Part I – Ruth Heidrich
At 78 years young, Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D., is a seasoned raw vegan Ironman (or as she likes to say, “IronLADY”) Triathlete. She is the winner of more than 900 trophies, 6 Ironman Triathlons, 8 Gold Medals in the U.S.Senior Olympics, and 67 marathons including Boston, New York, & Moscow. Named One of the Ten Fittest Women in North America, she is also a breast cancer survivor and author of A Race for Life, Senior Fitness, The CHEF Cook/Rawbook, and her most recent book, Lifelong Running: How to Overcome the 11 Myths of Running & Live a Healthier Life.
Part II – Jonathan Bailor
Collaborating with top scientists for over 10 years, analyzing over 1,300 studies, synthesizing over 10,000 pages of research, and garnering endorsements by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, Yale, and UCLA, Jonathan Bailor is a preeminent nutrition and exercise expert and former personal trainer who specializes in using high-quality food and exercise to simplify health and fitness.
He has registered over 25 patents and authored the revolutionary upcoming The Calorie Myth (HarperCollins, 12.31.13). Bailor serves as a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, hosts a popular syndicated wellness radio show, blogs on The Huffington Post, and consults for organizations around the world. His free 28-day quick-start eating and exercise guide is available at BailorGroup.com.
A Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of DePauw University, Bailor lives outside of Seattle with his wife Angela and works to enable others to live better through simple, proven science.
TRANSCRIPTION PART I:
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody, I’m Caryn Hartglass you’re listening to It’s All About Food! Happy October 1, 2013! It is a great day here in NYC it’s almost like summer but it isn’t summer because the leaves are actually changing which seems a little early for the season, but it’s beautiful and because of everything I’m going to be talking about in the next hour I couldn’t help but get out for a run before I started this show. You’ll know why in a moment and October 1st is a really important day all around. It’s World Vegetarian Day in case you forgot, so get your cards out and it’s the day when we’re going to debunk a lot of myths so let’s just jump right in with Dr. Ruth Heidrich who has a great new book out called Lifelong Running which she has written with Martin Row who we’ve had on our program before, the co-founder of Lantern Books. Ruth at 70 years young is a seasoned, raw vegan iron man or as she likes to say iron lady triathlete. She is the winner of more than 900 trophies, 6 iron man triathlons, 8 gold medals in the U.S. Senior Olympics and 67 marathons including Boston, NY, and Moscow, named one of the 10 fittest women in America. She is also a breast cancer survivor and author of A Race for Life, Senior Fitness, The Chef’s Cookbook, Raw Book, and her most recent book, Lifelong Running: How to Overcome the Eleven Myths About Running and Live a Healthier Life. So glad to have you on the program Ruth!
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Yes, hi, happy to be here Caryn.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes, now I know you don’t remember this because you meet a lot of people, but I met you in the mid 90s at some veg. conference somewhere I don’t even remember where it was but I was introduced to you and your inspiring story and just everything you’re all about. You really are a game changer and leading the world not just for women but for everyone on this planet. It’s just an honor to have you on the program.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: It’s my honor to be on your program, thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: I just finished reading the book and it’s funny, every time I talk to an athlete and read their book all I want to do is go out and exercise. It’s not that I don’t exercise, I do exercise regularly but it’s great to get that extra inspiration that kick in the butt, just a new page, a new white canvas to start new and fresh. Thank you for that. Now, you probably know that today is…? Or this month. It’s not only World Vegetarian Day…
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: It’s Breast Cancer Awareness.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s Breast Cancer Awareness. Do you have pink fatigue? Pink ribbon fatigue, like the so many of us do?
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: You know I just finished an interview about “think the pink”, what a racket this is. The salaries these people make and how come there’s not any progress and that’s because they don’t care about prevention of Breast Cancer, or Prostate Cancer, or any of– Leukemia, MS, Alzheimer’s. It is such a money maker. It’s really sad because they motivate people to raise funds and then it goes nowhere because they either don’t care or don’t believe that the answer is in prevention, and prevention is too late. Reversal! The right diet and exercise program is the answer to almost all of our medical problems.
Caryn Hartglass: Amen! I know that. I don’t believe in a conspiracy theory and I don’t want to look at the negative side of humanity, although we can be pretty ugly most of the time, but I like to think that there’s good in all of us and I really don’t want to believe that those that are pushing pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness have a secret agenda. I want think that they really are ignorant or they have something in them that doesn’t want to believe that it’s as easy as diet and exercise are health and longevity.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Because even if you’re not involved in one of those programs, the general population still believes that it can’t be diet, the diet isn’t powerful enough and, in fact, that was the main motivation for me doing an iron man triathlon. When I changed my diet after the breast cancer diagnosis and saw how powerful it was not just for the cancer but for my high cholesterol, my arthritis, my constipation, my adult acne, for my energy levels, I said I’ve got to show people this is really powerful. I thought, do an iron man, that ought to get people’s attention, and it did. However, when you look at the progress since my first one thirty years ago, yeah there’s been some progress but not nearly as much as I would like and there’s still all these myths about running. How it ruins your knees and people say, you know one of the theories I had about the title of Lifelong Running was that people walking by and seeing it on the the shelf would say, oh that doesn’t apply to me. I think that’s going to be 90% of the population and I thought how are we going to get people to look past that and instead of thinking but I’m not a runner, how they can look at kids and say we all started as runners. Why did we quit? And how easy it is to get started again.
Caryn Hartglass: Well there’s a lot of different things that I’m going to bring up in the book that I found really inspirational, but I just want to finish this cancer conversation. You were a runner when you were diagnosed with Breast Cancer in your 40s. Exercise is so important but it’s only one piece and diet is the other piece obviously. I know I have my personal experience with advanced ovarian cancer in 2006 and I’ve been a lifelong vegan and, not lifelong, I became vegan at 30 actually and I was vegetarian after 15, and I was eating pretty healthfully and after my diagnosis I definitely changed things. I realized that my diet kept me alive, I think I had been living with this disease a very long time. One thing that surprised me was after my surgery and I hadn’t even known I had cancer before I went in for surgery. My doctor couldn’t stop saying what are you doing, what are you eating, you’re so clean inside. So I had this giant tumor but everything else was perfect.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: As a vegetarian, were you doing dairy?
Caryn Hartglass: I was eating dairy until I was 30-years-old but then I got the cancer at 48 or 47 so I have my own explanation of things of why it happened but I’m still a big believer in the power of food.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Well I had been a runner for 14 years at that point and had done marathons and thought that that made me invulnerable to any disease but what a shock I got and Dr.McDougal, the doctor that got me to change my diet because of his clinical research in the area said, you know with a cholesterol 236 you’re as at great a risk of dying of the heart attack as of the breast cancer. And I’m saying wait just a darn minute. I’m a marathoner but that didn’t impress him. He said no, look, your blood work is so clear right here but don’t worry because it’s not too late which is my great fear, and sure enough, 17 days later, the next reading was 160 and the one after that was 129 so that really lowered my risk of heart disease as well as the cancer.
Caryn Hartglass: Amazing, amazing how fast and forgiving the body can be as soon as you stop taking in the crap and start taking in the good stuff. Let’s get to the running part because this is amazing and I want to just touch lightly on the myths so that people get a taste for wanting to to read the book, because whether you’re a runner or not I think this is really a great read and I really like the balance that Martin Rowe offers in the book. I was inspired by your writing but I know other people that would say oh my God this is too much, it’s not for me, she’s just amazing and I’m not that person and that’s where Martin comes in and gives totally different perspective of someone who never thought he was a runner and got totally wrapped up in it.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: I’m so happy to see that.
Caryn Hartglass: He gave a discussion in the foreword and I imagine it’s true but I know Martin and I never thought of him as a couch potato or anything like that so I think he was a little poetic license or something. Anyway, let’s start at the beginning. We’re humans and we’re meant to run.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Born to run.
Caryn Hartglass: Born to run. From little children, as soon as they can, they just take off.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: They don’t know how to walk, they either pull feet or none at all.
Caryn Hartglass: But then somehow we learn to sit down and lay down and get in a car and slow everything down, to our detriment. I liked how you mention running errands and here in NYC where many of us don’t have cars, we do a lot of walking and often I like to say I’m going for a run and I’ll usually start the run by going to the bank, depositing a check, and then running somewhere else, once I’ve warmed up, getting to the rest of the run and I’m running errands.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: What a wonderful idea, we can all do that.
Caryn Hartglass: Your most important message is the fact that you’re 78 and you’re in amazing physical shape and you’re doing so much and all these things that people think are not possible at your age.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: I know, I look at my peers and they’re pretty bad.
Caryn Hartglass: People don’t want to get up, they don’t want to walk, they don’t want to move, and they have all kinds of aches and pains and that’s from not moving.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Yes, exactly. The body is meant to move and if it doesn’t it atrophies and you start losing muscle mass, you lose bone density, you lose the capacity to extract oxygen from the air from your lungs, your blood doesn’t carry as much oxygen, your brain starts deteriorating, it’s head to toe. Falling apart.
Caryn Hartglass: A lot of people say they’re too tired or they have an injury and they come up with all kinds of excuses not to move and not to run, but my understanding through your book and especially through your experiences with some serious accidents, exercise is critical to healing.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Because it stimulates the circulation which gives more nutrients and oxygen to the injured part. In fact, if you injure a tendon or a ligament and don’t do anything, if you just stabilize it, the healing will take place but it’s the cells attach randomly whereas if you put light stress on them, they realign in straight lines. The length of the tendon or ligament. Light exercise is always good even though it may hurt, you do a little bit. The tricky part is not doing too much. I’ve been known to do that.
Caryn Hartglass: How do you know what too much is?
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: That’s the tricky part. Pain isn’t always a guide because I remember after getting hit by that truck while cycling that my physical therapist said this is going to hurt, I’m sorry I have to do this, but we’ve got to get that leg straight. They put a titanium rod in it because the bones were so shattered from the impact of the truck and she just worked me to the point where I was screaming and she said I hate to do this, I hate to do this, but she did it anyway, and I thank her for that, so that’s an extreme example. Most injuries are not nearly that serious and sometimes a couple of days rest is necessary, but stay as active as possible. You know, when they took me to the hospital in an ambulance, the next day, you know orthopedic wards sometimes have these triangle bars above the head so you can lift yourself up to get on the bed pan. I was doing pull ups on the post and the nurse walked around the corner, came in, and said what in the world are you doing? I said, I’m doing pull ups. I can exercise my upper body even if I can’t use the lower body. You can do it. A set of exercises you can do lying down, whether it’s lying down, sitting, bending, you can always contract muscles, whether it’s your glutes, my favorite one to tell people to do is the kegels. You know what kegels are right?
Caryn Hartglass: Please tell us what they are.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: They are the muscles that control the perineum, the bottom of the pelvic floor, urination, and prevent fecal dribbling and that’s a problem as people age and that’s why adult diapers are commonly advertised. We can keep those muscles strong so this is an exercise you and I can do right now.
Caryn Hartglass: Right now, I’m doing them right now, sitting down.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: If that’s not motivation enough, they help with making more powerful orgasms so that should get people’s attention so whether you exercise those little tiny muscles down there or the big quads and the glutes and the abs, those are the ones that show, that make you look fit and feel strong and healthy. So just exercise is so important.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s funny you brought that up. There are a number of big industries and health is one of them, or disease care is one of them and another is things that are related to sex and all the drugs that are out there to improve sexual performance or as people realize that they stop eating the foods that are bad for them and ate the food that were good for them, they wouldn’t need those drugs anymore.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Yup, if these foods are clogging those critical arteries and you stop eating those foods, those critical arteries down there open up again and if you don’t do that, that’s a first sign of heart disease actually, impotence and lower libido means something’s going wrong and that’s the canary in the coal mine. If you don’t get it when it’s early it’s just going to keep progressing. Conversely, if you nip it in the bud, it can reverse completely and you don’t ever have to have heart disease. Most cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, dementia, what have I missed?
Caryn Hartglass: Everything, the chronic diseases plaguing people today, multiple sclerosis, the whole host of them. It’s a bad one, but that’s what’s really unfortunate is most people have no idea that diet can really turn that disease around significantly.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: With MS you need to have a very low fat diet and the research of Dr. Roy Swank has been out there for what, forty years, and people are being diagnosed for MS, are doing a walk for MS to raise funds for it. Here we already have the, it’s not a complete cure, at least management of the disease and to keep it from progressing. This is true of almost all the chronic diseases. The drugs that Big Pharma promote, most of them have to do with blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood sugar. Those three are managed perfectly well by the right diet, the one we’re talking about, vegan, low fat, raw as much as possible, and vigorous exercise to get your heart rate up and get you pumping blood and breathing hard. Running is the most effective and efficient way to do that. Within a few minutes, you have your blood pressure under control, heart rate going in, oxygen, and I can’t just say enough about it and that’s why Martin asked me to write the book. He knows how enthusiastic I am. I’ve been running now for 45 years, don’t plant to ever stop.
Caryn Hartglass: What I like about running, I like a lot of things about it. I’m not one that, at this point in my life, it can always change, but I don’t see myself running in competitions but what I like about running is how easy it is in terms of practicality. I like riding a bike but I have to get my bike out of the basement, I have to pump up the tires, I have to clean it off a bit, and there’s a little too much activity there. I love to swim but I’ve got to get to a pool. Running is just leave your door.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: With biking you can’t do it just anywhere, it’s dangerous as I’ve found out. You really need a trail where there are no cars. With swimming you’re right. A pool or an ocean close by so running you can do anywhere, any time.
Caryn Hartglass: There have been a handful of occasions where the weather has just been so horrible outside and I have run in the snow and the rain but sometimes I just run inside the house. Just up and down somewhere, you can do it anywhere.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: You don’t have to have a treadmill. They do make it easier to keep track of your speed and you can have the incline, but you can run around the house and anywhere. You can run in place for gosh sakes.
Caryn Hartglass: I finished your book this morning and then of course I had to run because I just couldn’t stand reading the book without running. I run a few times a week, but I tried the 100 up.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Every time I hit a stop sign, I’m doing it now sitting, just raising the legs up, keep them moving when you’re sitting and then stretch the quads by doing them back. So glad you did that.
Caryn Hartglass: We can all be moving while we’re listening. I know there are these people that are starting to get desks where they stand up, where they stand on a treadmill and work on a desk. I can’t see myself quite doing that but I guess it’s good for some people. The point is to keep moving or to get some motion in your life. Let’s talk a bit about food because that’s an important piece I think and you have a particular diet that you like. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Well, to sum it up, it’s a low-fat, vegan, mostly raw diet. Consisting of fruits and vegetables, lots of leafy greens. I like the big, big bags of mixed organic greens, I love kale, I love broccoli, there’s so many benefits to these leafy greens so they are actually the major part of my breakfast and I know that’s shocking to a lot of people. In fact, when Chris McDougal was writing his book Born to Run, he’s got my story in there and when he was interviewing me, he asked me the same thing: tell me what you eat. When I told him greens for breakfast along with mango and banana, he was kind of shocked and said I’d never heard of anybody eating a salad for breakfast. I said, well it’s not really a salad, this is a large quantity of greens and fruit and so he thought I’ll try it. Guess what? He loves it and doing it ever since, so leafy greens because of their high nutrient-calorie ratio, they’re one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Why not get them in your body first thing in the morning? That’s why I tried it. Plus, I got to work at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea and as a trainer there, I got to eat in the Olympic village where all the athletes from all these different countries ate. So I’d walk around and I’d see what they ate. It was only the Americans who had things like bacon and eggs and Egg McMuffin and all these high fat, high animal foods. Whereas the Japanese, the Chinese, even the Russians and most of the other countries had veggies and some kind of starch. Mostly in the asian countries, rice, and in the African countries, potatoes and corn. They know how to eat breakfast. That was a noter motivation for me to keep up the greens for breakfast. I don’t stop the greens there, I also have them with every meal. That makes up the basis for even my supper which is, again, the greens with tomatoes and bell pepper, I love the red bell peppers, I love purple cabbage, cauliflower, ginger. I take the whole ginger roots and cut up little tiny slices and probably 10 or 15 of them and mix them throughout both the breakfast and supper and it adds a nice little tang…
Caryn Hartglass: Raw!
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Yes, raw ginger is an anti-inflammatory. If you have the slices thin, it’s just that nice little tang because you can have too much at a time but if you mix it up with all your fruits and vegetables and all your leafy greens, it’s good.
Caryn Hartglass: I love ginger with greens, it works.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: I think that beverage is really just water is nature’s perfect beverage I say in I think my Cook Raw book. I do like green tea and stevia as any kind of sweetener so one of my favorite drinks is 100% pure cocoa, a rounded teaspoon of that with a tiny bit of stevia and a green tea bag. I call it cocoa tea and boy is that ever healthy. The antioxidants in both the green tea and the cocoa, it is-in fact, I’m sipping on some now.
Caryn Hartglass: You should probably bag that and call it Dr. Ruth’s Tea!
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Yeah, I probably could. It is in my cookbook and that recipe. And for dessert, can’t forget dessert because I do have a sweet tooth and I love blueberries and again the nutrient calorie ratio, berries are way up at the top so I have a large bowl, half blueberries and half prunes. Why prunes? Not necessarily for the regularity aspect of it, I found out when I went vegan that took care of that little problem, but because prunes have been shown to keep bones strong. There’s some research and I’m not sure how it works but the research shows that if you eat nine, eight to ten prunes a day, it will reverse osteoporosis and prevent it, greater bone density again, I’m not sure why it doesn’t work with raisins and dates, this experiment tried it with all these different fruits and only prunes. Ever since I read that, that was probably 5 years ago, I’ve been eating prunes. I think maybe try Googling it. Running of course is the best way to keep bones strong as you age because we know that people will lose bone density as they age, if they don’t keep running as the impact. That’s one of the myths, that the impact is bad, you want low or no impact. I say the opposite, you want as much impact as possible because impact is what stimulates the osteoblasts and the osteoblasts are the bone building cells. You want those working.
Caryn Hartglass: You’ve mentioned the knee injuries before, if we just touch on that myth with impact on knees.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: People believe that running isn’t good for the knees and the opposite, again, is true. The research has shown that runners have no more knee injuries, no more arthritis in the knees than non runners and this is a long standing research study done at Stanford University. So I challenge anybody to challenge them. They know what they’re doing. And, because there was as much arthritis in both runner and non-runners, I say if all of those runners, over a thousand population of runners, they wouldn’t have any arthritis at all.
Caryn Hartglass: I think that’s a really important point, really important.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Arthritis is the body’s inflammatory response to foreign proteins. By golly, if another human being’s proteins are foreign which they are, we don’t do a heart, lung, tissue transplants unless the tissues are matched and even, then our body will reject them and that’s why we take anti rejection drugs for the rest of our lives to keep that heart or kidney or whatever. So you can imagine, if a human has this much of a problem, think what a cow, a pig, or a fish, or a bird protein in our bodies. Now they’re not supposed to get into our blood stream but because of leaky guts that a lot of people have, they do get into the blood stream, they get into the joints and therefore, we have a diagnosis of arthritis. It’s so common that doctors will say, well you know, by the age of 30, most everybody gets some arthritis and in fact that’s what I was told with my arthritis and they said, oh don’t worry, we’ve got this new drug that’s perfect for this and that was Naproxen at the time, this was back int he ‘70s, when I was diagnosed with the arthritis, took it for a bunch of years until I started having GI bleeding. That’s when Dr. McDougal said why in the world are you taking that drug? I said it’s for my arthritis and he said stop the drug right now, your arthritis went away when you went vegan and sure enough it did. Now of course that drug is over the counter as Alleve and very commonly taken by people for the slightest little ache or pain and they don’t know that they can prevent it.
Caryn Hartglass: Just by what they’re eating. I remember Dr. McDougal when I first started listening to him probably the ‘80s or something and just hearing how angry he would get at the arthritis associations because they would refuse to make the connection with diet. I think finally they’re doing that. Ruth! We’ve come to the end of the half hour, and that was fast. The time just ran by.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: I do have a website that has just recently been re-done. Audry Wild took over and said we need to update your website and I said go do it. She did and I love it. It’s my name, ruthheidrich.com.
Caryn Hartglass: I just have one quick question for you, maybe it’s not that quick, but what are your future goals for athletic performance?
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Oh boy, just to keep going. Part of what I’ve noticed, looking at 80 is definitely slowing down and my goal up until fairly recently was to keep improving. Now it’s changing just to maintain.
Caryn Hartglass: Well you’ve gotten to an amazing point. Maintaining where you’re at is pretty amazing.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Yes it is, I have no choice. Probably another book or two, I would love to have a book called Running Around the World because with all the fantastic places I’ve run, I want to show people how to see this planet on your feet and enjoying it much better that way.
Caryn Hartglass: I agree, that’s why I like to travel. To get the hotel and unpack and go out for a run and you see things that most people don’t see. Thank you for joining me on It’s All About Food, good luck with the book Lifelong Running and your lifelong running in inspiring everybody else to do the same.
Dr. Ruth Heidrich: Thank you for having me Caryn.
Caryn Hartglass: That was Dr. Ruth Heidrich, author of Lifelong Running with Martin Rowe, a very fun and inspiring book.
Transcription by Meichin, October 19, 2013
Caryn Hartglass | 00:10
Hello everybody we’re back and it’s October First 2013. Thank you for joining me today on It’s All About Food; debunking myths. And there are so many myths out there, we could spend a long time debunking them because so many of them get into our core, get into our skin, we really believe them as fact. But we’re all here on this planet I think to learn, to experience joy, move forward, improve ourselves and some of that means learning that some things that we always believed to be true are not. Hey! You know there was a time when we all thought the world was flat I think it isn’t (laughter). Anyway let’s go on and talk about The Calorie Myth with Jonathan Bailer. Collaborating with top scientist for over 10 years, analyzing over thirteen hundred studies, synthesizing over ten thousand pages of research and garnering endorsements by top doctors from Harvard Medical school, Johns Hopkins, Yale and UCLA. Jonathan Bailer is a preeminent nutrition and exercise expert and former personal trainer who specializes in utilizing high quality food and exercise to simplify health and fitness. He has registered over 25 patents and authored the revolutionary upcoming The Calorie Myth and he serves as senior program manager at Microsoft, hosts a popular syndicated wellness radio show, blogs on Huntington Post, and consults for organizations around the world. His free twenty-eight quick start eating and exercise guide is available at bailergroup.com a summa cum laude and phi beta kappa graduate of the Poly university, Bailer lives outside of Seattle with his wife Angela and works to enable others to live better through simple proven science, sounds good to me welcome to It’s All About Food Jonathan.
Jonathan Bailor | 2:05
Thanks for having me it’s a pleasure
Caryn Hartglass | 2:08
Yeah it’s good talking to you again
Jonathan Bailor | 2:11
Absolutely I so enjoyed having you on my show and appreciate you reciprocating the love.
Caryn Hartglass | 2:17
Yeah so let me put my disclaimers out there so we can get to the meat of the conversation or the vegetable of the conversation. We both are on line on so many issues, I am a vegan and Jonathan is not but we are promoting so many of the same things and it’s so important that this alignment is there and we can focus on those things because as more and more people see the power of healthy minimally processed plant food in their lives and getting rid of the junk we will all get to a better place.
Jonathan Bailor | 2:57
Absolutely, absolutely Caryn and what I like to tell people and just to add to that you said is regardless of vegan, vegetarian, kosher, halal, low carb, high carb, medium carb, whatever it is, there is a way to do that that’s in line with proven science to further your health and there’s a way to do that as the media and the marketers will have you believe. And you and I are right aligned with however we want to eat let’s make sure we are doing it in line with science and in line with responsibility with the planet.
Caryn Hartglass | 3:32
There you go. Alright let’s talk about this thing called the calorie. Now I don’t know when the calorie was actually discovered or when we first recognized it existed but we’re learning more and more about it. I think the calorie is actually a kilocalorie is it not?
Jonathan Bailor | 3:51
It is. It was never intended to be something well it is being treated as the great equalizer right. You can eat a hundred calories of Ding Dongs or you could eat a hundred calories of broccoli and in either case if you just go walk at this pace for this period of time you’re net neutral and everything is the same, obviously that is not true…. and we know that is not true.
Caryn Hartglass | 4:18
that’s so not true. That’s such a myth. It’s fascinating what we’re learning and we will continue to learn because I think humans in general are just a the beginning of a long journey of active learning and in terms of nutrition we are really just at the starting point and what’s fascinating for me is how calories have become important and you can definitely develop this a little bit more but for a long time people where thinking about the volume of food, how much volume or weight and not really realizing that it was the calorie and now we are realizing maybe it’s more than the calorie.
Jonathan Bailor | 5:03
that’s absolutely correct. That’s absolutely correct. One key thing for us to all keep in mind because we’ve been so bombarded with counting calories, how many calories are in this? You need to burn calories, is remember that nobody except for some very few scientist up until forty years ago had any idea what a calorie was and we were all slimmer and we were all healthier before that. Right? Like I don’t mean to like blow the roof of right from the beginning but call me crazy but I mean we are smarter than every other animal on this planet and they also don’t know what calories are and they seem to stay diabetes free and to stay at a healthy weight without counting them either so I think we may have been fed a bit of a load of bologna here which is not helping us.
Caryn Hartglass | 5:59
I agree we shouldn’t be counting calories but I just have to step aside for a moment as a scientist and just say that a lot of things have happened over the last forty, fifty, sixty years that point to why we are fatter and counting calories I think it’s a method a way of dealing with us getting fatter but a lot of nasty things have been going on, We’ve been creating these foods that aren’t really foods, people have been convinced to eat these highly processed things with lots of salt, sugar and fat and very little calories and certain foods have been maid cheaper by all kinds of food subsidies and there’s just so many different things that have been happening plus there’s all kinds of plastics and stuff and things that are out there that affect us and some of them affect our appetite and it’s really mind boggling but if we get back to simplicity we really can solve a lot of problems.
Jonathan Bailor | 7:00
And you’re point is well heard because I’m not one of those people that are saying calories are like unicorns they don’t exist. Like if they eat ten thousand calories worth of anything, well if you eat ten thousand calories worth of broccoli your stomach would explode way before you became obese but if you were able to eat ten thousand calories you would gain fat. But we are eating too many calories in fact researchers of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discovered in 2011, they did this amazing study where the average person today is consuming about 570 more calories than the average person and of course who is the average person? But it’s interrupting data, back in 1977. So it’s like wow doesn’t that just prove that we are all gaining weight because we’re eating more calories? But hold on if we actually do the calorie math that we are all taught, if you actually add up the amount of calories like over 40 years that that should be and then the amount of weight we should’ve gained the average American today should weight well over eleven hundred pounds. Like from 2006 to 2011 alone the average American should’ve gained 476 pounds according to calorie math.
Caryn Hartglass | 8:21
Oh okay so something is wrong with the equation.
Jonathan Bailor | 8:23
Exactly and we have gained weight. On average we’ve gained about 20 pounds but that’s 98 percent less than calorie math would have us believe. So it’s not that calories are irrelevant it’s just that they might be a small fraction as you mentioned of a much bigger picture so if anyone says just have this hundred calorie snack pack it’s only a hundred calories run the other direction.
Caryn Hartglass | 8:48
well there are so many different games that they play with calories too to deceive people, putting serving sizes on labels and saying they’re a certain amount of calories and people never eat those serving sizes they eat a lot more. So things can be really deceiving if you are counting calories which is why it’s important not to.
Jonathan Bailor | 9:11
and the other really liberating thing once you can free yourself from counting those calories, not only can you sit down at the table and enjoy food instead of doing math because I don’t know about you but when I sit down and I’m hungry the last thing I want to do is math, is you avoid the following horrible myths, Okay eat that hundred calorie snack pack because then you can just go jog for fifteen minutes and it’s like you isn’t do anything. That’s analogues, like when you actually look at what these quote on quote edible products do to us that’s like saying hey Caryn I’m going to smoke two packs of cigarettes but it’s okay because I’m going to jog afterward and that’s cancels it out right?
Caryn Hartglass | 9:50
Yeah I don’t like thinking that way. We have a law in New York State regarding fast food establishments that they have to put the calorie and nutritional information on every meal and I don’t eat in your typical fast food restaurant or I think it’s fast food and chain restaurants so there’s this one restaurant in New York City called Le Pain Quotidien which Americans might read it as Leh Pain Quo-ti-di-en but it’s Le Pain Quotidien which means the daily bread and it’s a really nice chain in New York City, I don’t know where else they are but they serve a lot of really lovely fresh locally sourced from sustainable sources some very nice selections but because they sit on this category they show on the menu all the calorie and nutritional information for every meal and frankly I find it disturbing that it’s there because I start looking at rather than the food and what I feel like I eating I look oh this is 450 calories oh this is 259 calories and I’m like wow what am I looking at here and why am I looking at it I don’t like it!
Jonathan Bailor | 11:00
there’s also this just misunderstanding like what you just said is so true it’s about food, it’s about food, humans we are here to eat food not to think about calories and it’ s also this hubris involved. I love earlier you were talking about this humility we are just starting to learn these things. Bottom line no one is going to go through life hungry and bottom line you need to eat a certain amount of energy or you are going to be hungry so this thought that like somehow you can deceive your body into eating less than it needs to fuel itself and that you won’t be hungry. Like, it’s a manipulative mindset. You can trick your body and that’s not, the body is brilliant the body doesn’t need to be tricked if you just feed the body food, nutrient dense food it will keep you slim and healthy as it did for every previous generation that existed we don’t need to trick it. There’s no trickery involved.
Caryn Hartglass | 11:57
The thing with processed food there are so many things that are wrong with so many things that come in a package or a box but they don’t for the most part have much water in them and they’re like dried and concentrated not fresh alive food and when we eat it we don’t have that feeling that we get from a lot of food, plant foods, that have fiber in them we don’t get that sated feeling. And our brains ultimately don’t get the sated feeling either because they’re not getting a lot of nutrition from these foods and then the ultimate response is feed me more. You talked about eating ten thousand calories of broccoli before but you know I’d like to tell a lot of people if you want to lose weight just eat a pound of grains raw and then you can have whatever you want. ‘Like I can’t eat a pound of grains.’
Jonathan Bailor | 12:54
You’re exactly at number one recommendation like I talk about a SANE lifestyle or eating satisfying aggressive nutritious and efficient foods. The single most important component and the research backs this up unequivocally is a mass amount of non-starchy vegetables. Like if listeners take one thing away and it’s like everyone agrees on that, which it’s funny like even the most vehement paleo person and the most strict vegetarian, non-starchy vegetables the vegetables you can eat raw. Green leafy vegetables, cucumbers, mushrooms like I’m going to make a false claim, stop worrying about anything else until you’re eating double digits servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. Like that one action will do more for your health, happiness, and appearance than anything else you can do.
Caryn Hartglass | 13:50
What does that look like, double digit servings? In terms of the day
Jonathan Bailor | 13:56
Not that much. If you’re for example if you don’t saturate your breakfast with starch so let’s say you are someone who is an omnivore and you were to have an omelet that was stuff with non-starchy vegetables, cooked non-starchy vegetables are quite small so it’ll be very easy for a normal person to eat three servings of vegetables with breakfast. You could also do a green smoothie a lot of my vegetarian and vegan friends do green smoothies and that’s very easy. Again that’s three servings of non-starchy vegetables right there. Lunch that’s another thing I mean basically if you can do three servings, breakfast, lunch, and dinner you’re there and as long as you don’t fill your plate with starch it’s really easy like when you start seeing vegetables as less of a side and more of the main dish, like don’t put your stir fry on top of rice put it on top of a bed of vegetables, don’t put your curry on top of rice put it on top of a bed of vegetables and you’ll accidentally eat double digit servings of non-starchy vegetables.
Caryn Hartglass | 14:55
So let’s talk about starch for a minute because there are some people that really promote a high whole carbohydrate diet versus focusing on non-starchy plant foods and what does the science have to say about that?
Jonathan Bailor | 15:15
You need calories. You need energy and there are two primary sources of energy; fat and sugar, that’s bottom line. And when you eat starch or you eat sugar you’re getting your source of calories from sugar because they’re all the same when they leave you stomach and if you are eating more fat then you get fat. So if you’re eating a very low fat diet very low fat diet you do need to get calories from some place you could get the from protein that’s not a good idea because protein is a structural component it’s not an energy source so you’re going to have to eat more starch and I personally and the research I’ve reviewed generally airs more on the side of getting energy at least in a balance between sugar and fat but if you avoid fat for whatever reason you have to eat so sadly I have no other options for you or else you’ll starve to death
Caryn Hartglass | 16:13
We’ll there are people on a calorie restriction diet, that’s another conversation.
Jonathan Bailor | 16:19
Absolutely. I you know I think personally that you could be a especially for vegans and vegetarians I mean my favorite sources of fat, where I get my energy from, are plant fats. I could eat cocoa and coconut and chia seeds and flax seeds and avocados and macadamia nuts, I would gladly take 60 percent of my calories that I get in a day from those whole food nutrient dense fiber dense plant fats and the research shows that that is one of the most therapeutic things you could be doing for your health.
Caryn Hartglass | 17:04
Oh those all sound good to me.
Jonathan Bailor | 17:05
It is an under appreciated dietary lifestyles, I would love to see more attention placed upon a high fat higher fat vegetarian or vegan diet where you swap those starch calories for whole food plant fats I think that’s a fascinating and a very promising way to live.
Caryn Hartglass | 17: 25
There’s a number of studies that we need to have done and they haven’t been done for a number of reasons, one is it’s costly to do the studies that are really going to be significant because they take a lot of people and they take a long time because it’s not something that can be done over a short period of time especially when we are using humans to do those studies which we need to and not animals because or not other animals because they are not the same as we are so it’s expensive but I think a lot of the studies that have been done just really haven’t understood a lot about nutrition because we are really at the beginning of learning about it and not all protein is the same not all fat is the same not all carbohydrates are the same and we need to differentiate that, so some studies on fat have really gotten the bad wrap but they haven’t been getting fat necessarily from the best sources.
Jonathan Bailor | 18:20
That is so key. Especially so many people they talk about epidemiological studies or observational studies where you compare one population with another population and there is thousands of variables thousands of variables but then the media says well this group, just hypothetically let’s say this group, ate more protein then this other group and they had higher incidents of cancer. That may be very well true but if that one group was also let’s say the high cancer group let’s say that their protein was coming from spam and hot dogs which no one would recommend and they weren’t eating any vegetables okay so was it the protein that gave them cancer or was it the toxic processed food they were eating and the lack of vegetables? right? And you just got to unpack some of these things because when you have those epidemiological studies science 101 is minimize variables, observational studies do not do that in any way shape or form.
Caryn Hartglass | 19:24
That’s just like when there are studies that come out that evaluate meat eaters versus vegetarians and vegans. Most of those are not good studies either because you can be a junk food vegan or a healthy vegan or somewhere in the middle, the same with vegetarians, the same with a meat eater. And we really need to be looking at the food, where it comes from, what the person’s lifestyle is and that’s too many variables.
Jonathan Bailor | 19:50
well we can I mean my hope my work is trying to simplify, that’s my whole purpose on this earth, is to say there is I don’t care if plant, animal, whatever, how satisfying is it meaning? how quickly does it fill you up? and how long does it keep you full? how aggressive is it? a.k.a what’s the blood sugar response? is it over working you pancreas or not? is it nutritious? How many nutrients are you getting per calorie? Is a mathematical question is not a moral question and then how efficient is it? Meaning how readily can your body store it as fat. We can take every food in the world and then just plot it on what I call the sanity spectrum, plant, animal doesn’t matter. It’s not a moral discussion it’s just like saying let’s get a criteria what is a high quality food? Let’s establish that framework and let’s all whatever our moral inclinations whatever our taste preferences just try to stay as SANE as we possibly can.
Caryn Hartglass | 20:46
Try and stay as sane as we can?
Jonathan Bailor | 20:50
SANE. Satisfying, unadjusted, nutritious and efficient.
Caryn Hartglass | 20:56
Very good. Okay we just have like a couple of minutes left. So your book The Calorie Myth doesn’t come out until the end of the year probably a good New Year’s Eve kick in the butt type of book.
Jonathan Bailor | 21:10
Exactly, yeah New Year’s Eve but it is available for preorder now online so you could reserve your copy.
Caryn Hartglass | 21:18
I didn’t mean New Year’s Eve I meant for the New Year’s resolutions that people always make because so many of them do realize okay new year let’s try and get healthier this year and I say why wait until new year’s let’s start right now. And people can visit your website at bailorgroup. Or the bailorgroup.com.
Jonathan Bailor | 21:40
Exactly. Also a free podcast you can find it on iTunes it’s called The Smarter Science of Slim and as you mentioned bailorgroup has a massive amount of free resources so no need to wait like you said until New Year’s Eve to take control of your health
Caryn Hartglass | 21:54
And how did you get so smart?
Jonathan Bailor | 22:00
Well when you spend twelve years of your life reading research and having no friends or life you kind of ———–
Caryn Hartglass | 22:10
Yeah I know it’s hard. I don’t know how you feel about it but I’m quite passionate about food but I’m only interested in talking to people who want the information I’m not really looking for well it’s hard to talk to people who aren’t interested and I think if we just focus on those who really want the information that’s a good place to go, an interested audience.
Jonathan Bailor | 22:38
Absolutely and I think when you said interested in the information is key, people who are seeing this as a productive area where we can make progress rather than I’m right and I have the answer because at the end of the day we are trying to be healthy and frankly if I meet Sally Smith on the street and she’s got some genetic mutation which makes Pepsi and Cheetos healthy for her and she can show like if she gets her blood tested and it’s like wow the more Pepsi and Cheetos she eats the healthier she gets and we can measure that, I’m like you know what I’m not going to say you are wrong so let’s just whatever makes you healthy do that and forget about everything else
Caryn Hartglass | 23:21
Yeah it’s all about what makes you feel good and happy and healthy right I’m all for that. Jonathan it’s been a pleasure talking to you, it went really fast and here we are at the end of the hour. So all the best to you and The Calorie Myth.
Jonathan Bailor | 23:34
Thank you so much
Caryn Hartglass | 23:35
I recently read that, actually it was in my former guest’s book that it takes 17 years for health information to get out from the original science to the doctor and utilize so I hope the information in The Calorie Myth takes a lot sooner to get absorbed into the public because we need that information.
Jonathan Bailor | 23:57
Well thank you very much
Caryn Hartglass | 23:59
Thank you very much, take care Jonathan.
Jonathan Bailor |
Thank you bye bye
Caryn Hartglass |
You’ve been listening to It’s All About Food, I’m Caryn Hartglass have a delicious week. Bye bye.
Transcribed by Alma Zazueta, October 28, 2013