Since we’re in the middle of the holidays, I decided to fire up a live streaming session and do a surprise Ask Me Anything.
You’re about to hear my take on beer, wine and alcohol (especially during the holidays), overeating issues, what to do when you see all the sweets at parties this time of year, how to accidentally write a book, censorship on social media, and even the future of virtual reality.
I’m going to be doing a lot more of these livestream Ask Me Anythings, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter, since we’ll be announcing when those are coming up. It’s a fun way to interact with you folks, and really makes sure that I’m answering the questions that are on the top of your minds right now.
Alright, on to the show. In this livestream Q&A, you folks asked about:
- How to handle alcohol, beer, and wine during the holidays
- Tricks to avoiding sweets at parties and get-togethers this time of year
- How to accidentally write a book
- What to do about sleep, especially during the holidays
- The truth about censorship on the internet and social media
- And tons more…
I hope you enjoy this one. Here we go.
What do you do when you completely over-eat, especially things that you didn’t want to eat or didn’t plan to eat during the holidays?
First of all, don’t worry, it happens to almost everybody. It’s a function of the culture in which we live.
Unfortunately, it’s a culture that’s so commercialized that on almost every holiday (and all of the non-holidays), most people—if they’re giving gifts—they’re giving these chemical-laden fruit cakes that have been around since wars long ago. They’re giving Russell Stover candies that taste like plastic.
A lot of things are just kind of there. There are always cookies on the table, a lot of times they’re store-bought.
And so, here’s the thing around the holidays when you do choose to indulge that’s important to be aware of. When you go out to a restaurant, or when you’re eating at a family member’s house, at a company function or what have you, a lot of times, you’re eating store bought food or mass manufactured industrial food.
And the weird thing is that a lot of people know that they shouldn’t eat trans fats and they shouldn’t eat high fructose corn syrup and they shouldn’t eat GMOs and they shouldn’t eat all this other ridiculous stuff.
But when it’s served in restaurants, or when it’s catered, or when it’s store-bought, a lot of times it’s just taken out of the package and put right there. No one even bothers to look at what’s in it and a lot of times, it’s horrible, horrible stuff.
So, if there’s any way that you can, especially around the holidays, if you can find an excuse to get in the kitchen, hopefully with your family or with some friends, with people you love, make some of your own treats.
When you do that, you know exactly what’s in it, you can sneak real food in there.
One recipe that’s been a big hit for Thanksgiving, I saw some comments in the Fat-Burning Tribe and some other places about this, are the Choconut Cookies. That recipe is in my book, The Wild Diet.
One of the cool things about it, it’s kind of like a coconut-chocolate macaroon type thing.
You can make it low in sugar, it’s really forgiving, it doesn’t require a whole lot of insane or expensive ingredients. They’re really good frozen, and it’s a forgiving type of recipe where you don’t have to go nuts trying to follow an exact dogmatic plan of the exact measurements of putting things in.
The way that a lot of our recipes, and Alyson’s in particular, come to be is by improv. We call them Improv Cookies.
So really, if you have the ratios about right for various types of ingredients, if you’re talking about coconut and chocolate—it’s a win. Those things are going to taste delicious no matter what. So, you can also add in a few different things that you may have, if you have nuts, berries.
Get into the festivities yourself in a creative way, if you can.
Find a way this holiday season, not just to go and buy a bunch of gifts. Not to buy a bunch of Russell Stover candies and buy a bunch of other treats that usually come in stockings. Really try to make something.
For us, growing up, we didn’t always have that much money. And even as an adult, I didn’t. So a lot of times we’d be making our own stuff out of necessity.
And you don’t realize it until later on in life sometimes how much of a blessing that is. This is a real good reason to get into cooking this time of year, because January comes right after.
Having worked in the field of health for 7 or 8 years now, you see this happen every single year.
Most people are eating however they want and just kind of letting go of whatever strict plan they may have been following before that, whether it’s keto or vegan or carnivore, or what have you.
How many carnivores are going to be eating cookies this Christmas? I think there are going to be quite a few.
So anyway, if you’re a vegan and you eat a little bit of meat or if you’re a carnivore and you eat a little bit of cookie, then all of a sudden you’re not that label anymore. And people freak out, they give it up.
And so, if you’ve been listening to The Fat-Burning Man show, any recent podcasts, then you know that the average American woman, over the course of her life, tries 61 different diets.
And I can only imagine that that number is going up. 61 different diets.
Think about that. If you did a new diet every year from the year you were born, you’d be 61 years old before you tried your last one. I mean, that is just so insane and so tragic.
So, anyway, this is one of the reasons that it happens, because the holidays are full of all this treacherous stuff.
You have all this usually really poor quality food that’s high in sugar, and designed to be shelf-stable because people know that it’s going to be selling for only that time of year, and you might want to save it for the next season, or what have you.
So, a lot of those store-bought sweets are just awful stuff.
And then people give up and then they start in January with this hardcore vegan, hardcore keto, hardcore carnivorous diet, or what have you.
It’s important to, if you can, start January off, start the year off, if you see it as a time of hitting the reset button, and that’s something that has worked for you in the past, if you felt like you’ve learned something from really getting a fresh start in January, then it’s a great excuse to do just that.
Get rid of all those bad habits, get rid of all of the labels and identities that you have, especially as attached to eating.
And give yourself permission to have common sense as it relates to eating and following your own natural rhythms, your own natural hunger, and that sort of thing.
So, if you’re dealing with that right now, what happens when you do start indulging in more sugary and carb-heavy foods and lower quality foods is, the first thing that happens is you start to get more hungry because there’s less nutrition for you.
Hi, Simon! All the way from the UK, huh? Hey, Eric. Hey, Melissa. Oh, you’re in Denver? Right on. Ok, I see some more questions coming in, but I’ll just go a little bit more on this.
So, if your hunger is out of whack because you’ve been eating some lower quality foods, know that they’re designed to hijack your hunger in the same way that social media feeds are designed to hijack your attention.
When you eat sugary stuff, all of a sudden, it can mess with your palate sometimes, especially if you do it more than once or more than a few times, or habitually during the Novembers and Decembers of the year.
But no worries, just know that your hunger will be hyped up and you don’t necessarily have to listen to it as closely as you might have if your body were in good balance.
So for example, if I go and eat just half a loaf of the banana bread recipe that George Bryant came up with all those years ago, It’s got, I think, four bananas in it, if you follow his recipe. So that’s more sugar than I’m used to having.
If I have that every night, or if I really over-indulging, then all of a sudden I’m going to be salivating by the evening, I’m going to be ready to have that sugary thing because you just get used to it, like Pavlov’s dogs.
But if you’re aware that your palate has been hijacked, your cravings have been hijacked, and that you’re going to be hungrier than usual, then if you don’t honor that hunger—maybe that kind of hyped up, empty stomach hunger, but not true hunger—then it’s actually kind of good practice for learning a little bit better what true hunger feels like. Because sugar cravings really come from eating sugar.
They tend to go away, like I don’t have them when I don’t eat sugar.
Or, I’ll still eat fruit and I’ll still eat a little bit of sugar, but usually with fiber. And if you don’t go out of whack, if you stay in balance with the way that you’re eating, usually your palate will stay in balance too, and your cravings will also.
So, the longer you’ve been doing this, the more you can kind of dodge all of that. But if you’re stuck in the middle of it, manage your false hunger, know that it’s going to be hyped up and somewhat false, but usually what happens is you get really, really hungry.
You get those hunger pangs, especially in the afternoon and then certain times for certain people, but then it levels off after a little while. And then you don’t get hungry until later. So, try to fill up on the good stuff.
Another thing, if you’re going out to holiday parties, if you’re out in what’s called “the real world,” then one way to make sure that you’re not going to over-eat the stuff that really won’t serve you is to hit the proteins first.
So, when you’re going up at a holiday meal and it’s a buffet style, for example, then go and get some of that turkey, put that on your plate first. It doesn’t have to be a ridiculous amount of turkey, just make sure that you’re still making your plate correctly, if that makes sense.
It should be primarily plant foods, so try to get some veg on there. It doesn’t matter if it’s cooked or raw. Try to get a bit of both, if you can. But, especially green veg and fiber.
It’s a great time to try to get your veg on during the holidays, because the fiber will help to offset all of the spikes in your blood sugar from the cookies and the sweets and that sort of thing.
So, getting your fiber on will help fill you up. Fiber and protein, those things will help fill you up.
What you don’t want to have happen is you overeat and then you’re really hungry later and then you’re kind of fasting, then you’re over-fasting, and then you’re so hungry, but the only thing that’s there is cookies.
So, this kind of avoids that.
Maybe the holidays aren’t the best time for fasting. For some people, they can be. For others, not so much.
But don’t worry, just try to keep things in balance as much as you can. Try to fill up on the stuff that you know is going to be serving you, that you know is going to give you energy, not take energy away and make you hungry and addicted to food, because it’s really a tragedy this time of year.
Also, when you’re drinking alcohol, it messes with your blood sugar, it messes with your emotions, it messes with your mind, it messes with almost everything. Your cravings will be out of whack if you’re drinking.
So, drink plenty of water, make sure you hydrate. If you are drinking, do your best to stay away from the super heavy, sugary beers.
If it tastes really sugary, then it’s probably really sugary and it’s like eating several pieces of bread or eating a candy bar or what have you.
So every time you have a big tasty beer, enjoy it if you do, but know that it’s an indulgence.
If you can stick to the lighter side, with more boring beers, that’s going to help make January potentially easier, but also, there’s something to be said for if you love beer or you love that indulgent wine or what have you, have some of it, but just be reasonable, too.
Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t count. It still affects your body.
And to the extent that you can, be nicer to yourself during the holidays, the easier January and the rest of it is going to be.
So enjoy a little bit, know that your hunger is going to be hijacked, fast if that’s in your wheelhouse. That can help.
But also, sometimes if you’re over-eating, you have extra energy for a little bit, and then you get really groggy and want to go to sleep.
But if you can, try to put some sort of outdoor exercise or activity in at that time. Maybe you just ate or you got that sugar high or whatever, use that sugar high, you know what I mean?
Use all those extra calories for an extra monster lift workout.
That’s my Monday workout—monster lifts. Every Monday it’s what I do. And it’s basically just squats, presses and deadlifts, and that sort of thing. Just in that room right there with what I have at home.
But if you can squeeze in an extra monster lift strength training type session, or if you can squeeze some sprints in there or just go for a bike ride or a jog. Not in a guilty way, like, “I need to burn off all these calories.” That’s not how it works.
It’s more just like if you feel like you have extra energy or if you feel sluggish, sometimes physical activity is the best possible thing you could do for your mindset more than anything else.
Because it’s basically cycling your lymph, cycling your blood, getting fresh nutrients throughout all the different pieces, component parts and organs of your body.
So, exercise is really a treat. And if you are over-indulging, then exercise, in some ways, will be easier because you kind of have unlimited calories to work with.
So ya, if you can make an excuse to plan some extra, fun physical stuff, especially with family or friends, outdoor activities. It’s already the holidays, so you can probably take a little bit of time off, hopefully you can. Squeeze one of those in there.
It’s amazing how much these little tweaks can help.
If you don’t completely fall off the wagon, if you keep a few things in balance during the holidays, then January is not that big of a deal. And you really feel good about it, like you have some momentum going into the new year.
For the TV show with Kurt Morgan that was on ABC, even though it came out in January, we were actually doing the whole weight loss challenge and competition during the holidays. It was crazy.
So trying to work with Kurt and the other coaches, trying to work with everyone during the worst time of the year is really tough. It’s tough for everybody. We get it.
So, be good to yourself and resume your normal eating habits, even if it’s in the middle of the week.
If it’s Sunday and you were so good all week or whatever, and on Sunday, you had a whole bunch of cake, or you had a whole bunch of pie or cookies, resume your normal way of eating. Well, your normal, balanced, healthy way of eating.
Just because you colored outside the lines a little bit doesn’t mean that you’re screwed and the whole thing is going to be wasted effort, and that you should now just eat as much junk as possible.
Because that does happen to a lot of people and that’s going to make it a lot harder on you, a lot harder on the people around you in the end.
Just a little bit of moderation during the holidays is worth so much more than trying to exercise and diet your butt off in January.
It’s a sad and self-defeating cycle. If that’s one that you’re in, just realize or try to come to the point where you can see that the first cookie is by far the most delicious.
The first bite of the first cookie is the most delicious. It’s just downhill from there.
So if you’re eating your sixth cookie and it’s numb in your mouth now, realize that you don’t have to keep eating, just put it down.
Any time that it’s not tasting good anymore, even though it should, even though it’s the holidays and it’s a candy cane or it’s a fruit cake or whatever, you don’t have to eat it.
There’s a whole bunch of junk around this time of year and the longer that we’ve eaten the way that we do, the easier it is to dodge all that stuff, and the less it even looks like food.
So anyway, those are just a few tips to help you get through the holidays.
In any case, we’ll be there for you in January and February as well. We know how all this works.
But trust yourself, build that common sense, and know that if you’re going to have a shot at being healthy, especially during the holidays, then you’re going to have to embrace being the weird guy or gal in the room.
You’re going to have to get used to being the fluke, or the person who’s saying “no thanks” when everyone else is saying “yes.” That’s ok.
And eventually, what I’ve seen happen over and over again, if you’re making good calls, if you’re making good balanced decisions, people see it show up in your life, and maybe next year they’ll be joining you, trying to be a little bit more balanced during the holidays.
We’re here for you during the holidays too, and we’ve got plenty of real food recipes.
So, if you’re wondering how to make cakes, pies, cookies, that sort of thing during the holidays, definitely check out the Recipe section at FatBurningMan.com, and our holiday cookbook collection.
Pumpkin pie, delicious, gluten-free, paleo, and keto-friendly-ish recipes, but all made with real food. This is the way that Alyson and I eat.
These are literally the things that we eat. We’ve got Boston cream pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, choconut cookies, ways to make your own chocolate and mint chocolate, all that’s for free at fatburningman.com.
You can always sign up for the mailing list, too, and get some of the holiday recipes. And of course, The Wild Diet book has some recipes too. But Fat-Burning Man is really where you want to go to check out the holiday recipes.
Also, since I’m doing new podcasts now, I don’t want to freak everyone out and go off the grid again for another year, we’re not going to be recycling old episodes. But I would highly encourage you to go to fatburningman.com, just look up some of the holiday podcasts from all the years gone by. Just because it’s not new doesn’t mean it’s not relevant anymore.
A lot of this stuff is more relevant than ever because people seem more confused about food and eating than ever.
So, go back and take a listen to some of those episodes around the holidays with some of the great cooks, off the top of my head, George Bryant, I remember, had a couple of really great holiday episodes that always get me teared up when I listen to them.
Oh geez, I have so many questions here now. Let me go through these and see what we’ve got going on here. Oh cool, this is a neat question from Jim.
Jim asks, “I want to talk about being tired due to it being so dark out this time of year. It’s like my DNA knows this time of year, I should be going to bed with the sunset. Darn you Industrial Revolution.”
Yes, Jim, absolutely. I’m going to admit something right now. Alyson and I have been going to sleep between 8pm and 9pm for the past few months.
A lot of the younger listeners and followers are always horrified when I say stuff like that. But here’s the thing, I wake up at like 4:30am or 5am in the morning and I’m ready to go. I feel great, well rested.
We’re not drinking right now, we’ve taken a few months off from that, which has been really nice. We kind of do that in cycles.
And we’ll probably have some champagne or some of Dry Farm Wines during the holidays with our folks, and that sort of thing. But ya, we’re kind of in the middle of all of this right now, going to bed early, getting up early. This is the earliest I’ve ever woken up.
And honestly, one of the biggest reasons for this is because we live, even though it’s out in the mountains, we’re close to an elementary school. And this elementary school has a parking lot right next to it for all the buses, and I don’t know how many buses there are, but I can say starting at 5:00 am till about 7:00 am, all of those buses are backing up at the same time.
Beep, beep, beep. It sounds just like an alarm, it’s the worst. And then in the afternoon, beep, beep, beep.
We’re at 8000 feet in the Rocky Mountains. And it’s like, I love kids, I love that the school’s here, but oh god, that beeping is terrible.
So anyway, it was waking me up every morning at 5:00 am, whether I liked it or not.
And so then, I just decided to stop drinking for a while and just experiment with what it felt like to wake up a few hours before the sunrise, or maybe an hour before the sunrise.
Before the time change, there was a lot of time in the morning, and what happened was I accidentally wrote a poetry book.
I spent the mornings just waking up. It’s dark out and it’s quiet. And I started reading poetry, free writing, and journaling and getting back into these old books and literature that I used to love. And creating again, playing music.
This morning, I got up early and sang some songs. I usually don’t like singing early in the day because I’ve got that froggy voice, but ya. So Jim, when you’re feeling that, just go to bed early, if you can, and try getting up early.
It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but I can say I’ve tried this a few times and it doesn’t always work out. I think it’s also like different periods of your life. In my 20s, that didn’t work for me. In my 30s, I quite like it though.
Especially if you have kids, try going to bed at your kids’ bedtime and see how early you wake up and how well rested you feel. See how much you get done in the morning.
See how much easier it is to get that extra workout in, or to write that book you always wanted to write. Or even learn how to play the ukulele or something.
If you make space for it and you follow the natural cycles, our bodies are meant to go to bed after sundown.
We live here in the mountains. I don’t know if you guys saw, I posted on Instagram and Facebook the other day, a picture of my hand next to a mountain lion track in our yard. And this mountain lion probably outweighs me.
There are a few around the area that I know of, but it’s like, if you’re out in the dark, you might get eaten by a lion. This is kind of going way back to our ancestors. We would be likely back in camp all together, eating.
If you’re camping, you try to get to camp before sundown, so you can set up dinner and all that stuff, and then you feast, and then you go to sleep.
When you’re camping, you go to bed early. And you wake up early, you wake up with the sun.
Being awake for the sun is one of the best things you can do for your body.
One thing I had to give up though is playing gigs as a musician out at bars and clubs and all the places that had music.
Especially playing around Austin when I was doing a bunch of gigs, playing sax and playing guitar and singing with a bunch of different bands. A lot of times, we would start our set at midnight or 12:30 am, and I had a day job.
So at 6:00 pm, I’d be like, “Ok, I’m home from work, I guess I should eat,” but I’ve got six hours before I go on stage, and I would try to sleep sometimes, but that whole shift sleeping thing.
Maybe if you’re young and you’re abusing yourself, you can kind of get away with it for a while.
But if you value your sleep and your energy during the day, there’s almost nothing better than going to bed, not immediately when the sun goes down, but if you’re feeling a little sleepy once it does, honor that and honor when you wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning, as well.
Alright, cool. Oh, we got some Canadians from Calgary. I haven’t been there in a long time, but I do love Canada. Fun fact, my brother went to school in Montreal at McGill.
Question from Florida: “What’s your skin care routine?”
Talk about a horrifying question.
You should probably ask Alyson what hers is because hers is much better than mine. Although I can say that we live up here in the mountains at 8000 feet, which means we’re above a lot of the moisture in the atmosphere.
It’s not infrequent, the past few weeks, it’s been 10%-15% humidity; which is so dry that the soles of my feet start crack.
I’ll go outside in the snow barefoot sometimes, I’m sure that doesn’t really help with the cracking or whatever, but my feet, my hands, and all that will start cracking.
And so, really it’s the food-grade products is all I’ll say, that’s pretty much all I use.
Olive oil is one of Alyson’s favorites, coconut oil is great too, shea butter has been really useful for the dry, cracking skin up here in the mountains and for anyone who is going through a cold winter, usually it’s going to be dry, as well.
So, a lot of people don’t even realize how dry it is. Certainly if you live in Arizona or in any desert-y type place, it’s going to be dry.
Moisturizing is not something I’m religious about, but I do know it’s important. Because if I don’t do it sometimes then I’ll start bleeding from various places. But I don’t really use that many products.
I don’t shower daily. I don’t use all of these products and clean myself religiously.
Thankfully, we don’t have to because we live up here and work from home.
I like being outdoors and when you’re camping, it’s like this funny thing, your body gets used to not being super clean and washing itself all the time. And in fact, when you do use soap every day, for instance, on your body, on your skin, it can remove things that you actually want there that help, for instance, convert the sun’s energy into vitamin D.
If you’re constantly washing yourself or using products, don’t automatically assume that it’s serving you.
If it’s food grade, then I say do whatever you want. But know that your skin is the largest organ in your body and it absorbs into your bloodstream and into your body pretty much everything that you’ve ever put on it, so be really careful with all those chemicals.
Be careful with perfumes. They’re not real. They’re fake. They’re designed to hijack our senses, and it’s not good for us.
So, to the extent you can, make it food-grade, is what I would say. And we’ll have Alyson on the podcast and maybe even on a livestream one of these days to talk about some of the more female friendly questions like that.
Ok, skin care routine. That’s so funny.
Oh, Simon’s wife is here, too. Well, hi folks. I studied jazz in London for an exchange term in college and I found that being across the pond was one of the best educational experiences of my life.
Actually just being outside of the U.S. was very educational.
People tend to be pretty myopic here. But anyway, all of those out there who haven’t traveled, please do.
Ok, people who are saying my skin looks good, it’s just TV magic. I’ve got this nice light here.
“Abel, I’ve been having some issues with your VR videos stalling. Do they work better in any particular browser?”
It’s interesting, Facebook is pretty bad at 360 videos in VR. These files are huge, they’re gigabytes. I mean, literally, we have more than half a terabyte of VR footage from just one of my cameras. So, it’s taken months to upload this stuff.
The best place to watch the VR 360 videos is to go to abeljames.com.
And then from there, you can watch our videos on Vimeo. Vimeo is so much better than YouTube. Just so you guys know, YouTube sensors us and has been for years. Facebook does some of that, too.
And also just completely throttle anyone from seeing our videos. Certain ones that say certain things. So even if you’re subscribed, you’re not seeing a lot of the stuff we’re putting out there.
On top of that, YouTube and now, Facebook and Instagram, they’re putting advertising, which I do not approve of at all, all over all of these videos.
A lot of the videos are still on YouTube, but I’m not putting everything on YouTube, I’m not putting everything on Facebook.
We’re going to put everything on abeljames.com and right now we’re using Vimeo as our main host for the VR videos and the regular videos, because Vimeo doesn’t put ads on our videos for all of the scammers and all of our competitors, and anyone who wants to buy you because you listen to me.
I think that’s sickening that they can pay for you, or buy my name, or buy our community, or buy our family, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
That is absolutely sickening to me. They’re making money, we’re not, we don’t approve of it.
So, if you want the unfiltered stuff, if you want all of it without outside ads—you’ll still get some plugs from me trying to support ourselves with Wild Superfoods and our educational programs—head on over to AbelJames.com. That’s where we’re uploading everything.
If you’re looking specifically for virtual reality and you have goggles, like Oculus or Vive or any of those, you can find the most of our virtual reality videos on Veer.tv. And it’s also an app. So it’s on all the platforms that connect to your VR goggles, or most of them at this point. And you can also access it on your computer.
And you can look at these videos in augmented reality on your phone as well.
One thing that’s a little bit tricky, on my own website, on abeljames.com, it depends on what device you’re using. I have an Android phone that I’ve been using and you can watch the videos and you can move them around with your finger. But it doesn’t move it around automatically in augmented reality until you go into the Vimeo app and watch those videos, or in Veer.
Also, if you’re directly in Facebook and you watch some of the 360 videos, go there, but the videos that have stalled in Facebook are almost unequivocally Facebook’s fault. We can try to re-upload them, but Facebook doesn’t let you swap out videos that have failed because of them.
So, whenever you see junk come out, I know it’s happened with livestreams, VR videos, Facebook just doesn’t have good quality control as it relates to that right now. So we’ve had a lot of issues with it.
At the same time, we’re really thankful that there are platforms available to show that kind of crazy 360° virtual reality content because they’re giant files and it’s a new thing.
But at the same time, we’re providing all of this content for free to these platforms. They don’t give us anything.
They basically say, “Oh, you get free exposure,” while they’re throttling and censoring, and putting all of these ads for competitors and scammers over all of your stuff.
So anyway, we don’t love that, but I’m really happy you asked that question because if you want our stuff without all of the mind control and manipulation of social media and the internet these days, go to abeljames.com and fatburningman.com.
The whole plan with all of the websites and projects that we do is that none of it has external advertising, external sponsorships, corporate overlords, and all of that crap.
We don’t like outside advertising when we’re listening to it, we don’t like to be tricked into buying things or scammed. And I don’t ever want you to feel like that from our stuff. I don’t want to sell you mattresses to tell you that you’re going to get the best sleep ever.
Truth be told, I won’t say which company it was, but somewhat recently I turned down an offer to shoot over in the UK for a day of video. They were going to pay me $35,000-$40,000 and I said, “No, absolutely not,” because it’s a company that I just do not agree with.
I don’t agree with what they’re doing, I don’t think it’s good for the world, I don’t want them to use my name and likeness for that sort of junk.
So anyway, whenever you’re watching content on a platform like this, or like any of the other ones, be so careful with what you let in because Silicon Valley is controlling your feed.
They’re controlling your consciousness in your device.
So many people now say that we have all of the knowledge in the world at our fingertips, but we have all the BS in the world at our fingertips, too.
And most likely, you find the BS first, and who’s to know what’s BS and what’s true anymore. So just be so careful with the platforms that you use.
And personally, we have really been switching away from YouTube, both in terms of watching and certainly in terms of putting things out.
Switching away from YouTube, not using Facebook that much, but going for the ones that aren’t spoiling all of our content and all of our message with advertising that sells the exact opposite of that. Sells the exact scam of that, or pretends to be us or whatever. I’m just so sick of it.
Also, while I’m ranting, Amazon is one of the worst. Do not buy supplements from Amazon, with some exceptions I guess. If you know it’s directly from the company and they’re on Amazon, then go for it.
But I can tell you, if you look me up on Amazon, you try to find some of my books, you’re going to find a lot of people who are pretending to be me, with no accountability.
And with supplements, knowing a lot of people who have their own health supplement companies. And also, going back to cosmetics, this has happened a few times. Alyson has bought hair cream and face creams, I bought some hair gel or something like that that was recommended by my hair dresser in Austin way back in the day, and what I bought from Amazon was fraudulent, it was fake.
We paid full price for it, but it was totally fake. I don’t remember how it came up, but I was getting my hair cut and I’m just like, “You know, I got that cream that you recommended on Amazon for my hair and it didn’t smell the same, it seemed kind of weird.”
And she’s just like, “Oh ya, we don’t sell on Amazon. It’s a total scam.”
I’m like, “What? Because you can find all your stuff on Amazon.”
She’s like, “No, they just copy our packaging. We’ve tried to tell Amazon to take it down, but they won’t. It just stays up.”
And so, same thing is true with books, same thing is true with facial cream, and with supplements.
Now here’s the really scary and dangerous part. There’s almost no accountability for what these people are actually putting in the bottles, and in the pills.
And when you send them to a lab for some of the best-selling products on Amazon, from some of the top selling health gurus now, are complete fakes that might have arsenic or cement dust or paint in them.
There all sorts of horrible things and there are several independent studies that look at this. Amazon’s doing almost nothing about it.
I consider buying stuff on Amazon like buying something on eBay, it’s often used or scratch and dented, if you’re even getting the product that you’re supposed to be getting.
So, really watch out for those big platforms. Just because they have big names, they are not watching out for you.
I don’t want to sound hypocritical. We’re on them, but because there are so many big platforms now, and those are the only places where people go, it’s like, we don’t want people to miss us.
And also, we’re not killing it. We’re about breaking even and so, we’re doing our best to get out there and help as many people as we can.
Ok, so we got plenty of more comments here. Thank you all so much for joining me here. I know it’s unannounced and that’s part of the fun.
This one’s from Eric. “Just wanted to say I found out about the Wild Diet from the show My Diet is Better Than Yours. It helped kick me off on a huge life change two years in the making. Loved your book, it made so much sense to me and hasn’t stopped.”
Eric, thank you so much for saying that. I really think of my book as self-defense, more than anything.
It doesn’t have all the grand answers in it, it doesn’t have the silver bullets. It has the general principles that you’ll need, that hopefully, will stay true for the rest of your life about how to navigate this crazy world of health.
I’m glad that you took the time to read the book. Really appreciate it.
“Got any wild mince pie recipes?”
Not yet, but who knows. Be careful what you wish for.
“Real ale or lager, which would be better?”
Beers are so different. The only thing I would say is taste it and see how sweet it is. That’s not always the best way to do it, but if it tastes sweet, then have one, don’t have six or 12. Just have one or maybe two.
But generally, the lighter the color of the beer, the closer it is to seltzer, the better off you are.
One that I really like, actually, is Omission. They have an ultimate light, they’ve got a lager, then they’ve got a pale ale, and I think another pale ale that’s even stronger than that.
I’ve tried all of those, and I like them all. They all taste good. The stronger ones are much higher in carbs. And then the ultimate light has something like five or maybe less than that. And also a lot less alcohol.
There are a few reasons that alcohol is fattening, or kind of bad for you.
Number one, it goes to your liver, needs to be detoxified. And so, that kind of interrupts all the natural processes that would be catabolic or fat burning in your body.
So, it kind of interrupts that, clogs up your liver a little bit, gives it some things to do that are just to basically get rid of that alcohol that you’re putting in there.
And then the carbs, on top of that, in the beer and in the sugary wines and in the mixers and what have you, is sugar, that’s just empty calories, but most of the calories are actually coming from the alcohol.
So, to the extent you can, if you can just drink weaker alcohols. This is coming from a musician who was paid in alcohol for years.
But if you can cut the alcohol in half, for example, in your mixed drink, then you’ll be a lot better off. And you’d be surprised at the buzz you can get from so little alcohol. You kind of reach this plateau and then it goes down hill.
But the pleasant buzz territory is really on the low alcohol side.
A quick note on that, during the holidays, if you are drinking and you enjoy mixed drinks, a go-to drink once I realized how to drink without completely sacrificing my health results—seltzer as the base mixer, not tonic water because that does have plenty of sugar and often times other junk in it.
Use seltzer with a slice of citrus, keep the rind on there so you get the oils as well—grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, all those are great—squeeze a little bit of that in there, and then, usually we’ll use tequila or vodka, or the lighter colored alcohols as the base.
So, put a little half shot in there, or maybe a shot. Don’t put in three or 15 or whatever. It really doesn’t have to be crazy, but anyway, ice, seltzer, little bit of booze, little bit of citrus and you’re good to go.
That’s a great drink that you can just kind of roll with.
And if you want to be tricky—which you have to be sometimes considering the social situation—then if you just refill it with seltzer later on in the night, people don’t harp on you for not being as drunk as they are.
It’s like, “What, you’re not drinking?”
Sometimes people can really be mean and kind of exclude you from groups if you’re the one who’s not drinking. But if you’re drinking something that appears to be a drink then most people are cool with that for some reason.
Eric says, “Alcohol is my weakness, not only does it dehydrate you, it messes with your gut health for a while after stopping. It can take days to get back on track.”
Ya, I would totally agree with that, Eric. If you are drinking, just know that it’s not great for you. That’s fine. Drink on special occasions, that’s what we do.
For some people, it can be helpful to say, “I’m never drinking again. There’s nothing that would ever change that.”
But there’s something to be said for just not getting in the habit of drinking.
You don’t want to have the habit of drinking, but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be absolutely bad for you every single time. It’s not really good for your health, but sometimes it can be quite fun, or it can be a way to relax or a state change.
Just don’t use it as a crutch. It’s a really dangerous substance. I think we all kind of know about that.
“One beer to three waters.” Ya, I like that. So Jim says, “One beer with three waters. That’s the method. You’ll notice you’ll only have one beer.”
That’s right. Because you don’t want more liquid than that.
But that’s perfect Jim, because any time you can find a little trick like that, use it. At our roots we’re just silly, stubborn animals, and we get in these habits.
Most of what we do is unconscious, subconscious, whatever you want to call it, just kind of automatic.
So to the extent you can, take a step back, realize what you’re doing, play that little trick on yourself, it’ll improve your behavior every time.
If you have Ben & Jerry’s—I’ve said this many times—if you have Ben & Jerry’s in your freezer, your brain knows it’s there. The highest concentration of calories, most likely, and sugar.
Your brain knows that it’s there. Just like a dog knows where the treats are.
So, if it’s not there, then you’re not thinking about that all the time. And that tends to help quite a bit.
James asks, “Abel, can you speak about the differences or benefits of your green powder versus Organifi green and red?”
At this point, I know a lot of people who are running these companies. Obviously, the owner of Organifi has been on my show, I’ve been on his show. And I think Organifi does a good job.
They’re one of the few exceptions where I have promoted them in the past, and there have been a couple of things that we learned by promoting them years ago, and having tried it too.
There are a few things, like Ashwagandha, for example, that are in the ingredients that I worry about people taking every single day.
The flavor of it, I didn’t like to take as a daily supplement, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily built as a daily supplement.
And then, the biggest thing that I didn’t want to have happen was that some of the containers, even though they’re pretty expensive, would come without very much in it.
Kind of like chips, like you open up a bag of chips and it’s like, “I thought it was this big,” and it’s just like this tiny little handful down at the bottom.
And so, there are quite a few companies that sell bigger containers that look like they’re bigger than they are, so I can say that I think they’re doing a good job. I don’t know that much about Organifi specifically, except for the fact that we’ve tried them.
As far as Future Greens goes and how it’s different, you definitely get more servings, you get bigger servings in the canister, for I think about the same amount of money. We might even be a little cheaper, I haven’t checked in a while.
But I can say Organifi is definitely one of the better ones that’s out there. There are a lot of terrible powders. Most of them taste like fish tank. It’s like this “bleh” flavor against your lips, and you’re like, “I don’t want this any more. It tastes like algae. ”
So there are some that taste better than others. Athletic Greens, I remember they’ve been around for a long time. I had their owner on my show many years ago: Chris, “the Kiwi.”
And there are some folks who are really doing a decent job, and then there are a lot of copycats out there who are doing a horrible job. And there are a lot of big companies out there who are just doing ok.
But ya, I think it’s really good to compare the different things that are out there.
What I can say is that for everything that Alyson and I sell to you guys through Wild Superfoods, these are literally our favorite supplements that we take every day and have been for many years now.
Literally, more than five, maybe seven years, we’ve been using pretty much exactly the same source for those that we started with with Wild Superfoods.
And I don’t want to say too much right now, because there are going to be more coming soon, and we really look forward.
Right now, we’re doing shelf-stable stuff with Wild Superfoods, like the Future Greens are probably my favorite right now. But the others, the Vitamin D, the Mega Omegas, and Probiotic Spheres, I take those on a daily basis as well.
And unless the science changes, unless we totally change our minds, which could definitely happen, these seem to be the things that humans are deficient in, and should likely be supplementing with for pretty much the rest of our lives.
When you’re talking about Future Greens with over 20 different fruits, adaptogens, veggies, berries, roots, and all sorts of different things.
You should have diversity in your diet, you should have greens in your diet, and also, the chlorella, spirulina, and a few other components of Future Greens and greens powders in general, can help you detoxify.
Chlorella and spirulina specifically, they taste horrible, but if you mix them in just the right way, then you can kind of get the detoxifying benefits, a little bit of protein from them as well, and chlorophyll and all sorts of different things without having to taste the fish tank.
So, that’s kind of the goal, and we do the best we can.
But if there’s anything that you’d like to see from us or if there are certain things that you don’t like from what we’re doing, just let us know. We’re trying to do this with you. You’re our community, and we certainly appreciate it.
“Are you going to write any new cookbooks?” This is from Misty.
Thanks for the question, Misty. Yes, I bet we will, but not with big publishers who are trying to censor us, too, or trying to turn us into fads or whatever they do.
Working with publishers is not always the best thing. You can ask any author.
Oh, Tommie Whitaker! What’s up, man?
Ya, we’ll probably write more, but even more likely, the whole apps thing. We had one of the best-selling apps in the world.
Actually, it was #6 in the world and I could barely break even because Apple takes so much money and charges so much money. And you don’t get a customer service email address if there’s anything that goes wrong, and they make you redevelop all of your apps over and over again, which costs $10,000 a pop. It’s ridiculous.
So anyway, we’re publishing all of our new recipes and all of our old recipes at fatburningman.com. So go there, I would say, if you want the most recipes.
Our apps are still good, especially Caveman Feast. But we don’t plan on doing a whole bunch of more apps, partnering with Apple.
I’ve written more books that we’re going to release on our own, but I’m not sure I’m going to be partnering up with publishers that much. It really is a minefield, unfortunately.
So, look forward to lots more new recipes and cooking videos. We’ll be doing plenty of those. Maybe even livestream cooking videos. We’ve got some new cool gear to play with.
But, don’t look out in the bookstores for us any time soon. That’s why The Wild Diet is there. Unfortunately, I wish more people read books, but the internet that’s available on people’s phones, sometimes it’s the most convenient thing, for recipes in particular.
Eric says, “Be the weird guy in the room that’s not grossly overweight, it’s okay.”
It is ok.
Alright, Melissa just won third place in the Wild Superfoods giveaway. We are going be giving away so much cool stuff. Congrats Melissa!
We love doing giveaways. It’s just fun. If we could give all of our stuff away for free and find a way to pay the bills, we would totally do that. We’re almost doing that but yah. We’re very thankful for the support that you guys do give us.
And one thing I thought of just the other day, is hopefully we’ll be able to set up a little button underneath some of the live streams or videos, where it just says “Buy Abel a Coffee,” where you donate $3 or $5 or whatever.
And I would, of course, include a free book or something for that, but right now, you guys don’t really have a way to support us that way and I think that’s something that we’ll probably try setting up.
So if you have any ideas on how you think that could work well, maybe something you’ve seen work well for someone else you follow, let us know, I’d love to hear from you.
Marco says, “With less sun time during the day like here in Calgary right now, would you supplement with vitamin D?”
Yes. Totally. I am not an absolute expert in all of the different physiological reasons why you should focus on vitamin D3 specifically, compared to D2 or just…
That level of specificity I reserve for the true experts, but fortunately, my mom is a nurse practitioner, and is very much into a lot of these things. And she was the one for many… I can’t remember when I started taking vitamin D.
Probably much longer than a decade ago, and I think even when I was a kid, we would supplement somewhat growing up in the household but vitamin D is one, especially if you’re not getting sun.
We grew up in New Hampshire and didn’t get enough. And vitamin D can be especially useful if you’re not out in the sun and even if you are, a lot of times if you test your levels of vitamin D, you’ll be surprised at how low they are, even if you do get a fair amount of sun.
Alright, I gotta go in just a few minutes here, but I’ve got, geez, look at all of these comments, let me take a second, sip some coffee and read through these.
Eric says, “Not drinking any alcohol really helps with great sleep. You sleep so much deeper once you stop for a long enough time.”
I would definitely agree with that.
Oh Alyson just piped in, she says, “Daily homemade bone broth is the best skin care routine.”
I didn’t even think about that. Thanks, Alyson. Ya, we drink bone broth pretty much every day. So, I’m sure that’s one thing that certainly helps with skin. The collagen and all the various nutrients and minerals that are in a proper homemade broth. Certainly, science doesn’t even know about everything in there.
So I’m sure that’s honestly a big reason why we have the health that we do.
“Work out without showering after a sweaty session?” from Claudia.
That’s a good time to take a shower, I would think. But if I’m here at my own house, maybe not. It depends on how sweaty you get.
And do you really need to scrub down absolutely all of your body with suds that remove basically the top layer of your skin every single day, every single time you work out?
That’s the thing that I’m saying may not be serving everybody.
I know that I am super sensitive, my skin freaks out. I remember back in the day when I started going through puberty, trying deodorant for the first time, I got a huge rash from trying Old Spice. Basically, anything that was purple or blue just made my skin freak out.
I would get kind of sick and feel terrible. It’s because this stuff is all poison. Most of the over the counter or drugstore CVS type cosmetic products, it’s just toxic.
There’s no doubt about it, and it’s horrible for you. It’s pretty well known if you just look into it. And after a while it really doesn’t smell good either. I hope that helps.
Allen says, “The VR videos are so cool. Love the traveling show.”
Awesome! I’m glad you like it. I know they’re kind of weird sometimes, but the trick is finding your best way to view it where you get that virtual reality or augmented reality effect. Because otherwise you just don’t get the full experience.
It’s wacky. This new technology will be powerful stuff for education because you really feel like you’re there.
And for us, Alyson and I have been traveling to so many wacky places that I know a lot of other people might not be able to go, and so it’s great fun to share a slice of our life and a bit of our education with everyone else out there by doing these videos. It’s just fun.
So, thank you for watching. We really appreciate it.
Romie says: “The Amazon stuff, they say they have great reviews that you can tell are fake.”
This is one thing I know for a fact. I know plenty of people who hire armies of fake reviews. I know plenty of health experts, who you know too, who have thousands, maybe even millions of fake followers that have been bought.
I can’t say too much publicly. I don’t feel comfortable, and I don’t want to shoot anyone down, but at the same time, just be careful.
Reading reviews online, don’t assume that they’re true, unfortunately.
Like anything you find, don’t assume that the product that you found is real, if you’re buying it from Amazon. I wish I didn’t have to say that. Don’t assume that what you see on Facebook is true or anywhere else. We really have to put up our shields more than ever, I think.
This one’s from Jeffrey. “Hi Abel, thank you, I lost 35 pounds thanks to everything I’ve learned in The Wild Diet. Nuts are one of the hardest ingredients for me to understand and research online. I hear some nuts are fats and some are heavy in protein.
And also, in a day, what’s the appropriate amount to consume? Do you have any tips or resources on this, cashews, almonds, Brazilian nuts, pine, etc? Can you share your top five, and how much of it you eat per day and per week? Just curious. Thanks.”
Very nice question. So as it relates to nuts, I eat them almost every day. And, I don’t think it’s as important to focus on how many carbs and how much protein is in all of these various nuts. What I think is important is getting diversity in your diet.
So, what Alyson does is she makes this wonderful gorp, like a trail mix where we have cashews, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, sometimes pecans or walnuts.
We’ll throw peanuts in there, we’re not afraid of peanuts, we really like them. They’re technically legumes. They can be higher in carbs than some of the other nuts, although not all of them.
We’ll also put some shredded coconut in there a lot of the times, as well as mulberries, goji berries, other little things to make it a little sweet.
And as far as amounts go, I’ll have a small handful or two of gorp. If you added it up over the course of the day with all of the treats and stuff—because we may put some almond meal or various nuts into some of our baked goods—maybe it would be the equivalent of four or five small handfuls a day.
Not big handfuls. It’s hard to quantify. I don’t count though. Don’t go overboard with nuts though, because they can be really high in the more inflammatory omega sixes.
And a lot of nuts can be rancid. Find a good source for your Brazil nuts, because most of them are rancid or moldy. Don’t eat mold, it’s really bad, and it tastes horrible. It’ll ruin the whole gorp.
But ya, eat nuts. Wat the ones that you like. Try to eat a nice smorgasbord or cornucopia of all the foods that you eat. Because each one of these different kinds of nuts is going to have a different type or a different spectrum of nutrients in it.
And a different spectrum of anti-nutrients in it, as well. You don’t want to overload yourself on just Brazil nuts, or just peanuts, or what have you. We really try to get the diversity back in our diets, and it’s a lot of fun too.
Melissa says, “I’m re-listening to the audio book, I love that you narrate it.”
Right on. It was great fun to narrate.
Fun fact, the “Swamp Thing” music album, I recorded at the beginning of that week, and I did the audio book at the end of the same week. I lost my voice for days. Almost like a couple of weeks, I couldn’t really talk.
My voice was so tired. So that was a great time to learn a little bit of moderation myself.
“Dave Aspery recommends using alpha-lipoic acid before drinking alcohol. Have you ever tried it?”
Alpha-lipoic acid is one of the things that I’ve taken before. What I notice about alpha-lipoic acid is that it really upsets my stomach if I don’t have it on a full stomach. And since I’m fasting most of the day, I don’t usually take it.
And when it comes to taking supplements around the time that you drink alcohol, there’s a lot of hocus pocus to that. Although I can say that activated charcoal might help with hangovers or help you detoxify.
So, we’ll take activated charcoal sometimes. And does it help? I think so. There’s not really a great way to tell, but I would say give it a shot.
Give activated charcoal a shot before you start taking a whole bunch of nutrients with alcohol. Because as much as science likes to say it has all the answers and knows everything, it really doesn’t. And if something upsets my stomach, I’m just not going to take it like that.
Justin says, “The Future Greens is different because it tastes much better.”
Thank you, Justin. I’ll let you speak for that.
Nora says she likes Athletic Greens, and also does Amazing Green. So those are some other good ones out there.
Oh, Jim says, “Apple’s in a lawsuit right now about owning a monopoly on their devices and it’s currently at the Supreme Court level.”
I did not know that, but I really do hope that we can clean up the ethics online in social media soon because, man, is it bad out there. It’s just nasty.
We can disconnect and unplug sometimes, but I feel guilty doing that because I know how misled some people are being right now. And that’s why I started this whole show.
Lest we forget, I was overweight and sick and didn’t know what to do because I was listening to the wrong advice. That’s why I started this. And so, I’m never going to turn back on that.
When I see BS out there, people are going to be lampooned. I’m going to try to get you the truth, if I can.
I guess on that note, I would just like to thank you once more for joining in. There are just so many great comments came in. I didn’t have time get through them all, but hopefully next time, we’ll start announcing these ahead of time.
And if you do have questions, in the meantime, sign up for my mailing list over at the sidebar there, reply to the email with the freebies that I’ll send to you, with your question, and I go through those every month and pick out ones for the podcast to ask my guests, for the livestreams, and all the rest of it.
If you’d like to support us, please go to fatburningman.com, purchase one of our educational programs, or check out wildsuperfoods.com if you want some Future Greens or health supplements. Alyson and I started that venture ourselves, so it’s a way to sponsor our own content for you guys.
And actually, ya, we’re still running the Buy 2 Future Greens, Get 1 Free. So, go to wildsuperfoods.com for that.
And then, abeljames.com is where you’re going to find hopefully some of the new poetry I’ll be releasing soon.
This is Abel signing off. Thank you so much for joining in this live.stream. I look forward to connecting with you next time.
Before You Go…
Here’s a review that came in from Camp FJ, who says:
Loved it! The Wild Diet is an excellent book. This book literally changed my life. I am down 93 pounds and feel better than I was in my 20s.
Wow! That is incredible. Thank you so much for putting everything that you learned into action.
I can only give a template for how to navigate this, and hopefully simplify things a little bit, but I know that putting it into action is definitely the most important and difficult part. So congratulations to you!
When I was coaching Kurt on that ABC TV show to lose 87 pounds in about 3 and a half months, it was truly incredible. He started at the weight of 352 pounds, so he was too big to do a lot of outdoor things that he really wanted to do, but one thing he was psyched about was going rock climbing.
He had never done that before, and he’d been too big for too long to ever really do that. But after he lost all the weight, he sent me a picture of him rock climbing. And oh man, it just warms the heart to see what you folks are capable of, especially after taking your health in your own hands.
Thank you again for writing in. Feel free to send us a note to let us know what you’re doing now that you’re almost 100 pounds lighter. Keep us updated, and if you need a hand, just let us know.
If you’ve made improvements to your health from things you learned from listening to the Fat-Burning Man show or reading The Wild Diet book, or what have you, drop me a note to let me know how you’re doing. That’s why we’re here.
The easiest way to get in touch is to sign up for my newsletter, and just respond to any of the emails I send you. I love hearing from you, and respond to as many as I can.
And who knows? Your story might wind up on this show.
And if you’d like to support us and you’re interested in upgrading your health, check out our new venture, Wild Superfoods. These are literally the supplements that my wife and I take every day.
If you live in the U.S., you can get our entire health boosting package delivered to your doorstep each month. You’ll get Future Greens, Vitamin D Stack, Mega Omegas, and our high-quality gluten-free Probiotic Spheres. You can find it all at wildsuperfoods.com, and when you select Subscribe & Save, you’ll save $128 off each month.
What did you think of this Ask Me Anything? How are you balancing indulging and eating well this holiday? Leave a note below to let us know.