$Podcast Episode #32 from https://nuvisionexcel.com/podcasts/episode-32/
Introduction: Hi and welcome to Excel Radio. This is your host and high-performance expert, Dr. Nick Zyrowski. In this episode, we have brought back Jeremy Hendon through popular demand. Now, if you don’t remember Jeremy, he is very well known, both him and his wife in the Paleo space. They’re both Paleo bloggers; they are the former owners of Paleo Magazine and him and his wife together have written several books. In our last episode, Jeremy and I had spoken on many topics anywhere from lab testing to just living a Paleo lifestyle and he brought a lot of value to the listeners. So we brought him back and he, once again, delivers value just like last time. Hope you enjoy the show.
Dr. Z: Hey, Jeremy, thanks for being on the show with us today. How are you doing?
Jeremy: I’m doing excellent. Thanks so much for having me back.
Dr. Z: Awesome. Could you re-introduce yourself to the listeners?
Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. I forget how I introduced myself last time. I think most people probably know me from having founded a couple of health magazines; Paleo Living and Healthy Recipes which we don’t own anymore. But then, my wife and I, my wife mostly, still runs PaleoMagazine.com which we founded and have grown. Other than that, I do a variety of things. I’ve written a few books, I actually have a podcast which I haven’t updated in a bit but I’m starting it back and just a few other things I have going. We can talk about all of it or any of it.
Dr. Z: Awesome. So right now where are you living at?
Jeremy: I am living in Lisbon, Portugal.
Dr. Z: Okay and what brings you out there? Just travel or is it family?
Jeremy: No family. My wife grew up in England although her family’s all in the U.S or in China now. My family’s all in Georgia. We were living in Asia for the Winter because it was warm and nice and we decided we wanted to come to Europe in May. So we looked around and the main place we were thinking about going which was Budapest because one of my best friends is Hungarian and I’ve been to Budapest and love it. But in May, it was still a little bit cold and a little bit too wet and so we thought, “Well, let’s try Lisbon” and we got here and now we’re gonna stay for a little bit because Lisbon’s kind of fantastic.
Dr. Z: That’s awesome. Awesome. So I don’t know if everybody remembers but Jeremy’s been on the show before and he delivered some great value and we just talked. When we get talking, we talk about a little bit of everything but one of the topics we are going to talk a little about today is stress and managing stress. So Jeremy, could you just take this topic of stress and let’s kind of dig into it a little bit.
Jeremy: Yeah, absolutely. I thought about it again because I was interviewing Tom O’Brien yesterday for an event that we have coming up in September and a lot of your listeners might know Tom O’Brien. He’s very much into food sensitivities and autoimmune issues and just an all-around great guy. We actually got to talking about stress and then I knew this interview was coming up today and I thought, “Well, let’s talk a little more about it” because it’s been something that I’ve actually been fascinated with for the past year or two. I remember when Mark Sisson came up with his book, “The Primal Connection” talking a lot about communities and our evolutionary need for communities and also how these things are affecting us and it’s been one of the things that’s been driving me because I hang out with a lot of entrepreneurs. Before this, I was a lawyer so I was hanging out with a lot of lawyers and bankers, particularly in New York City. The stress piece is so fascinating. One of the stories that Dr. Tom O’Brien told me yesterday that I actually didn’t know. I had actually never looked up the etymology of stress or how we think about it right now but there was a Hungarian named Selye who essentially coined the word “stress”. I think it was in the 30s for how we think about stress now and what it does to our body stressors and what he was doing was he was actually feeding various desiccated organs to mice and he would see various adverse reactions on their bodies and he thought he had found a new hormone that was kind of across a lot of these organs. But then he realized, if you just fed them a bunch of different, random things that they weren’t supposed to be eating, that he would see the same reactions. So he coined this word, “stress” for what was happening to their bodies. Often now, in 2016 right now when we’re recording this, we think of stress, we think of this psychological stress, right?
Dr. Z: Yes.
Jeremy: Stress is really this whole thing that happens to our bodies. Food is a big stressor, particularly if you’re eating processed foods or foods that just don’t work well with our bodies, there are all sorts of toxins. Basic toxicology – everything’s a toxin depending on the dosage but some are more quickly than others, right? Lead, arsenic, those types of things. All sorts of things around us, electromagnetic fields but then there are also these stressors of, for instance, not living in a tight-knit community. One of the few podcasts I still listen to is Tim Ferris’s podcast and he had Sebastian Junger who is a three or four time New York Times best-selling author and one of the books that he wrote was on war and one of the things he’s particularly interested in is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. One of the stats that he gives is that 10% of our Military see active duty combat right now around 10% but about 50% come back or leave the Military with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Dr. Z: Yeah.
Jeremy: There’s still a lot of dispute over why this is and I’m definitely no PTSD expert but one of his conjectures which really resonates with me from all the research I’ve done and from everything I know about my own life and from a lot of other places is that the reason that the PTSD is so much higher is because these people are coming out of this very, very, close-knit, tight, bonded group. In a platoon, you’re usually with 40 or 50 other people which is even smaller than Dunbar’s number traditionally which we evolutionary grew up with like 140, 145. They’re coming out of this very tiny group and they come back to a very alienating society where even if you have a family, you don’t have a tight knit community around you. You’re not living in close proximity and he says that “If you look at the Peace Corp, what’s really interesting is a very high percentage number of people who come back from the Peace Corp get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and he said it’s often because they’ve gone to places essentially lesser developed countries, where they’re living, often, sleeping next to 10, 12 or 15 other people in very tight proximity living with them all the time in that close-knit community and so that’s a huge stressor on us too, right? Having this alienating and very individualized sense of community which I see a lot in the U.S, I see a lot in certain other countries and less so in others. That’s partly why it fascinates me.
Dr. Z: Yeah, I know. I agree. It’s all too often you live in a community where your neighbor doesn’t talk to you and you say, “Hi” to them and they look at you like, “Why are you talking to me?” It’s kind of a strange thing. I don’t understand. I can’t tell you how often I’m walking down the sidewalk and I tell somebody, “Good morning” and they look away. I don’t understand it.
Jeremy: There have been studies, if you’re homeless for more than about 48 hours, it can have semi-permanent effects on your brain just because you get so ignored as soon as you’re homeless and you feel so disconnected from humanity all of a sudden.
Dr. Z: It’s very interesting. So what you’re saying, basically, is that from a primal connection standpoint that in a stress standpoint, it is really imperative for us to surround ourselves with groups of other individuals and live in a community versus just alienating ourselves.
Jeremy: Yeah. There has been a variety of work and studies done on this. It’s one of these things that’s really, really hard to isolate. In fact, there’s so many studies out there that people love pointing to that say that we should ingest one or two glasses of wine a day. It’s very healthy, right? I actually think all these studies are super biased because the places where people do that on average are places where they have very tiny communities. The reason that they’re having one to two glasses of wine per day is because they’re often going out with their friends or going out into the community and hanging out. I feel like this is a super strong effect of that social aspect but yeah, I do. I don’t think and this is what’s so interesting to me, I don’t think we’ve found a way to recreate it yet. I think starting with the agricultural revolution, it distances us a little because we started living a little bit more independently on farms and family units rather than with a nomadic tribe. I think the industrial revolution shot that through the roof. We started living in cities where we have more people around but we feel more alienated than ever because we don’t know all these people and we’re not tight we a small group of them and then I think now, with digital technology, it’s taking it to another level altogether. I don’t think we’ve found an answer yet. Maybe technology will find an answer, I’m actually a big tech fan so I don’t put it past technology at all but I don’t think we’ve seen it yet and I think it’s a huge problem; the community piece and the stress piece.
Dr. Z: Okay, absolutely. One of the things you were talking about, too is we’re looking at different aspects of stress. We’re talking about the community piece but then we also talked about the stressors, more of the physical stressors rather than the mental stressors; the toxins and bad food and all those things. Now, let’s say somebody who’s suffering from health concerns that are related to stress, let’s say high blood pressure and it can really go on and on and on, the health concerns that are coming from stress. So these same people that are stressed out of their minds with all these health concerns, is it really the physical piece or the emotional piece or is it really both that they have to really come to grips with in order to overcome that illness, you think?
Jeremy: I feel like that’s a softball question. I feel like we agree on that, I feel like most people would. I think we all know it’s everything, right? I don’t think we can really separate them, I think some people lean towards saying it’s more of the emotional and psychological piece, some people lean a lot more towards saying it’s the physical piece and we figure all of that out. Ironically, I feel like I lean a little more towards the physical piece and when I say physical, I actually mean that if we do so many things physically, like eat the right foods and avoid certain toxins that are very prevalent both in our diet and in our environment and if we surround ourselves physically with a tight-knit community. So I actually lean a little more towards the physical side and I almost feel like that’s just the more practical side to deal with and I feel like once people are able to deal with that side of it because it’s concrete and it makes sense, that the other pieces of it come more easily. It’s a little easier, for instance, we’ve helped put thousands or tens of thousands of people on Paleo or Keto diets and often it’s to lose weight or something but time and again, when they get on those diets, all of a sudden, “Oh my God! I have more energy, I can think a little bit clearer” because they’re eating unprocessed foods, they’re just living a generally healthier life and all of a sudden it becomes easier for them to make other changes and there are a lot of people who’ve talked about things like domino habits, or the domino effect of certain changes that you could make in your life. I feel like going from the physical to the emotional side or to the psychological side is the easier way to go because it does give you more of that clarity and more of the energy. So I feel the easiest way to start, is often just to start feeding yourself the right foods; take out all the processed sugar, take out the seed oils, take out most of the grains since most people have, or everybody has an adverse reaction to gluten, we know that. Since most people have an adverse reaction to most grains, take out those things and start feeling better and then be able to make those other changes.
Dr. Z: Right and I have to agree with you. I really think it’s both and I deal with more of the biological side of the whole thing, removing the toxins and I deal with more of the people who are stuck and they can’t get out of that no matter what they do. That’s more of the people that I’m working with but yeah, I think it’s both. Even when I work with people if I realize stress is a big part of their life, I’m fully aware that there is a limitation to getting them well if they’re working a job that is 80 hours a week and they’re not willing to put any effort into their…there’s so many different things. Like I said, the one thing that I am fully aware of is if somebody’s just stressed to the max, we can biologically change their body; however you have to deal with that stress, the emotional piece.
Jeremy: I think you and I know that the stress piece is one of the hardest. I don’t know exactly how many hours you work but I don’t think it’s 10 or 15 a week.
Dr. Z: No.
Jeremy: It’s hard to relax enough.
Dr. Z: I think it is hard and I really think that just for anybody, anymore, it can become something that spirals out of control. Let’s face it. If you look at the average American’s life, they’re trying to raise a family, they’re trying to make a living, there’s the technology that is all around them.
Jeremy: They’re trying to catch up on other Netflix.
Dr. Z: Yeah, there’s so much stuff going, there’s so much noise and I just think that it turns into one of those things that people don’t know how to control anymore and so that’s why I often times get people to step back and take that time for themselves and take that time to meditate and take that time to journal and do these things and just kind of create inner peace.
Jeremy: Yeah. That’s actually the piece that I’m most fascinated in. It’s funny because I say I come at a more of a physical side because I do see people make progress there to begin with but that’s the piece that really fascinates me. For the past couple of years, I’ve also been very interested in play. There’s a few people, I won’t name them, but who’ve been very instrumental in talking about play over the past century, a couple of researchers. It’s funny. When I go back and I read a lot of spiritual text whether they’re Christian or the Book of Bhagavad Gita or the Dao de Jing or anything else, what always comes out is a certain playfulness. Also, if you see monks, you’ve been with monks a long time. I was lucky when I was in college, the Dalai Lama actually came and spent most of the semester at Emory. We see these people who we think of as more enlightened, more present, they do have this child-like, playful quality and I feel like as much as it is relaxing for us and what we call “de-stressing”, it’s also just approaching everything we do with a, what I call, “lightness” and I use “lightness” because that word doesn’t carry as much baggage as a lot of other words. I think it’s approaching things without the level of seriousness. We approach everything so seriously and I don’t know if you’ve read it, “The World Until Yesterday” written by the same guy, Jared Diamond, sorry I was blank on its name for a moment, written by Jared Diamond. Most people know, “Guns, Germs, and Steel”, won the Pulitzer I think back in the mid to late-90s. He’s also written a bunch of other books, he was an anthropologist for a long time, mostly in Papua New Guinea but he studied cultures and civilizations around the world often semi-prehistoric cultures, right? Cultures that were to some degree nomadic and isolated, well into the mid to late 20th century and I don’t know how many years he spent down there but it’s somewhere between 30 and 40, I think. “The World Until Yesterday”, one of the things he talks about is people think that pre-agricultural life which is human life for about two and a half million years. They think this human life was really serious, that you’re always talking about serious things or doing serious hunting or whatever. He says, “Literally, most of the time that people in these tribes spent, they spent sitting around talking about literally nothing.” He says, “For example, in one tribe in Papua New Guinea”, I forget the stat that he gives but it’s something like half their time was spent talking about how many bananas they ate the day before. Not to judge how many bananas they had left for any reason, but just because, “Oh yeah, haha, I ate 15 bananas yesterday”, whatever it was. This was what they do and it’s interesting that we were talking about community too because if you look historically, the reason people always think gossip is such a bad thing, always gossiping about celebrities or about our neighbors and things. Gossip is a million times faster than at establishing both a hierarchy and social cohesion so that we know what’s going on with every member of our tribe and the reason you want to have that is because in a tribe; 130, 150 people, you need to know, not only know everybody but you need to know everything that is going on because everything that is going on affects you and affects your livelihood. You need to be a part of that group and that group is your survival. So, gossip actually serves that function so it’s really fascinating when we think about how we spend our time now. We think it has to be so serious, we think it has to be so goal oriented that we always have to be getting these things done, we have to be progressing in our lives. I mean this in every way. Even for people who talk in a slightly more enlightened way these days, we’re always, “We need to grow, we need to become a better person, we need to become our best self.” It’s all the same for me. I’m actually very, I wouldn’t say adverse, to that way of thinking because I think it’s all fine but it’s always fascinating to me that we’re always aiming towards it. We always feel like we need to improve ourselves, we need to be better in some way, we need to grow in some way, even Tony Robbins says this, “Growing is living” which I don’t particularly agree with. I agree with it if you’re stuck in this dichotomy of needing to always be better but I think to a degree that we can let go of that piece, that it helps us on both the psychological level and comes back to that physical level and really helps us because it releases a weight of always needing to be better, of always needing to grow and needing to find out how good we can become.
Dr. Z: Yeah, and from an entrepreneurial perspective, when I look at people that I’m friends with on Facebook, it’s 95% entrepreneurs, some very successful, some climbing the ranks. It’s kind of funny because they always post all their stuff and obviously, you know as well as I do, one of the big hot topics has been morning routines, morning routines and what your morning routine is? And another thing and I think this is probably because of Tai Lopez posting all the pictures about books all over the internet. He literally broke the internet with his YouTube videos. But people putting stacks of books that are 20 books’ tall like, “I’m gonna crush all these books over this month.” People just turn themselves into these machines and if they’re not doing, doing, doing, they feel like they’re not accomplishing. For me, I’ve done the morning routine stuff. I think it’s a good way to get yourself back on track if you’ve really fallen off the bandwagon and these rigid schedules. But living day in and day out with this rigid schedule, it’s not human and it really just will burn you right out.
Jeremy: Let me ask you this. How does it make you feel to see 95% entrepreneurs on your feed posting everything that they’re doing?
Dr. Z: Good for you. I don’t really care. I’m not the type of guy who’s like, “I gotta be like him.”
Dr. Z: I just gotta be like myself and I’m the “what you see is what you get” kind of guy but I find it interesting. I kind of always take a step back and analyze it and be, “Wow. Okay, that’s awesome. He’s really trying to step up his game and stuff” but honestly, I feel like a lot of people, they’re best foot forward is on the internet and then what happens behind the scenes, who really knows.
Jeremy: I actually stopped. I remember about three years ago. I called my Facebook feed and I had only people that I sort of admired that I felt were doing really cool stuff. This was three or four years ago and so on my Facebook feed, when I would get on there, I would see people doing really cool stuff and great stuff too and great stuff too. They were helping people, things that people would generally consider very, very good things. They weren’t just boasting about, “Oh I made a million dollars”. They really helped this person with their emotional issues or whatever and the thing I found is that it was stressing me out. It wasn’t an obvious stress for me, it wasn’t like I saw it and I thought, “Oh my God, I need to be doing that or I need to be better than them” but I realized that it was sort of this subconscious stress for me because even just seeing all that and seeing people doing it, I felt like I needed to be doing more all the time. I needed to be accomplishing a little more and a lot of people say this is a good thing, “Oh yeah, I surround myself with all these people who are doing so much more so that it motivates me” which is funny because I’m like, “Well, why do you need to be motivated? Why do you need to be pushed in that way?”
Dr. Z: Right.
Jeremy: That’s the only reason I asked is because I actually don’t look at Facebook anymore. I don’t have it, actually, I have one of the apps on my computer. I go on Facebook because I run a couple of groups and I use it for Messenger but I have one of the plug-ins where I can’t see the feed, it automatically removes the feed. I’m sure Facebook loves that.
Dr. Z: Right, right. I’m the same way. Except for business purposes, I can’t say I spend a lot of time on there seeing what’s being posted but like I said, one of the things and this is good for the listeners to realize too because this is the realization I’ve come across, one of the things is that a lot of these people like I said, they’re putting their best foot forward whether it’s them talking about their business. They’re not putting their struggles on the internet, they’re just putting how they’re rock stars and that they’re crushing it and the reality of a lot of these people’s lives aren’t what you think it is. So that’s why, if you’re the type of person who sees these stuff and it stresses you out, “Oh my gosh, I need to do more. I need to catch up with this person”, just be aware that there’s a good chance you’re seeing a distorted reality of that individual’s life. That’s the way I see it.
Jeremy: I’ll give you a quick example. Obviously, we’ve been in the Paleo world for quite a while and we know a lot of the Paleo bloggers. Back in the day, a few years ago, three, four, five years ago, we’d go to the Ancestral Health Symposium, Paleo f(x), some of those things we’re allowed to even show up. If you think that Paleo bloggers eat perfectly…I was at a shock because the reason I, especially when we’re in the United States, we probably eat better than 99% of the Paleo bloggers. There are some vast exceptions like Mark Sisson. He’s like perfect. I’m so impressed with that guy, every time I meet him and see him and Robb Wolf. There are also, a lot of the ones that you see online, here’s just one example of what you’re talking about, “putting your best foot forward”, showing you all the best recipes and everything and then going out for ice cream afterwards or whatever it is. It happens all the time.
Dr. Z: I feel that’s the case. When I put my stuff out, I don’t take, I would say, the path of, “Oh, well I’m perfect and I do this with my health and I do that with my health” because I feel like when you follow some of these people, they’re always talking about the newest supplement they’re taking and the newest lab test they’re running and you’re just like, “Man, how are they doing all these?” ‘Cause they just said last week that they were taking this supplement and if you add up all the supplements they’re taking, they’re taking 30 different supplements. Of course, they’re not doing that. There’s one particular week, they got on this little thing with this supplement and they just started taking it but the readers are thinking like they’re superhuman and they’re exercising like a bandit, taking a million supplements. It’s just a distorted reality.
Jeremy: Yeah, there are a few people who walk this walk; Ben Greenfield, for instance. I don’t know Ben that well, I’ve only met him a few times but that guy he does everything he says and more. He doesn’t even put everything he does on there. I’ve met him and his brother, they’re two of the most grounded realistic people you’ll ever meet. It’s kind of crazy.
Dr. Z: And they’re hilarious.
Jeremy: I joked to his brother, “Man, I wanna meet your parents. How did your parents raise you guys?” They’re both like Adonis, first of all. I don’t even know how they look how they do but yeah, they’re both perfect. Then, it’s like the Dr. Oz effect, what you were mentioning. There’s no way you could do even a third of what Dr. Oz has on his show, right?
Dr. Z: I know. I have my patients that come to me and it’s so funny. All I can do is roll my eyes because every time I see him, they’re on some new kick. For instance, one of the patients came in, they were drinking hot water. I’m like, “What do you got there?” “Oh, just hot water” and I’m like, “Well, what are you drinking hot water for?” “Well, Dr. Oz..” and he goes on. Oh my gosh, stop it. I’ve met Ben Greenfield probably at some of the same events you’ve met him. He’s definitely a machine man. He literally does. I don’t know, maybe 10 plus Spartan races a year. Probably more.
Jeremy: Yeah, he’s kind of insane. Insane in a good way. Perfect physical condition, it’s kind of crazy. He did some tests with my friend, Chris Kelly and Chris has been on Ben’s podcast a couple of times. I did this lab test recently. It’s been around for a while, it’s not a particularly new thing and my friend Chris didn’t come up with it, he just uses it now. It’s called “The DUTCH Test”. I don’t know if you’re familiar with The DUTCH Test?
Dr. Z: Yeah, a little bit.
Jeremy: Ben took it right before I did and Ben’s like, “Yeah, it’s really interesting. There were some extra stuff in there.” He’s like, “I produce hormones” like a gorilla. He’s producing everything across the board. Then I got mine back and I don’t look anything like Ben, by the way. I got mine back and I was like, “Man, I produce so many hormones.” My testosterone levels, my cortisol levels, it’s through the roof. I’ve tested before on some of the adrenal panels, the salivary ones. I come back either low or low to mid which is something I had worked on in the past and actually gotten my DHEA levels up, I had gotten my cortisol levels up and back in rhythm although they’ve always still been just kind of in the middle at best and not near the top of the range. For a long time, I think starting back around 2010, 2011, I thought I had adrenal fatigue.
Dr. Z: Right.
Jeremy: I did to some degree, whatever we call adrenal fatigue, adrenal depletion, there are all these names for it now. I admit adrenal fatigue is probably a bad name because it’s not really that our adrenal glands get worn out for the most part, it’s more of the HPA axis and the signaling and everything. Nonetheless, those cortisol panels, they only show you a little bit. They only show you essentially some of the metabolized but then when you do this dry urine panel, the DUTCH Test, I forget exactly what it stands for but Dried Urine something, something hormones. It shows you so much and in fact, a lot of people who are low on the salivary cortisol panel are actually producing a ton but it’s getting shifted down different pathways and so it’s not ending up as the cortisol that we think of, as the free cortisol that actually doesn’t give us energy but keeps us awake and keeps us alert and gives us that feeling of energy. It’s really fascinating for me because now I’ve kind of shifted directions and been trying to figure out, “Well, why is it that I’m producing so much and maybe even a little too much because you look at my testosterone numbers. Actually, my hair’s starting to get thin just a little now and I’m thirty…how old am I? 37. Yeah, I’m 37. I had to think about. I’m 37 and my hair is starting to get thin a little bit but I look at this panel and I’m like, “Well, no wonder because I’ve got so much dihydroxytestosterone, right?” which is one of the main reasons that you see male pattern baldness, right? It starts getting stuck in your hair follicles which causes it to thin, that’s the main reason we see male pattern baldness. I’m like, “Well, darn. If I could get my testosterone down just a little bit.” Everybody else is like, “Oh, yeah, I’d kill for testosterone that high.”
Dr. Z: Yeah, I know. Everybody’s talking about their low T and you’re like, “Yeah, I’m a little bit high.” It’s very interesting. When I do lab testing, I’m always looking for all aspects of cellular health and we have a lot of lab tests out there right now. Lab tests have really come a long ways and we can figure out some really cool stuff but for me, it always comes back to, “Okay, so let’s see, you’re producing these hormones but however, they’re not really being utilized properly” and so I always go back to cellular health. The hormone signaling from cell to cell and making sure that these hormones are being heard and not just being produced but not being utilized.
Jeremy: What are your favorite tests for cellular health?
Dr. Z: There’re some different tests out there that tests for inflammation. Obviously, I like some of the tests that are very simple tests that are checking for inflammation so I like to look at that one. I like to look at nutrient testing in order to see where the nutrients are missing and I think we’ve actually talked about that last time. Which nutrient test do you use?
Jeremy: So, I lean towards the pathway tests like the urine organic acids. I don’t actually prescribe any of these tests myself. It’s not something I do. When I say I like them, I’m talking about either doing it for myself or when I have people come to me or I’m coaching somebody and they want to do this or I think they should or whatever, I’ll send them to Chris who is my friend who does all of this and it’s super, super smart. He’s a complete geek at it. I just, theoretically, I lean towards the pathway tests like urine organic acids. I’m still producing some of the urine organic acids that shows that my methylation cycle is not working properly.
Dr. Z: Right.
Jeremy: And if that’s the case, it doesn’t matter if it looks like I have enough B12 because those urine organic acids are going to tell me if that methylation cycle’s breaking down because I don’t have enough B12 because it’ll produce in particular, urine organic acids. So, I lean towards that sort of test like from Genova, the urine organic acid, Doctor’s Data runs it, there’s some good labs. So, I sort of like those tests and I call them pathway tests because they’re really looking at the pathway and telling you if something is not working, which pathway is not working rather than testing the nutrient directly because that doesn’t really tell us if it’s a problem or not.
Dr. Z: Right. No, I agree with that too. One of the tests, too, that I say that when you look at this test, whether you say, “Okay, well does this give us solutions or does this give us answers?” Really just to be able to identify what’s going on. It’s the CardioMetabolic Test that we run quite often and it’s just because heart disease is a big problem right now for so many people. If we can run that test and identify the issue; 1 in 2 people dying of heart disease and most people are getting their cholesterol checked still which is ridiculous. Just be like, “Yeah, I’m completely healthy, I got a clean bill of health.” The fact is, is more people die of low cholesterol than high cholesterol. Go ahead.
Jeremy: I think that’s one area where technology will very quickly start to make a difference over the next 10 to 15 years. The reason being that there’s certain things that if you did every 6 to 12 months, if you’re doing a coronary plaque scan, like a CT scan of your coronary plaque, if you’re doing that every six months, you’d be able to tell if you had atherosclerosis or if it was growing or what was going on. Essentially, that would be a gold standard, right? It wouldn’t be a gold standard for all health but it would be gold standard for cardiovascular disease to know whether or not you got plaque building up and inflammation building up in your arteries. The same thing for our brains. If we could scan our brains every six months and see what’s happening, see if certain parts of them are becoming more or less active, see if certain parts of them are growing or shrinking, then that would also really, really be a gold standard for brain health in some ways. I feel like technology will pretty quickly make that sort of testing a lot of cheaper and more readily accessible in an individual basis. At least that’s my hope.
Dr. Z: Yeah, I really do feel that it will. There’s even testing that I have that it literally used to cost thousands of dollars and now they’ve brought it down. They’ve brought some of it down to consumer level. Let’s just look at heart rate variability, for instance. When that first came out, you didn’t go get heart rate variability for cheap.
Jeremy: I test it on my iPhone every morning. I just use my camera because it’s pretty much as accurate with the camera to test RMSSD as it is with a sensor on your chest.
Dr. Z: Yeah, so just think about it, though. What app are you using?
Dr. Z: Okay. Now, was it free?
Jeremy: I think it was $9.
Dr. Z: $9. Okay, so you got a $9 app and this is something that people didn’t have access to without paying a ton of money and even a healthcare practitioner like myself didn’t have access to without spending thousands and thousands of dollars and now it’s starting to be available at a consumer level for, let’s say like you have something for $9. It’s really interesting and I think you’re right. I think that a lot of these tests, they will eventually become less and less expensive. I think when the technology first comes out, they’ve got to make their money off of it basically and then eventually when they can have some competitors in that market, it’s going to drive the testing down and also, they’re coming up with more creative ways to do. Obviously, we couldn’t have done it with an iPhone years ago.
Jeremy: Yeah, it’s the tech that’ll help. Health care is one of the hardest things to solve. You know this as well as anybody essentially being in the healthcare field. It’s just one of those issues. Everybody talks about it as if they have all these solutions like, “Oh look at this country, they’re doing okay” or “This is really good about this country”. There’s really no great solution because you’re right, companies need to be able to make money off of these things. They don’t need to be able to limit the amount of money they’re making when some of these technologies first come out because we need that money to drive innovation. We need it to drive R&D in so many ways. We talk about healthcare, it’s one of those things that is really hard because you need to have the money there to drive the innovation and honestly, the U.S has driven a lot of the innovation for the world. You talk about how good certain health cares around the world but a lot of the tech came from the U.S. Not all of it but I’m saying, the U.S has driven a lot of that tech because we’ve had a market that was able to sustain and to fund that sort of tech. But then on the other hand, of course, we do need it to come down reasonably quickly and we do need it to become accessible because it is something that everybody needs and obviously we’re facing…everybody’s saying that this young generation, I think Generation Y is the first generation that will live less than its parent’s generation?
Dr. Z: Yeah.
Jeremy: Is what they’re predicting? I don’t know if it’s Generation Y or maybe Z versus Y.
Dr. Z: It’s interesting, though because one of the things too, though is like I said, I just mentioned how I can’t tell you how many people are like, “Yeah, I’m healthy. I just go by my cholesterol test”. We’ve known for years that that is not an indicator of heart health, that is nonsense at this point. There’s so many other things, there’s so many variables to look at; you gotta look at the inflammatory markers in the heart and the particle size and all these different things in the heart, you can’t just look at the cholesterol. We know that at this point, however, there’s been books on it but yet still, in mainstream hospitals and medicine, they are just running the same old outdated cholesterol tests. When I work with companies and these big companies, they’ll have some medical outfit come in and run lab tests on all their people. It’s typically they’re looking for cholesterol and once again, it’s so behind its time so not only do we have the technology but a lot of it is not being utilized properly. We have it but it’s just not there. Let’s say, for instance, your friend, Chris Kelly. Sounds like he’s doing some cool stuff with testing so he’s running the right test. I’m running the right test looking for real solutions for people but going to mainstream medicine and going to a hospital and expecting to get these tests or even expecting your insurance to pay for some of these tests that offer better data. It’s not there. It’s just not.
Jeremy: Honestly, it’s better in the U.S than anywhere else. At least in the U.S, you can go find people like you who will run these tests. I’ve been travelling a lot over the past three years and everywhere else in the world, it’s practically impossible. I don’t wanna say there’s nobody because that would be a disgrace to the people in other countries that are doing it and there are people but there are so many fewer and further between than in the U.S and like you said, in the U.S it’s obviously still not even close to mainstream but yeah, you’re right. There’s so much tech there whether it’s testing whether it’s anything else that is just not getting used in the way it should. I don’t know if you know (?) One of the things he said that I like is that, “Common sense is not always common practice”. As much as we talk about testing and technology not being used the way it should, it’s also just so much common sense that we know about health and well-being. We have known for 2000 years the value of meditation. We’ve known at least that long, the value of drinking enough water and I’m not talking about over-hydrating and washing away all your minerals and everything but there’s these basic things that we’ve known for so long and pretty much everybody… if you walk down the street and you ask somebody who’s drinking a coke and eating a donut. You say, “Oh do you think vegetables would be healthier than that Coke and donut?” They’d be like, “Yeah.” They know, right? We all know. Nobody thinks the donut is healthy.
Dr. Z: Right. Exactly.
Jeremy: There’s so much that’s common sense that’s not common practice particularly in health but also in every other area of our life.
Dr. Z: You’re making a really good point because we talk about all the ways to fix healthcare. One of the biggest ways that we can fix healthcare is educate people on proper things that they can do for their health. Like you said, they know but it needs to just be more available. Now I know just from living in Atlanta, Georgia for such a long period of time and then moving back to where I grew up in Michigan. Oh my gosh, what a difference. There down in Georgia you can go to these different restaurants all over that offer incredible healthy food. You have grocery stores carrying health food and let me just mention that the people there you notice are just healthier altogether. You’re just walking down the street. I move back to Michigan and things that they’ve been doing down there for years are finally just starting to come up here where grocery stores are carrying a good amount of health food and some restaurants are thinking they might want to start offering other things than fries and greasy burgers. It’s one of those things that people just have to start making better decisions. Better decisions have to be available and that’s how we’re going to find a solution to health care is by getting people to make better decisions everyday. When I was going to high school and I know it’s still like this but all there was is vending machines full of garbage and pop machines, just soda machines.
Jeremy: I remember eating all of that in high school, it was so good.
Dr. Z: Yeah, I know but imagine how much healthier kids could be if we just made it, at least, available to them. There’s plenty of delicious health food out there, it’s not like their going to be buying a salad with carrots and cucumbers. There’s better options.
Jeremy: You’re absolutely right. So in the U.S, we’ve lived in very affluent areas and we haven’t lived in extremely poor areas because we’ve always been fairly lucky and had some money but we’ve lived in, definitely, poorer areas and the contrast is very stark as to what’s available. The poor and less affluent the area is, the neighborhood is, the less you have fresh produce, the less you have good cuts of meat and just generally unprocessed foods, you see a lot more processed food and obviously, just a ton more liquor stores. Just so much more in less affluent neighborhoods that’s available and makes it so much harder if you’re living there to eat healthy and to make healthy choices because you have fewer choices. You have a lot more temptation in terms of that’s just a preponderance of what you see is very unhealthy foods and not very much that’s a good choice.
Dr. Z: Right. Yeah, your environment does act on you and so if you’re around all just poor unhealthy choices essentially. Eventually that’s gonna start creeping into your life unless you’re really on it and making sure it doesn’t. That’s really I think how we solve a health care crisis is just by getting people to start taking care of themselves and not just waiting. Right now it’s just a sick care system where it’s like, “Okay, well, once you think you have cancer, come in and see us and we’ll tell you we have cancer or once you think you’re dying of a heart problem then come in and see us and we’ll tell you you’re dying of heart problem” but there’s no coming in and learning about how to avoid heart problems and it’s just really…let’s identify the problem and then tell you, you have the problem and then give some type of medication for the problem.
Jeremy: I think we need to incentivize it from the other direction too. There’s some insurance companies that are starting to do this which is starting to take doctors in-house and actually make the doctors themselves a fixed cost because once you make the doctors themselves a fixed cost, then your goal becomes to minimize the treatment that people need which means that you start prioritizing preventative care. You’ve made everything else a fixed cost. If you can keep people healthy then you don’t have any of the other costs that you would eventually have to pay. So, I’m thinking if you incentivize that way. We just need to think more about investing so one of the people that I like and a lot of people know this, is Arnold Schwarzenegger. If people haven’t read his biography, “Total Recall” which is a great name for a biography obviously. When I first started working in California, I was a lawyer and one of the guys at my firm, Bob Hertzberg, he had been speaker of the General Assembly which is essentially, the Congress of California and he had worked a little bit with Schwarzenegger both when he was in office. Bob Hertzberg was a lifelong democrat, I wouldn’t say lifelong but he was a democrat. I think if he’s been a democrat for pretty much forever. An awesome, awesome, awesome guy, one of the best guys I ever met. I remember him even talking about Schwarzenegger then he said and I’m gonna misquote him so don’t attribute this directly to Bob but the gist of what Bob said was that Schwarzenegger was actually fairly impressive to work with because he was very practical, he wanted to get things done and if you read his biography, what Schwarzenegger says about himself is the way that he turned everything around especially for republicans because he was a republican is that he talked more about investing in our future rather than spending money or taxing and spending. He was thinking about using money in ways that made sense as if you were running California as a business, investing that money. I was talking about healthcare, it makes a lot of sense too because it makes sense on an individual level for people to invest both in energetic ways in their health right now, doing the right things and also in financial ways, getting some of the tests earlier even if they have to pay for them so it saves them money and pain and a lot of sickness down the right. It makes sense on a societal level too, to invest both money, time and energy now that will save us money, time and energy in the future. (See the Inner Circle). This is not just healthcare. If we were on a political podcast, we’d talk about things like preventing drug abuse or preventing people from spending money on education so people are not going into the present system. Various things that we could talk about but I think it’s particularly apt when we think about healthcare on a personal and societal level for people to think about actually investing that time and money so that we’d save it down the road ’cause it costs a lot more to have open heart surgery than it does to run a few tests to make a few changes in your life, to prevent getting there. It costs a whole lot more to take care of somebody who has Alzheimer’s than it does…actually that interview I was recording with Tom O’Brien yesterday, one of the lines I really liked that he said, “People don’t get Alzheimer’s in their 60s or 70s”. People get Alzheimer’s in their 20s, it just doesn’t show up until they’re 60s or 70s. What you’re doing in your 20s and 30s that causes it and I think it’s a really good way to think about it. You’re developing diseases in your 20s and 30s, it may be before, but definitely 20s and 30s you’re thinking about it to a slightly higher degree. You really get them in your 50s, 60s and 70s.
Dr. Z: Right. Well, I mean we know that diseases such as cancer, there’s research now saying that it starts developing in your body 15 to 20 years before you ever know you have it. The same thing goes with heart disease. It’s years and years and then eventually it’s just full on there and it’s smacking you in the face and you can’t miss it but all these things they don’t just happen overnight. That’s one of the biggest things that I try to push to people too. “Look, you have to invest in your health now because a lack of pain does not mean that you’re healthy”. That’s what most people are like, “Oh I’m not in pain, I’m healthy” but I often tell them, it’s like, “Well, last look at the guy who went to the dentist and found out he had three cavities”. He wasn’t necessarily in pain. Ask the guy the day before he had a heart attack. Was he in pain? No. So, don’t let pain be the determining factor of whether you’re healthy or not. That means nothing. That just means absolutely nothing.
Jeremy: It means it’s a little late.
Dr. Z: Right, right. So I agree, though, investing in your health is the way to go ’cause it literally is an investment and there’s no greater investment that you can make than investing in yourself.
Jeremy: It’s one of the reason why I think people have such a hard time with something like meditation. Meditation’s one of those few things that when I do it, I do it juts to do it. For no other reason but it’s hard for people to do it. I think people often need some sort of pain and they need some sort of goal or they want to see some sort of benefit out of something they’re doing.
Dr. Z: We have so many topics, we have so many things we covered, it’s all over. You’re gonna have to be a regular contributor to the show now. You’re in now.
Jeremy: I enjoy talking with you so we need to catch up one way or another.
Dr. Z: Well, this pretty much wraps us up for this show so Jeremy . Once again, thanks for coming on. Appreciate having you on and sharing your wisdom with everybody and once again, love to have you on again.
Jeremy: Awesome, I appreciate it.
Dr. Z: Alright, Jeremy. Well, thanks for being part of the show.
Jeremy: Thank you!