune system and, perhaps, getting sick tends to be a weak spot for you, tends to be your Kryptonite.  So, so stay off airplanes and also engage in boring training is kind of the going message.

Rachel:              So far it doesn’t sound so fun, but let’s keep going.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Well those, those are actually the really the main two things that I wanted to point it out.  There’s a lot of other things, uh, well, here, I’ll bring up one more since, since you’re pressing, Rachel.

Rachel:              Since I asked. (chuckles)

Ben:                   Uh, vitamin D levels, that was another biggie.  That was another real biggie.  And, uhm, and, and again when I look at the blood in the biomarkers in a lot of the athletes that I work with, or, uh, a lot of folks know that I’m, I’m a consultant for Wellness FX, which is a company in the US that allows you to test your blood and they have like this dashboard for you and they connect you with a practitioner, and I’m one of their practitioners and I tend to look at the blood and biomarkers of a lot of the crossfitters and triathletes and what you, what you wanna look for with vitamin D is a level between 40 and 80.


                           Once you get above 80, there is actually an increased risk of mortality with vitamin D and once you drop below 40, there’s also an increase risked of mortality and, you know, immune system deficiencies.  But, what I find is that, in, in many, many athletes, I tend to see scores which are right around 25 to 35, around in that range and one big, big reason for that, not to get too geeked out.

Rachel:              Which means we’re gonna get too geeked out. (laughs)

Ben:                   Yeah.  Really, it is.  Yeah, to get too geeked out.  What am, who am I fooling.  We love to get geeked out.  Uh, the idea here is the idea of the pregnanalone steal.  So what that means is that a lot of the precursors for hormones, like testosterone and progesterone and a lot of these anabolic hormones that you’d want to have, what happens is that vitamin D gets shuttled towards cortisol formation rather than towards the formation of a lot of these more anabolic hormones, and so I tend to see this one-two combo of hypercortisolism and low vitamin D levels, and of course one of the things that you can do, in addition to putting out the fire by lowering stress and by, you know, engaging in a lot of cortisol lowering strategies is to, uh, you know, just dump a little bit more fuel into the equation by getting your hands on vitamin D or getting more sunshine or even – here’s a little-known way to get vitamin, you probably know about this one since you’re a vegetarian, Rachel – uhm, mushrooms.  Mushrooms are a really, really good source of vitamin D.

Rachel:              Did not know that.  Hashtag bad vegetarian.

Ben:                   Really?  Mushrooms soak up vitamin D.  You can leave mushrooms, you can leave mushrooms in the sunshine, and shame on you as a vegetarian for not knowing this, and they soak up vitamin D and you can actually eat mushrooms.  Mushrooms are like a vitamin D collector if you leave them in the sunlight.

Rachel:              That is so crazy!

Ben:                   Yeah.  It’s pretty cool.

Rachel:              But only the ones that actually been soaking vitamin D so I should grow them at home, let them soak up the vitamin D and then eat them?  Not just the ones from the store?

Ben:                   Uh huh, and then give them little chairs out in the patio and bikinis and hats and let them just sit out there and soak up their sunshine.

Rachel:              (Laughs) We’re joking about it and I will totally do it!

Ben:                   Okay.  So another interesting article that I came across, that I wanted to, to highlight was something in, uh, The Atlantic.  It was an article in The Atlantic called – great title here – The Quantified Whelp.  The Quantified Whelp, and what this goes into is this whole obsession with, you know, everything from sleep quality measuring apps to every other form of self-quantification out there and what they looked into was what effect that actually had on people, you know, people who’re wearing things like pedometers and self-quantification devices during exercise and what they found was that in, in many cases, the people who were tracking steps and the people who were tracking sleep, they actually tended to find these activities less enjoyable.  It seemed to actually turn exercise, in some cases, and even sleep in some cases into an experience that stressed people out.

Rachel:              It’s interesting because this post created quite an uproar on Facebook between people who said that quantifying actually enhanced their life and others who said “I can totally see how that’s the case.”

Ben:                   Mhmm.  Yeah, well, well, I have begun quantifying sleep and perhaps I’m not one of those people for whom, uh, you know, consistent biometric scanning creates issues, but I’ve actually enjoyed it quite a bit.  I know you and I talked about in our previous podcast how your husband wakes up and one of the first things he does is rolls over and looks at how he slept that night.

Rachel:              Right! (laughs)

Ben:                   Right?  And, uh, because I’m now using this new ring, it’s a special ring with an internal computer on it and it’s called the Aura.  I’m working on a big blog post right now about sleep quantification and what I’ve been experimenting with from everything from heart rate variability to this, this, ring.  I’ve actually been enjoying the process of rolling over in the morning and looking at sleep latency, and sleep quality and sleep efficiency, and readiness to tackle the day based on sleep.  So, for me, I like it.  But at the same time, I find, for example, just yesterday, experienced this on a bicycle ride, when I am looking at cadence and wattage and speed, I lose track of the beauty of the trees, and the sunshine, and the grass, and, you know, for me, during exercise, I still like to exercise naked.


                           Not literally, although sometimes literally, uh, but I like to unplug and this is quite relevant actually because I, you probably know this, Rachel, but we have a podcast coming this Saturday about the man who quantifies everything.

Rachel:              Mhmm.

Ben:                   He is a guy who literally tests every self-quantification device on the face of the planet.  He and I had a very interesting discussion that I’m gonna release this Saturday, but I think it’s interesting that it looks like, for most people, metrics obsession more sucks the enjoyment out of life than increases enjoyment of life.

Rachel:              Yeah, and I’m curious, Ben, with your sleep tracking.  Do you, uh, find that, if you don’t have a good night’s sleep and you read it in the data that, it then causes you any sort of anxiety for the day?

Ben:                   Yes.  It does.

Rachel:              Yeah.

Ben:                   It does.  It’s, it’s, it’s, well, even with heart rate variability, right, which is a measurement of your nervous system, so I wake up and for five minutes I measure the strength of my sympathetic and my parasympathetic nervous system, if it’s weak, always in the back of my head, even if I feel really good, right, I, I second guess whether or not I should be doing my, uh, my 30 burpees after Kundalini.  But the idea is, uh, I mean, there is some, some credence to that.  I find that if I push through and I ignore the data, even if I feel good, injury or illness, some kind of nagging acher pain does set in within two or three days, so there is something to be said for the fact that sometimes listening to your body is not enough, and sometimes you do actually have to engage in better living through science and pay attention to the data as, uhm, as annoying or unnatural or ancestral as that may seem.  There is something to be said for some of this data, I think we just have to walk a fine line between making sure that we’re mindful of our environment and we’re, we’re soaking in the sunshine and the fresh air and the trees and everything like that, enjoying that, uh, and also not exposing ourselves too much to like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and all the radiation that comes along with these devices.  But then also, you know, taking advantage of what science gives us in terms of being able to make smart, educated decisions about things like training and sleep.

Rachel:              Mmm.  Totally.  Love it.

Ben:                   Yeah.  So there you go.  Uhm, a couple other interesting news flashes, and I’m gonna even throw in one extra since we, uh, we didn’t have a Q&A last week, so, uh, one was a really interesting study on the effect of DHA, docosahexaenoic acids.  So this is what you’d find in like, uh, well, primarily fish and fish oil, uhm, also in algae, right?  Like spirulina and chlorella, those little bits of energy that you can eat that turn your mouth completely green, and, uh – have you actually ever eaten algae, by the way, Rachel?

Rachel:              I haven’t.  No.  I don’t think so.

Ben:                   Well, I have guests at my house right now.  I have guests staying at my house right now and, and I was munching on some energy bits last night.  These are like the little chlorella bits.  I munch ‘em like popcorn in the evening cause they’re actually a really good source of DHA and, and frankly compared to gnawing on a piece of fish in the evening, uhm, more pleasant for me if I’m sitting around.  But they do, they, they dye your mouth completely green so you have to do a mouth rinse.

Rachel:              Do they dye your teeth green too?

Ben:                   They dye your teeth green and my wife will not kiss me, or really engage in any other evening activity with me, if I’ve been eating algae so I needed, so I have to choose my battles wisely.  It’s one of those things where you have to predict?  You’re like, “Well, we’re probably not gonna get it on anyway so I’m just gonna eat my algae.  Let’s just go with it.”  Anyways though, we digress.

Rachel:              As usual.

Ben:                   There was this study that they did on, uh, head trauma in American Football, also known as the NFL, and what they found – I take it back.  This one was actually the NCAA Division 1 college football players.  Uhm, however of course, we know that in both the NCAA as well as in the NFL, there are some serious issues with traumatic brain injury, uh, a topic near and dear to my heart right now because, I don’t know if I mentioned this on the podcast of late, but I, I have a broken eye right now.  I, uh, I got hit really hard sparring in preparation for kickboxing fight and right now, if I blow my nose, my entire right eye swells up with fluid.

Rachel:              Wow.

Ben:                   Yeah.  I have what is called an orbital fracture.  And so I, I myself have had, uh, a pretty serious brush with traumatic brain injury in the past couple of weeks.


Uhm, anyways though, so this study looked at the use of DHA and they, they fed these, these football players basically high-dosed DHA, so about 6 grams.  So, in a typical fish oil capsule, you’re gonna find about a gram of DHA.  So this would mean, for example, taking like six of those fish oil capsules that you take, even though the label says take just one or two, you know, we’re talking about a lot more than that.  And what they found was that supplemental DHA, especially in higher amounts, attenuated what is called Serum Neurofilament Light.

Rachel:              Mmm.

Ben:                   Which is an, a Serum Neurofilament Light is a biomarker of axomal injury, okay?  Traumatic brain injury, basically.  Injury to the axons in the, in the neurons, in the neuronal cells of the brain, and they found that DHA could be used, uh, prophylactically to help to decrease the amount of build-up of this Neurofilament Light in response to getting hit in the head or tackling or concussions or things like that.  So takeaway for me is that, in the same way that I’ve mentioned before in podcast that one of the best things you can do, going into something like a soccer game or football game or a fight is to ensure that you’re really adequately hydrated because your brain needs this cushion of hydration around to help protect it.  It looks like DHA, and especially high-dosed DHA, could be another really potent strategy if you’re about to engage in anything that risks head damage.

Rachel:              Is there any, is there any kind of issues with taking it high-dosed?

Ben:                   Liquid poo.


                           No, seriously.  I remember once someone sent me a bottle of this stuff, it was EPA, DHA supplement.  It was made, I think it was made by a company called Stronger, Harder, Faster, uh, I think that was the name of the company, and they sent this to me, it was a bottle, right?  And I just thought it was like a, you know, like a little five hour energy drink type of thing?  I figured it was like a drink that was spiked with a little bit of DHA and EPA, but the entire drink was just oil.  It was designed to be consumed over the course of like 10 days, and I just, you know, I sucked it down and I drank it.  Within an hour, I was evacuating my bowels, uh, quite, in quite an invigorating manner.

Rachel:              Which wouldn’t be a good idea if you were on a football field.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Anyways though, 6 grams of DHA is nowhere near that amount.  You know, taking six fish oil capsules is not gonna give anybody the runs.  You’ll have to take a lot more than that.  So there you have it.  Get your hands on some fish oil, or some algae, spirulina, chlorella, stuff like that.  Good form of DHA as well.  Flax seeds, chia seeds, they argue that, you know, that’s a good source of these type of things, but really it’s not.  The Alpha Linoleic Acid in those type of sources doesn’t get converted to DHA very much at all, so if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you need to use an algae source, uhm, and if you’re omnivorous, then use, just use fish oil and, or algae.

Rachel:              Good to know.  Thank you!

Ben:                   Yes.  And then, finally, uhm, kinda related to neuronal health, because this is definitely something that can help out with traumatic brain injury, as well as a variety of other really cool positive physiological adaptations, cold exposure.  So, you know, we’ve talked about cold thermogenesis and cold showers quite a bit and we’ll even have a special announcement coming up soon about cold showers, here in about five minutes or so for those of you listening in, but what a recent study looked at was whether there was a way to enhance the anti-obesity, like the fat-burning benefits of cold exposure, right.  Cause people are doing like cryotherapy chambers and cold showers and cold soaks now for, of course, fat loss, and I’ve talked before on the podcast about how there are certain things that can enhance the, uh, the utilization of fatty acids or the burning of fatty acids when you’re cold.  Caffeine and/or green tea, are two perfect examples.  Bitter melon extract is another example of something you can take in supplemental form prior to a cold soak or a cold shower to enhance the fat burning effects of it.  Uhm, you know, when you’re looking at heat or sauna, a niacin, high-dose niacin can increase the, what’s called the lipolitic, or the fat lysing effects of a sauna session.  Uh, and so there are a lot of things you can take prior to cold exposure or prior to heat exposure to enhance the, the fat loss effect of something like that.  Well this recent study, uh, looked at the combination of cold exposure and, uh, the supplementation with capsinoids.


Capsinoids are a component of, uh, hot peppers – capsaicin, cayenne pepper, things like that – and what they found was a significant conversion of white adipose tissue, right, like storage adipose tissue – the bad stuff – into a metabolically active brown fat, which is the stuff that take calories and just converts calories into heat.  That’s something that occurs anyways when you do something like regular cold showers or cold soaks, but it turns out that the use of this combined with something cayenne-y, with like capsinoids, actually enhance the effect.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   So, yeah.  And you know what’s really interesting about this is, uhm, there are recipes out there where people will make something like a cup of, like anti-inflammatory coffee or tea, and I’ve talked before about putting turmeric or curcumin in coffee is like a really good neural anti-inflammatory.  Like you wake-up and have a hangover and you put some, some turmeric or curcumin in your coffee, it can help out tremendously.  Well you could also, you know, for example, if you wanted a really, kind of a pants-kicking cup of coffee that could also help you burn more fat during a cold shower, you could make a cup of coffee and then you can put whatever superfoods you want in there, you know, let’s say you’re maybe gonna put some chaga in there or some chocolate stevia or maybe some turmeric or some cayenne, and you just use one of these little latte frothers, right, or, you know, you could blend it or merge and blutter or something like that, but a lot, one of these little hand-held latter frothers is so easy to just stick in the mug and froth it up and you can add cayenne for like a spicy cup of coffee and it turns out that that may assist, or does assist, with the conversion of white fat into brown fat.  So there you have it.

Rachel:              And so we drink it before we get in the shower, not while we’re in the shower.

Ben:                   If you wanted to replicate the study, yeah, you’d have it before, but I would, I would hazard a guess that if you put it into your body at any point that you’re cold, because in many cases you stay cold, right, for a while, if you were taking a 5 minute cold shower, sometimes you’ll be cold for a good 30, 45 minutes.  You’re getting all those effects for a long time after you’ve had the shower, uh, you could, you could take it afterwards too, so there you have it.

Special Announcements: 

Ben:                   Aloha, Rachel.

Rachel:              Aloha, Ben.

Ben:                   Aloha.  The reason I’m saying aloha is because this podcast is actually brought to you by a company called Aloha.  Have you heard of ‘em?

Rachel:              Ahh! I thought you were just being nice.

Ben:                   No.  I was not just trying to greet you in a different language.

Rachel:              I haven’t heard of them.  No.

Ben:                   Uhm, Aloha.  So, you can go to this website, Aloha, actually what you wanna do is if you wanna get a good discount, you wanna go to  Now here’s the deal with Aloha.  Tons of stuff on their website, like teas and superfoods and protein powders, but they are a brand that makes these really delicious, convenient, real whole foods, but they don’t use anything artificial.  Anything artificial is just banned from their website.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   So there’s no fillers, no additives, no chemicals, no fake flavors, no colors.  If it doesn’t exist in nature, it’s not in there.

Rachel:              Awesome!

Ben:                   And their most popular, their number one product is this protein, and it’s a plant-based, uh, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, GMO-free protein that you can get in vanilla, you can get it in chocolate, comes in these little individual pouches so you can just toss in your purse or whatever for being on-the-go or your man bag, as the case may be.  It’s got about 18 grams of protein in it, which is great because it’s, research shows it’s about 15 to 30 grams of protein that you can actually absorb in a single setting and, uh, it’s about a 150 calories in a pouch, and, uh, what you get if you’re listening in is they’ll actually send you a free trial of this protein powder if you go to and, like I mentioned, there’s a lot of other stuff on the website too if you just, if, if you’re just a free protein powder person and you like freebies, go to and you can get yourself some free protein powder.

Rachel:              Nice.  I’m totally gonna do that.

Ben:                   So, there you have it.

Rachel:              Thanks, Aloha!

Ben:                   Totally.  Yeah.  Why not?

Rachel:              Right?

Ben:                   Who doesn’t like free stuff?  Uhm, another thing that I wanted to mention, speaking of coffee, is this podcast is also brought to you by our favorite little coffee out there, Kimera, Kimera Koffee.

Rachel:              I knew you were gonna say that.  We love Kimera.

Ben:                   K-i-m-e-r-a  So I have a recipe for you.

Rachel:              Yummy!

Ben:                   I have a recipe for you and I’ve actually modified this recipe from the Kimera Koffee website. 


                           So first of all…

Rachel:              So this is a Ben recipe!

Ben:                   …before I jump in to this recipe.  This is a Ben recipe.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   So, before I jump into this recipe, make sure you go to and use 10% discount code “Ben” if you actually want to save on your cup of coffee.  So here’s a nice, loaded smoothie that’s gonna keep you going all morning long and we’ll pair quite nicely with that cold shower, or all that alcohol you had the night before, or any other thing that you need to do to enhance neuronal function, and to increase fat burning.  So you take your coffee, and you brew it as you would normally make sure that you don’t use a paper filter because paper filters will remove the cafestol and kahweol that you would normally find in coffee.  And those are two that what are called terpenes that can cross your blood brain barrier that you don’t get if you use a paper filter.

Rachel:              Hmm.

Ben:                   Paper filters actually – so you wanna use like a French press or an aero press or something like that.  So you brew your coffee, and then what you do – and this counts as breakfast by the way for those of you listening in.  You can’t do this and then have eggs and bacon unless you just wanna get swole or fat, but you take the coffee and you put it in the blender, and you wanna blend it up with about a tablespoon of like a really good raw nut butter, like cashew butter or almond butter, you wanna put about a scoop of protein powder in there, or you could use that Aloha stuff that you just got for free.

Rachel:              Uhmm.

Ben:                   Thanks to us.

Rachel:              You guys are winning.

Ben:                   Okay?  So you got your protein powder, you got your nut butter, you want to put one little tiny piece of raw, organic cacao butter in there.  Not hard to find raw, organic cacao butter, you can get off Amazon, you can get off all over the place, but raw, organic cacao butter.  And then you want to put the following: a dash of cinnamon, a dash of turmeric, and a dash of cayenne.

Rachel:              Oh wow!

Ben:                   Okay?  A dash of cinnamon, a dash of turmeric, and a dash of cayenne, and then blend that.  Just blend it all, just blend, and I’ll put this recipe in the show notes over at  If you wanna go, check it out but you get your cinnamon, your turmeric, your cayenne.  There is not yet a name for this particular beverage that I’ve just described to you, but if you’re listening in and you would like to come up for a name for it then let us know in the show notes, and we’ll name it after you.  We’ll make you famous, but that’s it; coffee, protein, nut butter, some kind of raw organic cacao, and then you got your cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, blend – boom!

Rachel:              I just can’t make up my mind as to whether coffee would taste good with cayenne.

Ben:                   It’s actually not bad.

Rachel:              Okay.  Alright, I’m doin’ it!

Ben:                   Yeah.

Rachel:              You convinced me.

Ben:                   Don’t overdo it, but here’s the deal, it’s the cacao mix with the cayenne.

Rachel:              Oh, it’s like (crosstalk)

Ben:                   I think spicy chocolate is.. yeah, yeah.

Rachel:              It’s like chochili martini, so something like that.

Ben:                   Exactly, exactly.  Yeah.  So and use code Ben.  This podcast is also brought to you by Onnit, and you can get 10% off on any of Onnit stuff when you get  Now, as we know because we’ve talked about this on the show before, this huge fun, amazing conference that both Rachel and I are going to be at called PaleoFX – is coming up.  And there’s actually even a special announcement about PaleoFX.  I don’t know if you knew this Rachel but my kids are presenting at PaleoFX.

Rachel:              What?

Ben:                   River and Terran are doing the first ever children’s pre – their great – they have a top secret recipe and it’s actually recipe that’s gonna shock people.  It is not – it’s not kids making paleo buys and burgers.  This is a recipe I’ve been watching them perfect it, and it’s gonna knock your socks off…

Rachel:              Oh my god!

Ben:                   … in terms of the uniqueness and also the – let’s say the environmental sustainability and also the paleo-ness of this recipe.  So, if you have no other reason to go to Austin, May 25th through May 27th, or actually no, it’s May 27th through May 29th.

Rachel:              That’s it, yup.

Ben:                   You’re gonna want to go to Austin to go to PaleoFX.  We’ll put a link in the show notes, you go to, if you wanna sign up.  So, not only will Rachel and I will be there, my children: River and Terran will be there presenting an amazing cooking demo that you have to see.  I’m serious.  I’m not just sayin’ that ‘cause they’re my kids.  It’s actually gonna pretty cool.  But then, the other thing is in Austin, Texas is Onnit.  They’re base in Austin, Texas.  They have an amazing gym.  They have a gym, they’ve got like a smoothie bar where they serve all their hemp proteins, and their functional foods, and everything.  All the goodness that you can get at Onnit.


                           And again, it’s if you wanna go, check them out.  But the other thing that they have there at onnit in addition to a sauna is a cryotherapy chamber.

Rachel:              Ohhhh!

Ben:                   Cryotherapy chamber.  Yeah, and these are the chambers – technically you’re only supposed to stay inside the cryotherapy chamber for 3 minutes, but I’ve got a hack for those of you listening in who like cryo and you wanna get even more benefits out of cryo, you step into your cryotherapy chamber…

Rachel:              ‘Cause you have one at home…

Ben:                   … this fancy, liquid nitrogen chambers, now they’re like – some people have ‘em at home, by I mean that usually gotta go you know, they’re almost like tanning salons where you just go get cold instead of getting tanned.  But you what you do is you can step in, you stay in there for 3 minutes and this is perfectly safe if you follow my instructions carefully, then you wanna get something that can measure your skin temperature, and in many cases whoever is running the cryotherapy chambers has this so they can measure whether or not people are getting too cold, but if you step in for 3 minutes and then you step out, and you take a few minutes to get your skin temperature to get back to 80.  Eighty is the magic number, 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  You can actually step back into the cold chamber for around to get a double whammy effect of cold.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   So if you’ve done cryotherapy before and not really noticed that it affects you much, try it double whammy just make – and the reason that you do this skin back temp up to 80 is you get frost by then on your skin…

Rachel:              Ohhh!

Ben:                   … if not.  So you wanna make sure you know, that you don’t – that you don’t lose any skin.

Rachel:              Yeah, nobody wants frost bite.

Ben:                   Yeah, so anyways though, so that’s it.  Just check out, and if you go to Austin for PaleoFX also be sure to swing by onnit and try out their cryotherapy chamber but it’s actually great that we’re talking so much about cold because there’s something very special that starts if you’re listening to this podcast at the time that it comes out tomorrow.

Rachel:              Ahhh!

Ben:                   And it is…. Drumroll please because Rachel is actually the mastermind behind this.  It was her idea, she came to me with.  I loved it.  And now we’re raising a ton of money for the traumatic brain injury foundation.

Rachel:              That’s it.

Ben:                   It’s called “The 21 Day Cold Shower Challenge”.

Rachel:              Boom! Yes!

Ben:                   Rachel, take it away.

Rachel:              So, from April 1st to 21st, we’re gonna be doing a cold shower challenge where you have to, have a 5 minute cold shower every morning…

Ben:                   You don’t have to, you get to.

Rachel:              Well, you get to, but nobody really wants to do that unless they have to which the only reason you…

Ben:                   I do.

Rachel:              Well, it’s true Ben, that’s true but we all not like you.  Let me rephrase. I don’t wanna do that unless I have to, and I don’t wanna really do that unless I’m raising money for charity which is why we’re doing!  See, finally have an excuse.

Ben:                   Yeah!

Rachel:              (Chuckles)

Ben:                   Brain Trauma Foundation.  She – she said it (chuckles) You heard it first from Rachel.  So, there’s like some rules you got like: tag at Ben Greenfield, you got use the #coldshowerchallenge, you go, you join in it said, you go to, and try it 21 days – 5 minute cold shower.  I guarantee I know it’ll change your life but we’ve already raised a bunch of money for the traumatic brain injury foundation, brain trauma foundation.

Rachel:              We got Fifty two- 52 people already signed up and we’re 30% of the way to our target.  So if we can get a 150 more people, which sounds like a lot but I think you’re out there.  I think you’re out there.

Ben:                   Yeah.  And by the way, earmuffs on the kids please.  I’m turning in to a sex machine you…

Rachel:              Really?

Ben:                   You know why?

Rachel:              From the cold showers?

Ben:                   Because, okay, well no, Kundalini yoga concentrates a bunch of energy like part of it is based on your sex organs, very related to like tantric sexuality and driving energy from your sex organs kinda like up your spine back down so you create like this circle of energy as you’re doing your kundalini yoga routine, but then cold soaks or cold showers create a bunch of nitric oxide.  They cause your body to produce a bunch of this endothelial nitric oxide synthase which is like a Viagra for your whole body.  So now I’m gaining all this like control over my sex organs along with this punch of Viagra every morning.  I’m telling you, like that it sticks with you into the evening.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   So I’m just saying, I’m just saying for you ladies and gentlemen out there who really want to enhance your sex life.  Here’s another reason I do it – don’t just do the kundalini yoga and again, you can get a custom routine if you go to, and by the way if you go there and it’s a dead page, it’s because I’m literally having that page set up over the next couple of days.  So if you just like jumpin’ the gun, you get on this right away, it might be a dead page.

Rachel:              And one more thing on the cold shower challenge is – this is a really great opportunity for us to build a bit of community.  Like we know you are all out there but we never really get to talk to you.  So we actually having a private Facebook group where we can like talk through the challenge and all of the benefits, and all those sort of stuff.  So, we wanna get to know you.  So join!

Ben:                   Yes!  All of our listeners – my mom, Rachel’s mom, ahh…


Rachel:              (Chuckles) My husband…

Ben:                   There might be 5 or 6 others.

Rachel:              Jessa, River, and Terran…

Ben:                   My wife doesn’t listen so she’s out.  River and Terran don’t listen either, but for those of our 5 or 6 listeners out there, uhm, there you have it.

                           So a couple other quick things before we jump in to this week’s Q and A, ‘cause I know this special announcement is drowning on but I do have a few other quick things for ya’.  First of all, I’ve got 4 surprise gift boxes.  This is where I take all my favorite biohacking gear, everything from nutrients, to smart drugs, to personal care products, that you name it and I put it on in a box, I take 300 bucks worth of stuff.  Put it in a box, I ship it to your house.  This is literally put together by me and ship from me.  This is not from some nameless faceless corporation, it’s not from quarterly, it’s straight from me and you get that not for 300 bucks but it’s 50% off.  So I put 300 bucks with the gear in there, you get a 450 bucks and free shipping anywhere in the US, and all you gotta do is go to the show notes where there’s a link that you’ll find there to get the greenfieldfitnesssystems surprise gift box.  So go to, if you wanna get your hands on bunch of goodies, and then also just a few other things, London.  London mate! Uh… (chuckles)

Rachel:              Uh! People are now loving your accent.

Ben:                   Did I just mix two cultures?  Uh, the Biohacker’s Summit in London.  This Biohacker’s Summit, they’re freaking amazing.  I’m gonna be speakin’ there.  I believe Dr. Jack Kruse will be there, my friend physician and Ironman UK champion – Tamsyn Lewis is gonna be there, the creator of this Quantlet ice cold bracelet – Ruben Salinas is gonna be there, bunch of people you probably heard on the podcast, uhm, this is worth jumpin’ ‘across the pond’, I like to say that ‘cause it makes me sound like a cultural jetsetter…

Rachel:              (chuckles)

Ben:                   … or it’s just worth going to London for, and you get a 10% discount code if you use code “Ben” when you register.  We’ll put a link over to the London Biohacker’s Summit, but it’s coming up soon, it’s May 21st and 22nd.

Rachel:              Nice!

Ben:                   You could even 1:2 combo if you wanted to like I’m doin’.

Rachel:              Yup.

Ben:                   Go to the Biohacker’s Summit then jump back ‘across the pond’ mate and go to PaleoFX in Austin, Texas.

Rachel:              A busy week you go.

Ben:                   So there you go.  There’s 2 things for you to go to, but wait, I’m not done yet.  I’ve got another thing that you could go to.  For those of you like to really plan out far in advance, this is the last one I wanted to mention – it’s called Runga, Runga. R-u-n-g-a.  It’s in Costa Rica, this is an 8-day epic conference with like spa services, running clinics, kettlebell seminars, nutritions like a combination of biohacking and natural living, and like obstacle course racing, and it’s put on by my friend Joe DiStefano.  Joe is the director of the Spartan coaching program, and he puts on this like full like, it’s almost like this full digital detox combined with just like the best stuff of Costa Rica.  He came back from it last year and told me I had to go so I’m in.  I’m gonna go and anybody who uses code “Ben” when they register for this Runga, you go to, use code “Ben”, Joe’s gonna throw in 75 bucks worth of free gifts for you, just a bunch of cool stuff.  But runga2016, that’s a little ways off, it’s December 3rd through the 10th 2016 but if you’re plannin’ a little winter vacation, it’s gonna be fun.  I’m gonna go…

Rachel:              Right time to go to Costa Rica.

Ben:                   Oh yeah, of course it’s got like you know, zip lining and white water rafting and all the fun stuff. (crosstalking and whispering)  So many activities, uhm, what’s the movie where the two – have you seen that movie with Will Ferrell?

Rachel:              Yeah, brother – Step Brother.

Ben:                   Yes, Step Brother.

Rachel:              Yeah, love it.

Ben:                   Yeah, two fully grown men jumpin’ on the bed.

Rachel:              (chuckles)

Ben:                   So many activities to do!  So, yes we do have so many activities for you.  I’ll link to all these stuff and oh, so much more at  What do you think Rachel, time for some Q and A?

Rachel:              Time for some Q and A.

Ben:                   Let’s do this.

Listener Q & A:

Sebastian:        Hi Ben and Rachel, it’s Sebas from the Great White North.  I had a question.  I have an interest in bush craft and survival, tech skills, I was wondering – are there any biohacks say, you had nothing on you just a clothes on your back, you got lost in the woods.


                           What kind of tips and tricks would you have for somebody who got in a situation like that? Any kind of biohacks that would help you out in that situation be it you know, getting a fire going and using the charcoal as a – to clean your water or to clean your system out after drinking bad water, uh something like that.  It’ll  be cool to hear what you have to say about that and be especially cool in the future you can get someone like bear girls or a survival man or just ah – I mean, a survivalist on a podcast as a special guest into a whole show on survival and bush craft.  Alright well, would love to hear your opinions on that.  Thanks! Awesome podcast.  Hope to hear a lot more from you.  Thanks! Bye.

Ben:                   I actually you know, it’s kinda funny I was having a conversation at breakfast this morning.  I have a visitor for – I have a visitor to my house.  Did you listen to the podcast – it’s at

Rachel:              I did.

Ben:                   About this new device that you put on your collar bone to like knockout migraines or to help you like it hack your way into your delta sleep, your deep sleep brainwaves far more quickly?

Rachel:              Yeah, yup.

Ben:                   This guy who I interviewed and way out in the back woods of BC in the middle of nowhere.  He actually – he had to come to the US with his family because they’re still US citizens.  They can only stay in Canada for X amount of time and they have to come back over the border.  He just happened to come to Spokane, so he and his family stayed at my house last night.

Rachel:              Uhmm.

Ben:                   And we were sitting at the breakfast table talking and we came to the conclusion that I think that we have a lot of listeners throughout the podcast who are what we would call redneck biohackers.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   Which is kinda like what he and I are, right? We lived out in the middle of forest, we hunt, we fish, we’re kind of off grid, we have Social Security numbers but wish we didn’t, like we’re like redneck survivalist biohackers.

Rachel:              And it’s not in a derogatory way.  It’s in a loving way, yeah.

Ben:                   That’s right.  So this podcast – maybe we just change instead of redneck biohacking podcast.

Rachel:              That would be sick…

Ben:                   This podcast is for all of you redneck biohackers out there.  And yeah, I love this question from Sebastian and honestly, you know, like creating a fire and using charcoal to clean your system afterwards, I wouldn’t say that that something I would recommend.  You could try it.  Now, I have used charcoal before to filter water, but I do have a few tips I could throw in there.  Now I’m gonna start by saying that there are a ton of survivalist tips that you can use, and I’m just gonna give you a few, a few cool ones that I like as well as a couple extra resources for yah’.  So the first one, is something that we’ve mentioned before on the show and that’s knowing how to take the piss out of yourself, literally.  So, this was an idea presented by the fastest person to have ever run around the world.  The guy named Kevin Carr who circumnavigated the entire globe in 621 days running 16,300 miles through 26 countries around the world.  And one of the things that he found was that he had to figure out a way to cut his water usage down but still allow his body to stay cool.  Well, it turns out that while drinking your own urine is highly not recommended.  That’s actually a good way to dehydrate yourself or to give yourself ammonia toxicity.  What you can do is you can carry a little spray bottle with you, or analogy or whatever else suit your fancy, and you can take your urine on a hot day and you can use your urine to cool your body by covering your torso and your legs with urine throughout the day by spraying it on your body, and especially if you are running for long periods of time removing for long periods of time in the heat, this can be a useful biohack to stay cool and to use your urine in a very creative and sustainable manner.  So, that would be the first thing that come to mind.

Rachel:              (chuckles) Kevin Carr’s – way have to go.  You have some balls to run around spraying yourself with urine. (laughs)

Ben:                   Urine recycling, so give yourself a spray bottle. That would be number 1, take notes people, take notes.

Rachel:              Very important.

Ben:                   Okay so, urine recycling, okay.  The next one that I’m going to give to you would be… you’ll love this ‘cause I’m sure you have a few of this lying around Rachel, tampon survival.


Rachel:              Tampon survival!  That’s a thing.

Ben:                   You would be surprise at the number of survival uses for tampons.

Rachel:              You’re welcome, Ben.  Welcome.

Ben:                   I actually have what’s called a bug-out bag.  Have you heard of a bug-out bag?

Rachel:              No.

Ben:                   Okay.  So this is a bag I keep in a special place in my house, I’m not gonna tell you where so that no stalkers come and steal my bug-out bag so that they can’t screw me in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   But the idea is that you have this bag in your house in which you keep your most crucial survival items so that if – if, crap hits the fan you can actually take that bag and have everything that you need to survive.  You just got to run out your backdoor and out into the wilderness.

Rachel:              And it’s that bag just full of tampons?

Ben:                   (chuckles) Yeah, it’s just a bag full of tampons.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   It’s all it is.

Rachel:              Well, I’m kinda curious what it’s supposed…

Ben:                   Uh no I mean, it’s got like a fire starting kit, and you know, knives and magnifying glasses, and everything like that, and some dehydrated meals and you know, water filter and all that stuff, but tampons.  So, for example, tampon in the wilderness can be used as a medical bandage, okay, and accounts of that date back to World War 1 where they actually used tampons quite a bit to tape over wounds and even to shove to ball the holes, right, as improvised dressings.  But it can also be used as a water filter.

Rachel:              What?

Ben:                   So, a tampon can actually be placed over the mouth of a water bottle, right, and use to filter out large particulates that would come from drinking water.  So you push them into the neck of an empty water bottle, and then you poke a hole in the cap and then you put water in the other side of the water bottle, and the water filter should the tampon, and then out into whatever container that you want to store that water in and it can be used to make crystal clear water.

Rachel:              That is genius.  Absolutely genius!

Ben:                   Yes, yes.

Rachel:              … except all tampons are full of really bad chemicals.  Not as bad as drinking the water?

Ben:                   Hmm, I’m not sure.  I’m hoping that most of our listeners use organic tampons that are chemical-free.

Rachel:              Right, uhmm.

Ben:                   But I mean, if you had to choose between whatever you’d find in tampon and say Giardia, I’d honestly go with the tampon.

Rachel:              Alright.

Ben:                   Tampons make excellent fire tinder.  I mean like you can get some of the best fire starter on the face of the planet, it doesn’t hold the candle (pun intended) to tampons.  So, tampons actually work quite well as some of the best fire starting tinder on the face of the planet.  So, what you can do with this – this whole tampon using as a survival straw filter is to hold that up next to like a mud paddle and it over move a lot of like the sediments and the particulates if you wanted to suck water through the tampon although I, just for the record, I owned something called a Life Straw that works probably much better than a tampon, but should I not have that Life Straw available, I would use a tampon.  And then finally…

Rachel:              Is the Life Straw in your zombie apocalypse?

Ben:                   Is in my zombie apocalypse?  Yes, I’ve 2 on my zombie apocalypse kit actually.

Rachel:              I love it.

Ben:                   And then finally, the string attached to a tampon is a cut and twisted cord.  And that’s usually about 4-6 inches of twine and you can use that cordage to make a deadfall trap.  I don’t know if you’ve ever made a deadfall trap before, but it’s where you prop-up a log and then you tie a couple of sticks together, and what happens is if you place a little bit of food kinda down by that string and a small animal comes along and you can crush the animal with the log, and actually have yourself a little mousy to eat that you caught with a tampon, so.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   The list goes on and on, I’m actually gonna link to an article in the show notes.  Chockfull of about 5 or 6 other uses that you can use for everything from fishing and using it as a bobber to using a tampon as a waterproof match and fire tinder case, but check out the link that I put in the show notes because there’s an excellent article over at the Art of Manliness, of all places, about how to use a tampon for survival.  So that’ll be number 2 in addition to cycling your own urine.

Rachel:              (chuckles)

Ben:                   Okay, but you know, we’ve talked about piss, we’ve talked about tampons, we might as well move right along and perhaps talk a little bit about the use of a condom for survival.  Are you familiar with this?  About how to use a condom?

Rachel:              I am not familiar with how to use condoms for survival.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Well, if you have enough condoms, you can survive in the wilderness for years.  This is a well-known fact among survivals. (chuckles)

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   … or at least among our listeners now.

Rachel:              Is it really well-known?

Ben:                   Well, condoms can provide you with food, with water, with fire, and with shelter.

Rachel:              That’s all we need to live.

Ben:                   Hear me out.  So, first of all condom makes a very decent water storage container.  You would be surprised at how much water that you actually store in a condom.


                           Two or three, four condoms can give you enough water to last a week, yeah.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   You’d be surprised how big a condom can get especially a magnum.  So, condoms can be used for water, condoms can also burn – a latex condom kinda like a tampon would light up instantly making it excellent fire tinder in case you got fire from your condom, you got water.  Condoms are also water tight by nature very similar to the wrapping around the tampon so you can use a condom to safely carry dry tinder or like a red sitter or little sticks or things that you wanna burn later on.  And in a pinch you can even use condoms as a rope to tie up shelters.  You can tie condoms together, you can kinda wrap them a little bit and they actually can – are surprisingly strong assuming that you’re not springing for the cheapo generic brand drugstore condoms but getting the good stuff like Trojan man, and you can actually even (don’t laugh) you can make a sling shot out of a condom.

Rachel:              (chuckles)

Ben:                   And I will put a link in the show notes to teach you how to do that, but you just need 2 condoms and a couple of sticks, and you can make a sling shot capable of wounding or killing a small animal, so.

Rachel:              (chuckles) Pssss.  This is an epic combination.  I’m sorry.

Ben:                   This is something, okay?  So we’ve got piss, we’ve got tampons, we’ve condoms, we’ve got all of the parents who are listening with their children having to make a lot of explanations to their kids right now.  But I’ve got another cool one for yah’, I will strain out into the land of the appropriateness, and that would be ice fire, okay?  So this would be if you’re stuck in a really cold place, and this is something that I studied up on a little bit when I went into that Spartan Agoge ‘cause I wasn’t sure what they’d have us to do but I knew it was gonna be cold, and I knew there was gonna be ice.  You can actually get an ice lens, so basically you get a chunk of ice and you twist the chunk of ice basically around the edge of a pipe, and the circular pipe edge carves away all the chunks and the irregularity of that chunk of ice, and you can use the edge of that pipe to create this perfect little ice sphere, okay?  So it’s like a circle of ice that you’ve created by using a pipe to like chip away that ice.  That ice sphere works just like a magnifying glass and can be used to start a fire.  It captures the sun’s light and focuses the sun’s light under one point just like a magnifying glass, and as we know if you’ve got some tinder, and you focus it on under one point and it’s a dry inflammable, you got a flame, and you can start a fire, okay?

Rachel:              Fascinating!

Ben:                   So, ice, urine, tampons, condoms, ice!  Okay, I’ve got a – I’ve got one more for yah’, okay?  And then I’m gonna delve back into the potentially effects of category if combined with some of these other things, and that would be spit.  Okay.  Surprising how much that we use in the bedroom can also be used to survive the wilderness, but have you ever heard of spit fishing?

Rachel:              I haven’t but I’m already imagining.

Ben:                   Okay, so here’s the deal.  If you need a fish but you don’t have any fishing gear, all you need is your shirt and enough saliva in your mouth to be able to spit.  So spit fishing can allow you to catch minnows and small fish, and then of course you could use your condom or your tampon or whatever to cook them, or your ice.  As you wade out into the water, and you lift the front of your shirt, the front of your shirt is gonna be like a net under the water surface, and then you spit.  Now, minnows and very small fish get attracted to spit.  I think its food, and then they cluster in front of you and you can jerk your shirt up out of the water, and your shirt will have this tiny, little fish in it.

Rachel:              Wow!  Have you tried that?

Ben:                   No, no.  This is just something that I know about in the back of my head should I ever have any to catch small fish.  I’m one of those guys who’s more likely to find a throwing stick and throw it at a squirrel before I’m gonna wait out in the pond and try to catch a fish.

Rachel:              Yeah, ‘cause you could use your little fishes as bait in a trap to catch, a squirrel as well.

Ben:                   Uhm, yup, yup, exactly.  So, there you have it.  And finally, a couple of resources like I promised.  My friend, the Neil Strauss – he’s preps most well-known for the book that he just wrote called The Truth which is chockfull of his strange sexual escapades and his search for love.  But he also has a little bit more practical book called “Emergency”.  The name of the book is Emergency: This book may save your life, and in the book he trains with like an American-Indian tracking skills, he learns how to like train with the special forces, he learns like urban escape innovation, really cool book.


                           I’ll link to it in the show notes.  And he’s an excellent author, so it’s actually really fun to read, but it’s called Emergency by Neil Strauss.  Good book.  Neil is a friend of mine and I love how he goes.  He really, really engages in very intensive, immersive journalism, and so his books are fun to read, and this one is kind of a white knuckle journey through America’s heart of darkness because he’s pretty much as like scrambling to survive and all these strange situations.  So, that’s a good one, read that one.  And then also, I just interviewed the one guy I know who is probably the best wilderness survival/badass who I am acquainted with.  His name is Aron Snyder and I have a podcast coming up with him in 2 weeks, so stay tuned for that episode ‘cause we talked about what he puts in his quintessential pack for surviving in the wilderness, and he’s got some stuff in there that I’d never heard of, but that I plan on adding to my repertoire.  So I may keep that a secret for now, but listen to the upcoming episode with Aron Synder in which we cover not just wilderness survival techniques but also Aron’s journey into the realm of illegal performance enhancing steroids and what he discovered along the way.  So it’s actually a pretty entertaining episode.  So, that being said, I may have in my response to Sebastian said enough to – me to mark this particular podcast episode as explicit.

Rachel:              (chuckles)

Ben:                   My apologies to children listening with parents who have now to explain the wonderful worlds of tampons and condoms, but enjoy that and in the meantime, I suppose we can move on.

Mark:                Hey Ben, this is Mark from Chicago who appreciate the podcast and what you do for us.  Quick question for you on box breathing.  First you talked about it before and I’ve been experimenting with it at work during stressful meetings, things like that even when I’m doing my – I’m wired t0 Heart Math training device, and I want to elaborate the protocols for box breathing when you wanna use it.  How often you’d wanna use it and any more information on that you could provide would be great!  Thanks!

Ben:                   Wow this question seems so pleasant.  Nice.

Rachel:              Can we head to the last one? (laughs)

Ben:                   (laughs) So, box breathing – well, first of all just to put this in context.  This was the very first form of meditative breathing that I taught to my children, and whether it’s box breathing and whether it’s the type of intensive breathing that you do in something like Kundalini Yoga where you’re doing lots of fire breathing and you know, almost like this Iceman guy Wim Hof.  He does this type of breathing where he heats his body and shuts down inflammatory cytokines, and there’s even some really cool research on breathing.  Deep breathing specifically the type of breathing you would use in box breathing, it can change your genes.  So, there’s this concept of epigenetic.  The ability to express certain genes and specifically with box breathing and deep breathing for relaxation, they’ve shown that it changes the genes related to inflammation, related to oxidative stress, and related to cellular metabolism.  And so, what this means is that you can actually change the expression of certain genes to allow yourself to do things, like shutdown inflammation, to shutdown oxidative stress, to increase cellular metabolism.  So we talked about earlier why athletes get sick and one of the reasons being jetlag.  One of the reasons jetlag makes you sick is because of the amount of oxidative stress you experience when you hurdling above the earth, you know, 40,000 ft. high in a small metal tube.  Now a small metal tube with a bunch of Wifi signals bouncing around inside it, and people trying to get their cellphones to work when they have 1 bar, when you’re 10,000 ft. high.  And all those other issues that happen on an airplane, well, the idea is that meditation and deep breathing has been proven – this is science, to actually decrease a lot of that oxidative stress.

Rachel:              Wow!

Ben:                   And to actually change your genes that you’re not just doing it while you breathe but you’re also doing it, you know, just the other times of the day when you’re not doing this deep breathing.

Rachel:              So, can you do too much?

Ben:                   Breathing?

Rachel:              Say, Pranayama, say, box breathing.  Yeah.

Ben:                   Oh yeah, I mean like, well, Pranayama no.  Like Kundalini Yoga like this morning, there was a period of like for the particular routine that this gal has designed for me, her name is Summer by the way, what Summer designed for me was a routine, and I told her – I was like, I really wanna be hyper changed in the morning.  You know, I just don’t want to sit cross legged and stare off into the trees breathing for a half hour.


                           I wanted – and so, it’s intensive like I work up a big sweat similar to what I get in a sauna when I’m standing outside doing this routine.  I’m twisting and arms go up and down, I’m doing like this (breathing sound) but there’s one period where for almost 4 minutes, it’s just this fire breathing, right? Like the Wim Hof style fire breathing and yeah, if I were to do that all day, that’s activating the sympathetic nervous system a little bit.  So yeah, you can totally fight and flight your way with breathing a little bit too much.  But parasympathetic nervous system activity is enhanced through this practice of box breathing.  Box breathing is something you could just settle yourself down before you go to sleep at night to get into deep sleep more quickly.  It is something that you could do when you’re stressed out.  It’s something that I will do when my heart rate is high right before I shoot when I’m preparing for like the trained hunt competitions that I do.  Where you’re shooting a bow and arrow and trying to get your heart rate down after your heart rate is elevated.  It’s something that I learned from Mark Divine who teaches this Seal Fit courses.  He works with Buds Canada to Navy Seals and some of the most badass folks on the face of the planet to teach them how to relax in combat situations, and box breathing is his go-to form of breathing to learn how to survive when the going gets tough.  When I’m immerse in very cold water, I do box breathing, and that’s one of the things that I teach to my kids when they go out and do the cold pool soak with me.  And again that’s something that I like, is it’s very easy to teach to adults or kids.  And box breathing is very, very whether you’re using it for pre-cold thermogenesis, pre-cold shower, (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) combat situations, stressful situations, traffic, etc., and it’s called box because you imagine that there’s a box.  You close your eyes, you imagine there’s a box, and you breathe up one side of that box, right, so usually it’s about a 4 count but there’s some free diverse to enhance their breath holding that will do like a 20 count, but 4 counts you could play as a start.  So you go 4 count at one side of the box, one (sound) that’s a 4 count and then you hold for a 4 count hold (two, three, four), and then you breathe out for a 4 count down the other side of the box (two, three, four), and then you hold for 4 count across the bottom of the box (two, three, four).  And so, what you do once you’ve done that over and over, and over again.  I do generally box breathing for about 3-5 minutes.  I find that’s kinda the sweet spot.  I found that it increases heart rate variability when I use the app to measure my heart rate variability as I’m doing it.  It can enhance oxygenation, like I mentioned it can decrease cellular inflammation, if you just throw in a quick cycle, right, like I am.  I’ve just crested a hill and uhm, I know you’re not a hunter Rachel, but this would be an example, and I’m hunting honey, and it came my heart rate down fast because there is an animal that I’m tracking that’s right there.  I can just really quickly go, okay, here we go. (silently – one, two, three, four) and hooo! Haw!  Then heart rate will drop like 10 beats during that period of time.  It’s crazy.

Rachel:              Crazy!

Ben:                   Yeah, it’s pretty crazy.  So, it’s box breathing, I mean, it’s not rocket science, right, it’s pretty straight forward.  Now what I use to teach my kids that and also to give myself like a little chime that will – it will make a chime for up the box, then a chime for the top of the box, then a chime as you go down the box, then a chime across the bottom of the box, is there’s this app called Pranayama.  I’ll link to it in the show notes.  It’s free, I believe they have like a paid upgrade to where you can customize, so you could have like if you wanted to set it for uh, whatever, 2 seconds up, 6 seconds hold, 2 seconds down, 6 seconds hold or like play around with different holds you could.  Suppose that would be more like a rectangle and a box.

Rachel:              (laughs)

Ben:                   But yeah, I mean, the idea is it’s very simple to learn.  All I use is that Pranayama app, it works just fine.  You don’t need an app to do it obviously.  It’s again, not rocket science but yeah, primarily I’ll use it for very stressful situations where I need to get my heart rate down quickly, I will use it to activate my parasympathetic nervous system when I am cold or when I am hot incidentally like in the sauna when it’s getting really, really hot.  And then I will also use it prior to bed or like if I wake up in the night and I wanna use some type of a breathing technique to help myself sleep, I ‘ll do that.  And yeah! Those are the primary situations in which I’ll use box breathing.


                           And pretty straight forward really, I wish there was more to say, I supposed if I we’re gonna say one other thing the biggest mistake I see people make when they do it is when they get to the top, to the hold I kept to hear (sound) they’ll just hold, but you were supposed to like let your breath float, right?

Rachel:              Uhmm.

Ben:                   So you breathe in, and let the breath just kinda float in that hold.  And then same thing when you exhale over the 4 count, you hold the exhale, the breath just kinda floats in that exhale.  Does that make sense?

Rachel:              That is and it – they does, and it’s a really beautiful visualization as well.

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah.  So that’s how you do it!  There you go!  Easy-peasy.

Kyle:                  Hey Ben and Rachel!  A huge fan of the show.  I actually got really inspired to do more endurance type activity based on your show.  You guys have just been absolutely amazing, and I love listening to your podcast on my class, on my way to work during long enduring workouts, so keep it up!  Thank you so much.  I just wanna ask your opinion though, Uh Ben, you know, I’ve often seeing these little like I guess daily things to do where it involves you know, something will do like 300 burpees a day, some people squat everyday with the barbell, I’ve even see some people do like lengthy jump roping sessions like upwards of over 30 minutes.  I just want to get your opinion on kinda if there’s any detriments to doing those sorts of things or are they really that good?  Uhm, so just your overall thoughts on things of that sort, and if you have any others please, please share.  Thanks guys!  Love the podcast, keep up the good work.

Ben:                   Well, this is kinda relevant of what we’ve talked about with athletes getting sick.

Rachel:              It is!  Yeah!

Ben:                   Yeah, yeah, ‘cause I mean, based on that study yeah, if you’re using the same routine everyday or some semblance of the same routine, you’ve less ability to get sick.

Rachel:              Oh that’s an upside.  Is there any sort of downside of like the repetitive motion?

Ben:                   Getting bored to death?  Yeah!  (chuckles)

Rachel:              Yeah.  Big downside.

Ben:                   I mean like, I’m a fan of habit, right.  There’s a really good book called The Power of Habits, you know, blah, blah, blah, everybody knows that habits are good.  So like I do 30 burpees a day, I actually just posted to Instagram ‘cause my kids doing it now.  So if you go to, where I am always posting crazy stuff.  My kids and I do 30 burpees a day, and they only count if we all clap together, right.  So you got to do it perfectly.  You know, 1 person counts as one down, two out, three pushup down, four pushup up, five stand, six jump and clap, right? So we do 30 burpees a day.  Another example would be every single morning when I get out of bed, I do the same 10 minutes stretch routine while the coffee is on.  Just like I have it every single day.  But then my workouts, right, like my main workouts like the hard workout I’m doing in the afternoon or the evening, that changes, that fluctuates, you know, significantly from day to day.

Rachel:              Uhmm. Yup.

Ben:                   And so, yeah, it does kind of vary a bit.  So the idea here is this, I say why not have the best of both worlds, right? So have those little habits like every time I go to the bathroom, I get to do 25 body weight squats or every morning I’m gonna do 30 burpees on my little 10 minute yoga routine, or everyday (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) between April 1st and April 21st, I’m gonna take cold shower, but basically you have these little things that you do everyday, but then your main workouts –   I – needs to introduce some amount of it already because different parts of your physiology are going to respond to different routines.

Rachel:              Right.

Ben:                   Now, I wrote an article about this but for example, when you are working out, there are certain activities that you can engage in that are going to target specific physiological parameters, okay.  So, for example, VO2 max – the maximum amount of oxygen that you can utilize.  Well, based on research one of the best ways to activate and maximize VO2 max are high intensity efforts that are approximately 4 minutes long with 4 recovery after each of those efforts.  And so, if your only workout everyday is say like a 30 second effort, you’re not targeting your VO2 max system.

Rachel:              Yup.

Ben:                   So, in my opinion and based on research at least once every 1 to 2 weeks you should have a session that is comprised of a series of 4 minute very hard intervals with 4 recoveries between each.  Okay, so that would be one example.  Another example would be increasing muscular endurance, the amount of a lactic acid that your muscles can tolerate and the amount of lactic acid that your muscles can buffer.


                           Well for this it’s a completely different series of scenarios.  For this, you generally exercise for somewhere in the range of 30 seconds to 2 minutes, okay, ‘cause it’s gonna take about 30 seconds to begin to produce lactic acid and anything longer than 2 minutes generally drops you to a low enough intensity to where you’re aren’t producing much lactic acid and for this you’d use a 2:1 work to rest ratio.  So an example of this would for example you’ve got a series of 10 minute long sprints that you’re doing with 30 seconds of recovery after each.  And same thing, you would do something like that once every 1 week to once every 2 weeks.  And that would target a different system, right? But if you were to only do that lactic acid effort, you wouldn’t be targeting say that 4 minute system that’s gonna target more VO2 max adaptations.  Okay? And then of course, you have your muscular strength and your muscular strength is not gonna be targeted by either of those sessions that I just described and in this case, from muscular strength you would wanna have say, one day per week or 2 days per week where you’re doing series of heavy squats, heavy deadlifts, heavy clings, and heavy overhead push press, right?  Let’s say 5 sets of 5 repetitions of each of those and that would be a session that again, you wouldn’t wanna do everyday because there’s some pretty significant recovery implications, both muscular skeletal which typically takes about 48 hours or so minimum, and then neuro-muscular which takes even longer, you know, 72 hours to a week to recover from neuro-muscular standpoint from something like that.  But basically the idea is that you would also want to include something like that.  And by the way, little bit of a rabbit hole here, but when we’re talking about muscular skeletal vs. neuro-muscular recovery, you’ll know when muscular skeletal recovery has occurred because you’re not sore anymore.  Neuro-muscular, that’s where it returns to like remember when I was saying like you know, your heart rate variability, you measure that and sometimes even though you feel good, it’s low…

Rachel:              Yeah.

Ben:                   … and then you go out, and you push through it and you get injured, that’s because in many cases your muscular skeletal system is recovered, so it’s like your body still need to push, but if you don’t measure your nervous system, it’s not recovered and it takes longer to recover than the muscular skeletal system, you can often dig yourself into an overtraining or injury or illness hole quite easily.  So that’s the idea behind that, you know, muscular skeletal is different than neuro-muscular.  Couple other systems – mitochondrial density, so mitochondrial the power plants of your cells, you can create new mitochondria.  It’s called mitochondrial biogenesis and that’s very, very cool adaptation to be able to get from training but you don’t get it from any of the sessions that I’ve just described to any significant extent.  What research has shown is that to induce mitochondrial biogenesis, you need a series of about a half a dozen or so very, very short intense sprints, right, 10 to 30 seconds in duration, and so that would be another session to include in your training, once every week or once every 2 weeks but again, you’re heading a different physiological system by targeting mitochondrial biogenesis with the shorter 10 to 30 second all out sprints.  And then finally, you’ve got like your stamina and your ability to enhance fat burning efficiency.  Your ability to be able to move aerobically for long periods of time without exhaustion, and that would be more of like the longer session, right? Like that would be your morning-fasted 45 minute walk or your afternoon Sunday 3-hour hike, right? Or maybe a Saturday long bike ride and that would be a completely different system, and again, you get some people and this is a thing you see a lot among triathletes and marathoners a lot where they’re just doing like their hour and a half long bike ride or run, or swim everyday and that’s the only system that they’re working.  So the idea here is that if you’re doing the same workout everyday, it’s very unlikely you’re targeting each of these physiological systems.  So, I am a fan again of having habit each day like yeah, you do your 30 burpees every morning or you do your cold shower everyday, or you do your 10 minutes of yoga each morning, but then you also hit each of these other physiological systems in a systematized manner throughout the rest of the week.  Now, I have a full article about how you would string all of these different components, right? Like mitochondrial density, VO2 max, lactic acid, stamina, fat burning efficiency, etc. how you would link all those together.


                           I will link to that article in the show notes for you Kyle, for anybody else listening in.  So if you go to I have a link to that and it’s called “How to Look Good Naked and Live a Long Time”, and it’s both an article as well as a link to like a full 12 week training plan that kinda links all these together ‘cause it’s one thing to understand and it’s another thing that actually as you know implement.  So,  ‘cause the last thing you wanna do is be a smart cookie who is fat-eating doritos in your mom’s basement, so.  Understand that’s just not about understanding, it’s about implementation but that’s the resource I would point you towards, so hopefully that’s helpful, and uh, now you don’t have to do 300 burpees a day anymore.

Rick:                  Hi Ben!  Hi Rachel!  This is Rick from Oregon.  My call is about SCOBY’s.  I wonder if SCOBY’s are good to put in your green drinks or your protein drinks, and also if you can chop ‘em and put them on a salad or such.  Thanks for the call.  I appreciate it.  Thank you.

Ben:                   Did you listen to my interview with the kombucha mama?

Rachel:              I did… I like the song.

Ben:                   That just got released and she makes dried fruit rollups out of the little SCOBY’s for her kids, and for those of you who’s listening in who don’t know what a SCOBY is.  First, go listen to that podcast episode.  It was very recent, that’s the one I did on kombucha.  Go to the Ben Greenfield website, do a search for kombucha or for kombucha mama, but SCOBY, SCOBY actually stands for something.  Did you know that?  It’s like just a like a word like booger.

Rachel:              I did but I always forget what it is.

Ben:                   No, I don’t.  It’s called Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.

Rachel:              Hmmm.

Ben:                   Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, ‘cause that’s all it is.  It’s just like a bunch of really, really healthy bacterial species, it’s like a – it’s like a giant booger shaped probiotic.  It’s what it is.

Rachel:              It looks so much like a booger!

Ben:                   I mean, and it has so many different forms of bacteria and it do everything from like kill candida to repopulate your gut.  I mean, there’s a reason it’s a freakin’ like Eastern European/Russian super food and then of course as you know, once you combine it with tea and with sugar or any fermented for a couple of weeks, you get…

Rachel:              Kombucha!

Ben:                   Aha! Kombucha!  But then you still have this SCOBY leftover, and it keeps on…

Rachel:              And they keep growing!

Ben:                   And growing!

Rachel:              And it gets to a point where you’re like – what am I gonna do with all of this?

Ben:                   And my wife gives it away to friends to start their own kombucha, and then it keeps growing.  It’s like somethin’ in an alien movie.

Rachel:              Do you think that they will just would eventually take over the world?

Ben:                   I think they will.  I think they will fight the…

Rachel:              I think you should write that into your podcast.

Ben:                   They’re gonna fight the apple, nano robots…

Rachel:              You should make River and Terran fight them in the forest.

Ben:                   I should write a book about the SCOBY’s vs. the dark robots. (chuckles) Uh, wow!

Rachel:              I just gave you gold material.

Ben:                   And weren’t high or anything just so you know.  We just have a cup of coffee and…

Rachel:              It’s Kimera Koffee though.

Ben:                   Yeah, Kimera Koffee.  Okay, so the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast – it’s a biofilm, it’s a living species of yeast and bacteria, and again for those of you who have like yeast infections and fungal infections, and candida, yes! You can still drink kombucha and yes! You can still eat the SCOBY because it’s actually, it helps to fight a lot of these bacteria.  It’s extremely alkalinic, like Hannah the Kombucha Mom and I talked about in that podcast, you can use it like as a band-aid ‘cause it’s almost like a living skin so you can use it to heal the skin from burns and wounds, and the other thing that you can of course do with it is you can eat it.  You can eat it.  Now, I recommend that you can actually make a recipe out of it rather than just chomping on it.  And because I know this podcast is getting a little bit long, what I’m recommend, I mean, I cup out on you a little bit here Rick but dude, you need to get the big book on kombucha and you need to listen to that kombucha podcast that I did with the kombucha momma in which she gives her recipe for turning a SCOBY into a dry fruit.  Do I?  Or a dried fruit that roll up.  Do I eat the SCOBY?  I eat a little bits and particles that are like at the bottom of the kombucha bottles that my wife makes.  I don’t mind eating those slimy bits but no, I don’t grab the whole freakin’ frisbee size ‘cause they get big.  I don’t get the whole Frisbee size SCOBY and just like munch on it.  I don’t do that, but you could and it would not kill you, and it would actually be quite good if you need to repopulate your gut bacteria.  Uhm, hit me, I don’t know what it would do to your poo, okay?

Rachel:              Uhm, that could be a fun experiment for you.

Ben:                   They could – let us know how that goes for you, Rick.  But anyways, yes you could blend it, you could chop it up, you could put it in a salad, go ape nuts with your SCOBY dude!


                           And by the way folks, if you’re listening in and you have your own SCOBY eating tips to add, feel free to leave them in the show notes over at, where you can access oh! So many more links and goodies.

                           Uh, that being said, I think it’s time to give something away Rachel.  What do you think?

Rachel:              Yey!  Yes!  My favorite time.

Ben:                   Let’s do this.  So this is the part of the show…  I was feelin’ that I should talk like Mr. Rogers, and we should play a piano.  Can we do this?  This is the part of the show where I take off my cardigan and my shoes and toss them over my shoulders and we get into today’s iTunes review.  So, if you like the podcast, go to iTunes.  Leave us a review, say something nice.  Leave us 5 stars.  Spread the love, spread the karma, and if you hear your review read on the show, all you need to do is email [email protected], that’s [email protected] and we will send you a gift pack full of goodies like a Ben Greenfield fitness tech t-shirt and a water bottle, and a beanie, and everything else that makes your life better, makes your life meaningful, makes your life not suck anymore.  So, that being said, we have a review left by Akindzia, Akindzia.  Rachel, do you want to take this one away?

Rachel:              I do.  Alright, it’s titled: Can’t wait to get alone in my car with Ben.

Ben:                   I hear that a lot.

Rachel:              (chuckles) “I listen to Ben in my car and I feel like I’m 16 when I first got my driver’s license making excuses to go somewhere…. anywhere.  I’ve learned so much on nutrition, sleep, crazy biohacking things, workouts, fasting, and so much more.  I just started putting the avocado seed in my smoothies but I haven’t been able to stomach eating chicken bones yet.  You rock Ben and I am beyond grateful for the time you spend delivering us fantastic content.  I have your book but I really enjoy listening to you and your discussions with other though leaders.  I have listened to other podcasts but not one can compare to you.  Thank you for making a difference in my life.”

Ben:                   Those like a love song!

Rachel:              It was, and I think it’s ‘cause of the way that I read it though.  I really put heart into that one.

Ben:                   And she’s putting avocado seed in her smoothies.  That’s hardcore.

Rachel:              Well, we’re assuming it’s a girl but it could be a guy.

Ben:                   Yeah.  Well, Akindzia I can’t wait to get alone in the car with you.

Rachel:              (chuckles)

Ben:                   But in the meantime, (chuckles) if you or anyone else listening in wants to access today’s show notes, or learn more about getting alone in cars with me or Rachel, this is getting weird.

Rachel:              Whoever you prefer… (chuckles)

Ben:                   Uhm, go to  A couple other things, I am headed off to Florida to write a story on spear fishing, I’m going to be hanging out with the editor’s spearing magazine and working on a really cool article for those of you who are interested in like free diving and breath holding, and eating tasty fish, so stay tuned for that, and that means in lieu of next week’s normal Q and A, I’ve got a fantastic episode comin’ with – got another redneck biohacker on a transcendental meditation.  And finally, for those of you who live in Miami and if you’re listening to this episode close when it comes out, drop me a line because I’m coming down to try and dominate the South Beach Triathlon.  So I’ll be down in Sobe as the cool people say.

                           And that being said, I think that about wraps things up Rachel.  Am I correct?  Am I forgetting anything?

Rachel:              Only sign up to the Cold Shower Challenge, that’s on the 1st of April,

Ben:                   That’s right!  Get some, later.

                           You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  Go to for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.

[1:29:55.7]     END           



349: Why Athletes Get Sick, How To Biohack Survival, How Often Do You Need To Workout & More!

349 1

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

March 30, 2016 Podcast: 349: Why Athletes Get Sick, How To Biohack Survival, How Often Do You Need To Workout & More!

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, 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+.


Special Announcements:

This podcast is brought to you by: – get a free trial of their amazing protein powder with 18g of clean real whole food plant based protein and only 150 calories when you go to – get nootropic infused coffee at and use 10% discount code BEN.

No time for breakfast? Try this loaded smoothie for a quick on the go breakfast that will keep you running all morning long.

1 1/2 cups of brewed Kimera Koffee
1 scoop of raw organic protein powder
1 tablespoon of organic almond butter
1 small piece of raw organic cocoa butter
1 dash of cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth; pour over ice or take in a thermos for a filling morning pick me up.

Onnit – Get 10% off ANYTHING, from functional foods to supplements and beyond, at

April 1-21: The Cold Shower Challenge – You take a 5 minute cold shower (no temperature rules, but as cold as your shower can truly go, scout’s honor…) each morning for 21 days from April 1st – 21st. Then you post a (clothed or towel clad, no nudies!) photo on any social media outlet you have (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as evidence. You *must* tag @BenGreenfield and you must use the following hashtag: #ColdShowerChallenge. The best part? All proceeds go towards The Brain Trauma Foundation, an organization that conducts innovative clinical research and develops evidence-based guidelines that improve the outcomes for millions of people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries every year. During this challenge you will learn everything you need to know about cold thermogenesis and cold showers, and even get access to a private Facebook community with all participants (including me), donate money to Brain Trauma Foundation, revitalize your life, body, brain and waistline to be ready for spring, and bask in the many cognitive and performance-enhancing benefits of cold thermogenesis! So…you in? Click here to join in now.

Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine!

GreenfieldFitnessSystems “surprise gift box” – 50% discount on instant access to a box shipped to your front doorstep and full of the latest cutting-edge biohacking gear, nutrients, smart drugs and more, handpicked and curated by Ben. Only 4 left.

Did you miss the weekend podcast episode with Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece? It was a must-listen – titled “Anti-Aging, Homeschooling, Underwater Workouts, Pooping & More.” Click here to listen now or download for later!

May 21-22, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in London. The venue will be one of the most charming venues of London, Tabacco Dock, and features an Upgraded Dinner with wild forager Sami Tallberg and a great opportunity to bring together some fantastic UK based biohackers in the realms of digital health, wearables, supplements, biohacking, lifehacking, quantified self and much more. You’ll discover digital health & wellness providers, nutrition & supplement companies, wearables & mobile applications and smart home appliances from infrared saunas to smart sensors. Click here to register and use 10% code “ben”.

May 27-29, 2016: Ben is speaking at PaleoFX 2016 in Austin, Texas. This is the The Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including New York Times bestselling authors, leading physicians, scientists, health entrepreneurs, professional athletes, fitness professionals, activists, bloggers, biohackers, and more. And you DON’T need to be Paleo to be able to get a ton of benefit and fun out of this one! Also, one day prior, on May 26 is Health Entrepreneurs f(x) – a full day of deep discussion on marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship for health and wellness people, featuring Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Melissa Hartwig, Sarah Ballantyne, Mike Bledsoe, Abel James, and a bunch of other speakers in small group coaching sessions.

Nov 17-18, 2016: Ben is speaking at the Biohacker’s Summit in Helsinki, Finland. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Learn about taking food, preparation, cooking, and eating to the next level with the latest science and kitchen chemistry. Even delve into implanted chips, gene therapy, bionic arms, biometric shirts, robotic assistants, and virtual reality. Two days with an amazing crowd and a closing party with upgraded DJs to talk about. Click here to get in now at a 40% discount.

Dec 3-10, 2016: Runga in Costa Rica: 8 days, epic food, twice daily yoga, salt water pool and manual therapy and spa services galore, experts from around the world teaching running clinics, kettlebell seminars, lecturing on nutrition, etc. Also daily adventures ranging from zip lining to white water, along with a full digital detox. Code “BEN” gets you a free gift with your RUNGA registration valued at $75! Click here to get in now.

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 – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!



Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

How To Biohack Survival

Sebastian says: He’s from the Great White North and has an interest in bush craft and survival. He’s wondering if you have any biohacks for survival, say you have nothing on your back but a backpack, what would some biohacks be? Ie. Creating a fire and using the charcoal to clean your system afterwards? It would be cool to hear what you have to say about this and would be great if you got a survivalist on the podcast in future!

In my response, I recommend:
Kevin Carr’s running tips
Tampon survival
Condom tricks
Ice fire
-Spit fishing
Book: Emergency by Neil Strauss
-Mention upcoming podcast with Aron Snyder

How To Box Breathe

Mark says: He’s been experimenting with box breathing at work during stressful meetings etc and when he’s doing Heart Math. Can you elaborate on the protocols for box breathing, when and how often can you use it etc?

In my response, I recommend:
Pranayama app

How Often Do You Need To Workout?

Kyle says: He’s a huge fan of the show and loves listening to it. He wants your opinion Ben on daily workouts. He’s seen people who do 300 burpees/day, barbell squats every day, 30 min jump rope sessions every day. What’s your opinion on doing these kinds of workouts? Are they really that good for you?

Can You Eat A Kombucha Scoby?

Rick says: He loves the podcast, his question is about SCOBY’s. He’s wondering if you can blend them or chop them up and put them in a salad?

In my response, I recommend:
Kombucha podcast


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

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


How To Treat Your Own Joint Pain (Without Visiting An Expensive Doctor or Therapist).

sue h

I’ll admit it: I’m a complete nerd when it comes to using a dizzying array of bodywork tools, massage and deep tissue manipulation, mobility methods and more.

I wake up every morning and “hit” my body with everything from a Rumble Roller to mobility bands to vibrating massage devices and more. It’s like some kind of medieval torture experiment.

So I was pretty excited when I got a chance to read a brand new book about how to create a “map” of your own connective tissue and then erase pain and / or increase mobility in specific areas of your body using that map. The name of the book is “The MELT Method: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain, Erase the Signs of Aging, and Feel Fantastic in Just 10 Minutes a Day!“.

In The MELT Method, manual therapist and exercise physiologist Sue Hitzmann describes a self-treatment system to combat chronic pain and erase the effects of aging and active living, in as little as ten minutes a day, all using techniques that can be done in your own home and taking advantage of the body’s natural restorative properties.

Sue has personally trained more than 1,300 professionals worldwide and is a leading presenter for national organizations such as IDEA, ECA, and PMA, and a CEU provider for ACE, AFAA, NASM, PMA, and NCBTMB. She has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, The Rachael Ray Show, and Live! with Regis and Kelly, and the internationally translated MELT Method book has been featured in magazines such as SELF, More, and Prevention.

I’ve been trying the methods in her book on areas like my low back, my hands, my feet and my elbows and they work with surprising efficacy, so I had to get her on the show!

During this episode, you’ll discover…

-Sue’s fascinating story of how she began digging into fascia and connective tissue and its role in pain and movement…

-What Sue discovered while dissecting cadavers and learning the truth about fascia that isn’t taught in exercise science classes…

-The concept of “fascial dehydration”, and why it is much more than just a matter of drinking more water…

-What most foam rolling and deep tissue work neglects…

-Why you shouldn’t necessarily use the hardest foam roller you can find…

-How to “glide”, “shear” and “rinse” specific areas of your body…

-Why doing a “rest and assess” prior to doing the MELT method can enhance results…

-And much more…

This podcast is brought to you by:

National Academy of Sports Medicine – NASM guarantees you’ll land a job as a personal trainer within 60 days of earning your CPT certification or your money back – guaranteed. Go to for a FREE 14-day trial.

Harry’s – Harry’s is the only shaving company that has both amazing quality and low prices. Go to and get $5 off your first order with promo code ‘BEN’. – New customers at can get 4 FREE samples (choose from over 50 options!), which is a $15 value. Go to, click on the mic and enter my code “FITNESS”.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Sue or I about the MELT method or anything else we discuss in this episode? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

How To Fall Asleep Faster, Stay Asleep, Nap Efficiently, Beat Migraines & More.


Several weeks ago, I published an article entitled “A Tiny, 1/2 Ounce Piece Of Game-Changing Sleep Technology (And How To Use PEMF For Sleep)“. In that article, I introduced a brand new device called the SomniResonance® DeltaSleeper (affectionally known as the “SR1”) that am now placing on my collarbone each night before I go to sleep and also using if I wake up in the night, and even using for naps and on airplanes.

The results have been nothing less than astounding.

My sleep “efficiency”, as measured by the Oura sleep tracking device, has jumped from 81% up to 97%.

I have gone from an average of 52 minutes of wake time during a night of sleep down to 28 minutes.

My deep sleep has risen from 33 minutes per night to 2 hours and 22 minutes.

My sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep) has gone from an average of 16 minutes down to a super-fast 7 minutes.

My heart rate during a night of sleep has dropped from 39 beats per minute down to 36 beats per minute.

The list goes on and on. I plan on a comprehensive article in the future that shows all of these sleep hacking results and delves more deeply into sleep quantification…

…but in the meantime, Michael Lares – the investor, diver, outdoor enthusiast and friend who introduced me to the SR1 – is my guest on today’s podcast, and in this episode, you’re going to discover:

-How the SR1 works…

-How to use the SR1 for migraines and headaches…

-The difference between the SR1 and other PEMF devices (like the EarthPulse)…

-Where you should place the SR1 during sleep…

-Whether you can use the SR1 multiple times during the night…

-Whether the SR1 is safe for children…

-How it works for adrenal fatigue and anxiety…

-Which meds should or should not be combined with the SR1…

-Which countries the SR1 is legal in…

-How to try an SR1 without any risk…

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

The DeltaSleeper (use 5% discount code “Greenfit10″ – works in both USA and Canada)

The Oura Sleep tracking ring

The Earthpulse PEMF device

A Navy SEAL Physician Reveals How Hard-Charging, High-Achievers Can Fall Asleep Fast

The Man Behind The Advanced Sleep Hacking Tactics Used By The World’s Most Elite Athletes

This podcast is brought to you by:

Marc Pro – The leading electro-stimulation devices on the market and Ben’s recovery tool of choice. Use code BEN for 5% off the Marc Pro or Marc Pro Plus system. – Go to and get a free trial of their delicious, whole-food, plant-based protein powder.

Linwoods Health Foods – Use code GREENFIELD20 to receive 20% off Linwoods’ healthy blends of cold-ground seeds, nuts and berries.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about the DeltaSleeper SR1 device? Leave your thoughts below and either Michael or I will reply, and you want to try the SR1 for yourself, simply click here and use 5% discount code “Greenfit10” (works in both USA and Canada).

Two important updates on the DeltaSleeper SR1 PEMF sleep-enhancing device:

  1. Due to extremely high demand for the DeltaSleeper, the adhesives used to place it on collarbone (or other areas of your body) are on backorder until early June. But fret not, we have found an alternative adhesive that is very budget-friendly and works just as well. You can cut these in 3 or 4 pieces and really stretch your adhesive budget. 
  2. As of 4-22-16, the DeltaSleeper is now shipping to the following countries: Canada, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Switzerland and New Zealand. Please inquire with [email protected] regarding import of the SR1 sleep device and mention Ben Greenfield to get your discount.