Welcome to another Q&A show!
I’m answering some lengthier questions submitted by listeners today and covering topics like stimulating your muscles on a different level through things like the Katalyst EMS suit and the EMsculpt (used by my podcast guest Melanie Avalon) and why taking temporary measures to lose weight results in a total disservice and disruption to your metabolic function, as evidenced by The Biggest Loser contestants who show signs of suppressed metabolic function (which was prompted by their experience on the show) even years after the show. You will hear about the profound health benefits you get from dropping excess body fat and effective methods to maintain weight loss, learn why concerns about consuming excess protein are overblown, and discover which specific age groups benefit most from increased protein intake. You’ll also hear me talk about my newly-released protein supplement, B.rad Whey Protein + Creatine Superfuel and what makes it superior to other protein powders, what waking up in the middle of the night because you’re feeling hungry means, and what to do about it, and much more!
A question from Stacy is about the Katalyst, the EMF suit you wear while conducting a workout. [03:13]
Jay Dominick in Los Angeles asks why the contestants on The Biggest Loser gain all their weight back. [08:11]
Jay also asks how can people in the growing phase maximize the production of growth hormone through natural methods. [21:48]
Jay asks another question: How do we know the products with avocado oil are legit? A vast majority of avocado oil in the U.S. is of poor quality, mislabeled, or adulterated with other oils. [26:07]
The next question is: Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night hungry? What should we do? [35:19]
Andy writes in asking about water consumption. Has there been research on the amount of water we should be taking in? [39:30]
Andreas asks Brad about what food he has eliminated that he most craves now. [49:12]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Two Meals a Day
- Podcast with Stan Efferding
- Carnivore Scores Food Ranking
- B.rad Whey Protein Superfuel
- Study on avocado oil
- Primal Kitchen
- Olive Oil Lovers Club
- Brad Kearns’s Morning Routine
- Brad’s First Simpler Morning Routine
- Askinosie Chocolate
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I’m author and athlete Brad Kerns. Welcome to the Be Rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life. Visit brad kerns.com for great resources on healthy eating, exercise, and lifestyle. And here we go with the show. That’s what the carnivore scores chart is all about, is to help you focus on prioritizing the most nutritious foods that give you the most bang for your buck calorie speaking. And they’re not wasted calories that are difficult to burn for energy, and more likely to be stored as excess body fat. The best way to hydrate is to hydrate strategically over a longer period of time. That’s why many, uh, peak performance experts recommend getting up first thing in the morning and hydrating
And squeezing your lemon juice
Speaker 1 (00:00:49):
Or your apple cider vinegar in there, and getting your body off to a good start after being in, uh, sleeping state for many hours. What about organ meats? Oh my gosh, they are so inexpensive. It’s ridiculous, and it’s because there’s no consumer demand for them. So you can buy grass fed liver, uh, from a quality natural foods grocer for a few bucks a pound, and make that a dietary centerpiece.
Welcome to a Q and A show. Some of these cues are quite lengthy, so the readers are speaking, or at least writing, and we have some interesting commentary. So I’m gonna try to mix and match some traditional quick question, quick answer with some longer commentary, because I do think they’re relevant to the challenges that we all face and the questions that we might have as we all strive for peak performance, recovery, health, happiness, longevity, all that great stuff. And Stacy, starting it out. Hey, Brad, thanks to you. I discovered Mark Sisson, who was also amazing. Oh my gosh, we got it backward. Isn’t that great? I turned someone on to Mark Sisson <laugh> rather than vice versa. Oh, that’s so cool. And, um, yes, indeed. He is my, he is my longtime homey. We go back now 30 something years, we just did a fresh new podcast.
I think you’re gonna love his commentary, especially on my recent reflections about energy, balance and striving for maximum cellular energy status at all times, and how that might compare and contrast to the template ancestral health message centered around practices like low carb, keto, time restricted feeding, intermittent fasting. It was a great show. And, uh, boy, it’s been a great journey with Mark too, to help promote this ancestral health movement and see it grow and expand, with such promise for continued immersion into mainstream culture, which, frankly has a lot of things that have not served us very well, wen recent decades. So off we go and on we go. Thanks for discovering Mark Sisson, Stacy. Stacy says, I just got Two Meals a Day from the library, but now I’m loving the highlights so much that I’m gonna have to go buy a copy.
Oh, man, what a compliment that is. Anyway, Stacy wonders, have you ever looked into the katalyst? K A T A L Y S T? This is an EMF suit. My husband and I demoed these last weekend, and they’re very interesting. So yes, I went and hit the website, and you’re looking at this space age suit that you don and conduct a workout, and it’s stimulating your muscles on a different, uh, level than, uh, actually going and performing a workout. So you’re getting this turbocharged workout due to the muscle stimulation prompted by the, uh, electrical devices that are in the suit pretty wild. Melanie Avalon, my recent podcast, guest host of the Melanie Avalon biohacking podcast is also doing this, ongoing sessions with something called EM Sculpt, E M S C U L P T. And apparently you just sit there and have the device attached to you and it stimulates muscle contractions whereby it’s equivalent to doing, uh, a super badass workout where you’re doing 500 bicep curls and 250 pull ups, but you’re just sitting there, getting those same muscles to fire.
So this is space age people, I’m not sure what I think about a lot of this biohacking where now they’re apparently trying to hack the need to go and actually perform a workout. That feels kind of strange. But when you look at the Catalyst video, it’s super interesting. And indeed, we might be looking at some innovations where workouts become more productive, more return on investment. And also interesting to me, perhaps safer, right? Cause I’m out there trying to sprint and get in shape for sprinting. and the injury risk and the stress, side effects of doing a workout that brings a lot of good fitness benefits is always there, where we’re always trying to balance between getting the workout stimulation that we want to pursue peak performance goals and possibly causing unnecessary stress and breakdown in the body.
That’s why I’m starting to really love beach sprints, and I’ve done a few great sessions both at Lake Tahoe Beach and Southern California Ocean Beaches, and you can get, uh, just as difficult a workout, uh, with the same, um, stimulation of the same muscles and working on your form. But the impact trauma is so minimized that I can actually conduct a workout that’s significantly more difficult than what I’m doing on the track. In other words, maybe I can do twice as many reps. I call them 200 hundred meters on the beach. Of course, they’re gonna be much shorter, but it’s pretty awesome that I can go and do eight instead of four and be breathing hard and striding out for 32 seconds each time, but not walking away, beat up and waking up the next morning, super sore. Now, interestingly, the specificity of training is still quite relevant in every sport.
And so when you watch the YouTube reality show team, Ingebrigsten about the three Ingebrigsten Brothers in Norway, some of the greatest middle distance runners in the world, Jakob, the youngest being the number one, uh, middle distance runner on the world right now, when they are slightly injured and have to go train in the swimming pool or do cross training on the bicycle, they are bummed because they know that they’re dropping off a significant number of percentage points from their running fitness, even as they run in place in the water without the impact. So there’s no getting around the importance of simulating the exact nature of your competitive goal. However, um, the cross training effect in many other ways is profound. And so the triathletes learned that we would get in fantastic aerobic condition by performing in all three sports, swimming, biking, and running.
And the crossover was amazing. You become a super athlete due to that hours and hours a day of training. So indeed, my long bike rides, especially climbing in the hills, helped my running fitness tremendously. But only if I was able to run at what you might call a maintenance, uh, fitness level where I’d go and put in maybe fewer workouts than I needed, uh, or was doing as a collegiate runner and getting injured all the time, but enough to leverage all that cross-training fitness in the other sports. So, um, that was a nice aside that didn’t come on a question here, but those beach sprints are going to be a fantastic centerpiece in my schedule, but they need to be seen as complimentary to actually going to the track and teaching my body to absorb that impact trauma from actual ground and be able to thrive and perform, uh, from an appropriate amount of fitness stimulation in that area, and not too much.
How’s that sound? Does that answer probably a lot of questions of people wondering about the cross-training effect. Next one is from Jay Dominick in Los Angeles. Hmm. So in the show, the Biggest Loser, why did most of the contestants lose a huge amount of weight through diet and exercise and then gain it all back? Great question. And it’s important to reflect on this hype and these misunderstandings about what is entailed for not just fat reduction, but long-term maintenance of your ideal body composition. So as my recent podcast guest Stan Efferding described in detail on our show, you can do any number of temporary measures to drop excess body fat. And interestingly, you will get profound health benefits just from reducing excess body fat any way, shape or form by any means necessary. There’s funny stuff on the internet, like the Twinki diet, the McDonald’s diet where people simply restricted calories.
So they ate fewer calories than they burned, and they quickly will lose 20 pounds or whatever it is. And on The Biggest Loser, the winners are losing, what, 50 or 60 pounds in a matter of weeks through starvation diet combined with extreme and exhausting exercise. So what happens when the smoke clears is you have done a major disservice and disruption to your metabolic appetite and satiety hormones. The body does not like to be starved and to shed 50 pounds of excess fat in a short time. And so you will trigger an assortment of survival mechanisms in order to not wither away and blow away in the wind and, and, and die. So your body is put under this fight or flight response when you restrict calories and perform exercise to exhaustion or to the extreme. So at some point what’s gonna happen is you are going to get more and more severe increases in appetite and the leptin signaling, which is largely responsible for satiety, those switches are gonna get all discombobulated, where you literally can’t stop eating once you have access to food, once you somehow crack and your willpower or the show ends or whatever it is, if you’re dieting, dieting, dieting, doing well, showing great results in the first two, four, or six weeks, at some point, things are gonna turn around.
One thing’s gonna happen on the metabolism side is you’re gonna turn down all those dials I talk about in my many shows about energy, balance, reflection. So you’re gonna turn down thyroid, adrenal, your body temperature’s gonna drop your energy at your general level of energy and alertness and activity during the day is going to go down, down, down. If you are consuming too few calories to sustain an energetic lifestyle. So on one side, you’re gonna get less energetic and burn fewer calories. And on the other side, you’re gonna have a desperation, effort to consume more and more calories than you need. Where do those end up? That ends up in gaining the weight back and in fact, typically gaining more weight back than what you started from? And the damage shockingly can last for years. There’s a recent study that’s been referenced on other podcasts I’ve listened to, uh, that’s six years after the conclusion of The Biggest Loser s`how.
Almost all the participants are still suffering from metabolic and hormonal dysfunction prompted by their experience on the show. So they all almost all have gained all the way back and then some, and are still showing signs of suppressed metabolic function, thyroid appetite dysregulation and all those things. So it’s important to kind of, see the big picture here where guys like Stan Efferding and Lane Norton are saying, look, calories do matter, and if you want to drop weight, you’re going to have to consume fewer calories until you get to your goal weight. And Stan, I would say, many people say, is the world’s leading expert on gaining and losing weight, because he has probably done that to a more extreme level than anyone ever. He has gained and lost over 1000 pounds from his beginnings as a skinny college soccer player, weighing in at one 40 freshman year and then going up and over 300 pounds and setting world records and power lifting.
But through his career, interestingly, in both power lifting and body building, he has had to alternatively gain a maximum amount of weight to be competitive in power lifting, because the more body weight, the better you are to lift heavy weights and then in body building get all cut up and show the muscles glistening on stage with very, very low body fat levels. And of course, you’ve probably heard about the extremely unhealthy practices used by bodybuilders. They’re so widely denigrated for their abuse of steroids, caffeine, diuretics, dehydrating themselves to get on stage. But aside from the crazy stuff they do on competition week, the ridiculousness of, you know, dehydrating for 48 hours and then eating a big dose of candy bars so their veins pop out, uh, from the instant dose of carbohydrates, okay, forget about all that stuff, but the bodybuilder and the bodybuilder lifestyle, there are some things that we can learn from them because they’re very, very good at getting down to low body fat levels.
And if they are in a career that’s sustainable, they know what they’re doing to the extent that they’re not burning out and causing these rebound effects that are seen, uh, with the ridiculousness of the Biggest Loser contestants. So they’ve figured out how to do things in a healthy manner, so to speak. I mean, somewhat healthy, right? The more, competitive and extreme you are, the less healthy it becomes. But that’s what stands operation is all about. And his vertical diet is, uh, conveys the idea of gaining weight in a healthy manner and losing weight in a healthy manner by emphasizing easy to digest nutrient dense sources of calories. And this lines up so beautifully with all the commentary I’ve had with Jay Feldman, where we really need to look carefully at the digestibility and the usability of the calories you consume.
And so the Twinky diet, Hey, that’s great for two weeks or six weeks or whatever the funny article conveys about the success of the people doing that. But of course, this is gonna lead long-term to nutrient efficiency and all kinds of problems with metabolic function, particularly the consumption of refined industrial seed oils that interfere with your body’s ability to generate energy internally. So if you can prioritize foods that are nutritious, easy to digest that don’t cause digestive distress and promote things like leaky gut and therefore you’re a clean, efficient burning machine, then you can pursue goals like dropping excess body fat and actually succeed without prompting these rebound consequences. So I think that’s what the carnivore scores chart is all about, is to help you focus on prioritizing the most nutritious foods that give you the most bang for your buck calorie speaking.
And they’re not wasted calories that are difficult to burn for energy and more likely to be stored as excess body fat. So then you can start prioritizing protein, which is widely agreed as the ultimate dietary strategy. You’ve gotta focus on your protein needs, get good nutritious sources of protein. And by the way, protein provides the highest level of satiety. So you’re going to naturally regulate your caloric intake when you get your protein needs met. And the emerging science and thought leaders are conveying now that, um, these warnings or these concerns about excess protein consumption have been widely overblown for many years. And in fact, the body does okay, even processing excess consumption of protein more than is needed for basic daily metabolic functions and survival functions, as well as performance and recovery. So, we’ve often heard, especially when the keto craze was at its peak that, oh, don’t eat too much protein either.
Of course, you can’t eat very many carbs, but if you eat too much protein, you’ll get kicked outta ketosis as well. And now we are seeing just how critically important protein is. We are seeing widely validated research that, uh, in the older age groups, we start to become less and less efficient with our protein synthesis. So who needs the most protein in the diet? It’s that young growing teenager trying to put on weight for the football team, and it’s that teenager’s grandma or grandpa who are becoming less efficient and at great risk for sarcopenia. That’s the age-related decline in muscle mass. That represents one of the fundamental drivers of accelerated aging. So yo grandmas and grandpas out there, youngsters and those of us in the middle age groups that want to perform and recover and regulate appetite in a natural efficient manner, let’s prioritize protein from here on in.
What that means, in the estimation of many experts today, is striving to get anywhere from 0.8, 0.7 grams per pound of goal body weight up to a gram per pound of your goal body weight. So if you have excess body fat, you just take that down. If you weigh 220 and you wanna weigh 190, strive for 190 grams per day, I like going for that high side. It’s also more memorable and easy to calculate. So just try to eat your body weight in grams of protein every day. And indeed, that can become a little bit of a challenge because maybe you don’t feel like having eight eggs, you’d rather have three or four, and you don’t want two steaks, you’re fine with just one. And that’s where I believe the protein supplementation can be a huge boost to your overall performance recovery, longevity, and appetite regulation.
That’s why I’m so happy to release to the world the B.rad Grass-fed Whey Protein Isolate, Super Fuel with creatine, also another super important supplement, especially for anti-aging and brain neuron protection, as well as the widely validated muscular performance and recovery benefits. So if you can supplement and just take a scoop of protein and stir it in water where it’s not super filling, it’s not big logistics to prepare, and you’re just kind of getting an insurance policy every day that you’re getting your protein needs met, this will have so many wonderful downstream benefits, particularly helping you maintain that lean muscle mass, which is the key to aging gracefully. Of course, you have a few other objectives to complete that goal, which would be to put your body under resistance load regularly. So you can stimulate muscle growth and development or muscle maintenance. But, uh, it goes hand in hand with getting sufficient protein.
So a gram per pound of your ideal body weight on average every day. One day you might be low, so the other day you can make a concerted effort to prepare a smoothie and put two or three scoops in there or emphasize these high protein meals. But another peripheral benefit that you’re gonna get there is you’re gonna be led away from those tendencies to indulge in nutrient deficient foods, particularly the hyper palatable processed foods that combine sugar and fat together. And these are the things that we reach for in many cases when we are tired, stressed, burnt out, and not properly or optimally fueled over the course of our busy, hectic, stressful day. Because for example, we’ve been trying to do intermittent fasting and not eat til 12 noon every day or any other questionable practice, such as limit our intake of the most nutrient dense foods on Earth.
In the vegan paradigm. It’s gonna be very, very difficult to obtain your daily protein requirements and assimilate the protein successfully from brown rice and lentil soup, and the other particulars that are tried when animal foods are restricted from the diet. Same with, uh, trying to get it through plant-based proteins. Dr. Paul Saladino cites excellent research that the digestibility, the assimilate assimilating potential of these plant-based proteins are vastly inferior to the gold standard of whey protein and the other animal based proteins that are now becoming popular, uh, beef protein and so forth. So we’re going for animal based protein supplement as well as protein,-centric meals, and that’s gonna be your key to a lifelong effortless fat reduction and maintenance of, uh, ideal body composition. So that was all from just one part of Jay’s three or four questions from his excellent emails.
So back to the list. Jay asks, how can those who are still in the growing stages of life, kids and teenagers, and I’d also add into this category, pregnant nursing mothers. How can the growing phase people maximize production of growth hormone through natural methods? Sleep, exercise, diet? Obviously, too many carbs is probably a bad thing, as explained by your former guest, Dr. Robert Lustig. But is there a such thing as consuming too few carbohydrates? Is there a Goldilocks zone? Well, if you are in the growth phases of life, those few people listening, right, who are wanting to get pregnant, pregnant nursing, or is still in adolescence or younger you are talking about an incredible need for maximum cellular energy status at all times. So occasionally I’ll field a question from somebody talking about a kid who’s trying keto or, um, God forbid, a pregnant or nursing mother any form of restrictive eating, such as trying to compress your calories into a window, trying to, uh, deliberately, uh, restrict carbohydrates in the ketogenic realm.
That is, I’m gonna say blanket statement, that is not a great idea during the growth phases of life. So during those phases, you’re going to strive for, um, the most nutrient dense diet you can find. I would not recommend any sort of eating window. I’d start eating from the moment you wake up. And then, of course, soon enough before bed. But overall, we are trying for accelerated cell division and being able to support the new life force that’s growing as well as get bigger muscles and grow to your, uh, full height potential and all that great stuff. So I hope that answers that part of the question. Now here’s an interesting one. During those phases, it seems like a lot of people are taking the free pass. The pregnant mother is now, uh, gonna go and honor every craving and eat a bunch of junk food because she’s pregnant, or the teenager, of course is gonna come home, uh, from football practice and have a banana split before dinner.
And oh, by the way, there’s a soda, uh, that was in the backpack, and then they’re gonna sit down to hopefully a nutritious dinner and then go eat some more junk in the evening hours. Now, I would argue that especially during these important growth phases of life, but of course important for all of us all the time, is to stay away from those nutrient deficient, heavily processed foods because they’re going to mess up your potential for cellular energy production. So even though you’re burning a lot of calories, and you can somewhat mitigate the adverse effects of consuming too many processed carbohydrates because you’re burning them off, you’re better off focusing on nutritious forms of food and eating really tons of that stuff as much as you can. In many cases, when we’re talking about elite athletes. And I’m gonna have some of this commentary in upcoming interviews with guys like Dave Scott, six-time Hawaii Ironman world Champion, coming back on the show, and really at the highest performing level of elite sport, power lifters, Ironman triathletes, tour de France writers CrossFit games participants, uh, they have a performance limiter of being able to consume and digest enough nutritious food over the course of the day.
It’s not really that they can’t train anymore, it’s that they don’t have the energy on board, because at a certain point, you just hit your ceiling where you can only eat 8,000 calories a day in some examples. Uh, and that’s an interesting concept to reflect upon for a moment that, uh, the energy status is the, the limiter, the diet. So for all of us, we wanna focus on minimizing our intake of nutrient deficient foods and maximizing our intake of the high protein, easy to digest high nutrient density foods, and that’s going to be the winning ticket. Back to Jay’s question, maximizing the adaptive hormones, especially during the growth faces of life.
Here’s, number three from Jay’s email. There was a recent viral post on Instagram where a blogger questioned the quality of avocado oil in various foods. How can we consumers make sure that our avocado oil is legit? I heard this shocking information as well. I think Paul Saladino was referencing a recent study, and you can probably find this on internet search, we’ll try, in our show notes. Uh, but they tested, oh my gosh, I think it was 130 different products that contain avocado oil. And the results were astonishing in that almost all of the products were tainted with other types of less expensive oil. So how indeed can we make sure that our avocado oil is legit or it hasn’t been adulterated andmislabeled? The same problem occurs with olive oil, especially the designation, extra virgin olive oil, which does not have any legislative guidelines behind the use so people can slap stuff on a label and not really have to meet high levels of scrutiny. And so the term extra virgin has been used on product that has been tested to contain other types of less pure, less nutritious, oils.
Not even all of oil, sometimes other types of oil in there. And so really what we’re going for is to, uh, know the source of our products and, uh, apply tremendous scrutiny to our purchasing decisions and try to stay local, try to stay at the Farmer’s Market for a lot of our shopping or, or go to trusted internet resources like Butcher Box, which is ascertaining that a hundred percent of their, uh, meat is grass fed. All the fowl are pasture raised, the fish are wild cot. And so we really want these assertions instead of just plunging into marketing hype. Another great example are the egg cartons, which have all kinds of terminology on there, none of which is lining up with legislative guidelines, for example. So you can see like hormone free, cage free high omega-3, all these designations which have confusing significance.
Um, the favorite one to look for is pasture raised. And so when you see a design eggs with that designation, you’ll probably see a higher price point deservedly so. Um, that term itself has been abused a little bit recently. I’ve read some articles about that, unfortunately. But when you have the designations like that, it does indicate that it’s vastly superior to a dozen eggs that say sunny, delicious fresh eggs or something like that. But pasture raised is implying that the chickens had some time on the pasture and were able to consume their natural diet of bugs, leaves, insects, grass, and then produce a vastly nutritionally superior yolk as determined by the richer color than the washed out kind of opaque yolks that you see from, eggs, chickens that lived in the coop in the cage and had exclusively a nasty diet of processed food, uh, chicken feed.
Now, some of the pastured eggs, apparently have supplemental feed, and sometimes it says organic eggs on the carton, and that designates that the feed was organic, which is better than non-organic, but it doesn’t convey the superior type of chicken. The best chickens you’re gonna find are from Farmer’s Market, or even better from local hobbyists where the chickens are running around the backyard. My friend Tony in Sacramento puts his dinner scraps every day out into the, uh, chicken area. So they’re eating leftover food from the family meals, and then producing these wonderfully delicious eggs. And, um, boy, how can you do better than that for a sustainable, uh, farm right there in the middle of urban environment in Sacramento? Anyway, so you’re looking for pasture raised and also, uh, certified humane is an official designation that you’ll see on egg cartons that helps convey that the chickens were raised appropriately, that they did indeed have a nice pasture to roam around on rather than, um, lip service, where sometimes the quote, access to pasture is presented where the chickens mainly lived in their chicken coops and inferior living conditions.
And then there was a small door that they may or may not have used to walk into a small pasture at times, but that’s a lot different from a truly pasture raised chicken. And so it’s tough to navigate all these different options, especially with the marketing hype and the misinformation out there. And apparently now, avocado oil is an example of a problematic product category, that goes hand in hand with the explosion in popularity that avocado oil has enjoyed in recent years, starting really with Mark Sisson inventing the Primal Kitchen mayonnaise made with avocado oil, the first commercial mayonnaise that was made without the highly refined industrial seed oils that you see on the Best Foods mayonnaise and the crappy stuff that’s, um, served in the restaurants, the fast food joints and on the grocery store shelves. And so the quality control, let’s say for a small company like Primal Kitchen, you could probably email them, call them up on the phone and say, Hey, I want some designations that the avocado oil you use is legit, and I believe that they could serve you well there.
And if you look on Primal Kitchen website, you can order a small glass jar of extra virgin avocado oil. And when that comes outta the bottle, it is an intensely rich and dark green color, and you can actually taste it. And so that implies a much pure and fresher product than the oils that are bland, especially in the category of olive oil, when the quality of extra virgin olive oil is so disparate, starting with the worst, which are in the plastic giant jugs at the big box store. And for $12, you can get a half a gallon or whatever of extra virgin olive oil. Usually these are from, foreign lands, Greece, Italy, and Spain. And in many cases, this product has been on the shelves for quite some time. It could be adulterated with other less pure oils. And when you take a spoonful, it’s gonna have an extremely bland taste.
And then when you join, for example, Ollve Oil Lovers Club, we’re gonna put these links in the show notes. They will ship you fresh harvest with handwritten date on the bottle of when the olives were harvested. And when you take a spoonful of a truly, authentic first cold press, extra virgin olive oil, it should burn or sting the back of your throat. And that’s because the tocopherols, the antioxidants in there are so potent that it’s actually gonna have that little kick to it. So it has a rich, authentic taste, and that is a great consumer, uh, practice to see if what you’re getting, uh, is legit and fresh. So the goal here is to do the best you can. And I’m gonna say in general, if you are purchasing a jar of avocado oil salad dressing or mayonnaise, and the price point is significantly higher than the mainstream crap that you can find made with industrial seed oils, that is some assurance that, you know, in free market capitalism, economy, that they’ve done some effort to, uh, present a legit product that deserves that higher price point and can tell a story accordingly on their website or on the label.
Um, these things kind of get flushed out pretty easily if they’re a joke. And so I’m generally trusting of a smaller brand with a nice story and people that answer emails when you inquire. And I have a hobby of doing that frequently. So, it’s fun to kind of keep people on their toes and go and try to source the very best, especially in the category of oil, because otherwise you’re not getting a lot of health, uh, benefits from consuming an oil that’s not super pure and potent. And Jay says, Hey, thanks for sharing your morning exercise routine on YouTube, and also, of course now on my comprehensive online course that walks you step by step through how to design your own custom morning exercise routine. Jay says, this inspired me to create my own morning routine with stretching Whim Hof breathing. And the results have been wonderful.
And here’s a final question. I think it’s from Jay. It might be from someone else. Sorry, if it is. Hey, do you ever wake up in the middle of the night hungry? For those of us on low carb diets, is it normal to wake up hungry in the middle of the night? If not, what should we do? Increase our carbon intake? Have a fatty snack like cheese, peanut butter, something else before bed? Or do we fight through it and wait for the hunger to subside? So I don’t think that happens to too many people, but I’m going contend that that’s not a great sign. We do not want to be waking up in the middle of the night feeling hungry. That’s a sign that something is off with our energy balance and our ability to, for example, regulate blood sugar and stress hormones as we sleep.
So when we sleep, everything should kind of go dark for the evening. Our digestive function, our stress hormone function, and even, uh, as Dr. Maffetone contends, our urge to urinate in the middle of the night is potentially problematic, as it may suggest the adrenal glands are being stimulated and prompting the kidneys to experience urgency. Those of you Latin students, know that adrenal add renal literally means next to renal, next to kidney, and the adrenal glands are perched on top of the kidneys. So, Maffetone’s ideal is that you can sleep through the night without having to get up to pee. Pretty interesting. Take some other people. I heard Dr. Andrew Huberman say that that was no big deal. And if you just try to get back to sleep, don’t disturb yourself with a lot of bright light when you get up to pee.
I like to have my little red flashlight that I found on Amazon that emits a red colored beam rather than a white colored beam, and believe to be less disruptive to melatonin and to circadian rhythm, but feeling hungry in the middle of the night. I believe that’s a telltale overactivation of the stress response and a sign of depleted energy or diminished cellular energy status, uh, likely prompted by either excessive stress, excessive training, and as the listener, j proposes perhaps, insufficient carbohydrate intake to fuel your busy active day and fitness regimen. So certainly, you can wake up and answer the bell if desired, to consume something and kind of put to rest that spike in ghrelln. That’s the most prominent hunger hormone that actually does cause the secretion of juices in the stomach. And that’s where you get your stomach growling. That’s why your stomach is growling when you feel hungry due to the activation of ghrelln or the spike in ghrelln.
And I’ve experienced that on occasion, most frequently when I was training really hard as a triathlete, I’d wake up starving and go, inhale a bunch of cookies or whatever was around, and then go back to sleep. But I don’t think that’s a sign of health and stress, rest balance. And so we want to wind the story backwards, run it back as they say now, the new expression never knew what it was. We wanna run that thing back to the previous day and make sure that you have really nutrient-dense meals, eating to satiety, making the best choices, and on the flip side, regulating your energy expenditure in general, whether it’s through workouts or through, um, your busy, hectic, stressful day. So when we talk about energy balance, we always think, uh, mainly in terms of, uh, what kind of calories am I eating?
But we also have that other side of the coin where we wanna optimize our cellular energy status at all times by consuming sufficient quantities of nutrient dense foods, but also carefully regulating our energy expenditure so we don’t overdo it and wake up in the middle of the night hungry. So yeah, that’s a red flag, and let’s take care of things so that that’s not a regular occurrence.
Andy writes in and says, Hey, Brad, this question’s been on my mind for a long time. So, regarding the healthiest humans, and going back to the ancestral example thousands of years ago, why today are we encouraged to drink lots of water? Just like how burning our own fat for fuel relates to intermittent fasting? Wouldn’t the amount of water we consume also be a thing to look at what’s healthiest? I’m just not convinced there’s been great research or solid thinking, yet, if humans were healthiest while ingesting animal fats, were they also healthier while not drinking a lot of water throughout the day?
This is a really interesting topic to discuss. And in the original Primal Blueprint back in 2009, Mark Sisson and I, referenced a lot of research about how wonderful the human thirst mechanism operates. There’s a guy named Dr. Hines Valton at Cornell University, and he talks about the wonderful capability of the kidneys to retain more fluid or release more fluid or regulate the sodium, uh, fluid balance in the body, which is so important at all times 24 7. We want to have that, those kidneys functioning optimally. So we have that perfect balance of sodium and fluid and how the thirst mechanism will give us a profound signal to consume more fluid if we do get a little bit dehydrated. So at the point where you, you are 2% concentrated with your fluid balance, in other words, you’re 2% dehydrated, you’re going to experience strong sensations of thirst, and you don’t really get into any, uh, medical or health difficulty until you are 5% concentrated.
So you’re out there hiking, you get lost, you start getting thirsty, you finish your water bottles, and you have to keep going for another hour. That’s when you can get into real trouble. And when you get to that 5% mark, uh, that’s when you might feeling, feel like lying down and you’re gonna need some medical, medical attention so forth. So the body will protect you really nicely with that extreme thirst mechanism. And so we nice and tidy, finished up the subject in the book that was published, 13 years ago, 14 years ago, saying, just rely on your thirst. And the caveman, didn’t have a camelback strapped on his back. And he did just fine by, uh, going into the river, uh, when he was thirsty and so forth. However, the story is much more nuanced than that these days.
Take it from me where I ended up in the emergency room in 2015 in really bad shape from a ruptured appendix. And I was also, uh, seen to be down many liters of fluid. So I had successive IVs cuz I was extremely dehydrated and, you know, at danger of going septic and getting into, uh, big trouble or dying, uh, before I had emergency surgery for the rupture appendix and this state of dehydration and the burned out organ came on the heels, interestingly enough of two workouts in the span of about five days that were conducted in temperatures of around 106 Fahrenheit. It was a very hot summer in Sacramento, and I remember doing a great sprint workout and then two or three days later having a great basketball session in a very, very hot gym. And then what, 24 hours later, um, I was fighting for my life in the er.
So, um, it’s, it’s possible for even a health conscious sensitive individual to come into a state of dehydration in a chronic manner. In other words, that first workout didn’t cause extreme dehydration. I didn’t have to go to the hospital, but, uh, the fact that I went out there and punched it hard, three days later, oh, that’s right, it was a basketball slash high jumping workout outside. So I was in the gym fooling around with the youth basketball team, then went out into 106 and did some awesome high jumping three days after I’d done a great sprint workout. And so I was probably not probably for sure entering that second workout in a state of mild dehydration that I was not aware of sitting in an air conditioned room working on my computer, right? So it only presents itself when I go and challenge the body again.
So the point I’m making with that stepping staircase down, or that spiral down into extreme dehydration was that I didn’t have the reliable signals as I might, uh, going on a two hour hike and getting lost for five hours and having everything take place, uh, in, in quick time. And so we can get chronically dehydrated when we are pursuing ambitious fitness goals, particularly when we’re working out in a hot environment like going to the CrossFit box all summer in Tennessee or Connecticut when it’s hot and steamy weather, and you’re not, uh, paying devoted attention to, uh, hydrating, uh, preemptively or proactively. Um, Dr. Stacey Sims at Stanford, she’s made some great rounds on the podcast, did a great show with Gabby Reese on the Gabby Reese podcast. Um, she has a lot of nuanced observations about hydration, especially as it relates to females, and they’re unique and distinct needs for hydration as well as dietary needs, uh, and draws some alignment to the different times in the female hormonal cycle where they have different hydration needs that might extend above and beyond.
Hey, just listen to your thirst and you’re gonna be fine all the time. So we have since detailed the original boiler plate take on hydration with the recommendation that athletes hydrate strategically. That’s why I love what L M N T is doing, the electrolyte maker, because again, we have to realize that some of our efforts to hydrate are probably misguided. So if you go and slam a great workout in high temperatures and you’re sweating and you know you have to rehydrate and you just guzzle a liter of straight water, your body is probably going to pee most of that out in order to continue to maintain that optimal sodium and electrolyte to fluid balance. It does not like to get blasted with a straight liter of water in a short timeframe because that’s gonna make you hyponatremic mildly right, or temporarily right?
And so the best way to hydrate is to hydrate strategically over a longer period of time. That’s why many peak performance experts recommend getting up first thing in the morning and hydrating and squeezing your lemon juice or your apple cider vinegar in there, and getting your body off to a good start after being in, uh, sleeping state for many hours and, uh, becoming arguably mildly behind on your hydras and requirements before stepping into the big day. So I am on board with the idea of strategic hydration, where you’re just paying attention to not only your, uh, consumption of fluid throughout the day, but also your devotion to consuming that with an appropriate level of specialty of sodium, but also the other easily depleted electrolytes, potassium, magnesium. So when you take a packet of LMNT and sprinkle it into the water that you’re drinking, now you’re getting appropriate dose of sodium, potassium, magnesium, making it much more likely that that drinking of fluid is going to nourish the cells and tissues in the body that want to remain hydrated, rather than more likely to pee it out over the ensuing hours when you just bust into big chugs of water.
Make sense? And, uh, just to finish up the concept of hydration, you can probably read some content where it says that all beverages contribute to your hydration needs, unlike what we’ve heard about caffeine, being a diuretic and dehydrating you or alcohol dehydrating you. And it’s also true that almost every food has a surprisingly high water content. Like a pizza is 50% water. A ground beef is like, uh, 70 or 80%, uh, water and, and so on down the line. So that just consuming whole foods can contribute to your hydration needs. So a cup of coffee and a donut in the morning, is going to give you some water, surprisingly. So, um, and when this eight glasses of water every day information came out, it was fascinating to learn about the history of that, cuz it was a totally random recommendation, not based in any science, and it was extrapolated from calculations on the water content of a variety of different foods.
So, um, it could be considered a sound and solid recommendation in general, but really the best recommendation is to get ahead of your hydration needs and always consider it not just water, but a appropriately balanced consumption of additional fluid beyond the high water content diet that you’re probably following when you consume nutritious foods like fruit, for example. Of course, you’re getting well hydrated when you consume an entire pineapple, as I’ve been known to do first thing in the morning. And so that is all good on the question of, um, why are we encourage to drink so much water today?
Next question. Hey Brad, what food that you’ve eliminated do you crave the most now? And this comes from Andreas. Dear Andreas, I have no idea because I eliminated these foods <laugh> and that is actually a serious answer. So when I’m committed to leading the healthiest lifestyle and following the most nutritious diet, I will make the decision and convince myself that certain foods are unhealthy and unnecessary.
And so I’ll eliminate them from my diet and I will habituate away from them because I’m convinced that they’re not contributing to my health. And I think it’s a really important belief system to adopt that the few moments of intense pleasure that you get from chewing on a few Skittles and swallowing them is simply not worth it in the big picture to the health compromising effects of consuming these indulgent, processed foods that are all around us. So I truly and honestly, and I would not you BS here on the podcast, I honestly don’t miss any of these foods that I’ve systematically eliminated over time. That used to be my go-to delicious treats. I used to make my own own hot fudge sundaes in high school, and I, they were pretty badass and delicious with the chocolate syrup port over them. And, the bananas on the side and the different flavors of ice cream and the sprinkles of whatever.
And boy did they taste good going down, especially after doing a hard workout. But over time, and my most recent and interesting example is from the emergence of the carnivore message, Dr. Paul Saladino, Dr. Shawn Baker, um, convincing me that, uh, the, the highly nutritious, highly regarded plant foods that had also high levels of plant toxins are not only non-essential, they could potentially be health compromising. And after listening and really reasoning with that message and doing further research, I would stare down at my delicious salad and wonder, why am I eating this? Now, this does not represent ativethe centerpiece of nutrient density in the human diet that in fact comes from the animal foods, the animal foods that are the highest ranking on my chart. And I actually lost my taste for salad, which previously for many years had been my dietary centerpiece and I absolutely loved it.
But one of the main reasons that I loved my salad, and it was a really good salad I’d make with all kinds of accoutrements and oh, of course, nice meat, wonderful dressing, a bunch of nuts and seeds and all the chopped vegetables, very many colors, maybe putting in some goji berries on there for an additional flavoring. Uh, it was a great, great salad. I loved it. I looked forward to it. I loved preparing it, I loved eating it. But most, or a lot of the reason that I loved it was because I was convinced that this was the essence of healthy eating and healthy living. So when presented with that new information, and I used to be the king of making stir fry, I’d make giant piles of stir fry for large groups of eating dinner family dinners. And I’d look at my stir fry and I’d go, why am I eating this?
And so I, I’d kind of de habituated from my favorite go-to foods, both healthy and unhealthy after altering my values and beliefs around those foods. So a lot of us walk around mouthing phrases like, Hey, might as well enjoy life, everything in moderation, right? And then dig into your favorite donut shop in your community. And a lot of times the celebration of indulgent food or processed food is kind of a cultural embedding where, um, we’re used to taking our kids to birthday parties at Chucky cheeses, and they have so much fun playing on the video games and eating all that garbage food and it becomes a meshed in culture. Same with when I was coaching youth soccer and after the soccer game, uh, whatever designated parent was on duty for week seven would bust out the cupcakes and the kids would grab that and enjoy this treat that they’ve earned after running back and forth around the soccer field.
And so these become kind of integrated into your belief system, integrated into your habit patterns, um, to the adverse impact of your health over time. And I really am a big fan of unwinding some of these cultural attachments and personal belief systems around indulgent foods that they are necessary to enjoy life. And if you want to get me riled up, get me going on this subject, let’s possibly say the same thing about alcohol. Alcohol is the ultimate social mixing, social fabric connector and way to, uh, relieve stress, have a great time, release your inhibitions, but there are other ways to release your inhibitions and have a great time and connect socially, like perhaps let’s say, being more brave and engaging in conversation that you might be resistant to without a bunch of alcohol flowing in your system. So again, it’s, it’s a symptom.
It’s not the cause of you loosening up and having a better time than your usual buttoned up personality would allow. And so, if we rethink everything, especially the need for indulgent foods and boy, we’ve all experienced and been touched by the pain and suffering caused by ill health and family members struggling and suffering and our own health struggles and suffers that are associated with lifestyle behaviors. So I wanna enjoy my life as much as possible. That’s why I’ve systematically eliminated foods that aren’t contributing toward that goal. So thanks for asking Andreas, and I’ll try to answer as honestly as possible because, uh, there are some treats and indulgences that aren’t a centerpiece part of my daily diet and quest for, uh, optimal eating. Um, those would include popcorn, uh, really well made homemade fresh cheesecake, as opposed to the processed crap that you will find at popular cheesecake emphasizing restaurants or even worse, in the frozen section at your supermarket.
But I, I love the, um, the dish if it’s a really healthy natural one. Same with ice cream, the handmade ice cream shops that are popping up now in different cities that, uh, emanated, uh, the early ones like in, uh, Portland Salt and Straw and in Seattle, Frankie and Joe’s. These are popular neighborhood ice cream shops where everything is handmade with fresh local ingredients. And boy is that delicious to enjoy, uh, a truly healthy natural ice cream in strong contrast to the garbage that is in the processed foods in, in your freezer section of your grocery store. Uh, particularly I call out Ben and Jerry’s because they have this image that they’ve conveyed of being hip and cool and natural and, um, they love the cows and they take good care of their cows and whatever nonsense it’s in their marketing material.
But if you look on a lot of their flavors to my absolute horror and shock, I notice that industrial seed oils are going in some of those of those process products. So, um, in the old days, one of my favorite indulgences was, uh, the Stephen Cobert flavor of Ben and Jerry’s America Dream. Oh, it’s delicious. I loved it. Uh, and now if I take a single bite to that which I have in recent years, here and there, it’s disgustingly sweet, I can’t stand it. And it’s like, I can’t believe this was my favorite where I could easily knock off a pint without even blinking. And so by de habituating, especially the same story with chocolate, where I’ve loved chocolate bars my whole life as a kid, I used to make these concoctions with fruit roll and peanut butter and little bits of Nestle’s Crunch bar that I’d break up and then add marshmallows.
And it was called Brad’s Beautiful Banana Bonanza Sliced bananas on there too. You can see a picture of me on the Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece page, uh, where I talk about my lifelong fascination with creating concoctions in the kitchen. But anyway, um, those candy bars that were a centerpiece of my youth experience on the planet now, a single bite would discuss me, I’d have to spit it out because I made the deliberate choice to habituate over to high quality gourmet dark chocolate. And that was part of my immersion into, uh, the primal eating strategy, the ancestral eating strategy starting back in 2008, where like, hey, dark chocolate’s, okay, because, um, it’s low in sugar, it’s high in nutritious fats and it has a lot of plant antioxidants and other nutritional benefits in there. What’s the, um, the love drug? Phenylethanamine is high in dark chocolate and it gives off the same stimulation to neurotransmitters as falling in love does.
That’s why chocolate is such a popular food. But a huge, huge difference and distinction between a heavily processed milk chocolate bar that is, you know, filled with sugar, minimal on the beneficial compounds that are contained in the cacao bean that are present in high amounts in dark chocolate. And then taking it a step further as uh, discussed in detail with my interview with Sean Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate. When you consume a mass produced chocolate bar, you are most certainly, uh, benefiting supporting child slave labor in poorly regulated African nations because the only way that Nestle’s Crunch or Milky Way can charge a dollar 79 or whatever for that chocolate is to engage in the unhealthy and, uh, unfair trade practices that are seen, especially in the chocolate industry because a lot of the cacao beans come from these poorly regulated labor practices in those African nations.
So when you’re going for premium bean to bar designated dark chocolate, that’s when you wanna scrutinize your purchasing decisions. And guess what, when you start getting into this game, you realize how much better and more delicious a truly high quality handcrafted bean to bar dark chocolate is in comparison to the mass produced disgustingly sweet chocolate bars. What did I say? Popcorn cheesecake, handmade ice cream, high cocal percentage dark chocolate, which wouldn’t even be considered an indulgence cuz it has so many nutritional benefits and that’s why I eat it most every day. But I think that’s a pretty complete answer. I can’t think of anything that I’ve eliminated from my diet that I really miss or wish I could eat. Or if someone waved magic wand and said, guess what, Skittles are super healthy now, why don’t you have some? Well, I’d have to go through the same thought exercise to convince myself that Skittles were great.
And then if it were really true, maybe I would start to enjoy chewing on those colorful things and getting all the tie-dye on my tongue. <laugh>. Okay, I think you get where I’m coming from here and I urge you to reflect further on your dietary practices, especially the outs and rationalizations and phrases that you utter. Like everything in moderation. There is no call for a moderate approach to dietary optimization these days because we are thrown so much garbage and crap in the mainstream food supply. And I know that budget sensitivity is a huge issue. But if you look at that carnivore scores, food rankings chart carefully, you can see how highly you can score even on a very, very low grocery budget. You’re just gonna be consuming more pasture raised eggs and more sardines and mackerel in the can. Okay, maybe you’re not getting the wild caught fresh salmon from Whole Foods for 24 99 a pound.
But certainly, uh, a $2, uh, 10 of sardines is gonna make it onto your grocery list. And speaking of the, the superstars of the planet, what about organ meats? Oh my gosh, they are so inexpensive. It’s ridiculous, and it’s because there’s no consumer demand for them. So you can buy grassfed liver from a quality natural foods grocer for a few bucks a pound and make that a dietary center. So, uh, honestly, I don’t want to hear any backlash about how terribly expensive it is to scrutinize your consumer decisions. Same with fruit. You can go over to Trader Joe’s, sorry, international listeners if you’ve never heard of Trader Joe’s, but it’s a national grocery chain that has fair and discount prices, and you can buy all kinds of fruit there on a very low budget and make fruit a new dietary centerpiece. So do the best you can within all your constraints, but, you know, take it seriously and strive to, uh, rank highly on the carnivore scores chart and you’ll will soon realize that when you fuel yourself with the best nutrition and you feel great both during the meal and in the hours after your meal, you don’t have that digestive distress that comes from eating the hot fudge sundaes and the Skittles, boy, it’s gonna make your life better overall.
And those few seconds of pleasure that you enjoy when you’re downing a spoonful or a pintful of Ben and Jerry’s, it’s simply not worth it in the big picture. It’s not a sacrifice to eliminate these indulgent foods. It’s actually a sacrifice to keep them in your diet because of the adverse health consequences that they generate. That was a great line from Andrew MacNaughton when he was talking to, uh, a distant, uh, family member at a big family dinner table and he was providing the rationale for his highly scrutinized diet. And the, the person, uh, retorted well, um, I couldn’t I couldn’t get rid of pizza. That would be too big of a sacrifice. And he said, no, no, you’re getting it backwards. The big sacrifice is keeping pizza in your diet rather than eliminating it. I love twisting that on its end and I’ll leave you with that twisted thought.
Thank you so much for listening to this powerful Q and A session and we had some great long answers because of the thoughtful questions. So please participate yourself, email email@example.com, give us your feedback, give us your questions. We’ll continue to grow as a community and boy, sharing the show helps so much. So if you can push that button on your podcast player and send a text message to someone that you think would appreciate this material, and then if you take it a step further leaving a review, oh my gosh, it makes so much difference in the visibility of the show. I also wanna thank you right now for getting us the wonderful boost in rankings where we landed in the top 10 for the first time in the Apple Podcast fitness category. So, hey, now we can walk around saying I’m listening to a top 10 show, but the rankings change every day.
So the next day you pop out, then you pop back up. And I don’t pay too much attention to that cuz I’m just trying to be authentic and generate the best quality content I can. But moving up the rankings is a big deal because then other listeners can find it when they’re browsing around looking for ideas for content on Apple podcasts. So thank you so much for listening and getting us into the top 10 ranking. Let’s try to stay there with your help by leaving a review and telling others about the show. I appreciate it so much and have a great day. Thanks for listening. Hey, thanks for listening. Hey, thanks for listening.
Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list at bradkearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when, when you subscribe to the email list and if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with Apple Podcasts or wherever else you listen to the shows, that would be super incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called Overcast allows you to actually record a soundbite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember, B.rad.