Julien Smith: Becoming Awesome – #24
By: Dave Asprey
April 24, 2012
Julien Smith is a New York Times bestselling author, consultant, and speaker who has been involved in online communities for over 15 years – from early BBSes and flashmobs to the social web as we know it today.
Along with being the co-author of Trust Agents, one of the social web’s most recognized books, he is a contributor to GQ, Sirius Satellite Radio, Cosmopolitan, the CBC, and more.
Julien blogs on his website, inoveryourhead.net, and joins us today to talk about his new book, “Flinch”, and how you can, as he says, become “fucking awesome.”
Did you know you can get a free PDF download of every transcript of every episode of Bulletproof Executive Radio by entering your email address in the box on the right side of this page? You also get a free copy of the Bulletproof Diet, the Bulletproof Shopping Guide, and much more.
What We Cover
- What is “the flinch.”
- How will facing the flinch improve someone’s life?
- Is there anyone the “flinch” does not apply to?
- What were some of your biggest fears, or “flinches?”
- How did you overcome them?
- What are the most common things that hold people back from achieving their goals?
- When working with a client who’s trying to succeed in business, but he’s not – where do you start? What are the first things someone should do when trying to conquer the flinch?
- Why should people not wait to “start tomorrow?” Why is it important for people to take action immediately?
- What are three things people can do to push past mental blocks?
- What is the “edge”, and why should people embrace it?
- Why should someone quit the internet, at least for a little while?
- How do you recognize an idiot?
- How do you read a book every week for a whole year?
- What is the short and sweet guide to becoming fucking awesome?
- What tricks do you use on a daily basis to stay productive?
Links From The Show
The Flinch by Julien Smith
Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Food & Supplements
The Flinch by Julien Smith
Trust Agents by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Listener Q & A Summary
- How should you store coffee?
- Should you take calcium supplements to block iron absorption?
- Why are some spices on the right of the Bulletproof Diet?
- Are sugar alcohol’s safe?
Questions for the podcast?
Leave your questions and responses in comments section below.
You can also ask your questions via…
What is the best way to store coffee beans?
Also how can you store pre-ground beans without reducing the nutrient content of the beans.
I eat meat most days of the week, and my last blood test showed slightly elevated levels of Ferritin, and instead of dialing down on it, I decided to try and hack it by taking a calcium supplement with the meat meal: according to some sources, the calcium supplement would partially inhibit iron absorption.
Onion, Garlic, Pepper and cinnamon are way too far to the right on the bulletproof Diet.
Putting the sugar alcohols on the left is also incorrect. These substances act 2/3 the same as sugar and are poorly absorbed, travel to the lower intestine, increase abnormal gut flora and gas.
Don’t forget to leave a ranking in iTunes. It helps more people find our show.
Dave: Today’s cool fact of the day is that a recent survey in Canada found that 43% of men would rather have bacon than sex. Well, we all love bacon. The best bulletproof advice I have is to make sure you don’t go too crazy around bacon and let it hurt your marriage.
You are listening to episode 24 of Bulletproof Executive Radio with Dave and co-host from the Bulletproof Executive blog. We have a really good listener Q and A today where we discuss the dangers of moldy spices in raw meat, using Calcium to block excess Iron, the right way to store coffee and the effects of sugar alcohols. We close like we always do with our Biohacker report where you’re going to hear a brief summary of 3 new pieces of research that helps you reduce your risk of cardio metabolic disease with diet, avoid staying fat by not listening to your doctor and increase resilience to disease by being happy.
If you’re interested in getting lab test work done and correlating that to how you’re doing and to what supplements you should be taking, we recently arranged a discount with wellness FX. If you use discount code Bulletproof on the Wellness FX site, or you come to our site and follow a link, you can get a $100 off to their service which is paid monthly and offers you testing 2 times a year so see you can track whether you’re moving into the right direction or the wrong direction. Hint: If you’re eating in the green zone of the bulletproof diet, you should be moving to the right direction unless you’re already there.
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Co-host: What biohacks have you been working on this week?
Co-host: Recently on the podcast I was worried that I had a knee injury and we thought it was actually an infection. We had a gram stain taken a fluid from the knee, my knee was all swollen like a grapefruit, so they pulled fluid out, they took a gram stain, there’s staph epi in it but they took another sample afterwards because it didn’t look septic and they found that it was probably contamination from pulling it out of my knee to getting to the lab and it turns out I actually have lyme disease and so I’ve been taking doxycycline and it has gone down remarkably. So I now have a new appreciation for the importance of antibiotics even if they maybe over prescribed sometimes, in my case, they are extremely useful and I’m loving them.
Dave: There’s no doubt that having the right antibiotics at the right time can be transformative at best. I hope that your knee gets better real soon. I know we’ve been talking about it offline and I think you got a great progress in there.
Co-host: Thanks man. What have you been up to?
Dave: I’m still recovering from my ice burns. It turns out I have some very, very deep tissue damage and I have a tissue degranulation of the fat cells around my mid section. What that means basically is that I froze the underlying layers of my tissue enough that when I remove the ice I was doing the cold thermogenesis protocol and I was doing it too aggressively not following the actual protocol because it was inconvenient and I was in a hotel room but anyway, what I did is when the blood flow returned I introduced broken capillaries all over the place so I had very deep bruising and now as the tissue’s healing I have weird like knobbies under the skin as the tissue is really working to get healed. So to speed that up I’ve been taking really heavy doses of something called serrapeptase. Serrapeptase is the enzyme used by silk worms to dissolve silk and it’s a protein dissolving enzyme. It turns out that even after a plastic surgery, that serrapeptase helps to dissolve scar tissue and it really reduce tissue scarring. So I’m hoping that because I’m taking this stuff in high doses, and I’m using my whole body vibration plate when I can that my tissue will completely resolve and go back to normal, if not I may have a few like weird bumps under the skin that will still be noticeable in another month or two. The side effect of this biohacking is that I’ve been on my vibrating plate more than normal and I’m getting I think the technical term for it is freaking ripped. Like I keep on putting on muscle mass up to the point the point that I’m like getting concerned about fitting on airplanes with my elbows next to me because my muscles are just getting really pumped. This is the downside of eating really, really well and you know having the right biohacking technologies and that I’m starting to kind of stretch my shirts out without intending to do that but we’ll see what happens there.
Co-host: Of all the problems to have, that is definitely one of the more desirable.
Dave: Yeah, there are worse things in life for sure and it’s kinda cool, I have them after my 2 year exercise fast, I you know haven’t really spent a lot of time exercising I may be doing that every couple weeks but doing it maybe every 5 days, which is about as often as make sense, I found that I;m just kind of popping with muscles more so than I meant to.
Co-host: Well, sounds like an awesome way to improve yourself and we’re gonna talk about that and many other ways to improve yourself in our interview with Julien Smith.
Dave: Today, we’re interviewing Julien Smith from www.inoveryourhead.net. Julien is a writer, strategist and expert in self improvement. We had a great time talking with him about his new book called the Flinch. And many other ways to upgrade yourself.
Dave: Julien Smith is a New York Times bestselling author, consultant and speaker who’s been involved in online community for over 15 years from early bbses is in flash mobs to the social webs as we know it today. Along with being the co-author of trust agents, one of the social web’s most recognized books, he’s a contributor to GQ, Sirius Satellite Radio, Cosmopolitan, the CBC and a lot more. Julien blogs on his website, www.inoveryourhead.net, and joins us today to talk about his new book, “Flinch”, and how you can, as he says it, become “fucking awesome.”
Julien, welcome to the show.
Julien: Thank you for having me.
Dave: You know what, you shouldn’t drop an F bombs in intro to the show but it was worth it since you ran it to your website.
Julien: Yeah it just tells people straight off, what this is gonna be like for the next 45 minute interview.
Dave: I love it because one of the things that we say a lot on our site is we’ll tell you how to kick more ass and you know it’s the same general idea that you know, you want to do and be more, let’s be up front about it, I really.
Julien: Someone said to me that I was like recently that I was like the next incarnation of Seth Godin because it was like be remarkable, you know I like to distill author’s messages to like one primary message like you go to Tim Ferriss and say, you’re the minimum possible for the maximum possible effort. Like that’s Ferriss. And then go to this like, be remarkable and so someone had maybe, so the connection and say well Julien sort of take me to the next level in saying, just be fucking awesome and that’s my core message. If that’s what it is and I came up with it at the age of 29, then I got a long downhill slide from here but I’m happy with that message. That’s what I lead the world with, I’m cool with that.
Dave: In your latest book, you talked about something more than just being a, we’ll call it an excessively awesome for our G-rated listeners out there. Tell us about the Flinch. What is it?
Julien: So, the Flinch is like for almost like a year probably Seth Godin, Chris Brogan and the early stages with my co-author on my other books and myself worked on this book in various stages and like really quickly it became sort of me and Seth’s kind of a baby and we worked on it back and forth for a very long time. A really exhausted, exhausted almost like traumatic process. Very much like suffering exactly as we talked about it in the book. Basically the book is about everyone sort of enraged lack of courage. Not that they are born with but that they had developed over a period of years of almost like training and also because of the fact that they have a natural sort of inhibition process which I call the Flinch which is basically like trying to keep you in a safe zone because your brain is essentially trying to keep you alive long enough to reproduce as often as possible at which point it doesn’t really care if you die at all because in terms of the genetics and how it works your genes are moving forward in the next generation and so on. However, for the rest of us we don’t just want to reproduce and die. We also want to do really epic stuffs so in order to do so you almost have to fight your own instincts and that’s what the flinch is about. It’s about the fact that you are in a state where you no longer need to worry about survival that much now you’re in a state where you’re thinking you know, hopefully at least two weeks ahead sometimes 6 months ahead, sometimes a year ahead sometimes longer. That requires a whole different set of skills and a whole different set of reactions to your instinct and you would if you were in a savanna or the jungle or what had.
Dave: That is a phenomenal way of looking of looking at something that’s I think probably neurologically measurable for sure so we’ll get into some of the neurology around the flinch a little bit later but kind of up front in the show for people who haven’t come across your work before, how will facing this flinch make your life better?
Julien: Just by definition, many arguments of them made it over by like neurologists and by evolutionary biologists and all the other people that essentially we are very sort of complex pattern recognition machines and the reason that we’re able to stay alive is because you ever noticed you go and you kind of drive to work or something like that and basically your brain goes on auto pilot on something like that happens because you know what the pattern is. You don’t really have to think about it. You might even get to work and be like I don’t even really know how I got here because there’s no emotional sort of reaction there so it’s not memorable at all. But if you come across an accident or if you’re usual route is sort of blocked off as it often is in Montreal to where I live because of construction then all of a sudden there is an emotional connection. There is an emotional resonance so essentially once your brain is used to the pattern that you developed, it’s very hard to break out of them. It literally sort of build grooves into your brain over and over and over again. You take a look like Edward de Bono or many other people’s work to sort of discuss this but what ends up happening is that you just end up sort of digging those grooves like deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper and it becomes more and more difficult to break out of them so unfortunately what it does is it creates a ton of blind spots and a ton of almost like sort of satisficing what they would call like this idea of like kind of satisfying what you do but also kind of sacrificing so that makes one word, satisficing which is what we do for the majority of the owrk that we do. However, that work is simply not good enough so you’re in the state where you’re kind of constantly avoiding the flinch which is this idea of sort of going into the unknown but the reality is is that we’re in this state right now where our environment is safer than it has ever been. Our life span is twice as long at least as it has ever been and we used to avoid, want to avoid eating like scrapes or cuts because we could die from an infection but now modern medicine you know maybe costly for Americans but had the very minimum it’s much, much easier to stay alive so much of our inhibitory reflexes are no longer necessary and in fact in a safe environment, what we should be doing is we should be taking more risks because very naturally we have a like a safety net to fall back on and so that response should be if our environment is safe, I should be doing more. I should not be safer, I should be riskier with what I do.
Dave: You said something important there. You said if our environment is safe, but it seems like we have a lot of people where you know, environment’s aren’t that safe. We have you know, soldiers, construction workers, you know working with large cranes overcrowds, we have kids who are in unhealthy relationships with their parents. All sorts of you who really don’t feel safe. Are any of these people not candidates for not thinking what you’re thinking?
Julien: Dave, I’m sorry to interrupt you but I got to say that may seem risky to you but it actually, construction workers would simply not do their job, the same way the airline pilots would not do their job, when you get in the plane you’re like, I’m in the fucking sky, Jesus. The reality is literally pilots would describe to me that flying a plane is the equivalent of driving a bus.
Dave: Oh yeah.
Julien: And most, it is so safe that you could literally some like fly every day and the average is that you’ll only get into an accident like some kind of horrible airline problem once every thirty years or something like that. So it’s incredibly safe.
Dave: Just like on driving.
Julien: Right. Our impression is that these things are dangerous but the reality is that we have no clue what danger actually is so we are naturally adapting to our environment and so our environment says, oh well I guess you know we’ve been taught this is dangerous, that’s dangerous, this is dangerous but if you really look at some of the stuff that causes those pain and some of the stuff that we flinch at, it’s pretty God damn pathetic and the reality is that we’ve been taught from all these things like, okay, go to school because it’s a safe thing. Is it really or has the environment changed and is it no longer something that’s really that effective based on what it did on the environment is that we’re in. Okay, another thing, you know, maybe you should be getting married because this is this thing that all these different patterns of people give you and other patterns are like do your body is in a process of constant deteriorations. So definitely like all of these things we were looking at it and going, you know what this is really not the most effective response to the environment but it’s the default response and facing the flinch means that you have to sort of step in to the unknown. What you have is like almost like this, this map you know they’re a long time ago. In the book I talked about this idea of here there will be dragons where they would say they hint of lands of a map is like you know, they said Alexander the great I was writing about this like last week had discovered the entire known world which imperially is all the way to India right? From Macedonia or what have you so a huge, huge section of the map by the age of 26. So you look at this and there’s these sections where nobody knew what was there and the reality is those are the sections where most of the profits occurs in the terms of modern business, you would call that a blue ocean. It’s an area where there’s not a lot of sharks and not a lot of competition for food. It does much much easier to make profit, it’s much easier to have a sustainable company, it’s much easier as a human being also to be successful and happy but those requires stepping outside of your usual corridor of existence and the flinch naturally because your rain is made for a hundred thousand years ago where once you were like 10 or 15 or something like that, you no longer needed to learn about the world. It was not necessary because unlikely that, unlike in cowboys and aliens, that a spaceship would come down from the sky and erratically change your world view but metaphorically, a spaceship comes down from the sky once every year or two years in this world where we live you know, either it’s 911 or it’s Facebook or it’s the fact that the rules of like you know relationships with change or the fact that the American economy is like a little screwed up, say there’s so many different things that are occurring, like the different technologies change and all these things and if your brain is no longer capable of adapting you are literally, your world is shrinking. Your ability to understand the world is shrinking. So you literally have to be almost like an uncontent child like state in order to adapt and be able to grow.
Co-host: Julien, I liked your alliteration there to here there’ll be dragons. What were some of the biggest so called dragons that you’ve faced maybe when you were writing your book or just in your current business practices in consulting?
Julien: I can tell you that the reason I wrote this book is because I’m probably one of the most risk of verse people probably in the world through this still leaves occurrences which have led me down on a certain path. I had this realization which is almost like I can’t even deny it at this point that it could have been countered probably like not more pain to most people but definitely a significant amount of pain like that epileptic seizures which are terrifying if you ever had one, I don’t suggest it and I hope that it never happens to you and also I didn’t pierced and branded and scarred and tattooed more than almost anyone in the world, I lift weights and like I do all these physical activities. Athletes understand these things in a way that normal people do not because there’s so much more connected to their body. The people that react to the flinch, the book, I mean, in almost like the most of this rule in emotional way are often athletes that who know me and they’re like I totally understand this immediately and then the people who have the weirdest reaction to it, the most difficult reaction are often the people who are most removed from their bodies. So it’s very interesting because the more you are in touched with your body, the more you realize the safe environment that you’re in. The more that you’re in your head, the more you feel like the world is filled with ghosts and monsters that you should be avoiding and everyone is talking behind your back and God I bet to them I go talk to that stranger because I’ll be humiliated and all of these other kind of spirits of your inner world that become just demons that you’re unable to encounter or exercise. The more you go out into the world, the more you discover that in fact everything is just very easy to take care of but you need to be able to understand the world how to do that. you need to be able to draw that map and you can’t draw that map until you go out into that unknown space.
Co-host: When you mentioned the athletes that actually resonates a lot with me. I’m a triathlete and I lift weights like you’re taking about and one of the things that has been really hard for me is running in cold weather you know, get up, procrastinate and I don’t want to go outside because it’s cold. So do you think that training the flinch to overcome things in business could be similar to how it is for athletes? Just training yourself to face these repeatedly until you get used to it?
Julien: I totally think so. I suspect that all of the flinch of training that we encounter is very domain specific so the people who wait in the long line at the bank but who have a long history of being able to train their own patience by like meditation or what have you are people that just in general in that specific domain will always have a great deal of control and understanding over themselves. And same thing in the physical world. You no longer feel a fight once you’ve been trained in how to do so or at least been in a few fights a few times and you see what it’s like. You know what the rules are. You know how things work so there is a similar set of rules in business or just in general for personal or for business change that need to be done. The funny part is this has been talked about in a number of different ways. You know like who moved my cheese? The comparison recently made by Lew Rockwell, a pretty famous economist on his blog between the flinch and who moved my cheese and who moved my cheese sold 23 million and something copies. My book has also done very well but definitely not 23 million and the main thing is that people spoonfeed each other this information. No one ever looks you straight in the face and say listen, what you’re doing is not enough. And I cannot do that toward a friend for example and you could not probably do it to your family members but the magic of the web and the magic of books is that you’re able to give someone hard advice without seeming like an asshole because you’re actually physically distant from the person and you’re socially distant. They don’t know you, you don’t know them so you actually have a great freedom and the way I would think about this is like you know, freedom and a responsibility. Yeah, I’m like someone like Spiderman now but because of the fact that you have this social distance available through the web to tell people the truth about what it is that they need to be doing in order to be able to get to the next level or what have you.
Dave: So the, the same things that make people feel safe to have flame wars or sort of be rude on the internet also enable other people like you or me to just put the message out there the way we believe it and people can accept it or not.
Julien: The things that you’ve talked about the flame wars is actually a great example of this. The reason people are able to have flame wars and call people manners on the web and they can’t do it in person is because of that social distance. It’s because they’re encountering strangers and they never ever have to deal with them ever again. You have to realize like we also have to realize that that is very similar to our situation as we live in cities as well. We’ve only been living in cities with strangers for about a hundred years so our brains are totally not programmed for it so we have the same fear you know, robbing the bar, you know revolutionary psychologist to talk about the rule of 150 and you said, you know usually tribes of 150 people above that and you can’t remember people names about all these things happen so it’s a very biologically rude number and yet we encounter so many like 99% strangers in our life and we act as if any error with any single one of them is a fatal error to our 150 people. They also say by the way this is one of the reasons we treat celebrities the way that we do it’s because we see them so much that we consider them our friends on a sort of neurological level and so we talk about them the same way that we talked about you know, our neighbor so what have you and there we gossip about celebrities the same way we gossip about the people that are in our family.
Dave: Interesting. I think I know the answer here but I want you to tell the listeners here, what are the first things someone should do if they’re trying to conquer their flinch? Like step 1: Okay I recognize I have a flinch, what am I going to do about it?
Julien: Yeah, step 1: feel it. None of this is an intellectual process because the reality is we have all of the information that we need with google land, where everything is available. If you want to learn how to fly a kite, to fly a plane, to fly, to bunjee jump, to anything that you want to do, the information is there so we no longer have an intellectual problem and if the information that is all that we needed, literally every single person will be self actualized. If that were an email, I’d already use. But it’s not our priorities clearly because of not everyone is self actualized so the problem is not an intellectual problem but an emotional problem and it used to be resolved in an emotional way so to me it becomes to a process of feeling the flinch and training yourself to push through it in order to be able to see and feel like literally like in your chest like feel it and go on the other side and on the other side you’ll say, oh, you know I went through that and that wasn’t that bad. I can imagine someone who’s in a car accident. They have a car accident like terribly scarred. I’ve been with the girl for 4 years and I write about her in the book and at the age of 4, she was burned on 1/3 of her body, 3rd degree burns because she put her elbow into a pot of boiling water and makes me flinch actually just thinking about it. The idea that she pulls the elbow in her direction instead of pulling it out of the pot. So literally she poured this hot boiling water all over her you have two reactions when something like this happens. In small sense, people have reactions to all kinds of stresses such as these everyday. Usually smaller stress or something but your reaction either becomes, you become a person that has been damaged or you become a person that is strong or as a result of it and you always have this option. So if you become a person that’s damaged and you become afraid of kind of dealing with stressors then you become someone that’s avoidance and the other option is you know I survived that, I handled it and so I’m gonna move forward and I can clearly take more than I thought I could. But I don’t suggest that you burn yourself with a pot of boiling water although I do suggest in my book that you jump into a cold shower everyday for a week to realize that this reaction that you have a biological reaction that your heart is freaking out and you start to rationalize in you know, why am I jumping into this cold shower, just make any sense, why should I do this? And if you’re not even willing to do that then imagine any important decisions that you want to make in your life and you can’t even get into a cold shower because some guy in the internet told you to then what else are you really capable of doing? So you have to train yourself to do things just by the fact that you’re emotional brain is telling you they’re dumb or they’re worthless or that’ll hurt or what have you. You really have to train yourself out of your own instinct.
Dave: That really makes a lot of sense. I deal with a lot of people particularly people with an engineering background, hardcore rational scientists types. When you say those two words, feel it, that there’s a rationale disconnect between the feelings in the body and the feelings or the thoughts in the mind, is there a way to feel it when you don’t exactly know how to feel it?
Julien: This is the way that we’ll get pushed into pools or what have you, you know, like there is a way to sort of force someone to it. Like there has to be a conscious process. So everyone who’s looking for the great thing that they can do but the reality is in order to get to this great thing, you have to clearly, there’s so much competition in the world, 7 billion people, more websites than there had even been, more companies than there had ever been, everything that you’re trying to do someone else is trying to do it too so there is immediately more competition than there’s ever been and what we need to be able to do is we need to do things that other people are not capable of doing. So again we, it requires an emotional fortitude that is lacking in most people and one of the most sort of workable ways to do it is to really be able to work it through your body because then we understand it but we’re so disconnected most of the time that most of us don’t have to be able to do it. Those of us that have gone through things like, I don’t know, like I used to do, CrossFit for example probably some people that listened to this who done, doing the same thing or have done it, I know my co-author Chris Brogan has been doing it like recently for a while and you have this fortitude that develops out of it because of the fact that you’re like, my God, I thought I was going to die and I did it and over and over again, this feeling as the more often you can encounter it the better. It doesn’t how in this is an internal thing because some people could be like, wow, I want bunjee jumping, that’s really exciting for me. I want skydiving, now that’s really dangerous but in other parts over the people, a feeling of any kind of change so it really almost requires sort of a multi positive approach dealing with a social flinch, dealing with a physical flinch, with an emotional flinch , dealing with that flinching business. All these things are different. Skill sets, but they all stem from the same thing which is the ability to flinch forward as I say and push through the part that seems hard and not worth it.
Dave: I found that doing heart rate variability training let me feel this flinch because I was one of those guys who was definitely disconnected from probably most of the emotional processes in my body at one time in my life. I basically had the cogon of asperger’s syndrome mentalize your hacks mind through it so I would do heart rate variability training and there’s a little light that’s green or red and there’s a feeling that happens exclusively in your body that happens when you’re physiologically flinching to something and for me training will have this notice the feeling I mean how to consciously turn it off to push past it has been a little bit transformational actually using like heartmath type training devices. Have you played with anything like that? Or you sort of just like throw yourself in the cold water and you know run through the fire and if you survived.
Julien: Yeah I’ve been doing it for many years, like I went through a process where I was hanging out with people who cut their own fingers off for fun and who’d you know suspended from hooks on someone so it’s come from a long standing knowledge and interest in ritual like as far as ancient and modern societies deal with it and then the fact that we often don’t have any, you know we don’t have this process of turning from boys into men nor from girls into women anymore. There really isn’t much of anything that tell you that you gotten from one side to the other where as you have this series of almost like obstacles that you need to overcome or parties at least that you have at a certain age that is to tell you are now in the stage and in this stage you do certain things and the sigh from the age of I think 18 – 40 when they’re in their warrior sort of state only drink and eat two or three things which is meat, milk and blood and that’s the only things they consume in that period and turns you into a certain kind of person. When you have a certain title, you say, well I’m supposed to behave in this certain way and at least that is telling you what you’re capable of, where as often we are not told anything. We remain these little children inside our adult bodies for most of our lives and that’s one of the things that I’m trying to fight against.
Dave: Absolutely. That matches my experience entirely and I think my list would be coffee, butter and grass fed meat.
Dave: So I like where you’re going with all these. There’s a guy named Joseph Chilton Pearce. Have you ever come across his work?
Julien: No. Never.
Dave: So he’s one of those sort of spiritual guys but what you’re talking about really about pushing pass self survival in one of his recent books he describes how he was able to as you know 20-something year old do things like survive, things that should have burned him cigarettes buts on his skin and even like do physical feeds that were, we’ll just call it superhuman for lack of a better word and he writes very well about how he was able to completely bypass his doubt and his self survival instinct and he could only do those things when he has your doubts but as the doubt crept in, he couldn’t do the things but as you describe all these things, it made me sort of wonder if you’ve read some of his work but he might me one of those guys that would be really interesting for you. We’ll get you the name of his book and we’ll put it in the show notes as well for the people listening.
Dave: But it’s right up your alley.
Julien: It is this thing that is discussed all throughout history in numerous different phase but never have we really been in a place that you looked at it and it’s just like almost no social repercussions for stepping outside of the pool and I’m like, well you know what you’re never in a conversation with somebody unless that there’s like four or five people at a party. One person says something really awkward, you know like deeply awkward where everyone feels it like in their gut and they go “Oh” and then the rest of the people will act like a short silence will sort of just sort of try and smooth over that inconsistency in order to try and get back to the regular comfortable conversation. So society itself strives to smooth over the errors and the things that you do that might be wrong or that might be risky or what have you. So it’s almost like you don’t even need to do anything anymore. There are people at the top of their game who realized that there’s so much further that they can go and because they do that they just go, you know what id doesn’t even matter what other people think. I have friends of mine I know who make the comparisons of say you know, all of us that are on the web should just be acting like celebrities, Sandra Bullock or like Kim Kardashian doesn’t care what people magazine says about her as long as people magazine is talking and in some other ways like we really in terms of media and in terms of the way that we create like we’re creating more than ever, we should not be concerned with what our 150 think of us. Our 150 is an outdated concept based on the fact that if one person rejected you then it would get around to the rest of the tribe and then the next thing you know you were outcast and when you are an outcast you die and now this is so disproportionally out of our reality but it’s still in our brain so we really get deeply in need to fight it. Those that are capable of taking this, this sort of rational reasoned argument and then convincing their emotional brain about it, will have the best rewards.
Co-host: Julien, I love hearing you talk about how it is important to maintain rationality and convey the stuff in a meaningful way just running on emotions the whole time and how it’s a combination of both rationality and feelings that usually result from that rationality. To change the conversation here a little bit, we talked about some pretty big stuff, you know, getting rejected by your “tribe” and all these other things. You mentioned like cutting fingers off so this is pretty big stuff. What happens when people put it off? So let’s say they, okay I’m gonna start taking cold showers everyday but I’m gonna do it next week. Does that work?
Julien: I just published an epic post about this on my blog. Some people was trying to call me a self helper and started to freak me out a little bit so I’m not sure I know I may be writing about this anymore but I had to tell you that really, we have this infrastructure around us which is an infrastructure of systems and an infrastructure of people and we have this, it’s almost like we don’t use it. We think you know I’m strong enough to do this by myself. The reality is, is that I don’t wake up when the sun comes up, I wake up when my alarm goes on and then when my alarm goes off and I hit snooze I have another alarm, I really have like 4, or 5 alarms to wake me up in the morning so I literally, I can be as weak as I want to be and you want to have this submission that you are weak and we’re like you know what my body and my mind are just not congruent with each other at all and so you almost have to build your habits and have everything sort of follow from that. I’m a big student of Martin Berkhan who’s done a pretty famous sort of site about intermittent fasting. His name is, I mean the name of his site is www.leangains.com. What he does is he talks about how your hormone level is generally follow your behavior so if you have a tendency to eat only when you started eating window from 12 onto 8, your body literally begins to react to that and go well, in that case I’m only going to get hungry between 12 and 8 because after that there’s really no point. I’m simply not going to eat. It doesn’t really understand why but that’s simply what happens. As if your hormones adjust to it. So all of life is like this. It’s a set of behaviors that you have to create before it becomes natural to do so. Because literally like set yourself up. I literally have, I picked this up on a book 18 minutes which is a pretty sort of well selling book this year early in 2012 and the book just says like set yourself up on your smartphone with an alarm once an hour and I got it going off right now. Every hour it just sends me a little message saying are you doing productive right now? Or do you just go fucking around, you know? And it tells me that between 9 and 5 every single day except Saturdays, my day off. So I literally, I even know how distractive it may be, I get this once an hour because I know my own weakness and my ability to kind of put things off is just infinite because your brain will just convince yourself and get into this whole state. You know they have this thing about burn victims. Again I’m back on burn victims and it’s like if you read like MGQ most recently this month, there’s this guy who basically was on fire and in a rock and miraculously survived this torture and he got into such state where he was literally having hallucinations that he thought were real so we really have to be thinking about our brains and going like, okay this thing is going to convince me no matter what, so I need external infrastructure to help me behave the way I want to behave and then afterwards, everything will follow from there. Then you’ll be waking up at 5am every morning but it will be natural only once you’ve done it and forced yourself to do it a certain number of times.
Dave: Quite interesting. So what are the things that we do then as human beings to just push past these monoblocks I mean I’ve heard some examples of people who basically experience significant trauma but okay you know what, someone who’s probably driving at traffic right now listening to a podcast on the way to work. So I’ve got these monoblocks, what’s the deal there?
Julien: Surround yourself with people that are better than you. You know like they did this movie, what is it? Beautiful boy I think it’s called and it’s a movie about how this these two parents discovered that their kid is one of those like a sort of columbine children that went out and just shot the whole school up what have you and their whole process of the movie is discovering why it is that their kid of all children did this? Am I a bad parent? Etc. So my father is just the same thing where he is like, how did you end up in this life where you are? Like I’m, I travel all over the world, like I speak to people like definitely like out of my own home like a good three months out of the year for sure and he was like, how did you end up with this life? And the only thing that I could really think of is the fact that I had access to the internet so often so I stopped comparing myself to people around me.
Dave: I love it.
Julien: I started comparing myself to high level people that made me feel like garbage and if I was able to do this consistently I’m still able to do it now like I have people on my entourage I was just introduced to Paulo Coelho the guy who wrote the Alchemist and I was obviously moved, my age like Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk and I go to people that I see all the time and they’re like so close to who I am because of their age or whatever and I’m like, like okay it’s great. Makes me feel like garbage. So it’s literally just like, almost like bombarding yourself with negative emotions and as long as you have the emotional resilience to handle that, then it actually really turns you into a more effective better person. I feel like you know, I talk about trauma and I talked about things like burned and like all these things, the reason I talked about that is because your environment is radically, radically important. You have two environments. One of them is I am really starting to sound like Tony Robbins. This is scary but you have an internal environment, this is your mental state. And you have an external environment which are people you encounter and the things that you deal with everyday so it’s really about optimizing those two things and going, you know what, I’m going to become whatever these two things, whatever these, in these paths are will lead me in a certain direction so I have to sort of optimize what those things are. This is my like life quest to figure this thing out and I figured if I figured this thing out and I can spread it to enough people, I will have made a significant dent in the world and I can die happy you know?
Dave: So you mentioned a really key term there, this mental environment versus physical environment and I spend a lot of time with the people that I mentor and talking about the mental environment and actually training it oftentimes using unusual techniques or even electronics because it just makes it easier to get pass the way you dodge your own thing but you also mentioned is resilience so I thought a lot of people even very successful people are less mentally resilient than you might think. Like they’re basically feel like they’re dying inside but you know they’re going out and kicking asses in their career or doing whatever but they’re genuinely unhappy people. With the techniques that you’re talking about, how do you bring those two things together? Were you actually experienced that thing called happiness on a regular basis but you still exceed your limits like, it seems like there’s a resilience thing there that some people just don’t have like, how do they get it?
Julien: You know what, it’s really hard to sort of step outside of yourself and ruling in so this question because I’m naturally quite an optimistic person I think a lot of people are as well, but I can tell you that a lot of people are working on this like I know at least one guy that’s working on a documentary, one guy who’s working on a book and they’re thinking about what happens when you get old and stuff resolved then are you happier or not? If you’re not happier, what are the things that will make you happy? There’s this ancient Greek phrase called the Tetrapharmakos and it talks about the four basic things that are necessary for happiness. I can find a regular on Wikipedia and look it up and talk about it for you. It’s all, it’s usually an ancient greek, it is, don’t fear God, don’t worry about death, what is good is easy to get and what is terrible is easy to endure and this was written, I don’t know, somewhere on 270 B.C. in Athens and it is still true. The reality is that the human problem of happiness is quite easily solved, it’s just that most people are not willing to do the things that are necessary. I know myself, I could have very easily ended up a Buddhist monk and just you know, I;m just having an opportunity to actually just give up the life. I was in this monastery in Japan for a long time and I was like I could just never come back, and I would if I may but the point is that those things are quite easily obtainable, those are the people that are mostly satisfied in life. But then, we know how to do it, the studies are even there to prove it versus the sort of regular people’s mental state, we simply are not willing to do it because we’re trapped inside our own corridors. We’re trapped inside our own brain thinking that we know better than 2500 years of writing on the same topic over and over again.
Dave: I love that answer. In fact I did the program of 40 years of meditation in 7 days. It was I reached the same state of someone who’s meditated daily for their entire life using a lot of electronics and a whole lot of very hard work over the course of that week and I’ve also traveled throughout the bid in or not and even have the same kind of thoughts as you like, wow. These are some of the most satisfied people I’ve met and these people spend most of their time kind of in their heads and in their hearts but the pre steps behind Buddhism there are one of the things you just mentioned here which is in the Greek thing, whose name are better if I translate it, tetrapharmakos, but it’s, don’t worry about that. And almost every fear, in fact I would argue that if you’re behind the flinch, it’s really the fear of death and that the way we’re wired through our medulla in the brain is that you know, kind of think everything bad is gonna kill you eventually because we’re you know, our reptile brain is wired that way. Do you think fear of death is underlying all these or are there other fears that are out there?
Julien: No, no, I mean that’s just essentially it. The whole purpose of it is essentially to keep you alive and again, the whole purpose of it is to get you 4 things right? Godfather would say, who basically invented evolutionary psychology as it relates to consumer behavior, tries to relate all consumer behaviors so then Darwin, Darwinian sense back to the 4 things that we need which is survival. Can a safety reproduction and reciprocity amongst nonkin and those 4 things and go basically all of consumption is to get these 4 things to become better and do them often or what have you. So the flinch is really, now it gets such high level, you’re almost, you’re making almost ridiculous than it is with your death but I don’t think you know, Ken Wilber, who I’m not sure if I like but I definitely read his book before, he has this amazing thing which he says, which is like this idea of, whatever the concept is, whatever it is, whether the human brain or whether the earth or what have you, everything looks different from the inside than the outside. And so here we are on the inside of our brains unable to look at it on the outside except through science and when we look at it through science we see a whole different set of things and then we go, well you know, those things don’t really apply to me you might think and the world is different and I feel the difference, you know what, fuck what you feel. It’s really not working for you and come face to face with that and just do what the science says and do what other people says have worked and you will end up a better person. That’s just the way it is. Your own brain is hindering you based on what its priorities are and its priorities are different than yours.
Dave: Absolutely. Getting around your own brain, getting around the voices in your head are fundamental to resilience and to you know, performing like a superhuman. I couldn’t agree more. You’ve got some other less metaphysical things that you talked about. I think you had this particular question here that you wanted to ask.
Co-host: Right, at the beginning of the interview we talked about how we would get in to some of the more needy greedy details about how to implement what you’re talking about and one of the post you had was called, or had something to do about why people should quit the internet after a little while. Will you talk about that idea and that little experiment a little bit?
Julien: Sure. Definitely. I went to Spain and I did a thousand year old pilgrimage which is called the Camino of Santiago that existed since the year, I don’t know, maybe 1100 or something like that. It’s the same one that Paulo Coelho did several years before and read about in the Pilgrimage before he was famous and it was actually my girlfriend’s idea. I always wanted to do Appalachian trail which is 2200 miles but the Camino de Santiago was in much more conservative 500 mile walk which takes about 35 days and so the post about how to quit the internet is largely is not even about the internet, it’s about if we continue to use the most convenient things in the world, it will literally shrink us down to almost like 10%, 20%, 30% of who we really are. Any muscle that we no longer use act our fees. So really, if we no longer need to use our memory, we will no longer have a memory. It’s just the way that it works. The brain is always rerouting itself in order to become more effective so if we constantly have access to little endorphin rushes by getting tweets, by checking our email, feeling useful instead of truly being useful and sort of a larger sense then a lot of the most important stuff falls to the side because we get sort of little hormone rushes from insignificant things instead so it’s just the same reason like you know, this is totally, I’m talking all American so I don’t even know if this is something I should be talking about but basically when you get an erection when you are looking at porn, if there are women listening, then you are aware that are things called erections and there you are where there are things called porn and essentially what it is is just a sort of a biological hack where you think oh, there’s a woman in here and she’s naked, so my body should be reacting in a certain way, that’s what it does and so that won’t sort of rewire your neurons in a certain direction and so will checking Twitter a hundred times a day. The idea of quitting the internet is sort of to return yourself to old habits like just basically go back to the 90’s and go, what happens if I focused this on the horizon instead. You have this amazing thing that happens if you walk for so long like that, you can literally point to any object in the distance like I still do now because I train myself to do it and just be like, that will take about 2 and a half hour walk because you’ve walked for so long that you know it. But these are basic human things that we have forgotten how to do. So they’re not necessarily better but definitely pattern breaking is an important part of growth and so that’s the reason I wrote that post.
Dave: It’s great advice. I spent 3 months traveling throughout Asia in about 2004 back when there just wasn’t enough bandwidth there and I inadvertently quit the internet despite bringing a 3 pound laptop with me. It’s kind of transformative once you lose that little kind of addictive connection, you start to realize what your brain is really doing to you.
Julien: Exactly and it’s not like even like something that you can really will yourself not to do. Again, it’s about environment if you’d still allow it to happen. This is why I turned wifi 3G off of my iPhone. I wanted iPhones so I can read but I don’t want access to constant tweeting and everything so instead I simply turn it off and then I end up with basically kind of a brick that helps me read and that I occasionally can check email through via wifi. I may be better served with a kindle, I don’t know but the point is to restrict yourself past the things that are simply convenient. A great book about this is What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. He is amazing and definitely describes what society is, what some old people would like the Omash for example and how they embrace certain technologies versus others that they don’t and you can learn a lot from this process, it’s not just necessarily adopting everything just because it occurs but rather going you know how will this affect my mental state. How will this affect the way I do things.
Dave: I also spent some time on stage with the one who wrote the Winter of our Disconnect who disconnects your whole family from the internet for a while and it was really an interesting experiment but I think everyone who goes through that for a little while experiences the same thing and your practices there of turning off 3G sounds really a smart one.
Julien: That little thing makes a difference you know?
Dave: Yeah. It is. But you also, I mean let’s face it. You blog a lot, right? So you’re not exactly always disconnected from the internet but oftentimes people would say things like you’d have to be an idiot if you’re gonna hike that Appalachion trail like you would take off 3 months from the internet, you know, basically like sort of the negative side of things, but what’s your actual definition of an idiot? I know you blogged about this and I, it would be interesting for our listeners to sort of hear you talk about how you define that word.
Julien: I wrote about that a long time ago. That’s when my blogging is flipping and is intended to cause a reaction or to debalance people and then their feelings on a certain subject but the idea of how to recognize an idiot is to think about someone who talks shit when they actually don’t know what the science is or don’t know what it is that is really going on. There’s a whole blog post about this. You can go to my website if you want to take a look. You come to this state where you start to know about certain subjects and then you discovered that other people are just one upping you or they’re shit talking when the don’t really know it is that they’re talking about and I know some people that become very angry at this and I just do the off set which is like I withdraw. I like to hear people talk about stuff that they love and stuff that they are fascinated by and that they know about and hopefully I restrict myself to the things that I personally know and that I’m an expert on and that I can really sort of help people with and the rest are just like, ignore. Not try and compete despite the fact that it is our biological nature to try and seem like the alpha male or what have you, not try to do anything like that instead just be you know, this is what I know about and so I’ll talk about that and then I want to hear about what you all know about, you can talk about this better than me and just stop acting like we know everything about every subject because we don’t.
Dave: So basically an idiot is someone who pretends to know everything because basically they’re afraid that they don’t know everything, no one will like them, if no one likes them, they don’t get any food then they’ll die. And that’s fear of death everywhere.
Julien: Yeah, maybe.
Co-host: Julien, another one of the details that you talked about in your blog is reading a book every week for an entire year. That would definitely be a pretty big challenge or one of those flinches you’re talking about. How exactly would somebody do that?
Julien: It’s actually extremely easy. Everything of these we’ve broken down into a daily task. I’ve been doing it for about 4 or 5 years now and I’ve actually increased, last year I finished 60 books and I definitely half finished many more than that. That’s the number I finished. Not the number I began and then this year I’ll probably end up reading about 65 books. I’ve already read like 6 or something and were in early February so generally, like everything again, it’s habit of sort of encountering things that you’re not familiar with. So again, don’t go out and read every stupid social media book. Once you’ve read a 2 of them is just pointless, instead, go out and read things that are above your level. There’s an amazing post about this I just blogged about by Ryan Holiday. He’s the marketing manager I think for American Apparel so whenever you see a naked girl in a bag of a fee magazine, you could blame him and he talks about how to read books above your level. He says things like you know, go ahead and cheat. Read the closed notes first, read the Amazon reviews first, read about it on Wikipedia and see what the conclusion to the history of you know, the civil war is before you actually go and read the book because your point is to accumulate information, it;s not to be confused about what the book is about so to me all those things work, it is just the constant process of not even, it’s not about the one book, it’s not even about accumulating knowledge for a certain book. It’s more like just a constant process of growth and pushing yourself to understand and learn things that you haven’t learned so I can tell you that personally from doing it for 4 or 5 years it’s been one of the most important and simplest things that I’ve ever done and all the knowledge in the world is accessible so I don’t see why an emotional incident amazing thing was which is that we have the ability to become as wise as all of the wisest people and the most important people in history because they’ve all written things down. Once they’ve written things down, we have the ability to accumulate that information and be like, yeah, I get it. So anything that is accessible via the intellect us something that you can gain access to and should. If you’re not doing that and you’re watching reality TV instead so then you’re definitely wishing a life unless it makes you happy. If it genuinely makes you happy then that’s fine with me but to me it’s like, how far can I go with this? How much can I learn and how much can I figure out about the world around me? And so doing it for 4 and 5 years, it’s just 40 pages everyday. 40 or 50 pages everyday. Do it early in the morning, it will become a habit and it will become automatic.
Dave: I’m known for driving my family nuts because I have you know, 3 or 4 quotes in most of the rooms so if I sit down and I’ve got an extra 5 minutes, I’m gonna read something and it’s really important to keep stretching your mind that way. In that way, we’re reaching the end of our interview and we ask everyone who comes on the show the same question as the question. Physicians have answered it, you know, brain hackers, all sorts of people but it goes down to if you had 3 and only 3 tips for people about how to be the most high performance, most awesome person in the world, what are those tips? What are your top 3 most important stripping everything else out?
Julien: Get yourself about 6 months worth of living expenses out of the way as fast as possible so that you can focus on the long term. If you can’t focus on the long term, you can’t make good decisions so you need to think about what it is that’s actually most important in the long term level not in the next two weeks so stop living paycheck to paycheck. Do whatever it takes to do that. Then afterwards, you free up your time with your ability to free up your time then you have the ability to go and get a wider network than anyone else does. With a wider network, you get a ton of access and with a ton of access then you can actually do things in the world and then the third thing is focus on something that actually matters. On a problem, what poll, the guy from my company there, I can’t remember his name right now, called schlepping, is a place where people have a problem and then tries to solve that problem. So then you’re looking at, you have all the access to the people that are necessary to help you solve it, you are not stuck from paycheck to paychecks so you have the ability to work on that problem and if you’re able to solve that problem the best way possible, then all of the world’s sort of value is brought back to you. So those are the three things that I would say just of the top of my head like that.
Dave: Julien, thanks so much. It’s been awesome to have you on the show. Can you tell our listeners one more time your URL and your most recent books so that they can find you? This is well, of course will be in the show notes but just say it.
Julien: I wrote the New York’s Bestseller Trust Agents, I also wrote the book the Flinch which was published through Seth Godin’s Domino Project and I have two upcoming books which you can read about in my blog which is at www.inoveryourhead.net.
Dave: Thanks again Julien.
Co-host: Julien, thank you so much for coming on. It was awesome talking to you and one thing really quick just everyone knows, the Flinch is free in Kindle edition so if you’re off you can go looking for it.
Julien: Oh yeah, that’s true. It’s free and you can pick it up for absolutely nothing over a hundred thousand people have downloaded it so far and it has done amazingly well.
Listener Q and A
Dave: Now, we’ll start with the Bulletproof Executive Radio Listener Q and A.
Co-host: The first question is from James:
“What is the best what to store coffee beans?”
Dave: Well, the best way to store coffee beans is to drink them quickly but if you’re not going to do that, there are other opportunities for you. If you’re gonna store a large amount of coffee beans, i recommend that you either vacuum seal them, put them in glass jars or if you’re talking about bulletproof upgraded coffee we have one way vowels on our bags and they’re very thick good quality bags so you can actually push all the air out the bag, tape over the one way vowels and store it in the freezer directly that way and they’ll keep for quite a while that way. Even a couple months is not a problem. That said, 2-month old, 3-month old frozen coffee is just not as good as fresh coffee but it’s not unsafe. The trick about that though is that if you frozen your coffee, when you take it out of the freezer and use to sit on the counter until its room temperature all the way through before you crack the seal. Otherwise, you’re gonna get condensation from the air and the coffee and that really will affect your coffee quality very much. So it’s a bad idea to store your coffee in the fridge or the freezer or take it in and out everyday. The coffee that you’re gonna be drinking this week, you should store in a sealed canister preferably one that doesn’t let light in, in a cool dark place.
Co-host: The next question is from Kira:
“Hi guys, great podcast. I eat meat most days of the week, and my last blood test showed slightly elevated levels of Ferritin, and instead of dialing down on it, I decided to try and hack it by taking a calcium supplement with the meat. According to some sources, the calcium supplement would partially inhibit iron absorption.”
Dave: You know, at the personal life extension conference this last week where I presented on the Bulletproof diet, we had a really cool talk from Terry Grossman who’s an anti aging physician who does work with Ray Kurzweil and a big part his presentation was about Ferritin and the health problems associated with elevated Ferritin levels. Now red meat certainly can raise your Ferritin levels but there’s one very simple technology available to lower your Ferritin and that is donating blood and we’ve known for a long time that donating blood is healthy for you and it’s something that I’ve made a practice of for a long time although in the last 2 and a half three years I haven’t donated blood because it just hasn’t been very convenient to where I live. I’m guessing that when I get my wellness FX results back that my Ferritin levels will be elevated and so I’m gonna need to do a few blood donations. So this is a bulletproof practice that I recommend everyone to do but one that we probably haven’t publicized enough in our recommendations. So in general, you ought to be donating your blood probably once a quarter every three months which is gonna help you on multiple fronts including Ferritin levels. I’m not convinced that a calcium supplement is the best idea though because it may or may not inhibit some of that iron absorption but it also can cause cardio vascular problems. Most of us are way in access on calcium versus magnesium and I think for instance that I haven’t taken a calcium supplement other than D-Glucarate or AEP in 10 years and my calcium levels are slightly high even then. So eat the right food, you won’t have a problem.
Co-host: There are some study showing that calcium supplements would make a small difference in Ferritin but as Dave said, it might cause cardio vascular problems and the body adapts to that so even if it might cause a short term decrease in Ferritin levels, it doesn’t make any difference in the long term. The next question is from anklefootmd:
“Onion, garlic, pepper and cinnamon are way too far to the right on the bulletproof diet. Putting the sugar alcohols on the left is also incorrect. These substances act 2/3 the same as sugar and are poorly absorbed, travels to the lower intestine, and increase abnormal gut flora and gas.”
So I guess it’s not really a question. It’s more about critical comment but do you want to respond to that?
Dave: Absolutely. First off, it sounds like we’re dealing with an MD here if that is known in Maryland but if you’re a physician, you’re not alone on this site and thanks for coming in and thanks for your comments. Here’s the deal with onion and garlic. They both have an unstable nitrogen bond and both of them have cognitive effects in people, they inhibit alpha waves. What this means is that the stereotypical Italian housewife, you know the hotheads sort of thing is based in high dose garlic and onion on a regular basis. They are both wonderful medically and I’ve used them many times but if you think you’re doing yourself a favor by eating onion and garlic all the time, particularly garlic which is the strongest here, you will notice, if you have an advance meditation practice, or if you use an EMG machine, that it does inhibit your alpha waves. It’s just a fact of life. If you’re seeking inner calm and peace and less stress, making onion and garlic medicinal rather than staple foods will help you perform and feel better. If you’re pregnant, they’ll also help your fetus behave more and be less stressed and basically kick you less. Pepper and cinnamon are in different locations to the right for different reasons. Black pepper is incredibly contaminated with aflatoxin and other mycotoxins. It’s one of the more contaminated foods. It is also high in amines. There’s a reason that we use black pepper extract in order to increase the level of substances in some supplements. There’s something called Bioperine, which is black pepper extract that slows down liver absorption. We don’t want to slow down what your liver does on the bulletproof diet so I found in an enormous number of people that if they eliminate black pepper and maybe replace it with oregano or cayenne, that they do better on it. They do better cognitively and oftentimes they do better from a digestive perspective. There is a link between aflatoxin and Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome, black pepper is a common source of small amounts of physiologically active aflatoxin. Cinnamon is off on the right because there are actually well known cinnamon toxins. If you’re going to have half a teaspoon, fine. If you’re gonna have significant amounts of cinnamon, better off to take Cinnulin D extract of cinnamon. So cinnamon is fine but as Tim Ferriss writes in the for our body, it matters what kind of cinnamon you get and in big letters, don’t take too much of it so cinnamon, good. Too much cinnamon, bad. From the perspective of the sugar alcohols, this is one of the differences between what the bulletproof diet does and paleo. There are very good reasons for not recommending all sugar alcohols but recommending the ones we recommend. What do you have to say about Erythritol and Xylitol?
Co-host: As you just hinted not all sugar alcohol’s the same. Erythritol and Xylitol do not cause digestive problems.
Dave: Hold on, hold on, hold on. They do cause digestive problems but not the same digestive problems.
Co-host: Well, Xylitol can cause digestive problems in the short term and your body does adapt to that everytime as your body’s starts to extract more sugar from it but Erythritol did actually find I think consume up to 80 grams of Erythritol without any digestive problems and your body adapts to Xylitol every time but you do absorbs a little more sugar from it as well. Which is one of the reasons it doesn’t cause those problems. Moltitol and Sorbitol are probably the ones this guy is referring to and those are actually used as laxatives in some formulas and those can be problematic.
Dave: Exactly. I tell people if they’re going to start using Xylitol, don’t take a cup of it at a time, you’re not gonna like what happens. If you take a tablespoon or something you’ll probably have some of the taste sweet and you won’t have any GI upset. If you take on a regular basis, you’ll have no problem whatsoever. And Erythritol has far fewer effects that tastes very cool and minty to some people. There’s a side effect, too. Xylitol improves bone density and women who take significant doses of it. So Xylitol gum is a pretty popular thing. If you’re suffering from SIBO small intestine bacterial overgrowth, then maybe Xylitol isn’t the right choice for you but Erythritol has never been shown to cause the problems at all that I’m aware of.
Co-host: Yup. And they are all sweeter than or about as sweet as sugar so they’re all a good choice really. Now, if you have any questions for the podcast, you can contact us on Twitter, on Facebook or by leaving a comment in the shownotes for this episode. The show notes will be displayed on www.bulletproofexec.com along with links to everything we talked about today.
The Biohacker Report
Dave: Now, it’s time for the biohacker report. This is the part of the show where we bring you some of the latest research that was interesting this week. The first piece of research that came across my desk was from the journal of nutrition and metabolism from Sweden’s Lund University. Now my Swedish wife is going to yell at me because I terribly butchered the name Lund but that does happen. If you’re Swedish and there are 8 million people who are Swedish and you’re listening to this, thank you for listening and I apologize for that actual butchering of the word. The researchers wanted to see how modulating the diet overweight but basically healthy people would improve their overall risk of disease. They took 44 healthy men and women, randomize them into 4 total groups into a crossover trial and there was a male and a female crew for each diet. The first diet they tested was called the active diet and they added fatty fish, extra plant fiber, omega 3, probiotics and some other kind of healthy stuff. The other one was the regular neurotic diet that served as a control which from experience definitely has some fried stuff in it and a whole lot of herring. The active diet lowered their CRP by 29%, the active diet also improved their LDL ratio and their total cholesterol improved as well. The active group diet lost more weight and weight loss is definitely known to improve symptoms of metabolic syndrome. So this was kind of cool. The active diet group that was eating more fat and more plants and more omega 3’s did a lot better than standard diet. So this is just a free living study and they said like simple dietary modifications lowered overall risk of disease from eating more fish fat. That’s pretty cool.
Co-host: The next study is called impact of Physician BMI on Obesity Care and Beliefs. This was published in the journal of Obesity. The researchers want to see how the BMI of the doctor affected their treatment suggestions for overweight and or obese people. They surveyed 490 doctors at random across the nation and they found that if a doctor was in normal weight, they discussed that diet 27% of the time with their obese patient but if the doctor was overweight, they discussed diet with only 16% of their time with obese patients. So 11% less. Doctors were also more likely to diagnose obesity if the patient was fatter than they were. The obese doctor have less confidence their patients would follow their diet advices well. Only 37% of obese doctors believe they were confident enough to offer nutrition and exercise advice where 53% of normal physicians were. This isn’t definitive but it is an indication that if you’re having problems with diet and lifestyle diseases, doctors might not always be the best source of curative information and you might be better off going to other sources. Maybe like blog called the Bulletproof executive.
Dave: You know I’ll be a little bit more blunt there. This may be rude but you should not take dietary or diabetes, any kind of information from a physician who is overweight. The old saw physician heal thy self actually is really true here. It’s fins if your doctor has a cold or your doctor has chronic health problems. All people may have those sometimes or another but if someone is grossly obese and wants to do surgery on you that’s one thing. If you’re grossly obese and wants to tell you how to eat, sorry, they don’t know how to do it because they didn’t do it themselves and it’s not a personal struggle when you’re eating the right food. It just happens and it’s natural and it feels good and you can eat bacon.
Co-host: All true.
Dave: Our final study here is, in the biohacker report is from the journal of psychosomatic medicine. They looked at this study here which says Positive emotional style predicts resistance to illness after experimental exposure to rhinovirus or influenza a virus and this case rhinovirus or influenza a. This is a carnegie mellon and a 193 healthy volunteers, healthy but crazy volunteers I would say were assessed as being either happy or positive or sad and negative. Then, on purpose they were exposed to the common cold virus or the flu and monitored their symptoms. The people with the positive outlook were more resistant to both forms of disease.So you could say, oh maybe these people were happier because they were healthy in the first place but either way, there’s almost certain a connection here. The cool thing is one of the main bulletproof techniques that we talked about is overcoming that voice in your head and learning to control your autonomic nervous system. If you’re doing a mindfulness meditation or better yet you’re using the emWave with heart rate variability training, you’re actually teaching yourself to turn on happy. It’s a skill you’ll learn so that you can actually carry around a positive outlook and you can do it consciously and on purpose. If you do that, I know from personal experience and from lots of research, that you actually will be more resistant to many different diseases. So you have very little to lose by teaching yourself of how to be happy and you probably can gain less sickness and that’s cool.
Dave: You can find links to everything we talked about in the show notes at www.bulletproofexec.com. We pay out of our pocket to transcribe everyone of these shows so that our notes are searchable and you can find anything we said. If you enjoyed this and you find it a value, we really appreciate a positive ranking on iTunes and we’re always happy to have you follow us on Twitter, leave comments on the blog or in the bulletproof forums and sign up for our mailing list so we can let you know when cool stuff is happening.
Thanks. Talk to you soon.
Co-host: See you later Dave.