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Ben Greenfield Fitness: Diet, Fat Loss and Performance

Free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon and wellness advice from BenGreenfieldFitness.com! Call your question in to 1-877-209-9439. Tune in to the latest health, fitness and multi-sport research, non run-of-the-mill interviews with exercise and medicine professionals, and new cutting-edge content from the top personal trainer and wellness coach in the nation. Exercise, eat, swim, bike, run and live better. Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com for the incredibly useful shownotes and for ALL episodes in our archives and the handy-dandy phone app, visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/premium! This podcast includes fitness, nutrition, health, diet, wellness, workout, exercise, triathlon, Ironman, swimming, cycling, running, weight lifting, bodybuilding, Crossfit, Paleo, Spartan, vegan, vegetarian, muscle gain and fat loss advice from America's top personal trainer.
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Now displaying: April, 2015
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Apr 30, 2015

Although for the past decade I've used a health savings account (HSA) combined with managing my own high deductible health insurance, the passage of Obamacare Affordable Health Care Act ironically tripled my private health insurance costs and left me forced to find a new plan. So this year, I went through the process of applying for health insurance through Washington Health Plan Finder. After dozens of hours of website crashes, tech support nightmares and nerve-wracking lapses in my health insurance coverage, I finally secured coverage. So health insurance is something fresh on my mind. And how about finding a physician? In the past, I've interviewed my own physicians here in the local Spokane, Washington area, including Dr. Todd Schlapfer and Dr. Toby Hallowitz, and I used the same two-step process to find these doctors as I typically recommend to most folks:

1) Ask around in your local community of like-minded folks about which doctor they recommend;

2) Use these directories that can help you find a good functional medicine or naturopathic practitioner in your area:

HealthProfs.com FunctionalMedicine.org Naturopathic.org PrimalDocs.com PaleoPhysiciansNetwork.com

But now, it appears that there is a new website and app for finding a doctor wherever you are. It's called "BetterDoctor", and in today's interview, I speak with Ari Tulla, creator of BetterDoctor, about what BetterDoctor actually is, and how it may help you find a medical practitioner appropriate for your needs, find health insurance or find a specific procedure. You'll discover: -Which specific algorithms go into how a doctor is rated... -How to know which cities where big pharma pays doctors the most...  -How you can differentiate between alternative medical practitioners such as naturopathic vs. Western allopathic medicine... -How to locate a list of doctors who has done the highest number of the specific medical procedures that you need... -How to know which health insurance plan is going to allow you access to the best doctors in your area.... -How to know whether you or your insurance are getting overcharged for specific medical procedures...

Do you have questions about where to find a doctor wherever you are? Your own doctor directory that you recommend? Leave your thoughts and comments at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
Apr 29, 2015

Exercise is supposed to be good for you. But for some people, exercise can become a deadly obsession.

My guest in this podcast episode is Vanessa Alford, author of the new book "Fit, Not Healthy", which is a warning to all high achievers driven to extremes to excel.

As a young girl growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Alford loved sports: she began gymnastics at age six, netball at seven, and tennis at age ten. She was, in her words, "born to compete", and both her gymnastics and netball teams won the state championships in her age group. During her early years of sports, she ran to train and to keep fit, but describes it as an obligation, not a pleasure.

After graduating college, Alford began to run regularly: she would set the alarm for 6am, jog for 8k (around an hour) along the beach and be home by 7am, which gave her time to eat breakfast before cycling 15k to work. But soon, her 8k runs became 10k runs, and 12k runs on the weekends.

Soon, both the runs and the ride became mandatory morning rituals, "just like a shot of coffee or booze", that left her euphoric, floating for the rest of the day on dopamine and adrenaline. "This feeling of elation would sweep over me," she says, "I just couldn't get enough of it."

Within months, she had dropped over 10 pounds and a dress size, and then she started running marathons. Nike and PowerBar sponsored her. Her runs became longer and more grueling, and were soon accompanied by a strict dietary protocol in which she counted every calorie, and monitored every morsel that entered her mouth.

Soon she was running up to 160k a week while surviving on a diet low in fat and low in carbohydrates too. Her body began wasting away, slowly cannibalizing itself, and shutting down non-essential physiological systems. She was exercising herself to death. People warned her, they told her to stop, and her boyfriend told her she had lost her mind. But she couldn't stop.

Then finally, Vanessa's body stopped for her, as she collapsed in the middle of a race after losing sensation in her legs.

In today's podcast interview, you're going to find out exactly what happened, how exercise addiction occurs, how you can recover from adrenal fatigue, how you can test your body to see if you're exercising too much, and much more, including:

-The difference between exercise addiction and a runner's high...

-What's going on psychologically that makes some people feel like they need to go do things like triathlons, marathons or adventure races...

-Why you often need more and more exercise to achieve the same "high"... 

-What happens chemically that is making you feel so down, so lazy, or so depressed if you stop exercising at the same volume or frequency that you were at before...

-Why will rats run until they drop dead on an exercise wheel...

-And much more!

This episode is brought to you by EXOProtein, where you can use code "ben" for a 10% discount! Today, 80% of the world still eats over 1,600 species of insects, and insects are one of the solutions to humanity’s protein dilemma. Insects are actually as natural to eat as fruits and vegetables and are a more complete form of protein than many livestock alternatives. And even though they have just as much protein as other forms of meat, crickets are 20x more efficient to raise for protein than cattle, and produce 100x less greenhouse gases! Crickets are high in protein, contain all essential amino acids, over twice the iron of spinach, and plenty of B-vitamins, and the Exo bars made from cricket protein are all natural, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, soy-free and paleo friendly. Exo bars are crafted by Kyle Connaughton, formerly the Head of R&D at The Fat Duck, the former #1 restaurant in the world. They’re absolutely delicious, and include flavors like Cacao Nut, Blueberry Vanilla, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Apple Cinnamon. Click here to try EXOProtein Cricket bars today, and use code "ben" for a 10% discount.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about Vanessa's story, or being "fit not healthy"? Leave your thoughts at http://www.BenGreenfieldFitness.com/fitnothealthy, and be sure to check out Vanessa's book "Fit Not Healthy".

Apr 25, 2015

Before I recorded today's podcast, I skipped my usual morning dark, black cup of aero-pressed coffee, and instead opted for something called "mushroom coffee", which is a powdered blend of arabica coffee, chaga mushroom and cordyceps extract. 

So could drinking a tea made out of a specific mushroom lower your stress levels? Or even choosing to top your risotto with champions help prevent you from cancer? Out of the 150,000 known species of fungi about 300 have shown a wide variety of medicinal properties. Some “‘shrooms” have a hormonal balancing effect and some enhance the immune system, just to give a few examples. So today, with Tero Isokauppila, the Co-Founder and President of Four Sigma Foods, we take a deep dive into these type of medicinal mushroom extracts, and you'll discover... -The story behind Four Sigma Foods and how Tero got so interested in mushrooms... -The important difference between a medicinal mushrooms and a regular mushroom... -How big pharmaceutical companies use mushrooms (and the mistake they make)... -The best mushroom extract to use for stress... -The best mushroom extract to use for immune system... -The best mushroom extract to use for balancing blood sugar... -The best mushroom extract to use for liver detox... -The crazy story of where cordyceps mushroom extract actually comes from... -Why most mushroom products are ineffective because they are grown on grain or rice and are simply full of starch rather than the beneficial bioactive compounds... -Whether you should take mushroom extracts on an empty stomach or take with a meal... -If adaptogens and mushrooms are safe for kids... -The process via which a mushroom is harvested and then turned into something like a powdered extract or a tea... -Whether you need to heat mushroom extract, or if you can simply add it to cold water...

Tero Isokauppila is the Co-Founder and President of Four Sigma Foods. Four Sigma Foods is a startup dedicated to democratizing the healing powers of mushrooms by making them accessible to everyone. The company currently sells superfood teas, mushroom-infused coffees and mushroom chocolates, and you can use discount code "ben-greenfield” to get 15% off anything from Four Sigma Foods.

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about medicinal mushrooms, Four Sigma Foods extract, or any of the other topics that Tero and I discuss? Leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com!

Apr 22, 2015

In my article The Real Truth About What To Eat Before, During And After Your Workouts & Races, I mentioned a guy named Dr. Allen Lim, and I specifically gave a shout-out to the recipes he invented when Lim was director of sport science for Garmin and RadioShack cycling teams. 

In that article, I talked about recipes like Chocolate & Sea Salt Sticky Bites, Blueberry & Chocolate Coconut Rice Cakes and Crispy Rice Omelets. You can't argue that those don't sound tasty (and yes, when you eat them with coconut oil you can still be in ketosis, you high-fat zealot, you).

Anyways, the photo above was taken a few weeks ago at my Team Timex triathlon camp, during which Lim conducted a cutting-edge sweat sodium analysis on me (which we discuss along with many other nerdy nutrition topics in this podcast episode).

Lim is a sports physiologist, cycling coach, and a founder of Skratch Labs, a manufacturer of performance hydration mixes and the world’s first active nourishment company. Beginning his coaching career with Jonathan Vaughters’ TIAA-CREF cycling development team, Lim developed a method of testing for biological markers of performance enhancing drugs that ultimately led to cycling’s Biological Passport.

Lim was director of sport science for Garmin and RadioShack cycling teams and is the only American scientist to have worked and cooked for teams at the Tour de France. He has not only worked with dozens of top American cyclists to improve their performance and nutrition, but has also worked with guys like Lance Armstrong and George Bush .

Along with Chef Biju Thomas, Lim is also the author of The Feed Zone Cookbook and Feed Zone Portables.

In this episode, you'll discover:

-Why popular sports drinks are mixed in the wrong concentrations, and how this leads to something called "gut rot"...

-Why you may need to add sushi rice to your race day or long workout protocol...

-The physiological reason why "cane sugar" is absorbed so well during exercise...

-Why Allen isn't a fan of stevia...

-How MCT oil and coconut oil could actually speed up gastric emptying (and why that may not be good!)...

-Allen's thoughts on Jeff Volek’s research on fat utilization during exercise and the apparent need for fewer carbs in fat-adapted athletes...

-Allen's thoughts on Tim Noakes’ idea that based on our electrolyte stores and the fact that sodium loss drives sodium extortion that electrolyte intake is useless during exercise...

-How to create a customized sodium and hydration replacement scenario based on your unique sweat sodium loss...

Resources we discuss in this episode:

-The infamous "egg-hydration" video

-The Feed Zone Cookbook

-Feed Zone Portables

-Skratch Labs

-Stryd power meter for running

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about Allen Lim, Skratch labs, sweat sodium, sports nutrition or anything else we talk about in this episode? Leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/skratch!

Apr 18, 2015

Meet Flavia Del Monte (pictured above).

She kinda has the perfect name for a book about flavorful cooking, eh? I didn't just randomly decide to interview Flavia. Nearly a decade ago, I actually met Flavia's husband Vince Del Monte. Vince is well known in the fitness world as a go-to expert for skinny guys to build muscle (I believe when I met him he was going by the name "Skinny Guy's Savior"), and he's a guy who taught me a lot about how to do things like start a fitness website and write e-books.

So when I saw that his wife Flavia had written a cookbook, I figured I'd check it out, and it's actually not your stereotypical cut-the-calories, fat-phobic, mumbo-jumbo. Instead, it's actually jam-packed with some really delicious recipes and outside-the-box thinking.

So in this episode, I interview Flavia about her book - which is entitled Flavalicious Cooking - and you'll discover... -How Flavia broke out of the stereotypical fitness model diet of salt and peppered tilapia, steamed broccoli and raw nuts... -The versatility and benefits of coconut sugar as an alternative to regular sugar and artificial sweeteners... -The difference between coconut butter and coconut oil... -How you can use coconut aminos as an alternative to soy sauce... -How you can make sauces and soups thicker without using corn starch... -How to use a microplane and why you should use one... -How you can use your freezer to preserve your herbs... -Flavia's 3-3-3-3 recipe to cook a perfect steak...

Resources we discuss in this episode: -Coconut sugar -Coconut butter (AKA coconut manna) -Coconut aminos -Bob's Red Mill potato starch -Microplane

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about these essential kitchen items, Flavia's book Flavalicious Cooking, or anything else we talk about in this episode? Leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com!

Apr 15, 2015

Plant-powered ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll is no stranger to the show. Previous episodes with Rich have included:

-Ben Greenfield interviews Rich Roll on "How To Be Extremely Active And Eat A Plant-Based Diet Without Destroying Your Body"...

-Ben Greenfield interviews Rich Roll on "Some Of The Craziest Superfoods You’ve Never Heard Of"...

-Rich Roll Podcast #11 with Ben Greenfield: "Exercise Nutrition Geekfest"...

-Rich Roll Podcast #59 with Ben Greenfield: "Nutrition, Fitness, Online Entrepeneurism, Homeschooling And High Fat Diets"...

-Ben Greenfield, Rich Roll & Vinnie Tortorich Diet Debate Video...

In this episode, Rich Roll returns, along with his new book entitled "The Plant Power Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family", and in this episode, you'll discover:

-The unique process of creating a photo rich, cookbook style manual instead of a print based book...

-The one food Rich would take with him to a desert island...

-Rich's exact morning routine (and his biggest barriers when it comes to squeezing in that routine)...

-How Rich meditates...

-The crazy story of how Rich's wife healed a golf-ball sized cyst with Ayurvedic medicine...

-How Rich gets his kids to eat things like adzuki bean edamame fettuccine or hash browns made with portobello mushrooms...

-How Rich and his wife manage homeschooling their kids...

-Rich's take on kids and ultra-endurance...

Resources we discuss in this episode:

-Headspace App

-The Artist's Way

-The Plant Power Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family

-Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing: A Practical Guide

-Ayurveda: A Life of Balance: The Complete Guide to Ayurvedic Nutrition & Body Types with Recipes

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Rich or I about this episode? Then leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and be sure to check out Rich's new book "The Plant Power Way: Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes and Guidance for The Whole Family".

Apr 14, 2015

In today's premium podcast episode, I interview Pierre-Jean, the co-founder of Echo Labs. Echo Labs has developed a wearable sensor that can measure what's in your blood using spectrometry (which means that this wearable can measure actual molecules in your bloodstream), along with heart rate, blood pressure, hydration, heart rate variability, sleep and more. 

You'll find out: -New technology that allows you to get an accurate heart rate and heart rate variability score without using a chest strap... -How the molecules in your blood can tell you whether you are burning fats vs. carbohydrates... -How a wearable can detect your level of hydration... -Which markers are most important to detect if you want to measure your rest and recovery... -How an accurate heart rate variability could potentially be calculated without a heart rate monitor... -How a wearable can measure aerobic performance... -And much more!

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about the future of wearable sensors? Leave your thoughts at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and click here to go Premium and listen in!

Apr 11, 2015

Let's face it: while all you need to get hella strong is a heavy barbell, it can sometimes be nice to beat the boredom, to challenge your brain and body in new ways and to be able to branch out and diversify your training with unconventional and slightly weird fitness gear.

So in today's show, I interview John Wolf, the Director of Fitness Education for the Onnit Academy, and a guy who trains people with kettlebells, clubs, maces, sandbags, suspension training tools or with no equipment at all. In this podcast, we fill you in on everything you need to know about how to use unconventional fitness gear:

-Why the Onnit kettlebells have monkey and zombie faces on them...

-How to use a battlerope for both cardio and strength building exercises...

-The origin of the mace as a conditioning tool, and how you can use a mace...

-Why something called a steelbell may work better for you than a sandbag...

-How you can use clubs to increase shoulder mobility, strength and cognitive performance...

-The craziest full body workout you can do with unconventional equipment, including the Viking Warrior Mace Flow...

If you want to get any of this weird fitness gear for yourself, then click here to visit Onnit and use 10% discount code BEN on any order of gear, food or supplements - and leave any comments, thoughts and questions at BenGreenfieldFitness.com!

Apr 8, 2015

Apr 8, 2015 Podcast: Fitness Fabrics & Fashion: Exercise Clothing 101, Can Radiation Be Good For You (And Natural Remedies For Radiation), How To Do Isokinetic Training, and What To Do About Sweaty Hands.

Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.

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News Flashes:

You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Facebook.com/BGFitness and Google+.

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Special Announcements:

This show is brought to you by Audible. Just visit AudiblePodcast.com/Ben to get an audiobook of your choice, free, with a 30-day trial. The BenGreenfieldFitness Quarterly box has officially launched! When you sign-up, you'll get a Quarterly handpicked box jam-packed with Ben's favorite fitness gear, supplements, nutrients and research-proven biohacks April 13-16, 2015: Ben is speaking at New Media Expo, where the world's top bloggers, podcasters and content creators teach you how to make money by creating content online, and how to enhance your blog, your podcast, your videos and any other media you create online. Better yet, you can come and attend the conference, then join Ben at Spartan Vegas on April 17! Click here to register for New Media Expo and use code "bgreenfield20" to get 20% off the current pricing. April 24-26th, 2015: Come hear Ben and Jessa speak at PaleoFX 2015. The can't-miss conference that is the Who's Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including best-selling authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientists, professional athletes, trainers, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, and more (including Jessa's "Whipped Up Homemade Heavy Body and Face Lotion." and Ben's potentially offensive Pecha Kucha presentation). May 1-3, 2015: Ben is speaking at Ari Meisel's Less Doing Conference, the year's top conference for learning about things like how to manage your email inbox, hack productivity, enhance your cognitive performance, learn how to use the latest and greatest phone apps and productivity software, free up as much time as possible, and much more! Click here to get more details and to book a free productivity call with Ari. May 22-26, 2015: Custom Father-Son Wilderness Program with Ben Greenfield. Imagine taking five days with your son(s), and connecting deeply with nature and your boy(s) through ancestral wilderness survival skills, all within a small "tribe" of other fathers & sons that are like minded with similar values. Since the dawn of time, fathers and sons have bonded deeply in and with the wilderness. Ancestral wilderness skills have an innate ability to deepen the Father-Son connection like nothing else. During this custom Father-Son Wilderness Program, we'll make fire by friction, build and sleep in natural shelters, learn traditional hunting and gathering techniques, and track wild animals. Primitive wilderness survival isn't a "Man vs. Wild" scenario, it is an opportunity to build a deep relationship with the Earth. As you and your son do so, you'll find that your relationship with your son deepens in powerful ways. Click here for all details and to register. Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle. And of course, this week's top iTunes review - gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben - leave your review for a chance to win some

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.

Fitness Fabrics & Fashion: Exercise Clothing 101

Alicia says: How should she choose what kind of training gear to wear? She usually wears smartwool in the winter (or the free race shirts) and just a sport bra top in the summer. Is there anything to all the new space-age fabric that is out there for run clothing. Can you let us know about those fabrics? Does she need to be concerned about whether or not fabrics are organic, etc? Especially since they are going to be pressed up against her sweaty body.

In my response, I recommend: -The article "5 Tips To Choose The Right Exercise Clothing". -Castelli for cycling/triathlon gear -Hylete (use code BEN50 to save 50%) -Kryptek (use code BEN to save 15%) -Jackthreads Daily drops of new curated collections from the brands you love, a seemingly never-ending feed of limited-run collaborations from mega brands and up-and-coming designers alike, and a growing stable of private label product Jackthreads is building from the ground up that you can't find anywhere else.

Can Radiation Be Good For You (And Natural Remedies For Radiation)?

Todd says: He just discovered that his home has high levels of radon gas. He has gone through the mitigation process of insulating and venting but is wondering if there is something else he can do to lessen the long term damage it may have done to his family (including his 22 month old twins). Perhaps something he can add to his diet?

In my response, I recommend: -The concept of radiation hormesis -Nascent iodine -Calcium, magnesium, clay and the other compounds found at Magnetic Clay -Activated charcoal -Organic Germanium -Organic Brewer's Yeast -Bee Pollen -DMSO

How To Do Isokinetic Training

Joe says: He wants to know more about isokinetic training for strength and power. He has noticed that the Exer-Genie is still on the market and would like to know what you think of that.

In my response, I recommend: -Vasa Swim Ergometer -ARXFit

What To Do About Sweaty Hands

George says: He would like to know of ways to keep his hands warm and dry. Lately he has been getting clammy hands even when he doesn't feel nervous or anxious. He would like to tone it down on the fist bumps and get back to the man gripping. Any idea what might cause this and what he can do about it?

In my response, I recommend: -Our previous episode on hyperhidrosis -Autoimmune diet

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Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!

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Apr 7, 2015

I first met today's premium podcast guest when I was speaking at an event in Toronto, and was immediately struck by his passion for the business of fitness and the art of learning. His name is Jonathan Goodman, and he is the creator of the Personal Trainer Development Center (the PTDC) and Viralnomics and has been featured in Men's Health, Schwarzenegger.com, Muscle & Fitness, and Forbes magazine.

Jon is also the author of multiple business books for the fitness industry, including "Ignite the Fire: The Secrets to Building a Successful Personal Training Career", "Personal Trainer Pocketbook: A Handy Reference for All Your Daily Questions", and "The Online Personal Trainer Blueprint: Have More Freedom, Make More Money, Help More People".

Jon was a personal trainer for 9 years, and at 23 years old was making as much as he could make conventionally as a trainer in addition to earning a salary hiring and training other trainers and making commissions from referring his overload of clientele off. He then decided to write a book. He started thePTDC. Then things got dark. He wasn’t prepared for the entrepreneurial journey and became what he describes as "an asshole to everybody I knew". He became selfish. He ran away to Hawaii for 6 months. He ended up shutting down 5 companies. And then he finally took back control and decided to build things up on his own agenda.

In today's podcast, you're going to discover Jonathan's method for getting things done, including techniques to “trigger” certain activities ranging from writing a book to setting a PR on a heavy squat. In this episode, Jon and I go pretty deep into the physiology of myelination, providing actionable strategies both for trainees and coaches to learn new movements better, the research behind the concept of the brain's associative connections and why this matters for you to learn new variations of exercises.

You'll learn about... -Why I use olive oil as a potent neural aid... -How to use a personal token, song, signal, or breathing technique before a specific activity to help to zone out of the outside world and focus in on the activity you're learning... -Jon's trick for achieving a flow state during exercise as often as possible... -How Ben is using the strategies described to learn the Napoleon Dynamite dance moves...

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