Living intentionally is about being present in the moment, eating food that feels good, and taking mental health breaks. Abel James, The Fat-Burning Man, joins me to talk about intentional living, everyday habits, and why he believes intermittent fasting is the best way to eat.
Listen to the Episode
Daily Practices for Stress Reduction and Resilience
- Breathing for 5-10 minutes
- Writing to take yourself out of the moment
- Practicing gratitude
- Being more intentional
- Giving yourself mental breaks
About Abel James
Abel James is a New York Times Bestselling Author, musician, and creator of the hit podcast, “Fat-Burning Man.” His new book and audiobook entitled “Designer Babies Still Get Scabies,” a #1 International Bestseller in Humor, is available now.
Nutrition and Intentional Living
Abel James joins me to talk about making nutrition work for you in a very intentional way. Nutrition is more than following “the rules,” but finding what works best for your body and sticking to that. For Abel, though, there are some food items that he does cut out of his diet.
He also believes that intermittent fasting is the best way to make your body feel good. Abel says he goes as long without eating as possible as he finds once you break your fast, you will get hungry again soon. He explains why fasting works so well for so many people.
But living an intentional life is more than what you’re eating. Abel knows firsthand how trauma and triggering events can impact your entire life – your habits and stress levels – even your desire to eat.
The Problem with Social Media
Some of the habits that Abel implemented were creating and sticking to daily practices. He gives quite a few examples, but his top tip is to breathe intentionally for 5-10 minutes every single day. This practice helps you return to the moment while stabilizing your stress levels – it’s also great for your autonomic nervous system.
Abel is also passionate about reducing his time spent on technology, especially social media. While social media has had a really positive impact on our lives and relationships, the habit of checking in regularly takes us out of the moment.
Abel explains how destructive social media addiction is, but acknowledges that it’s often a necessary evil as a business owner. Abel gives some great tips for navigating social media with as much intention as you can, from shadowbans to conscious consumption.
How is your relationship with social media? Do you schedule a time where you intentionally don’t use it? Call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“When you let the body do what it’s supposed to do and you get out of its way, you are meant to feel incredible.” [4:05]
“When we go through something traumatic, it’s important to realize that we’re social animals and if you tried to isolate because of the pain or you tried to keep it from other people, it’s really not serving anybody. It’s important that we all try to work through this and show our vulnerabilities to the people around us. And, be willing to accept help from people. That exchange can be really difficult, especially for the Type A, working all the time go-getter, but I think it’s important that people hear that.” [20:52]
“Vitamin D is like the sun. We know we should go out and get some sun, get some vitamin D, but it’s not the sexiest thing ever. I think that it’s important that people realize it doesn’t have to be. A lot of times health is doing those boring things.” [46:48]
In This Episode
- What nutrition habits you should adopt [8:30]
- Why fasting works so well for so many people [11:15]
- How trauma and triggering events can help you reframe your thoughts [22:30]
- Strategies for stress reduction and resilience [25:00]
- The problem with social media and the internet, especially to your relationships [30:00]
- How to navigate social media as a creator and as a consumer [44:00]
Links & Resources
Additional Resources Mentioned
Abel James 0:02
There are so many snazzy things there. They're looking for the magic bullet all the time, especially for longevity stuff right and longevity has to be holistic.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream help and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life.
You're about to hear from Abel James who is known as the Fat Burning Man. Why? Well you're about to find out and here's several interesting experiences he has been through. Let's get started.
Thank you for joining me for another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. Today I have on guest Abel James who is in New York Times best selling author, musician and creator of the hit podcast The Fat Burning Man, his new book and audio book entitled designer babies still get scabies is the number one international best seller and humor and is now available. Today we get to pick his brain and he sounds like an interesting triple threat. So we're gonna hopefully get to hear some interesting stories today. So welcome Abel to the show.
Abel James 1:08
Thanks so much for having me. Let's go.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:11
Well tell me your journey with weight loss. So obviously, you're the Fat Burning Man. And my husband has followed you on social media for years, actually. So when I told him I was interviewing you, he was like, seriously, that's so cool. So my husband has had his own weight loss journey, he's dropped quite a bit of weight. So tell us your story and how you became the Fat Burning Man.
Abel James 1:30
I grew up in the middle of nowhere in New Hampshire. And at a very young age, when I was an infant became ill and had a temperature that we just couldn't shake. And so they pumped me full of all these antibiotics. And to this day, I'm still allergic to pretty much all of them. And so my mom who was a nurse practitioner, last time, I hit the books, and learned about holistic medicine. And it didn't necessarily start there. But a lot of it was wildcrafting in the back and trying to look into alternative therapies for healing me and my brother who also became allergic to a lot of these, these traditional Western medicines. And so she became an herbalist and a speaker and an author about that and had her own practice for a while. And so I grew up in this world of like, you know, just alternative health, yeah, girl, New Hampshire and all that.
And so of course, back then, way back then yeah. And then I got really into running and mountain bike racing and a few other things. So I've kind of been a lifelong athlete, by no means the elite level or anything like that. But it's always been I've loved running. And I've done it for most of my life. But it was really, when I went through school and then took on a job to pay off my loans in Washington DC that I had Great Western health insurance for the first time of my life. And so I had a few surgeries, I was after about 18 months on a half dozen prescription medications and became 30 pounds overweight with high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and all these things. So it was really me rebelling against that that world that I was raised in and trying to say like sciences better. What this doctor says and whatever.
One of the good things about that, although it was like I hit rock bottom in my early 20s. health wise, I had a lot of things go wrong with my, my thyroid and, and just kind of all over the place. I was in the body of a middle aged man who was falling apart. And at that time, I lost everything in an apartment fire. And my life was turned completely upside down. And this was about 11 years ago or so. And I realized looking myself looking at myself in the mirror that I was overweight, I was puffy, like I was trying so hard to be healthy, but following the wrong advice. And it was really admitting that to myself and trying something different, recalibrating a little bit that allowed me to get like all that extra body fat off so much faster than I than I ever imagined. And once it came off I was I was mad, because I had been following the wrong advice for so long and had all these issues that were totally preventable.
And I feel like people, you know, when you let the body do what it's supposed to do, and you get out of its way, you're meant to feel incredible, especially when you're like in your 20s or whatever, right. Anyway, that was really the impetus behind. Alright, let's let's start up this blog. I started writing a manual to help friends and family that I printed up at kinkos. And that became my book later became a New York Times bestseller, but it's just like iterating over the years, you know, because I've been doing this for more than a decade now. And so it's gone a lot of different directions. I was on an ABC TV show for a while. I've been coaching people for many years, and it's so much more than a job. It's really a calling and it's one where you have to be really creative, especially these days, because it's completely saturated.
People are out of money and struggling really hard. A lot of the people who are out there don't have Have the scale of a list celebrities who are able to just kind of like blast something out and have it be successful, most of us, it doesn't work like that. So I'm also really active in kind of like entrepreneur, communities trying to help each other out and sharing best practices, I think is how we're gonna build our way out of this one, so to speak.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:18
I agree. That's how I found you. So I appreciate that. Oh, cool. Let's talk about that TV show for a moment here. So it's not just you that has lost weight, you literally have coached other individuals and losing weight. So I hear you start on an ABC reality TV show as a health coach. So tell us who you coached how much weight they lost how they didn't give us the short version.
Abel James 5:39
So when I got I was matched up with Kurt Morgan, who's become a great friend, we still keep in great touch, very close to my heart, but he was 352 pounds, I believe off the top of my head, it was 52 or 53%, body fat, or pages of medical issues, and a history of being in a head on collision, which basically destroyed his spine. So we had like medical issues back there, because he had a recurring infection. And then part of his flesh wasn't there. So it doesn't support his head. And heavy lifting was kind of like not a thing for a while. So at the beginning, it was a little tense. And also, he was the oldest guy in this weight loss and fitness competition on ABC, which was kind of like the biggest loser, but with more of a heart to some degree, like less, less shouting, and more like I tried to be much more collaborative. So anyway, and I don't remember the stats off the top of my head, but I think it was the first week.
He's a tall guy. So it wouldn't be like this for everyone. He was also coming from more of a standard American diet 352 pounds, but he lost I think was 15 pounds the first week, 11 pounds the second week, and we went on to win the fitness competition, he ran a half marathon. And then one thing he always wanted to do at the end was go rock climbing, but he had to get below a certain weight to do that. So he never was able to do it. Until, you know, 14 weeks later, we got him down by 87 pounds. And his body fat was incredible. He looks 20 years younger. And as a grandpa is the oldest guy in the competition. That was incredibly encouraging. And he's, he's inspired so many, so many people by not necessarily being Yes, he did do walking as exercise. He did a little bit of lifting, but very safely due to his, you know, limitations and history there. But more than anything, it inspired people out there, which shocked me to lose all this weight through nutrition alone with no exercise.
So like I think it was a year after that a man named top Tommy Whitaker, someone sent me an article he was like on the front page in the news. Just like man loses 100 pounds with no exercise. Exercise zero 100 pounds a year. And anyway, like we got in touch and introduced I had him on the show. And so like the people who are inspired by that show, yeah, like Kurt and what he was able to accomplish was, was so encouraging and still waves of it are out there. You know, once you see something like that your reality is broken a little bit totally. It can change the way things work in your own life, too.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 8:19
So speaking of nutrition, can you tell us some tips that you advise Kurt, you said his name is Kurt or Yeah, okay. Current on and what you've utilized. You can tell us foods you eat maybe foods you don't eat, even get into intermittent fasting. I know that's something that you've practiced. So tell us a little bit about your nutrition.
Abel James 8:37
So with Kurt, you know, he had tried almost every diet out there and a lot of people are in that situation. So like, as long as you have the willpower and intention enough to try, a lot of things will work it's worth saying that but the first thing we did was yank all of the processed junk, the carbs, the extra sugars, even the the ketchup mustard dressings that are just full of junk full of MSG, full of additives that will hijack your appetite, essentially. Anything else corn syrup. Yeah, that's Yeah, just there's so many at this point. The list is hundreds or 1000s long of these crazy ingredients that are in almost everything. So anyway, we bagged all that. I think we gave it someone in his family. And they're good for survival foods or whatever, you know, as a last resort, like you don't have to throw them away.
But anyway, we got him out of the house. So that wouldn't be a temptation. It wouldn't be nagging at his willpower all day with all that ice cream in the fridge or whatever. So then we made bacon burgers with cheese and pickles and just like farm to table like this whole feast with local onions. We went shopping got all this crazy good food. And we started indulging in things that he thought like there's no way that this would work, but like totally I'm dying to eat this. I'm so glad I didn't get The Vegan trainer. So anyway, it was it was the combination of feeding him enough protein, healthy sources of fat, plant based and animal based from grass fed pastured animals, clean eating on both sides, but also coconut oils. And not like one thing that it wasn't was hardcore keto, what a lot of people think is just like zero tolerance for carbs.
One thing that that I'm very careful about, and I'm careful about with with people I coach is that I don't want them to sacrifice the whole plant world, for the sake of reducing carbs. Now avoiding fruits and sugars is kind of a good idea. Like he, I believe, at the time, he had been eating fruit and quite a bit of it, thinking that it's healthy to kind of like eat more of it, right. And a lot of people think that that's true, you drink orange juice, or you just like eat an apple and you eat an orange and you eat this other stuff. Because the more fruit you eat, the better not enough. So we kind of cut that off at one or two pieces of fruit a day, but not every day, sometimes. And salads, fermented foods, old school, bone broth, nose to tail eating, and also at an eating window. So one thing that that's worked really well for me and a lot of people I work with is intermittent fasting with an eating window.
So you're only eating instead of snacking all day, this is why it really works. It's not because like the fasting is incredible magic, I there are pieces that kind of our, but mostly you're not snacking all day. And for me, and for Kurt and a lot of other people, we realize the time that we get hungry is after we start eating. So if you start eating early in the day, then you're just kind of showering. And you always want something yet, if you're able to build the metabolic machinery to do a bit of fasting and push that breakfast stuff into, you know, maybe 10am or 11am, or maybe even later in the day, and you don't eat breakfast, you start with lunch, especially for men, this has worked really well for some women, it can work well too. But the eating window and the not eating piece, it's it's really easy to get caught up in all of the complications of the eating window apart. But mostly just don't eat all the crap throughout the day, and don't rely on those snacks.
And try not to get your hunger going first thing in the morning. Typically, that can work. Although I will say a lot of people with their lifestyle, find that it works great to eat breakfast, and then lunch, and then they don't eat dinner really earlier in the day. And so it's all about kind of shifting that around experimenting and building your capacity to go longer without food, which I think is a survival skill. Yeah, a natural mechanism that we all have, that when you build it a bit. you're capable of different things in your own life and lifestyle, but also athletically that you weren't capable of for.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:59
I love that I for those of you who are interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, I did bring on Cynthia thurlow, who is another nurse practitioner actually become a good friend. And that episode is has been very popular. So lots of tips there. So what can I ask what your personal strategy is with intermittent fasting? Like, what is your feeding window? How many hours are you eating? Or do you vary that
Abel James 13:20
it's variable, I think it's important to say that it is variable. But for the most part 80 plus percent of the time, for the past eight years or so I'd say it's been a one to one and a half meal a day type situation where at first the first couple years, I was doing like a 16 eight type fast where I start eating around noon, my last meal will be you know, seven or eight at night. But for a couple of years. I liked that. And then I found that for whatever reason, I was able to push out that first meal of the day until two or three or maybe even 4pm. And I felt great doing that. And you know, for me the nature of what I do where I'm just like recording all day long. It's not that practice in my wife's working all day long because like we work together and and so for both of us, it's not that practical to just like be stopping for meals and prepping for them cooking, eating, cleaning all day long or even three times a day just doesn't really make sense.
So like pushing it out until later and then breaking the fast in the afternoon with like a traditional soup bone broth. Yeah, it's high in protein and nutrients and kind of soothing and collagen and all that or with a salad, some greens that also has has protein and fiber and a wide diversity of foods. That's how we try to do it. And so the longer that I've done this, the more it's been closer to the one and a half meal a day the 20 dash for, you know, type style of fasting where I'm probably around for hours starting at three or 4pm. That's my eating window for each day. But I'm not including it's not strict fasting. You know I'm not including a tablespoon of heavy cream cream in my coffee. I'm not including, you know, a few fish oil capsules that I'm taking my supplements which I do take earlier in the day.
So it's not one of those totally strict fasting scenarios, although that's definitely a thing too. And I've done, you know, three day fasts and one day fasts. And I think there's, there's benefit to that too. But it's a bit different. Like it's not a lifestyle choice. It's more of like, something that you might do on a regular basis, as the exception from your day to day life. There's no, there's no rainbow waiting for you at the end of night eating forever. Like, that's how it works. Don't don't get that idea. It's all about finding the right balance.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:38
So you've literally been intermittent fasting for years, like years before this was popular a decade. Yeah,
Abel James 15:42
it was not the first though there were a bunch of people doing it way back then. And there were many people doing it many decades before that, too. So I think it's important to people that people recognize it's a tradition that's being passed along. Not necessarily some bad. Yeah,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:57
yeah. Yeah, sure, sure. Well, I think part of fasting is, it's just important to stress our bodies and a good way to not you know, be shoving our mouths for food all the time. So, and that's important, just from a longevity standpoint, because that's when self eating self cleaning kicks in, which is really important for us to scrub ourselves clean. And that's important for longevity, that when I think of longevity, I also just think of resilience in general with our body's ability to adapt, and even survive things like COVID that everyone's so fearful of. So hearing a little bit of your story, I know you have you been resilient and that you have almost died from carbon monoxide poisoning. So can you tell us that story and kind of how you recovered from that. And
Abel James 16:38
yeah, it was grim. And it still gives me chills thinking about it. It was one of those situations where we were in a rental place in Colorado, where we've been saying for a while actually, and the, the furnace had not been serviced. And in this rental also, even though they're required by law to be in a lot of states, maybe even every state now, there's supposed to be carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in every house. And so, in the lease, like everything on paper was okay, but the fact that the furnace was not serviced in time, it wasn't running quite properly, kind of like when you see black smoke coming out of a car that's not running, right, that happens with furnaces and heaters and other equipment to so it's important that people know that carbon monoxide is it's in an incredible amount of places where it really shouldn't be gas stoves, you know, small compartmentalised places without much airflow.
But anyway, the furnace was malfunctioning, we didn't know that the detectors were not there, that should have been. And so while we were sleeping me, my wife and our dog were poisoned by carbon monoxide that was seeping up through the house into that room, and it basically suffocates you from the inside out, carbon monoxide displaces oxygen. And so it attacks the nervous system. And you definitely feel signs or symptoms of poisoning, which I experienced, it was really hard to turn my head for months after that happened, due to the spine pain, and due to inflammation and the neurological implications or experience was like the closest I've ever come was a really bad concussion, where it takes you time. And if you try to push it coming back too quickly, then you you fall back by days, you just you're crippled and you can't do anything. And you're you're totally shut down. So especially with neurological things, and with the brain and the nervous system with something like a concussion. Like that was a lesson that I learned the hard way where it's, you know, not being able to work was terrifying for me, and really hurt our business.
And so like when your health is suffering, and everything else is falling apart, it's a lot to manage. And so coming back, it gave me a lot of empathy, for sure, working with other people and also understanding just how close you are to croaking at any given moment. Because one thing that the doctor said to us to meet me and my wife in the doc to actually they brought this up that if we hadn't all been in that excellent of shape when this happened, we likely wouldn't have made it or we would have had permanent problems developed because of the poisoning. And then that was another piece. It's like it knocked out our immune system. So both me and my wife and the dog two were sick for months straight with different bugs. I got a new bug and I got an eye bug and I got a stomach bug just constantly after that. And so it's a real challenge coming back, but I was by taking it slowly and patiently and intentionally having a few setbacks by pushing too hard mentally with my business and just working. I would recommend people try not to push too hard, too fast. Same thing coming back from being trained as a musician Like piano and guitar, to not being able to play for many months to come in, so frustrating here, so frustrating, but getting tendonitis from that, and from restarting my exercises again, and you know, physically, so it's just one setback after another.
But that's what what you realize is that this is one setback after another, it's never going to be perfect. Even when you're at your ideal body composition and health, it's still going to be a moving target. And for whatever reason, what may have worked for you before won't, you know, it won't work forever, we tried to be somewhat kind to ourselves in our bodies. One thing that was really helpful was here in Colorado, we have hot mineral springs, where you can go and soak. And so for all of the clenched muscles, and the clenched jaw was another big thing that helped enormously, and we had our family come to visit at the same time, which is also therapeutic, like getting, when we go through something traumatic, it's important to realize that we're social animals. And if you tried to isolate because of the pain, or you tried to keep it from other people, it's really not serving anybody. And it's important that we all try to work through this and you show your vulnerabilities to the people around you and be willing to accept help from people that exchange can be really difficult for the type a working all the time, just like go go get her. So I think it's important that people hear that.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:21
That's good, not to be more depressing. You also alluded to earlier, the fact that you lost everything in a fire at one point. You've had a lot happened to you. So what what happened with the fire, and then we're gonna get to how you've dealt with stress, and you're going to get some stress reduction techniques. Tell us about the fire.
Abel James 21:43
It's interesting, because I had recently moved from DC to Austin. And it was everything that I had just months before then, I had moved everything there all my instruments, all my work stuff, and, and everything. This is pre Fat Burning Man, this is before the burning part.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:03
Is that where the name? I'm just kidding. No, that's not
Abel James 22:05
to some degree. Yeah. It's a double or a triple entendre, it is multiple interpretations. But anyway, yes. And so I was out on a Friday night with some friends and came home and the entire apartment building was up in flames, and just everything was gone. So all I had was what I was wearing. And even my car was parked in front and so that they didn't let me drive that. So I was like, literally for months, fatter and sicker than I'd ever been wearing other people's clothes driving around and like this cherry red Chevy Cobalt or something. Like I felt in no way like myself just driving around. And all these Aaron does that this the other part is like when you That was a big learning, for me so easy to fall through the cracks, where I needed all the paperwork to prove that the fire happened for insurance and for all these other things. But because of the mailbox was at a place that burned, I didn't have a mailbox because it didn't have a mailbox, I couldn't get a PO Box because he needed an address to get so jumping through hoops. And one thing that it taught me more than anything else, I think that I can offer to other people is that when the worst possible thing has already happened to you. The idea that happening again, is not nearly as scary.
So like, right now I'm looking at wildfire smoke we live out here on the west, that's a major risk, as is flooding in a lot of other places. And as there are many disasters natural and manmade, all over the place. But it's like when you've already lost everything in a fire and gone through that. It reframes it in such an interesting way, where it's just not that big of a deal. And all of these physical things that we have, they are important, and they reinforce our identity and kind of like trigger memories. And when that's gone, that's really hard for the things you truly cherish. But the amount of things that you truly cherish the real treasures in life are quite few. So it's important to focus your energy into those more than trying to like a mass anything because it's a big exercise and mortality to like it happened in the middle of the night, basically. And it was the Friday so thankfully, we were out partying because we're, you know, younger and just click out in the middle of the night then. But we easily could have been at home sleeping and not make it so to lose. Like all the stuff that we had was terrible, but such a fraction of life. You see what a fraction of life this whole 3d materialistic thing is.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:37
That's good. So you've been through a lot in your life. So keep our audience chugging along. Yeah, you seem to have a very positive outlook, maybe haven't always had that, but you certainly seem to have it. So can you give our listeners some techniques or strategies on being resilient and on adapting to what life throws at us? What do you incorporate as part of your lifestyle? Do you do obviously music you can see music in the background. I'm sure that's a huge part of your therapy. Give us some strategies and techniques for stress reduction to help our resilience.
Abel James 25:11
Yeah, it's so interesting because especially when it comes to stress reduction, people want the quick button.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:18
Sure, why not? Yeah.
Abel James 25:20
What I found more in life is that it's, it's daily practices that are small and seem insignificant at the time, that add up over time. Once you have them as habits that really start to de stress your mind and your overall life. Because it's Schlitz do a few, they're only like, take a few minutes, because they're easy. Everyone can take a few minutes a day to focus on breathing. And there's so many different ways to do that. The way I do it is not by focusing on breathing actually, but doing Qigong movements. Yeah, of which breathing is a big part. So, you know, for five to 10 minutes a day, I'm intentionally doing a lot of breath holding slow, intentional breaths. And, you know, some people are into the Wim Hof stuff, you can go really off the wall bonkers, intense with with any domain like this, but you really don't have to, to get a lot of the benefits. So just focusing on breathing a bit,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:15
and everybody has five to 10 minutes, I'm aiming my patients, I don't have time, I don't have time. And some days, I think I don't have time. And then I'm like, but I'm laying in bed watching Netflix. So I have time to, you know, to do five to 10 minutes of deep breathing. Everybody can do that.
Abel James 26:27
Yeah. Another piece that's really important, I think is instead of being in consumption mode, you trigger creation mode. And so like you said, music being a therapy, in a way I was playing right, insane right before this, actually, I often do like in between interviews, because it's like jumping on a sled. That's just like, hurdling downhill. That's how I think of playing a song, especially when you're doing multiple things at once, like the fingers are playing bass, and they're playing melody a little bit, and this little other thing with the chords, and you're singing, and you're trying to remember things all at the same time. But mostly, what you're not doing is just like, being absorbed in your phone or your device, having all of the life essence sucked out of you, which is right, you know, most social media and almost all new sites, and even search sites, they all kind of do this to us now. And so taking yourself out of that consumption mode is critical for feeling better. And so another way that I do that is just by taking a piece of paper in a journal, and writing on it. You don't have to write anything in particular.
But gratitude is a great one, your to do list of priorities is wonderful, too. I don't have lines on my paper. It's all just kind of like you can do whatever you want. I think doodling is really important. And also, I was in some ways, it depends on how you like to find success. But at my most successful and most productive when I was back in high school, and some of college when I was really focused on time management, and making sure that every day, especially for training, like athletic training, if you're trying to get movement in your life, is to some degree planned out so that on the day that you do it, you don't have to be like, I wonder which workout I should do today. Because if you get into that mode, and you do that with multiple aspects of Yeah, it doesn't happen. And it takes a lot of energy that you won't have, you know, it's like, I wonder what we're gonna have for dinner? Oh, let's have pizza. You know,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 28:32
the same thing is true with meal planning, you have to plan it out.
Abel James 28:36
exactly the same. So yeah, creating doodling being intentional about it and the breathing piece. Another thing that can really help I think, is it's so simple, but just try to breathe through your nose as much as you possibly can. And try to build that capacity, not just while you're doing whatever, or sleeping or, or walking. But also like in some of your workouts like during my runs over the past few years, I've challenged myself not just to go faster, but to breathe through my nose. And we live at 8000 feet. Easier said than done. It's a big challenge. But there are massive benefits and most of us are mouth breathers without realizing it. And that has a lot of implications on our long term health, the effects on sleep, the effects on heart rate, there are so many benefits from getting that under your control. It's just the simple thing to try to do. more of that most people miss out on
Dr. Stephanie Gray 29:30
good tips, good tips. You seem very intentional, just with your life choices with how you structure your day. I like that. So you have been intentional in the past with your wife Allison, I think her name is going without the internet for like a year. So yeah, tell me about going without internet. How did that go?
Abel James 29:49
All the times, twice now. I should say it's not 100% but it was like 99% were like literally out in the mountains. There is not internet. Sometimes we could I'm down to a coffee shop and get it for like a minute. Sure. But yeah, so we did that a few times and for multiple reasons, but the benefits are always quite clear. When you get off of social media, you realize how useless it is and how just terrible it is for your habits for your focus for, in fact, a lot of your relationships, whether people like to admit it or not, you want to think that it's nurturing relationships, when you're on social and it can, it can, but less so recently, it seems you know, I've seen so many relationships damaged, it looks like for good, both business and personal, just watching from afar, most of the time, that never would have happened if we all lived in the same town. And we've been able to hang out and just talk it out. So it's something where it's over emphasized. A lot of people think it's more important than it actually is, but didn't exist 10 years ago, right? The way that it does now didn't exist at all 15 or 20 years ago,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:03
it has such power and such influence now that it's not Yeah, but it
Abel James 31:07
has no, like, the way that I think about it is Mark Zuckerberg doesn't get to come out to the woods with me on a hike. He doesn't get to listen or watch or track. We're out there experiencing this on our own. And the only people who are there are the people who are on invited. And that's just like such a rare experience that you don't get anymore. You don't realize what a luxury that is being able to really go out. I'm big into going out in nature.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:36
Abel James 31:37
It's been a big part of my life.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 31:39
Vitamin n, or what do they call it? I don't know. Something.
Abel James 31:43
There are a lot of different names for it now. And it's getting like, quite trendy. Yeah. Which is kind of funny. But there are so many benefits that are just completely subconscious. You know, like walking on a beach, in the sunshine with someone you care about having a good conversation. There are just so many benefits to it, that as soon as you do it, you're like, why am I not doing this all the time, this is the best. So one way that I like to do it is just to on a weekly clip, just make sure you do it once a week. Like I go on a hike or a run up the mountain at least once a week, that's the bare minimum. That's just kind of a promise to myself. And I also have that that promise with a strength training day. And you know, I have that promise with the rest day. So as long as you find these slots in your life, and you just kind of line it up, you make these promises to yourself, you're going to be able to accomplish a lot and feel a lot better about it. Because you can sing like you don't have time for something, it's really a time management issue and watching Netflix, any amount of that. Like any amount of it could be dedicated to something useful. And I think everyone knows that. Like, even if you're watching a documentary on Netflix, it's like,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:00
all right out of all. That's all I watch. Of course, of course.
Abel James 33:04
Not super useful. But we just give it to ourselves without asking, Is this serving us yet? So yeah, unplugging teaches you that it's on you, you do have some control over your life and what you what skills you build, and you can use this time, like we didn't have streaming internet, right, we did not have Netflix, we did not have YouTube, we didn't have any of it for a while. And so I started making virtual reality that's like how off the wall to the other side, you can go where we didn't have internet. And so because of that, like virtual reality takes like two gigabytes a minute the way that I was doing it, you're recording and just like insanely vague, and the internet wasn't there for it. So I became the entertainment for like my wife and friends who had come over, because we didn't have Netflix. And so we started, you know, my wife started playing music and the people who would come over, we would get in that creation mode. And that's something that a lot of us just used to do in families, you know, the piano or someone played the mandolin, and we've lost touch with that. So bringing that back, I think is a critical thing to do right now.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:15
I totally agree.
Abel James 34:16
Look at Amazon Prime and Netflix, and YouTube and social media combined. Add up that time and be honest with yourself.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 34:26
I get asked all the time, what's one product that I just can't live without when it comes to maintaining my own health and longevity? And my answer is something you've actually heard me mentioned on several episodes. It's called mitochondrial complex and it's pretty much the Cadillac of multivitamins, and it's packed with antioxidants, including three key players acetyl, l carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and an acetal cysteine. Think of a steam engine that requires coal to be continually shoveled into the furnace to power the train forward. acetyl l carnitine. Does that for your body by shoveling short chain fatty acids into your cells to provide your body with energy. This is an app salutely essential task to keeping you running. However what's a byproduct of fire? You guessed it smoke. Unfortunately in this analogy smoke from fire equals free radicals. To combat those free radicals. Other antioxidants are needed and that's where alpha lipoic acid and and acetylcysteine come in.
Together they scavenge free radicals and help boost and recharge gluta phi on the most potent antioxidant in the body. To top it off mitochondrial complex also contains a little bit of green tea extract, broccoli seed extract with sulforaphane and even resveratrol. Research has shown that when athletes and individuals that are under stress begin taking this product they are less likely to get sick as they're giving their body what it needs to conquer those stressors who doesn't need protection from stress and cellular damage at this time? I certainly do. I take this product every day. If you're interested in learning more about how mitochondrial complex can help support you living a longer healthier life check out my blog post on why antioxidants are important found at your longevity blueprint comm forward slash y dash antioxidants dash r dash important four in chapter four of my book, Your longevity blueprint to get 10% off our mitochondrial complex just use code energy when checking out at your longevity blueprint.com. Now let's get back to the show. Good.
That's good. Yeah, we hear in I have not experienced near the I don't even know what to call them. Not casualties, but I haven't had the stressful experiences that you've had. But we did in Iowa here in August have this land hurricane, which is a great show. I never even heard of that. I had no idea what it was. But we lost power for eight days. And cell phones did not work. Like first couple days, you couldn't even call your family like I had never experienced anything like that. And at first it was kind of creepy, because you're like, Oh my gosh, Is everyone okay? We want to make sure. Right? I mean, they were just trees down everywhere. It was absolutely nuts. But what I ended up really appreciating was we woke up when the sun came up, we went to bed when it was dark outside. Yeah, you know, we didn't have technology, I got to spend time with my son, just playing outside, no responsibilities, no obligations to anyone. I couldn't work because we didn't have the internet. I mean, literally, I had an appreciation again for that family time and just slowing down.
Like, wow, this is what life is like supposed to be like, for many people. I think in my community. We also know, like you were alluding to how quickly nature can just Well, in a bad way. You know, natural disasters happen that are totally out of our control. That one, we feel very thankful that there were few casualties, very few deaths with that with the situation at hand, but also just gave us an appreciation for that time. That was a unique experience for myself and family members. And I don't want to go through that again. But guess what, we can survive without internet, we can survive. Without Netflix, we were better. Because of that week, everyone kind of got not a break. Everyone was cutting trees and taking care of their properties. But it was it was good to have a break. Yes. mental break that downtime.
Abel James 37:56
Because you're not being manipulated constantly. Whereas if you're on a device, you're probably being manipulated.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:03
I want to get into that a little bit. And we haven't had any speakers come on talking about. I know you often speak of just censorship, you're in the community that I'm in. Yeah, I know. You're big on that. And I honestly hadn't even thought much about it kind of started my practice. But the reality is, is that that really does exist, especially on social media platforms. So can you talk about censorship? And what shadow banning is and what can happen to individuals like you know, you and myself who are just out there trying to help people? What is happening because it takes so much time and finances and dedication to bring on shows like what we're offering right now for free to the public, right? And yet, you and I can unfortunately suffer from things like censorship. So can you explain to the audience what that is? And what's happening out there?
Abel James 38:50
Yeah, well, it's a bit confusing. And I can understand why people would be confused because these words are kind of like new or used in different ways, Shadow banning and censorship. But the basic idea is, if you're supposed to be able to connect with someone online, kind of like a phone number and email addresses, it's supposed to go straight to them. But what's happening now is like everything is has been co opted, and re shuffled around. So that algorithms or technocrats or these social media companies decide what you see, and what you don't see. They decide what's true and what's not. We didn't elect these people. In most cases, we don't know who they are. But I do know that there are certain words that I have been allowed, like, I cannot post these words, my post disappears. This happens like there's so much evidence not just for me, but many people in our in our space.
And in fact, in many other spaces. At this point. Even Facebook censored Fox News. It's it's gotten to the point where they're not just going after independent creators, the little guys like us It's a big mess that's expanding, and becoming too obvious to ignore. But one of the biggest problems with it is that here's an example. A doctor down in Brazil has been a faithful follower of mine on social media, following on multiple platforms, as well as listening to the podcast that I have. So she's been listening for years. But just a few months ago, I posted about censorship, and I can't remember exactly what I said. But there's enough evidence in there, there are enough things going on out there that it's a weird conversation, and I started to bring it up a few months ago. So anyway, she posts and she's like, Oh, my God, I thought you stopped two years ago, I haven't seen anything from you. And wow, years, I'm so surprised that you're still going I love your stuff. You're one of my favorite channels. I'm subscribed by now I'm not subscribed, like what happened here. And then she started posting about it.
And she had me on her show in Brazil, I don't speak Portuguese, it was a really what was fascinating to me, though, was how all of this is happening. Like I coach people in multiple countries all around the world. And I'm in good touch with people all around the world. It's happening everywhere, at the same time in very particular ways that are, you know, independent and divorced from the political systems, wherever you might be, whatever country you might be, like, this is all going down in a very, very similar way. But it's basically like all of these different tech platforms can press the pause button on you or shut you off, without you even knowing that. So, for example, Google can also turn your website off, which happened to me and many of my friends, where we had millions of people coming to the website, the website did not change. But Google turned us off in like 2018 2019. So it kind of happened, like one thing at a time. And then like, literally, our YouTube subscribers have been at 49.9. For like more than years. It's been going we haven't cracked 50,000 for years, but it's been at like 49,000. For years, Wikipedia pages have been deleted, when you post certain words, you might find that a flag is attached to it, or this is a false claim.
Or you might even get a strike and be banned, or even d platformed. Which means that you're gone from that platform. But long story short, the problem is, it's not a meritocracy, it's not a one to one communication, where if you follow someone, you're going to hear from them anymore, it's been co opted, for whatever reason, there are a lot of agendas, I have no idea. I have no claims to know, anything. And I don't think that conspiracies are even necessary to acknowledge that this is corrupt or biased, or not what it promised. That was from Google, to the rest of social media. And it's really on us to make sure that we build our way out of it. So at this point, none of these social media platforms have anything interesting or new, or different. They're just kind of there. And the technology is also there for anyone to start their own social network and on a small scale with their own communities, that won't be co opted. And so because there is that need, you know, Facebook will go the way of my space. And so a lot of these other platforms that have have burned our trust over the years and will build something better. So I think that's, that's really promising. Because the whole virtual collaboration thing, that's not going to go away unless the grid goes down. There's a lot of promise in what's coming next, as long as we're willing to do the work together.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:43
So what can listeners do? Or is there anything they can do? Like this doctor who thought she was like, supporting you following you? And then you disappeared? Like, is there anything that listeners can do?
Abel James 43:53
Well, you can play games with these platforms to some degree where you like unsubscribe, and then you re subscribe. And then you're like, click the alert buttons. But I think, you know, it's one of those things where once a platform has burned someone's trust, they don't really get it back, you know. And so the creators, trust me, it's not just me, there are so many of us out there who feel this way, are really burnt out on these platforms, who have mistreated us in so many different ways over the years and just censored us and you're like, why? And they don't say and there's no like, even there's no person to talk to, they're just like, you're gone, or you're done. This guy is fine, but you're done that's extremely creepy and has a lot of implications.
I think for everyone out there, try to identify the people who you trust or the platforms that you trust that people use, and go deeper there. So instead of like surfing the net, for whatever, like newest, greatest latest thing there is try to go deeper into these people who you know, are still creating content if you haven't seen him for a while. Just like try to think what were your favorite like half dozen different people to listen to YouTube channels, podcasts, blogs, whatever, like, Who are those people, what I do is I write it down. And I intentionally go and seek out their content. And a lot of times I'll kind of, I'll binge watch a few of their episodes and get caught up on that instead of Netflix. I'm like watching these people, and what are they doing over the last three days or whatever. So I think that's really what it is. Try to follow people don't follow social media accounts.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:24
That's good. That's good. So we you have created a wild superfood company, with your wife and on your quest for health. So tell us about that company and what it's all about?
Abel James 45:35
Yeah, well, we're really psyched, because it took a while to get here. But we as independent creators, it's an uphill battle, it's really hard to pay the bills, it's hard to get by, for almost everyone out there who's on their way up. And so for ourselves, we've worked with different partners and other small companies over the years and tried a few sponsors. And it's like, wow, this can go really sideways. And a lot of sponsors come to the table, especially when I was on reality TV kind of seeing how that works. And they're like, okay, here's our your show is gonna go, here's what you can say what you can't say, not necessarily censorship, but certainly bias. Sure, you know, my bias is accelerated. And so my wife and I really wanted to accomplish a few things.
By creating this this company wild superfoods that could not only help us stay independent, but hopefully other creators down the road, and also be a great way to feed people. nutrients that we know that are hard to get these days are just kind of like, more the boring ones, like we sell vitamin D and vitamin C, and collagen and like a greens powder. So they're not super snazzy. And they're not like magic bullet. It's more just like, vitamin D is like the sun, we know we should go out and get some sun, we know we should get some vitamin D. But it's not the sexiest thing ever. But I think that it's important that people realize that sometimes it doesn't have to be a lot of times health is doing that boring thing. So we tried to have these foundational stuff totally. Yep.
And also, one, one exciting direction that we're going in now is like our college and cocoa, for example. We just made a pudding out of it. We're doing brownie recipes. And so we're using some of these ingredients as a as a jumping off point to making delicious treats and yanfly meals down the road. And so we're really excited about doing that, especially shelf stable stuff in these times. Yeah, we're trying to do the best we can to get out there. My brother's a farmer up in upstate New York and farming runs in the family. And so like, I'm not doing that, but I'm still trying to feed people and make sure that they're all topped up on their nutrients. So it's something that we're really excited about. And we're excited about growing in the future, too.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 47:48
Sure. And I understand you have a code wild 15 where listeners can get 15% off purchase on your website. So thank you,
Abel James 47:55
right wild 15 the word wild and then 15 the number
Dr. Stephanie Gray 47:59
perfect for 15% off. Thank you so much. Well tell us your your top longevity tip. What would your top longevity tip be your man have much knowledge. But what if we had to narrow it down? What would that be?
Abel James 48:12
I think it's being intentional about what you do every day. It's really about those little things that you do the add up over the long term that matter more than anything because I think with longevity, there are so many snazzy things there. They're looking for the magic bullet all the time, especially for longevity stuff, right? And longevity has to be holistic, right? Like, it can't just be Botox. It can't just be vitamin D. It can't just be exercise. I mean, like it really has, you have to, if you want to live a long time and live well, for a long time, you have to do almost everything. Mostly right? You don't have to do everything totally right. You just have to do everything. Mostly right, maybe a couple of things wrong. But you can't be pursuing longevity while doing multiple things wrong and things that you know, are wrong on a daily basis, if that makes sense, right? We're all guilty of it.
We're all doing the things that we know that we probably shouldn't. So it's really about I think being intentional about finding your place to play there and what the wiggle room is, and then being honest about what you want the result to be and also how you want to live your life. There's no perfect answer. Some people who smoke live to 100 some people eat nothing but bacon, and they're fine. Some people are vegetarian and they die early. You know, some people are the healthiest ever. And great athletes then they have a heart attack and die early. So also, as you're pursuing longevity, don't forget about your life. Don't forget about like the quality of your life and also challenging yourself and, you know, really thinking about why we're here. So making the best of the time that we do have
Dr. Stephanie Gray 49:45
not so good yet making the best of time because we don't know when our time ends. So those were wonderful tips. Thank you so much today for coming on the show and just sharing what you've learned from all of your past experiences. Thank you for having me. Yeah, and just educating our audience on what you do to live a healthier life. So thank you so much for your tips today. Thanks for coming on the show. Thanks to you. This interview gave me perspective on life. It has really encouraged me to be intentional about how I structure my day, my life and who I follow in. To be honest about my choices truly thinking of something is going to serve me before I engage. To hear more from Abel James, check him out on social media as Fat Burning Man and check out his site Fat Burning Man calm. Don't forget, you can use code wild 15 for purchases at wild superfoods.com Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint.
And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck, you can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time, not only is the course 50% off, but you also get your first consult with me for free. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. And leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics, guests or how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative As always, thanks so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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