How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

I saw that Ben Greenfield (prominent health and fitness influencer and self-proclaimed biohacker) recently chanced upon a place I have been holding in my back pocket for several months, waiting for an opportune time to give it my full endorsement. The Human Garage, in beautiful Venice, California is the place of which I speak. Simply put, it’s the most holistic and bleeding-edge health center to improve your body alignment, biochemical wellbeing, energy, and mind. They have several modalities to accomplish this, along with the absolute best supplements one may find on earth. Basically, their standard for anything they do or sell to improve your health is an 11 out of 10.

I’ve gone through their full protocol of multiple sessions, along with a subclinical wellness test to better tailor their recommendations for me. My results are below, along with Ben Greenfield’s. The provider they use for the wellness analysis, QurEcology, is apparently one of the best, with extremely unforgiving and stringent gradings for the most relevant biomarkers ranging from digestion to inflammation to toxicity. If you’ve ever wondered if you have “adrenal fatigue,” this would be the best indication. Sure, you can just go off of how you feel, but why not get reliable data on your health. In God we trust, all else bring data.

Now, health is not a competition and this post title is admittedly a bit clickbaity, but I have very real lessons learned through comparing my results to someone like Ben Greenfield, such as:

  • Get tested. Get the data. Don’t assume anything.
  • Never give someone too much credit or worse, not give yourself enough credit.
  • Lifestyle takes its toll. Ben travels all over the world and has a packed schedule giving talks, training for long-distance endurance competitions, etc. That undoubtedly impacted his results.
  • Simple is better than complex. Ben has tried every biohacking tool under the sun, but that is majoring in minors. The majors being the basics of health (meditation, breathing, gratitude, love, nature, non-excessive exercise, and the rest of the stuff I beat you over the head with in this blog). I get caught up in the latest and greatest as is human nature to seek novelty, but discipline myself to execute on the 80/20 of health (and per below that has evidently paid off). Anything I do past that is whimsical and hopeful experimentation derived from my obsession with health.

If you have lingering back pain or neck pain, want to realign yourself to undo years of sitting and the 21st century sedentary lifestyle, or simply want to upgrade your mind and body through the most exquisite experience, I highly recommend you make the trip to Venice and visit Human Garage. They have a waiting list and all that jazz, so check in with them first.

Brian’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage (QurEcology Biochemical Wellness Analysis)

  • Green/good count: 8
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 6
  • Red/poor count: 0

Ben Greenfield’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage

  • Green/good count: 1
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 7
  • Red/poor count: 6

If you’re reading this Ben, know that I would jump at the chance to learn from you, as I have done so in the past, along with your friend, old roommate and vacuum-vixen Brett.

Latest And Greatest Health Finds of August 2017 (Plus Noteworthy Throwbacks)

Latest And Greatest Health Finds of August 2017 (Plus Noteworthy Throwbacks)

Anti-Aging / Longevity

  • Gratitude is one of, if not the best anti-aging emotions even at a telomere-shortening mitigating level.

Biohacks

  • Heat Therapy

    • “Saunas are being used by some doctors to stimulate the release of toxins from the bodies of their patients. They have found that a lower temperature (105º-130ºF) sauna taken for a longer duration is most beneficial. These low temperatures stimulate a fat sweat, which eliminates toxins stored in fat, as opposed to the high temperature sauna, which encourages a water sweat.”
    • Sauna is best after exercise vs before.
    • Avoid depletion during sauna: Celtic Sea Salt Electrolyte Powder Mix
    • Support for niacin and sauna detox: http://saunadetoxprogram.com
  • Intermittent Fasting

    • Fasting optimizes repair. Longer fast (2-4 days) offer an order of magnitude more autophagy than standard 16-8
    • Fasting increases growth hormone, which is inversely tied to insulin (from eating).
  • Cold Therapy

    • Cold therapy right after training blunts hypertrophy. Better to wait an hour after training. Heat therapy is better after training.
  • Miscellaneous

    • Get sunlight as early in day as possible.

Breathing

Chemical / Toxin Mitigation

  • Great air purifier: airdoctorpro.com
  • Ozone and UV light generator to clean pool instead of Chlorine
  • Think Dirty app: scan cosmetic products for their toxicity/chemical level
  • Dr. Mindy Pelz: Knowledgeable resource

Dental Care & Hygiene

  • Add hydrogen peroxide to Waterpik water for killing of bacteria (can replace flossing).
  • Reverse cavities naturally
    • Fermented cod liver oil
    • Vitamins D
    • Vitamin K
    • Coconut oil pulling

Emotional and Mental Health

  • Here’s what brain research says will make you happy:
    • Ask, “What am I grateful for?” No answers? Doesn’t matter. Just searching helps.
    • Label those negative emotions. Give it a name, and your brain isn’t so bothered by it.
    • Decide. Go for “good enough” instead of “best decision ever made on Earth.”
    • Hugs, hugs, hugs. Don’t text — touch.
  • In their fascinating study “Would you be happier if you were richer?”, published in Science, Princeton professors Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, found that perhaps the best indicator of happiness was the frequency of eating with friends and family.
  • Unseen Therapist – Gary Craig 
  • Tension, Stress, Trauma Release: Watch the 8-minute Tremors video on T.R.E.’s official website to see how it works.

Essential Oils

  • Oregano oil drink diluted to kill bad bacteria and help heal gut. Honey and oregano oil only kill bad bacteria.

Mobility / Posture: Muscle, Joint and Skeletal System

Naturally Increase Testosterone

Nutrition

  • Supplements

    • Vitamin B-Complex Caps. This covers all of your bases for the B vitamins. These pills are free from common allergens, like soy, yeast, barley, wheat, and lactose.
    • Clean Chlorella and Spirulina: ENERGYbits
    • Krinos Mastic gum to help stave off hunger during fasting and for stomach health
    • Take Organifi (or greens powder of choice) 2x/day once per day, once in morning first thing on empty stomach, then in middle afternoon after lunch for optimal results
    • Restore 4 life to heal gut and fight against glyphosate
    • NSF database to check which supplements are certified. Most rigorous supplement certification.

Self-Quantification / Testing / Wearables

From Zero to Shredded and Cancer-Free Hero: Intermittent Fasting How-To

From Zero to Shredded and Cancer-Free Hero: Intermittent Fasting How-To

This headline is a bit ‘punny’ because the bigger takeaway is the app Zero that I’ve been using to aid in my intermittent fasting journey.  Intermittent fasting, or time-restricted eating, has a growing body of research validating a whole host of benefits ranging from body recomposition, human growth hormone production, to purging cancerous cells. Regardless of your health goals, I’m confident you’ll find something on the benefits menu appetizing enough to give it a shot. Let’s run through the 80/20 of what you’ll need to capitalize on this free health hack.

PICK A PROTOCOL

Anything past 12 hours of fasting yields some benefit, but the two recommended protocols are:

  1. 16-hour fast, 8-hour eating window – 7x/week (enshrined by LeanGains, the unofficial godfather of intermittent fasting for physique transformation).
  2. 24-hour fast, 1-2x/week

The former is better and more lifestyle friendly.

ASSEMBLE YOUR MOTIVATION FOR COMPLIANCE

Dr. Rhonda Patrick has as of late been touting the benefits of intermittent fasting, but prevention (i.e. thwarting off cancer) is not the best way to motivate people to action, as any marketer will tell you. The immediate benefits of HGH production and hormone optimization result in the body transformations to which many can attest. Don’t take my word for it, let’s listen to what Wolverine has to say.

STAVE OFF HUNGER

There will be an adjustment period, like anything else. Don’t let it deter you. Common hacks to pierce through that 30-minute hunger strike are coffee and/or sparkling mineral water. If you can raw dog it, more power to you, but keep the calorie-free liquids flowing.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

I’ve tried baking intermittent fasting into my routine so that I simply break my fast a noon daily, but I find that to be unrealistic if you’re serious about the 16-8 protocol. Allow yourself some flexibility of when you finish eating at night. So if you happen to finish dinner at 9 pm, for instance, you’d have to remember to break your fast the following day at 1 pm. But does “remember” sound like life optimization to you? In response, I (or Kevin Rose, rather) bring to you Zero, the 100% free and simple AF app to help you track your intermittent fasting, You can customize it to any protocol and it will even notify you when it’s time to stuff your face.

A NOTE FOR THE LOVELY FEMALES

Intermittent fasting is considered “eustress,” meaning a beneficial stressor to the body that makes you stronger thereafter, similar to physical exercise. When taken in aggregate, your body registers the additional stress, “healthy” or not, as simply more stress. Lifestyle factors such as environmental, mental/emotional, and work stress can compound rather quickly, rendering intermittent fasting less advantageous. Specifically, women can run into menstrual cycle issues when taking fasting past their body’s threshold (also common for female athletes/fitness enthusiasts who push it to the extreme). Bottomline: listen to your body and adjust accordingly, always. If you’re not in fact lovely, but female, this still applies (though exceedingly unlikely by virtue of you reading my blog).

 

Is intermittent fasting one of the most potent free health interventions? Is becoming Wolverine our now shared primary goal in life?

Unlocking the Gates of Mindfulness Through The Power and Benefits of Nasal Breathing

Unlocking the Gates of Mindfulness Through The Power and Benefits of Nasal Breathing

I stumbled upon what’s called the Buteyko method years ago when my friend told me he swore by it as the ultimate panacea to his anxiety, back pain, you name it. Buteyko method is essentially retraining your breathing patterns to combat chronic over-breathing attributed to our sedentary, hunched-over sitting culture. From that, we lose our natural diaphragmatic breathing and move toward the less healthy and metabolically inefficient chest breathing. The Buteyko method revolutionized my perception of breathing’s importance and the fact that apparently, I was doing it wrong my whole life. It was a lot to handle to find out your lifelong belief was wrong (reminding me of the scene below); I didn’t realize there was a HOW to breathing, I just took it for granted that it was more of a binary pass/fail situation.

There’s a growing consensus suggesting that nasal breathing is better for you that mouth breathing, for various reasons from better blood oxygenation to increased nitric oxide production during workouts. Sleeping, walking, or working out, it appears you’re better off breathing through your nose. 100% nasal breathing during exercise is challenging, particularly during high-intensity workouts or sprints. It’s an adjustment that you can make though, as I have done it. If it’s not embarrassingly obvious to you already, if I can accomplish something, you really have no excuse.

The issue is, developing new habits can be an arduous process; consistency and motivation often dwindle. Learning how to hack your motivation for something is your best bet. For instance, I am more motivated by the fitness and health benefits of nasal breathing than I am by the anxiety-reducing and calm of mind promises of mindfulness. Like most things, we know what we’re “supposed” to do, but we still don’t do them for whatever reason.

“If information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” – Derek Sivers [BRIAN: This begs the question if there’s any use in this blog.]

The “hack” here is using the habit formation process for nasal breathing of constantly coming back to your breath throughout the day as a vehicle for increased mindfulness. Coming back to breath or any part of your body is an opportunity to pause and ingest the present moment, i.e. mindfulness. In effect, you’re killing two birds with one stone, but using your interest in killing the first bird to enable killing the second. Morbid, but hopefully intelligible.

The meta-lesson here is figuring out what motivates you, and how you can leverage that get to the other tasks on your list that have fallen by the wayside. I’m giving you 7 puzzle pieces to a 400-piece self-improvement set. Or do you think it’s closer to 3, or 30 pieces? Let me know below!