Is Everything You’ve Been Told About Athletic Performance Wrong with Ben Greenfield

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JONATHAN: Hey everyone, Jonathan Bailor here with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim Podcast. I’m very, very happy to have today’s guest on the show, a man who always has a special place in my heart because he is a prolific podcaster and he was actually the very first podcast I was ever, ever, ever on and this is even before the Smarter Science of Slim came out, like almost a year before the Smarter Science of Slim came out.

BEN: Well this is back when they had like buggies and horses and stuff.

JONATHAN: Exactly. We actually – we actually tin cans with a line of string and we recorded – I’m just kidding. He is none other than the man, the legend, Ben Greenfield, and if you’re not familiar with Ben, please familiarize yourself with his work. It’s wonderful. You can find out more He also has a wonderful podcast, which you should subscribe to called the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast and he is also the host of the Get Fit Guy Show up there on iTunes, so certainly while you’re up there getting your Smarter Science of Slim fix, check out Ben’s work and Ben welcome to the show.

BEN: Hey, thanks. I even upgraded to a stainless steel cup since our tin cup days, so I should sound way better for audio quality now.

JONATHAN: Excellent, excellent. Well, Ben, I wanted to just get started. You do a lot of stuff in this arena and I wanted to really just rewind the clock back a little bit and talk about little Ben and how you got into all this and just what motivates you? Tell us your story.

BEN: Oh, gosh, I was born in a small town in North Idaho and grew up in a little hick town called Lewiston, Idaho. So, I just offended any listeners who live in Lewiston, but it’s true the town is run off a pulp mill and it’s a lot of hunters and fishermen and so that’s kind of a typical northwest town. I’m not as progressive as your area over there in Seattle, Jonathan.

Early on, I took on an interest in sports, just kind of playing sports. I was the typical soccer, baseball, and eventually, I took up tennis and really got into that and kind of did some weight lifting and conditioning on the side to keep myself in shape so I could get better at sports and when I got to college, I decided that I wanted to study Kinesiology, which is the gloried term for PE, basically, and I studied for – it is — really – I studied for four years and it really kind of started after a couple of years of partying under my belt, started to get more seriously and began to really take an interest in a lot of the science, the anatomy, the physiology, so I was the TA for Anatomy and Physiology and I worked in the Biochem lab in the summer and did an internship over at Duke University in the Sports Medicine and the Sports Performance Department and I even took a bunch of pre-med classes and just really – total propeller had it out on the whole exercise physiology and also the whole nutrition side of things. So, I took a lot of pharmaceutical and dietary and nutrition classes and just soaked up as much knowledge as I could and this whole time I was also working as a personal trainer.

Actually it was kind of funny, because I was working at like a fancy French bakery that sold croissants and donuts and stuff which was across the street from the personal training gym, so I’d sell people donuts in the morning basically and then go personal train across the street after school in the afternoon and it’s funny how I’d see some of the same people going through the door of the gym that were buying chocolate croissants earlier that day.

Anyways, yeah, I worked as a personal trainer all during that time, so I was able to take all this knowledge and teach it to folks and I also eventually went on and got a Master’s degree in Physiology and Biomechanics and managed the University of Idaho Wellness Program while I was doing that and never went on to attend medical school, but instead out of school did kind of a quick stint in knee and hip surgical sales and didn’t like that at all, and got right back into fitness almost immediately.

I started managing a local gym, in Spokane Washington, which is where I wound up after graduating from Idaho, and popped up a few extra studios, one over in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho and then another one in down by Gonzaga University, famed right now for its basketball team, and just did tons of personal training, morning to evening, all day long, saw hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of clients for fat loss, for sports performance, for muscle gain, for body building and for just looking good in a swimsuit and you name it.

When my kids were born, five years ago, almost to this day, they just had a birthday a couple of days ago, my twin boys were born — I started to move more stuff kind of on to the Internet, so I could stay home a little bit more with my kids and my family. So, I started doing books and doing podcasts and doing more blogs and stuff like that and that’s really the majority of what I do now, is I give people fat loss and performance and nutrition advice, via my blog over at, and via the podcasts that you mentioned and I’m always working on a book here and there too.

I’m writing a book right now on how to compete in triathlon without doing lasting damage to your body, how to basically be good at endurance sports without sacrificing your health and so that’s what I do in my spare time, I am right now training for Ironman Canada, up in Whistler, so that’s what I do.

JONATHAN: Well, that’s cool, Ben and what’s driven you towards – you’ve done a lot of things in the athletic and just physical capacity. What drove your recent push towards the triathlons and these sort of ultra-endurance efforts?

BEN: Well, when I was attending University of Idaho, I actually joined the Triathlon Club down there. My wife ran cross-country for University of Idaho. She ran the 1500 and the 5K and she kind of sort of got me into endurance sports just because I had to go running with her and try and not look bad, getting beat by a girl, which she consistently (tape mute 6:44) and so I would get involved with the University of Idaho Triathlon Club, kind of teaching them lectures on Physiology and exercisephysiology and nutrition and stuff like that and just taking all of my geeked out knowledge from my classes and teaching triathletes how to get better because triathlon and endurance sports are really a sport of attrition, meaning that they are a sport where your fueling really matters for your physiology in terms of like knowing the proper intensities in which to exercise really matters and so it was a perfect place to apply knowledge of exercise physiology and did my first Sprint Triathlon in the day at University of Idaho and ever since then I’ve done at least, gosh, half a dozen sometimes more than a dozen triathlons every year since then and now compete just as an amateur triathlete just as an Ironman five years ago, six years ago, and it’s just my way to both get outdoors and experience nature, but also to take all these new concepts that I’m always delving into with exercise and try them out in sports.

So, case in point, I actually just wrote an article on my website about how I’m experimenting with the use of isometric exercise where you sit up against the wall for five minutes in a squat position and also using over-speed exercise, which is where you pedal a bike really, really fast, like faster than your legs feel like ever going and then also I’m even experimenting a little bit with electro-stimulation, which are these little electrodes you attach to muscle to make them fire so like I’m on a car trip, I can train my quadriceps, for example with electro stim to get them stronger for biking or for running. So it’s really kind my sport that I used to also apply some of these concepts. I want to guinea pig on myself.

JONATHAN: Well, I love that Ben, what have you – what are some of the worst – least effective, or let’s say, most detrimental experiments and then also some of the more positive ones?

BEN: Oh, detrimentalexperiments – let’s see – gosh there are a few out there. One would be – you put me on the spot here, but I have found that high fiber supplements are really bad, like cilium husk and Metamucil and a lot of these supplements that people perceive to be safe for fat loss, or perceive to be good for reducing appetite or cleansing the body. They actually do long term damage to your digestive tract. I used some of these high fiber supplements for a couple of years thinking that they were going to help keep me lean and they in fact caused inflammation in my intestine and kind of messed me up a little bit from a gut standpoint. So, that’s one thing I learned that was that high fiber supplements are not necessarily all they’re made out to be and it’s better to just get your fiber from real food and not take a bunch of extra.

Another thing that I found was that this whole kind of infatuation with fasting that a lot of people seem to have these days, this whole intermittent fasting thing, I’ve found that can really mess you up hormonally if you’re not careful, especially when you combine intermittent fasting, meaning like spending all night long from the time you eat dinner all the way up until like mid-morning without eating – at 10:00 do a 16 hour fast and then throwing in exercise on top of that and doing that a lot can do things like decrease your testosterone and increase your cortisol and even give you this kind of like cortisol waistline where you get a little bit of fat built up around the waistline and it’s kind of ironic that fasting would make you get fat, but that’s another thing I found that you’ve really got to be kind of careful with, especially when you’re combining it with exercise.

One other thing that I found is that big long workouts really are not that effective when it comes to increasing your speed or increasing your fitness or increasing your cardiovascular capacity efficiently and quickly. If you have a ton of time on your hands, sure, you could go out and do an easy five hour bike ride and you can get into shape, but I can get into just as quick of shape by going out and doing 30 minutes of bicycling intervals on the hill behind my house for example, so those are some of the things that I’ve found just in experimenting in with what works and what doesn’t.

JONATHAN: I love that Ben and what would you say are some of the things – the key – I mean you kind of got to one there at the end which has to do with the quality of exercise versus quantity, but what would you say are some of the key – the experiments that resulted in something — the most positive?

BEN: So, some of the things that I found to be really effective and obviously it’s kind of tough to paint with a really broad brush. I know that a lot of your listeners Jonathan, they’re not like – necessarily hard core Ironman triathletes and maybe they’re just looking to feel good and look better, maybe get a six-pack or look good in a pair of fitted jeans or something like that.

The nice thing is that a lot of the stuff that I kind of experimented with to say become a better triathlete has a lot of crossover into fat loss. So for example, one thing I found to work really, really well is surprisingly this whole concept of cold thermogenesis and hot/cold contrast.

This was actually something that came up during a recent live event that I put on in Spokane here where a NASA material’s Engineer named Ray Cronise came and spoke and he showed some of his clients are achieving in the range of 20 to 30 pounds of fat loss every month simply by implementing hot/cold contrast showers where for ten minutes a couple of times a day you go into a shower and you alternate 20 seconds of cold water with 10 seconds of hot water and I personally use cold water and cold showers to help my muscles heal faster after a hard workout, but also keep my metabolism elevated, so that’s one thing that I found to work really well.

Another thing and I would imagine this is something you may have mentioned on your show before, Jonathan, is the fact that fats are pretty dang impressive in their ability to keep your appetite satiated and keep your hormones elevated.

I frequently do biomarker testing, blood testing for all sorts of different things, like my cholesterol and my cholesterol particle size and my Vitamin D, my minerals, my electrolytes, my liver, my kidney and one thing that I found is that when I’m eating lots of avocados and walnuts and sardines and pumpkin seeds and dipping all my vegetables in olive oil — I eat a lot of olive oil, actually — I find that my Vitamin D levels respond really favorably, a value called my Omega 3 index, which is basically how many helpful anti-inflammatory Omega 3s I have in my body, that responds quite favorably, my testosterone goes up, my inflammation goes down and I’ve been able to quantify that eating – compared to like kind of the traditional lots of whole grains, lots of starches, and lots of stuff like whey protein and lean proteins, which I found actually kind of messes me up metabolically compared to just eating lots of healthy fats and kind of taking more of like a Mediterranean approach.

JONATHAN: That’s fascinating Ben, and what have you found? So, you said more of a Mediterraneanapproach, that’s – I mean historically a Mediterranean approach is complimented with monounsaturated fats, but then it does have the whole brains. It sounds like you’re doing a Mediterranean sans the whole grains even more monounsaturated fats or saturated fats or how is that –

BEN: Well, not to get – not to get too complicated here, but I will eat grains, for example, we ferment and prepare sourdough bread and I will occasionally eat like a kamut or an einkorn grain from a more ancient wheat source that hasn’t been bred for high yield crop and doesn’t have lots of gluten and kind of this damaging protein called gliadin in it.

I will do quinoa if it’s been soaked and even better yet if it’s been sprouted and I’ll do legumes, like chick peas and lentils if they’ve been soaked preferably in like an acidic medium or with some vinegar or something like that and I’ll include a lot of these components in my diet that you would find in a Mediterranean diet with the exception being that I’m not going to the grocery store or grabbing whole wheat bread to dip in my olive oil, I’m dipping homemade sourdough bread in my olive oil. So that’s kind of my perspective on the while Mediterranean thing is you’ve just got to be careful of the source of the grains and how they’ve been prepared, just because plants in general are resistant to digestion. They want to be pooped out and they want their seeds to get deposited somewhere else so if a plant can pass through your digestive system, then it really helps out that plant from kind of like an evolutionary perspective or the ability for it to be able to grow and flourish, but that’s not all that hot for your digestive tract. So, you have to be smarter than a plant and figure out how to ferment it and soak it and basically neutralize a lot of these digestive inhibitors and then it makes it alot healthier to eat. So, those are the kind of things that I include in my diet from like the whole Mediterranean grains and legumes perspective.

JONATHAN: And Ben, how much of that is influenced if at all with your athletic endeavors, because certainly, you’re training for a triathlon, this is a state that many of us will never or a feat let’s say rather that many of us will never be able to achieve, so in terms of what you’re doing, how would that compare with what you would say an individual who may be more sedentary, would be doing?

BEN: Well, I used to get a lot of gas and bloating and indigestion – even I had a short stint as a bodybuilder, which is kind of like the polar opposite of training for triathlon, but back in college I did some bodybuilding and I did the whole kind of like low fat, high protein diet, lots of whey protein, lots of chicken, lots of tuna, and I just wasn’t happy. Not only are you not happy when you got a little of bloating and indigestion or constipation going on from a subpar diet, but your body makes a very, very large number of its neurotransmitters in your gut and so if you’re eating foods that might inflame your gut or say, I mentioned like a plant that might be resistant to digestion, like let’s say you’re eating some quinoa because you heard quinoa is healthy, so you grab some quinoa from Costco or something like that and you’re just kind of making that quinoa according to the instructions on the back of the package.

Well, it doesn’t say on the back of the package that quinoa naturally is covered in saponins which you can make soap out of and that’s a pretty potent digestive irritant that allows that quinoa to pass through your body and people start eating quinoa and they won’t feel all that great from a digestive perspective and then from a neurotransmitter perspective if you’ve got soap in your stomach causing digestive inflammation you might not be able to make the neurotransmitters that are responsible for giving you better sleep or helping you to feel happy and have a better mood like dopamine or serotonin and so this stuff has implications that go way above and beyond just riding a bicycle fast because your stomach is performing well, it’s about sleeping better, it’s about being happier and feeling better, it’s about kind of processing your food a little bit more efficiently, so maybe you don’t get tummy aches or bloating which a lot of people actually have.

The other important thing is that when you’re taking care of your liver and your kidney, by eating clean food or food that doesn’t have a lot of preservatives and stuff like that in it, you’re also allowing your body to be able to turn over and produce hormones efficiently. So that’s another kind of benefit that you get from eating clean that goes above and beyond performance.

You take a lot of women tend to get fat as they get older and a big reason for that is something called estrogen dominance, which means that you’re getting lots of estrogens from plastics in the environment or maybe from beef and milk and stuff like that that you’re eating and it turns out that the liver is one of the places where your body is actually processes estrogen and so if you’ve got a liver that’s inflamed from eating lots of foods or eating lots of high amount of fructose and sugars or just using lots of stuff that your body has to detox in overworking your liver a lot of times that affects your hormones as well. So, long answer to your question, but we’re talking about way more than performance, we’re talking about sleep, mood, hormones, your waistline, stuff like that.

JONATHAN: Absolutely and speaking of performance and obviously a lot of the things we would do to enhance athletic performance and enhance every day performance, do you have recommendations like – so, right now you’re training for triathlons, if you were training for more of a burst based type of like a Crossfit type of activity or Olympic style training, or anything more explosive, football, something like that, how would you eat differently? Would you eat differently?

BEN: Yeah, I would certainly do a few things differently. For example, there are certain supplements that I don’t really use just because A, you can only take only so many supplements before it can start to affect you because let’s face it, a lot of pills and capsules are packaged with stuff like magnesium stearate, and other compounds that are kind of the nature of the beast when it comes to packaging something up in a capsule.

So, if I were training for football or Crossfit or trying to put on a bunch of strength or power or muscle, I would for example be using Creatine. I’d be using another supplement called L-carnitine. I’d be taking some kind of a nitric oxide precursor which gives your muscles a little bit more umpf and more oxygen and a little bit more glucose delivery, like a beta alanine or a (Inaudible 00:21:38) or something of that nature. I would be eating a slightly higher protein, lower fat diet than I eat right now, not a high protein low fat diet, but a higher protein lower fat diet just because you tear up your body a little bit more. You tear up your muscle fibers a little bit more with a sport like that.

From an overall food choice perspective, I would probably do a little bit more like grass fed beef than I do right now. Right now I do a lot of cold water fish and sardines and stuff like that, but if you want to get big and strong and powerful, sometimes you do need to eat big and strong and powerful animals so I would do a little bit more grass fed beef. I would probably step up my egg consumption a little bit, but just little tweaks here and there – things that may seem subtle, but that can kind of take you – turn you in the direction of more the endurance profile – it’s more of the power strength athlete profile. I work with some bodybuilder and some strength athletes and I certainly treat them differently than I treat myself when it comes to diet and when it comes to the specific supplement profile that I choose for someone like that.

JONATHAN: And Ben how much are you – speaking of bodybuilders in the slight tweaks, I’ve noticed – I’m not as plugged into the natural bodybuilding community as I used to be when I was at University and even before that I was very, very into it, but I am happy to see that a bit more sanity I was going to say, but that has a double meaning and it is true, both of the words fit there, but a little bit more of a – you don’t have to eat just bread and meat – there can be a role for a lower carbohydrate higher fat more natural whole foods role even if your goal is more of a bodybuilding type pure physique pursuit. Have you also seen a shift in that way?

BEN: Yeah, certainly there are a lot of bodybuilders and I apologize I can’t pull any names off the top of my head right now just because I’m also not as immersed in the bodybuilding industry as I used to be, but who are following more of the higher fat lower carbohydrate approach than the higher protein lower carbohydrate approach and not only can muscles store a great deal of intramuscular fat so it can help out a little bit with muscle, but when it comes to hormones and your hormone profile, man, one of the things that I remember distinctly when I was at 3 percent body fat and right around 210 lbs. of muscle, boy, I looked good, but I – I just was like a piece of muscle lying on the couch. I had no sex drive, my hormones were really low, (tape mute 24:34) competitive drive and if I could go back and do it all over again, I would certainly eat more cholesterol, I would eat more fat, I would really focus on things like Vitamin D and Vitamin A, I’d be doing lots of cod liver oil and fish oil and not focusing on the lean cuts of meat, but rather focus on the fatty marbly cuts of beef – I would definitely do things differently if I could go back and do it over again and I think that’s a healthier way to go. I don’t – don’t get me wrong, I don’t think bodybuilding is a healthy sport, I don’t really thing triathlon in many cases is a very healthy sport, but there are certainly healthy ways to do it.

JONATHAN: Absolutely, and Ben the other – one other thing I wanted to dig into because I really – I mean I appreciate that you talk about this, because I personally feel that it is one of the most under-represented components of an – let’s call it a very healthy and wonderful diet and that is the consumption of fish, wild caught, the salmons, the sardines, it seems like there is so much attention paid to meat. Almost and I personally think it’s just – there is – the vegans and the vegetarians out there that are saying, you’re killing animals so individuals want to come back with as much energy, but it’s like the fish, the salmon and the sardines, they are so wondrous for you and no one’s wearing t-shirts promoting the consumption of those things and even – there’s plenty of pescetarians in the world where you might not like eating a cow, but you feel less bad eating a piece of salmon and you and I know these foods are just phenomenally good for you, not only from a nutritional density perspective, but they’re delicious, they’re satisfying, they’re hormonally helpful, they help inflammation – I mean I know you show love for the fish, why don’t we see more fish love?

BEN: You know – I don’t know and I suspect that maybe it is partially tied to kind of the old school bodybuilding, Jack LaLanne, weight training, old school kind of approach of eat your meat, or eat your beef, your hamburgers, that kind of stuff, just because that’s kind of like the traditional muscle gain diet, but fish are really, really healthy.

I actually think that a lot of vegans and vegetarians should look into this whole concept of bivalve, it’s called something like bivalve veganism or something along those lines. It has a word like that, but basically it’s a concept of eating shellfish or bivalves like oysters and clams and mussels because those have really, really high levels of iron and B-12, and zinc, and selenium and Vitamin D and Vitamin A and a lot of things that vegans and vegetarians don’t get, frankly that a lot of people in general don’t get. Those particular living organisms don’t actually have a central nervous system and so for vegans or vegetarians who avoid animal products for ethical reasons, that’s definitely something that I think you may be able to include with good conscious, but I think that a lot of people, they neglect those, they neglect like you mentioned, the cold water fish and the salmon and I honestly don’t know why, Jonathan, because they are very easily digested, their chock full of DHA and EPA, sure you’ve got to be careful where you get your salmon or whatever, wild is better than farmed, yada-yada-yada. I think that it is underplayed especially in kind of like the fitness community and I don’t know why, but I’m guessing it’s just kind of like the old school approach thing.

JONATHAN: The thing I also like too about seafood personally is the ease of preparation. I mean you take a nice piece of salmon, you throw in a skillet with some coconut oil, you do it for two minutes, three minutes on a side, flip it over, two minutes, three minutes on a side, throw your preferred spice on it, you’ve got a delicious main dish. I mean it’s not like you just short changed like searing a piece of fish literally take minutes and you throw some seasoning on it and it’s spectacular.

BEN: Yeah, and we do a lot of fish. We do a lot of sardines out of the can, like the sardines in the olive oil – we do usually about once every couple of weeks or so, some kind of a shell fish, but you are pretty blessed over there in Seattle with really, really good seafood. We still have to get it shipped in over here on the east side of Washington. I absolutely agree and I think that a lot of people could benefit by including more fish in their diet and for some reason you can’t go out of your way to get fish, I mean just including more seaweed and algae sources in your diet because it also is really rich in minerals and if you take something like a spirulina or chlorella and you can get this type of stuff in like a supplement form, it’s pretty high in DHA and EPA and a lot of these same things that you’d eat fish to get, really, really good brain building fatty acids, so pretty much if it comes from the ocean, especially if it comes from a clean section of the ocean, it’s usually going to be pretty good for you and your body and your brain.

JONATHAN: And that’s – I think it’s very rare to find global truths like that and it really I is, unless you’re coming from a heavily polluted area and I want to Ben — this is total speculation, but, if we roll back, way back to our ancestral history and there was a period in time when there was a great – the climate on our planet was very, very hot and homosapiens almost went extinct. I believe the estimate was we were down to the low 10,000s and the only reason we survived was there were individuals who were on the coasts because those were the individuals who could essentially acquire food readily, so for a period of time in our evolutionary history, there was a great, like literally, the only – well not the only – the vast majority of homo sapiens who survived were those who had access to seafood and I don’t know if that played any role in it, but that thought always holds a place in my heart, because I do think we tend – when we live on land, I don’t know, I think we tend to over-index somethings that exist on land and under-index on things that live in water, and because really, like you said, if it lives in water and it hasn’t been horribly contaminated, it’s good to go, but I think if we looked at the average, even healthy “eaters” diet even the guidance we get, Ben is like try to eat seafood once a week and it’s like wait – why? Why not once a day? Why is it – I mean if you say eat seafood once a week, then you’re saying, eat everything else more than seafood so why not give love to the fish? Come on.

BEN: I hear you and I think some people might be kind of scared of like the heavy metals and stuff like that, but you can mitigate some of that. For example, getting enough selenium in your diet, fish itself has decent amounts of selenium, but selenium is one thing that can bind metals.

When I’m eating shell fish and stuff sometimes I’ll even use a supplement called activated charcoal that you can use at the same time to make sure that you’re not getting lots of toxins from the fish and that type of thing, getting absorbed and charcoal is one way to kind of clean up your bloodstream.

I personally even one time a year I’ll do a heavy metal detox where I have this specific formula that I use that’s like this sublingual spray once a day for one month that detoxes my body of metals that may have built up over the rest of the year. So there are things that you can do and ways that you can battle some of the stuff that you might find in fish, but ultimately you try and choose wild stuff from clean sources and you’re going to be pretty good to go, but I still do recommend that you pay attention a little bit to the health side of things. I’m also guessing that that population who was on the verge of extinction from not getting enough food probably didn’t have the fresh fish truck that showed up in the Yoke’s parking lot like I did. They must not have had that back then I guess so.

JONATHAN: Absolutely and to your point about the heavy metals, I mean this is one thing where certainly if an individual — obviously we should be careful of that, but I sometimes feel that (Inaudible 00:33:38) I have no affiliation of any seafood company here, I just think it’s an interesting subject – certainly seafood is not the only food source that can be tainted in some way, right? Like have GMO crops, we have pesticides on crops, we have hormones in meat, we have hormones in dairy so if we were to take a cynical look at really any of the food groups, we could say well, we can’t eat that because of this, and we can’t eat that because it’s – and frankly Ben, we actually can’t even drink water, because who knows what’s in our water and our air is polluted, so I don’t know what the hell we’re actually going to do. So the point of that is not to say that people shouldn’t look out for stuff, but rather look out for everything and don’t hate on the fish — because there could be problems with everything.

BEN: Yeah, we can’t live in a bubble. I actually talked about this recently in my podcast. We made a bunch of jokes about how we could make this special Ben Greenfield bubble with a HEPA air filter and get little heavy metal detox sprayed in there at the end of each day and just roll around in your bubble and eat soylent or something. You’re right, you do have to have to enjoy life a bit and when I’m cruising down on the side of the road on my bicycle and a semi- truck goes by blowing gas out its backside, I don’t give a second thought to it, just because sometimes you just kind of got to shove that stuff aside and if you worry too much, that’s bad for you too.

JONATHAN: I mean if you can’t enjoy your 150 year long life because you’re so healthy, than what’s the point of having a 150 year long life, right?

BEN: Yep. Exactly. Exactly. What’s the point in fasting to extend your life, you hear about that, people fast to extend their life, but who’d want to fast to extend their life if you’re not going to enjoy those extra three years of life that you’re getting because you never, ever in your life ate ice cream, or coconut ice cream I should say.

JONATHAN: Someone who I would say have a similar subject was saying granted this may extend your life 20 years, but understand that now you’re going to live to – you get 20 years of life starting at 90 years old, so you get the lifestyle of a 90 year old for 20 more years while compromising the lifestyle potentially – it’s not like you get 20 more years during your honeymoon, you get them at the tail end. That’s not to say certainly we shouldn’t do things to maximize our health, but certainly let’s be sane about it right?

BEN: Exactly and I mean I mentioned that earlier that I’m not necessarily convinced that triathlon is a healthiest sport for me to be in, but you know what, if doing an Ironman Triathlon maybe is going to take a few hours off my life for something like that, I’m willing to put up with that just because it’s a heck of a lot of fun and it’s a nice little challenge for me and I enjoy it immensely, so there you go.

JONATHAN: I love — no, I love that. Well, Ben speaking of fun, you are always up to such cool stuff. What fun stuff do you have coming up next?

BEN: Well, I’m going down to the Paleo FX conference here at the time of this recording in about a week or so and then I’ll turn around from there and go do my first triathlon of the season over in Vietnam. I love to travel to race just because it lets me see the world and kind of stay fit and when I go to a new place get to see the countryside from the back of a bicycle and so I’ll be doing that and then going to race in Vietnam and then going to race in Japan after that, so that should be fun. Aside from that just working – I’m always trying to get some good information out there for folks. I just recently did something with another fellow podcast, Abel James, the Fat Burning Man. He and I followed each other around with videocameras and shot a lot of the little tips and tricks that we use every day to do what we call living a lean lifestyle. So, we put that up over at, and that’s got my new product so to speak, but aside from that I’ll just spend this year trying to deliver as much value as possible to people through my podcast and through my blog and my big project is this new book I’m working on about the distinct balance between health and performance, specifically for athletes, how you can exercise and where exercise becomes too much and where your health and longevity should kind of be important. So basically how to do stuff like Ironman Triathlon without destroying your body too much in the process, so. Little bit of this, little bit of that, Jonathan.

JONATHAN: I love it Ben. That sounds really good folks. If you, again, if you’ve not been over to, please do so. Ben’s been at this for a long time and there has got to be – I mean if you were ever short on stuff to read, go to and listen to – Ben will give you a multi-media experience, like you’re going to figure out a way to throw smell in there and like, because you’ve already got – you’ve got the sound, you’ve got things to look at, you’ve got everything, Ben, and you’ve got a lot of it and it’s all good stuff, so please folks, check out, check out Ben’s show, Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast and also he is the Get Fit Guy, so you can’t go wrong with that, right?

BEN: That’s right. The Get Fit Guy.

JONATHAN: I love it.

BEN: What are you waiting for? Go get fit. That’s how I always end that podcast by saying so. There you go.

JONATHAN: I love it. Well, Ben, thank you so much for sharing your time with us. It’s certainly been a joy for me and I know it has been for a listeners as well, and listeners thank you for joining us and remember this week, and for every week afterwards, eat more, and exercise less, but do that smarter. Talk to you soon.

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