This One Supplement Caused My Heart To Stop and The Life Lessons I Learned Transformed My Life


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Do you take supplements? They're growing in popularity, and more and more people take them every day. There are some great supplements out there which can contribute to your optimal performance. But if you don't know what you're doing, you could end up causing some permanent damage! If you take supplements, you won't want to miss the latest podcast with AJ Mihrzad!

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This One Supplement Caused My Heart To Stop and The Life Lessons I Learned Transformed My Life

  1. 1. 7 Reasons Why Kettlebell Strength Training Can Help This One Supplement Caused My Heart to Stop and the Life Lessons I Learned Changed My Life Ameer Rosic ֬Tuesday April 29 th 2014 Read Full Article Supplements can be great, but they can also be dangerous! Do you take supplement each day? Have you ever wondered are they safe? These are questions you should be asking yourself from a day-to-day basis. In today Podcast, AJ and I discuss his near death experience with a common workout supplement and the many life lessons that he learned
  2. 2. Transcript (listen to the full podcast here) Ameer: Hey AJ, welcome to the Optimal Health Show. How you doing? AJ: I’m feeling great Ameer. How are you? Ameer: I’m good, I’m good man. Thanks for asking. We’re going to jump right into it. What are your three major golden rules when it comes to optimal health? AJ: That’s an awesome question. You know, I think the number one golden rule would definitely be mindfulness, because I find that having clarity, peace of mind just to be able to observe not just your actions in an accurate way, but also your thoughts, and really to have is an a sense of this bird’s eye view over your entire life, that would be very, very key. Number two would be to have some type of vision towards your optimal health. Knowing what is optimal health, your version of it, and really having a why, why you’re going to actually sacrifice certain things, you’re going to devote time and energy towards that vision of your optimal health. Third of all, I would say it would have to just be persistence because having that vision of optimal health may not be that easy to accomplish, and we’re going to have setbacks, we are going to have resistance. We are our own worst enemy. Many times, the results are not going to come as quickly as we would like, or even an external situation would come and throw us off the loop, but it’s having that resilience in continuing to your own version of optimal health. Ameer: You mentioned vision as number two. Is there any like exercises or types of modalities you’d do on a day-to-day basis to actually figure out what your vision is? AJ: Yes. Actually Ameer, first and foremost, I’m keeping a journal for about 14 years now, and this is my lifeblood. I would not be able to live a same life without having a journal, and I just document my entire life from morning to night. People I meet, quotes, insights from books, and having this journal gives me such clarity because it’s this conversation with myself. And I change my vision through my journal because I create an ideal version of myself, and when I get closer to that ideal version, I then evolve into another ideal version, so it’s constantly this ability to map that out on paper that’s very beneficial to me. One thing I’ve been doing consistently over the past few years is meditating. Some people may be turned off by the word but I just say, take 20 minutes of “me time,” a time to just sit there, silence and to observe your life, observe your thoughts, and not to react to them but just to visualize, to basically just go inside your mind and accept whatever is brought forward. And I found that the combination of writing exercising, journaling, and meditating gives you such clarity on your optimal health vision. Ameer: You’re right though. I find it so funny because this whole word meditation has like a negative connotation. It’s like “Oh, meditation.” I just did a new type of meditation the other day with my boy James McEwan, and it’s an actual moving, breathing meditation where you like you spin around, you control your breath, and you actually do like type of yoga move. So this whole idea of just like one form of meditation, it’s rubbish. Whatever works for you, use it. AJ: Absolutely Ameer. I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why I don’t use the word as much. I eve wrote a book and a big portion of it is about meditation. However, the entire book, I chose not to use meditation. I called it “me time, quiet time, solitude,” because many people have this, I guess some type of religious connotation with meditation, and it’s whatever works for you, Meditation is not sitting cross-legged position. It’s walking, it’s lying down, it’s listening to music. It’s just taking some time to be within yourself. Ameer: Now, what’s your take on nutrition. Where do you stand there?
  3. 3. AJ: I would definitely say that I have tried numerous nutrition programs and experimented a lot myself, all different types of diets. I went as high as doing like 8000-calorie body building diets. Going fully keto with no carbs. I even had this diet with eggs for an entire amount, and that was like the worst experience. I got some crazy rashes in some weird places. I did this over the past 12 years and I would say out of everything I’ve tried, paleo is definitely by far my favorite and it works best for me. It’s a combination of paleo and intermittent fasting. Ameer: Explain a little bit more about intermittent fasting. AJ: I’m a huge believer in intermittent fasting. It works really great. I live a very busy lifestyle. Through the meditation, I’ve come to find that I’ve become more aware and intuitive and I’ve really realized when I truly am hungry or when I’m having a crazing. In reality, I don’t get hungry until noon, sometimes 1, 2 p.m. In this past, when I was under this impression, you have to eat 6 meals per day or every 3 hours or you go catabolic. I’ve come to find it’s nonsense because for you to lose muscle, it doesn’t happen if you’re outside that 3-hour window, there’s a 3-hour window. Upon testing it, intermittent fasting just became very natural to me. I’ve come to find that I enjoy foods so much more. In fact, it’s been many years since I’ve actually had a meal prior to my workout. I work out on empty stomach. I just love the fact that it dispels so many myths. We’re so brainwashed to think we have to take a certain amount of protein or we have to eat breakfast all the time and to blow that away, and to stay lean and enjoy food, I mean, intermittent fasting for me personally is definitely the way to go. Ameer: So how do you do your intermittent fasting, because I know there are different modalities and ways to do it. AJ: Sure. I keep mine fairly simple. I usually have my first meal at 2 p.m. That’s when I find my body craves the food the most. It doesn’t set in stone. I could have like a really brutal workout, and then around 10, 11 a.m., I could start feeling the extreme need to eat. At that point in time, I listen to my body, I have a little bit of protein, but realistically I usually eat around 2 p.m., and at night time sometimes I eat like 9, 10 p.m. if I’m up that late and I realize that that’s another myth that many people are brainwashed to think that if we eat right before bed or after a certain time you get fat which is nonsense. Ameer: Now, I’m curious though because right now, intermittent fasting, it’s fairly new in the mainstream, give or take. Since you’ve discovered it so long ago, where did you discover it? AJ: Wow. I would definitely say if I could go back to where I first came across, it would Brad Pilon’s book “Eat Stop Eat,” and that book was so well done. He’d really gotten to the science behind it, discussed the evolutionary purposes of it and it just made so much sense to me, and from that point on, I started experimenting with it. Of course, I didn’t just jump into intermittent fasting, I would, let’s say have my first meal at 7 or 8 a.m., so I would just push it up an hour, so I’d go for 9 and then 10 and then 11 and I realize like wow, I could go through lunch time and I’m fine. I have energy. I‘m not hungry to the point where I can’t function. My brain works just fine, and that’s how I finally got myself to do this consistently. Ameer: Do you recommend IF for everybody? AJ: Absolutely not. I think you need to have first and foremost, healthwise, you need to be in a good place. There are a lot of people that have dietary restrictions where they literally can’t go a few hours without eating, so that would be the first and foremost thing. Second of all, similar to like I did, you want to tape yourself into it. It’s like a paleo diet. First and foremost, reduce your carb intake very slowly and
  4. 4. logically up until you’re in a low carb state and then from that point on see how it works for you. Whenever I have my clients and they want to try a new diet, I always recommend testing it for two to three weeks. Test it and ease into it, and at that point in time, if you’re able to function and your brain works fine and your energy levels are sufficient, then stick to it long-term. Ameer: What would you say is your favorite types of exercise programs out there? AJ: I came from like a body-building background. I was actually pretty overweight myself. When I first got into this, I was close to 60 pounds overweight, and did absolutely no exercise, I was a lazy bastard. I got into fitness because of necessity. I was really, really depressed and extremely insecure. I just didn’t want to live my life at that point. I have a pretty extreme mentality. I hit rock bottom one day and said “I don’t want to go the rest of my life being overweight, insecure.” I developed like really bad back pain and I decided to just get a six-pack. That was my first and foremost goal. At that time, the internet wasn’t I guess as grossed with information so I just went and got those bodybuilding magazines like flex and muscular development because they had visible six-packs on the cover, and I just like ate those things up, I just immersed myself into that world, and a lot of things didn’t make sense to me, because I was like wow, I have to eat more calories or eat more protein or six meals a day, like how does that make sense. And then over time, I got to the point where I just went extreme and I devoted my entire life to fitness, and I lost that 53 pounds. I improved not just like my physical appearance but mental appearance as well. Admittingly, I didn’t have much muscle on me, it was kind of like this skinny fat with the remnants of a six-pack and then to the point in time, finally achieving a six-pack, I wanted to add muscle, so I guess body-building really was my base, and from that point on, I became a personal trainer and I realized how limiting body-building was. Even with myself, I started developing injuries and this was just shocking to me because I was powerlifting and body-building that I was getting hurt, and then I really got into core and understanding functional fitness. I would definitely say right now, my major focus is a weight training type of routine. It’s functional fitness, developing the core of course, and also I implement a little bit of yoga as well for flexibility. Ameer: What’s your take on CrossFit? AJ: You know, I am not a CrossFit hater. I know like it’s a controversial subject. I think CrossFit is great, it has its plusses and minuses. I think that first and foremost, just like if a person wants to jump into IM, they should make sure that their body and the mechanics are good for CrossFit. I don’t really recommend it for beginners. You’d have to be an intermediate lifter. I just really love the fact that they’re motivating a lot of people because you have people that have tried to work out or tried to run or tried to have some type of help but nothing works for them. However, CrossFit motivates them, and I’m just happy to see people being active. I think one of the pet peeves about CrossFit is that it’s really a bit too much… the reason why you’re doing it is to exercise to achieve optimal wellness and you’re focused on the numbers. I learned myself when I was powerlifting, if you just focus on the numbers and nothing else , that will lead to serious injury and I think realistically, it’s understanding why you take on CrossFit, I think that’s the most important thing. Ameer: Are there any current supplements that you really are in-love with at the moment? AJ: I have always taken a lot of supplements, like anyone as they’re starting on their track to fitness, especially if you’re into adding muscle and losing fat, you probably waste like thousands of dollars on supplements throughout the years. I’ve tried just about every single one. I actually got into manufacturing my own supplements and that was a really crazy experience because I had a near-death experience because of a supplement that I created.
  5. 5. Ameer: Really? Yeah. Go into that. I want to hear about this. AJ: Yeah. This is like a really insane experience. I’ll summarize it a bit. I got into buying supplements, and I was realizing like I was paying a fortune, like hundreds of dollars a month for all these different supplements, and I was like “I’m a natural bodybuilder. I’m not going to take anything. I’m going to use everything I can to get the edge.” And then I realize that the supplements were fairly simple. They weren’t anything too elaborate. It’s just that there was such a high mark upon them. I got into just getting the raw material and reverse engineering like the most popular supplements and kind of making my own blends. It didn’t take too long to figure that out. And I was like “Wow, I pay for this GNC like 60 bucks but I could make it for a few bucks myself and it’s the same exact thing. It’s more pure. I know the exact ingredients in it.” I started doing that for myself at first and then I started doing it for my friends. After a while, I started just manufacturing and selling them, but before I got into that, I was a bit careless when I was making my supplements. I was just kind of putting them in like rail and tubs. I had this one pre workout mix and I remember it was like the Saturday morning, and I was a bit careless and I just took this little container and I poured it, it’s my protein shaker, and right after I drank it, I sense something was off. I realized I made a huge mistake. Instead of taking the container of the pre workout mix, I took an entire bottle of raw powder. This was the worst one to take because it was Yohimbine 8cl. If people know about Yohimbine, it’s probably one of the strongest mg per mg stimulants in existence. Let’s say a serving of Yohimbine is like 2 to 3 mg, I took about 3000 mg at that time. At that moment, it’s like I saw my own mortality, just my logical mind kicked in and said “You’re going to die.” I knew like within minutes it was going to hit my bloodstream and it’s going to cause a lot of damage, so the first thing I did was I went to my toilet and I tried to vomit it, and like was nothing coming out. Second thing I did, I ran to my laptop and I googled. I was like “lethal effective dose of Yohimbine,” and realizing it didn’t exist. For some reason, I couldn’t find it. I’m so scatterbrained. So at that point, I had two choices. I could call the ambulance but if I did there’s a high chance that I would die by the time they came. Or I could drive myself to the hospital. So that’s what I did. I started sweating and I started just getting out the house as fast possible and this was less than five minutes after ingestion, and I remember like, the hospital is not too far away from my house. It’s about 7, 8 minutes away. As soon as I parked my care in front of the hospital, it was like crazy, because the stimulant just really got into my bloodstream, and I was like hallucinating. It was like this really freaky crazy trip. When I was younger, I took a lot of drugs, even hallucinogenic drugs, just crazy stuff when I go to night clubs, and this was unreal. This was like probably one of the craziest trips I ever had. I just saw colors and the sky was melting, and I was like “Oh my god, I’m totally screwed.” I just ran in to the back door of the emergency room, and I remember I just grabbed the first doctor I saw. I grabbed him by his labcoat, and said “I’m going to die. Help me. I took way too much.” He at first pushed me off and thought I was like some crackhead, because guys like that running in all the time, he’s like “Yeah, sure man. Whatever. Calm down.” So I was explaining to him I had a bottle of Yohimbine. I was like “I just took this whole thing. I took 3000 times the dose. Help me. I’m freaking out. I’m sweating. I’m seeing stuff.” He was just like very mild- mannered and was like “Okay, just another druggie. Have a seat over here.” He gave me like this plaque with forms on it and a pen. He was like “Have a seat and start filling this up.” I’m like sitting there. I’m shaking like a leaf. I’m sweating profusely. I’m like “I’m going to die. In minutes, my heart’s going to explode.” So as I’m filling this form out, I literally just like write like two lines and then all of a sudden I blacked out, and I realized the form drops and I’m completely numb. It’s like the craziest thing that happened, absolutely no control. I felt like nothing. It’s completely numb. And then I remember waking up and all of a sudden I see I’m in a stretcher and I’m covered with nurses and doctors and it’s freaky. I blacked out again and all of a sudden I see like my entire family looking over me. And then I blacked out
  6. 6. again and it was like unreal, like totally my entire life flashed in front of me. Just my first birthday. I remember like the first time I kissed a girl, graduating high school, my first car, like all these things were happening. It was the freakiest thing I ever experienced because it was happening and like I was observing it as like a third person. I wasn’t really feeling any emotion in a sense. To make the long story short, this felt like minutes to me, but I was in a coma for five days. Ameer: Holy shit. AJ: Yeah. It was insane because basically my heart stopped and I flatlined. The doctor actually went to my family who was there the entire five days and said “Your son didn’t make it. His heart stopped.” It was 180 beats for four days. It was like really tragic, it was sad. And out of nowhere, from going flatlined, my heart just came back and then all of a sudden it started beating normally. It was like erratic, like I was sprinting for four or five days straight. It just came back and I slowly came into consciousness. And as I mentioned, like when I woke up and my mom and my dad, they were like crying. It was really tough situation. I was like “What happened?” because it felt like five minutes. I just remember going into the ER and the next thing I knew, I see my family and they explained to me, “You’re in a coma for five days. You took this supplement. You were pronounced dead, and you woke up.” Wow, that was like one of the craziest things that ever happened to me. Ameer: Holy cow man. What were the major lessons you learned from that? AJ: It was really a major turning point in my life. First and foremost, when I came out of consciousness, I realized what I put my family through, and realized how stupid I was, how idiotic I was to take this supplement, and it was all for vanity because I wanted to lean, and I risked my entire life because of my physical appearance, because I was insecure, I needed to stay ripped and I so careless and student. I went into this really long depression for a few weeks afterwards because I saw my entire life just would’ve been gone. And I think what really beat me up the most was to know that I would’ve lived such a short life and in reality I would’ve not done anything. Like my tombstone, he’s just been there, he’s died, but I had no legacy to leave, and it was like an unreal thing because after the depression started like just wearing off and I came back to normal, I just had this vow that I had to do something. I had to impact. I had to help people. It was like a new version of me was reborn because after that I day, I just went into this crazy motivated success drive. I hadn’t read a book since high school and college, I started reading everything I could get my hands on. Books on personal development, spirituality, marketing, business success. I went from reading zero books to reading 20 to 30 books a year. I immersed myself in every audio program, seminars, everything I could get myself into. I hust had this feeling that I had to rebuild myself because even though I lost the 50 pounds and I was a personal trainer, I was a crappy personal trainer. My business was like non- existent. I still had issues with my confidence and insecurity. I would still go out throughout the weekend and do boatloads of drugs, snorting and doing all types of crazy stuff, and I just hated myself. The near death experience for me personally, it was like this new lease on life. But this time around, this second chance that I have, I’m going to leave a tremendous legacy and that moment literally changed my life. Ameer: And how long after that incident, the epiphany you had that you started feeling that drive, that fire inside of you. Was it instantaneously from the moment you had that or it took some time to build up after that event? AJ: I remember like when I was at the hospital, I told my brother to bring me a book. He was a bit more into like the motivational stuff and I never really cared for it in a sense, and then he gave me this book. It was “Maximum Achievement” by Brian Tracy. I remember just reading that book and I was still in a
  7. 7. depressed state, and I was reading like how much your thoughts affect your destiny, how much control you have. I was like “This is amazing.” I’m like “Wow, this guy says, it’s true. Shit. I’m doing the wrong thing. Up until this point, I was making a lot of mistakes, I was having a terrible life, and that book just started I guess creating this insatiable hunger for success and to learn more. The day I got out of the hospital, I started my journal, and I always look back on like the first journal entry, and that’s when it really all started. Personal development, success, just changing my mindset. I actually went back to school. I got my master’s degree in psychology. Like, “Oh my god. That changed my life.” I’m not going to die and just be a nobody. I’m going to do something. I’m going to have an impact on people. Ameer: What would you say were your top 3 books after the incident that kind of really shifted your mindset? AJ: Wow, that’s a very, very good question. It’s hard. When you read so much, it’s like you’re kind of choosing like who’s your best kid. Ameer: But there is a best kid though. AJ: Yeah, yeah, sad to say. Parents never admit it but you’re right. We would say, the first and foremost was discovering Anthony Robbins. I remember I read his book “Awaken the Giant Within,” and that was like a game-changer for me because since then I became a huge Anthony Robbins fan. I read a lot of his stuff and just that sense of control. I think we all want control over our lives, and being overweight and being depressed and addicted to drugs, just hating myself, being insecure, I had no control. The first remnants of control was getting control over my physical body. Losing weight, losing 60 pounds, and that sparked the control over my destiny. I quit my 9 to 5 job and I started my own business. I had control over my feelings and my thoughts. I was not going to be depressed. I was not going to be limited. I’m going confident. I joined Toast Masters. I literally stuttered for the first 20 years of my life, and then I could actually be a public speaker. I could eloquently express myself. Right now, this interview, I would’ve stopped it 50 times in the past because I kept on stuttering and being insecure of my speaking voice. That book “Awaken the Giant Within,” it gave me pretty much a framework how to have control over my life, and it was one of the initial books that really got my juices flowing. The second book I would say would be “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. The reason why that book really got to me was because even though I was really set on success and accomplishing in life, one thing I realized is that I had an extreme personality because whether it’s taking as much ecstasy pills at a club like I was competing against taking the most. Ameer: Been there, done that. AJ: I was like, who could take the most cocaine and survive. It was like this craziness. But with success, it was “I’m not going to sleep. I’m going to make the make the most money. I’m going to be a workaholic,” and I think that book gave me a lot of balance because it allowed me to realize that life is now, it’s the present moment. It’s not always wanting this future, this vision, because when you do that, you have expectations, and it’s like “Oh, when I’m a millionaire, then I’ll be happy.” “When I find the love of my life, then I’ll be happy.” “When I’m shredded with this amount of muscle with this body fat then I’ll be happy.” But the reality is I am happy now. I’m happy with the present moment. It opened up this spiritual urge in me in terms of meditating and finding myself. Growing up, we all have different religions and many times we take that for fact, but it’s like experiencing different religions and verge into spirituality and finding your own answers. I’m a huge science geek, so it’s like “Okay, it’s evolution. It’s God.” You ask all the questions. When you search, you find the right answers. “The Power of Now” definitely, by Eckhart Tolle was a game changer.
  8. 8. The third book was actually “The 50th Law.” Robert Greene is my favorite author. He’s definitely influenced my writing. All these books are just very powerful, but The 50th Law, the main thing about the book is about fearlessness. Even though I accomplished a lot, after the near-death experience, to starting my business and getting myself to be a giving person of the society, I still had a lot of fear, and I realized that I had a lot of limiting beliefs, and The 50th Law really taught me what fear was and how to act fearlessly each and everyday. Ameer: If you had to summarize AJ everything you’ve learned in your entire life, your experiences and all that, what would be your number one optimal health tip? AJ: The number one optimal health tip is to be aware. Is to just be aware of everything that you’re doing. If you’re following a nutrition plane, be aware of why you’re doing it, how it’s making you feel, the foods. Of course, when it comes to a person who doesn’t have discipline and they’re not used to a regimen, disrupt your plan. Why do you screw up? Why do you cheat on your diet? Understanding how you work because as I mentioned, we are our worst enemies, and at the same time, to reach the highest levels of success, the only thing that’s stopping you is you, so having the awareness to know, listening to your body. I was very extreme when I was powerlifting because this was all about the numbers. However, now I know, when I get an ache and pain, when I’m burned out, when CNS is shot, I am now aware to take a break, to take a breather. It’s the same thing if I’m focusing on my business. If I’m feeling burned out or if I’m doing way too much, if I’m not creative, it’s having the awareness. So I find once you focus on having awareness and see where you hold yourself back and just understanding why you do what you do on a moment to moment basis, then you’ve really discovered the secret of life. Ameer: Wise words, my friend. AJ, where can people find more information about you? AJ: Sure. Very active on Facebook. My name is AJ Mihrzad but it’s And I also have the online transformation program where I really get into not just the nutrition, the exercise, but also really focused on the mindset. I use a lot of mindfulness and awareness-raising strategies, and that you could find at Ameer: Right on brother. Well, until we meet again my friend, have a great day, and talk to you soon. AJ: Yes Ameer. Thanks for having me. This is an awesome show. Ameer Rosic Ameer Rosic is obsessed with health. A Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Diagnostic Practitioner and Functional Medicine Practitioner, Ameer has spent years empowering himself with knowledge about optimal health, and now his passion is to share that with you! From interviews with top health experts to fitness and nutritional advice and more, Ameer Rosic can help you live a life of optimal health! Discover more at Connect with Ameer: Facebook | Twitter | Google Plus | YouTube | Pinterest