SANE Show: Eat More. Lose More. Smile More. with Jonathan Bailor
Welcome to Wellness 2.0 Where Starvation Isn't Healthy! When it comes to most things in life, we welcome the latest advances in science. Could you imagine using the same phones we used in the 50 years ago? So isn’t it time to free yourself from obsolete and oppressive wellness theories from the 1960’s like calorie counting? You don’t have to go hungry or do complex math to live your best life. With the new science of SANE living, optimal wellness for everyone in your life is simpler than you ever imagined. Listen more. Learn more. Laugh more. Live better!
JONATHAN: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically proven program where you eat more and exercise less to burn fat and boost health. CARRIE: Eat smarter. Exercise smarter. Live better. I am so ready for that! JONATHAN: Hey, everybody. Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown back with another Sane Show. So many Ss, so little time, so many questions from users and great questions, so I’m excited to continue our journey. And Carrie, give the listeners context on this cool exercise we did here. CARRIE: Can I say hello first? JONATHAN: No, you cannot. You cannot say hello. Just kidding. CARRIE: Well, rats. Hello. Hello lovely, lovely people. It’s good to be back. The few shows we’re doing is around on our forum on Facebook at Community Forum. One of the moderators asked, if they had ten minutes with Jonathan, what would they ask him? So all of these questions are a result of that question being posed. So… JONATHAN: Before we get into the next questions, I want to just give [?sp?]-props. We said forum moderator, so there’s this wonderful woman named Rebecca who, just out of the kindness of her heart, started up this community. Carrie’s in there, Becca’s in there. It’s wonderful. I just want to give [?sp?]-props. I think when people do stuff like this, they just go out of their way to provide a forum in which people can get help. I mean heck yeah. That’s just awesome and I would encourage everybody, if you’re on this journey, start a blog. Start telling people about it. Get other people involved. Your sanity will become so much easier and sustainable the more you put yourself out there. Carrie can say this from experience being the cohost of this show. The more publicly you do this, the more likely you are to be successful. CARRIE: That is true and I also want to say, Rebecca, that you are wonderful. And also Kyra does a fantastic job of keeping our Sane and E-centric Community happy. JONATHAN: So yes, thank you, Kyra and just one other… Sorry, we mention this every week, but it’s just a friendly reminder. If you do have questions, of course you can post them in that community, but please, before you do, ask them to Google first. There are literally millions of questions — not questions, but millions of words of Q&A already available on the Internet. And if you type, “smarter science of slim” or “calorie myth” or “sane” and then your question into Google, you’ll probably get the answer. But moving on… CARRIE: So our first response to the question “What would you say to Jonathan or what would you ask Jonathan if you had ten minutes?” comes from our friend Tom Fleming. And I’m just going to read this verbatim as Tom typed it. He says, “I don’t know if I’d ask anything at this point. I’m in the fourth week and I’m eating sane. I’m in the Calorie Myth Book almost daily for review and clarification. “I’d have trouble keeping composed. I’d like to thank Jonathan for ten years of study and his willingness to share all of his confusions for less than twenty bucks on Amazon. I want to hug him and sing praises to heaven above. I HAVE HOPE!” JONATHAN: Well, thank you very much, Tom. That absolutely warms my heart and I think it’s awesome also that you said, “I want to hug him,” because I think…I like hugging. I think hugging is important and I think… You know we used to watch Sesame Street when I was growing up, and Sesame Street we brought to you by letter. “Sesame Street today is brought to you by the Letter A.” I want today’s show — and I want Sanity — to be brought to you by the word “Hug” because the calorie counting approach, what we’ve been fed, is the opposite of a hug. It’s shunning. Think about the reality television show that’s based upon it. It’s about torturing people. Really, it is. It’s about taking people who are suffering and torturing them, torturing them into submission. That’s not what we’re about here. That’s not what we’re about on the show, in the book, in anything. We’re here to hug and basically say, “Look. Intrinsically we are good. Our bodies don’t want to be diseased; they don’t want to be obese. We’re not going to become overweight by default if we don’t consciously balance calories anymore than we will just get cancer if we don’t consciously balance carcinogenic substances in and out. That’s nonsense! The most common cause of death used to be, in the modern era, “natural causes”, meaning people didn’t die of disease. They just went to sleep once, in old age, and peacefully didn’t wake up. So when you start to beat yourself up or think about deprivation or any of this stuff, man, hug yourself, go hug someone else, get someone to hug you and say “Look. This is about pursuing the positive. This is about eating so much of the good stuff that you’re not having room for the bad stuff and it’s not about this precision punishment whatever! So thank you, Tom. I really appreciate it and I send a hug back to you and all the wonderful people that are out there living this lifestyle. CARRIE: Yea! So the next question comes from Rich [?sp?]-Butiggieri — I apologize if I’ve butchered your name. He said, “I would like to know the science behind why it isn’t working for me specifically, i. e. progress measured by tape measure and clothes becoming tighter. “The Calorie Myth has generic platitudes of “It takes more time for some” or “Hang in there.” Based on my damaged set point after yoyo dieting for decades, what does science say and why for extra effort or time to see even a single inch difference?” JONATHAN: Rich, it’s hard for me to answer this without understanding where you’re at specifically, but one thing I would recommend is that what may be perceived as general platitudes or generic platitudes might be an admission that this is — that the body is complicated. For example, how many times have we heard stories where someone will go to see a physician, get diagnosed with a condition and the physician says, “You’ve got three months, you’ve got six months, you’ve got two days…” and those numbers very rarely hold. Right there. They’re more like approximations like “You’re fine,” or “You’re really in bad shape,” or “You’re in medium shape.” There are literally an infinite number of factors that determine your health, your progress, where you’re at. Carrie just recently had been doing a bunch of stuff but she had dramatically reduced the amount of stress in her life, and that in and of itself made a huge, huge difference. So I would urge you… First of all, yes, the book has these generic recommendations and that’s because that’s the best we can do. And I would caution you, if maybe that makes you dissatisfied, so you go and you type in the Internet “how to lose 21 pounds in 21 days” and you find someone or something that gives you a very specific time frame, I would compare that to someone who says, “I have this guaranteed stock where, if you just give me $1000, I guarantee I can make you $20,000 in 20 days.” If someone said that, you’d probably be like, “Yeah that seems a little odd. How can you possibly know that? That seems weird. There are more things involved. Making money isn’t that simple and linear. How can you guarantee things like that?” I would urge you — urge you, urge you, urge you — to look at your health similarly. If people say things that are like, “Rich, without knowing anything about you” — aka you’re reading a book, that is, I don’t know you personally — “and you specifically are going to see these results in this amount of time,” run the other direction! Please run the other direction because the person is trying to scam you! Hopefully the general guidelines found in the support group as well as in the Calorie Myth Book — which are minimize stress, maximize non starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense foods — are helpful. But in terms of without understanding exactly where you are, providing a specific time frame is something which I would not and cannot provide, I would caution you against listening to anyone who “could provide it”. Does that make sense, Carrie? CARRIE: It does. It does. I wonder if that has answered Rich’s question in any way, but I think it’s impossible for you or anyone else to answer that without having his specific where he’s at now in order for you to give the prescription. JONATHAN: Yeah. So to be very clear, if you want to test if a person is worth listening to, don’t tell them anything about yourself and then ask them what you should do to improve your life. If they just answer, that person does not know what they’re talking about. That doesn’t make any sense. If Rich isn’t eating any vegetables right now, well then I’d say the first thing Rich should do is probably to eat some more vegetables. If Rich is sleeping two hours a night, then I would say well Rich should probably sleep some more. Not only can I not provide specific guidance if I don’t have specific knowledge, but if someone does provide you with specific guidance without understanding your specific situation, I would be cautious. What we can provide in a general format is general guidelines but the precise application of those is person by person, and fundamentally all we’re talking about here, Carrie, is self-evident things. Right? Eating more of the foods that provide you what essential for life and the least of foods that are addictive, even toxic, and moving your body and minimizing stress. Obviously, to the extent that you can do that, you will be healthier and to the extent that you are not able to do that you will be unhealthy. If we want to get more specific, we’ve got to get more specific on both sides of the equation, aka not only in terms of what we’re recommending but also who, why, what, where, when and how the person who’s asking for the clarification needs. Does that make sense? CARRIE: Yes. JONATHAN: All right. Well coming up next… CARRIE: We have a question from Fiona [?sp?]-Tatchel-White and I know Fiona is in England. Yea England. English people and actually Australians, too, have this cute little habit of putting a kiss at the end of everything they say, ever, so that’s how I knew where you were from, Fiona. Fiona says, “If you start eating sane and your weight and measurements go up but overall health seems improved, not overweight still, is it possible it’s helping one’s body find the set point higher than previously? Perhaps one body likes or needs to be a bit higher if it’s still healthy and not overweight. You cover set point coming down in overweight people, but how about us lower/normal weight folks? JONATHAN: Interpret. CARRIE: I think what Fiona is saying is maybe, for people who were normal, who think they’re at a normal weight, when they start eating sanely is it possible for your set point actually to be higher than where you’ve kept it up to this point? JONATHAN: Sorry. This is probably the what is called the curse of knowledge. I’m looking at this at a much deeper, metabolic perspective, so two things. One, you can have a set point and deviate from it. So for example, a contestant on a reality television show who needs 2000 calories per day to remain weight-stable but is being forced to eat 1000 calories per day. Their set point is unchanged but they will lose body weight to some point and then it will just stop. They have not changed their set point. What I’m saying if here is an individual has been a calorie counter their entire life, chances are they have a set point — they have a set point — and they have been forcibly staying away from it. Does that make sense? They have to go to the bathroom but they’re forcibly holding it in. Their set point is not changing except, if they go sane and they stop counting calories, they may start eating the appropriate amount of food as dictated by their brain, because your brain is the automatic regulator of calories in and calories out. Because of that, your health goes up dramatically because instead of 1200 calories of anything, you’re eating let’s say 1600 calories of beautiful, sane food. You’re not overweight, you’ve never been overweight, you continue to not be overweight but your health is better, your energy’s better, your sex drive’s better, your eyes are shinier, your skin is clearer, your hair is more radiant. All of that would absolutely make sense, but it wasn’t because your set point went up. It happened because you stopped forcibly depriving yourself and fighting against your set point. CARRIE: Got it. JONATHAN: Does that make sense? CARRIE: Yes. Yes. All right. Robin [?sp?]-Shreck. I know this Robin is a lady, so hi, Robin. Her question is, “Has Jonathan considered putting together a small Sane Conference?” Robin does event planning and has thought about how helpful it would be for people just starting out to go to a weekend conference not to just listen to different lectures about nutrition and exercise but also have cooking classes with Carrie, E-centric exercise class, a yoga class or some other restorative activities. Robin thinks it would be fun and give people a chance to practice the same lifestyle and have Q & A with experts on the spot. JONATHAN: Robin, excellent question and it also gives me a great opportunity to get you a little bit of context which hopefully you and all the other amazing listeners will appreciate. Just so you know, we did not prescreen any of these questions. Neither Carrie nor I actually read through them prior to the shows, not because we are lazy but because we want to make this as real and as open a dialogue as possible, as evidenced by one of our earlier questions was less of a question and more of a like calling BS — or there was a nice one and then there was another one that was a little less nice. Anyway, Robin, thank you and hopefully, listeners, understand we’re trying to give you the truth on the spot, stream of consciousness and hopefully you like that. And if you don’t, well, sorry. So Robin, yes. That is an absolutely brilliant, brilliant idea and I can tell you that we are working incredibly hard. We’ve actually been doing a lot of business development work because a lot of the feedback we’ve gotten is that people don’t need just more science. They don’t need more studies. What they need is help applying this information. They need certified, Sane Coaches. They need apps that take the place of calorie counters to help them monitor the quality of food they’re eating. They need a step by step interactive program rather than putting a 300-page book in front of them. I can tell you that there is a lot of time, a lot of people and a lot of money being spent working on the next wave of Sanity. Summer of this year, summer of 2014 you’re going to start to see some of that. It’s going to be amazing. A lot of people are pouring a lot of themselves into this stuff and hopefully in 2015 — sorry if this seems slow but you know we’re about quality over here so some of this stuff takes time — having these types of conferences and seminars taking place. CARRIE: I’m excited. I love cooking in front of an audience. Okay. Laura Bishop said that she would ask Jonathan if he has researched alternative exercises that can be as effective for people with arthritis or physical limitations who can’t do the E-centric exercises in the book. JONATHAN: I’m going to give a shout out to Dr. Katherine [?sp?]-Brutell. If you were in the previous Smarter Science of Slim Support Group, you know Dr. Kathy. She’s been helping us with some amazing business development stuff so she is less available currently to answer questions. The reason I mention this is she has spent decades in the physical therapy, rehabilitation arena and if anyone was watching our Creative Life Course that we did — which if you hadn’t I would recommend checking it out — Dr. Kathy actually demonstrated some variations of our exercises exactly for people with arthritis or physical limitations. So yes, there are alternatives. Can I describe them right now on the podcast and do them justice? Sadly, no. I think potentially setting up some time with a physical therapist would be a good investment because once you learn these, you don’t need to keep going back to that person. They can help you and they also know then your unique circumstances. We talked about how these shows are a chance for us to be open and honest with each other. Hopefully, like Laura’s amazing question here which has to do with people that have physical limitations and arthritis, for what it’s worth, if you ever have the opportunity to write a book or do something like that, there are people like Laura, brilliant people out there who have arthritis and physical limitations and there are other people out there who may weigh 400 pounds and literally can’t really do much, and then there might be a 22 year old Cross Fitter reading the book. You can start to see how we always try to get you on the right path, but there’s only so much we can do in the mediums we have. So Laura, to answer your question as specifically as I can, yes there are alternative exercises that can be effective. One of the reasons that I focus on E-centrics is because E-centrics are some of the most customizable and sustainable and lowest impact exercises available to you. For example contrast a wall e-centric squat at home — where you’re leaning against the wall, slowly squatting down — with some of these extreme at-home workout videos. Right? You can obviously see one is more towards someone who has arthritis or physical limitations than the other. That said, if you have any sort of specific condition, getting specific guidance from someone one on one is probably going to be your best bet. CARRIE: Thank you, sir. All right. Our next question is from Jeanette [?sp?]-Schweck and she says, “My personal experience and that of many others is that fat is a majority factor in satiety. Where is the scientific evidence for not including fat and only including protein, water and fiber? If I do not put fat in my smoothie, I am starving in a short time no matter how much fiber is in the smoothie. With fat, I’m satiated. I’m really curious about why the scientific data says otherwise.” JONATHAN: All right. Jeanette, excellent question. The way satiety is described in the book is calorie for calorie. Fat is absolutely a major player in satiety, but the way satiety is defined in the research community is they look at it calorie for calorie. For example, what is more satiating, 200 calories of fat, 200 calories of protein or 200 calories of carbohydrate? The research has shown quite clearly that, if you just compare macronutrient to macronutrient, protein is the most satiating. That doesn’t mean the other macronutrients aren’t satiating. It just means that protein has the greatest affect on satiety and then fiber and water are critical when it comes to the gastrointestinal stretch. There are hormonal regulators of satiety, there are neurological regulators of satiety, and then there are just physical regulators of satiety whereas, for example if you were to eat 500 calories of olive oil and you were really, really hungry and all you did was take a couple table spoons of olive oil, that’s 500 calories but it wouldn’t do anything to your digestive organs in terms of stretching them, so chances are it wouldn’t necessarily satiate you. That said, you’re exactly right that if you just pound a giant Metamucil shake that has a bunch of water and a bunch of fiber, it’s going to stretch your organs out a lot but it’s not going to satisfy you over the long term. So in the broadest sense possible, protein, water, fiber and fat all play a role in satiety. The research literature is looking at calorie for calorie satiety and that is why protein emerges as a leader; because when you compare so called isocaloric studies, a 1600 calories a day — you eat 1600 calories in a day — and it’s higher in protein, and then another person or another group of people eat 1600 calories but it’s lower in protein and therefore by definition higher in either carbohydrate or fat, protein always always comes out on top. Of course with fat, please keep in mind that it also has to do with the other things you are eating. Fat can actually be the opposite of satisfying if you think about insane fats. For example, imagine eating just a potato, dry. Chances are that would taste a certain way. Now imagine frying that potato and then salting it, aka turning it into French fries. You’ll notice that not only the same amount of potato will actually satisfy you less, but you’ll actually be tempted to eat more because of the addition of fat and salt to that potato. That is, again, thinking about fat, quality is extremely important. How we’re defining satiety scientifically is really important. It’s not that fat isn’t satisfying but it’s that fat is not universally satisfying. If you were to take a potato dry, it is actually more satisfying than if you fry the potato in which case you’re actually adding calories to it and adding fat to it. So high quality fat? Critical. That’s why we include it in our lifestyle. But is it calorie for calorie any universally more satiating regardless of circumstance? No. Does that mean we shouldn’t eat it? No. Does it mean that what we say in the book is scientifically accurate? Yes. Does that make sense, Carrie? CARRIE: Yes, as always. Good job, sir. JONATHAN: Thank you very much. Well, Jeanette, that was a wonderful wrap up question. We’ve got to tie it up for this week but we will be, of course, back next week with more lovely reader, listener, and viewer questions. And remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. We’ll chat with you soon. CARRIE: See you. JONATHAN: Wait! Wait! Don’t stop listening yet! CARRIE: You can get Fabulous, Free, Sane Recipes over at carriebrown.com. JONATHAN: And don’t forget your 100% Free Eating and Exercise Quick Start Program as well as free, fun, daily tips delivered right into your Inbox at bailorgroup.com. That’s B-A-I-L-O-R Group dot com.
Oh… lots of things. Just like lots of things make YOU special.
When it comes to reshaping bodies and transforming lives, I have a ton of education, fancy schmancy training, and well over 15 years of hands-on, digging in the trenches experience (more on that later).
However, what really makes me special is that I have x-ray vision. I can see through the self-doubting, self-loathing, frustrated with where you are on your path (or beat down by where you’ve been) you to the real you. The you that lives a kick-ass, take names kind of life empowered by your own choices.
If you could see the you that I see, you would be in awe of yourself.
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
I didn’t always have this insight to the human soul or knowledge around nutrition and transformation. My distorted relationship with food started when I was just a little kid. I grew up in extreme poverty. Our home had no plumbing (we had an outhouse instead) and money was very scarce – so scarce that I can remember going hungry because we didn’t have food.
I didn’t know it at the time but this would set the stage for my relationship with food for a very long time. It led to eating disorders that I struggled with for most of my adult life and health issues as a result of that. After working my way through school, I landed in Los Angeles where I was working in the entertainment industry.
I led a very hectic lifestyle that caught up with me fast. I was carrying around an extra 25 pounds, was exhausted from morning to night, suffered random aches and pains that no doctor could diagnose and was clinically depressed.
I had horrible cystic acne, my hair was breaking and falling out, I had fibrous cysts in both of my breasts and I felt completely hopeless. I tried everything to fix myself – doctors, healers, trainers, nutritionists, therapists, shakes, pills and lots and lots of diets. Unfortunately, nothing worked and I was worse off than when I started. I was frustrated, confused and alone.
THE NIGHT I HIT ROCK BOTTOM
After another very long day of exhaustion and disappointment with my body, health and life, I hit rock bottom. I ended up on the floor of my apartment seriously considering suicide. Yeah, things were not good. I realized I had two choices. I could either check out (I had given it a good go and quite honestly, I was so tired of trying) or I could check in to something higher than me and figure this thing out. As soon as those two options were put on the table, things immediately became crystal clear. It was if the heavens opened up and shone down a light (that didn’t really happen but how cool would that have been?!) and I totally got it. That night, I realized I was meant for something greater.
I realized that all of the struggles, hardships, tragedies and health issues were necessary to get me to that point. I also realized that what I really wanted was to be seen, heard and feel like I mattered.
I realized that my struggles with food and self-sabotage were to numb me so I wouldn’t feel pain or disappointment anymore (Heaven knows I had had enough of that). I had a survivor mentality and wasn’t willing to be vulnerable or open up to change. And even though I had tried everything, I wasn’t dealing with the root cause of my relationship with food. I also realized that others – every person, especially those suffering like I was – was meant for something greater too and that deep down, they just wanted to feel seen, heard and feel like they matter.
HOW I TURNED IT ALL AROUND
After my spiritual awakening (which sounds way better than “nervous breakdown”), I immediately started studying, researching and testing nutritional theories. I went back to school, got numerous certifications and studied with leaders in the health, wellness, nutrition and spiritual fields.
I made it my mission to be a guide and share what I had learned with women who were on their own journey of transformation. Through combining the fields of science, psychology and spirituality I created a revolutionary new form of nutrition called Transformational Nutrition®.
I started to implement this in my life and something really radical began to happen. The weight fell off as if it had never been there. But that’s not all. My skin cleared up in days, my energy was through the roof, all of the aches and pains were gone and I felt lighter (spiritually) than I had in years.
I FOUND FREEDOM
I was finally free from obsessing over food all day and night, worrying about everything I put in my mouth, and counting every calorie. I no longer cared about what anyone thought. I decided it was time to be ME. Little ‘ol, not-always-perfect-but-trying-really-darn-hard-and-thats-ok ME! I was now living life on my own terms – healthy, happy, real, and free.
BUT I WASN’T DONE
I know I’m on this planet to be of service to others. To pass on the information I have learned. To let them know they are seen, heard and that they matter. To hold space for them as they step into their power.
I’ve worked with numerous celebrity clients, wrote the best-selling weight-loss program PINK Method, co-founded a company to create a smarter way to detox called SoCal Cleanse (with my wonderful husband) and wrote a cookbook that focuses on burning fat, boosting energy and making your soul sizzle called The Hungry Hottie Cookbook.
I then followed this up by creating The Hungry Hottie Method 6 Week Transformation Program, a program that helps women heal their relationship with food forever so they can lose weight, realize their self-worth and live authentically, gracefully and free. It’s the culmination of my work over the years and I’m one proud momma!
HOW CAN I BE OF SERVICE TO EVEN MORE PEOPLE?
I’m always looking for ways I can be of service to women and I’ve realized that no matter how many books I write or programs I create, I’m still only one person. But… if I package up everything I’ve learned and share it, then imagine the impact this information could have!
So, I founded The Institute of Transformational Nutrition that houses a game-changing certification program in the field of nutrition and health coaching. The program offers certification as a Transformational Nutrition Coach™ where students receive an in-depth understanding of holistic health through science, psychology and spirituality in addition to learning the business methods I’ve used to become a leader in this field. Did I mention they also learn effective coaching skills so they can inspire permanent change in people throughout the world?
WHERE I AM NOW
I am regularly contacted by the media for expert interviews and appear on a variety of shows and in numerous publications including Dr. Phil, The Doctors, The TODAY Show, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Fitness Magazine, E! News and more.Today I am living, learning and doing what lights my fire daily with my husband, daughter and three furkids in Malibu, CA. Life is a journey and I take a new step every single day!
THE OFFICIAL BIO
Cynthia Pasquella is known as The Transformational Nutritionist®. She helps women who struggle with their weight and self-worth by using a method that combines nutrition, psychology and spirituality so they can finally experience permanent change and radical fulfillment!
Cynthia is a clinical nutritionist, spiritual leader, media personality and best-selling author. She is the founder and director of the Institute of Transformational Nutrition – the only nutrition certification program where students receive an in-depth understanding of holistic health through science, psychology and spirituality to help people create permanent change in their health and life. She’s also the co-founder of SoCal Cleanse, an award winning cleansing and detoxification company, and the best-selling author of The Hungry Hottie Cookbook and PINK Method.
She is a nutrition expert for The Doctors, The Dr. Phil Show, and The Today Show and has been featured in popular media outlets such as Access Hollywood, E! News Live, Harper’s Bazaar, Fitness Magazine, Shape Magazine and Marie Claire. You can find out more about Cynthia and grab her free toolkits for fast weight loss and spring out of bed energy at www.cynthiapasquella.com.”
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey everyone Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus, smarter science of slim podcast. I’m uniquely excited. I’m always excited but I’m uniquely excited about today’s show because I have the delight to share with you a woman who has been supportive of me and my work and has her own wonderful mission for literally, literally since the beginning and it’s just such a delight to come full circle and to share her with you. She is just a wonderful vibrant woman who’s out there, helping people to live better. Internationally, she’s known as the transformational nutritionist. She is a clinical nutritionist, life coach, media personality, and best-selling author. Just all around rock star. You’ve seen her in Access Hollywood, E-news Live, fitness magazine, the Dr. Phil’s show, The Doctors, and you can learn all about her at her website which will going to spoil the surprise ‘cause it’s her name, which is cyntiapasquella.com. Cynthia welcome to the show.
Cynthia: Thank you Jonathan. I’m so stroked to be with you today. This is the first conversation that you and I’ve actually had even though we’ve worked together and I’ve loved your work for many, many years now. That’s so crazy.
Jonathan: I know it is. We live in this virtual world where listeners were just laughing before. Cynthia is one of the most wonderful pride and blurbs for the original smarter science of slim and we will collaborate now and its three years ago that we’ve been working together and this is the first time that we’ve actually spoken when we’re on the air.
Cynthia: So crazy. I love it. Thought I love technology and of course I love the book and I was like who is this guy and how do I help get his stuff out there and it was very cool and I see your up to big things and it’s just so great working with you over the years and I’m glad we are bringing that full circle now.
Jonathan: Well Cynthia, let’s talk also about your amazing work and you have a wonderful mission of guiding women on their journey of transformation. So, two things: One, what started you on this journey of transformation and then tell us a bit about how you helped others emulate that?
Cynthia: Sure. My dirty little secret Jonathan is I never intended to be in this industry. I had no intentions of being a nutritionist. Diet was the farthest thing from my mind. This whole helping people and transformation and reconnecting to you authentic in this self. I had no idea what they even meant. This job, this career, this beautiful work I get to do really chose me and I’ll tell you my story and I’ll try to make it brief but a little preface to the story, growing up we were very, very poor. Our family didn’t have any money. When I say we had no money, I mean we had no money. We were so far below the poverty line and I remember we didn’t have running water in our house, no indoor plumbing until I was like a teenager in high school. There were lots of times that we would grow hungry like even basic food. I remember coming home from school sometimes or at night when most people having dinner and we had nothing, just being hungry and just thinking “Wow! This isn’t right”, and seeing my parents all upset and I share that because it really sets up for the next part of my journey, which as result of that I had a lot of eating disorders over the years. You grew up without food and when the food is there, you would like “Ah, I’m going to eat. I may not stop. I am going to eat everything”. That’s what I did and I ended up that having all these crazy eating disorders and ended up, of course very fittingly working in the modeling industry, entertainment industry and I really had this crazy lifestyle Jonathan. From morning until night I was just going never stopping, it was super stressful, wasn’t sleeping right, wasn’t eating right, still battling the disorder and what ended up happening is I got really, really sick. Everything you could imagine. I could barely get out of bed in the morning, I was exhausted. I felt like hadn’t slept 30 min even though I have eight hours. Every part of my body ached all over. I had just a severe joint pain. I had gained about 25 pounds overweight. My hair was breaking and falling out; I had horrible cystic acne all over. Psoriasis, eczema, you name it. I found lumps in both of my breast. I was just a hot mess. There was no nice way to put it. I literally had hit rock bottom. I got super depressed because I wasn’t finding anything that would work for me and I was not working to make money because I was working in the industry that unfortunately you’ve got job space than what you’ve looked like. We’re just in this really crazy downward spiral and went to every nutritionist and healer, doctor and trainer and I tried energy work. I was hypnotized. I worked with crystals, herbs, nothing worked for me. I got to the point where I was so depressed I was suicidal and so I’m on, I remember this night, so clearly. It’s the night my entire life changed. I was sitting on the floor in my apartment in Hollywood, California literally in the corner on the floor. It was about two in the morning and I just was at my wits end. Then I though this is it. I’m done. I’ve given it a good shot. I’ve given this whole living life thing a good try. I just can’t do this. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I have nothing left to give. I got really clear. That was probably the most clear I had been in months and I said “This is it and this is where I either check out or I check in into something bigger than me. As soon as I put those two options on the table, again just so clearly, this message came through and just said “You’re meant for something greater. You’re meant for something more like this isn’t it. You do matter. You are seen and heard” and I was like “Okay”. I started to think what if I’ve been going through all this crazy madness for a reason. What if this has been my journey and maybe this is the point where it all shifts and what if there was something that I didn’t try and what if there’s something else out there that I could do and then if I could use them, I really could get myself better. Think of the people that I could help by sharing what’s worked for me because I was also realizing Jonathan that we’re all meant for something greater. We are meant for something so magical and we all have such a beautiful unique purpose on this planet and I thought if I could figure that out for me. I could help other people do that. I made a pact with the universe that night, I said, “If you could help me figure this thing out and if you could get me through this I’ll dedicate the rest of my life to doing this work”. I started working that night, literally that night. I remember I got up. I had never felt so energized and so clear and so focused. It had been months. I went, I got online, I started searching and my journey back wasn’t an easy one by any means, you know I was still trying a lot of things. I would have a little success here and there. I started slowly putting together the pieces. I went back to school. I studied with every doctor and healer that would have me. I got so many different certifications; I’ve been doing it for the past 15 years. The turning point for me was learning how to cleanse my body and repair it and [inaudible 07:39] because what I’ve learned Jonathan and we’ll talk about this more if you think it might be of interest to your listeners but the physical part was just one part. Getting the science down I got, like you’re a total science geek like me which I love. That was part of the battle for sure you have to know what and when and how to eat, right? But then the other part of that was such a mental thing that I had to break through and such a spiritual reconnection that have had to happen and when I got those three things in line, this trifecta of transformation as what they call it. Everything else just sprung into place and I’ve been doing this for ever since. I call this transformational nutritional and that’s where my effort lie today just really expecting the world and help guiding many people through your own transformation through using these tools that I learned over the years.
Jonathan: Cynthia, I so appreciate you sharing that story. I can imagine some of it was a bit painful to re-live in. It’s so important because when our listeners go to your website, cynthiapasquella.com, they are going to be struck by the beauty that they see. I’m not talking about the website design although it is quite beautiful. I’m talking about you. You are a beautiful vibrant woman and I think it will be very easy for people to see and say “Yeah, oh, Cynthia is doing all this stuff. She’s just had. She’s blond hair, blue eyes. She’s has just life kind a laid out in front of her” and that’s not the case at all. It sounds like…
Cynthia: I wish. I wish that’d been in the case. I will tell you Jonathan that for a long time, and this is a part of my healing and I think it’s a part of everyone’s healing because I think there’s so many of us live in this place of fear. We were so afraid of being judged and what will people think if I’m not like them. I was the same way for a really long time. I didn’t share anything about me. I didn’t want people to know. I thought, me, being on the floor in the corner suicidal on a Friday night was weak and I thought, Wow, I don’t want to act like I don’t have any money cause that’s not cool, people all around. Nobody can relate basically. Then I thought I would think I was a total freak that changed one day when I was speaking. I was invited to speak to this beautiful audience of women and at the end the organizer gathered together all of the speakers on stage for this panel of question and answer session right? I’m sitting there and this woman in the audience asked me this amazing question about weight loss and transformation and I answered her. From off to my left I hear this lady on stage, she was a co-presenter with me and she said to me, “I normally don’t usually speak up like this but I have say this”, and we’re all like [inaudible 10:33] this huge audience and she goes “I just find it hard to believe that you could answer her question. How could you possibly know what she’s going through? What could you possibly know about being overweight and struggling with anything in your life?” My first reaction was, “Wow! That crazy little … said that,” and then my second thought was “Wow! You don’t know because I haven’t told you. I haven’t shared that,” and so what ended up being, what I originally was really ashamed to share because I though it meant something wrong with me actually became the most liberating things I’ve ever done and so I would when I practiced, when I’ve been really encouraged other women to do is share your story and own it because there’s so much healing that can happen when we really go back and visit who we are authentically as opposed to who we’ve been trying to be for all of this years and really bring that into the light. Let those shadows melt away and really own who you are. You and I talked briefly before about living vibrantly and truly getting back to the core of your authentic self is the first step. All of the other things like weight and getting skinny and all of these great things really come as almost the side effect of that if you will.
Jonathan: Cynthia, you’re spot on and the fact that you used the term ‘story’ I find to be so helpful because when we can look at our experiences on this Earth as a ‘story’. Let’s do it like, how do we want our story to end? How do we want our story to be remembered and when you think of it like a story [crosstalk 12:23] you could almost write yourself?
Cynthia: Sorry. You want to go?
Jonathan: Oh no. Go ahead. Go ahead.
Cynthia: I was going to say you’re so right. I mean it’s the story and here’s the crazy parts Jonathan. Most of the time this story is something that we tell ourselves that is not really true. We live in this false reality that we’ve created for ourselves around ‘I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy. Nobody cares. I don’t matter.’ I know this is painful for people and I know the work I do isn’t like I tell what to eat and you just go skinny. It’s so much deeper than that. I’m not a popular kid when it comes to weight loss because we did and we do this really painful work but I tell you of something I’ve discovered. We did a bunch or research with them with our company and we worked with hundreds of thousands of women over years and we sorted of asking them these questions. “What is it that you really want?” and our thought, I know you did such a research Jon, right? So our thought Jonathan was that people would say, “I want to be skinny. I want to be hot. I want to, great relationship”. People, you know what the top three answers people started saying to us was?
Jonathan: No, what?
Cynthia: They started saying, “I want to be seen. I want to be heard. I want to feel like I matter”. When we got those responses back I just melted and I thought this is it. This is what this work is about because that’s what we’re all seeking. We’re all seeking connection with people. I feel like, there are so many people who feel like their story doesn’t matter. They’re not seen, they’re not heard. They’re not important and so what they’ll do is that they’ll find importance in other ways. They’ll be a great mom, right? They’ll do everything for their kids and they’ll be completely selfless while doing it. Cheers their husband on and make dinners and you know we strive for the rock star body even if they can’t have it or don’t have it. They’ll go out their way to be the friend that makes the cake for somebody’s birthday and wraps. Because when they do such thing people will say “Man, you’re such a good mom. Gosh! You’re such a great wife. Wow! You’re the best friend” and that’s our validation and that’s how we get value. That’s when we start feeling good about ourselves because we want to be seen and heard and valued. We want to matter to people. I love that you focused on that, the story thing. It’s so important I feel like that we got that out to people to really step up and step out and share the story and that message that they have.
[End of Audio] Jonathan: Cynthia, you’re spot on and that distinction is so important because I have a co-worker who says something very, very profound. She says “Slimness is a strategy”. We often pursue weight loss because I feel like people think that if they slim down, they will maybe then have a life which enables them to be seen, heard and to feel important. Whereas most people think actually find is once you create a life in which you are seen, heard, and feel important health and therefore slimness ensues rather than the direct pursuit. Does that distinction resonate with you?
Cynthia: Absolutely it does. It’s interesting when women come to me and I say “Why do you want to lose weight?” The first they said “Well to be healthy so that I could take care of my family”. I say, “Yeah! Oh great! What do you really want to lose weight?” That winds up being a very different conversation and it is. “So I’ll be happy. I can finally find a partner to share the holidays with and I’m tired to be single”, those types of responses. “So that I can go to the beach and finally wear a swimsuit without being embarrassed”. I say, “Why don’t we start with those things? Why don’t we get you to doing those things first and really experiencing that now instead of waiting?” I see so many people, Jonathan who are sitting on the sidelines of their own lives because they are too ashamed or embarrassed or don’t feel good enough to get on the game. I really like to work backwards and start doing those things now feeling like go to the beach today. It doesn’t matter what you have to wear. A great quote, by Eleanor Roosevelt said “You worry less about what people thought about you if you realize how infrequently they did”. We’re all caught up with ourselves and right with what we’re doing. It’s just a beautiful quote and beautiful reminder. Yeah! I really like the idea of working backwards because what I’ve seen in it is when people start to vibe with life and they start to get happy without being skinny like without having that thing in place first. Then, you’re right the skinniness comes. I’ve had women who would say “Gosh, I took a painting at the park this weekend and I totally forgot to eat and I wasn’t really hungry and when I did eat I chose this beautiful salad with this edible flowers from the garden (inaudible 02:38]”. So, you’re right. It really does shift in the vibration of frequency and we start to do things from that place as opposed to struggling to get there and then being happy.
Jonathan: It certainly does seem to be the case because so often this is lifestyle choices which cause disease and overweight come from a place of emotional turmoil when something is not going right when things are little off course. That’s when we often turn to these behaviors which result in those consequences.
Cynthia: Right. Right. No, it’s true. Who doesn’t do that? So many women over the years said that they were doing really well and then I broke up with my boyfriend or I lost my job or something happens and then we take a…we dive head first off the deep well. Everything just goes straight to hell in a hand basket. So, where is Jonathan we were living the opposite way and really focusing on being happy now and resonating with our authentic self and when that happens we’re still on a really good place and we’re so gonna make those choices. People like to say this thing. I know you’ve heard it before, people like to say “You are what you eat”, and I don’t agree with that. I believe that you eat what you are. It was like, what’s that?
Jonathan: That’s awesome. Keep going. I love it.
Cynthia: Yeah, this comes from a place like….let me explain what that means. You are what you eat basically is a falsehood that I think we all try to live up to and instead I think you eat what you are. Meaning, if you are feeling this really low about yourself and you are like “Man, I don’t look good. I don’t feel good. That thing that work, this thing with that guy, this thing with this girl, my boss, my mom”. Things are just crazy for you. You feel like you’re not seen and you’re not heard and you don’t matter. You’re gonna drive through McDonalds. You’ll pick up a pizza on the way home for work because it doesn’t matter. Why would it matter? Thing can’t possibly get any worst for you. What eating a salad going to help, right? Whereas if you’re living from this place where you’re like “I realize that I am a divine being of this source energy that we are all a part of. I know I am meant for greatness. I may not be able to see that now with the madness that’s going on in my life and I know that I meant for something bigger. I know that there’s work here for me to do. I know that everything that’s happening right now is perfect”. Just as [inaudible 05:17] that person will treat themselves to a really nice dinner. They’ll cook the home cooked meal even just for themselves because they value who they are as a being on this planet. So again, really coming from eating what you are as supposed to the flip side of that if that makes sense.
Jonathan: Cynthia, it absolutely makes sense that maybe another example of that paradigm shift is for an elite athlete. If I perceived myself as an elite athlete, I of course I’m going to be very conscientious of what I put into my body because I have this very clear purpose and that very clear purpose will either be furthered or hindered by what I put into my body and just because you’re not an elite athlete doesn’t mean you don’t have a compelling purpose that you need to be fueled and able to perform to the fullest here on the planet.
Cynthia: Right. It’s so true. I think about this in terms of your truth versus your reality. [Carl Young 06:20] you are familiar with…a long time ago. He has this situation happen where he was talking with one of his colleagues one day when another psychologist asked him “How’s this work with so and so?” Let’s call her [Nancy 06:30], “How’s your work with Nancy going?” Dr. Carl Young goes “It is going great. She went to the moon last night”. His colleague starts laughing and its hilarious big belly laughs. Dr. Carl Young says, “What’s so funny?” and he said “Well didn’t you hear yourself. You’re patient that she went to the moon last night.” He says “Yea, but I still don’t get what’s so funny.” He said “Of course she didn’t go to the moon. She went to the moon? Really? This lady has seriously gone off the deep end” and so Dr. Carl Young says “No that’s her reality. Just because you and I know may know or think that she didn’t physically get up and go to the moon. In her mind, that’s her reality and for her, that’s just as real as you sitting here having this conversation with me”. So we have what I call our truth in our realities. Our reality might be for someone, let’s say, you are a woman and you have a couple of kids and you have a demanding jobs and you’re married and everyday is stressful and you’ve a lot on your plate and you are not where you to be want to be health wise and maybe have a few pounds that you’re carrying around and you don’t cook as many meals as you’d like for your kids and you don’t feel so great about things that might be your reality, right? I get that but your truth is that everything is perfect just as it is. That you are that being that’s meant for greatness. You were here to make a bigger impact that you could even (inaudible 07:58) and you were doing that in a huge way. You have everything that you need to support wise, money wise, you have the body that you want, the health of your dreams. That’s your truth. It may not be your reality and that’s okay but that’s your truth. If people live from their truth and they act as if, then everything else falls into place so beautifully and with so much ease because I believe with everything in me Jonathan. I’ve seen this in my own personal life. I’ve seen it in thousands of clients lives over the years. That the universe will rise up just to support you and whatever vibrational frequency you’re on and make that truth that you so desperately know to be your reality and I know it’s probably, a little, we might loss a few people there but that’s what I see.
Jonathan: Well, Cynthia we’ve clearly on this scratch to surface here and your passion and your dedication to helping others to live better is just exuding. I want to direct the listeners to learn much more because you’ve got lots more to offer obviously and listeners you can do that at cynthiapasquella.com. You can also check out Cynthia’s Lovely “The Hungry Hottie Cookbook’ and Cynthia, what’s next with you because you are obviously overflowing with passion and insight? Where’s that gonna get? Where’s that gonna get apply next?
Cynthia: I love it. Yes! I’m gonna be passionate about this work. So what I’m doing now, I’ve been doing this work for a really long time and we really found that transformational trifecta in the work of science, psychology and spirituality and I am thrilled Jonathan because we just launched the Institute of Transformational Nutrition and we sold out. The doors were closed. We’re not seeking any new students right now. We’re amazing but we’re opening enrollment again soon and what’s happening is I realized I can teach this stuff and just preach it from the mountain tops but still I can write the books and I am. I will continue to do that but I need people on the front lines because I feel like there’s a new conversation that’s taking place. That’s starting around weight loss and health, and vitality and wellbeing. I want people out there in that conversation. I’m training them this method that I’ve used for over 15 years and not just that but on my business methods, my coaching methods; so that they can carry on this work and all of us together can have a really powerful impact on the world. That’s my next focus and I’m so excited about it. If you’re interested in that you can go to transformationalnutrition.com. We need people’s voices. We need people joining this conversation. If you are interested of being a student or just helping support us. You could find out ways to do that transformationalnutrition.com
Jonathan: I love it! transformationalnutrition.com, cynthiapasquella.com, ‘The Hungry Hottie Cookbook’. There’s no .com there but it’s glorious Cynthia. Thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Cynthia: Thank you Jonathan.
Jonathan: Listeners I hope you enjoy this great conversation as much as I did and please remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better.
“I’ve devoted my entire career to making health and fitness something that’s achievable and attainable for every type of person, from every walk of life. It doesn’t matter if you were born an athlete – or you were born without an exercise-loving bone in your body - health and fitness is your birthright. And I’m here to help you discover that, with the help of the Precision Nutrition team.
Since 2000, our world-class, multidisciplinary team of counselors, doctors, exercise specialists, naturopaths, and nutritionists have coached and mentored more than 200,000 people in nearly 100 countries through our research programs, professional education courses, and personal coaching groups.
In our coaching program, we’ll personally work with you to help improve your health and get you into the best shape of your life. In working with others like you, we’ve generated world-recognized research that’s changing the way fitness and nutrition is taught today. In fact, many believe we’re the largest private nutrition research group in the world.
To spread the word, we also offer a professional certification. Through this program, we teach elite health and fitness professionals (like doctors, nutritionists, physical therapists, and personal trainers) how to use the latest in nutrition knowledge in their own practice. To help change the lives of their patients and clients.
With all that said, if you want to know more about me personally, here’s what I do.
Writing about nutrition and fitness is what I love most. I’ve written countless articles for nearly every site or magazine that covers nutrition. I’ve written a comprehensive nutrition program called The Precision Nutrition System. A cookbook for the fit food lover calledGourmet Nutrition. And the definitive textbook on nutrition science for fitness professionals called The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. You can read my writing in our newsletter, our Facebook page or our blog.
Over my career, I’ve personally coached and consulted with thousands of people from all walks of life. From everyday people who could be your neighbors, right up to athletes at the highest level of sport. I currently lead our extraordinary coaching team here at Precision Nutrition, and co-developed the Lean Eating Coaching Program, which broke ground as the first entirely web-based nutrition coaching program. The program is beloved by our clients and consistently helps people get healthier, stronger and fitter than they ever thought possible. If you would like us to help you personally, I strongly encourage you to check it out. Spots are limited and sell out quickly when opened to the public.
Specializing in exercise physiology and nutrient biochemistry, I received my PhD at the University of Western Ontario under renowned sport nutrition researcher Dr. Peter Lemon. I’m an assistant adjunct professor at the University of Texas and a course instructor at Eastern Michigan University. Over the years I’ve taught university courses in Exercise Science, Nutrient Metabolism, Fitness and Wellness, and Exercise Nutrition. These days, I teach primarily through ourPrecision Nutrition Certification Program.
In my doctoral studies, my research focused primarily on exercise nutrition; specifically, what to eat before, during and after exercise to optimize performance. At Precision Nutrition, I’ve sought to develop a new kind of research that falls somewhere between heavily-controlled, small-scale laboratory studies typically done at universities, and the loosely-controlled, large-scale epidemiology studies typically funded by groups like the National Institutes of Health. Using our medium-scale method, we rapidly test hypotheses with thousands of real, motivated people, collect and interpret the data online, and turn that data into better coaching methods for our clients.
I regularly travel the world and teach the latest in nutrition science. I’ve spoken at hundreds of academic, exercise and nutrition-related conferences over the years. If you’d like to be alerted when I add a new event to my schedule,join our newsletter or follow us on Facebook.
In my personal life, I continue to pursue athletics. I’ve competed at a fairly high level in track and field, rugby and football; I also won a US national junior bodybuilding title back in 1995. These days, the majority of my athletic time is spent at or preparing for masters-level track and field meets, where I compete as a sprinter.
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey everybody, Jonathan Bailor back with another Bonus Smarter Science of Slim Podcast. It’s a special day today folks because I am as excited as a listener, as I am as the host of this show today because we have the expert of experts with us today. We have an individual who is the founder of the world’s largest online nutrition coaching company Precision Nutrition and, like I said, he is really the expert’s expert. He is a Physiologist, in the last three Olympics alone, his athletes have collected over 30 medals, 15 of which are gold.
He partners with the Nike high performance team, he works with UFC welterweight champion [Georges St. Pierre 00:45]. In addition to all of this good stuff, he is genuinely a nice man and his website and his brand, which again, you can check out at precisionnutrition.com has grown into this wonderful resource without resorting to so many of the diet and exercise gimmicks we see out there. So, I’m excited to dig in to that with him, proud to have him on the show and just thrilled to have Dr. John Berardi with us today. John how are you brother?
John: Doing awesome, thanks so much for having me. Thanks for the wonderful introduction and bio and I’m just really excited to be able to share all kinds of interesting things with the listeners today.
Jonathan: Well John, and I hope you don’t mind if I call you John, is that okay?
John: No problem.
Jonathan: Doctor John!
John: After saying what a nice guy I am, it would be really bad for me then to be like, no.
Jonathan: Well, John so you, folks you can go check out precisionnutrition.com. Obviously you are the founder of precisionnutrition.com, can you tell us a bit about your personal path and then, when Precision Nutrition got started along the lines and then also, your philosophy of – like right what you have on your website here, No gimmicks, no fads, just results from real people, we guarantee it.
John: Yeah. Well Precision Nutrition is essentially a nutrition coaching company and there’s two groups of people that we coach. One, the first is the group of people who are just interested in looking better, feeling better, performing better. You mentioned a lot of our elite athletic accolades if you will, earlier and those are all things that we are very, very proud of but the fact of the matter is that only represents about 1% of the people that we work with. So UFC champions, Olympians and professional athletes, really the other 99% are people who are just recreational exercisers. They want to look better. They want to maybe improve their blood profile, they want to feel better, they want to be able to play with their grandkids.
They want to you know be able to feel more energy in everyday life and those are the people that we work with, most. Those are the people that we’re really, proud to help and that’s just the one group. The other group is a group of fitness professionals, so this would be personal trainers, strength coaches, nutrition coaches who are interested in learning from the model that we’ve put together to deliver reproducible, consistent life changing results.
It’s kind of the motto of our company, it’s our tagline, it’s life changing, research driven nutrition coaching for everyone and we’ve created a system that, in the last 5 years, we’ve coached over 20,000 people to over 300,000 pounds of fat loss with that system and again we’re super proud of that. A lot of fitness professionals come to us to learn how we do it, so we have a certification program for them as well.
So, those are the two arms of our company. One is helping recreational exercisers achieve the most from their fitness and nutrition program and then the other is teaching that to professionals. So, professionals come to us to learn how to do that in their own practices.
Jonathan: John, tell me a bit about your personal story because obviously, and I want to unpack how this, your company has become so delightful and successful without resorting to much of what we see on the internet, in terms of online things but I think inextricably linked to that is who you are as a person and your journey through life up to where you are today. So, can you tell us about little John, not them East side boy and how you got to where you are today?
John: Yeah absolutely, you know for me, my path wasn’t the conventional path to personal trainer. I wasn’t like a real athletic guy growing up and then decided to just pivot that into a career. For me, I was actually really sickly, I was born really premature, extremely small, really, really sick, ill. I had asthma and allergies and all these problems gaining weight, growing up. So, for me athletics was sort of the furthest thing from my upbringing and you know I was sort like the typical nerdy introvert. I read books and I didn’t play many sports and stuff like that but then, when I got to high school, I figured hey, I like books and I’m really skinny and the girls didn’t seem to like me because of that, so, I was going to try and sort of figure out fitness, whether nutrition and exercise could help me. So, I spent the time reading and practicing and I found a few great mentors along the way and that actually changed everything for me.
I gained a bunch of muscle, which is what I needed to do at the time but I could’ve easily gone the other way if I had been overweight. I could lost a bunch of fat with the knowledge that I had learnt and then it just became my life’s purpose to kind of share with other people you know this sort of amazing and enlightening type of thing that happened to me which was, I was able to change something very fundamental about myself in a very positive way.
So, I decided to go to school and I did the whole academic journey. I did Pre-med undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, Masters Degree in Nutritional Biochemistry, PhD and I just, throughout the way I was coaching. So, I was a personal trainer, nutrition coach throughout the entire time and it became for me, this really, really exciting way to share with others the empowerment that I felt when I first learned how to manipulate my body for the better, the fact that the two came together, that I was being trained academically.
So, I not only had the credentials but a real deep understanding of the body and then I was coaching at the same time because I never wanted to be a professor. I always wanted to be a coach. It all sort of collets and then when I finally finished school, and I say finally because it did take a very long time. I started Precision Nutrition with my co-founder [Phil Caravaggio 06:44] and we did that in around 2000. So, we’ve been at it for 13 years, like I said, we’re really, really proud of the number of lives that we’re impacting every single year and its not been a linear progression necessarily.
I mean, we have some fits and starts and lots of learning experiences in the business realm of it, but really, what we stayed at the core is just a group of people who are really, really passionate, not only just about fitness but about coaching, about helping people, about figuring out the best ways to help people move towards what they want to move towards. That’s been the cornerstone of what we do. So, like you say internet marketing and some of the over the top stuff that happens in the industry nowadays is obviously, primarily profit driven. It’s money driven and to stay in business we need to make money, but at the same time the core of what we do, is about service and value. So, if we can serve people and we can help them achieve what, I think they want to achieve from fitness and nutrition, then I feel like the money will always come.
So, if we can stay with that at the core and at the heart of what we do, not only are we super proud of that, not only our customers really feeling like they’re getting value out of what we do, but then we can stay in business as well which is a good thing.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Well, John, it seems like that what you say is certainly true where if, the quality is there and the results are there, the recognition will ensue, almost has to ensue because people can’t help but talk about transformations in their life, even if they don’t talk about it, people see them and they see that transformation.
John, I noticed there’s some parallels a little bit in our journey and I’m curious because we preach similar philosophies and one is that, you started of skinny. You didn’t actually start off struggling to lose weight, you struggled to, if I understand correctly, to gain muscle. That was your focus.
John: Yeah. I mean, for me, when I graduated high school, I was at 5’9 and 130 pounds, so you know, barely fitting into adult sized small garments, you know what I mean? So for me, it’s not just about the vanity aspect of gaining muscle, I was fundamentally weak and sickly. I couldn’t do every day things just like a lot of people who may be overweight feel like they can’t do every day things that they should or ought to be able to do. That’s kind of how I felt, I just was at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Jonathan: John, I think that’s, I think that’s informative for me, it sounds like it was informative for you too because when you take that personal experience and then you combine it with a PhD in Biochemistry, you can see not only anecdotally with yourself but empirically in the laboratory that, for example, just eat less, exercise more. The body works like a math equation, it doesn’t bare out in the real world and it also doesn’t bare out once you look at it at a biochemical level, correct?
John: Yeah that’s right. I mean, you know in the lab we – and when I say we, I mean the scientific community knows a little bit about how this works but that’s limited and devoid of real world practical coaching experience. It can be even meaningless at times because, not only is there that issue of calories in versus calories out, how much you eat and how much you exercise and how it impacts your hormones and your metabolic rate and all that stuff but there’s also the thing that I always talk about, which is, the coaching piece, which is, how you do this stuff within the context of a real human life and this is something that I think the fitness industry misses every single day.
A lot of really keen and well meaning fitness professionals, they attend more seminars on Physiology, on Biomechanics, movement on nutrients and this is all science devoid of real life and its only when you sort of combine chain Psychology and understanding of real people and what their lives look like and how this has to fit in to the context of work, family and everything else you’ve got going on, that real change can occur.
So, you know I, the fact that I have high level academic training is awesome and it opens a lot of doors for me and I think it helps me understand the body in a unique way but I feel like that alone is insufficient to actually help any single human change their life, you know?
John: Go ahead.
Jonathan: Well and John you have a concept, the thing that makes you so powerful about your practical experience as well as your clinical experience is, you have this concept of nutritional triage, which we all love, which is basic marginal cost, marginal benefit from economics applied to lifestyle, which is, what are the smallest changes I can make.
What’s the least cost I can incur for the biggest marginal benefit but having that rooted in proven science as well as actual experience is very helpful because it seems like some of the tom foolery we see out there, there’s these tips and tricks and 100 things you can do to cut 100 calories and so, how do we differentiate nutritional triage rooted in science from these top 10 quick fix approaches?
John: Well you know, I mean, the popular words to use nowadays are like nutritional hacking or body hacking right? That seems to be the very popular thing and people are trying to look for those little tricks and tips to hack their body. It’s very interesting that that comes from a technology world, comes from computer programming world and the idea behind a hack is very interesting if you understand computer science. What hacking was, was to come up with the quickest but crappiest solution to getting a job done right? It wasn’t intended to be sustainable, software engineering is intended to be sustainable. Hacking is just trying to duct tape together a very quick solution that you expect to break, so it’s fascinating to me that so many people are gravitating towards this very interesting analogy coming from the computer world when it comes to their body. They’re trying to hack, which is, find the quickest shortcut to a positive result but at the same time what they’re doing is they’re setting themselves up for that exact solution to break.
So, when we look at nutritional triage, Precision Nutrition the idea is: what is the smallest thing that you can do today to make a positive effect on your weight loss journey, on your physiology, on your blood work, that also is sustainable. So, that’s the criteria and we’re actually doing engineering here, we’re not doing hacking. The first thing is eliminating nutritional deficiencies, so if we actually think about and look into why people feel bad, why they can’t lose weight, why all these issues come up?
The thing we see time and time again is, we see nutritional deficiencies at stake. We see things like you know vitamin and mineral deficiencies, we see fluid deficiencies, which is dehydration. We see protein deficiencies and we see deficiencies in essential fatty acids like omega-3 and the fascinating thing is, you can look to the research. There been some studies and these are really great on prison inmates where they actually would simply give them fish oil pill and a multi vitamin, and the incidents of anti-social behavior and violent behavior in the prison themselves will drop by 60%.
What they’ve done is given the same sort of combination supplements so – multi vitamin and omega-3 to school children and they see the exact same reduction in anti-social behavior, violence and they see increases in cognitive function. The thing is, the most important message here isn’t what most people would draw from that, oh, you have to supplement with vitamins and omega-3s. It’s not the bottom line because there’s nothing magical about them, really what’s at stake here, is the fact that when we’re deficient in certain things, we don’t function optimally.
Our hormones don’t work right, our brains don’t work right, we get moody and violent and anti-social. So, fixing deficiencies is the key and here’s the beauty as well within the context of a human life, it’s very easy to do that. So, that’s our first step in nutritional triage, people know the idea of triage, if there’s a whole host of problems, you have to go to the most important one first, just like an emergency room doctor would go to the person who has a limb amputated before someone with a cut on their finger right? So, we have to look to those things. So, for me, the first one is eliminating nutritional deficiencies, that’s the most important first triage step and then you can start building diet intervention around that. How do most people do it? They do the opposite, they think they have to overhaul their whole eating. I’ve got to cut out caffeine and sugar and eat more protein and less gluten and make this long impossible, unsustainable list when all they really might have to do was get a little zinc, magnesium and omega-3s and it would have kick started the process, and that’s really easy to do.
Jonathan: John, how do we – so in the spirit of this new model of bio hacking, it seems like there is a sexiness to that, there’s an immediacy to that especially to an American based culture, where it’s what is the stock price doing today? What is happening today versus more of an Eastern approach, which is the 50 year company and fixing these nutritional deficiencies, which may not be as sexy.
We talk to people, we say ensuring you’re eating non-starchy vegetables and nutrient dense proteins and until you’re doing that at sufficient volume, anything else may be a bit of a waste of time because this chain is as strong as its weakest link thing but it works incredibly well but it’s not as sexy. So, how do we bridge that sexy gap?
John: Well, we can sex it up if that’s what you want. It’s not very difficult, we can make up some nonsense about the particular nutrient being this, that and the other thing, and we’ve harvested this particular vegetable from a high top this one mountain. You know we can make all that up and that can be very compelling if you need entertainment, that’s totally fine, but the truth of the matter is, while this sounds easy, eliminating deficiencies you probably do need a little bit of guidance and supervision because how is the average person going to know if they’re deficient in zinc?
Well, you can get a blood test done or I can assess your dietary intake everyday and they’ll be some real red flags around that. I mean, when we look at nutrients for example, we could just assume because we see zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, omega-3 fats and protein are very common deficiencies, so for a lot of people, if we just targeted those. If I just had you add a couple of foods that were higher in zinc and magnesium, if we either plan to be outside in the sun for 10 minutes a day or just take a vitamin D supplement we can hack, there we go, let’s throw it in there.
We can hack that aspect of yourself but this is a different kind of hack, this is sustainable hack, because if we can fix these deficiencies, all of a sudden, things start working better and this is the amazing part. People tell me, oh yeah, but that’s not my problem, it’s my sugar cravings. What do I do about my sugar cravings? Well, here’s the interesting thing, if we get your hormones in line and we get rid of a bunch of these deficiencies, then magically sugar cravings go down. Oh… that does seem kind of sexy doesn’t it now? So, there’s a whole sequence, chain of events here, like you said the system is strong as its weakest link and this is the weakest link for a lot of people. Now, it’s not the only place to stop right? I mean, there are other steps. The next step is to look into food amount and type, so how much you’re eating each day and what types of food that you’re eating but we don’t even look at that, we don’t even begin looking at that until we fix deficiencies.
I’ll admit, sometimes our clients are annoyed because we’ll start off with some of these things where we’re fixing deficiencies and they’re like yeah, but you’ve never told us what not to eat yet or what to eat. The idea here is that you don’t have to change your eating until we take care some of the deficiencies stuff and that seems kind of counter intuitive but it plays out over and over again and we have the largest sample of coaching clients anywhere in the world right now, and we see it over and over again.
People are anxious to change their eating and they want to make it a big project and we start off with just eliminating deficiencies and we don’t tell them what not to eat for dinner, what to eat for dinner, we kind of just fix some of these little things that we know are missing and all of a sudden, weight loss kicks off, all of a sudden they start feeling better, their skin looks better, they feel less anxious, they have less cravings and here’s the magic, the diet then starts to fix itself, then we can sort of corral it.
We can send it in the right direction by talking about the right amount of food that you eat and we’d like to talk about that without calorie counting because I think that can become sort of an obsessive thing, then we look at things like how to eat for your body type. We split up people by what’s called somatotypes so it’s whether you’re tall and thin, whether you’re sort of a more rounded in shape and structure, whether you’re more athletic looking naturally and then we sort of split up your nutrients according to that.
The last part is digging into the fine tuning stuff and that’s where we look at things like meal frequency, how often do you eat, whether you’re cycling your calories and carbs, whether you’re using workout nutrition, intermittent fasting. These are all the things that get a lot of play on the internet nowadays but we saved them towards the fine tuning part because it’s really cool when you can just focus on fixing deficiencies and you make a huge stride in progress from that simple thing.
You didn’t have to quit your job or stop spending time with your kids to figure this out.
Jonathan: John, I love it because it really gets back to that initial point you made about the spirit of bio hackers is certainly to help individuals live better and the intention is all wonderful and that’s great. The metaphor itself is an interesting one to look at because also implied in the word ‘hack’, is that the system itself is broken and it’s not really worth fixing…maybe it’s…I listen to your program manager at Microsoft, all about software. If we know we’re not going to continue to use a certain code base or a certain system, you just put a bunch of hacks in there because we’re like the system is too far gone. Let’s just plug the holes and move on. Whereas if you believe the system itself is fundamentally sound, you just need to get it back on track. You’ll take a different approach and I think that’s what we’re talking about here. Is there is no need to do a hack or trick the system.
The system doesn’t want you to be sick, the system doesn’t want you to be over-fat. The system wants you to be healthy and fit as evidences by the dramatically lower rates of disease and obesity that preceded everyone trying to be healthy. It sounds like what you’re saying is by restoring deficiencies, things like that. We just get the system, which is intrinsically right and good back on track. So there is reason to hack it because it’s not wrong, it’s just broken and we need to fix it.
John: That’s exactly right. You said it extremely well. The body is an amazing thing and when we do the wrong stuff, we have certain outcomes. When we do the right stuff, other outcomes follow. That’s what we’re talking about here. When you use a science based approach and then a progressive approach, and by progressive I mean, the next thing builds on the last thing. I think the fitness industry in terms of personal trainers have done this really well for years. Where when a new client comes in, they’re not going to give them the most complex exercise possible with the highest intensity on Day 1. Presumably what they’re going to do is build them up over time using, what I call progressive programs. Here’s step 1, because you don’t know how to do these complicated movements.
We chunk them up and build them up over time with a last thing building on the next thing. I see this wonderfully with my children, they’re involved in sports and gymnastics and stuff like that. How does a kid, how does a little kid go from barely being able to walk, to hold their head up without toppling to being able to do flips and aerials and stuff like that in gymnastics.
If you actually watch a child go through progression its fascinating because you see each chunk building on the last. In the nutrition world we’ve not done that, historically. It’s been “Here’s a meal plan to follow”, which is the most complex movement at the highest intensity and Day 1. Instead of doing that, it has to be building up progressively. Just like we do in every other physically aptitude setting. A little bit of progress from where you were yesterday but it’s strategic, its well designed and then you build on the next one.
Just like gymnastics, you’re not going to randomly introduce small habits, you’re going to introduce the new one that makes the most sense for the level you’re at and then you’re going to introduce one higher so it’s like climbing a staircase. Same thing has to be done here, like you say, the body can work extremely well, it just has to be taken through a proper scientifically designed progression.
Throwing random hacks at it isn’t going get us anywhere or at least in the long run. That’s really the point. I don’t know anyone who’s racing to lose a bunch of weight for the next six weeks with the hope and intention that they gain it all back with interest over the next six weeks after that.
Everyone wants to be able to sustain this, they want to be able to do something that they can build on in the long run. Unfortunately we’ve just never been taught how.
Jonathan: Well, Dr. John Berardi, this is brilliant. We’ve absolutely got to have you back on this show because we’ve…I’ve taken so many notes here, that we’ve got so much we can cover but listeners, I hope you can hear why I’m such a personal fan of John and his work over at precisionnutrition.com. Obviously science based as well this common sense based, system based long-term brilliant. John, thank you so much for joining us today, this is absolutely fabulous, can’t wait to have you back on the show.
John: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it, I’m excited to come back. I think there is lots more we can talk about. There’s lots more the listeners can get out of you and I just riffing on some of this stuff and just talking about what we’re most excited about. I look forward to it.
Jonathan: Awesome, thank you so much, John. Folks, his name is Dr. John Berardi, you can learn more about him and his wonderful company at precisionnutrition.com com and please remember, this week and every week after. Eat smarter, exercise smart, and live better. Chat with you soon.
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week: Why Where You Workout May Matter Way More Than You Think…and much more! Jonathan Bailor http://www.facebook.com/TheSmarterScienceOfSlim http://twitter.com/#!/jonathanbailor The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort Full Transcription JONATHAN: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically proven program where […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Aran Goyoaga. In her own words: Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking, from the Creator of Cannelle et Vanille “I am Aran, a Basque ex-pat living in the US since 1998, and […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week we have the pleasure of hearing from John Abramson. In his own words: Overdosed America: The Broken Promise of American Medicine “John Abramson has worked as a family doctor in Appalachia with the National Health Service Corps and for 20 years in Hamilton, Massachusetts. […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week: Exercise Frequency, Carb Back Loading, and Endurance Training Jonathan Bailor http://www.facebook.com/TheSmarterScienceOfSlim http://twitter.com/#!/jonathanbailor The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort Full Transcription JONATHAN: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically proven program where you eat more and exercise […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Dave Asprey. In his own words: Bulletproof Diet 3.0: Eat Well Live Well & Increase Your IQ “I blog about how to be a more powerful entrepreneur and human by upgrading your biology at The Bulletproof Executive. […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week we have the pleasure of hearing from George Bryant. In his own words: The Paleo Kitchen: Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking “George is an author, publisher, teacher, preacher, public speaker, sometime politician, and social worker. Education - He holds an MA(Hons) degree, DipTheol, […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes Get Control of Your Appetite Easily, Here’s How Jonathan Bailor http://www.facebook.com/TheSmarterScienceOfSlim http://twitter.com/#!/jonathanbailor The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes Note: Here’s the oil the Calton’s mentioned in today’s show. This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Jayson And Mira Calton. In their own words: Naked Calories: Discover How Micronutrients Can Maximize Weight Lose, Prevent Dosease and Enhance Your Life “The Caltons are among the […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Nina Teicholz. In her own words: The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet “Nina Teicholz wrote on food and nutrition science for Gourmet and Men’s Health magazines. She was a […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes De-Stress and Destroy Fat-Loss Plateaus Jonathan Bailor http://www.facebook.com/TheSmarterScienceOfSlim http://twitter.com/#!/jonathanbailor The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort Full Transcription JONATHAN: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically proven program where you eat more and exercise less to burn fat and […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Matt Fitzgerald. In his own words: “A New Hampshire native, Matt became a runner at the age of eleven, after running the last mile of the 1983 Boston Marathon with his father (who had run the whole […]
LISTEN: show READ: transcript GET: free program & recipes This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Dr. Daniel Kalish. In his own words: Your Guide to Healthy Hormones “For the last sixteen years Daniel Kalish, D.C. has successfully treated patients with hormone imbalances, food cravings, fatigue, depression, digestive distress, auto immune disorders and […]