Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Five ways to get better at pull-ups, Natural gym bag deodorants, Maintaining muscle when fasting, Acne during pregnancy, How to exercise with a foot stress fracture, Recovery tips for eye surgery, and Nutrition for liver bilirubin.
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Brock: You wanna play a game of who had the better big-ass salad?
Ben: Who had the better big-ass salad? Well, we should probably tell our listeners that we are recording this at our usual eight AM-ish time frame. So, we don’t have salads for breakfast. But we…
Brock: I sometimes do. I throw smegs on top of some spinach quite often.
Ben: I can’t have a salad pulverized in a blender to tell you the truth. But for lunch, we’re recording this later on in the day and I just finished my big-ass salad.
Brock: I had mine a couple hours ago.
Ben: had carrots in mine but mine destroyed yours. But you go first.
Brock: You think so?
Ben: What did you have?
Brock: Okay, I had some cabbage and some peppers like those little tiny peppers all chopped up, some broccoli, some sardines of course, some olives and actually I think that was it.
Ben: My salad destroys your salad.
Brock: Okay, bring it on.
Ben: I had basically like a kimchi – fermented cabbage, carrots mixed with tomatoes and jalapeno peppers over a bed of spinach with some extremely dense extra virgin olive oil sprinkled on top of that and I’ll talk about extra virgin olive oil and the very cool things that I found out lately about extra virgin olive oil in our podcast. And then…
Brock: Did you find out that they’re not really a virgin?
Ben: It’s not really a virgin. I had grass fed…
Brock: I heard she goes all the way.
Ben: Grass-fed ground beef on top of that and homemade horseradish from our horseradish root over top of the ground beef for a little kick, a little spice. Sprinkle that with some sea salt and black pepper and then tops all of that off with some avocado, some liver pate…
Brock: Oh, I forgot I had avocado, too. Oops…
Ben: Some homemade liver pate, a little bit of seaweed nori rice or seaweed nori wrap to wrap that all up in and then some flaxseed crackers for crunch.
Brock: That’s just ridiculous! You went too far.
Ben: It’s so nutrient-dense.
Brock: That’s too much!
Ben: Then I had dessert after lunch, too. And for that I had a few tablespoons of coconut milk with dark chocolate powder stirred into that and organic unsweetened coconut flakes and cacao nibs stirred into that. So, I just punched off about 1500 calories and I’m ready to rock and roll the podcast.
Brock: I had a cup of black coffee after my salad. Boo!
Brock: Every single day, Ben pours over I believe it’s 50,000 different studies that arrive in his inbox, in his mailbox, and on his desk. And at the end of pouring through those 50,000 studies, he comes out with a few tweets and a few Facebook posts and this is the time where we talk about them.
Ben: I think you’re exaggerating.
Brock: Five thousand.
Ben: I think I wouldn’t have time to eat my big-ass salad if it was 50,000.
Brock: Five hundred?
Ben: Yeah! I have some things that I found in the news this week that I want to talk about. And last week we talked about five exercises you could do in your car to stay really fit. And lo and behold, our friends over at Mark’s Daily Apple followed up with 11 Surprisingly Effective Exercises You Can Do Without Being “That Guy” in the Office. And I thought some of these were pretty cool. You wanna hear some of them?
Brock: I’m really hoping there’s something in them that involves a staircase ‘cause that’s what I’ve been doing at the office lately and I’ve been getting a lot of funny looks. I’m definitely that guy. I come back from the staircase all sweaty.
Ben: Yep. So there are a few of the tips are try walking the stairs while carrying something heavy like a box of printer paper.
Ben: And skip a step or two as you climb to turn a simple loaded stair walk into a walking stair lunge or even hold the paper overhead.
Brock: That sounds kinda dangerous! Actually, you’re holding the paper way over your head. I don’t know about that.
Ben: It’s just paper, dude!
Brock: Have you…? A box of paper can be heavy.
Ben: It’s not like a kettle bell. Yeah!
Brock: A kettle bell at least has a handle.
Ben: We gotta get you strong, man! A box of paper? It’s paper.
Brock: It’s very heavy!
Ben: A whole box? I guess I’m thinking more like a …
Brock: Not a ream! But a box has twelve reams in it.
Ben: We’re talking about squeezing in a workout when we can’t squeeze in a traditional workout. What else does he have on there? Faux sitting. Engage your glutes and raise yourself up in your chair by about an inch so you’re hovering over your chair in a squat position. That’s a good one. By the way, that one works really well if you are taking a crap and you want to do it in a slightly ancestral squat position and you’re wherever, at an airport or somewhere where you can’t hop up on a toilet. That engaging your glutes and raising yourself up on a chair actually works. Kinda squeezes stuff out of you. So…
Brock: Or back in.
Ben: Just be careful if you do that at the office. Elevated sits where you grip either side of the chair and hold your body up off the chair about an inch or so and then see if you can turn it into an L-seat either under your desk or off to the side. And you can stack some books on your lap to increase resistance. I like that one. How about there – he’s got a bunch here – desk lifting. Lift your desk ever so slightly and hold it until your biceps can’t take anymore.
Ben: Nice! I’m not sure if no one would notice the computer and paper and folder sliding off your desk but it’s worth a try. I actually do that one when I’m in a hotel room. I do that with the bed. I do dead lifts with the bed. So you just basically pick it up and then use your back and your butt and put it down so it’s actually a good little way to do some heavy dead lifts in a hotel room. What else does he have in here? How about resistance band shoulder abduction where you keep resistance bands in your office and this was based on the results of a recent study that basically had two groups of office workers who had neck and shoulder pain. They had one group do resistance band shoulder abductions where you‘re just using a resistance band that’s attached to something that’s not gonna move and kinda abducting your shoulder or taking it out and away from your body for just 2 minutes a day for 10 weeks and in the exercise group, complaints of neck and shoulder pain dropped by 40% while their strength increased 6% and they saw no such effect in the control group. So…
Brock: I like how the complaints dropped. They were afraid to complain? Is that the …?
Ben: They’re no longer complaining about their boss being a pain in the neck. So, we’ll link to the entire article over in the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/277 for a good little follow jump to our discussion last week on exercises you can do in your car. So speaking of cars, here’s a good segue, let’s talk about oil. You like that? Coconut oil! I like this one. They did a study on rats. I know rats are not just tiny humans but they made the rats arthritic. So I would never want to be the participant in this study that just made arthritic but basically they induced inflammation into the joints of these rats and then they gave them what in humans would be considered about 1 to 1 and ½ grams of coconut oil. And that’s around a nice little tablespoon of coconut oil. They used an extra virgin coconut oil and they compared the effects of that on arthritis and inflammation with a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug. And that would be something like an Ivil or- an Ivil- an Advil or an Ibuprofen. And what they found was a significant reduction in inflammatory markers over and above what was experienced in the non-steroidal anti inflammatory group in the group that was using coconut oil. So there you go. There’s a great use for coconut oil. And actually later on in this podcast, I actually want to mention another interesting fact about coconut oil but for now, know that if you have joint pain, if you have arthritis, if maybe you’ve been really beat up by a workout the day before and you’ve got some stiffness and soreness or swelling, coconut oil could be your friend.
Brock: It’s only a tablespoon to do that. It’s not even that much.
Ben: Only a tablespoon. Yeah! Not too much. Good for satiating your appetite and all sorts of other good things, too. Also, here’s another cool fact about oil. Olive oil! So if you want to minimize what’s called hepatic lipid production which is….
Brock: I hate that stuff.
Ben: Yeah, hepatic lipid production is just not fun.
Brock: It’s horrible!
Ben: It’s horrible when you’re laid up with some hepatic lipid production.
Brock: And that’s basically… bad!
Ben: Like when you eat a sugary meal, your liver is actually a fat production machine and can take some of that sugar and produce it into fats. And that’s why fat-free licorice for example isn’t really fat-free. And neither is popcorn by the way. Anyways though, speaking of things you can eat at the movies that are supposed to be fat-free. Anyways though, olive oil can actually minimize hepatic lipid production. And this was based off a recent study that was done at a university that showed that the use of extra virgin olive oil and the polyphenols specifically in that extra virgin olive oil to be able to inhibit that lipid production. So what this means is that maybe if you’re eating more carb-intensive meals like potatoes or rice, you probably would want to dip licorice in extra virgin olive oil. It might taste okay on popcorn, actually. I haven’t tried it on popcorn yet. But a lot of good uses for extra virgin olive oil and I’ll link of course to these studies in the show notes. But down regulation of lipid synthesis was a cool effect. And just two days ago, my shipment of extra virgin olive oil arrived and I was pretty stoked about that. I think I’ve mentioned on the podcast before that every quarter I get three bottles of extra virgin olive oil form this company called the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club. And I get these three bottles shipped to my house. And this stuff is absolutely amazing.
Brock: The only club less interesting than the chess club.
Brock: The extra virgin olive oil club.
Ben: No. Dude, listen. It comes with this brochure that breaks down exactly the forms, the families, the presses where these olive oils came from the notes and the flavors from everything from like notes of kale on chocolate and vanilla and how many tannins are in the olive oil and the mouth fill of the olive oil, what type of flavors it will bring out in food. And they break down each of these oils. It’s very, very similar to a wine club without the alcohol effects. So it’s called the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club. I’ll link to it in the show notes. And it’s actually like a club you sign up, you pay. But it’s fun. Like this month’s or this quarter’s shipment was from Spain. And I opened the first bottle a couple days ago. That’s what I had on my big-ass salad for lunch. And the olive oil color is like dark green/gold with flecks of green in it and I swear this olive oil tastes just like kale. Almost like a kale pesto. It’s crazy. So it’s basically this guy that goes around the world. He finds the best extra virgin olive oils. He makes sure that they’re completely free of rancidity and toxins and that they’re not like these substandard stale oils that wind up in our grocery stores labeled with extra virgin olive oil but really old and stained and not fresh and not pure. And he ships them straight to your house. And it’s just fun! So cool way to stay healthy with olive oil and it turns out that it helps you when you have carbs to have some olive oil along with those carbs to shut down hepatic liver production.
Brock: I’ll be really disappointed if that guy doesn’t look a lot like the ______ [0:13:18.0] most interesting man in the world.
Ben: He actually looks kinda cool. He’s got a fedora and this goatee. He’s slightly plump. He could probably do with a little less of the carbs and a little bit more of the olive oil. Or maybe just a little bit less rich Italian meals in general. But he looks happy on the brochure that I get. So there you go. And I’ll link to that one in the show notes, too if anybody wants to join the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club. And then finally, this one came across my radar this week. I work with a lot of athletes whose blood RBC count that I test and then also the ferritin, the iron storage protein, and a lot of folks really are borderline anemic, especially endurance athletes based on our red blood cell turnover and especially female endurance athletes when you combine red blood cell turnover with monthly loss of blood. And what that means is that iron can be a helpful thing for some athletes to supplement with but the problem is that most forms of iron are constipating, which can be pretty annoying. And I have in the past on the podcast recommended this stuff called Floradex that is ferritin pyrophosphate but it’s better at restoring the levels of iron stored protein ferritin than it is at up-regulating iron. And so while it does a pretty good effect for athletic anemia type symptoms, the problem is that some people have adequate levels of ferritin, the body’s iron storage protein, but low levels of iron. So this is – this new form of iron. It’s made by a company called Thorne Research. It’s called Iron Bisglycinate.
And it’s a non-constipating, well-absorbed form of iron that assist with red blood cell formation but doesn’t cause those type of uncomfortable constipation issues that other forms of iron like iron picolinate is one popular one. There’s a bunch of different iron forms that are out there chelated to different minerals. But iron bisglycynate which is an amino acid bound form of iron is far better absorbed. And I’ll link to the notes about this over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/277 but for those of you who are interested in iron, this is a good one. So check it out.
Brock: So y’all text us, y’all.
Ben: Hey, kid! Got my sharp shooters? My – What do you call them? The six…
Brock: Ten-gallon hat?
Ben: Yeah, ten gallon hat.
Brock: Or your sick shooter?
Ben: My sick shooter, my sick shooter. That’s right.
Brock: Actually, as far as I know Austin is probably the least cowboy place in the world, isn’t it? It’s filled with software developers and musicians.
Ben: Yeah! And since I just got done watching Dallas Buyers Club, all I can think of when I think of Texas now are skinny people with a…
Brock: With HIV?
Ben: Chronic debilitating HIV disease walking around. So anyways though, that’s not what I’m going to Austin for. Paleo FX. Jessa and I are going down there. We’re gonna be presenting on everything from ancestral athlete tactics to fermenting food to bio hacking stress. I’m on a mastermind panel for fueling workouts. Another one on primal strength conditioning concepts, a lot of different things. Jessa’s doing a live cooking demo. I know that at this point, since this thing is next week, April 11 through the 13th…
Brock: Holy smokes!
Ben: A lot of folks might not be able to make it down there but they just announced that they’re gonna live stream it so you could watch for example any of my sessions or Jessa’s cooking demo or anything no matter where you live. So I’ve got a link for that. I put it up over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/277 so you can check that out and then if you live in Austin or you wanna register and you wanna get full tickets or you just wanna get expo tickets which means you can just swing by and kinda walk through the expo, which is kinda cool. There’s like food demos and when you’re on the expo floor, you still get access to for example the cooking demos, there’s a chance to try out new weight training equipment and club bells and kettle bells and stuff like that. You can get expo tickets, too. So I’ll put a link to those as well over in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/277 and that is Paleo FX in Austin.
Brock: Before other people get a chance to ask this question, I’m gonna ask it right now. You may not know the answer but if you get the live stream feed, do you have to watch it live or can you watch it later?
Ben: I’m pretty sure you get downloads later kinda like what we did with the Superhuman Event. So, exactly. So, yeah! Good stuff. So if you live in Australia, you don’t have to be up at 4AM or whatever watching someone talk about how important sleep is. So next up – the book ships in about a week, my brand new Beyond Training book. And I’ve decided that I want to give a little gift to folks who decide they want to grab a copy of Beyond Training for their family or their friends or their loved ones or maybe just an extra copy as a paper weight.
Brock: For your gym.
Ben: Yeah, for your gym or for your personal trainer or whatever. So what I’m doing is if you go out to any bookstore and the reason that I’m saying this rather – I mean, you could order multiple copies off Amazon, that’s cool too. But by going to a bookstore, you amp up the ability for this thing to hit the New York Times bestseller and you support your local economy. So if you can go and you can upload a photo of you holding more than one copy of the brand new Beyond Training book and please, buy it. Don’t go to the bookstore and walk into the book aisle and grab a couple copies and hold them up and take a selfie, that will not be cool.
Brock: Or if you’re really good at Photoshop, don’t cheat.
Ben: Over at beyondtrainingbook.com/photo that’s beyondtrainingbook.com/photo there’s this upload button. And you just upload a photo of you with more than one copy. And if you already bought a copy off of Amazon or whatever, that’s okay. Go hunt down another and make a friend by giving it to them. You can when you upload that photo, you’ll automatically get your email entered in to get insider access to a free two-hour live video workshop that I’m doing a month after the book comes out to answer all of your questions about materials in the book ‘cause I know it’s a big book.
Ben: It’s 500+ pages of content and so I’m gonna give you a chance to get your questions answered. So two-hour live support video workshop when you upload a photo of you holding more than one copy of Beyond Training book and you upload it over at beyondtrainingbook.com/photo.
Brock: So you have to buy the book and read it really quickly, formulate a bunch of questions, and get ready for the two-hour chance to ask.
Ben: All those questions. That’s right. And then the last thing is that tomorrow the Men’s Health Contest ends. So over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/menshealth you can vote for yours truly to be launched as Men’s health Top Trainer. So it ends tomorrow. I think we’re pretty neck and neck with some of the other top guys in there. I think it’s maybe- I honestly didn’t look today, but I think it’s me…
Brock: Yeah, neither did I. But I just blindly click the vote button and move along. I haven’t looked to see what everybody else is doing.
Ben: Me and one other guy are right around 800 votes. So if you can go in there and just rock the vote if you hear this podcast right when it comes out on April 2ndor April 3rd, go do it. If you already voted, you can go vote again, like you can vote everyday if you wanted to. But at this point, if you just so happened to hear this podcast right when it comes out, go rock the vote. So I have no clue what happens after you rock the vote but…
Brock: They don’t give you any indication what you’re gonna do if you get selected.
Ben: I think it involves me running down the beach into a sunset on the cover of the next Men’s Health magazine and that’s well worth it.
Finally, a solution for healthy living that actually makes sense. Ben Greenfield and his wife Jessa have cracked the code on healthy living and reveal their entire system inside the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle where you get instant access to 24/7 forum interaction with Ben and Jessa, a live monthly webinar, meal plans, videos, Ben’s Body Transformation Club archives and much, much more. If you or your family want to learn how to achieve the ultimate healthy lifestyle on a budget, then the Ben Greenfield Fitness Inner Circle is for you. Get four free videos to get you started and full access to the Inner Circle at bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle. That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle. We’ll see you inside!
Listener Q & A:
Phil: Greetings, Ben and Brock! This is Phil in Chicago. But today actually I’m calling on behalf of my wife who has a question about push-ups and pull-ups. She’s very fit. She does cardio everyday and weights fairly frequently. But over the years, she’s struggled with being able to complete a proper push-up and proper pull-up. And I understand that this is sometimes an issue for women but of course it also affects everyone. So perhaps you might be able to recommend some exercises that might help people develop the strength to complete a proper pull-up and push-up. That would be very useful for us. Thank you for putting out a great show. I look forward to listening to all the shows down the line. Thanks!
Ben: Well, I’ve found that the best way to get my wife better at push-ups and pull-ups is I put on my army fatigues and then I bring her to the backyard and just basically stand there, bark orders at her, and tell her to get down and do another. And then…
Brock: Call her horrible names that we can’t say on the podcast.
Ben: Yes. Spray cold water on her face with the garden hose and get her to do pull ups. Yeah I find that verbal and physical abuse is generally one of the better ways to really strengthen your better half into being able to do a proper push up or proper pull up.
Brock: Go, Phil!
Ben: Should that not be an option to you and should that have the potential of winding you up in the dog house, I’ve got some other tips for you. Let’s start with pull ups, shall we?
Brock: Yeah! I love pull ups!
Ben: Cool! I love ‘em! Okay, so pull ups, the idea is that you want to strengthen some of the rhomboids, the scapular, elevators and retractors, the rotator cuffs and some of the muscles that are going to help you do a pull up and there’s kind of a sequence of a few different exercises that I would recommend that you use for this before you progress to – or even focusing too much on pull ups. So first of all, I would start with bent over dumb bell rows. So this is where you bend over, you can do with the dumb bell, you can do with the friggin’ bucket, you can do with the kettle bell, you can do with the heavy medicine ball with handles but that’s a really good way to risk-free especially if you’re just getting started out to really strengthen those particular muscles that are going to be responsible for helping you do a pull up.
So that would be step one if you’re just starting from square one. If you’re not starting from square one, you can jump into this next exercise right off the bat and that’s a horizontal row. So what that means- or a horizontal pull up is another name for it. Now you can get one of these perfect pull up bars- I have one hanging in the door of my office.
Brock: And that’s actually what it’s called – it’s the perfect pull up bar.
Ben: Yeah! Exactly.
Brock: You’re not just embellishing things.
Ben: Yeah! Exactly. It is perfect. It is completely perfect. Perfect, sinless, holy pull up bar. Anyways though, I have that hanging from the door of my office but a lot of people don’t realize you can swing it down and put it in to a horizontal pull up position. And of course you can also do horizontal pull ups like at the gym you can take a barbell and set it on the rack down at – the appropriate level for most folks is about the level of your hips, like your hip bone. And then you get into a horizontal position and you do horizontal pull ups because that means you’re pulling up usually about 60-70% of your body weight vs. your full body weight and you’re able to use your legs to help you do the pull up. So that would be kinda like the next step exercise to get really good at after you’ve gotten those retractors really strong doing something like bent over dumb bell rows. And then you’d move on to the next step which would be assisted pull ups. Now there’s a variety of ways you could do assisted pull ups. You can use the assisted pull up machine at the gym which is a machine that counteracts your weight with a helpful weight. You can do assisted pull ups with an exercise band. For example you could go to the rouge fitness website and get one of their big monster exercise bands. And you can actually just hang that from the pull up bar and your knees go into that band so you’re hanging but you’ve got that exercise band and the elasticity from that exercise band helping you to pull yourself up. If you don’t have an assisted pull up machine or a band or even like a partner to help you do the pull up, you can also just use a chair. So you’ve got a little bit of support here and there that you can use to push off of as you do the pull up. So that would be kinda like the third level, so you go from a horizontal pull up to assisted pull up and then you’d move into a really good strategy for both push ups and pull ups and that’s a negative. So you jump up there on the pull up bar. You get as high as you’re able to get. Hopefully by jumping you can almost get your chin up the bar and then you lower yourself as slowly as possible. That’s a really good way to build up a lot of back strength and arm strength and it works for a bench press like if you want to get stringer on the bench press, you just load up the bench and for this one you gotta have a spotter, you gotta have a partner help you. And you just lower a very, very heavy weight, more than you would normally be able to lift to your chest and then your partner helps you lift that weight back up. Works for push ups, too, like doing this super slow push up in a full push up position. If you can’t do a regular push up, and then you drop your knees before and you push yourself back up the start position and then you get back into a standard position and lower yourself slowly. So that’s called the negative. So negative works really well. And then finally after you’ve knocked out your dumb bell rows, you’ve gotten good at those, you’ve gotten good at horizontal pull ups, you’ve gotten good at assisted pull ups, you’ve gotten good at those negative pull ups, finally you progress to a regular chin up and a regular pull up. And I’m a huge fan of the grease and the groove concept. So I can do lots of pull ups. I’m really good at pull ups now and I rarely do pull ups during my workout. I just have that pull up bar in the door of my office and greasing the groove means that every time I walk underneath that bar, I do five. That’s my rule now. And I average somewhere between 50 and 60 pull ups a day using that scenario. And it’s just really great, kinda keeps your body pumped, keeps the metabolism elevated. And it’s a really good way to go. So kind of enable yourself to have a pull up bar around 24/7 or I guess the other option is maybe you could use one of these things that we recently talked about, those monkii bars. Did you see that post I did over at bengreenfieldfitness on these new monkii bars? It’s like …
Brock: M-o-n-k-i-i- bars?
Ben: Yeah! It’s – if you go over at bengreenfieldfitness.com the recent post on how to make your workout wild. These are pretty cool ‘cause you just sling them around a tree and you can just do a pull up hanging from a high tree branch something like that with handles. So that’s the pull up component. As far as the push up component, obviously those negative push ups that I just talked about are definitely useful. A few other things, here’s a cool trick for getting better at push ups – the staircase progression. So how this works is any time that your hands are higher than your feet, the pull up is going to be easier. So you could for example-
Brock: The push up.
Ben: Yeah, the push up’s gonna be easier. So you could start with your hands on the bottom of the staircase. If you’re at the bottom of the stairs put your hands in the highest step that you can reach with your arms out in front of you and you do a push up in that position. And then eventually you move your legs back and you do it on just the fourth step with your hands on the fourth step. And then as you get stronger, you progress to the third step, and then the second step, and then eventually on the step that’s just higher than the main floor and then eventually your hands are parallel to your feet. And that’s a really good little pattern that you can do. So you just crank out a few on the 5thstair and then as you get stronger the next week maybe you progress to the 4thstair and next week to the 3rdstair. But that’s a really good one in addition to using the negatives. The other tip that I’d give you as far as push ups go are these handles that can make push ups a lot easier especially if your wrists tend to be a weak factor for you which I know a lot of – that a lot of the time, women just have thinner wrists, thinner bone structures in their wrists. My wife complaints about that a lot. So we have these pull up or these push up handles. So the ones that we use are called Perfirmer handles and actually in our recent Inner Circle workshop, I was demonstrating a few different exercises you could do with these for swimsuit season. But they’re just a set of push up handles that look like any push up handles you out on the floor like the perfect push up handle. But they’ve got wheels on the bottom of them that make the push up handle, if you wanted it to be unstable, so there’s an option to lock out the wheels and just have a stable push up surface, a stable push up surface. But once you get strong, you can enable the wheels and it kinda roll around a little bit while you’re trying to do your push up and activate way more muscles. And you can do other exercises with them like roll outs and flies and stuff like that. But that’s another good one is those are at perfirmer.com like performer except with an “i”. Creative, huh?
Brock: Very clever, those guys.
Ben: So check that stuff out over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/277. I’ll put a link to one of my favorite, the perfect pull up bar that I have on the door of my office and those are some of the directions that I would go.
Brock: Interestingly enough, I actually saw a poster earlier today about the – Neghar Fonooni that does a whole bunch of workout videos and stuff. She actually posted six steps to a better chin up.
Ben: Oh, nice! We should…
Brock: Over at girlgonestrong.com
Ben: If we get the chance we should toss that article link up in the show notes.
Brock: For sure!
Brock: She’s awesome. And not only is she hella strong but she’s hot, hot, hot.
Jim: Hello, Ben and Brock! This is Jim from Florida and I have a – I guess a more humorous question but I’m hoping that you all could come up with some ways to help me clean my fitness gear. It just stinks. The moment moisture hits some of my riding gear or my running gear or my yoga gear, it just stinks. So maybe some natural ways to kinda soak things any different solutions or whatever you guys come up with would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much! Love the show!
Brock: I don’t think Jim has ever smelled my hockey bag. If he wants to know how smelly gear can get, hockey gear is by far the smelliest.
Ben: Yeah! My bag just smells like chlorine ‘cause I don’t have a good gym bag that has a lot of sweaty equipment in there. I guess when I used to play a lot of tennis, I had one of those big old tennis bag full of old socks and shoes and nasty reeky things but …
Brock: The awesome thing about a hockey bag is you finish playing, throw all your wet stuff into the bag and you throw it into your trunk and it’s usually minus 20, minus 30 out, so it just freezes, stays in there ‘til the next game, you pull it out, you thaws as you put it on and you’re just basically recycling your sweat game after game after game. What a magical sensation!
Ben: So just get a chest freezer, Jim. Done!
Ben: So a few things I can recommend to you. One of the things that I use quite frequently that especially I travel with is a powder that’s like a deodorant powder. Now this one is made out of taro root, baking soda, clay, and then it has a bunch of essential oils added into it. It’s got sage, tea tree oil, clove, bay, and I think those are the main ones that are infused into this taro root baking soda mix with this powder that’s marketed as a foot powder but I do everything from sprinkling it into my boxers before I go on a long airplane ride to putting it into my shoes after I workout to when I’m – when I’ve been travelling and I’ve got dirty clothes and I haven’t washed them and they’re gonna get tossed into my suitcase and I don’t want my suitcase to get all nasty, what I’ll do is that I put all the dirty clothes in one of the plastic bags from the hotel room and sprinkle a bunch of this stuff in there and just tie up the bag and toss it in the suitcase and it almost absorbs a lot of the smell and it’s pretty antibacterial too so there’s some effective bacterial and fungal defense as well.
Ben: So that stuff is called Cool Feet. And it’s made by a company called Hammer Nutrition. So that’s one option. Another option is to…
Brock: Don’t be misled by the fact this is made by Hammer Nutrition. Do not mix it up with water and drink it.
Ben: Well, the cool thing is you probably could and you wouldn’t get that sick.
Brock: Not gonna happen.
Ben: It’s almost –I’ve that rule for…
Brock: Just a little tummy ache.
Ben: …all my personal care products. I should be able to consume them without dying. That’s my little rule.
Brock: I like that!
Ben: So there’s that and then you could also make something very similar to that. I’m not gonna give away the farm here but my wife did an hour and a half long course over on our Creative Live that we did down in San Francisco. So it’s like an HD video course on how to make a bunch of your own personal care and cleaning supplies and stuff. And one of the things that she makes in there is a natural deodorant. And that’s a powder. But if you wanted to make a deodorizing, say like a disk that you could – I mean these are similar to the disk that they toss in the urinals in men’s bathrooms in public places.
Brock: Not pee pods?
Ben: Not actually giant mints there. They’re kinda – yeah, they’re pee pods. These kinda looks similar to those. But they’re pretty easy to make. All you need is a couple of cups of baking soda and then one to two cups of water and then some essential oil like lavender essential oil is good, mint is another nice one, like a lemon or citrus essential oil is good, too. And you could get essential oils off like that if they’re not meant for human consumption, you can just –you don’t have to get them all organic and everything. You just get them off of Amazon. If you’re gonna consume them or perhaps eat your deodorizing disk, which I wouldn’t recommend, you may wanna go certified organic. In which case I’d use Mountain Rose Herbs is who I use for those type of oils. But anyways, what you do is you add about three to four drops of the essential oil to about a half a cup of water and then you pour that water oil mix into your two cups of baking soda. And you continue to add water until you get up to the full one and a half to two cups of water or so. Basically until you get kinda like a thick paste. So once it turns into a thick paste, you take that mixture and you just put it into a bunch of like the muffin pan moulds. You know what I’m talking about like when you’re making muffins and…
Brock: Like you’re making little baking soda cupcakes.
Ben: Yeah! And you don’t put it in the refrigerator or freezer. You just basically set it out and let it dry. And after about a day, those are completely hardened and that’s a deodorant. You can drop that into a gym bag, it’s like a natural deodorizing disk pretty much anywhere and it works with just baking soda, essential oil and water. So there you go. You could make a bunch at once. Get a glass jar, keep it in a glass jar, bathroom cupboard or your pantry or whatever. That’s another option I’d go with. And then…
Brock: Wait! So that’s just for throwing into a bag. That’s not for rubbing onto your body.
Ben: I wouldn’t rub that on your body. No. No. But he’s looking for ways to kinda clean his gear up.
Brock: Yeah! I just want to clarify that.
Ben: That Cool Feet stuff I do sometimes sprinkle that into my chest or in my armpits ‘cause it works for that as well. The last thing is those Action Wipes. I use that to wipe down my gear and wipe down my body. The –no offense intended but the way I’ve heard it described is Mexican shower.
Brock: I heard it called a French shower in Canada.
Ben: Yeah! There you go. So you just – we all have our own offensive racial slurs.
Brock: We’re all racist in different ways.
Ben: So you just wipe your body down with one of these Action Wipes especially in the stinky spots. I’ve done that before when I’ve been in conferences and stuff. I’d sneak up to my hotel room to do a quick body weigh workout, like the 7-minute New York Times workout. And you get a little bit sweaty but not so sweaty that you wanna jump in the shower or you don’t wanna get dressed and undressed so you just use one of these Action Wipes to wipe yourself down. And those work pretty well too. It’s just like tea tree oil and some other essential oil similar to the essential oil that I already talked about but they’re just on almost like a baby wipe that stays really moist and wipe yourself down and you’re good to go.
Brock: I love those things! I always get those at finish lines of races. I throw those in my checked bag.
Ben: Yep! Exactly. So…
Brock: So helpful.
Ben: Immediately you’re ready to hit the clubs and go straight into sweet-smelling spa mode right after your workout or your race or whatever else you’re doing. So there you go, Jim. You are now unstinky-fied.
Mark: Hi, Ben. My name is Mark.
And I have a question. I’ve just begun intermittent fasting to try to lose some body fat. I wanna try to go from 20 to 10 if I can and I’m doing a daily 16 hour fast and with putting all my calories into eight hours. My question is my workouts are very irregular due to my work schedule and sometimes I have to work out early in the morning which is typically my fasting time. Is it better to have a whey protein shake after my workout to maintain my muscle or would it be better to continue the fast and give up a little bit muscle to cut more fat? Thank you. Great podcast. Keep up the good work.
Brock: I’ve been kinda wondering the same thing.
Ben: What, you used to have a protein serving after a fasted workout?
Brock: Yeah! There was a lot of when- especially when you and I were doing the Mass Made Simple thing. It was basically like just keep the protein flowing at all times. But then when I stopped doing that, it was sort of like I wanna lose some weight but I don’t want to lose some muscle.
Ben: Yeah! Exactly. So I mean when dosed, during and in your insulin sensitive workout window whey protein which would normally be pretty insulinogenic meaning it could cause an insulin spike and potentially lead to mobilization of sugars into the liver to get converted into fatty acids, or potential for a little bit of insulin insensitivity, that doesn’t happen if you take it in, for example, right after a workout. So kinda going into protein mode post workout is in most cases especially if your goal is building or maintaining muscle pretty prudent. Of course some people take this way out of control and consume way too much protein. For most folks I haven’t found any benefit in any literature for going above and beyond about 0.7-0.8 grams per pound. And for the average person, about 0.55 grams per pound. And for most people that comes out to about….
Brock: Per pound of body weight.
Ben: Per pound of body weight. And that comes to 20-30% of your daily protein intake or your daily calorie intake is proteins. That’s about as much as you need. But there are a few things that you can do to ensure that if you’re doing intermittent fasting compressed feeding windows, whatever you wanna call it, that you are not putting yourself at risk of losing muscle. If you’re doing workouts that are outside of that feeding window. Or if you don’t want to have to be hustling to get breakfast in right away so that you don’t lose muscle. One of the things that’s really prudent to do is to make sure that you exercise with high blood levels of amino acids. The cool thing about that is that also helps you stave off central nervous system fatigue. It essentially competes for some tryptophan that would normally enter your brain and cause fatigue. When you got a full spectrum of amino acids going into your body, you inhibit some of that tryptophan entry or the binding of tryptophan to its receptors in neural tissue. So that can help stave off fatigue, high blood levels of amino acids can help to keep your brain from shutting down your muscles. It can help to keep your muscle fibers and the amino acids present in those fibers from being broken down for use as a fuel So I’m a big fan of just using a whole amino acid source, usually about 5-10 grams for each hour that you’re gonna work out is sufficient. So that means if you are a morning fasted workout person and your morning fasted workout is actually tough, you would do a master amino pattern is what I use. There are other forms of amino acids out there but what’s important is to look at the label and make sure that it’s not just branched chain amino acid. So it’s not just leucine, isoleucine and valine. You want all eight amino acids. In some cases it’s nine depending on what nutritionist you ask. But you want basically a full spectrum of amino acids, what are called essential amino acids or whole amino acids versus branched chain amino acids. So that’s one thing that I would do. And you would still be able to maintain fat-burning in that scenario. I know a lot of people are also turning to this bullet proof regimen where they’re doing medium chain triglycerides which actually are really good way to keep your body in fat-burning mode while still giving yourself some source of energy like readily usable easily digestible form of energy and they’re doing a bullet proof coffee approach where they’ll put medium chain triglycerides into coffee, sometimes a little bit of butter for that butyric acid component. And then some people are doing collagen now in that and the cool thing about that is that’s gonna act pretty similarly to these amino acids that I just talked about. So for example, I know over on the bullet proof coffee website, they sell this upgraded collagen stuff. And collagen is pretty cool for anti-aging ‘cause it really assists with hair, skin, nail formation, that type of thing. But it also…
Brock: Especially if you get it injected into your lips.
Ben: Yep! Exactly.
Brock: Get that Angelina Jolie look.
Ben: The collagen and the Botox. Boom! So that’s what they should do. Upgraded Botox.
Ben: Anyways though, that stuff is pretty good because they source it from pasteur-raised cows that don’t touched by drugs and hormones. They’re grass-fed and it’s an enzymatically processed collagen that leaves the actual protein peptides intact. So it doesn’t have this really strong gelatinous taste that a lot of collagen sources have but it still gives you those benefits of being able to maintain anabolism or at least decrease the breakdown of muscle while you’re in a fasted state. So if you’re one of those people doing the bullet proof coffee type of approach, what you could do is add this collagen to your coffee or even better yet so you don’t damage it, just sir it in right after you finish blending your coffee. Alternatively, you can just do your coffee and then chew on 5 or 10 of these Master amino pattern capsules. Kind of a couple ways you could skin the cat there. Doing both isn’t gonna hurt you but I think it’d be a little excessive so I just do one or the other. And then the other thing that I like to encourage folks to do if they’re fasting and they want to kinda keep their body from getting into almost like an acidic catabolic state is to use a lower calorie green source, like a concentrated greens powder or greens capsule.
Brock: It’s not one of the meal replacement greens drinks but just straight up green powder.
Ben: Yeah! Not like Athletic greens or Super greens or any of these greens powders but I especially like this for the folks who are doing 24-hour fasts which can be a pretty good fat loss strategy if you do it just one or two times a month. But what I’ll have folks to do that is do some green tea or some caffeine and then some amino acids again to stave off too much catabolization of muscle and then some greens to maintain pH and to give the body some dense sources of nutrients in the absence of caloric intake. So like Enerprime is one brand. Capra greens is like a powdered brand. A few different ways you could skin that cat. But just a mix of spirulina and kelp and chlorella and broccoli and just some of these dense super foods without a lot of the fibers and the carbohydrates and things of that nature. So I’d go amino acids, I’d go collagen. I’d toss in some greens and you can keep yourself in a somewhat anabolic state in the absence of doing big post workout smoothies. But ultimately, if you wanna build muscle, you do have to hit that window of around within about two hours after that workout, two hours max getting in a pretty decent meal after that fasted morning workout.
Brock: So you were mentioning earlier on right at the beginning you said that if you’re doing the workout and it’s right afterwards you got sort of that window before you get to – before the insulin actually causes any problem, does that really depend on what kind of workout you’re doing or how hard you’re working out?
Ben: Generally the harder that you’re exercising, the more insulin sensitive that you’re gonna be and the higher your post exercise oxygen consumption is. So, yeah absolutely, after a high intensity interval training session with weight training, you’re going to burn through more glycogen, you’re gonna be more likely to deliver consumed sugars into muscle tissue in response to insulin versus during morning yoga session.
Brock: That’s super convenient then ‘cause if you’re working out really hard, you’re probably more worried about missing that meal or especially the protein for muscle building so it gives – makes you a little more bullet proof, too.
Ben: It does. But it’s psychologically can be a little bit tough ‘cause I know for me if I do a hard morning workout, it kinda tends to shut down my appetite a little bit. It’s almost like you get so cortisolic and in such a fight and flight type of syndrome after a tough morning workout, you sometimes have to force feed which I find unpleasant so I simply don’t workout hard in the morning. I just save it for the afternoon.
Brock: I see. I thought you’re gonna try and claim that you don’t work out hard.
Alexander: Hello, Ben and Brock! This is Alexander from Glasgow. I have a question which is actually not for me but for my girlfriend who is in her second trimester of her third pregnancy and she’s having terrible trouble with her acne outbreak. I have followed the advice I’ve gathered so far from listening to your podcast. Over the past three years she stopped almost all trigger carbohydrates or mainly carbohydrates and grains but there has been no change, actually it’s been getting worse. And I wonder whether you have any advice of what one can do. Thank so much. Love the podcast and hope to hear from you soon. Bye!
Ben: You know what the thing that I found to be really, really helpful for acne, Brock?
Ben: Going with the supersize me option at the drive through window. It seems that just like all that oil -I think it somehow clogs up the sebaceous gland and just completely gets rid of the acne.
Brock: I like to take the wrapper that was around the hamburger and rub it on the most acne-prone parts of my face.
Ben: Yeah, that’s perfect, like the greasy paper bag.
Brock: It does an awesome job of exfoliating or something.
Ben: Hopefully, Alexander’s girlfriend hasn’t pulled into the McDonald’s yet because we are kidding. We’ve done a lot of previous episodes – we’ve done a – you have a beard, that’d be gross!
Brock: Hmm. Rub it into the beard.
Ben: All of the previous episodes we’ve done on acne are over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. I’ll link to them at bengreenfieldfitness.com/277 but we’ve talked about dairy and we’ve talked about how insulin can firm the sugars and the carbs and the grains and it sounds like Alexander’s girlfriend is being careful with now, how that can cause some acne issues. In particular though, during pregnancy, this can happen and not be related to dairy intake and not be related to insulin release from grains and simply be a response to the natural hormonal fluctuations that occur during pregnancy. You’re typically going to get an increase in progesterone, you’re gonna get an increase in estrogen and both of these can elevate everything from proliferation of the actual sebaceous glands themselves which are going to be the glands that can tend to become blocked and clogged and cause acne. But simply elevated levels of androgens in particular in any situation are pretty strongly correlated with increased frequency and severity of acne problems. That’s why if you go to a body building show, especially if it’s not a natural body-building show, not only is everyone red-faced and farting, but they also are typically covered in acne. So it’s just this androgen response that can happen even if you’re being pretty careful with your diet from just a hormonal standpoint.
Brock: Same reason why one of the side effects of going on birth control pills is also acne.
Ben: Yep! Exactly. Hormonal fluctuations that can occur with that as well. So the issue here is that when you are pregnant you do need to be very careful with some typical acne treatments that I’m not a huge fan of anyways. But retinoic acids that you’re gonna find in a lot of popular acne medications like Accutane and Retin-A and some of these, those are pretty toxic to the fetus. And even little amounts or topical applications can cause birth defects. They can increase risk of death. So you need to be careful with that stuff when it comes to acne and I’ve got some other ideas for you as far as how to counteract some of these acne that’s gonna get produced. First of all, don’t feel guilty like you’re doing something wrong in your diet because honestly once you start to churn out these androgen –like hormones and that’s totally natural during pregnancy, it’s just more likely to happen. So it’s more like putting a Band-Aid over it and treating the acne from a natural standpoint rather than necessarily trying to shut down androgen production or counter that from a dietary standpoint assuming you’re already eating healthy. So one of the things that can be associated with high levels of acne during pregnancy are low zinc levels. And while you do need to be careful with any form of supplementation during pregnancy because just about anything that you take is going to affect the fetus, just small amounts of zinc can help out quite a bit. So I would look for a good absorbable zinc in some kind of a multivitamin format like a prenatal. There’s a lot of prenatals that are out there. You know, one of the ones I know actually has an absorbable form of zinc in it. And when I say absorbable that just means it’s chelated, in a way that makes it more likely to be absorbed, in this case it would be zinc picolinate, about 25 milligrams or so.
Brock: Does that mean they chelated the pickles?
Ben: Chelated the pickles. You got it! Just like it sounds. And this particular prenatal also has some of the active forms of folic acid like L-5 methyltetrahydrofolate and folinic acid which are the non-toxic forms of folic acid. It’s got zinc in there. It’s got your full spectrum of fat-soluble vitamins mixed in pretty good ratios. There’s one made by this same company that makes this iron biscocynate and that’s Thorne Prenatal. So they do a good job with their stuff and I’ll link to that one in the show notes for you. But zinc is one thing. Another thing in addition to all of the fixes ‘cause we have talked about tons of natural fixes on the show for acne, but one of the things that I already mentioned that I don’t really talked about a ton on the show before is coconut oil.
And for acne treatment because of its antibacterial and antifungal effect, just a thin layer of coconut oil on your face about once a day can make a pretty big difference. So you’ll want to use a good extra virgin coconut oil as a topical treatment but that can have some really, really good effect on overactive sebaceous glands, or some of the bacteria that can affect acne production and that’ll work really well. So when it comes to extra virgin coconut oil, the one that I recommend is made by Nutiva. That’s one of the organic, non-GMO forms of coconut oil. It’s cold-processed, it’s not refined or deodorized or bleached. So you can guilt-free use it when you’re pregnant and not have to worry about anything topically winding up affecting the fetus. So that’s one that I’d really look into would be the use of coconut oil. I would look into the use of zinc and those would be a couple of the biggies in addition to using something like that Thorne Prenatal vitamin that I talked about.
Brock: So Alexander’s girlfriend could take a tablespoon of the coconut oil for her aches and pains and then rub the rest on her face.
Ben: Exactly! There you go! And she’ll be born – her baby will probably come out wearing a coconut bra.
Brock: The baby will come shooting out of her.
Ben: The lime and the coconut.
Chris: Hi, Ben! This is Chris from Maryland and I’ve been listening to your podcast for about a year now. I’m 55 years old and just spiral fractured my 5thmetatarsal and I need to completely stay off my foot for at least a month. I had been running and doing body weight workouts. Do you have any advice to have a healthy healing process and do you have any suggestions for workouts not putting any weight on one foot? I sure would appreciate that. And I appreciate all the effort you put into your research and the sharing of information. Thank you very much!
Brock: Ah, Chris! That is a bummer! Stress fractures are the worst.
Brock: Not only do you have to deal with having the stress fracture but you have to figure out why you got a stress fracture.
Brock: Which I think is worse.
Ben: One of the big things I found with stress fractures is simply having feet that are really not anatomically ready for the rigors of running on a lot of these surfaces like running on concrete, asphalt, stuff like that. I’m gonna tell you what –I wanna give another podcast shout out my friend Evan Brand runs this “Not Just Paleo” podcast and he just did an interview with a guy named Dr. Ray who is a practitioner over at Northwest Foot and Ankle in Portland, Oregon. And they talked about how most foot problems can be corrected by restoring natural foot function. That’s a pretty good interview. I was actually recently on that “Not Just Paleo” podcast as well. So if you go over there and subscribe, be sure to check out my interview. But that’s a pretty good way to learn a little bit about how to correct these foot problems ‘cause we’re gonna talk about how to put a Band-Aid on this and stay fit when – how to exercise when you have a foot stress fracture but eventually you may wanna look in the why you have this in the first place if it wasn’t just training too much, Maybe it’s incorrect footwear. So a few things you can do and I have a whole article I’ll link to in the show notes about staying fit with an ankle or a foot injury. I have an entire Get Fit Guy podcast about this. But essentially you’re looking at two different types of exercise. Number one would be what are called open chain exercises for the leg where you’re strengthening the leg without your feet on the ground. So for example, that would be like machine leg extensions and machine leg curls. And then what you would do is you combine something like that with the ability to maintain cardiovascular fitness and what’s called peripheral resistance or the ability to really get muscles to pump blood back to the heart to increase cardiac contractility and stroke volume and that would be through super slow training. Super slow training is a really good way to maintain some of your cardiovascular fitness especially if you’re injured and you need to move a little bit more slowly and carefully or you can’t run and jar muscles around or things of that nature. So in the weight room for example, you could do regular speed machine leg extensions and machine leg curls and then you could do super slow chest press, super slow seated rows, super slow shoulder press, super slow pull down, for example. And you could even at the end of a circuit like that, hop on something that is not stressful to the foot or that is low-impact like you could do a 60-second high intensity cardiovascular booster for-on the bicycle or on the rowing machine or on the elliptical.
Ben: And one really powerful way to stay fit that I like is combining super sets with cardio boosters. So an example of that is you do machine leg extensions, you do machine leg curls, and then you do 60-seconds as hard as possible on the bike. You go through that 3-4 times then you move on and you do super slow chest press, super slow seated rows, and then 60-seconds as hard as you can go on the elliptical and then you do super slow shoulder press, super slow pull down and then as hard as you can go on the rowing machine, for example.
Brock: Hang on a second, when you say super slow, let’s say you’re doing chest press, so you’re talking 10 seconds up, 10 seconds down or 30 seconds up, 30 seconds down?
Ben: About as slow as your joints can move. But in most cases I find that I follow my breath and I go for 10 breaths up and 10 breaths down, with some deep nasal breathing. So usually that means I’m using about 5-6 reps so I am on one particular set for about one and a half to two minutes.
Ben: That’s about how long a set would take. So time under tension is 90-120 seconds or so. And again there’s not a lot of evidence that that makes you stronger or builds muscle but there’s really good evidence in terms of peripheral resistance and cardiovascular strengthening, which is why Dr. Doug McGuff actually uses it as a therapeutical form of exercise for some of his patients recovering from heart surgery, or trying to make their hearts stronger. So, really cool stuff. So there’s that and then another non-impact form of cardio would be water running and aqua jogging.
Brock: Oh! I knew you were gonna say aqua jogging.
Ben: Actually I did aqua jogging just yesterday. So I did one of my favorite workouts. If I do need to do aqua jogging which is breaking it up with swimming. So I got in the pool. I swam about 400 meters for a warm up and then I did ten hundred-meter sprints with each of those sprints separated by 25 meters of really hard intense deep water running. So back and forth between swimming and running. That’s just a really good cross training work out. Period.
Brock: It’s getting aqua jogging all alone is just so boring. It’s so good. It really works. It’s great stuff. I use it for tapering sometimes specifically taper week but it gets really boring so I like that mixing it in the swimming.
Ben: Yeah, you mix it in and you grab an underwater MP3 player. I use the one from underwateraudio.com and you just go and that kinda keeps you entertained too when you’re jogging which I find in the pool can be incredibly boring ‘cause there’s no change of scenery like a treadmill. So you can do that and the reason I was doing that was I’m training for this- I’m going to do a Spartan race in Vegas this weekend. I’m racing in the Super Spartan in Vegas. And I’m actually taking this one pretty seriously. I’m racing it as an elite male. I’ve actually whipped myself into pretty dang decent shape and I was doing a…
Brock: As if you’re totally out of shape before when you’re doing Ironman Kona.
Ben: I’m actually – I have to say that I’m in this mode right now. I’m in pretty good shape. So if you’re racing against me in Vegas and you’re listening in and you’re racing in the elite men’s wave, get ready.
Brock: You’re going down!
Ben: I’m gonna bring it. Anyways though, I fell off of a very high set at the playground so I got this playground I work out at and it was raining and I slipped and I fell and I was all prepared to land on the ground but then I hit one of those balance posts like those log balance posts.
Brock: I’m afraid you were gonna say you hit a child.
Ben: No, no. I try and avoid it when there are children there. And flipped me on my back side. I’m actually headed over to the chiropractor after this to get adjusted ‘cause I’m so – I can feel my pelvic joint is still out of alignment, Anyways though, so I can’t run right now ‘cause I have this big old berry-size, not berry-size, it’s like a baseball…
Brock: Doc, I hurt myself playing in the playground.
Ben: Basically it’s this baseball size bruise.
Brock: I fell off the monkii bars.
Ben: Yeah! So, and then I had to run home two miles after that so that was really tough. Anyways though, where was I? Oh, so that was why I was water running. So water running is really good for that and the last thing that I would think about – I’m actually reading a book right now and it’s called The Art of Learning. It’s a really good book. It’s about this chess master who went on and became a martial arts master. And he talks about how at one point in his learning and his fighting, he broke his hand, and he had to start using his other hand. And he was actually pretty surprised that how after training with his opposite side, his side that was injured still retained a great deal of strength and he could almost train his opposite side just through visualization and through working with the side that was uninjured. And he doesn’t talk about this in the book but this is actually proven in Exercise Science. It’s called a contralateral training effect where they have shown improved blood flow and maintenance of muscle when you work the uninjured side and so what that means is that even though let’s say your right foot might have a stress fracture, you can do single leg squats, single leg press, single leg closed chain exercises, closed chain meaning your leg is in contact with the ground, and even plyometrics and impact-type of stuff with just that left leg and still get a decent crossover training effect for the right side.
So that’s another strategy that you can use. You don’t want to overdo it because you can create muscle imbalances potentially. But just a few times a week training that uninjured side can actually be helpful.
Brock: I actually did that when I had wrist surgery on my left wrist. I drank beer with my right hand. I just predominantly – I just used my right hand for drinking beer the whole time. And lo and behold when they cut the cast off, I was really good at drinking beer with my left hand.
Ben: Yeah! Plus you train both your left and your right kidney. So…
Brock: Yeah, that’s fantastic!
Keerthi: Hi, Ben! This is Keerthi from San Diego. I have a PRK eye surgery coming up next month where the corneal epithelium is going to be removed and it needs to be regenerated after the surgery. Do you have any recommendations from supplement point of view so I could recover faster? I am thinking maybe supplementing with collagen could help. I would also like to hear any opinions you may have about the surgery. Thank you.
Brock: Corneal epithelium.
Ben: Corneal epithelium.
Brock: Corneal epithelium.
Ben: We did podcast 237, was like a whole podcast on Lasik eye surgery and I know that that’s not the same as PRK eye surgery per se. Even though they do use lasers in…
Ben: …that PRK eye surgery. But there are some additional things that we didn’t mention in that podcast episode that I should mention. So like I mentioned, PRK is a type of laser eye surgery. It’s a little bit different from that one we talked about before. But essentially it‘s a reshaping of the cornea using a laser. It’s a laser that’s on a shark, actually. So the shark goes into the tank and they manipulate the shark.
Brock: It’s called the surgery shark.
Ben: And what they actually do is they put a fish in front of the shark to guide the laser. So…
Brock: Of course!
Ben: At this point they only do it on people with really large eyes because…
Brock: Huge eyes.
Ben: …it’s not super accurate at this point. So, anyways though, now
that Keerthi is extremely excited about his PRK surgery…
Brock: He’s like “Yey, sharks!”
Ben: First of all, let me say that I think , and I don’t wanna rain on your parade here, Keerthi, but I think more people get eye surgery than really need to. And if my vision ever starts to fail, knock on wood it doesn’t yet, I try to take good care of my eyes. I use blue light blocking, antiglare glasses. I spend time looking at the horizon for about 5 minutes for every 25 minutes that I’m looking at my computer. I work on my balance. I work on my visual acuity. In my case I read music a lot to work on the movement of my eyes up and down and to the side. But ultimately, if my eyes ever did start to fail, I would focus on this even more structurally. So there’s this old school method called the Bates Method in which you actually train your ocular muscles in specific ways, the same way you would train your legs at the gym. So that particular form of visual therapy works on training depth perception, peripheral range, how fast and how accurately your eyes move when you read or when you scan, which is basically scanning movement training, visual acuity, color discrimination, contrast discrimination. The problem is it’s really old school. There’s this new version of it that the folks over at Z Health put out and it’s called The Vision Gym and it’s not only really useful for athletes who want to take things to the next level. And I plan to put my kids through it once they’re at about the junior high tennis level because I’d really like to use it to help them enhance their tennis game.
Brock: That’s your retirement strategy, isn’t that?
Ben: That’s my retirement strategy. It’s -yeah! My retirement strategy is spending whatever, I think it’s $97 on this Vision Gym and just keeping my fingers crossed and turn my children into professional athletes.
Brock: The new Williams brothers.
Ben: So it’s the Brian brothers, actually. The Williams are the sisters. So I actually do not want my twin boys to grow up to be…
Brock: To be the Williams sisters!
Ben: —freakishly muscular African-American women. As cool as the Williams sisters are…
Brock: Yeah! They’re fantastic! But not what you want your little boys to grow into.
Ben: Anyways though, the Vision Gym…
Brock: That’s a good segue. Are weird.
Ben: I’ll link to it in the show notes. But essentially it should be able in most people to vastly reduce the need for eye surgery.
And even like my brother recently got Lasik surgery and I didn’t know that he was getting it. When I found out later that he got it, I was like, dude, I have no problems saying this to my brother, I was like Dude, you should have talked to me, we probably could have avoided you getting that. I would have bought it for him. It’s a $97 program versus surgery. I mean, again I don’t want to rain on Keerthi’s parade. He’s probably already had his surgery by the time this podcast comes out.
Brock: That’s possible.
Ben: But I’m just saying check out the Vision Gym if you are kind of in that transition. So either way though, let’s say he already had his surgery…
Brock: Conversely, I actually had RK – radiokeratotomy surgery back in ninety, I wanna say ninety one and now it’s how many zillions of years later and I still don’t need any glasses. I see 20/20. I’ve had no complications. Well the only thing that I could even qualify as a complication is I have starbursts like when I look at light, like a streetlight, or a Christmas tree actually is extra pretty for me ‘cause when I look at the light I get six points that come out of it where the scarring is left on my cornea.
Ben: Yeah! And I’m totally being a dirty hippie here because I’m just being one of those people that’s saying, oh well if you don’t need the surgery, why get it? But it is completely possible there are gonna be zero side effects at all and you don’t have to worry a bit. But…
Brock: But one thing about my surgery is it was pre-laser. They used a diamond knife.
Ben: Okay, Gotcha!
Brock: And I’m not being a jerk either. Seriously, it was actually a diamond knife they used on my corneas.
Ben: Nice! Just like what they used to steal the crown jewels in movies. So…
Brock: Exactly! (Whirring sound) What are you doing here in my eye.
Ben: So at the Ancestral Health Symposium last year, there was an excellent presentation that’s available for free on the internet. It’s over at Slide Share and I’ll link to it in the show notes. And it was by Dr. Mehta. And she went in to a lot of the natural nutritional therapies that work for improving the eyes and not only global cognitive function but in particular ocular health. And these are a few of the things that I would be doing previous to eye surgery and also when recovering from eye surgery. So a few of the things that she goes into are first of all trying to get unless you have a known egg allergy, you shoot for the equivalent of about two egg yolks per day. So I get close to that primarily from the fact that my wife cooks a lot with yolks like that horseradish that I had with my big-ass salad today that’s made with egg yolks. She does a lot of her everything from baking to condiments to like the quiche – it’s in stuff that she makes. I get close to the equivalent of about two egg yolks per day by the end of the day. And that’s a really, really good source of the lutein necessary for maintain good eye health. Another thing that’s really good is to shoot for the equivalent of about a cup of greens per day. About one cup. So collard, kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens. Again we’re talking about going after in this case the zeaxanthin that’s gonna help your eyes. So, and that can just be like a morning smoothie. Theoretically, you can even just toss an egg into your morning smoothie to kinda kill two birds with one stone. So about one pound per week of some kind of an oily wild fish that you eat with the skin. Salmon works really, really well for this. If you don’t get about the equivalent of a pound of wild fish a week or that’s not doable for you, the equivalent of about three tins of sardines per week, so those sardines with the skin. If…
Brock: So far taking care of your eyes is delicious!
Ben: Yeah! Exactly! So if you can’t or don’t want the sardines, the other option is they do a lot of these Barlene’s makes a fish oil and – I’m blanking on another company – I think Natural Vitality does one but there are these lemon-flavored fish oils that are really tasty. So you wanna go through…
Brock: Pacific Elite makes one.
Ben: Yeah! If you can get about a tablespoon of those per day, those are really good for the eyes, too. My kids use the – the kids call ‘em liquid multivitamin and that one’s over at Pacific Elite Fitness at pacificfit.net and that’s got this lutein and zeaxanthin in it as well in a little bit lower ratios just ‘cause they’re kids. But that’s very similar to that Norwegian fish oil stuff. So you’ve got egg yolks, you’ve got dark leafy greens and you’ve got fish and some of those volumes that I just mentioned. Now let’s say you’re travelling, let’s say you live in an urban desert when it comes to good grocery stores and good pastured eggs and wild-caught fish, you can head over to your friendly local computer and hop on to the internet and get yourself some lutein and some zeaxanthin.
I’m a bigger fan of the Whole Foods sources but if you wanted to supplement with lutein and zeaxanthin, you’d want about a 5 to 1 ratio of lutein to zeaxanthin. So typically, we’re gonna find it in nature in a 2 to 1 ratio. But in supplemental form, what Dr. Mehta recommends is a 5 to 1 ratio. I wasn’t super clear during her presentation on the biochemical reasons behind that but she recommends is exactly, I can tell you, 10 milligrams of lutein to 2 milligrams of zeaxanthin. So 5 to 1 ratio of lutein to zeaxanthin and I’ll put all that in the show notes as well. The only other thing that I would recommend in addition to fish or fish oil, egg yolks, greens and then if necessary the lutein or the zeaxanthin for recovery from surgery in particular. And this would be what I would use if I would get me a back surgery, or an eye surgery or any type of surgery would be proteolytic enzymes. And those are really, really good at healing up a lot of the inflammatory markers and a lot of what’s called the fibrin that would be circulating in your body post surgery from the wounds, and the scarring and breaking through the connective tissue and all the things that can happen during surgery. To a certain extent, that doesn’t happen quite as much during something like a laser eye surgery. That’s something that you get more of during a hip surgery or back surgery or shoulder surgery. But my preferred form of protelytic enzyme would just be this stuff called Recoverease. And it’s just a blend of proteolytic enzymes and some amino acids and pretty decent stuff. I used to use it post work out. Now I just use it if I’m injured or laid up and I definitely use it post surgery. It’s just called Recoverease. So about 8 of those per day would work really well in terms of giving you a really potent dense source of proteolytic enzymes for recovery.
Brock: One thing I should probably warn Keerthi that after I had my eye surgery, I became color blind.
Ben: That’s kind of a big thing to know about…
Brock: No, I’m just kidding, I was born that way.
Ben: Dude! So why didn’t you say that before?
Brock: I just totally forgot.
Ben: You’re making you sound like a hippie clown. However, you should also in case you wanna laugh a little bit about eyes, go watch Legend of Rob Burgundy, an anchorman where he goes blind and he’s like – “I drank half a bottle of catsup thinking it was this fancy shot of NoDa Hop.” And his body is like –half a bottle of catsup is like nine to ten gulps. How did you not realize that it wasn’t wine? He’s like “I ate an ash tray thinking it was a piping hot waffle.” He’s like – did you not feel the ash tray that it wasn’t a waffle? And then it kinda slides downhill from there. Actually in my opinion gets pretty funny. So there you go, go watch Legend of Ron Burgundy. That’s my final tip for you.
Brock: Before you go blind.
George: Hi, Ben and Brock! There is George from Rhode Island. I have a question about Gilbert’s syndrome, something that I was born with. It’s a liver disease. I guess I have too much bilirubin in my liver. I’m not exactly sure if I should be concerned about this. My doctor says that it’s nothing to be concerned about. But just want to hear your input. Thanks for your podcast and yeah, any nutritional guidelines would be great. Thank you very much. Bye!
Brock: I actually went to school with a guy named Bilirubin.
Ben: I once knew a fellow named Gilbert. So…
Brock: There you go!
Ben: Yeah! Coincidence. Must be getting towards the end of the podcast.
Brock: Yes! And there’s your answer, George.
Ben: Well, fortunately, not to blow this one off too much. But from most of the evidence that’s out there, you don’t have to worry that much when you have Gilbert’s syndrome because it doesn’t seem to cause many long term problems. So it’s this dysfunction, this inherited disorder of the liver that causes an overabundance of this substance called bilirubin. And bilirubin is normally present in your blood in small amounts. And it’s a byproduct of the breakdown of hemoglobin in old red blood cells. And that breakdown product usually gets converted by the liver into a form that gets excreted from your body typically in your stool. That’s why of you have a lot of breakdown of hemoglobin, sometimes your stool can be very dark or almost black. And if you have abnormalities in the breakdown of hemoglobin, it can cause blood levels of bilirubin to rise above normal in which case this would be an issue. But if you’ve got Gilbert’s syndrome and you simply have this inherited abnormality that causes reduced production of the enzyme involved in processing bilirubin, it doesn’t seem to be that much of an issue. It doesn’t seem to cause that many issues as far as the liver or the kidney is concerned. Now there was one study I was able to find where Gilbert’s syndrome was linked to increased risk of gallstones.
We’ve done podcast episodes on gallstones before and taking care of the liver and kidneys from that standpoint so I mean if you really wanted to, you could go after it from that level of just making sure that you include some things that are gonna help with gallstones. And in that particular podcast that we did, what we recommended was you use some bitters before you have your big meals, especially meals that are heavy in fat. And you potentially even use like a bile salt supplement like ox bile for example and bitters, yes, those are the same things that you would add to a dirty vodka martini.
Ben: You actually use those before a meal. And then some digestive enzymes like Caprazymes is the stuff that I keep around if for if I need a little bit of –if I’m gonna eat a huge steak and I just don’t want to feel a bit too full after that steak, I pop a couple enzymes beforehand just to step up the digestion a little bit. And those are some of the things that can help out a little bit with gallbladder and with or without gallstones.
Brock: And the reason you’re going after the gallbladder is ‘cause gallbladder’s where bilirubin is manufactured, right? So gallbladder kicks out, liver takes care of it generally.
Ben: Yeah! And a few of the other things that you can think about or just like using some lemon juice like drinking some water that has a squeezed lemon in it during the day and that can be a really helpful digestive as well and help to lower bilirubin. Curcumin is not bad like using some turmeric powder or using that curcumin extract and that’s something that’s helpful to have around anyway. I mean a lot of these things like lemon juice or curcumin, these are- I’m not worried about a high bilirubin count personally or gallstones, but these are just some things I work into my day anyways, it’s just these natural things that you can do. So I always got a few lemons here and there that I can have some lemon juice now and then. I keep a lot of turmeric around and curcumin. I use the digestive enzymes. I don’t use bitters or bile salts. If I have some bilirubin issue or some gallbladder issues, I would. So that’s something else to think about. And those are some of the biggies. But ultimately, I wouldn’t be worrying that much, man. If it’s just Gilbert’s syndrome, you could play your cards safe when it comes to the potential for gallstones but George, I would not be too worried unless you run into Brock’s friend Bilirubin in which case, dude, it’s probably a little bitter and nasty based off of what his parents named him.
Brock: I agree.
Ben: Or was it – was it just Bill Irubin? Was it Bilirubin was actually his name.
Brock: That was it. That was – it was just one name. He’s kinda like don’t understand.
Ben: That’s too bad.
Brock: Is it wrong if I wanna know what color George’s poop is?
Ben: No. No, that’s completely natural for guys to wanna know the color of other dude’s dung.
Brock: Well, you know that an excess of bilirubin will turn your poop white.
Ben: Oh, I see what you’re saying. Yeah that will be a helpful piece of information. But we already know that he’s got a lot of bilirubin in his liver. It’s likely that some of that is basically elevating levels of unconjugated bilirubin in the bloodstream and some of that may actually pass in the stool. But again, there’s no evidence that it causes some serious issues in the case of Gilbert’s syndrome. So…
Brock: And on that note, let’s take a look at our iTunes review before we talk about poop too much, man.
Ben: Cool! And by the way, if you leave an iTunes review, you can get the brand new Ben Greenfield Fitness gear pack. We actually ran out of – we ran out of beanies. If you’re waiting on the care package…
Ben: I got some new ones ordered.
Brock: The beanies are the best part.
Ben: They do cost some money for me to order those like we spent a few thousand dollars on Ben Greenfield Fitness gear this year. But the thing is if you support the show by going to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear, we can break even on that and it allows you to help support the show. So if you do listen to the show, think about that. Just go on –put in an order for our beanie, our sweet t-shirt which I’m actually wearing right now and you can do all that at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear. So check that out. Support the show. And if you just wanna get your name tossed into the hat to win some gear, head over to iTunes and leave your review. And I think Brock’s got one picked out for this week.
Brock: Yeah! There’s one from Slamm. Slamm311. slamm311. It’s got two Ms so it’s hard to say. Slamm. And the review says, “Ben and Brock give me so much information on health, wellness, and fitness that I’m now going to school, to become a personal trainer and continue on to other nutritional certifications. They’re amazing and as long as you can get through the lady at the beginning who talks to you like you’re dialing into a 900 number.”
Brock: It’s funny that you say that, slamm311 because that lady is your mom!
Ben: I wouldn’t know, I’ve never called a 900 number.
Brock: Me neither.
Ben: Yeah! Just in case my wife is listening in to this podcast. No, that lovely voice is Kelly who does our voiceovers. And Kelly is not a porn star. She’s just basically your 900 number lady.
Brock: She just plays one on TV.
Ben: Yeah! However, if you’d like Brock and I can do our best 900 number lady impersonation to play this show out. So, _____(1:25:35.1). Thanks so much for listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness show on the bengreenfieldfitness.com/277. What are you wearing?
Brock: I’m wearing hockey skates and nothing else.
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