Book Summaries

Discipline Is Destiny | The Power of Self-Control | Ryan Holiday | Book Summary


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Discipline Is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control (The Stoic Virtues Series)by Ryan Holiday

In his New York Times bestselling book Courage is Calling, author Ryan Holiday made the Stoic case for a bold and brave life. In this much-anticipated second book of his Stoic Virtue series, Holiday celebrates the awesome power of self-discipline and those who have seized it.

To master anything, one must first master themselves–one’s emotions, one’s thoughts, one’s actions. Eisenhower famously said that freedom is really the opportunity to practice self-discipline. Cicero called the virtue of temperance the polish of life. Without boundaries and restraint, we risk not only failing to meet our full potential and jeopardizing what we have achieved, but we ensure misery and shame. In a world of temptation and excess, this ancient idea is more urgent than ever.

In Discipline is Destiny, Holiday draws on the stories of historical figures we can emulate as pillars of self-discipline, including Lou Gehrig, Queen Elizabeth II, boxer Floyd Patterson, Marcus Aurelius and writer Toni Morrison, as well as the cautionary tales of Napoleon, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Babe Ruth. Through these engaging examples, Holiday teaches readers the power of self-discipline and balance, and cautions against the perils of extravagance and hedonism.

At the heart of Stoicism are four simple virtues: courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom. Everything else, the Stoics believed, flows from them. Discipline is Destiny will guide readers down the path to self-mastery, upon which all the other virtues depend. Discipline is predictive. You cannot succeed without it. And if you lose it, you cannot help but bring yourself failure and unhappiness.


  1. Perfectionism Is a Vice

In the winter of 1931, Martha Graham was hopelessly bogged down in a dance series she had choreographed called Ceremonials, inspired by Mayan and Aztec cultures. A notorious perfectionist, she despaired of ever completing the dance. Worried, self-critical, consumed by guilt that she had wasted her Guggenheim Fellowship, Graham was convinced she could not meet the expectations of her rising reputation, much less the vision she had in her own head. “The winter is lost,” she whimpered in self-pity. “The whole winter’s work is lost. I’ve destroyed my year. This work is no good.” Even though her dancers loved it, even though they had committed body and soul to it, all she could see was what needed to be changed. All she could see were the ways it wasn’t perfect. And it trapped her in a kind of creative prison.

It’s the tragic fate of greats across many different fields. Their success is built on their incredibly high standards—often higher than anyone, including the audience or the market, could demand—but this virtue is also a terrible vice, not just preventing them from enjoying what they have achieved, but making it increasingly impossible to ship the next thing. Because it’s never good enough. Because there’s always more they can do. Because it doesn’t measure up to what they did last time.

Da Vinci was like this, becoming almost serially incapable of finishing his paintings. Steve Jobs got stuck releasing the Macintosh before he was fired from Apple. A biographer of the novelist Ralph Ellison speaks of a perfectionism that was so “clogging” the man’s arteries that, in one case, Ellison produced forty drafts of a short statement about one of his own books—a book he had lived and breathed for decades and should have been able to hammer out in forty minutes. The tragic result was that Ellison never published a follow-up to his masterpiece, Invisible Man, despite writing some nineteen inches of futile manuscript pages over the years. What was it? Was it humility? An obsession with getting the little things right? No, those are the reassuring excuses we make for what is often a kind of narcissism and obsession. We’re convinced everyone cares so much about what we’re doing that we get stuck. We tell ourselves it’s self-discipline when in fact, it’s self-consciousness.

As they say, another way to spell “perfectionism” is p-a-r-a-l-y-s-i-s. An obsession with getting it perfect misses the forest for the trees, because ultimately the biggest miss of all is failing to get your shot off. What you don’t ship, what you’re too afraid or strict to release, to try, is, by definition, a failure. It doesn’t matter the cause, whether it was from procrastination or perfectionism, the result is the same. You didn’t do it. The Stoics remind us: We can’t abandon a pursuit because we despair of perfecting it. Not trying because you’re not sure you can win, you’re not sure whether everyone will love it, there’s a word for that too: cowardice. We have to be brave enough to soldier on. To give it a shot. To take our turn. To step into the arena, even though we might well lose. We have to be strong enough to do this too.

Of course, you’ll want to keep tinkering, keep tweaking, keep running the problems over in your mind. But you need to be able to stop yourself, to say, finally, this is done. And if you can’t do that on your own, if you have trouble with the last mile on your projects, or if you know you can fall prey to perfectionism, then do you have the self-discipline to find partners who can cut you off and balance you out? Martha was certainly successful enough to surround herself with sycophants and yes-men, but she didn’t. She understood she needed moderating influences—wise advisors and trusted patrons—if she was to produce great work. As great as Ralph Ellison and da Vinci were, as in command of their genius as they both were, they struggled with this.

  1. The Stoic Ideal: Marcus Aurelius

MV: Below is a quote I have paraphrased from Dr. Michael Sugrue’s course on philosophy, which aptly summarises the character of Marcus Aurelius:

“Lord Acton, the great English Philosopher and Historian, once said: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And that’s generally true. The difficulty with that generalization is Marcus Aurelius. Marcus Aurelius was an absolute ruler who, as the ruler of the Roman Empire, had absolute power over the life and death of everyone in the known world. Almost all of the Roman emperors lived scandalous lives and disgraced themselves. They were much more concerned with indulging their sensual appetites, satisfying their passions, and flying into rages. Marcus Aurelius is the standing exception and the exception to Lord Acton’s generalization. In Marcus’ case, power didn’t corrupt. Absolute power did not corrupt absolutely. Instead, absolute power allowed us to see what the man underneath the body is really like. It allowed us to find out what Marcus Aurelius’ soul was like. Imagine a man for whom all the restraints of law, custom, and political order are taken away. He could have whatever he wanted. If a man behaves well under those circumstances, you know something about the soul underneath because no external constraints make him act as he does. Marcus Aurelius is the one example of an absolute ruler who behaved himself in such a way as to not disgrace himself.”

Because through Hadrian’s strange succession plan, Marcus had inherited a stepbrother whose role was uncertain. What should an emperor do with this potential rival? An ancient Stoic master had warned a previous emperor to dispatch any other male heirs, saying one “cannot have too many Caesars.” Marcus thought and thought and came upon a solution unmatched in all of history for its generosity and selflessness, literally a walking contradiction of the dictum that absolute power corrupts absolutely: He named his stepbrother co-emperor. Given absolute power . . . the first thing he did was give half of it away.

Marcus Aurelius and his stepbrother could not have been more different either. Lucius Verus was not nearly so strict with himself. He was not known to have ever picked up a philosophy book. Did Marcus believe himself to be superior? From his Meditations, all we hear him express is gratitude “that I had the kind of brother I did. One whose character challenged me to improve my own. One whose love and affection enriched my life.” It was said that the true majesty of Marcus Aurelius was that his exactingness was directed only at himself. He did not “go around expecting Plato’s Republic.” People were people, he understood they were not perfect. He found a way to work with flawed people, putting them to service for the good of the empire, searching them for virtues that he celebrated and accepting their vices, which he knew were not in his control.

“We are so far from possessing anything of our own,” Marcus said to the Senate of his family’s so-called wealth, “that even the house in which we live is yours.” One of the only direct commands we hear of him giving the Senate was that they be merciful to some of his political enemies who had attempted a coup. The majority of Marcus Aurelius’s commands were instead to himself. Robin Waterfield, his translator, observes that 300 of the 488 entries in Meditations are rules Marcus gave himself. He got up early. He journaled. He kept himself active. He was not blessed with good health, but he never complained, never used it as an excuse, never let it slow him down more than absolutely necessary. Despite his wealth and power, he lived humbly—maintaining that difficult balance of restraint within abundance, spending most of his reign not in glamorous palaces of marble but in the simple tent of a soldier at the front. And when he fell short or screwed up? He tried to pick himself up and get back to it. To do his best always, even when it was very hard.

In the depths of the Antonine Plague, as Rome’s treasury was depleted, Marcus held a two-month sale on the lawn of the imperial palace, selling off his jewels and art collection, his wife’s silks and everything else they could live without. Were there other ways he could have solved the empire’s financial problems? Of course. He could have raised taxes. He could have looted the provinces. He could have relied on “prescription”—to seize the estates and property of Rome’s oligarchs. He also could have just kicked the can down the road, leaving the issue to his successors. Nearly every emperor before and after him would take these easy ways out, never thinking twice about it. Marcus took the hit instead. Because that’s what great leaders do: They do the right thing, even when—especially when—it costs them. When he was criticized, he shrugged it off. He had no time for sycophants or slanderers. Like Antoninus, when he was shown to be incorrect, he admitted error and changed his mind. It was a busy, ceaseless life, but he found stillness inside it, managing even to study philosophy from the cot in his tent, far from his library. He worked hard to be present, to “concentrate every minute like a Roman,” winnowing his thoughts and tuning out distraction, doing what was in front of him with both the tenderness and the tenacity he had learned from his hero. Whatever it was, he did his best—whether he was celebrated or despised for it.

“You don’t have to turn this into something,” he reminded himself when someone did something wrong or said something untrue about him. When he lusted after something, he stopped himself, turning those desires to stone before they burned through him and he did something he’d regret. He tried to make beautiful choices, tried to look for the best in people, tried to put himself in their shoes, tried to lead by serving. It was the pride of Marcus’s life that he not only didn’t need to ask anyone for favors but that anytime anyone asked him for something—money, advice, a hand—he could be generous. Amid plenty, amid intrigue, Marcus kept and was kept by, this beautiful motto: “Unrestrained moderation.” It is one thing to be a king, it is another to be a philosopher-king, and another thing entirely to be a good philosopher-king. To be a kingly person, independent of your title. Enfranchised, indifferent to what makes no difference, self-contained, self-motivated, devoted, hitting every right note at the right time in the right way. The kind of character that Marcus Aurelius cultivated was such that it brought distinction to his position, rather than the position bringing honor to his person.

To remain oneself in a world that pushes for conformity takes courage. It takes courage as well as temperance to be restrained in a world of excess, where we attack and mock those who don’t indulge in the pleasures we have rationalized and the passions we have excused in ourselves. Did he lose his temper from time to time? Of course. Few leaders can claim otherwise. But the ancient historians provide us no evidence that Marcus was ever vindictive, petty, cruel, or out of control. His reign was free of scandals, of shameful acts, of corruption. Isn’t that a pretty low bar? Not when you compare it to the sickening and brutal list of crimes and disasters put together by his predecessors and successors, right on down to today, where it seems that the hardest thing to find in the world is an honest and decent person in a position of significant leadership. Although Marcus was of good character, he knew that character was something that needs to be constantly worked on, constantly improved. He understood the second we stop trying to get better is the moment we start gradually getting worse. After the passing of Antoninus, he maintained his lifelong study of philosophy, humbly gathering up his tablets and going to school even as an old man. He never wanted to stop learning, never wanted to stop getting better.

What was he after? What was this destiny he sought? It was, of course, an impossible ideal, but the work of his life was movement toward the place where he would be “never swayed by pleasure or pain, purposeful when in action, free from dishonesty or dissimulation, and never dependent on action or inaction from anyone else.” Or, as he described it elsewhere, “self-reliance and indisputable immunity to the dice rolls of fortune.”

  1. Tolerant with Others, Strict with Yourself

Cato the Younger was just as strict as his great-grandfather. He was indifferent to wealth. He wore ordinary clothing, and walked around Rome barefoot and bareheaded. In the army, he slept on the ground with his troops. He never lied. He never went easy on himself. It came to be an expression in Rome: We can’t all be Catos. No one illustrated the impossibility of Cato’s standards like Cato’s own brother, Caepio. He loved luxury and favored perfumes and kept company that Cato never would have allowed himself. And yet Cato was humble enough in his own temperance to remember that it’s called self-discipline for a reason. While we hold ourselves to the highest standards—and hope that our good behavior is contagious—we cannot expect everyone else to be like us. It’s not fair, nor is it possible. Perhaps it was a rule articulated by Cato’s great-grandfather that helped Cato love and support his brother despite their different approaches to life. “I am prepared to forgive everybody’s mistakes,” Cato the Elder said, “except my own.” Ben Franklin, many generations later, would put forth an even better rule: “Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.” Or as Marcus Aurelius put it, Tolerant with others, strict with yourself.

The only person you get to be truly hard on is you. It will take every ounce of your self-control to enforce that—not because it’s hard to be hard on yourself, but because it’s so hard to let people get away with things you’d never allow in yourself. To let them do things you know are bad for them, to let them slack off when you see so much more in them. But you have to. Because their life is not in your control. Because you’ll burn yourself out if you can’t get to a place where you live and let live. Credit them for trying. Credit them for context. Forgive. Forget. Help them get better, if they’re open to the help. Not everyone has trained like you have. Not everyone has the knowledge you have. Not everyone has the willpower or the commitment you have. Not everyone signed up for this kind of life either! Which is why you need to be tolerant, even generous with people. Anything else is unfair. It’s also counterproductive.

Be a strong, inspiring example and let that be enough . . . and even then try to be empathetic. In the run-up to the Gulf War, Colin Powell kept the fact that he was sleeping in his office a complete secret from his staff. The burden fell on his shoulders, not theirs, and he did not want them to feel like they had to try—even if they could—to match him sacrifice for sacrifice. One of Lincoln’s secretaries would marvel at the way the president “never asked perfection of anyone, he did not even insist, for others, upon the high standards he set for himself.” While good discipline is contagious, we can also be strong enough to accept that we are the only one who must live with such a severe case of it. Discipline is our destiny. From Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius learned that just trying to escape our own faults is hard enough work to keep us busy for a lifetime. None of us are so perfect that we can afford to spend much time questioning other people’s courage, nitpicking their habits, trying to push them to reach their potential. Not when we have so much further to go ourselves. Understanding this should not just make us less harsh, but also more understanding.

Better to follow the model of Cato and Marcus Aurelius. Cato didn’t lord himself over his brother, he loved him. With his stepbrother, Lucius Verus, Marcus didn’t hold his nose. He found things to love and appreciate in him—things that Marcus didn’t have himself. And of his weaknesses? Marcus used his brother’s vices to improve himself. Both were made better by being in each other’s lives, both were enriched by the common ground and affection they found in each other. This is the higher plane: When our self-discipline can be complemented by compassion, by kindness, understanding, love. The fruit of temperance should not be loneliness and isolation. That would be a bitter fruit, indeed. Superiority is not a weapon you wield on other people. In fact, we have a word for that kind of intemperance: egotism.

Other people will choose to live differently. They may attack us for our choices—out of insecurity or ignorance. They may well be rewarded for things we find abhorrent or ill-disciplined. And? That’s for them to deal with, and for us to ignore. The journey we are on here is one of self-actualization. We leave other people’s mistakes to their makers, we don’t try to make everyone like us. Imagine if we were successful—not only would the world be boring, but there would be so many fewer people to learn from! The better we get at this, the kinder we should become, and the more willing to look the other way. We’re on our own journey and, yes, it is a strict and difficult one. But we understand that others are on their own path, doing the best they can, making the most of what they have been given. It’s not our place to judge. It is our place to cheer them on and accept them.


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Quotes Featured in Discipline Is Destiny

Two words should be taken to heart and obeyed when exerting ourselves for good and restraining ourselves from evil—words that will ensure a blameless and untroubled life: persist and resist. — Epictetus

You may lose battles, but never lose a minute to sloth. — Napoleon

Those who think that they can live a high spiritual life whose bodies are filled with idleness and luxuries are mistaken. — Leo Tolstoy

It doesn’t matter what you bear, it matters how you bear it. — Seneca

Love the discipline you know, and let it support you. — Marcus Aurelius



Harness ADHD To Win | John Torrens Interview

This book will help entrepreneurs, (or those who love them), discover how to harness their ADHD for maximum creativity, focus, and productivity, while learning how to manage the downsides and eliminate obstacles, so that they can achieve even more success. By reading this book, readers will be able to: • Use the many strengths of ADHD, such as laser focus, sensation seeking, and quick thinking, to their advantage • Keep the worst parts of their ADHD, like distractibility, inability to finish projects, and lack of focus from getting in their way • Teach their teams how to effectively ‘manage up’ with an ADHD boss to succeed as a team • ADHD can become a superpower-manage all of the bad aspects effectively and amplify the good aspects for optimal results • Get out of their own way and be able to concentrate on all the good things they have going for them • Start projects and stay on track to finish them in a timely manner • Reach their potential financially and personally • Outperform competition • Implement strategies that will last • Create results faster • Grow faster • Higher profitability • More focus • More productivity • More life balance • Time freedom


Start Finishing | How To Go From Idea To Done | Charlie Gilkey Interview

A prominent productivity expert shows how to do more of the work that matters by converting ideas into finished projects. Though we’ve created more productivity tools and strategies than ever, many people are frustrated that they’re not making progress on what’s most important to them. We’re to-do list ninjas, knocking off task after task but doing less of what really matters. With Start Finishing, Gilkey presents a systematic, root-cause approach for overcoming the real pitfalls to productivity and turning your ideas into finished projects. He outlines a powerful seven-step method for success ― including identifying your genius, building a success pack of supporters, navigating multiple projects, and using each completed step to create momentum that propels you toward your larger goals. With deep insight and clarity ― and contributions from Seth Godin, Susan Piver, Jonathan Fields, and more ― Gilkey provides an invaluable set of tools to help you stop being bogged down with task lists and start finishing your best work.

High Energy Happiness | 101 Self Care Ideas | Louise Thompson Interview

Hello, I’m Louise Thompson – your new MasterCoach and Wellbeing Strategist I personally cannot wait to welcome you into the Wellbeing Warriors Life Coaching Academy. I’m the author of High Energy Happiness (Penguin Random House) Newspaper columnist (New Zealand Herald) and TV and Radio guest expert on all things wellbeing (TV One, TVNZ, RadioLive, Newtalk ZB, BBC World) and I absolutely LOVE what I do for a living today. I got here however, via a serious health crisis – which could have been totally avoided if I had paid better attention to my wellbeing! After enjoying epic levels of success (yay!) – and equally epic levels of burnout (boo!) – in the corporate world I learned first-hand, and very much the hard way, what happens when we do not prioritise our health and wellbeing effectively. My life looked fine on the surface – but underneath – I was frazzled, anxious, and really exhausted. I mean reaaaaaaaally exhausted – in the end my health was so badly compromised I was bedridden for four months and unable to work for over a year.

I learned that the key to health and happiness is not more of the tsunami of conflicting and confusing health and wellbeing tips out there in the magazines – but much more deep understanding what makes us truly tick inside. Once we understand how to motivate ourselves with ease, not willpower, taking care of our wellbeing (mental, emotional, physical and spiritual) becomes a really easy, hassle-free, fast, natural integration into daily life. Effortless wellbeing only takes a few minutes a day, once you know how. I’ve coached thousands of smart, busy, curious women for over a decade, and been honoured to support more personal transformations that I can count. I truly LOVE what I do. Working with me one on one starts at $5,000 and my waitlist is loooooooong – which is why I created the Wellbeing Warriors Coaching Academy. In the Wellbeing Warriors Coaching Academy you get access to the very best of my tools and resources (and me!) delivered in a supportive format that means you can implement – fast. Life Coaching absolutely changed the fabric of my life, health and happiness and I know it can for you too: I truly believe every woman, regardless of location and budget, deserves access to these resources and insight into what really makes her tick, what gets her unstuck, and what makes her shine.

Best Book Bids podcast brings you Louise Thompson, a master coach and wellbeing strategist that helps smart, busy women genuinely move the needle on their mental and physical wellbeing, transforming good intentions into consistent healthy habits. She’s the author of High Energy Happiness, a newspaper columnist, former New Zealand Herald and TV and radio guest expert on all things.

Ben Louise, thanks for being on the show. Oh, thank you so much for having me. No worries. Now, your story is quite unique. You always weren’t the healthy wellbeing person that you teach others to be. Can you go back and tell us your story, how you started in this field and became sick? Yeah, sure.

So I’d like to think that I, I I trod the path that I don’t want anyone else to go down, and that’s why I now do what I do. But I did I did what I think probably a lot of people do in busy corporate jobs. I used to work in, [00:01:00] I’ll call big media, so newspapers and had a great career in London and then in Auckland working for national newspapers.

Worked hard, played harder and had an amazing time. But over the course of, ugh, 15 years or so just gradually started to completely burn myself out. A point where I actually ended up bedridden for four months and I couldn’t work for over a year. And it was a pretty sobering, terrifying thing to happen.

But what was more terrifying about it was that it wasn’t an illness that I’d caught, I hadn’t got, some sort of, cancer or some sort of horrifying illness. I was bedridden. But the fact was this I, it was so severe I’d done it to myself with a [00:02:00] million tiny choices over the years to prioritize.

Work and drinking and more work and so on, over tiny choices that would’ve improved my mental health and my physical health. And I’d essentially done it to myself. And I know I’m not alone in that. And since, I’ve written my books and so on, so many people get in touch today. I’ve read your story and oh my God, I can see so much of myself in that.

Because it’s so easily done when you’re in those sorts of environments, or not even in those sorts of environments. I’ve worked with loads of stay at home mums who are doing it all to a super high level. Those sort of perfectionist tendencies. You don’t have to be in corporate to have them, you can be in any kind of job, career circumstance, but the physical and mental outcomes can be really pretty serious.

Yeah, so essentially you had your foot on the gas with work hours, [00:03:00] diet, stress, alcohol, socializing. I’m just guessing by the way, and foot to the floor, career, money, lifestyle social things. And then one day the body just packs it up and say, Hey I’m officially burnt out and I’m gonna put a physical rescue.

How did you start to get better? What was the process and thoughts behind that? What did you do? How did you get better? It was this really strange one really, because I think, and this is again, what I hear from people when they read the book or they read about my story, they’re like, oh my God, this is me.

They keep going to the doctor. , obviously you don’t suddenly get bedridden with chronic fatigue syndrome. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of years to get yourself to that point. And over that period of time you’re starting to think, oh I’m, oh, I’m really struggling to get up in the morning.

Or I’m really wise and I can’t sleep. Or I absolutely need coffee in order to be able to function. Or I feel a bit dizzy when I stand up, or I’ve got a [00:04:00] headache quite often these days. Or there’s all these little things which over time start increasing. And you go to the doctor and you say, not quite feeling myself, I feel really run down.

I’m getting every bug that’s going. And essentially it took years for me to get that ill, but I went to the doctor’s. I can’t tell you how many times. And they would do blood tests and everything would be normal. And so I’d just have another true flat white and , and rock on with my life until the point where I absolutely couldn’t, when I ended up bedridden, like my blood pressure was 80 over 49.

Which, even the day he was like you shouldn’t even be moving around. This is, not, okay. My hair was falling out in just, I was so unwell, but all the blood tests were showing that I was normal. And that is the frustration. If you get chronic fatigue syndrome, severe [00:05:00] adrenal fatigue, which is what I had, it doesn’t show in the standard way that we do blood tests.

So it’s a it’s a real frustration because, something’s not right. But quite often and I hear from, you my clients so on, they just get offered antidepressants and told to crack on really. And it is depressing having no energy , but it’s not depression, it’s a very depressing circumstance, , but it’s not come from depression.

It’s come from a problem with essentially the way that your body is managing energy. And so getting better was very tricky because it’s very hard to get a diagnosis. And it was very hard because your collapse, I was collapsed in bed, but yet still the medical profession was saying can’t find anything. Technically, there’s nothing wrong with you. Are you sure It’s not all in your mind? And you’re like I’m normally like, I live a big full like what? This is not all in my head. There’s something [00:06:00] seriously wrong. And so for me starting to get better was I came across cuz you start reaching out everywhere, natural medicine, all of it because of the desperation.

And I came across the work of a doctor called Dr. James Wilson who is an incredible doctor in the states. And he coined the term adrenal fatigue many years ago cause he was seeing lots of high achievers essentially burning out and testing negative for everything and not getting any support. And he has a comprehensive 140 question questionnaire.

of all these little symptoms when you add them together, the big picture is you’ve got complete adrenal exhaustion. And I did this questionnaire and I got some, pretty much the highest score anyone’s ever got. And started following his work and getting these supplements that he provides. And I was so sick, Michael, you won’t believe this.

They come in three jars, right? I was so ill, I [00:07:00] couldn’t have the energy to open. And you take ’em three times a day, open and close the jars. I was, I couldn’t, it was, I couldn’t even hold my own head up and sit upright. I was just completely horizontal all the time. I couldn’t hold my, when I resigned from my job, the CEO came to my house and I resigned from the sofa.

They were so good. We’ll keep the job open, whatever you want. And I was like, no, I don’t think I can come back. I couldn’t even have my head upright on my neck. It’s. It is a catastrophic level of tiredness. It’s very hard to really describe, and so getting better was a, finding the work, Dr.

James Wilson, who’s incredible. And then secondly, at the same time as I was doing my big corporate career, I also had launched my own yoga business. And I was training to be a life coach cuz I already had a psych degree and I was really interested or whatever. So I would be in corporate all day [00:08:00] and then I’d drive home and then I’d quickly get changed into my Lululemons and then at six o’clock I’d be teaching 36 people yoga.

And then at the weekends I’ll be doing my life coach training. And so it’s amazing how I burned out, right? But doing my coach training, and listening to the audios at that, those times I was just like, do you know what? I am gonna get better from this. I’m not gonna manage this condition, which is what people say.

You’re going learn to manage it. I’m gonna get better and then I’m gonna write a book about it so that other people do not have to go through this. Because this was avoidable for me. This was preventable and it was essentially, it’s all mental health management, basic mental health management, that I’d been too busy living my life to actually consistently put in place for myself, and I paid a very big price.

Thank you for sharing. Yeah, it’s it’s a crazy story and sometimes the worst things that happen to us are the catalysts for our next staging life and our next career and our, [00:09:00] we become that teacher because of the experiences that we’ve had as well. Talk to me about the book. So I’ve got the book here.

Thank you for sending me a copy. The Busy Women’s Guide to High Energy Happiness. How long did it take you to write the book and when did it come out? It came out, oh, it must be about 10 years ago now. And it’s, it took a while to write the book and I was very conscious that I didn’t want it to be a book that people just read.

I wanted you to be a book that people used and that people did, so that it’s very much a workbook. So if you, there’s a big thing I think in the self-help fit sphere where people are giving loads and loads of information. And the thing is with information, we were going, yeah, that’s interesting.

That’s me. , and then we do nothing with that information, in which case we are not percent further forward. I wanted my book to be focused on not just that information, but taking that awareness and then implementing it, doing something with that knowledge. Because unless you do that, you don’t [00:10:00] turn it around.

So it’s got, lots of spaces that you fill in your own answers. I’m asking a lot of questions of people. It’s quite deep work really, because you have to look yourself in the face if you are, being honest about creating it for yourself and you want to uncreate it.

So it’s very much a workbook. It starts with seven stages of fatigue, which we’ve actually got a free beyond. I can send you the link if your people would like it where you can sort of grade. Oh, I think I’m stage three out of stage seven. Oh my God. Okay. Good to know. , I can turn that round because I don’t want it to get down to stage seven.

Seven is bad bedridden, right? So we start with that so that people can really check in and and see where they sit. And then the rest of the book, obviously I talk about my story, but then it’s it’s chapters that are, they’re very action based. It’s okay, is this a thinking style?

Perhaps you’re a perfectionist. It manifests in this way. Here’s a different way to start approaching a small thing in life and doing it differently. Is this a [00:11:00] pattern for you? Ah, it is. Okay, cool. Here’s a tool that you can use to start turning that around. Is this a way you genuine, generally beat yourself up in your own head, or you are really judgmental with yourself or with others or whatever.

If you’re highly critical of yourself, this is how you can start turning that around. So it’s very action oriented. . And it it steps people around from the reality check I guess at the beginning cuz people are only gonna pick that book up if they’re thinking, do you know what? I really do feel more knackered than I think is normal.

How tired am I and is this normal and what can I do about it? And they’re probably picking up after they’ve been to the doctors a few times and got nowhere. So it’s very much about guiding people on, turning it around with far more sensible than I did for myself. And I was very lucky I wrote it actually reasonably quickly.

Because like I say, I decided when I was sick this must have happened so I can write a [00:12:00] this book so that other people don’t have to go through this. And and then I was very lucky, penguin called me. Whilst I was writing it, cause I was doing my column from the New Zealand Herald at the time, and they just said, Hey look, we love your columns.

Would you be interested in writing a book? And I was like, that’s really weird. I’ve nearly finished writing one actually. And they were, oh, that’s very cool. Bring it in. And so it was easy as that really. And, there were fabulous people to work with. And it was great to get that story into the hands of people, thousands and thousands of people that, that need that help.

And I get amazing emails and stuff even though it’s 10 years old, that book, I get amazing emails every week from people saying, I just, someone recommended it to me. Or I, and I see so much of myself in it. And I’m taking a, the steps that, that you’ll say, it’s really given me a wake up call.

Yeah, that’s that’s a really cool story. Not every day that a first time authors halfway through their book in Penguin Random House just gives them a call and say, Hey, do you wanna write a book? And you’re like, Hey, have you actually only finish one? So that’s doesn’t happen to us all. So congratulations on that.

But it, it’s funny that you can look back and connect the [00:13:00] dots and your previous career turns into the stepping stone for your next career as well. One of the biggest topics of the book, which is obviously you highlighted bold, it’s called High Energy. I was having a conversation recently with another author about energy and, it’s one of the biggest currencies that isn’t spoken about.

People talk about time, money, emotion, but energy is really the currency people are paying for. I’ve gotta get my sleep because I will need to have energy for tomorrow. I need to go on holidays so I can recharge and get energy and do fun things. It’s such a massive thing in our whole life.

Its revolved around energy. I recently had a personal experience where I started to experiment with different things, got off alcohol for over a year, had great energy, recently got back on it to test it. Realized it wasn’t in line with my energy felt low and I was like, you know what? Doesn’t work out well, rather do the gym than drink alcohol.

So energy, high energy is such a massive topic that it’s a huge currency that we all live [00:14:00] by as well. Yeah, it’s the most undervalued currency of modern life. The most undervalued currency of modern life. In the book you talk about mind, which we know body, spirit, and high energy. Why does high energy come after spirit?

I dunno. I mean, mean, I think energy is something that runs through it runs through everything, and it’s something that we only value. when we don’t have it , and that was certainly my learning and my experience. And now it’s something that I value more highly, like you say, it’s more valuable than your money and your time.

If you’ve got no energy, , nothing works. I probably in the last decade if developed on from the way things are in that book to next level I guess. And so my work now is very much around four pillars, which I call four dimensional wellness. That’s strong body, fierce mind, kind heart, and a brave spirit.

And it’s putting those four elements together is, so in my coaching academy we work on a module that’s one of those four areas each time because [00:15:00] I think life has changed a lot in 10 years, right? Hasn’t it? You look at the way social media’s changed our landscape, In the last 10 years, and you see a lot of people who may be on Instagram, they look absolutely perfect.

But a lot of them on the inside, deeply unhappy. So if you don’t have a fierce mind in those mental health practices, you don’t have a peaceful heart where you’re able to process your emotions and be, in a truthful pace with yourself and the world. If you’re not doing those spiritual alignment things then what is that physical fitness worth really?

It’s so if you, it’s those four elements. I, and that’s where, like I say in the academy, that’s what we teach every single day. It’s tools on aligning those four elements of health. And I believe we need all four physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And when we are making small conscious efforts on those four paradigms of four dimensional wellness, Each day, each week then that’s when, we are living high en, high energy, happy, essentially because we’re caretaking.[00:16:00]

It’s not just physical energy that’s important, it’s our spiritual energy, our emotional energy, and our mental energy. It’s having all four of those aligned. Yeah, absolutely. I have recently had a personal experience, so I had a a great personal coach like the personal trainer who’s also an osteo.

I interviewed him as well. Great guy. Fantastic. I went in there with one injury, he’s my wife’s pt. I walked out with four injuries like four or five months later. He put me on a not a hard program, but I was lifting very heavy. I was doing some great stuff, but it wasn’t aligned with my energy levels at the time and my pace.

And so I’ve been struggling with some injuries lately and I’m still struggling with them. So recently we just I put a pause to it because I wanted to do my own program, my own time. I wanted to incorporate, maybe some more breath work instead of weights, cardio, yoga, just walking the dog instead of a high weightlifting thing.

And this is what I’m getting to. Sometimes you need to be your own coach and sometimes you know your own answers. And instead of looking for the answers or pain for someone else’s answers, sometimes you just need to sit in silence journal. [00:17:00] Realize what you are not doing instead of what you are doing.

So it’s not about doing. Sometimes it’s about stop the doing and let your body recover and rest, prioritize sleep. I want to read something here that you wrote in the book. You talk about 10 truth flashes of high energy, happiness, and you learned some fundamental truths while you recovered your own energy and you would still be crying into your triple strength espresso.

So here, some of the shortcut 10 truths. So number one, you’ve gotta prioritize your energy levels. How important is it to prioritize the energy levels and where do some of your clients go wrong? Or that’s, yeah, if you wanna jam my number one, then I’ll talk about the rest really quickly as well. So prioritize the energy levels.

I think it it of links into to what you were saying before about energy being currency and a really powerful, important human currency and that. people because it, it doesn’t get talked about, although obviously I’m on a personal mission to change that. It’s not one of the currencies that we talk [00:18:00] about, people don’t think they have to prioritize it.

And I think, like you say as we get older as well, we don’t wanna maybe lift as heavy in the gym. We do wanna have more, yoga and other practices. Like when we are in our twenties and we are living high octane life and we’re drinking and we’re burning the candle at both ends and we still have energy.

We take it for granted. We don’t, we feel like we don’t need an energy management practice because our energy is just there. But as we move through life and life stages change and people have children and, obviously there’s a real energy requirement there and parents age and there, there’s energy required there.

So it’s. . I think it overall, it’s the fact that we generally, we don’t actually consider what we need. That keeping our energy high is important until we don’t have it. And it’s only when we don’t have it that people are pushed into a crisis of doing something about it. And I’d also say secondly, culturally where most people go wrong is[00:19:00] and we have lived in the last or 20 years or so in this extreme coffee culture.

And I can’t wait till I’m back in New Zealand. No one does a flat white oh my God, the Aussies are the Kiwis, the best coffee in the world, hands down. But we have such a strong coffee culture that we’ve almost got to the point where if we are tired, we don’t go. , my body feels quite tired.

Maybe I need to rest a bit more. Maybe I’ll go to bed early tonight. Maybe I need to actually just, when did I last have a holiday or have a break? Maybe I’m answering my emails late at night. Maybe there’s something for me to think about cuz my body is tired, therefore it needs, it’s a message from my body saying I need something because I’m tired.

We don’t do that at all. We just go my body is tired. I must need a double flat white. I will go and get one. And we if anyone says they’re tired, did you say, would you like a coffee? And we’ve bypassed the really important message from our [00:20:00] body and our soul, cuz we can be energetically tired and emotionally tired, not just physically tired.

And we’ve bypassed all of that by saying, that’s all right. I’ll get you a latte. We don’t take energy seriously, I think is the, until we don’t have it. That’s the big answer. . Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Said. It’s funny that like we all have the internet banking app on our phone.

We always make sure that we pay the bills on time, that we do the groceries to have food in the house, but do we ever check in with our energy levels? It’s be interested in the future when all the, when we’re all connected to the internet of things and, whatever. And we can actually check in with our energy balances through an app.

But, sometimes we don’t need an app. We just need to listen to our bodies as well. Your body’s an amazing miracle. It’s a healing machine. If you create the conditions, it will heal. That’s truth flash number two and number three, you would have to think differently as well. Thinking differently.

Zero tolerance zero tolerance policy for winging, moaning and generally feeling sorry for yourself. Consistency’s huge as well. Making sure that your emotional [00:21:00] state are high priority as well. So great things through there as well. And You talk the last one. Outrageous energies available to us.

We’ve all had times where we’ve had amazing energy. We feel great and that, I think that’s what ties into what you said, high energy, happiness, because having high energy is happiness. And unfortunately a lot of people take the shortcut and take drugs, whether it be alcohol, smoking, whatever it is, to get that high energy, that rush of high energy coffee as well.

Then they feel happy cuz they’re perked up. So happiness and energy, I believe are highly related. Low energy depression, high energy, happiness. People know this. Very simple. Yeah. Awesome stuff. Thank you for sharing that in the book as well. We will touch on the other book that you wrote as well soon, which is 101 Self Care Ideas, which is really cool too.

What’s some of the other stuff in the book? So understanding energy and fatigue obviously hand in hand. How did you get into then from writing the book to coaching clients and doing the wellness stuff? So can you talk us through that journey through there as well? Yeah, again, it was a sort of, I dunno, I’ve [00:22:00] been very lucky on this second career I have to say, Michael.

It’s just, it really is all just unfolded pretty easily. All, all by itself almost. Like once I’d got I finished my coaching qualification. I’d left corporate and I had my yoga business. And I just put out, okay, I’ve, I’ve qualified as a coach, I’ve got my psych degree.

This is the sort of area of work that I’m working in. And and I know a lot of people, they would obviously really struggle building their business as a coach and and there’s loads of great programs that can help people do that. But I have to say, in all honesty, literally from day one I had a queue of people to work with in all honesty.

And so it’s been a really. Rewarding journey to do that. And to be able to give people the tools that, cause it’s not about being like, you work with me forever. It’s, you work with me for a short period of time. I’ll teach you these tools. We’ll get to the nub of your patterns.

What’s your thing? And then you know what you need to do to, then they’re off. It’s not like [00:23:00] they work with me forever. It’s about that implemented knowledge over a set period of time. And then for me, just because the coaching business was just so busy so quickly and there’s only one of me that’s when I created my coaching academy, which was back in 2015.

Now I know right before people, everyone’s doing a membership these days, , right? Who hasn’t got one. But I launched mine in 2015. So the Wellbeing Warriors Coaching Academy so that I could work with. Hundreds and hundreds of people every day. Coaching tools we laugh a lot as well community.

But doing that, that resourced tool-based coaching on those four dimensions, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual in a community that meant that I could just work with more people. And I’ve got just the most amazing women in there. And yeah, we do a new module of on a different aspect of health every single month and a daily tiny daily implemented challenge.

So in the month you get your drop of resources but then each day you get a tiny challenge, two minutes [00:24:00] or less cuz everyone’s busy to implement what you’ve learned. And it’s. You get the acceleration of being in, obviously a group of people on the same path and with similar values to you and sharing an insight.

You learn from other people’s insight. But people with a topic on the first of the month and then you see where they are on the 30th of the month. And it is amazing actually, when we’re paying attention and we’re implementing what we learn, how much you can actually move the needle on your own mental health, physical, spiritual, emotional health in 30 days.

So the whole coaching journey for me again I’ve just been quite, I’ve been very hashtag blessed in, in that department that it just unfolded pretty natural. All by. Its all by itself. And I’ve been privileged to work with so many amazing people. Yeah, very cool.

It’s great. We all need a breaking life and sometimes we all need to come outta the gates and have success straight away because that’s gonna propel the longevity of it as well. So many times that, you get new coaches or people that tr try a career change and they have that [00:25:00] micro failure and they really don’t persist through it and they give up and they’re exceptional teachers and you know how many great teachers that stopped teaching or gave up cuz they didn’t have that early success as well.

So congrats on that. It just shows the power of group and the tribe as well. So when you start talking your own truth and your own story and you know you are teaching from life experience and you start doing something full-time and giving it a go, you’re gonna attract that tribe as well. And that if you are suffering.

There’s so many people out there suffering as well. If you fix yourself for a solution, there’s so many other people out there that you can help with that same solution as well. And then talking to other people, that just creates an environment of new learning. I’m sure you are learning every day from your thriving community as much as you are teaching them as well.

Which is great. One little thing in the book, you talk about the seven stages of fatigue. This was really interesting. So stage one was situational normal, which is normal. Number one is inspired. So when we get inspired, we get that little tinge of energy and it’s like that new that work event thing.

So we get that social thing. So we’re stage one, we’re inspired. Stage two we’re wired. I’m normally in [00:26:00] the wired category most of the time, and then stage three, pushing through and bouncing back. I like stage four, so hauling us. So just getting after it. Everything’s it’s, I think you said fucking effort, which is true.

Five is breaking down, six is bedridden. What is number seven? Oh, so it is, so if you look at zero, it actually makes seven altogether. Yeah. Looking back, I would’ve numbered them differently. I have to say that’s one of the things you know about writing a book and then it’s there forever, isn’t it? You can’t go back and Renu, but cuz I called one of them zero because you’re not actually in fatigue.

Do you see what I mean? So there were seven. Yeah, that’s right. That’s, sorry, I thought so. Okay, got it. So I interviewed a guy a couple years ago, he’s a top Australian sales guy and he said he worked like five years straight, never took a holiday break and then he went on holidays and he was at the breakfast thing and he passed out.

Like he his had full passed out, like his body just shut down and his said it. It’s one of the most scariest experiences and just talking about breaking down and [00:27:00] bedridden continue. I just had to get that story out. It’s it’s such a great story and sadly it. It’s not un it’s not uncommon, and so it’s such a great share because it’s, we are built as humans.

We’ve got this incredible nervous system where and chemical cascade where we can push effort for events and for projects and and in crisis and emergencies, but also exciting things, and we are built to be able to release that burst of energy and do those things.

But we are not, we’re still cavemen and women at the end of the day, we are not hardwired to do that for five years without a break. There is a consequence to that decision, which is that actually to have done that, for what, 1500 days, 1600 days in a row that, think of all the micro choices that he could have done differently to have ended up.

Not in that position, but I did essentially exactly what he did, but just a little bit less dramatically. One day I just went like that on my desk and my [00:28:00] head hit the desk at work. . And my PA put me in a taxi and I went home and I went to bed and I didn’t get out for four months to a podcast, say by Kirwin Ray.

And he’s the big Australian social media guy and he’s interviewed, great people and he’s quite successful in what he’s done. And the last two years he went through some massive internal changes and literally pretty much got really suicidal to the point where he like, people change and people go through, they can happen to anyone.

On the surface, things are looking great, but internally things need to be, things need to be worked out. The your body keeps scoring. It doesn’t forget as well. You talk about the nervous system, and this is, I want to hear it from you, sympathetic nervous system, parasitic 30 nervous system, fight or flight.

Rest and digest. Light switch on, lights switch off. I just had three months off recently as well as a break. And I can tell you from a nervous system point of view, I was all in paras parasitic nervous system. I was resting and digesting. I was reading books, speaking to authors like [00:29:00] yourself. Had a great time.

Now I’m back at work and I can see the nervous system, sympathetic nervous system shooting up, and now I’m managing the nervous system. But yeah. What’s your take on that with the sympathetic and para parasympathetic nervous system? Yeah. We’ve built with this incredibly sophisticated nervous system, which.

again, it was built for cavemen and women. But now you fast forward to life in 2023 and it’s dealing with, not us running away from a tiger and needing to release adrenaline, but if we are getting anxious every time we go, oh, there’s an email from my boss. Oh, what’s that text? Oh my God.

Oh, I haven’t got back to Soandso. Oh. And that release it, and we are living in an almost permanent state of fight or flight. We have not got the chemical capacity to do that for the long term. And then you do end up with the situation, like your friend at the breakfast buffet and like myself, and I don’t know. I didn’t know about the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system and that I essentially had pushed myself to the point where I had it sympathetic on. [00:30:00] A hundred percent of the time, or 95% of the time when it’s supposed to be on about 2% of the time.

And I didn’t under, I didn’t understand that actually there are, mental health techniques where we can start to dial down our stress and put ourselves back into a place of parasympathetic dominance. But there’s also simple physical techniques like you were talking earlier, Michael about breathing and yoga and having more time in your life to incorporate those in because you’re actually like these are more important perhaps and more impactful than I perhaps appreciate it before.

Interesting. Good learning. Yeah. Self-regulation. Sometimes you need to self-regulate and say, you know what? That regulation system worked for me in the past where lifting weights was great, but very very adrenal. Again, getting the adrenals up, getting that pump on, I’m like, maybe I don’t need that.

Maybe I just need that chill. And I just remember those moments of after a yoga session or after a breathwork session, I felt. Decompressed and maybe I like this is where it comes to self-coaching as well. It’s very important sometimes, but yeah, [00:31:00] continue. Sorry for cutting you off. Oh no, you’re not cutting off at all.

It’s such a great discussion. It’s, so it’s when we, and that’s why the description in the book is I make it very simple. Like it is, like you, you can’t be in both at the same time. You can’t be in rest and digest and in fight or flight, it’s one or the other. It’s like a light switch. And so if people can really just start being aware, is it on, is it off?

And when it’s permanently on, it is bad for me. Hands down. So how do I, what are the mechanisms for me to flick that switch off, which are the ones that I can do in the moment? When you are in the office and you realize you’re really amped up and you’re bringing that amped up energy to the people around you, to your clients and customers, to and to your own physiology.

What switches you back into parasympathetic dominance? Figure that out for yourself. What is the balance of your life? Like you say, are you doing loads of high octane stuff in the gym, but not balancing that? I’m a bit [00:32:00] of a gym bunny myself. I love it. But you there’s too much of a good thing, right?

It’s finding that balance. Okay, my body’s gonna find this quite stimulating because I’m lifting things there heavy. But there’s a balance that I know I’m going to yoga tomorrow and I’m giving my body something different. I think it’s really, honestly all about awareness and also about finding different ways for ourselves that switch it on and off and asking ourselves that question, you.

even recently I’ve been, working, staring at the computer screen all day and at lunchtime, just packing if, if I’m out in the office, pack the shoes in the car and go for a 30 minute walk at lunch to get some air and just some movement and you feel so much better. Just in terms of mood, this ties us onto our next one.

So your book is, it’s huge, two 50 pages of small print. Definitely read it with a pen. I like that because my first book, success 50 Steps, it’s all about notes and you have to read it with a pen. So that’s one thing I like about your book as well. So I want to go onto your second book, which is a digital book called [00:33:00] 101 Self-Care.

Its that are not Drink More Water or have another damn Bubble bath. You step-by-step guide to 101 Simple self-care moves that really make a difference to your mind, your Body, and your Life by Louise Thompson. That’s a great little intro there. Talk to me about the 101 self-care ideas. When did you put that together and yeah, it’s a great little ebook.

Oh, thank you. So I wrote that actually in lockdown. Cause that’s a pandemic book. I think a lot of us have got a pandemic a pandemic book. There should be a, there should be an aisle at the bookshop and be like, written during the pandemic. So it’s like just a, yeah. Yes. I love that.

That would be a great podcast series almost on, on it own, right? Isn’t it? Pandemic. Pandemic, yeah. Yeah. Pandemic . Yes. I wrote it in, in, in lockdown. Obviously you have that little bit more time, don’t you? And it was in response really to, to Instagram. If I’m honest with you. I just, I just reached this point of just really being sick of, [00:34:00] particularly as women.

But I think, just generally everybody that we the wellbeing is self-care advice sometimes is just so surface level and so obvious and just, oh, you stress women go and have a bubble bath and you’ll feel better. The amount of times you see it every is just crazy making.

And influencers just say, I look like this cuz I drink loads of water every day. So make sure you drink your three liters or whatever. And it’s sure drink a water. But it’s not really, that’s not really self-care advice. That’s just basic survival. And we’ve got a mechanism for that.

And it’s called thirst. And if you thirst, drink some water, what self-care, and then the other thing is just have a spa day. If people are a bit stressed, just have a spa day. And I was actually at the spa yesterday. Love a spa. Next, oh my god. , it’s fantastic, but it’s actually not.

It’s an indulgence, right? If you turn up to the spa and you are, your mental health is not [00:35:00] good, you are really worried about a million things in your life. You are spiritually aligned with, whether it’s your relationship, your work. You are in the wrong place at the wrong time in your life and you know someone’s there giving you a massage, you’ll feel good in those 60 minutes in that moment, it’s an indulgence.

Genuine self-care is booking a meeting with your boss to say, Hey, do you know what? My workload’s unsustainable. We really need to structure things differently going forward. I’ve got some ideas of how we could do that, but I can’t continue working these hours that I’m not paid for. That’s self-care.

Real self-care is. , breaking up with the completely unc uncommitted guy that you’ve been seeing, that you spend your whole life waiting for him to text. And he’s there and he’s not. And he’s there and he’s not. And actually calling it and saying, do you know what? You’re not in a place to be emotionally committed.

I get that. I respect that. I’m actually gonna remove myself and I’m gonna take myself elsewhere. I wish you well. That is self-care. Yeah. You talk about it, you talk about [00:36:00] self-care. It’s actually really active and it’s work and sometimes it’s really hard and it’s pretty much always doesn’t look pretty.

It’s, it doesn’t come with a pink bow in it. Real self-care looks like this. And I like this one you wrote down, sitting down and making a spreadsheet of all your debts and figuring out some sort of payment plan that you’ll start to release you from the crushing financial stress that my friend is not sexy, but it is self-care.

A hundred percent. So yes. See it, that really is self-care, right? If you are in a spa, and you’re in the spark pool, but you’re, it sat in that spark pool going, I can’t afford to be here. This is the nightmare. And then I can’t even afford that thing next week. And how am I gonna get the car repaired?

Oh my God. But you’re in a bubble pool that’s not really self-care. You know it. And so I wrote a post on it just saying, look, we need to change the conversation around self-care. It’s this, it’s not just drink more water, have another bubble. That’s survival and a nice thing to do. Let’s up-level the conversation [00:37:00] around self-care.

What really is up to us taking care of us, and it is, your financial spreadsheet, you’re exiting a really toxic relationship realigning your work boundaries, whatever that is, self-care. And so I wrote this post on it that went just pretty viral. And then I was like, huh, okay, how about I take that?

Cuz there was just such a response to it. People said, thank God you’ve said this and I, this just so resonates. Yeah. It’s always lovely when something, just really takes off. And I was like, okay, how could I, cuz I’m all about the implementing . How can I help people actually implement that concept?

If I’m saying this is what self-care isn’t, let me say this is what it is in 101. Really doable, not time consuming. Actions that you can tick off for yourself in like a Ticketable workbook. So we did it in, there’s a digital one that you can tick it digitally or you can print it and be, old school like me.

I like doing things with a pen and underlining stuff, . And so we broke it down. I broke [00:38:00] it down into sort of seven areas. So there’s people’s physical wellbeing, their mental health, living space. If you hate where you live, it, it drags your mood, your mental energy, all those things down.

Relationships. What do you need to clean up career? Are you in an aligned place? Financial health is, it’s such an enormous stressor. , we, having 12 actions that a tiny and short bit that will help you clean up your financial health, helps your mental health, emotional health, everything. And playtime, hobbies and fun because I dunno, you sound like you’ve got life pretty much in balance, but so many people do not.

Oh no I don’t. No. So what does some of the self-care things I did recently was email a bunch of authors that I said to come on the show that said, I, sorry, I’m fully booked. I can’t have you on the show anymore. Thanks very much. Maybe next season, cuz I overbooked myself and I was overwhelmed. And every podcast, I’ve gotta read a few books and do a lot, I’ve researched a lot of work involved, so I overbooked myself.

Number two, I had a 186 goals this year and I realized that was [00:39:00] stupid. So I got it down to, got it like 180, things that I thought I could do anyway, so I pushed them all to next year because that’s just me. So now I’ve got a little list of small little lists there. And so now I’m not suffering from overwhelmed.

I had really strong conversations with business partners of mine and said, Hey, I am running thin on, energy. I can only do this day, that, that amount of projects, even though I’ve taken on more roles and responsibilities, but I’ve literally just trimmed up that, and that’s self-care. So having those hard conversations telling people no, cuz a no saying a yes.

So a yes to someone else is a no to you. And saying no to someone else is a yes to you. And that was a big lesson I’ve learned recently. So instead of saying yes, cuz I’m a people pleaser, I want to do things and and it’s all great. I’m like, no, or not yet, or not. Or just plain old, not really.

No or never. No. So that’s been big. So a no to others is a yes to you, which is a good one. But yeah, that’s my [00:40:00] recent one that I’ve done and it’s, my wife’s into Utter and George’s utter in videos before she goes to bed. And she’s all about projects and cluttering, but that’s her way of decompressing as well.

Decoder in your life sometimes isn’t about just moving the furniture around. It’s about having hard conversations with others and also having a realistic look at your own schedule and saying, sometimes you put too much food on your plate and you need to just give it away. Yeah. 100%. See, those are, how many great examples did you just give there of genuine self-care?

So I, I totally salute you. I’ll just pick up on two of the things that you said. The 168 goals for the year. Oh, they were categorized into, January, February quarter two. They were, they were fully categorized on the spreadsheet, but that was causing me overwhelmed because I didn’t get through the January and February ones, cuz big things changed that made those other ones wasn’t important.

I’ve had some big financial and career changes recently, which has been great and sometimes you just gotta put things off and put it into [00:41:00] another spreadsheet and just move it across to next year or the year after or the decade after. Cuz yeah. Anyway, continue. That was just, that was silly.

Yeah. hundred percent cuz if you build no flex into that system and no space into that system, then you know you only need something extra to come up in life, which does happen. And then you feel behind and you feel overwhelmed, and then you, there’s no way you can catch up because you’ve both overstuffed it in the first place.

And so we just did in February in the academy in my coaching academy, we did a process that I taught the latest three, three step process. We call it. It’s called the conscious calendar. And so we set our conscious calendar for 2023, and it’s a mu as much about what you are taking out and what you are parking as what you’re putting in.

It forces you to be really discerning and also to have that big picture of your year that you actually can get really excited about. Just go, yeah, this is what I’m gonna put in my ear. But I’ve also built in enough space that it feels exciting and not overwhelming and [00:42:00] that, there are things that will come up in life and there needs to be room for them.

And there was there was a, there was something that came up in that module that just. It speaks so nicely to what you just said there about a no to others is a yes to you. Which is such a powerful and important concept. And there’s a quote by one of my heroin authors of all time, Elizabeth Gilbert.

She of e Prey love fame in incredible. I saw her speak in Auckland. Oh my God. She was, I was such a fan girl. I was like in the second row. And there’s a wonderful quote by Elizabeth Gilbert that speaks directly to this, which is, and I’m not doing, you’d have to Google it. But essentially to paraphrase, life, we have so many opportunities in life these days that not being overwhelmed requires us not just to say no to stuff we don’t want to do.

It requires us to say no to stuff we do want to do. That’s the nugget. That’s it’s huge. Yeah. Got it. That’s what I, that’s what I did. Yep. I’m [00:43:00] writing that down. So we, so yeah, we, I know goo you, you can Google and get the exact quote, but we did a lot of work on that in the conscious calendar.

That was one of our big principles that we worked on and discussed for the month as we were putting everything, everyone does their own separate planner and working bees and the rest of it. But it was like, if you wanna feel how you wanna feel at the end of the year, which is proud of yourself excited, but also that you feel good in your body.

You don’t feel stressed, you don’t feel overwhelmed, you feel peaceful, you feel on track, you feel accomplished. In order to do that, you have to say yes to actually quite a significant amount of things that you do want to do. That is life in 2023 with. F fantastically fortunate to have so many opportunities available to us.

And I think sort of 20, 30 years ago when we still teaching, this stuff, it was like, say no to the stuff you don’t wanna do. I remember talking about that when I was of first doing radio, so about 10 years ago, say no to the stuff you don’t wanna do. And I think life has moved on so much.

[00:44:00] It’s. , it’s next level. You’ve gotta be really discerning about saying no to the stuff that you do want to do. I do want to do it’s funny you say that, right? So I used to wear my Google calendar as a, like a medal. So I’d show someone my calendar and be like, look at busy I am. And it would just be like, what?

Look what I did, 5:00 AM podcast, 10:00 PM podcast, 25 meetings in one. In 15 minutes get like crazy stuff and they’d be like, one, they think you’re doing really well, which you know, you’re busy. But now I look at my calendar right now and it’s empty and there’s no better feeling than a blank calendar, a blank Google calendar.

That’s what now I’m walking at going, maybe I was wrong in trying to fit in so much stuff and the quantity was there. Great, fantastic. Tick the quantity box, but was the quality there? And now I think a lot of people find it’s all about quality time with your family. Kids, partner work, social life.

It’s not about the amount of times people or do things, it’s really about the quality of the, of that moment as [00:45:00] well. And I think that’s the real currency. And it does come back to a high energy, happiness. Having the right happiness level and energy when you are with people and doing things.

I’ve been burnt out lately that I just, certain things in my business have just let go because oh, there’s no happiness or no energy there to do it. And maybe I just need to outsource that. And and that’s the other thing too. Leaving room in your life for flex. I like that one. Moving on, we could go through the 101 self-care things, but we’re gonna definitely run outta time, which we’ve had.

But number one, I just wanna talk about the first one, which is simple, which is one, if people implemented this one thing the other a hundred ideas would just naturally fall through. You talk about schedule a self-care appointment. Talk to me about that. Ooh, so is this like number one in the book, ? Yeah.

So life is busy for sure. We’re we are doing busy and important things all the time. Know what gets people get, go to what put off important, but not urgent. Self-care. Dentist [00:46:00] appointments, mad, going to the doctors, all that kind of stuff. But take action. Make one phone call right now.

Back it. Take five minutes, get it done. I thought you were talking about schedule a day, like a self-care appointment with yourself. How, what do you mean by that? With that is this is in the physical wellbeing section and what I wanted to do with the start this section off with something that people can do in two minutes so they feel good about taking action, right?

So you look at the things that we put off and you see all the time, it’s putting off the mammo. It’s not comfortable. Nobody really wants to have one. So you put it off, it’s putting off the pap test or the smear test. It’s putting off the dentist cuz who likes going to the dentist? It’s putting off your yearly, blood pressure check and whatnot where they weigh you and you’re like, oh no.

The doctors, those little things we have a tendency to put, we’ll do them for our pets and we’ll do them for our children. If our children need to go to the doctors or our pet, our cat needs to go to the vet. My god, if the cat needs to go to the vet, I’m, I couldn’t be on the phone quicker. My dog was choking in the middle of [00:47:00] night last night at 2:00 AM my wife woke me up.

I had my hand down his throat pulling out fake grass that he was choking on. True story. We will wake up for our dogs and kids. Continue. Is he okay? He’s fine. Yeah. I went back to bed. He is fine. It’s disgusting. I had to wash my hands. Dog dad life. We all do it. We prioritize actually other people’s pH, physical wellbeing.

above our own. And it is that old classic, put your own oxygen mask on first. And so I just wanna start the book with something that everybody can achieve in two minutes or less is Yeah, do you know what? I’ve just booked my dentist appointment. I have just booked my mammogram. Not all of them, just do one, because the idea with the book, you’ve got 101 ideas.

Some are in your living space, some are in your relationships, some are in your career. They can all be done in two minutes or less, but you get that feeling of momentum because you’ve ticked one off and then you tick another one off. So if you feel like a lot of people say they get the book and they say, right for three months.

If you think about it, it’s about three months worth of tiny tasks. I’m gonna do one each day for three months. I’m [00:48:00] just gonna pick one. Some people are very methodical. They go in exact order, perfect. And some people are, oh, I like to dip into the other sections. And I know even if I do nothing for myself the rest of the day, and I’m run ragged the rest of the day, I’ve done one tiny thing.

to move myself forward that day. And we just get so much feedback because you can tick it digitally. People love being able to see their progress. And it really is, I think, and this is the academy is structured around this as well. It’s when you give people too much to do and there’s too many steps in it, we put it off and we don’t do it.

I remember once, it was a real pivotal moment in, just in terms of when I was writing my book and structuring my book, there was this thing where it was bake, interesting thing. It’s like this is the cheesecake that everyone’s making. It’s the healthiest cheesecake ever. And it had something like 26 ingredients.

And were you buy, would you bake that? I would, who at Earth has got time to do. [00:49:00] My wife’s a cook. She would do it. My wife would do it. She’s really good. She’s got a cooking channel. Amazing. Oh but generally, unless you’ve got your own cooking channel, you are not gonna do a healthy action for yourself that requires you purchasing 26 ingredients and a 18 step recipe.

Do you know what I mean? It’s, people will do things if it’s done in a one or a two. And it’s about that consistency. It’s not about cooking a healthy cheesecake once every six months. It’s a, it’s about doing something tiny, but good for yourself every single day and keeping that consciousness like top of mind about self-care.

And I guess it of circles back right to the story at the beginning, cuz that’s exactly what I didn’t do. I could have headed off everything that happened to me with two minutes, five minutes of consciousness a day. It would never have happened. People think it’s gotta be this massive silver bullet.

I’ve got to work a four day week, or we’ve got to move to the country and then everything [00:50:00] will be fine. And those things are great and if you can make those things happen for yourself, fantastic. And I’ve had many clients that have awesome, but for just starting where you are with what you have, it’s about two minutes of real conscious, doable action for yourself on behalf of yourself each day.

And so that’s what this book is about really. It’s about giving people something that’s becomes self-motivating in itself. Does that make sense? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Some of the ones that stood out for me connect with a non-verbal creature. Love it Like a dog or a cat. One of the ones I want you to talk about, so you’re a yoga teacher back in 2004, long do ago.

You talk about yoga. Is it Nira or what is that? Yoga Nira. Nira. What is no yoga nidra? Oh my God. I will send you a copy, Michael, of my sleep fairy meditation. Okay. We’ll send you a link and we’ll make it for free and you can send it to your people. Okay. Yoga [00:51:00] nidra, we’re talking about sympathetic dominance and parasympathetic dominance in the nervous system.

Yoga nidra is the, like an incredible ancient eastern wisdom instant reset to get you from sympathetic dominance to parasympathetic dominance in your nervous system. It’s like this secret source and so traditionally it’s done at the end of a yoga class. Okay? So people are all tired. They’ve done all their ass and their work, they lie down at the end they have what’s called final relaxation.

Now some yoga teachers just let it be quiet with maybe some music and then after two minutes they on, and that’s the end of the class. When I did my teacher training, the style I was taught in does this very. very in energetically intense guided relaxation process that, like I say, it dumps you straight into parasympathetic dominance.

And you can literally feel like your fa your face like all the muscles in your [00:52:00] face relaxing and like slipping down, and your whole body relaxing. And when I taught yoga, I was never the most bendy yoga teacher. I was good at making people think they could do things they couldn’t do and introducing people to yoga.

And, but my, so I was never the bendiest. I was good enough to teach, but what I was good at was that final relaxation. And I would have people who would come to me and they’d be like, I literally, I come to class so that I can get, like Thursday night I sleep better than any other night in the week I hang out for that.

It is like I come twice a week. Purely for the final relaxation. I’ve come to the yoga class to watch you finish the yoga class. . That’s funny. Yes. So they’re like, I work really hard, even if I don’t want to, because I want to get that feeling that I get at the end of class. Cause I do not get it in my life at any other time.

It creates a completely unique sensation. So it’s a deep guided re relaxation technique based on obviously thousands of years of ancient wisdom. But we’ve [00:53:00] put it into an audio called the sleep fairy so that you can just listen to it to recharging the day or really good when you’re going to bed at night.

And so many people messages say, I’ve got literally no idea how it ends. I’ve got no. Awesome. Yeah, check that. That’ll be great. I’ll check it out. I used to go for drives at lunch and just do nap with guided meditation path an hour just to recharge the batteries. But that was because I was getting up at super early mornings to do podcasts and silly things and staying up late.

So now I don’t need to do that because of my energy was good. I think it’s a good place to put a a knot in it or a bookmark in it, so to speak. Where can people find you online? What’s the website? Where do you hang out socially and where can they buy your books? So louise

You can get the books on there. You can check out the Coaching Academy on there. Yeah, every, everything is on louise and on Facebook, I’m Louise Thompson. Instagram, I think I’m Louise Underscored Thompson underscore. I’ll put in the show notes. [00:54:00] That’s absolutely fine. Louise, thank you for sharing your story, writing the books, doing what you do, the wellness what’s the academy called again?

Is it the Wellness Warriors, is that right? Wellbeing. Wellbeing Warriors. Wellbeing Warriors. Wellbeing Warriors. Cool. Cool. Thank you for being a guest on the Best Bull Pits podcast and to my audience, go out there, check Louis stuff, buy books, follow socially, implement the wisdom, and get your energy levels and happiness under control and practice a little bit of self-care.

So enjoy the rest of your day and I shall get some sleep because you are in the UK and I’m from Australia. Okay, perfect. Thanks Louise. I’ll speak to you soon. No worries. Thank you. Thanks.

Caffeine Blues | Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug | Stephen Cherniske | Summary


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Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug by Stephen Cherniske

One of the most accomplished nutritional biochemists and medical writers in his field reveals the truth about caffeine and helps you kick the habit forever. Nearly 80% of all Americans are hooked on caffeine, this country’s #1 addiction. A natural component of coffee, tea and chocolate, and added to drugs, soft drinks, candy and many other products, the truth about caffeine is that it can affect brain function, hormone balance, and sleep patterns, while increasing your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, ulcers, PMS, stroke, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Discover a step-by-step, clinically-proven program that reduces your caffeine intake, and effective ways to boost your energy with nutrients, healthy beverages, better sleep and high-energy habits.


CHAPTER 1 Coffee and Caffeine: A Dose of Reality

We have seen several well-marked cases of coffee excess. … The sufferer is tremulous, and loses his self-command; he is subject to fits of agitation and depression; he loses color and has a haggard appearance. The apatite falls off, and symptoms of gastric catarrh may be manifested. The heart also suffers; it palpitates, or it intermits. As with other such agents, a renewed dose of the poison gives temporary relief, but at the cost of future misery. … By miseries such as these, the best years of life may be spoilt.


Goatherds, Monks, and the Rest of Us

The origins of coffee are lost in legend, although the most popular tale traces its discovery to a goatherd dwelling in Ethiopia. According to the story, the goatherd watched his flock eat the bright red berries from a wild evergreen bush—and was subsequently amazed to see the animals leap about with wild abandon. He tried some of the berries himself, and soon he was leaping too. By around the sixth century A.D., the plant had reached Arabia, where it was used as a food and medicine. Coffee berries were either fermented to make wine, or dried, crushed, mixed with fat, and eaten. It was not until the thirteenth century that Arab monks made a revolutionary discovery: Roasted coffee beans could be made into a drink. No more falling asleep at prayers! The news spread from monastery to monastery, then hit the streets with the worlds first coffeehouses. Everyone who tried coffee wanted more—and if they were travelers, they wanted to take it home with them.


With lightning speed, coffee became a valuable trading commodity and spread to the world at large: first to Turkey, then to Italy and France, and finally to the rest of Europe by the mid-seventeenth century. The Arabs maintained strict control of the coffee trade until smugglers from other countries got hold of the seeds. The Dutch brought coffee to Java and Ceylon, the French transported it to the West Indies, and a Brazilian obtained coffee for his homeland. Today coffee is cultivated widely in regions between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn: Central and South America, Java, Sumatra, India, Arabia, equatorial Africa, Hawaii, Mexico, and the West Indies.


Most American colonists drank tea, a caffeine-containing leaf from the Camilia senensis bush, until the boycott against King George’s tea tax climaxed with the Boston Tea Party in 1773. From that point forward, coffee

grew in popularity as America’s national drink. Americans are now the largest consumers of coffee in the world, drinking over 420 million cups per day, or about one-fifth of the world’s total annual supply. In America, coffee wins hands down as the most popular substance containing caffeine, with soft drinks, tea, and chocolate as runners-up.


From Plant to Percolator

The word coffee comes from the Arab word qahwah. The botanical name of the original species discovered in Africa whose beans are grown around the world today is Coffea arabica. There are three general groupings of coffee: Brazils (all Coffea arabica grown in Brazil), Milds (all Coffea arabica grown outside of Brazil), and Coffea robusta, a variety of coffee grown at lower elevations and generally considered to be inferior in quality to Coffea arabica.


Robusta beans contain nearly twice the caffeine of arabica and are also more acidic. Mass-marketed brands of coffee contain primarily robusta, whereas specialty coffees tend to be made primarily from arabica beans. One reason coffee spread so quickly around the globe is because it’s an exceptionally hardy, self- pollinating plant. Though it’s usually referred to as a tree, coffee is actually an evergreen shrub that, when cultivated, is pruned to a height of twelve feet or less. An arabica tree produces only about one to two pounds of coffee beans per year, so supplying worldwide demand requires an incredible amount of space.


We’ll discuss the problems associated with coffee cultivation in Chapter 7. Coffee berries—the fruit of the plant, which contains the beans—are usually harvested by hand and undergo a lengthy processing procedure. Once removed from the berries, the beans are fermented, washed, dried, hulled, and peeled before they are roasted. After roasting, the beans are ground and then they are ready to perk, brew, or drip into your favorite cup of Java.


A Cupa Cupa Cupa Cupa Chemicals

Caffeine has received a great deal of attention ever since it was identified as the principle stimulant in coffee (1820) . But it seems that every year, even more noxious ingredients are isolated in coffee. In 1992, researchers found another stimulant compound distinctly different from caffeine that may be responsible for coffee’s gastrointestinal effects. To date, over 700 volatile substances in coffee have been identified, including more than 200 acids and an incredible array of alcohols, aromatic compounds, carbonyl compounds, esters, hydrocarbons, heterocyclic compounds, and terpenoids.


Nonvolatile substances in coffee include caffeine and other purines, glycosides, lipids, melanoidins, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. And that’s

just the stuff that’s supposed to be there. Coffee often contains a raft of pesticide residues and other contaminants such as nitrosamines, solvents, and my co-toxins. These carry well-defined health risks, and some are carcinogenic. Survival of the Bitterest Caffeine is produced by more than eighty species of plants, and the reason may well be survival. As it turns out, caffeine is a biological poison used by plants as a pesticide.


The caffeine gives seeds and leaves a bitter taste, which discourages their consumption by insects and animals. If predators persist in eating a caffeine-containing plant, the caffeine can cause central nervous system disruptions and even lethal side effects. Most pests soon learn to leave the plant alone. Which is not to say that coffee is impervious to insects. On the contrary, the modern agricultural practice of growing coffee plants in dense plantations fosters the development of insect infestations. Enormous amounts of chemical pesticides and herbicides are then applied to control those infestations. In fact, coffee is the most heavily sprayed food or beverage commodity on the face of the earth. Caffeine: Romancing the Drug When coffee was first brought to European cities in the seventeenth century, people were repelled by its color and taste. They complained that it smelled and looked like roofing tar. But after they experienced its stimulating effect, the beverage was quickly proclaimed to be one of nature’s miracles. Historians record this phenomenon without noticing the irony of what they are writing.


Caffeine is, after all, a psychoactive drug, and human beings tend to crave substances that alter their state of mind—among them caffeine, morphine, nicotine, and cocaine. Indeed, all of these alkaloids are chemically related and, while they produce widely different effects, all are poisonous. Caffeine is considered harmless simply because it is so widely used. Obviously, from a scientific perspective, that is not valid reasoning. What’s more, if caffeine were proposed today as a new food additive, the FDA would never approve it.


Any substance that causes such extreme reactions—heart palpitations, anxiety, panic, insomnia, and even birth defects—would be treated by the FDA as a new drug and denied status as a food additive. Yet amazingly, even healthconscious people, many of whom try to minimize their use of additives, preservatives, and drugs, consume high amounts of caffeine with no thought to the consequences. The authors goal in is to provide you with the facts you need to make informed choices about your own caffeine consumption. Until now, reliable information about caffeine has been unavailable, and there are some intriguing reasons for that.


First of all, most people are generally unaware of the amount of caffeine they are ingesting. Manufacturers can add caffeine to any food or beverage they want without disclosing the amount. (More about that in Chapter 7.) Few people know how much caffeine is in a cup of coffee or a can of soda, so they

have no way of evaluating the danger. Instead, they rely on what they hear and read in the media, and that information is rarely accurate. In his landmark review of caffeine and human health, R. M. Gilbert concludes: “If more were known about caffeine’s effects, and if what is known were known more widely, the damage done by caffeine might very well appear to be intolerable”.


Industry Feathers in the Academic Nest

The caffeine industry has generated a tremendous amount of propaganda and disseminated it successfully throughout the scientific, medical, and public arenas. But you won’t see SPONSORED BY THE CAFFEINE INDUSTRY stamped across the top. This material is invariably published by foundations and institutes with very academic-sounding names. But the fact is that many of these august bodies are heavily influenced by the caffeine industry, and so are the reports you read and hear.


The International Life Sciences Institute, for example, has been churning out studies and information to government, academic, and public institutions for decades. Few know that it is supported by the caffeine industry. In 1985, the ILSI merged with the prestigious Nutrition Foundation, an organization whose mission statement includes the acknowledgment that it is “created and supported by leading companies in the food and allied industries.” Prominent among the trustees of the combined ILSI/Nutrition Foundation are executives from the Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Hershey Foods, NutraSweet, and Procter & Gamble.


A Case in Point

If you were curious about the dangers of caffeine, you would undoubtedly come across a brochure entitled What You Should Know about Caffeine. You would find this ubiquitous brochure on information racks in hospitals, pharmacies, public health offices, or in your doctor’s office. It’s available through the mail and on the Internet. What You Should Know about Caffeine is published by the very official-sounding International Food Information Council in Washington, D.C. The brochure does not list sponsors or disclose an industry affiliation.


When the author requested specific details of industry sponsorship, the author received another glossy color brochure that mentioned nothing about which organizations supply the funds to disseminate all this information. After pressing the issue through several phone calls, he finally received a list of IFIC “supporters,” including Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola, M&M/Mars Candy, NutraSweet, Nestle, Hershey Foods, Frito-Lay, Procter & Gamble, and the Arco Chemical Company. Oddly enough, the IFIC “partners” also included the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; the National Association of


Pediatric Nurses Associates and Practitioners; and the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.


This strategy perfectly illustrates the approach of the caffeine industry: aligning itself with professional health organizations and scientific foundations. What better way to head off criticism that its products are harming the American public?


Is the Information Accurate?

What You Should Know about Caffeine states: “Caffeine does not accumulate in the bloodstream or body and is normally excreted within several hours following consumption.” In fact, only about 1 percent of caffeine is excreted. The remaining 99 percent must be detoxified by the liver, and the removal of the resulting metabolites is a slow and difficult process. In Chapter 3, you will learn that it can take up to twelve hours to detoxify a single cup of coffee. In fact, the matter of accumulation has never been resolved. Evidence suggests that it may take up to seven days to decaffeinate the blood of habitual coffee drinkers. Plus, it can take three weeks or more for the body’s levels of stress hormones to return to normal. If that’s not accumulation, what is?


All the News That Fits, We Print

Prominent on the first page of What You Should Know about Caffeine is a colored box that states: “Research in relation to cardiovascular disease, reproduction, behavior, birth defects, breast disease and cancer has identified no significant health hazard from normal caffeine consumption.” When the author inquired as to exactly what “normal” consumption was, he was told 200 to 300 milligrams per day. As you will soon find out, most American adults ingest that amount before noon.


What about ingestion of more than 300 milligrams of caffeine? The IFIC doesn’t say a word about that, but in the following chapters you will learn exactly how that much caffeine can damage and even destroy your health. This information has been withheld from you because until now, the loudest voices in the caffeine debate have been connected directly or indirectly to the caffeine industry.


Digging Deeper

When the author asked the IFIC for scientific support for their assertion that 300 milligrams of caffeine was perfectly safe, they sent me a report published in Food and Chemical Toxicology. The authors of this report are both employees of the Coca-Cola Company and members of the National Soft Drink Association. As you might expect, the report downplays the effects of caffeine in the American diet, using some interesting techniques.


When Is a Cup Not a Cup?

Answer: When it’s a “standard” five- ounce serving. For some reason, the above authors state that a standard serving of coffee equals five fluid ounces. That way they can list the caffeine content as eighty-five milligrams per cup. (Most studies claim that a standard cup of coffee equals six fluid ounces, the amount held by a teacup—which is still far less than almost anyone actually drinks at one time).


Likewise the “standard” soft drink serving is listed as six ounces, when all sodas come in twelve-ounce cans—and soft drink manufacturers are now heavily pushing the twenty-ounce bottle. The caffeine content of soft drinks is listed as eighteen milligrams per six-ounce serving. In reality, soft drinks contain anywhere from forty-five to seventy-two milligrams per twelve-ounce can.


“What Caffeine Problem”?

Caffeine consumption is also downplayed in the study cited above by using per capita figures, which is simply the gross amount of caffeine consumed divided by the total population. The problem, of course, is that not everyone consumes caffeine in equal amounts. Per capita figures may be useful for a discussion of economics, but not of health. If you are supposedly reviewing the safety of a substance, it is absolutely critical to consider the individuals most vulnerable to possible adverse effects.


You’ll find, however, that none of the caffeine industry reports take that approach. Instead, they constantly refer to “mean” values, “average” people, and “normal” consumption. Remember the statistician who drowned trying to wade across a lake with an average depth of three feet? You have to look at reality, which is what you’re going to do in Chapter 2 when you calculate the amount of caffeine you consume. For a scientist, the word average raises a red flag because average figures are often useless.


Even worse, the use of averages is the easiest way to manipulate data. In the coffee research reported in newspapers and magazines, you will invariably see “average consumption figures.” But in a group of people with an average consumption of three cups per day, you’ll find some people who drink no coffee at all, some who drink one to three cups, and some who drink six to ten cups a day. Now this might average out to three cups per person, but what good is this information?.


The effects of caffeine are very much dose related, and, as you have


probably already guessed, the effects of one cup of coffee are quite different from the effects of four or six. It is important to understand that the caffeine industry’s “average” consumer does not exist. This mythical person, upon whom all their conclusions are based, is neither male nor female, weighs approximately 150 pounds, never experiences excessive stress, has perfectly functioning adrenals and liver, does not use birth control pills or any other caffeine- interacting drugs, consumes less than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, and eats a well-balanced diet including a variety of foods high in B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Anyone who has a disorder that would be aggravated by caffeine is either dropped from caffeine industry studies or buried under the mountain of “mean” values.


The Search for Truth

For the past eight years, the author have conducted a systematic review of the world scientific literature on caffeine. This research has taken some real detective work. It’s difficult to tell what’s really going on at first. After all, he drank coffee for over twenty years, simply because he believed like everyone else that coffee, and caffeine, had no adverse health effects. He was in for the surprise of his life. The first thing he noticed was that much of the research on coffee was imprecise.


The majority of researchers refer to the standard coffee cup as a six-ounce serving, but most people drink from mugs, which contain twelve to fourteen ounces or more. That’s not to mention convenience-store coffee cups, which contain anywhere from twenty to thirty-two ounces. If you’re like most people, you probably consume far more caffeine than you think you do.


Likewise, many reports on coffee failed to specify the brewing method. Six ounces of drip-filtered coffee contain about 100 milligrams of caffeine, but the same amount of percolated coffee gives you 120 milligrams, and European-style boiled coffee packs in 160 milligrams of caffeine per cup. I began to see that the caffeine issue is rarely taken seriously. Nearly every researcher starts from the assumption that caffeine is okay. Why? Because, consciously or subconsciously, they are influenced by the fact that they themselves depend on coffee. The author has visited the offices of hundreds of scientists, professors, and clinicians. The coffee machine is as much a part of their environment as test tubes and computers.


Likewise, the journalists who report health news to the public are usually heavy coffee drinkers. His not not saying that these people are dishonest, only that information can be biased by the habits of those who make and break the news.


The Great Chain of Caffeine

It is also important to look at the chain of biochemical and behavioral events that caffeine creates, not just the immediate effects. Scientists rigorously adhere to this rule when looking at other drugs, but ignore it when studying caffeine. This error is illustrated graphically by one study on the effects of caffeine on schizophrenic patients, where regular coffee was replaced with decaf. The researchers postulated that if caffeine produces detrimental psychoactive effects, the patients should improve when decaf is used instead of regular coffee.


They made the switch, the patients did not improve, and so the researchers concluded that caffeine has no effect on psychiatric patients. What’s wrong with this conclusion? The study ignored the chain of events that result from caffeine withdrawal. Here a group of hospitalized schizophrenic patients, who are used to drinking three to eight cups of coffee a day, are switched to decaf without their knowledge. These people are going to have serious withdrawal reactions, including disorientation, irritability, anxiety, and depression. Obviously, they will not show signs of improvement. How could they? Most of them probably had splitting headaches from caffeine withdrawal!


Yet the research was published and is frequently used to support the erroneous view that caffeine produces no negative psychoactive effects. It gets worse. These same researchers introduced decaf a second time and did see behavioral improvements. Did they recognize the likelihood of a decreased withdrawal reaction? No way—instead, they stated that these improvements were probably a result of coincidence.


A Matter of Interpretation

The author says that he also found investigators who did an excellent job at analyzing the behavioral effects of caffeine ingestion by schizophrenics. One extremely well-designed study documented significant increases in thought disorder and psychosis after caffeine administration. The investigators also found that caffeine increased blood pressure and stress hormone levels in the patient group. This is important information for anyone involved in psychiatric care, but how the issue of caffeine and mental health is resolved depends upon which study is read and how the reader wishes to interpret the information.


When he brought the latter study to the attention of a leading psychologist, he acknowledged that caffeine can cause significant increases in stress hormone levels but concluded, “A cup of coffee is no more stressful than watching a suspense thriller on TV”. Can you see the profound error of this response? It looks blindly at the short-term consequences of caffeine use and ignores the real issue, which is the effects of long-term use. After all, what psychologist would condone the viewing of five suspense thrillers every day, year after year? Yet that analogy accurately describes the body’s hormonal response to regular caffeine consumption.


More Flawed Research: Caffeine and Hypertension

Another common mistake in caffeine research has to do with the relationship of caffeine to hypertension (high blood pressure). The author found numerous studies in which hypertensive patients were taken off coffee. After a week or two, when blood pressure did not drop, investigators concluded that caffeine has no significant effect on blood pressure. This is absurd because it may take three weeks or more after withdrawal from caffeine before stress hormones return to normal. Evaluating blood pressure over the first one or two weeks is meaningless.


What’s Real for You? If you look at the way real people consume coffee and soft drinks, you find, first of all, that most consume a great deal more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day. There have been studies that measure the caffeine content of beverages as people actually consume them. One such study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that the caffeine content of a six-ounce cup of drip, filtered coffee (the type most people drink) ranged from 37 to 148 milligrams. A survey conducted by the Addiction Research Foundation found that a “cup” of coffee, as defined by the individual drinker, could contain as much as 333 milligrams of caffeine.


This conflicting data once again demonstrates that the idea of “normal” caffeine consumption is meaningless. Some scientific studies suggest that a 170-pound man could successfully detoxify 300 milligrams of caffeine over the course of a day without serious damage to his body. Theoretically, this may be possible—but not if he is under any significant degree of stress. Moreover, a 110-pound woman is almost certain to experience significant adverse effects from that amount of caffeine. And for anyone under a great deal of stress, even one cup may be enough to trigger the negative effects of caffeine.


Obviously, caffeine intake needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. In the chapters that follow, you will see that the effects and dangers of caffeine depend upon a host of variables, including gender, weight, age, stress level, general health, and medications. What’s more, caffeine may affect the same person differently at different times. The only way to safeguard your health and the well-being of your family is to inform yourself. A great place to start is by taking the tests in the next chapter.



Are You Addicited? How Much Is Too Much?

In the old days, coffee was served in teacups that sit on saucers. That size cup holds six ounces of beverage, which is considered the standard-size cup by researchers and the coffee industry. However, when I ask patients how much coffee they drink and they say, “Oh, no more than three cups a day,” I invariably find that means three mugs a day at fourteen ounces apiece, or the equivalent of seven cups of coffee. In most coffee shops, a “normal” cup of coffee is fourteen ounces and a large cup is twenty ounces. Thus, one large cup equals 3.3 cups of coffee. One of my clients told me that he only drank one cup of coffee a day. It turned out to be one of those giant thirty-two-ounce convenience-store mugs with the vented cover for drinking while you drive.


This man (and millions like him) consumed nearly 500 milligrams of caffeine on his way to work on an empty stomach. No wonder there’s so much conflict and tension at the office. By the time they get to work, these coffee-inhaling employees are wired and ready to fly off the handle. There’s no doubt that the damage done by caffeine is very much dose related. But it’s impossible to make general, blanket statements about how much caffeine is okay and how much is dangerous, since caffeine’s effects are different for each person.


Understanding the effects of your own caffeine ingestion requires self-knowledge and experimentation. As you reflect on the material presented here, most likely you will see yourself in one of the examples or case histories. As you read, keep an open mind and consider the possibility that how well you live, and even how long you live, depend to a significant degree on the amount of caffeine you consume. This book provides the information you need, but the rest is up to you.


Obviously, there are many factors affecting longevity and health, but none is easier to modify than caffeine intake. In my clinical practice, I have counseled more than 9,000 patients and kept careful records regarding their compliance and level of success. Of all my recommendations—including weight loss, dietary change, exercise, and stress management—no single factor matched the impact of caffeine reduction. Again, it’s not that all those other things are unimportant. On the contrary, I believe that exercise and a balanced diet are critical to optimum health, and I’ve devoted my career to making those goals obtainable. But the truth is, getting people to make significant changes in diet or exercise is extremely difficult. Research shows that even with careful supervision, compliance is well below 30 percent.


On the other hand, getting off caffeine (at least with my Off the Bean program) is relatively easy, and the rewards are often immediate and dramatic. Over 80 percent of the people who’ve tried the Off the Bean program have stuck with it—and have experienced tremendous health benefits as a result!


What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Can Hurt You

Until now, people had no way of evaluating their caffeine intake and the harm it can do. Remember that the initial stages of caffeine damage are often silent —just like lung damage from smoking or cardiovascular disease from a high-fat diet. Also be aware that the information you need about caffeine is not likely to come from your doctor. Consider the guidelines given to physicians in the medical literature. A typical example appeared in Postgraduate Medicine, in which doctors were advised that caffeine can cause abnormal heart rhythm.


The article, citing a report entitled “Caffeine and Arrhythmias: What Are the Risks?” stated that “about 80% of American adults drink three to four cups of coffee each day.” It then went on to explain that each cup contains between 60 and 150 milligrams of caffeine. The logical conclusion from this information is that many American adults are consuming 500 to 600 milligrams of caffeine from coffee per day. The bullet points of the article inform doctors that:


Point 1: “Consuming less than 300 mg of caffeine per day does not seem likely to produce significant arrhythmias”.

Comment: We’ve already learned that most Americans consume more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per day from coffee alone (remember the six-ounce cup?), not to mention additional caffeine from soft drinks, medications, and other sources. And what exactly is significant arrhythmia? If your heart fails to maintain normal beats, you are in mortal danger, period.


Point 2: “People with underlying heart disease probably should avoid consuming more than 300 mg of caffeine per day since significant increases in arrhythmias have been reported after consumption of higher amounts”.

Comment: Good advice, but (A) people with underlying heart disease often do not know that they have heart disease; (B) people have no way of following this advice since manufacturers are not required to list the amount of caffeine in their products.


Do you see the folly of this approach? First of all, most people already consume over 300 milligrams of caffeine per day. What’s more, the 300-milligram level does not take into consideration the myriad factors that influence how caffeine affects individual people. One person who consumes 300 milligrams of caffeine might only experience disturbed sleep, while another person might experience severe anxiety, depression, or dramatically increased risk for heart disease. Women are affected by caffeine far more than men. Age, overall health, weight, and a host of other lifestyle factors also enter the picture. How can you determine your own personal risk level? You can start by figuring out your caffeine quotient—quotient—exactly how much caffeine you presently consume, and how it is affecting your life.


Is Caffeine Hurting You?

If you are a regular caffeine user, chances are high that the drug is affecting the quality of your life right now. You probably depend on the stimulating “lift” to energize your body and clear your mind. Your total daily intake of caffeine comes from a variety of sources—not just coffee, but also tea, cocoa, soft drinks, medications, and chocolate. In fact, if you’re like most Americans, you find it hard to get through the day without multiple hits of caffeine. You are probably addicted. If you object to that statement, take a few minutes to complete the following self- tests. You have nothing to lose. If caffeine’s not a problem for you, great. But if it is, confronting the addiction is the only way to do something about it. This book will help you evaluate the effects caffeine has on your life and, most importantly, show you how to achieve far greater levels of energy and vitality without the drug.


Test I: Your Caffeine Intake

In the first column, enter the number of servings, then multiply to get your total caffeine intake from each source. Figures given for coffee and tea are based on a six-ounce serving. Remember that most coffee mugs or cups hold twelve to fourteen ounces. A “large” coffee cup holds twenty ounces or more, so be sure to calculate accordingly. Amounts of caffeine listed for each type of beverage are averages; variations may occur from product to product.

The amount of caffeine in common medications may surprise you. However, according to the FDA, nearly 1,000 prescription drugs and 2,000 over-the-counter medications contain caffeine—anywhere from 30 to 200 milligrams per tablet or capsule.



“Caffeinism” is a state of chronic toxicity resulting from excess caffeine consumption. Caffeinism usually combines physical addiction with a wide

range of debilitating effects, most notably anxiety, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbance, depression, and fatigue. Use your “Total Daily Caffeine Intake” from the previous page to determine if you are a victim of caffeinism.


If your caffeine quotient is less than 100 milligrams per day, it is highly unlikely that you are a caffeine addict.


If your total is between 100 and 300 milligrams per day, you’re in the “danger zone.” Disruption of sleep patterns begins at this level, and certain heart disease risk factors may be increased.


If your total is 300 to 600 milligrams per day, you are undoubtedly experiencing some degree of mental and physical addiction to caffeine. Research shows an almost 200 percent increase of risk for ulcers and fibrocystic disease at this level.


Intake of 600 to 900 milligrams per day indicates almost certain addiction. At this level, your mood and energy levels are severely affected. Research suggests that your risk of heart attack may be twice that of non-caffeine users. If you are a pre-menopausal woman, your chance of maintaining optimal iron levels is slim.


At 900 milligrams or more per day, you’re a caffeine addict—hook, line, and sinker. At this level of dependency, all heart disease risk factors are significantly increased, as are the risks for stroke, psychological disorders, and gastrointestinal disease. You may need medical help to kick the habit.


“Although infrequently diagnosed, caffeinism is thought to afflict as many as one person in ten of the population”.


Test II: Caffeine’s Effects on Your Body

Do you experience any of the following on a recurrent or frequent basis?


If you have 6 to 7 “yes” answers, caffeine is a problem for you. Decreasing or eliminating caffeine intake will significantly improve your health. If you have 8 to 10 “yes” answers, caffeine is a serious problem. Decreasing or eliminating caffeine is an urgent need. If you have 12 or more “yes” answers, your caffeine intake represents a critical health risk that may actually decrease your life expectancy. Act now to take control of your life and health.


Dr. Fred Sheftell, director of the New England Center for Headache, states: “It’s not unusual for us to find people who are taking 1,000 mg of caffeine or more per day.” He notes that adverse side effects have been reported from as little as 250 milligrams per day.


Test III: Caffeine’s Effects on Your Nervous System

Caffeine has been found to impair motor steadiness in neuropsychological tests. Here is a simple way to evaluate this effect without expensive laboratory procedures: Sitting up in a chair, extend your arm straight out in front of you, locking the elbow, palm down. Look at the tips of your fingers. If there is any noticeable trembling, chances are that caffeine has already damaged your nervous system.

In Chapters 3 and 4, we will discuss how caffeine disrupts biochemical message centers in the brain known as receptors. Human and animal data suggest that dopamine and benzodiazepine receptors are involved in hand tremor, and the condition is common in both habitual and casual coffee drinkers. The good news is that this damage can be repaired, but not until you get your caffeine intake under control. In Chapter 10, you’ll see that it’s not as difficult as you might think.


Test IV: Caffeine’s Effects on Your Muscles

Muscle tension is hard to evaluate. Many times, we don’t even know we’re tense until we get a headache, or someone places their hands on our shoulders and we wince. Tension in the jaw muscles, however, is fairly easy to measure.


1- Open your mouth as wide as you can, then close slowly. Do you hear any popping or cracking? This is often a sign of problems with jaw alignment known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). TMJD affects millions of Americans, contributes to headache and a raft of other disorders, and is positively associated with stress and caffeine intake. That’s because caffeine and stress cause a tightening of the jaw muscles that contributes to misalignment of the jaw on the skull. Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism) at night are also related to stress and caffeine.

2- Now open your mouth wide again, and this time try to insert your first three fingers held vertically. (Or use a wine cork.) This is another simple test to see if you are holding significant tension in your jaw muscles. Reduced jaw mobility is a classic sign of chronic tension exacerbated by caffeine.

The Four Warning Signs of Caffeine Dependence

The most common response I hear from people who have eliminated caffeine from their lives is their surprise at how much better they feel. I know what you’re thinking: “How could they feel better? Every time I try to quit coffee I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.” That’s because caffeine is an addictive drug with a very well-defined withdrawal syndrome. I’m not going to split hairs about whether people are truly addicted or just dependent on the drug.


Studies have found conclusively that caffeine produces classic signs of addiction. And you don’t have to consume huge amounts of coffee to become addicted. In one recent study, the median daily intake of the caffeine-dependent group was 357 milligrams, and 19 percent of them consumed less than the U.S. daily average. Here is how the scientists conducting that study made the diagnosis of caffeine dependence. See if it describes how you feel.



Reducing the dose or stopping the drug altogether produces well-defined symptoms, which may include:

  • Headache



Profound fatigue



Increased muscle tension




Ninety-four percent of the caffeine-dependent subjects experienced some of these withdrawal symptoms.



Researchers defined dependence as consuming the beverage “despite knowledge of a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by caffeine”. Ninety-four percent of the caffeine-dependent subjects experienced this behavior.



This was defined as a “persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control use”. Eighty-one percent of the caffeine-dependent group found that they were unable to reduce or discontinue drinking caffeine-containing beverages.



The body develops a tolerance for caffeine so that greater amounts are required to produce the same level of stimulation. Seventy-five percent of the caffeine-dependent group reported tolerance.


Caffeinism: It Could Happen to You!

In over a decade of practice as a clinical nutritionist, I have seen firsthand, with thousands of clients, that caffeine is a health hazard. Anxiety, muscle aches, PMS, headaches, heartburn, insomnia, and irritability are the most common symptoms, and they can usually be lessened or eliminated simply by avoiding caffeine. That’s good news for most people. However, if that’s all caffeine has done to you, you’re lucky. Others are not so fortunate. Like the woman whose baby was born with a heart defect because no one told her to avoid caffeine during pregnancy.


Or the man who underwent three surgical operations and nearly had his stomach removed because his ulcers would not heal. No one told him to avoid coffee. And what about people misdiagnosed as neurotic or even psychotic, who spend years and small fortunes in psychotherapy—all because no one asked them about their caffeine intake? To those who claim that caffeine is harmless, I say look at the facts—and, more important, look at your life. Your health is your most valuable possession, and life is short. I am convinced that to enjoy life to its fullest we must maintain health on three levels: physical, mental, and emotional. At each one of these three levels, caffeine is an adversary.


Caffeine versus Physical Vitality

On the physical level, we need a steady source of energy to accomplish our goals. Nothing is more frustrating than to be motivated, to have a great plan, but no energy to carry it out. When I ask patients about their reasons for drinking coffee, the most common response is: “I need the energy.” The irony is that caffeine is a major cause of fatigue. Depending on caffeine to get you through the day might work for a while, but in the long run it will make your dreams harder and harder to achieve. To see what I mean, try this experiment. Clench your fist tightly. Hold it closed and very tight for thirty seconds. What happens to your arm and hand? They get tired. This exercise illustrates what happens to your body when you ingest caffeine.

First you feel strong, but soon afterwards you feel weak. That’s because caffeine doesn’t give you energy—it creates tension, and the ultimate result of tension is always fatigue. You felt the result of squeezing your fist, which only involves a few muscles. Imagine the energy drain created by muscle tension throughout your body after ingesting caffeine.


Caffeine versus Mental Vitality

On the mental level, we need to be consistently alert and aware to function effectively in our daily lives. Caffeine puts you on a roller-coaster ride where mental clarity alternates with periods of confusion, depression, and lethargy. You’ll also learn that caffeine does nothing to enhance learning, but actually impairs memory and cognition. When patients relate their coffee stories to me, a common pattern usually emerges. They started drinking coffee occasionally, either as a morning “wake-up” or to stay up late.


Gradually, they found themselves reaching for coffee or cola beverages throughout the day just to stay alert. In time, the habit became an addiction, with their only dependable mental energy coming from the coffeepot. This is sad, because the coffee habit has a steep downside. We pay dearly for those “borrowed” periods of clarity by sacrificing our true mental vitality.

“There is no doubt that the excitation of the central nervous system produced by large amounts of caffeine is followed by depression”.


Vitality Is Our Birthright

What we must remember is that vitality is not something that disappears in adulthood. We throw it away by becoming sedentary and damaging our bodies and minds with caffeine. We set ourselves up for a life of ups and downs, when each of us is capable of maintaining a high level of physical and mental vitality well into our advanced years. A healthy child doesn’t require caffeine to get out of bed in the morning, and there is no reason why you can’t experience the same boundless energy of your youth!


But first you must stop punishing your body and mind with caffeine. Is it worth it? The answer is yes. Patients who have followed the Off the Bean program have found their bodies healthier and minds sharper at fifty-five than they were at twenty-five. Of course, total health also requires emotional stability, peace of mind, and an optimistic attitude. The effects of caffeine diminish these qualities. Relationships with friends, partners, and co-workers depend on harmony, which is destroyed by anxiety, irritability, and tension.


Caffeine not only intensifies the stress in our lives, but makes us less able to cope. If I had a magic wand, I would instantly remove the stress from my clients’ lives. Until that magic wand appears, I will do everything I can to help them control their caffeine intake. For some, regaining mental vitality after caffeine means learning a relaxation technique. For others, psychological counseling is recommended. But everyone needs to start by taking a close look at their caffeine intake.


Caffeine and Anxiety

For five years, I worked in a team practice with physicians and psychotherapists. Often, the psychological evaluation would include one or more anxiety syndromes and the recommendation was for counseling. I would point out that the person was consuming excessive amounts of caffeine and request a trial month off caffeine prior to therapy sessions. In about 50 percent of cases, the anxiety syndrome would resolve with caffeine withdrawal alone. Of course, I recognize that counseling can play a vital role in restoring wholeness and peace of mind. It’s just that counseling a patient for anxiety who is drinking coffee is like trying to fill a leaky bucket.


Caffeine and Alcohol: Psychoactive Cousins

The undeniable fact is that caffeine is a psychoactive drug, affecting mind, mood, and behavior. While the effects of caffeine are obvious but not always recognized, the effects of alcohol, another psychoactive substance, are easy to spot. We all know how intoxicated individuals behave. When they are involved in automobile accidents, their blood alcohol is measured and they may face criminal charges. No one would think of measuring blood caffeine levels after an accident because there is no data to suggest that caffeine impairs performance.

I would like to suggest, however, that the biochemical and behavioral changes brought about by caffeine may very well contribute to auto accidents. Caffeine disturbs normal decision-making processes. Is it far-fetched to assert that ill-advised lane changes, tailgating, speeding, rage, and stress contribute to auto accidents?. Watch your driving the next time you’re “wired” on caffeine and tell me I’m wrong.


There Is Life after Caffeine

Life after caffeine does not have to be dull. In fact, there are delicious and very satisfying alternatives, and I’m not talking about pallid teas, decaf, and instant coffee “substitutes.” You’ll learn about rich, robust, and healthful beverages that brew like coffee but contain no caffeine. Likewise, life after coffee does not have to be lethargic. Breakthrough research in human metabolism and brain biochemistry has made it possible for you to enjoy greater energy and alertness without coffee than you ever experienced when you were “on the drug”.

There are natural alternatives to caffeine that actually enhance metabolic energy production while decreasing the tension in your body. The difference, once you make the switch, is astounding. You can repair your nervous system, manage stress, and improve your energy production naturally. Finally, you’ll learn how to obtain the quantity and quality of energy you need for the rest of your long, healthy life. You’ll discover that life without caffeine has the potential to be better than you ever dreamed possible!


Staring Down the Wolf | Warrior Monk | Navy Seal | Mark Divine Interview 2023

About Mark Divine Mark is from upstate New York and did his formal undergraduate education at Colgate University. His years at Colgate University were focused on athletic endeavors such as competitive swimming, rowing and triathlon racing, interrupted by brief episodes of academic activity. After graduation from “the Gate” Mark started his professional career as a CPA with Coopers & Lybrand in New York City. Clients included luminous and no-longer existent financial firms such as Solomon Brothers and Paine Webber. Four painful years later, with an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business in his briefcase, he left behind the suit to pursue his inner vision to become a Navy SEAL officer. He was 26 when he graduated as honor-man (#1 ranked trainee) of his SEAL BUD/s class 171. Mark was fortunate to serve with many great men and women on active duty for nine year and in the reserves for eleven…retiring at the rank of Commander in 2011. After leaving active duty in 1997, Mark started his second business career as an entrepreneur. He co-founded the successful Coronado Brewing Company and launched in the year he left the active duty Navy. is the leading web site for gear and information about the SEALs. US Tactical was next, gaining contracts with Naval Special Warfare Group ONE for training support, and the Navy Recruiting Command for a nationwide mentoring program for SEAL, SWCC, EOD and Diver candidates. Mark’s business career was interrupted by a stint as an Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the University of San Diego, where he was pursuing his Doctorate in Leadership, then by a one year recall to active duty in 2004. The recall took him to Baghdad with SEAL Team One to conduct a special project for Naval Special Warfare Command surrounding the role of the USMC in Special Operations. In 2007 he launched his CrossFit affiliate and the now internationally known SEALFIT program to provide transformational personal and team training experiences. The training utilizes an integrated warrior development model he developed, called Unbeatable Mind, which draws from his 20 years as a SEAL and business leader, 25 years as a martial artist and 15 years as yoga practitioner. SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind are uniquely effective at elevating clients to a higher level of operating, thinking and leading – encompassing the full spectrum of human experience – Body, Mind and Spirit in Self, Team and Organization.

My Movie mark divine 2

[00:00:00] Best Book Bids podcast brings you Mark Devine, a Navy Seal Commander, a thought leader, innovator, bestselling author, yoga master entrepreneur, changemaker, and a self-described warrior monk. Mark, thank you for being on the show. Michael, thanks for having me. Thank you. Now your resume is outta this world.

So the experiences you’ve done and the places you’ve been and the skills you’ve learned and the teachings you’ve taught, take us back to the day you were a Wall Street man before you got into martial arts. Is that correct? How did you un story unfold from there? I was my first career was on Wall Street, literally on Wall Street, the actual physical.

I wasn’t in financial services per se, but I was working for a company called Coopers and Library, which is now Pricewaterhouse Coopers doing first auditing and then moved into consulting. And during that time I was also getting my MBA in finance at NYU Stern School of Business. So mba, cpa, work experience at this big firm.

That was the idea, right? That was the story that I [00:01:00] sold myself on and, I barreled into after graduating from. and that made a lot of sense because I grew up in a business family. We have a traditional family business that’s been around since like 1895. That’s manufacturing, makes stuff, equipment for industry.

And there was this story that, we were business people and that I was ultimately, we gonna come back to the family business. All my siblings are there right now to this day. And so it’s expected. , I was grooved, to do that or groomed and grooved. So this opportunity to go to New York and work for Pricewaterhouse Coopers and get my MBA and become a certified public account all fit that narrative right, is something that was good.

Right? There was a lot of kudos, coming my way, both from my family and from culture and yeah, I was on the right path. In other words, right? There was no interest in the military at that time in my. No, like discussions about the seals or the Navy or anything really. Like we were not a military family, so that was [00:02:00] that was not on the table.

Now back to your question. Now what happened there? So I was very athletic. I still am to this day, like a part of my I guess the gift of this biological aspect of my being was to have this this pretty. High capacity for athletic abilities for pain tolerance. That probably came from the conditioning of my father’s abuse.

But certainly had a little bit of a pain tolerance and and I got into endurance sports. I was a competitive swimmer and I was a competitive rower and a triathlete. And so all of that was easy to do in upstate New York and at college, because this was a big part of the whole story, right?

College experience, right? You’re, you can, if you’re an athlete, you get a lot of opportunity to express that. And upstate New York, you’re outside all the time. There’s tons of land around me, so I got, I was always running and hiking and swimming and whatnot, but now all of a sudden I’m in Manhattan, the concrete jungle and putting a suit and tie on every day and stuck in a cubic.[00:03:00]

And I looked at that and I said, you know what? This sucks. I’m gonna, at least I’m not going to look like these people around me. In five years of pasty white, puffy people, I’m gonna maintain my athleticism. This is the first sign that, I was, had a yogi in me. The yogi mindset that, lifetime of physical training and practice can keep the body in mind as physic fiddle until you’re.

Click off. And I’ve, to this day, I have people in my sphere that I have trained with or that I’m familiar with or connected with who are in their eighties and nineties and just, really don’t look much different than you and I, and they train every day. And that’s what my early sphere was telling me, do that.

Just keep training every day. So I started running every morning after running, I was sitting. do some stretching, and then I would go to the gym at lunchtime and do a high intensity workout. This was before I knew what HIT training was. All my friends would go have their high carb lunch and a beer, and I would go to the gym and just bang [00:04:00] out whatever I could sweat like a monster, for hours afterwards.

And then this is getting back to the core of your question, like, how did I get into the martial arts and. What impact that had on me. I had this two hour block of time, Michael, after work, they would let us off at five o’clock roughly, and we were, had to be at night school night classes down at nyu, which was down to the World Trade Center before it got mowed down.

we had to be down there by seven 30, so it was like two and a half hours. And again, all the peers who are in this pro, I was a pro cohort based program. It wasn’t just me doing this. I was with a bunch of other individuals who were working for other big eight accounting consulting firms and going to NYU with me.

Most of them would go home and eat dinner and change and do some homework and, make their way down to school. And I looked at that as a good block of training. Another training block said, what can I do during this? I didn’t wanna go to the gym. I didn’t have enough time to go rowing. I didn’t really want [00:05:00] to go for a run, I was stumped.

What am I gonna do here? So I was pondering that and walking home one day and I walked past a martial arts studio and I heard the shouting, actually noticed the shouting coming from the second floor, and I was like what sack screams coming out of there. First I’m like, what’s going on? Do I need to go render his sisters?

Then I’m like, oh, wow, look at. World SADO karate headquarters and I went up and checked it out and I didn’t know anything about the martial arts. I remember from a town in upstate New York with 275 people in it, , it’s pretty small. And and it was outside of Utica. We didn’t have any real martial arts, at least that I was aware of at the time.

This is 1985. So I go up and check this out and they’re in the middle of the floor. Is this classic, just like right outta the movies, this five, six Japanese guy who’s just like insanely intense. also very light and playful and spontaneous and just revered by his students. And he was leading a black belt class.

And that was Tahi Nakamura who became I signed up the [00:06:00] next day and he became my mentor and my teacher. And so I started training the martial arts with him. But after about couple months, I stayed to watch the black belt class again, which was on Thursday night after the black belt class, they turned the lights down and they’re like ushering everyone out.

And I. I hung around and I saw some senior students bringing some wooden benches out of a corner and kind of setting ’em up and lighting a candle. I said, what’s going on here? And the person I asked said that’s the Zen class. I said what is Zen? And they said go to the library tomorrow and get the book Zen Mind beginner’s mind by a guy named Suzuki and you’ll learn about Zen.

So I did that and I just was transfixed by this book, what is this right here? I am a kid from upstate New York, right? With no, no experience or evidence and there that there’s anything else going on beyond what was put right in front of me, with the church and with my, family and with my school, and now I’m being exposed to this entire [00:07:00] eastern tradit.

Of developing the mind, body, and spirit and of achieving or attaining different states of being that. Per their descriptions very different than anything I understood or could experience. Yeah. And I think just to jump in really quickly, that’s the importance of a beginner’s mindset and before a beginner’s mindset is not even having a mindset.

So you going into those experiences, open and receptive to the martial arts and then zen fascinating how if you didn’t walk past that martial arts studio, how your life would’ve unfolded differently as well. Oh, it would’ve been completely different, Michael. Yeah, meditation completely and utterly changed my sense of self, my self-concept, what it was that I believed that I was as a human being, and also what I believed I was put on this planet for, or my purpose.

I could fill up 20 books with just each idea or each major kind of bucket [00:08:00] of knowledge or systemic thinking that happened or changed, when I sat on that meditation bench over that four year period. You’ve done a good job so far. You’ve, how many books have you published?

How many books have you published so far? ? I’m working on my, I’m working on my six, and that’s the funny thing cuz words are just so limiting. Try to relate things that are. Extraordinarily either complex or simple on the other hand. Yeah. How did you then go from working at Wall Street to then joining buds and becoming ranked number one out of the class of 1 71?

How did someone go from that? Meditation to the extremes of pushing your body to the limits? The meditation had everything to do with it, like you just alluded to if I hadn’t found. Knock more in meditation or even if I had just found a martial art that we weren’t doing meditation, it wouldn’t have happened.

I wouldn’t have become a Navy seal because the profound shifts happened when I was sitting on that meditation bench and usually immediately after, within the first hour or two. [00:09:00] But it wasn’t any one thing. There wasn’t one moment where I suddenly had a explosion or epiphany or some radical non-dual experience.

  1. S steadily progressive experience of deepening my powers of concentration to where then I could really radically concentrate just on my breathing and to the exclusion of pretty much any other thought. And then without really any coaching or prodding by Mr. Namo, I had these moments where I would just.

Forget what I was doing and drop. Drop into the void, right? Drop into just pure perception. I was still there, but there was no mark there. It was just pure, non-dual subjectivity witnessing. , what’s the word I use for it? [00:10:00] That’s used frequently for that idea, that notion of just pure awareness, just sitting there and just witnessing what’s going on, as if there’s a mark, as an object, not the subject.

And when I ever, whenever that happened and I came back into identifying as mark afterwards. Waking up out of that non-dual state or, coming back, maybe going back into the dream state. Actually, if you want to use the right language of this perceived reality that we live in, I would always bring back like a little gem of information, of insight or something of direct perception of knowing something that I didn’t know before.

And it was always generally about my life or about. . And so what I kept coming back with when I would, and this has happened over the course of two, two plus years I kept getting the sensation that I was a warrior and that I was meant to be a warrior in this lifetime. And yet here I was working on becoming a CPA and an mba, so I started a journaling [00:11:00] practice again, this is 1987 now ish.

1987, no, we had no internet. No one was talking about journaling and meditating and visualizing. And here I was doing it. I was doing all three of those things, meditating every single day. I edited to my morning practice. After my run, I would meditate, breathe, I’d do box breathing, which I practice that I just coddled together.

And I later found through yoga that I was, it’s just a very, simple controlled breathing practice in pranayama. And then I would medic. Classic what I’d learned through Zen. And then after I meditate, I would I would journal, right? And I would started asking questions when I journaled, if I’m supposed to be a warrior, how am I supposed to be a warrior?

And can I be a warrior as a CPA or as a business person? Is a Wall Street trader, a warrior? , right? And I would reflect on that. I’m like, oh no. A warrior is someone who’s, in my definition at the time was someone who was really putting, willing to put themselves at risk to do something worthy.[00:12:00]

It was someone who was willing to do the right thing in spite of the consequences. He was someone who put others before self. Someone who was in radical service, to either, something much bigger in the case early days for me it was country later on it was, it’s humanity. That’s where it is now.

And so I asked those questions and then I would take those questions and some of the answers I would get in journaling, which is using my rational, my thinking mind. And I would take back to the meditation bench, right? And I would concentrate and then drop off and I’d drop off with that question in my.

and I would come back with more information or more certainty, or more clarity. And so all of this is happening, and I still wasn’t getting any answers, Michael, that said, okay, yeah, mark, you’re supposed to be a Navy Seal and you’re supposed to go there in November of 1999. Just didn’t work that way.

When you’re tapping into your inner guide, your s your inter, your. Your inner guru, so to speak, the term sad guru is actually means your inner guru. When you tap into that [00:13:00] and you start to get these experiences that I’m talking about and you’re looking for like a direction in life, you’re not, it’d be folly to look or to expect that you’re gonna get an answer that has anything to do with something material or some physical goal or object.

Like a job or an attainment. Like I didn’t get anything that said you’re gonna go be a Navy Seal Admiral or Commander, now it was all about being this, the essential nature of your being, the way you’re supposed to be in this human form in this lifetime. . So for me that was to, initially it was to be a warrior, and then a warrior leader, and then a warrior teacher, warrior, monk, all of those.

The warrior, the thing part of it that is more of how you show up in the world. First started as a warrior and then it started to change, and now it’s a teacher and, but the warrior’s still there. It’s just taken in the backseat. So those are my, my, my core archetypal energies. And these things get fleshed out in things like the Enneagram and Youngian, [00:14:00] therapy.

They’re archetypal energies that even cultures can have, but every human being has it. But it’s also, it’s something you can tap into if you have, if you lack clarity or what that is. Meditation will. Bring it to the surface, so to speak, and that’s what happened to me. One of the biggest takeaways I got from that, I’ve been journaling for 15 years myself.

I write two pages a day, 700 and something, pages a year, and every night I go back on the previous year in two years, up to about five years. And I just reflect on. The previous days because I realized most of the things I was doing didn’t matter. So I wanna make sure that the things I’m doing tomorrow matter in five years time, so I’m not wasting my time.

So optimizing my time. But the thing you said, which was deliberate questioning what I wrote down was deliberate questioning of the subconscious. Of your ingar. So a lot of people journal and reflect on the day, but you actually take it a step further by then saying, okay, let’s go inward and let’s ask the question to my subconsciously.

You’re literally putting it on [00:15:00] the meditation tape. I’ve never heard that word before. Amazing. Yeah, thank you for sharing that. So it’s the next level of journaling. Don’t just write things down and reflect on the day, but actually go deeper on yourself as well. Yeah, journaling is a fantastic process.

Stream of conscious. You can get things out, but also, I think one of the most powerful, and I love your practice, what you talked about, that recapitulation is what, one of the things I teach for an evening ritual is to go back and recapitulate. You can recapitulate your day, and I love this idea of recapitulating your week, month, or year, because you’re right.

Generally, human beings have a tendency to radically downplay the progress, the successes, the cool things that happen and overplay. The negative and the disasters, the things that they don’t have are, the gaps. And so that keeps them in a perpetual state of wanting when they actually have already considerable progress toward whatever it is that their goal is.

So you lack contentment. And so contentment is a [00:16:00] master skill. And we can develop contentment by looking back and recognizing how far we’ve come. And also by recognizing that wherever we are today is exactly where we need to be because that’s exactly where we are. And to be okay with that, it’s not always craving and grasping to be somewhere else or someone else.

And just wanna expand on how I do it cuz people think it’s it’s crazy and it might sound like Coop, but it’s not. So today is the 21st of February. I’ll just go back for two seconds and read 21st of February, 2022. 21st of February, 2021. So these like one, two pages. So it might take me five, 10 minutes and then.

I’ll take it a step further cuz I put the photos in my phone from February in a little folder from like last year, two years up to five years. And I can reflect on the photos as well. But what in the photos is what you don’t see in the journal is growth. So growth of my children, the changes, business partners, businesses, whatever it was.

And you can see how small my thinking was. And it’s just very interesting when you reflect on yourself. It’s, there’s this power, it’s this, it’s, there’s a [00:17:00] underlying power because of your knowingness, of your beingness and where you’re at and your journey. It’s very powerful. So for anyone that doesn’t do it, it’s like you’re missing out.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but second best time is today. We’re so taught in the Western world. Try to force things to happen. We believe that we are the lever that we’re the cause, that we’re the doer. And what I’ve learned, and especially through this recapitulation practice and is and being, and this idea of contentment, is that if you can connect in with that aspect of being, or if you bring good questions to your meditation and contemplation, and then just sit in a state of open receptiveness and allowing things to happen, allow the thoughts to come to you, allow.

The information to show itself to reveal itself. And this is how I became a Navy seal. Like I was having these moments where I, like I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, I was a warrior. I was meant to be a warrior. I had also a sense that I was barreling down the wrong path with [00:18:00] my with my professional career, but I didn’t have a solid answer as to what was to replace it.

I did start a practice. I called trying on the uniform where I would visualize. Doing different things that I thought were warrior like. So one of them was flying jets. I visualized myself flying jets for the Air Force and the Marine Corps. And I did that for a while. And at first it, it seemed exciting and then, after doing it for a few days or maybe a week or so like that with the intention, okay, what if this is it?

Let me act as if this is it. Let me visualize myself doing this as if it’s it. I started to get bored. I’m like, actually this is act. That exciting to me. Just, it’s just turning knobs and yes, it’s exciting to go fast, but it’s not, doesn’t have the variety and the adventure and I’m not using my body the way I feel like I’m using my body.

So then I thought what if I was a roughneck on an oil rig? That could be warrior-like and cool. And so I envisioned myself, what that would be like. Again, I didn’t really have a lot of information, but I could imagine what that would be like. I didn’t have top gun and I didn’t have you.[00:19:00]

The movies that we have today. So it’s a lot easier to do that today, cause you can actually, you can actually talk to an astronaut even, or get a sense for what that’s like. So I, and I did that and I was like you know what? This sounds pretty gritty. It might be cool for a month, but again, I can’t possibly see doing this stuck on a rig day after day for years.

So I went, as I was going through this process, this, I had the knowingness that I was to be a warrior. I was trying to, I was putting on uniform and visualizing different ways to be a warrior, and then the universe stepped in to gimme a hand. This is synchronicity, right? The idea of synchronicity is essentially that instead of looking at me as a separate doer, separate from an analyst, we are, we are actually.

one stream of conscious flowing through these body mind beings, these instruments. And when you align and tune in with that and you’re in tune with what the body being is supposed to be [00:20:00] doing, then you are presented with that. The information, you just gotta pay attention, right? And the way that happened to me, the way the information was presented to me, that was gonna be the right information.

For this being in this, instant of being a human. I was walking, it was very similar to how I found karate. I was walking home from work, pondering these weighty things, and I walked past a Navy recruiting office and there was a poster facing the street and it said, be someone special across the top.

And it had Navy seals. Don’t coal shit. Didn’t say anything about the Navy Seals. This is 1987. and the Seals were a secret organization. They wish they still were to this day, but the cat is outta the bag, about 800 people in the organization. And I just, but I stopped and looked at this poster and I was like, holy shit.

There’s a guy free falling and a little mini submarine and a sniper and a spotter in a h sight, you can barely see him. And it was just wicked. The cool. I was like that right there. That’s it. And I went the next [00:21:00] day and I said, what? Whatever’s on that poster, what are they, what is that?

And they’re like, oh yeah, you don’t wanna know about those guys. ? I said, yes, I do. What are they? And they said they’re called the Navy Seals. See our land teams. And they’re very they’re just bad asses. But, I said that’s, I’m interested in that. and I said I’m also an, I was talking to the ill recruiter.

I said, I’m also gonna have my MBA pretty soon, so I’d probably, if I do that, do they take officers? And they said, very few, but some, and, but you don’t wanna be an officer . And they gave me all the reasons I shouldn’t be an officer. So I said I think I’ll talk to an officer recruiter anyways.

So I did and met one a week later named Nick and. He was very similar. He was a great guy. He’s geez, mark, I have to research this. I’m not even sure how guys get into the seals. I do think there is a program for someone like you, but they only take one person a year, maybe two, because most of the officers would come out of the Naval Academy or the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and they take about 20, only 20 a year.[00:22:00]

In the front end and they maybe get 10 of them into the seals at the end of the year. Cause most of ’em, half, about half the officers quit buds and about 85% of all the other enlisted don’t make it through buds either the SEAL training. So I said I wanna go for that. That’s what I want to do.

I don’t wanna do anything else. I said, let’s figure out how to put a package in for that. I shifted, he said, okay. And I shifted my training just slightly. I didn’t do anything different physically, except I did actually start to lift weights cuz I wasn’t lifting weights besides my high intensity stuff.

So I got more deliberate. I added some strength training I wanted to put some beef on. But the other thing that I added to my training was, and my morning meditation, at the end of it, I added a visualization session where I visualize myself going through SEAL training and graduat. And I used as a basis for that imagery work, the video called Be Someone Special.

And it had an imagery of all the Navy SEAL training. It was classic. So I watched that about 20 times and then I inserted myself [00:23:00] into that video and I visualize it every single morning. Now, funny like footnote to this story is the power of visualization. I’m sure you were aware, maybe you talked about is.

That practice was profound. I didn’t even know it. I was just working off of a hunch based upon an experience I had with my swim coach who taught me how to visualize my event at Colgate, the 200 meter breaststroke. And I had a pretty profound experience with that. And so I was like, I betcha this would work.

So I visualized myself, just crushing everything I could think of at buds and believing that I was worthy of it. And I did it every day for about nine months. And this is while I was waiting to hear from Nick in the Navy. And he’s telling me, don’t get my hopes up. I’ve got statistically a better chance of becoming an astronaut than a Navy SEAL from the civilian world, at 25, 26.

And I said just keep pushing them, pushing the package. Keep supporting me. And nine months of that visualization practice, I had this overwhelming sense of [00:24:00] certainty wash over me that I was going to be a Navy seal. I was already a Navy seal. I just needed to let time catch up.

And literally in the next few days, Nick called me, said, holy shit, mark, congratulations. You got one of the two slots to go to SEAL training after Officer candidate school. And I was smiled and I said, thank you . , I already knew what had happened. I called that winning in your mind before you step foot in the battlefield.

And that was from my classic Sun Sue quote, the Art of War author. He said, victorious leaders win in their mind before they go to battle, whereas others go to battle hoping to win. And it means to be have that absolute sense of certainty about what the outcome is gonna be because you see it in your mind and you see it at a level that is so clear.

And you believe it, that you know it’s gonna be true. And what’s happening here now, now I recognize is just like a past event you have a memory of, right? So you believe that this thing happened to you and cuz it did in a different [00:25:00] time. And you have this memory now if it was something really bad, a lot of times like traumatic, a lot of.

We will go back and re reinforce that memory by re replaying it in our mind and replaying, how it hurt us and the victimization and even talk therapy can, actually enhance the image through constant repetition, just scraping your emotional life over the coals of that past trauma.

And you’re actually feeding it, you’re feeding the energy of that memory so you know what you give energy to will persist and grow in. So you can use this to your advantage by, in a retro sense, those trauma-based things, you’ve stopped feeding them energy and you can recontextualize what happened and find something positive and then feed the positive energy of that, like the strength that it gave you or the awareness or the sensitivity or, there’s always a flip side to the negative.

everything has a positive side and a negative side. So you focus on the positive and you energize the positive and you de-energize the negative. That has an incredibly [00:26:00] powerful effect for emotional healing of trauma. But in a future state, what you can do is you can create an image of a future desired state, and as long as it’s alignment with it’s aligned with that purpose or that calling that.

That you’ve surfaced through your meditation or your contemplation practice. It’s gotta be an alignment, and it’s not a doing thing. It’s a becoming thing. So I was visualizing becoming the man worthy of just crushing buds. I wasn’t visualizing so, so much on the accomplishment, the achievement, the doing part.

And what I was doing is I’m creating a future memory and then I’m adding energy to that memory as if it had happened. and the more I feed that future memory as if it’s happened, the more it creates, like this gravitational pull this gravitational field in like the matrix of the world where it starts to create this ripple effect where everything starts to line up to support.

The achievement or the accomplishment that you already created in your mind, the winning in your mind before stepping foot in the battlefield. So I did that [00:27:00] and sure as shit, I got the orders to go to Buds November of 1989. I got my mba, CPA tested for my first degree, black belt. All of that happened in November, and I also left New York, left my job, left the Dojo, and went to Officer Cannon.

and then I went to Buds basic underwater demolition seal training with Class one 70 in April of the next year in 1990. In that class, I graduated 185 of us standing there that first day and six months later there were 19 of us left and I was number one graduate and my entire small boat crew of six others was graduated with me cuz I taught them a lot of these skills.

I taught them box breathing, I taught them visualization. I taught them positive self-talk. and and we just dominated. It was. I think you answered why you were number one in, in, in that. So thank you for expanding on that because it’s not you outworked people. You actually went in there, they weren’t short, they didn’t realize you were the warrior monk, [00:28:00] and then you were uncovering that yourself and teaching others.

So you are going in there as a teacher, not just as a student as well. One story you said in the book and you didn’t finish it, and I wanna know the answer. They said jump in the pool and swim to the other edge, which was 50 meters underwater Foy cloth. And you said, okay, and you jumped in, you swam to the other edge, you did a bit of a dive, you kicked back and went halfway.

So you did about 75 meters, and then you got in trouble and they sent you to the office or wherever it was. What, did you end up getting in trouble or what was that story? You said it in the book, but you didn’t tell the finish. Now the story, actually, the story, I didn’t get in trouble. I actually.

So that story was, I was originally had orders, right? Literally when you’re ordered, you do it right. I had orders to go to Class 1 71 and I showed up in as I said, I showed up in Coronado in April after Officer Kenneth School and class one to 71 wasn’t gonna start up for eight weeks. Another two.

And so they had some, back [00:29:00] then they had something called fourth phase. There’s three phases of buds. First, second, the third phase. And then this fourth phase was kinda like the holding tank for guys waiting to class up in the next class. And they trained, here and there. They did training, they did obstacle course, they did running, they did basic training.

But I was ready to go. I thought I was gonna go and I was ready to go. And so I heard there was a, Starting on Monday. This is a Friday that I got there and Class one 70 was gonna start on Monday. And I thought, geez I want to be in that class. So I asked a couple people, they said, oh, I got orders to 1 71, but I wanna start up with one 70.

I said, that’s stupid. You got orders if you follow your orders, . I said . Maybe is there anyone I can talk to about this? They’re not used to having NBA CPAs, show up at SEAL training. Most of ’em were like seven, 18 year old. Kids still bad asses, but young, not willing, not usually already questioning authority.

Someone said Lieutenant Rick May is in charge of fourth phase and he’s gonna be the one who decides who starts on Monday and who. [00:30:00] He’s down in the pool or combat training tank, which is the seal speak for maybe seal pool. So I jog on over to the combat training tank in my boots and ts and my helmet, seen the little helmets that seals trainees wear. And they’re open, I go in there and 184 guys lined up and they’re udet shorts along the side. And they were doing crossovers, which is swimming crossovers, 50 meters. And And they parted and on the high diving board was this bronze, blue-eyed blonde hair, Adonis guy six three.

And his name was Lieutenant Rick May. And Lieutenant May saw me come in my uniform, saw my Ensen bars, and was like hello Enzy. How can we help you? And everyone’s watching me like, what is this guy? And I. Lieutenant Macer, I’m Vincent Divine. I have orders of Class 1 71, but I want to class up with one 70 on Monday.

And he just kinda looked at me. He goes that’s unusual. He goes swim 50 meters underwater for us, and and then [00:31:00] we’ll chat further. So I started to take my boots off. He goes no. Leave everything on except for your helmet. So I put my helmet down. , I took a couple deep breaths and dove into the water and started doing my underwater kick out.

And like I’m, if you imagine swimming with combat boots on , it was pretty rough. I felt like there were anchors, right? And so I had to really use my, my pullout, my pole. But I was a competitive swimmer and I happened to be a breaststroker, so this wasn’t unachievable. So I swam, touched the other side, a 25 swam back and I made it right.

So I, I didn’t actually fail. So I hit the wall, I climbed out and may looked at me. He said, come see me in my office in an hour. So I went and saw him and he said that, that was impressive. And I can tell you really want this, so I’m gonna. , let’s just start up on Monday, class one 70. . So that was pretty cool, right?

It’s like I wasn’t gonna take no for an answer. Obviously if you finally said no, but most people wouldn’t have even gone down that road. And again, I don’t even know why I did that. That was just, again, [00:32:00] listening to my intuition, listening to the inner voice that said, do this right, go now. It wasn’t something that I’d rationally thought about.

It’s just something. There was the only thing that I could have done was just not do it to block myself. And again, that was one of the most profound these things in my life where I just did something spontaneously and didn’t question it and turned out to be right. I realized that, life is like that.

We think that we’re making these decisions, and the reality is this consciousness streaming through. and it’s hitting the conditioning of your body mind. And then that shows up as and then immediately slips into memory. And we think that we’re, we’re the genius that’s, figuring all this shit out.

The alls you can do is block yourself from your awesomeness right? In life. So that’s, to me, what, what personal growth or spiritual development is to get out learning, to get the heck outta your own. One thing we’ll finish off with the seals and we’ll nip it in the bud. No pun [00:33:00] intended.

I believe from an outsider’s perspective, not a military person, that the whole idea of seal training or any training, it’s you’re dividing people from words and actions. 185 people start 19, finish, you become number one. The whole process is to divide people that say they want it, and the 19 that actually do the actions.

That actually not just wanted, but do the actions required and do whatever they’re willing to sacrifice to get the job done. So it’s just a divider of, you say you want it, but these are the people who’ve actually done it. So words and actions. So that’s my outsider’s perspective on life as well.

Stop talking about doing things and start doing things. And then once you’ve. Stuff. You can talk about what you’ve done, but you can’t talk about what you are going to do. You can only talk about what you’ve done. That’s my analogy of the whole spectrum of that. I think you’re right, but, and so what you’re pointing to though is a requirement to be very [00:34:00] thoughtful and careful with what you say you’re going to do.

Because there were 170 some odd people, or 60 some odd people who said they were gonna. or said they were gonna try to become Navy Seals, whereas I said that I was a Navy Seal and it’s very different. And so that means a lot of those people shouldn’t even be there. They have a poor self-assessment of what they’re meant to be doing and why they’re doing it, and also their capabilities.

Absolutely. One, one obviously Navy SEAL that I actually seen a couple weeks ago in person that. Probably know his name. David Goggins, obviously very famous now and what do you know about David and what’s the, have you met him before? What’s the obviously you did Buds in the eighties, what’s, how’s it changed or what’s different?

Yeah. 19. No, I did Buds in 1990. He came by letting me buds hasn’t changed. Buds is Buds. Is buds. It’s gotten a little bit more sophisticated, a little safer than when I went through. , it’s still brutal. And they still have the same, [00:35:00] 85% fail, right? David Gog is he’s a unique individual, just like a lot of, not all, some, there’s some Navy Seal, I call it 10, 10% rule that kind of slip through the cracks and, but for the most part, there’s some extraordinary individuals and Pliny who have the same level of fitness as Goggins just don’t, aren’t.

Posting videos every day and making a life out of it, or a career out of it. I’ve got friends who’ve just done extraordinary things that just literally blow your mind. It’s crazy. Goggins is a, he’s entertaining, right? Just like Jocko. Those guys are phenomenally entertaining. Their presence and ability to communicate is extraordinary.

And they’ve done, they do extraordinary things. Most of Goggin’s extraordinary stuff is his story about getting through training and then what he’s done after the seals. He wasn’t, there was nothing extraordinary about his Navy SEAL career and most seals know that he just really didn’t do much and he got out and capitalized on it, which is fine, right?

He’s a badass in that regard. But Jocko, like Jocko’s different and Jocko was a fucking lawyer. and he was a phenomenal leader and he, he made an [00:36:00] impact his team made an impact in Ramad and whatnot. So they’re very different, but they’re both are big personalities and they, their presences are made amazing.

They’re very funny and motivating, right? So they got big followings. Back to Goggins. I met Goggins. I’ve interviewed him. There’s something about people like. Who are always chasing hard and more, and they’re doing it because of the child, the trauma of their child. They think that is going to heal them from their trauma or they’re doing it thinking that their trauma made them strong enough to do this.

The reality is that’s fine, up to a point, but there’s going to need to be. Some reckoning, right? Some way to balance out all that energy, right? The yin and the yang have to be in balance, the hard and the soft. And he doesn’t have an off switch. He doesn’t have a down switch. And so I, I worry about him in that regard.[00:37:00]

I feel like if you were to do all that and you were getting therapy, deep therapy to do the, heal from the traumas, that’s great, and you may still do that stuff there, but there’s gonna be a time where you stop doing it, or ego just doesn’t need to be known as the hardest man on earth. No. Said.

Well said. With your career. So after Bud’s active duty for nine years and in reserve through 11 as well. Retired of the rank of commander in, in 2011. We don’t have to touch on that because we’ve gone on so much as well. But is there anything you want to touch on there before you start your entrepreneurial career as well and doing some amazing stuff with SILF Fit and things like that?

I was very blessed to be able to. Get into business as a reserve seal. The reason I became a reservist, cuz I got married in 1994, early in 95, and I was at, in Hawaii and at sdv seal delivery vehicle team. That submersible unit, some cool little submarine stuff that we did. And I just don’t think my new wife and I.

Knew what the impact of being a seal, being a married seal was gonna be. Especially on her, for me it was like always adventurous from [00:38:00] one adventure to another adventure. I didn’t like leaving her but I loved being a seal and so on. Her side was, she gave up her career. She was a therap private practice to the therapist.

She had two young daughters or daughters who are now getting. . And so they were out of the house at 15. One of ’em bailed on school already and got her g e d and the other one’s a little bit older. So they stayed home in Coronado cuz they were in school and they didn’t want to, they didn’t want to come to Hawaii.

And so she gave up a practice and we moved to Hawaii and then guess what? I’m gone I’m gone the whole time, just back and forth a few times, a few days here and a few days there. And after a year of that seals are basically gone for 11 months of. Even when they’re technically home and not deployed, they’re gone training, especially in Coronado or Little Creek, Virginia, where the seal bases are, there’s, you can’t really do much training in those towns, so you’ve gotta go on a travel trip to, to do your training even in the country, anyways, so 11 months out of the year, and she just came to me one day, in tears, says, I can’t do this. And it’s that come to Jesus talk me. So I said, [00:39:00] okay, I gotta make a, So I, I left the Navy active duty, but decided to stay in the reserves, and that was cool because I got to do a lot of really cool things.

I even went to combat as a reserve Lieutenant Commander in 2004, went to Iraq. But, I, my reserve time, except for the two years that I was mobilized for a whole year, I was, I would do like 45 to 60 days a year. The rest of the time I can be in business. And I wanted to bring some of these skills that were so effective for me getting through SEAL training and being a leader in the seals.

I wanted to teach. Special operators, these skills. So I launched this company called Seal Fit and began to teach them these skills, these meditation, concentration, visualization, how to manage your mind and emotions and how to be an incredible team player. And so with SEAL Fit was amazing. We started training SEAL candidates first and then got into other special forces units and then civilians.

And now we even do corporations, but our SEAL trainees, the ones we train in these principles, 90% of them get through Navy SEAL training, which is. So we’ve trained several hundred Navy seals in our system, and [00:40:00] now Bud s the SEAL Training Center themselves have implemented some of the techniques that I innovated or evolved.

And so that’s really cool to be able to see this kind of come full circle and we still run these programs at Seal Fit and try to make people stronger and body, mind, and spirit. And we run more integrative person. In holistic development programs through the brand of unbeatable, and also we have a gear line called brute force, which is unstable load sandbags and weight vests and kettlebells and stuff like that for austere training.

Now one of your, we haven’t even deep dived into any of the books, and I think we’re gonna run outta time, but I know you’ve got five books out there, writing, writing another one at the moment, and so much content. I think I had 87 pages of notes here. We’re on page two right now. True story, one of the one of your goals is to reach a hundred million people’s sorry, inspire and train a hundred million people by 2040.

How do you unpack that? It’s not something that I can say [00:41:00] that I’m looking at a hundred million customers or clients. I want, I’m talking about bringing a hundred million people into a path of wholeness or, to, into a self-determination, self-determining evolutionary process.

It’s a wholeness right path of integration. What I mean by that is someone taking responsibility for growing physically, mentally, emotionally, intuitionally and spiritually. We call those the five mountains. So I can do that through my books, through my podcast, mark Devine show through all my, 400 or 500 certified coaches, doing their work through.

Coaches that I have trained, who’ve written books, who have, started businesses through there’s a number of academic institutions that I’ve used my work, for curriculum especially the way the seal and unalign. So it’s gonna be like all these different touch points and then those touchpoints training another generation of [00:42:00] teachers who then have all these different touchpoints, and so again, it doesn’t, you do the math that you can hit big numbers fairly quickly. Yes. And I’m, and I gave this a 20 year timeline. No. Perfect. Yeah. One of my, I’ve got a goal to educate a billion people on the planet for free. I think I’m at 10 million right now, and that’s just on online question.

I’m getting into the gym business and I had a business meeting last night with some business partners and we’re talking about Les the reformer Pilates. We’ve got yoga in there as well. Les meal training. Can’t you have seal? as a small gym or a program is something we wanna look at. I, because that could be, that would be global.

That would be global. Yeah. I just need to figure out that business model. I tried to do a licensing model and the certified coaches, I I realized that they really need to be seals, right? You need to have sealer special operators as the head instructors per se, for the program to have the authenticity that you want it.

So that is the limiting factor. But I’m looking at that business model of creating that model [00:43:00] for, transitioning Naval Special War for, I would allow other special ops. to do it as well. So you create a business model that’s exciting where they can go in and be, run their own seal fit training center location, which would have gear, would have training models, we’d have events and I think that’d be huge.

I’ve got I’ve answered it. So you would have, like 45 hard, how people doing, oh, I’m doing the 45, 75 hard, or something like that. It’s okay, that’s like bootcamp. Yeah. You would have seal fit hard and seal fit light. That’s a great. A silver fit light would just be like, really light for the up and comers, but I would split it into light and hard.

Yeah. Yeah. If you wanna help me with that one, just let me know. . That is a great idea. Yeah think and culture knees, and I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing cuz you know, especially the last few years in the pandemic, we’re just way outta whack. There’s so many men mental health problems and people are so unhealthy and unfit and they’re just outsourcing so much of.

Life to government, right? Or to corporations. And they don’t realize it, right? It’s just being nipped and tucked until their freedom is gonna be [00:44:00] eventually gone. And so instead of fighting that, the way you find freedom is by claiming it back in your own life, right? And you do that by being physically healthy, mentally healthy, and spiritually healthy.

And then you don’t need pharmacological. Of interventions, right? You start eating really well. So the, the people selling junk food start getting less and less of our business, start making better decisions about your life and still obviously have to live within the constructs of the social structures that, arose because of the collective mindset of our world and our generations.

But you can find autonomy and. by first finding it within your. Be the change you wanna see in the world. That’s what Gandhi said. Yeah. Correct. Yeah. The old saying, make your bed in the morning. There’s a whole book about that. Get your house in order. We’ve all heard these things before, but it’s one of the things he said earlier, which it was the para [00:45:00] visualization.

The difference is are you directing your life or is someone else directing your life for you as well? All comes down to the in. And just, yeah, you’re either a warrior monk or you’re not. It’s as simple as that. But Mark, I wanna say thank you for being a guest on the Best Book Bits podcast.

Where can people find you socially? Where can they buy your books? Check out your programs? My books are all available at Amazon to search for Mark Devine or Unbe Mind, or the way of the Seal staring on the Wolf. Also my personal website, mark D I v i n e has, information. It’s got my blog, it’s got, you can sign up for my weekly newsletter called Divine Inspiration.

Comes out every Tuesday. It’s a great place to go. And if you’re interested in the type of training, we’re talking about seal We’ll have probably the best up-to-date information. Go there and, learn about some of the programs that we’re rolling out and the podcast as well. The Mark Devine show too.

Mark Devine. That’s, thank you for reminding me that the Mark Devine show right. Is on [00:46:00] Apple or wherever you listen, Spotify and we’ve been, we’re in our eighth, ninth season now. Ninth season. Yeah. Amazing guest. You’re up to, I think 351 episodes, somewhere up there. . Yeah. Awesome. Congratulations. Yeah.

Somewhere in the mid 300 s and, has some incredible conversations and some solo cast where I just, riff on things that are interesting to me and that’s one thing that I need to do. Solocast, I haven’t done that yet. It’s just a bit strange for me, but I think I’ll, I think I’ll do that.

Nah, cool. People love it. I need to do more of them. I’m gonna be doing less of the interview style, promoting someone else’s book and more of the, more deep conversations in the. Yeah. Yeah. Absolut. No, great. Yeah, to my audience, please go out and check out Mark stuff. You’ve, yeah, you’ve done a ton of work.

Such a massive wife resume through there as well. Keep producing content, keep doing that. And yeah I’ll do what I can to promote you to my audience. But yeah, thank you for coming on and it’s really good to speak to a warrior Monk, someone who’s done some hard shit, [00:47:00] but actually gone very deep on the internal stuff as well.

So that’s a, it’s a great quality mark. So I just wanna congratulate you on that. Enjoy the rest of your day and thanks for being a guest on the Facebook Feed podcast and we’ll speak soon. Okay? Thank you, Michael. Appreciate it.


Stay Off My Operating Table | A Heart Surgeon’s Metabolic Health Guide | Philip Ovadia Interview

I am a board-certified Cardiac Surgeon and founder of Ovadia Heart Health. Our mission is to optimize the public’s metabolic health and help people like you stay off my operating table. As a heart surgeon who used to be morbidly obese, I have seen firsthand the failures of mainstream diets and medicine. I realized that what helped me lose over 100 pounds was the same solution that could have prevented thousands of open heart surgeries I’ve performed — metabolic health. In Stay off My Operating Table: A Heart Surgeon’s Metabolic Health Guide to Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Feel Your Best Every Day, I share the complete metabolic health system to prevent disease. I grew up in New York and graduated from the accelerated Pre-Med/Med program at the Pennsylvania State University and Jefferson Medical College. This was followed by a residency in General Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry at New Jersey and a Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tufts – New England Medical School. Through Ovadia Heart Health, I teach individuals and organizations my complete metabolic health system to prevent and reverse disease, avoid early death, and live well for life.

phill movie

[00:00:00] Best Book Bits podcast brings you Philip Ovadia, a board certified cardiac surgeon and founder of Ovadia Heart Health. His mission is to optimize the public’s metabolic health and help people stay off his operating table. As a heart surgeon who used to be morbidly obese, Dr. Ovadia has seen firsthand.

The failures of mainstream diets and medicine. He realized that what helped him lose over 100 pounds was the same solution that could have prevented most of his thousands of open heart surgeries. He has performed metabolic health. He’s author of the book, which will be deep diving into today. Stay off my Operating Table, a Heart surgeon’s metabolic health guard to lose weight, prevent disease, and feeling your.

Every day. Dr. Phillip, thank you for being on the show. Oh, it’s great to be here with you, Michael. No worries. Now an amazing book, by the way, but very sad as well. You open up the book with a story of a lady named Corrine, a 10 hour surgery [00:01:00] Difficult Into the Night, into the Morning. Do you wanna tell us that story and how that kick started your frustration and anger at the system?

Yeah. I, I think unfortunately it’s a story that is not unique and it really helped to Synthesize, the pattern that I had been seeing in my career as a heart surgeon. And Corrine was an unfortunate young lady who came to us to my surgical team and I with a devastating cardiac condition young mother.

And just unfortunately, too much damage was done and it was not a salvageable situation. And like I said, it. Crystallized the pattern that I had been seeing, younger and younger patients who were coming with worse and worse problems. And I at this point was well into my personal health journey which we’ll certainly talk about.

But it really just bought to the forefront for me that I needed to refocus my efforts and it [00:02:00] really crystallized what my mission needed to be, which was to keep people off of my operating table. Yeah. And yeah, such a powerful story at the start as well. You also mentioned, the harsh, the harshest truth is not that, when someone comes into the emergency room and surgery, that you can actually prevent them.

It’s sometimes it’s too late and, delayed surgery isn’t to blame. The tear itself is as well. How important is it for people to start thinking about what they can do? before they get into hospital when it’s all too late and there’s nothing that can be done. So the things that can be done is the stuff that can be done before you get to that situation as well.

How important is that? Yeah, it’s really of the utmost importance. No matter how good a heart surgeon I might be or all the other heart surgeons are out there you’re never as good after you have an operation as you would’ve been if you didn’t need the operation in the first [00:03:00] place and the time to start working to make sure that you don’t need the operation.

Is today. I always say, yesterday was the best day to start, but today is the second best day. And let’s just get at it. Because anything you can do now to improve your overall health and lower your chances of needing. Heart surgery in the future of developing significant heart disease in the future is going to be of great benefit to you.

Yeah. Heart disease, as you say, it’s the leading cause of death in the United States. It might be, in the world as well or one of the top two or three. You talk a. Yeah. And you talk about the medical establishment, just drugs and says, these things happen next patient. Talk to me a little bit about your personal experience with health and the fitness journey and losing all the weight as well.

When did that start and what sort of motivated you to to get into the best shape? Yeah, so I was a very unhealthy heart surgeon for the beginning part of my career. [00:04:00] And I came to a realization, that I was going to end up on my own operating table, so to speak. I was going down the same pathway that so many of my patients had.

I reached the point this is going back about eight or nine years now. That I was morbidly obese. I was pre-diabetic, and I didn’t know what to do because I was following the advice that I had been taught to give my patients. All of the advice that I had learned in medical school, we’ve all heard it, eat less, move more eat a low fat diet.

For those of us here in the United States, it looks like the food pyramid. But those concepts have spread worldwide, the western diet and the low fat diet. And it wasn’t helping me. And over I saw it wasn’t helping my patients. And thankfully I started to ask some different questions and seek out some different information.

And I came to realize the. Root cause of heart [00:05:00] disease. . It turns out that this root cause for heart disease is the same root cause for many of the chronic diseases that we face in society. Things like diabetes, things like Alzheimer’s disease, many forms of cancer, they all share a common root cause.

And when you address that root cause metabolic health you can. Lower your chances of developing all of these, devastating medical conditions. Yeah. You mentioned metabolic health quite a lot in the book for people listening or watching, thinking what’s the definition of metabolic health?

Yeah, exactly. The, it’s interesting, that we, as I mentioned, metabolic health is at the root cause of most of the chronic disease that we face. Yet most of us don’t know what. And that includes many physicians don’t properly recognize it for what it is. So the simple way that I explain metabolic health to people is that when you are [00:06:00] metabolically healthy, your body is properly utilizing the inputs that you were given it.

And those inputs are primarily the food that we. Yeah. Yeah, makes sense. So I just did a quick Google search as well. So described how we generate and process energy in the body. So if you are taking too much energy in and your body’s not producing that, you’re storing that. A lot of people are out of metabolic health, which we’re gonna deep dive into some of these in the book as well.

Yeah, I’m losing a hundred pounds. What was the Tips or hacks or tricks, but was it just mainly diet? Was it mental, was it lifestyle? Or like how did you do it? How did you keep it off? Yeah it really came down to the food that I was eating primarily. And that, certainly has all of those aspects that you, you described, the mental.

Aspect of it, the mindset aspect of it is very important. And, as we’ll get into, I lay out seven principles of metabolic health in the book. And the first principle is a [00:07:00] mindset issue. And I think this is very important for people to understand. The principle that I describe in the book is that you need to think of your health as a system, not as a.

And what I mean by that is that we can’t focus on the short term goals that we all too often have around our health. Most people when they think about getting healthy, they say something like, I want to lose 20 pounds. And when you have that short term goal in mind, one of two things happened.

You make changes and you accomplish the goal. You lose 20 pounds and then you say, great, I did what I set out to do, and you tend to slide back to your old habit. Or perhaps more commonly, you don’t lose the 20 pounds, you get frustrated and you tell yourself there’s no, why bother I can’t do this?

And you give up on your health. And instead, what I want people to do, what I want people to understand is you need [00:08:00] to think of your health as an overall system, and then you need to find the habits that are going to. Your health support that system. And that’s a much more powerful way to think and a much more sustainable way to think.

Because ultimately if whatever changes you make aren’t sustainable, they’re not gonna have that long-term impact that we are looking for. Avoiding heart disease and avoiding chronic disease. Yeah. Myself personally I’ve gone full circle on plenty of diets. Even at the start of this year, I’m like, okay, I’m gonna start keto again.

I think that lasted for four days. But I’ve interviewed quite a few health professionals like yourself and people in, in, such a broad industry in health, and realize that it is long term, it is habits, it is rituals. It is. Things, it’s systems. At the end of the day, there’s no quick hack or trick.

Health is a 24 7 thing. Your body’s working 24 7. They talk about sleep, water, food, exercise, movement, breath, all [00:09:00] that kind of stuff. That’s 24 7. We’re constantly working health, so we can’t. Trick our bodies, but we can definitely make friends with our bodies and actually put ourselves on the right system and get it done.

But yeah, thank you for sharing that story. In chapter two. First you do a little bit of debunking as well and talk about the 12 myths. We they want us to believe as well, we won’t go through all the myths, but just a few of them. So myth number one, you talk about only obese people are metabolically unhealthy.

Why is that a. Yeah. This is a very common misconception and many times we look around us and we look at people and they’re not overweight, they’re not obese, and we just assume that they are healthy. But the truth the reality is that is simply not true. I end up operating on plenty of people who are not.

And when we dig into the statistics around metabolic health what we see is that people who are normal weight. Still have a 50% chance of being [00:10:00] metabolically unhealthy. There is a condition that we describe in medicine. It’s called thin on the outside, fat. On the inside tophi is the acronym t o f I.

And it describes exactly that, from the outside you may not look obese but on the. You have excess fat, and that leads to the same metabolic health problems. That often that will be more apparent in someone who is overweight or obese. So just to be clear, being overweight and being obese puts you at higher risk of being in poor metabolic health.

But not being overweight or obese doesn’t guarantee that you are in good metabolic. And that’s why it’s so important to properly assess your metabolic health. How does someone who seems like they look healthy, feel healthy, but aren’t too sure that the next heart attacks around the corner, what are some signs or triggers for them to get it?

A [00:11:00] checkup or a metabolic health checkup or a heart checkup? What are some of the triggers if they seem healthy? You hear those stories of people that just dropped it from a heart attack and they seem like they’re healthy fit is a fiddle X, Y, and z. What do they do? Or what should someone do if they look healthy?

Yeah, so I, would start with, I would start with the five basic measurements that we use to assess someone’s metabolic health. And I go through ’em in the book and yeah. But that’s a great starting point. And you. There shouldn’t need to be a trigger to look into these.

Like these are things that you should know and you should be keeping an eye on an ongoing basis. Because if you keep those five measurements in line and you are metabolically healthy by those five measurements your chances of developing all of those chronic diseases that we talked about are vastly reduced.

The other myth as well, which everyone knows is bunk anyway, it’s the food. It’s the food pyramid been around for a while. Different [00:12:00] countries have different percentages changes. Why is the food pyramid, pyramid a myth? And why do we have to just leave that on? Yeah. It’s a myth because it just hasn’t worked.

And we look at the high level evidence. Here in the United States the first version of the US dietary guidelines, which ultimately morphed into the food pyramid were released in 1980, so 40 years ago. And during that time, our health has only worsened. And When we look at what the food Pyramid promotes it’s overly processed food.

It’s things like cereals and grains that are overly processed. And it just is not a healthy diet for humans to be consuming. We have millions of. Of history to tell us what human beings should be eating. What we were eating prior to very recent in our history and these chronic medical conditions didn’t exist then.

That’s why the food pyramid is a [00:13:00] myth. Unfortunately, you said everyone knows it’s bunk but the reality is that, it is still the guide. . And many people, including the healthcare system still use it as, their guidelines here in the us. Again, schools, hospitals any, facilities of all sorts that you know, that deal with the government and give nutritional advice.

They’re going to be giving. , the US dietary guidelines, the food pyramid. So that’s why it’s important for people to recognize that it is a myth that it is bunk and that we need to, not be paying attention to it. Yeah. Yeah. I think the age enlightenment, there’s so many great people like yourself and so many, the wisdom out there, it’s there.

But a lady I spoke to a couple weeks ago who was a professor of brain and science said that 20% of people know this, what you know, but 80% don’t. And she’s quite right. I, me and yourself are in the 20. But yeah, there could be a lot of [00:14:00] 80% of people out there that just don’t know the real facts.

Moving on I’ll go through some of the other myths as well. So myth four, the people who produce their food want us to be healthy. Myth five, low carb diets are bad for your health. Myth six, high cholesterol causes heart disease with seven medications are the best treatments for medical issues. And Myth eight diets work if you follow them as well.

The diet one, one thing you said earlier, which was fantastic in the book is that if all diets worked, then the diet industry would be outta business because everyone would be fit, healthy and moving on with life. Talk about diets and people think why they work if they follow ’em, which is a myth.

Yeah. I certainly experienced this many times in my life, and I think the experience that I have is the same that many have you go on a. And it can be whatever it is, a commercial diet plan that someone is selling. And oftentimes you will have some short term success.

You will lose a little, lose some weight initially but then you [00:15:00] invariably gain back that weight and more. Typically, and again, we have the science to show this and you just look at the business models of these diet companies. And it is exactly that because like you said if it actually worked everyone would be thin and everyone would follow it.

Everyone would be healthy and these companies wouldn’t exist. But obviously they do exist. They continue to grow. They’re large industries. And like any other industry, their goal is to get customers and get repeat customers. So they build the failure into their models. And that, again, that goes back to earlier, the mindset issue that I was talking about, that you don’t want to have these short-term focus because that’s what these diet plans are.

They are short-term focus and they are not going to lead you. The long term good metabolic health that we need to be seeking. Yeah, absolutely I’ve dropped the diets myself and just focusing [00:16:00] on the habits, the routines, the disciplines, enjoying food shopping, enjoying cooking, just. More salad, more fruit and veggies, whatever it is.

Just more just normal instead of trying to do things. Rush. Another one, which I’ve been guilty on as well. So myth 10, you talk about the best way to burn calories is exercise for, I think a decade. I tried to out-train a bad diet, so my diet was terrible, so I’d be in the gym, sweating, cardio, getting it.

Nothing. You feel good though. You do a cardio session, you sweat, you feel good, you feel like accomplished something, but it’s not the best way to, to burn calories as well. Why is that a, why is that a myth? Yeah. So again, we’ve all had similar experiences to what you describe and the problem with with cardio exercise.

As a way to lose weight is that it just doesn’t work. A couple of things kind of sabotage those efforts. We’ve all had the experience where you go to the gym, you do your hour or two on the treadmill, and then your [00:17:00] next stop is the snack bar at the gym or on your way home.

You are, you get hungry and you eat. Because that’s how your body compensates for that. The other problem with the cardio is that the other 23 hours of the day, you haven’t really changed anything. And if you’re sitting around and you’re inactive ultimately that’s not going to lead to good sustainable weight loss.

Now I want to be clear, it doesn’t mean that cardio doesn’t have its own benefits. It’s just that weight loss is not one of those benefits. So like you said, you can’t out exercise the bad diet and if all you’re doing to try and lose weight and get healthy is cardio you’re not going to have the long-term success.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Said. Moving on from the miss cuz there’s a few of them there. In chapter three, you talk about the system’s broken and what to do about it. Obviously you’ve worked in the system, you’re well aware of the system. How does the medical system [00:18:00] actually work from an insider’s perspective?

How does it actually work? Yeah, so the reality that people need to understand and this applies in the US and really world. Is that the medical system? The healthcare system is really a sick care system. It is designed to take care of you when you get sick. And we do a, a good job of that in many cases.

In other cases we don’t do such a good job of it but. Regardless, the healthcare system is not focused on keeping you from getting sick in the first place. It’s just not designed to do that. It’s not the way that doctors are educated and it’s not the way that the system is set up. Here in the US in particular, but again, I think this applies many places.

We’re seeing it in the uk for instance, right now with the nhs, the system is overwhelmed by taking care of sick people. It simply doesn’t have time. To deal with trying to keep people from getting sick in the first [00:19:00] place. And I think that’s a big mistake that we make. And it’s a big disservice to the people that we are trying to take care of.

Because if we kept people from getting sick in the first place, then we would have a lot better capacity. We would have the resource. To then take care of the people that, still get sick, but we’d have a lot less sick people. And therefore our resources could be better utilized. But again, the system has just evolved to taking care of sick people and trying to do more and more to take care of the sick people.

And we’ve lost the focus on keeping people. From getting sick in the first place. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got a funny analogy, which I was thinking about. So imagine like everyone’s driving around and everyone starts getting flat tires and their tires start popping and they go to the tire shop and they’re just full with cars and they can’t see cuz they’re so busy and they just keep repairing the tires and no one stops to think how [00:20:00] are they actually getting the flat.

Because the roads are terrible in that area. So instead of replacing tires, just go fix the roads. And it’s very similar to our society. As you said, you are in the business now from treating diseases to preventing diseases. So the game, the name of the game is just how do we get people off the operating table or away from hospital and that’s making them healthy so they don’t become sick.

So I think we have to, had to go through this. As a culture, as a society, as a people to understand that, prevention is the best way. the best way forward in, in everything as well. Yeah. Th that’s when did you make that full-time switch? Or are you still doing part-time or what’s the balance like for you from treating to preventing diseases in your sort of work-life balance?

Yeah, so I do still serve both roles. I am still a active heart surgeon and I take people I take care of people when they get to that. And I feel blessed to be able to [00:21:00] offer that to people when they need it. But like I said, I would much rather they didn’t need it.

And I have a a whole other aspect to my career. I have a medical practice here in the us online medical practice that’s focused on keeping people from getting sick in the first place. And obviously I wrote the book with that mission in mind. And I do a lot of other work around spreading that mission.

Ultimately, I’m a horrible business person. I’m trying to put myself out of business. I’d be very happy if there was no one left for me to operate on. The reality is that heart disease is the number one killer. There are still plenty of people that need my services as a heart surgeon.

So I continue to do both. . Yeah. And thank you for doing that because it is hard sometimes to be a businessman and a teacher at the same time, and you’re balancing that quite well as well. But it’s always good if someone goes in to see a heart surgeon that, Hey, I’m also an author about how to prevent disease, and by the way, this is what you can do [00:22:00] as well.

So it’s a, it’s probably a better conversation than just being a surgeon. Be like, okay, you’ve got one choice, but they’ve got multiple choices. As well. Diving into chapter four, so this is the bookmark that we did before. We’ll take the bookmark out of the book, how to measure, assess, and improve your metabolic health.

So the five markers, this is interesting. I’ll give you the first one. So waist circumference over 35 inches for women and over 40 inches for men as well. You talk about 88% of Americans are currently following at one of these tests as well. So is that just simply someone gets the checks, the belt or their pants, or how does someone.

Yeah it, it is different than your pants size but very easy to measure at home. All you need is a tape measure and you want to measure just above the level of your belly button best to measure it first thing in the morning. , and as you said, the goal is for your waist circumference to be less than 35 inches if you’re a woman, and less than 40 inches if you’re a man.

Okay? Yeah. [00:23:00] So that’s goal one. So if you’re listening out there and you’re over 35 inches for a female, get it under if you’re a male. Get it under goal one. Goal number two, the fasting blood glucose. Is that a hundred under or greater? Taking glucose? What? What’s that one there? Yeah, so you want your fasting blood glucose to be under a hundred milligrams per deciliter, which is the US unit.

That’s about five millimole for the international units, and that needs to be without the use of medication to lower your blood glucose. So if you’ve been diagnosed with type two diabetes and you’ve been started on medication to lower your blood sugar that is an indicator that you are not metabolically healthy.

Got it. Got it. How does someone test for that? Most commonly you’re going to ha go to your doctor and get blood work done, lab work done. You can get a home tester. Anyone who knows someone who’s diabetic will be familiar with the finger prick test that you can do at home.

You can get a. To test at home? Either, either [00:24:00] way works. Yeah. With blood pressure. Now I’m not in the medical industry. I’m just a. A book lover. Every time someone goes to the hospital they put the blood, they put the blood pressure on. Why is blood pressure like high blood pressure, so dangerous or low blood pressure as well.

But why is that important to have the correct balance with blood pressure? Yeah, so blood pressure again, is an indicator of metabolic health and that’s why it’s such an important measurement that we do. It’s oftentimes one of the first indications in people. are becoming metabolically unhealthy.

Specific recommendations, specific guidelines is you want your blood pressure to be less than one 30 over 85. So both of those numbers need to be under and again, that needs to be without the use of medication. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and you’ve been started on medication to lower your blood pressure.

It’s another indicator that you are not metabolically healthy. Got it. Got it. So with the [00:25:00] five markers, number one with the weight circumference, people know that diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, you can change that fasting on blood glucose. Apart from medication, how does someone improve their blood glucose levels?

Is there anything they can do without the intervention of me? Yeah, changing. Changing the food that you eat will have a very powerful impact on your fasting blood glucose. Changing the food that you eat will have a positive impact on all of these measures that we’re going to go through. And as I mentioned earlier, the primary determinant of our metabolic health is the food that we are eating.

And of course, we’re gonna get into that more as we get, continue to go through the. Yeah, we’ll go through it. Yeah. And blood blood pressure. How does someone improve blood? Is that with food as well? Or just exercise or e exactly. Yeah, food. Food, exercise can help with that. Other lifestyle issues like stress, sleep, we’re gonna talk about.

Things like sauna, for instance, have been shown to improve blood pressure. So there are lots of ways [00:26:00] to improve blood pressure without the need for medications. And unfortunately, again, our medical system has become overly focused on the medications. The medications may be necessary while you make these other changes but it shouldn’t be medication alone.

If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood, Yep. Yep. And then just the last two is the HDL cholesterol and then the trico arides as well. So their test you can get done at your doctor as well. Got it. So the, they’re the five markers. How to measure in part two. You talk about principles of metabolic health and the seven principles of metabolic health.

So principle number one, you talk about reframe health as a system, not a goal, which we’ve talked about as well. So I think that’s really important because goals are very short term. Systems are, they’re just systems. We have a system to run the family. We have a system to run our our family economy as well.

We’ve got relationship systems as well. We, we systems is a part our life as well. The goal. Is to have a lifestyle. So the end of a goal is to [00:27:00] maintain a particular sort of lifestyle as well. We don’t have to jump into that too much, but principle two. So talk about food. So you talk about eat real whole food.

Do you wanna talk about and expand on that? What is real whole food? Yeah. The simple concept around real whole food is you should be able to look at what you were eating and. Exactly what it is. It shouldn’t have a lot of ingredients. The ingredients that are in it should be simple things that occur in nature.

So I tell people, eat the things that grow in the ground and eat the things that eat, the things that grow in the ground. So plants and animals, basically another simple. Yeah. Another simple concept that I tell people is if your great-grandparents wouldn’t recognize it as food you shouldn’t be eating it.

So all of these things that come in the packages and they have these long list of ingredients and they’ve been chemically created. Those are the things that we need to eliminate. Those [00:28:00] are the things that are not supporting your metabolic health. And again, when we’re thinking about our health as a system and we’re thinking about the habits that are going to support, Good metabolic health, eating real whole food is first and foremost.

Yeah, absolutely. It’s a bit of a war that’s been going on for a long time with the food industry versus farmers and it’s just like the food industry has a system, has a business they’ve got together where, independent farmers, Sort of getting pushed out. The little guy versus the big guy. But I think a lot of people are, there’s the 80 20 rule, 20% of people still go to farmer’s markets, go to the markets, get fresh, real whole food, and then 80% just go to the local shopping center, the old, the mall, the grocery store, whatever’s close on the corner just to get whatever they need to get as well.

Cuz who’s got time to eat real whole food at the end of the day. Principle three, you talk about make one sustainable change at a time, and I really like this one first. So if someone’s starting out, what would be some of the one or two, three top [00:29:00] sustainable changes they can start making?

If they’re metabolically unhealthy, what would be the first change you would get them to make? Yeah, so I would start looking at the food that you’re eating and see where, those changes, can be made. So something as simple as if it comes in a package. I’m not going to eat it anymore.

Or putting limits on how often you’re eating which is another problem when it comes to metabolic health. Eating, too frequently as we tend to do these days. Simple changes like this can have very powerful impacts. When we look at some of the. Principles, like getting more activity which is coming up on the list.

Another simple ha, another simple change. Just start taking a 10 minute walk after you eat. And these, again, this will have a powerful impact on your metabolic health. So it doesn’t need to be complicated. And the reason that we, I talk about making one change at a time is.

[00:30:00] So that you can really. Figure out the effects of that change. If we change a whole bunch of things at once we oftentimes cloud the picture and we don’t know what really worked and was what was really benefiting us versus things that didn’t work and didn’t benefit us. And we end up just getting confused.

So that’s why I try and keep it, one thing at a time and making it simple and therefore it will become sustain. Yeah, absolutely. You want to get the feedback as well. So as a heart surgeon yourself, I’m sure you’ve got patients and you talk about this all the time to em and say, Hey. Go for a walk 10 minutes after you have a meal, and then a week or two later you might say, how do you feel after?

I’m like, oh, I feel pretty good. Okay, now get, have, we want to increase your sleep? So you getting enough sleep? How does that feel? Oh, that feels really good. Okay. Now we want you to do is, exercise more and start moving. How does that feel? That feels good. So I understand and it makes complete sense as well.

The other, the last two, principle six is relief stress as well, is that, [00:31:00] It’s a very interesting topic because my wife’s very stressed and I’m very stressless. And is it personality or can someone who’s always stressed learn principles to become less stressed as well? So I don’t know about this one.

Is it personality or is it environment or can someone change it? Yeah. One of the things to understand about this principle is, I’m not saying that you need to. The stress in your life. We all have stress in our lives. What I’m encouraging people to do is figuring out a way to offload that stress.

So it’s not constantly building in you. And this can take many different forms. For some people it’s a thing, it can be something like meditation or journaling for other people, family, having a strong community around you. These are the things that can help you deal with the stress in our lives.

Like I said, we can’t all just go live on the remote, tropical island and lead a stress-free life. But we can figure out better ways to deal [00:32:00] with the stress in our life and stress. contributes to poor metabolic health in many different ways. So we know it’s a very important factor in this.

Yeah. And also the other ones is sometimes people just have to take a break, cancel some things in their calendar, make some time for themselves and really just disconnect to reconnect with their body and then to get back out there as well. So sometimes we’re so busy in our lives that we forget to, check in with the body and see how it’s going.

Last one. Principle seven. I really like this one. Get a doctor who gets. What do we do? Do we shop doctors? Do we, how do we fire our doctor? A family doctor? How do we find a a doctor who gets it? Yeah. So unfortunately sometimes we do need to, fire our doctor and we need to shop our doctors.

I want people to be more intentional about this whole process. Think about your health. Again, think about the systems around your health and the support that you need [00:33:00] for those systems. And if you’re not getting the support from your doctor find other resources. Find, whether it’s another doctor or, just getting better resources online.

We have access to the, amazing resources these days from across the. So go seek out better information sources go seek out better professionals that are going to support you in your goals. And it does take some effort, a lot of us, we just end up with the doctor because, They’re right near us, or our insurance company told us to go see this doctor.

Whatever it is, we didn’t intentionally select that doctor like we do for so many other things in our lives. When you think about the financial professionals that you choose to work with, or you think about your auto mechanic that’s gonna work on your vehicle, we put more effort into that decision than we will around picking a doctor who is going to you.

Impact your [00:34:00] health and your. . Funny you say that, right? If you go to your phone and you look at your contacts, you’ve got your mechanic here, you’ve probably got the dentist there as well. Couple takeaway shops, friends, family. If you look at a business, number one thing of a business is having the right management team run the business.

We don’t treat our body like a business. We need to treat our body like a business and put together the right management team around that business, which. Without the body, there’s no use. So you are the system. So treating your body like a business, treating your health as a business, and getting the right people around you on the right team it’s not a solo game with health, especially in this day and age as well, we have access to great people like yourself.

People that write books, podcast shows. YouTube channels, Facebook groups, you’ve really got no excuse to get that right team around you as well. And it can be for free so you don’t have to spend big money. You can do it online as well. So yeah, real, really cool. So thank you for sharing that. Fire Your doctor or shop it as well.

We’ll skip chapter six and jump into chapter seven, which is how to eat metabolically healthy on five popular diets. So the five [00:35:00] diets you go through. Number one, you talk about the carnivore diet. , is that just a meat diet? So what’s the carnivore diet for people that don’t know the carnivore diet?

Yeah, so the carnivore diet is going to be a meat-based diet. So again, the big concept is eat real whole food. And that can be plants, that can be animals. And there’s many different ways to balance that. And one of the ways that many people have had success with is the carnivore diet.

For some people it is truly an exclusive carnivore diet. They are only eating animal products, so meat, dairy, eggs other people, it’s mostly carnivore, and they might have a little bit of plants with it. And that can be a very successful strategy for improving your metabolic health, for losing weight for heart health or overall health.

And, in the book for each of these diets that we’re gonna mention, I go through what some of the pros are and what some of the drawbacks might be to some of [00:36:00] these diets. But carnivore diet, a lot of people have had very good success with it. Yeah, look, the, what I take from that, and you talk about the keto, paleo, Atkins, low carb diets, Mediterranean diets, gluten-free diets, it’s most of those foods is if you are eating good food, what you are not doing is eating bad food and you’re giving your body a break to actually repair itself instead of constantly being harmed.

So it’s. That switch. If you are sleeping, you’re not spending money. If you’re at the shops, you’re spending money. If you’re at home, you’re not spending money. Same thing with money as well. So you better go to work to earn money instead of, sitting around and spending money. It’s the same with health.

If you start putting more good food on your plate, you will stop eating bad food. So it’s just that switch. I think they’re all pretty much the same in terms of. What they do metabolically. But do you wanna expand on keto, paleo, Atkins, low carb? I’m a bit of a low carb [00:37:00] fan. I like a bit of low carb, less bloating, less, fluctuance and you feel a bit better.

What’s your experience with low carb diets and how can that improve metabolic health? Yeah, so again, I think low carb diets are a very powerful tool for improving metabolic health. When we look at people who are struggling to control their blood glucose. Like we said, one of the markers of metabolic health, people with diabetes or, maybe they’ve been told they have free diabetes.

The most powerful way to deal with that is to stop eating carbohydrates. And again, we we have increasing. Experience increasing scientific literature around these diets. We know that they are very powerful tools for improving your metabolic health and all of the things that come with it.

Big fan of low carbohydrate diets and the caution that I give people around them when you look at something like the keto diet, which has become very popularized. , a lot of the food that’s labeled [00:38:00] as keto friendly is processed food. It’s that junk food that we’re trying to avoid and they’ve reformulated it to fit within, the keto framework of being high fat and low carb.

But it’s still not any better for you. And so again, first principles is eat real whole food. And then within eating real whole. You want to do it low carb, keto, carnivore there are lots of different options for how to be successful with that. Yeah, absolutely. And then the last two the Mediterranean Diet inspired by people eating near the Mediterranean Sea, formulated the 1960s Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire.

I think people just know that, as whole grains, fruits, veggies, seafood, grains and nuts. All good foods real. , not not hard to explain as well. All these can be combined as well with exercise, sleep, a great lifestyle change. And you’re gonna get the benefits of that because you are eating real foods too, the one I want you to discuss [00:39:00] is glutenin free.

There’s so many people that say they’re, oh, they’re gluten tolerant, but they’re actually not. What is gluten-free and where does that fit into metabolic health on a gluten-free? Yeah. I think gluten-free again, is a It has been a little bit hijacked by the food industry.

And as people started paying more attention to this the food industry oftentimes took processed foods like breads, like cereals, like pastas, and said, okay we’ll take the gluten out of them. But they’re still, heavily processed food. So I want people to be cautious about that.

Eliminating gluten can be beneficial to some people oftentimes because it ends up being a low carb diet. If you’re not using the substitute products, the processed substitute products and you eliminate the f the foods, that are our primary source of gluten. Bread, cereals and pastas you’re gonna end up on a lower carb diet.

So I think that’s where a lot of the benefits of that come from. Yes, [00:40:00] there are people who, truly need to avoid gluten but for most of us, like I said, the gluten-free diet is an inadvertent way of doing a low carb diet. Yeah. Look, there’s so much to un unpack you as well.

We don’t want to give all the answers away to the audience. Where can people find you, find your book? Where do you spend more time on social as well? And plug the website as well. If you can. Definitely. So the book Stay Off My Operating Table widely available on all the major, channels.

The website, ifi You can connect with all my other resources there. I have courses and then I have the various ways that I work with people in our coaching programs and in my medical practice. Social media. Most places I’m at IIX Hearts. I’m most active on Twitter but you can find me on the other platforms as well.

Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. Thank you for being a guest on the Best Book Bits podcast, and I love the website name I fix Perfect. And the listeners out there, if [00:41:00] if you’re feeling a bit touchy in the heart and you need someone to look at it, where do you practice? By the way, where’s the physical practice at?

I see people throughout the United States via telemedicine. I’m based out of Florida but I see people throughout the United States. Internationally I, we have the coaching programs that we can work with people as well. Come to iex and you can get all the information.

Perfect. Phillip, thank you for being a guest on the Best Book Bits podcast, and thank you for writing the book and sharing that as well and to my audience. Yeah, please stay off Phillip’s operating table and get your heart in check, get your metabolic health right and we’re all in this together.

And it’s a system, it’s a journey. It’s not a, it’s not a one fix shop. So yeah, check out the book, buy the book, check out his website as well. Philip, I’ll let you get on with the rest of the day, and thank you again for being a guest on. Okay. Thank you Michael. No worries.


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