James Colquhoun: Why Food Matters – #88
By: Dave Asprey
January 10, 2014
“You are what you eat.” It’s been talked about for years, and according to filmmaker and nutrition expert James Colquhoun, this sentiment couldn’t be more true. Colquhoun is on Bulletproof Radio to talk about his documentary film, Food Matters, and the science behind it. On the show James discusses his personal journey with food and what inspires him to help others get serious about their health. On the show you’ll hear an inspiring discussion about how James successfully rid his own father of chronic illness, the problem with “big pharma,” and how real men catch their own babies! This is just the beginning though, there is a ton of useful information to be had on this episode. Enjoy!
James Colquhoun is a nutritional consultant turned filmmaker. Motivated by a chronic illness in his family. Along with Laurentine ten Bosch, Colquhoun created and filmed Food Matters offering it as a tool for individuals to take charge of their own health. The FoodMatters.tv website is a leading resource in the natural health world with over 3.7 million visitors since 2008. Their latest documentary, Hungry For Change (2012), reveals how the diet and processed food industries are the enemies of permanent weight loss, vibrant health, and natural living.
Enter your email address in the box on the right to receive a free copy of the Bulletproof Diet, the Bulletproof Shopping Guide, and much more!
What You’ll Hear
- 0:00 – Cool Fact of the Day!
- 2:16 – Welcome James Colquhoun
- 4:00 – Real men catch their own babies
- 7:00 – “Food Matters”
- 9:35 – The science behind “Food Matters”
- 15:00 – The million dollar question
- 21:00 – Exposing “big pharma”
- 26:00 – The Andrew Saul effect
- 30:00 – A right to chose your own healthcare
- 35:00 – Juicy stats about the diet industry
- 37:00 – Different ways to detox
- 39:00 – How to detox in the city
- 42:00 – Coffee enemas?
- 45:14 – Top 3 things people should do to kick more ass!
Dave: Today’s Cool Fact of the Day is sweet. It’s about honey. Unprocessed honey actually won’t spoil. You could even eat honey that’s thousands of years old if you find it preserved somewhere and it wouldn’t cause problems for you. Honey is mostly supersaturated sugar, that’s all it is, is so much sugar that it’s hygroscopic, which means it attracts water.
When bacteria and other microorganisms come into contact with a hygroscopic solution, they get desiccated. In other words, water is drawn out from them into the solution, so the honey’s dehydrating the things that try to eat the honey. The supersaturation of sugar that’s in the honey is what works to inhibit the growth of yeast and other fungal spores.
It’s also interesting that honey’s pH is roughly between 3.25 and 4.5, which makes it not an attractive growth medium at all for bacteria. That means that you have supersaturation to suck moisture out and you have a pH or an acidity level that weakens bacteria. It turns out that bees are processing honey using an enzyme called glucose oxidase, which modifies sugar into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide, another known antimicrobial agent. That’s pretty cool.
What that means is that honey can be used to treat open wounds, at least raw, natural honey can be. During the Civil War, it was used very frequently. The two main treatments were apple cider vinegar and raw honey to treat a wound. Even straight white sugar was something that was recorded to save people from deep infections in their deep wounds.
That said, I don’t recommend you use a lot of honey, but using a little bit of raw honey before bed can have a really positive effect on sleep. This is a trick I’ve been using with my Executive Coaching clients for quite a while. Check out honey because it doesn’t spoil and it does all sorts of other cool things, too.
Today we’ve got James Calhoun, who runs FoodMatters.tv and he’s the CEO of Food Matters. Really, really cool guy I met at a conference recently, and he’s been working on uncovering the truth behind real food nutrition and what it does to human lives, and even what it does to society. You may have seen one or both of his documentaries. One is called Food Matters, the other is called Hungry for Change.
He started doing this because his father got ill and it motivated him to figure out what was going on, what happened and to really take charge in a way that I would say is pretty much a lot like biohacking. It’s worked. He’s got 316,000 followers on Face Book, and puts my 20,000 and change to shame here.
James, welcome to the show.
James: Thank you, Dave. It’s a pleasure to be on the show with you.
Dave: We have a few things in common. We’ve both spent a lot of time in California. You’re in Santa Monica, and we’ve both written recipe books and you’re kind of a, I guess, are you a bit of a hippie? You do yoga, meditation, you take a lot of supplements and you eat organic food. Are you as big a wuss as me?
James: I’m very alternative comparative to the norm, that’s true.
Dave: Well, that means you’ve got something to teach all of us. There’s another thing we have in common. You have a young baby, right?
James: That’s correct.
Dave: Ten weeks?
James: Nine to ten weeks, thereabouts.
Dave: Nine to ten weeks. I don’t have a young baby nine to ten weeks old, mine are four and six now, but you caught your own baby.
James: Yeah, that’s correct, and it was an incredible experience to be there for the birth. We had the birth out here in Santa Monica and I caught the baby.
Dave: Wow, so we have that I common as well. I caught both my babies as well, and I’m here to say, real men catch their own babies.
James: I agree. There was a time when they didn’t allow men into the delivery room. I was watching a documentary with Ina May Gaskin, who’s one of the mothers of the natural birth movement, shall we say, and she was saying there was times when men would handcuff themselves to their laboring wives so that they could get admitted into the delivery room, to be there with their child. It’s crazy that we relegated birth into such a corner of the medical profession.
Dave: Wow. All right, so they would handcuff themselves into the delivery room, so I guess they had to be there.
James: To their wives.
James: So that they would get admitted with their wives. What I felt from experiencing my own birth was that we, I had never seen a birth in my entire life until I was there for the birth of my child, and it was something that really shocked me because I feel that in a [tribal 00:05:22] environment or a natural environment, we would have witnessed them experiencing multiple births and laboring women and we know what that’s like. We just don’t know what it’s like anymore. It’s a fascinating experience for me.
Dave: It is an amazing, fascinating, kind of moving experience. If you, and you’re listening and you get a chance to attend the birth of someone close to you or better yet, to be there when your own children are born, obviously this applies to guys because most women are there when their own children are born.
James: Most. Some are out of it on drugs. God forbid, if you need medical intervention, that’s great, but, some by choice and that’s also a choice.
Dave: Yeah, there’s also some alternative arrangements. I have some friends who used a surrogate parent because they couldn’t have kids, so I don’t know if they were there for the birth of their child, but it didn’t come out of the genetic mother. It is a conflict world out there, but if you have a chance to be there and to see a baby born, in real life, not just on video or something, it’s kind of a transformative experience.
That wasn’t really going to be the topic of our show, but as we were just getting wired up here to talk, you mentioned that, and flat out, it is something that as a biohacker, you want to understand where life comes from and you want to see what effect the environment starts having in people, it starts right there in the womb. One of the biggest events in your life is your birthday. It’s pretty amazing to see a first birthday.
James: Indeed. Indeed it is.
Dave: Let’s talk about food, though, because that’s really our topic today. Sorry, I got us off track at the beginning. Where does your passion for food come from? Food Matters is a pretty big thing.
James: Food Matters was born because we were looking for a way to heal my father, and like you mentioned at the start of the call, it was something where he had entrusted his health to the [medical profession 00:07:28] and they had advised him on six different medications and altering that cocktail in the hope that one day they would find this magic arrangement of pharmaceutical medications to heal his condition. He was suffering from severe chronic fatigue syndrome, the severity of which had him bedridden for five years. Also anxiety and depression.
At that time, Laurentine and I were, my partner, we were studying nutrition and we could see this truth emerging, and the truth was that food is better medicine than drugs in many instances. As we dug deeper into that knowledge and as we interviewed some of the leading experts in that space, which eventually led to the Food Matters film, it convinced us of this new power of nutrition.
In particular, this core concept that we talk about in Food Matters, which Charlotte Gerson, the daughter of Max Gerson, who runs the Gerson Institute, talks about this deficiency and toxicity, and I think that it sums it up so well and so perfectly, that when we are living in this modern food landscape that we’ve essentially developed and crafted since the end of World War II, we have an environment where our food is deficient in nutrients and it’s loaded with toxicity. When that translates into our body, it manifests in all sorts of chronic illness and that’s the root cause of the problem we have these days.
Dave: It’s been said by a few people that, there I used the passive voice, I hate doing that. It’s been said that the whole idea of toxicity like this is unscientific. In particular, Food Matters has been criticized for being unscientific. What’s your take on that?
James: Let’s look at the science, then, in a different way. Let’s tell a little story to ourselves and to everybody who’s listening. Prior to World War II, everything was organic. There was no toxic fertilizers, fungicides, pesticides. There was no food additives as such. There was natural ways that we preserved and fermented foods to store them, but there was no food additives, there was no E numbers. Since that time, around 1945, 1950, we started releasing wholesale into the environment these toxins. In agriculture, we put them into the food and we went on sort of this rampage, which is still continuing, and what we’ve noticed in that period of time, in these last few generations, is that our rates of cancer have gone from one in a hundred to one in three, one in two and a half. Heart disease has skyrocketed. Diabetes has skyrocketed. Obesity has skyrocketed.
What our modern technology throws at this, from all the money we spend on cancer research, all the money we spend on new Diabetes drugs, all the money we spend on conquering and beating obesity with fat-free products and sugar-free alternatives and Aspartames and food additives, nothing’s fixing it. My general hypothesis that I’m drawing with this story is that we need to look at what’s changed in that time. The biggest things that have changed is the toxicity that we’ve added to our environment, the toxicity that we’ve added to the food chain, the extra stress that we’ve put ourselves under and the food, or the lack of food, that we’re eating. We’re really not eating food anymore.
Our bodies are simply reacting in a natural way to an unnatural environment, and that’s manifesting as disease. That’s a story, and there is plenty of science to back it up, but it gets suppressed by the medical profession because it doesn’t fit their interests. People can find it. It exists and we brought some of it up in Food Matters and I hope that we can continue to expose more good research that proves this story correct.
Dave: Do you know how many different studies you looked at when you were putting together Food Matters?
James: With Food Matters I leveraged off the experts that I was interviewing. They referred to articles in the JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, they referenced articles in the Lancet, which is the British version. They referenced articles in the Nutrition Journal here in the US. It’s shocking that so much of this information exists and is available to the public, yet nobody’s talking about it.
Once of the facts from Food Matters which shocked me to no end was that 106,000 people die every years as a result of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical medications. This is not including overdoses or the wrong drug given to the wrong person. This is just people routinely taking the right drug, as prescribed, to the right person, and we’re losing 106,000 people a year. Then when you add on, and this is other research that’s available, peer-reviewed in the biggest journals, that people are dying to the rate of 80,000 a year from adverse reactions or over-intervention in hospitals, and then you add these all up and modern medicine is coming in as one of the third largest killers in the US.
Something which is meant to be saving us is actually causing us a lot of harm. As Hippocrates said, which is the oath that every medical doctor in this country and many others swears by when going into practice is, “First, do no harm.” It seems that they’re not really doing a good job of that.
Dave: That said, I spent a lot of time in my anti-aging work, working with a lot of physicians who don’t meet that mold at all. In fact, the vast majority of doctors I know don’t believe they’re doing harm. Where’s the break-down? Is this a systemic problem in medicine or is this bad training? Where’s it coming from? Because most doctors I know didn’t get into it for the money, if so, they would have become attorneys.
James: Yeah, that’s true. I think that where the problem lies is that we have an economic issue in medicine and another thing is that many of the doctors and people that you’re meeting with and that I meet with are a different type of doctor. If you were talking about the average person that somebody sees in a medical clinic or as their consulting family physician, if we look at the economics behind their training and their certification, they are, on every level, indoctrinated. If we just look at post-graduate educations, that once you qualify as a doctor you need to keep up a certain amount of credits on an annual basis to remain qualified, 65% of post-doctorate education is funded by the pharmaceutical industry.
That alone, combined with the aggressive drug rep campaigns that the pharmaceutical industry runs, it has become a model to effectively by law push drugs and sell medications to people. The more the doctors sell, the more they’re rewarded with conferences or trips to Hawaii or golf retreats. As you really follow the economics in the health profession, the majority of it is very corrupt in a legal way. In a legal way. The ethics, I think, need to be questioned, but I don’t really care too much about that, in a funny way. I care about educating people about taking control of their own health, like you. If we can do that, then we eliminate that problem without having to tackle it top down, which is the stone wall right now.
Dave: The trick is, is changing demand. I don’t actually see a, quote, normal Western doctor on a regular basis anymore. Insurance isn’t that useful. If I break my arm, I get in a car accident or have some big thing happen, I’m very, very happy that Western medicine is there, because it works. They will keep me alive, they will put respirators in my lungs until I can breathe again and they’ll do things that are entirely not available to our caveman ancestors.
Dave: To go there for my daily or monthly wellness care? No way. It doesn’t work. They’re not even the source of that, and by asking them to do it, we’re actually encouraging the problem in the system. If you learn to take control of these things, largely by eating and by sleeping and exercising and avoiding toxins, if the demand changes, then suddenly there’s lots of doctors with practices and not that many people going. One of two things is going to happen. Either the doctors are going to focus more on wellness or, in countries that allow it, like the US, we’ll see massive regulation about what you’re allowed to do to force you to go back into the doctor’s office. Which way is it going to go in the US?
James: That’s a million-dollar question. I’m an optimistic person and I feel that people are waking up to this. I feel that people are waking up to the fact that nutrition can be such a powerful cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle, and you can sleep and detoxify your bodies. I’m optimistic that as people become more educated and as the lines of education have opened, we’ve got podcasts like yours, we’ve got websites, we’ve got documentary films, we’ve got books, we’ve got more access to this information than ever before. If we look at even the popularity of the films in the nutrition and health field, or the health and wellness field, like the two that we’ve done, Food Matters and Hungry for Change, but also Food, Inc. or Fat Sick and Nearly Dead or other documentaries in this genre. They’ve exploded in popularity on streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu and so forth.
We’re seeing more people want this information because they’ve sensed that the system is broken and they want to do something about it themselves. I think that as a generation, I wouldn’t say generation, as a group of people interested in health, we’re going to change the system. I totally agree with supply and demand. I’m voting with your shopping trolley. I love it.
Dave: About 20 years ago, in fact, almost exactly 20 years ago, in the US the government attempted to take control of nutritional supplements and even more control of food in 1994. What happened there was the largest ever kind of revolt from people, where they got more calls and more letters to Congress and the Senate than anything ever in history. This resulted in a bill called DSHEA, the Dietary Supplement and Health something act, probably enhancement act or enforcement act, whatever it was. What this did was it made vitamins legal in the US, over the objections of the pharmaceutical companies and what we can call Big Food and Big Pharma.
There have been a huge number of attacks on that over the last couple of years and they’re increasing in frequency. In your video here, Food Matters, food does matter, but access to food matters as well. You cover quite a lot in the video, but what’s your take on what’s going to happen over the next few years in terms of food quality? I’m genuinely concerned for people who live, particularly, in the US. By the way, I don’t live in the US, you know. I’m in Canada where the rules are similar but not as bad.
James: I think that the pharmaceutical industry are seeking heavily to regulate the supplement industry and they want supplements classed as drugs. What’s going to happen is that once they do that, then foods will be classed as drugs, which is something they don’t want. They don’t want people to see foods, they don’t want people to think that foods have medical efficacy, which is true. Foods affect the biochemistry of your body, which has an effect on health. What’s interesting about this is that as they seek to want to regulate the supplement industry and regulate natural foods like drugs, they are seeking to control something that they know has a lot of potential to help heal people and to help make people well.
It’s almost like, can you imagine the oil industry wanting to secretly buy out new technology for battery-powered or water-powered cars [inaudible 00:21:05] machines, they want to control that [inaudible 00:21:08] energy, but they first want to make as much money as they can off oil. I think it’s a similar scenario we’re seeing here.
They want to make as much money off the drugs as they can, but once we get this consciousness shift that’s big enough that people go hang on foods, supplements, natural medicine as much better for 99% of chronic illness, accident emergency care, absolutely go to a hospital, they best do that, they want to control that, they’re trying to get in first and we’re seeing it. Bayer has been buying up supplement companies in Europe. Other big pharmaceutical companies are buying up big natural supplement companies here, and there’s pros and cons to that.
My hope is that on one side, we have the biggest companies in the world, the biggest pharmaceutical companies, the biggest food industry companies like McDonald’s offering a green, organic smoothie. Can you imagine? Or a pharmaceutical company offering us a super high-level, raw, whole food, fermented vitamin supplement. It’s a maybe, but they have the power to be able to do it, so should we allow them to do it? Or should we do it ourselves? It’s something that ultimately supply and demand will dictate.
Dave: It will. One of the things that they taught us at Wharton, it was kind of a scary simulation, but flat out, it’s usually cheaper to spend a dollar telling people that your product is good than it is to spend the dollar making the product good. Even if you make the product good, no one knows that your product is good. They can’t tell. Then you still have to spend the dollar to educate them about why it’s good, which is one of the game theory reasons that we have low-quality food out there. Nobody can tell if it’s low or high-quality and if you spend to tell them it’s high-quality, then you’re less profitable and you have less money to put back in your business, so you grow more slowly and investors move their money away from you.
James: That is so profound, Dave. That is so profound on so many levels.
Dave: This is what’s happening. It’s not like people are evil. Even the CEO of Monsanto has children. He may have hatchlings, I’m not sure. Seriously, things like that, everyone has kids, everyone has to breathe the same air. If you run one of these big companies, you actually, at some level, must believe you’re not doing great evil when you are doing great evil.
Dave: Part of it is education but at the end of the day, part of it is these market forces in companies. When you look at, for instance, at Food Matters, I know you cover some of the economic realities, but you’re out there in the fields and all that stuff. I’m just curious, what’s your take on that and are you going to cover more of that in an upcoming film or documentary or is that a potential topic?
James: I would like to cover it in passing in a film, but I think that devoting a whole topic to that is something that other films have done. It’s a big thing to do. You are essentially destructing the economics of these organizations and these industries. I agree with you when you say that many of them don’t feel they’re doing anything wrong, because they’ve got a different filter and their filter is how can we add more value to shareholders and that’s what they’re responsible for.
They also feel, many of the pharmaceutical companies believe that they’re actually alleviating human suffering, which is partly what we believe we’re doing as well. There’s just many different ways to skin a cat and there’s many different outcomes of a skinned cat, I would imagine, as well.
James: I feel that it’s something that I would love to cover, but the next film that I really want to do is about humanity as a whole. I would love to look at preconception, conception, gestation, earth, and the first six years of life in a big sense, in a sense of how GMOs and pesticides and toxicity are affecting fertility, how nutrition health are affecting birth and are affecting the gestation of a child and development of a child, and how subconscious conditioning of the mind in that first six years of life sets up a whole different group of people that are going to inherit this earth.
We’ve essentially degradated or degenerated our species over the last few generations and we need to either turn that around and do something about it or continue that cycle to wherever that goes, whether it’s some strange, technologically toxic soup future that we somehow adapt to and survive in bubbles or move to another planet or whether we create a different reality. I’m excited to explore that and I think that that topic will fit into that discussion.
Dave: I’m really hoping we get a chance to collaborate further. One of the the reasons I wrote The Better Baby Book was that you have so much leverage in the womb and reducing exposure to toxins and eating the right foods kind of changes the brain of your baby and [inaudible 00:26:24] the genes for life. If you can get that in a documentary so that it’s visceral and people see and feel it, you would actually improve a lot of people’s lives, but you might not see that improvement for 20 years. Kids who aren’t even born yet could benefit from a film like that. I would be more than willing to support you in getting that, in getting the word out about that film.
James: I appreciate that.
Dave: In terms of Food Matters, who’s the coolest person you talked to in the film. What was the most interesting interview, anyway, you don’t have to say the person was cool.
James: To be honest, I’ll tell you. There were so many great characters in that film and I loved them all, but one stood out. His name was Andrew Saul and he’s got the glasses and the goatee. Most people recognized him as one of the core characters in the film. We nearly called the film the Andrew Saul Show, because he had just so many puns and so much great research to draw upon. It was such an exciting interview. It was in Rochester in upstate New York and we went to his house. He’s a real character.
He’s the editor of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and orthomolecular medicine is something that was originally a term coined by Linus Pauling, and Linus Pauling is a multiple Nobel Laureate who many people would know of, and the only person ever to win one for chemistry and one for peace. In his later years he started devoting a lot of his time and attention to research on nutritional therapy, in particular vitamin supplementation at really high doses and how it affects the body. I’m sure you’ve done a lot of this research yourself, Dave.
It’s incredible that vitamins at level one will have an affect on the body, but then a vitamin at level 1000 will have a completely different affect on the body, a therapeutic effect. That research has led to some incredible discoveries and one of the ones we talk about in Food Matters is how intravenous Vitamin C can be as effective, if not more effective, than chemotherapy in fighting cancer cells in the body. Yet it has none of the toxic side effects, it’s a water-soluble vitamin, our body knows how to deal with it. Why are we not exploring this? Answer, you cannot patent Vitamin C. How crazy.
Dave: As an example of non-toxicity, I did a hundred-gram Vitamin C intravenous drip two days in a row when I had a sinus infection once. Two hundred grams. The very largest pills you can buy are one gram. That’s 200 pills of Vitamin Cs in my veins over the course of two days. You know what it did? It made me feel better.
James: That’s great. You got over the infection because once you saturate the body with Vitamin C, a virus cannot live in that body. This is great information. That’s why I was so passionate to get it out there in Food Matters. Ian Brighthope, a medical doctor who we interviewed in Australia, he talked about how one of the patients he was consulting with, he advised up to 250 grams in one day, so that’s a quarter of a kilogram. You can even go up to that high. The worst thing he got was a little bit of nausea. The best thing he got was, he got rid of his chronic illness.
There’s a lot to be said for that, but then you cannot patent it. So much of the medical technology and the energy and all these billions of dollars that we raise for cancer research and cancer funding go into drugs that can be patented, that can be profitable for a pharmaceutical company. I don’t mean to say that’s a bad thing, but I sort of do, because it’s inhibiting the growth of real medicine. It’s inhibiting and holding back access to people, and the biggest thing that annoys me by far is choice. We as consumers should have a choice.
If you have cancer, for instance, using one example, you go to your consulting physician or oncologist, and they suggest one of three things, chemo, surgery or radiation. There’s never any discussion about intravenous vitamin therapy, Gerson therapy, cleansing, detoxification, juices. No way. The best they say is ,”Well, go clean up your diet or try to eat healthy.” How do you do that? They don’t give you any advice on that. Consult the food pyramid or the food circle, which is basically upside down and the wrong way. It’s telling us to eat grains and meat and dairy, and meat and dairy are not bad, but they are when they’re fed corn and soy.
This is hugely, there’s a really big issue we have here and I feel so annoyed and sad and upset for people that are getting diagnosed with these illnesses every day that are given options that are ineffective. They should be given effective options or at least have the choice. I don’t care if people choose conventional therapy as long as they’ve got the choice. If they’ve got the choice, they can choose conventional, natural or a bit of both, but there is no choice right now and that’s a sad state of affairs.
Dave: It is a sad state of affairs. Choice wasn’t enshrined. This kind of goes back, specifically in the US. There was only one founding father in the US who was a physician. All the rest of them were business people and attorneys. This guy said flat out if we do not put in the Bill of Rights or even in the Constitution the right to choose your own health care, then enormous, basically, I forget the exact word he used, but basically, there will be an abuse of power. The equivalent of a monopoly will form and people’s rights will be overridden. Of course, the other founding fathers said, “What are you talking about, you dumb doctor? Go get a saw and some vinegar, because that’s the only tools you have anyway.” Pretty much what he foresaw seems to have happened.
Right now we still have a good number of rights, but I do think it’s worth paying attention to what you can do personally to make sure that you keep getting those rights. Part of that’s just understanding what’s happening and where you can get the stuff that works. Chronic illnesses are on the rise, one in [three 00:32:44] couples are infertile. It’s hard to argue that there isn’t a change in human health for the worse, particularly in America and all across the developed West.
Dave: If you want to argue that point, then there probably isn’t much conversation to be had in this and you’re probably not listening to this podcast, because there’s a certain point where it’s just, we don’t have enough of a common filter of reality to actually see the same thing. I see a chair and you see something else. There’s no conversation to be had there.
Let’s talk for a minute about your other documentary, Hungry for Change. What’s the synopsis of that? Why should people check that one out?
James: Hungry for Change really centered itself on the diet industry. Why we did that was because when we helped my father get well, we got him off his medications. We put him onto high-dose nutrient therapy of an orthomolecular style, we cleansed his diet and within three months he had lost 50 pounds, was off all his medications and was back to this person that I hadn’t seen for maybe seven to ten years. He was radiating in health, he was no longer reliant on the medical profession and this is after five years on these medications. When we would go to family events, everyone would really swerve past the conversation about the medications and the illness and they would just say, “Wow, you look incredible. What have you done? How did you lose the weight? Why do you look so young? How is your skin so radiant?”
I could see this trend that people are eminently concerned about how they look. They have anxiety about weight, and that is healthy and unhealthy. It’s unhealthy to have an anxiety about a few pounds here and there, because we’re designed to carry a little bit, let a little bit go and move in flux depending on seasonality and things like this. It’s healthy to be anxious about being 50, a hundred pounds or so overweight or more. We have a huge issue with that, as we all know.
That started us thinking about, hang on, what’s happening here? We started to look at the diet industry and we came across three really interesting statistics, which shocked me to no end. The first one was the market data research report showing that there’s 60 billion dollars spent each year on diet and weight loss-related products in the US alone. That includes the whole gamut of diet sodas, sugar-free products, fat-free, but also detox programs and things like this, so it’s a wide range. That’s a hell of a lot of money.
Then UCLA showed that up to two-thirds of people who go on a diet fail and really gain more weight than when they started. There’s more, but those two alone, that is shocking. We have fad diets every summer, we’re throwing so much at this. We had this war on fat and made everything fat-free, we’ve had a war on sugar, we’ve made everything sugar-free and as a result we’ve completely laden our food supply with toxins that are making us fat, and it’s ridiculous.
Dave: So it’s fat-free, sugar-free, toxin-free food? Air. Definitely, let’s eat air.
James: Air. Let’s do air. It was really interesting to look at that and to think that when somebody’s looking to lose weight, they actually have a diet soda and then they don’t realize that the Aspartame in that diet soda, as per Yale University research, actually increases carbohydrate cravings. You have the diet soda and then you’re eating more bread, you’re eating more crackers, you’re eating more chips, which is making you fat. This is not working. What we’re doing is not working, and we wanted to really uncover that and help show people what steps you can take to, not only just the weight loss aspect, but really to improve and boost health in general. I think that that was something we wanted to focus on.
Dave: Given all the research you did for your dad, and for the film, what is the most effective detox and cleansing strategy? What would you do if you met someone full of toxins?
James: I think there’s a lot of different ways to detox the body [inaudible 00:37:04]. You’ve done a lot of them, you’re into biohacking, you know this better than all of us. For most people, though, the deeper I get into my research, and I feel this is the same for you, when we had some conversations in Connecticut as well, was that the deeper you and I and many other people in this field get into research, the deeper it actually just takes us back into the simpler ways that we’ve always lived in some aspect, from a nutrition perspective.
Dave: Like don’t eat crap.
James: Don’t eat crap. To put it down, and Daniel Vitalis did a great job of this in the Hungry for Change film. He said, in essence, detox is eat real foods, greens, be out in nature, be barefoot in the sunshine, and breathe fresh air. That’s really a lot of it. That’s a great start. Now, you can add all sorts of accouterments and supplementation regimes and enemas and infrared saunas and all these things [inaudible 00:38:08] , oil-pulling. You can add that in, but as a basis, eat natural, whole foods, be outside, breathe fresh air, be in nature, drink good quality spring water. Those elements alone, your body knows how to do it, it’s hyper-intelligent. That’s great.
Dave: Didn’t you just tell everyone to move out of cities? You just said flat out breathe air and see sunshine. In half the cities you go into, the air is polluted in the city and you’re indoors all the time anyway, where it’s recirculated office air, and you don’t see the sun because you’re under fluorescent lights unless you’re walking from your skyscraper to the next.
James: That’s the problem we have, Dave. That’s the problem, so the antithesis of our modern lifestyle is barefoot in the sun, fresh air. That resets our body and that’s what we need to do. We need to reset our bodies.
Dave: I might live that. You can see on YouTube my feet are actually bare right now and I do breath fresh air every day because I live on an island full of trees. That said, I’m on airplanes breathing crap air half the time because I’m flying around to talk about biohacking and how to upgrade yourself. There have to be techniques, though, that people can address when they live in a city and not move, because, let’s face it, you have a job, you have family, everything that you’re not going to move. How do you detox and live in the modern world at the same time?
James: I think then you need to step it up. The ways that I suggest people step up the detoxification process is, first and foremost, green vegetable juice. Green vegetable juices and green plant foods have an incredible power to transform the body and also to draw toxins out of the body. When we look at the addition of herbs such as parsley and cilantro, especially when added into fresh juices, they have an incredible power to draw toxins out of the body, especially the cilantro, drawing heavy metal out of us. There’s two natural herbs that are powerful for detoxification that are given to us from some natural beautiful intelligence, thank you, that we can put in a juicer or eat whole and help to aid that detoxification process.
You’re generally exposed to more heavy metals when you’re in a city environment, so that’s a good start. Green juice is a great add. Next one is infrared sauna. Infrared sauna is great at drawing toxins out of the body. Most people can find an infrared sauna at their local spa, their local area in town, I’m sure they can find it. Massage, body work also really good, because we are so not a culture that touches each other. I love when I see traditional cultures sitting down, reading a book around the fireplace, and they’re all massaging each other. It’s so great. There is so much history and lineage in acupressure and for using hand massage, cranial, sacral massage. There’s so much that that opens up, energy meridians in the body, and it opens up the body’s ability to heal.
Colonic hydrotherapy, colonic irrigation, enemas. This is where you put water in the hole where the sun doesn’t shine and let that help clean out your colon. Many people in the health world say death begins in the colon, and I agree. If you’ve got putrefying, corn-fed, soy-fed stuff in there, then that’s leaching toxins into your body. One of the core elements of a great cleansing and detoxification program for people, specifically with cancer patients, is the Gerson therapy and they recommend up to six enemas for people a day.
They’re also adding in coffee to the enemas, which you might be interested and love to know about.
Dave: Here’s a hint for anyone wanting to do a coffee enema, you have to cool the coffee first.
James: And no milk or sugar. Or even grass-fed butter and coconut oil for that [cross talk 00:42:12]
Dave: The reason for a coffee enema, if you’ve never heard of one on the show, is that it speeds up liver detoxification. It’s a well known herbalist technique, but it needs to be low-toxin coffee for sure, and it needs to not be hot or cold, like body temperature would be preferred.
James: I think those additions, also breath work and yoga. Breath is amazing. The breath alone stimulates the lymph like nothing else and doing deep diaphragm breathing is such a simple technique and none of us do it. We suck our belly in and we hold all that tension in there, and we need to breath deeply in our abdomen.
Then skin brushing. There’s so many great things you can add on, so you create a little checklist like that and you go, once a day I’m going to do them, either all of them or one of them. That’s a great fun thing to do. Stick it on your fridge and say, “Okay, today I’m going to have a green juice. Done.” If you’re doing a program for like three days, you want to tick of those ten things every day, “I’m going to get a massage, I’m going to go infrared sauna.” Take a day off work on Friday, if you can, use a leave day and have a three-day-long weekend and go for it three days. Barefoot, sun, green juices, enemas, massage, infrared sauna, stack it up. It helps. Just try to do that every six months and you’ll feel good.
Dave: Kind of like changing the oil in your car. Take it in for service every now and then.
Dave: We’re running up on the end of our interview, but first, I’ve got to ask. You’ve got 316,000 likes on Face Book. What do you do on Face Book that makes all those people want to come back?
James: We have lots of fun events, we’re doing a Food Matters IQ quiz, which is just coming to a close now. We’ve done little recipes, we’ve got tips for people, we’ve got articles exposing the horrors of the [industry 00:44:11], we’ve got lots of fun things. I think that people wanted to watch the film and also then continue the journey a little bit. We recommend new films, new documentaries that come out, any books that we love or any programs or anything that we’re enjoying. Yeah, share the love.
Dave: What is your Face Book URL?
James: It’s Facebook.com/foodmatters.
Dave: That’s an easy one to remember. Do you have another URL people should go to for either of your documentaries?
James: Sure. I think that our home page is the best for, you can access all of our documentaries and that’s FoodMatters.tv and also the other film is HungryforChange.tv.
Dave: All right, we will put those in the show notes for sure so that you can have, everyone who is listening can get access to those if they like. Before we go, there’s a question that I’ve asked every single person who’s been on the podcast. The question is, what are the top three recommendations you have for people, not just for food or anything else, but from your entire life, that will help them be higher performance? The three things people should do to kick more ass?
James: Ooh, that’s a great question. I think first, by far, and I’m not the best at this and luckily Laurentine keeps me in check with this, is drink more water. Hydration is so critical to make your body work. It regulates so many functions.
Dave: You’re not the only person to say that, surprisingly. That’s cool.
James: Oh, yeah?
Dave: Yeah. Okay.
James: Okay, and if you’ve ever read a book called “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water,” it’s a fascinating read about how important water is for the body on so many levels. Drink more water.
I think also for me personally, from a mind set perspective, and I don’t want this to sound spiritual but it might do, is that God resides within you as you. I think there is an ultimate potential within our body and if we hold the belief that we are powerful beings, that we have an incredible potential within our bodies to self-heal, to operate at peak performances, to be able to break through barriers that people didn’t think possible, that is so critical. The antithesis of that is if you think you’re old or frail or ailing. We see so many people in our culture say that on a daily basis and that becomes manifest in their lives. I think God resides within you as you. You are ultimate, you are the number one.
Water and your ultimate potential. Number three, this is a good one. It’s about me personally, it’s not the advice that are in the films and the documentaries. This is a deep question. How do I achieve ultimate performance in my life? What is my secret? What is our secrets, what other things? Green juice. Green juice for me.
Dave: So, two beverages and God. Got it.
Dave: Green juice. Since we have one more minute left, what kind of green juice?
James: I wake up and I, first of all, use a cold press juicer. I have a little bit of a gripe on the centrifugal juicers, but if people say, “What type of juicer should I use?”, first of all, use the one you’ve got. Use whatever you’ve got to start with, but I prefer a cold press juicer because it juices it in a cooler fashion so that you get more extracted nutrients, you get actually more extracted juice overall, 30 to 50% more juice with the cold press juicer.
What I love putting in a juicer is celery, which is powerful and incredible, cucumber, some sorts of greens, leafy greens, whatever you’ve got, [inaudible 00:48:13], Romaine. Then I put in some of the herbs, parsley, cilantro and I sweeten it with a little bit of lemon or a little bit of lime. Now that cuts the greens, just gives it this beautiful flavor [inaudible 00:48:29] and if you really can’t handle it, which you will. As you drink it your body and your blood will change and you’ll get into it, but to me that is such a powerful kick start. It’s literally a nutrient, a 15-minute nutrient [inaudible 00:48:44] to health, as one of the guys says in Hungry for Change.
Green juice can transform lives. It’s a little nature biohack. You’re basically taking some of the best foods in nature, those green plant foods, full of the chlorophyll, full of that concentrated sunlight energy and all the nutrients and then your extracting it so that even if you’ve got a beat-up digestive system, whether it’s you’ve got leaky gut syndrome or you’ve just been eating a lot of fried food or if you’re not eating enough fermented foods, your digestion’s shot, then a green juice is going to go straight into your bloodstream. The hydration with the green juice and the water and then believing that you are your own ultimate potential, that’s a [inaudible 00:49:23] three that I do on a [inaudible 00:49:27] if not daily.
Dave: Sounds like a powerful set of recommendations. James, thanks a ton for being on the show. We’ll make sure to get all your links up in the show notes on Bulletproofexec.com. Really appreciate the work you’re doing and I can’t wait to hear more about your new film. Anything I can do to help you get that message out there in particular, I’m willing to do.
James: Dave, thank you so much. You’re a force for good and I’ve learned a few interesting tricks from you as well. I’ve been using a lot more grass-fed butter in my day-to-day life, so thank you.
Dave: You’re very welcome. Your skin shows it, man. You look radiantly healthy.
James: Thanks, Dave.
Dave: Have an awesome, awesome day.
Dave: If you’re looking for a way to know which foods are making you weak, check out the free app that we just released called Bulletproof Food Sense. It works by using the phone camera in order to get a measurement of your heart rate, or you can just type in your heart rate if you know what it is from some other monitoring device.
You do this before a meal and you do it after a meal a couple of times. Based on changes in your heart rate, the application can help you to identify which foods are causing an immune response in your body. Based on that, you can choose to avoid those foods and you’ll find a huge boost in your performance just from not eating the foods that you have sensitivities to.
You’ll also find that you can lose weight much more easily when you’re not eating foods that cause you to feel foggy and inflamed all the time. This app is free. It’s called Bulletproof Food Sense and it’s available on the iPhone Store.
You can also take a step further. Check out Bulletproof HRV Sense. That stands for Heart Rate Variability Sense. Bulletproof HRV Sense goes a step beyond Food Sense and it works with a wireless heart rate monitor that goes around your chest. You wear the heart rate monitor and it’ll talk to your iPhone or your tablet and it’ll show you your stress levels throughout the day, and it’ll help you know whether you’re over-trained, over-stressed, or even just help you know which meetings are causing the most stress in your nervous system so you can learn to take control of that stress. This is an awesome app.
So number one, Bulletproof Food Sense is free and number two, Bulletproof HRV Sense, is a few dollars and it makes a huge difference in how you manage and control your stress.