Podcast #275 http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2014/03/275-5-ways-to-
Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield podcast: 5 Ways To Mitigate
Damage From Endurance Sports, Should You Change Your Running
Form, Is Deer Meat Healthy, Is Progesterone Dangerous, Do Standing
Workstations Cause Varicose Veins, Getting Rid Of Heavy Metals,
and the Magnetico vs. Biomat Sleep Pads.
Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. We provide you
with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness
advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re
an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get
ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from
Brock: So did you see any gators lately?
Ben: Gators. I actually saw big gator. I am here in Florida and went for a
run yesterday on the last day of our Team Timex Camp at the IMG
Performance Center in Bradenton and lo and behold, about a ten
footer I’d say on this little trail back behind the academy. I think it’s
probably been eating young teenage….
Brock: Small children…
Ben: …. tennis players, yeah, and finished up camp which was great and
I’m actually up here in Orlando now where my kids are gonna come
in and go to Lego Land and I’m actually podcasting - I’m gonna put
up a photo to our facebook page. I’m podcasting, standing up in the
hotel room with the computer perch next to the tv and my
microphone inside my running shoes sandwich between two pillows.
That is how much I love our listeners.
Brock: That is ingenious. I love it!
Ben: In the delivery of quality audio so….
Brock: So the folks at home can smell something that kinda vaguely smells
like cheese. (laughs) That’s the running shoe.
Brock: Or maybe it’s the pillow depending on the quality of the hotel you are
Ben: I actually carry around a clove powder that I sprinkle into my running
shoes so they smell like a clean baby’s butt and I use the stuff from
Brock: What do you feed your babies?
Ben: …. called cool feet (laughs) and I only feed my babies ….
Brock: …. And stinky cheese.
Brock: All right if you don’t already follow Ben on twitter.com what the heck
is wrong with you because everyday I’d say there’s another cool study
that he’s putting up on the internet for the people to find out about
and this is the part of the show where we’re gonna whip through the
Ben: That’s right and let’s start with something really happy…. The death
test. This was a study… hey! The death testing it’s a….
Brock: They do better than Lego Land, don’t they?
Ben: I believe so since everything is awesome.
Brock: Everything is awesome in Lego Land. (music)
Ben: So what they’ve done in this study is – researchers at the Institute for
Molecular Medicine in Finland (of all places) they did a blood analysis
to figure out which of the most important blood parameters are most
likely to predict your risk of death or susceptibility to disease so they
looked at a bunch of them, four different biomarkers though turned
out to be the biomarkers that need to be looked at when it comes to
finding out if you’re gonna die early or have an increased risk of
Brock: So this is more accurate than the death clock that you can look up on
Ben: Even more accurate than the internet death clock. So if you wanna
test these biomarkers or you wanna go to wellness fx or you wanna
approach your doctor and you wanna look at these biomarkers and
we’ll link to the study in the show notes too over at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/275. The biomarkers are: (drum roll please)
alpha-1 acid glycoprotein ….
Brock: I love that one….
Ben: …. which basically indicates the level of glycation that’s occurring in
your body and by the way glycation is something that happens when
you consume processed sugars along with fats or along with proteins
such as the nice baked goodie and also something that forms when
you consume vegetable oils, so no surprises there.
Brock: Does it also form when you get old?
Ben: Technically yeah, you do get some connective tissue degradation and
glycoprotein adhesions and tangles as you age but that is all
accelerated, I mean we’re talking about kinda of a flipping in the
middle finger to the aging process, that’s all accelerated when you’re
consuming foods that accelerate the process.
Brock: Keeping the machines and running away… yeah, will do that.
Ben: Exactly. So albumin is another one and up until this study that was
really the only biomarker that scientists in the past have actually
linked to poor health is albumin. And then, the next one was citrate
and also low density lipoprotein but not ldl cholesterol, more
specifically ldl lipoprotein particles so that would be a test called an
apo-b test that you can get and if that’s highly elevated that indicates
high levels of inflammation, propensity for infection, propensity for
decreased vascular health and also the albumin and the citrate are
linked to lower liver and kidney function. So the four are: alpha-1
acid, glycoprotein, albumin, citrate and ldl particles. So you could
actually go to your doc and kind of a do it yourself “am I gonna die
test” and ask just ask them to run that panel for you and then if you
wanna kinda take things into your own hand and go over and look at
the study and see how your numbers match up to what they saw in
that death test, you can go do it. We’ll link to it over at the show notes.
Brock: All right that’s the way to scare either make yourself feel a lot better
about everything or scare the absolute bageebaz of yourself.
Ben: That’s right because we all wanna know the exact moment we’re
Ben: So we can just basically go crack cocaine and beer up to that point.
Beer next to extra crack cocaine is kinda innocent. Yeah.
Brock: Yeah, really like that’s – you can survive quite long time on beer, just
ask the Egyptians.
Ben: That’s true! That’s true.
Brock: But I don’t think crack cocaine has ever been held in any sort of high
esteem by any civilization except maybe our Toronto mayor.
Ben: And people in Las Vegas. Okay, number 2 – don’t have carbs with
your fatty coffee. Now this tweet was sparked by me reading a study
out of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Incidentally, I actually
spent the past 3 days exercising at the gym right next to the Gatorade
Sports Science Institute because it’s at the IMG Performance
Academy. And they actually have an interesting study that came out
Brock: It’s really some cool stuff. It’s sad that they’re actually called the
Gatorade Sports Institute because they do some really cool studies
and I think this day and age they’ve got a really bad rep.
Ben: Yeah they do and they’re lab is very cool. They have some pretty damn
expensive treadmills in that lab let me tell you. And everything
Brock: They should change the name to damn expensive treadmill lab.
Ben: Yeah, the damn expensive treadmill lab, DET.
Brock: ….of awesomeness.
Ben: Anyways, this study was called New Concepts in Fat Metabolism
During Exercise and one of the things that really left out at me in this
study was it looked at the utilization of triglycerides by muscle tissue.
And the fact that muscle can really easily feed intra-muscular
triglycerides into the kreb cycle to produce ATP during exercise. But
the interesting thing is that the one thing that can inhibit the
mobilization of triglycerides for use as an energy source is insulin
secretion so the take away from this is that of you consume something
that spikes your insulin levels along with something that you’re taking
to enhance fatty acid utilization like say coconut oil or medium
chained triglyceride oil, bulletproof coffee drinkers, (laughs) what
happens is that you inhibit your mobilization of your own fat stores or
the fat stores that you consume along with that say fatty cup of coffee.
So what you need to do is if you’re gonna do something like a
bulletproof coffee or mct oil or coconut oil or something like that for
fat loss you need to make sure that you’re not consuming
carbohydrates along with it. Okay, so that means honey and sugar
that would be out. I’d sweeten that kind of stuff with stevia,
cinnamon, things of that nature. And then of course the other thing
that’s very insulinogenic is something like say whey protein and I
know some people have been doing things like adding whey protein
or protein powders to fatty coffee. It would be better to go with either
amino acids or collagen and that’s what I personally do when I make
myself a cup of something like bulletproof is, I put in not a whey
protein source but an amino acid or collagen base source. So FYI if
you’re trying to use that as a fat burning trick make sure that you’re
not getting an insulin spike along with it.
Brock: So is it really having carbs along with it or like the same time or
should there be a window on either side so like you don’t have any
have for another four hours or something…
Ben: You would ideally be for ideal fat loss starting off your day with like a
breakfast in a fasted state of that type of fatty coffee…..
Brock: So you haven’t anything since dinner the night before you have that
and then you wait x amount of hours?
Ben: Yup, ‘cause depending on who you are and some are gonna stay in
your bloodstream after a carbo protein base meal from anything from
1 to 4 hours. So, okay. And then the last thing I wanted to mention
was a brand new study out from our friends over at
coolfatburner.com. They just published a brand new video over there
on a study that they did that involved two different pet scans which
allow them to look at the activation of brown adipose tissue which is
that fatty tissue that can basically when you’re cold burn your own fat
calories to generate heat. So what they did was they compared sitting
in a normal 70 degree Fahrenheit room for an hour and looked at
what happened with brown adipose tissue activity and they did that
by actually injecting radioactive tracers into the body that allow them
to track the movement of fat throughout the body and then they
compare that with the use of a cool fat burner vest in the same room
but while wearing this cool fat burner vest for an hour at a level that
cause them mild amount of shivering which is not hard to do with
that vest on and then what they looked at was the actual brown fat
activity and I’ll link over to the blog ‘cause it’s really interesting, they
actually show the scans and you see the brown adipose tissue
activation especially around like the neck and the collar bones and
around the ribs and down around the kidneys just through the roof
compared to not cooling the body. So it’s really interesting, it proves
that you do indeed get a huge boost in metabolic activity even when
you do something as simple as decrease the temperature of your
upper body by wearing a vest that has some ice packs in it and so this
is actually the little biohack that I liked to go like if let say you have
the flexibility to, say, get up in the morning not eat breakfast but do
just something like that fatty coffee instead and then combine it with
say an hour of work wearing this cool fat burner vest. That’s a really
cool little one-two fat burning biohack combo that if you wanna burn
fat you don’t have time to exercise, you need to get some work done,
really good way to do it or maybe you’ve finished the night before on
Brock: popcorn and chocolate….
Ben: Yeah, poutine and beer exactly. So, or popcorn and butterscotch
chips. Butterscotch chips are really good in popcorn.
Brock: Butterscotch chips…. Never heard of them.
Ben: ….. and sea salt.
Brock: Hmmp. So wait, how did they see the activation or what do they do to
see the brown adipose tissue?
Ben: It’s called the PET Scan.
Brock: Oh, PET scan okay you said that.
Ben: Yeah, Positron Emission Tomography I think, yeah.
Brock: ….. tomography, yeah. That stuff is super cool.
Ben: Uhmm, not the pet scan where you take your kitten and put it on,
totally different. (laughs)
Brock: Last time I looked over at Men’s Health e-wear shall I say kicking
everyone’s ass in the votes.
Ben: Well I’m trying to hack them the Men’s Health Magazine fitness vote.
They’re doing a search for what they call the next big name in fitness.
So they’re looking for what they’re calling the best trainer that Men’s
Health hasn’t yet discovered and they describe it as a fitness
professional who has a top mind in the field but who also looks the
part and who has the ability to captivate any audience. I think I might
have one of three of those.
Brock: I have none of three which is by you won’t find me on that….
Ben: So anyways, you can vote for me to be the Men’s Health top trainer
and right now we are destroying everybody else you can vote
everyday. I’ve just been leaving a browser window open and go to
twitter and voting everyday. Check it out – you can check it out at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth and I think it would be
freaking awesome if we had the Ben Greenfield fitness army allow us
to rock the vote and….
Brock: Yeah, just blow it up…
Ben: And also I put a video on there, a body weight workout video called
Grounded and it’s a 2 minute body weight workout and you should
try that out too because it’s actually good workout.
Brock: Awesome, killer! It’s really good workout.
Ben: And speaking of crowd sourcing, I’m a fan of kickstarter and there’s
this really cool new fitness apparatus called monkii bars over there
and this is actually like a portable monkii bar set and this – I know it
sounds really konky and heavy but it’s literally just these 2 tiny bars
that have 18 feet of high weight high resistant suspension line stored
inside each bar and if you go there and watch the videos on the
kickstarter campaign which I’ll put a link to in the show notes.
You can really toss this in everything, you can adjust them, you can
workout, you can hang, you can get pull-ups, you can do balancing,
it’s way, way different than a TRX and they just look really cool. They
have like this aerospace grid aluminum core and this maple grip, now
maple syrup Brock, the actual treat.
Brock: Yeah, I’m pretty excited there for a second.
Ben: I know you did I heard you’re salivating. Monkii bars….
Brock: We actually put maple syrup on our hands to give us better grip.
Ben: There you go, so you can use that along with your monkii bars. But
check that out at the monkii bars kickstarter campaign. I love what
these guys are doing and just going to that page and have yourself
watch the video is worth it and with kickstarter you can just make a
little donation, you can even reserve your own set of monkii bars, so
check that out and….
Brock: It’s monkii – m-o-n-k-i-i.
Ben: M-o-n-k-i-i, that’s right and I’ll put a link over in the show notes to it
Ben: And then also there’s this brand new optimal reset over at Jack
Kruse’s website and I wanted to mention that to folks because I
actually am speaking on that about How to Biohack Your Way to
Optimize Human Performance. Now over at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/optimal you can go visit it but already
they’ve got some webinars out there like Creating your Optimal
Kitchen, Overcoming Hunger and Sugar Cravings, Getting Started
with Cold Thermogenesis, Creating Optimal Sleep, Healing your
Hormones, Getting Started with Biohacking, Reducing EMF
Exposure in your Home or Office, Finding a Doctor to Help You
Biohack, really like a lot of pretty cool stuff. Some of these online
conferences I think are a bunch of fluff that’s already been repeated
multiply times elsewhere but this one does have some good
presenters and people are kinda fly under the radar like that Tim
Jackson guy that I had on last week to talk about digestion hormones,
he’s on there. So check that out, it’s
Brock: There’s one thing that Dr. Kruse does well it’s not give you the
obvious solutions to things or things you’ve heard a thousand times
before. He sort of – he airs on the side of the tin foil hat sometimes
but that’s what I like about him.
Ben: He does and he does – I’m happy about this, have people other than
him on this comfort so. You can actually understand it without
necessarily having a PhD so here you go
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Listener Q & A:
Abigail: Hi, my name is Abigail and I’m 22 years old. I’ve been running since I
was about 16 quite consistently until this past October I had an injury
that has prevented from those consistent runs. Before that I was in
shorter distances and shorter races such as 5k’s, 10k’s and I did half
marathon. I really like the idea of endurance running and I’m
working on training for a triathlon and eventually I would like to
compete in several marathons. My ultimate goal however is to go to
Greece for my 50th birthday and complete the 150 mile Spartathlon.
I’d like to start training once I hit 23 but I read your article on how
endurance athletes are unhealthy and I was just wondering if you
think this is something I should pursue or not. I look forward to
hearing your answer. Thank you.
Brock: I have a strange feeling that you – you wrote a book about, I think
Ben: I did. I, that….
Brock: Isn’t it to suppose to come out like last week? Oh, I should know
Ben: Gosh! I mean, for everybody whose trying to order my book or who
has ordered my book please understand that this book was out of my
hands once I wrote all the chapters so the way that the book author
and goes is you write it you finish up the manuscript you send it out
to the publisher and then any delays from there once you meet your
deadline are out of your hands so like the cover, the publishing, the
printing all that stuff, I have no control over. You can certainly order
right now at beyondtrainingbook.com. It certainly does come with a
ton of bonuses. I’ve already written nine hidden chapters that go
along with the book. I mean, you get along with it – I, according to my
publisher have a copy at home right now on my doorstep. I know that
some bloggers are receiving copies right now so I know that there are
copies printed but ultimately it’s a concern, I’m not gonna be the boy
that cried wolf for too much longer. So beyondtrainingbook.com,
Brock: The boy who cried book….
Ben: …. Yeah to address Abigail’s question – there – so we’ve talked before
in the podcast and I’ve certainly talked in the book before about how
endurance sports can be unhealthy especially for females. I know we
have a question about a man really later on this podcast where I can
get into how endurance actually affects what’s called your
hypothalamus, your production of hormones. What I would rather
give Abigail rather than re-hatching stuff I’ve already talked about
that I’ll link to over in the show notes whether you can find in my
book about how endurance sports can deplete hormones or cause
some joint issues or reset your metabolic rate to be low or those type
of things. What I wanna talk about are some ways that you can
mitigate the damage like practical things that I think every endurance
athlete should be doing male or female especially female because I
tend to see hormonal disregulation in those population. But the
things you can just do right away to address some of the damage, if
you’re gonna go off and try to race a 150 mile race, if you’re gonna go
off and do ironman triathlons, marathons kinda go and dip in the any
type of endurance efforts that shove you basically above the point
where you’ve exercise from more than 1 and a half to two hours so
where you’re reaching glycogen depletion and you begin to call off
stamina and endurance. What can you do to address that? So, I’m
gonna give you 5 things: The first is you want to get a baseline. There
are 2 tests that I believe that every endurance athlete on the face of
the planet should do once a year – that’s a blood test and a gut test.
Now, the very best blood test to either go and get or to print off from
this website and bring in to your physician is the performance panel
from wellnessfx. I personally flew down to San Francisco, I helped
them put together the actual components that are measured on that
panel. It is anything from DHEA, to your kidney markers, your liver
markers, your red blood cells, your white blood cells, your full lipid
panel, the most important inflammatory markers, Vitamin D, red
blood cell magnesium I mean pretty much everything that you would
need to know to be able to look at your results and say, “Okay,
whatever, I’m low in vitamin D so I either need to take a break from
training or I need to introduce vitamin D rich source foods into my
diet, I need to start in to some cod liver oil or I need to get more
sunlight,” anything like that but another strategy you can use, you can
just go to WellnessFX and I’ll put a link to this performance panel in
the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/275. You can print
that off and bring it to your doctor and be just like, “Hey, run these
tests for me,” I mean, you can work around WellnessFX. If you
wanted to, you can go to WellnessFX they’ve got practitioners
including myself over there who can walk you through your results
but once a year I personally do it four times a year but because I
worked for WellnessFX I get a good deal and then you can add that it
can be expensive but at least once a year.
Brock: It is pretty expensive.
Brock: It is like $800 or something for the….
Ben: To do the full meal deal, yeah, but ultimately you can submit that to
your insurance and I consider to be preventive health care because
the hospital bills that you’re wrack up if you do wind up living the
latter half of your life with joint degradation and type 2 diabetes and a
lot of the other stuff that – that chronic cardio can cause are not
necessarily worth it. So that’s test number 1….
Brock: On doing that once a year to like you think how much you spend on
coffees. I bet …..
Ben: That’s right.
Brock: These crappy Starbucks coffee.
Ben: The classic salesman approach, well…
Brock: If you would just quit drinking a latte a day, you can save money. How
much are you spending on cigarettes?
Ben: Okay, so the second test is the gut test.
My favorite test for this is a test that we talked about with Dr. Tim
Jackson last week called the GI Effects Panel. This is a stool test, it get
send to your home, the current panel that I really like is called the
2205 you can order it if you’re in the States wholesale through a
company called Directlabs, if you live in the U.K. there’s a really good
professional triathlete over there named Tamsin Lewis who has a
website called curoseven.com shall be all to hook you up with some
ideas where you can get these tests done over there or the equivalent
of it. If you live in Australia (you’re screwed) but you’ve got hardier
genes over there anyways you don’t have to worry any of these stuff.
Brock: If you live in Canada just send it to me.
Ben: Yeah, so that’s right send your stool to Brock.
Brock: Looks goody!
Ben: Looks like poop you’re good. So, GI effects panel is gonna test for a lot
of the issues that athletes wind up with parasites, yeast, fungus,
candida overgrowth. A lot of these stuff that tends to fly under the
radar but do damage over the years so that’s number one is - you’re if
gonna do endurance sport commit to one gut test and one blood test a
year and just do it. Number 2 is to include foods in your diet that help
to replace a lot of the hormones that you’re gonna be burning through
it a very rapid phase especially when you’re competing in endurance
sports or you’re doing a lot of chronic cardio or foods that basically
help to rebuild bones more quickly or rebuild muscles more quickly
and I know everybody is gonna wrinkle their nose when I say this and
you know what I’m gonna say but basically organ meats and offal. So,
organ meats would include things like liver, kidney, heart,
sweetbreads a lot of the foods that our ancestors used to eat. Well at
the same time throwing the lean muscle to the dogs ironically and
that we have lost touch with our culture today. I just published today
at bengreenfieldfitness.com a fantastic article that goes on the 25
foods that you should be eating and 11 foods you should be avoiding.
That article was influenced by the author of a fantastic book called
Deep Nutrition which goes into these ancestral eating concepts. Brock
and I actually have the pleasure to hang out a few days with the
author of Deep Nutrition Dr. Cate Shanahan down in Mexico last
week and spend a few good dinners talking all about liver and organ
meats while drinking wine.
Brock: I gotta say like hanging with that Paleo crowd, it was actually kinda
sexy how many other girls were into organ meat.
Ben: Hmm yeah, I will go there.
Brock: Did I just put us out a little reverse?
Ben: I will go there. Okay, so organ meats. Another one is bone marrow.
Bone marrow is easy to get by making bone broth. It’s easy to get by
making sure that you even do something as simple as like when you
make bone broth, keeping the bones eating the (this is some kind of
gross) eating the little joint piece at the end of the chicken bones for
example and sucking the marrow out. Bone marrow can actually be
made, it’s fantastic to do like a beef bone marrow. I’ll put a link in the
show notes for this episode to a recipe that my wife does. If all of
these just sounds way too laborious for you though you can at least go
and get like a good Argentine liver extract for example. NOW Foods
makes a good one. Now the reason I say Argentine is because
Argentine beef liver is a good kind of liver because the Argentine
government won’t allow their beef herds to be contaminated with
growth hormone. So if you get a liver extract or a liver powder
because you don’t have the time to eat liver or you don’t like the taste
of liver, this would be a good way for you to get a lot of the valuable
hormone supporting components that you’re gonna get from liver but
be sure that you’re not getting growth hormones along with it, so an
Argentine base source of liver is really good. Another thing you wanna
look into of course if you’re aren’t gonna eat say like sweetbreads or
you’re not gonna do a lot of organ meats would be a thyroid extract
but something that includes a full thyroid spectrum meaning T1, T2,
T3, and T4 and this may seem like a lot to go through but you’re
asking your body to go through does not necessarily natural. It’s like a
noise that heck out of me when somebody says, “Want me to go a do a
150 mile run but I’m not gonna take any supplements, go to my way
to do any special covered protocols ‘cause I just wanna live naturally,”
it’s like technically living naturally doesn’t involve, yeah, that ain’t
natural running a 150 miles. So you do have to go out of your way and
use better living through science to address some of the damage. So,
T1, T2, T3, and T4 a good supplement is called Thyrogold, thyroid
extract that one is out in New Zealand, I believe it’s thyrogold.com if
you just google thyrogold or I’ll put a link in the show notes for this.
That’s another one that I would highly recommend.
So organ meats, bone marrow, desiccated liver preferably
Argentinean origin and then a thyroid extract that’s T1, T2, T3 and T4
especially for women okay and even more especially if you’re testing
and you see things in your blood results like high level enzymes, high
THS, low T3, low T4 stuff like that. So number 3 would be to use a
minimalist training program. Now with my book at beyond training
I’d include 12 free programs and all of those are well either written
from a minimalist training program standpoint or another training
standpoint we have no time to get into in today’s podcast called
polarized training but I’ve got minimalist training programs like
triathlondominator.com for triathletes or marathondominator.com
for marathoners and what those are based on are using short high
intensity interval training sessions sprinkled throughout the week
preferably taking 48-72 hours before interval training sessions that
are specific to a single sport. So what that would mean is you would
do 2 hit sessions for the run, 2 hit sessions for the swim and 2 hits
session for the bike per week but like the bike hit sessions would be
Monday and Thursday, the run hit sessions would be Tuesday and
Saturday and the swim hit sessions would be like Wednesday and
Sunday. So you’re giving your nervous system and your muscles
recovery between each of those sessions and then the other thing is
only 1 long workout per week per sport so let’s say for a triathlete only
1 long swim, 1 long bike and 1 long run per week but the definition of
long is way different. So long would be like for example, a long run
would be for a marathoner a 70-90 minute run that’s just a series of
very focus race phase efforts with recovery periods in between each or
a long bike for an ironman triathlete would be for example a 2 and a
half to 3 hour ride as opposed to a 5-6 hour ride again with short race
phase base intervals spread throughout or a swim would be like a 4 by
500 rather than like a steady state 4,000 meter swim. So minimalist
training with a thrust that a high intensity training is still going to
result in endurance adaptations and favorable endurance adaptations
we should do and I’m actually getting in about a week here, one of the
athlete whom I coached for Kona I did about a 45 minute long
interview with him on some of the strategies that we used for him to
help mitigate the effects of chronic cardio and so I have to do really
well in ironman Hawaii. Okay so number 4 would be consistent use of
de-stressing protocols and this is for dome reason the hardest for me
to convince folks to do is to consider the fact that you only have x
number of stress points during the day. Okay, we’ll just picture it this
way. Let’s see you have a 100 stress points during the day, okay
whether it is stress from life, from electro magnetic field exposure
from your computer, from relationship conflicts, from work duties or
from exercise, all of those eat up those stress points. Okay, so you
only have so many stress points in the bank and it’s not like you can
work all day, be low on sleep and just like throw down the workout
and have that workout be the only stress. Everything else you’re doing
counts as stress too so you must must, must mitigate stress. I have an
article that I’ll link to in the show notes called 7 Of the Best Ways to
Stop Stress and it goes into a great detail kind of why the mind body
connection is important but just a brief overview, the top 7 protocols
for reducing stress are: number 1, to learn deep diaphragmatic
breathing and to use it consistently. Number 2, to use mindfulness
based meditation and again if you wanna study up any of the stuff I’m
gonna link to a very comprehensive article I wrote about each
technique. Number 3 is yoga, number 4 is Taichi and you can
combine those 2 yoga and Taichi in like a flow based nasal deep
breathing yoga. Number 5 is coherence which is the use of heart rate
variability training. Number 6 is to have hobbies that go outside of
that chronic repetitive motion of say just running, swimming, cycling
and then number 7 is a solid 8-9 hours of sleep at night period no
exceptions. Those are 7 things that you must do consistently if you
wanna be in this for the long haul and if you wanna look, feel and
perform like a million bucks and still do this whole endurance athlete
thing. So that’s number 4, okay so number 5 would be to eat a
completely anti-inflammatory diet.
So if you’re gonna beat up your body with the type of glycation that
we’ve talked about earlier and oxidation that we’ve talked about
earlier, you more than anybody else need to go out of your way to
avoid salad dressings that are made with vegetable oil including
canola oil. You gonna look at the label or just accept the fact that
you’re gonna be an extra virgin olive oil vinaigrette type of person.
Any low fat products that have been subjected to protocols that are
gonna make inflammatory like homogenization and high heat
pasteurization so it include most commercial milk, cheeses, salad
dressing, etc. Cookies, baked goods that’s about any packaged or
heated baked products, you wanna avoid that. Of course, processed
sugars, sodas, juices that type of thing. Most energy bars, most health
bars you’d wanna avoid boxed cereals and one that tends to intensify
the radar, most powdered proteins unless they’re cold processed like
a good cold processed whey based protein that would be fine. So
you’re trying to avoid anything that’s heat treated, anything that’s
vegetable oil based, anything that is potentially inflammatory
particularly inflammatory because it’s been exposed to some type of a
man-made process. Now coconut milk for example is technically
based on its omega 6 fatty acid content on website like
inflammationfactor.com considered to be inflammatory but the fact is
that that has mild amount of omega 6 fatty acids in it that do not
cause high amounts of inflammation that don’t cause the same type of
what’s called eicosanoid release that something like a vegetable oil
does. So if you’re looking at foods with inflammatory potential you do
need to consider whether or not it’s a natural based inflammation like
even something like kale can cause mild amounts of inflammation in
the digestive tract but it’s a good kinda almost what’s called a
hormetic inflammation that your body responds favorably to vs.
unnatural inflammation which we should get from like a heat
processed vegetable oil like a canola oil like you’d get from a baked
good from Starbucks like that type of thing or a 2% milk at the
grocery store. So you more than anybody else need to go out of your
way to almost follow like a 100% anti-inflammatory based diet so I
know that was a long response but quick review – number 1, monitor
your blood and gut, number 2, eat organ meats or take some type of
extract that has organ meat extract in it, number 3 would be a
minimalist training program, number 4 would be to consistently de-
stress everyday and make it a part of your life, and number 5 would
be to go completely anti-inflammatory on your diet.
Brock: Love it!
Elle: Hi Ben, I’ve been recently reading more and more about Chi running.
I’ve got a dvd been watching a little of that, seems to really make
sense but changing my form at this point of a 40 year old woman, I’m
really stuck in my old ways and it’s really hard to just do that on your
own but I’m just wondering if it’s worth the time to put into the
method running called Chi running and it seems to be getting more
popular. Okay, thank you, bye.
Ben: All right cool Chi running, we’ve done a two episode I think on Chi
running before and I’ll link to that….
Brock: Yeah, you can have Danny Dreyer on the show. That’s a long time ago.
Ben: …. The inventor of chi running and you know….
Brock: I think he says “Chi”.
Ben: I don’t know actually I maybe mispronouncing it.
Brock: Yeah, I think Danny himself said “Chi” that’s my message.
Ben: Yeah, it’s influenced by Taichi which we don’t pronounced as Tai-ki so
you’re probably right. So will just say “Chi”. Anyways, so Taichi
focuses on things like alignment and relaxation and proper form and
controlled breathing and that’s why it works really well for de-
stressing you. It helps out with relaxing your legs and your arms, it
helps out with mindfulness to knowing where your body is at in
space, it helps out with core strength because of the use of a lot of
your deep diaphragmatic breathing muscles. So the idea is that when
we take all these concepts from taichi and we use them when we’re
running, we get a lot of those benefits when we’re running and so
Danny Dreyer, the inventor of taichi, developed this technique that
has cues like focus your mind, sense your body, breathe to tap into
your inner chi, relax your muscles, practice good posture, start slow,
and what he instruct folks to do is to run to have a straight back a
slight forward lean and bent knees to take a lot of pressure off your
calves and kinda put you in a more of a position like a ball that just
constantly rolling forward. Well, I think that on paper this is really
good idea but what I’ve seen is that some folks tend to over think it
when they switch to chi running and it just throws their entire
running system to pot.
Now if you are in it for the long haul, kinda like barefoot running and
you’re willing to learn how to do it properly and not just kinda half
ass your chi, so to speak, you could potentially change your run form,
get more efficient, gain more economy and do so even if you’re 40
years old and “stuck” in your ways. If you just dabble with it and you
don’t really commit to learning every principle and kinda go outside
your comfort zone to learn this stuff, that’s when it can kinda almost
cause paralysis by analysis as you are out running. Now I’m gonna
link to a really good article, it’s actually here at team Timex camp with
one of my teammates whose name Bo Parrish and Bo has really
interesting story. He had ulcerative colitis and had a change of bunch
of things in his life to kinda be an ironman triathlete and adapt to
some of the things that his body was throwing at him but he talks
about the importance of going outside of your comfort zone
sometimes during exercise and that can include going outside your
comfort zone mentally and being willing to be uncomfortable so that
you change specific movement pattern. If it’s gonna allow you to
become more efficient, more economical, decrease your risk of injury,
perhaps you even improve your enjoyment during running. Perfect
example for me was I picked up on this whole nasal breathing during
running thing last year and it has changed my entire approach to
running but it was incredibly painful for the first couple of months. I
had to go to a track to run so that I can focus on my nasal breathing,
so that I can focus on my rhythmic breathing and it took a long time
to learn but now that I know it, I can like get in to this flow like the
zone at the drop of a hat like be just right in the zone when I’m
running and it’s really a cool feeling but it took time to learn. So a few
resources that I would point you to: the first is – Amazon has some
great chi running products, books, Danny Dreyer’s dvds, I’ll link to
those in the show notes. Anytime we link to Amazon from the show
notes, it puts a few nickels in our hat if you use our links so go to
Brock: It’s because you and Amazon draws little money are we?
Ben: That’s right. So go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/275 and check out
some of the chi running products will link out to. I’ll link to that
article that I mentioned from my Timex teammate Bo Parrish, I’ll link
to our previous episode that we did whether chi running is good for
you and I have a couple other things that I wanna give to you. The
first is that, I actually started to delve into chi running about 3 years
ago and found that in order for me to learn how to relax, lean slightly
forward, keep those knees slightly bent while I run, I needed some
kind of an audio cue while I was running. So what I did was I
recorded 10 minutes of audio to remind myself how to run properly
and I could play that in my mp3 player when I was out running. Well,
I initially only made it available to the athletes who I coach but I’m
gonna put that entire recorded audio of chi running tips and cues for
you in the show notes. You can go download it as an mp3 file, load it
up to your audio player and listen to it when you are out into your run
to kinda help bring you into that chi running form if that helps you a
little bit. And then the other thing is we have kind of a running form
expert on staff over at pacificelitefitness. His name is Graeme Turner,
he’s an Australian coach and I’d like to also get him to jump in and
give his take on this question so Brock what do think, you’re bringing
Brock: Yeah, we’ve got Graeme standing by. Take it away Graeme.
Graeme: Yeah, thanks for the question I mean I thought it was interesting
when you said that you’re worth doing when you’re 40 which is funny
when you kinda getting close to the 50 like myself but….
Brock: Me too.
Graeme: ….I see kinda you don’t know whether laugh or cringe when you hear
things like that sometimes but I mean at 40 I think it’s important to
realize 2 things: you’ve probably got more than half your running life
even two thirds of your running life still ahead of you. You’ve got at
least another 20 years of actually enjoying running, yeah, but the
other thing obviously is that once you get 40 or above like ourselves
things like you know to increase by density, to increase in muscle
mass, all kind of increase the risk of injury things like shin splints or
hippie shoes. So if you’ve got bad technique, that loss of guidance that
you almost exacerbate the risk of injury.
Brock: So things you’re able to get away with basically when you’re younger
may start to cause more problems as you get “older”.
Graeme: Yeah now that’s exactly right so where you could basically muscle
throw up problem now your body is a little bit more susceptible to
some of the impacts of bad technique. So short answer to that is, at 40
it’s absolutely worth looking at technique and looking at whether you
can run a bit more efficiently or a bit more effectively and we now
mention chi running and she’s looking using books, using dvds, chi
running oppose to a few different ones. They’re all quite good and
probably there’s 2 issues they’ll using books or dvd and the first one is
there isn’t really a transition from your current run technique, this
how you’re running now and this how they want you to run within
these books. So it’s not looking at what you’re doing now and saying
how do I involve into this technique. It’s almost binary, it’s one over
the other which can make switching technique very very difficult
because you said you’re doing one or the other.
Brock: Yeah, that makes sense.
Graeme: And the other issue with doing with books or dvds is it’s hard for her
to know if she’s actually doing the right thing. So faith in hands are
what we call long labors, it’s hard to actually be aware of where they
are in space and you can say this with swimmers where I think their
hands are in one position but when you show it on the video it’s in a
completely different position. And so while doing the drills and doing
the technique without someone who actually knows about the
technique looking at her she might be completely doing the wrong
thing and again risking injury.
Brock: Yeah, so when she hears or reads in the Chi Running book that you
need to forward lean if she’s leaning from say the waist instead of the
ankles well still a forward lean but it’s not exactly what they had in
Graeme: Yeah that’s exactly right and also that can be relative. If she someone
for example already leans forward and then trying to lean forward
even further and can result in her kicking her feet at the back and
injuring her feet into the ground so again those expressions need to
be relative to the person that’s actually doing the technique.
Brock: Yes supposed conversely if she’s already leaning, if she’s leaning really
far back. If she’s one of those very upright runners, she may have
moved herself into an upright position rather than a forward lean
which I guess is still an improvement but it’s still not the exact
Graeme: Yeah that’s exactly right, exactly right. So while those strategies,
while those methods are very good, it might fair to have someone look
at her current technique and then recommend specific drills or
strengthening exercises by where she is now in order to take away any
issues with her current form.
Brock: Yeah, okay. So, that would entail actually finding somebody in the
area or would you say that doing something through email or via
some videos here and there, would that work?
Graeme: Yeah. Like for example I look at a lot of tables running technique I
just get them to video on my iPhone and either sends through the file
or put that up on YouTube and you can go through there and look at
the angles and recommend what it needs to be done. So, obviously
working with someone face to face is best because you can get direct
feedback on what you’re doing but don’t be limited by that fact that
you have to find someone you look clearly. With technology it’s quite
easy to look at people’s run technique and kind of involve in that.
Brock: Yeah, you could put it up on YouTube and see how many people like
your video and that’ll determine whether your run technique is
Graeme: Yeah, that’s a pretty good point. Although, people do get nervous by
putting videos up on YouTube ‘cause obviously you can put that up as
hidden videos so that only people... yeah, so for people who are self
conscious do exactly that about people laughing about their run
techniques so it’s not quite that scary.
Brock: Cool, so you just recommend that she, she really instead of working
from a book or from a dvd find somebody to actually help her
transition rather than doing that “this is the way you’re running, this
is that way you should be running, ok go.”
Graeme: Yeah, exactly exactly.
Brock: Alright! I like it! What do you think, Ben?
Ben: Well, it was good to have Graeme’s take on that and it’s never a
podcast without our token Australian accent so that was also nice to
get the oz on call.
Graeme: Yeah, sorry Ben I’m not really sure what kind of accent you’re talking
Brock: (giggles) All right, thanks, Graeme!
Graeme: Thanks, guys!
Jaime: Hi Ben! I was wondering if you could enlighten us and your listeners
out there that might be interested in eating deer meat. My dad is a
hunter and I expect that I have some meat coming for me this winter
and was wondering if there was anything that I should know about
that kind of meat and organs that hopefully I’ll be able to get from
that. Thanks so much!
Brock: I don’t know about you but I love deer meat. Venison is one of my
Ben: Yeah, you’re kind of though like a, you’re like a savage. Don’t you
jump out of trees and up there in Canada and just kinda sink your
teeth into the back hive of a deer?
Brock: Yeah. My street here in Toronto, I just dangle from a tree branch until
a deer walks by and just drops on its back.
Ben: Yeah, you just knock it out with a hockey stick.
Brock: Actually, occasionally during the show I’ll just run outside and do that.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Brock: There’s one now!
Ben: Also, let’s ask - I personally hunt. I take a white tail deer up here,
every year, and keep the meat and the chest in the freezer. I certainly
eat deer, but whether or not it’s better than eating beef you can
definitely make some comparison. There are pros and cons.
Brock: You mean like, better in terms of nutrition not better in terms of
Ben: Both, really. So when you look at nutrition, deer or leaner, they’re
typically more wild, they’re typically more active than cattle. So
venison is gonna have less fat than beef. So about 3 ounces of beef has
around 15 grams of fat and 3 ounces of Venison has about 3 grams of
fat. Venison has also less saturated fat than beef does. I’m not saying
that fat is bad, I’m just saying that because of its activity, Venison
tends to have less fat. Now that can influence flavor, it can make it
more chewy and it can often because fat is a flavor carrier or it can
make it less flavorful too, unless it’s prepared properly. Slow cooked
for example and marinated. But Venison also has more vitamins and
minerals per serving than beef does because it’s an active animal, for
example, in the Tour De France, there’s some teams that eat horse,
for many of these advantages prior to their big stages because of its
active nature, it’s richer in mitochondria. It has higher levels of iron,
higher levels of B Vitamins, and there’s also this component called L
Carnitine and L Carnitine is something that can actually allow for
increased uptake of fatty acids in the mitochondria to be used for the
production of ATP and Venison is actually higher in L Carnitine than
beef is. So, it’s got that going for it as well. So, I would say the night
for like a say like the night before a big workout or something like
that, Venison is probably gonna serve you a little better than beef. So,
it’s got that going for it. When we look at flavor, I think Venison has
sometimes a little bit of a gamey flavor, but that’s something that, to
me, is almost... You know, when I hunt a deer and I kill it and I’m
eating that meat, to me, I almost, call me like again like a wild savage
or whatever but I almost kinda like that gamey flavor. There are ways
you can prepare Venison that make it tastes pretty good and we don’t
have time to get in Venison recipes on this podcast per say but again
slow cooking, marinating, use in some lemon juice and stuff like that
to break down some of the fibers, it can be really good. Beef,
definitely, it’s tender, it’s fattier, it’s more succulent, but I would say
both have advantages when it comes to taste they’re just different
animals really literally and figuratively. So, cost is kind of interesting,
some people think it’s cheaper to hunt your own food but in most
cases, a deer is gonna be really expensive because you get your
hunting license, and a hunting license is gonna range from 20-30
dollars (depending on what state that you live in) and then once you
actually take into account the amount of money spent on hunting
gear, guns, ammo, trip expenditures (if you’re actually going to the
wilderness to get your deer), it can range anything from 500 to 1000
dollars once you actually get the deer. So, if you factor in that on the
average deer, you might get about 60 lbs. or so of meat. You’re
looking at anywhere from 15-30 dollars a pound, all in. So it’s not
necessarily an economical way to go versus whatever 4-10 dollars a
pound for beef so I would say from a cost standpoint there is
definitely advantage to beef. Now, there are some exceptions.
Like me, for example, I have ten acres in Washington State, I’ve got a
gun, got ammo, I can go out with a 21 dollar license and take a deer
for an extra nothing and that’s something that I can bring in to the
butcher who lives literally about 5 blocks from my house, have her
prepared into sausages and Venison, keep the bones for bone broths
and bone marrow and I’m good to go for probably close to 2-3 dollars
a pound, so it kinda depends on what’s available to you. There’s also
Brock: Sounds like Jamie’s in that similar situation with her dad going out
hunting and going home so...
Ben: Yep. So there are some health considerations. So this issue with
chronic wasting disease, what you hear about, this is this degenerative
brain disease, kinda like mad cow disease. Nobody wants to get mad
dear disease (also known as spongiform encephalopathy) and that
can literally eat away your nervous system. It’s been around for a
while. It comes from consuming certain parts of an infected animal
and there are just best practices to follow if you are going to eat
Venison. So for example, you really shouldn’t eat the eyes, the brain,
the spinal cord, the spleen, the tonsils, or the lymph nodes of any
deer. And most butchers are going to know how to make sure that
you’re not actually eating those parts of the deer. If you’re butchering
yourself, you’re gonna make sure that you’re pretty careful. I mean, I
feel dressed my deer and I’m very careful to make sure that the
bacteria from the stomach or the intestine or the anus isn’t actually
spread to the meat during that gutting process. But once you actually
bring it in to a butcher, you wanna make sure that they’re ensuring
that you’re not getting pieces of some of these organs that tend to
build up this chronic wasting disease protein in them so eye, brain,
spinal cord that type of stuff....
Brock: Yeah, you got the butcher doing sausages for you, that’s where the
problem could come into when they’re grinding it up, getting
Ben: Exactly so, yeah, especially with deer, you wanna be careful with that
kind of bacterial of protein contamination. Most good butchers are
pretty good these days. It’s usually people who are butching
themselves or I don’t know who’s out there eating dear eyes but folks
doing that, that’s where they could get some of these issues caused by
what are called prions, so I’d be careful with that. You wanna make
sure that as far as the lymph nodes go that you do what’s called
“boning out the meat”, you could just ask your butcher to do this and
make sure that they just remove any of the fat in the weblike
membrane, the fascia, that’s attached to the meat and that helps to
get rid of some of these lymph nodes where the prions might reside.
So as long as you make sure that you take care of that, honestly, I
think that Venison is almost safer than beef when you hear about
these people getting sick from E coli, you know hamburgers and stuff
like that, I see a lot less out there as far as Venison goes compared to
beef. So ultimately, there are some definite health benefits and I think
that it’s a nice healthy sporting activity, I think that there are some
ethical consideration. I know that some people aren’t fans of eating
deer because of the whole killing Bambi’s mom thing and I just wanna
clarify, like, if I shoot a deer, I’m very careful that I don’t kill it when
it’s running scared so it’s got really low amounts of cortisol. I’d take it
with a very well intention shot, I’ll never shoot if it’s running or
moving, I’m very very careful from that standpoint not to be ruining
any Disney movies, so ultimately, consent to deer meats for me is go
for it and sounds like you too Brock.
Brock: Two thumbs up. And you know what else I give two thumbs up for? I
just saw the FedEx truck arrive outside my house which means my
gunner glasses, just arrived!
Ben: Oh, you’re gonna run out there and rip open the box, put ‘em on and
run back in here?
Brock: It’s like Christmas morning!
Ben: Do it.
Brock: I’ll be right back.
Jas: Hey Ben, this is Jas. I love the show. I was just wondering if you could
talk about the consequences of, I suppose, taking progesterone -
specifically taking progesterone in order to induce the menstrual
cycle in a female who is not lacking her menstrual cycle because of
fitness but was just born in that way. What are the positives and
negatives of taking these hormone replacements, and if you have any
references so I could look up and some literature I could read up on,
that’d be great. Thanks!
Ben: So this is really interesting that she actually said she’s not amenorrhic
from exercise but was born that way?
Brock: Yeah, I think that’s probably I’m guessing that sort of a turn of phrase
‘cause obviously she would’ve had to wait a number of years before
Ben: Yeah, I don’t know. Lady Gaga was born that way. Possibly also true.
That’s actually called primary amenorrhea when you basically have
absence of menstruation but you didn’t get that way by actually
experiencing a hormonal deficit or something like that or digging
yourself into a hole from a hormonal standpoint, usually it’s the shape
of your genital or your pelvic organs, sometimes there are actually
parts of those organs missing that would be responsible for causing
primary amenorrhea but of course, I’m sure that there are many
women out there listening, based on the demographic of our audience
who also have amenorrhea, who maybe were born that way. Before
we talk about progesterone use, the idea behind this is when an
athlete, especially a sporting female, develops amenorrhea it’s usually
called hypothalamic amenorrhea or functional hypothalamic
amenorrhea. It’s caused by stress; it’s caused by excessive weight loss;
it’s caused by excessive exercise; or in most cases, kind of a
combination of all three. So, the way that this works is that when you
have an energy imbalance through not eating enough calories or
exercising a lot and you get weight loss, that disrupts your menstrual
cycle. So, the way it works is that weight loss can cause an elevation in
a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is normally a hormone that would
make you hungry but also in high amounts can inhibit what’s called
you hypothalamic pituitary ovarian axis. So, elevated levels of ghrelin
alter the ability of your hypothalamus and subsequently your
pituitary to release luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating
hormone and those are the two hormones that maintain normal
ovulation. So, once you get a bunch of ghrelin released, because you
are sending a signal to your body, that there is not much energy
around, it naturally, in this kinda makes sense from an evolutionary
standpoint, once you start to think about it, it naturally shuts down
your fertility. So if you were going through a period of starvation or
you were traditionally from an ancestral standpoint part of a culture
that didn’t have access to much food, it wouldn’t make much sense to
be propagating the population at the same time as that. So the body
has its natural way to just kinda shut down fertility once you put
yourself into a situation where, let’s say, a baby you might bring to the
world would be under a lot of stress, it kinda saves your body for a
different point. So, part of that might be just because females are born
with finite number of eggs, I’m not really sure of the exact biological
mechanism but anyways, it’s high levels of ghrelin that actually
caused that hypothalamus pituitary ovarian axis down regulation. So
the other thing that can happen is you get low levels of the hormone
leptin. In females when they drop their body weight, especially when
they drop their body weight quickly, and leptin is necessary also to
maintain regular menstrual cycles and you tend to see low levels of
leptin or leptin insensitivity caused by excessive exercise or very very
low caloric intake or a combination of both. Leptin is one of the things
that indicates to your brain the amount of energy balance, and the
amount of fat stores that you have, so once you begin to get very very
decreased levels of leptin, that’s pretty correlated to low levels of body
fat and that also slows the pulsing release of luteinizing hormone and
follicle-stimulating hormone. This is kind of a classic precursor or
those hand-in-hands with what’s called the female athlete triad which
is amenorrhea, osteoporosis, which is another serious issue, and then
also disordered eating, either an obsession with food or wanting
complete control over food or simply really restricting calories and
there’s a lot of women, unfortunately, that have this. Now, you can be
more genetically prone to this type of issue, to this hypothalamic
amenorrhea. There have been some studies have been done recently
that showed that some women are genetically more prone to it
whereas some women can just kinda go hard and go for a long period
of time, beat up their bodies and get into endurance exercise and not
have a cause that’s same amount of hormonal deficit it’s probably just
based off of your genes coming from maybe folks who got to sit
around a lot and be fat and happy and you know maybe their bodies
just get thrown for a complete loop when they get exposed to have to
go run 13 miles or some folks who maybe come from a little bit
stronger, hunter gather population who kinda don’t have quite that
same curveball thrown at their body. You know my wife comes from
hardy, Montana rancher genes and she sustains most times a year,
eight to ten percent body fat, and she never misses a period and that’s
just the way her body works. She’s definitely not one of those people
who are genetically prone to amenorrhea, whereas some women
would just be on the couch and fall on over trained adrenal fatigue,
full amenorrhic getting even close that level body fat percentage, that
level of activity.
So, I’ll link in the show notes to some interesting genetic studies that
have been done that show that there are specific mutations in specific
genes that can predispose women to hypothalamic amenorrhea. So, in
terms of the progesterone issue here, now the idea behind
progesterone is that it’s kind of considered as the sexy hormone so it’s
very very common for women these days to have what’s called
estrogen dominance. So, estrogen is something that increases fat
storage when it’s an excess it impairs thyroid function, in can lead to
endometriosis, it can increase risk of breast cancer, it can create
bloating and gas, and progesterone kinda does all the opposites of
that. It stimulates fat burning, up regulates the thyroid, it reduces
bloating, it supports blood sugar balance. And so when you use a
progesterone cream, in many cases, what you’re doing is restoring
proper hormone balance to your body. One of the reasons this works
very well in, for example, endurance athletes is because of a
pregnenalone steel. So pregnenalone is a hormone precursor and it
could get converted into cortisol or get converted into progesterone.
So, when you’re exercising a lot producing a lot of cortisol, you don’t
produce quite as much progesterone so you get a combination of both
progesterone deficiency and the subsequent estrogen dominant
symptoms that can go along with that. That’s one of the reasons that
endurance sports can make some females look fat and bloated is
because they get progesterone depletion, sometimes and sometimes
not accompanied by this amenorrhea and estrogen dominance. A
progesterone cream is a form of bio-identical hormone replacement
therapy and that’s not to be confused with HRT or Hormone
Replacement Therapy. Hormone Replacement Therapy is when you
extract estrogen from pregnant horses and literally inject that into the
body, whereas bio-identical hormone replacement therapy takes
hormones, usually from plant sterols and puts those into the body
and usually those are done via like a bio-identical natural
progesterone cream or progesterone sublingual tablet, progesterone
capsule, sometimes progesterone injection. I would encourage you to
actually be pretty careful with using progesterone and there are a few
reasons why. The first is that progesterone is a band-aid for a
symptom and there are women out there who find that progesterone
helps to increase their sex drive or can bring their period back when
they’re doing a lot of exercise, but they never address the cortisol
issue, they just dump a bunch of progesterone into their body to allow
them to continue to make a bunch of cortisol well at the same time
putting exogenous progesterone into the body and that not only is
just a band-aid for an underlying symptom of needing to control
stress and maybe recover better, but it also creates what I would
consider to be the second problem with progesterone and that’s this
negative feedback loop. So most of the hormones in your body are
governed by a negative feedback loop and it works kinda like the
thermostat in your house. So if you set the thermostat in your house
to 72 degrees and the room temperature is 69 degrees, then the
heater in the room is gonna kick in to warm the temperature in the
room up and when the temperature reaches 72 degrees, the heat
shuts off again until the temperature drops again, and so when you
take a hormone like progesterone, it can shut off that hormone
negative feedback loop so it would be like heating a room by space
heater, for example, the space heater would be the exogenous
progesterone that you’re taking or you’re smearing on your body, and
so your natural furnace just shuts off because it’s not needed anymore
and that means that when you take a progesterone cream or use a
progesterone product, that causes your body to rely on that product
and to not produce your natural hormones anymore once you quit
taking that product. It’s the same negative feedback loop that causes
me to encourage guys not to take testosterone creams or testosterone
patches or testosterone injections.
Brock: Just to take your furnace idea a little bit further, so does that mean
that the pile of light actually goes out in the furnace because you’re
using the space heater too much?
Ben: Exactly. It would be basically the furnace shuts off because it’s not
Brock: So the furnace doesn’t just come back on as soon as the space heater’s
Ben: Nope. It shuts off ‘cause it’s not needed and in the case of most
hormones, it takes in more from 6-12 months for that furnace to turn
back on and you feel really crappy during that process. Another issue
is that progesterone cream can cause progesterone resistance. If
you’re not monitoring your use, if you’re not testing under close
supervision with a medical practitioner your use of progesterone an
excess of any hormone including progesterone can cause cell receptor
insensitivity to that hormone.
And so it’s the same as insulin, when you eat too much sugar, your
pancreas pumps out a bunch of insulin and your cells eventually
become insulin insensitive because there’s constantly insulin
circulating in the blood stream so you need more and more insulin
and your pancreas poops out eventually, and you get diabetes.
Progesterone, you dump a bunch of progesterone, or guys you dump a
bunch or testosterone into your body, and you can eventually create a
cell receptor insensitivity to that hormone needing more and more
hormones to actually make it work. So that kinda leads the last issue
with progesterone that I have and that is that it’s very hard to use
without proper medical supervision and most people don’t go out of
their way to work with something like a Wiley practitioner. A Wiley
practitioner is someone who is well versed in bio-identical hormone
replacement therapy but is well versed in terms of being in able to test
you and work with a compounding pharmacist in your area to adjust
your dose. Now, that sounds like quite a bit to go through and it
certainly is compared to ordering cream on Amazon or sublingual
progesterone on Amazon and using that and just kinda like taking it
willy nilly and keeping your fingers crossed that you’re doing it right.
So, if anybody out there’s gonna be using progesterone at least say
work with a Wiley practitioner who’s well versed in bio-identical
hormone replacement therapy and who is willing to work with a
compounding pharmacist to adjust your dosage every month based
off of where your levels are at and then also understand that, in many
cases if you’re like competing and something like triathlons or
marathons or anything where you’re being monitored by like the
World Anti-doping Association, you can’t use these stuff anyways, it’s
illegal, it’s gonna get you banned or get a podium or a medal or
whatever taken away.
Brock: Well, you can get a letter from your doctor; you can get one of those
Ben: Those are really hard to get unless you’re freakin’ old and extremely
deficient and in most cases, like I mentioned, this is just a band-aid
for an underlying symptom of having too much stress, and I mean,
freakin’ rewind this podcast 40 minutes and go back and listen to
what I said about organ meats and reducing stress and minimalist
training and all the things that you can do to fight of a lot of things
that chronic cardio does to your body. Believe it or not, a lot of those
same things help women who have amenorrhea reduce stress,
exercise less, eat really nutritious foods, sleep more, I mean those are
the same type of things I recommend so, as far as progesterone goes,
I’d be really careful with it and I would make sure that you work with
a Wiley practitioner, ideally.
Jlynam: Hi, I’m listening on PaleoCon talking about barefoot running and
walking and standing. What would you say to somebody that has
varicose veins and were supposed to support the legs and the veins
for health and not suppose to be standing for long periods of time and
without any support. What would you say to that? Thank you.
Brock: So, I didn’t know what you talked about at the PaleoCon. Talking
about trying barefoot, I guess?
Ben: Yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff. What’s our link for paleo conzep,
bengreenfieldfitness.com/paleocon? Okay, cool. So that was an online
paleo event I did indeed talk about standing work stations and like we
mentioned, I’m standing right now and I am wearing compression
shorts from about mid-thigh up to my booty and I’m wearing skins
compression sleeves from my ankle up to my knees. So I am decked
up in compression here and Brock is pantless. So there you go.
There’s your visual.
Brock: I am wearing compression socks.
Ben: Pantless with compression socks. And the reason I do that, I wear a
graduated compression sock which basically pumps the blood up
through the leg and keeps those vein valves from having to be over
worked. The reason I do that is the exact reason that Jlynam is
concerned about varicose veins is because when you spend a lot of
time on your feet, gravity does its work and eventually those veins can
get blocked up. Now we’ve done some very...
Brock: Damn you gravity!
Ben: Damn gravity. We’ve done some very comprehensive podcast on
varicose veins honestly. Like we’ve done two of them and I’m gonna
link them on the show notes where I go to everything from using an
inversion table at the end of a long day or using the yoga inversion
poses that I’m gonna link to in the show notes to using compression
gear and I’ll include all of our discount codes for compression gear in
the show notes to using these graduated compression socks. There’s a
bunch that you can get, like I mentioned I’m wearing the skins brand
right now and they’re one of our sponsors for team Timex which is
why I’ve got a suitcase full of those.
And then we also talked about herbs and blends that you could use for
varicose veins, some of the best ones being grape seed extract, and
then funny names but, horse chestnut extract and butcher’s broom,
and those would be if you already have varicose veins, those can help
those to clear up. Essentially though this is really simple, you simple
defy gravity, wear compression gear, compression socks, compression
leggings, that kinda stuff, and you get inverted every now and again,
you change positions as you are in your standing work station, so like
right now I have a chair next to me so I’ve had my right foot up on
that chair for some of the podcast, I’ve been standing on both feet for
some of the podcast, I’ve had my left foot up on the chair for some of
the podcast.... I’ve been.....
Brock: Sometimes you put your foot up on some area in a Captain Morgan
kind of pose.
Ben: Kinda, Captain. I’ve got my arms folded across my chest and I’m
looking out on the horizon with like...
Brock: And of course you’ve got your pirate hat.
Ben: Yeah, and my pirate hat, exactly. Very Old Spice. And Of course, I’m
shirtless, as usual. I mean like, I don’t wanna blow off your question
but I’ll put a link to all of the previous things that we’ve done on
varicose veins but I mean, the one biggest thing that you could do is
get a compression sock, not just any compression sock, but what’s
called a graduated compression sock, which starts with high pressure
lowered down and lowers that pressure going farther up your legs so
that you’re just naturally pumping blood back up to your heart and at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/275, I will put the mother load of links and
resources for you on varicose veins.
Brock: So I think the only thing that needs to be pointed out right here is
that you’re saying to wear compression socks, she’s asking about
going barefoot. So I think that it’s sort of just some semantic issue
here like barefoot isn’t necessarily like no socks, no shoes, like
completely barefoot, it’s not wearing big built-up shoes.
Ben: I’m barefoot right now, but I’m wearing compression sleeves and
that’s not the way to go. The only real difference between wearing
socks and going completely barefoot is you do still get more
stimulation of nerve endings and proprioceptors when you are really,
like truly, barefoot. And that’s why even like if you’re doing barefoot
running with vibrams for example, like sometimes just going to a
park and taking off your vibrams and just running on a grass is a good
Natalie: Hey, Ben. My name is Natalie. I have the Genova Diagnostics: I have
the blood panel, and one of the things they tested for was toxins such
as mercury, arsenic, and aluminum. Unfortunately all three of mine
were very high. I cut out fish for a month, I stopped using deodorant,
and my second test results, the aluminum went down significantly,
the mercury, unfortunately was still high so we narrowed that down
to my amalgam fillings which I’m going through the process of taking
care of. But the arsenic was high on the first and second test. My
physician said that it could be from rice that she knows that
sometimes rice has a lot of arsenic in it but I don’t really eat rice,
maybe once a week. And I heard on one of your podcast that you have
mentioned about arsenic and protein powder. I do have usually about
three protein shakes a week and so I was wondering if maybe this
was where it was originating from. So I’d love to know if arsenic is
indeed found in protein powder, any other areas that you can think of
that it may be found in, either something I’m eating or something in
my home and suggestions for a protein powder that would be high
quality enough that you can sure that sort of toxin was not in it.
Thanks so much!
Ben: Well I did a really interesting podcast episode with Doctor David
Minkoff, it was called “How Hidden Sources of Heavy Metals Are
Destroying Your Health and What You Can Do About It” I will
certainly put a link to that in the show notes for this episode but we
talked with Dr. Minkoff about how metal exposure can cause
everything from chronic fatigue, to poor mood, to disrupted sleep, to
headaches, to immune issues, to low hormones, to brain fog and....
Brock: Didn’t it actually cause some paralysis in his wife?
Ben: Yeah, like it – like that’s how he knows so much about it. Really
messed up his wife and I’d actually got to meet her at the
Superhuman Conference that we did and she’s doing awesome now
and she’s beautiful and functions just fine.
Brock: Yes and she looks fantastic!
Ben: Yeah I mean she looks like 30 years old and I think she is. I think
she’s in her 60’s but anyways, the biggest culprit for metal exposure is
just like you mentioned Brock, modern dentistry and that’s what Dr.
Minkoff’s wife was exposed to and even though about 50% of dentist
in the U.S. are pretty much mercury free now only about 10% of them
actually understand the health risks that are associated with dental
amalgams which is basically just toxic mercury.
Despite what the misleading term silver filling might lead you to
believe. So, if you wanna really get rid of heavy metals and the
potential damage to organs like your liver and your kidneys and the
potential toxicity from those, you wanna get rid of those fillings and
we’ve done previous episodes on kinda some options for everything
from root canals to natural fillings but that would be number 1 would
be to find the holistic dentist to make sure that there’s not anything
going on in your mouth and in that....
Brock: That sounds like Natalie got that sort of, she is getting it taken cared
Ben: Before other people listening in, if you’re not sorting that then do it.
Now Natalie got the Genova diagnostics ion blood panel. That’s really
good blood panel. There’s another one from Directlabs called the
metametrics ion panel. The metametrics ion panel is also really good
one for looking at heavy metals and the other sources that you’d
wanna look out would pollution or smog that can be a contributor, car
keys believe it or not can be an issue as can toys.
Brock: (laughs) What are you doing with the car keys?
Ben: Yeah, don’t you on your car keys....
Brock: Taking stuff with your teeth with your keys...
Ben: .....pesticides and herbicides if you eat a lot of non-organic fruits and
vegetables. Those can have arsenic and metals in them, lakes or rivers
if you do a lot of open water swimming; like Lake Coeur D’Alene up
by my house, beautiful pristine lake where they have Ironman Coeur
D’Alene in one of the most polluted lakes in the country because of
mining run off from all the mines that still dug the perimeter of that
lake. Food that stored in metal containers, if you know a lot of canned
foods that can be an issue. Some of the bigger big big fish that eat
other fish like tuna and dolphin, you can get some metals
accumulating in those. Bio-accumulation of heavy metals in fish is not
as big an issue because you get a lot of selenium in fish which can be
bind and removed, a lot of heavy metals but ton of that, it can be an
issue as can potentially nuclear run-off from Japan but I talked about
that a little bit last week and how it’s fully not as big an issue as like
pesticides and herbicides and stuff like that and then of course a lot of
protein powders and dietary supplements can have heavy metals in
them too so you know you wanna make sure any powder you get is
preferably from what’s called a CGMP certified facility. Regardless I
mean, some of the stuff you simply can’t eliminate from your
surroundings or from your life so what I personally do is once a year I
do a metal detox. So what a metal detox does is it collates metals and
removes them from your body and when you bind heavy metals and
pull them out of your body, they generally exit your body via your
stool, your urine, your hair, your breath, and your sweat. And there
are some forms of chelation that can cause some serious problems
because they will extract along with heavy metals from your body
other minerals. They can also simply take minerals from parts of your
body and have them wind up in your bloodstream where they can
potentially cross the blood brain barrier and cause some pretty
serious issues. So the only type of chelation that I’m a fan of is called a
peptide base chelation and peptides are really short protein chains
and the way that they interact with metals like arsenic is they wrap
around the metals in such a way that the metals are not free to
interfere with or to block normal cellular process it’s called cage
binding. So rather than chelating precious minerals from your body
or allowing metals that have been chelated to wind up in the
bloodstream interacting with other cellular processes the peptides
actually form this cage around things like mercury and arsenic and
lead or aluminum or uranium and then it simply removes mostly via
your stool in this case in the case of peptide base chelator. So I used
this stuff called metal free – it’s a spray, you spray it sublingually, I
don’t do it all the time, I just do it for 30 days out of the year and that
would be the number 1 thing that I would do, I mean, it’s possible that
you’re getting some arsenic from like brown rice has some arsenic, it’s
more likely that it’s multi-factorial and you’re getting in it from a
bunch of different sources and so I would say, clean up and detox as
much as possible but also I would do at least like a 30 day protocol
something like this metal free and then this protein powder that you
talked about, I don’t know what brand it is pretty much the only 2
protein powder brands that I currently vouch for though are the Mt.
Capra stuff which is a cold process based whey protein and then the
stuff made by Living Fuel out of Florida and that’s called – that’s a
vegan alternative and that’s called Living Protein like those 2 I know
are good and they’ve been independently tested by third parties and
free of heavy metals and all that jazz so I do the metal free formula
and switch out the protein powders and then I also – if you’re
listening in and you do wanna test for metals, I’ll put a link in the
show notes to the metametrics ion panel through Directlabs.
Brock: Hey, Did you notice something about all the colors so far?
Brock: They all ladies.
Ben: Oh yeah baby.
Brock: Except for this next one.
Ben: You mean Brock and I. Oh man....
Brock: Certainly the next one, yeah. So with this last one and then we get to
our big gear giveaway but first the dude.
Shai: Hi Ben, I hope you well. Just another question, so one of your post
you recommended the magnetico sleep pad. I’ve actually knows well
that you actually use the earth pulse and I did know you did
recommend using both together so I’m just wondering what is your
preference and why? Thanks very much.
Ben: Maybe Shai is just a lady with deep voice though we keep our 100% or
Brock: Sorry man you are now an official lady.
Ben: All right Shai, so magnetico sleep pad vs. earth pulse. We’re now
scaring everybody who’s never heard of these things far away I’m
sure. So this is just a case of different things that you can sleep on that
are going to help your body to recover while you are asleep or to
mitigate some of the effects of say like electro-magnetic fields while
you are asleep. So for example, this earth pulse is pulsed electro-
magnetic field therapy or PEMF. It is a magnet and you place it
underneath your mattress and it pulses a magnetic field that’s very
very close to the same frequency that is emitted by say the planet
earth while you are asleep. And by pulsing this field up through the
mattress while you’re asleep, you can enhance everything from
healing of cell membrane to mitochondrial density, it can help with
stress fractures injuries stuff like that. Now some people when they
use the earth pulse complain that they’ll use it for a few days and it
will really help with sleep and then it won’t help with sleep anymore
and I’ve been looking into this because like for example when I’ve
been travelling a bunch if I don’t have my earth pulse with me and I
get home and I’ll use it for a few nights, I will sleep like a freakin’ baby
and sometimes I do notice that some of the effects almost seem to
kinda wear off after a few days of not using it going back into using it.
So part of this is explained by this mat called the magnetico mat and
the way that this magnetico mat is made is that it doesn’t elicit or
release a what’s called a bipolar field. So a bipolar field is a positive
electrical field and a negative electrical field. When your body gets
exposed to a positive magnetic field it will slow down the movement
of electrons and protons so it slows down some of the electro
chemical activity. Now your body response to this slowing down by
kinda shutting down blood flow, decreasing activity and really helping
get into this deep sleep state but the problem appears to be that when
you have constant exposure to this alternating current of bipolar
fields while your asleep, what it can eventually become is almost like a
stimulant because you get to a point where your body slows down so
much that your brain almost has this emergency response and a little
bit of a release of endorphins while you’re asleep and this is possibly
why some people say they’re use like an earth pulse and they wake up
at 2 or 3 am after they’ve used it for a week and kinda stop like a baby.
So that’s the difference between something like a magnetico sleep mat
and an earth pulse is the magnetico is only a uni-directional magnetic
field whereas the earth pulse is a bipolar magnetic field. So this would
be a situation where it be different applications for different
situations. The earth pulse seems to work really really well for about
as long as a week when you need some intense recovery, recovery
from jet lag, when you’re travelling and when you have it with you to
reduce some of the deleterious effects of airline travel and you need
something nice and portable to do that, when you’re injured and you
need to cause some frequency like in an area where there’s stress
fracture that type of thing but if you find yourself waking up after
using an earth pulse for a set number of days you either just use it
throughout the year at points where you need it like if you’ve done a
really hard workout, after you returned from travel that type of thing
and then the other times you don’t use a magnet or you use
something like this uni-directional magnetico sleep pad. So that’s the
deal with the magnets, now as far as magnetico vs. something like a
biomat, well, a biomat isn’t a magnet at all.
So I will actually use a biomat and an earth pulse at the same time.
What a biomat is infrared, so it releases infrared waves and it actually
releases infrared waves that are at what are called a higher micron or
a greater micron frequency than what like an infrared light would
release. Now infrared has been used for a long time as a way to
increase blood flow to naturally heat the body and to improve
physiological function especially glandular function like healing of
adrenal fatigue and that type of thing. The issue is that sometimes
these infrared saunas don’t work quite as well as a higher micron
length when it comes to the actual infrared waves like that it released.
So these biomat releases far infrared, it also releases what are called
negative ions now negative ions are the same type of things you’d get
when you expose yourself to grounding or earthing or magnets and so
the biomat gives you some of the benefits of magnetizing without the
actual use of a magnet and it does that via crystals that are embedded
throughout the biomat so it’s kinda heavy that’s why I don’t like
‘cause you can’t travel with it but for home it works really really well.
It’s got what are called amethyst crystals and tourmaline crystals in it
and those really specific way forms that actually deliver negative ions
into your body so the infrared rays penetrate about 6-8 inches into
your body, they’re completely healthy as not like microwaving or
anything like that, it’s just natural electro-magnetic energy and then
the addition of the amethyst and the tourmaline allow for the
integration of negative ions, better blood flow, more of that healthy
body detox type of effect you’d get if you slept just like on the ground,
in touch with the earth. That’s the reason why professional teams in
Tour De France coached by or who had Dr. Jeff Spencer who first
introduced me to grounding and earthing why they would use this in
between their stages along with their horse meat instantly. So the
biomat is something you would use in conjunction with either a
magnetico or an earth pulse or you could use it all by yourself but it’s
way different than a magnetico sleep mat so biomat is infrared and
crystals and a magnetico is just magnets and if we have anybody left
listening aside from the people wearing aluminum foil hats now we
are really lucky, but either way I’ll link to the biomat, the magnetico
and the earth pulse in the show notes for anybody who just wants to
check that stuff out. What I personally do is I use an earth pulse when
I need to use it, I use a biomat almost everyday especially for naps
and then I of course wear my aluminum tin foil hat at all times.
Brock: I need to point out that the biomat also repels dragons and orcs.
Ben: Hmm, that’s right.
Brock: And so if you’re having any trouble with dragons and orcs....
Ben: And it comes with the tiny hobbit sword that glows.
Brock: It sure does.
Ben: And I believe that’s the first time I’ve actually used the phrase “tiny
hobbit sword” on the podcast. (laughs)
Brock: And the last.... Anway, let’s move on to our iTunes review and
giveaways and stuff shall we?
Ben: That’s right so if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear you can get
the Ben Greenfield fitness beanie, the tech shirt and of course the
bpa-free water bottle and you can support the show and pick those up
for yourself as a gear pack for 47 bucks but we also giveaway this gear
pack once a week to people who go to iTunes and click and leave us a
review. So this week’s review is a five star review, I don’t think....
Brock: I usually read it but I can’t actually see through my gunner glasses at
the moment ‘cause they still have those – the plastic shield on the
lenses and I can’t seem to get it off so you’re gonna have to read it.
Ben: Or maybe just slack it and pick a review so I’m gonna read one.
Brock: Yeah, just make something out.
Ben: Oh okay, so it’s a 5 star review (I wouldn’t read it if it wasn’t a 5 star
by the way, just a hint to those who have reviews). It’s by Sniki-Tiki,
so Sniki-Tiki if you heard us reading your review, write in to
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your address. And
here’s what Sniki-Tiki has to say, “Ben Greenfield fitness is one of
only a few podcast that I listen to and enjoy.” First of all, Sniki-Tiki
you’re cheating on us if you’re listening to other podcast so stop that
now. “These podcasts are filled to overflow with useful content. I have
a 2 hour commute each way to work and I’m always in need of
something to listen to.” Dude, how bad.
“I wish you would increase the frequency of the shows (yes, that can
happen) but I understand that he has.....
Brock: Twice a week isn’t enough!
Ben: He has a real life outside of iTunes.” No, actually I don’t have a real
life outside of iTunes. It just takes me so freakin’ long to put together
this podcast that I can only do too weak. I don’t know how guys like
Joe Rogan do like 3 – like 6 hour podcast a week, it’s crazy! Of course,
I don’t have the sponsors or the audience that Joe Rogan has and I’m
not funny and I don’t drink weed before we record. “I highly
recommend anything that Ben produces and or appears on. Great job!
Keep them coming!”
Ben: Anything! I think we may go out for tele tubbies and see what Sniki-
Tiki thinks of that! Yeah, baby! All right folks, well, if you want links
to everything we’ve talked about in today’s show, head over to
bengreenfieldfitness.com/275, we’ve got all over there and until next
This is bengreenfielfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness,
nutrition and performance advice.