(Breather)Inspired by a lengthy email exchange with my childhood friend, former podcast guest and ageless wonder athlete, Dave Kobrine (age 59 with a recent biological age result of 47!), I offer a two-part show discussing major health and fitness insights and reflections over the past five years.
You’ll enjoy hearing about our best practices, especially Dave’s legendary morning routine, and you’ll hear tips and tricks you can easily implement covering eating, exercise, mindset, and lifestyle topics. In part one, I detail some of the concessions I’ve made to chronological aging, like making sure that both my diet and my workouts are evolving in alignment with my body’s own natural evolution, as well as committing to a routine that focuses on flexibility and mobility for injury prevention, and much more!
Overall, looking at my pattern from 2017-2021, I have to say that I feel much much better loosening the purse strings and eating healthy nutritious food and recently focusing on animal food-emphasis. In 2017, as I was working on the Keto for Life book, I went pretty hardcore, eating 50g of carbs a day or less, and trying to do sprint workouts and weight workouts. Truthfully, I felt like crap frequently, for 3 days here, 4 days there….Plus, maybe the fact that I was also going through a divorce and my daughter was struggling did not help matters as these personal events were also pretty fatigue-provoking.
But reflecting on how I felt back in 2017, I truly feel even better now than I did then, regardless of the fact that I am obviously older. My perspective on a few things, like the intensity of my workout sessions, fasting frequency, and my amount of carb intake, has shifted and evolved. I’ve dialed back on the explosive, intense workout sessions, as they can be very strenuous and can take too long to recover from. When you add a super-strict keto diet on top of it all, that’s quite a bit of stress on your system, and can lead to a pattern of crashing and burning and feeling generally lousy that I personally experienced.
As 5 years have passed from age 51-56, some aging observations are taking hold. The main one is margin of error for injury, soreness or fatigue and extended recovery from overdoing it. Like I said, in your 20s, you overdo it for a few days or miss some sleep or jet lag travel and bounce back quickly – or not as quickly as some people boast. I was able to get trashed in my 20s and took weeks to recover from extreme triathlon training.
But, even in my 30s and 40s, I could still bust out to soccer practice or high jump pits and take a few leaps. Check out an older YouTube video, Brad Kearns Barefoot High Jump 5’0, which captures a day when I found some pits while driving by and decided to do a high jump (even though I had forgotten my shoes!). The difference between the ages of 50 and 56 is serious. At 51, I cleared 5’5, which is hard to imagine today. The same with running a 60 second 400m at age 50. Now, I get bouts of panic breathing after doing a 200m or 400m too quickly at practice or at altitude. 3 years ago, I did a couple 6-minute miles, and now, I doubt I could come close.
In many ways, I am fitter and have better injury prevention in place thanks to my morning routine. I guess it is true that with age, you lose explosiveness and some adaptability. One good thing though, is that my aging coincides with my reduction of effort in endurance activities because I think it can be unhealthy for the 50+ crowd. At least, not very often. So maybe the best approach to aging is to reduce your frequency of big efforts and work hard at being more consistent with your basic fitness efforts.
I also never did anything resembling a morning routine until after age 50 and now it’s a godsend, keeping me out of both trouble and pain. Maybe I needed it far less in my younger years, but, at the time of recording this, I’m also at the six-month mark of dealing with a minor knee injury that just keeps on lingering. And while I am happy to report it’s finally going away, it’s interesting to look back on being in my 20s and how running into a slight issue with my back or shoulder would take merely a few weeks to go away, the most severe taking six weeks to completely heal. It really just reinforces the importance of maintaining and strengthening your flexibility and mobility (check out my morning routine video for flexibility and mobility here!) to minimize injury risk, and also just elevate the platform from which you perform all workouts.
I also touch on an interesting article from Dr. Shawn Baker, who says that having greater androgen receptor density can allow you to actually thrive on lower levels of testosterone. But how do you get greater androgen receptivity? By performing strength-training exercises and fasting. Androgen receptors are also particularly dense in your lower extremities, so doing full-body, functional lower-body exercises, like squats, leg presses, and deadlifts, will help increase androgen receptor density in those areas.
I wrap up by giving an update on how my thoughts have changed when it comes to fasting frequency, and share where I’m currently at with the carnivore diet, which has been truthfully, fantastic. It’s been amazing seeing just how much my digestion and overall health have vastly improved, all from putting less to zero emphasis on plants and focusing entirely on nutrient dense animal organs and protein. Even my workouts have been positively affected by the change I’ve made to my diet. And, I’ll add that Mark Sisson, king of his infamous Big Ass Salad, has lately admitted to gravitating towards a steak or other protein-based dishes instead of his staple salad for lunch these days. As Robb Wolf says, if you want to live a long life, lift more weights and eat more protein!
Brad talks about how blood testing is estimating your age. He was thrown for a loop when his results came to him. [01:30]
There is much you can do to optimize testosterone without using drugs. [03:02]
You can develop androgen receptor density by doing strength training and also fasting. [06:04]
The ancestral health movement has grown like crazy. [08:42]
As Brad is aging, he feels his margin of error for injury, lingering fatigue, etc. is taking much longer to recover. [12:32]
Brad insists that his early morning routine will help him minimize injury for the rest of his life. [14:03]
Maybe check physical therapy first before you go under the knife. [15:34]
As you age, you need to tone down some of the efforts and be aware of injury prevention. [19:06]
If you get an injury, it is important to rest it and then rest it some more. Be patient. [24:51]
The carnivore diet has been very popular lately. There are still many ways to include carbs that are needed. [26:38]
You want to eat the most nutrient-dense food. Vegetables might not be the best for you! [29:49]
If you want to live a long life, lift more weights and eat more protein. [35:42]
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Brad (1m 30s): Greetings listeners. Let’s talk about some reflections and highlights over the past. Say five year time period of health and fitness endeavors that I’ve been interested in trying out succeeding with thinking about, of course, this breather show as is often the case emanates from a wonderful back and forth email exchange I’ve had with another extreme health and fitness enthusiasts. My former podcast guest and lifelong friend, Dave Kobrine who is now 59 years old, but he’s only 47 with his ,Pheno age. And YouTube can find out how young you are or old relative to your chronological age at this website that he recommend called phenoage.com. Brad (2m 16s): I haven’t tried it myself. I did try my wonderful inside tracker program that puts together all kinds of blood testing, DNA and fitness tracking. And to tell you much more about that in the future as time goes on, but it’s great to be in partnership with those guys. And they did a little quick calculation of my biological age and it came out to 62. What here that I’m turning 56 in a week. 62 wasn’t a nice number to see on the screen. I think they didn’t like certain aspects of my blood results. Interestingly, one of them is this low white count, which has been something I’ve had my entire life and also in my mom’s blood results. Brad (3m 0s): I’m going to assume that’s genetic. I don’t think there’s a big problem there. I don’t think they liked that my free testosterone was near the lower end of the range. Even know my serum testosterone is routinely at the very highest 95th percentile of the range or upwards of around there sometimes not quite that high, but I’ve had a lot of good results with the serum testosterone. Free T on the lower end of the range and sex hormon. Binding globulin outside of the maximum range by quite a bit. And we’re going to talk about more as we go down that road, I’m doing a lot of research and writing a book about testosterone optimization the natural way, cause there’s not much out there about it. Brad (3m 40s): It’s mostly about how to do drug therapy correctly, but there’s so many things you can do with lifestyle to optimize testosterone and us in the ancestral community have some insights from experts that were counting on relying upon claiming that the sex hormone binding globulin value will be elevated due to a low carbohydrate, low insulin producing diet. And there’s actually many positive aspects of having a high S H B G value, but correspondingly low free testosterone. Nothing to concern yourself about, which is the quite an opposite opinion of what an MD might share if he was looking at your results. Brad (4m 27s): So I’m also noticing with all the research that there’s so much uncertainty and confusion with blood tests, results for testosterone, that you really are obligated to throw in many of the subjective markers and evaluations such as fitness testing, body fat levels report, self-reported satisfaction with libido energy, cognitive function, motivation, all the things that testosterone has an influence over. And you have to weigh those carefully with your blood tests to get a big picture evaluation. 0 (5m 5s): Dr. Sean Baker, carnivore leader, former podcast guest, and extreme human fitness freak at age. Oh, he’s just about my age. He’s 53 or 54 breaking world records on the concept to ergometer in these sprint events where he’s busting out a 500 meter sprint in a minute 15 or somewhere around there. So at the highest level of explosive output at the world level, breaking the world records in his age group and one of the top guys overall for any age at this extremely high-performance explosive event of doing the rowing machine, that’s calibrated, you can find one in most gyms across the world and know right where you stand with the very best guys. 0 (5m 45s): Anyway, Shawn Baker had a great article on his website where he was talking about his quite low testosterone readings, both in total testosterone, as well as free testosterone at the bottom end of the range where he’d be called a hypogonad hypokinetic and would be prescribed medication. Brad (6m 4s): But of course he feels great. He’s filled with muscle. He performs these incredible athletic feats works out very hard. You can check him out on Instagram. He’s got some great content there, but he talks about how having a greater androgen receptor density can allow can you to thrive on much less, much lower levels of testosterone that might be necessary if you didn’t have this attribute of androgen receptor density. And how do you develop androgen receptor density by doing strength training? Also fasting has a great benefit. And so these are the receptor sites on your cells that uptake the hormone that’s transported through your blood and then exerting its androgenic effects on the cells. Brad (6m 52s): In other words, building muscle the androgen receptors are particularly dense in the lower extremities. So if you do a lot of full body functional, lower body exercises: squats, leg presses, dead lifts, things like that, of course, sports activity, you’re going to increase androgen receptor density. And then you dutifully go about your fasting protocols, where you’re skipping meals, spending good periods of time in a fasted state, building that androgen receptor density, making your receptors more sensitive to the signaling when it has some testosterone passing through the bloodstream and it says, Hey, come on in. Brad (7m 32s): Let’s let’s come right in quickly. I’m going to open the door for you and welcome you in. If you have good energy and receptor density, then you don’t need high blood levels. And here’s Shawn Baker publishing his results from blood labs and showing that he’s technically a low T guy and then joining with pictures of him hoisting massive amounts of weight. So that is a huge of vote for weighing the subjective factors more so than just blood values. There’s just no other way. You can say it. You have to conclude that we’re going to have to do some real world evaluation along with whatever’s on the blood report. Brad (8m 13s): Okay. So that was a little detour into testosterone optimization, but really when we’re talking about my health and fitness reflections and highlights over the past five years, Oh my gosh, that could be the overarching goal is to preserve that male hormone optimization and feel energetic, motivated, happy, healthy, vibrant, vital, and maintaining that edge, that passion and competitive intensity throughout life. So I have to say that going back 2017, that’s now five years ago, I feel a lot better these days, even with the aging process in full swing, chronologically speaking. Brad (8m 54s): And we’re going to talk a little bit about that because I have to give some concessions to the calendar. And that might be interesting to hear some of those reflections, but in a general sense, I reflect back to 2017 when Mark Sisson and I were working on The Keto Reset Diet, which was one of the first books written about the ketogenic diet and cutting those carbs even further to stimulate these wonderful benefits of ketone production in the liver and your brain is going to be burning this high octane fuel. And everything’s going to be fantastic. Of course, you’re going to lose weight, feel better. And here we are, five years later, keto has become an absolute sensation. The latest, greatest fad diet. Brad (9m 34s): It has helped so many people, correct health issues, get that excess body fat off and all around. Been a huge win, especially in comparison to, Oh my gosh. Think about 12 years ago when Mark and I started with the first book, The Primal Blueprint, and it was the most incredible uphill battle. I mean, not only we couldn’t get a major New York publishers interested in anything related to this primal idea, this ancestral health approach. We also had a hard time even hiring a PR agent. They were like, yeah, well the guy’s not a doctor. It’s not going to sell. It’s not going to go anywhere. And it’s really been wonderful to see the ancestral health movement grow like crazy in the last 12 years to where now it’s a generally accepted part of society and even mainstream health authorities. Brad (10m 23s): We get emails and commentary from MDs, physicians that are deep into the traditional medical protocol, but have discovered on their own, basically, the benefits of ancestral style eating patterns and the other reflections that have come to the forefront during the last 12 years. So keto has come a long way as well when we started it, no one knew anything about it. We were having to interview some of these early scientists and learn from them since we had to get our learning curve going too. Guys like Dr. Phinney and Dr. Volek, Dom D’Agostino doing his great research over there in Florida. But for me jumping into it, I reflect that I was kind of struggling for a while with that extreme limitation of carb intake. Brad (11m 11s): I don’t think I was properly prepared. Now we know that some of the check boxes were a little deficient. Possibly my sodium and electrolyte intake was one of the reasons that I was reflecting and feeling some ups and down periods and some dragass periods, particularly the practice of extensive fasting and maintaining ketogenic macronutrient standards. While I was also trying to perform these explosive high intensity workouts and actually perform them in a manner that was overly stressful. And that’s going to be one of my checkpoints that I’ve really tried to dial back. Brad (11m 53s): These workouts that are really fun and pump you up and jack you up and make you feel great at the time, but they’re too strenuous and take too long to recover from. And when you throw in a newly minted ketogenic diet person who is being really strict and disciplined and pricking my finger many times a day, all in the name of research for the book, it could be too many stress factors piled up. And now I’m still reflecting back on 2017 and my training log and having these crash and burn periods where I’d feel really lousy for a few days in the aftermath of these intense workouts. And I’m going to chalk it up to too many stress factors piled on at once. Oh gee, I was having some, you know, personal difficulties at that time. Brad (12m 36s): Going through a divorce, that’s all stressful, even though everything was peaceful and a nice smooth path, relatively speaking, it’s still there and you can’t really ignore that life is stressful sometime. Here we are in 2020, 2021. You know, it’s a lot of extra stress has been added due to the alterations and general society with the quarantine and the pandemic and the changing of the economy accordingly. Hopefully, what we do is we take what’s offered to us and do the very best we can try not to complain. Try to stay positive. And I certainly that’s what I tried to do back then and get through it and keep the smile on my face, but also face things directly, as I talked about in a previous show where I’m trying to be more honest and direct in all areas of life, especially on the podcast. Brad (13m 28s): Okay. So going from age 51 to now 56, some observations are taking hold. And I think the main concession that I will make to chronological aging is that I feel like my margin of error has tightened up a little bit. Margin of error for injury, soreness, lingering fatigue from overdoing it a little bit, taking much longer time to recover from high stress periods of life. And that particularly goes for workouts, but also possibly anything else like having a lousy night asleep or jet lag, all that kind of stuff. Brad (14m 12s): Feel like I’m a little more fragile, no matter how I, how much I try to, to talk myself out of it. And especially the margin of error for injuries and getting these niggling aches pains. I’m here recording this at the six month mark of this minor knee injury that won’t freaking go away. And I can assert that back when I was a triathlete in my twenties and issues would come about, like I injured my shoulder, my lower back or a running injury in my legs. And I’d put these things away in a couple of weeks, maybe at the very most the worst injuries I had would linger along for six weeks. And I’d be so stressed with a six week injury. So here we go with a six month injury in the 55 and over age division. Brad (14m 58s): So that’s a little frustrating and it really points to the tremendous importance of doing your homework and doing your preparations before you try to go out there and perform magnificent athletic feats with your body. So I’ve talked so much on the show about my morning routine and how precious that is the flexibility, mobility, core strengthening, leg strengthening, and routine that I do every single day. I intend to do it for the rest of my life. And I keep adding and increasing the degree of difficulty to the extent that now it’s basically a pretty darn substantial workout lasting a minimum of 35 minutes. Oftentimes I add more onto the end of the template morning routine, and there I go with a workout. Brad (15m 39s): It’s always first thing in the morning. And I think that has really helped elevate the platform from which I launch all formal workouts and play endeavors from so that I can minimize my injury risk. And boy, this knee thing is finally resolving. I’m so happy to report that. And I kept thinking over the past few months, if I could just solve this little nagging issue here, I think I’m going to emerge from this thing, a fitter and stronger and more resilient than ever. I feel like my body’s in really great shape, except for this injury. That’s prevented me from doing my jumping and sprinting workouts. My template workout that I was enjoying so much before, before this thing kicked into gear. Brad (16m 20s): And I want to put in a plug here for the world of physical therapy. And when in doubt, go to physical therapy because I delayed that a little bit. I wasn’t sure how they could help me because this felt really like a joint injury. So I was heading down the path of orthopedic exams. I was scheduled for the MRI. I was about to pop from my copay of 1200 bucks or whatever it was. And I finally got the appointment in and these guys right away, both of them, Rod Shorey, Woodland Hills Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, and also Jason Collin at PT Revolution in Lake Tahoe said, Oh, you know what? There’s nothing wrong with your knee, man. Brad (17m 1s): It’s all about muscle imbalances, muscle tightness, and we need to work through these things. You really knotted yourself up. I had a big fat F grade on this simple flection tests. Where, how could I, how many degrees could I comfortably internally rotate my leg, lying on my back with my knee bent. And, Oh my gosh. As soon as I got some good hands-on work and diligently proceeded through the extra stretching prescribed for the issue I had, Oh my gosh. It was like immediate, a massive improvement from a lingering condition of six months that I was this close to getting an MRI. Brad (17m 41s): And who knows, maybe the MRI wasn’t going to come out perfectly and they’d say, yeah, let’s go in there and explore and scope it out or whatever they do to people under the knife. And I shudder at the thought of how many athletes are out there that have had unnecessary surgeries or unnecessary layoffs. And when you need surgery, you need surgery. I know that. But just the layoffs and the going about the issue without addressing the cause, buying a bigger and bigger brace or whatever it was. And here I was, you know, really frustrated and at my wit’s end because it seems like that’s a long time to, to have a, a lingering minor knee injury. I was watching the NFL playoff game and they’re talking about the lineman. Brad (18m 21s): Who’s back after missing so many games from week eight, with major reconstructive surgery on his ACL. I’m like, wait a second. Week eight. That was only, you know, I think the guy was back on the field after 11 weeks or nine weeks or something like that. And I’m thinking here I am six months with a much less of an injury than this dude. So something doesn’t match doesn’t mean something’s not right this picture here. So I’m nice, happy to report that the morning routine and all the flexibility, mobility strengthening drills, absolutely essential at the older age groups. And those concessions from chronological aging is just less, less margin of error and a longer, longer timeframes. Brad (19m 4s): Okay. Gosh, I mean, it is nice. Enjoy your youth listeners. If you’re in those different age groups. I remember in my thirties and even my forties, I could just bust out to the youth soccer practice that I was coaching and get right in there and do full sprints and stop and start and make cuts and score the winning goal in the scrimmage. Or if I was coaching high jump and there was a break in the action between groups or whatever, I’d just take a few leaps. Like it was nothing. I even have a video on YouTube: ” Barefoot high jump, five feet” where I was just filming myself to check my form. But I remember this day where I had an opportunity to practice and boy, when you’re a high jumper and you can find some open pits, you got to take advantage of the situation. Brad (19m 46s): Cause you never know when you’re going to get access to a facility, but I’d forgotten my shoes. I was just not prepared for it. And I went out there and said, what the heck I’ll do it anyway. I can’t imagine a high jumping barefoot now because of the load on the foot from taking off. But there I am clearing the, the same height. That was my best height of the year at age 55. Good thing in the Masters Track Rankings that the, the law of attrition is definitely in play. So I think that just being able to bend and approach the bar, and now that I’ve learned stay injury free is probably the huge performance factors in the Masters Track Division is just getting on that track healthy and then seeing what you got. Brad (20m 28s): So I think with the older age groups, the big concession is that you kind of tone down these crazy spontaneous efforts that you’re not well prepared for. And then be more consistent with the, the injury prevention, the rehab. Dr. Kelly Starrett says for all athletes, he recommends taking 15 minutes of every training hour to work on flexibility, mobility, injury prevention, especially the extreme endurance athletes scene with the, the triathletes, the ultra distance runners and the CrossFit people that he served so well that you gotta put that time in. Brad (21m 9s): And you think you can bypass that when you’re young and you’re right, but boy, you’re going to pay the price later. So that’s the big one here is that just putting in that baseline conditioning and not going crazy and not doing stuff that could bring an increased risk of injury. So back to Dave Kobrine, I told you how our emails got this whole show going and he’s age 47 on the Pheno age at age 59. So let’s find out quickly what he’s been doing to keep in shape, go back and listen to the show. It’s one of the early shows on the, on the podcast channel and his incredible morning routine that sets the tone for a healthy, long, active, energetic life. Brad (21m 53s): Yes, it does take quite some time when he describes it, but of course you can pick and choose things that could work for you. But some of my favorite elements of it are the devotion to cold plunging. He’s so big time with that. And he’s the one that got me into it. So he’s still going strong with this chest freezer. And also in the winter time, since he lives in Newport beach, he has the luxury of going out into the Pacific Ocean every morning for a cold plunge seven days a week. But the first thing he does is wake up right around sunrise and just gently jog down the beach for 20 or 30 minutes. And that really sets the tone for not only his fitness, but a nice relaxing day. Brad (22m 33s): And so that’s the starting point. And so many times he’s going to back that up with some impressive workouts in the gym. He works out with weights four days a week, really consistent going 45 to 60 minutes, doing some hard stuff. And this is what enabled him to do an extraordinary feat of endurance on his 59th birthday, where he did the legendary CrossFit workout called the Double Murph. The Murph has one of the template CrossFit workouts. He did it back to back. I guess it’s a special occasion that CrossFit people do maybe once a year in the extraordinary time of an hour and 18 minutes, beating out all an entire group of division one varsity athletes of whom he is related to. Brad (23m 17s): And I don’t want to punish and humiliate these guys too much, but the old time dad kicked ass on the division one varsity athletes who attempted the Murph along with him and put up their time. And so here’s what a Murph is. You run a mile. You do a hundred pull-ups. Of course you need to accumulate those and sets whatever you’re comfortable with. So, you know, if you can do 15 at a time or 20, and then you rest, and then you get up on the bar and do another 20 and the clock is ticking, man. So you better in darn good shape to pull off a hundred. I’m not sure I could do a hundred in a day. I know, wait a second. Yeah, I’ve done a hundred and day, a couple times in my life. I was pretty sore the next day, and that was over a period hours. Brad (23m 57s): But anyway, the clock’s running, you run that mile. You come into the gym, you do a hundred pull-ups and then you commence 200 push-ups after you’re finished with the a hundred pull-ups followed by 300 squats, and then you take off and run the mile again. So it’s one mile, a 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, another mile. And then for the double Murph, you repeat the whole sequence. So you’re going a total of four miles, 600 squats, 400 pushups, and 200 pull-ups. And Dave did all that at age 59 in an hour 18 that’s that’s right up there as impressive as his brothers who are the ultra endurance Kings of the planet, still going strong for so many years. Brad (24m 44s): Brother, Eric ran the Boston marathon, I believe 25 years in a row. And Dr. Steven who’s also been mentioned many times on the podcast. Also did his own solo Boston marathon exercise on the day that the, the Boston marathon people were commuting all over the world to run the 26 miles and boy Dr. Steven in his fifties, same age as me, high school teammate, still putting in a hundred mile weeks on occasion when he has these running vacations. I can’t even imagine it’s phenomenal. And I will have some comments about that because I think as we get older, some of this endurance stuff that is so popular, like the Ironman and the marathon can very easily be misaligned with health and compromise your health when it gets into the chronic nature of the training, which is so common among those enthusiasts. Brad (25m 34s): Now a long time expert like Dr. Steven is very careful to monitor correct heart rates. I really like how, when he has even the slightest minor injury, he will hold off until the injury corrects itself. So he doesn’t go down these, these deep dark holes of overuse injuries that take a long time to recover from. So if his hamstring’s off, he’ll be want to not run for whatever it takes, I think he was out there for six or seven weeks with a bad hamstring injury, but he never tempts it. And so he was my, my guide with my, my knee condition. He said, yeah, wait till, you know, the pain’s gone. And then, and another one or two weeks before resuming with, you know, once the pain’s gone, don’t go right out there just yet make sure, make sure, make sure and be patient. Brad (26m 22s): And that’s how you stack up a really nice, long, healthy career in something that’s as difficult as long distance running as a sport. So, so we’re just finishing up with some of Dave’s comments about his winning health regimen. Extremely into diet, extremely into self quantification and experimenting. We’ve both been fascinated by this recent emergence of the carnivore diet. And Dave did a strict experiment a couple of years back where he went carnivore for 30 days straight and did all the blood testing and was feeling great, lost some body fat that he didn’t know, he even had to lose, but he did have a drop in his serum, testosterone levels, most likely due to the reduced carbohydrate intake, reduce insulin production. Brad (27m 10s): And probably wasn’t a bad thing for him, but it was a little alarming to have your testosterone cut in half. And again, when he’s burning that many calories, doing a heavy weight workout four days a week. Doing sprints one day a week, maybe a little more frequently than that out there on the beach, a great sprint workout. Doing that cardio every single day, also stretching and enjoying the, the cold plunge and the sauna. So very active, healthy guy, certainly not needing desperately to cut the carb intake for any reason, especially body composition, blood work and all that. So he’s not eating any processed food or any gratuitous carbs, but still getting some good intake of vegetables, lots of eggs. Brad (27m 56s): Going really well for the superfoods salmon, sardines, Cod and oyster. Some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Nice grass fed steak from ButcherBox. He got me into that program too, when I was at his house, looking at all this great stuff that was shipped there. Do you want me to unpack it? Yeah, sure. You want me to eat it? Oh sure. And then for that incidental carb intake or that increased carb intake, things like Greek yogurt, blueberries and fresh fruit, of course Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece with 80% or higher dark chocolate and all those foods. I wouldn’t call them high carb foods, but if you put them together, you’re going to get a sufficient amount of carbs. And he’s interestingly been experimenting. Brad (28m 36s): Of course, we’re both listening to Dr. Paul Saladino. Saladino talking about now, how honey is a big part of his diet after his 18 months of completely meat eating only. And Dave’s has been trying to have some extra honey at night and with the, the sleep trackers that he uses, he’s gone from 80% to 84% sleep efficiency. So it’s something that maybe a lot of athletes might want to consider. It’s just making sure that you restock glycogen every day and go easy on your body when you’re working that hard and working the muscles that hard, making sure that you’re getting well-nourished because when we’re in this low carbohydrate intake, low insulin production, eating pattern, one thing that happens is that the appetite is really neutralized. Brad (29m 25s): And so you’re not hungry, but you might still have some rationale to go looking for some calories in supportive peak performance, fast recovery, and increased nutrient density in the diet for someone who has high nutritional as a high performing athlete. So my reflections, I’m going to categorize them, starting with diet and just move right over into that topic. Since we’d been talking about Dave’s diet. And as you know, I’ve been deep into this game for the past 12 years, starting with working on The Primal Blueprint and ditching all grains out of my diet cold turkey at Mark Sisson’s direction. When we started working on the project. And boy, there’s not, you think there’s not further optimization to be had, but I’m always interested in the subject and willing and open to explore new things. Brad (30m 15s): New ideas be open-minded think critically. And I guess the most interesting element to note in recent times is this trend toward an animal-based superfoods diet. The carnivore are nose to tail strategy, but not strictly because of the aforementioned comments about being an athlete. And then in my case, and in Dave’s case also, you know, we’re trying to perform these high intensity workouts and recover and be in the higher age groups. So you have some stress factors that place here, where you’re trying to do crazy stuff that a high school or college varsity athlete might be doing. And so the idea of deliberately restricting carbohydrates, especially in opposition to your appetite is just not happening. Brad (31m 2s): So I’m a carnivore-ish pattern right now, but the amazing, and I think permanent transformations in my dietary habits that I think will stick with me for forever or that really emphasizing the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, in the interest of having the healthiest possible diets. So if you think about however many calories you’re going to eat in a day, and if a lot of those are taken up by the oats and your oatmeal and the pasta on your plate of pasta or the bread, that’s holding your sandwich together, you’re going to reduce the nutrient density of your diet because this grain based diet is by definition. These foods have vastly inferior nutrient profiles to the, the animal-based foods and super foods. Brad (31m 49s): I published something called the Carnivore Scores Chart, and you can see that on Bradkearns.com. You can find it when you subscribe to the firstname.lastname@example.org. And I’d love for you to take a look at that carnivores scores. I’ll make sure that we can do a Google search and you can pull right down that PDF, or just email us if you have trouble finding it, but you can print this out. You can put it on your refrigerator. And it’s basically a ranking system of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Tier one, tier two, and going down, I worked really hard on this with Kate Cretsinger. She is a primal health coach and podcasts guest, and it was her idea. So she was the brain child. She was using this modified version with her clients, and we really took it all the way to the finish line. Brad (32m 34s): We have a whole group of the least offensive plant foods, the ones that have the least toxins, anti nutrient concerns and the most nutrition. And you’ll get a really nice overview of the things you should emphasize. There’s something in the middle of the page called the steak line. So you want to eat foods above the steak line, starting with steak, but rank above steak are things like shellfish, things like organ meats, things like oysters, salmon, eggs, the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, pasture raised eggs. And then below the steak line are things like chicken and pork because the, these meats, especially the way they’re grown and harvested these days, unless you get the very best pasture raise local animals, they’re inferior nutrient profile to red meat. Brad (33m 20s): And so you hear red meat demonized still in mainstream commentary. The average person off the street is saying, yeah, I’m trying to eat healthier in 2021. So I’m, I’m mostly eating chicken and fish and not so much red meat. Oh, congratulations. Well, guess what you got that backwards trip out on that, go and look at the carnivore scores chart. So that’s the big insight I’m going to share with my diet is that trend away from kind of the basic ancestral approach with the vegetables being the main emphasis. And I no longer go looking for produce to eat in the name of health. I haven’t had a salad in almost two years now after getting my mind blown by Ben Greenfield and Dr. Brad (34m 4s): Paul Saladino and that epic original recording, where I really got deep into the carnivore eating strategy and the rationale for putting these plants on the sideline, especially for people who are sensitive with things like autoimmune or inflammatory conditions that are nagging and it won’t resolve with a traditional approach. So not that I’m one of those people, but I just started thinking about it and looking down on that steam broccoli or that huge plate of steamed vegetables that I was famous for stir frying together and serving it to large groups. And boy, to think that you’re not really needing the nutrition in there because you’re getting so much more nutrition from the animal foods and that it quite possibly could be harming you has been the most amazing revelation.. Brad (34m 49s): And I will say that my digestion and elimination patterns have become vastly improved since I switched to a nose to tail carnivore-ish, emphasis of the diet no longer, you know, having complaints, leaky pipes and association with doing long workouts or, or a high intensity workouts, something that I’ve dealt with my whole life and always attributed it to the stress of the workout on my digestive track, especially if it’s running or high impact. But really it was the irritation of these foods that are very difficult to digest. And that’s not really in dispute. Everyone knows this, but it’s all a matter of rolling the dice and seeing how much you suffer from these foods that have been in your diet for your entire life and unknowingly suffer until you eliminate them and do some experimentation. Brad (35m 38s): So no more stir fry, no more salads. Even Sisson, the King of the big ass salad is now admitted on tape in public that he doesn’t really have that as this dietary daily centerpiece anymore. He’s more likely to go consume a steak than a salad trip out on that. Luckily, Primal Kitchen makes wonderful steak sauce has several different flavors. So he’s in line with his brand. Still. The other thing I’ll say on diet before we move on, are these interesting insights I got in my recent podcast interview with Robb Wolf, author of Paleo Solution, wired to eat one of the great leaders in the old timers, the founding fathers of the primal paleo movement. Brad (36m 18s): And he was talking about these ideas that we’ve mentioned previously in talking about Dave, where if you have a good fitness level, good body composition, good blood work, and you want to pursue longevity and enjoying your life. He said, if you want to live a long life, lift more weights and eat more protein. Yeah. How’s that for a, one-liner drop the mic. Well, we will and digging further. Interestingly, when you’re fasting, you’re spiking the same adaptive hormones that spike during a workout. Human growth, hormone, testosterone, cortisol, things that make you feel great while you’re fasting. Brad (37m 1s): But if you’re also training hard and you don’t have a desperate need to reduce excess body fat, cause that’s a whole different conversation, the most sure and direct path to that is to eat less frequently, get rid of processed foods, and get really good at fasting. Right? Cut carb intake is also an integral strategy there. So if that’s not the case, and we’re looking for longevity peak performance, Robb makes an excellent case that maybe the rationale for aggressive fasting is just not there and it could be overkill and unnecessary. And he was really hitting home with me because I’m kind of a crash and burn guy always have been, especially back when I was an athlete and I’d feel great and then I’d feel terrible, then I’d feel great. Brad (37m 44s): And I had a hard time hanging on to the consistent patterns that a lot of my fellow competitors had no problem with doing. So I was kind of a sensitive person to elevated patterns of recurring stress from the hard training. And so if I’m trying to stack fasting for the name of health and doing the workouts, that could be a second guess. And even if I don’t have the appetite and Robb got into this a little bit more on the show, even if you don’t have the appetite, it might be a strategy to wake up and get some good nutrition into your body. Thinking back to the three Tommy Wood shows some of the greatest overall jump in and learn about healthy ancestral living shows you can get. Brad (38m 26s): So if you want to integrate a friend or family member, send them over to those Tommy Wood shows that published on the channel a long time ago, a year and a half, maybe more he, one thing he said that he counsels his athletes is to eat as much healthy food as you possibly can, until you add a pound of fat and then dial it back. And so he wants his athletes eating, getting that good nutrition. And boy, if you overdo it with the fasting and try to pump out those great workouts, it’s a very common condition in the CrossFit community. You can get into the burnout phase and that’s when you start slowing down, you start feeling lousy. Brad (39m 8s): You start to preserve body fat and stripped lean muscle tissue, all these compensatory mechanisms to a routine that’s too stressful. So that’s part one, my reflections on five years, health and fitness protocols, strategies. And we talked a lot about the effects of chronological aging, the necessary adjustments, and then into the diet scene and the transition that I’ve made in recent years. Hope you enjoyed it. But part two is going to be awesome because we’re going to get into exercise. The latest, greatest things like cold plunging, and then some of the mindset and lifestyle attributes that have really worked for me that I’ve really appreciated a lot of this stuff coming from podcast guests. Brad (39m 49s): So hope you listen to part two of this breather. Five-year reflections. Thank you for listening. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please email email@example.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows. 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