This episode is inspired by a recent conversation with an old friend who reached out to me to ask for some tips and insights because of a very relatable issue.
Despite being a lifelong highly accomplished endurance athlete and extreme outdoor person, things went a little off track with the pandemic and some personal life events, leading to drinking a little too much, eating way too many chips and too much butter, etc. This all led to him reaching out to ask: how do I get back on track, and what do you typically eat throughout the course of a single day?
I answer those questions and more in this show as I share why I’m on the “C&C diet” and break down some practical weight loss methods that actually work. I explain why you can’t force your way into healthy eating patterns and talk about my typical approach, which includes tons of dark chocolate and my morning superfuel high protein smoothie. I also talk about my favorite carb sources and the benefits of desiccated organ capsules and reveal why I no longer eat salads or stir frys. Finally, I list the foods you want to minimize if you want to lose weight, as well as the reason why I take creatine every day (and why I think you should too!)
Brad tells an old friend how to get back on track with his fitness. [01:21]
Brad’s main focus on diet is to maximize nutrient dense foods. [03:15]
Many people like time restricted eating where you are fasting for 16 hours and then consuming calories in that 8- hour window. [07:56]
Any deviation from the standard American diet of palatable processed foods is going to be a success. [10:47]
It is very difficult to change your pattern of eating. Set yourself up for success by making good shopping choices. Don’t have the processed foods in your house to tempt you. [13:48]
Brad’s morning diet consists of a smoothie and maybe chocolate. [17:54]
Grass fed beef and pastured eggs are the mainstay. [20:45]
The concept that the cholesterol content of your diet has no correlation to your blood cholesterol levels. [22:41]
Brad eats fewer vegetables now. [26:21]
Chocolate is a big part of Brad’s diet…..only the premium artiaåan well-made chocolate. [30:45]
For overall improvement, after diet comes exercise. Ridding ourselves with excess body fat is a battle. [38:32]
How do we keep belly fat off? [42:07]
When you are training, change your mindset and focus on quality and precision rather than suffering. [46:30]
Move frequently, lift heavy things and sprint. [47:40]
Sleep is very important. If you have to set the alarm to get up, we need to look at your sleep habits. [52:39]
Your bedroom should be cool, dark and clutter-free. [58:45]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Carnivore Scores Rood Ranking
- Brad Kearns’s Morning Routine
- Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga
- Keto Reset Diet
- Dr. Herman Pontzer Podcast (Metabolism)
- Dr. Herman Pontzer Podcast (Energy Expenditure)
- Ancestral Supplements
- Butcher Box
- Luke and Cate Shanhan Podcast
- US Wellness Meats.com
- Shawn Askinosie Podcast (chocolate)
- Cocoa Runners.com
- Lille Belle Farms
- Puna Chocolate
- Dr. Craig Marker Podcast
- HIIT vs. HIRT
- Sign up for Butcher Box and custom design your monthly shipment. I also shop at USWellnessMeats.com. Both are great pricing for grass-fed meat and sustainable fish.
Artisan bean to bar dark chocolate:
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Check out each of these companies because they are absolutely awesome or they wouldn’t occupy this revered space. Seriously, Brad won’t sell out to anyone if he doesn’t love the product. Ask anyone.
- Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece: Mind-blowing, life-changing nut butter blend
- Male Optimization Formula with Organs (MOFO): Optimize testosterone naturally with 100% grassfed animal organ supplement
- Inside Tracker: Ultra-personalized blood, genetic, and fitness data all-in-one online portal
- Primal Blueprint 21-Day Primal Reset: Online multimedia Mastery Course to get healthy and drop fat the right way
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Okay, here we go. With some quick tips to boost your overall health and fitness delay aging, and generally clean up your act inspired by a nice email from an old friend who reached out to me at the tender age of 64, looking for some guidance and some focused tips and insights. And this guy is a lifelong, highly accomplished endurance athlete, extreme outdoorsman, but he had gone a little off track, and what with quarantine and some personal upheaval in life, right. Who can’t relate to all that? So here’s his epic email, a kind of a one-liner. Okay, Brad. Okay. Brad, after seeing you in one of your latest Instagram posts, I’m a believer, can you gimme some quick tips? I wanna turn things around, et cetera, et cetera. I wonder which post it was. Hmm. Was it the fatty popcorn boy getting his six pack back?
Was it me assuming my yoga wheel position on the beach in Hawaii, a component of my morning routine, probably the hardest move who knows, but it doesn’t matter. And I appreciate the inspiration for this podcast and the opportunity to engage on this level. So thank you so much for writing in. So my friend relates that he has been recently going through some really stressful life circumstances leading to Hey, drinking a little bit too much and eating way too many snacks like muffins, chips, and so forth. So back to the quote, Hey, can you help a 64 year old Geezerr with an eating program? But here’s my caveat. For me to be able to adhere to this, to see it through, I can only shop two to three times a week because I live in a rural area. And also, can you share an example of what you eat in a day?
So I can model that. So here’s my new listeners. You gotta reel people in and see if they really are interested and get a little bit of back and forth, get them participating in the exchange rather than slamming them with an excess of information that might intimidate them or might not elicit total buy-in. So I made this mistake several years ago. My friend shockingly reported, another lifelong athlete childhood friend. And, um, he had gone in for one of those routine body scans. Like you see the advertisement on the internet or the newspaper full body scan, $800 check everything. And, so he went and did that and, uh, discovered that he had some major blockages and had like a four way stent operation in his mid fifties coming right off the athletic field. This guy’s a hardcore competitor in numerous sports, tennis, soccer, all kinds of stuff, you name it.
So that was a big shocker to all of us. You know, turned out that he had some lifestyle change in order. So I presented him with a comprehensive, probably 1200 word email, breaking down all the categories and the foods and the exercise programs and his classic,. His reply was like, cool, thanks, exclamation point after a very thoughtful and hours long composition of everything I could throw at him to help him with his life transformation and transition. So I realized, you know, maybe he wasn’t open and receptive to a massive information dump at that time. And maybe there would be a potential at some other time, but I need to work with lively and engaged audience. So since you’re listening to this, I’m going to put you in that wonderful category and continue.
But again, this is a friend I hadn’t heard from in a long time. And so my initial response was really concise. And I said, you know, I’ve had a lot of success making things simple and focused and doable. I’m really into this, uh, animal based strategy of prioritizing the most nutritious foods. I talking to you now listener about my carnivore scores chart. If you haven’t downloaded that, please go to Brad kearns.com, find the link on the homepage and download the free PDF, print it out, put it on your refrigerator. But that’s my main dietary focus is looking to maximize the nutrient density with your food choices. And that gives you that satiety. It helps you effortlessly maintain ideal body composition because you have such dietary satisfaction and you’re crowding out your potential for eating the indulgent foods, the hyper palatable foods that get in the way of a lot of peak performance goals.
So back to my really short response, you know, just the think about emphasizing nutritious foods that are delicious and satisfying and you know, get, get on a program there. And of course we have some exercise objectives I’ve really found my morning routine to be helpful to get me started in the right way, blah, blah, blah. And, and then, that’s it send, um, and the reply came back, uh, asking for more details and making some comments and sharing more personal information. And so, you know, now we’re, now we’re already got a fish on the line we’re in business and we can engage on a real and meaningful level. And I’m mentioning these details because again, I’ve made the mistake of being an overly enthusiastic health promoter blabbing on at whatever it is, a, a social gathering and maybe the person’s just being polite and they’re not really interested.
So I’m trying to hold my cards close to the pocket. Um, in the old days I used to talk to people on airplanes and now I’m mostly sleeping whenever I get that chance on an airplane. But you know, it’s that great example of when you’re sitting there in a seat for, uh, a one hour to five hours with a stranger and you can kind of get a feel for whether they want to hear your life story or not and all that kind of thing. Right? So, now we’re into the mix. I told him about the carnivore scores chart, and I also mentioned how, you know, that opening line of being simple and focused and doable that I’ve kind of narrowed my food choices in recent times just to pursue that goal. And so I’m not looking for this incredible dietary indulgence and variety every single day.
My favorite meals are steak and eggs. I have have my morning smoothie, which I’ll describe in further detail as time goes on, especially when my protein product comes to market, but I’m pretty much a pattern guy. And I feel like that does contribute to success, especially today when the majority of people, even health enthusiasts are walking around admitting that they’re caring a little too much excess body fat. And that’s because of our incredible opportunity for nonstop indulgence and variety and snacking and easy access. So if you can put any sort of restrictions in guidelines into place such as on the fatty popcorn boy saga pot cast, I talked about just making really an arbitrary or a random rule that I wasn’t going to consume any calories before 12 noon. And a lot of people do that. The 16 dash eight eating pattern is very popular.
The time restricted eating, where you’re fasting every day for 16 hours, and then your calories are consumed within an eight hour window, for example, 12 noon to 8:00 PM. So I stuck that in there. I don’t adhere to it now, but at the time when I needed to drop 10 pounds of excess body fat, that was a very helpful strategy just to keep me from complete indulgence and lack of restriction. And then experimenting with, for example, keto when I did that years ago. And that was during the research and writing of The Keto Reset Diet with Mark Sisson ,published in October, 2017 and still a best seller. Oh yeah. Cause it was one of the early books about keto. It was great. It was comprehensive. It’s still a fantastic read and it was a wonderful experience to go deep into that journey of ketogenic diet where you’re restricting your carbohydrates sufficiently to prompt, uh, the production of keto tones in the liver.
And as we’ve taken great pain is to explain this is not intended as a lifelong permanent strategy, unless that’s something that’s extremely effective for you. And a lot of people are showing that strict keto has been a, a godsend help them recover from metabolic damage, but for active athletic folks that have a good blood work and good body fat, we more consider it more, Mark and I consider it a tool, a strategy to use to have at your disposal for a short term experience, especially if you’re trying to, uh, enhance your fat metabolism, maybe drop a few pounds of excess body fat, but when you’re doing something like that, you’re automatically setting yourself up for success because of the restrictive nature of the diet that is also true for someone who’s dropping everything and deciding to go vegan. They’re probably going to feel fantastic for a certain period of time because their diet is cleaned up.
And hopefully they’re choosing the nutritious foods of the plant community rather than a grain-based snack based processed foods base vegan experience, but any departure from the complete unrestricted indulgent nature of the standard Western eating patterns with all those hyper palatable processed foods is going to be a huge success. And then when we get further down the road, we want to optimize for our personal factors and distinctive needs. And that’s where I’m gonna be a strong advocate for things like the diet that emphasizes the most nutrient dense foods. You could call it an animal based diet like Dr. Paul Saladino discusses. I half joke that when I lost my 10 pounds of fat and got back to my triathlon racing weight from decades ago over the past year that I was following the C and C diet, which stands for carnivore ish and chocolate, because I love dark chocolate.
I become quite a connoisseur. I eat the finest brands in the world, searching the globe for the finest, be to bar artisan chocolate. And I will enjoy squares of those whenever I want, which might be even in the morning hours instead of fasting in a regimented manner until 12 noon. So they might replace a meal if I’m busy and running around, or not inclined to prepare a second or third meal of the day, but just having kind of that, um, uh, focused nature of my eating pattern, I think will be successful for just about everybody, especially if you’re emphasizing nutritious foods that you really enjoy and can adhere to remember my podcast guest, Dr. Herman Pontzer proclaiming that pretty much, this is quote pretty much any diet is a gimmick and him going back to his life’s work in caloric expenditure among primates, not just humans, but other animals and how our daily calorie expenditure is largely constrained by homo sapiens genetic particular.
So, uh, the amount of exercise we do an assortment of adjustments and compensations occur such that we burn around the same number of calories every day, whether we exercise or not. You can go and listen to those two fascinating interviews I did with him, including the second show where I played devil’s advocate and said, Hey man, come on. What about the tour de France guys? We know they’re burning a massive amount of calories every day. They’re all lean and mean. And he explained all the adjustment factors and considerations that, uh, validate the idea that exercise, exercise calories burned, don’t meaningfully contribute to your fat reduction goals in the way that we think so, okay. So he said the best diet is one that’s, uh, nourishing and psychologically pleasing that you enjoy enough to stick to. And that’s pretty much the essence of it, that provides the right number of calories to help you maintain optimal body composition.
So back to my tongue in cheek C and C diet, Hey, maybe there’s something to it. Maybe I’ll write my next book and title it that because it has been extremely effective for me and continues to be so. Okay. So with further interest, I am continuing with my suggestions to my friend and asserting that you kind of have to force your way into healthy eating patterns. You cannot do it with an epic amount of willpower and monk-like focus because it’s too difficult to override those profound physiological and psychological reactions to eating processed, rewarding and an indulgent foods, uh, the dopamine receptors in your brain that light up when you consume, uh, sugar and processed carbohydrates will go looking for those chips and direct you right toward the chip aisle, even when you’ve sworn and written on sticky notes that you wanna stay away from this stuff.
So you have to put rules and restrictions into place, and then default and land in a pattern of healthy eating, for example, because you don’t allow those things in your home. So what I suggest is if you orchestrate these really healthy, nutritious meals and enjoy your meal times tremendously, then you’re going to have that expectation that the chips and the muffins and the extra drinking calories will magically fade into the background because you are so satisfied and enjoy your nutritious diet so much. So the first objective course is to not have that stuff in your house, establish some rules and guidelines and restrictions for shopping, and then perhaps, especially for an active person have a nice big breakfast with six eggs and a full avocado, and some steaks, some ground beef. I like to make everything and wrap it up in corn tortillas, fried corn tortilla..
So they’re just slightly crispy and starting your day taking the initiative. I’m giving that suggestion, especially to active people where a really nutritious breakfast can set the tone for a nice energy stable day and avoiding the snack foods and the indulgent foods that might leak their way into the picture. Especially if you are trying too hard to prolong your fasting periods and use willpower and use the intense focus Dr. Ron Sinha on a recent show, talked about this, where a lot of his patients, his highly motivated type a Silicon valley folks will overdo fasting to the extent that they get undernourished and people going for the popular strategy of one meal a day will sure enough, make it all the way to the early dinner, but then they’ll go and eat indiscriminately because they’re self congratulating for lasting so long without eating, but it doesn’t really kind of defeats the purpose if you’re waiting till that one meal a day, and then you’re going out and, you know, going out and getting a bunch of fried chicken wings and pizza, and what have you.
So I say the same for dinner, having these rich delicious nutrient dents, delicious dinners. I also so mention that I treat myself to dark chocolate. It’s the very best quality chocolate that I can find usually in the 80 to 90% range and enjoy the heck out of every single square. So to summarize my approach, this is going back to the written email and, and helping you get focused on all the comments I’ve made so far. Setting yourself up for success with great shopping choices, great meal choices. And then, he asked me for my typical daily eating and detail. And so here it goes tons of dark chocolate. If you wanna lose weight, you have to eat less food. Remember that’s his goal starting outta the gate is to drop some excess body fat.
So if you have a square of dark chocolate or two or four in the morning, instead of sitting down to a meal, Hey, that strategy has worked for me. I’ve also been making this wonderful, super fuel high protein morning smoothie, where I in frozen raw liver chunks. I throw in raw eggs. I throw in an assortment of powders, some very high quality weight, protein isolate. I dump everything in there. I dump all my organ supplements in there. So, you know, you’re talking about 20 pills going in there, much easier to adhere to the program and, and, and swallow all those, rather than trying to remember to open up all the bottles every single day. And this smoothie besides being a, sort of a medicine for the athlete, right. I’m getting all these different powders and specialized supplements that I need.
It also happens to fill me up pretty much all day, and I feel great until it comes to be around dinnertime. And I’ve only started this over the past year. And I’m super excited about it. I think it’s a real winning ticket, not only for the overpowering goal of trying to drop excess body fat, but also to recover optimally for workouts and also to nourish yourself successfully. Everyone talks about how important it is to have liver in your diet and the other true super foods of the planet, the pastured eggs, but sometimes we will, you know, miss out on meal preparation, uh, of the ideal foods. So now you just throw it in the smoothie and it’s very convenient. It’s time efficient. And, there’s things like creatine. Now, the research is mounting that especially aging active folks, aging athletes, uh, will have tremendous benefit from upping their intake from what you get, even from, uh, the healthiest and most strategic diet.
So creatine we’ve long been told to take five grams a day. Ben Greenfield just mentioned research that now it okay, or recommended to take up to 10 grams a day of creatine. And yes, you’re going to get creatine from animal foods, especially steak, uh, but not to that extent unless you’re having, you know, three steaks every day. And that kind of thing. Same goes for some of the other specialized supplements. I’m such a big fan of Ancestral Supplements and my, formulation, which is designed for male hormone testosterone optimization, but it’s a compilation of testicles, prostate, heart liver, and bone marrow. And these are things that are not typically on the menu. And so if you can go to the desiccated organ capsules, you will up your organ game without having to go to the unfamiliar section of the butcher shop and be buying these things and cooking up your kidney, heart, bone marrow, and all the things that they offer in a bottle.
So, if you go to my website, Brad, kearns.com and click on the MOFO link, you’ll learn all about the male optimization formula with organs. So again, back to my winning formula here, we got the dark chocolate, the very best quality. We got the morning, super fuel high protein smoothie. That’s a new addition to the program. And then I’m a big fan of Butcher Box. There’s a discount special offer. You can see on my recommended products page on the website. But, oh my gosh, they have the highest quality animal foods from heritage breed pork, pasture raised fowl, and grass fed all kinds of steak and beef. And I customize my box. It arrives on my doorstep every month, frozen good quality, very affordable compared to going over to the market and getting sticker shock when you’re trying to buy a grass fed steak.
And it also keeps me focused, cuz I have this commitment of the box arriving every month. But again, you can tweak your, anytime you want to speed up an order or delay it a week or two, and these guys are so popular for this reason. I think you’re gonna love it. So check out Butcher Box, check out my special offer. If you get something free, added to your box, forever for the life of your account. And I think my freebie is ground beef. So I get this wonderful grass fed ground beef every time my order comes because I took advantage of an early promo. And so my meals will be centered on working through that Butcher Box shipment every month. I also eat a ton of eggs. You can’t eat too many eggs. Oh my gosh. If you’re still in that mindset that eggs are a concern for your cholesterol and for your heart disease risk, this information is now 30, 40 years backdated flawed and never accurate in the first place.
And I encourage you to expand your consciousness and realize that eggs are the original life force essential for food of the planet. Humans have been eating them for two and a half million years. And, all kinds of research has validated the quick takeaway concept that the cholesterol content of your diet has no correlation to your blood cholesterol levels. And so this idea that egg whites are still on the menu, I remember a recent restaurant where they called it, the triathlete omelet made with egg whites. In other words, associating triathlon and egg whites and removing the yolks, associating those two things with health. When in fact, in many cases, triathlon is not associated with health and egg whites are certainly not correlated with health in the manner that egg yolks are. And in fact, with my smoothie, I will oftentimes, break just the, uh, the yolks in there.
So I’ll have like five egg yolks or maybe a couple full eggs and, and just load up on the eggs because that’s where the true nutrient density comes from. The egg, whites are pure protein. It’s a pretty high quality source of protein, but it’s nothing like the yolk with the, the choline and the vitamins, a C E K, oh my gosh. Just the, uh, centerpiece of nutrient density, vastly superior to any thing in the plant kingdom, uh, it should be pointed out. Okay. So my meals are emphasizing the animal based strategy as found in Butcher Box. If I’m dining out, I’m mostly trying to find stuff that I can’t replicate at home. So I’m not inclined to go order a steak at a restaurant because I can do a much better job cook a bigger steak at home, less expensive not using the refined industrial seed oils, which are often used for restaurant meals.
So even that wonderful, expensive steak at the high end restaurant, generally speaking,, are using these oils in the kitchen. And it’s, it’s really a disaster. It’s a huge concern. And maybe in 5, 10, or 20 years, everything will correct. And everyone will be woke as far as the stuff to avoid in diet, but it takes a long time for culture and society to change. My son was recently working in a very, very high end restaurant to the tune of a hundred dollars steaks. Okay. So we’re talking big time and yeah, present even in that kitchen was an inexpensive cheap jug of likely highly oxidized and aged blend of vegetable oil. Sometimes they will mention olive oil at a restaurant and you’ll find out that it’s a olive oil blend, just like Paul Newman’s salad dressing that I assume for many years, remember it’s called olive oil and red wine vinegar.
It’s a great tasting salad dressing. And, it took me a while to, uh, examine the label. Uh, I assumed it was an olive oil dressing and you read that label that, that tragic misrepresentation of marketing and shame on Paul Newman for putting his face on something like that. But it, the ingredients are olive oil and then vegetable oil blend of canola and or cotton seed. And I’m like, holy crap, they can’t even specify the oil because it’s like whatever’s available and cheap at the warehouse dock that month to go ship and make some more, uh, uh, salad dressing that is directly associated with heart disease, cancer, and loss of hundreds of thousands of lives every year due to the presence of these highly toxic high refined industrial seed oils still remaining in the human diet. Dr.
My friend, Dr. Cate Shanahan, one of the world’s leading anti-oil crusaders. And you can hear, a podcast content on that, on my channel, and also on YouTube, where I have a short interview of about 15 minutes with Cate and Luke Shanahan detailing, how the restaurants are still using this crap on their a hundred dollars steaks. And of course the fast food and the processed food is laden with these refined industrial seed oils, but you gotta be careful when you’re dining out. And so I’m going out and looking for things like sushi. That’s hard to replicate at home, some Thai food and trying to be very diligent with my food choices. Interestingly, since my exposure to the carnivore movement back in 2019, I’ve pretty much eliminated vegetables, especially the vegetables that have high levels of plant toxicity, including the highly regarded leafy greens and those kind of categories, tomatoes, onions, and other vegetables that were previously a centerpiece of my diet.
So basically since May of 2019, that’s almost three years ago now, I have not eaten a salad, and nor have I, opened up a big bag of greens and stir fried them, which I used to do routinely, pretty much every night as a meal centerpiece. And that was, you know, a pretty big slap in the face to these lifelong assumptions that these vegetables were universally regarded as healthy with no downsides and, presented as dietary centerpieces for the human. This is a lot of modern marketing and cultural forces, uh, touting a plant-based diet as healthier, more sustainable, more eco-friendly than going and eating your red meat, which has been demonized for so long. And it’s wonderful to see this stuff, getting unwound successfully by the leaders. And, um, I, I don’t want to, you know, get pigeonholed into recommending this, uh, strict and highly distinct diet, but it’s great to open your mind and realize that, um, not only do you, uh, not need vegetables to be a healthy person, they might possibly be harming a certain percentage of the population that has sensitivity to the plant toxins.
And so when I’m sitting there looking at my salad in the aftermath of listening to Saladino and Ben Greenfield get deep into it in may of 2019, I realized, you know, yeah, it feels good to crunch on some, some crunchy raw vegetables. But I also had a fair amount of gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort in association with eating, especially raw vegetables but also the cook vegetables from those categories of high plant toxicity. So I’ve transitioned over into the least offensive plant foods that still have great nutrient density. And these would be things like the starchy vegetables, the underground grown in the ground, vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash. I even consume popcorn is one of my indulgences, especially if I’m in the aftermath of hard workouts where my caloric intake naturally increases, including my carbohydrate intake.
So, I I’ve reigned that in a bit, especially if I’m trying to lose body fat as described in the popcorn show. But it’s been an interesting transition over to, uh, enjoying more fruit, more of the least defensive carbohydrates and, uh, staying away from some of the stuff that indeed has a lot of nutritional properties, nutritional benefits, you know, your raw kale smoothie, uh, filled with celery and beets and carrots and kale that I used to drink on a regular basis is also filled with high levels of plant toxins. So, going for the nutrient superstars as represented on our carnivore scores chart. So I promoted Butcher Box. I have that discount. I also up at US Wellness, Meat.com. They have great selection of animal organs, especially liver from different animals. They have heart, they have kidney that I’ve ordered from them, uh, great shipping, and they also have liverwurst and Braunschweiger which are in these tubes where you just slice it up, pan fry it, and it’s a delicious way to integrate more organs, especially liver into your diet.
And it doesn’t have that strong taste of liver that is a turnoff to some people. So I will chow on that like crazy. And then when I go to the supermarket, I’ll get the very best pasture raised eggs I can find. I have a fair amount of, uh, full fat at yogurt and sweet potatoes. I’m especially fond of the purple sweet potatoes that I first discovered in Hawaii, uh, purple on the outside and the inside as distinguished from the ones that are purple on the outside in yellow, on the inside. But those purple sweet potatoes, I believe they’re really high in fiber because they’re more dense than the orange ones that are more popular or the yellow ones. And then since I’ve talked about chocolate so much I’m gonna give some of my favorite websites.
We had that great show with Shawn Askinosie, the founder proprietor of Askinosie Chocolate in St. Louis. And he makes some of the chocolate in the world. And I especially love during his show where he talked about the importance of sourcing, a premium bean to bar artisan dark chocolate, where they have designations like fair trade and bean to bar such that the manufacturer knows the origin of their cocoa beans, and the farmer was fairly treated and fairly compensated. So that’s the fair trade designation on the label or the bean to bar designation. And he talked about that price point. We’re so familiar with going to the store, even a health food store, like Whole Foods Market will have an assortment of dark chocolate selections. Some of ’em with very eco, earthy, evolved labeling and names. And this stuff comes from the chocolate machine, the mainstream machine, which is, in many cases, sourcing the beans from countries in Africa with poorly regulated working conditions
And, Shawn went so far as to say, if you’re buying a chocolate bar, a three ounce chocolate bar for three bucks or four bucks, you can be assured that you are supporting child slave labor in Africa. Holy crap. If that’s not gonna set you straight, what is, and interestingly, that dynamic also probably holds for a variety of other food categories, like wine and, and so forth. But when I’m looking for my dark chocolate, I am absolutely looking to pay a premium price to make sure that farmer was fairly compensated. So you can learn more information at askinosie.com. Some of my other favorites are Cocoa runners.com. That is a distributorship located in the United Kingdom. And they have probably 50 different types of artisan bean to bar dark chocolate at 80% or higher sourced from around the world. So I’m picking and choosing and trying new stuff all the time.
My favorite from them is Pump Street. That’s an 85% dark chocolate bar with the beans source from Ecuador and made on Pump Street in some city in the United Kingdom used to be a bread factory. They took it over, started making chocolate. Oh my gosh. It’s absolutely fabulous. I found it at a retail location, only it once. And that’s it the wonderful Erewhon store in Los Angeles, California. So, Hey, if you’re in LA, make a pilgrimage to Erewhon. They got great stuff, including the best selection of artisan bean to bar dark chocolate I’ve ever seen at a store. And just to slam Whole Foods a little bit, their entire selection of chocolate at numerous stores that I’ve visited that did do not adhere to these ideals. And so you’re looking at much less expensive bars, and you’re looking at the ingredient list and you’re seeing commodity ingredients like chocolate, chocolate liqueur, dark chocolate as the lead ingredient, rather than the necessity of seeing, cacao beans as the lead ingredient, which implies that the manufacturer of that bar roasted the beans, they found the origin, the beans were shipped in a gunny sack to their factory, and they did the roasting and the coning and the processing themselves, knowing where the beans came from.
And in contrast what the chocolate machine is doing, the big manufacturing and, and distributing, they are taking all the beans, uh, harvesting with much less quality control and discrimination. And so they’re getting all these beans, even the rotten ones and roasting the heck out of them, burning them essentially to kill, the unpleasant taste of perhaps a rotten be, and then dumping a bunch of sugar, especially when we’re talking about chocolate bars below the 70, 80% cacao content. You’re throwing a bunch of sugar in there. So you can’t taste much of what possibly is an inferior quality of cacao bean. So as we continue with my plug for the very best dark chocolate visit cocoa runners.com, try a few, they have a, a sort function where you can put in 80 to a hundred percent cacao level.
And then, you know, look at your choices, Askinosie.com. You must try his 88% dark. And also the peppermint bar, dark peppermint, absolutely delicious. And then there’s a bunch with flavorings like the orange and the peanut butter. So you’ll have fun there. I also love Lille Belle farms in Central Point, Oregon near Medford. So that’s a great website and their 80% dark star bar is one of the best I’ve ever had. Had a great visit to Hawaii in recent months, two different islands, two different trips and discovered Puna Chocolate on the big island. So the beans are grown right there on the big island of Hawaii, and they have a fantastic 90% bar. And then I discovered a very small farm with these gentleman and gentle woman farmers retired couple from Utah, and they started this wonderful farm on the island of Kauai called Houlau chocolate, H O U L A U.
And they don’t have, they’re not open for business, due to the quarantine. They used to have tours. And so I found this lady tracked her down and we met at roadside for an actual drug deal where we exchanged cash for chocolate. It was super fun. And, this is one of the best bars I’ve tasted. They have an incredible 70% bar with this amazing fruity taste. And you’re talking about going straight to the farmer. They started this thing out as a dream, started growing the beans. It takes many years to harvest. They built to facility at great effort and took a long time to actually roast and process the chocolate right there. So that is, that is getting deep into the ambition to have a real bean to bar small farmer experience. Okay. And guess what these bars were two ounces and they cost $10 per bar.
So that’s $5 an ounce. That’s on the very high side, but oh my gosh, what a pleasure to exchange funds with this lady who’s smiling and hoping I’m gonna love her chocolate. And that’s a big difference from supporting the machine and child slave labor in Africa. I hope you can take this message to heart and change your, consumption habits. Cause that’s the only way to change things. So again, I mentioned looking for cacao beans as the first ingredient on the label and perhaps a bean to bar designation or a fair trade designation is also nice. The commodity ingredients are things like cocoa mass, cocoa butter, chocolate, chocolate liqueur. So stay away from that stuff, forget it, and complain to your local Whole Foods branch that they need to get some better choices in there. Okay.
I think that’s a good amount of chocolate discussion and Whole Foods bashing, except I also take them to task for having canola oil all over the store in a variety of ingredients they’re selling as well as in the foods in the hot bar. Absolutely disgraceful can’t believe it. But we’re still trying to help my, for end here and all of you listening with some turnarounds with the dietary strategy and then into exercise and sleep and stress management. But we have to get those hyper palatable, highly processed foods out of the diet, the big three of refined grains, sugars, and seed oils, and then create these opportunity to succeed by preparing these wonderful nutrient dense meals that you enjoy. That’s why we got off on the chocolate tangent and the carnivore scores chart. And you’re all set up for success with the C and C style or whatever works for you if you want to tweak that a little bit.
So then I ran down my typical day of lots of chocolate, the morning, super fuel high protein smoothie, and the evening centered upon the nutrient dense animal product, especially Butcher Box and US Wellness Meats.com. I gave you the numerous websites to check out some artisan dark chocolate, and now we’re going to land on the exercise topic. And so here, my friend talked about wanting to lose some of that extra belly fat, which is such a prominent complaint, especially as males, age and females starting to accumulate, the type of fat in the midsection called visceral fat. We’ve talked about it on numerous shows. It has a bunch of adverse health consequences. And so it really is the quintessential battle against the aging process is you want to keep this visceral fat off your body. You want to prevent the accumulation of visceral belly fat as you age because if you start to add a bit of visceral fat, it is actually considered technically its own organ because it secretes, uh, inflammatory substances into the bloodstream they’re called inflammatory cytokines.
And so this visceral fat is making bad stuff, dumping it into your bloodstream, and it needs to a variety of adverse health consequences. One of ’em is called aromatization, and that is where you convert testosterone into estrogen, due to a state of systemic inflammation in the body. And so you have whatever testosterone you’re making at whatever age, you’re trying your hardest to hang on to your your masculinity, your male virality. And so if you’re 40 or you’re 50 or whatever, you are working with what you got. And then if you are in an inflammatory state as evidenced by the accumulation of belly fat, you’re going to convert that testosterone into estrogen. People who take supplemental testosterone in the presence of an unhealthy physique and unhealthy lifestyle practices are washing that effort down the drain because that supplemental testosterone, it might give him a initial boost for a while, and then in a unhealthy body, the extra testosterone is going to be aromatized into estrogen.
That’s where you get the accumulation of breast tissue in the man. There’s all kinds of funny nickname for that man cans, bitch tits, all those kind of things, and none of it’s any good. And it’s an indication of an excess of estrogen perhaps driven by trying to take supplemental testosterone. Okay. So how do we keep the belly fat off? Of course you have a well formulated exercise program and especially getting rid of the toxic foods from your diet. And so, uh, to summarize the importance of this here, if you can stay lean and strong and keep that muscle mass and minimize eliminate that visceral fat that means you are gonna be able to see your abdominals, preserve your testosterone, prevent the accumulation of a spare tire. And if you let things go a little bit, spare tire leads to inflammation, leads to aromatization leads to accelerated aging and the accumulation of a further spare tire.
Okay. So that’s a bad deal. So my friend mentioned in his email that he wants to see his abs again, not for you know, not the, not the, um, compelling purpose of his life, but the introduction of what we call extrinsic goals that would be looking good, you know, to show off your six pack, and become a sensation on social media accordingly. That’s fine. Mark Sisson has long touted the fitness goal of LGN that stands for looking good naked, and the psychologists confirm that these extrinsic goals can be very powerful, beneficial, but the combining of intrinsic and extrinsic goals is where you get the most value and the most long lasting success with all manner of goals, including, you know, let’s say, financial goals or what have you and other realms.
And so the intrinsic goal is you’re doing things because you, you love it. You’re answering to a higher purpose. You’re part of a bigger, you’re part of a community when you’re on a team or what have you. And, um, you want to find an elegant way to combine those. So, my friend wants to see his abs again, but also to realize that if you can reveal your abs, all kinds of great things are going on in your body, and you’re preserving your testosterone and you’re delaying the aging process. So both of those can go hand in hand. Let’s see. I have a personal reference point in this area because I really, really want to look good as I’m going over the high jump bar, get it? They go hand in hand. So if I have the extrinsic goal of looking good and showing a six pack and, and low body fat and being lean and mean, it’s driven by this intense deep purpose and satisfaction and passion that I have for excelling in the event of high jump, which I reminded you, from my coach, Victor, when we first met and he asked me if I was going to reduce my body fat two minutes after meeting me.
I’m like, I guess so coach, because it is so important when you’re getting up and off the ground. So that’s my driving reason to keep my body fat low is because I can fly over the bar much better. Okay. So try to design that winning formula yourself. Set up some nice extrinsic goals, but develop a really clear purpose and a passion for the process, regardless of this and the end results and deemphasizing the end results and letting, letting them happen as a natural consequence of a compelling purpose to be athletic, to be fit, to be healthy, to reveal your AB again, so that you can age appropriately rather than in an accelerated manner. Another point of discussion here, especially directed to someone who has been a lifelong endurance athlete, is that I’m urging my friend to discard this endurance athlete struggle and suffer mentality forever and ever, because especially those that got deep into the extreme pursuit of these endurance goals, we did not do right by our health.
The training patterns of an iron man triathlete are, do not go hand in hand with health or good immune function function, or good hormonal status because they’re chronically stressful. So what we wanna do when we’re performing these appropriate workouts, especially the high intensity workouts is to change the mindset and focus on quality and precision execution and excellent, unique, and explosiveness and power rather than struggling and suffering through a workout with declining performance declining technique and ending up depleted and exhausted. So the proper way to inject high intensity exercise into your training schedule is during short workouts that are relatively short in duration and explosive and energizing instead of exhausting. I had that great show with my friend, Dr. Craig Marker, talking about his transformative article titled HIIT versus HIRT. And that is recalibrating this popular concept of high intensity interval training into a more appropriate and beneficial and less risky high intensity repeat training.
So these exhaustive prolonged workouts where you’re sprinting again and again, during spinning class and getting really tired and dream of a hot fudge sundae at the end, that has been shown to disrupt healthy hormone status and lead to overeating burnout, fatigue, suppressed immune function, as opposed to going out there and performing like a real athlete and curtailing workouts. When you notice even the slightest degradation in your technique or the accumulation of fatigue or something wrong, like a little twinge in your muscle, tightness in your lower back, that’s not what appropriate high intensity training is all about. So it goes back to the primal blueprint fitness approach that we’ve been talking about since back in 2008, where we on honor the patterns of our hunter gatherer ancestors, and engage in frequent everyday low level, low intensity movement, regular resistance exercise, Mark Sisson calls it, lift heavy things.
And finally the occasional brief all out sprint session to trigger those maximum awesome hormonal benefits of the appropriate stimulation of the fight or flight response with a, a true all out effort that then delivers an awesome hormonal response and fitness adaptation. So if you get competent at sprinting you by definition, or by default, get competent and superior at all lower levels of exercise intensity. So we’re talking about walking around, moving around a lot, doing an appropriately paced aerobic workout, where you’re keeping your heart rate in that zone of 180 minus your age in beats per minute, or below. And then with the strength training, we want to get in there and a hoist heavy weight that might be doing body weight exercises that might be actually pumping iron. It might be working with machines which are safer, and it might be doing the very popular now, um, resistance band exercises, such as the X three bar that I talk about, or the stretch cords, less expensive, simpler version of just pulling on resistance tube and gaining an appropriate, uh, muscle stimulation there to promote strength.
And, that is, you know, something that’s simple for everyone to do because it’s not time consuming. The sprinting is not time consuming and the strength training can be performed even in a pattern of microworks that interrupt these periods of inactivity, which are so unhealthy during the day. And you can mix these in and have a tremendous cumulative effect on your fitness by just getting into a habit of dropping for a set of 20 deep squats during the work day. That probably takes one minute. And it’s a great workout, especially when you add it up. And we talk a year later that you’re that type of person that will pull the stretch cords when you walk by that door or, lift a kettlebell and do a few swings and all the examples that I’ve used on my shows about micro workouts.
So, I’m writing to inform my friend that what’s really worked for me is this morning exercise routine that I talk so much about because I’m covering my bases every single day and turning it into a wonderful habit that frames my behavior for the rest of the day and elevates the fitness platform from which I launch all formal workouts. I’m a huge fan of micro workouts because it helps you fly under the radar and avoid those risks of overdoing it. As I described with this exhaustion, fatigue, burnout, degradation of technique that happened during these prolonged workouts. So you get those micro workouts going and you can get strong and fit and explosive without the risks or the time consuming nature, and the complexity of doing a formal strength training session, and then getting out there and getting competent and sprinting is one of the most compelling lifestyle goals that you can have to be fit and active.
And age gracefully is to do some brief explosive all out once in a while. Obviously weight-bearing sprints are the best because they help build bone density and they send a powerful genetic signal to reduce excess body fat because the penalty for carrying excess body fat along on a high impact weight-bearing activity is tremendous. Now, if you don’t have the competency or you need to ramp up to be able to one day run sprints on flat ground, you can do low or no impact sprinting such as on the exercise bicycle or other cardio equipment, or working up to perhaps running sprints up hills, which is much less impact than going on flat ground, and then steady, steady progressing to that wonderful goal of being able to get a basic level of competency, you know, going fast for just, uh, five seconds, 10 seconds, nothing, nothing terribly strenuous, but moving at an explosive rate.
Okay. Then if you are into that cardio scene and becoming an enthusiast of group exercise or group training, running on the road, entering the events, make sure that the vast majority of your steady state cardiovascular exercise is at these aerobic heart rates of 180 minus your age in beats per minute below. And just to finish up, we should have a little plug towards sleep here. We arguably could be the very first thing to talk about when someone’s emailing me, asking me for advice, how to turn around their life. But, everything flows downstream from establishing a foundation of excellent sleeping habits. And so, oh my gosh. I mean, the widespread effects of sleep on your appetite, your satiety hormones, the ability to, uh, repair cellular damage after workouts control inflammation, all this stuff, and if you don’t get a sufficient sleep, you’re going to become, or turn into a tired, hungry, overeating, high cortisol, high stress production, fat storing organism.
It’s as simple as that. So, the idea of like toughing it out and glorifying, which is I’ve often seen, especially when you see the pairing of setting an alarm to go do a workout in the morning. That really doesn’t make good sense from a body composition standpoint, a stress management standpoint or a recovery standpoint. So if you’re having to set your alarm, to get up and blast a workout before your busy day comes up, I strongly recommend, uh, rewinding the tape and looking at your evening habits. Cause I feel like all of us have a lot more free time and flexibility and loose hours in the evening where we’re tired after a busy day, and we decide to indulge in screen entertainment or whatever we’re doing. But we could possibly have some potential there to turn back the bedtime on little a bit in order to wake up in the morning, feeling naturally refreshed and energized without needing an alarm or with needing a soft alarm like the bird’s chirping on your phone or the, the raindrops falling at an escalated rate or all the cool stuff they have now to wake up gracefully.
But if you’re having to slam yourself outta bed, that’s gonna be an unsustainable strategy that could very well compromise your adherence to long term goals. It’s also interesting to understand, uh, the variation in sleep needs, cuz I’m often wondering, am I just being a woos here that I need at nine hours in the winter and eight hours in the summer? It seems like a lot in so many people get by with much better than me. Um, Ben Greenfield just cited some research that, um, almost all of us fall into this optimal sleep window of six to nine hours. And people who are sleeping more than that often correlated with increased mortality risk and uh, disease and poor health. Of course you can understand that people can’t get outta bed. They can at all kinds of weird stuff going on, prescription medications, abusive lifestyle practices.
Okay. But six to nine hours is a huge range. And very few people in fact can thrive on six hours of sleep. There’s a lot of talk about these genetic markers for the light sleepers and Dr. Matthew Walker contends that it’s 1% or thereabouts of the population can really do well on that. But probably 10 or 15 or 20% of people think that they’re in that category where they can do just fine with six hours, but it’s not really true. I was so comforted to learn from my podcast guest and good friend, Mark Allen, the greatest triathlete of all time, ESPN named him the athlete of the century for his amazing exploits dominating triathlon for so many years. And he says that he needs nine to 10 hours of sleep every night. And I’m like, oh my gosh, if Mark Allen can do that, then and I’m gonna feel validated when I’m getting that extra sleep.
Okay. So a quick, quick summary of everything. We want to clean out the pantry and ditch those big three toxic modern foods, especially, the wheat and the sugar and the addictive properties that they have and the extremely health destructive refined industrial seed oils that inflict immediate damage on the cellular level when you ingest them. Then as we’re, as we’re cleaning out our pantry and setting ourselves up to win, we wanna surround yourself with success factors. So that means wonderful mealtime habits and also eating these nutrient dense meals that you enjoy and that you feel like you can and stick to and have no problem, you know, existing with these meal choices rather than feeling deprived and dreaming and wishing that you could go back to the pizza place and stuff your face. And so that’s when I talked at length about my, my, my chocolate fascination and the way that I’ve designed this, uh, kind of narrowly a focused diet where I’m just locked into my favorite stuff and eating it and enjoying it.
Then we go to exercise and we want to get this whole scene dialed. First and foremost, avoiding those overly stressful chronic patterns that many exercise enthusiasts engage in, especially those with that endurance mentality, that I’m directing this to my friend that started the whole conversation is you gotta put that aside and just take good care of yourself and exercise appropriately rather than in an overly stressful manner. So number one is avoid the chronic patterns, consider establishing a daily movement routine so you can be sure that you get it done and you get wired into habit. You must include high intensity exercise where you’re putting your body under resistance load of some kind and engaging in brief, all out sprints. And then the micro workouts deserve a spot and the high priority list because they’re so easy and doable and they have so many other peripheral benefits like breaking up prolonged periods of stillness, and then finally prioritizing sleep.
And the best way to do that is to go look at your evening habits scrutinize and see if you can set that bedtime back if necessary and also creating the ideal environment, which basically is a cave. You want your sleeping, your bedroom to be completely dark. You want to be cool. So 68 or below is the ideal sleeping temperature. The mattress pads are helpful for that like Chili Pad, where you can set the mattress on a water cooling system to be at a low temperature and then get undercover. So the winning formula is to have a cool room and a cool mattress, but appropriately warm skin. So you have your pajamas or covers or whatever you need to get that winning combination there. Your sleeping environment should be a clutter free and peaceful and a place where your brain can relax and facilitate sleep.
And you wanna minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after dark, as I’ve talked about so many times. So that means perhaps dawning the, the red glasses, the orange tinted glasses with UV protection, switching to some orange light bulbs or using those Himalaya salt lamps or candlelight or firelight as your light sources, rather than the intense blasting, uh, light from light bulbs and overhead lighting, that’s, it looks white in color, but they call it blue light because that’s the blue on the UV spectrum. And so you can do great measures to just tone down your evening experience. Dark cool, quiet, and then set yourself up again, just like with food, set yourself up for optimal sleeping by creating the ideal environment and behavior patterns. And that, my friends, is a quick rundown, not really, but a comprehensive rundown, hopefully simple and easy to follow and very doable for everyone to boost your health and fitness.
Turn the corner for some bad habits and patterns of creeped in and delay the aging process. Thank you so much for listening, love to know what you think about this and maybe some of your own personal goals you can share. We’ll cover those in a Q and A and comment episode. We always love to hear from you on all manners firstname.lastname@example.org and we so much appreciate you spreading the word, sending clips to your friends through your podcast player at app. And if you haven’t left a review already on iTunes or apple podcast, excuse me, or wherever you listen to podcasts, if you could do that, that would be a huge favor. I know it’s time consuming. It doesn’t have to be a long review, but whatever’s whatever you’re feeling posted up there. And boy, when those reviews post, it really helps with the algorithms and the attention the show gets.
And guess what, if you put a review up and then email, a copy of it, I don’t know, screenshot, or just, we trust you, just write your review, paste it into the email. We will enter you in a contest to win a free jar of Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece, not just one. I’ll give away like 10 over the next couple months. If we can get 10 or 12 or 20 or 50 reviews up there, Hey, if there’s only 10 and I’m giving away 10, that’s pretty good odds for going and leaving a review. Yeah, it’s that important? So, thanks for considering the exercise and, um, that would be a big help. Thanks for listening, too. Take care. Thank you for listen to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast, Brad ventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows.
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