Ep #19: Unlock Your Body's Potential with Ari Whitten

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This week I have something special for all of you. I interviewed Ari Whitten; somebody who I greatly admire. It’s a long one, but this podcast is packed full of information on topics you may have never even considered would help you on your fitness journey.

As a nutritionist and an energy expert, Ari is my kind of guy. He’s clued up on the science of everything he preaches and leaves no stone unturned in researching the best methods for his clients.

Tune in for incredibly in-depth insights into light-therapy and the effect that light has on our physical condition. Ari talks at length about how to maintain and leverage our biological clock. Some of this stuff may sound a little out there, but what Ari is about to teach you has changed my life and will change yours too.

If you like what you heard today, please go to iTunes and leave a review.  The more reviews we receive, the more women will learn about the podcast and learn from these lessons. If you know someone who is struggling with food, send them a link to the podcast and maybe they can find something here they haven’t heard before!

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you should approach information and research carefully regarding fitness.
  • How to review information yourself to decide what is best for you.
  • Why light is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • How it’s possible to know more than your physician when it comes to nutrition.
  • Why an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.
  • Ari’s thoughts on the most important component of your lifestyle to consider when getting healthier.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to It's Never Too Late to Lose Weight, a podcast for women approaching 60 who have been successful at everything but reaching their weight loss goals. Tune in each week for tools and strategies to help you lose weight, create a strong body, and support a healthy mind. Here's your host, certified weight and life coach, Pat Beaupre Becker.

Hello, my dears. Oh my god, I’m so excited because today, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Ari Whitten. Ari is a nutrition fat-loss and energy expert who is going to give us some very interesting information about weight-loss and circadian rhythm, and that’s the biological clock that we have.

He’s also going to give us some insight about light and light therapies. So I go into much more detail about who he is and his experience in the interview. So I want you to enjoy and learn something new that could just be interfering with your weight-loss goals; enjoy.

Pat: Okay, so I want to welcome Ari Whitten, the creator of The Energy Blueprint, where you can go and learn all about how to overcome fatigue and maximize your energy levels. And I love the mission on the website, which says a million people – he wants to reach a million people to overcome fatigue in the next five years. So Ari is also a best-selling author, nutritionist and a renowned fatigue expert. And the amazing thing about Ari is that he constantly has interviews with these incredibly leading cutting-edge scientists to give us practical information on how we can actually be healthy. And I think it’s really – the part I love about you is that you’re a real science geek, but you, like, have street-smarts. Like, I love that about you because I’m like a street-smarts kind of girl.

So I want to also say that I signed up for the energy Blueprint because I really thought it would help my clients and I also, at that time, I was very reliant on coffee for energy. And Ari taught me all about coffee and how it’s good, but in certain ways you have to drink it. But I was always interested in more energy. So I didn’t have – you were offering it to people who had chronic fatigue and I didn’t have any of that and I didn’t necessarily want to or feel expert that I could communicate that to my clients. But I joined anyway and I found that it’s just been – really, I’ve learned so much information that I didn’t know.

I mean I work with weight-loss and most of my clients are women over the age of 60. And so for me, nutrition and mind and thinking and how you believe things about yourself were very crucial to getting in shape, right. Exercise, which I always knew, and now it’s one thing since you have actually changed my life in terms – I actually go to the gym like three to four times a week now, when before, it was just a dream. So that has been another big thing.

So learning about circadian rhythm and sleep, especially its impact on weight-loss, was totally new to me. Learning about NEAT was my favorite thing in the world, right. You can just move in your life; you don’t have to actually go to the gym. Well, that’s what I thought; I go to the gym anyway.

I learned about hormesis; good stress. So important because so much of what I teach my clients is about the stress of being willing to do hard things, like being uncomfortable with your emotions in order to be successful. And this is perfect to hormesis and good stress. So that was a really beautiful – I use it a lot in terms of teaching about that now.

I love learning about the endocannabinoid system. Okay, I’m a hippy like from the 60s, so knowing that we had something we could impact by using the CBD oil and other things that I’ve also done and the mitochondria. I mean, like, I can’t wait to see – there’s going to be a horror movie and all the little mitochondria are going to be featured, you know; they’re so funny looking. But I love understanding cell danger response triggers that you taught in Energy Blueprint.

And then the light, about light and healing – I bought the P300, which Ari’s going to talk to you all about these things, but I just want to talk to him about how I have been personally impacted. So I’ve been using the P300 now and I swear, my skin has gotten amazing in really a short period of time. So that’s been amazing.

And then there’s the toxic load. A lot of the stuff you taught – and a lot of people are teaching about the toxic load. So I think the way translating science goes from information to actionable items is really what you are brilliant at and it’s been very useful for me and for my clients.

So I want to talk a little bit about that. And I was going to say, I love your daily bed-head Facebook Lives. They are like my favorite. He just gets up in the morning, which I could never do because I have to do the makeup and I have to do the hair. But Ari just gets up in the morning and turns on the video. Someday, I might be like that, but I’m not sure that I will.

So I want to not talk about all of these things, obviously, and I have some questions I want to ask you. But first, I really wanted to just have you introduce yourself to my audience. Tell us a little bit about you, how you first got on this journey, who are your parents – give us a little bit of information.

Ari: Well yeah, actually as I was listening to you ask that, I had certain ideas in mind of what I was talking about. And then you asked, who are your parents, and that’s actually something I don’t normally talk about, but my parents – it’s kind of an interesting thing as it influenced me. My parents were actually some of – they were into natural health and kind of being healthy from a natural perspective and kind of shunning drugs and going an alternative route long before it was ever popular. In fact, when it was very fringe and very few people were doing it, and part of that was actually influenced by the previous generation.

My grandma, she got cancer back in the 1980s, maybe 70s, and went to the Gerson Clinic. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that, but basically, it’s a natural health clinic. They put you on green juices and coffee enemas and stuff like that. And I think actually not vegan, maybe they also had raw liver and stuff like that. But anyway, she was given six weeks to live. I think she had liver cancer and went to Gerson.

Everybody told her she was crazy, you know, her doctors, her husband, all of her friends, everybody in her family. Everybody thought she was totally nuts and she lived, actually, for six more years. She cured her cancer and lived for six more years after that. She didn’t die from cancer, she actually died from a brown recluse spider bite.

Pat: Oh my god…

Ari: Yeah, but she was healthy otherwise at that time and, yeah, six weeks to live, she lived for six years after that. So I think that event, her making the decision, I’m going to go this alternative path, explore natural health, probably had kind of made its way down the generations to me. Now, my parents – the only thing I’ll mention here is my parents were business owners, very, very hard working and started to actually suffer – especially my dad – suffer some complications of just stress-related business stuff. So just the constant stress and not being able to sleep well started to manifest as gut issues and he started to have, you know, diarrhea and abdominal pains and all kinds of stuff like that and was not a particularly healthy or health-conscious guy at that time. And then my parents sought out what was basically one of the first preventive medicine physicians in the country, like right when that specialty was starting to exist. And actually, very close to where I live now in San Diego, in a place called Del Mar and it was a physician named Doctor Barnet Meltzer. He’s actually still in practice over there in the same office some 30, 40 years later. But basically, put him on a vegetarian diet, told him to start jogging, told him to start meditating. And my dad actually did all of those things and it worked. And this was actually – I was maybe two or three years old at this time, but my mom was making homemade almond milk. And, you know, not everything was perfect. They were shunning butter in favor of margarine, thinking margarine was…

Pat: Everybody was, right.

Ari: Yeah, so not everything was perfect, but the point is that I grew up in a very health-conscious family where we had awareness of nutrition and being healthy and doing exercise and avoiding stress, meditating and stuff like that from the time I was a baby, basically. So I think that kind of influenced my path. And then as far as me, to make a very long story short, I got into health and fitness more obsessively when I was about 14 years old for typical young teenage boy reasons…

Pat: I’ve seen pictures of that body in those photographs on your website, yes.

Ari: Thanks, yeah, build muscles, get abs to get girls and that sort of thing. So my interests were more fitness oriented at that time. Through a series of events, I went on to actually become a personal trainer to get my first degree in kinesiology; personal trainer and nutritionist for many years. And then in my mid 20s, I got mononucleosis, Epstein-Barr virus; was really just hit super hard by that for months with severe chronic fatigue. And that was the first thing that kind of put fatigue and energy on my radar and kind of shifted my focus away from this kind of fitness body composition, fat-loss, muscle-building world to health and energy specifically because I realized, in my own personal life, if you don’t have energy, life sucks.

Pat: You can’t do anything, yeah.

Ari: Nothing else matters if you don’t have energy. You not only can’t do any of the things that you want to do for your own selfish reasons, but you can’t be of service to anyone else. You can’t take care of your kids; you can’t take care of your family, your dog. People are taking care of you. And that was not a position I wanted to be in myself and it also made me empathize with everyone else suffering from chronic fatigue and made me say, you know, I want to help people who are in that same situation.

The next layer of this story is basically me kind of trying to figure out stuff, like delve into the science, on energy enhancement, on causes of fatigue and just realizing that it’s kind of a mess of, like, all these conflicting ideas. And most of them don’t even have any evidence to support them, but no real coherent understanding of what are the causes of fatigue and how to overcome fatigue. I mean, it just didn’t exist.

For example, you can kind of look online about fat-loss, and there’s obviously lots of crap information, but there’s also a pretty significant body of evidence comparing different diets and comparing different types of exercise and mindful eating and stress interventions; all sorts of evidence that exists there. That sort of evidence doesn’t really exist in the energy and fatigue space, just because it hasn’t really been explored. So there’s some bits and pieces here and there, but what I wanted to do was kind of build out a comprehensive science of our understanding of fatigue and how to overcome that. So that’s what I’ve been dedicating my life to for the last four years now.

Pat: Amazing amount of – when I was reviewing the Energy Blueprint, all the information, I mean, it’s pretty fascinating what you’ve done. The other thing I think is fascinating about you and the peers that you are interviewing is that I used to work at the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and we were funding stem cell research. That was part of our work and I remember how scientists were so awkward. They could not communicate to the public. And so you had academics talking to academics and the public was just like not really getting the information and the papers were not really communicating.

And now you are a leader in the group of people who are willing to take – I was just reading Genius Food and he does a really good job – sure, I got it from you, every book I have lately has been somehow related to one of your podcasts – but the idea that we can take science and make it more useful. Because if you think about how what I have read about the science of how we got into this mess with food, it was because the science was just two people, right, making this decision and then the government making a policy – we didn’t have the information to make our own decision, right.

And I think, for me, especially with the women that I’m working with over 60, we’re from a different generation and aging in a different way. And part of that is, we want to know information. We’re not going to just trust the doctor, which like my dad, you know, and people a little bit older than me, they just want to trust the doctor. Now it’s like, well no. there are some good things about that and bad things about that, right, because as you say, there’s a lot of pseudoscience. And so it’s a little bit – everybody’s an expert, nobody knows what they’re talking about. I try and be very careful about the line of expert that I represent knowing what I know just from books and from my own experience.

Ari: Yeah, well, you know, on that point, to digress for a minute on that point, most people – the whole MD conventional medicine thing is interesting because I know lots of older people especially who look at their doctor as the expert. This doctor is the health expert and I trust whatever their opinion is. Most people have no clue – and most of those people why trust their doctors – they have no clue that their physician has never taken a single course on nutrition or a single course on exercise or a single course on any of the other lifestyle factors that are the major causes of chronic diseases. I mean, this is the epitome of absurdities in the world is that we have people who are looked at as health authorities and people go and ask them questions on nutrition or healthy lifestyle habits. And those people have received no education whatsoever on those subjects. I mean, virtually nothing.

Now, of course, some of them are highly educated on those subjects. Those people who have gone to the lengths to educate themselves through their own reading and their own pursuit of various outside of conventional medicine trainings. But again, most people just have no clue how ignorant those people are. And in fact, it’s worse than that because many of those physicians have actually been taught in their curriculum that diet is insignificant, exercise is insignificant or lifestyle is insignificant. Or they have a very surface level understanding and, oh, you know, go on a diet and eat less calories and start an exercise program, or get some sleep, you know. They don’t really understand hardly anything in this realm.

Again, so what most people don’t realize is that they can actually know more about those subjects than their doctor does in literally a month of intensive reading. Again, that’s most – that’s to generalize across most MDs. There are, of course, exceptions of MDs who are highly educated and highly intelligent and extremely knowledgeable. But I’d say 99% plus of them are totally clueless when it comes to nutrition and lifestyle.

Pat: Yeah, which is so crazy because it’s so – I mean, all the research is there to say it’s time to wake up. Like this is crazy. The truth is there. So that’s why I appreciate all these scientists who are communicating that and I think that is a difference. It’s also the opportunity of the internet, right. We have this opportunity to communicate in ways we never had before. So it’s great to see you and your colleagues take advantage of it. It’s all for our benefit.

Ari: I’ll just add one more thing on this point, which is, the flipside of it – I just feel compelled to issue this warning – is there’s lots of crap information online as well. There’s lots of pseudoscience on these subjects, especially in the realm of nutrition. And so as a consumer, you do have to be careful with your sources of information. It is possible to know much more about the science than your physician does about nutrition and lifestyle habits. It’s also possible to read pseudoscientific nonsense from diet gurus who are writing stuff that’s seemingly scientific but is actually garbage information. So it’s actually possible to become very confused if you don’t have good sources of information.

Pat: Yeah, well that’s actually a lot of what I wanted to talk about because I think that is important. And I know you talk about – you might want to talk about cherry-picking and how, because there’s, you know, every day on the news – there was just one the other day, pasta can help you lose weight because they did one research study where they gave somebody pasta. But then, of course, they kept saying only once or twice a week and don’t eat it a lot, but that’s not what the headline says. The headline says pasta will help you lose weight. So if you could just do a short thing on cherry-picking and how I know – I think what I’ve learned from you is the metadata is the way to go. So maybe you could say a little bit about that.

Ari: Sure, so there’s actually two problems here that you’re eluding to. One is the media, who routinely misrepresent the studies that they are actually talking about and create very misleading headlines. That’s sort of one issue that’s not even necessarily cherry-picking. They’re trying to report on that particular study and trying to create a sexy headline to get their article read and shared. But in the process, the sexy headline and the way they write it actually misrepresents the actual study and what it’s actually saying. So that’s one issue. That’s one problem, but the much bigger problem is cherry-picking. And for people that are unfamiliar with this term, basically it is – it’s like this; whenever we’re talking about any particular subject – let’s just take weight-loss for example and comparing, let’s say, vegan diets versus Atkins diets. So on that particular subject, there’s a body of evidence. And what that means is there’s a whole bunch of studies that have been conducted by different researchers all over the world that have done experiments that are relevant to this kind of low-carb versus higher carb question. Now, if I am a vegan who, you know – a lot of the began diet gurus are really, kind of, anti the low-carb movement. Well they might cherry-pick – they might selectively quote and cite the specific studies that they like that support their particular views.

So this is often, like, studies that show low-carbers maybe lost weight but they also increased their LDL and their blood lipid profile was suggestive of higher risk of cardiovascular disease or something to that effect. They’re going to selectively cite the studies that support their views and their preconceived notions and leave out all of the evidence that conflicts with them. Similarly, low-carb advocates do the same. They cite only the studies that show there was an advantage to a low-carb diet and they leave out all that other evidence that doesn’t fit nicely within their preconceived notions that shows that low-carb is actually no better than other diets; than the Mediterranean diet or the Ornish diet or whatever, in the long term.

So that sort of cherry-picking, of people selectively citing only the evidence that supports their agenda and their biases is a huge problem and it perpetuates a massive amount of confusion in the general public who is – they’re constantly reading one cherry-picked view or another and then they’re like, “Well everything’s conflicting. I don’t understand. This person says this, this person says that. I don’t know who to believe.” You know, or they just maybe don’t even get exposed to multiple perspectives; they only get exposed to one perspective. And they’re convinced that’s the truth, the whole truth; everybody else is an idiot who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

So it’s perpetuating a lot of confusion and almost all of the information perpetuated by most diet gurus, most health gurus, is cherry-picked and it is – unfortunately, most people have more of an allegiance to their particular biases, their agendas, than to the actual evidence; to what the evidence says. For me, my allegiance is to the evidence and I will – if there’s evidence that comes out that says something I said previously was wrong, then you can expect me to post and send an email out to all of my audience saying, “Hey, I was wrong about this thing. Here’s the newest study that says…” So most people are not willing to do that and so they leave that stuff out. They ignore it. They hope no one else sees it and then they just cite the stuff that supports their views. Now, in this context, scientific literacy is very important. And scientific literacy is basically the ability to read and understand science. Now, it’s one thing to be able to read a particular study, or an article, and kind of understand a particular piece of research. And that’s good, that’s obviously important and necessary, but real scientific literacy is to be able to evaluate an entire body of evidence and to be able to look at the individual studies and kind of look at all of them and then form a picture of, this one says this, this one says the opposite, this one says both of those things are wrong and that neither of those things are correct.

And then you kind of form a picture of what are all of the different studies, what do they say? And sometimes they’re all pointing in one direction consistently, sometimes they’re all pointing in the other direction. Sometimes there’s contradictory data so you say, there’s no significant effect of whatever this thing is. Now, everybody’s listening, like I don’t have hundreds of hours to go and explore all the individual studies. Well fortunately there’s something called the hierarchy of evidence.

And the hierarchy of evidence – and feel free to do a Google image search so you can get a picture of what I’m talking about. But basically, there’s different levels of evidence as far as how they’re viewed within the scientific community, in terms of their weight and their importance within the whole body of evidence. So a particular individual study that is not well designed, that is maybe what’s called an observational study and maybe has lots of confounding variables and maybe didn’t have many participants, that’s a very low level of evidence.

Then you have better controlled studies, animal studies, better controlled studies, test tube studies, very low on the levels of evidence. And then better, better, better controlled human studies with big sizes, long term, controlling for all potential confounding variables, those are good studies, strong evidence. And then at the top, you have what are called systematic literature reviews and meta-analysis, which are basically where researchers go out and they do a literature review, so you don’t have to do all of it.

They look at all of the evidence. They make sure that the studies adhere to particular standards of how they were conducted. So they were conducted well, so they don’t include poor studies. And then they lump it all together and then they do a big statistical analysis and say, based on our review of the evidence and our statistical analysis, the weight of the overall body of evidence says that things are pointing in this direction or that they’re pointing in this direction or that there’s no effect of blank.

So that’s the peak of the hierarchy of evidence; that’s the strongest evidence is actual researchers went out and reviewed the entire body of evidence and they found this. So again, just to kind of wrap this idea up, unfortunately, what a lot of diet gurus are doing is they’re not looking at those systematic literature reviews and their views are not aligned with the overall body of evidence. What they’re doing is selecting, “This study over here; I like this one and this one and this one. Those support my views, but I’m going to leave out those 20 others that don’t support my views and make sure none of my audience sees any of those.

Pat: Right, okay good. Well this actually is a perfect segue to my next question. So I wanted to talk about – so my clients again, they want to lose weight and mostly they are women who have struggled with food and diets, yo-yo dieting all their lives. So we see how overwhelming it can be to make these decisions on what to read, what to believe, and even in terms of all of the things that, you know, that you teach. So I wanted to ask you, if someone’s not necessarily having symptoms of fatigue but they know that they have had a lifetime of bad eating, so they know they need to clean up their act, how do you decide – for me, it’s like, okay let’s change your food. That’s important. The most important thing is to eat 100% whole food, look at the quantities, what are you eating and then the timing. But when you talk about light and circadian rhythm and all of these additional things, the mitochondria – if you were going to say, okay you have all these areas where you need to pay attention to your life and – like even for me, I haven’t gotten to the toxic load yet. Like, I haven’t done anything about that and now I’m considering it from your last podcast of doing a liver detox.

So like, where do you recommend – almost like what’s the best bang for your buck? If you’re going to pick five areas of cleanup – and maybe it depends on your symptoms – what would you generally recommend? Diet and exercise is pretty much what everyone recommends and I would certainly recommend that.

Ari: So context is important here. So are we talking about someone who wants to overcome chronic fatigue or are we talking about someone who wants to lose weight?

Pat: They want to lose weight and they want to become healthy in their 60s. So they may be experiencing some symptoms of not having a lot of energy, but I’m not talking about chronic fatigue so much. Ari: So I would say one of the big ones is circadian rhythm. And circadian rhythm is basically our 24-hour biological clock. It’s a literal clock that is built into our brains. It’s in a place called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. And basically, its job, its many, many jobs, are to control all kinds of hormones and neurotransmitters that affect energy, that affect metabolism, that affect appetite and hunger hormones; all kinds of different things. Almost everything is affected by circadian rhythm.

Now, if this sounds like kind of a strange idea, this clock build into our brains, like what the hell is this guy talking about? Well just consider for a moment, when it gets dark outside, a few hours after the sun goes down, you all of a sudden get tired and sleepy. And then, for some weird reason, you spend the next eight hours in your bed in darkness sleeping, in a totally different state of consciousness. Then, the next morning when it gets light out, you all of a sudden, for no voluntary choice of your own, you wake up and you start to feel more energetic and then you start to get out of bed and then you do all these things throughout the whole rest of the day where you’re in a different state of consciousness; waking consciousness. And you do everything you need to do during the day and then guess what, on a particular time the next day, you feel sleepy and then it’s time to go to sleep and your whole consciousness shifts.

So circadian rhythm is the 24-hour clock in your brain that is regulating all of the neurotransmitters and hormones that are responsible for this very common everyday observation that we all do. We go to sleep; we wake up. We have more energy sometimes, we’re in a waking consciousness sometimes; we’re in a sleeping consciousness other times. It’s your 24-hour clock that regulates that, but it’s not just going to sleep and waking up that it’s doing. It’s regulating dozens of hormones and neurotransmitters that are affecting all kinds of things. Obviously, in the context of energy, it’s having a huge impact on neurotransmitters and hormones that affect energy levels.

But in the context of fat-loss specifically, it’s doing two things of note. One is that it will increase calorie intake when you have a disrupted circadian rhythm. Your appetite will go up. Your hunger will go up. Your cravings will go up. Specifically, they’ve found that cravings for sugary and fatty processed foods go up.

Now, in the context of weight-loss, success is all about adherence; long term adherence to consistently doing the right things when it comes to lifestyle habits and nutrition choices. Well, if you have a disrupted circadian rhythm, it’s going to impact, not consciously, but on a hormonal and neurotransmitter level, it’s going to impact your ability to actually follow through with that particular nutrition plan of your own. So what ends up happening as a result of disrupted circadian rhythm is people end up eating more, people end up deviating from their nutrition plan more and over time, enough significant deviations of eating more and not sticking to their nutrition plan results in fat gain or stalling of fat-loss. People go, “Oh I’m trying to stick to the plan and I’m doing my best.” But they can’t and it’s because on a neurotransmitter and hormonal level, their body is not cooperating. So that’s one side. That’s the calories inside of the equation. On the other side, disrupted circadian rhythm is also impacting the calories outside of the equation. It’s decreasing energy levels. It’s decreasing metabolic rate. It’s decreasing the neurotransmitters and hormones that regulate one’s desire – this is part of energy levels – but one’s desire to actually get up out of the chair and move your body and do what you mentioned earlier; do NEAT, non-exercise activity thermo genesis, which is just gentle movement throughout the day. It also decreases your motivation to get up and go to the gym and do a workout. It also decreases your desire to actually perform in the gym and work hard.

So it’s doing all of these things that are suddenly decreasing the calories outside of the equation. So it’s shifting this calories-in calories-out equation towards calories-in and away from calories-out, which is basically subtly sabotaging your whole fat-loss efforts. Now, here’s the key thing to understand; our modern world is perfectly built to disrupt our circadian rhythm, to disrupt this clock in our brain. Through no fault of our own, through no decisions of our own – this isn’t about your willpower to do stuff that you already knew you shouldn’t be doing, like you shouldn’t have McDonalds and pizza and ice cream and so on.

Everybody already knows they shouldn’t do that and so it’s kind of framed as mostly a matter of willpower in that context. There’s only partial truth to that. but in this context, we are all growing up in a world, in an environment, that is totally out of harmony with our biological design in terms of our circadian rhythm. Now, what do I mean by this? The circadian clock in or brain is wired by a few things, but in particular by light. It is light that primarily controls your circadian rhythm. Now, it’s actually primarily blue light; so light in the visible blue spectrum. So for example, you look up at a blue sky, that’s blue light.

Well, also part of the sun, even though the sun has more of an orangey yellowy sort of look to it, it’s because it’s a very broad spectrum of light but a big part of the light that it’s emitting is blue. So blue light goes into our eyeballs, feeds back through the neurons, into our brain into the suprachiasmatic nucleus, into that circadian clock in our brain and tells your brain it’s daytime. It’s the time to be awake, alert, active, energetic. And then after the sun goes down…

Pat: We turn on the lights…

Ari: Well, in a natural context, the way it’s designed to work, is after the sun goes down, it becomes dark out and the only sources of light available at that point are the moon, the stars, which are very dim sources of light, and firelight. Historically it was fire. We’d sit around a fire for a few hours after the sun went down and firelight is interesting because it has almost no blue light. It’s mostly orange and yellow and red and also has invisible and a near-infrared and a far-infrared spectrum. But basically, it’s a light source with very little blue light, if not almost no blue light at all. So we can sit around a fire and be just fine. It’s basically the equivalent of darkness.

And so that is the environment that our circadian rhythm is designed to be in. Now, there’s one more aspect to that which is, ancestrally, humans lived outdoors. So let’s just imagine Native Americans in a teepee. And it’s not like they hang out in their teepee all day on their computers and iPhones. As soon as it’s light out, they get up, they get out of their teepee and they go do whatever they have to do. They gather food or hunt or build or get water, whatever it is, care for children. But they’re outside from the first moments of the day after they wake up, they go outside, they’re in bright light, okay. Now again, the sun goes down, gets dark, firelight, moonlight, starlight, okay; mostly dim, no sources of blue light, basically, no sources of blue light.

Now, what does the modern world do? Well, most of us wake up, we are in our houses, we don’t go outside, we get almost no natural light whatsoever. We’re in very dim indoor light. Outdoor light us, in contrast, at least 100 or 1000 times brighter than the light we’re typically in indoors. And then we’re indoors almost all day. I mean, many modern humans – I’m shocked when I ask people this question but many people tell me they spend almost no time at all on a daily basis outdoors. They’re indoors almost all the time apart from, like, walking out of a building to the parking lot to get into their car, you know; a few moments of outdoor time each day. And then, after the sun goes down, well you turn on all the bright lights in your house and you stare at computer screens and phones and iPads and TVs and all of these sources of artificial light which include lots of blue light. Okay, so the signaling to our brain, to our circadian clock, has changed and is basically now chronically disrupting our 24-hour clock in our brain.

So the way that you want to think about this is, it’s designed to work as kind of a peak and valley. So you want a big peak of energy, alertness, wakefulness and so on, lots of light. And then you want a valley; you want darkness, you want to send a strong signal to your body, it’s time to rest, regenerate and sleep. Well, what most people are doing in the modern world is they don’t have enough light and they have too much light in the evening. So they’re chronically blunting the peak and the valley. And you’ve probably heard of seasonal affective disorder; fatigue, depression. Those are the kinds of things that result from disrupted circadian rhythm. But it also shifts your physiology, your hormones, towards fat gain as well. So this is a big factor that’s impacting body composition and fat-loss tremendously and it’s mostly outside of people’s awareness as far as what’s actually going on. They have this big thing influencing their hormones and they have no idea.

Pat: So are they studying the effects of, like, cancer – I mean, obviously we have an increase in lots of diseases that I can think about food, in terms of the kinds of foods we’re eating, but this must be a big part of it as well then.

Ari: It is, and the main way that it’s studied – you have to be able to study particular groups is how it generally works. So they typically will study, like, nightshift workers, for example, and you can look at disease rates, you can take people who are, you know, all females, all of a particular age range, all of a particular body composition, all married and control for all those variables. The only difference is one group works dayshifts, one group works nightshifts. And they can look at rates of cancer and diabetes and heart disease and obesity and so on. And yes, they find many, many differences in disease outcomes between dayshift workers and nightshift workers.

The other group that they can look to is what are called night-owl chronotypes. These are people who are – people have probably heard of night owls versus morning people, early birds. So you can look at people who are more early birds versus more night owls; people who tend to stay up later and wake up later, and you can look at diabetes and obesity and cancer and so on, and pretty much, the vast majority of studies find significantly increased rates of many, many diseases associated with being a night owl or associated with nightshift work. So yes, we definitely know that disrupted circadian rhythm does impact, apart from body composition and fat loss, it does impact, and apart from energy, it does impact many diseases as well.

Pat: Wow, it’s fascinating because I know that I have – you teach a lot about this in the Energy Blueprint and you have a whole protocol and, I have to say, I don’t really do very many of them. I do a little bit, you know, but it’s almost like hard for my brain to wrap around how important it is. It’ll come – it’s coming but it’s fascinating because it’s very new to hear this. I mean, it makes sense, very logical, and obviously there’s studies, but it is one of those things. And I do teach about stress and I do talk about it, but I guess really, when I do it myself, then I feel much better about being able to teach it because I could see how hard it is to make that behavioral change. So I have to do the work myself and then I – but I do recommend it, but I have to say, I have to get better at doing it. So that’s very informative because I think you’re right; I don’t think a lot of people know about it.

Alright, so we talked about light. So now you have these other forms of light, you’ve got the sauna – so there’s lots of different things about light that you use on your practice. Is it all based on – that’s not based on circadian rhythm; that’s more about the healing properties of light, right?

Ari: Good question. So light is a big part of the work that I do. And the way I break it down is that there are five bioactive forms of light. That in itself is kind of an interesting concept because most people do not think of light in this context, as being bioactive; as doing things to your cells in your body. We normally think of light as just I flip a switch and turn a light on in a room so I can see stuff and light is what allows me to see it. It’s the opposite of darkness. That’s how we think of light. But light is so, so much more than that and most people just have no idea.

So five bioactive forms of light – one is blue light, which we just covered and that is acting through the eyes on the brain called the circadian rhythm. And by the way, none of this is controversial. I’m not telling you any wacky crazy idea. There’s huge bodies of evidence on all of this. It’s just that most people, again, don’t think of light in these terms and most people are unaware of this research. So blue light is one. UV light is another and this is another one that people have some familiarity with. Most people are familiar with the idea that UV light helps them synthesize vitamin D.

So yeah, UV light is bioactive. UV light, specifically UVB, is hitting your skin and is causing chemical reactions there that lead to the synthesis of vitamin D sulphate, which is a critical compound which regulates the expression of over 2000 of your genes. So that’s one thing. Then there’s also another compound called cholesterol sulphate, which some researchers think might be as important as vitamin D and most people don’t even talk about it or most people have no idea about its existence. So cholesterol sulphate is another compound that we synthesize in our skin from UVB exposure. Then UVA also has different sets of effects. It affects our eyes. It affects the dilation of blood vessels. There’s also indication that these UV frequencies may help do things to our immune systems and fight off infections and things like that and can actually, you know, radiate your blood through the capillaries and your skin and so on. So that’s the second one. So blue light, UV light – the third one is far-infrared. This is invisible. We can’t see it with the naked eye. We can see it with certain kinds of magnetic vision cameras and so on. But you can actually feel it. So when you’re out in the sun and you feel the warmth of the rays of the sun, that’s primarily far-infrared energy that’s hitting you; far-infrared radiation from the sun. That word radiation scares people, but the sun’s rays are radiation; light radiation, electromagnetic radiation.

So basically, the way that breaks down, if people want to do a Google image search of the electromagnetic spectrum, you can see that, you know, x-rays to radio waves and then part of that spectrum is the visible light spectrum. So violet and blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and then as you get out of red, then it transitions into near-infrared and then far-infrared. And those are both invisible to the human eye. Some other things can see things in those spectrums, like bees, for example. You might have seen nature documentaries where they will show what a bee sees when it looks at a flower versus what a human sees. A bee sees all kinds of different colors that a human eye doesn’t see.

So visible spectrum then near-infrared, far-infrared. Far-infrared is heat primarily and that does a number of things in our body. There’s some research from a guy named Gerald Pollack that indicates that it may have all kinds of effects on boosting energy production in our cells. It does things to the viscosity of water in our cells and may affect the ability of the cells to function well on a general broad level. And then it also does things that are maybe more approachable with the current scientific paradigms, like increase blood circulation, promote sweating and detoxification and so on, like far-infrared saunas.

And then, the last two kinds of bioactive light are red light and near-infrared light. And red and near-infrared, the reason I lump them together is because they basically act through the same physiological pathways and cellular mechanisms. And I’m going to sum – there’s actually over 5000 studies on this subject alone if somebody’s interested in going on PubMed, you can look up low level laser therapy. Low level laser therapy uses red or near-infrared wavelengths. And they do it not just with lasers but with LEDs. There’s a lot more research on LEDs now.

But basically, wavelengths of light in the red and near-infrared spectrum are bioactive. They do things to human cells. And in this particular case, they’re doing very, very profound things to human cells. There’s a few different pathways that are going on, but I’ll just name a couple of them. One is that it’s acting directly on the mitochondria in your cells, which are cellular energy generators. And those light photons from red and near-infrared light hit your mitochondria and they hit a specific part of them called cytochrome C oxidase, which is what’s called a photo acceptor. And basically, what that means is it accepts a photon. It kind of takes a light photon in and then does something; triggers some reaction from the energy of that photon. So in this case, what it’s doing is basically the mitochondria is taking in that energy from light and using it to help manufacture ATP which is cellular energy.

So think about this for a second; our cells, human cells, can use light to turn into energy. Okay, pretty cool, right? Because we used to think that only plants could do that. Only plants take in light, they have chlorophyll – which is, by the way, a photo acceptor – and takes in light and uses that light through various chemical reactions to synthesize energy and carbohydrate and facilitate plant growth and so on and do the cellular respiration processes of taking in carbon dioxide and producing oxygen and so on.

Humans can do it too in a somewhat analogous process where taking in some light energy, and that can be used to facilitate to production of cellular energy in our cells. Now, that light doesn’t penetrate all the way through our body, so if you take a flashlight and you put it on your finger, which many kids do – they take it and they shine it and they see that, “Oh my gosh, I can see the light going through my fingernails.” Well if you notice the color of that light that actually penetrates through your fingernail is mostly red, yeah. And that’s because red actually penetrates more deeply through human tissue than any other – red and near-infrared – than any other part of the spectrum.

So it penetrates – the deepest it will go is maybe about an inch deep. Most of it is staying at the surface; the first few millimeters of skin. And then a portion of it, if you’re using a high-power light especially, a portion of it will get significantly deeper. So it’s not getting all the way down through inches of muscle all the way into your bone, but some of these lights are indeed strong enough to get light through the human skull into the brain, for example. Okay, so basically this light is facilitating energy production. Another thing that it’s doing is it’s acting through hormesis, actually. And this is another principle we can describe more deeply maybe later if we want to get into that. But basically, what it’s doing is creating a very small burst of free radicals; of reactive oxygen species. And as a result, it triggers your internal cellular antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defense mechanisms. So by doing that, it’s sort of like exercise. Exercise works in the same way. Exercise creates a small burst of free radicals that stimulates your cells to build up their internal antioxidant anti-inflammatory defense systems and makes them stronger. Well, red and near-infrared light can operate through the same mechanisms and they positively affect basically the resilience of the cell and the mitochondria; the ability to respond to stressors and handle stressors as well as they positively affect genes that regulate inflammation. So they can suppress chronic inflammation, for example.

Now, this technology is used in clinics all over the world to accelerate wound healing, healing from injuries, to enhance brain function. There’s trials on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, trials on depression, enhancing muscular performance, enhancing fat loss, anti-aging skin benefits, as you mentioned; that’s definitely a big one. All kinds of different things – I actually have a book I just finished writing that’s going to come out…

Pat: I’ve been waiting for this book.

Ari: So yeah, 5000 studies on that. so those are the five bioactive forms of light. And basically, the message is light is a drug. Light is bioactive. Light is affecting your cells and most people have what’s called mal-illumination, which is the equivalent of malnutrition. So if you think of light as important as nutrition is and then you consider that what kinds of light most people are getting – what’s the type of light? Are they getting all the different types of light they need? What’s the dose of those things? Are they getting things in the right dose? You realize very quickly that most people, if you look at their light intake in the context of diet, most people are on a light diet that is equivalent to eating nothing but McDonalds french-fries, Chicken McNuggets and donuts and ice cream.

Pat: That’s fascinating. What we mostly know, at least about the sun and light is, like, it’s dangerous. You’ll get skin cancer. Like, that’s the biggest thing. I know, my daughter when she studied nutrition and she was like, “You need to go out in the sun to create your melatonin and take off your sunglasses and don’t put on sunscreen.” And then you read an article that says, “If there’s one thing I could teach my daughter it’d be that she always wear sunscreen.” So what is the balance of that in terms of getting light, being in the sun and then worrying about, like for me, I’ve had skin damage from the sun?

Ari: Yeah, so it’s a good question and I don’t have a perfect answer for you, one that’s going to satisfy everyone watching, because there’s isn’t a perfect answer. Just to put this in a proper context, exercise is good, right. Is it possible to over exercise?

Pat: Absolutely.

Ari: We know that, for example – this is a phenomenon in college female athletes for example, very common, if they do too much exercise, they become infertile, they get amenorrhea, they lose their period and then they have various other symptoms that are associated with that; negative symptoms. So exercise is this beautiful wonderfully helpful thing that we need to be healthy, but if you do too much of it, then you can get some problems. One more thing, just for reference – water; water is pretty healthy right? Well if I consume two gallons of water in the next ten minutes, I will put myself into a coma and cause irreparable brain damage. Okay, water, okay. So is it possible to also do too much sun and get certain negative effects from too much sun? Yeah, absolutely – sunburn, potentially increased rates of skin cancer…

Pat: Like putting baby oil on your face and then getting a reflector. That’s what we did. Baby oil with a reflector.

Ari: Yeah, so is it possible to do much sun and get problems? Yes, potentially sun damage, potentially wrinkles, potentially skin cancer. Yes, those things are possible. However – and this is a very big and important however – if you actually look at the overall body of evidence, going back to what I talked previously about not cherry-picking, not being myopic in how you look at the evidence but looking at the full body of evidence, what you find is that increased sun exposure is linked with reduced rates of dozens of types of cancer as well as dozens of types of other diseases, okay. So in other words – let me put this in context – you can get potentially increased rates of skin cancer from doing lots of sun. But, at the same time, you also reduce your rates of dozens and dozens of other diseases, okay. So to put this is other terms, I want you to do exercise. Now if you do too much, you can get hypothalamic amenorrhea and lose your period and become infertile. Or, you can also reduce your risk of dozens and dozens of different diseases. So that’s the context to understand sun exposure and…

Pat: I think that’s a perfect explanation.

Ari: Thank you. And one other aspect that I’ll add to this – even with the skin cancer thing, most people would be shocked to learn that skin cancer is actually way more common in indoor workers than it is in outdoor workers.

Pat: Really?

Ari: Yes. So what seems to be really problematic is not sun exposure per se, but infrequent irregular sun exposure and too high of doses. To make this easily understandable, someone who is a desk job worker who is indoors all the time who goes on a vacation to Hawaii and gets fried because they’re lying in it all day. Lots of frequent events like that can potentially cause skin cancer. But I actually would not worry – this is me personally based on my evaluation of the evidence – I would not worry about somebody who’s getting lots of sun exposure on a daily basis very frequently, very consistently, not getting sunburned at all because they have built up a tan with melanin and their skin has adapted to that UV exposure and they’re getting sun on a regular basis. That’s the situation you want to be in. that’s what I do myself based on my evaluation of hundreds of studies on this subject and what I think is the way to get all of the benefits with basically no risk whatsoever.

Pat: Right, it’s fascinating when you think how – so when I was a kid, we just went in the sun, sunburned and peeling, it was terrible and disgusting. Summers you’d be, like, you couldn’t walk. So then we learned; now no sun. Now it’s like, slather up every day. Make sure you have no sun. and then as I said, when my daughter, ten years ago, she was like, no you shouldn’t do that. You need to have a little sun. I’m not putting any sunscreen on. And it was shocking to me. So I understand, again, this is a slow adaption. So now I know, it’s like we have these reactions to what we have taken in to be true and now we have to change what we believe to be true, which is based on science, right. So I appreciate that because I still was not really clear on that part of it, so I really appreciate that.

Ari: Yeah, you know there’s one other aspect that I’ll mention here which is that diet actually plays into the sun exposure thing because many compounds in the diet determine your skin’s ability to adapt to UV exposure.

Pat: Really?

Ari: Yeah, so for example, polyphenols in things like blueberries and pomegranates, the phytochemicals in things like cacao, sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables, especially in broccoli, turmeric astaxanthin, which is an important compound found in seafood, pink pigment. All of those have been shown to basically act as internal sunscreens. So when you consume lots of those in your diet, you’ll notice you can go out in the sun and a level of sun exposure that used to burn you doesn’t burn you anymore. Instead, your skin just gets tan and adapted to the sun instead of burning. Now, what’s going on at a cellular level, that’s the observation kind of macro level, but what’s actually going on at the cellular level is whether your skin cells have the resiliency to adapt to this very intense UV light exposure which is potentially DNA damaging. It’s a stressor…

Pat: Hormesis…

Ari: Exactly – and whether your cells have the ability to adapt to that and respond and be able to essentially eliminate the pathological aspect of the stressor through creating melanin and creating this barrier to absorb that energy, or whether it just results in DNA damage and then causes sunburn and potentially contributes to increased rates of cancer and so on. So I mentioned that kind of irregular sun exposure is problematic. I will also add one layer which is irregular sun exposure in somebody who is eating a poor diet that is deficient in all of these polyphenols, all of these phytochemicals that are internal sunscreens that allow ourselves to adapt properly to the sun, that situation is the real problem with skin cancer.

Pat: That’s fascinating. I did not know that at all and I eat every single thing that you mentioned, I have to say. I’ve such a good diet, I’m so thrilled. So I wanted to do one little thing, and I don’t even know if I really want to bring this up, but I know that I’ve been following a lot of the Longevity and was especially was – the Longevity diet, you know – and there’s a lot of contradiction because he says, no if you’re over 65, you should have three meals. He says, no, you don’t need to do intermittent fasting. And then there’s all these little bits about the best, right, and I think, for me, as I believe with my clients, it’s what works. You have to pick what works, what you’re going to be able to stick with. But sometimes people like to experiment and they want to try something new. So what are your thoughts on intermittent fasting for an older population, say?

Ari: I don’t totally agree with Doctor Valter Longo on this point. I think there is legitimacy and truth in what he is expressing, but I think it’s a little bit more nuanced than this. The reason that he generally advises against it is one of the problems that occurs as people get into older ages is they lose muscle mass and they become more frail and they just lose body mass. And the loss of body mass is then linked with a potentially higher risk of, like, braking bones and falling and just becoming more frail. And statistically, when you actually do the mathematical statistical analysis of how body weight is linked with particular health outcomes and longevity, you find that frail people and very skinny people without much body mass actually have kind of higher rates of a lot of these health problems. So again, just maintaining body mass, and especially muscle, is important as you get older. Having said that, my preferred way of doing that is not to just tell people to eat more; it’s to tell people to be physically active, do weight training, do strength training in particular. Maintain your muscle mass through activity. And then I’m fine with people of really any age, maybe not kids, but people of any age doing some intermittent fasting. In my view, this is – human biology is actually wired for occasional periods without food or with very little food. And in my view, this is just simulating the environment that our biology evolved in for millions of years. So I don’t think it’s a problem to occasionally do a little bit of fasting here and there, regardless of whether you’re 34, like me, or you’re 85.

Pat: Okay, good. Good to know. And I do agree that with exercise is where you’re going to keep your muscle anyway because even if you eat that extra meal, it doesn’t mean your muscles are going to stay, you know, in shape.

Ari: Exactly. And I also don’t completely agree with him on his recommendations, for example, for protein intake for younger people, for people my age. If I took in his amount of protein he recommends for someone my age, I would lose 40 pounds of muscle in the next three months just by making that change and doing what he says on that point. So I think he needs to be a little bit more nuanced for the individual and according to body size, muscle mass and physical activity levels. And I think that he – I generally agree with most of what he says and I think he’s great. I really love his work, so I’ll be clear about that, but I think his, specifically his recommendations around protein and meal – the issue that you brought up – meal frequency, could be more nuanced.

Pat: Good. I mean I think – one thing I already told my husband is if I get diagnosed with anything severe, I’m going on a fast for a week. I’m going up to this place and I’m going to have a medical fast because everything that I have read says that fasting is actually, that hormesis, can prepare your body in a way, whatever, whether it’s cancer, whether it’s, you know…

Ari: Yeah, and I would actually go one step further and say do it before you get diagnosed with something because the reality is, with most diseases, is that diseases, if they’ve progressed enough, it’s mostly a losing battle. Now some cases you can reverse some things. Diabetes is pretty easy to reverse. But at a certain point in a disease process, especially with something like cancer, it’s very, very hard to reverse it. So much, much better to actually do stuff preventively and prevent it from happening in the first place. And you know the old cliché saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s really, really true.

I mean, it’s much better to be on the offensive and actively doing stuff to promote good health before you get diagnosed with anything to then go, oh I just was diagnosed with something; now I’m ready to take my health seriously. Because what most people do, and unfortunately, it’s too late at that point or you can still make some progress but it’s mostly a losing battle in a lot of cases.

Pat: Okay, well I take that to heart. I’ll have to plan that into my vacation – a week away. That actually sounds fun to me. I’m kind of excited about the idea of it, but I’m a little nuts so… If you were going to – I know we’ve been for a while here, so what would you want to say to my audience, like the most important thing? I mean, I think that the most important thing, and you kind of talked about it at the end of your last podcast is be well, enjoy your life, don’t be freaked out about – you know, partly looking at that toxic stuff, it’s like oh my god there’s so many things, you could freak yourself out. And then you’re not living well so for me that’s the most important thing. But I also believe in all the things you’re teaching so what would you want to say to my audience? These are women who are health-conscious, who are smart and savvy. They want to be in shape but they don’t really want to do too much, you know.

Ari: I would say – I’m going to go big picture here. I’m a big health geek myself and I love other health geeks who just want to delve into all the science and kind of experiment with this thing and experiment with that thing and try this new thing and learn about this new aspect of health and kind of just be immersed in this world of health and all these different strategies you can use. But it’s possible to be in that place in what I see as a pathological way. And it’s also possible to be in that space in a really great way. And what I mean by that specifically is, it’s possible to be in a place of, “Oh man, I’m sick and I’m going to try this and I’m going to try that and I’m going to spend money on this supplement and I hope this supplement finally is the thing that works for me and it doesn’t fail like all the others did and I’m going to listen to this person and go on this person’s diet and try this new exercise program. Gosh, I hope something works for me and does something.”

It’s possible to just be in a place where you’re unhappy with your life and you’re trying all this stuff but, in a way, to fix yourself and just – you’re looking at every new supplement and every new diet as the thing that’s finally going to fix you. And it’s also possible to be in a place where you’re just – you’re content and you’re experimenting, you’re playing. You’re learning and playing and experimenting and enjoying the process, “Oh I wonder what this thing will do if I start practicing that and I wonder if this can give me some benefit by doing this.”

So even, like, let’s say I tell you to start wearing blue blocker glasses at night to eliminate blue light. A person can look at that or do that and be like, “Oh man, now I have to wear these stupid blue blocker glasses every night that make me look like stupid and, you know, my husband think they’re lame and they think I’m an idiot for wearing these things and they couldn’t possibly be doing anything and who’s the stupid person that talked me into wearing these stupid things in the first place?” And kind of just look at this whole thing as I’m being forced to do this thing to improve my health by someone else outside of me because this is another thing that I have to do to be healthy or whatever.

And it’s also possible to just be like – to embrace it and to play and experiment with it and just be excited about this whole process of playing and experimenting with new health strategies and fat loss strategies in a way that you’re excited to go, “Hey I wonder if I try that if I can get some positive effects from doing that.” And that’s really the right attitude that you want to take into this whole process.

The truth is that health is complex and there’s a lot you have to learn to do it well, to live a long time, to prevent disease, to be optimally energetic, to be lean and have good positive composition. We live in a world, an environment, that is not conducive to our health and to good body composition and to good energy levels and to good sleep and all of these things, and to low stress and being happy and so on. So the reality is that it takes a lot of knowledge and it takes a lot of skills to then implement the things that you need to do to be healthy, to be happy, to have good relationships, to not be stressed and depressed all the time, to be lean, to be energetic and so on. It takes knowledge; it takes skills.

So what I’m saying is, take the right attitude of play and experimentation into that process rather than looking at the whole thing like so and so guru is now forcing me to do this diet and I’m just going to suffer through this miserable thing, you know. So that would be my big picture tip.

Pat: And as Pema Chodron would say, what else do you have to do with your time?

Ari: Exactly.

Pat: This is learning about health, being healthy, trying these things out. This is living, right, so that’s what it’s for.

Ari: That’s a great quote; I’m going to steal that from her.

Pat: She’s great. I’m going to go see her soon. So two more things quickly – so if I want to – I know that I come to you for this information. Like I really feel like I can go to – I have vetted you, I have been with you for a while and I trust what you say. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to do everything you say, obviously, but there’s a place I feel I can go for some scientific truth or some kind of way of not reading the headline. And now I read that headline and I go, “Okay, this is curious. This is one study, what does it mean? “So where would you recommend people who have a little interest, how do they get their information?

Ari: That’s a tough question. I’ll give a few names of people who are trusted sources of information. Andrew Weil is good. Rhonda Patrick is a good source of information. David Katz is wonderful and he writes lots of articles in major publications on nutrition in particular. I highly recommend to all your readers to look up David Katz. You can do, like, David Katz LinkedIn. He’s written a lot of articles that are posted on LinkedIn and US News and World Reporter, US Health or something like that.

Any article written by him is great. He’s got dozens of articles online I recommend. Those are names that come to mind, obviously other than me, but I have a bias in telling people to follow me. But keep in mind, my recommendation is always to go straight to the scientific literature, but the reality is most people don’t have the time. It’s more than a fulltime job…

Pat: But just to have some – if you have a question and you want to search something, you can look around. I like having something to recommend; it’s great.

Ari: Yeah, so that’s a way to shortcut that process so your listeners don’t have to go spend hundreds of hours exploring the scientific literature trying to figure out – which is its own skill set as well to even understand all the scientific jargon. So following those names will keep you updated with the science in a way that’s a big shortcut.

Pat: Great. Okay, my final question – well, the final question is what’s your latest venture, but before that, what do you want for your son and future generations? Because it seems like there’s a lot of damage that has been done to the earth, to the body, to the food source. What do you see as, obviously what you want, but what do you see as maybe more doable or where do you think it’s going? There’s a lot of people who feel there’s so much negative and then there’s some people who feel like there’s equal positive in terms of the changes and the studies and the awakening of what we’re doing to the earth and to ourselves.

Ari: I wish I could say that I’m optimistic about societal trends or government trends, or on a big picture population level that there’s some grand awakening of what we’re doing to our environment and how we’re polluting our land and our oceans and the kinds of unethical things that go on, inhumane factory farming practices. And I wish I could say that we’re all awakening to these realities and that we’re going to do something about it and fix these problems, but I don’t necessarily. That doesn’t mean I’m a pessimist; I would just say I’m indifferent to it. Maybe not indifferent; that’s not quite the right word because I would obviously prefer that these things happen, but I’m not betting either way; I’ll put it that way.

And my position is basically like, hey, I hope these things will happen but I’m not banking on it. I don’t care to really invest a lot of time in thinking about whether they will or will not happen. My intuition tells me there is a good possibility they will not happen or not for a long time; maybe even when it’s too late. So my position is basically that the individual, it’s up to them to increase their knowledge and their understanding of things and to address their own lifestyle and their own microenvironment of their home and their immediate environment and create the right kind of environment for themselves and the right kind of lifestyle habits for themselves to deal with that situation regardless of what the population at large is doing.

So for my son, you know, what I’m going to do is teach him, obviously, the importance of eating well and the importance of exercising, the importance of meditation, the importance of all these kinds of lifestyle habits, but we also spend time in my vegetable garden every day and he sees us growing food and harvesting food from our own vegetable garden. We spend time at the beach every day immersing ourselves in nature and we spend time in the sun every day, naked sunbathing as a family together. So these are the kinds of lessons I’m not necessarily consciously teaching and explaining to him in an intellectual way, but he’s learning in an experiential way. And when he’s old enough, I’ll be able to teach him verbally about what all these things are and why they matter. And ultimately, like I said, it’s up to the individual to take responsibility for their life, their health, their environment and…

Pat: That’s really all we have control over, right. We don’t have control over anybody but ourselves, so that is an incredible teaching. And it’s interesting because as you talk about your son, I see your grandmother. Really, that experience of her taking care of her own individual – down to your parents and down to you and now to your son.

Ari: Absolutely.

Pat: So basically, I just want to say thank you, but also, tell me about your latest venture. So Energy Blueprint; this is something that my clientele can go and sign up for free to get on the – what is that about? What does that come with? Because I’ve already been – I’m already in it.

Ari: Yeah, so there’s a free four video training. I call it the Double Your Energy free video master class, and they can sign up for that. I’ll give you the link to it. And they can sign up for that and get a four-video training in how to start increasing your energy levels. And then I have a full 60-day program, which you’re a member of. That’s the full Energy Blueprint program. And it’s 60 days where I take people through six modules. The first one’s on detoxifying your environment. Then we go into circadian rhythm and sleep. Then we go into nutrition for energy enhancement, then fixing the gut health, then removing toxins from the body, detoxification, and then rewiring your brain for high energy levels to get it out of stress mode. And then finally, it’s all about hormesis, which is building up your mitochondria, your cellular energy generators and making your body high energy; rewiring it into high energy mode and making it resilient to stress.

So that’s what the 60-day program is all about and I would love for your listeners to join me.

Pat: Yeah, again, it’s one of those programs that just keeps giving. You just continuously give; it’s amazing and the value is incredible. So anybody interested, especially learning more details about the circadian rhythm and also the detoxification, there’s lots of information there that, as I said, I was revisiting it this morning. I was like, oh boy, okay, now it’s time for me to deal with this one. You know, and you do it at your own pace, so you don’t have to – it’s always available, which I think is also great.

Well yeah, so this really – and the thing about my program, so I teach very similarly. I don’t teach about the details of all this stuff, but now I’m throwing in the light and throwing in that other stuff. But for me, it’s almost like what you ended with, what you recommend, mindset. How you think about your life hugely impacts your emotions. And although you gave that book about motivation, which I just started reading, for my work, motivation comes from the way you’re thinking and the way you’re feeling. So you can actually create motivation with an emotion. And I teach my clients how to do that because a lot of times, they want to lose weight, they want to change, but they have these thoughts about this food that’s just like, I have to have it, it’s so delicious, I can’t live without it. The same thing that you talk about as well. So I think it’s a great combination of your program and my program, so I highly recommend it to all my people.

Ari: Thank you, it’s been a pleasure, Pat. Thank you so much for having me.

Pat: Same here. Thank you very much and I’ll see you on Facebook.

Ari: Alright. Sounds good.

Well I hope you enjoyed that and learned a couple new things. I know that I have been learning lots from Ari. I know that was a little bit extra-long podcast, so I want to thank you so much for listening and pass this information on to everyone you know because I know that before I heard about the importance of circadian rhythm and even having access to these light therapies, I just really knew nothing about them. So I want you to pass the information on to all of your friends and let people know about the podcast.

So join me next week when I’m going to talk about special events, weddings, funerals, different times when we feel challenged with what it is we’re going to eat and what it is we’re going to do. And I’ll be going to a wedding, so I’ll be sharing my experience about that too. Alright you guys, I’ll talk to you next week.

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