Jason Prall delivers a sensational presentation in this episode on the fascinating topic of human longevity!
Rarely have I interviewed such a powerhouse guest, so fasten your seatbelts because this guy brings the heat and you can hardly catch your breath as we cover a tremendous range of topics all centered around longevity.
Jason is well-known for his documentary series called Human Longevity Project, and he also recently released a book called Beyond Longevity: A Human Plan For For Healing Faster, Feeling Better, and Thriving At Any Age. We cover so many other topics aside from the basics of eating healthy, exercise, and moderating stress, and Jason’s work has led him to doing an incredible amount of research into these topics, which makes him an incredibly passionate and knowledge resource. We have a really practical and grounded conversation that also incorporates elements of appreciation, spirituality, aging gracefully, and according to Jason, “paying attention to all the energetic inputs to highlight the areas that provide the biggest opportunity for improvement.”
QUOTES: “If we wish to thrive in the modern world, we must create a mental, emotional, physical, and energetic environment that is congruent with this natural lifecycle.”
Jason brings us all the latest information on longevity. [00:56]
The Human Longevity Project came about from looking at combining all aspects of our current life as well as spiritual concepts and a deeper understanding of biology. [03:30]
What have we learned from the people in the Blue Zone? [07:50]
Why would we want to live to 100? [09:29]
We have to concentrate on how we deal with the effects of today’s lifestyle with technology and other things that trigger our nervous system. We have adapted to the environment that we’re in. [21:26]
We all have the capacity to change our mental and emotional framework. [27:03]
Do the people in the Blue Zone naturally feel grateful and are they naturally able to manage their attention and priorities without a Google calendar? [28:30]
In our culture, there is actually an underlying stressor keeping our sympathetic system elevated on a chronic basis. [34:15]
The foods that people eat in different cultures vary and they are not labeled bad or good. All foods are bad or good in the right context. Each person is different. [37:50]
The people in the Blue Zones eat what is available. They can get away with eating more Starchy carbohydrates because they are on the move all day long. [43:57]
There won’t be Blue Zones like in the past because modern Western influence has emerged. [47:31]
It is important to pay attention to all the energetic inputs that provide the biggest opportunities for improvement wherever you stand now. Pay attention to the circadian rhythm. [54:28]
What did you see that was the impact of Western society as you were going back and forth between these primitive cultures and places like New York City? [01:01:26]
The first seven years of one’s life lays the groundwork for longevity. [01:07:48]
The depth of knowledge and awareness that those centenarians Jason interviewed have, not only acknowledges their culture and their life, and the human experience from their perspective, but they also seem to understand it. [01:18:50]
They have a community of safety. They trust that things are going to be fine. [01:21:36]
Living a youthful life, hanging out with younger people, and pets all help you keep up that youthful spirit. [01:28:44]
You have an opportunity every day to establish a new way of being. [01:31:53]
- Brad Kearns.com
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- The Human Longevity Project
- Beyond Longevity
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We can’t understand the world other than how we’re feeling. So we feel these emotions and these, these sensations in our bodies, and then we react. And if anybody’s been around a two year old, or a three-year-old, or one year old or an infant, you, you watch them and they just respond to the energetic signals that are happening.
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three, world ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and delivers short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey. Talk to laugh. Have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.
Jason Prall, people, just delivered a sensational presentation on the fascinating topic of human longevity. Rarely have I interviewed such a powerhouse guest, so fasten your seat belts. This guy brings the heat, and you can barely catch your breath as we cover a tremendous range of topics all centered around longevity. He’s well known for his documentary film series called The Human Longevity Project, and he’s just released a new book titled ` A Proven Plan for Healing Faster, Feeling Better, and Thriving at Any Age.
And You will learn in this show why he titled the Book Beyond Longevity, because we cover so many other topics besides the nuts and bolts of how to eat healthy and exercise and think positive and be grateful, and manage modern stress levels. So he has done an amazing amount of research and interviewing in the course of writing the book and filming the Human Longevity Project. So what he essentially did was piggyback on the very well known Blue Zones book and lifestyle movement, which identified pockets of centenarians around the globe, longer living than average people, and all the lifestyle behaviors. And as you may know from some of my other shows the Blue Zones has come under some criticism recently for kind of cherry picking the message saying that the plant-based diet is the reason that these Blue Zones live longer. Well deserved criticism, in my opinion.
And Jason does a great job kind of reconciling all these cherry picking and nitpicking concerns and sending the message of what he’s learned from interviewing these wonderful centenarians that have so many positive lifestyle attributes that we can take with us and adapt into the realities of hectic, high-res modern life. So it’s a very practical discussion where he talks about how we’re not gonna be able to rewind the clock and go back and live in these primitive areas and have no mobile technology or hyperconnectivity or any of the things that maybe we enjoy and appreciate about modern life. But we do want to honor some of the important principles particularly about diet, exercise, circadian rhythm, and all that. But he spends a lot of time going into the mental, emotional, spiritual aspects of longevity and also appreciating life along the way.
So I love his quote in talking about the, the book description where he says that the pursuit of longevity and alone is insufficient and hollow. And so it’s all about enjoying our life, aging gracefully, and quote from Jason, paying attention to all the energetic inputs to highlight the areas that provide the biggest opportunity for improvement. That includes exercise, diet, sunlight, temperature stress, sleep, electronics, conditioned beliefs, unconscious emotions, habituated thoughts and so forth. And we talk about this popular subject these days of our programming that occurred from preconception up to around age seven. He contends as the most important time period of your life to promote longevity. Don’t worry you listeners, over age seven, have plenty of makeup work to do and mindfulness training to counteract some of the things that didn’t go perfectly during that time. But it starts with awareness and the programming that we carry around and express on a daily basis that can be affecting our enjoyment and appreciation of a long, healthy, happy life. I enjoyed this show tremendously. Look forward to connecting with Jason in the future. So here we go with Jason Prall director of the Human Longevity Project, and a new book Beyond Longevity, Jason Prall Thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule and preparing this amazing body of work, including the recent release of your book, as well as the video project. So I think we should start with you talking about the Human Longevity Project and the book Beyond Longevity, and then we’ll get into, we got lots to talk about, man.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, longevity is such an interesting topic right now, and I think it’s, you know, obviously humans have been interested in, in aging and longevity and what it means to be alive. Like what, what is life itself, right? I mean, these are very, very big questions that have been asked for, um, since, since we’ve been alive. And, and yet I think we we’re, we’re coming across this very interesting nexus where technology is opening unbelievable, crazy doors. And, and I sort of highlight crazy in some ways because we can go down some really, paths I don’t think are so good for us. And then we’ve also got a deeper understanding of biology. And I think there’s a sort of reemergence of the spiritual concepts, right? This, the deeper wise, the philosophical aspects, right, that are, that are also emerging as well as the, the indigenous and ancient ways of, of being, right?
We have meditations and yogas and breath works and Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. These are all kind of percolating under the surface and really starting to make a difference in the Western paradigm. And so, uh, and again, ayahuascas right there, there’s all kinds of things going on, and it’s all converging. And I think coming at this idea of longevity, what it means to be alive, is it important to live a long life? That’s an interesting question in and of itself, but this is what’s fascinating to me right now. Um, and especially as I get into sort of the, the mid part of my life, you know, it’s sort of natural to sort of ask these, these questions. You know, I’ve got a young child and, and so, you know, you start thinking about these things in a new way. And I think that’s actually what’s interesting as we get older, as we, as we spend more time on this planet, is that we, we start asking different questios, right?
And, so I think right now we’re coming across this really interesting period where regenerative medicine is gonna start playing a huge role. Maybe not even an extending life per se, although I, do think that that may happen, but, but providing a better quality of life, um, into our sixties, seventies, eighties. And to me, I think this is what most people are looking for. That’s why I called the book Beyond Longevity, because I think longevity’s interesting and, I think it, it’s more important to, to live in a way that is, uh, a little bit more coherent, uh, uh, throughout our lives. And so that was, that was part of the, the same questions that I, that I really use to investigate, you know, with the Human Longevity Project, which was a nine part film series. And kind of asking these same questions, but using the Blue Zones work, piggybacking on the Blue Zones, which are these regions around the world that have these hundred year olds living more a hundred year olds living in a, in a population, um, than than other parts of the world, right?
There’s statistically significant areas where people are making it to a hundred. And, and the question is why. Why are these areas so interesting when it comes to centenarians, you know, providing these, these, these people that are in their nineties and hundreds? And I think that’s interesting from a, from a demographic perspective, right? If I’m a demographer, I’m asking those questions, but as a health researcher, as a practitioner, health practitioner, I’m actually looking at that and saying, what are they doing that that can be applied everywhere in the world? Like, that’s what’s interesting, right? It’s not the area. I don’t, it’s not like some place on the planet, it’s gonna provide all this stuff. It’s like, yeah, there’s something they’re doing. There’s ways of being that there that, that is leading to health. And how can we extract some of that in that wisdom?
Well, I like how in your book description, you talk about how the pursuit of longevity alone is insufficient and hollow, end quote, and I love thinking about that because, you know, we have pretty good, uh, you know, rise in average life expectancy until recently, but, um, you know, we think 80 is, uh, normal or even impressive in some ways. But we forget that, you know, the last eight years were in, uh, cognitive decline or, you know, the quality of life is disastrous. Even going back to age 37 when the, the former superstar high school jock is now, uh, just watching the N F L on Sunday and talking about how he blew out his right shoulder, otherwise he would’ve started for a D one program. And we see so much spectating, so much consumption of digital information and lack of, you know, getting in there and living this incredibly rich, active, rewarding life and taking on physical challenges and all those kind of things.
I think this is the big question, right? So let’s just, let’s just take for granted that we wanna live a long time. Let’s just say that that’s, that’s everybody wants to live long time.
Yeah. Okay. Hold on a sec. Let me get one with that. Okay. I’m good with that. <laugh>,
Right? I mean, generally speaking, we wanna be here. But the question is why,? Like, that that really is where the juice starts to come into play. Like, why? Because if you think about it, and, and there’s people that have been, um, I forgot his name as a doctor out of Australia. I think he lived to a hundred, he was 103, or, or, or maybe he’s younger, maybe he’s in his nineties, but he, he, he went to Europe, um, to engage with assisted suicide. He was done. He didn’t wanna be here anymore. His, his eyesight wasn’t what it used to be. He couldn’t think as well, his hearing wasn’t, so his faculties were going, right? And so I’m not, I’m not condoning it or condemning it. It just is what it is. It’s interesting, it’s interesting that somebody can get into that part of their life and be in relatively good health, but comparatively they weren’t able to do the things that they, that they once did that made them happy. So that the, the way that one lived was, seemed to be the reason for being, and because that wasn’t, he wasn’t able to do that anymore.
He lost all the juice, right? And so that’s interesting, right? Yeah. So I guess that’s, that’s the thing. And, and look, if what if, well, what if I were to say you that, that you could live to 150 years old, right? And, actually, let me sweeten it up a little bit and say, you, you can live to 150, you take this pill, you live to 150, and you’ll be healthy the entire time. And I’m talking like, you can go on runs, you’re actually pretty healthy. Well, the world around you is gonna change all your relatives, right? Your kids, maybe even some of your grandkids. Like, it’s all gonna start to change and shift. Is that still a thing that you, that sounds interesting, you know, maybe, maybe not, right? So, yeah, I’ll
Take it. I’ll take it.
So, so this is what becomes, uh, fascinating, right? Yeah. And, and same thing. I asked a 94 year old lady this, I said, you know, you’re 94, uh, you know, most of your husbands passed away. Your family’s not around. What keeps you going? She said, well, I gotta learn this song for the violin on Thursday. Ooh,
Brilliant. Like it, yeah. That is somebody who was able to find meaning in the mundane, right? They’re able to find this passion, this purpose, this reason for being in something that seems so humble and really not that important. But to her it was mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, so I guess this, this is where it start, the questions start to get interesting is what are we doing? Why are we here? What, what’s the point? Why do you want to live a long time? You know, that starts to generate the right questions, I think, and, and allows you to pursue the right end goals.
I’m thinking of Dr. Anna Lembke’s quote, she’s the author of Dopamine Nation, and she said, um, the challenges that you take on in life can take on epic proportions, but it doesn’t mean you have to climb to the top of the mountain. In other words, your personal challenge. You know, when I clear the high jump bar in an empty high school stadium, and I’m screaming like, I just won the Olympic gold, it is like I won the Olympic gold because it’s my own personal challenge. It doesn’t have to be on the front page of, uh, the internet. And I’m also thinking of my father who had a great run of 97 years. He passed in 2019, and he played golf at a very high level throughout his life until he was 95. And I had the good privilege of playing the last round ever played with him.
He shot a 43 for nine holes. He had moved from 18 holes to nine holes, and we’re driving home from the golf course. And he says, you know, I’m no damn good at this game anymore. I’m gonna quit. And I’m like, dad, you’re 95 and you just shot a 43 for nine holes. But he was a, you know, he was a par shooter his whole life. And, um, he didn’t play anymore because that was, that was enough for him. And he, he’d crossed that path to where now it was okay to just rest and hit chip shots in the backyard. And I think we all have the right to kind of grow old and, and slow things down and dial things back. But I feel like today, and I’m sure your research can confirm this, um, our timelines are all screwed up where we think that decline starts when we’re 37, and then we’re gonna get a spare tire, and by the time we’re 60, we’re gonna need an average of, what is it, 12 prescription medications that the average American is on. And all these things that around us are normal, but are completely, you know, distorted from what’s possible. Yep.
I agree. I totally, and, and, and, and what’s interesting is that as we have this regenerative medicine movement starting to come online with stem cells and all these biologics and, and, and peptides, and, and the list is gonna go on and, and our use of, of light in really interesting ways and even sound and electricity. We’re gonna use really cool technologies in a regenerative capacity. And I know a lot of biologics to, to sort of clean up a lot of the damage that we’ve done to ourselves, <laugh>, that’s all well and good, but, but what I’m also, what I want to try to wake people up to is it’s not enough to just live this disharmonious life and then rely on something like stem cells to recover and save you, right? Like, we’re all doing things that maybe out of ignorance or, or, or what have you.
We’re we’re doing things that aren’t exactly the healthiest way of operation. And that’s okay. And that’s where these things can come into play, and we should be using them. And I think it’s still a worthwhile pursuit to engage with a lifestyle with a mental framework, with an emotional framework, with, with our relationships to ourselves, to our family, to others, to society, to to God, to the environment in a way that is, uh, life affirmative, right? That is harmonious. That is important too. And so, that, that is kind of a fear that I have, is that we’re just gonna start, we’re gonna continue to abuse things, and then we’re gonna use these, we’re gonna use these new cool technologies to save us, right?
<laugh>, knee replacements, <laugh> record rates. Yeah. Right?
Yeah. And, and it’s an infantile way of, of operating. And, and if we look to some,
No offense to anybody who’s, uh, going out there and going for their regular stem cell knee replacement slash prescription drug regimen, right? Hormone replacement, whatever, whatever,
Right? But I mean, look, let, let’s take it looks like, um, Ben Greenfield, right? That’s somebody that probably your audience knows, right? He’s, he’s somebody who’s happy to go engage with that stuff, and he’s also interested in doing everything he can to live in a harmonious way, right? So like, that’s, that’s, that’s where we wanna go, in my opinion mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we don’t have to shun these new technologies and the new things that are coming online and, um, to embrace them without looking at how we can live in a healthier way, not only for ourselves, right? But for, for the environment. Because the environment is just a reflection of our own internal sort of turmoil and, and or harmony, right? So, so it, it is in this, this relational context I think is important because how we show up is going to impact everything that we touch, every, everybody that we come into contact with is going to be affected, um, by, by how we live our lives, right? So, so that is the opportunity. And so to me, this is where I think, uh, we can use these two things, uh, in conjunction. And that is really where we want to go, um, to, to, I think, create more harmony within our lives.
Dang, Jason, you’re, you’re stuck on this big picture perspective. I wish you would get off your high horse and then zero in on some, some magical drugs that are coming. But you really do make that important point and, and constantly emphasize the holistic. I’m gonna read a quote where you said, if we wish to thrive in the modern world, we must create a mental, emotional, physical and energetic environment that’s congruent with this natural lifestyle. It seems like both mainstream western medicine, of course, is looking at the very narrow disease model, and then also the, um, you know, the, the spiritual side oftentimes, uh, maybe neglects to integrate the importance of going in and throwing some weight around in the gym and doing a sprint workout and, and eliminating those junk foods. And, uh, I’m, I’m, I’ve made this quip many times on my show where I said, who’s gonna win the longevity battle? Is it gonna be the next Jack LaLane who’s working out like a fiend and building that muscle mass and keeping it all the way up to a hundred? Or is it gonna be some monk who’s shuffling around and the monastery and having brown rice and lentil soup and sitting on the meditation cushion for two hours a day? And maybe you’re gonna answer that. It could be a tie or someone who’s integrating both of those ideas. Well,
This is what’s interesting, right? And I think it’s, it’s why it was one of the reasons I wanted to pursue the Human Longevity Project docu-series was because of the Blue Zone work, right? They were, they did great work in that, in that way. And, and they found things that these people were doing that led to healthy life. But, and I went to all these places. I went to iad. Really? Wow. I interviewed, uh, dozens of people in iad, in Sarnia in the Guana Costa region of Costa Rica, in Okinawa. I spoke with them. I, I I, I, I learned about how they grew up when they were, you know, children, I learned about what their parents did. Most of them didn’t have electricity until like the 1950s. So they were, they lived 50 years of their lives or more without electricity. That means no refrigeration, right?
Like you, we can’t even fathom what that life was like, right? Most of ’em didn’t have cars cuz they were in, in rural villages, right. They walked a tremendous amount. They were constantly moving. They were sleeping when the sun was setting. They were up first thing in the morning mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they were interacting with livestock and animals and all kinds of things. They were going with the seasons, right? Like they were living this sort of idealistic paleo style of living 50 years ago, 60 years ago mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? So they, they lived that. But, you and I will never live that life unless we go remove ourselves from society and try to do something pretty crazy, which, which is available, but it’s not really what I want to do. I actually like this computer. I like doing podcasts. Like, I like the life that I live.
I like going to the refrigerator for some food. I like being able to order my food, uh, and have it delivered to me like the, these are modern conveniences. And we can, we can discuss how, you know, how, how in alignment some of them are. But the point is, is that in our modern environment, in our modern context, we’re gonna, we’re gonna have to uncover a new way of being. In other words, we can be walking monks with the technology. We can do that and we can go exercise and lift weights and do our mobility exercises and do our yoga, and do our breath work, right? And do all these different things. The people that I spoke with that were 95, 102, 105 in the mountains of Sardinia, et cetera, none of them did breath work. None of them did yoga. None of them lifted weights.
None of them did these things. They lived a completely different lifestyle. So the point is, we’re not gonna go back to that. We’ve gotta create our own version of what this looks like. And we know, the value of resistance training. We know the value of high intensity interval training. We know the value of yin yoga, we know the value of walking purely just walking. Right? So, so this is kind of the point of all this is with modern science, with historical context, with evolutionary biology, with these indigenous cultures, with these ancient practices of Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, we can actually take all of those and weave them together in our own unique way. And we can bring re regenerative medicine along for the ride as well. And so we have a cool new way that we can operate. And what’s even crazier is that we now live in an environment that is, I would argue, more challenging than the people that I spoke with that didn’t have electricity.
They never had to walk through a grocery store and say no to 52 cereals, <laugh>, right? And all these organic, uh, cakes and processed foods, right. Which are engineered to like completely hijack our brain mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? With the crunch and the sweet and the fat, and the salt and the perfect combination of all these things, and the marketing and the bright colors and the, we have to navigate a world that is very tricky. We have, look at your phone, right? There’s notifications and stimulation and bings and then your dopamine dopaminergic system is being hijacked. You know, we are having to face a reality that has never been for, been seen. Mm-hmm. And we have to navigate this. So it’s very difficult, right? And our nervous system and our sensory systems are being overloaded. So we have to find new ways.
This is why we gotta shut down and go inside and turn out the lights and meditate because we are overstimulated. And it’s beneficial to shut off the phone, to delete some of those apps, to get rid of social media, or at least to engage with it in a conscious way instead of mindlessly scrolling and comparing and judging and all the things that we’re, we’re so easily doing. So, so you see what I’m saying? Like, we are now facing a very difficult world that we’ve adapted to. And we, we don’t know anything else but the world that we live in. But if you go into a different environment, you’ll see that your nervous system starts to calm, time slows down. This is the wild aspect to some of the places that we were in, is that time started to slow down and we were working, we weren’t on vacation.
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I was trying to find a hundred year olds and work with translators and do filming. Mm-hmm. And like, it wasn’t an easy process, but yet time seemed to sort of lengthen. And so this is something that, that really showed me the value of the environment, right? If you’re two aspects of this, if you are on a like, lazy rural country road, you know, there’s, there’s 25 mile an hour speed limit. If you go 60 miles an hour, it’s kind of dangerous. It’s not a good thing. Right? But if you’re on the highway here in LA and the speed limit’s 70 and you’re going 25, also not a good thing. In other words, we adapt to the environment that we’re in. It’s actually safer in some ways to go 70. Right? And we’re conditioned to that, to that speed. So when I was in some of these places, I could sense my, my nervous system, my sensory system was, was going at the pace that I was used to.
Mm. And it finally settled when I was there. And then when I landed, I remember this, I’ll never forget this landing back in Houston Airport. And I felt the immediate rush of my environment, that it was just like madness. You can, you, you find this, if you go to New York City, if you’re not from New York and you from a smaller town, you land in New York, there’s this buzz and it’s an excitement and it’s a frenzy and it’s a craziness. Some people thrive on that. But that’s taxing our systems. And so there’s a lot that we’re, that we’re up against in a way. And there’s a lot of opportunity that we have.
Whew. Very well said. And it is something I think we can all still relate to at least a little bit from the last time we went on a camping trip or had Oh, yeah, a fast from the constant distractability of mobile technology. And interestingly, those of us in my age group, I’m 57 now, I have an incredible reference period of perhaps half of my life where there was no internet, there was no mobile device. And so I have all this reference of, you know, a a lazy afternoon sitting on the couch and reading a stack of books or you know, having social engagements that were not highly lit up with, you know, playing a, uh, uh, a game and interacting with mobile device and having the conversation, you know, skidded and fluttering around because someone grabbed something on their phone and decided to mention it or look up something. Yeah. And so it’s kind of unnerving to me cuz I do love modern times and using my, my, uh, my Google map to get somewhere rather than having to pull over and, and unfold the, I think young listeners probably don’t know what I’m talking about when I unfold the accordion map, but Yes. Back in the day, well, we’re
Just relying your memory, right. Cause you got lost 20 times. Yeah. And you know what, and you just knew the entire town because you had it mapped in your head. Yeah.
And I used to ride my bike a lot. I was professional triathlete out there navigating Southern California and wherever we were training, and I can attest to, I, I’ve read about this concept and then I realize it myself that my sense of direction has been decimated by the reliance on technology. Where before I would just feel my way through areas that I wasn’t familiar with and had that, that refined sense that’s now gone and is, is never coming back, I guess. But, back to that, back to that self-discipline concept, it seems like, you know, we’re obligated to make these choices and we can all nod our head like you asked us before, and let’s assume we all wanna live a long time. Well, we’re gonna have to get out of our own way, I guess, as the main objective
Totally. And, and create an environment that is conducive to our health. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so this is what is it becomes really, really important is, you know, if you, if you’re trying to lose weight, well then, then it’s important to, to, when you go to the grocery store, go after you’ve already eaten and buy the foods that you know you wanna eat and keep those in the house. Right? Like a very simple example. Yeah. So that way what’s in your house, you’re not being tempted by those chips and that ice cream and that pizza and all the things that you know, are not gonna be conducive to you losing that weight, so to speak. Right? So we, this is, this is the framework that we can use for everything, right? If I feel like I’m, I’m overstressed, I’m mentally in, uh, uh, emotionally taxed, and I feel like there’s too much going on, why I can create structure that allows me, uh, the sort of frees up time so I can add more structure to my day.
You know, I can block out certain calendars mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, I can, I can delete apps or I can turn off the notifications and the badges on my phone. There’s way, you know, you can, there’s all these, uh, apps and timers now that can mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, you know, for focus. There’s, there’s ways to set up your environment. And so these are what we might call hacks, but it’s really getting creative with your environment and, and setting it up in a way, and maybe, maybe you live in a place that isn’t conducive to your health. Right. And moving to a place may be challenging, um, but it may be the best thing for you to set up a condition whereby you can wake up every day and be healthy and live the lifestyle that you wanna live. Right? So, these are the choices that we, we do have the luxury of making most of us.
I’m not saying it’s easy for everybody. I grew up quite poor. I know, I know. The, the limitations and the challenges that come with having a limited ability to make change. And we all have the capacity to change our mental framework, our emotional framework, our belief systems, a lot of them are conditioned. But we can shift those, we can go into the unconscious processes so that our conscious now, uh, is, is operating in a way that’s more conducive to health. And we can take conscious efforts, we can do gratitude practices, we can, uh, look for the silver lining in things and view the, the positive aspects of each day and each moment in each interaction. There are ways that we can consciously start to shift. And this is neuroplasticity. This is, there’s a science behind this that your brain will rewire and, and to fit the way that you are operating.
Right? So it’s building new habits. It’s figuring out what is in the way of you living in a healthy way. Right? Some people don’t have had to put any effort into going to the gym. In fact, it’s effortful for them not to go. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, if they don’t go, they, they, they stress out about not going right. Like, it’s more painful for them not to go. Hmm. Well, why is that? Well, they created a habit and a lifestyle and a practice that is, that is established. And so these are the things that we can shift and we can change our environment instead of being subject to our environment, we can now manipulate our own local environments in a million different ways, such that the operation is more conducive to health.
That’s a great counter to anyone who’s complaining about the drawbacks of all the processed food and the distractability and all that. I remember interviewing Seth Goden, many time bestselling author. And one of my questions was, and, and, you know, productivity focusing expert. And I said, Seth, you know, when I’m working on a book, do you have any tips for me to, to, to help me, you know, a avoid the distraction of my email inbox, which always seems to be there and, and, you know, pulls me away. And he says, yeah, turn that shit off and get the work done, <laugh>. And that was, that was the end of his answer. I’m like, yeah. In my face, of course. Simple as that. So when you traveled around and went to these pockets, these highly regarded pockets of longevity, the Blue Zones, did you see any of these attributes coming out in their mentality where they were, you know, naturally grateful or naturally able to, you know, manage their attention and their priorities and their well scheduled day? Even if it didn’t look like a Google calendar? From our perspective?
Well, they, they tended to operate more at the pace of nature, right? So, so, you know, they have the same day as we have, they have the same amount of time in a day, right? And it’s just a matter of how they’re, how they’ve been accustomed to think about that day, right? They, they’re accustomed, most of them have grew up in a time where the sun and the seasons guided everything. So what food you grew and what foods you ate, and the seasonal patterns of things is gonna dictate kind of what you ate. And you have choice. You have some choice, of course, but, but it’s, it’s limited to what nature’s gonna be able to provide. And so you got up when the sun got up, or just before because the animals needed tending to, or the garden needed tending to, or the, you know, the farm and, and then you went to bed.
You didn’t stay up late. There was no reason to stay up late and you needed to sleep so that you can get your work done for the next day. So they operated in that daily cycle in a way that was pretty habituated because that’s what nature sort of set. They set the clock. Same thing with the seasons. So, so they operated in that way. They also seemed to go with the flow. They recognize that that shit hits the fans sometimes. And that they had a societal structure that allowed for some give and take in the things that went wrong. They had support, you know, we’ve in the west have prided ourselves on individuation and the ability to create our own life and to sustain ourselves, right? There’s this independence that we have claimed, and I think it’s sort of in our DNA in the United States, this sort of independence kind of mindset, you know?
And I think the people who came over here were, and there’s a lot, I think evolutionary speaking, so to speak, that that, that plays into that culturally societally that has ingrained in us. And this unbelievable wealth that we’ve been able to create has allowed us to find this individuated way of living that has created so much disconnected, so much feeling of a lack of true support, right? That’s what we’re missing, I think, in, in the West. So we’ve lost some of those support networks where truly if something hit the fan, like we actually have people around us that can pick us up and vice versa. So when you have that safety net in the community, um, then there’s a different level of operation where you are just a little bit, it’s a little bit easier to go with the flow. So they all had this very chill mentality, very paced, right?
They weren’t anxious, they weren’t rushed, they weren’t depressed. They were very here, they were very centered. They were very with it. And they all had a pretty balanced demeanor. Like they were generally happy, like, you know, no, no matter they went and they went through hard times. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, a lot of them, um, went through periods where, I mean, we call it fasting, but they, they, they didn’t eat for I mean super, super low calorie for months at a time. You know, I mean, some of these people were I mean almost deathly skinny mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, uh, during periods of war, or government rationing, um, various things like that. Um, the stories that I heard were, were pretty amazing. And also, we know some of the value of some of this stuff from a sort of mitochondrial perspective, from bioenergetics and longevity.
We know that these confer benefits. And so they lived a hard life, but they were also tested. It also gave them perspective, right? We, we in the west, and I’m a hundred percent putting myself in this, in this boat, little soft life, you know, and I played athletics, and I think I know what it means to struggle, but like most of us lived a pretty soft life, and we haven’t had to truly struggle to survive, so to speak. And some people have, so I don’t want to diminish that. But we, we’ve also lived a disconnected life. So the pain and the, the challenges that we’ve experienced are more from emotional disconnection. A family unit that has kind of been a little shaky, right? A lot of, a lot of divorce, a lot of, you know, messiness in sort of the family structures.
They had a little bit more connection in the family, and a lot of them had 7, 8, 9, 12 kids. And that was a, a critical, uh, sort of structure and fundamental components of their society. So it is a very, very different life. And, and, and speaking with a lot of those people, you just, you felt it in the way that they were mm-hmm. <affirmative>. They were, they were more at ease with whatever happened. You know? They were more at peace with things. They didn’t have a, um, some big ambitious thing. They, they let me talk about purpose and passion, right? Most of them didn’t have a purpose or passion beyond just being happy and carrying on throughout their day. Right? So we think differently here in the west. And so, you know, I’m not saying one’s better or worse, but, but I think it’s interesting to find some of the juice that they have. Hmm. And to bring that forth into our culture a little bit. The things that we’re missing
Yeah. Sprinkle it in a little bit. Totally. Don’t have to go, we don’t have to model them. Exactly. And I think we get into trouble with this obsession with modeling our primitive ancestors as well. Yes. Yes. And kind of misinterpret or misapply the model to the extent that and one thing I guess I’ll ask you now too, with this, uh, concept of hormetic stress mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, yes. We know the wonderful benefits of jumping into my cold plunge, which awaits outside because I’m not gonna make it through a long, dark, cold, harsh winter with minimal calories and, and marching in the snow, like the World War I soldiers or whatever. And so I’ll do this therapeutic cold exposure to boost my health. But there is there’s some possibility here that when we layer these practices on top of an already hectic, high stress, chronically stressful modern life, we could overdo it. Jay Feldman Energy Balance podcast, who’s been on my show a few times and has a great article called, called Is Hormesis Even Healthy, where he contends that because we have these modern advantages today, when we do something like fasting and a sprint workout and a busy day at the office, we could be overloading our system to the extent that the hormetic stress is not delivering that net adaptive positive benefit.
I love this. And that’s exactly right, right? Because the true concept of hormetic stress is reaching that, that peak stress point such that you can adapt and recover, right? And so we think of this thing as cold therapy, these plunges as a hormetic stress. No, That may actually be, you don’t have enough capacity to deal with that right now. So don’t do it because any amount is gonna overload you. So that’s not hormetic stress at all. That’s beyond you’ve already gone the other side of the curve, right? So, uh, I think this point is very, very well, uh, stated. We’re seeing that a lot because what we have in our, in our culture is actually this underlying stressor that’s happening. Our nervous systems, our sympathetic drive is elevated on a chronic basis.
And so now if we’re doing even exercise, like I think some people will exercise too hard because they think they’re getting this hormetic stress, but they’re not able to truly rest and recover in the proper way. So, you know, if you’re working with somebody who is chronically ill, and this is as a practitioner, this is, this is my patient population, my client population, autoimmune conditions, cancers, unknown syndromes of all kinds, you don’t actually just start pushing them and say, go do a bunch of exercise. We actually want to get to the rest side first. How do we get that parasympathetic tone really dialed in? How do we calm that sympathetic drive? How do we get them to sleep better? That is step one. So once you start getting that, it’s like a bodybuilder knows this too. You can, you can train and train and train, but if you’re not resting and recovering and providing the, the resource for the body to actually adapt, then what are we doing?
We’re just breaking it down faster, right? So, so this point is very well taken, and I think, um, it’s something that we need to consider in this, in this modern context because we have all these devices and all this biohacking and all this stuff going on. What is the context? You know, I spoke with an Ayurvedic master who I, i I love, um, his name is Dr. Vasant Lad. And he is a true, true master. Um, he’s kind of the guy that brought Ayurveda to the west like 60 years ago. And I asked him, I said, what about cold therapy? What about cold plunges ice bath and everything? He said, yeah, they’re, they’re good, but they increase Vata. So what he, what he was pointing to without getting into too deep of Ayurvedic information here, is that in the right context, they can be good and in the right context, they can push you out of balance.
So it’s, it’s the same thing with foods. It’s the same thing with exercise and sunlight and everything that we talk about almost. There’s certain things like love and connection that you can’t get too much of that, right? Like, it’s just more of that out of balance. Out of balance. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So there’s some things that, that, that they’re just infinitely good no matter how much you get. But, but most things are contextual, right? And this is the, this is why we have so much debate around the food industry, and it’s one of the reasons I love the sort of the Blue Zones and going into these cultures, because in Sardinia bread was a staple, and it still is a staple. They eat bread, they nonstop every meal. I heard it from everybody. If you didn’t have bread, it was the end of it.
You must have bread at a meal. It’s really, really important. It, it contributes to our health, right? And then you go to Costa Rica and they eat corn and beans and rice and all these starchy carbohydrates. And then you go to Okinawa and every place has different food contexts, and every place has eats a ton of foods that we in the west have classified as bad in one way or another, whether it’s meat, whether it’s fruits, starchy carbohydrates, lectins, phytates, you name it, it doesn’t matter. We can go through all their diets and say, Nope, that’s bad. That’s, somebody’s gonna tell you that this is bad. And the truth is, is that they’re all bad or good in the right context. Mm. Right. Beans for some people, certain constitutions, and for certain people with conditions that aren’t conducive to digesting beans, they’re gonna be horrendous.
How you cook the beans is gonna matter. Are you eating the beans midday when your digestion is really good and you’re on empty stomach? Or are you eating them late at night with a bunch of other foods processed the wrong way with all, they’re not organic, right? Like there’s a million contextual frameworks for all these different foods. And I’m not arguing one way of eating or the other. But the point is, context is everything. And so the biggest contextual component is you. What is your constitution? And this is what Ayurveda knows. This is what Chinese medicine knows. This is what a lot of the indigenous cultures know, is that each person is different. And we know that too. But we don’t tend to take that into consideration when we’re thinking about diet and exercise and all the lifestyle factors. Partially because we don’t know how to identify who am I, right?
In these other contexts. Ayurveda provides a framework. They can look at your eyes and your tongue and your hair and your skin color, and the body shape and all these different factors until, and read your pulse. Are you more Vata or Ka or Pitta, or which, how are you imbalanced? We are still trying to do that in the West with our genetic testing and our SNPs mm-hmm. <affirmative> and all these different things. And I think we’re getting closer, but we haven’t developed a coherent framework for how to use this stuff. So the best thing we can still do is either rely on some of these more ancient ways of doing that, or listening to our body and say, yeah, I don’t know why, but for whatever reason, when I eat sweet potato, just doesn’t agree with me. Could be something going on in my gut right now. Could be constitutionally, could be the time of day that I’m eating, could be that I’m not peeling them or I’m, you know, this is all something to look at. So context is really everything when we talk about this stuff. And some people thrive doing tons of cold therapy. Mm-hmm. And some people, it just doesn’t do it for ’em. And it’s not good to keep pushing it no matter how hard you think you want to go with it and how good you think it is. It’s all contextual.
Yeah. And I think further upstream we go, the context is this overlay our high stress, modern life. Yeah. Uh, flawed attitudes, behavior patterns, and all the things that you bring to the table, such as a, a easy example would be, uh, leaky gut syndrome, where nothing agrees with you because your digestive system is off. And so you can blame, or you can pay for an expensive allergy test and find out that these foods don’t work for you. But if you were to, to heal and kind of turn the corner, then you could thrive. And I like how you characterize the Blue Zones diets and all the disparity they had, because one of the heavy criticisms of the Blue Zones, Paul Saladino is doing a good job pointing this out, is that, uh, they’re trying to advance this plant-based message. And he even played a, a quote from Dan Beutner where it was like, yeah, we chose to emphasize that in order to streamline our our thing rather than, you know, what you just conveyed is like, there’s a lot of variation, there’s a lot of inclusivity and, and all that stuff. So, that kind of, well, when counters that objection, I guess.
Yeah. And what’s interesting about that is that even with the Blue Zones, and again, I, I know Michelle Polan, who’s the demographer, who you know, was really a big, played a big role in that. Loma Linda is not a Blue Zone Loma Linda. They, they included it in their National Geographic coverage of it, because they needed somewhere in the, in the US so that it could sell in US readers. So we
Wouldn’t feel bad that we were totally shut out <laugh>. But
That we’re cool too, right? Yeah.
So, and, and it’s not that, it’s not that there’s nothing to learn outta Loma Linda, because it is that Seventh Day Adventist, uh, way of living that seems to con be conducive to health mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but that region, that area is nothing. There’s nothing special about it. So it’s, it’s actually a specific, well, we could look at like the Amish, like, why don’t we look at them? That, that could be interesting, right?
They must have good longevity stats, right?
So, uh, why is Loma Linda not, why are you saying that they actually don’t have higher life expectancy than the citizens around them? I think that was the, what they were touted as.
Yeah. I mean, look, I live, I actually just passed through there. I just came back down from Big Bear, um, yeah, right. I
Passed, went down Bernardino, the 91 or whatever, the road. Yeah. There they are. Wave to ’em.
And you look around and there’s fast food joints, and it’s not like, it’s, it’s not a picture perfect place of health. Um, they have a good university there. They have the Seventh Day Adventist is mostly Seventh Day Adventist. So they, the way that they live, um, and they’re, because there’s a lot of them there, it kind of tends to be a little bit healthier, but, but it’s more of a reflection of the Seventh Day Adventist than it is the Loma Linda or anything specific about that area or region. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right? And so, um, again, it’s pointing to the lifestyle components like that. It’s the way of being that really is the, the critical factor. And, and this idea of meat and no meat, right? Like, I mean, this is boy <laugh>, it’s such a point.
Get them started. People, I, it’s shifting in a seat here. If you’re watching on video,
It’s just so funny because, um, I understand that the debate, and I understand the intrigue on really what is the best way to live. I think a lot of people w love animals. They wanna protect animals. We, it’s all coming from a good place, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> both sides. Um, and from what I can tell is that, well, first of all, in the Blue Zones and in these regions, they all ate meat. Every single region eats meat. It’s not, it’s not a question, right? Some of meat more sheep based, um, in the mountains, right? They’re shepherds. They don’t eat a lot of fish, right? So we can’t say, oh, is it fish that’s leading to longevity? Is it this meat? Is it that meat? Is it how often? It’s no, no. They eat what is around them and what’s seasonal, right? And so in the more, uh, you know, water-based regions, they, they hate a lot of fish.
That’s just the way it is. You know? They also tended to eat more meat in the middle of their lives. So in, in the, in the kids, the kids don’t eat a lot of meat cuz their digestive system isn’t as, uh, robust. Mm-hmm. So they ate more of the fruits, these young kids, right? They ate, they, they breastfed for longer. A lot. A lot of ’em are breastfed till 5, 6, 7, right? And that makes sense. That’s an easy source of, of nutrition and food. Um, compared to having to grow your own, it depended on, on migratory patterns of some animals, right? They ate lowland alpaca in the Guana Coste region of Costa Rica. That was a common thing, right? But, but corn was their staple, right? So they all ate, they, they all ate meat and, and meat was hard to come by.
It was more expensive. It was harder, right? Imagine again, you don’t have refrigeration. So what are you gonna do if you have a bunch of meat? You better have a big feast, or you better figure out some way to preserve it. And even if you find some way to preserve it, it’s only so good, right? Like you, you, you can’t preserve it for too long. So all of a sudden you’re finding like nuance to all this stuff that makes, starts making a lot of sense. They also, every Blue Zone raised pigs. Why? Super easy to maintain as a, as a homestead, right? They don’t take up a lot of space. They will eat your, your garden scraps. That’s how you feed them. So they’re not expensive to feed. In fact, in Costa Rica, they had so much avocados in the region. They used to feed the pigs avocados, which would make amazing pork meat.
Hmm. And so, um, so, so they, they had pigs. They had a lot of ’em had pigs. They had chickens, right? So they didn’t have a lot of beef. They didn’t have a lot of other wild game other than what they could find. They ate foods that made sense, right? They didn’t eat salads. That doesn’t mean salads aren’t healthy, it’s just if you’re on a homestead and you’re trying to raise all your food yourself, growing a lot of leafy greens isn’t gonna provide a lot of sustenance, right? Better to grow squash better, to grow corn, better to grow beans and things that are actually going to nourish you from an amino acid, from a starch perspective. Now, why did they get away with eating so much? Uh, starchy carbohydrates? Well, they were moving nonstop. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they were outside in the sun all the time, right?
They, from sun up to sun down, they were moving. So they didn’t have wild blood sugar dysregulation, <laugh>, right? From eating a huge bowl of rice and pasta and whatever the case might be. They ate in a way and they didn’t eat too much, right? Why didn’t they eat too much? Cuz they had to grow their own food. So if you had to grow your own food, why would you over consume? You’re just gonna have to work harder to grow more food. None of that made sense, right? So once you put yourself into the shoes of somebody who doesn’t have electricity that’s growing their own food, that’s trading or buying, or in your local community, all of a sudden these dogmas, these ideas, these research papers, they kind of just take a backseat to the reality that you find yourself in. And, and they live that way for at least hundreds and hundreds of years, if not millennia.
In Sardinia, the genetic heritage was preserved so well that a lot of the, the, the, the, um, like the Romans and, and a lot of the migration patterns and the wars and the conflicts, they actually didn’t, uh, take out the sardinians. They actually survived. And so that gene pool actually is fairly well preserved. So what does that mean? That means that that gene pool is highly specified, highly adapted to that micro region of the world. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so that means you have genes that are really, really well suited for that region and the, and the habits and the ways of living persisted, right? They didn’t travel outside that region. Now these Blue Zones were actually, I don’t think they’re gonna be Blue Zones very much longer because all the kids are, are leaving Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>.
Mm-hmm. Okinawa, you’ve seen that stat about Okinawans. It’s one the most shocking. I’ve watched it, I mean, I watch it. The, the life expectancy of an Okinawa who leaves Okinawa is 20 years below those who stay there. Wow.
And even the ones there, they’re, I’m, I have, I mean, forgive me, but there’s a shirt that, that had a McDonald’s M and it says, oh, no, <laugh>, it says I’m fat. Um, they have something called hamburger syndrome. So they’re calling this westernized fast food industry. They call it hamburger syndrome because they understand fundamentally that that is changing the health of even the people that are there. Right. So we’re seeing this start to shift. Right. So the new longevity regions in the future are gonna look totally different. They’re not gonna be Blue Zones like, like they have been in the past. So, again, I provide this context around meat because even as when I interviewed some of these people that were in their 90s and 100 s, they used to eat meat, but then they don’t because it just doesn’t agree with them.
Mm. They, they, they’re listening to their bodies. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, their digestive capacity isn’t as strong. They, they, they start developing less of a taste for meat. You know, it’s not sitting well as well with them. So they start to just naturally say, okay, I just don’t feel like it’s much meat anymore. There’s no dogma, there’s no emotion. They just listen to their bodies and they follow out what’s, what’s really going on. And so, you know, to me that’s the inspiring way of living. And, and the research papers and all this stuff is good. And it’s interesting to note how these people truly operate when you go and talk to them.
Sounds like the future zones are gonna be perhaps these micro zones in our own home. And the, our own circle of influence where it’s, it’s kinda like where you called out Loma Linda, which is an excellent point. It’s not a zone, it’s just that, you know, a concentration of people following a religion, but they could all decide to up and move to, uh, New Mexico and then move their zone along with them. It’s not like that, the, the Southern California climate or whatever. Um, and so I guess, do you think there’s gonna be any superstars emerging in the next, uh, 50 years in terms of, you know, where we, where we found these wonderful pockets of centenarians? Or is it gonna kind of be, uh, free for all?
I think we’ve, I think we, there was a, a really interesting period because what had to happen for the Blue Zones work Is. Michelle Polan was the demographer who went and verified, right? He, he actually, he was a scientist, so he had to document, can I find birth certificates in these? Cuz you know, there’s people claiming to be 109, and he actually had to go to these regions and, and go into the old records, and, and if there was documentation, then he could verify it. And so, so, so you think about the problem with that, a lot of these regions where you’d find a lot of health, these were old school regions, right. Little villages. And they didn’t have good record keeping, so you couldn’t go back very far. So there’s only this little window of mm-hmm. Kind of the early 19 or 20th century where you started to see record keeping kind of there.
That was enough to be able to document this stuff. But then if you go too far, like right now, what we’re seeing is people moving away, right? So they’re not being preserved people, new people coming in like these, these cultural influences are starting to get lost a little bit. Right? And so now, and again, uh, Americanized westernized influence, like Okinawa is infiltrated. So Okinawa is lost. There’s, that’s not gonna be a Blue Zone. Like, there’s just no way that I, I don’t, unless they can somehow turn back clock. I, but I don’t, once this industry gets established, you can’t get rid of it. You can only modify it, right? Mm-hmm. And, and, and tweak it. So, um, I don’t think that there’s gonna be like, and I met Michelle was talking about Cuba. He was looking at Cuba because it was communist and isolated mm-hmm.
<affirmative>, he thought maybe that might be interesting to look at. Um, I think he was looking at Crete again, islands, places that were isolated that that could be That’s funny. Contained Yeah. From this Western influence. Right. Um, but I, and I know there’s a, there’s an island in the UK called Guernsey. It’s between the UK and France, and they actually are intentionally trying to set up the a Blue Zone. So they’re trying to like, infiltrate this cultural way of living with functional medicine and, you know, ancestral ways of being. Um, and I think that’s a really noble, uh, attempt. I just don’t know if that’s gonna be the case, because we are now nomadic, we are global. We are moving around. And once you start doing that, I think the idea of a certain place, having this sort of special thing, I don’t, I don’t foresee that being the case. So I think it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be like everything else. We’re not gonna have centralized longevity. Mm-hmm. It’s gonna be decentralized longevity. This is the theme of the 21st century, right? It’s decentralization and democratization of all these concepts of, of finance, of wealth, of health. Mm-hmm. It’s all now getting grassroots and being spread out, which means that anybody listening to this can induce health and longevity if they do the right things. Right. It’s, it’s a really cool, empowered way, um, to, to approach the future.
I guess maybe Austin, Texas could qualify as an island inside the giant red state of Texas and all the cool people moving there. And the, the, the health influence of that town. Same with Boulder, Colorado. It’s such Boulder getting the highest ranking on the outdoor enthusiasts and all that kind of thing. But yeah, the power to consume the information and get the guidance wherever you live. And even if you have adverse influences like low socioeconomic economic status, you can still afford to eat an extremely nutritious diet. I think we, we kind of discount that point a lot where, you know, New York City is a tough place to connect with nature. Well, you got Central Park, which, you know, takes five miles to jog around the perimeter. So we all have that opportunity if it means enough to us.
Well, and, and what’s wild, right? And, and actually research has, has neuroscience research has, has shown us, if you bring plants into the home, yeah. You look at a photo of nature, like it triggers some of the same sort of neurochemical responses in the body, right? So, so we can, in, we can go inside and meditate on nature. Like, this is what I’m talking about, is that yes, your environment is critical and, and, and to do whatever we can also, it’s the internal environment, the thoughts, the beliefs, the things that’s going on internally that we can really, really take power of. And that’s who we are. So that’s, this is where the empowerment comes from, is what’s going on inside this vessel, um, is what’s gonna determine, uh, most of what’s happening on the outside.
Yeah. Again, pointing to beyond longevity. You’re reading assignment listener, you say, pay attention to all the energetic inputs and highlight the areas that provide the biggest opportunities for improvement wherever you stand now, talking about exercise, diet, sunlight, temperature, stress, sleep, electronics, condition beliefs, unconscious emotions, habituated thoughts, and bringing those together because boy, we see in the extreme health and fitness space, especially as you mentioned, the over exercising crowd who are stressed out because they don’t get to the gym or the orthorexic problem in you know, healthy eating community, where if they can’t find access to their healthiest foods, they, they increase the stress of their life due to their beliefs and emotions about following that super healthy path.
Yeah, totally. And this is, it’s, it’s really interesting as a practitioner, I learned a lot working with, with people. And what I saw, um, to sort of give a little credence to the exercise crowd, which is that I saw some clients that did a lot of wrong things, but they were regular exercisers in the words. They, they lifted weights, they did resistance. They did something that was actually demanding, not just like kind of casual exercise. They did something physically demanding, and that overcame a crappy lifestyle in a huge way. Mm-hmm. It’s remarkable. The how much influence exercise and movement and, and, and particularly strenuous and whatever strenuous means to you is can, is different, right? But mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but, but pushing the body seems to confer benefits in such a wide variety of areas, including mental health, right? Including gut health.
It’s, it’s like, it’s, it’s mind blowing. So when I looked at, at lab work, the people who exercised always seemed to have better lab work, despite anything else going on. <laugh> versus the people who lived this like, pretty amazing lifestyle, but didn’t really exercise all that much. Their lab work, their, their, their health status, um, seemed to be suffering a little bit more. So, so exercise is amazing. I really wanna stress that. And of course, I, I do a lot of exercise. I find tremendous value in it. And if we get caught in this idea that it’s exercise and diet and, and even quote unquote stress reduction, like those, this is the common three that everybody sticks to, we’re gonna miss out on so many opportunities. Mm-hmm. And I think the biggest one is the conditioned thoughts and beliefs, the unconscious emotions, the things that are driving our epigenetic expression, our nervous system expression at baseline, right?
I’m talking about mm-hmm. You’re on a beach and you’re on vacation. One person can, their nervous system, their sympathetic tone will be jacked up pretty high, and another person will, will be pretty low. What’s the difference? There’s, there’s things going on in the background. Emotional traumas, various conditionings that, that have created a hypervigilant hypervigilance in their system that will create a baseline shift in the nervous system state. So if we can create better parasympathetic tone, which is the ability to not only rest and recover and regenerate, but it’s to digest food, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so this is, this is a huge part, right? Like, and there’s been studies showing this, and you can take a McDonald’s meal, right? Like something really crappy that, that we know how much inflammation that’s gonna create, right? On the, in the digestive system, if somebody is eating that in their car, stressed out, versus somebody eating that same crappy McDonald’s meal on a beach relaxed, and totally chill, they digest it differently, right?
So that’s a situational example. But each of us is walking around with a different sympathetic tone. And so this could be inhibiting, preventing proper digestion and assimilation of even the healthiest meal. So it is this sort of these emotional traumas, the childhood development stuff, the relational context, the habituated thoughts and conditions that is, in my opinion, the most overlooked aspect to health. And for those who don’t have a lot of that to, we all have a lot to work through, let me just put it that way. But some of us, it’s, it’s running our lives more than others. And for those who don’t have as much, they, they do these healthy things and they quote unquote work, right? They might do acupuncture, they might do cold therapy, they might do saunas, they might do certain things, X, Y, Z, and it seems to work.
And shopping, therapy, whatever it is, it works for them. Totally. Yeah. Everything. But I have clients and I know people that have done everything under the sun, and they can’t get better, right? And it’s because there’s something going on on that sort of, that nervous system level. And there’s great therapies. DNR s is, is a fantastic one dynamic neural retraining system. And this is, is developed by Annie Hopper. And, and it, it relies on neuroplasticity, this idea of sort of neurons that fire together, wire together these habituated thought patterns and emotional context that run in the background until we bring conscious awareness and change that, they will continue to run the show. And that’s, I mean, these DNRs, I mean, if you look at the, the testimonials that they have, these people with unbelievable hypersensitivities of all things, uh, EMFs and chemicals and foods, and, uh, you name it, unknown syndromes, that they tried everything to get better and they couldn’t get better do something like DNRs, which is, which is just using a retraining program of thoughts and emotions and connecting it with some, some things can pull people out of the most unbelievable syndromes.
Hmm. So this is what I’m talking about, is that we, we can get conditioned into this idea of diet and exercise and de-stressing, but it is the deeper processes that are, that are running the show. And if we can tune into those, um, as well as the, the lifestyle components like chronobiology, circadian rhythm, following the patterns of the daily cycle, because we know that we have clock genes inside every cell that are dictating the epigenetic expression based on the sun, based on the light and the temperature, and the food and the, and the movement that, that, that we are taking. What that input is, is gonna dictate the expression of our thyroid and our liver and our kidneys and our brains. And every cell and tissue in the body is gonna be guided by that circadian biology, right? So, so there’s some of these big habitual lifestyle patterns that are gonna override these, these things like exercise to some degree.
Like, if you’re exercising at 1:00 AM sorry, not gonna convert a lot of benefit, it’s the wrong time of day to be exercising, right? Not a good idea. That your body can recover, but, but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s really not gonna be the best thing for you. Whereas if you’re doing that same exercise at 11:00 AM or 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM, your body’s gonna respond to much more favorably to that, and it’s gonna sleep better at night, right? So there’s times of days to do things. So everything, again, is contextual. And there’s certain overriding principles that, that I think are more important than other than others.
So, did these insights about the influence of unconscious emotions, habituated thoughts, the influence, did it come to you as you were going back and forth from these primitive populations that live to a hundred, and then you’re landing back in Houston Airport or New York City or whatever, and realizing the influx and the onslaught of, uh, comparison culture and consumerism and all these things. How, how did these come about? How you valued these so highly in the overall longevity picture?
Yeah. Well, uh, they definitely were, they were, they were, they were shown to me in that way for sure. But, um, in fact, I’ll tell you a funny story. That we were inika Greece and my filmmaker friend and I were in a car. Uh, we were following some, there was a car ahead of us, and there was a one-lane road, one lane each way. And the car ahead of us stopped to chat with the, the oncoming car. And, you know, they were chatting. They looked like they, they were friends. And <inaudible> is a tiny village island, right? And so we thought, okay, cool. Whatever, you know, we’re no, no big deal.
Get this on camera people. Yeah,
Yeah, yeah. And so we were cool with it. And then three minutes pass, five minutes pass, we’re like, what the hell’s going on? And, uh, so we, we started like, I mean, it was probably 10 minutes. We didn’t think, maybe he didn’t see us, like, what’s happening here. Um, and they were just friends. That’s it. And then they drove off. And it showed me that, that, like, I would never see that in modern city living, even in some of the more rural places, you don’t see that type of behavior, right? There was an interesting way of being. So I got shown over and over again, a number of, of these things, but where, where it really came from my understanding of this was working with clients. And I had people that, um, had, again, very complicated case studies, health issues that they couldn’t resolve.
And, and I, I would do all the things that I knew how to do, right? We fixed their circadian rhythm, got them moving and eating correctly. We did all kinds of lab work. We corrected their sort of metabolic dysfunctions. We detoxed and cleansed them. We did all kinds of stuff. And, and there were certain people that I could get better, so to speak, to the point where they were happy and everything, their symptoms were gone, and they were in a, in a better place. And there were certain people that I could, we could get them better, but not all the way. And so I kept running up against this sort of limit, and I didn’t understand what it was. And it wasn’t until I figured out that it was this emotional trauma piece, what I loosely classified as loose emotional trauma. And then I started spotting it, and I could tell in somebody’s tone, I could figure out, you know, why? It was basically just pattern recognition that certain people wouldn’t, wouldn’t actually do the things that I was giving them. Mm-hmm. They would have this negative undertone. They would always see,
Cough up an excuse every time you talk to them, whatever,
Or a potential danger. Or they’d, or they’d ask a million questions. Like they, they couldn’t trust the things that I was giving them, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there was always this sort of hyper vigilance, uh, this aspect of not following through. And then it, it finally hit me and I realized, oh, this is what that is. This is the conditioning that they’ve been giving. Cause they’re finding, they’re trying to find safety. They’re trying to figure out how to operate. And this is something that worked in the past, right when they were two or three, or six or nine, or whatever the case was. Generally in childhood, when we don’t have a full nervous system online, we don’t have our rational faculties, our prefrontal cortex is not fully developed. We can’t understand the world other than how we’re feeling. So we feel these emotions and these, these sensations in our bodies, and then we react.
And if anybody’s been around a two-year-old, or three-year-old, or one-year-old or an infant, you watch them and they just respond to the energetic signals that are happening mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And if they’re hungry or if they’re scared, or whatever the case is, they’re gonna tell you. And they’re just processing that emotion. They can’t rationally understand what’s happening. They think I’m hungry. I’m gonna die. Eventually, they think, right? First they’ll let you know, Hey, I’m hungry. And then if it gets too much, then they will actually start freaking out. And then usually what happens is, is if there’s still no response, they’ll shut down. Well, this is the same pattern we see in the nervous system, right? We see this in, in the sympathetic drive. It kicks on in a good, healthy way. And then eventually, if it, if it stays on too long, there’s a resource conservation stage where it starts to just go into shutdown mode, right?
And so we have this is the ventral, vagal tone and the, and, and so we have this sort of, uh, aspect from a nervous system perspective, but we also have it in the mitochondria. We see this same process, uh, unfold where we have this sort of cell danger response when, when something’s going on, the mitochondria will send out signals, um, uh, pro appropriately, but then that can also get caught on. And so we lose the, the proper signaling. So we see this, this process, I guess my point is unfolding all over the place. But it is this response that we develop when we’re young, that we carry with us into our adulthood, because it worked. It was some strategy cuz we didn’t have a full comprehension of what was going on. We couldn’t process what was happening. We had to figure out some strategy to get our needs met.
And once we figure out that strategy to get our needs met might be manipulation. Mm-hmm. <laugh> that’s like really like super, super, you know, friendly or what have you. Or it could be somebody that, that turns into kind of this person that just needs help and, and you just can’t help but resist. You can’t resist. You have to help them. Or it could be somebody that finds that’s super successful, or that’s a perfectionist, right? Or that, you know, that the person that doesn’t, uh, wanna get in any conflict, right? So whenever conflict arises, they kinda shy away from it. We have all these strategies that we learned and we carry these with us into adulthood, and we call this our personality, right? But these are just successful strategies. And so we carry this with us. And, and this is what I watched and unfold in front of me.
And that kind of led me into the world of Ayahuasca, working with indigenous healers in that way, looking into, uh, you know, the sort of more classical childhood development and psychology that we would classify in the west. Um, how, uh, an infant learns to differentiate, uh, I identify themselves the relationship, the relational capacities, um, attachment systems, right? All these things that I kind of started to learn. And then I dove into myself and figured out, oh man, I got a ton of trauma. I got a ton of conditioning. I got a ton of, of limiting beliefs and ways that I operate in the world that once worked, that are, that are, that now still work to some degree. That’s why we keep them. But they’re not the optimal way of being, and there’s a better wet,
It can say, um, successful. And we should put the air quotes around successful, right? So the baby who screams gets, gets their way. And now we, we carry these forward into, into adult life, and they, they cause all kinds of trouble, trauma with a little t Cynthia Thurlow calls it. So it’s not necessarily that, um, he, he grew up during the war times and, and didn’t have food or whatever. But, um, you know, all kinds of stuff, even in, in comfortable, uh, lovely, uh, idyllic circumstances. And I guess that’s why, if I can transition a little to a, hit you with some scientific questions about aging and pull this together. You talk about preconception to age seven being the most important time period of your life to lay the groundwork for longevity. Is that due to, I’m sure there’s some, biological factors like putting your, your foundation for your connective tissue collagen, Dr. Cate Shanahan talks about. But in your case, we’re talking about this programming that is now going to set us up for a lifestyle of pain, suffering, difficult relationship dynamics, dysfunctional behaviors, or something better that will promote longevity rather than give this protection response in ourselves for years and decades every time we wake up and go through a busy day.
Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I talk about strategies, right? Like the ways of being a perfectionist or, or you find success or whatever. That’s just the personality strategies. What’s going on underneath that is biological reality, right? So we are actually expressing biologically in a way that it, that matches that sort of behavior on the outside, right? So, so that early childhood development, right in the womb, how much stress is mom under, right? How safe does mom feel? How much, what’s the toxic load? Mom?
How much sugar is she eating? <laugh>?
Totally. Yeah. Like what’s, what’s that blood sugar, uh, fluctuation looking like, what’s the insulin signaling? These are all signals that are, because remember, we are open energetic systems, meaning that every single thing that we come in contact with is influencing our biology. This is why sound therapy works, right? Not only works to calm our minds and to make us feel good, right? Or it can jack us up and get us super excited for the big game. I mean, it’s wild, right? Like sound can influence our thought processes, our emotions, and our biology on the most fundamental level. We know that sound can improve digestion or weaken digestion. Same thing with light therapy. We see this now with infrared lights and saunas and all kinds of stuff, right? So we know that all energies, thoughts and emotions and beliefs, right? If I ever asked you to go up on stage and give a commencement speed at a prestigious university, you’d probably freak the hell out, right?
Like, your biology starts to respond, heart starts racing, blood pressure rises. You might start sweating. You can’t think as well, right? Like, everything is starting to shift. Why? Because there’s something going on in your mentally emotional framework that has referencing a point in generally in childhood where you didn’t feel accepted, you weren’t gonna feel loved if you make mistakes or if you get excluded, whatever the case is, right? So all these past programming is now putting you in this threat response. So it’s not just this trauma thing, there’s biological reality underneath all that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? So, so whatever’s happening in that sort of foundational period of our youth, which is when we are again, open energetic systems, and when we’re, when we’re young, we are purely open. We are wide open, meaning everything is now informing us. When we start to get older, we have discernment.
We can sort of block things out, so to speak. We can hear things and not take it in. We have the ability to sort of navigate. But when we’re young, in fact, our brain state is literally just absorbing everything, right? So we are in a, in a truly absorptive state, when we’re young and our biology is, is adapting to that environment. So is child being birthed vaginally or is it a C-section? If it’s C-section, are they getting swapped with vaginal fluids to be able to, to populate the skin, right? Um, is it a forceps delivery, right? Is that going to create a stress on the baby that’s addition to birth as a stress anyway? Was there cord wrapped around the neck? Right? We actually know, um, that all cause mortality. All these disease situations increase from traumatic births from childhood traumas.
The ACEs study was probably the biggest case study of this, where the more adverse experiences, whether it’s a divorce or whether it’s abuse or neglect of any kind, this type of thing leads to higher rates of autoimmune conditions, higher rates of cancers, suicides, of course, alcoholism, all the things independent of some of those behavioral aspects. So they didn’t drink, they didn’t smoke, and yet they still had more higher rates of, of autoimmune conditions, right? These type of things. So what’s happening in that earth, early life period is critical. Not only that, we know that the, the gut biome is changing and develops in that first year of life. And we think at this point that it kind of gets set, you know, for the most part, that your core strains are essentially established in that first year. So did were, was baby breastfed?
Were they able to be breastfed? Were they adopted? Right? Like, these are really, really critical components that first, first. I mean, it gets, it’s, I’d say that first year is probably the most important. And then it’s still very, very important. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10. That’s what we’re, we’re developing. We’re developing our sense of identity, right? In, in psychology, they call it the internal working model. Hmm. This is our reality. This is the reality that we are experiencing is developed in that period, that, that period of our life, right? In fact, in Ayurveda, I think they say that, that we actually don’t experience reality as, as it is, we only experience our own nervous system. Hmm. Right? Which is why have you heard that? Like what was it? The, it was Yanny or there’s two words, Laurel Yanny. There was this like audio thing, and you can go to like Laurel Yanniy and you look this up on YouTube and it’s an audio file, and you listen to it and one person will hear Laurel and the other person will hear Yanny.
And, and so there’s a reason for this, and I, I don’t have the neuroscience, uh, to, to explain it, but, but there’s different realities, right? The blue and yellow dress, or whatever it was that was so big back in, years ago, people saw different colors, right? Like, we literally experienced a different reality. And so this is all being, uh, informed by those early phases, uh, of our nervous system, developing our gut biome, developing our skin biome, developing our brain. Our internal working model of reality is all being formed in those first 7, 8, 10 years of life. And now we carry that with us into adulthood. And we can either, you know, massage that and rework it as we get older if we feel like we need to. But what happens there is, is essential for the biological expression. Like that is the most important factor.
I can, I can name here, not even to, I, we haven’t said anything about mitochondria here. Cause this is a mm-hmm. <affirmative> mitochondria play a huge role in the, in the process of let’s say aging or disease. And we get mitochondria from mom. So how well our mom’s mitochondria being passed down to us? Is there a lot of damage? Is there a lot of mutation in the mitochondrial genes? You know, so there’s a lot going on. But this is why in some of those more indigenous cultures, like in Africa, when they’re about to, uh, get married, they know that, that that’s when they’re gonna start having sex and likely birthing babies before that all happens. They, they, they like jack up the nutrition of both of both parents, right? Wow. From their perspective. So that the baby is healthier. The pregnancy and the delivery is, is less complicated, right?
So there’s all kinds of things going on there, but that period is absolutely essential. The cool thing is we have all this modern technology now, you know, regenerative medicine and cool things where even if we, let’s say start out behind the eight ball, right? We don’t get the best mitochondrial genetics. Mom was super stressed, dad wasn’t around, couldn’t breastfeed, couldn’t latch, wasn’t a vaginal birth, right? Like, those aren’t ideal scenarios. And yet we can still recover, yet we can adapt. Like this is what’s so cool about humans, is that we have an unbelievable capacity to overcome some of these sort of challenges that we may have faced. Cuz I’m, you know, I’m 42, I can’t go back and redo that stuff, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it would be pretty lame for me to say, oh, well, whatever happened to you then is kind of gonna set the trajectory. No, no, no. It’ll set the trajectory until you are able to overcome it and figure out a way to, to sort of retool what may or may not have happened to you, uh, in those sort of younger years.
Yeah. You can form a conditioned belief that it’s not that big a deal that you had a rough time from age zero to seven, and then, uh, work on it with, I guess it’s the awareness, the mindfulness, realizing that you’re walking around with some programming. Bruce Lipton says that we go around 98% of our time operating from flawed subconscious programming, negative thinking. And so just taking baby steps to come out of that is so exciting. Back to our absolutely discussion of making your own Blue Zone and saying, you know, forget this, I’m not gonna choose into modern culture just cuz it’s influencing me and the billboard’s telling me to go eat some McDonald’s french fries or drink a Starbucks.
Yeah. The, the thing is the beliefs and the thoughts that we generally form from those early ages, they are true, right? They’re, they’re true from a perspective of a three-year-old or a six-year-old or a nine-year-old, right? And they are, they are a partial truth. Generally they’re a limited truth. They’re limited tiny, small fraction of what the real big truth is, right? So it’s not that we, that we can say that that’s wrong or don’t believe that because that, that feeling or that emotion is the real aspect that is the manifestation of an experience, anger, disappointment, frustration, um, despair, right? These are all real emotions. That is the truth. Despair is true, you know, disappointment is true mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? It’s the stories that we generate to explain those feelings, those emotions, those experience. That is generally the thing that’s not either fully true or it may be, uh, not true at all.
And so, as we learn to either reframe these, understand the bigger perspective, it’s like, yes, that is true. And I’m also here and I’m alive and thank God because this is the most unbelievable journey that I can be on. All the pain, all the joy, all the, all of it is the juice. And like it is the truth, right? So there is an awakening of some of this stuff. And, and with some trauma processing and some of these maybe let’s say spiritual practices, maybe it’s Ayahuasca for some in that, in that path, maybe it’s the sort of xin or, or zen path for others or, or, or the yogic path. These things can start to awaken in us and realize a greater truth beyond just the limited perspective that was developed by a four-year-old, which is true, but not the full truth.
I imagine that the centenarians you interviewed and spent time with were not big on any of these concepts. And they just went about their day and sat at the corner square in Okinawa with their icky guy and the cultural principles that were just, it’s all they know. They don’t have to waste time pondering, uh, the influence of flawed childhood programming , because they’re, they’re just right in front of themselves in mindfulness state as a, as a default.
It’s wild. The depth of knowledge and awareness that they have, not only about their culture and their life and the human experience from their perspective, but they also seem to understand it. The Americans and the Western mindsets. Hmm. I remember one, I asked one guy in Greece, I said, um, or no, it was in, it was in Sardinia. I said, you know, what’s going on with the, with the youth around here? You know, they don’t seem to be living the same lifestyle. The the the health isn’t there like it, like it is with some of the, what, what we’re seeing in your, your, your generation. And he said, you know, when I was younger, the mind was, the body was busy and the mind was still, now the problem I see is that the mind is busy and the body is still right.
And I’m like, Holy,
that’s heavy, man.
Like, this guy just gets it right? Wow. And then, and another gal I asked in Okie now, and she said, you know, the, the problem with Americans is that you’re, you’re independent. That you, you spend so much of your time trying to isolate yourselves, you’re missing the connection. You’re missing, and this is a huge disease. It’s a huge problem. Like, she understands the depth of our sort of capitalistic, entrepreneurial, go get ’em, you know, striving for the next thing, which isn’t in and of itself bad, but without the other components can be destructive, you know? And, and it’s out of balance. And so they understood these things, and part of it was because I think that they had a really solid family structure that they could rely on. There wasn’t a lot of that early childhood trauma, like, maybe, maybe in different ways, but not like it is here.
They had a strong safety net of a community. But not only the community, but the connection and the safety components, which are the key aspects of community. Because right now we have a lot of community, but you can be in community and feel totally disconnected, which is not gonna provide you the same benefits as if you’re in a community that you feel connected to and you feel safety around. That is a totally different type of community. So they established these things. They also had practices. In Okinawa they have something called the [inaudible]. And this was something that the, a small group of people that would get together from early, uh, in childhood, I believe at some point. And they would, their moai would be for life. So these people would get together and they would, um, they would support each other, both, you know, emotionally, mentally, uh, relationally.
And then also financially. They would actually build this sort of, um, almost like an insurance pot, right? This sort of health safety net. And if somebody needed a new roof, somebody had a, a medical issue, they, they were going through hard times, they could rely on this sort of communal, pot to draw upon. So they understood these things. They put in practices, they put in these societal frameworks and structures to facilitate this level of safety. Right? Again, this is a key part. When you get into trauma work and some of this stuff, there’s a key aspect, which is safety. In order to process something from the past, a traumatic experience, some kind of conditioning, something, first, what needs to establish in the system is safety. Once safety is established on a nervous system level, then things can process. Mm-hmm. So safety is fundamental without safety.
It’s why it’s, I mean, it’s, it’s associated with the root chakra, right? It’s the fundamental aspect of being born. It’s the first thing that we come into in this life. If we don’t feel safe, then, then we start creating all this, this conditioning and personality and strategies to find safety. And that’s what you see in, in people that are even millionaires and billionaires. They may not even have established safety in their nervous system. So that’s what’s crazy. And they think they’re gonna get it with all this money, and yet they still feel like something, it just isn’t safe. Mm-hmm.
Yeah. Insecure continually or whatever. So you’re talking about psychological safety needing to, to, to set that up, to be in that position in order to heal, in order to
Grow. And it’s even, uh, yes. And it’s even deeper. It’s actually in the body. Mm-hmm. It’s actually a somatic experience itself. There’s a actually a feeling in the body of safety. And when your body knows safety, the mind interprets safety. So this is the problem is that a lot of us try to find safety from the mind, but the mind is just the machine trying to find safety. It’s, it’s cut off from the actual feeling of safety. Again, I, I refer to the root chakra. It is the, it’s the point in the, in our base, it is the root. It is the place where we actually establish this ground of being that is safe. That is safe here in this world. And so if that can be established and cultivated when we’re young, then the, the things that develop on top of that, which is good relational, uh, awareness, which is an attachment system to my caregivers, right?
This idea of then becoming me, who am I? Right? Because I feel safe in this world. And I, I know now my caregivers, I can now explore myself, right? And most of us don’t have this level of development online to be able to do this. So we have all these mental strategies, we have all these, um, manipulative strategies, we have all this, um, this, these ways of being that are, that are working around the, the real thing that we’re seeking, which is safety, which is connection, which is acceptance, which is love. When those can be established again in childhood, then we can start to explore reality in a way that is totally different. And this, when I work with people, this is, this is the goal, you know, with myself, I’m still working on these things, establishing greater levels of safety, greater levels of security.
Cause it’s not just safety in, am I gonna be alive? Hmm. It’s a bigger existential mm-hmm. <affirmative> aspect of safety. And this is what you found. What I found in these older people in 96 years old, you know, I ask him deeper questions. You know, how long do you wanna live? Like what’s, and they say, I don’t know. It’s whenever I go, I go <laugh>, whenever, whenever God takes me, he takes his. It’s good. Like, that was their level of reality because they and I’m not particularly a religious person myself, although I follow certain religious principles, but I don’t follow a, a certain path. And yet I got so enamored with some of these people cuz they, most of them followed a specific religious path mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And they were certain that they were gonna be okay when they died.
Right. And this was a critical aspect, you know,. Do I have this existential angst that when I die? I’m not gonna be okay. Right? And this is, you can go back to the Tibetan book of dead, you can go back to all rela, uh, religions and ancient texts. And4 there’s an aspect of death and meditating on death. And so the, with the religion, with this aspect of oneself trusting in God, they were cool that they could be taken. And it’s all good. I’m not in control of this anyway. I’m just here. Right. <laugh>, that is a mentality and an embodied way of being that is healthy.
I guess we might want to get there before we’re 96.
That’s the idea.
You better be okay with it right now today, man, and and appreciate the day for that reason.
Exactly. And that’s why I called my book Beyond Longevity, because it really goes beyond this idea of living a long time and even being healthy a long time. Although I think those are both worthwhile objectives. There’s even something beyond that, which is, can you enjoy today? Are you happy right now? Are you, are you passionate about waking up each day? Can you walk outside and just be in awe of this magic? Right? Like, this is to me the juice. And if the answer is, you know, kind of, or sometimes or no, then there’s something there that’s worth exploring. As opposed to, what can I eat? Or what can I biohack my way into 98 years old <laugh>. Like, that’s not the answer. Right? So, um, and we’re seeing this too, like with the psilocybin research, right? Um, people that are doing psilocybin, closer to death, like they now are at peace, right?
This is a, this is, look, we’re looking at this as a way to ease the transition for those who are suffering kind of on their deathbed mm-hmm. Um, to walk into that next path, um, with ease and grace, right? And so this is where I think it’s really interesting for us younger people to ask and to investigate and to talk to people in their nineties, in their 100 s on their deathbed, you know, who are going in hospice care. You can, we can learn so much about living life from those who are dying or who are almost dying. Like there’s, they have lived so much and they have a different perspective. And so to me, if we can learn from them earlier on in life and walk that path and, and, and, and, and embody that way of being, then to me that’s like, that’s what I wanna do. I really don’t care about making it to 150 or 200 or whatever people are Yeah. Looking at these days. It’s interesting, you know, if I can do that from a place of, of peace and passion, then great. But to me, the peace and the passion and the, and the love and the ease and the awe, that is the most important thing first.
I’m sure they go hand in hand for anyone who wants a prospect of living to 150. I I wonder if you saw Ben Greenfield’s, uh, social media post where he used the, it’s called the Face app and you can age yourself. Oh. And so he put up a picture of him, you know, looking around 90 years old. And I, I totally did that. I had so much fun with it, doing it for my friends. You can also make, make yourself more youthful. So my wife and I blew up a big poster of us supposedly in high school, even though we met in our fifties. And it’s so much fun to look at the old picture and reflect like, Hey, that’s where I’m headed for sure. And so sure as heck better, you know, get a greater appreciation for what’s in front of me today.
And, going backwards is cool too, right? Or, or looking at pictures from your past. Cuz that’s still me, right? Like, yeah, I actually, I’ve, I’ve said this many times with my close personal friends. I still feel like I’m 28. Like my body doesn’t feel like it was 28, but like, mentally, like, I feel like I’m like there still. I feel like I still feel like the younger version of me. Like I don’t feel like the 42, like what I thought the 42 year old version of me would be <laugh>. Right? And I spoke with a, a guy in in Okiinawa who was in his sixties, and he was, he was, has his, he repairs motorcycles. He’s like an artist with like, with motorcycles and that doesn’t repair ’em. He, he modifies them and makes them like these unbelievable bikes. And he’s like kind of an older dude, but he acts like he’s like 22.
And, and so he ca you ask him how old he is, I think he said like 22 or 18 or whatever the case is. Mm-hmm. And, and you know, for better or worse, like kinda acts like that. Mm-hmm. Um, and so he still has this youthful energy about him. And so, and we know that the research has shown that when, when older people, um, hang out with really young kids, they actually all their biomarkers improve everything about the, what we can test starts to improve by hanging out with youthful people, right? And same thing with pets. When you bring in pets, horses or cats or dogs, all the health status, uh, markers improve, right? So there’s something about this like this, this, this relational dynamic. So relational to yourself and looking back and saying, no, that’s still me. I’m still that young person, you know, and hanging out with young people and being young and living a youthful life.
There’s something in the psyche, there’s something in the energy that can actually extend this thing we call life, right? So I think there’s something really valuable in all these, there’s little gems and little wisdoms that we can, we can take. Um, but it is not sort of giving in to this idea that I’m, that I’m gonna get old at 60 and, and I’m gonna start losing my hearing and all that stuff. Yeah, maybe. But like, it’s not really what I’m looking at. Like, if that, if that happens, then it happens, you know? Well
If you, if you believe it’s gonna happen, then you’re very likely to head there. And same if you believe that neuroplasticity is a bunch of BS or that your, your genes do it, uh, you know, set your destiny, then you’re absolutely correct and you’re, you’re probably gonna manifest that. Oh my gosh, Jason prowl. You’re just, you’re just killing it, man. What a fantastic show. Let’s get your, um, get your Human Longevity project, uh, plugged. Let’s how people can go watch that episode number one and also get your book and then, you also do some of that, uh, coaching you talked about. So let’s hear how we can connect with you.
Yeah, we’ll actually be relaunch, we’ll be launching the Human Longevity Project film series again for free here very soon. Um, so they can, uh, you can just go to, um, human Longevity Project, our human longevity film.com. You can find us there. Probably a better place for all of this actually is beyondlongevitybook.com, which is where you can find my book and also some of the free giveaways that I have including episode one of the Human Longevity Project. So again, the book’s called Beyond Longevity, a Proven Plan for Healing Faster, feeling Better and Thriving at any age. And so the, the idea here is not to just read about this stuff or listen to the concepts here, but to implement. And so, um, that’s the idea. And so with the book and, and some of the giveaways that I have there, um, it, it really is to get people to take action.
You know, we’re, we’re here. It’s, we just crossed January, right? So, um, I see a lot of this sort of new year, new you type of stuff, but that’s not the case, right? It’s, it’s actually new habits, new you, right? So the calendar flips over. You don’t just become a new person, right? You have an opportunity each day to establish a new way of being. And, so what are the habits that we’re going to instill and what are preventing, um, you know, you from, from establishing these habits that are gonna be healthy? And so that’s really what I, what I really want to help people do, um, is establish that new way of being. And so you can go to beyond longevity book.com for that, um, and find the film there as well,
A great website with a lot of detail about what’s in the book. And that first episode was you, you could tell the tremendous amount of work that you did to interview all the experts and, and just everything’s really high quality and I so much appreciate connecting on the show. I’m gonna never forget some of these great insights and this guy’s traveled the world for our benefit, people. So let’s take all this, all this stuff and, and, and make it happen right away here, whatever, whatever day it is, even though it’s, we’re, we’re recording this early on in the year, but any day will work for, for, uh, transformation.
No question. I mean, there’s no better day than than tomorrow to start, right? <laugh>, Jason Prallstarts tomorrow, right?
<laugh> Jason Prall’s Beyond Longevity. Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast brad ventures.com and visit bradkearns.com to download five free e-books and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.