Since we just kicked off the Wild30 Challenge, I decided to do an Ask Me Anything and see what questions are at the top of your minds as we head into a brand new year.
Keep in mind, I am no guru. We’re all here to help each other. We’re lifelong students, and constantly learning. That should be the goal, especially in this world of misinformation in which we find ourselves.
I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to ask things or admit to needing maybe a bit of support or help with certain areas of your health, because getting over that hump is really important.
Now, let’s get this kicked off.
In this Ask Me Anything, you’re about to learn:
- What to expect as you get started eating Wild
- How to reduce stress in our modern age of technology
- Defense against trigger foods
- How to outsmart your smart phone
- My take on sugar alcohols like Swerve
- How to kick-start fat-burning after a 3-day binge
- And tons more…
I hope you enjoy this one. Here we go.
Ask Me Anything with Abel
Now, let’s just get this kicked off because I have so many questions here.
Krista says, “I have been on Wild30 for 2 weeks today. Week 1, I lost 3.5 inches. Week 2, I had no change. Why?”
Well, thank you Krista for asking that question. It’s a very good one, and this is one that I certainly have some experience in, especially after being on that ABC TV show, working with a man named Kurt Morgan.
In case you didn’t see it, he started off at 352 pounds and I worked with him over the course of the next three and a half months on the TV show to lose 87 pounds, which is remarkable.
But there are a lot of things at play when we’re talking about weight loss. And weight loss, let me remind you, is less of a goal certainly than fat loss.
So, when you’re talking about weight, there are a lot of things included in that.
Human beings are primarily water, so what happens at the beginning of eating wild and living wild, when you’re turning down the processed carbs, the sugars, the junk foods, and all of the other man-made toxic processed foods, your body starts operating a little bit differently.
So, for marathon running, when I did that almost a decade ago, I learned a lot about glycogen stores, which is basically the stored sugar in the body—the body stores glycogen in the liver, as well as in the muscles.
And with sugar in the body comes added water, retained water.
So, if you’re basically topped up with glycogen and topped up with sugar in your body, you’re going to be carrying extra water.
Additionally, if you’ve been eating anything that is close to the standard American diet or anything that really includes restaurant foods, for most restaurants, there are rare exceptions like farm-to-table type places.
Or if you’ve been eating at basically any place that has pre-prepared, pre-packaged foods, your liver is going to be dealing with a lot of non-food products and a lot of times the liver can get overloaded.
So, at the beginning, especially the first week or two, almost without exception, most people lose the most weight in the first week or two.
Off the top of my head, Kurt Morgan, who is a tall guy, a large guy when we first started, he lost 16 pounds in the first week and we actually won the fitness competition on the ABC TV show.
The next week he lost 5 pounds, and then in the third week he lost 11 pounds. And those were some of the biggest weeks that we had, as the process continued over those three and a half months.
So, keep in mind that there’s so much at play when we’re talking about weight that the scale isn’t the best measurement of your progress.
The best measurement is a combination of things, it’s the way that you feel, the way that you look in the mirror.
Sometimes you can see your face lose inflammation, which is another thing that happens as you get away from the carbs and the processed foods.
The inflammation and the swelling goes down.
When I first started, I had a moon-shaped face for a while. Medications can do that.
So, any time you’re turning down the amount of inputs that your liver and your body has to deal with, you get this big flush of mostly water from your system.
Now, there are ways to manipulate that, which are not necessarily good. Usually they’re not.
So, in weight loss competitions, in competitive crew, in the Olympics, in body building circles, in fighting circles, shedding water weight to make weight is a really big thing.
That can be manipulated by how much water is in your body. It doesn’t really have anything to do with how much progress you’re making.
It’s always really important to drink a lot of water, before you think you’re thirsty. In fact, I’m getting a little parched right now.
Drink water. A lot of it, especially at the beginning.
And so, when it comes to losing weight and losing fat, your target is going to be more like a half pound or a pound of fat, maybe, a week. That would be really excellent progress.
Now, there’s not really a great way for people at home to measure that.
So, I don’t want to dwell on this one, but when it comes to progress, keep in mind, you want to measure it by the way that you feel, the way that you look in the mirror, but even more importantly, the way that your clothes fit, that will start to change.
Men might get a little bit more tapered. Women, a lot of times are surprised by the curves that sometimes come out when you lose fat from certain areas, or when you start to build muscle and your metabolism starts to change.
A lot of people are pleased with the shape that they have, which is closer to kind of like when you were at your high school weight maybe or when you were involved in athletics, or what have you.
It’s more of an athletic, and I hope, capable built.
And I’m not really going to talk that much about fitness today, because if you want to get in the best shape of your life, you really have to have diet and nutrition nailed first. It’s going to be 80% of your progress.
So, just quickly about fitness, if you’re going to do it, make sure that you do enjoy what you’re doing.
Focus on full body exercises, not like ab rollers, and isolated bicep curls, and a lot of work on machines.
It’s best to do it the good old fashion way, getting out there, doing sprints.
Hill sprints, hikes, anything that’s using your body in every direction, is going to be good for your body, and great for your brain.
Another question, “What do you recommend for people who hold their stress internally?”
Well, funny you should ask that, because it’s been a really stressful day.
We were really looking forward to doing a live question and answer session as we’ve done many times before, although not always perfectly, certainly from here.
And our internet just completely crapped out.
That’s happened many times and it always bums me out when we have this big build-up, and then I’m not able to be there for people who I really want to interact with.
But, we live up here in the Rocky Mountains at 8,000 feet of elevation, and we’re basically snowed in right now. So, I am just thankful to be able to interact with you folks in any way.
And I have so many questions here that this is really going to be a blast.
But, right before I started recording this we had been fighting with the internet, trying our phones, different devices, trying different connections, and all sorts of things like that.
And I’m getting bummed out, because I’m not able to be there live, answering questions for people.
And so, for me, it’s really important to take deep breaths. That’s number one, really. You can do that any time, anywhere you are.
Just deep breaths, slow it down a little bit.
And I went out in the sun.
Fortunately, we live here in Colorado, and we get a heck of a lot of sun up here even when it is snowy out.
And so, even though it was pretty cold, I just rolled out there and probably spent just 2 – 3 minutes in the sunshine, and it completely transformed my mind.
So that’s what I do if there are peak stress situations, which a lot of times can lead to binge eating. It shows up in a lot of behavior, especially when you’re talking about foods.
So, it is important to keep your stress… I don’t want to say keep it down, because stress will always go up and down.
What you want to be able to do is when it goes up, be able to handle that and ease it back down. Hold its hand and walk toward the sunset, back down.
You don’t want to wrestle with stress. It doesn’t quite work like that, at least for me.
So, another thing that is extremely important is to find your zero point.
Your point of rest, when you’re not thinking about anything, you’re not doing anything, and time doesn’t exist anymore.
So, for some people, including me, you can get there through meditation, which is excellent for almost everybody.
But, also, what does that really mean?
Depending on how you define meditation—which is definitely trendy right now—to me, especially with some background and interest in Zen, the best way is just to do nothing for a while.
Just do nothing.
Being in nature really does help.
For me, I’m extremely sensitive to sound, so make sure that your soundscape is working with you, or working for you. And if it’s not, there are easy ways around that.
A lot of people have earbuds these days, headphones work. You can put on nature sounds in the background. There are a lot of free apps that will do that.
Holding your stress internally really does affect the heart. And there have been a few shows I’ve done on the podcast that have talked about this specifically, where people in high stress jobs, like firefighters, police officers, the military, often times will have heart problems later in life.
So it really is important to learn how to manage stress and deal with it.
Deep breaths, meditation, art, music always helps me.
Just ask yourself this, “What did you love doing when you were 8 years old?”
What brings you childlike glee to this day? Or what used to that you could do again, maybe?
Make sure that you get joy in your life.
Also just practical technological tips: Technology is so intertwined with our lives these days that it is definitely one of our biggest health issues.
Turn almost all of your notifications off if you can.
So, on your phones, on your computers. Apple products are the worst these days, they’re just like, “You need to restart.” “Your restart didn’t work.” “You need to update.” “You didn’t update.”
So, if you can, try to turn those notifications off.
For me, on my phone, the only notifications I get are when someone calls me or sends me a text, especially a family member.
I make sure that I don’t miss those, but I also don’t usually have my phone on me.
So, try to be away from your phone for at least a portion of the day, even if it’s a small portion of the day. Try to do nothing.
Make sure your sleep is in order.
We can talk about different strategies of how to do that. But chi gong is something that I’ve been doing for a while, which is like a moving meditation or like a yoga, tai-chi type thing.
Moving meditations are wonderful. It wasn’t at first, but after doing it for a while, and now for many years.
If I don’t have just a few minutes a day of doing those exercises, which are mental and physical, and somewhat spiritual as well, I really miss them. I really do, and I notice it, too.
At the very least, it’s a wonderful way to internally massage the organs, move the spine, get things warmed up. And I know for me that’s important every day.
Every day before I record I have this whole warm-up thing that is meant to minimize stress and maximize meaning. But that sounded really prepared, I’ve never said that before, but it’s not meant to be sales-y at all.
It’s a very spiritual type thing, I think, being low stress, and it takes a lot of practice and a lot of consistency.
So, be nice to yourself. Understand that none of us are perfect, but progress is really what we’re all after.
So, if you’re making even a little bit of progress, and a stressful thing happens to you today, which it will, try to take that deep breath when it happens.
And when you catch yourself feeling stressed out, just notice that it’s happening, and realize that you have a choice for how to react.
And as it relates to how you’re going to be eating, I know how tempting it is to reach for the wrong thing, especially when you’re stressed.
But when you’re stressed, your hunger cravings are not honest anymore.
And also, when you’re not sleeping well, those cravings aren’t honest anymore. So, food isn’t always the answer.
Challenge yourself to see what is wrong right now. What am I stressed about?
And how could I get back to my zero point, where time doesn’t exist anymore?
There are no problems, because, who knows, a lot of people are saying that this is all a hologram anyway.
So, if you have the choice, then you might as well find a philosophy that works for you and your own life.
A follow-up question to this is, “I have an addictive personality and crave sugar. Once I start, I can’t stop. Will green smoothies help with this?”
So that’s a two-part question, as I see it.
Having an addictive personality and craving sugar. Once you start, you can’t stop, does almost put you in a personality category.
There are people who are moderators, like me. I count myself among them, who can eat one square of chocolate.
And not that it was always like that for me in my life, but at this point, I can do that. My wife, Alyson, is less like that. Although she’s getting better with time.
So, she tries to avoid trigger foods. And once you know what those are for you, it makes a massive difference in how much you’re eating.
Because if you don’t have those trigger foods around you, then you’re not going to be eating a whole bag, or a whole can, or a whole pint, or a whole whatever of them.
So, what is a trigger food?
The way that I see it is that, any food that you eat where the second bite makes you want it more than the first bite, and when you’re done you want it more and you wish that there were more, that’s a trigger food.
Any food that makes you want to just keep eating and keep eating and keep eating is really, I hate to say it, a trigger food.
Now, you don’t have to banish all of them from your life forever. And there are trigger foods that can be healthy for you, and good to be included in the diet.
But, what you want to notice first is, “Is this food making me hungrier as I eat it?”
Because if it is, the pleasure centers of your brain have been hijacked by food scientists. Most of the time. And that’s by design.
In the same way that they want cigarettes to be addictive, or nowadays, JUULs and e-cigarettes to be addictive. They make sure that they keep you coming back for more.
So, in contrast, and I explain this in my book The Wild Diet, think about when you eat a big old juicy apple.
Even though they’re about 100 calories or so, not that that really matters, made up mostly of water, but when you eat an apple…
I’ve done this, we grew up with apple trees, we’d go to apple orchards and pick our own apples.
And man, when you eat one apple, even if it’s really good, you don’t really want another one. Or at least you don’t want it as much as the first one.
So, try to find the foods that you see included in The Wild Diet. Which I see not as a diet, but more as self-defense and philosophies or principles to follow that will allow you to know whether a food is going to be good for you or not.
So, this is probably the number one thing. Does the food make you hungrier as you eat it?
If it does, try to put it down, re-evaluate if you even want to include it in your life. And if you do, that’s cool, but realize how to moderate that in some way. Usually through environment.
So, don’t keep it around you, or just keep a little bag of it some place.
Anything in moderation, but sometimes you have to trick your mind, the lower impulses of your mind, because if there’s Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer, your brain knows. And when you’re stressed out it’s going to crave it.
So, avoid those trigger foods. That’s really, really important.
Now, the second part of that question. Will green smoothies help with this?
The real answer is, it depends.
But in my experience, green smoothies, depending on how you do them, have helped almost everybody.
Because what it is, is it’s a stand-in for a salad, but it’s more convenient for most people.
And oftentimes you’ll have it in the morning, or earlier in the day. And that’s great.
Just be careful with green smoothies, don’t add too many carbs, sugar, and that sort of thing.
You can really go overboard, especially if you’re getting green smoothies that are prepared from supermarkets, from stores, from green smoothie places.
Alyson and I can’t get almost anything at those smoothie places, because there are outrageous amounts of sugar.
Even in the small sizes, you can find 50-100 grams of sugar, which is more than a lot of sodas out there.
Because they pump it up with a lot of tropical fruits, like, pineapple and mango. Anything that’s like a tropical super sugary sweet fruit is best seen as something to take a bite at a time, really.
And if you’re trying to avoid sugar, it’s a great win to avoid those, at least for a little while, to see how you feel.
Grapes can also be really high in sugar. So be careful of even the natural products, like trail mixes with raisins, and some nuts that are sweetened, and stuff like that.
If you’re just mowing through carob almonds from the Health Food store, or something else that’s made with real food, that’s like healthy junk food, just be careful with it.
Allow yourself a little bit, but even better, especially if you’re trying to get results, don’t let it be in your area.
Don’t let it be in your room, don’t let it be in the places that you’re around, and try to minimize your interaction with the things that are hurting you.
Alright, so let’s move on.
This is another really interesting question that came in.
From Trevor, “Should I be afraid of the Sun?”
So, let’s talk about vitamin D and sun exposure for a little bit.
I was just reading an article that Trevor actually sent to me. I’ve looked at some of the statistics, but not in a while, and they’re really outrageous.
Sun worshippers are actually eight times less likely to die of melanoma than those who stayed indoors.
Tanned people, those who work outdoors, and others, actually have lower rates of melanoma than those who are afraid of the Sun.
So one of these studies actually says, and this one was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2016, “Avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor of a similar magnitude, as smoking in terms of life expectancy.”
What? Isn’t that crazy?
So, I caught wind of this quite a few years ago now, and I have been going out in the sun for at least 10 – 15 minutes as many days as I can. It’s literally on my to-do list.
And we actually live in a sunny place out here in the west and the south west. We were living in Texas for a while, kind of because of that. Because we love the sun. It makes us feel better.
Now, you want to avoid getting sunburned. Sunburns are bad for us.
And one of the ways that you do that, especially for a pasty person from New Hampshire like me, you build up a base a little at a time.
It really helped chill me out before I started recording this.
In fact, I don’t usually do this, but I left this window open, so the sunshine is on me right now.
Not necessarily exposed to all of my skin, but just a little bit does a lot for your body and your mind.
Now, I don’t really see much reason to get more than 15-30 minutes of direct sun exposure a day.
In fact, like I said, we live up at 8000 feet up here in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. And so we get 30% more radiation, give or take, than at sea level, which means you can get a sunburn extremely quickly.
When Alyson and I were in Peru, we were staying up at around 11,000 or 12,000 feet of elevation, and got sun burned in 20 or 30 minutes.
And it was gnarly. It was a bad sunburn, too. And so we were covered up almost all day.
We were at these really cool ruins and stuff, outside of Machu Picchu, and just got totally baked by the sun, even though we did have hats, and we did have some sunscreen.
So you do want to be careful about getting too much sun. But try to get a little bit, even if you’re not used to it.
Because there is a lot of data out there saying that sunscreen, in fact, can lead to cancer. And a lot of those cheap sun screens are especially full of toxins.
So one thing that I do is, especially up here at altitude, is put a natural or zinc-based sunscreen on my nose, ears, neck, and other sensitive areas.
Because I get sunburned easily, especially in those places, and it’s important to avoid that.
But, even better, light colored clothing and hats work much better than sun screens.
I definitely prefer them unless you’re swimming, of course. But, also, hats are fun, so have fun with it.
So the sun, vitamin D, these are totally health issues. They do relate to getting progress with fat loss and transforming your body in so many different ways.
Mostly because they make you feel better, getting your rays is good for the morale more than anything else.
The sun reduces blood pressure, which we all know intuitively, but science also backs that up.
Sun boosts vitamin D, nitric oxide, serotonin, and also endorphins.
So it’s free, it’s a great thing, we all deserve it.
It also encourages you to take breaks, which is really important for keeping the stress down.
Homo Sapiens have been around for over 200,000 years, at least. So how did we ever get through the neolithic era without all that toxic sunscreen?
I’m being sarcastic now.
But anyway, make sure that you don’t get sunburned, but also try to get a little bit of sun.
It’s going to be great for you as we progress here through the year.
And I do realize that we’re in the dead of winter right now, but you’d be surprised, even in the winter, a little bit of sun hitting your eyes even.
If it’s too cold to hit your actual body, even when it goes into your eyes, it affects the brain in a positive way. It can even help you sleep better.
So don’t be afraid of the sun. The sun is definitely our friend.
Michele says, “I know we cannot use -ose sweeteners. Is Swerve okay?”
Okay, so what is an -ose sweetener? If you don’t recall, it’s basically anything that ends in ose.
But more than that, you want to dial down the sweetness in quite a few foods.
So something like Swerve, which, off the top of my head, I believe is made with erythritol and sugar alcohols and that sort of thing. A little bit of sugar alcohols, I don’t think is that big of a deal.
For Swerve, I don’t know if it’s made with a bunch of GMOs or junk. I don’t think so, I’m not sure. But it can definitely be abused.
Xylitol is not good for dogs, that’s another sugar alcohol. If it’s accidentally eaten by your dog, it can be a big problem.
And for humans, when you’re talking about sugar alcohol, it’s like getting your sweetness with a little bit of something else.
Because a lot of people, including me, will get digestive discomfort, especially if you’re not used to sugar alcohols.
You might get gas or you might be cramped.
The way that I see it is, you get this little quota. Maybe it’s a couple of grams, maybe it’s a few grams, you can build up a tolerance to it, too.
But you get this little quota where things are cool. A little bit is fine, it seems.
And then you pass that and it’s kind of rough.
We’ve never bought Swerve. We’re not huge fans. We tried using sugar alcohols for a while in our recipes. It can definitely work in some, but these days, we hardly use it at all.
Also, keep in mind, we don’t know that much about the effects of sugar alcohols and sweeteners like that on the gut, and the gut bacteria, or microbiome.
All these things are extremely important to fat loss, to your health, your risk of disease later in life. And so it’s important to see the body holistically.
And Swerve is one of those things where it seems like a lot of people are trying to have their cake and eat it, too.
So a little bit is probably fine, a dab will do ya. But we prefer a little bit of actual sweetness from dates that are ground up.
Fruits can do that, a little bit of stevia can do it, but we like to mix sometimes just a tablespoon or two of honey or maple syrup to get the flavor of the sweetness, and just a hint of sweetness.
And you’d be really surprised with how little you need, even if it’s kind of a big recipe.
So, Swerve, probably a little bit is okay, but please don’t over do it.
This one is from Jazzy. “Does anyone incorporate a cheat meal in a week? I feel like when I have one, I can’t get back on track.”
Yeah, that is definitely a big one. I don’t even like the word “cheat” meal.
Words are close to my heart though, and easily abused.
But, the way that I like to think about it is more of a free meal. Eat freely and don’t worry about it. Don’t try to track it in your mind, give yourself a little break.
But also, be reasonable.
You can break any tiny little, I don’t see these as rules, more as principles, but you know when you’re doing yourself a solid and when you’re not.
So for cheat meals, if you feel like you can’t get back on track after a cheat meal, then do your best not to really do it.
Or if everyone’s getting pizza, just have a slice instead of trying to fill up on pizza. There are other ways to fill up.
Fasting, also, is something that I do a lot, pretty much every day.
And I’ve told a lot of folks this, for the past seven plus years, I’ve been fasting most of the day. And not strictly fasting, because I’m drinking coffee with some fat in it, and that sort of thing.
But until around 2:00 or 3:00 PM, sometimes even later than that in the afternoon. And then my last meal will be around six or seven, maybe eight in the evening.
Not that it’s useful to have a cheat meal, and then fast after that, I wouldn’t really recommend it that way.
But when you do incorporate fasting even a little bit into your routine, which doesn’t work for everybody, but does work for some, then you can color outside the lines a little bit with your evening meal.
And that’s how Alyson and I both have been able to do it.
So, don’t see it as having to force a free meal or force a cheat meal or anything like that, whatever you call it.
But I would encourage you to ask yourself, “What are the foods that really matter to you?”
What are the things where it’s like, “I will never give up my X, or Y, or whatever?”
Really important. Alyson and I, especially Alyson, has come up with so many ways of getting those favorite foods.
Some of mine, like chicken parmesan, chocolate chip or choconut cookies, brownies, a lot of breads, pumpkin breads, and pies, and things like that.
There are ways to make almost all of these foods, including pizza and nachos, and all of the things that Americans typically eat.
There are ways to make those.
No, it won’t taste the same as Taco Bell, and as a lot of the restaurant foods that are pumped up with almost everything imaginable that’s bad for you.
But there are ways to reconnect with your body, reconnect with intuitive eating, and nourish yourself at the same time.
So what are your favorite foods? Make sure that you’re finding a way to get into it.
And so I would challenge you, Jazzy, to find a way to incorporate maybe your free meal that you cook once a week, or once a month, or whatever.
That’s a really fun way to, number one, know what you’re eating, and learn a little bit about nutrition.
And number two, learning how to cook, and make foods, and concoct things in the kitchen, which is really becoming a lost art.
A lot of people don’t know how to cook. And it’s so easy, especially because you can do no-bake options for a lot of desserts, as well.
So make sure you’re checking out the membership area on the website (try it free for 7 days here) for all of our recipes and that sort of thing, to look up some treats, and see how you might be able to make them with real food.
That is so important.
Okay, what do we got next?
This one’s from Elaine. “Why is it necessary to take so many vitamins when the diet includes lots of vegetables?”
That is a very good question, that I’ve answered before, but you could always talk about it in different ways.
I’ll start with, we don’t live in a perfect world, unfortunately.
If we did, then vegetables would have all the nutrients that they’re supposed to have being grown in a natural world.
Unfortunately, even if we’re talking organic farms, especially on a large scale, a lot of them will still use pesticides.
It only has to be 95% organic in a lot of cases, whatever that means. The soil, though, is one of the biggest problems.
Because even if we’re talking the Whole Foods/Amazon or Health Food store vegetables, a lot of them are grown in a mono-crop type way.
Just this one thing and a heck of a lot of it, and it’s regrown and regrown in the same soil. And the soil on Earth has many fewer nutrients and many fewer minerals in it than it did just a few generations ago.
With the population expansion, the reduction in the natural world, with the pollution that’s coming down from the skies, there’s a lot that plants have going against them, even though they are healthy foods.
In particular, magnesium is one that has really been stripped from a lot of the soils.
If you think about it, an intact natural soil is like your gut microbiome. It’s very sensitive, and can be disrupted.
Especially if it’s all rooted up, and all of these foreign substances and pesticides are in it. It can really mess with the natural things that are going on there.
One of the reasons a carrot is healthy for you is because of the probiotics that are naturally on a carrot that’s grown in real soil.
So anyway, even if it says that it’s organic, even if it says that it’s perfect, the foods and vegetables and the fruits that we’re eating today have many fewer nutrients in them than they used to.
So, there are also certain nutrients that the body does not make, or doesn’t really get on a daily basis.
Certain nutrients, the body’s cool with, just getting every once in a while. And then there are other nutrients, like, specifically, vitamin D3.
As I see it, Vitamin C, Magnesium, certainly Omegas, and a spectrum of Omegas, probiotics. These are all things that are important to get in your diet, almost any way that you can.
The problem is, it’s really hard to get B12 from specific vegetables, even if they’re supposed to have it.
Selenium is in Brazil nuts, for example. Except, when you look at Brazil nuts that are in the bulk bin, even at a health food store, a lot of them are rancid or moldy.
And the amounts of selenium that is in some Brazil nuts grown in one part of the world compared to Brazil nuts grown somewhere else, or at a different freshness level, or whether they were frozen or not, they’ll have vastly different amounts of selenium and other nutrients in them.
So not every carrot is equal. Not every nut has the same amount of nutrients in it.
Even if you Google it, and it says something like, “Well, Brazil nuts are high in Selenium.”
It doesn’t always work like that.
It’s important to, as I see it, to make sure that we’re topped up on the nutrients, the vitamins, the minerals, that science and experience has shown us are important.
And our understanding, and I’m talking about humankind here, is not perfect. Science does not have this nailed by any means.
But there are certain things that we know, or at least hope are true, about health. And we just have to do the best that we can.
So, I like keeping up on the vitamins and minerals that I told you about. And it is really important to get them from foods.
That’s why I eat oysters and sardines. Sometimes the most helpful and nutritious sources of foods, like liver, aren’t the most palatable. So keep that in mind, too.
And shameless plug, I guess, but we really do believe in this. Future Greens is a whole food supplement that we sell, that you can throw into water and such.
So, even if you’re going to have a multivitamin (and that’s another question that came in for recommendations of multivitamins), try to get them from whole food-based things.
I don’t take a multivitamin, I haven’t for a while.
I have done some genetic testing, and certain forms of vitamins that are commonly in multi-vitamins specifically don’t work well with my body, from what we understand.
So, I don’t necessarily have a good recommendation for multi-vitamins, but, I would say, if you’re interested in it, make sure that you’re not buying supplements from Amazon.
A lot of those have been scams. I can’t tell you how many scams, even… Oh jeez, but anyway.
If you can, find a brand that you believe in, that has the ingredients in it that they say they have, that’s a fair price, and order direct from them, if you can. From their own website or from their own store.
Just find a brand that you believe in and keep your ears open to the new developments that come out.
But, also, we know so much about the body right now. And so little at the same time.
It’s important to always be learning, and be gentle with yourself. It’s okay to not be right all of the time.
But, anyway, as a rambling answer to that question. Scurvy is a real thing. Not getting your vitamins can be a serious problem for people.
So, do make sure that you’re eating and consuming a nutrient-dense diet in any way that you can.
Real food is always going to be better than supplements, especially if they’re synthetic.
Because the human body doesn’t really work like that. It doesn’t really take one thing at a time. And then that one thing has an effect, it’s much more complicated.
And a lot of times you can get great results just from kicking out all of the junk, because there are a ton of junk supplements and pharmaceuticals out there.
If you eliminate some of those, if you’re able to, from your daily routine, then that can ease up on the liver, and then your body just starts working like it should be. And your hunger pangs might be a bit better.
I’m not sure exactly how it works, but there is this threshold that your body passes, where fasting feels better or more okay. You feel a little bit more hardy, you can go longer throughout the day, you feel a little bit sharper.
And so I do think an important part of that certainly is topping up the different vitamin and mineral needs.
And I don’t really have time to get it into that, but certainly, any vitamin or mineral that you’re interested in, go to fatburningman.com and just type it into the search bar.
I’ve recorded over 250 shows with various experts and doctors, practitioners, researchers, that you can listen to for free.
I talk about a lot of these vitamins and minerals in particular.
Elaine asks, “What is the total number of carbs per day on the Wild Diet? Sometimes I get tired of meat and would like to have beans. Can you eat beans on the 30-day plan?”
Alright, Elaine, honestly, I have not counted my own carbs in a very long time, in many years.
I’ve written a few books when I did do a lot of experiments, especially when I was running a lot and marathoning, tracking the various foods and nutrients I was getting in.
But at the same time, that can be a stressful way to think about it. So to answer your question, number one, net carbs is the most important thing.
You want to avoid sugar, certainly more than you want to avoid carbs.
Beans aren’t just carbs, they’re also protein, they are also fiber. And I would say that Alyson and I eat beans in various ways a few times a week.
So, don’t be afraid of beans, but do be afraid of low quality beans, coming in a Taco Bell taco. Don’t let that be your excuse to eat poor quality foods.
But beans, especially if you’re not as into eating meats, then they can be a great source of protein. I find beans quite filling. There are a whole lot of different kinds of beans and legumes to fill up on.
So, don’t worry about it, have fun. I would say, fewer than a 100 grams of carbs a day, somewhere around there, if you were really counting.
But more importantly, try to keep the sugar down.
It’s like, I try to keep the sugar almost as low as possible. Lower than 10 or 20 grams a day. And that’s easier said than done.
But it’s like, if I’m eating tomato or carrots, which have sugar in them, I don’t really worry about that ever. But it’s important to know which foods are high in sugar, even if they’re good ones.
So, have a little bit of it, enjoy it, and keep in mind, the different flavors from your foods, that whole spectrum, contains different polyphenols, bioflavonoids, different nutrients.
And you want that whole colorful spectrum of veggies and fruits. So don’t be too concerned with counting. In the same way that you don’t want to be too concerned with the scale.
It’s really important to focus on healing your mind at the same time that you’re healing your body. Because this is all about the long haul.
From Michele, “Here’s a question for you, Abel, you mentioned in your book that your mom’s an author and herbalist, are her books available anywhere?”
Well, Michele, the short answer is, yes, I think you can still find her book, which is about herbal medicine and how to incorporate it into clinical practice.
You can find copies on Amazon. I have a copy here in the house. But I also have the digital copy. And I believe my mom has rights to it. So we’ve talked about maybe re-releasing it.
And if there’s enough interest from folks like you, then we certainly will.
We’re all seeing each other in a few weeks, we’ll be playing a bunch of music together, and reminiscing. So I’ll ask her. And also say that you’re interested.
But you can probably find a used copy on some sort of used book website, just type it in and search for it. Her name is Angella Bascom.
Alright, time for one or two more here.
This one’s from Graci. “Hi. I am wondering about stevia. I use a good quality organic dropper, but can I overuse it? Can it interfere with me losing the last 10 pounds?”
Graci, I dig that question because I was cool with it until the end where you asked, “Can it interfere with me losing the last 10 pounds?”
I would say, yes, it probably can.
Now, what are the mechanisms of that? No one is quite sure. But even stevia, obviously, is extremely sweet. That’s why people use it.
And sweetness, it does something to your brain. It does something to your body, it does something to your brain that a lot of times can set off cravings.
So, for that reason, there are no really sweet drinks that are available—I’m thinking like Zevia and some of those other ones, that are sodas that are really high in sugar alcohols or some sort of other sweetener like stevia.
A little bit is fine, I think. But, yes, I would say you can have too much.
And Alyson and I, especially when we were experimenting with different sweeteners, as we made all these deserts, it’s like, “Eh. That’s too much.”
Or, “Man, I’m hungry now and I don’t feel like I should be, or I wouldn’t normally if I hadn’t eaten this thing with so much stevia in it.”
And especially when you’re talking about drinks. If you can kick the sweetness out of your drinks, that is such a huge win.
Because, keep in mind, for hundreds of thousands of years humans were basically drinking only water, or some sort of tea with a plant in it.
And so we’re drinking and eating a whole lot of things that are completely unprecedented.
Normally, if you had 50 or 100 pounds to lose, I’d say don’t worry about it, just make yourself happy and make sure that you’re eating healthful foods, even if you do have to use stevia.
But if you’re talking about the last 10 pounds, that’s when the little things really start to matter.
I had Gary Taubes on the Fat-Burning Man show many years ago now, but he said that all of a sudden he gained 10-20 pounds and he couldn’t lose it again, and didn’t know what to do.
And he tried taking the heavy cream out of his coffee in the morning, and just a few months later it pretty much all came off.
So if that dropper of stevia is kicking off cravings, then maybe that means you’re eating an extra 100, 200, 300 calories that day of some other food a little later.
There’s not a good way to measure it, but that totally could be happening. I know that I’ve intuitively thought it might be happening to me in certain cases.
So I would say, if you think that stevia may be a culprit, then try just dialing it down or even kicking it out for a while. And see if that makes it a bit easier to lose those last 10 pounds.
Okay, I think we got one more here. And this is a great question, especially to end with.
Brian asks, “After a 3-day trip to New York City, where I ingested my fair share of commercial food, should I just return to my faithful plan and let it do its thing, or is there something I might do to kick start the clean up?”
Yeah, that’s something that happens all the time, Brian, no worries.
Everyone goes on 3-day trips from time to time where they really don’t have much option than to eat commercial food, processed food, and that sort of thing.
Well, okay, there is something you can do to kick start the clean up, and that is, get prepared to go on your next trip.
Especially if you travel monthly or weekly or something like that, pack up your bag with foods that you’ll be eating, and have them available.
It’s not always the most palatable thing, but you can definitely eat well even if you’re talking about foods that you don’t have to cook.
When we go on road trips, we’ll take crackers that are made out of real food. A lot of times they’ll have some sort of a veggie base or flax or something real food. Not starchy or sugary or covered in MSG or too salty, or anything like that.
We’ll bring some seaweed chips, which are fun. We’ll bring some nuts, of course, we’ll make a gorp or a trail mix.
Alyson is really the one who is wonderful at preparing so much food when we go on trips.
But whether you’re flying or going in the car, there are so many different options. What else do I bring? Canned sardines, oysters, salmon, or even Greek dolmades, which are grape leaves in olive oil wrapping up some rice.
Just wonderful foods can be brought with you almost anywhere. Chocolate, of course.
So, bring those foods along the next time so that you’re not cornered into eating a whole bunch of commercial food.
But, okay, so number one, what can you do to kick start to clean up? Go back to your healthy eating habits.
Don’t worry about it. Don’t think that you have to over-fast, fast for three days, or go on a treadmill and run for two hours. Chill, it’s cool.
It happens to everybody, and our bodies adapt to whatever happens most of the time, not what happens every once in a while.
So, every once in a while, no big deal.
Worry about what’s happening every day. Worry about your daily habits that are invisible, and make sure that if you really want to clean up, get your veg on first.
Make sure that 50% of your plate is basically a salad or the smoothie equivalent, where it’s mostly green veg.
You got some protein, you got colorful vegetables all over the place. Maybe some nuts to add some bulk and fiber. Some healthy fats. Avocado is definitely one that we like getting in there.
Fill up on those real foods, get a high quality source of protein. And just, when you go shopping, make sure that you’re that much cleaner.
Make it a challenge for yourself to be like, “Alright. Well, how much can I get a handle on my health in the next month or two?”
It has to be a priority for you, it really does.
But always focus on those things that are happening automatically in the morning, whether you’re adding sugar to your coffee, or having that Starbucks Latte. Or every time there’s a birthday in the office, or whatever, you get to eat those treats.
It’s like, examine those various things that are happening that might be that three-day trip to New York City in your real life, and try to see if you can dial those down in your daily habits.
Such that when you have that 3-day trip every once in a while, you can let loose a little bit, have some fun and not worry about it.
Because really, think about three days in a month, you’re talking 10%. And even if you go hog wild for that 10%, if you’re on point for that 90%, it’ll barely even matter.
Think about it like a workout, or think about it like anything else in life. But be reasonable, work on your own intuition.
And, I’m just about out of time, but I want to thank you all once more for sending in all of your questions as we kick off this Wild30 Challenge.
I’ll definitely be answering more questions throughout the next few weeks, and certainly months ahead. We’re in this for the long haul.
This is another question that came up.
Someone joined the Wild30 Challenge and they’re just like, “Well we’re a family and there are two of us, it’s a husband and wife, and we want to know if we can just pay for one challenge?”
Yes, totally. When you buy any of our digital products, share it with your family, share it with your friends.
Now, be reasonable though, if you want other people to get involved with this and really join our community, and there are a lot of exciting announcements coming out about that soon.
Then share fatburningman.com with them, share the Wild30 Challenge, get them involved.
The Fat-Burning Tribe is our membership program, where we provide 24/7 support, all over the world.
We’ve been running that for 6 or 7 years now. And there are a lot of improvements coming soon.
So, make sure that you’re doing what you can to help those who are interested in health around you, find their way to it. Because we’re all part of this together, we need your help.
And that’s why I really appreciate all these questions, and I appreciate you joining in the fun here.
This is how we pay the bills, and this is also what we choose to do because it provides so much meaning in our lives.
And Alyson and I very much thank you, and we look forward to hearing your other questions and feedback.
Don’t be shy. Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below, and we’ll be in touch.
Before You Go…
When someone drops 50 pounds in 6 weeks with The Wild Diet on National TV, there are a lot of questions.
“Can I really eat bacon?”
“You mean I don’t really have to exercise to lose fat?”
“How in the world do you lose 1 pound a day for a month?”
“Wait a second, I can eat chocolate?”
Yes, you really can be happy and healthy at the same time.
You can get better fat loss results than you ever imagined. And I want to prove it to you.
That’s why, when you join the Wild30 Challenge, you’ll get 30 days of fat-burning videos, tips and tools sent straight to your inbox. Plus, track your progress in your members-only dashboard with check marks and progress bars that make burning fat more like a game.
Most people have greater success when they don’t have to go at it alone. In the Wild30 Challenge, you’ll have the option to team up with an accountability partner to help you stay on track and reach your goals.
Plus, when you join the Wild30 Challenge, you’ll get immediate access to our 30-day meal plan, which is designed to help you drop fat with real food. The meal plans are Paleo-friendly, easy to make, and literally the meals that my wife Alyson and I eat just about every night to stay lean, fit, and happy.
Everything has been planned out for you. You’ll get instant access to your member’s only dashboard where you can download your Quick Start Guide, 30-Day Wild Meal Plan, and Motivation Journal. You’ll get 30 days of fat-burning videos, tips and tools to help you start burning fat and feeling great.
Plus, for the next few days only you’ll save $50 off the Wild30 Challenge.
But you have to hurry because we just kicked off the Wild30 Challenge and we’ll be closing the door very soon.
And if you’d like to support this free show and all of our music videos and free virtual tours and that sort of thing, please head on over to wildsuperfoods.com to get your own health boosting goodies.
These are the supplements that Alyson and I have been taking every day for years, and we’re really proud to bring them to you.
Whether you need real food nutrition from fruits, veggies, and stress fighting adaptogens in Future Greens, vitamins from Vitamin D Stack, balanced omegas in Mega Omegas or immune-boosting probiotics in Probiotic Spheres, we have got you covered.
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Guaranteed nutrition no matter where you are. That’s our promise to you and we look forward to hearing how you like Wild Superfoods.
And as a listener of Fat-Burning Man, you can save over $80 bucks on a one-time purchase, or save over $128 when you select subscribe and save.
On top of that, you’ll get free access to our coaching and meal planning community, The Fat-Burning Tribe, which is normally $27 a month.
All you have to do is head on over to Wildsuperfoods.com to get the deal.
What did you think of this Ask Me Anything? Drop a comment below to share your thoughts!